5e Monsters Reimagined
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|“||Once you have an idea for a monster, you'll need statistics to represent it. The first question you should ask yourself is: Can I use statistics that already exist?
A stat block in the Monster Manual might make a good starting point for your monster. Imagine, for example, that you want to create an intelligent arboreal predator that hunts elves. There is no such monster in the Monster Manual, but the quaggoth is a savage humanoid predator with a climbing speed. You could borrow the quaggoth stat block for your new monster, changing nothing but the creature's name. You can also make minor tweaks, such as replacing the quaggoth's language, Undercommon, with one that's more appropriate, such as Elvish or Sylvan.
Just because you imagined it, doesn't mean you need to build a dedicated unique creature entry for it. In fact, for many ideas, that is entirely unnecessary. The creatures in the MM are fairly generic, and can easily be reimagined as something thematically similar without any need for mechanical alteration whatsoever. To encourage this activity, rather than endless heaps of redundant creature entries, this page was created. Here, we can list all the things we have used the creatures from the MM to represent. Note that this is only for purely cosmetic and thematic alterations, not mechanical ones. Mechanically altered creatures from the MM are variant creatures.
- Bat People These cave dwellers hate drow elves and duergar, often allying themselves with svirfneblin to fight them when necessary.
- Winged Humans These majestic but secretive people live in hanging cities, carved into and built outward from the faces of great cliffs.
- Animated Objects
The concept of the animated object is simple and flexible, so one object can have many variations.
- Animated Statue This statue lumbers with heavy steps as its earthen feet resound against the earth. Its emotionless face is as still as stone, even as it attacks.
- Doom Guard The armored guardians of castle Ravenloft.
- Haunted Sword Something is compelling this blade to move of its own accord, and though you can't fight the animating force behind the sword, you can fight the sword.
- Illusionary Sword This blade—a relic of magic users now long-forgotten—is only an illusion, though its edge hurts like a real sword. Clearly, though this sword is not real, it isn't nonexistent.
- War Sphere This sturdy sphere of metal floats in the air as if held aloft by an unseen force. As it draws near, blades spring from its otherwise smooth surface, and it begins to spin, slowly at first, but quickly gaining speed.
- Choking Fungus This thin sheet of fungus resembles a carpet, and when prey approaches, it wraps around them and smothers them to death, drawing nutrients from the corpse over weeks.
- Crawling Claw
- Clockwork Scarab Constructed as tiny guardians of ancient duergar burial sepulchres, these machines are driven by practical necromancy, each one containing the beating undead heart of the deceased noble's royal guard. They coordinate amongst themselves to surprise, trap, and strangle any intruders.
- Bone Spiders A partial reanimation of a skeleton, using only the hand bones. The result is a pair of fused bony hands in a vaguely spider-like form, with the thumbs acting as crude mandibles. These are most often used by necromancers as spies and messengers, quietly and secretly relaying simple information or written/symbolic messages throughout the necromancer's demesne.
- Face Hugger (Larval Xenomorph) This creature vaguely resembles a pair of spindly, clawed hands, fused together, with a pair of external lungs, and a long tail resembling a spinal cord. It attempts to latch on to the face of any creature with a mouth, wraps the tail around the victim's neck and inserts a fleshy tube down the victim's throat allowing the victim to breathe but also keeping it in a comatose state until its job is done.
Horrifying monsters from the Abyss, demons are bloodthirsty and cruel.
Scheming tyrants from the Nine Hells, devils follow a fiendish hierarchy.
- Mud-Man These simple elemental people dwell in swamps and flooded caves. They are primitive, and rarely have a culture more advanced than literal compost farming.
So many different types of dinosaur, but not all need to have their own pages.
- Other flying predators
- Whooly Rhino An extinct creature I believe to be also covered in a homebrew stat block on this site.
- Dragon Eel This titanic eel-like dragon moves through the water as though swimming in air. A pair of long, clawed arms extend from the front of its body, and its mouth glistens with needle-like teeth.
- Melnibonean These pale-skinned decadents have eyes as dark as their souls, possessing a sadistic streak a mile wide, and enjoy torture and poisoning their enemies. Their soldiers occasionally ride wyverns into battle, though the most elite ride vile chromatic dragons.
- Living Poison Cloud This small purple or green nimbus is intelligent, and composed of a fine poisonous powder. When the cloud spins rapidly, the dust can cut and poison other creatures.
- Twisted Fairy Various evils, especially hags, delight in taking pixies, removing their wings, and using dark magic to turn them into stunted, wicked creatures. Worse, their faces retain a horrifying resemblance to the Pixies they once where, contrasting vividly with their violence and appetite for cruelty. They are Neutral Evil in alignment, and have the Fey or Monstrosity type.
- Barbarian Child
- Gremlin These horrid creatures have warty, wrinkled, scaly skin, with wide, flat heads full of needle-like teeth and floppy wing-like ears, set atop a stout body with stubby feet and long arms. These creatures despise technology, go out of their way to sabotage any sort of machine, and are innate enemies of dwarves and gnomes.
- Aquatic Elves These sea-dwelling elves have been at war with the sahuagin for as long as anyone can remember, and certain sahuagin—called malenti—look practically identical to aquatic elves.
- Shark People These dangerous, predatory sea-folk are a risky people to deal with. On the one hand, they are a noble warrior culture—on the other, they are notorious hunters of all folk who would intrude upon their domain.
- Needle Blight
The simplicity in concept of an ooze makes it versatile. It can represent any squadgy thing.
- Rust Ooze The supporting beams of this dank, smelly mine have succumbed to rot, but something seems to be different, as no natural cause could decay those beams this quickly, or in this manner. A squelching noise further down the tunnel gradually grows louder, as a dirty-brown form slides towards you, tendrils snaking out all around it, slowly reaching for you.
- Ivory Ooze The first floor of this ivory tower is supported by narrow, twisted pillars. As you approach one, a pale layer sloughs from it, forming a pile of goo with tusk-like protuberances.
- White Blood Cell The tunnel is smooth, wet and round. A knee-deep, bright red liquid pulses through the vessel. Large pustules on the wall burst, and sticky transparent orbs squeeze out, plopping into the blood.
- Disease Ooze There exists a ritual that can transform the bodily fluids of a humanoid infected by disease into a whitish ooze. The ooze first devours its host, then is bound to obey the creature that performed the ritual until it dies, at which point the ooze becomes free-willed.
- Limb Ooze Among the demon throng, the prisoners are dragged in chains. At the champion's command, they are thrown to the ground. Moaning, the victims rapidly devolve into a collective squirming tangle of limbs.
- Black Orc A powerful breed of orcs created by the duergar's experiments to create stronger and more disciplined greenskin slaves but the black orcs eventually revolted against their creators and started to spread through the Underdark.
- Motion Detector Alarm This small clear solid quartz sphere is enchanted to be aware of any motion or light within its limited line of sight. If it detects motion, it emits a shrill siren to alert people of an intruder.
- Sleeping Baby This child has finally gone to sleep. This could be a baby anything really, baby human, baby orc, baby roc, baby wyvern, whatever! The point is, you don't want momma showing up to find out what made her baby cry!
- Speaker This metal and glass bell-like device is used in advanced magical civilizations to communicate useful information to people who enter within a given area. They are most usually used in museums to provide information about exhibits, without needing to hire tour guides, but they have also been used to declare all sorts of other conditional information. They can be quite startling if tucked away out of sight, and especially so to primitive folk.
- Giant Mosquito
- Twig Blight
- Blackroot Treant This once noble protector of the forest became a chaotic evil abomination due to the corruption of fiends or hags. Unlike regular treants, blackroot treants feed on the flesh and blood of humanoids.
- Fleshpile This quivering pile of flesh has misshapen limbs and mismatched eyes, and it moans and roars with unknowing fury, either at the curse of its existence, or at the sight of new enemies to slay—though possibly both.
- SCP-682 Very hard to destroy reptile.
- Honey Badger
- Flying Fox
- Flying Lizard
- Giant Chimpanzee
- Giant Gorilla
- Giant Orangutan
- Giant Honey Badger
- Giant Flying Fox
- Giant Warthog
- Giant Lobster
- Giant Alligator
- Giant Caiman
- Giant Gharial
- Giant Stork
- Giant Caribou
- Giant Reindeer
- Giant Stag
- Giant Yak
- Giant Ram
- Giant Squid
- Giant Guinea Pig
- Giant Hamster
- Giant Bull Shark
- Giant Great White Shark
- Giant Hammerhead Shark
- Giant Raven
- Giant Bee
- Giant Ermine
- Giant Ferret
- Giant Stoat
- Bull Shark
- Great White Shark
- Hammerhead Shark
- Great Dane
- Guinea Pig
- Nurse Shark
- Swarm of Piranha
- Rat Wolf Disgusting creatures that appear as half-rat, half-wolf monstrosities, thought to have origins in vile magical experiments.
- Trainee Cult Fanatic
- Gang Leader
- Extremist Leader
- Trainee Ninja
- Heavy Infantry
When making a reimagined version of a creature here on the wiki, always leave a link back to that creature for others to view it.
- Perhaps some chimeras have the heads and breath weapons of different types of dragons.
- To create a pachyrhinosaurus, consider changing its AC to 14 (from natural armour) and the gore attack to 24 (4d8 + 6) bludgeoning damage.
- To create a desert-dwelling dragon turtle, replace the dragon's swimming speed with a burrowing speed, and allow it to speak Terran instead of Aquan. Consider also altering its Steam Breath to something more appropriate, such as Fire Breath.
- To create a more powerful hydra, consider granting it a breath weapon, such as the following:
Cold Breath (Recharge 6 with one head, Recharge 5-6 with two to four heads, Recharge 4-6 with five or more heads). The hydra exhales an icy blast in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw, taking 54 (12d8) cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
- Perhaps some magmins can hurl flame at opponents. Such a magmin has the following action option:
Hurl Flame. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 15/30 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d6) fire damage.
- To create a younger version of a giant, consider using the ogre statistics, altering ability scores, languages, and traits as appropriate. For example, a young stone giant might have a Dexterity score of 12 (+1), an Intelligence score of 8 (-1), and a Wisdom score of 10 (+0). It could have an AC of 15 granted by natural armour, and a Stone Camouflage trait, similar to that of the stone giant. It might be proficient in the Athletics and Perception skills, with a +6 and +2 bonus to each, respectively.
- An ogre-like earth elemental could be represented with the ogre statistics, granting it immunity to poison damage and the poisoned condition, and allowing it to speak Terran instead of Common and Giant. It also doesn't require air, food, drink, or sleep.
- To create a more powerful otyugh, consider granting it additional tentacles and an improved Multiattack to include them.
- An especially foul-smelling otyugh might have the Stench trait with a Constitution saving throw DC of 14, affecting creatures up to 10 feet away. On a successful saving throw, the creature is immune to the stench of all otyughs for 1 hour, and it affects all creatures other than otyughs.
- To create an eagle of monstrous size, consider increasing the roc's Dexterity score to 17 (+3), but leaving its AC as 15, its Intelligence score to 10 (+0), its Wisdom score to 16 (+3), and its Charisma score to 12 (+1). Correspondingly, increase the roc's Dexterity saving throw bonus to +7, its Wisdom saving throw bonus to +7, and its Charisma saving throw bonus to +5. Its Perception bonus increases to +7, and its passive Perception score increases to 17. It also knows the Auran, Common, and Giant Eagle languages, and can speak all three, while its alignment changes to neutral good.
- For an accurately sized tarrasque, change its size category to Colossal from the Mythic Monsters variant rule. Adjust its hit die to 16d66 + 160, its hit points to 696, and alter its Swallow ability to work on Huge or smaller creatures.
- For an aquatic troll, grant the troll the Amphibious trait and a swimming speed of 30 feet.
- For a troll that uses weapons and armour, grant it an AC of 17 (from splint) and the following action options:
Multiattack. The troll makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws or greatclub.
Greatclub. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage.
- For a troll that uses more advanced weapons and armour, grant it an AC of 18 (from plate) and the following action options.
Multiattack. The troll makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws or maul.
Maul. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (4d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.
- Perhaps some vampires can transform into other creatures using the Shapechanger trait.
- Wolf. While in wolf form, the vampire can't speak, and its walking speed is 40 feet. Its statistics, other than its speed, are unchanged. Anything it is wearing is transformed with it, but nothing it is carrying does. It reverts to its true form if it dies.
- For a more powerful wight, consider making its Life Drain a part of its weapon attacks, changing its longsword action option to the following:
Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) slashing damage, or 7 (1d10 + 2) slashing damage if used with two hands. If the target is a creature, it takes an additional 5 (1d6 + 2) necrotic damage and must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or have its hit point maximum reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken. This reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0.
A humanoid slain by this attack rises 24 hours later as a zombie under the wight's control, unless the humanoid is restored to life or its body is destroyed. The wight can have no more than twelve zombies under its control at one time.
- Perhaps a wight that was a spellcaster in life retained some or all of its spellcasting ability when it transitioned into undeath. Such wights typically have a higher spellcasting ability (15 or 16) than other wights. Further, the wight gains the Spellcasting trait. A wight that was an arcane spellcaster, therefore, could have an Intelligence of 16 (+3) and a Spellcasting trait as follows.
Spellcasting. The wight is a 7th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 13, +5 to hit with spell attacks). The wight has the following spells prepared from the wizard spell list:
Cantrips (at will): chill touch, ray of frost
1st level (4 slots): detect magic, magic missile, thunderwave
2nd level (3 slots): acid arrow, detect thoughts, invisibility
3rd level (3 slots): animate dead, dispel magic
4th level (2 slots): blight, dimension door
- To create a more powerful wyvern, consider granting it a breath weapon, such as the following:
Fire Breath (Recharge 5-6). The wyvern exhales fire in a 40-foot line that is 5 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw, taking 42 (12d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
- Perhaps a zombie with particularly disturbing moans and cries could have the following trait:
Disturbing Cries. When a humanoid or beast within 60 feet of the zombie that can hear must makes an initiative roll, it must make a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, it has a -5 penalty to its initiative.
- A zombie more in line with the vicious flesh-eating creatures often seen in fiction could be created with the following alterations:
- Change the zombie's alignment to chaotic evil.
- Grant the zombie the following action options:
Multiattack. The zombie makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its slam.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) piercing damage. If the target is a humanoid, it must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or become infected with a disease. Humanoids immune to the poisoned condition are immune to this disease.
The disease invades an infected creature's system, killing the humanoid in a number of hours equal to 3d8 + the humanoid's Constitution score, unless the disease is removed. In half that time, the creature becomes poisoned for the rest of the duration. After the creature dies, it becomes a zombie.
- To create a chocobo, raise the speed to 60 feet, raise the Charisma to 7 and reduce the damage of the beak attack to 5 (1d6 + 2).
- To create a giant vampire bat, consider altering the bat's bite action option to the following:
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage and 3 (1d6) necrotic damage. The target's hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and the bat regains hit points equal to that amount.
- To create an argentavis, reduce the eagle's Intelligence to 2, remove its languages, and change its alignment to unaligned.
- To create a giant jumping spider, add the Standing Leap trait with a long jump up to 20 feet and a high jump up to 10 feet, with or without a running start.
- For an aquatic poisonous snake, add the Hold Breath trait with a duration of 15 minutes.
- For a giant short faced bear, remove the swim speed and change the walking speed to 50 feet.
- To create a jumping spider, add the Standing Leap trait with a long jump up to 10 feet and a high jump up to 5 feet, with or without a running start.
- A swarm of locusts gains a flying speed of 20 feet.
- A swarm of ammonites gains a swimming speed of 20 ft., an action to move in a 40-foot line without provoking opportunity attacks, and can only breath water.
- A swarm of rapier wasps gains a flying speed of 20 ft., can move 5 ft. as a reaction to being targeted by an attack, and count as fiends.
- A swarm of ants gains a +0 bonus to Wisdom saving throws.
- A swarm of trilobites gains a swimming speed of 10 ft., can only breath water, and deals 7 (2d6) piercing damage on a hit or 3 (1d6) piercing damage at half hit points.
- For a berserker leader, consider adding the Brute trait.
- To create an extremely young giant, consider using the commoner statistics, but changing the commoner's type from humanoid to giant, and altering its ability scores and traits as appropriate, and choosing the Giant language as its language. For example, an extremely young frost giant might have Strength and Constitution scores of 14 (+2), a Dexterity score of 9 (-1), have an Intelligence score of 5 (-3), a Wisdom score of 7 (-2), and a Charisma score of 8 (-1). It would also be immune to cold damage.
When making a variant of a creature here on the wiki, always leave a link back to that creature for others to view it.
- To create a desert-dwelling red gel, replace the blue gel's vulnerability to fire damage and resistance to cold damage with vulnerability to cold damage and resistance to fire damage. Any time the ooze would deal cold damage, it instead deals an equal amount of fire damage. Its Ice Walk trait is replaced with the following.
Sand Walk. The gel can move across and climb sandy surfaces without needing to make an ability check. Additionally, difficult terrain composed of sand doesn't cost it extra movement.
- Some lizardfolk guardians have the Magic Resistance trait.
- Some lizardfolk guardians have venomous bites and the ability to spit venom, gaining the following action options:
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) piercing damage, and the target must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, taking 10 (3d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Spit Poison. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: The target must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, taking 10 (3d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
- To create an estemmenosuchus WP, use the hippopotamus template and give it the following action:
- Ram. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (2d12 + 3) bludgeoning damage.
- Additionally, you can change the charge trait to use this attack instead of the bite and change the additional piercing damage to bludgeoning.
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