We’re almost out of the Abyss, my friends! We’re so close! Just two more!
Y’know, for such a simple monster, they sure gave the Vrock a lot of flavor text! There’s not much in that flavor text, mind you. Boiled down simply, a Vrock is a dull-witted monster that loves carnage and pain. They do love shiny objects, but they are basically impossible to negotiate with. Why negotiate when you could just kill them and take it anyways?
Did we really need three paragraphs to explain that?
There’s not a lot of storytelling potential here. At best, you could put a short side-quest together about a mysterious monster that steals jewelry and eats people. I’m sure you could get more out of it if you put your imagination cap on! But you may have a hard time with it.
But hey. At least it’s not another fodder monster.
This thing is really fucking unsettling! I am not a fan!
Unfortunately, while this design is certainly cool, it isn’t all that effective. It sure looks like a vulture-man hybrid, yes. But not much of its lore or its abilities are made clear through the design.
The only real exceptions are the beak and the talons. The size of the claws immediately draw the eyes and alert you to danger. The beak isn’t as good at drawing your attention, sure, but it is menacing enough to alert the players to it. Unfortunately, that’s about it.
You may not believe me. “The design is fine!” I hear you shouting at your computer screen. “You’re just being an asshole!” Well, you’re right about that. But let me ask you this.
What about this design tells you that this creature can release a cloud of spores? If you answered anything, you’re wrong and stupid and you should shut up.
Why. Who the fuck decided to give the vulture demon spores? This legitimately makes me upset! Who said “Let’s give bird-demon plant power! That makes total sense! I’m so smart!” I want to know who they are! Give me names!
This monster may not be a massive powerhouse, but it’s also no slouch! The AC is decently high and the HP sits in the triple-digit realm. It’s immune to poison and resistant to anything that isn’t an enchanted weapon or a holy spell. It sure isn’t easy to kill, but it is far from impossible.
Damage wise, it is dangerous, but not intimidating. It can attack twice, once with its beak and once with its talons (I fail to see why it couldn’t swing twice with those things). If both hit, it can deal a combined 2d6+3 and 2d10+3. Powerful, yes, but not super intimidating to a party higher than 5th level.
Alright, let’s talk about the spores. With these spores, the Vrock can poison anyone within range of it. If poisoned, the victim takes an extra 5(1d10) poison damage at the start of every turn. Admittedly, while this ability makes no god damn sense and it makes me angry, it can be effective in making the players enforce more creative tactics. It adds just the right amount of pressure to stress them out and force them to think outside the box.
It helps that it has a screech attack that can stun you. Fail the saving throw and you get stunned until the end of the Vrock’s next turn. Combine that with the spores and you can come up with some dangerous strategies for the Vrock’s assault!
This is easily the best part of the Vrock. Its abilities can make for an interesting and creative battle! Or, if you aren’t careful, it could make for a super annoying and tedious waste of time. It could be a difficult balance, yes. But if you manage it? You could have a great battle on your hands!
I’m not gonna lie. This one was rough! Sure, it could make for a great fight! But the flavor text is weak and the design is ineffective! This demon is far from interesting for anything beyond a quick fight!
With all that in mind, let’s put the Vrock on the Best of the Bestiary!
- Death Tyrant
- Death Knight
- Shadow Demon
- Animated Armor
- Vrock <——-
- Carrion Crawler
- Rug of Smothering
- Bugbear Chief
- Vine Blight
- Twig Blight
- Needle Blight
- Flying Sword
- Crawling Claw
The Vrock manages to avoid ending up at the bottom of the demonic pile thanks to its stats. However, it can’t climb any higher thanks to its lackluster lore and design. It’s not the worst monster we’ve discussed so far. But god is it pretty lame!