Monster Analysis: Grog's Menagerie of Creatures

Thanks to @WTH153 for this art piece!

Grog got toys. (We think it's safe to say that Grog/Travis flipped through the Monster Manuel for what looked cool to throw at his friends.)

In the name of completion, we’re going through every single creature that popped up. To answer Sam’s question on last night’s Talks Machina (#45), 6 of the 11 creatures were in the first half of the Monster Manual (i.e., before page 176 of 352). With the exception of the unicorn, the rest were in the first two thirds of the manual.

Teh Shfat

Ghost

Monster Manual p147
Armor Class 11
Speed 40 ft flying
Darkvision 60 ft
Suggested Average, Max HP: 45, 80
87 damage taken, 20 finishing blow by Pursey

We’ve written about ghosts twice before, which you can read about here or here. This ghost used its only attack opportunity to use its Horrifying Visage against Vox’l’don. Had he failed the save, he would have been frightened of the ghost. Fun fact: had Vox’l’don failed with a natural eight or less, he would have aged 1d4 x 10 years, giving his character an opportunity the real Vax would never get. (And isn’t getting opportunities you wouldn’t get in real life what Bunions & Flagons is all about?)

Teh BigBubey Trap

Hell Hound

Monster Manual p182
Armor Class 15
Speed 50 ft
Darkvision 60 ft
Suggested Average, Max HP: 45, 70
Hellhound 1: 83 damage taken, 32 finishing blow by Vox’l’don
Hellhound 2: 36 damage taken, 17 finishing blow by Ve’xel’ia

Hell hounds are fiends found throughout the lower planes like the Nine Hells, though their lawful nature would perhaps make them less inclined towards the chaotic Abyss. Though it is odd that they would be found on the Material Plane not in the service of a creature, that there were two hell hounds together is characteristic of their pack-tactic hunting. Only one hell hound had the opportunity to attack (and only because it was instructed to attack Trinket via ScanJan’s Dominate Monster). It elected to use its most damaging attack, Fire Breath, against Trinket, Vox’l’don and Ve’xel’ia before being dispatched.

Teh Sturcsure

Doppelganger

Monster Manual p82
Armor Class 14
Speed 30 ft
Darkvision 60 ft
Advantage and bonus damage on surprise attacks
Suggested Average, Max HP: 52, 70
96 damage taken, 14 finishing blow by Pursey

Doppelgangers are exactly what they sound like; shapeshifters that take the form of humanoids to blend in. Like rakshasa, doppelgangers have limited telepathic abilities to be able to read a target’s surface thoughts and occasionally delve deeper for their secrets. Most doppelgangers work alone or in small groups to swindle their victims, living off their wealth as long as possible. This one took on Grog’s appearance and traveled with the party until it could get one of them isolated and attack. Predictably, though, it was dispatched with ease once the players were aware of its true nature.

Twig Blight

Monster Manual p32
Armor Class 13
Speed 20 ft
Blindsight 60 ft
Looks like a common, dead shrub when still
Suggested Average, Max HP: 4, 7
Unknown damage taken, Unknown finishing blow by Pursey

Blights are plants contaminated by evil. These plants gain some amount of intelligence and mobility, and can take one of a few different forms. Twig blights in particular tend to root in soil when living prey is scarce, appearing, as we saw, like a woody shrub. Most twig blights tend to huddle in groups near campsites and watering holes to set up ambushes for unwary travelers. They also tend to be very dry, and are particularly vulnerable to fire. Pursey, however, didn’t need anything more than a sword for the single twig blight in his room.

Mimic

Monster Manual p220
Armor Class 12
Speed 15 ft
Darkvision 60 ft
Looks like a common object when still
Suggested Average, Max HP: 58, 90
43 damage taken, 43 finishing blow by ScanJan

We wrote about mimics after some appeared in The Shrew’s mansion during The Screw Job. This mimic gave ScanJan a little bit of trouble until he blasted it with a lightning bolt, causing it to explode and leaving behind a greater health potion for his trouble.

Rug of Smothering

Monster Manual p20
Armor Class 12
Speed 10 ft
Blindsight 60 ft
Looks like a common rug when still
Suggested Average, Max HP: 33, 60
39 damage taken, 39 finishing blow by Vox’l’don

Animated objects come in many forms, from suits of armor to flying swords to, as we saw, rugs. Most rugs of smothering are designed as anti-theft devices meant to deal with unwary rogues, and can be disguised as carpets of flying for particularly greedy adventurers. Its primary method of attack, as we saw, is to wrap up and smother its victims, in this case Vox’l’don. Once he’d managed to wriggle free, however, he easily cut a rug, leaving it slightly unraveled on the floor.

Teh Rufe

Mind Flayer

Monster Manual p222
Armor Class 15
Speed 30 ft
Darkvision 120 ft
Suggested Average, Max HP: 71, 117
104 damage taken, 28 finishing blow by Pursey

We last wrote about illithid way back when Vox Machina was escaping the Underdark. This mind flayer didn’t stand much of a chance against Pursey after he caught it in Manners (Iron Bands of Bilarro). It attempted to Mind Blast him, but Pursey has +5 for intelligence saves, and can use Indomitable to reroll saves he doesn’t like. Once it was restrained, the mind flayer was prevented from using tentacles on Percy even if he had failed the mind blast save and been stunned.

Cambion

Monster Manual p36
Armor Class 19
Speed 30 ft, 60 ft flying
Darkvision 60 ft
Suggested Average, Max HP: 82, 121
150 damage taken, 17 finishing blow by Vox’l’don

We previously discussed cambion back when Vox Machina roamed the streets of Dis. We got to see more of the cambion’s attacks than when VM faced them previously. This cambion used his fire ray, fiery spear, and spellcasting (Command) against Vox’l’don. All told, the fiend dealt 30 damage to Vox’l’don before being taken out. Paladins are pretty good against fiends, especially flying paladins.

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Monster Manual p80
Armor Class 13
Speed 50 ft
Suggested Average, Max HP: 136, 208
Unknown Force Field damage taken before evaporating with the unicorn

ScanJan’s decision to polymorph into a triceratops was a fortuitous one: the t-rex’s bite allows it to grapple and restrain a creature...if the creature is medium or smaller. The triceratops, like the t-rex, is a huge creature, preventing the grapple. ScanJan’s use of Reverse Gravity smartly employed the damaging force field to do the work of hurting the t-rex for him, while also keeping the dinosaur out of attack range. Alas, the t-rex was dispatched by the unicorn before it could fall to its doom.

Unicorn

Monster Manual p294
Armor Class 12
Speed 50 ft
Speaks Celestial, Elvish, Sylvan, telepathy within 60 ft
Does Not Speak Unicorn (There Can Only Be One)
Suggested Average, Max HP: 67, 108
Teleport other creatures within 5 feet up to a mile once per day

Despite Grog’s insistence and the unicorn’s persistent attacks, Ve’xel’ia refused to attempt a damaging attack on the lawful good creature. We got to see the unicorn use its melee attacks: hoof and horn strikes. We also got to see its spellcasting prowess, including Entangle, and the rare, once-a-day, uniquely unicorn ability to teleport up to five feet away! In the end, Ve’xel’ia’s pleas won the unicorn over, and it left the battlefield with the t-rex in tow.

Werewolf Grog

“Destiny FULFILLED! The time has come!”

Werewolves - Monster Manual p211
Armor Class 12 (Grog: 17)
Suggested Average, Max HP: 58, 90
80+ damage taken, unknown finishing silvered blow by Pursey

We wrote about lycanthropes back when Vox Machina ran into a pack of them in the Feywild. Grog apparently fought one affected by the wolf strain of the curse on his way up the tower, leaving him a werewolf. However, he was weakened by his trip up the tower, so it was almost too easy for Vox Machina’s characters to knock him out of wolf form, allowing Pursey to deal the finishing blow with his silvered sword.