Heya, Doc here! I wanted to do a slight change of pace from the norm. In support of a theme I have been waiting to look into for a while, here is a sampling of creatures based on fears that I’ve come across at some point in my life. Now, which ones genuinely effect me? I’d rather not say. But, here are some creepy critters inspired by various existing bits from the D&D multiverse as well as my own twisted psyche.
If you wanna jump on board this month’s theme, the theme is “What Scares You?” Read on here!
Author’s Note: I really wanted to update the Walking Disease. Since diseases disturb me, I figured it was a good excuse.
These waterlogged undead are filled with contempt of those who continue to live on the lands above. They wait and scheme in their soaked and bloated state, awaiting anyone foolish enough to lurk in their waters. They desire to pull anyone who gets too close down, suffocating them one way or another. These creatures were reanimated by a foul deep sea scourge that seeks to destroy life on land.
Medium undead, chaotic evil
Armor Class 9
Hit Points 51 (6d8 + 24)
Speed 20 ft., Swim 20 ft.
STR 14 (+2) DEX 9 (-1) CON 19 (+4) INT 11 (+0) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 7 (-2)
Saving Throws. Strength +4, Wisdom +3, Charisma +0
Skills Intimidate +3, Stealth +3
Damage Resistances. bludgeoning/piercing/slashing from non-magical weapons, cold
Damage Immunities. poison
Condition Immunities. poisoned
Senses Darkvision 60 Ft., passive Perception 11
Languages. Understands and speaks everything it knew in life, Abyssal
Challenge 2 (450 XP)
Blend into the depths. While in a body of water deeper than its height, the drowned soul may make a Stealth check with advantage. As long as it is not spotted, it becomes more or less invisible.
Deep within Cold Seas. The drowned soul is immune to cold effects and temperatures that occur naturally, such as from deep water.
Strangler. If the soul has grabbed a target, it may use its bonus action to use its Choke Foe attack.
Lunging Grasp. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d4 + 2) bludgeoning damage and the target is grabbed.
Choke Foe. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one grabbed/restrained/helpless target. Hit: 7 (1d10 + 2) bludgeoning damage. The target must also make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw. Upon failure, they receive 1 level of exhaustion that lasts until the target takes a long rest.
Leaping Surprise. If a creature enters a watery space within 20 ft. of the undead or on land near the undead’s proximity (10 ft.), the drowned soul may move up to 10 ft. and make 1 lunging slam if it can get to the target. Otherwise, it moves 10 ft.
Peak-a-boo Corpse (Zombie Variant) –
- Sampling from the Drowned Soul, here’s a variation of the zombie based on a classic horror trope (especially in survival horror games).
- Increase Intelligence to 7 (-2) and Wisdom to 9 (-1)
- Gain the following ability: Jump Scare. The zombie is indistinguishable from an average corpse on the ground and can continue to lay inert while any creature is nearby. Any checks to detect any signs of life (unlife) fail. However, the zombie may use its reaction to gain a surprise round against a target.
- Increase Challenge to 1/2 (1oo XP)
The fear of the dark, incarnated into daemon form. This hazy humanoid looks completely blank, but displays a sharp cunning and cleverness. It’s even capable of using the powers of shadow to warp and repel magic. It often plots in dark places, setting a variety of traps or conspiring with other tenebriloths.
Medium fiend (yugoloth), neutral evil
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 66 (12d8 + 12)
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft.
STR 15 (+2) DEX 19 (+4) CON 12 (+1) INT 15 (+2) WIS 16 (+3) CHA 11 (+0)
Saving Throws Constitution +4, Charisma +3
Skills Deception +6, Insight +6, Perception +9, Stealth +7
Damage Resistances cold, fire, lightning, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities acid, necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhausted, poisoned
Senses truesight 120 ft.
Languages all, telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)
Ghastly Visage. While in darkness of any kind, the tenebriloth can contort itself into something horrifying. Any creature that looks at the daemon within 60 ft. of it must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 14) or become frightened for 1 hour. If the target succeeds or the effect ends, they cannot be affected by this ability for 24 hours.
Innate Spellcasting. The tenebriloth’s innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 14). The tenebriloth can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
- At will: darkness, mirror image, misty step
Magic Weapons. The tenebriloth’s weapon attacks are magical.
Merge with Darkness. While in darkness, the tenebriloth is invisible. If the fiend is removed from darkness, such as from a light or daylight spell, it becomes visible again.
Superior Magic Resistance. The tenebriloth has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects. Likewise, spell-based attack rolls against it are made with disadvantage.
Multiattack. The tenebriloth may use its claws twice per round.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) slashing damage. The target must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 14), taking 7 (2d6) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Teleport. The tenebriloth magically teleports, along with any equipment it is wearing or carrying, up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space it can see.
Blink Away (Recharge 6). When the tenebriloth is hurt, it may become a fleeing shadow and lessen the pain. When the fiend is damaged, it may use a reaction to gain resistance to the source of the damage (if it didn’t have resistance or immunity already) and teleport 30 feet away.
The Walking Disease
The undead are horrifying in their own right. These creatures specifically are mobile colonies of the worst fungi, parasites, bacteria and viruses known to many… and some to few. Mutated, mutilated and mottled; these sickly walking dead barely look like they did in life. Despite being created through necromancy, it’s likely that a strange hivemind composed of the various infections controls it now.
Medium Undead, Neutral Evil
Armor Class 16 (Natural Armor)
Hit points 119 (14d8 + 56)
Speed 30 ft.
STR 19 (+4), DEX 9 (-1), CON 18 (+4), INT 9 (-1), WIS 15 (+2), CHR 12 (+1)
Skills. Intimidate +3, Perception +6, Stealth +3
Condition Immunities. Charmed, Frightened, Poisoned
Damage Immunities. Poison
Damage Resistance. Acid, Necrotic, Psychic
Senses. Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 16
Languages. Understands Common as well as any other languages it knew in life, but cannot speak.
Challenge 10 (5,900 XP)
Create Spawn. Any creature that dies from a walking disease’s attacks or dies while suffering a level of exhaustion induced by a walking disease will reanimate as one 1d4 hours later. Using the Resurrection spell or a related stronger spell before the infected rises up as a walking disease will undo this effect and return them to normal.
Infectious Blight. A creature hit with one of the Walking Disease’s attacks must also make a Constitution saving throw (DC 16). The same creature cannot be affected by this more than once per round. Upon failure, they take 1 level of exhaustion as they are infected. These levels of exhaustion remain with a character until they receive a Greater Restoration spell or related magic of that power or higher. Class abilities, such as the Paladin’s Lay on Hands, require at least 9th level (and in the paladin’s case, 45 hit points worth of lay on hands HP).
Plague Horror. The walking disease cannot be affected by diseases. Furthermore, it can sense a non-infected living creature within 120 feet, even if the creature would otherwise be obscured in some manner.
Plague Link. When the walking disease takes damage, it emits both sound and plague spores, alerting other undead (especially walking diseases) within 300 feet.
Multiattack. The walking disease may use up to two infectious slam attacks per round. However, it may swap out one of its attacks for a different one once per round.
Infectious Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage. The target must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 16) upon being hit. Failure results in taking an additional 7 (2d6) poison damage or half damage on a success. The Walking Disease can forgo damage to grapple the target instead.
Debilitating Touch. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target whose grappled. Hit: 11 (2d6+4) necrotic damage, and the target’s hit point maximum is reduced by the amount of damage taken. The target dies if their hit point maximum is reduced to 0 HP. Otherwise, reduction lasts until the finishes a long rest.
Wave of Parasites (Recharge 6). Ranged Weapon Attack. Dexterity saving throw (DC 16), 15 ft. cone, all targets within cone. Failure results in taking 10 (3d6) piercing damage plus 10 (3d6) necrotic damage and the target becomes infected with a parasite. On a success, the target merely takes half damage and the effect ends. At the start of an infected target’s turn, they must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 16). Upon failure, they take an additional 14 (3d6) necrotic damage. Upon success, they take half damage and the target gains the poisoned condition until cured or taking a long rest. However, they no longer take ongoing damage from the infection. Being targeted by a Lesser Restoration or related spell negates all effects.
Massive Infestation (1/Day). Melee Weapon Attack. Constitution saving throw (DC 16), reach 5 ft., one target whose grappled. Failure results in the target receiving a lethal infection from the walking disease, losing 1d4 strength. At the end of the target’s next turn, they must make a new Constitution saving throw or lose 1 additional point of strength. If the target’s strength is reduced to 0, they die. Should the target succeed or be targeted by a Greater Restoration spell or a higher level of magical power (see above), this effect ends. However, the target must take a long rest in order to regain whatever was drained from them.
Cursed Crew – Disney (Pirates of the Caribbean Concept Art); Shadow People – Plastic Shadows; Fungal Undead – Keith Thompson
The Walking Disease is a creation of Bastion Press, for the d20 book, “Into the Black”. Created by Doctor Necrotic, for Doctor Necrotic Media. All Rights Reserved.