Best of the Bestiary, D&D

Mephits: Six For One Bargain!

Yes, you read that right. We’re gonna do all six of these little guys at once. Mainly because I can’t be bothered dragging them out for six whole weeks. Partly because each of them have less than a paragraph of lore on their own.

Hoo boy, this is gonna be exhausting.

Lore: Elemental Imps

Natives to the elemental planes, mephits are tricksters at heart. While they reside in the Elemental Planes or the Elemental Chaos, they do sometimes take residence on the Material Plane. When they do, they’ll find a place where their birth element can be found in large abundance.

Dust mephits have an odd fascination with death and gather in tombs and catacombs. Ice mephits are more cruel than any of the others and reside in the cold. Magma mephits are slow of thought and gather in volcanoes. Mud mephits often complain and beg for attention or money and often reside within the earth or water. Smoke mephits are lazy and love to lie and mock. Steam mephits are extremely sensitive and demanding, appointing themselves as the lords of the mephits.

This is extremely dull lore. All it really does is serve as setup for the placement of the enemy in your world and how they behave before and during combat. If you want to write a full-fledged campaign surrounding mephits, then you are fat out of luck.

Granted, this is an extremely low-level enemy, so I don’t see why you’d want to write a campaign all about them.

Design: One Candy, Six Flavors

That’s right, folks. They took the time to draw and design each and every one of these guys. And we still don’t have much to talk about!

Though to be fair: little does not mean nothing. Yes, these are all just different colored variations of the same design with a few cosmetic changes. But that core design tells you exactly what they are: obnoxious tricksters.

Just look at that face! That long, hooked nose, the narrow features, the wide grin, that is a face you know you can’t trust. Their forms may change, but that is true for each and every one of them.

Buuuut that’s still not enough to make their designs truly unique or interesting or memorable. We’ve already gotten plenty of trickster monsters and even more elementals. Ultimately, this look just doesn’t do anything new.

Stats: Tricksy Little Imps

You might think that analyzing six monsters all at once would take forever. Luckily for us, the list of things they all share is pretty long, so we can go through it fairly quickly.

None of the mephits are especially durable. Their ACs range from 10-12, so hitting them won’t be an issue. Their HP is also pretty pathetic, so they won’t stay alive for long. That said, each one has a short list of damage and condition immunities, so they aren’t total pushovers.

In terms of actions, all of them have claws and a breath attack. The claws are pretty pathetic, although some of them add a bit of extra damage on top of the base. The breath attack is pretty varied; some of them do little more than blind you, but there are a few that actually do damage.

All of them also have one spell (save the poor mud mephit; he gets nothing). These are incredibly basic and low-level spells, so none of them are going to make your players quiver in fear. Still, they add an extra little tool for the mephits to use to mess with your party.

Finally, the ability shared between them all: Death Burst. It’s pretty simple: when the mephit dies, it explodes. The effects of the explosion match the mephit’s breath attack, so it doesn’t mean massive damage. It can, but it can also mean being blinded or getting restrained.

And that’s all. See? That didn’t take so long.

While each of the five are fairly different, the basis of their encounters don’t really change. Pick one that will fit the setting the party is currently going through, then throw a small handful of them at your players. Will that make for a fun encounter? Well, it will certainly make for a tricky one; the mephits don’t have a dangerous toolset, but they do have variety on their side. Not bad for a low-level fight. But beyond level three, you’ll have expended their usefulness.

Placement

Overall, these six are all pretty weak and forgettable monsters. Their lore is basically nothing and their designs aren’t anything new. Sure, they can make for a fun early-game battle. But there are plenty of other monsters that could do the same job.

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

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