View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next New Undead - The Husk

2017-02-02, 07:42 AM
So I created a new undead called the husk. It's basically the opposite of a skeleton (an animated pile of flesh and muscle that has no bones). It can smother and slam. Take a look and let me know what your thoughts are.

I wanted more mid-level undead for my game. There's a gap in the MM (undead jump from CR 5 to 13 with nothing in-between). I'm also using Volo's and TOB, but this is going to be a heavy undead game so I want more!

Stats in the link.


2017-02-03, 01:40 PM
This seems pretty cool. I've somewhat overused Undead lately, but my DM is a sucker for them so he'd love this.

Only concern: Immunity from Fall damage is an odd ability, and not one that makes a whole lot of sense. People tend to go splat if you drop them from high places, after all.

2017-02-03, 01:46 PM
I had a similar idea. I created a blood zombie where when the zombie is killed it spews blood constantly. THe blood coagulates into entirely red zombies composed of scab-material, that are ultimately killed in one hit but do normal damage.

It was very effective to describe these shambling mounds of scab material. The players were super grossed out.

2017-02-25, 08:38 PM
OK, now this one looks pretty good.

I like the background - a corpse but more powerful than a zombie, needing a specific type of death and taking considerably more power/aptitude to make than a normal zombie.

I think that the power level also perfectly matches the description. A medium zombie is much weaker than a medium husk. The husk is certainly scary for it's size.

Usual run through:
Defensively the husk is OK. Higher armor than beasts of a similar CR but not really pushing any envelopes. HP are again in line. The resistances are nice though - bludgeoning might be the least common physical damage type but it is common enough to be relevant. Immunity to bludgeoning from falling damage opens up possibilities (catapulting these into an enemy city? Ambush by leaping from rooftops?). Mechanically I would be tempted to make it broader - resistance to bludgeoning, immune to non-magic bludgeoning, if only for conceptual neatness (how does the husk tell if it is hitting the ground or being hit by an elephant?).

Movement - pretty standard humanoid movement, the huge and the gargantuan a bit faster. The climb speed is a nice touch given the immunity to falling damage.

Offensively these seem pretty powerful - moreso the lower CR ones than the higher CR ones. For example the tiny Husk is CR 1/4 and has multiattack. At average 7 damage per round on a hit it is really at the top of the CR level for damage against low AC targets, VS higher AC targets the +3 to hit isn't really enough. The multiattack makes it a bit interesting though - any effect that boosts damage will have a really disproportionate effect on these guys. Likewise they may be more of threat than expected against casters - no concentration save at levels where CR 1/4 creatures are a threat will be grater than DC10, but these guys get to force multiple.

Also, from an offensive perspective these guys impose a lot of conditions on a failed save. Sure the DC of the low level ones isn't that high but where you have low strength casters that never become proficient in strength saves these will pose a significant threat disproportionate to their CR. This only gets worse if verbal spell components can't be used whilst being smothered.

On the other hand Husks seem weaker at higher levels/bigger husks. Yes, their HP and damage scales but at no point do these things become something that can't just be put in a forcecage and left till later. They don't work as a major threat as clerics can very easily turn them as well and they are likely to fall for even basic illusions. As you get to higher levels casters will have more spells to chose from and all of them are likely to have a spell that will target their weak saves and a spare low level slot to use it. Their mobility doesn't increase by much and spells like fly still evade them. The climb speed does become more useful as wall spells become more plentiful.

This isn't to say I can't see the benefits of the big ones. In encounters with the necromancers that made them these guys can still dish out the pain and their creators can mange the counterspells and dispel magics to let them run havoc.

They seem fun to play with and against; they are also what I think of as an efficient monster. Once your players meet some of these and learn their powers then they will be scared of them dropping from high places behind their defences or being squeezed through pipes behind their walls. Even when you are not using them they can scare the players.