Devouring Deviants | 5e Monsters
By Dane Alexander Carten
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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A vagrant lies amongst the trash along the side of a crowded market district, begging for alms and scanning the crowd with an unnerving malicious intelligence. He finds a priest of a local order who wishes to help them, and the beggar convinces the priest to follow him into a secluded alleyway far from the traffic of the bazaar. Here, the beggar reveals his true self – collapsing his humanoid form into a protoplasmic mess of acidic slime and roiling flesh. The creature quickly latches onto the priest and begins to engulf him. The ordeal lasts no more than a minute, and soon after, the slime reemerges into the crowd…now masquerading as the priest who had just become its latest meal. The ooze’s mind expands, filling itself with all the information about its victim as it walks the city streets.
Enigmatic Origins. The protean putty is formed amongst the grime and filth of sewers and gutters in highly populated cities in proximity to occult magic and dark rituals. When cults and powerful mages gather in clandestine rendezvous and perform their sacrosanct magic, the protean putty begins to form and rises as a blackish-green mass of fleshy slime and ooze.
Intelligence and Identity. It’s unknown why the protean putty is given such intelligence, considering their brethren tend to be more single-minded. Regardless, the putty has the unique ability to absorb and subsume a humanoid creature, adding all their meals’ skills, knowledge, and expertise to their own. As a putty consumes more lives, their hunger for both flesh and information grows.
Individualism. A key characteristic of these oozes is their varied personalities, motivations, and idiosyncrasies. Some putties have been known to infiltrate the ranks of bandit companies, eating their way to power and using their superior intellect to run ruthless organizations. Some have stuck to the sewers or well-traveled roads, enjoying the variety of meals they can scour from travelers and city-goers. Still, others have sought ambitiously to consume their way into politics or mage colleges, becoming powerful spellcasters or rulers on their road to domination.
Large ooze, neutral evil
Armor Class 10 (natural armor)
Hit Points 127 (15d10 + 45)
Speed 20 ft., swim 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
|18 (+4)||10 (+0)||16 (+3)||18 (+4)||8 (-1)||10 (+0)|
Saving Throws Con +8, Int +3
Damage Vulnerabilities cold
Damage Immunities acid, fire, lightning, poison
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, prone
Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 9
Languages Common, any additional languages from creatures it has absorbed
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP) Proficiency Bonus +4
Amorphous. The protean putty can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
Inscrutable Transformation. When a protean putty assumes a humanoid form, it is nearly impossible to tell they are not whom they appear to be. They retain all memories, experiences, and mannerisms of the creature they are impersonating. If a character attempts to discern the deception, they must succeed on a DC 20 Wisdom (Insight) check to do so. The only easy way to distinguish the creature as a protean putty is if it is damaged and begins to bleed a viscous, grey ooze instead of blood.
Multiattack. The protean putty makes two attacks with its pseudopod and uses their absorb flesh, if available.
Pseudopod. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d12 + 4) bludgeoning damage.
Absorb Flesh (Recharges 5 - 6). One creature within 5 feet of the putty must succeed on a DC 16 Strength saving throw or be engulfed by the protean putty. While engulfed, the creature is blinded and restrained, has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the protean putty, and takes 14 (4d6) acid damage at the start of each of its turns. The putty may have up to two Medium or smaller humanoids engulfed at a time.
If the protean putty takes 25 damage or more on a single turn, they must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw at the end of that turn or regurgitate all engulfed creatures, which land prone in a space within 10 feet of the protean putty. If the putty dies, an engulfed creature is no longer restrained by it and can escape from the corpse using 10 feet of movement, exiting prone.
If a creature dies from acid damage while being engulfed, their body is completely dissolved into the putty along with any non-magical equipment they were wearing or carrying. Creatures that are killed in this way become transformations the putty can use with its inscrutable transformation trait.
Change Shape. The protean putty may use an action to assume any physical form of any humanoid creature they have devoured using their absorb flesh ability. When this occurs, the putty uses the stats of the creature they consumed, including any abilities or skills. In the new form, however, the putty retains its resistances, immunities, and hit points.
Hardening. In response to a successful melee attack against them, the putty can harden their exterior and attempt to deflect the blow. The protean putty adds 4 to its AC until the end of the turn in which this ability is used.
“For naught do the little boys and girls go to play,
By wetland, bog, or too far from their stay.
For deep in the waters does that Daemon tread.
Go too far, and surely ye’ll be dead.”
- Sonnet of the Wetlands, Anonymous
Horrific Appearance. The nakkilidün is a grotesque merging of man and beast into a nightmarish combination. The creature is 12 feet in length, with a thick, hairless body tinged black and covered in pustuled sores. Four powerful legs support the quadrupedal beast, ending in human-like hands with blackened, disgusting sharp claws. The creature’s tail is short but hosts a stinger like that of a scorpion, and the monster’s neck is long and ends with a flattened humanoid face. The faces sport large, lizard-like bulbous eyes and holes where the ears should be.
Myth and Folklore. There are limericks that folks who dwell near the bogs and swamps of the world tell their children – outsiders consider them old wives’ tales, but to those who have eked out an existence in the wetlands, they know the old tales truthful. Stories tell of boys and girls led away by the sounds of other children crying out for help, only to be struck and dragged beneath the waters of the swamp, never to be seen again. Should a young one find themselves far enough from their village that their screams cannot be heard – they will surely become the next meal of the nakkilidün.
Predator. The nakkilidün is an ambush predator who lies in the fetid waters of the marshland. It has the uncanny ability to replicate the sound of crying children to lead its victims to their swampy lairs. If the children don’t drown in the waters where it makes its dwelling, the nakkilidün will strike them with its stinger tail, paralyzing its prey before slowly eating them alive and relishing in their screams.
Large monstrosity, chaotic evil
Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 42 (5d10 + 15)
Speed 40 ft., swim 40 ft.
|10 (+0)||16 (+3)||16 (+3)||7 (-2)||14 (+2)||4 (-3)|
Saving Throws Dex +5, Con +5
Skills Perception +4, Stealth +7
Damage Immunities poison
Conditional Immunities poisoned
Senses Tremorsense 30 ft., Passive Perception 14
Challenge 2 (450 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2
Keen Smell. The nakkilidün has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.
Amphibious. The nakkilidün can breathe both air and water.
Mimicry. The nakkilidün can imitate humanoid voices. A creature that hears the sounds can tell they are imitations with a successful DC 13 Wisdom (Insight) check.
Horrifying Visage. Any creature that begins their turn within 60 feet of the nakkilidün and can see it must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened of it for one minute. A creature frightened in this way 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 nakkilidün’s horrifying visage for the next 24 hours.
Multiattack. The nakkilidün makes two attacks, one with its claw or bite and one with its stinger.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d10 + 3) piercing damage. A creature struck by this ability is grappled (escape DC 10). The nakkilidün can't use this attack while grappling a target.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8 + 3) slashing damage.
Stinger. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage. A creature struck by the stinger must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for one minute. A creature poisoned in this way is also unconscious. A poisoned creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. It also regains consciousness if it takes any damage. If a creature's saving throw is successful or the effect ends, the creature is immune to this effect for 24 hours.
…and it was deep in that stinking lair that we found it. Have you ever seen a man entirely gutted, hung by his entrails? Viscera so disgusting, so…vile that you can’t wash the smell out of your clothes for a week? Well, when we tracked the beast to its quarters, that’s exactly what we came upon. That foul pig-headed monster took two of me mates before I struck the final blow and sent it screaming back into the Abyss.”
-Baeryck Ungart, retired adventurer
Foul Design. Balaxi-maon is a foul combination of demonic parts – a potbellied, pig-headed creature seated on four powerful spider-like legs ending in cloven hooves. The demon’s arms resemble a muscled humanoid covered in fur, and the monster’s curled, black horns adorning its head hint at its demonic origin. When it needs to feed, its potbelly stretches open to a gaping maw lined with gnarled teeth, preferring to take its prey whole – and alive.
Fetid Lairs. Balaxi-Maon prefers to find places where it can gather abundant humanoid prey, but also someplace dark and out of direct interference from those who might try to stop it. Sewers beneath a large city or caves near popular trade routes are perfect places for it to create a diabolical dwelling. Balaxi-Maon is fast and powerful, able to quickly and easily run down and destroy most prey it decides to take back to its lair to feed upon. Its lair can appear unnervingly like the inside of a stomach, with grown flesh inside the walls and varicose veins that pump blood and bile throughout the dwelling.
Ceaseless hunger. Balaxi-Maon is a demon of gluttony and, as such, is driven to consume endlessly. Its ravenous hunger means feeding almost daily on the body of (preferably) humanoid creatures, and those who cannot satisfy its gluttony give in to madness shortly thereafter. If one is foolish enough to madden the demon, it will emerge from its lair and attack whole settlements, attempting to satisfy its hunger in a blood-crazed frenzy.
Balaxi-Maon’s lair is typically an antechamber in a cave, a spacious juncture in a sewer system, or an otherwise ample space close to a well-inhabited area. If Balaxi-Maon is encountered in its lair has a challenge rating of 24 (62,000 XP).
Lair Actions. When fighting inside its lair, Balaxi-Maon calls upon foul, abyssal magic to warp its surroundings and assail those who have dared to infiltrate it. On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), Balaxi-Maon can take one lair action to cause one of the following effects and may not use the same effect two rounds in a row:
- A 25-foot square area of ground within 120 feet of Balaxi-Maon becomes fleshy and sprouts lashing, blood-filled pseudopods. Each creature in the area when this effect occurs must succeed on a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw or be grappled. Escaping requires a successful DC 18 Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check.
- Pustules filled with rancid bile begin to bubble from the surface of the lair. Up to three creatures Balaxi-Maon can see must make a DC 18 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, they take 28 (8d6) acid damage, and half as much damage on a success.
- A wall of flesh arises in an area of Balaxi-Maon’s choosing within the lair and persists until Balaxi-Maon dies or this effect is used again. The wall can be a hemispherical dome with a radius of up to 10 feet, or it can form a flat surface made up of six 10-foot-by-10-foot panels. Each panel must be contiguous with another panel. In any form, the wall is 1/4 inch thick, and each 10 square foot area has an AC of 12 and 40 HP.
Regional Effects. The region containing Balaxi-Maon is warped by profane magic which creates one or more of the following effects:
- Water within one mile of the lair becomes sullied and putrefied depending on how close it is to the lair. Water on the edge of the radius gains an odd smell and taste, while water close to the den becomes brackish, thick, and unpotable.
- Beasts within one mile of the lair become agitated and easily scared and will flee to be outside of this radius.
- Illusory replications of Balaxi-Maon’s victim’s screams can be heard in random places within one mile.
Huge fiend (demon), chaotic evil
Armor Class 17 (natural)
Hit Points 287 (25d12 + 125)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
|25 (+7)||14 (+2)||20 (+5)||10 (+0)||14 (+2)||7 (-2)|
Saving Throws Str +14, Con +12
Damage Immunities poison
Damage Resistances cold, fire, lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Condition Immunities frightened, poisoned, prone
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive perception 12
Languages Common, Abyssal
Challenge 23 (50,000 XP) Proficiency Bonus +7
Legendary Resistance (3/day). If Balaxi-Maon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
Magic Resistance. Balaxi-Maon has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Magic Weapons. Balaxi-Maon’s natural weapons are considered magical.
Repulsive Aura. Balaxi-Maon exudes such a foul stench that it causes harm to those who spend time near it. A creature who ends their turn within 10 feet of the demon takes 11 (2d10) poison damage.
Spider Climb. Balaxi-Maon can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
Innate Spellcasting. Balaxi-Maon’s innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 17, +9 to hit with spell attacks). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components:
- At will: darkness, ray of enfeeblement
- 2 per day each: cloudkill, dispel magic, fear
Multiattack. Balaxi-Maon makes three attacks, one with its gaping maw and two with its slam. It may replace a slam attack with a smash or throw if grappling a target.
Gaping Maw. Melee Attack: +14 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (2d12 + 7) piercing. If the target is a Large or smaller creature, it must succeed on a DC 22 Strength saving throw or be swallowed by Balaxi-Maon. A swallowed creature is blinded and restrained, has total cover against attacks and other effects outside Balaxi-Maon, and takes 21 (6d6) necrotic damage at the start of each turn.
If Balaxi-Maon takes 30 damage or more on a single turn, Balaxi-Maon must succeed on a DC 18 Constitution saving throw at the end of that turn or regurgitate all swallowed creatures, which fall prone in a space within 10 feet of Balaxi-Maon. If Balaxi-Maon dies, a swallowed creature is no longer restrained by it and can escape from the corpse by using 20 feet of movement, exiting prone.
Slam. Melee Attack: +14 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 26 (3d12 + 7) bludgeoning. If the target is a large or smaller creature, they are grappled (escape DC 22). While grappled in this way, a creature is also restrained. Balaxi-Maon has two hands, each of which can grapple only one target.
Smash. One large or smaller creature grappled by the demon is smashed into a solid object or surface within reach and must make a DC 22 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the target takes 33 (4d12 + 7) bludgeoning damage and is stunned until the end of their next turn. On a successful save, the target takes half as much damage and is not stunned.
Throw. One large or smaller creature grappled by the demon is thrown up to 30 feet away, potentially colliding with objects or other creatures. If the grappled creature collides with another creature or a solid surface, it must succeed on a DC 22 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, it takes 19 (3d12) damage and falls prone. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and lands on its feet. If Balaxi-Maon chooses to throw its grappled victim at another creature, that creature must also save against the damage and prone effect.
Balaxi-Maon 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. Balaxi-Maon regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
Scuttle. Balaxi-Maon moves up to half of its speed without provoking attacks of opportunity.
Strike. Balaxi-Maon makes use of a slam attack.
Abyssal Rumble (costs 2 actions). Creatures within 10 feet of Balaxi-Maon must succeed on a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw as the demon summons fissures of flame and cracks the earth around it. On a failed save, a creature takes 22 (4d10) fire damage and is knocked prone. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and is not knocked prone.
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