The Tome Unleashed series fleshes out monsters from the Tome of Beasts, giving GMs ways to modify existing monsters to surprise well-prepared players or introduce new monsters to a campaign. Last month, we changed up the hoard golem.
This time, we’re looking at ways to change up the alseid (see Tome of Beasts) including new kinds of alseids, magic items, spells, and adventure hooks inspired by them.
Alseids are the graceful woodland cousins to centaurs, with the slender upper body of an elf and the lower body of a deer. They see the forest as a friend, and are suspicious of outsiders who do not share that view.
Alternate Traits and Actions
The following changes allow GMs to alter an alseid without modifying its challenge rating.
Hoof. Melee Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) bludgeoning damage. In addition, the alseid gains multiattack:
Multiattack. The alseid makes one Hoof attack and one Spear attack.
In exchange for these added traits, the alseid’s walking speed is reduced to 30 feet. Similarly, the alseid’s Dexterity is reduced to 15, reducing its Armor Class to 13, its Stealth to +4, its bonus to attack with its Shortbow to +4, and Shortbow damage to 5 (1d6 + 2).
Speak with Deer. The alseid can communicate with deer as if they shared a language.
In eschange for this trait, the alseid only speaks two languages chosen from Common, Elvish, and Sylvan.
The following specialized alseids are slightly more powerful than the typical alseid.
Spear scourge alseids are powerful hunters and protectors of their forest homes. They prefer wielding and throwing spears to using any other weapons and possess a mystic link with their preferred weapons.
Medium Monstrosity, Chaotic Neutral
Armor Class 13 (leather armor)
Hit Points 90 (12d8 + 36)
Speed 40 ft.
|17 (+3)||15 (+2)||16 (+3)||8 (−1)||14 (+2)||8 (−1)|
Skills Intimidation +1, Nature +1, Perception +4, Stealth +4, Survival +5
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Common, Elvish, Sylvan
Challenge 2 (450 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2
Woodfriend. When in a forest, a spear-scourge alseid leaves no tracks and automatically discerns true north.
Woodland Rage. The spear-scourge alseid has advantage on attack rolls against a creature it has witnessed cutting down or burning a tree. This advantage ends when the creature leaves the forest.
Multiattack. The spear-scourge alseid makes two Spear attacks.
Spear. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20 ft./60 ft., one creature. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) piercing damage or 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage if used with two hands to make a melee attack.
Recall Spear. The spear-scourge alseid returns a spear that it has used to make a ranged attack since the beginning of its turn to its hand.
Fir alseids thrive in harsher alpine climates and hunt among the evergreen trees contained within.
Medium Monstrosity, Neutral
Armor Class 13
Hit Points 65 (10d8 + 20)
Speed 30 ft.
|13 (+1)||17 (+3)||14 (+2)||8 (−1)||16 (+3)||10 (+0)|
Saving Throws Con +4
Skills Athletics +3, Nature +1, Perception +5, Stealth +5, Survival +5
Damage Resistances cold
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages Common, Elvish, Sylvan
Challenge 1 (200 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2
Woodfriend. When in a forest, a fir alseid leaves no tracks and automatically discerns true north.
Multiattack. The fir alseid makes two Warhammer attacks or one Warhammer attack and one Sling attack.
Warhammer. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 5 (1d8 + 1) bludgeoning damage.
Sling. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 30 ft./120 ft., one creature. Hit: 5 (1d4 + 3) bludgeoning damage.Nettleball (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). The fir alseid throws a sphere of pine needles and pinecone shards held together by pine tar at a point it can see within 60 feet of it. Each creature within 5 feet of that point must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw, taking 10 (4d4) piercing damage on a failed saving throw, or half as much damage on a successful saving throw.
New Magic Items and Spells
The following magic items and spell are inspired by the alseids.
Wondrous Item, Uncommon (Requires Attunement)
While you wear this iron crown ringed with antlers forcibly taken from alseids, you leave no tracks when you are in a forest. Additionally, you are always able to determine true north.
Alseids are profoundly offended by these magic items and destroy them whenever they can. An alseid attacks you if it sees you wearing or carrying it and stays engaged in combat until either you or it perish. The crown bears a slight curse, causing you and your allies to have disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks against alseids and acting as a beacon to alseids within a forest, increasing the chances of encountering them.
Weapon (Spear), Rare (Requires Attunement)
You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic spear. In addition, you can use a bonus action to return the spear to a free hand. If you do not have a free hand, the spear lands on the ground within 5 feet of you.
1st-Level Transmutation | Druid, Ranger
Casting Time: 1 action
Components: V, S, M (shaving or molting from an alseid antler)
Duration: Concentration, up to 8 hours
For the duration, the willing creature you touch leaves no tracks in a terrain you specify when casting this spell and automatically knows true north.
At Higher Levels. If you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you can target one additional creature for each slot level above 1st.
Alseid Adventure Hooks
- Alseids gather for war! Excessive logging by a nearby settlement has driven the forest’s alseids to take drastic measures. The settlement’s leader calls upon diplomatically inclined folk to avert bloodshed but accepts help from mercenaries if talks break down.
- A vile creature absconded with an ancestral spear belonging to the alseids and fled underground. The alseids need brave adventurers to retrieve the spear (and offer some of their number to help).
Tome Unleashed is going back to where it all began, with Tome of Beasts. If you’ve got a favorite from that book, (we did alseids this month based on reader request!) let us know in the comments, and we’ll add it to the queue.