We continue our way down the line of Abyssal monsters today, further descending the chain of demonic command. Now, we get to talk about the foot soldier of the demonic army! Today, we discuss the Hezrou!
In terms of the flavor text, there is basically nothing to talk about here. They’re strong soldiers that can easily be tricked by more powerful demons into throwing their lives away. The most interesting thing about them is that they apparently smell really bad. It is a fodder monster, meant only to give the players something smaller to kill in demonic-themed campaigns.
Even if they’re still very strong. But we’ll get to that. First, we need to discuss…
Design: The Toad From Hell
What am I supposed to say here? It’s a demonic toad. Just look at this thing!
Credit where it’s due: I can totally see this thing as the foot soldier of a demonic army! I could totally see this thing strutting onto the battlefield with a bunch of imps and bigger demons! Its bulky limbs, spiked body, and massive maw give it an air of intimidation that perfectly sells its strength. Also, I guess that the warts and the pig-like nose could help sell its bad scent.
If you really stretch for it.
Unfortunately, it isn’t the most memorable monster in the book. It’s a giant toad monster. When you look at it, you don’t think that you’re looking at a demon. It just looks like another toad monster.
Friendly reminder: there are, like, seven of those in this book alone.
Stats: Big Smelly Slashy Man
Remember Bacterian from the original Dragon Ball series? Y’know, the guy that fought Krillin in Goku’s first World Martial Arts Tournament? Yeah, it’s that. That’s this guy.
Once again, this monster is a bulky motherfucker that takes time to kill. It has a high AC and a decently high pool of HP. It’s basically resistant to everything while being immune to poison. It has advantage on saving throws against all spells, just like every other demon so far, making it even harder to kill. Unless the players are all above level eight, this thing is going to take some time to murder.
It also has a unique Stench ability. With this, it forces all the players within range of it to make a Con save or become poisoned. If they succeed, they’ll be immune to the effect for twenty-four hours. It isn’t a particularly deadly ability, nor is it one that forces the players to take more creative tactics to survive.
Aside from that, it’s a very basic monster. It can bite one time and swing its claws twice per turn, giving it three attacks every turn. None of them do a whole lot of damage unless you’re an especially low-level player.
My god, I’m getting bored just imagining the fight! The Hezrou doesn’t encourage any creative tactics on the part of the players! It doesn’t have any interesting abilities that make it stand out! It’s just another ‘hit it until it dies’ monster! Not the most interesting fight in the world.
The Hezrou is a pretty underwhelming monster. Sure, it has a cool design that kind of works. But its lore is so minimalistic that it can’t possibly be interesting and its stats make for a very straight-forward and uninteresting fight. Sorry, but smelling so bad that it hurts the players does not make for a fun fight!
With all that in mind, let’s put the Hezrou on the Best of the Bestiary!
- Death Tyrant
- Death Knight
- Animated Armor
- Hezrou <———
- Carrion Crawler
- Rug of Smothering
- Bugbear Chief
- Vine Blight
- Twig Blight
- Needle Blight
- Flying Sword
- Crawling Claw
I was really tempted to put it right next to the Goristro. Everything I liked/disliked about that monster could be said about the Hezrou! Hell, I’m willing to bet I could have copy-pasted a good majority of my critiques from that review into this one and you guys wouldn’t notice any difference! Still, I do think that the Goristro has some interesting abilities that make it more fun than the Hezrou.
Fucking Christ, we still have seven Demons to go through. And then there’s the entire Devil section… Oh god, I’m gonna be talking about hell monsters for all of 2020, aren’t I?