Questions tagged [monsters]

This tag covers questions relating to either monstrous antagonists specifically, or all enemies of the player characters generally; which usage is correct varies depending on the traditions of specific games. Use as appropriate for the game in question.

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109
votes
1answer
37k views

Why is the D&D gorgon a metal bull?

In mythology, the gorgons were Medusa and her sisters; snake-like beings who petrified those who saw them. In Dungeons & Dragons, gorgons are bulls with metal scales and the ability to breathe ...
76
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1answer
7k views

What's the inspiration for the owlbear?

The standard explanation for the owlbear in-universe is "A Wizard Did It." Which is fine, as far as it goes, because the trope of "madman tinkering with bizarre mutations" is part of our speculative ...
74
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11answers
13k views

Are Trolls immune to all instant death effects?

Part of the Troll's Regeneration feature says: The troll dies only if it starts its turn with 0 hit points and doesn't regenerate. Does this case beat instant kill effects, such as Divine Word or ...
64
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2answers
9k views

Do Bugbears' arms literally get longer when it's their turn?

The Bugbear's Long-Limbed trait (VGtM, p. 119) says: When you make a melee attack on your turn, your reach for it is 5 feet greater than normal. This means that when it is not a Bugbear's turn, ...
63
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10answers
14k views

Player has arachnophobia: what to use in place of spiders?

I have a player who joined an ongoing campaign; after a session which involved a fight against giant spiders and an anxiety attack, I was asked by said player's partner to remove the spiders from the ...
60
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6answers
13k views

Does forcing a Vampire indoors count as an invitation?

On page 297 of the Monster Manual under the Vampire's Vampire Weaknesses section, it says: Forbiddance. The vampire can't enter a residence without an invitation from one of the occupants. If a ...
57
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1answer
7k views

What happens to a Devil when its alignment is forcibly changed?

According to PHB 122, in the section entitled Alignment in the Multiverse, for most creatures, "alignment is a moral choice." Myth says good-aligned gods created the races that are free to choose to ...
54
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6answers
80k views

Does D&D 5e have a rule for character knowledge about monsters?

In the 3rd and 4th editions of D&D, there were explicit rules for determining if a character knew anything about a monster before them. In 3rd edition, for example, use of the Knowledge skill ...
53
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26answers
19k views

What alternatives are there to replace orcs, kobolds, and hobgoblins in low-level encounters? [closed]

In your average "generic D&D" campaign and setting, orcs, kobolds, and hobgoblins are frequently used to stock low level adventures and dungeons. These are usually nice for 1st/2nd level ...
50
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2answers
12k views

What makes the Monstrous Crab so dangerous?

It was recently mentioned that the Monstrous Crab is generally capable of wiping out even a powerful 3rd level party. It seems to me that, lacking any anti-ranged capability whatsoever, it is ...
50
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7answers
3k views

What is a good way to become a better NPC/monster actor?

One of the biggest problems I have as Game Master, (going on 30+yrs) is in portraying NPC and Monsters in any RPG. Is there a good resource for becoming a better 'actor'? Instead of just saying... ...
49
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2answers
7k views

Should my fighter really punch that werewolf?

A werewolf from the MM has the following in its stat block: Damage Immunities: Bludgeoning, Piercing, And Slashing Damage From Nonmagical Weapons That Aren't Silvered And as established in the ...
49
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4answers
9k views

What inspired the D&D version of the Rakshasa?

Rakshasa have been part of D&D for more than 35 years, appearing in every edition. These evil magic cat-people are clearly inspired by the rakshas from Hindu and Buddhist mythologies, but they ...
49
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5answers
7k views

What happens when a Mage Hand touches a mimic?

I anticipate this is going to come up in the next session I am running. Our wizard has been going around the dungeon using Mage Hand to open doors. One of the doors he has not yet dealt with is ...
45
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2answers
8k views

What sound does an owlbear make?

A discussion in my gaming group led to us wondering: what does an owlbear sound like? Many monsters, especially those as iconic and strange as this one, have had long-winded descriptions across the ...
45
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2answers
5k views

Does an Ooze (Gelatinous Cube) float?

If I have a situation where an ooze, such as a Gelatinous Cube, is near a source of water, like a small pond or underground stream, is there source material somewhere that says whether the ooze floats ...
45
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3answers
20k views

How can a character escape after being engulfed by a shambling mound?

A shambling mound will be attacking the party I DM for during tonight's session, and I am unsure about how to deal with the monster's Engulf feature. The shambling mound's multiattack action states (...
44
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10answers
21k views

How do I deal with players who make friends with goblins?

I want to run a campaign "from the book" for a group of new players (played RPGs before, but stuff much much lighter then D&D, and I've not DMed this edition before. I DMed D&D 4e once: over ...
44
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3answers
56k views

When do Lair Actions occur?

The Monster Manual describes Lair Actions as occurring "On initiative count 20 (losing all ties)..." (p 11). What does "initiative count 20" mean? I can't find that phrase anywhere in the PHB or in ...
44
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7answers
6k views

How much do I tell new players about new monsters?

Background I am a brand-new DM, about to lead a game for brand-new players. I have a lot of knowledge of rules from playing Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights over and over, leafing through a ...
43
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12answers
7k views

What living apex lifeforms are there other than dragons? [closed]

When a theme is dragon* on. Dragons are apex predators and widely regarded by most players and systems as about one of the worst things you can ever deal with. I have a campaign that's been running ...
42
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3answers
3k views

Why is Survival not a class skill for animals?

Question in title. Seems odd that an animal isn't naturally inclined to get bonuses to Survival, which typically involves dealing with the wilds and it's associated difficulties (an animal's natural ...
42
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1answer
8k views

What do Unicorns want?

I am making a Celestial Warlock who has made a pact with a particularly powerful Unicorn, as suggested in XgtE. One thing I want to do is flesh out the pact and my patron, but I am struggling to find ...
41
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8answers
11k views

As a Barbarian, how can I contribute to fights against slash-immune creatures?

I play a Totem Warrior with a greataxe. Last night we encountered our first black ooze, and all I could do was throw javelins to contribute damage! I'm not trying to deal glass-cannon levels of ...
40
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14answers
5k views

How can an aristocracy be perpetuated between creatures that can't interbreed?

The 25-year-old human prince of a 50-year-old small nation (total population maybe 100,000 spread out in a rather large valley among settlements no larger than 5,000 creatures each) is looking to ...
39
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3answers
8k views

Are there any official stats for a sheep?

Effect 77-78 of the wild magic surge table in the Player's Handbook states: You cast polymorph on yourself. If you fail the saving throw, you turn into a sheep for the spell's duration. Polymorph'...
39
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2answers
7k views

Does a Gelatinous Cube's corpse still block the hallway?

I recently ran a game in which my PCs were trapped in a hallway with a gelatinous cube on either end. They killed one of the cubes, but I didn't know whether or not the corpse of the cube is still ...
38
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4answers
22k views

Can a demon or devil be redeemed?

In Chapter 4 of the Basic Rules or PHB p. 122, under "Alignment in the Multiverse", it says: Alignment is an essential part of the nature of celestials and fiends. A devil does not choose to be ...
38
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5answers
8k views

Can you reduce yourself, crawl into the Tarrasque's airway, and try to collapse its lung by enlarging inside of it?

A player tried to use the spell enlarge/reduce on his PC while in the mouth of the Tarrasque to shrink himself, then go deeper into its airway and to try to collapse its lung by enlarging himself ...
38
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2answers
8k views

Do owlbears lay eggs?

Well, do they? And has this changed across editions? I'm interested in "canonical" answers. While not something a typical Monster Manual entry would cover (am I wrong?), there may well be an article ...
38
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4answers
7k views

Would Spawn of Kyuss worms infesting a Paladin die?

At third level, Paladins gain the feature Divine Health: By 3rd level, the divine magic flowing through you makes you immune to disease. (PHB, p. 85) There's a monster in Volo's Guide to Monsters ...
37
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10answers
9k views

Is there a monster that won't boil?

I'm planning an encounter where my players will need to traverse a geyser-fed lake, where the water can range from uncomfortable to boiling, depending on the closeness to the nearest font. I'd like ...
37
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5answers
17k views

Bounty Boards: How to make them fair and make sense

So I wanted to create a new adventure hook I could use over many campaigns and figured, "Hmm, most medieval settings would have bounty boards set up in towns, offer prices for people willing to go out ...
37
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9answers
11k views

How to improve my descriptions of the health status of monsters

A bit of background; I'm a new GM to two players, one of whom played a bit of 3.5e and 4e while the other is a complete newbie. The veteran is used to knowing when creatures are "bloodied", as per 4e, ...
36
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5answers
76k views

Why is the Tarrasque the most dreaded creature?

The dnd5e Tarrasque does not look that dreadful to me. It seems very vulnerable to airborne attacks. In a world where fly is a third level spell, hippogriffs (among other flying creatures) can be ...
36
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8answers
4k views

Is it wrong to use monsters other than how they appear in the Monster Manual?

A one-shot I joined last week was tasked with fighting a bunch of tribal orcs. At one point the orcs drew longbows (with what was at least a +6 to hit as the DM was asking if 25 AC hits). At this, ...
36
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4answers
12k views

What do Devils eat, and how do they get it?

When a monster in the Monster Manual doesn't need food, drink, sleep, or air, it's specified by a [X] Nature. For example, a zombie has an Undead Nature: Undead Nature. A zombie doesn't require air,...
36
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4answers
4k views

Is a character swallowed by a giant toad considered “unseen” on an attack against the toad, granting advantage (which cancels out disadvantage)?

When swallowed by a Giant Toad, you are Blinded and Restrained, both of which give you disadvantage on attacks. However you also have "total cover against attacks and other effects outside the toad". ...
36
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2answers
41k views

Why did the designers make Werewolves *immune* to most non-silvered damage? [closed]

The Werewolf's statistics are that of a CR1 monster, even though it is listed as CR3 in the Monster Manual, presumably as a result of playtesting. By my personal experience with pop culture, ...
35
votes
11answers
3k views

What are some dangerous non-fantasy creatures?

We're running a fantasy game where the adventurers frequently travel through the wilderness. Too many of the threatening encounters they have are with fantasy creatures (like goblins, orcs, etc.). ...
35
votes
3answers
6k views

How many javelins does an orc have?

The stat block for the orc (MM, 246) includes two weapon attacks; Greataxe and Javelin. For the greataxe, it makes sense that they'd be able to use it repeatedly, and if they were to use their ...
35
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5answers
6k views

Can you use telekinesis to get a friend out of a gelatinous cube?

We were playing Out of the Abyss, and a player got engulfed by a Gelatinous Cube. The spellcaster asked to take him out with telekinesis. In previous editions, I would have ruled they had no line of ...
35
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1answer
4k views

Does hitting a creature with a magical creature count as magical damage?

Half-Orc Barbarian Conan has been Enlarged, making him Large. During a fight against some Couatls, he managed to grapple one and beat it to death. Now, having something (the body of the dead Couatl) ...
34
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3answers
5k views

Can a monster with no melee attack make an Opportunity Attack?

Specifically, in D&D 5e is the Flameskull allowed to take opportunity attacks against enemies that move away from it? It has spells and one at-will spell attack (Fire Ray), but no melee abilities ...
34
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2answers
6k views

Can a Legendary monster ignore a Divination wizard's Portent feature and choose to pass the save anyway?

In D&D 5e, if a School of Divination wizard uses the Portent feature on a legendary monster to assign it a failing saving throw, can the legendary monster use their legendary resistance to choose ...
34
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1answer
3k views

In what order should one apply max HP reduction and damage?

A character at 10/26 HP is hit by a Wraith and fails the Constitution saving throw. They take 21 damage and their maximum HP is reduced to 5. Are they unconscious because the 11 excess damage is less ...
33
votes
3answers
5k views

What's the earliest instance of a “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” reference to beholders?

Is there any recorded use of the phrase, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" being used in a commercially available D&D campaign or any rulebook of any edition, specifically to reference (...
33
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3answers
9k views

Were Illithids inspired by Cthulhu?

Mind Flayers seem to look a whole lot like Cthulhu. Is there any relationship/inspiration between the two?
33
votes
6answers
18k views

Is a dead creature's body considered an “object”?

I never really gave this much thought until this question brought it up: Is a dead creature's body considered to be an object? And is it still a creature? My initial reaction was that it would not ...
32
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5answers
35k views

Are Legendary monsters in the Monster Manual ever able to be defeated?

I'm starting my first 5e campaign soon and I'm just learning about balancing encounters. While looking up challenge ratings I noticed a very troubling truth: Of 30 challenge levels in the Monster ...

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