Alternate Traits and Actions
The following changes allow GMs to alter a beli without modifying its challenge rating.
Damage Resistance. The beli has resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical attacks not made with cold iron weapons.
The beli loses its Cold Regeneration trait.
Deep Chill. The beli’s ice dagger and icy shortbow deal 5 (2d4) cold damage on a hit.
The beli’s icy shortbow inflicts one level of exhaustion on a failed save.
Icy Entanglement (Recharge 5–6). The beli fires an arrow up to 80 feet that explodes in a 20-foot radius of grasping icy tendrils. Creatures in the area must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or take 2 (1d4) cold damage and become restrained by the ice. While restrained, a creature takes 2 (1d4) cold damage at the beginning of its turn. A creature can use its action to make a DC 13 Strength check. On a success, the creature frees itself. The ice melts at the beginning of the beli’s next turn, or if the temperature is below freezing, the ice melts after 1 minute.
The beli loses the ability to cast chill touch through its Innate Spellcasting trait.
The following feat is inspired by the beli.
By studying arctic creatures and spending time in punishingly cold temperatures, you gain the following benefits:
- You have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks and Wisdom (Perception) checks made in arctic terrain.
- You gain resistance to cold damage.
- Your melee attacks deal an additional 1d4 cold damage.
You can select this feat an additional time. If you do so, you gain immunity to cold damage and vulnerability to fire damage, you regain 1 hit point at the beginning of your turn if the temperature is below freezing, and the cold damage inflicted by your melee attacks increases to 1d8.
New Magic Items and Spells
The following magic items and spells are inspired by the beli.
Weapon (Shortbow), Rare (Requires Attunement)
You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. An arrow fired from the bow deals an extra 1d4 cold damage to any target it hits. The target must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or gain two levels of exhaustion. On a success, the target becomes immune to further exhaustion from the bow for 24 hours (this does not negate any levels of exhaustion already gained). This exhaustion lasts until the target heals the cold damage.
4th-Level Transmutation | Druid, Ranger
Casting Time: 1 action
Components: V, S, M (a tip of a beli’s wing)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour
You channel extreme temperatures to grant continuous health to the willing target you touch. When you cast this spell, you choose freezing temperatures (below 32 degrees Fahrenheit) or hot temperatures (above 90 degrees Fahrenheit). For the duration, if the target starts its turn in an area with the chosen temperature, it regains 1 hit point.
Wondrous Item, Rare (Requires Attunement)
A glaze of ice forms at the tips of these light blue gloves, which are cold to the touch but not uncomfortably so. While wearing them, you add 1d4 cold damage to any melee attack you make.
The gloves have 3 charges. As an action, you can speak the gloves’ command word and expend 1 charge to cast chill touch (save DC 12). The gloves regain 1d3 expended charges daily at dawn. If the temperature is below freezing at dawn, the gloves become fully recharged.
3rd-Level Evocation | Druid, Sorcerer, Wizard
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (30-foot cone)
Components: V, S, M (a beli arrow)
Each creature in the area must make a Constitution saving throw. A creature takes 6d4 cold damage and suffers one level of exhaustion on a failed save or half as much damage and no exhaustion on a successful one. The exhaustion lasts until the target heals the cold damage.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d4 for each slot level above 3rd. If you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, a creature suffers two levels of exhaustion on a failed save. If you cast this spell using a 9th level spell slot, a creature suffers one level of exhaustion on a successful save.
2nd-Level Divination (Ritual) | Ranger
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Duration: 1 hour
When you cast this spell, choose one type of terrain: arctic, coast, desert, forest, grassland, mountain, or swamp. The spell gives advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) and Wisdom (Perception) checks while within the chosen terrain. Up to 10 willing creatures you can see within range gain this advantage for the duration.
Beli Adventure Hooks
- A celebrated baker plans a grand celebration where she intends to unveil her latest creation. The last such celebration ended in disaster as beli disrupted it and stole an assortment of expensive pastries. She pays well for a contingent of armed guards to repel the pesky fey.
- A clan consisting of a dozen beli control a high mountain pass where they take advantage of the constant cold to harass travelers. A noble has grown tired of paying the beli’s extortionate cost for caravans to cross their territory and seeks adventurers to end the problem.
Tome Unleashed is going back to where it all began, with Tome of Beasts. If you’ve got a favorite from that book, please let me know in the comments or elsewhere in the Kobold warrens, and I’ll make sure to add it to the queue.
The Tome Unleashed series fleshes out monsters from the Tome of Beasts, giving GMs ways to modify the existing monsters to surprise well-prepared players or to introduce monsters to a campaign.
3 thoughts on “Tome Unleashed: Beli”
As always, the Tome Unleashed stuff is great. (original creature published here: https://koboldpress.com/tome-of-beasts-beli/)
For anyone reading this and thinking of running these things, they make for some very difficult fights. Between invisibility and the ability to slow down attackers, these things can drag out a fight and then escape with impunity. Some parties don’t have the range / defenses to handle these CR2 monsters in the way they could handle similar Orcs.
I have used these to harry PCs as part of a longer journey. The Beli can heal up in winter, so they can attack in waves to weaken up a party.
Again, lots of fun, just use with care.
Thanks! I agree the beli is a nasty critter, especially at its CR. This is one of the many monsters that gave Kobold Press’s monster books a reputation for tough monsters compared to the Monster Manual.
Impersonal. Hold the bow. Which hybrid creature? https://elasticman.co