Monster Analysis: Dybbuk, Giant Snapping Turtle, and Chasme

Thanks to @suraelis for this art piece!

The invasion of the chasmes and the babaus from the Abyss were a useful distraction for something a little more powerful to sneak into the stone giants’ fortress. Soorna hinted at the presence of something… else when she went back, but the Mighty Nein were still surprised by the sudden reanimation of one of the stone giant corpses last week. What followed turned into a game of whack-a-mole (or turtle), with the desecrated stone giant corpses as the moles… and the Nein flailing wildly with metaphorical mallets.

Dybbuks

  • First Appearance: 2-59 Perspective

  • Encounter Appearance: 2-60 A Turtle By Any Other Name

  • Armor Class 14

  • Speed 0, 40 ft Hover

  • Darkvision 120 feet, Passive Perception 14

  • Resistant to acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder, and nonmagical physical weapon damage

  • Immune to poison damage

  • Immune to charmed, exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, and restrained

  • Suggested, Max HP: 37, 55

    • 147 to Undead Stone Giant 1, 46 HDYWTDT by Yasha

    • 128 to Undead Stone Giant 2, 25 HDYWTDT by Caleb

    • 43 to Dybbuk 1, 8 HDYWTDT by Fjord

    • 64 to Dybbuk 2, 24 HDYWTDT by Beau

    • 101+ to Chasme, Unknown killing blow by Soorna

Dybbuks are tricksy demonses. Rather than hovering around in their jellyfish-like form most of the time, they seek out corpses to embody. When they are possessing a corpse their type is considered Undead and it assumes most of the stats of the corpse, including all of its hit points in life as its temporary hit points. They do retain their mental stats (much like Wild Shape), as well as their immunities to poison, exhaustion, and being charmed or frightened.

To The Mighty Nein’s horror, the dybbuk’s favorite ability is called Violate Corpse. It can’t resist the urge to make the body its possessing behave in gross and unnatural ways to frighten its enemies. Otherwise, it uses the corpse’s attacking abilities until its temporary hit points run out.

The dybbuk has a melee tendril attack that reduces the hit points of its victim, but to a lesser degree than the chasme. Its only other attack options while in its true form are casting Fear or Phantasmal Force. Rather than staying and using its limited attack abilities to fight a losing battle, its best option is to use its at-will Dimension Door ability to escape its foes.

Due to their ability to let the body they possess take all the punishment and their penchant for running away and donning new sets of organic armor again and again, dybbuks die hard. Though it may have felt like the Braan was overrun by dybbuks with how many times the Nein had to face reanimated stone giants, there were actually only two, and only one of them did all of the corpse possessing. The first time, the Nein whittled down the giant’s hit points and did a little damage to Dybbuk #1 before it teleported out. The third time, they whittled down the giant’s hit points and killed Dybbuk #1 before it could get away again. The second time, however, Caleb opted to use Polymorph, turning Dybbuk #1 into a….

Thanks to @KarlasCharlas for this art piece!

Giant Snapping Turtle

  • First Appearance: 2-60 A Turtle By Any Other Name

  • Armor Class 18

  • Speed 20 ft, swim 40 ft

  • Passive Perception 11

  • Suggested, Max HP: 57, 84

  • 25 damage taken, 38 damage dealt

*Homebrew from D&D Beyond

A lesson for D&D players: don’t refer to something as “giant” if you don’t want it to be an actual threat to you and your party. After the giant turtle terrorized Caleb, Nott, and Fjord for two rounds, Caleb used his other spell slots to change the dybbuk-stone giant-giant snapping turtle into….

A Regular F***ing Turtle

  • First Appearance: 2-60 A Turtle By Any Other Name

  • Armor Class: Unknown

  • Speed: Unknown

  • Passive Perception: Unknown

  • Suggested, Max HP: Unknown

  • 0 damage taken, thrown through rift by Nott

*There is no actual stat block for a small turtle in D&D 5e.

As the kids would say: yeet.

Finishing the Job

Thanks to @HeatherWaite8 for this art piece!

Over the course of dealing with the same dybbuk over three separate encounters, the party discovered an abyssal anchor placed within the giants’ rubbish pit. They also soon found a particular strong source of abyssal energy in Soorna’s meditation chamber, where the Nein defended against another chasme and incoming dybbuk. They managed to kill this second dybbuk before it took possession of a corpse. Despite exhausting their spell resources against the rift to no positive effect, Nott managed to destroy both the anchor and the rift by firing the gun she stole into the device.

With the rift and the threat of demonic reinforcements gone, all that remained were dealing with the remaining invader. While tossing the turtle back into the Abyss bought the Nein a short reprieve, the unsealed rift allowed the turtle time to revert to its true form, also allowing the initial dybbuk to return to the material plane to possess a third and final giant corpse. In a tale of courage that only Critical Role is capable of telling, Fjord overcame his intense fear of giant turtles and provided the final finishing blow on the dybbuk.

Eldritch Bleeeeeaaaast.