Are your adventurers struggling to find a mountain path to the red dragon’s lair? Did your party just escape from a nest of a roc chicks to find themselves on the top of a mountain? Let us do the work for you. Here is a list of 10 Awesome Monsters for a Mountain Encounter from the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Monster Manual.
Since this was first published in October 2014 the Dungeon Master Guide was released and provides lists of Monsters by Environment in Appendix B, but the lists are basic. In this article, you’ll find monsters that I think fit in a forest setting and some ideas on how to create encounters with each of them.
Challenge Rating: 1/4
I always liked the bird people in Legend of Zelda and these guys just look awesome. Aarakocra are good aligned “monsters” from Elemental Plane of Air, but who says you can’t have your adventurers face off against one or a group of them on a aerial patrol in the mountains. You could even have them fight to a draw only to decide to help each other battle some gargoyles or search for a temple of elemental evil. We also have an article about using Aarakocra as a playable character race.
Challenge Rating: 6
A chimeras looks like a mess with the heads of a lion, goat and dragon and various body parts to match each. Chimeras also take the worst features of each creating a greedy, territorial and stubborn monster, any of which can be used to gain advantage by smart adventurers. With three attacks, this monster can be a good solo monster challenge sitting up on the mountains for your adventurers.
Challenge Rating: 1
Sadistic and always on the hunt, the luring song of harpies will charm those withing 300 feet that can hear it. Harpies collect treasures and trophies from their victims in their hard to find lairs. Use a harpy lair as a beginner quest or a place to throw some loot your adventurers will need to fight more powerful monsters.
Challenge Rating: 2
This monster which has the head of a stag and body of a bird roosts and has its lair in the mountains. It likes to eat humans, elves and half-elves and needs a fresh heart of a humanoid to reproduce. These monsters have an unnatural hunger and will fight to the death or relentlessly hunt its prey if somehow driven away.
Challenge Rating: 1/4
Dinosaurs are rare, if your adventurers are unlucky enough to find any, a pteranodon attacking from the sky might not be an easy battle. A good setting to encounter a pteranodon would be near a coastal mountain range or in a lost world located in a mountain valley.
Challenge Rating: 4 to 24
Red dragons are vain, arrogant, impulsive, ferocious, greedy and have a general disdain for any other creatures. These overlords can usually be found perched high in the mountains where they can look over their territory when not sleeping in their lair surrounded by slaves. A red dragon’s lair is a dangerous challenge on its own with erupting magma, earthquake-like tremors and volcanic gases.
Challenge Rating: 11
These giant birds of prey have wingspans 200 feet or more. By the time you see its huge shadow or hear the flapping wings of a roc, you’ll likely already be in its claws. Rocs live long, solitary lives, high up in the mountains. When they leave to hunt they travel far soaring above the clouds looking for large prey such as elephants, whales, or an unlucky ships or caravans.
Challenge Rating: 5
These regenerative monsters have horrific appetites and will eat anything they can catch. The classic troll under a bridge is fun, but try placing a troll as front-line mercenary(being paid in food) working for ogres, orcs or giants in a mountain encounter.
Challenge Rating: 7
These reclusive and quiet artists are peaceful until disturbed by loud and obnoxious adventurers from the ground below. Have your adventurers interrupt the slumber of a giant for a tough solo battle in a mountain cave or send your adventurers on a hunt to steal some one of their stone carvings.
Yeti and Abominal Yeti
Challenge Rating: 3 and 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. Also included in the Arctic list.
- Winged Kobold