My players will be fighting a BBEG tonight that they will have no choice but to face in its lair. Part of the lair design is that each tile in the room is anti-magic and I wanted the BBEG to be able to manipulate which tiles are or are not activated during its turn.

Could the BBEG use an item interaction to telepathically control the anti-magic tiles?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is your tile-based Antimagic Field an existing resource or something you created for this fight? \$\endgroup\$
    – Tsugihagi
    Mar 23, 2020 at 18:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Mar 23, 2020 at 19:09

1 Answer 1


Consider making the tile manipulation a Lair Action.

Lair actions are a method other than Legendary Actions to give a monster ways to balance the action economy between themselves and the party of Player Characters. They usually pertain to altering or using the terrain of their lair, and can only be performed by the monster (or NPC) when they are in their lair. You've mentioned that the party will be facing this BBEG in their lair, so it would make sense here. The benefit of making the manipulation of the anti-magic tiles a lair action would be that the BBEG will still have full use of their action, bonus action, and object interaction on their turn, not needing to waste any of them.

As an example, an Ancient Red Dragon has the following Lair Action options, and chooses one to perform on initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties) each round.

  • Magma erupts from a point on the ground the dragon can see within 120 feet of it, creating a 20-foot-high, 5-foot-radius geyser. Each creature in the geyser’s area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
  • A tremor shakes the lair in a 60-foot radius around the dragon. Each creature other than the dragon on the ground in that area must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or be knocked prone.
  • Volcanic gases form a cloud in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on a point the dragon can see within 120 feet of it. The sphere spreads around corners, and its area is lightly obscured. It lasts until initiative count 20 on the next round. Each creature that starts its turn in the cloud must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the end of its turn. While poisoned in this way, a creature is incapacitated.

Because you know you want your BBEG to manipulate the antimagic tiles every turn, you could simply limit them to one option for their lair action: to manipulate the tiles as they see fit.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It does have a host of lair actions, but I think adding this in makes it a little better than just a simple item interaction. Do you think having it take 2 Legendary Action (Of 3) would be an option as well? \$\endgroup\$
    – ConfusedDM
    Mar 23, 2020 at 18:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ConfusedDM Doing it as a legendary action is problematic, since the boss can basically turn off all the antimagic during his turn only. The nice thing about a lair action is that the tiles stay in place for a full round, and the players can then at least counterplay against them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Mar 23, 2020 at 19:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MarkWells if it was a legendary action that costs 2 out of 3 actions, that would not be possible either, as 4 actions would be required to switch the tiles on and off in a single round. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 23, 2020 at 19:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PixelMaster Ah, true. I think I misread the "2 Legendary Action (Of 3)" part. Still, as a player, I'd find it much less confusing for this to happen at a specific time in a round. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Mar 23, 2020 at 20:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Went with it as a Lair Action, worked fantastic! \$\endgroup\$
    – ConfusedDM
    Mar 24, 2020 at 15:21

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