Monster Analysis: Gray Render

Thanks to @NightslayerDan for the art!

  • First Appearance: 94 Jugs and Rods
  • Armor Class 17
  • Darkvision 60 ft
  • STR 22, DEX 10, CON 24
  • WIS 12, INT 3, CHA 8
  • 10 ft reach
  • Suggested Average, Max HP: 125, 170
  • 263 damage taken, 22 HDYWTDT by Vex’ahlia
    • 19 finishing blow for 282 total damage by Vex’ahlia

Like the chain golem, the gray render is another pull from 3.5e and Pathfinder (instead of 5e). Nine- to ten-feet-tall magical beasts of usually non- or neutral alignment, gray renders often find and latch onto “pets,” whom they'll protect to the death for the next ten years of their life. Their perception is aided by their six eyes. To quote Matt directly:

“[Gray Renders] are asexual creatures that only reproduce one, asexually, per generation. They are territorial, and very protective of their young, and generally sometimes bind themselves as a protector of a certain territory… [G]iven certain circumstances can choose either an individual or space to protect, as well. But, that can depend on circumstances. Otherwise, they can be a dangerous force of nature.”

Unlike the chain golem, the render’s abilities are all pulled straight from older editions, with very minor number differences. Its multiattack included two claw strikes (+10 to hit) and a bite attack (+15 to hit). Its bite attack attempts to latch onto its target as a free action, avoidable by a successful Acrobatics or Athletics Check after the attack damage has been dealt. Should the target be grappled, the gray render can then rip into (or rend) the target for additional damage.

Vex’s advantage came in two forms: the surprise round and having Trinket assist in the encounter. Her initial attack dealt 66 damage, thanks to Assassinate. Trinket’s mere presence contributed to Vex’s 25 points of Sneak Attack damage, to say nothing of his own 37 damage dealt (primarily by attacks of opportunity). While Vex attempted to keep distance between herself and the creature by flying out of its melee range, the gray render used its immense strength to lob an entire tree at Vex, forcing her back into its range. Thanks to a successful series of Disengages and Trinket remaining in melee with the creature, Vex dealt her non-lethal blow with only 12 of her HP remaining. As the render fled, Vex finished it and added a trophy to her collection as the Grand Mistress of the Grey Hunt.