By Rye Clarke
The same old 5e monsters game after game can get stale. Drop any of these 5e monsters into your game to give your players a fun surprise!
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“Roughly the size of a mastiff, these creatures resemble large black beetles. Without a rigid shell of their own, they wrap themselves in artificial armor. When possible, these creatures seem to prefer creating their shells from the remains of other creatures. We don’t know what prompts this behavior, but the sight of a Collector Beetle buried under a mass of bleached bones is impressive.” –Traveling researcher
Communal Scavengers: Collector beetles often travel together, seeking new pieces to add to their shells and more of the fungus and moss that makes up their diet. While not typically aggressive, they have been known to swarm when threatened.
Macabre camouflage. Collector beetles have little in the way of defenses. Without claws, fangs, or other natural weapons, larger beasts often see these creatures as easy prey. To protect themselves and blend in, these giant insects create shells of hard refuse that they find while scavenging, gluing bits of metal, wood, and especially bone to their backs with their sticky saliva.
Shy Collectors. Typically, collector beetles prefer to use light substances like wood and bone to make their armor, but some occasionally find more valuable components. Gold coins, pieces of jewelry, and even weapons have been known to find their way onto a collector beetle’s back.
Medium beast, unaligned
Armor Class 14 (natural)
Hit Points 39 (6d8 + 12)
Speed 25 ft., climb 25 ft.
|15 (+ 2)||14 (+ 2)||14 (+ 2)||4 (- 3)||8 (- 1)||5 (- 3)|
Saving Throws Str + 4
Skills Stealth + 4
Senses passive Perception 11
Challenge 1 (200 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2
Scavenged Defense. While its shell is intact, a collector beetle can attempt to avoid damage by pulling into its shell. When a collector beetle is struck by a melee weapon, it may use its reaction to roll a d6. On a 3-4, the attack damages the shell instead of the beetle. On a 5-6, the attack damages the shell, and rubble knocked loose from the shell deals 1d4 piercing damage to any creature within 5 feet of the collector beetle. Once the shell has received 10 points of damage, it can no longer use this ability until it completes a long rest.
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) bludgeoning damage.
Sticky Spray. Ranged Weapon Attack +4 to hit, range 20/40 ft., one Medium or smaller creature. The creature is coated in a thick, foul-smelling fluid that rapidly begins to harden. The creature is restrained (escape DC 10). The effect ends if the restrained creature takes any damage.
A woman’s pale, translucent form clad in plate armor stands behind a young boy. It doesn’t speak or lift its ephemeral blade, but its presence radiates a warning. Don’t come any closer.
Protectors in life. Guardian souls are born from the urge to defend. Occasionally, when knights, loyal bodyguards, and even parents die while protecting someone, they rise again as spirits with honed warrior instincts and an overwhelming desire to protect.
Protectors in Death. Relentless, guardian souls remain bound to whatever charge they served in life, whether their charge wants them or not. Silent and alien, a guardian soul can be a powerful shield or a potent reminder of a lost friend.
Medium undead, any lawful alignment
Armor Class 17 (natural)
Hit Points 135 (18d8 + 54)
Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft.
|19 (+ 4)||16 (+ 3)||16 (+ 3)||12 (+ 1)||17 (+ 3)||18 (+ 4)|
Saving Throws Dex +7, Wis +7, Cha +8
Damage Immunities necrotic, poison
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, unconscious
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 17
Languages understands all languages they knew in life but can’t speak
Challenge 10 (5,900 XP) Proficiency Bonus +4
Bound In service. The guardian soul cannot go farther than 30 feet from its master. If its master dies, the Guardian Soul is also destroyed.
Incorporeal movement. The guardian soul can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. It takes 5 (1d10) points of force damage if it ends its turn inside an object.
Spectral Armaments. The guardian soul’s attacks count as magical for the purpose of damage resistances.
Multiattack. The guardian soul makes two longsword attacks. It can use its Strength Drain in place of one of these attacks.
Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack + 8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (4d6 + 4) slashing damage.
Strength Drain. Melee Weapon Attack + 8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) necrotic damage. The target must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or have its Strength score reduced by 1d4. This reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest.
Willing Vessel (Recharge 6). The guardian soul enters their master’s space, possessing them. While possessed, the target gains resistance to all damage and is not incapacitated. The guardian soul cannot be targeted by any attack, spell, or another effect, except ones that turn undead. Whenever the possessed creature takes damage, the guardian soul takes the same amount of damage. During the guardian soul’s turn, they can control the host’s body but use their own statistics when making attack and damage rolls. The possession lasts until the host drops to 0 hit points; the guardian soul ends it as a bonus action or is turned or forced out by a magical effect.
Spectral Shield. When a creature makes an attack against the Guardian Soul’s master, they grant their master a +2 bonus to AC if they are within 10 feet.
The Tower, Titan of Ruin
“We looked upon it and wept in awe—a colossus. In the shape of a human figure made from porcelain or marble, its enormous size tore through the clouds as it walked. It was featureless, without eyes it had no pity, and without ears, it was deaf to the screams left in its wake.” -fragmented account from the library of Watchers.
Hidden Titan. Appearing as a regularly sized humanoid figure with stark white “skin” and no discernible features, the colossus travels secretly. The creature can grow to immense size very quickly, often using its smaller form to enter towns and cities before increasing its size exponentially, destroying the site from within.
Unknown Purpose. It is unclear what draws the ruin or why it does what it does. When the titan does act, it’s thorough, using its great size and physical power to destroy all buildings and infrastructure it can find. When finished, the creature seems to vanish—likely reducing its size and slipping away in the chaos with the attack’s survivors.
Omen of Ruin. Many believe that the titan’s appearance is an omen of inevitable calamity, though this may be simply a case of direct causation.
The Tower, Titan of Ruin
Gargantuan (varies) construct (Titan), lawful evil
Armor Class 23 (Natural)
Hit Points 604 (31d20 + 279)
Speed 50 ft.
|28 (+ 9)||10 (+ 0)||28 (+ 9)||10 (+ 0)||20 (+ 5)||10 (+ 0)|
Saving Throws Dex +8, Int +8, Wis +13
Damage Immunities bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Resistances cold, fire, force
Condition Immunities charmed, exhausted, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses darkvision 120 ft. passive Perception 15
Languages Understands Common and Primordial but can't speak
Challenge 30 (155,000 XP) Proficiency Bonus +8
Fallen Mountain (Gargantuan Only). When the tower is knocked prone, all creatures on the ground within 50 feet must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or be knocked prone.
Hidden in the Crowd (medium only). The titan appears humanoid at a distance, requiring a DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check to notice. The titan is clearly inhuman when observed within 15 feet.
Immutable Form. The tower is immune to any spell or effect that would alter its form.
Magic Resistance. The tower has advantage against spells and other magical effects.
Magical Construction. The tower’s attacks count as magical for the purposes of damage resistances.
Siege Monster (Huge and Gargantuan Only). The tower deals double damage to objects and structures.
Multiattack. The tower makes three crush attacks or uses throw rock twice.
Crush. Melee Weapon Attack + 17 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 31 (4d10 + 9) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a creature and the tower is currently Huge or larger, the titan can choose to grapple them (Escape DC 19). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained. The tower can have two creatures grappled at once.
Throw rock (Huge and Gargantuan Only). Ranged Weapon Attack + 17 to hit, range 90/180 ft., one target. Hit: 35 (4d12 + 9) bludgeoning damage. If the tower is currently grappling a creature, it can throw that creature instead of a rock. In addition to the regular attack, the thrown creature must succeed a DC 19 Constitution saving throw or take 18 (4d8) bludgeoning damage on impact, taking half damage on a success. The thrown creature is knocked prone on landing.
Juggernaut (Medium only, Recharge 4-6). The titan becomes a blur, moving 60 feet in a straight line. All creatures within the line must succeed on a DC 21 Dexterity Saving throw or take 42 (12d6) force damage and be knocked prone.
Shockwave (Huge only, Recharge 5-6) The titan slams its hands together, producing a wave of force. Each creature within 50 feet must succeed o a DC 17 Constitution Saving throw or take 56 (16d6) force damage and be stunned until the end of their next turn. On a success, creatures take half as much damage and are not stunned.
Ray of Destruction (Gargantuan only, Recharge 5-6). The titan’s face emits a beam of brilliant force in a 200 ft. line. Each creature in that area must make a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw, taking 97 (28d6) force damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. Objects and structures automatically take full damage.
Reactive reduce. When forced to make a Dexterity saving throw or when targeted by a ranged attack, the tower reduces its size by one category. Doing so grants the tower either a +5 bonus to the triggering Dexterity saving throw or +5 to its AC against the triggering attack.
Reactive enlarge. When forced to make a Strength saving throw or when targeted by a melee attack, the tower increases its size by one category. Doing so grants the tower either a +5 bonus to the triggering Strength saving throw or +5 to its AC against the triggering attack.
The tower 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. The tower regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
Attack. The tower makes a crush attack.
Change Size (Costs 2 actions). The tower increases or decreases its size by one size category.
Vanish (Costs 3 actions). The tower immediately reduces its size to Small and makes a Stealth check.
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