Monster Analysis: Cloaker

  • First Appearance: 10 Yug'Voril Uncovered
  • Armor Class 14
  • Speed 40 ft (flying)
  • Darkvision 60 ft, Passive 11
  • Average, Max HP: 78, 132
  • 80 taken + unknown from Clarota, 23 HDYWTDT by Vax'ildan

The cloaker is an opportunistic hunter who stealthily follows parties in the Underdark, embracing the shadows and waiting to strike after battles or until a potential target wanders away from the heard. It then wraps itself around its victims, blinding and suffocating them as it continues to bite them. Would-be helpers will have difficulty against it as any attacks they deal at this time will also transfer half the damage to the victim. Both the victim and any allies can attempt to tear the cloaker off with a relatively high strength check, but the cloaker can also still defend itself in this state with its tail. It can also generate up to three illusions of itself to obscure its true location; attackers who successfully hit the cloaker’s AC then have to roll to determine if it was a successful hit against the cloaker or one of its illusions. Even when the group remains together, the cloaker can force fright on those who fail their wisdom save against its terrifying moan.

That said, it’s not as terrible when it’s confronted as a group, or when said group manages to put a lot of distance between it and them. Vox Machina did just about everything right for this fight, including keeping it at distance, grappling it with Bigby’s Hand, and taking away its eyes before putting it out of its misery. Even when it wrapped itself around Tiberius early in the battle, the dragonborn telekinetically ripped it off before anyone else attacked it, or before it could deal additional damage to him. This was also a great battle for player character firsts, including Scanlan’s Bigby’s Hand and Grog’s amusingly successful Intimidating Presence.