Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Genies (Part 2): Dao

Welcome to the Great Dismal Delve, gem of the Inner Planes. You are now slaves to the mighty and merciful Khatun Zafara Al’Yil Jin Zarain, Queen of the Mantled Depths, Pontiff of the Diamond Cathedral, Protector of the Malachite Scepter, and so on and so forth.

Gargoyle Seneschal’s Standard Greeting

Alright, our first proper genie. Let’s hope for a good start.

Lore: Rich Asshole, Fantasy Edition

I don’t want to say that this is magical Donald Trump, but…

Dao are genies of the Earth Plane. Greedy and malicious, they’ll adorn themselves in jewelry and metals to make themselves pretty. Unless they are the envy of the other genies, a Dao is not happy.

They dwell within glittering tunnels, which are carved by them themselves. These continue to expand as they dig, making their palace as large as possible. They care nothing for the poverty of others. In fact, they’ll even grind precious gems into dust and use it to season their food. All just to spite those less fortunate than themselves.

Unless they have something to gain, namely treasure, this genie will never bend so low as to aide mortals. They are on speaking/trading terms with the efreet, but they have nothing but hatred for djinn and marids. As the dao are always seeking new slaves, other creatures of the Earth Plane tend to steer clear.

Not that many need to. Dao only trade in the most high-end slaves on the market. Unfortunately, due to their vast greed, they are the easiest of the genies to lure in and trap on the Material Plane. A fate which they loathe extremely.

The lore on display here is pretty decent. It’s easy setup for a bad guy. Maybe not a campaign wide big bad, but at least a questline baddy. Or maybe a fun little challenge from the big bad himself, who enslaved one. There’s not much here, but you could do plenty with what little you have.

Design: Floaty Rock Lady

Hoo boy. Another rock monster. Hopefully this one is a bit more exciting.

That is a fuck-you hammer if I’ve ever seen one

Well… kind of. At least it’s not a giant another giant rock.

I like how the whole stone-monster thing is much more subtle than usual. Rather than legs, its got a billowing sandstorm. At first glance, it just appears that the skin is dark. But then you look closer and you realize that wait, no, it’s dark because it’s made of stone. Neat!

Also, this thing is thick! Look at those arms! It doesn’t need that giant hammer! Its arms would be enough! Combine that with its red eyes and sharp features and you get a monster that looks fairly intimidating!

It’s a fun take on a rock genie. It isn’t as unique as other D&D monsters, but it still looks fairly interesting and cool. A fairly decent design.

Now, time for the million platinum question: how does it fight?

Stats: Meet My Pet Rock

I wonder what kind of magic this monster’s gonna use. Place your bets!

Predictably, this dude is pretty sturdy. With an AC just shy of 20 and HP just shy of 200, along with immunity to petrification (cause I know that’s a frequently used weapon by the players), these dudes are beefy. Get ready for a long battle.

They’re slippery, too. Thanks to Sure-Footed (can you be sure-footed when you don’t have feet?), it has advantage on all saves related to being knocked prone. On top of that, it can slip through the stones like a ghost, making it difficult to track. It’s like fighting Lemillion from My Hero Academia but infinitely worse.

Cause this bitch got magic.

At will: detect evil and good, detect magic, stone shape
3/day each: passwall, move earth, tongues
1/day each: conjure elemental (earth elemental only), gaseous form, invisibility, phantasmal killer, plane shift, wall of stone

Look up what they do yourselves because I do not have time to detail all that. Just know that they make this thing a huge pain in the ass to fight.

The rest is fairly boring. It can punch you or hit you with a maul, two of each per turn. The damage isn’t especially threatening (except for the maul, which is a bad time that might knock you prone).

All in all, this makes for a pretty dope fight! If you blend use of melee abilities and magic together, you can very easily put your players on the defensive. This is definitely the kind of foe that makes for a memorable boss fight.

Even if they don’t get the satisfaction of kicking the corpse afterwords. Fucking Elemental Demise.

Although, knowing most players, they’d just snort the shit.

Placement

All things considered, this is a pretty dope monster! The lore is neat, the design is good, and it makes for a good fight! Definitely one of the best monsters we’ve discussed in the last few weeks.

With all that in mind, let’s put the Dao on the Best of the Bestiary!

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Dragon Turtle
  4. Green Dragons
  5. Red Dragons
  6. Blue Dragons
  7. Black Dragons
  8. White Dragons
  9. Silver Dragons
  10. Couatl
  11. Behir
  12. Aboleth
  13. Bronze Dragons
  14. Brass Dragons
  15. Copper Dragons
  16. Gold Dragons
  17. Chuul
  18. Chimera
  19. Death Knight
  20. Fomorian
  21. Bone Devil
  22. Dracolich
  23. Faerie Dragon
  24. Ankheg
  25. Empyrean
  26. Dao <——————————
  27. Drow (all four of ’em)
  28. Shadow Demon
  29. Marilith
  30. Drider
  31. Aarackockra
  32. Azer
  33. Demilich
  34. Spectator
  35. Cambion
  36. Animated Armor
  37. Banshee
  38. Basilisk
  39. Yochlol
  40. Bulette
  41. Cloaker
  42. Darkmantle
  43. Doppelganger
  44. Ettin
  45. Pit Fiend
  46. Erinyes
  47. Chain Devil
  48. Bearded Devil
  49. Barbed Devil
  50. Spined Devil
  51. Ice Devil
  52. Nalfeshnee
  53. Glabrezu
  54. Chasme
  55. Barlgura
  56. Horned Devil
  57. Balor
  58. Shadow Dragon
  59. Vrock
  60. Dretch
  61. Goristro
  62. Hezrou
  63. Manes
  64. Duergar
  65. Quasit
  66. Dryad
  67. Flumph
  68. Planetar
  69. Imp
  70. Flameskull
  71. Displacer Beast
  72. Carrion Crawler
  73. Rug of Smothering
  74. Bugbear Chief
  75. Bugbear
  76. Vine Blight
  77. Twig Blight
  78. Needle Blight
  79. Bullywug
  80. Ettercap
  81. Gas Spore
  82. Cockatrice
  83. Lemure
  84. Solar
  85. Deva
  86. Cyclops
  87. Centaur
  88. Fire Elemental
  89. Water Elemental
  90. Air Elemental
  91. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  92. Earth Elemental
  93. Galeb Duhr
  94. Flying Sword
  95. Crawling Claw
  96. Violet Fungus
  97. Shrieker
  98. Gargoyle

3 thoughts on “Genies (Part 2): Dao”

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