The Nightmare Beast (Dark Sun) | New Monster for Fifth Edition

With a disposition as bad as its reputation, it’s no wonder that a nightmare beast spreads terror wherever it goes.

A nightmare beast stands at least 20 feet tall on its four legs. Each of its digits is tipped with a 3-foot-long claw. Its jaws are filled with 1-foot-long teeth and flanked by curved tusks the size of cavalry lances. A nightmare beast’s thick, rough hide is typically dark gray with dark blue, purple, or brown splotches in between patches of bony material. Its red eyes, each the size of a man’s head, glow in the dark.

A Nightmare Beast’s Lair

The nightmare beast prefers to lair in a remote cave. It spends most of its time in search of food, and it ends to hunt in one area until the food supply is exhausted. At that point, it usually hibernates for up to one year, then awakens again in a ravenous state.

The monster has no interest in treasure, nor does it often bring any prey back to its lair, unless the kill is too large that it cannot be consumed all at once. A nightmare beast often inadvertently eats treasures along with their owners, so occasionally items of value turn up in the creature’s lair at a later time.

The region containing a nightmare beast’s lair is affected by the psionic power that gives it its name.  Every intelligent creature that falls asleep within 10 miles of the nightmare beast’s lair must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed saving throw, the creature takes 5 (1d10) psychic damage and suffers from horrid, vivid nightmares of being stalked and killed by monsters, demons, cruel enemies, or whatever else it fears. For the next 24 hours, the creature can not gain the normal benefits of an 8-hour rest and the creature is marked by the nightmare beast. While marked by the nightmare beast, the nightmare beast deals an extra 1d6 damage to the target whenever it hits with a weapon attack, and it has advantage on any Wisdom (Perception) or Wisdom (Survival) check made to find the target.

Nightmare Beast

Huge monstrosity, chaotic evil


Armor Class 24 (natural armor)

Hit Points 202 (15d12 + 105)

Speed 30 ft.


Abilities Str 25 (+7), Dex 13 (+1), Con 24 (+7), Int 8 (-1), Wis 13 (+1), Cha 11 (+0)


Saving Throws Con +13, Int +6, Wis +7, Cha +6

Skills Perception +7

Damage Resistances spells

Damage Immunities psychic; bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from nonmagical weapons

Condition Immunities charmed, frightened

Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 17

Languages Abyssal

Challenge 17 (18,000 XP)


Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The nightmare beast’s innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 15, +7 to hit with spell attacks). It can innately cast the following spells requiring no components:

  • At will: fire bolt, magic stone, mind thrust*
  • 3/Day: heat metal, id insinuation*, mental defenses*, ego whip*, psionic blast*, psychic crush*
  • 2/Day: chain lightning, cloud kill, dispel magic, fireball, lightning bolt, wall of fire
  • 1/Day: conjure elemental, disintegrate, double pain*, teleport (self only)

Keen Sight and Smell. The nightmare beast has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight and smell.

Magic Resistance. The nightmare beast has advantage on saving throws against spells and magical effects.

Regeneration. The nightmare beast regains 10 hit points at the start of its turn. If the nightmare beast is incapacitated, this trait doesn’t function at the start of the nightmare beast’s turn. The nightmare beast dies only if it starts its turn with 0 hit points.

Trampling Charge. If the nightmare beast moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a gore attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 21 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the nightmare beast can make one claw attack against it as a bonus action.


Actions

Multiattack. The nightmare beast makes four attacks: one with its gore, one with its bite, and two with its claws.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (4d6 + 7) piercing damage.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d6 + 7) slashing damage.

Gore. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (4d6 + 7) piercing damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 21 Constitution saving throw or take 5 (2d4) slashing damage at the start of each of its turns due to a fiendish wound. Each time the nightmare beast hits the wounded target with this attack, the damage dealt by the wound increases by 5 (2d4). Any creature can take an action to stanch the wound with a successful DC 13 Wisdom (Medicine) check. The wound also closes if the target receives magical healing.

 

New Spells

The monster description above uses the following new spells.

Double Pain

5th-level enchantment

Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take when you hit a creature with a melee attack

Range: Touch

Components: V, S

Duration: 1 round

Choose a creature within range. For the duration, each time you deal damage to that creature with a melee attack, including the triggering attack, it must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed saving throw, the creature takes psychic damage equal to the amount of damage caused by the attack. If the damage from this spell would reduce the creature’s hit points to 0, the target is stable but stunned for 1 minute, even after regaining hit points. At the end of each of the creature’s turns, it can make another saving throw, ending the stunned effect on itself with a success.

 

Ego Whip

3rd-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 60 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: Instantaneous

Choose a creature within range. The target must make an Intelligence saving throw.
On a failed save, the creature takes 3d8 psychic damage, and it is filled with self-doubt, leaving it able to use its action on its next turn only to take the Dodge, Disengage, or Hide action. On a successful saving throw, it takes half as much damage.

 

Id Insinuation

3rd-level enchantment

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 60 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: 1 round

Choose one creature that you can see within range. The target must make an Intelligence saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 5d8 psychic damage, and it goes into a fury, as its id runs rampant. On its next turn, it can use its action only to take the Dodge or Attack action. On a successful save, it takes half as much damage.

 

Mental Defenses

2nd-level abjuration

Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take when you are targeted by a spell or effect that requires you to make an Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma saving throw or deals psychic damage

Range: Self

Components: V

Duration: 1 round

Until the start of your next turn, you have a +5 bonus to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws, and you gain resistance to psychic damage.

 

Mind Thrust

Enchantment cantrip

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 60 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: 1 round

Target one creature you can see within range. The target must succeed on an Intelligence saving throw or take 1d10 psychic damage.

The spell’s damage increases by 1d10 when you reach 5th level (2d10), 11th level (3d10),
and 17th level (4d10).

 

Psionic Blast

1st-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 60 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: Instantaneous

Choose a creature within range. The creature takes 2d8 psychic damage.

At Higher Levels. When you use a spell slot of 2nd level or higher to cast this spell, the damage increases by 1d8 for each spell slot above 1st.

 

Psychic Crush

1st-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action

Range: 60 feet

Components: V, S

Duration: Instantaneous

Choose a creature within range. The target must make an Intelligence saving throw, taking 3d6 psychic damage on a failed saving throw or half as much damage on a successful one.

At Higher Levels. When you use a spell slot of 2nd level or higher to cast this spell, the damage increases by 1d6 for each spell slot above 1st.

 

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