Even great evils can fall from grace or power. However, that isn’t to say they aren’t inherently powerful beings. In many cases, diving too deep into their tainted powers may make them stronger. In many cases, these pitiful creatures are proof that depravities and wicked ways rarely turn out for the better. All the same, these wretched terrors find their own boons in further exploring the path of evil.
Author’s Note: I was tossing an idea in my head for a little bit and figured, sure why not? By the way, the degenerated vampire might make an appearance in something else relatively soon. Let’s just say a successor to a previous book project of mine is in the works.
This gaunt and sad creature is devoid of its food, giving it a weary and pitiful look to it. But don’t be fooled, it hungers, it gradually loses its chaotic devotion to Orcus among others. Strangely, its separation from living flesh and fell powers has allowed it to ponder other things. In many regards, it has become more intelligent, despite looking more feeble. Some even do their best to look like a normal living creature, while consuming other goods. Some have better luck than others. Some just return to their old ways, but with a more calculated and clever approach.
medium undead, neutral evil
Armor Class 12 (leather armor)
Hit Points 17 (7d8 – 14)
Speed 30 ft.
STR 12 (+1) DEX 13 (+1) CON 7 (-2) INT 12 (+1) WIS 13 (+1) CHA 10 (+0)
Skills Deception +2
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhausted, poisoned
Senses Darkvision 60ft., passive Perception 11
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)
Clever Ghoul. The starved ghoul compensates with its weakened state through an invigorated intellectual wit. The monster gains advantage on Charisma (Deception) checks as well as tool checks to disguise itself, which it is proficient in.
Uncanny. At initial glance, starved ghouls look somewhat like either ill humanoids or emaciated corpses, depending on the ghoul’s current state when it began to starve. The ghoul looks indistinguishable from either, at first glance. It will often do anything in its ability to maintain the facade, until in a place where it can strike.
Underhanded Strike. If a ghoul successfully paralyzes a creature with its claws, it may use a dagger attack as a bonus action.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) slashing damage. If the target is a creature other than an elf or undead, it must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success
Dagger. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) piercing damage.
Not only fallen to the thirst for blood, the degenerated vampire has turned to savagery and bestial behavior. These acts eventually took their toll on the creature, causing it to take a corrupted bat-like form. For many vampires, these monsters act as a grim reminder of what happens when one loses themselves for too long. In some cases, they were just vampires who went insane from isolation away from civilization for too long. This mockery of nature stalks the dark depths as a potent predator.
Medium undead, chaotic evil
Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 113 (15d8 + 45)
Speed 20 ft., Fly 60ft.
STR 18 (+4) DEX 19 (+4) CON 16 (+3) INT 3 (-4) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 5 (-3)
Saving Throws Constitution +7, Intelligence +0, Wisdom +5
Skills Nature +0, Perception +9, Stealth +8, Survival +9
Damage Resistances necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Senses Blindsight 120ft., passive Perception 19
Languages understands languages it previously knew
Challenge 10 (5,900 XP)
Echolocation. The degenerated vampire’s Blindsight is disabled while it is Deafened.
Keen Hearing. The degenerated vampire has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing.
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the degenerated vampire fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
Opportunistic Hunter. When a creature is incapacitated by Shrill Screech, the degenerated vampire can use its bonus action to fly up to half its speed towards that target and make a Bite attack if they are within attack range.
Regeneration. The degenerated vampire regains 10 hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point and isn’t in sunlight. If the degenerated vampire takes radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn’t function at the start of the vampire’s next turn.
Vampire Weaknesses. The degenerated vampire has the following flaws:
- Stake to the Heart. If a piercing weapon made of wood is driven into the degenerated vampire’s heart while it is roosting, the degenerated vampire is paralyzed until the stake is removed. In some cases, it will fall to the ground and remain prone as well.
- Sunlight Hypersensitivity. The vampire takes 10 radiant damage when it starts its turn in sunlight. While in sunlight, it has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage plus 10 (3d6) necrotic damage. The target’s hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and the vampire regains hit points equal to that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0. Creatures killed in this manner become vampire spawn in the next 24 hours. However, they are not under the degenerated vampire’s control.
Shrill Screech. All creatures that are not Deafened within 30ft. of the degenerated vampire must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. Creatures that fail are incapacitated and their speed is reduced to 0 for up to 1 minute. Affected creatures may make new saving throws at the start of their turn.
A particularly cruel practical joker may risk taint upon their souls, cursing them into something vile. These fell spirits represent tricks and jokes that go way too far. Not only driven by a sadistic sense of humor, but a newly found craving for violence, these deranged killers tend to leave macabre displays that showcase their attempts at “comedy”.
Medium fey, chaotic evil
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 58 (9d8 + 18)
Speed 30 ft.
STR 10 (+0) DEX 17 (+3) CON 14 (+2) INT 15 (+2) WIS 13 (+1) CHA 19 (+4)
Saving Throws Intelligence +5, Wisdom +4
Skills Acrobatics +9, Deception +7, Insight +4, Performance +7
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons.*
Senses Darkvision 60ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Common, Elven, Sylvan
Challenge 3 (700 XP)
Innate Spellcasting. The Dread Jester can use its own magical talents, with Charisma as its casting stat (DC 15, +7 to hit). It knows the following:
- At-will. Cause Fear, Gust, Minor Illusion, Prestidigitation
- 3/day. Charm Person, Disguise Self, Feather Fall, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter
- 1/day. Hypnotic Pattern, Mirror Image, Magic Mouth, Misty Step
Sneaky Invisibility. As a bonus action, the Dread Jester may turn itself invisible until the end of its next turn. The effect ends early if the Dread Jester uses a hostile action (or reaction) or casts a spell.
Inflict Pain. Melee Spell Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 13 (3d8) necrotic damage.
Jester’s Laughing Staff. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 10ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d10) bludgeoning damage. The target must make a DC 15 Charisma saving throw or take an additional 10 (3d6) psychic damage and have their speed reduced by half until the start of their next turn. This does not stack with other speed reducing effects.
Mock. The Jester can use its reaction after a creature missed an attack against it or the jester succeeds in a saving throw initiated by a creature. As long as that creature is within 60ft. it must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw. Upon failure, it takes disadvantage on all attack rolls, saving throws and skill checks not related to the dread jester.
*CAMPAIGN OPTION: Alternatively, non “cold iron” as well
IMAGE CREDIT: Foxglove Manor – Wayne A. Reynolds