Monster Analysis: Obann, The Laughing Hand, and Shadowhounds

Monster Analysis: Obann, The Laughing Hand, and Shadowhounds

Thanks to @violaswimmer for this art piece!

After several episodes of travel and dungeon delving, the Mighty Nein reach their goal: the deepest room of the temple and a confrontation with the potential source of the abyssal anchors, Yasha's lost history... and another forgotten relic of the Calamity.

“Welcome to the heart of the King’s Cage.”

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Monster Analysis: Doppelgangers

Monster Analysis: Doppelgangers

Thanks to @EmberWickArt for this art piece!

  • First Appearance: 2-68 Reflections

  • Armor Class 12-15 (Suggested 14)

  • Speed 30 ft

  • Darkvision 60 ft, Passive Perception 11

  • Suggested Average, Max HP: 52, 80

    • Doppelganger Yasha: 55 taken, 27 HDYWTDT by Yasha

    • Doppelganger Fjord: 45 taken, 5 killing blow by Caduceus

    • Doppelganger Caleb: 53 taken, 5 killing blow by Caduceus

    • Doppelganger Caduceus: 49 taken, 16 HDYWTDT by Caduceus

Doppelgangers are shifty creatures. No, really, they’re literal shapeshifters that take on the appearance and surface thoughts of another for their own nefarious purposes. They either work alone or, in the case of the ones who ambushed the Nein, small groups. Doppelgangers can be a terror in social situations where they can read the thoughts of an unsuspecting creature, study its mannerisms, and take on its identity, unbeknownst to anyone else.

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Monster Analysis: Gibbering Chasm and Roper

Monster Analysis: Gibbering Chasm and Roper

Thanks to @albapalacio for this art piece!

In our last monster analysis of the roper, we admitted that our reaction to the roper was, and we quote, “NO. Eww. Gross! Gross gross gross.” Not only has that not changed, but was amplified upon discovery of the sources of the voices in the deep…

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Monster Analysis: Dust Titan

Monster Analysis: Dust Titan

Thanks to @rosemary_thyme for this art piece!

  • Encounter Appearance: Search for Bob

  • Armor Class 26 in sandstone form

  • Armor Class ≤ 23 in whirlwind form

  • Resistant to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage

  • Speed unknown, 60 ft flying in whirlwind form

  • 187+ damage taken in whirlwind form

  • 0 damage taken in sandstone form

Once again, we return to the lightless chaos of Pandemonium! Vox Machina couldn’t escape the plane without a little trouble, despite their attempts at being stealthy. Their very presence drew the ire of a massive dust titan, determined to snuff out the extraplanar intrusion.

In Exandrian lore, the elemental titans formed deep within the fabric of creation and did not take kindly to the creator gods’ attempts to tame the elements to give their children (elves, dwarves, etc.) a safe place to live. The titans rose up to tear creation asunder, allowing demons, devils, and other chaotic beings into the Prime Material Plane. Those gods that sided with chaos and destruction became the Betrayer Gods, while those that defended Exandria and their children became the Prime Deities. Eventually, the titans were defeated, ushering in the Age of Arcanum. 

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Monster Analysis: Zombie Horde (The Discard Pits)

Monster Analysis: Zombie Horde (The Discard Pits)

Thanks to @lauraillustrate for this art piece!

  • First Appearance: 1-10 K’varn Revealed

  • Encounter Appearance: 2-67 Beyond the Eyes of Angels

  • Armor Class 8

  • Speed 20 ft

  • Immune to poison, poisoned

  • Suggested Average, Max HP: 22, 33

The final encounter of the day proved to be a dangerous, undead puzzle. The Crawling King, Torog, is the patron god for jailers and torturers, and The Mighty Nein’s descent into the Discard Pits showed just how fervently his followers worshipped him through their work.

This room of low-level, clumped together undead is a cleric’s dream because they can put their Channel Divinity: Destroy Undead to use with reckless abandon. The Mighty Nein’s two clerics alone released nearly 50 souls from their undead entrapment to finally move onto their afterlife. A room like this gives spellcasters the ability to maximize the damage their area of effect spells can do, like Caleb’s Fireball.

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Monster Analysis: Invisible Stalker (The Radiant Stair)

Monster Analysis: Invisible Stalker (The Radiant Stair)

Thanks to @opheliona for this art piece!

First Appearance: 1-27 The Path to Whitestone

  • Encounter Appearance: 2-67 Beyond the Eyes of Angels

  • Armor Class 14 or 15

  • Speed 50 ft, 50 ft fly (hover)

  • Immune to poison

  • Resistant to nonmagical physical damage

  • Suggested Average, Max HP: 104, 160

  • 59 damage taken

Invisible stalkers are altered air elementals, usually tasked to invisibly stalk and kill a particular target. The one hanging out in the mist-filled chambers of this temple is bound to serve as a protector against those would would try to pass through to reach the pits below, rather than as a single-target wandering assassin.

Matt brought out the anxiety-inducing hourglass for the other portion of this room’s challenge, once Fjord stepped on the activating tile on the stairway. At the bottom of the winding stair sat a crystal crackling with lightning-based magic. Each time the crystal fired off, the lightning damage increased. As Fjord learned, it got even worse by trying to damage the crystal because it just absorbed that damage and shot it right back out on its next crackling.

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Monster Analysis: Giant Spiders (Bazzoxan Tombs)

Monster Analysis: Giant Spiders (Bazzoxan Tombs)

Thanks to @ARNewland for this art piece!

Monstrous Mama Spider

  • First Appearance: 2-67 Beyond the Eyes of Angels

  • Armor Class 14

  • Speed 30 ft, 30 ft climb

  • Suggested Average, Max HP for Giant Spider: 26, 44

  • Mama Spider: 84 damage taken, 8 HDYWTDT by Nott

The first of the Mighty Nein’s three encounters in this episode proved to be the most straightforward, in terms of combat. The temple seems to have largely been in disuse, drawing spiders to it to make it their home. Their physiology also hints that unlike most giant spiders, these creatures aren’t beasts native to the material plane. Whether or not they originate from another plane entirely or have been tainted by the corruption of the Calamity remains a mystery. Their size and numbers would easily overwhelm most small groups or individuals who would attempt to make their way through, but the Mighty Nein isn’t just any group.

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Monster Analysis: Roc (Arbor Exemplar)

Monster Analysis: Roc (Arbor Exemplar)

Thanks to @BlackSalander for this art piece!

  • First Appearance: 1-26 Consequences and Cows

  • Encounter Appearance: 2-66 Beneath Bazzoxan

  • Armor Class 15

  • Speed 20 ft, 120 ft flying

  • Advantage on sight-based Perception checks (+4)

  • Suggested Average, Max HP: 248, 400

    • No damage taken, turned into a bat via Polymorph

    • 11 damage to baby roc

Rocs are big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big they are. In D&D terminology, rocs are the largest size classification in the 5e Monster Manual, Gargantuan, which describes a creature at least 20 foot by 20 foot or larger. With a wingspan of around 200 feet, the roc definitely fits in that category.

Rocs live for centuries, and reproduce infrequently. Their nests are made up various mishmashed objects, ranging from trees to carts to entire ships. (The vessels may contain the valuables of their previous owners, though rocs take no interest in shiny objects). They tend to avoid settlements and places with easy cover, preferring to target much more solitary and vulnerable prey out in open landscapes. While not necessarily intelligent creatures, the persistence of an angry roc is not to be underestimated, even in a different form. What it lacks in cunning, it more than makes up for in raw strength, heartiness, speed, and the piercing eye of a predator from the skies.

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Monster Analysis: Gloomstalkers (Barbed Fields)

Monster Analysis: Gloomstalkers (Barbed Fields)

Thanks to @suraelis for this art piece!

  • First Appearance: 1-101 Thar Amphala

  • First Encounter Appearance: 1-102 Race to the Tower

  • Encounter Appearance: 2-65 Chases and Trees

  • Armor Class 15

  • Speed 80 ft (flying), 40 ft teleport

  • Unknown resistances

  • Vulnerable to radiant damage

  • Disadvantage on attacks made in daylight

    • Gloomstalker 1: 89 damage taken, 30 HDYWTDT by Nott

    • Gloomstalker 2: 75 damage taken, 30 HDYWTDT by Caduceus

    • Gloomstalker 3: 60 damage taken, 17 HDYWTDT by Caduceus

    • Gloomstalker 4: 52 damage taken before fleeing

The Mighty Nein have reached the central portion of the Barbed Fields, a mere four hour ride to where a gigantic crater leftover from the Calamity mars the landscape. Familiar to viewers of campaign 1, gloomstalkers were first seen traversing the dismal plane of the Shadowfell, one of the two parallel planes to the Prime Material.  Between these shadow-touched scavengers and the Sorrowsworn, it’s clear that the Shadowfell had a profound effect on the Barbed Fields.

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Monster Analysis: Sorrowsworn (The Lost) and Swarm of Bats

Monster Analysis: Sorrowsworn (The Lost) and Swarm of Bats

Thanks to AlexMarx101 for this art piece!

Prior to entering the Barbed Fields, traversing the Ghostlands outside of Rosohna were the closest they had come to experiencing the horrors of the aftermath of the Calamity, the cataclysmic battle fought by the gods to preserve or destroy Exandria. The Ghostlands, appropriately named, are home to the unhappy spirits that remain from the battles fought there. Similarly, the Barbed Fields were left forever changed by the final Calamity battles fought there. The desolate landscape of the Barbed Fields seems to be home to a very different, but no less dangerous, type of resident than the Ghostlands: the Sorrowsworn.

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Monster Analysis: The Overcrow Apothecary

Monster Analysis: The Overcrow Apothecary

Thanks to @Lyadrielle for this art piece!

Like Claudia Sheed back in Zadash, Maruo the goblin regularly opened shop to individuals needing an incognito place to meet, no questions asked (for coin). This particular trio had met at the Overcrow months before. Unwilling to wait for someone who could potentially be their blonde human in disguise to teleport away, the Nein opted to make a preventative strike.

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Monster Analysis: Dybbuk, Giant Snapping Turtle, and Chasme

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.

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