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3 More Monsters for Your Ravenloft Campaigns | Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

Continuing my conversion of old Ravenloft monsters, here are a few more uglies from the Dread Realms to populate your Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition campaigns.

Flavor text is taken from the original supplements from whence it came (property Wizards of the Coast). Conversions by me, DM Dave.

mullonga

Mullonga

The aboriginal witch Mullonga is one of the most active members of the Nightmare Court. She may look like an old woman who is so small as to be harmless, but she is evil and malicious. She thrives on the fear and apprehension of others.

Mullonga appears as a hunched, leathery, brown-skinned old woman dressed in animal skins and carrying a gnarled staff. Her flesh looks as if it has been parched in the hottest desert, beneath a blazing, unforgiving sun. As no visible sun shines over the Nightmare Lands, perhaps it is the pure evil that emanates from this witch that withers her flesh so.

Her connection to the dream plane gives Mullonga access to many languages, all of which are spoken with a voice as dry and brittle as a mummy’s wrappings.

Ruler of Nod’s Ghettoes. Mullonga controls the Ghettoes in the City of Nod. The shifting streets of this roving neighborhood are an extension of the witch.

In the Ghettoes, Mullonga has a number of workshops where she can conduct her arcane experiments. These experiments have seen the creation of the arcane heads and other terrors that now serve the witch. Of course, the Ghettoes are also haunted by things that did not turn out the way the witch had planned.

Fueled by Nightmares. Mullonga thrives on fear, and her dream-scapes are sinister terror-filled locations. In the Terrain Between, she constantly searches for wanderers to fuel her arcane powers.

Mullonga

Medium fiend, neutral evil


Armor Class 16 (natural armor)

Hit Points 153 (18d8 + 72)

Speed 30 ft.


Abilities Str 9 (-1), Dex 18 (+4), Con 18 (+4), Int 17 (+3), Wis 17 (+3), Cha 19 (+4)


Skills Arcana +9, Deception +10, Perception +9

Damage Resistances cold, fire, lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks

Damage Immunities acid, poison

Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, poisoned

Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 19

Languages all, telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge 21 (33,000 XP)


Aura of Extreme Fear. Mullonga exudes an aura of fear in a 60-foot radius. All creatures in this area must succeed on a DC 19 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature frightened in this way is paralyzed. The target may repeat its saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself with a success. A creature that succeeds on its saving throw or the effect ends for it is immune to Mullonga’s Aura of Extreme Fear for 24 hours.

Fueled by Fear. Mullonga regenerates when frightened creatures are within 60 feet of her. For each frightened creature within range, Mullonga regains 3 hit points at the start of her turn. If Mullonga takes fire or radiant damage, this trait doesn’t function at the start of Mullonga’s next turn. Mullonga dies only if she starts her turn with 0 hit points and doesn’t regenerate.

Innate Spellcasting. Mullonga’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 19, spell, +11 to hit with spell attacks). Mullonga can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components.

  • At will: burning hands, alter self, chill touch, detect magic, detect thoughts, magic missile
  • 3/day each: blindness/deafness, fear, fireball, hypnotic pattern, slow
  • 1/day each: Bigby’s hand, confusion, Create undead, Evard’s black tentacles, polymorph, programmed illusion

Legendary Resistance (3/day). If Mullonga fails a saving throw, she can choose to succeed instead.

Magic Resistance. Mullonga has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Magic Weapons. Mullonga’s weapon attacks are magical.


Actions

Multiattack. Mullonga makes two claw attacks.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) slashing damage.


Legendary Actions

Mullonga can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Mullonga regains spent legendary actions at the start of her turn.

Move. Mullonga moves up to her speed without provoking opportunity attacks.

Claws. Mullonga makes one claw attack.

Spell (Costs 2 Actions). Mullonga casts one of her at-will innate spells.

 

shadow-asp

 

Shadow Asp

In all of Ravenloft, no place reveres the tombs of its dead more highly than Har’Akir. Recently, the priests of this desert realm have found deadly wardens for the tombs of their pharaohs: shadow asps.

Shadow asps appear to be slender snakes composed of pure darkness. They seem to have no physical form, but look as if they are nothing more than an extension of the shadows that give them their name. Although these creatures are barely intelligent, they instinctively lash out at those who intrude upon the tombs they live in.

Shadow asps make no sound, not even a hiss or slithering, as they move.

Unnatural Origin. Shadow asps are magical creatures summoned by the priests of certain gods worshiped in Har’Akir (Osiris, Set, or Nephythys). The ceremony by which these creatures are called into existence is a tightly guarded secret.

Shadow asps are very territorial. They slither about the place where they were summoned and maintain a constant vigil against the intrusions of potential grave robbers or defilers.

Because they turn their victims into shadows, there is a 40% chance of finding 1d6 shadows with any group of shadow asps.

Created for Death. Shadow asps are not a part of the physical world. Because of their extradimensional origins, they play no part in the grand scheme of nature apart from bringing death to their victims and creating undead shadows.

Swarm of Shadow Asps

Medium swarm of Tiny monstrosities, unaligned


Armor Class 15

Hit Points 45 (10d8)

Speed 30 ft.


Abilities Str 8 (-1), Dex 20 (+5), Con 11 (+0), Int 1 (-5), Wis 14 (+2), Cha 3 (-4)


Skills Stealth +9

Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, slashing

Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained, stunned

Senses blindsight 10 ft., passive Perception 12

Languages

Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)


Light Hypersensitivity. The swarm takes 10 radiant damage when it starts its turn in bright light or sunlight. While in bright light or sunlight, it has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.

Shadow Invisibility. While in dim light or darkness, the swarm is invisible. The invisibility lasts until the shadow asps are in bright light.

Swarm. The swarm can occupy another creature’s space and vice versa, and the swarm can move through any opening large enough for a Tiny snake. The swarm can’t regain hit points or gain temporary hit points.


Actions

Bites. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 0 ft., one target in the swarms’ space. Hit: 14 (4d6) piercing damage, or 7 (2d6) piercing damage if the swarm has half its hit points or fewer. If the target is a creature, its Strength score is reduced by 1d4. The target dies if this reduces its Strength to 0. Otherwise, the reduction lasts until the target has a remove curse spell or similar magic cast upon it. A humanoid that dies from this attack immediately rises as a shadow.

 

venus-weed

Venus Weed

Few creatures are as equally beauteous and deadly as the dreaded Venus weed. Seemingly a nightmare hybrid of a human woman and plant, the Venus weed lures unwary creatures to feed on their blood.

The Venus weed resembles an oversized rose bush, complete with wicked thorns. The plant has only a single flower, but that rose is enormous, nearly 4’ in diameter. When this snow-white rose opens, a beautiful human woman is revealed. The woman is unclothed and voluptuous, with long, strawberry-blond hair. Her pale skin is flawless, and her emerald green eyes sparkle with the promise of wicked delights. Unfortunately for the Venus weed’s victims, the “woman” is merely a specialized vegetable structure, intended to lure them close enough for the plant to attack. The woman lacks legs, and her hips are rooted at the center of the flower.

Venus weeds cannot speak to other creatures, though they understand speech, and are not completely mute themselves. The woman at the center of the plant’s flower can utter noises, though usually this is limited to sighs of contentment (when seducing a victim) or shrieks of rage (when the plant is attacked). Venus weeds are highly intelligent, and communication can be established with them through the speak with plants spell.

Appetite for Blood. Venus weeds can survive in any wild, temperate area, though they grow particularly well in nutrient-poor soils where most plants would be stunted. Though they can survive on the blood of any mammal that wanders too close, Venus weeds seem to prefer a diet of human blood. They often grow far enough from settlements that they cannot be discovered easily, yet close enough to ensure a steady traffic of victims. Venus weeds are sometimes found growing alongside bloodroses.

Many occult scholars believe that the Venus weed is the product of a mundane rose bush that was watered daily with fresh blood by a hag inclined towards “experimental horticulture”. Though Venus weeds now mainly reproduce like normal flowering plants, it is thought that watering a rose in such a manner could produce a new Venus weed in time.

Dark Alliances. Like other carnivorous plants, Venus weeds rely on digested organic matter – in this case, blood – for the nutrients needed to supplement photosynthesis. Unlike normal roses, Venus weeds blossom early in spring, with the flower persisting until late summer. This is to maximize its hunting time before the “woman” structure desiccates and ruptures, releasing pollen. Though the Venus weed is very rare, it is capable of self-fertilization. They are territorial creatures, without much use for other intelligent beings. They occasionally enter into alliances with other evil creatures, however, if a steady stream of fresh blood can be guaranteed.

Venus Weed

Medium plant, neutral evil


Armor Class 13 (natural armor)

Hit Points 52 (8d8 + 16)

Speed 0 ft.


Abilities Str 15 (+2), Dex 10 (+0), Con 15 (+2), Int 13 (+1), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 18 (+4)


Damage Vulnerabilities fire

Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception

Languages understands Common but can’t speak

Challenge 2 (450 XP)


Blood Sucker. While the Venus weed has creatures grappled with its tendrils, it can use its bonus action to drain their blood. Each creature grappled by the Venus weed takes 7 (2d6) necrotic damage. The target’s hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0.

Supernatural Beauty. If a creature starts its turn within 30 feet of the Venus weed and it can see it, the Venus weed can force the target to make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw if the Venus weed isn’t incapacitated. On a failed save, the target is charmed. While charmed by the Venus weed, a target is incapacitated. If the charmed target is more than 15 feet away from the Venus weed, the target must move on its turn toward the Venus weed by the most direct route, trying to get within 15 feet. It doesn’t avoid opportunity attacks, but before moving into damaging terrain, such as lava or a pit, and whenever it takes damage from a source other than the Venus weed, the target can repeat the saving throw. A charmed target can also repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself with a success. If the saving throw is successful, the effect ends on it. A target that successfully saves is immune to this venus weed’s beauty for the next 24 hours.


Actions

Multiattack. The Venus weed makes two attacks with its tendrils or three attacks with its rose darts.

Tendrils. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage. The target is grappled (escape DC 12) if it is a Large or smaller creature and the venus weed doesn’t have four other creatures grappled.

Rose Darts. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 15/45 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.

 

Thanks for reading!

Ravenloft monsters are so much fun to create. They tend to be a little more “a-hole-ish” than regular D&D monsters, so they make great challenges for DMs like me who love to torment their players. I’ll probably create a few more as I go.

If you aren’t already, be sure to follow me on Facebook where I detail my Saturday campaign sessions.

DM Dave on Facebook.

See you next time!

Art by D&D Wiki, Ulrich Zeidler, and atryl.

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4 Nightmare Denizens: Brain Collectors, Feyrs, and Maulephants for D&D 5e

These monsters are free for you to use in your fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. Just not commercially! And the art isn’t mine. Borrowed from various sources.

Recently, I cooked up stats for the diaboli, denizens of the Demi-Plane of Nightmares. The article I pulled the original second edition stats from noted that diaboli magic doesn’t work against the Prime Material, but will work against folks from the Demi-Plane of Nightmares such as “Brains Collectors, Feyrs, Nagpas, and Maulephants.”

Nagpas just got their own little release with Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, so they’re covered. And I actually have third edition stats for maulephants in the old Fiend Folio. However, I wanted to learn more about brain collectors (also called Neh-thalggu) and feyrs (pronounced “fears”). Interestingly, both are quite Lovecraftian/Guy Davis in design. Lots of eyes and mouths, tentacles, spider legs, etc.

So this should be a hoot.

4 New Monsters for the Demi-Plane of Nightmares

These monsters are free for you to use in your personal Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons campaigns, just not commercially.

Brain Collectors

From the original entry:

Brain collectors (Neh-thalggu in their own language) are rare creatures who occasionally cross the barriers separating their distant home from the Prime Material Plane. Only near sources of great magical energy, where the fabric of time and space is twisted, can they find small gateways to Mystara, where they collect the brains of intelligent beings.

Each specimen of this hideous race has a yellow-orange body – bloated, oily, and amorphous – with dozens of short, writhing tentacles. Six crablike legs allow it to scuttle about. Four large, yellow, bulging eyes and a tooth-filled maw are set in its bulbous head. The head may also have a number of distinctive lumps (up to twelve), each one housing the brain of another intelligent creature.

Neh-thalggu do not think like any other creature. They speak their own tongue and that of diaboli. They can also speak and comprehend the languages known by any creatures whose brains they’ve swallowed.

Additionally, we learn that the brain collectors fight using their razor-sharp bite and also casting spells stolen from devoured wizard brains. Careful and cunning fighters, the neh-thalggu try their damndest not to damage brains while fighting. After all, a broken brain is a bad brain.

Brain collectors can only store 12 brains at a time. Once they’ve collected their brains, they run off and hide, for… well, forever, I guess. Pretty freaky.

Oh! And they’re related to feyrs.

Feyr and Great Feyr

From the original entry:

Feyrs (pronounced “fears”) are created from the remnants of ordinary nightmares, mixed with residual magical energies, and unknowingly brought to life by the strong emotions of a large group of people. They are most commonly found in large cities that have a good number of mages, priests, and other spell-casters. Normal feyrs stalk the streets at night, seeking nothing more than to create havoc. Great feyrs, on the other hand, are the combination of lesser feyrs, and may be found anywhere, though they a much rarer than the common feyrs.

Common feyrs appear as humped, hunchbacked creatures, grim and inhuman in appearance. Their hide is mottled and warped like the surface of the human brain. The creature is supported by two main tentacles which act as legs, and by a handful of other tentacled limbs. Massive horizontal jaws line its underside, and the forepart of the beast has 1-5 eyes, usually the color of melted gold. The feyr’s hide is a sickly rainbow of shades, like light reflected off an oil slick. There are dull blues and blacks along the body, pale reds and magentas toward the head, and deathly greens and yellows along the belly.

Feyrs use their underslung horizontal mouths to make attacks. These attacks aren’t so much for eating, but to cause fear in others. Those who witness it must make a save versus becoming frightened. Also, they have a weakness to direct sunlight, although they’re either too dumb or don’t care that it can kill them, and won’t make efforts to avoid it.

Common feyrs are created by the emotions of a mass group of people. And multiple common feyrs can combine to create a great feyr.

Feyrs are frequently found in places that are under great stress, such as cities in the midst of civil war, summer heat, or plague.

Maelephants

From the original entry:

The frightening but fascinating maelephants guard the Lower Planes. They are large, roughly bipedal creatures with huge pachyderm heads that have a viciously barbed trunk.

Maelephants speak their own language, and many know the common tongue, as well.

Combat-wise, maelephants are immune to nonmagical weapons, regenerate, and are mostly impervious to fear effects. Maelephants use their claws in combat and trunk spikes. Plus, they can charge. A few times a day, a maelephant can breathe a poisonous gas that induces memory loss. In addition, maelephants have a whole mess of innate spellcasting abilities such as alarmblade barrierentanglegust of windlightpolymorph, and true seeing.

 

brain-collector

Brain Collector (Neh-thalggu)

Large aberration (nightmare denizen), chaotic neutral


Armor Class 15 (natural armor)

Hit Points 120 (16d10 + 32)

Speed 40 ft.


Abilities Str 17 (+3), Dex 12 (+1), Con 15 (+2), Int 19 (+4), Wis 13 (+1), Cha 17 (+3)


Saving Throws Int +6, Wis +3, Cha +5

Skills Arcana +6, Perception +3

Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 13

Languages Deep Speech, Diaboli

Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)


Innate Spellcasting. The brain collector’s innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 14). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components:

1/day each: dimension doordispel magic, feign death, gust of wind, invisibility, lightning bolt


Actions

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d10 + 3) piercing damage.

Remove Brain. The brain collector targets one incapacitated creature it can see within 5 feet of it. The target must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or the brain collector removes the creature’s brain and consumes it, at which point the target’s body dies immediately. A creature’s whose brain has been removed in this way cannot be raised, reincarnated, or resurrected while the brain is inside the brain collector.

 

feyr

Feyr

Small aberration (nightmare denizen), chaotic evil


Armor Class 8

Hit Points 72 (16d6 + 16)

Speed 20 ft.


Abilities Str 14 (+2), Dex 7 (-2), Con 12 (+1), Int 3 (-4), Wis 6 (-2), Cha 6 (-2)


Condition Immunities frightened, prone

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 8

Languages

Challenge 1/4 (25 XP)


Terrifying Bite. If the feyr makes a bite attack against a creature and it hits, all creatures within 30 feet of the feyr that can see it must make a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the feyr’s Terrifying Bite for the next 24 hours.

Sunlight Hypersensitivity. The feyr takes 20 radiant damage when it starts its turn in sunlight. While in sunlight, it has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.


Actions

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.

 

Great Feyr

Medium aberration (nightmare denizen), chaotic evil


Armor Class 9 (natural armor)

Hit Points 150 (20d8 + 60)

Speed 30 ft.


Abilities Str 18 (+4), Dex 9 (-1), Con 16 (+3), Int 10 (+0), Wis 10 (+0), Cha 8 (-1)


Condition Immunities frightened, prone

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 8

Languages

Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)


Terrifying Bite. If the feyr makes a bite attack against a creature and it hits, all creatures within 30 feet of the feyr that can see it must make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the feyr’s Terrifying Bite for the next 24 hours.


Actions

Multiattack. The feyr makes two bite attacks.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage.

Affect Emotions. Each creature of the feyr’s choice that is within 120 feet of the feyr and not incapacitated must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or become charmed by the feyr for 1 minute. While charmed in this way, the creature has disadvantage on ability checks and saving throws and can’t be frightened. The charmed creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to any feyr’s Affect Emotions for the next 24 hours.

Whenever the feyr deals damage to the charmed creature, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Invisibility (Recharge 4-6). The feyr magically turns invisible for up to 1 hour or until it attacks, it casts a spell, or its concentration is broken (as if concentrating on a spell). However, the feyr can still use its Affect Emotions action while invisible. Any equipment the feyr wears or carries is invisible with it.

 

maelephant

Maelephant

Large monstrosity (nightmare denizen), lawful neutral


Armor Class 14 (natural armor)

Hit Points 59 (7d10 + 21)

Speed 30 ft.


Abilities Str 22 (+6), Dex 10 (+0), Con 17 (+3), Int 11 (+0), Wis 13 (+1), Cha 16 (+3)


Saving Throws Wisdom +3, Charisma +5

Skills Perception +9

Damage Immunities bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons

Condition Immunities frightened

Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 19

Languages Common, Maelephant

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)


Charge. If the maelephant moves at least 20 feet straight toward a target and then hits it with its claws attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 9 (2d8) slashing damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 16 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Keen Hearing and Smell. The maelephant has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.

Innate Spellcasting. The maelephant’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 13). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components:

3/day each: blade barrier, polymorph
1/day each: alarmentangle, fabricategust of windlighttrue seeing.


Actions

Multiattack. The maelephant makes two attacks: one with its claws and one with its spiked trunk.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d6 + 6) slashing damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 16) if it is a Large or smaller creature. Until the grapple ends, the maelephant can’t use its claws on another target. In addition, the target takes 7 (2d6) bludgeoning damage at the start of each of the maelephant’s turns and the maelephant’s spiked trunk attack has advantage against the target.

Spiked Trunk. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d6 + 6) piercing damage.

Memory Gas (Recharge 6). The maelephant exhales poisonous gas in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 13 Charisma saving throw or suffer complete memory loss. While a creature suffers from memory loss, it loses access to all of its class abilities and spells and has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks. The memory loss lasts until removed by a lesser restoration spell or similar magic.

 

Thanks for reading!

Design-wise, you might have noticed that I totally skipped over the third edition iterations of these beasts. I felt that the third edition versions were a little too strong. For example, the brain collector is a Challenge Rating 26 creature in third (it’s from the Epic Level Handbook), which I thought was goofy and frankly, kind of boring.

These guys are taken straight from the second edition. So no one here really pops up above Challenge Rating 5. Which, personally, I like stuff like that.

I’m sure to make a few more nightmare denizens as the week goes by.

See you next time!