The only thing I've run is a prefab from Tales of the Yawning Portal. I want to make a dungeon that is Horror themed with a presence stalking the players the entire time. The presence stalking them would be heavily Dr Who inspired from the Weeping An gels.
I'm afraid of not getting the horror element right. I'm sure the Curse of Strahd book has tips on how to achieve this but I don't want to peek around in it since I don't want to feed myself spoilers for that adventure. My dungeon will consist of several parts and would include a player death or two for story reasons. Getting to a Manor they are hired to investigate insert reason here and are not able to get in.
Next, getting into the Manor and getting closer to what they are after but getting locked in, and possibly ramping up the stalking factor. A lot of this relies on your presence as a DM, and the trust and willingness to be scared among your players. At the end of the day, if they want to joke, they're not going to be afraid, no matter how spooky your scenario is. A lot of times people joke because they're afraid or uncomfortable.
But there are things you can do that will assist people who want to be scared in being scared:. I'd use these rules in any horror campaign with the 5e rules. Essentially, your player may not be afraid, until it's clear their character is on the line. Thus, giving them mental hit points may be the way to go. Make it clear to them that, although their character may not necessarily die, at the point that they lose all Sanity, the character does not belong to them anymore.
It becomes an NPC at that point. That should ratchet up the tension. A softer approach is to use the Madness conditions on pg. Madness always confers a degree of control to the DM over a player's character, and thus is a situation which involves a lot of trust in the social contract. Otherwise, a player may either become very upset, or worse cease caring entirely about the character.
Y'know, back in the day, the scariest thing in the Monster Manual was the Vampire, because a Vamp could not only kill you, it could drain levels. Here's the problem with monsters: You put one in front of a party of PCs, and they're going to want to kill it.The idea of a Mexican wrestler going toe-to-toe with Dracula and the Wolfman is so damn thrilling! Masks, capes, muscles—they had it all.
I mean, these guys were superheroes before superheroes were superheroes. And the best part? You could even see them battle others like them live and in person! Most old-school lucha art shows them fighting classic horror movie monsters. So, in a way, this list also doubles as a great Halloween list. Perhaps the king of all monsters, Dracula is evil personified. Sunlight Sensitivity.
While in sunlight, Dracula has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom Perception checks that rely on sight.
Dracula is more than just a fight for a luchador, but a mystery to be solved. And just a few nights ago, a pair of mujeres with pale skin, baring fangs appeared at the old cementerio.
Like Drac, the Wolfman aka werewolf has a stat block in the Monster Manual page Damage Immunities bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks not made with silvered weapons.
The werewolf can use its action to polymorph into a Large wolf-humanoid hybrid or into a dire wolf, or back into its true form, which is humanoid. Its statistics, other than its size and AC, are the same in each form. It reverts to its true form if it dies. Pack Leader. Keen Hearing and Smell. The werewolf has advantage on Wisdom Perception checks that rely on hearing or smell.
Multiattack Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only. The werewolf makes three attacks, one with its bite and two with its claws or greataxe. Bite Wolf or Hybrid Form Only. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. In addition, if the target is a humanoid, it must succeed on a DC 16 Constitution saving throw or be cursed with werewolf lycanthropy. Claws Hybrid Form Only.Looking to provide your players with some tricks and treats in a fun little one-shot.
This list is a mash of fun Halloween flavored monsters more typical of Scoobie-Doo or a B movie, than a gothic horror setting like Ravenloftbut all of these monsters can easily be used to terrify your players. Now updated with page number references! With the right setting, a group of skeletons can be a deadly battle for a group of heroes passing through a graveyard, a cursed city or when approaching a wizards tower. Try the Beholder Zombie CR 5 or convert another monster into a zombie.
Change things up for a one-shot and have the zombies created by a virus for a medieval zombie apocalypse. Have your adventurers take a shortcut through a farmers field only to find out it is not unguarded. Have the death of their master send scarecrows hunting down the murderers one by one for a mystery or thriller.
Have a member of your party get bitten and remind them of how full the moon is getting. You can use a ghost as a monster to battle, but talking to a ghost and helping them resolve unfinished business is another encounter set-up. With withering touch and possessiona ghost is terrifying for your lower level adventurers to face. Just being around a ghost can be spooky, so turn up the environmental effects like cold, sound, smell and objects moving on their own like the movie Poltergeist Why not swap our Dr.
Frankenstein with an evil necromancer or an insane wizard trying to bring a loved one back to life. While exploring a cave deep in a lonely swamp, have your adventurers find a coven of hags. These monsters can be a challenging fight, but may offer interesting social encounter possibilities as an alternative. These hags reproduce by stealing human infants, so they could be the evil at the center of a mystery your adventurers fall into while visiting a bleak village at the edge of a moor.
Have people start to disappear from the docks as the mummies and their king have come to life looking to get revenge on the explorer for disturbing their slumber. Put a death knight on a nightmare to create a powerful Sleepy Hallow inspired highwayman disrupting travel on a quiet road between villages until. A group of powerful adventurers could track and confront the knight for battle or figure out why he is attacking travelers.
With the ability to change shape into a cloud of mist or a bat, create spawn, spider climb and regenerate, it is good that they have some weaknesses. Vampire weaknesses such as running water, forbidden to enter with invitation, wooden stakes and sunlight — can add interesting elements to an encounter and will reward smart players.
Let us know your scariest all time monsters from any edition in the comments below. Too scary or not as popular enough to make the top 10, here are some other great horror themed monsters.
Shawn is an author and co-founder of Tribality. Years later, he can be found running games in the Nentir Vale and his own Seas of Vodari campaign setting. Shawn Ellsworth. October 18, Death Burst. When the horror dies, its body transforms into purple fog over a foot radius. A creature that starts its turn inside the fog or moves into it for the first time on its turn must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the end of its next turn.
A creature inside the fog cannot breathe. Undead, constructs, fiends and creatures that do not breathe are immune to this effect. The fog dissipates after 5 minutes or a strong gust of wind blows it away.
Pack Tactics. The horror has advantage on attack rolls against a creature if at least one of the horror's allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn't incapacitated. Turn Resistance. The horror has advantage on saving throws against any effect that turns undead. The horror makes two attacks, two with its claws or one with its claws and one with its bite. Instead of making a bite attack, it may use its Terrify. The target must also succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or take 7 3d4 poison damage and be poisoned for 1 minute.
Each creature within 60 feet of the horror that can see it must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened for 1 minute. An affected creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
If a target's saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the target is immune to this horror's Terrify for the next 24 hours. Masked horrors are deeply disturbing undead creatures, made by demonic rituals infusing a corpse with fiendish powers. Knowledge of these rituals is thankfully very rare, but the undead they create are fearsome horrors. By focusing the power into a mask shaped to look like a tortured face and fusing it to the undead monstrosity's head, the undead creature is made faster, stronger, and smarter.
The hands morph into talons, and the mouths of their masks can move, just like the mouth of a normal being, which they can use to deliver a toxic bite. Additionally, the corpse turns a sickly purple colour, and glowing red eyes can be seen under the mask.
Their personalities are just as twisted as their appearances, taking sick pleasure in injuring living beings, and they hate working with other beings, preferring to attack in packs of their own, or weaker undead, destroying their foes with vicious claws and toxic fangs.
Masked horrors also have a macabre obsession with death, often lingering around graveyards and corpses. When they are destroyed, they quickly fade into a malevolent purple fog, leaving behind only the mask. Jump to: navigationsearch. Undead Nature. A masked horror does not need to eat, drink, or sleep. Views Page Discussion Edit History.
Personal tools Talk Contributions Create account Log in. Home of user-generated, homebrew pages!As your adventuring party explores the world built by your dungeon master, you encounter many of these fearsome foes along the way. The tabletop game has everything, including classic, ferocious dragons and cuddly-looking — but dangerous — owlbears. Yet the scariest monsters you hope never to encounter are not the ones that are just going to put up a tough fight.
These creatures have an extra element that makes them particularly monstrous. It can be because they don't die even when you destroy their bodies, or because falling into their clutches means a slow, particularly painful death or because they jump from the shadows when least expected. These additions make them much creepier than your average monster. Some give you chills just thinking about them, which is what makes them the scariest of all.
On this list? In a world with dragons? Oozes are hard to spot. They easily blend in with shadows in a dark passage or remain so clear you have no idea they're right in front of you. The different types include black pudding, gray ooze, and the classic gelatinous cube. While your friends can try to help you escape if you're caught by one, they'll have to do their best to not get sucked in too!
It's a rather torturous death if you end up in their path, which is what makes them so frightening. Intellect devourers may be considered tiny aberrations, but if they get you you're a goner. The Monster Manual describes them as walking brains "protected by a crusty covering and set on bestial clawed legs. It knows everything that creature knew as it takes over the body to do its masters' bidding.
Even if it's driven out of the body, the only way to restore the creature's brain is with a powerful wish spell. Your best friend could be controlled by an intellect devourer on the orders of a mind flayer and you might never know! The idea of having your brain consumed and just becoming an evil puppet is truly terrible. These creatures are from a time before the gods apparently arrived, so the fact that they're that ancient already should set off warning bells in your mind.
Unhappy with their loss of power in the world due to the gods, they strive to retake that power and will use the masses to do it. Aboleths stick to water environments and have telepathic powers they use to contact mortals, discover their desires, and use this knowledge to turn them into slaves.
Their presence can warp the environment around them and their lairs give them additional nasty abilities for adventurers to contend with. Add to that the fact that if their body is destroyed they don't just die but go to the elemental plane of water where a new body is created in days or months, and this is not a monster you want to ever get on the bad side of!
If they haven't recovered from their grudge with the gods, they certainly won't forget you. Beholders are paranoid creatures that see all other beings as inferior, which of course leads to them not thinking much of taking the lives of others and can even lead to them becoming dangerous tyrants. They are also very smart. This makes them more than worthy foes for those who come across them.
Add to their intellect the fact that they can shoot horrible rays out of their eyestalks like a disintegration ray, death ray, and petrification ray, and you'll need to think fast to survive an encounter with a beholder! What's worse than a regular evil wizard? An undead one. The lich is powerful and only cares about increasing its own power.
They are spellcasters with numerous resistances, immunities, and legendary characteristics. If you try to face them in their lairs, you'll end up facing a lot of other horrors too. Not to mention that unlike many creatures, liches don't worry about death because as long as their phylactery is intact, their body can reform if it is destroyed.
That means you need to destroy the phylactery, which the lich feeds souls to, first and since it's so important to the lich, you can bet it's going to be well protected. The sibriex is an extremely intelligent horrifying creature that looks as disgusting and dreadful as it actually is.
The sibriex has "rivulets of blood and bile" cascading down its body that pollute the ground these touch.For too long — far too long — Cthulhu has hogged the spotlight when it comes to Lovecraftian monsters. Together, they had two precious baby girls, Nctosa and Nctolhu. To wit, the Ghast. They might be Ghast food, but Gugs are still pretty serious customers, having been banished to the underworld for some terrible offense against the Great Ones. Some of my favorite Lovecraft stories deal not so much with the Lovecraftian gods themselves, but with the monsters that they spawn.
Not all Lovecraftian monsters are gods or god-like entities, some of them are just straight up aliens, like the Mi-go. Seeing as they worship or at least revere noted jerks Nyarlathotep and Shub-Niggurath, it should come as no surprise that the Mi-go are kind of vicious and terrible.
In fact, they waged a massive war against the Elder Things long before humans ever walked the Earth. Like the Mi-go, the Elder Things were aliens, but they were on top of their business, building colossal cities and societies that predate all human civilization. In between massive battles with the Mi-go and the Great Race of Yith, they also managed to create the monstrous race of the shoggoths.
The shoggoths were humongous, amorphous blobs, made of protoplasmic slime with a bunch of eyes placed all of the place. Eventually, they developed a consciousness of their own and turned against their Elder Thing masters.
When the planet of Yith was about to be destroyed billions of years ago, its inhabitants used their psychic powers to plop their minds down inside of the most bad-ass, long-lived race they could find, which just so happened to be a cone thing with four crazy arms that lived on Earth. You know, like you do. Everyone loves Cthulhu — and with good reason! But still, the next time you want to let your Elder God freak flag fly, consider giving some other Lovecraftian monsters your attention.
It gets lonely in the outer darkness. Find out more at his websiteor just go yell at him on Twitter about the hyper specific Lovecraftian taxonomical mistakes he probably made in this list.
Have you adventurers stumbled upon a map that leads to a treasure buried deep in an underground cave? Since this was first published in November the Dungeon Master Guide was released and provides lists of Monsters by Environment in Appendix B, but the lists are basic.
Challenge Rating: 3 p. They can be trained, if raised in captivity from an egg. Have your adventurers face off against a basilisk and its master in an underground cave. Behir Challenge Rating: 11 p.
Have a behir attack from ambush in one of these locations, using the ceiling and walls to its advantage.
5e Monster List
For a social encounter, have a very full behir decide to aid your adventurers somehow on their way to face a powerful dragon. Beholder Challenge Rating: 13 or 14 in lair p. Set a beholder in its lair where it gets access to ambient magic for an even greater challenge. Drider Challenge Rating: 6 p. Surround a drider with giant spiders CR 1 p. Add in some spellcasting abilities, if the drider was a spellcaster before being transformed into a monstrosity.
Cloaker Challenge Rating: 8 p. These stealthy aberrations are named for their resemblance to a dark leathery cloak. By the time a cloaker moves into attack and reveals its white underside, it will already be attacking with bite and tail. Cloakers also have a fear inducing moan and the ability to create illusory duplicates of itself. Have your adventurers interrupt a rare conclave of multiple cloakers for a tougher challenge. Mind Flayer Challenge Rating: 7 to 8 p.