Tome Unleashed: Likho

Tome Unleashed: Likho

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 alehouse drake.

This time, we’re looking at ways to change up the likho (see Tome of Beasts) including alternate traits and actions, as well as new magic items, spells, and adventure hooks inspired by them.

These cyclopean monstrosities have spindly limbs and a hunched torso. They like to torment humanoids, starting attacks from a distance, then pouncing to tear into a target’s organs, consuming prey while it still lives and bleeds.

Alternate Traits and Actions

The following changes allow GMs to alter a likho without modifying its challenge rating.

Deep Curse (Recharge 5–6). As an action, the likho directs its gaze at any single creature it can see. The target must succeed on a DC 16 Charisma saving throw or become cursed with bad luck. The target has disadvantage on attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks for 1 hour. Remove curse or similar magic ends this effect.

In exchange for this action, the likho loses the ability to cast bestow curse.

Poison Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) slashing damage plus 7 (2d6) poison damage. The target must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 1 minute. While the target is poisoned, it has disadvantage on its saving throws against the likho’s spells.

In exchange for this attack, the likho loses its Multiattack.

Reactive Disruption. As a reaction, when the likho takes damage from a melee attack by a creature it can see, the likho gazes at the attacker, which must succeed on a DC 16 Charisma saving throw or have disadvantage on attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks until the end of the likho’s next turn.

In exchange for this reaction, the target of the likho’s Disruptive Gaze is allowed a Charisma saving throw to negate its effects.

Consume Organ. As a bonus action, the likho consumes an organ it has collected through Reap Organ. It regains 9 (2d8) hit points.

Reap Organ. The likho makes a Claw attack against an unconscious target. The likho rolls the Claw’s damage three times instead of twice.

In exchange for the above, the likho gains the Poor Depth Perception trait.

Poor Depth Perception. The likho has disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that involve sight 30 or more feet away from it. It also has disadvantage on any attack roll against a target at least 30 feet away.

Spellcasting. The likho can cast vicious mockery at will.

In exchange for this spell, the likho loses the ability to cast message and mirror image.

New Magic Items and Spells

The following magic items and spells are inspired by the likho.

Pounceboots

Wondrous Item, Rare (Requires Attunement)

The gray boots propel you forward into a near-leap when you move. If you move at least 20 feet straight toward a creature, you can activate the boots’ magic as a bonus action. As part of a melee weapon attack with a light weapon or unarmed strike, you can attempt to shove the creature. If you knock it prone as a result, you may then make an attack against the target as a reaction with the same light weapon or unarmed strike.

Protective Patches

Wondrous Item, Uncommon

This ceramic canister holds 2d4 black leather disks each measuring 4 inches in diameter. When you place a patch on clothing or a suit of armor, the patch stiffens and blends in with it. While you wear a patched article or armor, you gain a +4 bonus to your Armor Class against attacks that target your organs. When you are subject to a critical hit from a weapon attack or unarmed strike, the patch protects your vital organs and negates the critical hit. The patch becomes nonmagical after negating the critical hit.

Baleful Eye

2nd-Level Necromancy | Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S, M (likho eyeball)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

When you cast this spell, you direct your gaze at a target you can see within range. The target has disadvantage on attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks until the end of its next turn. For the duration, you can use your bonus action to affect the target on subsequent turns, as long as you can still see it.

Taunting Lure

1st-level Enchantment | Bard
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: V
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

You target a creature within range. If the creature can hear you, it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw, or have disadvantage on attack rolls against targets other than you and attack rolls made against you from more than 5 feet away. The target can make a Wisdom saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a success, the spell ends.

At Higher Levels. When 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. These additional creatures must be able to hear you to be affected by the spell.

Likho Adventure Hooks

  • Villagers keep disappearing during the new moon! Just before the next disappearance, a friend or family member receives a taunting message scrawled presumably in the previous victim’s blood. The messages demand strange actions by the recipient with a short completion time. A likho performs these kidnappings at the behest of a powerful hag, who prevents it from eating its victims’ organs as long as their friends or family members comply with the hag’s demands.
  • A scholar researching an ancient and forgotten deity requires adventurers to go into the field to find and explore a temple devoted to the deity. Dozens of likhos guard the temple to a one-eyed being with a passing resemblance to them.

Tome Unleashed is going back to where it all began, with Tome of Beasts. If you’re an expert GM and want
more of this material, check out Tome Unbound based on Tome of Beasts 2 now on sale in the Kobold store!


about Mike Welham

Mike Welham started gaming some time in the Mesozoic Era and has played at least one game in each edition of D&D. He has been happily writing for Kobold Press for over ten years and is partially responsible for all the darn drakes flying around Midgard.

5 thoughts on “Tome Unleashed: Likho”

  1. Another use of this Critter was suggested by my grand son, as the murderous entity in a amulet as in the 2015 movie Gnome Alone.

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