10 Awesome Monsters for a D&D 5e Arctic Encounter

Are your adventurers freezing to death on their way to a frozen temple? Did your party just escape a prison to find out there is nothing but snow and ice in every direction? Let us do the work for you. Here is a list of 10 Awesome Monsters for an Arctic Encounter from the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Monster Manual.

  • Druid

    Challenge Rating: 2
    The harsh arctic environment can kill a person in hours. Druids (NPC from Monster Manual page 346, not the Class from Player’s Handbook), that choose this freezing environment to protect and draw their power from, are not foes to be taken lightly. A druid, could just as easily be turned into an ally if your adventurers were able to help defeat a threat to the arctic (please not an evil wizard melting the ice caps).

  • Frost Giant

    Challenge Rating: 11
    These fierce and hardy warriors survive by raiding and pillaging the hard work of others. Instead of creating stuff, frost giants become really good at fighting and just take it from others who create. Visit a frost giant ice fortress or have the sound of a frost giant war horn announce their visit to a small northern village.

  • Ice Mephit

    Challenge Rating: 5
    These imp-like monsters are comprised of ice and air, they even look like an evil Jack Frost. An ice mephit can provide an interesting challenge for lower level groups with their frost breath and ability to blend into the icy background.

  • Killer Whale

    Challenge Rating: 3
    While walking on sea ice have a hungry killer whale attack from below. In real life, orcas are majestic mammals that are abused by humans at theme parks to perform tricks. Let an orca get its revenge on animal trainers everywhere and bring the “killer” back to this whale’s name.

  • Mammoth

    Challenge Rating: 6
    A mammoth is an elephant like huge beast with thick fur, long tusks and the ability to trample, gore and stomp. These magnificent beasts are now extinct due to climate change , overhunting by early humans or another mystery. Give the mammoth another chance at life by encountering your group.

  • Polar Bear

    Challenge Rating: 2
    This expert hunter can smell you miles and mile away. Polar bears would make a great random encounter in a snowy field and they are a tough enemy with a bite and claw multiattack. Have a momma bear face off against the party to defend her cubs for an aggressive bear and moral challenge.

  • Remorhaz & Young Remorhaz

    Challenge Rating: 5 to 11
    These huge arctic predators are best used as a surprise attack from under snow and ice in a cloud of steam. The ramorhaz will surprise even some experienced players with its ability to cause fire damage when touched and swallow them whole. Young Remoraz are smaller, but still a good fight with a challenge rating of 5.

  • Winter Wolf

    Challenge Rating: 3
    Any wolf hunts in packs and has keen hearing and smell, but a winter wolf is both bigger and faster. Stealthy winter wolves have advantage when hiding in snowy terrain with snow camouflage and have immunity to cold. It should not be hard to surround your adventurers with winter wolves for a surprise encounter.

  • White Dragon

    Challenge Rating: 2 to 20
    The most animal like of the chromatic dragons are driven by hunger and greed. They are less tactical than the other more intelligent chromatic dragons, but they make up for it with their excellent hunting skills. Visit a freezing white dragon lair filled with frozen bodies, diamonds, ivory and other trophies.

  • Yeti or Abominable Yeti

    Challenge Rating: 3 to 9
    High in the icy mountains, your adventurers are terrified by a horrible howl traveling on the wind. A huge abominable yeti is already hunting them and will not stop until its hunt is over and blood has spilled on the snow. Have hungry yeti rampage against a mountain village to turn your heroes into hunters.

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Shawn Ellsworth

Shawn is an author and co-founder of Tribality.com. He first got into tabletop RPGs through ninjas and then by playing a Kender in Dragonlance. Years later, he can be found running games in the Nentir Vale and his own Seas of Vodari campaign setting.