Monsters of D&D: The Phoenix

In the genre of fiction, there are iconic creatures who are recognized time and time again: ferocious dragons, majestic unicorns, and the like are all represented in the 5e Monster Manual. However, one that is missing completely is a beast that is one of my favorites.

The Phoenix, a fiery avian who is widely known for it’s rebirthing from it’s own ashes, proves to be a challenging elemental force which strikes fear into the hearts of men and woman who witness it for themselves.


“Ancient legend paints a picture of a magical bird, radiant and shimmering, which lives for several hundred years before it dies by bursting into flames. It is then reborn from the ashes, to start a new, long life. So powerful is the symbolism that it is a motif and image that is still used commonly today in popular culture and folklore.”

–  Ancient Origins of the Magical Phoenix

Desert nomads have witnessed such a wondrous beast from afar, only to perish by fire if they dare to wander too close. The Phoenix, also called the Firebird and the Benu Bird by long-gone civilizations, is an elemental force whose plumage is among some of the rarest available. Wizards and magicians desire it’s feathers for potions, and blacksmiths know it is a requirement to create a magical ever-burning forge.

A Phoenix may not be as intelligent as a fully grown dragon, it is none the less dangerous. They are still smart enough to sense a threat to them, and will see to that threat is eliminated completely, their body the same texture and consistency of sand.

 

Phoenix – Large Elemental

AC: 16

Hp: 210

Speed 20 ft, fly 120 ft

  • Str: 14 (+3)
  • Dex: 22 (+6)
  • Con: 22 (+6)
  • Int: 15 (+3)
  • Wis: 15 (+3)
  • Cha: 12 (+2)

 

SavingThrows: Dex +11, Con +11

Skills: Insight +8, Perception +8, Intimidation +8

Damage Heal Factors: Fire (see Flame-Blooded)

Condition Immunities: Petrification, Paralyzed

Senses: darkvision 120 feet, passive Perception

Languages: Auran, Ignan , understands Common but does not speak it

CR 15

 

TRAITS

Heated Body: A creature who touches the Phoenix’ skin takes 2d6 damage.

Phoenix Regeneration: The Phoenix magically regains hit points by nesting in a great mass of flames. The bonfire must be a size Large or bigger (in this case, enough to completely submerge the Phoenix in fire). This also applies to lava as well. Burying itself in this manner restores 30 hit points, however it must move immediately afterwards upon doing this. The Phoenix may return to that location after its turn is over, not merely if it has move speed left.

Flame-Blooded: When the Phoenix takes damage from a flame-based attack, it heals that many hit points that it would have taken in damage. This applies to magical fire as well. Attacks deemed as “cold fire” do not apply to this.

Magic Weapons: The Phoenix’s weapons are considered magical for the sake of overcoming armor and spells.

 

ATTACKS

Multi-Attack: The Phoenix can attack three times: one with its beak, one with its talons and one with it’s Burning Rain or Awe-Inspiring Beauty. If it has both Burning Rain and Awe-Inspiring Beauty used, it can choose to use either another Beak or Talon attack.

Beak: +11 to hit, reach 10 feet, one target. Hit: 210+5  piercing damage plus 2d6 fire damage (due to Heated Skin).

Talons: +11 to hit, reach 15 feet, one target. Hit:  2d8+6  piercing damage plus 2d6 fire damage (due to Heated Skin).

Burning Rain (recharge 5-6): The Phoenix soars up into the sky, and lets out a barrage of flaming feathers in a 60 foot cone which burst upon impact with the target. Targets must make a DC 18 Con save, or take 16d6 fire damage, or half as much on a successful save.

Targets must also make a DC 16 Dex saving throw, or the light of the fires will illuminate them. The Phoenix has advantage on all checks made against them.

Awe-Inspiring Beauty (recharge 5-6): In a dazzling display, the Phoenix lets out gouts of fire out to impress and potentially strike fear in onlookers. Observers who can see the Phoenix must make a DC 17  Wisdom saving throw or have disadvantage on Wisdom and Intelligence saving throws. The affected creature may make the save again when it takes damage.

 

Legendary Actions

The Phoenix can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The Phoenix regains spent legendary actions at the start of it’s turn.

Detect: The Phoenix makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.

Beak Attack (1 Legendary Action): The Phoenix can make a beak attack.

Pools of Hell (3 Legendary Actions): The Phoenix calls upon it’s innate magical nature, causing gouts of flame to erupt from underneath it’s foes. It can target up to 5 creatures as well as itself (only one of the flames can be to the Phoenix however). Targets must make a DC 18 Con saving throw or be engulfed by the magical flames, and take 4d6 fire damage. The Phoenix heals this much and does not need to make this saving throw.

In addition, these flames stay on the field. Beginning a turn in the flames causes that person to take 2d8 fire damage.

A Phoenix’ Lair

Dwelling in the most inhospitable locations on the Material Plane as well as that of the Elemental Plane of Fire, they are known far and wide for building their nests in sweltering locations. From deserts to even in the hearts of active volcanoes, the Phoenix never is seen with others of it’s kind save to mate and produce offspring.

The Phoenix builds a nest from aromatic cedar wood and peppers it with frankincense and night-blooming flowers: when the beast combusts from death, the scent can be smelt for miles upon end, carried on heated winds in the wake of it’s own funeral pyre.

A Phoenix encountered in it’s lair has a CR rating of 17.

 

Lair Actions

On initiative count 20 (loosing initiative ties), the Archfey can take a lair action to cause one of the following magical effects: the Archfey can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row.

  • The Phoenix an call up a great sandstorm which impedes movement and vision of all excluding itself and allies. Move speed is cut by half, targets have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) rolls, and also have disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws. The first time a Phoenix calls up a sandstorm, targets must make a DC Dexterity saving throw of 14 or take 4d4 damage from the course sand flying about.
  • A whirl of flame is conjured up, engulfing a target of the Phoenix’ choice. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw of 15 or cannot move until it’s next turn. Attacking while captured by the fire impedes disadvantage on rolls which require a d20 roll to hit the target.
  • The Phoenix can summon orbs of flame which locate the closest creatures to them, and fling themselves at that target. A target must make a DC Constitution saving throw or take 4d8 fire damage, or half on a successful saving throw. The motes the dissipate.

 

Life Death, then Life Again

A Phoenix has the ability to come back from the dead in due time, born from it’s own ashes of defeat. This though takes time, but when it does, the creature will re-emerge as a hatchling.

In the wake of the Phoenix’ demise, remnants of it’s former self may remain in the charred nest.

  • 1 through 30: nothing remains in the Phoenix’ nest.
  • 31-60: roll 1d6-1. This equates to how much phoenix ash is left in the nest.
  • 61-90: roll 1d6-2. This equates to how much phoenix ash is left in the nest. There is also 1d4-2 phoenix tail feathers left as well.
  • 91-99: roll 1d6-1. This equates to how many phoenix tail feathers are in the nest. In addition, there may be a minor magical trinket in the nest as well.
  • 100: a newborn Phoenix Hatchling emerges from the nest.

phoenix-feather-21680004

 

*Stats for a newly born Phoenix Hatchling will come soon*

 

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4 thoughts on “Monsters of D&D: The Phoenix

  1. Reblogged this on Tome and Tomb and commented:
    Well done, and since I’ve never felt that the game did the Phoenix correctly (and rarely was it done well in fiction either) might I suggest that the Phoenix might also be able to, under certain rare conditions pass along some of it’s attributes to players or NPC’s either in its living embodiment, or in its “dead form.”

    For instance a Wizard might be able to, through it’s blood, devise a potion which makes one immune to flame, or the Phoenix itself might confer a limited form of resurrection upon a recently dead character or a severely injured one, leading to a resurrection by pyre.

    Or one might be able to take the ashes of the creature or even components from its nest and create invisible fire ink, or even a poison, flaming ichor.

    There exist a large number of excellent possibilities with such a mythological creature.

    Like

  2. I found your post interesting and well done, so I shared it on my gaming blog. Might I also make the following suggestions?

    Since I’ve never felt that the game did the Phoenix correctly (and rarely was it done well in fiction either) might I suggest that the Phoenix might also be able to, under certain rare conditions pass along some of it’s attributes to players or NPC’s either in its living embodiment, or in its “dead form.”

    For instance a Wizard might be able to, through it’s blood, devise a potion which makes one immune to flame, or the Phoenix itself might confer a limited form of resurrection upon a recently dead character or a severely injured one, leading to a resurrection by pyre.

    Or one might be able to take the ashes of the creature or even components from its nest and create invisible fire ink, or even a poison, flaming ichor.

    There exist a large number of excellent possibilities with such a mythological creature.

    Keep up the good work.

    Jack

    Like

    1. I would largely leave that up to an individual GM to decide if that is within the realm of possibility in their game, but that does sound like an interesting concept.
      I’m glad you like the Phoenix posted up here! : )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re probably right about that. I was thinking of “outside suggestions” for the creation of magical items and effects such as found in the old AD&D DM Guide. You’re probably far too young to remember those.

        Like

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