Biweekly Monster-Plague Matriarch


Touched by Immortality. Elves are known to be long-lived, but there were those of their ilk who lived long enough to strive for immortality. With centuries to study, some of them came to viable solutions for the problem of death that plagued their older colleagues. These solutions always came at a cost, turning the beneficiary into a monster and almost always driving them mad.

Command of Creeping Things. The plague matriarch—in addition to immortality, an impenetrable carapace, and great strength—gained power over snakes and insects.

Plague Matriarch
Large monstrosity, lawful evil
Armor Class: 18 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 287 (25d10+150)
Speed: 30 ft., fly 20 ft. (hover), swim 30 ft.

13 (+1) 21 (+5) 22 (+6) 18 (+4) 8 (-1) 7 (-2)

Saving Throws: Con +11, Int +9
Skills: Arcana +9, Perception +4, Stealth +10

Senses: blindsight 20 ft., darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages: Abyssal, Common, Elvish
Challenge: 15 (13,000 XP)

Magic Resistance. The plague matriarch has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Innate Spellcasting. The plague matriarch’s innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 17, +9 to hit with spell attacks). The plague matriarch can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: poison spray (as if 5th level)
3/day: giant insect
1/day: insect plague

The plague matriarch makes three claw attacks or a tail attack and a claw attack.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (2d12+5) slashing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: 
+6 to hit, reach 10 ft., Hit: 27 (4d12+1) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 19). Until the grapple ends, the target is restrained. The matriarch can automatically hit the target with its tail, and the matriarch can’t make tail attacks against other targets.

Legendary Actions
The plague matriarch can take 3 legendary actions choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The plague matriarch regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Attack. The matriarch makes a claw attack or a tail attack.
Cast a Spell. The matriarch uses one of her innate spellcasting abilities.
Move Swarm. The matriarch moves a sphere created by insect plague up to 40 feet to another location within its range.

Lair Actions
On initiative count 20 (losing initiaitive ties), the plague matriarch takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects; the plague matriarch can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row.

  • Beetles and ants climb on one creature in the lair distractingly. The creature must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw or have concentration spells interrupted and disadvantage on all attack rolls and Wisdom saving throws until initiative 20 of the next round.
  • Moths block one creature in the lair’s view. The creature must succeed on a DC 17 Dexterity saving throw or be blinded until initiative 20 of the next round.
  • Until initiative count 20 on the next round, the plague matriarch cannot have her concentration broken on her innate spellcasting spells as she attunes herself to the insects in her lair.

 Upon taking 20 or more damage the plague matriarch summons a swam of poisonous snakes in an adjacent space.

Happy Halloween. If you’re still looking for a short Halloween module, check out Sinner’s Manor, a potentially deadly one-shot for level 1 characters.

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