Nothic: The Curse of the Knowing

Lore: Rats of the Arcane

The gaze of a nothic is just as horrific as it is intelligent and unnerving. When spurned to violence, its victims will rot from the cursed eye of the beast.

When a wizard dives too deep into arcane secrets, they are often struck by a curse left behind by Vecna, a powerful lich with god-like power. Once transformed, these wizards, now nothics, have no memory of their former selves. They’ll haunt locations of magical knowledge, drawn by a desire that they themselves don’t understand anymore.

Nothics have a strange ability to extract information from other creatures. With this, the creatures have a unique understanding of secret lore; sometimes, they’ll share this information for magical items.

This lore could make for a fun encounter. Maybe the party needs information that the nothic has and they have to trade a magic item for it. Or perhaps they’re hired to hunt one down within a magical academy or library or someplace like that. It isn’t BBEG worthy, but it does make for a fun one-off or side quest!

Design: Meet My Eye!

What kinda curse did Vecna cast to turn its victims into this? Was she feeling creative or did she just really wanna mess with people?

Oh, what a delightful smile!

This design is alright. It’s really creative; it’s like a scarier, more magical version of a cyclops or a cave troll! And that eye is creepy as hell! Of all the things you could run into in a dark place, this is among the worst to run into!

As interesting as it is, though, it doesn’t really tell you that much about the monster. It doesn’t reflect the lore all that well. This guy looks more like some kind of cave monster than it does a cursed wizard.

Overall, this is an okay design. It’s creative and creepy, even if it doesn’t entirely match the story behind it. Definitely one of the better ones, even if it isn’t one of the best.

Stats: World’s Worst Staring Contest

In a fight, a nothic is not a particularly interesting foe. It has some unique abilities, but they aren’t applicable for combat. It doesn’t even have any spells, despite what the lore might have you believe.

Defense wise, it isn’t half-bad for a low-level monster. Its AC is decent and it has an alright HP pool. Parties still near the start of their adventure might have a prolonged battle on their hands.

Attack wise, it doesn’t have much to do. It can either slash its victim with its claws twice, or it could use its Rotting Gaze ability. With this, the victim must succeed a Con save or deal a decent amount of necrotic damage.

Their most interesting ability is Weird Insight. When this is activated, the victim must make a Deception check against the nothic’s Insight. Should the nothic win, they will learn one secret about the target. Cool for lore and character growth! Not so useful for a fight.


This is a really mid-tier monster. Nothing about it is especially amazing, but none of it is bad. The lore is good for a fun session, the design is decent, and the stats can be used for interesting stuff outside of combat. It is thoroughly mid-tier.

With all that in mind, the Nothic is going to #67 of the Best of the Bestiary!

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Mind Flayer
  4. Dragon Turtle
  5. Mummy/Mummy Lord
  6. Nagas (all three of ’em)
  7. Green Dragons
  8. Red Dragons
  9. Blue Dragons
  10. Black Dragons
  11. White Dragons
  12. Silver Dragons
  13. Couatl
  14. Behir
  15. Aboleth
  16. Sea Hag
  17. Lamia
  18. Bronze Dragons
  19. Brass Dragons
  20. Copper Dragons
  21. Gold Dragons
  22. Chuul
  23. Kuo-Toa
  24. Gibbering Mouther
  25. Kraken
  26. Intellect Devourer
  27. Chimera
  28. Death Knight
  29. Fomorian
  30. Bone Devil
  31. Dracolich
  32. Faerie Dragon
  33. Lich
  34. Magmin
  35. Kobold
  36. Kenku
  37. Hobgoblins
  38. Night Hag
  39. Green Hag
  40. Ankheg
  41. Hook Horror
  42. Storm Giant
  43. Hill Giant
  44. Empyrean
  45. Efreeti
  46. Grimlock
  47. Minotaur
  48. Dao
  49. Cloud Giant
  50. Manticore
  51. Drow (all four of ’em)
  52. Shadow Demon
  53. Modrons (all five of ’em)
  54. Marilith
  55. Drider
  56. Aarackockra
  57. Azer
  58. Demilich
  59. Spectator
  60. Hydra
  61. Marid
  62. Harpy
  63. Werejackal
  64. Half-Dragon
  65. Cambion
  66. Fire Giant
  67. Nothic <————-
  68. Animated Armor
  69. Banshee
  70. Basilisk
  71. Yochlol
  72. Bulette
  73. Cloaker
  74. Darkmantle
  75. Doppelganger
  76. Ghoul and Ghast
  77. Ettin
  78. Medusa
  79. Pit Fiend
  80. Erinyes
  81. Chain Devil
  82. Bearded Devil
  83. Barbed Devil
  84. Spined Devil
  85. Ice Devil
  86. Mimic
  87. Djinni
  88. Merrow
  89. Nalfeshnee
  90. Glabrezu
  91. Chasme
  92. Grell
  93. Barlgura
  94. Horned Devil
  95. Balor
  96. Shadow Dragon
  97. Myconids (all four of ’em)
  98. Werebear
  99. Lizardfolk
  100. Vrock
  101. Dretch
  102. Gnolls (all three)
  103. Goristro
  104. Hezrou
  105. Manes
  106. Frost Giant
  107. Weretiger
  108. Werewolf
  109. Duergar
  110. Quasit
  111. Dryad
  112. Flumph
  113. Goblin
  114. Nightmare
  115. Wereboar
  116. Wererat
  117. Githyanki
  118. Planetar
  119. Imp
  120. Clay Golem
  121. Flameskull
  122. Displacer Beast
  123. Carrion Crawler
  124. Githzerai
  125. Grick
  126. Invisible Stalker
  127. Rug of Smothering
  128. Bugbear Chief
  129. Bugbear
  130. Flesh Golem
  131. Vine Blight
  132. Twig Blight
  133. Needle Blight
  134. Mephits (all six of ’em)
  135. Bullywug
  136. Hellhound
  137. Ettercap
  138. Gas Spore
  139. Cockatrice
  140. Lemure
  141. Homonculus
  142. Merfolk
  143. Solar
  144. Deva
  145. Gorgon
  146. Hippogriff
  147. Griffon
  148. Cyclops
  149. Centaur
  150. Ghost
  151. Fire Elemental
  152. Water Elemental
  153. Air Elemental
  154. Stone Giant
  155. Deep Gnome
  156. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  157. Iron Golem
  158. Stone Golem
  159. Earth Elemental
  160. Galeb Duhr
  161. Helmed Horror
  162. Flying Sword
  163. Crawling Claw
  164. Violet Fungus
  165. Shrieker
  166. Gargoyle

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