The Tome Unrestricted series fleshes out monsters from the Tome of Beasts 3, giving GMs ways to modify existing monsters to surprise well-prepared players or introduce new monsters to a campaign.
This time, we’re looking at ways to change up the brumalek (see Tome of Beasts 3) including alternate traits and actions, as well as new magic items, spells, and adventure hooks inspired by them.
Brumaleks are weasel-like creatures with a hard head-plate they use to ram threats and a piercing howl that can trigger an avalanche.
Alternate Traits and Actions
The following changes allow GMs to alter a brumalek without modifying its challenge rating.
Pounce. If the brumalek moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a Headbutt attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 13 saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the brumalek can make one Claw attack against it as a bonus action.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d3 + 3) slashing damage.
In exchange for this trait and Claw attack, the brumalek loses its burrowing speed, and its Snow Stride is modified so it loses the ability to burrow through nonmagical snow and earth.
Snow Camouflage. The brumalek has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in snowy terrain.
In exchange for this trait, the brumalek loses the Pack Tactics trait.
Snow Flurry. As a bonus action, the brumalek releases a quick burst of sound that stirs up snow in its space and makes the area within 5 feet of it heavily obscured.
In exchange for this bonus action, the brumalek loses its Skittish bonus action.
Snowsight. The brumalek can see through areas obscured by ice, snow, and fog without penalty.
In exchange for this trait, the brumalek loses its darkvision.
Wintry Spray (Recharge 5–6). The brumalek scoops up nearby ice and snow and sprays it out in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in that cone must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw, taking 7 (2d6) cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
The brumalek’s Reverberating Howl gains Recharge 4–6 to accommodate this action.
Some brumaleks are willing to serve mountain explorers. Such brumaleks have the following trait.
Familiar. The brumalek can serve another creature as a familiar, forming a magic, telepathic bond with that willing companion. While the two are bonded, the companion can sense what the brumalek senses as long as they are within 1 mile of each other. While the brumalek is within 10 feet of its companion, the companion gains the brumalek’s Snow Stride trait. At any time and for any reason, the brumalek can end its service as a familiar, ending the telepathic bond.
New Magic Items and Spells
The following magic items and spells are inspired by the brumalek.
BRUMALEK THROAT SAC
Wondrous Item, Rare (Requires Attunement)
This stretchy, fleshy material inflates and deflates like a balloon. The throat sac has 3 charges. When the throat sac is attached beneath your chin, you can use an action and expend 1 charge to empower your voice to release a howl in a 30-foot cone that is audible 300 feet away. Each creature in the cone must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, the creature takes 2d4 thunder damage and is deafened for 1 minute. On a success, the creature takes half as much damage and isn’t deafened. A creature deafened by this howl can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
The throat sac regains 1d3 expended charges daily at dawn.
Wondrous Item, Uncommon
This helm is fashioned from brumalek fur and features a brumalek’s head ridge atop it. While wearing this helm, you gain immunity to the deafened condition. Additionally, you can use an action to make a headbutt attack that has a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls and deals 1d6 bludgeoning damage on a hit.
2nd-Level Transmutation | Druid, Ranger
Casting Time: 1 action
Components V, S, M (a claw from a brumalek)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
When you cast this spell, you touch a willing creature. For the duration, the creature can use its bonus action to take the Dash or Disengage action. The creature’s twitchiness also grants it a +1 bonus to Armor Class and on Dexterity saving throws.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, you can target one additional creature for each slot level above 2nd.
1st-Level Abjuration | Druid, Ranger
Casting Time: 1 action
Components: V, S, M (a tuft of brumalek fur)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour
When you cast this spell, you touch a willing creature. For the duration, the creature has advantage on saving throws against spells or effects that deal cold damage, and difficult terrain composed of snow doesn’t cost the creature extra movement.
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.
- The howls from a family of brumaleks have destabilized the ice and snow packed on a towering mountain peak, threatening an imminent avalanche! Threatened settlements seek aid to disperse the creatures and prevent calamity.
- A noble offers a considerable sum to those who can trek to a nearby mountain and bag a brumalek, so they can use the creature as a watchdog. Characters interacting with the noble may realize the noble has no intention of treating the brumalek well.
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