Thoughts & Things

D&D Monstrous Manual for 5th edition – Part 1

The D&D 5th edition monster manual has a ton of monsters to choose from, and they can be easily tweaked/adapted to different scenarios using the dungeon master’s guide. That is usually what I do. I take a strange creature, change a few things, add some crazy hair, and poof, the new Donald Groblesmaker Trump monster is born. As I have read during the creation of the D&D 5th edition monster manual, they went through all the previous editions and created a list of all the monsters, and then had to pick the ones to include in 5th edition, while others were not. I thought it would be cool to go through my old AD&D 2nd Monstrous Manual and bring some of those creatures to life for you to use in your campaign. So here goes…


argosThe first monster that I picked is from Spelljammer: the Argos. Argos are sort of similar to Gibbering Mouthers in appearance, but then are really close to the abilities of a Beholder. The Argos are intelligent evil creatures, and aren’t suited for open combat, because they are typically hiding out and trapping creatures to feed their insatiable hunger. They don’t want to attack large groups of creatures, and instead choose to pick off one creature at a time from the shadows. Using multiple attacks and eye rays to weaken a creature they surprise, and then quickly swallow & digest them before they are discovered by others. Argos have been known to consume a ship’s crew in a manner of days. An argos will pick through it’s victims equipment keeping any useful tools or weapons. Non-magical items are typically ruined by acid in a few weeks, as the argos will store the items inside body cavities for later use. If it finds itself unable to eat for a long period of time, it will hibernate in a protective crystalline shell. Waiting dormant for up to a year until it senses food nearby.

spelljammerAn argos has a large central eye and then nearly a hundred smaller eyes and sharp-toothed mouths. The eyes of an argos are similar to a beholder and have a variety of special powers. An Argos can extended several pseudopods that have mouths on the end that act like arms and hands, to weld weapons and manipulate tools. They can slither, cling to ceilings and also fly. But they don’t like flying, and do it rather slowly. They are huge and can be as large as 10 feet in diameter. Its flesh is translucent and tends toward blue and purple. You would think the Argos would smell like a garbage heap, but an argos continually gives off a sweet smelling odor reminiscent of flowers. Space Creepy!


Large Aberration, neutral evil

Armor Class  20 (natural armor)
Hit Points  83 (15d8+15)
Speed 30 ft., fly 15 ft. (can levitate)
18 (+4) 13 (+1) 12 (+1) 14 (+2) 13 (+1) 13 (+1)
Saving Throws Str + 9, Con +6,
Skills Athletics +9, Arcana +7, Perception +6, Stealth +11
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities poisoned, prone, charmed, incapacitated, restrained
Senses passive darkvision 120 ft, passive Perception 16
Languages telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)
Central Eye. The argos’ central eye can cast one of the three spells once per turn in addition to the Actions listed below:

  • Alter Self – Does not require concentration and lasts up 2 hours. When using the Change appearance benefit, the Argos can take the shape of any creature it has previously eaten but no smaller than a Medium sized creature.
  • Prismatic Ray – Choose one random effect ray from prismatic spray spell. On a roll of 8, two rays are emitted. Target makes a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw against each ray.
  • Ray of Enfeeblement – The argos makes a ranged spell attack against a creature within 60 feet. On a hit, the target is enfeebled and damage dealt is reduced by half. The effect can end with the creature on a successful Constitution saving throw (DC 16).

Death. If an argos is reduced to 0 hp, there is a chance that it’s corpse will contain something sinister.  There will be 0 to 3 (1d4-1) crystalline spheres that will appear to be worth 1,000 GP each. Other items being digested (magic items, treasure, weapons, tools, bones, partially digested creatures) and held inside the argos will mask the spheres’ true identity: unhatched eggs. They may go unnoticed, and will eventually each hatch into an argos under the right conditions to be determined by the DM.


Multiattack. An adult argos can attack with up to 10 pseudopods against any creature that is within reach (10 or 15 feet), each acting independently, and also can choose to make 1 eye ray attack. The 10 pseudopod attacks can either be with a mouth-held weapon, or a bite attack. Reduce the number of attacks if pseudopods are grappling a creature.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) piercing damage

Weapon Attack. An argos can effectively hold up to three melee weapons. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 15 ft ., one target. Hit: 9 (1d10 + 4) bludgeoning or slashing damage.

Eye Ray. The argos can use its eye rays similarly as casting the spell of the same name.

  1. Blind Ray (Blindness PHB 219) DC 16 Constitution Save for up to 4 creatures. On a fail, the creature is blinded for 1 minute.
  2. Burning Eyes (Burning Hands PHB 220) 15 foot cone, DC 16 Dexterity save, on a fail take 7d6 fire damage on success take half.
  3. Charm Ray (Charm PHB 221) DC 16 Wisdom Save for up to 5 creatures. On a fail, creature is charmed.
  4. Cold Ray (Cone of Cold PHB 224) 60 foot cone  each creature DC 16 Constitution save, 9d8 damage on a failed save, half on a successful one.
  5. Dominate Ray (Dominate Person PHB 235) DC 16 Wisdom Save.
  6. Force Ray (Phantasmal Force PHB 264) DC 16 Intelligence Save. Typically put a barrier behind the creature will want to come toward the Argos and be eaten.
  7. Poly Ray (Polymorph PHB 266) DC 16 Wisdom save. Creature is typically turned into a CR 1/4 small creature for ease of initial digestion.
  8. Stone Ray (Flesh to Stone PHB 243) DC 16 Constitution Save.

Swallow. A Medium or smaller creature that has been grappled by a pseudopod can be swallowed at the start of the Argos’ next turn. (Any creature that is charmed can automatically be swallowed without having to make a successful bite attack.) The argos makes an additional Bite attack against the grappled creature for each pseudopod it has used to grapple the creature. If one or more of the Bite attack hits, the target takes damage as normal but is then swallowed at the end of the argos’ turn, the grapple ends. But then the creature is blinded and restrained, and has cover against attacks outside the argos. The creature then takes an automatic 28 (5d10) acid damage at the start of each of the creature’s turns. The argos can only have two living victims swallowed at a time.

Legendary Actions

The argos can take 3 legendary actions, using the Eye Ray or Pseudopod Grapple options below. It can only take one legendary action at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn (including it’s own turn) The argos regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Eye Ray. An argos can use one eye ray.

Pseudopod Grapple. An argos can make a pseudopod grapple attack against a single creature at a time. Once a creature has been grappled, it can then attempt to use another pseudopod to grapple another creature, or use another pseudopod to grapple the same creature it has already grappled, and then that creature becomes restrained. When attempting the Pseudopod Grapple, an argos has advantage during the contested grapple check. On a successful grapple, also make 4 Bite attacks against the grappled creature at advantage as the pseudopod wraps around the grappled creature.


AD&D 2e Spelljammer Adventures in Space

AD&D 2e Monstrous Manual