The Expanding Codex series fleshes out monsters from the Creature Codex, giving GMs ways to modify the existing monsters to surprise well-prepared players or to introduce monsters to a campaign.
Alternate Traits and Actions
The following changes allow GMs to alter an albino death weasel without modifying its challenge rating:
Albino Camouflage. The albino death weasel is naturally camouflaged in areas with white backgrounds, such as snow-covered landscapes or against buildings painted white. While it is camouflaged in this way, it has advantage on Stealth checks and can hide from creatures that can see it clearly.
The albino death weasel loses its proficiency bonus on Dexterity (Stealth) checks.
Blood Drain. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft. one target. Hit: 8 (2d4 + 3) piercing damage. The target is also grappled (escape DC 13) if it is a Medium or smaller creature and the albino weasel isn’t already grappling a creature. Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, the weasel can’t bite another target, and at the start of each of the weasel’s turns, the target loses 8 (2d4 + 3) hit points due to blood loss.
The albino death weasel loses its bite and claw attacks.
Blood Frenzy. The albino death weasel has advantage on melee attack rolls against any creature that doesn’t have all its hit points.
The albino death weasel only has keen smell and no longer has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing.
Swimming Death Weasel. The albino death weasel was reared in a more aquatic environment. It gains a swim speed of 30 feet.
The albino death weasel loses its burrow speed.
Weasel War Dance. The albino death weasel makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its claw. If the weasel reduces its walking speed to 40 feet, it has advantage on an attack against a creature if it moves at least 5 feet before attacking it. If it splits its attacks, it must move an additional 5 feet to gain advantage on the second attack.
The albino death weasel loses its pounce trait.
The following feat is inspired by the albino death weasel:
Weasel War Dancer
Confounding opponents with your erratic movements, you gain the following benefits:
- When you use the Dash action, all creatures that can see you have disadvantage on their attack rolls against you until the beginning of your next turn.
- By reducing your speed by 10 feet, you gain advantage on an attack made after moving at least 5 feet.
New Magic Items and Spells
The following magic item and spell are inspired by abilities possessed by an albino death weasel:
Boots of Pouncing
Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement)
While you wear these boots with an albino death weasel fur collar, your walking speed becomes 40 feet, unless your walking speed is higher. Your speed is still reduced if you are encumbered or wearing heavy armor.
If you move at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and hit it with a melee weapon attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 13 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, you can make a melee weapon attack against it as a bonus action.
2nd-level conjuration (druid, ranger, sorcerer, wizard)
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (15-foot cone)
Components: V, S, M (a musk gland from an albino death weasel)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
Upon casting this spell, a spray of must emanates from your body. Each creature in a 15-foot cone must make a Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for the duration. At the end of each of its turns, a creature can make another Constitution saving throw. On a success, the spell ends for the creature.
At Higher Levels. Using a spell slot of 3rd level increases the cone’s size to 20 feet. Using a spell slot of 4th level or higher increases the cone’s size by 10 feet for each slot level above 3rd.
Albino Death Weasel Ranger’s Companion
Rangers who don’t mind the albino death weasel’s voracious appetite have raised miniature versions of the animals to use as companion creatures.
Companion Albino Death Weasel
Medium beast, unaligned
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 16 (3d8+3)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft.
|14 (+2)||14 (+2)||13 (+1)||4 (−3)||15 (+2)||5 (−3)|
Skills Perception +4, Stealth +4
Senses darkvision 60 ft.; passive Perception 14
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)
Keen Senses. The companion albino death weasel has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.
Pounce. If the weasel moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a claw attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 12 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the creature can make one bite attack against it as a bonus action.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 5 (1d6+2) piercing damage.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 4 (1d4+2) slashing damage.
Musk Spray (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). The weasel unleashes a spray of foul musk in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
Albino Death Weasel Adventure Hooks
- Local farmers blame an ahuizotl (see Creature Codex) for attacks on their livestock because they see evidence of the attacks leading to a nearby lake. They are afraid to confront the creature, so they call in the PCs. However, the creatures responsible for the deaths are a mated pair of albino death weasels, rearing a litter of five kits.
- A deranged druid is raising a half dozen albino death weasels for their fur. While he waits to kill them, he treats them well to gain their trust and releases them regularly at night to feed.
If you have any requests for monsters from the Creature Codex for future installments, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll make sure to add them to the queue.