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Monstrous Crits: One Better, part 6

Monstrous Crits: One Better, part 6

A 5E rules update floated the idea that monsters will lose access to critical hits. They say monsters don’t need the extra damage.

Maybe monsters shouldn’t deal extra damage on critical hits . . . because that’s boring. Maybe monsters should do cooler things when they crit.

Some Kobold Press monsters already take this enlightened approach. The all-new menagerie of over 400 monsters in Tome of Beasts 3 have some tricks to show you! For your consideration, on a critical hit:

  • The kobold planes hunter denies extradimensional movement.
  • The sazakan restrains foes in ice.
  • The clockwork tactician makes an additional attack.
  • The cloudhoof assassin pushes its foes 10 feet away.
  • For those who like a real challenge, the grolar bear alpha can tear a limb off a stunned creature!

Backers are already receiving Tome of Beasts 3! If you missed out, pre-orders are open, and regular sales start soon!

Tome of Beasts 3 Monstrous Crits

All those clever monsters in Tome of Beasts 3 are great, but why stop there? Here are more monstrous crits for Tome of Beasts 3 monsters!

Angel, Pelagic Deva

These angels reside on the Material Plane, protecting the briny depths from fell aquatic foes. When it scores a monstrous crit, it perforates its foes’ lungs, depriving them of their ability to breathe.

Puncturing Strike. When the pelagic deva scores a critical hit with its trident, it doesn’t deal extra damage. Instead, the trident punctures the target creature’s lung, who immediately begins suffocating. This condition ends if the target creature receives a DC 17 Wisdom (Medicine) check or recovers 20 hp through magic healing or other means.

Animated Instruments

You can find three kinds of these hovering constructs in Tome of Beasts 3 — the tiny animated instrument, the larger animated quartet, and the gargantuan, swarming animated symphony. When they score a monstrous crit, a blast of discordant notes overcomes the target’s eardrums, rendering them briefly deaf!

Cacophonous Blast. When the animated instrument scores a critical hit, it doesn’t deal extra damage. Instead, the target creature is deafened until the end of the animated instrument’s next turn.

Siege Archon

This armored, angelic pachyderm has a large maul at the end of their trunk, which it uses to break the barricades surrounding cities possessed by infernal foes. When their stomp scores a monstrous crit, it shakes the earth.

Earthshaker. When the siege archon scores a critical hit with its Stomp attack, it doesn’t deal extra damage. Instead, every creature within 15 feet of the siege archon must make a DC 19 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. Creatures who fail this saving throw by 5 or more are also stunned until the end of the siege archon’s next turn.

Chaos Raptor

This avian bird of prey is born of stone and made of pure chaos. With its monstrous crit, the chaos raptor generates even greater chaos than its normal attacks.

Chaos Abounds. When the chaos raptor scores a critical hit, it doesn’t deal extra damage. At the beginning of the target creature’s next turn, the chaos raptor can roll two d8s and choose the preferred result when determining what the target creature does under the effect of the Aura of Chaos.

Elemental Rockslide

This swirling swarm of rocks might be an earth elemental reborn. Its sole ranged attack always targets a secondary foe, which escalates with a monstrous crit.

Pummeling Pebbles. When the elemental rockslide scores a critical hit with its Skipping Stone attack, it doesn’t deal extra damage. Instead, it targets up to 3 enemy creatures within 10 feet of the target creature with its secondary attack.

Gullkin Hunter

This avian humanoid flies over both land and sea in search of its prey. When scoring a monstrous crit, the gullkin hunter can also move its mark to another creature.

Shifting Marks. When the gullkin hunter scores a critical hit, it doesn’t deal extra damage. Instead, it can move its Mark Quarry feature to another creature.

Necrotech Thunderer

Fell necromancers have mounted a mammoth ballista onto the back of this huge undead warmachine. In addition to being a really cool pawn to throw on the grid, the necrotech thunderer can stun melee opponents who have the gall to fight through their bodyguards.

Stunning Stomp. When the necrotech thunderer scores a critical hit with its Trample attack, it doesn’t deal extra damage. Instead, the target creature is stunned until the end of the necrotech thunderer’s next turn.

Oaken Sentinel

This massive arboreal protector is often deployed in front of important sites by forward-thinking druids. It lashes out at intruders with, grappling them before launching them at their companions. When scoring a monstrous crit, the oaken sentinel can do everything in less than six seconds.

Quick Pitch. When the elemental rockslide scores a critical hit with its Grasping Branch attack, it doesn’t deal extra damage. Instead, it can use its bonus action to make a Fling attack using the target creature.

Old Salt

This creature of pure vengeance only achieves rest through the murder of its false accusers—or by proving its innocence. The old salt is an implacable foe, returning despite its many deaths. Much to your players’ dismay, each monstrous crit speeds up the restoration process.

Quickened Restoration. When the old salt scores a critical hit, it doesn’t deal extra damage. Instead, each critical hit reduces the number of days by one when it uses its Seaside Rejuvenation. This effect is cumulative, but cannot reduce the number of days to use this creature to less than 3.

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About Benjamin Eastman

Benjamin L. Eastman was introduced to D&D by his four closest friends—who immediately betrayed his trust by sacrificing his first character to a demonic artifact. Undeterred, he’s played all manner of RPGs in the intervening years. In addition to writing Warlock Lairs and monsters for Kobold Press, he’s contributed to the Stargate RPG and Americana, and co-authored DMs Guild adventures including Baby Tarrasque. He is perhaps proudest of the bar brawl—his first published monster in the Creature Codex

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