Monsters of the Elements: Creatures of the Inner Planes

Planescape Finders: Planes

The Inner Planes provides a host of habitats, sites and niches; all teaming with all means of elemental lifeforms… and not-so-lifeforms.  These creatures exist to feed, fight and survive in their respect realms; some on a level more intelligent than others.  Among these more intelligent organisms, alien parallels to society exist within their respective home planes; drawn from the motifs and energies of the equally respective plane.  Some thrive from mixtures of the elements; some are new creations, while emerge from calamities that clear the way for something new.  From what I understand, natural scholars refer to this as a “secondary succession” of sorts.

Author’s Note: I wanted to do a fair number of things, since it’s been a while.  I haven’t done much in terms of mechanics, even beyond D&D 5th Edition and onto other games.  I’ve been rereading Cyberpunk 2020, in part because it somehow feels more relevant in some ways than it did all those years ago.  Granted, there’s enough 3rd party and custom stuff from a 25 Yr.+ range to never warrant me making my own things.  Anyway, I’d rather keep these little blips pertaining to the page itself rather than personal gripes and issues.

 

 

Cloud Cat

cat cloud omg :) Image by Moon.

Quite literally as the name describes it, a cat made of clouds.  While it will often act like a normal small cat, it can be seen floating and zooming about in the air.  While they don’t appear to have a need to feed, they seek to enjoy pouncing on even smaller creatures.  And like cats, they remain ever fickle at times.  Most try to avoid direct conflict, displaying warning signs in reaction.  But if pushed, they will fight defensively and try to flee, more often than not.  In fact, outliers of their species not only left their plane, but joined up with The Sign of One as a testament to elemental feline pride.  Despite being mostly content in their own ordinary realms, they have been ones to adapt finer aspects of life, much like the typical house cat can be.  But, their keen intelligence makes this even more so.  After all, a cat’s perspective is within their own micro-multiverse.

Plane of Origin: Quasi-Elemental Plane of Steam – The positive influenced vaporous clouds of Steam are filled with lively energies.  Among the elemental beings to dwell in them are small cat-like creatures very much made up of cloud forms as well.  Very curious on their home plane, they’ll often float about and travel towards any outsider creatures that prove non-hostile.  Of course, they maintain safe distance against the otherwise “alien” visitors.

*animentals are elementals shaped by animal spirits

Tiny elemental (animental)*, neutral

Armor Class 12 (natural armor)

Hit Points 4 (1d8)

Speed 0 ft., fly 40 ft.

STR 13 (+1) DEX 12 (+1) CONT 11 (+0) INT 10 (+0) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 9 (-1)

Skills Acrobatics +3, Deception +1, Persuasion +1

Senses Blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 11

Languages common, primordial

Challenge 1/8 (25 XP)

Cloud Drift.  A Cloud Cat can squeeze in a space no smaller than 1 centimeter, as long as it can emerge and reform at the end of its movement on another side.

ACTIONS

Cloudy Claw.  Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.  Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) force damage.

 

 

Deathless Creation

Sonic the Hedgehog: why his grotesque new look has caused controversy |  Games | The Guardian
(I’m sorry I used this image!  I couldn’t find what I wanted, so… I went with this!)

Theoretically immortal creations built from positive energy.  Surely nothing can go wrong, right?  Sadly untrue.  An escaped ever-living mage went mad long ago, making all sorts of undying monstrosities.  Relocating to the Positive Plane, he’s used loopholes to make new fantastical and frightening beasts.  However, his lack of care has embittered them, causing them to lash out and zoom free, amidst a plane that won’t hinder them.  While most have similar abilities to combat foes, few look entirely the same.  Asymmetrical features in general are a major aspect of their strange looks, often looking like a misshapen mash.  Given how unstable and vain their creator is, this is expected to a degree.

Plane of Origin: Positive Energy Plane – Only such a plane could spawn and house such impossible creatures.  Almost all are vanity projects of a madman, seeking to play around with the forces of life itself.  Bored from his gift of life beyond life, the mad Deathless creation mage toils over all means of twisted new ideas.  In fact, this plane has only enhanced his craft in ways that his home world could only dream of, allowing his impossible fantasies to come true.

Hatred and Madness.  An impossible vision and the very essence of life birthed these impossible creatures.  They exist in a state of constant confusion and dismay, all malformed mutant horrors to satisfy a madman’s ego.  They resent their creator greatly, but are banished to the reaches of the plane.  Now, they unleash their fury upon anything spawned by the plane as a whole, sometimes consuming the victim in hope of gaining its power.  Their end mission is to find the secret hideaway of their master and permanently destroy him.

Large elemental (positive), neutral evil

Armor Class 19 (natural armor)

Hit Points 114 (12d10 + 48)

Speed 30 ft.

STR 21 (+5) DEX 12 (+1) CON 18 (+4) INT 6 (-2) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 5 (-3)

Saving Throws Dexterity +6, Intelligence +8, Wisdom +5, Charisma +7

Skills Athletics +10, Perception +10

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

Damage Immunities necrotic, radiant

Senses Darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 20

Languages understands common and primordial

Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)

Restore Thy Flesh.  When a creature is killed by the Deathless Creation, it can use a bonus action to quickly eat from their body.  Upon doing so, they regain 18 (4d8) hit points.

ACTIONS

Multiattack.  The Deathless Creation may attack twice per round.

Bodily Trashing.  Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target.  Hit: 28 (6d6 + 5) bludgeoning damage.

 

Variants.  The following are ways to customize these abominations, it’s recommended you take up to two per monster.  Note: some of these powers will alter the overall effective stats and abilities of the creature, potentially affecting the CR.  Consult the Dungeon Master’s Guide on modifying CR.

  • Arcane Infusion.  They always have proficiency on saves against spells and magical effects (+1 effective AC)
  • Climbing Limbs.  Grants a Climb speed equal to land speed
  • Cutting Spikes.  The same, but slashing damage
  • Frightful Display (Recharge 4 – 6).  They can take their action to create a 30 ft. aura around itself until the end of its turn.  All creatures capable of sight must make a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for up to 1 minute or until the creature is slain.
  • Horns.  Swap out damage for bodily thrashing with piercing damage
  • Magical Detection.  Can detect magic, like the spell, but as an at-will ability.  Cannot be counter-spelled
  • Positive Beam.  Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 80 ft./120ft., one target.  Hit: 33 (5d12 + 1) radiant damage
  • Quick Cloak (Recharge 6). As an action, the monster may become invisible.  This lasts until the start of their next turn.  This is ended early by taking a hostile action or casting a spell.
  • Runner.  Gain a +10 feet bonus to land speed
  • Sense All.  Grants Truesight out 120ft.
  • Swim Fins.  Grants a Swim speed equal to land speed
  • Telepathic Mind.  Grants Telepathy out 120ft.
  • Venom Sack.  Upon hitting with a melee attack, the target must also make a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or take 11 (2d10) poison damage and gain the poisoned condition for up to 1 hour.
  • Wings.  Grants a Fly speed equal to land speed

 

Ashen Shell

Hollow Warrior | Dark Souls Wiki | Fandom

Sad, faded forms aimlessly wander about.  Their features are burnt and sunken, covered in ash.  Many seem to mutter or keep to old habits when not snapped into sudden bursts of violence.  They shamble, latched onto dead ways.  Their attempts to rebuild are nothing but madness, carving out cyclopean wrecks for homes that are decayed mockeries like them.

Plane of Origin: Prime Material/Quasi-Elemental Plane of Ash – A race of tragic creatures, cast into the realms of death by forces beyond their control.  These beings were once humanoids, seeking to escape a dying world undone by corrupt gods.  The final attempt at leaving succeeded, but only because of a cataclysm that ultimately robbed the world of life.  High Priests devoted to the life giving powers of flames established a gateway into the Elemental Plane of Fire, where those who still believed could live their days immune to the blaze of the plane.  However, the ensuing apocalypse not only robbed all of life, but corrupted the gateway into a black hole absorbing much of the world into the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Ash, a grim mirror tainted by the Negative Energy Plane.  Washed up and hopeless, the angry undead wander around in hopes they’ll return to life one day and find their missing sun.  Their name comes from the fact that these withered bodies are mere husks, colored much like the ash of the plane too.  When they witness living mortal creatures, an old spark of their essence ignites, flinging them into a hateful wrath.

Plodding Existence.  While no living creature is around, the Ashen Shell moves and acts very slowly.  Typically, they act upon old memories from life, recreating them in a depressive and tired manner.  However, the sight of a mortal prime creature snaps them into an extremely aggressive and quick state of being, in contrast with their usual state.  While in this fatigue, they move at halved speed.  When attacking, groups tend to single out a single creature, to ensure their essence is completely drained.

Medium undead (ash), chaotic evil

Armor Class 13 (Natural Armor)

Hit Points 22 (4d8 + 4)

Speed 25 ft.

STR 15 (+2) DEX 9 (-1) CON 13 (+1) INT 10 (+0) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 7 (-2)

Damage Immunities cold, fire, poison, necrotic

Condition immunities poisoned

Senses Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11

Languages common, primordial

Challenge 1 (200 XP)

Create Spawn.  Creatures that die from an Ashen Shell’s abilities or attacks are reduced to cold husks, reanimating within 1 minute as a new Ashen Shell.

Heat Killing Aura.  Once per round, creatures that start their turn or enter within 10 ft. of a Ashen Shell must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw.  Upon failure, the target takes 7 (2d6) cold damage.

ACTIONS

Chilling Slam.  Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.  Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) necrotic damage.  The target must also make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw.  Upon failure, the target’s movement is halved until the end of their next turn.  If the target also failed by 5 or more on the roll, they gain a level of exhaustion.  This exhaustion goes away after completing a short or long rest.

 

Variant.  NPC Ashen Shell

Simply apply the inherent 13 AC while unarmored, immunities, create spawn ability, heat killing aura and chilling slam onto a NPC creature from the Monster Manual.  Afterwords, adjust for effective bonuses to stats.

 

 

Ore Creature (Template)

Creatures built up from the very gem and mineral of the plane around them.  While many non-natives would quake at the thought of a world built from the same material as you (might like on Antorek), they see it as absolutely normal. As one could stereotype from glancing at them, these are not creatures of too much emotion.  For the most part, they live a rather stoic and straight forward existence.  For them, things operate on rational step-by-step paths with little need for deviation.  Even their art, as magnificent as it may be to our eyes, is derivative.  Some fear them to be a decadent or stagnant culture.  On the contrary, they’re one of the few to remain static without fear of decline.  The irony of a creature so alien is that if they made enough attempt to listen, they could have made potential allies.  Their ability to launch into a project without restrictive deeper thought rings true to the Transcendent Order, for example.  This of course implies that they can safely interact with the people of Sigil to begin with.

Plane of Origin: Quasi-Elemental Plane of Mineral – Born from world rich in not only its own life, but in resources; they are very much the epitome of what Mineral has to offer.  Ore Creatures are built strong and fierce, but show much in the way of culture and aesthetics.  Should the ways of earthy inorganic life and outside fleshy organic life fully cooperate, a powerful ally could be made.  While one city has been discovered and even explored by more than one group of interloping adventurers, many say that several more exist within the plane.  As it stands, the Ore Creature has little tolerance for the ways of flesh-creatures (especially Material Plane ones at that).  Due to being so accustomed to the ways of their plane, they suffer many insular views of xenophobia and prejudice.

The Ore Creature template can be applied to any humanoid NPC or Beast.  In addition to regular traits, the ore creatures all receive the following:

  • Damage Immunities. Ore Creatures are immune to damage from non-magical weapons and attacks.
  • Brief Glow (1/short rest).  As a bonus action, the Ore Creature can emit a quick light reaching out 10 ft. from it in total darkness.  This lasts until the start of its next turn.  These abilities are often used as a warning/call for help.
  • Built Powerful.  Your body is dense and compact, also a bit larger than your non-Mineral analogue.  For purposes of carrying capacity and the weight you’re able to push, pull or lift; you count as one size larger.
  • Incomprehensible.  All attempts at scanning thoughts through a Detect Thoughts spell, a Telepathic ability or the like will wield seemingly useless or alien information.  Likewise, the Ore Creature has advantage against all Charm or Fear effects and spells.
  • Bulky, Brutal Bodies.  All bludgeoning damage dealt by these creatures is increased by one attack die and counts as magical damage.  If the creature does not have an attack that deals bludgeoning damage, it gains a melee attack called Slam, dealing 2d6 + strength modifier bludgeoning damage upon a hit.
  • Challenge. Adjust for Effective Armor Class, Damage and Hit Points

 

 

Void Belly Beast

Pin by Lee on Fantasy art | Creature art, Fantasy beasts, Fantasy ...
A, frankly inaccurate, depiction of what researchers think it MIGHT have looked like at one point.

Lumpy, bulbous and lumbering; this monstrosity is a creature to give large leeway in the sea of flames.  Its jaws sport rows of shockingly smaller metal-piercing teeth, supported by a large tube-like neck.  It’s likely that it uses its teeth to grapple, while its suction tube head and neck suck out heat from its victim.  In fact, this has earned it a nickname among the Efreeti, which translates roughly to “Heat Vampire”.

Plane of Origin: Quasi-Elemental Plane of Ash – Despite the grumbled claims of the Efreeti, the beasts are not from the Plane of Fire.  Creatures of Ash, they steal warmth as per its eating habits.  Curiously, these creatures don’t exhibit traits related to the Negative Energy Plane.  In fact, necrotic energies of said plane directly hurt it.  Its origins within the plane aren’t wholly known.  Whether a creature that adapted and mutated to the heat draining of Ash or an artificial creation run amok, they harvest and spawn at an incredible rate.  While the Plane of Fire can easily sustain them forever, many of the other planes were not built to handle them, especially the Prime Material.  While it’s hard to determine, a group of busy researchers from the Outlands claim the plane itself changed a far simpler creature.

Huge elemental (ash), unaligned

Armor Class 20 (natural armor)

Hit Points 84 (8d12 + 32)

Speed 40 ft.

STR 22 (+6) DEX 11 (+0) CON 19 (+4) INT 4 (-3) WIS 13 (+1) CHA 7 (-2)

Skills Athletics +9

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

Damage Immunities cold, fire

Condition Immunities grappled, restrained

Senses Tremorsense 60 ft.

Languages –

Challenge 9 (5,000 XP) –

ACTIONS

Multiattack.  The Void Belly Beast may make two attacks, only one may be Heat Drain.

Bite.  Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target.  Hit: 16 (3d6 + 6) piercing damage.  The target must also make a DC 17 Strength saving throw or becoming grappled.  Succeeding a DC 17 Escape Action allows the target to break free.

Heat Drain.  A bit target must make a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or take 7 (2d6) cold damage and 7 (2d6) fire damage.  The target’s maximum hit points are drained by the total damage and cannot be recovered while the target is effected.  Casting a Greater Restoration spell (or higher level spell) or completing a long rest removes this effect.

 

 

Shadow, Greater

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/torment/images/a/ad/Shadowtrue.png/revision/latest?cb=20150806224523

Formed from a powerful hatred, these shadowy undead horrors are far more formidable than their lesser counterparts.  Torment fuels their endeavors, driving them to collectively assault the sources of their sorrow.  Many are clustered within a grim dominion known as the Fortress of Regrets, a sinister manifestation of a cursed man’s deepest sorrows.  But, this isn’t to say they haven’t broken free of their wretched prison.  Even now, they plot revenge against not only their creator, but against life in the multiverse.

Few of the Greater Shadows are fully self-aware of all the pain and suffering those cause.  Most act upon an unremitting loathing for all things, that they’ve effectively lost themselves.  In a sense, even their tattered souls aren’t really even them anymore.  The few that are intentionally seek out conflict in the vain hope of oblivion.  They exist in the deepest forms of agony and suffering.

Plane of Origin: Negative Energy Plane – The advent of these shadows comes from evil and accursed deeds.  Tales tell of a man from The Cage who sold his soul at a steep price.  When he should die, others perish in his place.  And worse, their souls are ripped into the Negative plane, where its energies twist them into foul horrors.  As they fester in both self-loathing and the cause for their creation, they seek out not only the man, but others like him.  In killing him, there in lies the irony of spreading the problem, as even more are made.  Because of individuals like the damned mystery planewalker, life itself is at risk.

Large undead, chaotic evil

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)

Hit Points 38 (5d10 + 10)

Speed 40 ft.

STR 9 (-1) DEX 16 (+3) CON 14 (+2) INT 9 (-1) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 9 (-1)

Skills Stealth +5

Vulnerabilities radiant

Damage Resistances acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage from non-magical attacks

Damage Immunities necrotic, poison

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

Senses Darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 10

Challenge 3 (700 XP)

Amorphous.  The Shadow can move through spaces as narrow as 1-inch wide without squeezing.

Shadow Stealth.  While in dim light or darkness, the shadow can take the Hide action as a bonus action.  Stealth improves to +7 as well.

Sunlight Weakness.  While in sunlight, the shadow has disadvantage on attack rolls, ability checks and saving throws.

ACTIONS

Strength Drain.  Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one creature.  Hit: 21 (4d8 + 3) necrotic damage.  The target’s strength score is reduced by 1d6.  The target dies if this reduces its Strength to 0.  Otherwise, the reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest.  If a non-evil humanoid dies from this attack, a new shadow rises from the corpse 1d4 hours later.

 

 

VARIANT. True Shadow

The ultimate culmination of foul energy, regret and hatred.

Large undead, chaotic evil

Armor Class 17 (natural armor)

Hit Points 77 (9d10 + 27)

Speed 40 ft.

STR 10 (+0) DEX 18 (+4) CON 16 (+3) INT 11 (+0) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 9 (-1)

Skills Stealth +5

Vulnerabilities radiant

Damage Resistances acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage from non-magical attacks

Damage Immunities necrotic, poison

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

Senses Darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 11

Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)

Amorphous.  The Shadow can move through spaces as narrow as 1-inch wide without squeezing.

Legendary Resistance (1/day).  The Shadow may choose to turn a failed saving throw into a success.

Shadow Stealth.  While in dim light or darkness, the shadow can take the Hide action as a bonus action.  Stealth improves to +7 as well.

Sunlight Weakness.  While in sunlight, the shadow has disadvantage on attack rolls, ability checks and saving throws.

ACTIONS

Strength Drain.  Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one creature.  Hit: 40 (8d8 + 4) necrotic damage.  The target’s strength score is reduced by 1d8.  The target dies if this reduces its Strength to 0.  Otherwise, the reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest.  If a non-evil humanoid dies from this attack, a new shadow rises from the corpse 1d4 hours later.

Dryad, Water (Dryad Variant)

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/pathfinder/images/d/d5/Nixie.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20100301145233

You are familiar with the dryad, yes?  Well, this is a variant found within submerged waters.  They dwell between the foliage of the riverbanks to the wide oceanic depths.  And much like their on-land counterparts, they can jump and dash between their watery plant homes.  Their resemblance is more akin to various water grasses, floating lilies, seaweeds and other diverse varieties of vegetation.  Their behavior is more distant and seemingly aloof compared to their land cousins.  More than likely, they’ll avoid getting involved with confrontation.  However, they defend themselves viciously, especially against non-native/water dwelling creatures.  It is said that in fits of fury, they’ll attempt to suffocate or drown their chosen target.

Plane of Origin: Plane of Water/Kingdom of the Good Folk (Deep Ethereal) – These aquatic fey are most common in the Elemental Plane of Water.  However, due to their sylvan origins, it’s likely that they weren’t originally from there.  Sources point to many of the hydrous regions of the fey realms.  It’s also likely that they were land dryads and simply changed in order to become one with the Plane of Water.

Medium fey (water), neutral

Armor Class 16 (aquatic hide)

Hit Points 23 (4d8 + 4)

Speed 0 ft., swim 30 ft.

STR 10 (+0) DEX 14 (+2) CON 12 (+1) INT 14 (+2) WIS 15 (+2) CHA 18 (+4)

Skills Perception +4, Stealth +5

Senses Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14

Languages Elvish, Sylvan, Aquan

Challenge 1 (200 XP)

Aquatic Hide.  The dryad adds charisma modifier to total AC.

Aquatic Combat.  The dryad does not receive disadvantage for fighting with any weapon in the water.

Kelp Leap.  Once on her turn, the dryad can use 10 ft. of her movement to merge with an aquatic plant, magically leaping into a second aquatic plant within 60 ft. of the initial one.  After the jump, the dryad appears within 5 ft. of the new plant.  Each plant must be of at least medium size or larger.

Innate Spellcasting.  The dryad’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14). The dryad can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
  • At-will. druidcraft, shillelagh
  • 3/day each. create or destroy water, goodberry
  • 1/day each. pass without trace, tidal wave

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

Speak with Beasts and Plants.  The dryad can communicate with beasts and plants as if they shared a language.

ACTIONS

Club. Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.  Hit: 2 (1d4) bludgeoning damage.

Shillelagh. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.  Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage.

Fey Charm. The dryad targets one humanoid or beast that she can see within 30 feet of her. If the target can see the dryad, it must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or be magically charmed. The charmed creature regards the dryad as a trusted friend to be heeded and protected. Although the target isn’t under the dryad’s control, it takes the dryad’s requests or actions in the most favorable way it can.
Each time the dryad or its allies do anything harmful to the target, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. Otherwise, the effect lasts 24 hours or until the dryad dies, is on a different plane of existence from the target, or ends the effect as a bonus action. If a target’s saving throw is successful, the target is immune to the dryad’s Fey Charm for the next 24 hours.
The dryad can have no more than one humanoid and up to three beasts charmed at a time.

 

 

IMAGE CREDIT: Moalrey – Inner Planes; Moon (picsart) – Cloud Cat; SEGA/Paramount – Original Movie Sonic; From Software – hollow soldier; dogbomber – Mineral Monster; Blizzard Entertainment – Iron Hide; Black Isles/BioWare – Shadow (Planescape Torment); Greg Vaughn – Nixie (Paizo)

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.

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