Oh boy, we’re getting to the big boys now!
The last few monsters we’ve discussed have been kind of underwhelming. If they had good designs, they were lacking in stats or lore. If they had good stats, then they were boring to look at and boring to use in the story. We haven’t had a properly balanced monster for a few weeks now!
But that streak is finally over. Because now, we’re talking about the Chimera!
Lore: Pets of Evil
These guys are the children of the fucking Demogorgon! Because he was impressed by all the creatures that surrounded him! What further proof do you need that these guys are awesome?!
The Chimera has the ultimate split personality. The dragon head wants nothing more than to plunder and build a hoard of treasure. The lion wants it to hunt and kill any who threaten its territory. The goat is vicious and stubborn, refusing to leave a fight until either it or the enemy is dead.
A Chimera will make its territory within a ten-mile stretch of the skies and claim everything beneath it. It spends its days hunting lesser prey for food. Any creature powerful enough to challenge the Chimera are reserved for a more glorious bout, as it wants to humiliate them. These include: dragons, griffons, manticores, perytons, and wyverns.
Sadistic is a word easily applied to this monster. It will often play with its prey like a bored child at the dinner table. Often times, it will leave the prey wounded and scared before coming back to finish the job later.
However, these monsters are far from non-negotiable. Thanks to the dragon head, the Chimera has a bit of an ego to it. If offered food or treasure, it can be bribed into letting a traveler go. Often times, villains manipulate the beast by keeping its needs well-stocked.
The story potential of these guys is great! They work really well as a boss for a main campaign or for a side quest! Perhaps they could serve the Demogorgon and act as a guard dog before the final battle. Or maybe a village has been hounded by it for years and need someone to destroy it? Or, if you want to get a bit more creative, you could have the party align themselves with one of the Chimera’s rivals to assist the monster in killing the three-headed beast!
This guy isn’t enough to drive a whole campaign on his own. But, much like sauce on a slab of meat, a Chimera could be used to greatly improve what is already there! His potential is fantastic!
Design: Why is There a Goat?
This thing is made with a dragon, a lion, and… a goat. Two of these things are awesome! One of them is… a goat.
Oddball goat aside, this thing looks awesome! It takes all the coolest aspects of each creature and puts them all together! It looks genuinely ferocious between the dragon and lion heads!
But then you get to the goat head. The moment you look at that terrified looking goat, the whole thing becomes hilarious! I mean… just look at him!
2/3rds of this monster is fucking rad! However, the remaining third isn’t exactly intimidating. If anything, it’s really funny! Still, it does drag the design down just a little bit.
Stats: The Low-Level Killer
If you want a good foe to throw at your level five party, look no further! This guy (or these guys, I guess?) is the perfect choice!
Their AC isn’t very high, sitting only at 14. Luckily, that’s balanced out by his triple-digit HP and high movement speed. Plus, sneaking up on him is incredibly difficult thanks to its Passive Perception of 18 with a Perception of +8.
But that isn’t nearly as frightening as its attack potential!
With Multiattack, the Chimera can strike with its Bite, Horns and Claws with one action. Or, if it really wants to ruin someone’s day, it can replace the Horns and Claws with its Fire Breath attack. If you get hit by all of the attacks, you are in for a bad time!
If it uses all three melee attacks it can deal: 11(2d6+4) piercing, 10(1d12+4) bludgeoning and 11(2d6+4) slashing. That, or it can deal 11(2d6+4) with 31(7d8) fire damage, should the target fail the dex save. At worst, it can deal 80 or 114 in a single action!
Unlikely? Yes. Incredibly dangerous and terrifying? Absolutely! You do not want to fuck with a Chimera!
An encounter with a Chimera is pretty straight-forward. However, given how dangerous its stats are, it does encourage more creative tactics on the part of the players. How will they avoid getting more than one person caught in the fire breath? How will they squeeze as much damage as possible? If they go at it without thinking smartly, it will not go in their favor!
The Chimera is a classic fantasy monster and he fits right in with D&D’s best monsters! Sure, the hilarious goat head drags down the design a bit. But with its story potential and stats, it more than makes up for it!
This guy is fantastic! So, where does he sit on the Best of the Bestiary?
- Death Tyrant
- Chimera <———
- Animated Armor
- Carrion Crawler
- Rug of Smothering
- Bugbear Chief
- Vine Blight
- Twig Blight
- Needle Blight
- Flying Sword
The Chimera is fucking fantastic! It has everything that a good D&D monster needs: cool flavor text, a memorable design, and stats that encourage creativity from the players. It is one of the best monsters we’ve discussed thus far!
Quite the step up from the Centaur!