Biweekly Monster-Hungry Hungry Totem

mask-totem-pole882-650You could call it a memorial. Yeah! A memorial! We didn’t flee the woods for fear of death. We just thought it a shame to destroy the thing that killed Torvil. After all, it was paying the old dwarf such a tribute and it didn’t seem we had any way to save him.

– Eustice Cobard

Hungry Demon. The top totem of the pole is the face of a demon, gaunt in the cheeks, mouth open wide. As it captures creatures to add to the pole, it’s cheeks fill in, becoming fat by the sixth victim, by the ninth, the demon’s mouth closes, lips pursed to keep its food down, but still it hunts.

Gaining Strength. The totem demon gains power from each being it has captured and added as totems. This is reflected in greater damage and health, as well as a Challenge Rating equal to the number of totems. It also increases in size, at 2 totems it is medium, at 4 totems it is large, at 8 totems it is huge, and at 16 totems it is gargantuan. Most totem demons met in the wild will already have 1-4 animal totems captured.

Starved Totem Demon
Small construct/fiend (demon), chaotic evil
Armor Class: 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 81 (18d6+18)
Speed: 20 ft.

16 (+3) 12 (+1) 13 (+1) 10 (+0) 10 (+0) 7 (-2)

Saving Throws: Con +3
Damage Immunities: poison, psychic
Condition Immunities: blinded, charmed, deafened, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses: darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages: Abyssal, the languages of those consumed
Challenge: 1 (200 XP)

Eat to Grow. When the totem demon reduces a target to 0 hit points with its Bite or Bounce attack (or hits a target already at 0 hit points), the target vanishes into the totem pole. A new totem appears at the bottom depicting the target’s face.

The totem demon gains the following statistics for each creature it has captured immediately upon capturing them:

  • +1 CR
  • +3d6+3 Maximum Hit Points
  • +5 Speed
  • +1d12 damage for Bite attack
  • At 8 totems and above, its Bite attack has a reach of 10 ft.
  • +1d12 damage for Bounce attack

Perfectly Preserved. When the totem demon suffers 20 or more damage from a single attack, if it has any more than one totem it must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a random totem is freed. The creature it represents reappears in the nearest empty space with the remaining hit points it had before it was captured (1d12+3 in the case of creature captured prior to the encounter) and is Stunned until the end of its next turn. The totem demon loses the statistics gained from the lost totem.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d12+3) piercing damage.
The totem leaps up to its speed landing in a creature’s space. The creature must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw. The target takes (1d12+3) bludgeoning damage and is knocked prone on a failed save. On a successful save the creature takes half damage and is not knocked prone.

I had this idea for a kind of goofy monster, my wife thought it would be cool if it scaled. Scaling something like this works really well in Mind Weave’s Encounter Level system where I’m willing to use elaborate equations to define the power level and stats, but I’m not sure it works so well in 5e. It breaks a lot of design rules to get here. Hope you enjoy it anyway!

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