Horrors of Myth and Folktale – Classic Terrors for D&D 5E


Tales of wretched beasts, disturbing men and unspeakable evils pierce our ears and chill our souls.  Countless villages, kingdoms, continents have stories of sinister monsters that seek to end us at any moment.  Their motivations might differ or be strangely similar.  Likely born of pure wickedness, these dark spirits haunt those who get too close to their very brand of malevolence.

Many of these monsters are often accompanied by tales of caution and woe.  Those who drift too far off a righteous path are often victims of these horrors.  Those who feel they’re too good for the morals of a realm or a certain way of life should always stay careful and alert, lest they fall prey to the evil that lurks nearby… waiting, stalking, preparing…

Author’s Note:  Here’s another list of monsters, taking inspiration form creatures around the world.  Also, here’s another case where I have 2 creepy horse-themed creatures… for some reason.  Maybe I just find horses to be creepy?  I don’t know.  Perhaps it’s pent up horror caused by seeing that disturbing Archie McPhee horse mask?  I don’t know.



Animated Doll


“We have to destroy them.  I sense pure evil in them.  No regular toy can mysteriously appear in front of me and say, ‘I’m Sylvane!  Do you want to play?’  That wretched thing didn’t have a component to make it speak in the first place…” – A letter found near a murder victim.

Tiny construct, usually neutral (sometimes neutral evil)

Armor Class 14

Hit Points 24(7d4 + 7)

Speed 30ft.

STR 9 (-1), DEX 18 (+4), CON 12 (+1), INT 11 (+0), WIS 12 (+1), CHA 17 (+3)

Skills.  Deception +5, Stealth +6

Damage Immunities poison, psychic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from non magical weapons that aren’t magical

Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned

Senses darkvision 60ft., passive Perception 10

Languages speaks the languages of its creator

Challenge 2 (450 XP)

I’m Just a Cute Doll!  When the doll takes its action to use a deception check, it has advantage on all checks to make itself seem like a normal doll instead.

Immutable Form. The doll is immune to any spell or effect that would alter its form.

Psychic Absorption.  The animated doll regains hit points equal to the psychic damage it would have taken otherwise.

Magic Resistance. The doll has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Magic Weapons. The doll’s weapon attacks are magical.


Multiattack. The doll makes two attacks.

Tripping Shove. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d10 + 4) bludgeoning damage and the target falls prone.

Knife Stab. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage.  The doll must have a knife on hand to do this.




Image result for dybbuk myth

“Beware of dislocated souls, twisted by grief and anger, for they seek vengeance upon the living in any way possible.  Through possession, they seek to cause agony and pain to those they envy the most, the living.  And through their dark abilities, they might manipulate the minds of those they haven’t even touched!” – A priest’s warning on the Dybbuk

Medium undead, neutral evil

Armor Class 14

Hit Points 117 (18d8 + 36)

Speed 0 ft., fly 60ft.

STR 7 (-2), DEX 19 (+4), CON 15 (+2), INT 10 (+0), WIS 12 (+1), CHA 20 (+5)

Skills Deception +9, Intimidate +9

Damage Resistances acid, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning,

piercing, and slashing from non magical weapons

Damage Immunities cold, necrotic, poison, psychic

Damage Vulnerabilities radiant

Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained

Senses darkvision 60ft., passive Perception 11

Languages any languages it knew in life

Challenge 12 (8,400 XP)

Incorporeal Movement. The dybbuk can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. It takes 5 (1d10) force damage if it ends its turn in side an object.

Innate Magic.  The dybbuk is capable of using magic.  Its casting stat is charisma (Spell DC 17; Magic Attack +9).  The dybbuk may still use its spells once it possesses a subject, without need for components or requirements.

  • At-Will: Charm Person, Detect Thoughts, Inflict Wounds
  • 3/Day Each: Dominate Person, Geas
  • 1/Day Each: Dominate Monster, Feeblemind

Magical Resistance.  The dybbuk has advantage on saves against magical effects.

Turning Resistance.  The dybbuk has advantage on saves against being turned.


Multiattack.  The dybbuk may use Pain Touch twice per round.

Pain Touch. Melee Weapon Attack: +8  to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 32 (8d6 + 4) psychic damage.

Possess Object.  The dybbuk may possess an object that is large size or small that is also unattended.  This otherwise works like the Animate Object spell.

Possess the Living (Recharge 6). One humanoid that the dybbuk can see within 5 feet of it must succeed on a DC 17 Charisma saving throw or be possessed by the dybbuk; the dybbuk then disappears, and the target is incapacitated and loses control of its body.  The dybbuk now controls the body but doesn’t deprive the target of awareness. The dybbuk can’t be targeted by any attack, spell, or other effect, except ones that turn undead, and it retains its alignment, Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, and immunity to being charmed and frightened . It otherwise uses the possessed target’s statistics, but doesn’t gain access to the target’s knowledge, class features, or proficiency.  The possession lasts until the body drops to 0 hit points, the dybbuk ends it as a bonus action, or the dybbuk is turned or forced out by an effect like the dispel evil and good spell. When the possession ends, the dybbuk reappears in an unoccupied space within 5 feet of the body. The target is immune to this dybbuk’s Possession for 24 hours after succeeding on the saving throw or after the possession ends.




“At first the creature was stunning and majestic.  When I foolishly rode it, I found myself stuck on an abyssal horror.  I was plunged into the murky, water depths within seconds.  I don’t know I managed to survive…” – A survivor’s account

Large fey, neutral evil

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)

Hit Points 105 (14d10 + 28)

Speed 40ft.; swim 40ft.

STR 18 (+4), DEX 14 (+2), CON 15 (+2), INT 8 (-1), WIS 15 (+2), CHA 19 (+4)

Skills Athletics +6, Deception +8

Damage Resistances cold

Senses passive Perception 12

Languages Aquan, Common, Sylvan

Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Shapechanger. The Kelpie can switch between forms to appear as an attractive humanoid or (if in hippocampus or horse forms) a valuable steed as an action.  It can also revert to its true form, a fish-like beast that looks emaciated and warped, almost corpse-like.

Dive Deep.  The Kelpie will do all it can to drown its victims, unless there is no water nearby.  While it can survive a long time without water, it will panic if separated long enough.

Magic Resistance.  The Kelpie has advantage on all saving throws against magical effects.

Sticky Oil. Creatures who remain in contact with the kelpie for more than one minute must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 14) or be restrained by the kelpie.  The subject will have to attempt an escape action.  The following turn, the creature must save again or become incapacitated while attached to the Kelpie.  At this point, the target will need significant help.


Multiattack.  The Kelpie may attack twice per round.

Beckoning Lure (Once per long rest).  The kelpie may attempt to call over creatures depending on the form it is in.  All creatures within listening range must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 14) or find themselves compelled to seek the creature out.

Hooves (Horse or Hippocampus form). Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5ft., one target.  Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.

Bite (Horse or Hippocampus form). Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5ft., one target.  Hit: 10 (1d12 + 4) piercing damage.

Pike Spear (Humanoid form).  Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target.  Hit: 11 (3d4 + 4) piercing damage.




A mixture of man and beast, a horrid protector that scours its forest home and destroys any interlopers in its way.  It has a habit of misleading and messing with others.

Huge fey, chaotic evil

Armor Class 13 (natural armor)

Hit Points 136 (16d12 + 32)

Speed 60ft.; Climb 60ft.

STR 22 (+6), DEX 14 (+2), CON 15 (+2), INT 7 (-2), WIS 15 (+2), CHA 9 (-1)

Senses passive Perception 11

Languages Common, Sylvan

Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)

Change Shape.  The tikbalang can take the form of a medium or small humanoid as an action.  The race must be of a creature it has witnessed closely within a couple of days time.

Spider Climb. The tikbalang is under constant effects of the Spider Climb spell and may climb on all surfaces.

Trampling Charge. If the tikbalang moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a hooves attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the tikbalang can make another attack with its hooves against it as a bonus action .

Innate Spells.  The tikbalang can utilize its own spells.  It’s spellcasting stat is Wisdom (DC 13, Spell Attack +5)

At-Will: Invisibility (self only), Minor Illusion

1/Day Each: Fly


Multiattack.  The tikbalang may attack with bite or hooves twice per round.

Bite.  Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.  Hit: 19 (2d12 + 6) piercing damage.

Hooves. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d8 + 6) bludgeoning damage.

Spines (Recharge 5 or 6).  Ranged Weapon Attack: Dexterity saving throw (DC 17), 30 ft. cone, all targets.  Failure: 27 (6d8) piercing damage.





“huuunnngry…. smell flessssshhh, must eeeeeeeat! *inhuman shriek*”

Large undead, chaotic evil
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 126 (12d10 + 60)
Speed 60ft.; hover 60 ft.
STR 17 (+3), DEX 16 (+3), CON 20 (+5), INT 6 (- 2) WIS 14 (+2), CHA 6 (-2)

Skills Perception +10

Damage Immunities poison, cold

Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from non-magical weapons

Damage Vulnerabilities fire

Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, poisoned

Senses darkvision 120ft., passive Perception 20

Languages understands languages it knew in life, barely speaks languages it knew

Challenge 10 (5,900 XP)

Acute Scent.  The Wendigo has advantage on Perception checks to smell.

Flesh Consumption (recharge 5 or 6).  The Wendigo may regain 2d6 hit points if it spends part of an action feasting on recently slain flesh of a humanoid.

Magic Resistance.  The wendigo has advantage on all saves against magical effects.

Wendigo Fever.  The first time a creature is hit by the wendigo’s attacks, it must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 17).  Failure results in contracting the fever.  No initial symptoms manifest until after a long rest.  Afterwards, the infected suffers one level of exhaustion per day until they eat living flesh from another creature.  Upon consuming flesh, they lose all levels of exhaustion and fall unconscious.  Over the course of 1 minute, they turn into a wendigo.  If a creature does not consume flesh and accumulates too much exhaustion, they die and return as a ghoul.  Casting Lesser Restoration, followed by Remove Curse before the creature is corrupted or dies will remove the disease.


Multiattack.  The wendigo may use its claws up to three times per turn.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) piercing damage.

Gore. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit:
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d4 + 2) slashing damage.




Were-Hyena by TairenSoul

Beware the Bouda, a dark witch who has power over the hyena!

Medium humanoid (human, shapechanger), chaotic evil
Armor Class 12 in humanoid form, 13 (natural armor) in hyena or hybrid form
Hit Points 64 (11d8 + 22)
Speed 30ft. (40ft. in hyena form)
STR 15 (+2), DEX 14 (+2), CON 15 (+2), INT 10 (+0), WIS 12 (+1), CHA 10 (+0)
Skills Intimidate +2, Stealth +4

Damage Resistances poison
Damage Immunities bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from non magical weapons that aren’t silvered
Senses passive Perception 10
Languages Common (can’t speak in hyena form)
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Shapechanger. The werehyena can use its action to polymorph into a hyena-humanoid/gnoll-like hybrid or into a hyena, or back into its true form, which is humanoid. Its statistics, other than its AC, are the same in each form. Any equipment it, is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. It revert to its true form if it dies. ·

Carrion Eater.  The werehyena has advantage against all poisons and diseases.

Keen Hearing and Smell. The werehyena has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.


Multiattack (Humanoid o Hybrid Form Only). The werehyena makes two attacks, only one can be with its bite.

Bite (Hyena or Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d10 + 2) piercing damage. If the target is a humanoid, it must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or be cursed with werehyena lycanthropy.

Smashing Club (Humanoid Form Only). Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one creature. Hit: 7 (1d10 + 2) bludgeoning damage



Werehyena Variant: Bouda

These werebeasts are the result of dark witchcraft and demonic sorcery.  Their habits of feasting upon the living (and the dead) have attracted dark spirits to their aid.  It was likely that these spirits cursed them with their shapeshifting powers as well.  Unlike the more standard werehyena, these creatures have a more fiendish nature.  They gain the following:

  • Damage Immunities: Fire, Poison
  • Condition Immunities. Disease, Exhausted, Poisoned
  • Innate Magic.  Before becoming a monster, the bouda had some control over dark magick.  Their spellcasting stat is Charisma.
    • At-Will: Hellish Rebuke, Hex, Ray of Sickness
    • 3/Day: Cloudkill
    • 1/Day: Contagion


IMAGE SOURCE: Tikbalang – Anthony Francisco; Creepy Dolls – Ghost Diaries; Dybbuk by Ephraim Moshe Lilien; Kelpie – porceliandoll; Wendigo – Kiwi Flight 82; Werehyena – TairenSoul

Made by Doctor Necrotic, for Doctor Necrotic Media.  All rights reserved.

Author: Doctor Necrotic

Hobbyist, amateur writer/screenwriter, wannabe-philosopher, music fan, history lover, cinemaphile, gamer, reviewer, and more. I'm a 30 year old hodgepodge of jobs and interests. My current projects on WordPress creating a wide variety of content for various tabletop roleplaying games, even showcasing published content here as well. When I have the time, I also create editorials and reviews spanning various bits of popular culture. I hope you take a moment to check my content out and maybe tell me what you think.

5 thoughts on “Horrors of Myth and Folktale – Classic Terrors for D&D 5E”

  1. Horse monsters (especially fae ones) are perfect for me. They are THE monsters to unleash on unsuspecting Ponyfinder players expecting sunshine and rainbows. Such players are ironic considering that the Everglow ponies are technically descended from kelpies.


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