Monster Analysis: Hydra

  • First Appearance: 17 Hubris
  • Armor Class 15 
  • Darkvision 60 ft, Passive 16
  • Speed 30 ft, Swim 30 ft
  • Advantage on saves vs. blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, stunned, or being knocked unconscious
  • Head removed when takes more than 25 damage in a turn
  • Regains 20 HP and 2 heads on turn when missing a head, per head
  • Average/Max HP: 172, 255 max
  • 459 damage taken, 80 HDYWTDT by Tiberius

Hydras are what remains of Lernaea, a rival dragon god slain and scattered across the word multiverse by Tiamat. Although they stem from an evil dragon god, their behavior is more bestial in nature, aligned only to its own ravenous appetite. It prefers wetlands, moving fluidly through rivers and swamps.

Multiple heads gives the hydra many advantages. When it sleeps, there is always one head awake to keep watch. It has an equal number of bite attacks per turn as it has heads, as well as an equal number of reactions for attacks of opportunity. This means a five-headed hydra can use five attacks of opportunity at once, then attack five more times on its turn (max of 150 combined piercing damage!).

If it receives more than 25 damage in a single blow, one of its heads will die. If the wound is still open at the end of its next turn, it will regain two heads and 10 HP per regained head for each dead head. Dealing fire damage before its next turn will cauterize the wound, preventing this effect. Killing all heads kills the creature.

Vox Machina’s ambush provided a much-needed surprise round that trapped the monstrosity, giving it only two attack rounds. The hydra and the lure of a reward for slaying it put them at odds with Aldor and his approved party. By the time they arrived, Vox Machina had already dealt 215 damage. The rival cleric and ranger dealt the only damage to the creature for their party, for a total of 60 of the final 459 damage. Tiberius’s double-fireballs were cast out of the desire to outpace the rivals, which… definitely happened. (This also marks the largest amount of friendly fire damage Tiberius has dealt in a single turn: 140 to Vox Machina, 360 if we include Aldor’s team.)

By killing the monstrosity before the approved hunters could fell it, the party’s fate was forcibly crossed with the Slayers’ Take (and conveniently, gave us the opportunity to meet a slew of amazing guests!).