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.
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.
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!
- Death Tyrant
- Dragon Turtle
- Green Dragons
- Red Dragons
- Blue Dragons
- Black Dragons
- White Dragons
- Silver Dragons
- Bronze Dragons
- Brass Dragons
- Copper Dragons
- Gold Dragons
- Death Knight
- Bone Devil
- Faerie Dragon
- Dao <——————————
- Drow (all four of ’em)
- Shadow Demon
- Animated Armor
- Pit Fiend
- Chain Devil
- Bearded Devil
- Barbed Devil
- Spined Devil
- Ice Devil
- Horned Devil
- Shadow Dragon
- Displacer Beast
- Carrion Crawler
- Rug of Smothering
- Bugbear Chief
- Vine Blight
- Twig Blight
- Needle Blight
- Gas Spore
- Fire Elemental
- Water Elemental
- Air Elemental
- Dinosaurs (All six of them)
- Earth Elemental
- Galeb Duhr
- Flying Sword
- Crawling Claw
- Violet Fungus