Nidhogg, the Gnawing Doom (5e Creature)

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Design Note: This content necessitates the use of the Levels of Insanity (5e Variant Rule) supplemental rule.

Nidhogg, the Gnawing Doom[edit]

Gargantuan dragon, chaotic evil

Armor Class 23 (natural armor)
Hit Points 546 (28d20 + 252)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft.

30 (+10) 13 (+1) 29 (+9) 30 (+10) 24 (+7) 26 (+8)

Saving Throws Con +17, Wis +15, Cha +16
Skills Athletics +18, Intimidation +16, Perception +15
Proficiency Bonus +8
Damage Resistances necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attack that aren't adamantine
Damage Immunities acid, fire, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, paralyzed, poisoned
Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 25
Languages Common, Draconic, Infernal
Challenge 28 (120,000 XP)

Devil's Sight. Magical darkness doesn't impede Nidhogg's darkvision.

Innate Spellcasting. Nidhogg's innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 26, +18 to hit with spell attacks). He can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: detect magic
3/day each: cloudkill, hold monster
1/day: meteor swarm

Insanity Aura. Any creature hostile to Niddhog that starts its turn within 60 feet of Nidhogg must make a DC 24 Charisma saving throw, unless Nidhogg is incapacitated. On a failed save, the creature is frightened until the start of its next turn. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the target gains 1 level of insanity. If a creature's saving throw is successful, the creature is immune to Nidhogg's Insanity Aura for the next 24 hours.

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If Nidhogg fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.

Magic Weapons. Nidhogg's weapon attacks are magical.

Shadow Scales. Nidhogg is invisible while in darkness.


Multiattack. Nidhogg makes three attacks: one with his bite, one with his claws and one with his tail.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 32 (4d10 + 10) piercing damage plus 21 (6d6) acid damage.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 24 (4d6 + 10) slashing damage plus 10 (3d6) fire damage.

Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 30 ft., one target. Hit: 32 (4d10 + 10) bludgeoning damage.

Burning Breath (Recharge 5-6). Nidhogg exhales acid and fire in a 120-foot line that is 10 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 25 Dexterity saving throw, taking 45 (13d6) acid damage and 56 (16d6) fire on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful on a failed save.


Nidhogg 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. Nidhogg regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

Detect. Nidhogg makes a Wisdom (Perception) check to try to find a hidden creature.
Cast spell (Costs 2 Actions). Nidhogg casts a spell, expending a use as normal.
Wing Attack (Costs 2 Actions). Nidhogg beats his wings. Each creature within 30 feet of Nidhogg must succeed on a DC 27 Dexterity saving throw or take 24 (4d6 + 10) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone. Nidhogg can then fly up to half his flying speed.

In Norse mythology, Níðhöggr (Malice Striker, in Old Norse traditionally also spelled Níðhǫggr [ˈniːðˌhɔɡːz̠], often anglicized Nidhogg) is a serpentine dragon who gnaws at a root of the world tree, Yggdrasil. His name might refer to his role as a horrific monster in its action of chewing the corpses of the inhabitants of Náströnd: those guilty of murder, rape, and oath-breaking, which Norse society considered among the worst possible.

Nidhogg's Lair

Nidhogg's lair is at the base of Yggdrasil.

Lair Actions

On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), Nidhogg takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects; Nidhogg can't use the same effect two rounds in a row:

  • Magical darkness spreads from three points Nidhogg chooses within 60 feet of him, filling three 15-foot-radius spheres until Nidhogg dismisses it as an action, uses this lair action again, or dies. The darkness spreads around corners. A creature with darkvision can't see through this darkness, and nonmagical light can't illuminate it. If any of the effect's area overlaps with an area of light created by a spell of 2nd level or lower, the spell that created the light is dispelled.
  • Each creature of Nidhogg's choice within 30 feet of him cannot benefit from resistance to acid or fire damage. This effect ends on initiative count 20 on the next round.
  • One creature within 120 feet of Nidhogg that has any levels of insanity makes one melee attack against another creature of Nidhogg's choice within its reach. If the creature has three or more levels of insanity, it makes the attack roll with advantage.

Regional Effects

The region containing Nidhogg's lair is warped by the dragon's magic, which creates one or more of the following effects:

If Nidhogg dies, these effects end immediately.

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