Monster of the Month: Blood Tree

Each month, we’ll give you a new monster to use in your 5e game. This month, we give you the Blood Tree. You can download the description and stat block of the blood tree here.

Blood Tree

Blood trees are horrifically strange aberrations against nature. They look like coniferous trees, but instead of green leaves, their branches are covered in bizarre, blood-red pustules.

When an adventurer encounters a blood tree, many questions come to their mind: What is this thing? How did this thing come to be? But mostly, why is this a thing at all? Trees just aren’t supposed to be the color of blood.

Branches of Blood

The abnormal foliage of the blood tree can suck the blood out of creatures that get too close, even from a distance. It is the blood of its victims that gives the blood tree its freakish color. This eerie pigmentation makes the blood tree frightening to look at for all of those with sane and sound mind.

Unnatural Origins

No one knows where blood trees come from originally. Although they have a form that resembles trees, they are not plants. They are perversions of what trees should be, and whatever will or whim brought them into existence defies all attempts at comprehension.

Dark Decorations

Blood trees are often used as decorations at ungodly holidays and festivals by cultists, hags, witches, and others who worship and revere unholy powers. Blood trees are a dark, twisted reflection of festal trees used by goodly folk at more wholesome jubilees.


Blood Tree

Large Aberration, neutral evil

Armor Class 13 (natural armor)

Hit Points 45 (6d10 + 18)

Speed 0 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
18 (+4) 8 (-1) 16 (+3) 3 (-4) 10 (+0) 6 (-2)

Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from non-magical weapons

Damage Immunities necrotic, poison

Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, exhaustion, frightened, poisoned

Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 10

Languages

Challenge 3 (700 XP)


Unsettling Appearance. Any creature that starts its turn within 60 feet of the blood tree and can see the blood tree must make a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened of the blood tree until the start of its next turn.

Actions

Blood Siphon. Ranged Spell Attack: +5 to hit, range 30 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d6) necrotic damage. The target must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or its hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the damage taken, and the blood tree regains hit points equal to that amount. This reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0.

Magic Item of the Month: Bag o’ Bones

Each month, we’ll give you a new magic item to use in your 5e game. This month, in the spirit of Halloween, we’re giving you an extra spooky magic item, the bag o’ bones.

Bag o’ Bones
Wondrous Item, Uncommon

This magic bag is just a bag of holding. However, some cruel necromancer filled the bag with 20 skeletons. See the Monster Manual for the skeletons’ statistics. An identify spell reveals this item to be a bag of holding.

When a creature uses their action to put something into or pull something out of the bag, one skeleton climbs out of the bag and attacks the nearest creature (usually whoever opened the bag). On each following round on the skeletons’ initiative count, another skeleton emerges from the bag and attacks the nearest creature. A creature can use their action to close and latch the bag. This prevents any more skeletons from emerging until the bag is opened again.

Once a skeleton comes out of the bag, the total number of skeletons remaining in the bag is reduced. After all 20 skeletons have climbed out, the bag is a regular bag of holding that can be used as normal.

Magic Item of the Month: The Oracle of Gorthmar

Each month (eh, most months?), we’ll give you a new magic item to use in your 5e game. This month, we give you the oracle of Gorthmar, which was most recently featured in our podcast How The Quest Was Won, in the episode “The Wedding of Angelica Bane, Part 9 – The Oracle of Gorthmar”.

The Oracle of Gorthmar
Wondrous Item, Legendary

This object is carved from black stone into the shape of an orc skull with the crown of the head removed, creating a hollow basin to hold liquid.

To activate the oracle, one must sacrifice a humanoid creature in a bloodletting ritual that takes one minute and drains the victim’s blood into the basin in the skull. At the end of this time, the oracle will answer the first question that is asked in its presence. The oracle answers truthfully and directly, providing just enough information to be accurate, usually only a sentence or two. Only the oldest or most magically protected secrets are unknown to the oracle. After the question has been answered, the blood magically drains from the basin.

Monster of the Month: Storm Elemental

Each month, we’ll give you a new monster to use in your 5e game. This month, we give you the Storm Elemental. You can download the description and stat block of the ice elemental here.

Storm Elementals

Storm elementals are the manifestations of thunderstorms, monsoons, and tempests. Their bodies are made of thick, dark grey clouds, rippling with bolts of electricity. The coming of a storm elemental is heralded by flashes of lightning and the peals of thunder.

Storm elementals are usually encountered on the Material Plane in areas where there is already heavy precipitation or bad weather, such as storm- battered seas or tropical rainforests. They are encountered more frequently during certain times of the year, such as summer afternoons or, in certain climates, the yearly rainy season.

Stormbringer

A storm elemental affects the weather patterns of whatever area that it is in, bringing rains and wind. This can create dangerous conditions, but at least the storm elemental can’t sneak up on anyone.

Thunder and Lightning

A creature facing a storm elemental has to be wary of two dangers. Just like a thunderstorm, each of a storm elemental’s lightning strikes is followed by a wave of booming thunder.

The Other Elements

Most adventurers know about the four most common types of elementals: air, earth, fire, and water. In some worlds, however, there are more than four elements. Storm is one of these other elements, together with other things such as ice, wood, metal, or even time.

Some multiverses might have a separate Plane of Storms from which storm elementals come. In others, a demiplane of storm exits where the Planes of Air and Water touch. If you introduce storm elementals into your game, consider their origins relative to the
four common elementals.


Storm Elemental

Large Elemental, neutral

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)

Hit Points 102 (12d10 + 36)

Speed 0 ft., fly 90 ft. (hover)


STR

DEX CON INT WIS CHA
14 (+2) 18 (+4) 16 (+3) 6 (-2) 10 (+0)

7 (-2)


Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from non-magical weapons

Damage Immunities lightning, poison, thunder

Condition Immunities exhaustion, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, unconscious

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10

Languages Primordial (Tempestan)

Challenge 5 (1,800 xp)


Storm Form. The elemental can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. It can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.

Stormy Weather. When the elemental is outside, weather in a 1-mile radius acquires light wind and light rain. If there was already light ind, it becomes strong wind. If there was already light rain, it becomes heavy rain.

Actions

Multiattack. The elemental makes an attack with its lightning strike and then an attack with its thunder burst.

Lightning Strike. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8+4) lightning damage.

Thunderburst. Every creature within 20 ft. of the elemental must make a DC 13 Constitution save. On a failure, the creature takes 2d8 thunder damage. On a success, the creature takes half damage.

Magic Item of the Month: Heart Tree Bloom

Each month, we’ll give you a new magic item to use in your 5e game. This month, we give you the heart tree bloom, which was featured in the podcast How The Quest Was Won in the episode “The Heart of the Forest, Part 5 – The Fang of Iron”.

Heart Tree Bloom
Wondrous Item, Common

This small flower is from a heart tree, a magical tree that is connected to the life energy of all the creatures in its forest. When this flower is in your possession and you fail your third death saving throw, the bloom is consumed and that failed death saving throw is turned into a success.

Magic Item of the Month: Tipping Tankard

Each month, we’ll give you a new magic item to use in your 5e game. This month, we give you the tipping tankard.

Tipping Tankard
Wondrous Item, Common

This metal tankard is engraved with dwarven runes around its rim. The tankard can never be knocked over. If it is tipped, it wobbles until it magically rights itself. If it is dropped or thrown, it always lands right side up on its base.

Additionally, once an alcoholic beverage has been poured into the tankard, it cannot be spilled. Even if the tankard is held upside down, the liquid will stay in the inside the tankard. The only way for the drink to leave the tankard is to be consumed.

Monster of the Month: Ice Elemental

Each month, we’ll give you a new monster to use in your 5e game. This month, we give you the Ice Elemental. You can download the description and stat block of the ice elemental here.

Ice Elementals

Ice elementals are the forces of deep winter and the frozen arctic made manifest. Their bodies are made of shifting ice that creaks and groans like a cracking glacier whenever they move. Wherever an ice elemental appears, the air becomes noticeably colder and frost collects on water or glass surfaces.

Ice elementals, when encountered on the Material Plane, are usually found in cold environments such as a polar ice field of a high mountain glacier. Ice elementals are some of the more aggressive elementals, and are known to attack travelers on sight. This doesn’t reflect an underlying evil nature, however. Instead, the ice elemental sees warmth, including body heat, as something antithetical to its own nature.

Ice Skating

Ice elementals can skate over frozen surfaces with surprising elegance – although few who see the grace of a skating ice elemental truly appreciate it for long, because it is hard to appreciate anything when you’ve been frozen solid.

Breath of the Cold

An ice elemental can belch forth a blast of cold air as frigid as the coldest winds of winter. Many an adventurer has been frozen solid by this attack, and it is not uncommon to find frozen bodies, either intact or shattered, in the territory of an ice elemental.

The Other Elements

Most adventurers know about the four most common types of elementals: air, earth, fire, and water. In some worlds, however, there are more than four elements. Ice (or cold) is one of these other elements, together with other things such as storms, wood, metal, or even time.

Some multiverses might have a separate Plane of Cold from which ice elementals come. In others, a demiplane of cold exits where the Planes of Air and Water touch. If you introduce ice elementals into your game, consider their origins relative to the four common elementals.


Ice Elemental

Large Elemental, neutral

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)

Hit Points 114 (12d10 + 48)

Speed 30 ft.


STR

DEX CON INT WIS CHA
20 (+5) 10 (+0) 18 (+4) 6 (-2) 10 (+0)

8 (-1)


Damage Vulnerabilities fire

Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from non-magical weapons

Damage Immunities cold, poison

Condition Immunities exhaustion, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, unconscious

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10

Languages Primordial (Glacien)

Challenge 5 (1,800 xp)


Skate. The elemental can move with ease over icy terrain, and suffers no penalties for such movement.

Actions

Multiattack. The elemental makes two slam attacks.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack. +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8 + 5) bludgeoning damage plus 4 (1d8) cold damage.

Frost Breath (Recharge 4-6). The elemental exhales an icy blast of frigid air in a 15-ft. cone. Each creature in that are must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, taking 18 (4d8) cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Monster of the Month: Brown Slaad

Each month, we’ll give you a new monster to use in your 5e game. This month, we give you the Brown Slaad. You can download the description and stat block of the brown slaad here.

Brown Slaad

When a red slaad implants an egg into a victim, the egg usually grows into a slaad tadpole, which bursts forth and eventually grows into a blue or green slaad. However, if anything should happen that interrupts the gestation of a tadpole within its host, this tadpole might instead metamorphosize into a brown slaad.

Brown slaadi, also known as mud slaadi or slaad pollywogs, resemble frog-like humanoids similar to the rest of slaad-kind, but they are smaller and mud-brown in color. They also still have a small, vestigial tail remaining from their tadpole form.

Interrupted Metamorphosis.

The gestation of a slaad tadpole can be interrupted in a number of ways. The host might die before the gestation is complete, and the tadpole must emerge prematurely. Sometimes, a sawbones or chirurgeon with enough skill (and enough guts) can attempt to cut out the slaad tadpole before it is fully-grown. Other times, the chaotic nature of the slaad itself causes the tadpole to mutate. Any of these events could lead to a slaad tadpole becoming a brown slaad.

Stunted Growth.

Because their metamorphosis was interrupted, brown slaadi are not fully mature. They are small and stupid, with barely more intelligence than an animal. They also lack the ability to reproduce, and cannot spread the chaos phage or implant eggs like red or blue slaadi.

Weakest of the Slaadi.

Because they are the smallest and weakest slaadi, brown slaadi are bullied and abused by other slaadi. Because of this, brown slaadi usually avoid others of their kind, preferring to make their home among bullywugs or grung, who see the presence of a brown slaad as a sign of good fortune.


Brown Slaad

Small aberration, chaotic neutral

Armor Class 13 (natural armor)

Hit Points 27 (6d6 + 6)

Speed 25 ft.


STR

DEX CON INT WIS CHA
12 (+1) 14 (+2) 13 (+1) 4 (-3) 6 (-2)

6 (-2)


Skills Perception +0

Damage Resistances acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10

Languages Slaad, telepathy 60 ft.

Challenge 2 (450 XP)


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

Regeneration. The slaad regains 5 hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point.

Actions

Multiattack. The slaad makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its claws.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack. +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack. +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.

Magic Item of the Month: Harmonic Crystal

Each month, we’ll give you a new magic item to use in your 5e game. This month, we give you the harmonic crystal.

Harmonic Crystal
Wondrous Item, rarity varies

This rough crystal vibrates ever so slightly. When you take thunder damage, the crystal resonates with the thunder and absorbs the damage up to a number of points determined by the crystal’s rarity. This energy remains stored within the crystal, decreasing its future capacity. After the crystal absorbs its total capacity of thunder damage, it harmlessly shatters. If you take damage that exceeds the capacity of the harmonic crystal, you take the remaining damage that the crystal couldn’t absorb.

Type Damage Capacity Rarity
Lesser harmonic crystal 25 Uncommon
Greater harmonic crystal 50 Rare

Before it is full, a harmonic crystal can be thrown at a creature or object within 20 feet as an action. Treat this throw as a ranged attack with an improvised weapon. If it hits its target, the crystal explodes, releasing the stored thunder energy, and the target takes damage equal to the total amount of thunder damage that the harmonic crystal had previously absorbed.

Magic Item of the Month: Frightful Mask

Each month, we’ll give you a new magic item to use in your 5e game. This month, we give you the frightful mask.

 

Frightful Mask
Wondrous Item, uncommon (requires attunement)

This mask has three charges. When you are wearing it, you can use an action to expend 1 charge to cast fear (save DC 15). The mask regains 1d3 expended charges daily at midnight.

Also, when you are wearing the mask, you have advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks and disadvantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks.