Monster Analysis: Kuo-toa

  • First Appearance: 44 The Sunken Tomb
  • Armor Class 13
  • Speed 30 ft, 30 ft swimming
  • Darkvision 120 ft, Perception 19 (Archpriest)
  • Basic Average, Max HP: 18, 32
    • 24 taken, 10 killing blow by Percy
    • 37 taken, 24 killing blow by Kashaw
    • 24 taken, 24 killing blow by Kashaw
  • Archpriest Average, Max HP: 97, 143
    • 112 taken, 24 killing blow by Kashaw

The kuo-toa are fish-headed people, driven insane by generations of enslavement at the hands of the illithid and perpetuated by their own unquestioning belief and worship of deities they invented themselves. While these deities (Blibdoolpoolp, for example) are really just humanoid statues that had lobster claws and other sea-life appendages attached, with enough belief, kuo-toa priests are able to will enough divine energy into existence. This allows the most devote of them to cast a small collection of druidic spells.

They can also be fairly slippery in combat. They have developed an otherwordly sense that lets them sense and see any invisible creatures within 30 feet, including those that travel through the Ethereal Plane. They have advantage to save against grapple checks due to their slippery skin, and melee attackers who fail to hit kuo-toa grunts may find their weapon stuck to the weird goo coating the creatures’ shields.

That said, the warriors, the priests, and the more physically capable “whips” are still pretty puny. Their inability to withstand even mere sunlight (let alone a few attacks from a mid-to-upper-level party) makes them hardly a challenge (I mean, at least goblins are cunning). However, their blind obedience to creatures that could possibly resemble deities and step into kuo-toa society like they deserve the servitude of the race will receive it without question. Common examples include the amphibious and brutally intelligent aboleth, but as we saw, other aberrations can also take the place of leader at the cost of the kuo-toa…

(Now, most kuo-toa are evil and openly hostile to non-kuo-toa, but we had to at least give a shout-out to this harmless little guy…)