Playable Halloween Monster Races for D&D 5th Edition – Part 2

Are you looking to run a Halloween one-shot? This week on the Campaign Trail you’ll find another batch of homebrew monsters to create evil, overpowered PCs to go with the 3 from last week. Crawling an old mansion and throwing Halloween monsters can provide a great one-shot, but maybe letting your players be the monsters could be even more fun. Imagine a game where your players have to scare the teenagers out of the mansion, stop the villagers from storming the keep or get revenge on those that dare enter their tomb.

Take a peek at these homebrew Halloween themed racial builds for Scarecrow, Frankenstein and Swamp Monster… if you dare.

Vampire, Werewolf and Mummy | Scarecrow, Frankenstein and Swamp Monster

Let your players mix these with any class and background to create a their own unique monstrous player characters. These racial options are far from balanced. Their traits are more numerous and powerful than race options from the Player’s Handbook and they have weaknesses too, which is all very un-fifth-like design. That being said, they do a decent job on recreating monster abilities to provide as player options for a Halloween one-shot. I’d recommend staying away from lower levels as many of the weaknesses of these races will get a low level PC killed with one hit and the super charged racial traits will be exposed more at lower levels.

scarecrow

Scarecrow

Scarecrows are spirit-powered constructs that silently guard fields awaiting harvest, bound by the command of their master. A Scarecrow PC could have died and their spirit was trapped in a scarecrow, until their master died and no one was left to control them. I looked to the Scarecrow from the Monster Manual and the Warforged race from Unearthered Arcana for ideas. Scarecrows might not seem as tough as the other monster races, but they are really hard to hit with anything other than fire and are immune to most conditions. Most importantly, they are fear embodied and have have three ways to create terror.

Ability Score Increase. Charisma score increases by 2 and Dexterity score increases by 1.

Age. N/A

Alignment. Chaotic Evil

Size. Medium

Speed. 30 feet

Damage Resistances. bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons.

Damage Immunities. poison.

Condition Immunities. charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned, unconscious.

Construct Nature. You do not need to eat or breathe. Instead of sleeping, you enter an inactive state for 4 hours each day. You do not dream in this state; you are fully aware of your surrounding and notice approaching enemies and other events as normal. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.

Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

False Appearance. While you remain motionless, you are indistinguishable from an ordinary inanimate scarecrow.

Terrifying Glare. As an action, you can target a creature you see within 30 feet. If that target can see you, the target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw (DC is 8 + your Charisma Modifier + your proficiency) or be frightened until the end of your next turn.

Scary. Creatures that end their turn within 5 feet of you must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw (DC is 8 + your Charisma Modifier + your proficiency) or be frightened until the end of your next turn.

Scarecrow Weaknesses. You have the following flaws

  • Flammable. You are made of cloth and straw and if you take any fire damage, you are on fire. If you are on fire at the start of your turn, you take 20 fire damage.

Unarmed Attacks. You have the following unarmed attacks that are based on Strength.

  • Claws. 1d6 slashing damage. If target is a creature, it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw (DC is 8 + your Charisma Modifier + your proficiency) or be frightened until the end of your next turn.

Languages. Common, languages of your past life or languages of your master.

 

frank-bride

Frankenstein / Bride of Frankenstein

Looking to play Frankenstein’s Monster? Frankenstein’s monster was created by science and electricity. A character with a backstory that involves an evil necromancer or an insane wizard trying to bring a loved one back to life or creating new life from body parts can be fun. Keep your Frankenstein away from fire, “Fire Bad!”,  and use lightning for healing. A Flesh Golem would be a good place to look for ideas, but the Half-Orc has some stuff that works too. As they are formed from dead beings, they lack most of the weaknesses the living have, including the need for sustenance or rest. Due to the fact that most are animated by electrical impulses, the character is naturally resistant to electrical attacks. These characters are very strong and don’t feel much pain which is reflected in the constitution stat bump and other abilities.

Ability Score Increase.  Strength score increases by 2 and Constitution score increases by 1.

Age. ?

Alignment. Chaotic Evil

Size. Medium

Speed. 30 feet

Damage Resistances. lightning, poison, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons that aren’t adamantine.

Condition Immunities. charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned.

Construct Nature. You do not need to eat or breathe. Instead of sleeping, you enter an inactive state for 4 hours each day. You do not dream in this state; you are fully aware of your surrounding and notice approaching enemies and other events as normal. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.

Lightning Absorption. Whenever you are subjected to lightning damage, you take no damage and instead regain a number of hit points equal to the lightning damage dealt.

Strength Through Pain. If your current hit points are below half of your hit point maximum at the start of your turn, you have advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws.

Monster Roar. You gain proficiency in the Intimidation skill.

Dying to Live. When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a short or long rest.

Frankenstein Weaknesses. You have the following flaws

  • Aversion to Fire. If you take fire damage, you have disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks until the end of your next turn.

Unarmed Attacks. You have the following unarmed attacks that are based on Strength.

  • Punch. 1d6 bludgeoning damage.

Languages. Common, languages of your past life or languages of your master.

 

swamp

Swamp Monster

Swamp Thing and the Creature from the Black Lagoon are classic swamp monsters. A Shambling Mound, Slaad, Sahuagin, Merrow or Treant could provide some ideas to create a playable race for these iconic monsters. I’ve borrowed ideas from all of these. A swamp monster should be amphibious with extremely powerful clawed hands and feet. The character should be able to swim swiftly and stay submerged for long periods. It is highly resistant to most forms of damage but prolonged absence from water could eventually kill this character (but I’m not going to worry about that – see Sahuagin in the Monster Manual if you want to handle this). A swamp monster character could be animated by magic or just be an ancient creature who is disturbed.

Ability Score Increase. Constitution score increases by 2 and Wisdom score increases by 1.

Age. ?

Alignment. Neutral or Neutral Evil

Size. Medium. Swamp  Monsters are taller than most humanoids, tending to be between 7 and 9 feet tall.

Speed. 30 feet. Swim 30 feet.

Damage Resistances. bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons.

Magic Resistance. You have advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Amphibious. You can breathe air and water.

Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Sunshine and Water: If you take a short rest in sunlight or water, you can re-roll any Hit Dice you spend once and take the higher value.

Natural Camouflage: If you are in a swamp or forest, you have advantage on all Stealth checks so long as you are standing still.

Entangling Plants. As an action, you can sprout grasping roots and vines in a 15-foot radius center on you, withering away after 1 minute. For the duration that area is difficult for nonplant creatures. In addition, each creature of your choice in that area when the plants appear must succeed on a Strength saving throw (DC is 8 + your Strength + your proficiency) or become restrained. A creature can use its action to make a Strength saving throw (DC is 8 + your Strength Modifier + your proficiency), freeing itself or another entangled creature within reach on a success. You can not use this ability again until you have completed a short or long rest.

Mirrored Respiration: You need to breathe, but unlike most creatures, you inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen, enough to supply one Medium-sized humanoid with breathable air in an enclosed environment.

Unarmed Attacks. You have the following unarmed attacks that are based on Strength.

  • Claw. 1d6 slashing damage.

Languages. Common, languages of your past life or languages of your master.

 

Vampire, Werewolf and Mummy | Scarecrow, Frankenstein and Swamp Monster

More Monsters?

Looking for more playable monsters? I provided racial builds for Vampire, Werewolf and Mummy character races in part 1 last week.

 

 

Shares

More Tribality Articles You Might Enjoy

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.