Monster Analysis: Feymire Crocodile

Thanks to @jdizzlelizzle for the art!

  • First Appearance: 62 Uninviting Waters
  • Armor Class 15
  • Speed 40 ft, Swim 50 ft
  • Heals beginning of each of its turns (estimated 20 HP)
  • Estimated 300 total health
  • 373 damage taken, 64 HDYWTDT by Keyleth

Straight from earlier editions, the Feymire Crocodile is a Huge plant-based entity that prowls the marshes of the Feywild, absorbing nutrients from the soil and feasting on unsuspecting prey that wanders too close to the edge of the waters it lurks. If somehow transported to the Material Plane, a single feymire crocodile could drain the life force from all present plant and animal life in an entire marsh in a matter of months.

The Gilded Run

The arena for this battle came with its own set of challenges before combat even started. With the enchanted rapids welcoming any in who would dare to cross, Vox Machina found themselves willingly tied together to keep from losing anyone. While this proved useful for crossing the first nine streams, the tenth stream presented the wrinkle in that plan: limited mobility, with everyone part of the same spaghetti string. This issue was solved at the end the first round by Scanlan’s magic missiles, but not before the croc dragged the party, Percy in particular, closer to its mouth.

Even once the daisy chain was broken, Vex still had to reckon with the river after fleeing headlong into it under the effects of confusion. With the crocodile defeated, the majority of the third round was spent saving her from going under. Thankfully, Trinket proved just as useful here pulling everyone else out as he did earlier in the battle. And speaking of the battle…

The Battle

If there was any doubt, Keyleth had the plays of the game. Despite her failed attempt to intimidate the plant creature in the first round, her Blight spells accounted for over a third of the damage the creature took. Following close behind her for damage output was the divine damage dealt by Pike and the physical damage meted out by Percy, Grog, and Vax.

Vex was out of commission for the fight due to being tied down in the first round, confused in the second, and rescued in the third, but Trinket dealt a successful bite and claw attack in the first round. Garmelie was unable to flee this fight, but even his forced contributions in the first two rounds (an attack of opportunity and a charm effect) proved ineffective. Fortunately, the satyr proved invaluable in the third round as a link in the chain to pull Vex back to shore. Even if they weren’t able to pull her up, a stalemate is much better than a loss.

Grog’s Enlarge turned out to be a particularly brilliant means of escape. Mechanically, Swallow usually works only on creatures of “Medium size or smaller” (see below). Once Grog entered a new size category, the croc’s stomach could no longer contain him, allowing him a relatively painless escape. Additionally, Scanlan’s timely cutting words ensured that the escape remained painless, as well as forcing disadvantage down the line in time for Pike’s flamestrike.

Rebuilding the Creature

Figure by Paizo

Now, the fun part. Since the Feymire Crocodile is not in the 5e Monster Manual, we’re not going to be shy this time rebuilding it to near its entirety. Many of its abilities appear to borrow from creatures already in the manual, so we’ll piece those parts first.

First, the multiattack of bite and tail match the reach, average damage, and restriction of a different target for each of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. We’ll make the appropriate modifications for each to match the croc, but the T-Rex makes an appropriate base. First, the bite:

Bite: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 33 (4d12+7) piercing. If the target is Medium or smaller, it is grappled (DC 17). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the tyrannosaurus can’t bite another target.

We’ll replace the attack modifier with the +12. This also needs to include the swallow, which we’ll borrow from the behir:

Swallow: The behir makes one bite attack against a Medium or smaller target it is grappling [in its mouth]. If the attack hits, the target is also swallowed, and the grapple ends. While swallowed, the target is blinded and restrained. While swallowed, the target has total cover against all attacks and other effects outside the behir, and it takes 21 (6d6) acid damage at the start of each of the behir’s turns. A behir can have only one creature swallowed at a time.

The paragraph continues, but we’ll let you find it yourself (MM p25). Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the tyrannosaurus rex’s tail attack, and what we can do with that:

Tail: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (3d8+7) bludgeoning damage.

We saw that its failed attack of opportunity against Vax in Round 2 had a +12 to hit, so we’ll start by changing that. The croc’s tail did piercing instead of bludgeoning damage, but the damage itself appears similar. The t-rex also doesn’t deal toxin, so we’ll make a rough estimate of requiring a Con Save of DC 14. In addition to the psychedelic effect, the toxin from the croc’s tail appears to have an effect similar to the gaze of an Umberhulk:

On a failed saving throw, the creature can’t take reactions until the start of its next turn and rolls a d8 to determine what it does. on a 1 to 4, the creature does nothing. On a 5 or 6, the creature takes no action but uses all of its movement to move in a random direction. On a 7 or 8, the creature makes one melee attack against a random creature, or does nothing if no creature is within reach.

We can’t forget its ability to heal itself at the start of each of its turns so long as it can continue leeching off the land. Vampire is probably good enough for our purposes, provided we remove the “in sunlight or running water cancels it” part:

Regeneration: The vampire regains 20 hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point…

Lastly, being part crocodile, it’s got to be able to last underwater. Let’s steal from the Giant Crocodile:

Hold Breath: The crocodile can hold its breath for 30 minutes.

That should meet all the criteria for its abilities and features. We don’t have confirmation on all of the following stats, but we can spitball appropriate values:

  • Huge plant, unaligned
  • Armor Class 15
  • Hit Points 200, 300 (20d12+60)
  • Speed 40 ft, Swim 50 ft
  • Passive Perception 10
  • Stealth +5
  • Str +7, Dex +0, Con +2
  • Int -3, Wis +0, Cha -4