View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next [5e] Creatures of Banroc

2017-06-10, 03:34 AM
Hey all,

I'm currently running a gothic-horror campaign that takes inspiration from settings like Bloodborne's Yarnham. I've been coming up with a bunch of new creatures. I didn't want to post a ton of different threads, so I thought I'd have this one as a general and ongoing bestiary for all the things I'm working on.

Criticism is very welcome!


"More like a bug than a dog to be honest, but bigger n' any bug has the right to be. Just a mean ole' bundle of muscle and claw. They've got no eyes, but it don't seem to slow them down all."

Skitterhounds are grown somewhere in the middledark. They're a common sight in Watch units, or running feral in more rundown districts. While not particularly dangerous alone, their numbers and speed can overwhelm even the most disciplined soldier.


Condition Immunities: Blinded
Blindsight 60ft (blind beyond this radius)


Multiattack: a Skitterhound makes two claw attacks.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, one target. Hit: 1d4+3 piercing damage.

Size: Medium
Type: Beast
Alignment: Unaligned
AC: 10
HP: 5 (1d8+1)
Speed: 60 ft
Str: 10
Dex: 16
Con: 8
Int: 3
Wis: 14
Cha: 2
CR: 1/8

Design thoughts: Skitterhounds are intended to ferret out sneaking or hiding enemies, and to soak up damage that would otherwise go to more important creatures. They're very easy to kill, but also scary enough in combat that players can't just ignore them.

The Sleepers

"Nobody knows where they came from; they just shambled outta the eastern districts one day and nobody's been able to pin them down. Not zombies in the traditional sense -- not wet. They wear fine clothes and speak words that scratch inside your head. I heard up the pub that they've got gold writing on their tongues but I wouldn't give it too much credit."


Damage Immunity: poison
Damage Vulnerability: fire
Innate Spellcasting: The Sleeper's spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 9). It can cast the following spells

1/day: Dissonant Whispers


Grab. Melee weapon attack: +2 to hit, one target. Hit: 1d6+2. On a successful hit, the target may make a Dex save. If it fails, it is grappled.

Size: Medium
Type: Undead
Alignment: Neutral Evil
AC: 9
HP: 20 (3d8+8)
Speed: 20 ft
Str: 13
Dex: 8
Con: 14
Int: 8
Wis: 5
Cha: 2
CR: 1/4

Design Thoughts: Sleepers are a fairly standard zombie chassis but with some nasty crowd-control tricks up their sleeve. Their ability to either lock somebody in place or to send them running give them a lot of versatility. They're not intended to be a major threat in-and-of themselves, but as the campaign progresses they'll start pushing into the more populated districts to cause havoc.

2017-06-10, 01:48 PM
Seems so far so good, I'm very interested in lesrning more about the setting itself.

2017-06-11, 08:14 PM
I have a pretty detailed history set up, but I prefer to have it unfold naturally through gameplay and encounters: creatures are an opportunity to tell players more about the setting.

That said, I'll tell you guys what the players know --

The city of Banroc was once a thriving trade city on the Ironwine river. It was an independent city-state, noted for its canals and cathedrals. Less than a hundred years ago, it was the middle of a golden age -- new trade routes bringing spices, new technologies and gold gold gold from the south.

There were rumours of tunnels beneath the city, but nobody sensible paid them much mind. Folks went missing, but generally folks that nobody much cared about.

Dwarves have legends about those who tunnelled too deep and found demons. This time, the demons tunnelled up -- the Underdark rose and claimed the city. Led by a cadre of Illithids known as the lords-beneath, an army of vile creatures appeared suddenly, inside mansions of trading houses, inside fortifications and inside the grand palace itself. In a single night, the darkness conquered the city.

Forty years have passed since then. The lords-below rule, with their Underdark servants forming a nobility of sorts. The former inhabitants of Banroc are servants, or food. Many alive now have known no other life than the risen-dark, but there are whispers of revolution in the streets.

There are said to be nine levels of darkness between the surface and the True-Dark, where the masters dwell. Will you rally forces on the surface, or go down into the pit? The city and the cities-below lie open to you. Your adventure begins today.

Ogre Blackblood

"As if ogres weren't ugly enough. When an ogre pleases the lords-beneath, he gets taken down into the Pitchdark and shown ... something. He comes out with burnt skin, sightless eyes, and more limbs than they know what do with."


Damage Immunity: Fire
Blind: the Ogre Blackblood permanently suffers from the Blinded condition. This cannot be cured in any way.
Innate Spellcasting: the Ogre Blackblood's spellcasting ability is Charisma.

It knows the Eldritch Blast cantrip. When spellcasting, the Ogre Blackblood has Blindsense (60 ft).

unlimited/day: Detect Magic.


Multiattack: an Ogre Blackblood can cast one spell as an action, and twice with its grasping tentacles as a bonus action.

Grasping Tentacles: Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit. Reach 5ft, one target. Hit: 1d8+4 bludgeoning damage. Target must succeed in a DC 10 dexterity check or be restrained and moved up to 5ft closer to the Blackblood. At the start of each turn, the restrained creature may roll a DC 10 strength check to break free.

Size: Large
Type: Giant
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
AC: 10
HP: 65
Speed: 40ft
STR: 19
DEX: 8
CON: 16
INT: 5
WIS: 7
CHA: 14

Challenge Rating: 2

Design thoughts: a corridor-guarding terror, the Blackblood is designed as an immovable obstacle who requires teamwork to deal with. Keep in mind that he makes his tentacle attacks with disadvantage (because blinded), which encourages people to get close without making him too much of a pushover.

2017-07-01, 05:19 AM
So, it's become apparent I've underestimated my players. I planned an encounter they were meant to fail (and get captured on) after about an hour, and it ended up being a four-hour slugfest that was ended only by inserting hilariously OP safetynet characters I added as an afterthought. Even then, it was close -- they almost won against blatantly one-sided odds.

I've been designing a trickier encounter for them this week, and it required me to get creative with weapons and armour. I'd appreciate any input.

Jezzail: Weapon

An extremely long hunting rifle of southern design, the jezzail is slow, unwieldy and generally difficult to use and maintain. They still find use in certain circles; when an gun designed for basilisks and elephants is used on a man, the results can be spectacular.

d12 piercing. Ammunition (100/400), Two-Handed, Extremely Heavy, Slow Loading, Armour Piercing, Thumper.

Extremely Heavy: a jezzail requires two men to operate -- one to aim and fire, and one to brace. These operators must be within 5 feet of each other. If it only has a single operator, it fires with disadvantage. It cannot be operated by Small creatures. A creature with Strength of 18 or higher can use a Jezzail as a standard two-handed weapon.

Slow Loading: Because of the time required to load this weapon, you can fire only one piece of ammunition from it when you use an action, Bonus Action, or reaction to fire it, regardless of the number of attacks you can normally make.

In addition, once this weapon has been fired it must be manually reloaded in order to fire again. This takes a full action.

Armour Piercing: if a Jezzail hits a target, the target's AC is reduced by 1. This remains in effect until the target can have their armour repaired. If this penalty drops to -5, the armour is destroyed.

Thumper: a creature hit by a jezzail must succeed a strength saving throw on DC 5+the damage roll or be knocked prone.

Tower Shield: Armour

A massive two-handed shield designed with unit tactics in mind, the Tower Shield is an impenetrable obstacle, and can provide physical support for heavier weapons.

AC: +5. Bulky. Two-handed.

Bulky: a tower shield is exceptionally hard to use on the move. A creature must move at half speed or below in order to gain any benefit from using a Tower Shield.

Bulwark: the wearer of this shield provides three-quarters cover for any friendly creatures while the shield is in use. The wearer may not attack, but may brace Extremely Heavy weapons.

Gatling Gun: Weapon

The gatling gun is an experimental belt-fed rifle capable of a startling rate of fire. Both for its firepower and the infamous danger posed to its own crew, it has earned the nickname "Ole' Bastard".

d6 piercing. Ammunition (80/320), Crew-Operated, Raining Lead, Unreliable.

Crew Operated: a Gatling Gun requires three men to use. With three crew, it fires six shots per turn. With two crew, it fires four shots. With one crew, it fires only two shots.

Raining Lead: the crew of the gatling gun may opt to train fire on a single target, utterly obliterating it. The gun fires a single shot, but that shot hits automatically, ignores cover, destroys any intervening cover, and costs six units of ammunition. This ability requires all three crew to be using the weapon.

For purposes of Unreliable, roll 6d20 when using this ability. If any of them roll a 1, the crew take damage as normal but the ability still occurs.

Emplacement: a Gatling Gun is extremely heavy. If the crew want to move while operating the gun, their maximum movement is 1d4+strength modifier. If there are multiple people pushing, they may roll with advantage. In addition, the gun provides half cover for the crew. The crew may abandon the weapon and move normally if they wish.

Unreliable: a Gatling Gun is prone to jamming. Each shot on a particular turn must be rolled in sequence, and any roll of 1 to hit means the rest of the shots for the turn are lost, and one random crew member takes 1d4 fire damage.