Monster Analysis: Minotaur-Armanite, Succubus, Incubus, and Quasits

Between waking up at 3:00am and reviving Caduceus at dawn, the Nein rolled initiative four times against the demonic scourge of the Abyss. Despite this, we’ll address this whole series as one big battle of attrition.

Quasits

Thanks to @Mightydubz for this art piece!

  • Encounter Appearance 2-55 Duplicity

  • Armor Class 13

  • Darkvision 120 ft, Passive 10

  • Resistant to cold, fire, lightning, nonmagical physical damage

  • Immune to poison, poisoned

  • Suggested Average, Max HP: 7, 12

    • Quasit 1: 16 damage taken, 7 killing blow by Beau

    • Quasit 2: 22 damage taken, 11 killing blow by Yasha

    • Quasit 3: 14 damage taken, 11 killing blow by Beau

    • Quasit 4: 17 damage taken, 17 killing blow by Yasha

    • Quasit 5: 12 damage taken, 6 killing blow by Fjord

Quasits are the lackeys of the Abyss, the demonic version of imps, carrying out the plots of more powerful demons. They’re tiny, standing about two feet tall, though they can assume the form of a bat, a centipede, or a toad. The quasits encountered by The Mighty Nein were worker bees, inscribing the runes necessary for the eventual demon leader to complete whatever ritual was necessary to establish a permanent portal between the Abyss and Xhorhas.

Though they can’t do much in battle, they did get to show off their few tricks before being effectively squashed. Their claws deal additional poison damage and render the target poisoned if they fail a constitution save, which Yasha did. Luckily, the poisoned effect only lasts a minute, so even if Caduceus hadn’t used Lesser Restoration on her, Yasha would have shaken off the effect pretty quickly. Quasits can also scare someone once a day for one minute, which Beau fell prey to. Unfortunately for the quasits, Beau just focused her attention on the quasit that hadn’t frightened her, killing it before using her Stillness of Mind ability to end the effect nine rounds early.

If things go south for a quasit, they can turn invisible to make their escape. Though one quasit escaped the first encounter, it met its demise on the end of the Magician’s Judge. The rest became moorbounder treats.

Succubus and Incubus

Thanks to fl0wer-b0ys-art for this art piece!

  • Armor Class 15

  • Darkvision 60 ft, Passive 15

  • Speed 30 ft, 60 ft flying

  • Resistant to cold, fire, lightning, poison, and nonmagical weapon damage

  • Suggested Average, Max HP: 66, 102

    • Incubus: 80 damage taken, 20 HDYWTDT by Nott

    • Succubus: 116 damage taken, 31 HDYWTDT by Nott

While not dealing any damage themselves, the incubus and succubus were responsible for the most chaos. Across the various battles, they revealed their favorite targets: arcane spellcasters and melee damage dealers. Caleb was the first spellcaster they saw in the house, so they knew they wanted him on their side. The incubus’ charm failed, so the succubus waited until she saw Caleb again to attempt her charm. Caleb’s fourth level Fireball and Wall of Fire threw the party for a loop, knocking their collective health down very quickly. It was only thanks to Fjord’s Control Water that Yasha was able to safely get to Caleb to damage him to the point that he saved against the charm.

When Fjord was inside the house, he cast Shadow of Moil on himself, making himself a less visible target than Yasha, so the succubus aimed for her next. In the cavern, the incubus’ first target was Fjord, who was now a known spellcaster. Unfortunately for the incubus, Caleb’s Wall of Fire disrupted the charm, so he retreated to the rift. The succubus then made her attempt at charming Fjord, but failed, and it proved to be her downfall. Stuck on the material plane for a round, Beau and Nott focused their attacks on her before she could either go ethereal or attempt to charm another of their friends.

Thanks to @suraelis for this art piece!

Patience would prove to be the incubus’ best move, holding his action until Yasha came into view so he could charm her. Without the protection of Mindless Rage (which first-campaign viewers will recall Grog had as a result of his Berserker Path), Yasha easily fell to the effect for five rounds. By the time the party realized that Yasha wasn’t on their side, the incubus had gone ethereal to wait out the battle, safely out of harm’s way.

However, like the succubus, the incubus’ fortune turned when his target finally escaped their charm and he got greedy. He tried to charm Beau, the only remaining member who hadn’t saved against his charm effect other than the hidden Nott, but she easily shrugged off his advances. Jester got in a Guiding Bolt and a Spiritual Weapon attack, which angered the incubus to the point that he physically attacked Caduceus, rather than turning ethereal and fleeing. Nott had been holding her explosive arrow attack for his movement into melee with an ally, so she fired it, killing both the incubus and Caduceus.

Demonic Minotaur-Armanite

Thanks to @HedborgO for this art piece!

  • Encounter Appearance: 2-55 Duplicity

  • Armor Class 18

  • Unknown walking and flying speeds

  • Resistant to cold, fire, lightning, nonmagical physical damage

  • Immune to poison, poisoned

  • 235 damage taken, 10 HDYWTDT by Beau

A Mercer-amalgamation of a minotaur and an armanite (Mordenkainen’s, pg. 131), this large fiend seemingly helmed the campaign to open a permanent portal into Xhorhas. Armanites are known for being unusually disciplined, considering they’re fiends from the chaotic plane of the Abyss, so they’re often used in roles that require predictable loyalty, like as mercenaries. Minotaurs traditionally are demons from the Abyss, transformed by rituals beginning with Baphomet, one of the demon lords. However, minotaurs also exist outside of the Abyss on the Material Plane with varying alignments. In Exandria, they were created during the Age of Arcanum as living siege weapons and protectors of labyrinths. Once freed in the aftermath of the Calamity, they retreated to mountain passages and cavern systems to live in roving clans. The Mighty Nein has encountered two minotaurs: Bluud, Marion Lavore’s bodyguard, and Sunbreaker Oloman.

Aside from being a flying sack of hit points, the fiendish minotaur had some electrifying skills on his hands. (Only half of us are sorry for the pun). He was able to summon a lightning javelin that he hurled through people, requiring a dexterity save to take half damage. This ability had to be recharged each turn, like the breath weapon of a dragon. While waiting for it to recharge, he was able to use his claws to tear through his targets, augmented by magical gloves. These gloves allowed him to deal lightning damage from his unarmed strike and to strike from as far as 20 feet away. Once the Nein were locked in the chamber with him, it became very difficult to escape his reach.

Nein vs. Nein

Thanks to @_StrawberryFox_ for this art piece!

Charm is its own form of pre-emptive heal; by forcibly convincing your opponent to fight for you, you prevent the damage they would have dealt against your allies while simultaneously reallocating it to your opponents. The Nein also realized that dealing damage was the only chance to snap their allies out of it, forcing them to allocate even more damage away from the demons to continue. By this logic, the seductive demons were responsible for “healing” their side for 280 damage.

Regarding dice rolls, the players rolled fairly average at a mean of 10.5, aided by their multiple boosts that granted advantage. The main factors that hurt was rolling just below relatively high DCs (including Yasha requiring a natural 17 or higher to defeat her charm effect), or rolling so many of their lower numbers consecutively on advantaged rolls. By the end of the encounters, Beau burned through all of her ki points, Jester and Fjord used all of their spell slots, and Caleb used both of his fourth level spells against his own party.

On the side of things that went right, finishing the succubus in the first round of the final encounter minimized future problems, meaning they only had to focus their efforts on the armanite and Yasha for most of the fight. Jester’s choice to seal the rift also prevented reinforcements from further complicating an already complicated situation. Beau’s stun on the armanite hybrid bought the party an extremely welcome reprieve and opening in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Caduceus’ Beacon of Hope gave Fjord the wherewithal to avoid being charmed a second time and Caleb the ability to succeed on two death saves, one of which would have been a critical failure without Beacon of Hope. And perhaps most importantly, both Jester and Caduceus had been saving a higher-level spell slot in case they needed to use it.

Yeah, it probably came in handy.