The beholder is a very scary monster, comprised of a giant eye in it’s main body that has the effect of an antimagic spell and ten different eye stalks that each shoot different rays. Since all beholders consider their body to be the perfect body, they hate all creatures that don’t look like them, and consider other beholders to be a disgrace to the name “beholder”. Beholders have really cool lairs underneath cities and in mountains where there are multiple layers and each layer is connected by a vertical tube. This makes it hard for a party to fight a beholder in it’s lair because they will have a tough time getting down those vertical passages without the ability to fly. Just remember… Beauty is in the eye of the beholder… also some players have come up with a theory that if you chop out a beholder’s eye you will find beauty… It would be funny if they found a monster named Beauty.
Liches are a force to be reckoned with. As a high level spellcaster, your party will have a tough time defeating him. Spells against him are likely to fail due to counterspell, and he has resistance to a lot of damage. He also has a nice array of legendary actions which he can use to change the flow of the combat. Liches have traded many things in exchange for immortality. Starting with high level wizards, some of them wanted to become more powerful than ever seen before. They asked powerful demons and other beings to grant them immortality and paid an agreed price, usually a service or such. A ritual was then performed to tie their soul to a phylactery, which brings them back to life even if they die. They make for great long-term villains.
- Mind flayer
Mind flayers are a cunning creature that likes to act behind-the-scene. Usually they send minions to do their work for them, while they plan out how to achieve their goal. They don’t mind spending their lifetime executing their plan, because they know that the results would be domination of everything around them. Players rarely know that a mind flayer is attempting to take over the town until they find its lair. Mind flayers are also responsible for the intellect devourer, which is a dog-like creature with a giant brain instead of a body and eats other people’s brains.
Distantly related to dragons, kobolds are very intelligent creatures that set traps and ambushes for PCs. They live in tribes in a communal area, which leads to fights among them to settle their differences. They hate most other races, especially those that play lots of tricks. Their goal is to conquer as much land as possible. If you use kobolds, they should set an ambush for the party, such as the PCs falling into a pit trap and then 10 kobolds surround them and start shooting bows and arrows at them.
Mimics are very creative creatures who love to trick their prey into thinking that they are something they are not. Mimics most often disguise themselves into things that they know adventurers will touch, such as treasure chests, doors, and items. Sometimes they work together with other mimics by sharing the same dungeon and taking the most strategic shapes and placements. Rarely there are mimics who can communicate with humanoids. It is always interesting to meet an intelligent mimic who is willing to trade information about a dungeon in exchange for something they need.
- Displacer beast
Jaguar-like creatures make for a great encounter. Jaguar-like creatures that have the ability to bend light make for an even better encounter. Often hunting alone or in small packs, they are very quick and stealthy creatures. The best scene for an encounter is in a forest where a pack of 3 displaced beasts can pounce on a party of adventurers. They are very hard to defeat due to creatures having disadvantage on attack rolls against them and taking half or no damage on Dex saving throws.
Dragons are a very iconic monster in D&D, as inferred by them being in the name. Dragons are very smart monsters who love gold, magic items, and just about anything else they gain get their hands (AHEM- claws) on. They usually have hidden lairs where the ground is covered in gold and magic items. They also sometimes have kobold servants. A dragon’s goal is to rule over a large group of people and to be the richest creature there is. Players never forget fighting an ancient red dragon on the ruins of an ancient dwarves city.
Of all the monsters in Dungeons and Dragons, the tarrasque is the only CR 30 monster there is. With immunity to fire damage, the ability to deflect line-attack spells, advantage on magical saving throws, a lot of hit points, and +19 to hit, this creature is almost impossible to defeat. Every century the tarrasque wakes up for a short time to go on a rampage and destroy everything in it’s sight. Whole cities fall to the beast before it goes back into its decades long slumbers. It looks like a giant dinosaur, bigger than a hour, and swallows everyone in sight. If you want a TPK, use this.
Drow are something people constantly debate with me. According to the monster manual and previous editions in the Forgotten Realms setting, drow are inherently evil. However, some people say that they are only evil because they are taught to be evil. Whichever way you go, they are a very evil race that would like to see drow rule spread everywhere. They live in the Underdark, and follow the goddess Lolth, goddess of evil. If they fail to worship her, members of their family will be sacrificed and worse consequences can ensue. Very rarely a drow defect will become an adventurer, as seen with Drizz’t. It can also be very fun to roleplay a drow defector.
- Gelatinous cube
The gelatinous cube is a very annoying monster to battle, which is why many dungeon masters place them in their dungeons. Almost see through, low level players are unlikely to notice the cube, which can cause the whole party to walk into it. It can be hard for a player to get caught in it due to it’s low DC 12 Dex saving throw, but when a player does get caught it deals a lot of damage. It also has a lot of hit points so it is unlikely that players will be getting out of there immediately. I recommend using this as a one-shot encounter boss because they aren’t smart enough to make a clever plan. (Also they don’t think much…) blinded by desire, that they cannot foresee.