Best of the Bestiary, D&D

Lamia: Master of Illusion

Lore: Rulers of Ruin

Residing in the ruins of desert civilizations, lamias take all that has been vanquished and makes it the heart of their tyrannical rule. They rely on jackalweres to perform various tasks, like kidnapping slaves or stealing treasure, under the concealment of their magic. They’ll use those stolen goods to decorate their ruined lairs, enhancing the shine of jewels and masking the decay with illusions. You might think the civilization is still in full swing, with the beautiful gardens and filled slave apartments. Worse, the slaves have no desire to leave thanks to the lamia’s mind controlling spells.

Through a pool of water in its domain, a lamia watches all that happens within its territory. They love to lure in pure-hearted adventurers and seduce them to evil, or to lure the helpless in with illusions of temptations. However, they value beauty above all else, and will consume any who doesn’t live up to their exacting standards. On top of that, lamias are cowards, preferring to let their slaves do the fighting while they sit back and enjoy the show. Should they get caught up in it, they’ll do all they can to escape.

Despite their egos, lamias are not at the top of their chains. They serve the demon lord Graz’zt, who gives them their forms and immortality in exchange for an oath of fealty. He’ll sometimes take them with him, but otherwise let’s them live as they will.

There is a ton of lore to work with here! Perhaps the players need to save a valued NPC that has been taken by a lamia. Or maybe they wander into their lair, a seeming paradise, and they slowly unravel the truth and destroy the beast. Maybe the party gets kidnapped by jackalweres and are brought before the lamia. It isn’t full campaign worthy, but you can do a lot of stuff with it!

Design: Lion Centaur Lady!

I love this design! It’s got a quiet elegance and danger to it. Not to mention that it’s fairly unique!

You know that SOMEONE out there wants to do naughty things to this thing.

If you didn’t pay attention to the text, you’d think they were some odd divine guardian of some desert kingdom. But after reading the lore, you can start to feel the quiet, calm menace hidden beneath the surface. That expression suddenly becomes a disdainful scowl. That dagger and those claws suddenly start looking a hell of a lot more dangerous.

It isn’t as grotesque or interesting as some of the higher-up creatures on the list. But it’s still very unique and interesting. How often do you see creatures like this in fantasy?

This is definitely one of the better designs in the book. Elegant, dangerous, and unique, it makes a strong impression. I enjoy it quite a bit.

Stats: Charm and Slash

This is a very strong boss monster. At least for an early level party. If you try to throw one at a higher-level group, you might be disappointed by the results.

This isn’t a particularly bulky monster. Its HP is just shy of 100, which is definitely worthy of an early game boss. But its AC is far from high, making it easy for the players to actually hit it and do damage. No wonder it’s a coward!

That said, it is certainly a dangerous beast. Its claws do a ton of damage, even if its dagger doesn’t. Its Intoxicating Touch doesn’t do any damage, but it does leave the victim at disadvantage for all Wisdom and ability checks, which makes it an excellent combination move for its spells.

Speaking of which, let’s see what spells it can cast!

  • At will: disguise self (any humanoid form), major image
  • 3/day each: charm person, mirror image, scrying, suggestion
  • 1/day: geas

Without those, this is just another boring ‘hit it until it dies’ monster. But with those spells, it can become an incredibly tricky and dangerous boss monster. Give it a few minions for it to hide behind and you can get a battle that forces the players to think on their toes and get creative in how they approach it.

Placement

This was a surprisingly strong monster! Its lore is interesting, its design is unique and interesting, and its stats make for a strong early game boss fight! This is an incredible entry!

With all that in mind, let’s put the Lamia 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. Sea Hag
  14. Lamia <———————–
  15. Bronze Dragons
  16. Brass Dragons
  17. Copper Dragons
  18. Gold Dragons
  19. Chuul
  20. Kuo-Toa
  21. Gibbering Mouther
  22. Kraken
  23. Intellect Devourer
  24. Chimera
  25. Death Knight
  26. Fomorian
  27. Bone Devil
  28. Dracolich
  29. Faerie Dragon
  30. Kobold
  31. Kenku
  32. Hobgoblins
  33. Night Hag
  34. Green Hag
  35. Ankheg
  36. Hook Horror
  37. Storm Giant
  38. Hill Giant
  39. Empyrean
  40. Efreeti
  41. Grimlock
  42. Dao
  43. Cloud Giant
  44. Drow (all four of ’em)
  45. Shadow Demon
  46. Marilith
  47. Drider
  48. Aarackockra
  49. Azer
  50. Demilich
  51. Spectator
  52. Hydra
  53. Marid
  54. Harpy
  55. Werejackal
  56. Half-Dragon
  57. Cambion
  58. Fire Giant
  59. Animated Armor
  60. Banshee
  61. Basilisk
  62. Yochlol
  63. Bulette
  64. Cloaker
  65. Darkmantle
  66. Doppelganger
  67. Ghoul and Ghast
  68. Ettin
  69. Pit Fiend
  70. Erinyes
  71. Chain Devil
  72. Bearded Devil
  73. Barbed Devil
  74. Spined Devil
  75. Ice Devil
  76. Djinni
  77. Nalfeshnee
  78. Glabrezu
  79. Chasme
  80. Grell
  81. Barlgura
  82. Horned Devil
  83. Balor
  84. Shadow Dragon
  85. Vrock
  86. Dretch
  87. Gnolls (all three)
  88. Goristro
  89. Hezrou
  90. Manes
  91. Frost Giant
  92. Duergar
  93. Quasit
  94. Dryad
  95. Flumph
  96. Goblin
  97. Githyanki
  98. Planetar
  99. Imp
  100. Clay Golem
  101. Flameskull
  102. Displacer Beast
  103. Carrion Crawler
  104. Githzerai
  105. Grick
  106. Invisible Stalker
  107. Rug of Smothering
  108. Bugbear Chief
  109. Bugbear
  110. Flesh Golem
  111. Vine Blight
  112. Twig Blight
  113. Needle Blight
  114. Bullywug
  115. Hellhound
  116. Ettercap
  117. Gas Spore
  118. Cockatrice
  119. Lemure
  120. Homonculus
  121. Solar
  122. Deva
  123. Gorgon
  124. Hippogriff
  125. Griffon
  126. Cyclops
  127. Centaur
  128. Ghost
  129. Fire Elemental
  130. Water Elemental
  131. Air Elemental
  132. Stone Giant
  133. Deep Gnome
  134. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  135. Iron Golem
  136. Stone Golem
  137. Earth Elemental
  138. Galeb Duhr
  139. Helmed Horror
  140. Flying Sword
  141. Crawling Claw
  142. Violet Fungus
  143. Shrieker
  144. Gargoyle

1 thought on “Lamia: Master of Illusion”

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