3 Support Monsters for Treants in 5e D&D: Squirrelfolk, Owl Wizards, and Wind Friends

Errata:

  • 9/26/2018: I realize I forgot to give the scurry knight its Parry reaction.

I was just reading Keith Ammann’s treant tactics over on his blog (and loved it of course), and started thinking about some cool support for treants.

After all, treants are huge brutes of the “I’ma gun clobber you” variety. They have one ranged attack, but as Keith points out, that’s a move that they’ll save for when they’re really ticked off at you. Plus, the DPS isn’t nearly as good as them just getting in the face of those who dare trespass and smacking them with their branches a few times.

But what sort of help do 5e treants need?

Let’s look at a treant’s biggest weaknesses:

  • They have relatively lousy Dex. Fortunately, their rock-throwing attack is built on its incredible Strength and not its Dex.
  • It has no real save bonuses. At CR 9, lacking Dex, Int, and Charisma could put it at risk against magic users.
  • They hate fire. Fire deals double damage. Boo, fire!
  • And anybody with an axe (or sword, I guess) can deal normal damage.

Therefore, when coming up with support monsters, we’ll need stuff that can help it out so it doesn’t get cut down. Literally.

I wish I could say that we DMs live in a world where players won’t be meta and not think about fire and axes when fighting trees, but uh… that ain’t happening.

A Variant for the Treant

My first thought turns to the Ogre Howdah of Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes. It’s an ogre with a shack on its back where goblins/kobolds/etc can hang out and fire arrows and be relatively safe from danger. Kind of a cool concept.

So here’s a new trait for the treant:

Variant: Treant Shelter

Many treants allow tiny creatures to live in their branches. A treant that does so picks up the following additional trait.

Treant Shelter. The treant holds numerous creatures in its branches. Up to 16 Tiny creatures can hide in its branches without squeezing. The branches are too high for Tiny creatures taking shelter to make melee attacks against a target within 5 feet of the treant, but can make melee attacks against creatures that are sharing the same space as the treant. Creatures in the treant’s branches have three-quarters cover against attacks and effects from outside it. If the treant dies, creatures in its branches are placed in unoccupied spaces within 5 feet of the treant.

3 Support Monsters for Treants in 5e D&D

Now that we’ve got the “fort”, it’s time to populate it.

Instead of goblins, the treant’s got little, Intelligent squirrel people in it with tiny, adorable bows-and-arrows. They hide in the treant’s branches, getting cover bonuses, and can make attacks from within. If I make them tiny sized, a ton of these can fit in the treant’s branches! And I’ve been on an anthro-humanoid kick lately, so creating what I’m now calling scurries (squirrelfolk) should be a ton of fun. And since I just found a cool picture of a squirrel knight riding a bullfrog into battle, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to create a scurry knight, too!

What else makes its home in trees? Birds, of course! How about assisting this army of scurries is a wise, old owl that can cast magic? That’d be a hoot!

Oh yeah. I made that joke.

Our owl wizard will be another Tiny humanoid called a strig.

Finally, I think an elemental might round out this group fairly well, Something that can work as support and take care of the big dangers like wizards with fire magic or barbarians with axes. I’m imagining an elemental that has a close kinship with the treant a la a dryad crossed with an air weird. It can help douse those flames, push away annoying wizards, and even go toe-to-toe with other dangerous melee combatants.  We’ll call it a wind friend.

squirrel-folk

Scurry (Squirrelfolk)

Tiny humanoid (scurry), chaotic good


Armor Class 11

Hit Points 1 (1d4 – 1)

Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.


Abilities Str 2 (-4), Dex 13 (+1), Con 9 (-1), Int 10 (+0), Wis 11 (+0), Cha 10 (+0)


Senses darkvision 30 ft., passive Perception 10

Languages Scurrish, Sylvan

Challenge 1/8 (25 XP)


Keen Smell. The scurry has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.

Martial Advantage. Once per turn, the scurry can deal an extra 2 (1d4) damage to a creature it hits with a weapon attack if that creature is within 5 feet of an ally of the scurry that isn’t incapacitated.


Actions

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +0 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage.

Shortbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 40/160 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) piercing damage.

 

squirrel-knight

Scurry (Squirrelfolk) Knight

Tiny humanoid (scurry), chaotic good


Armor Class 17 (chain shirt, shield)

Hit Points 10 (3d4 + 3)

Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.


Abilities Str 3 (-4), Dex 15 (+2), Con 12 (+1), Int 12 (+1), Wis 11 (+0), Cha 14 (+2)


Senses darkvision 30 ft., passive Perception 10

Languages Scurrish, Sylvan

Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)


Keen Smell. The scurry has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.

Martial Advantage. Once per turn, the scurry can deal an extra 5 (2d4) damage to a creature it hits with a weapon attack if that creature is within 5 feet of an ally of the scurry that isn’t incapacitated.


Actions

Multiattack. The scurry makes two attacks with its shortsword.

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

Shortbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 40/160 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.

Leadership (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). For 1 minute, the scurry can utter a special command or warning whenever a nonhostile creature that it can see within 30 feet of it makes an attack roll or a saving throw. The creature can add a d4 to its roll provided it can hear and understand the scurry. A creature can benefit from only one Leadership die at a time. This effect ends if the scurry is incapacitated.


Reactions

Parry. The scurry adds 2 to its AC against one melee attack that would hit it. To do so, the scurry must see the attacker and be wielding a melee weapon.

owl-wizard

Strig

Tiny humanoid, lawful good


Armor Class 11 (14 with mage armor)

Hit Points 12 (5d4)

Speed 5 ft., fly 60 ft.


Abilities Str 3 (-4), Dex 13 (+1), Con 10 (+0), Int 16 (+3), Wis 14 (+2), Cha 11 (+0)


Saving Throws Int +5, Wis +4

Skills Arcana +5, Perception +4, Stealth +3

Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 14

Languages Common, Elvish, Sylvan

Challenge 2 (450 XP)


Flyby. The strig doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks when it flies out of an enemy’s reach.

Keen Hearing and Sight. The strig has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or sight.

Spellcaster. The strig is a 5th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 12, +4 to hit with spell attacks). The strig has the following wizard spells prepared:

Cantrips (at will): mage hand, ray of frost, true strike
1st level (4 slots): mage armor, magic missile
2nd level (3 slots): enlarge/reduce, gust of wind, ray of enfeeblement
3rd level (2 slots): dispel magic, haste, sleet storm


Actions

Talons. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 slashing damage.

wind-friend

Wind Friend

Medium elemental, neutral


Armor Class 13

Hit Points 33 (6d8 + 6)

Speed 0 ft., fly 60 ft. (hover)


Abilities Str 10 (+0), Dex 16 (+3), Con 12 (+1), Int 6 (-2), Wis 10 (+0), Cha 6 (-2)


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

Damage Immunities poison

Condition Immunities exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, unconscious

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10

Languages Auran

Challenge 2 (450 XP)


Air Form. The wind friend can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. It can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.


Actions

Multiattack. The wind friend makes two slam attacks.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) bludgeoning damage.

Wind Blast (Recharge 5-6). The wind friend creates a line of strong wind 60 feet long and 10 feet wide until the start of its next turn. Each creature that starts its turn in the line must succeed on a DC13 Strength saving throw or be pushed 15 feet away from the wind weird in a direction following the line. Any creature in the line must spend 2 feet of movement for every 1 foot it moves when moving closer to the wind friend. The blast disperses gas or vapor, and it extinguishes candles, torches, and similar unprotected flames in the area. It causes protected flames, such as those of lanterns, to dance wildly and has a 50 percent chance to extinguish them.


Reaction

Wind Shield. When a creature the wind friend can see attacks a target other than itself that is within 5 feet of it with a ranged weapon attack or ranged spell attack, the wind friend can use its reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll.

 

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