Monster Analysis: Victory Pit, Round 1

Thanks to @HeatherWaite8 for this art piece!

Due to the sheer number of creatures presented for combat in celebration of Harvest Close, we’ll be breaking up the articles by each group of monsters by the round they were presented, starting with the Mighty Nein’s encounter and then scratching the surface for the monsters the other teams faced.

Otyugh

  • First Appearance: 1-21 Trial of the Take, Part 4
  • Encounter Appearance: 2-17 Harvest Close
  • Armor Class 14
  • Speed 30 ft
  • Darkvision 120 ft, Passive 11
  • Suggested Average, Max HP: 114, 168
  • 177 taken, 41 HDYWTDT by Yasha

The otyugh is a trash monster. No, really, it’s most commonly found in piles of waste, which it gladly uses as food and camouflage. We first saw an otyugh in its natural habitat way back in Campaign 1’s Episode 21, where the Trial of the Take Team 2 fought one along with a swarm of rats. You can read about our analysis of that fight here.

The otyugh here was very much out of its element, but was likely driven to enough hunger to not mind being in daylight before a crowd of hundreds, as long as it had access to something to munch. This battle went on for nearly two full rounds largely because The Mighty Nein were keenly aware that this was only their first fight of the day with no guaranteed short rest in between. Jester only cast cantrips at the otyugh, knowing she’d need her leveled spells for harder foes and healing later. Molly, Fjord, and Nott all elected to stay out of the otyugh’s face to preserve their hit points and, in Fjord and Nott’s case, their spells. Caleb, visibly nervous about the audience, used two of his available 2nd level spells to Enlarge Yasha and cast a Scorching Ray at the otyugh.

Thanks to @Cabooodled for this art piece!

The Nein didn’t get away unscathed, however, with Yasha, Beau and Jester taking damage from the bite and tentacle attacks. Yasha and Beau failed their constitution saves to resist the otyugh’s poisonous bite, which would have had unfortunate immediate effect on their attacks and potentially deadly consequences later, if left untreated. Luckily, Jester was able to cure both of them after the battle so their misery wouldn’t continue into their next fight.

For full statistics, see page 248 in the Monster Manual.

Banderhobb

  • First Appearance 2-17 Harvest Close
  • Armor Class 15
  • Speed 30 ft
  • Darkvision 120 ft, Passive 12
  • Immune to charm and fright
  • Average Suggested, Max HP 84, 120
  • Defeated by the Last Line

While toads aren’t known for their stealthiness, the large, fanged, toad-like banderhobb certainly is. First created by a hag’s ritual, banderhobbs can now be made by anyone who knows the process. The intended purpose for a banderhobb is stealth and theft, whether of objects or individuals. Like a hound, the banderhobb knows the most direct route to their quarry if they have any piece of it in their possession and it is within one mile. It can sneak up on its prey with its Shadow Stealth (the rogue’s ability to hide as a bonus action), and pounce with its Shadow Step (the ability to magically teleport up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space of dim light or darkness).

When it comes time to attack, the banderhobb’s goal is to either bite and swallow its target or to lash at it with its tongue and bite it. An interesting note about its swallowing ability: the goal is kidnapping, not murder. A creature inside its stomach takes necrotic damage on each of the banderhobb’s turns, but if the creature is reduced to 0 hit points, it stops taking damage and stabilizes. Banderhobbs aren’t created with longevity in mind, typically dying after a few days of existence.

With all that in mind, it’s clear that a bright, open murder pit is basically the exact opposite of what a banderhobb is good at. It protected itself admirably, swallowing the elven leader of the Last Line. It’s not particularly quick and can’t hide or teleport if it’s not dark, and it’s not designed to kill.

For more information about banderhobbs, see page 122 in Volo’s Guide to Everything.

Ice Troll

We have discussed trolls in the past, but at the time of this article, there is not an official 5e ice troll template available. Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (which releases in a little more than a week from today!) has a few new entries for trolls, so keep an eye out for that in the future.

Trolls in general are large giants with long claws that they use to catch and eat anything they can grab. The ice troll’s claws were described as having cold mist drifting off them, dealing an additional cold damage to its strikes. Trolls can regenerate missing limbs and hit points unless they take fire or acid damage to cauterize their wounds. While it didn’t seem especially vulnerable to fire, the gnomes and dwarves of The Mountain Makers were well prepared for their battle with the ice troll, casting fire spells that prevented its regeneration ability. This killed the troll.

Giant Crocodile

Thanks to @LyallCallum for this art piece!

  • First Appearance: 2-17 Harvest Close
  • Armor Class 14
  • Speed 30 ft, 50 ft swim
  • Passive Perception 10
  • Suggested Average, Max HP: 85, 135
  • Defeated by the Stubborn Stock

This giant crocodile was put at a real disadvantage by having to fight in the Victory Pit, instead of its regular habitat. A giant crocodile can hold its breath for up to 30 minutes and has +5 to stealth checks, which allows it to stalk and surprise its prey. Its swim speed is much faster than its walking speed, which, again, plays to its advantage when it’s at home in water. It’s still a huge, angry sack of hit points, though, and provided a nice first round challenge for the Stubborn Stock.

For more information about the giant crocodile, see page 324 in the Monster Manual.