[Top 25] D&D Best Boss Monsters (Part 2)

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Adventurer's Face Down an Ancient Dragon to retrieve some SWEET Loot!

[Top 25] D&D Best Boss Monsters

 

Boss Fights

A DnD Campaign often spans the course of multiple Arcs, which each, usually, has its own Mastermind. Boss Monsters are what drive the plot of the story and the plans of the enemies the characters may come across, or maybe they are just crazy, mindless monsters bent on destruction.

This is a list of the Top creatures to use for boss monsters! I’ve excluded specifically named creatures like the Demogorgon, or Tiamat, or Strahd but the decisions were hard enough to make regardless. I edited the list of my top favorites many times before I settled on this list, adding and taking away candidates like the Giants and Many types of Devils and Demons.

A boss Monster may serve as the central focus of a campaign, so I encourage you to heavily research your Big Bad if you decide to use one of these creatures as many unique adventures mayspawn from their descriptions.

 

25. Gelatinous Cube

This jelly monster consumes everything it can get its... flubber on? This thing would be incredible at hotdog eating contests.

An Ooze has no sense of knowledge or self-preservation but can serve as a rich defense to monsters and their plentiful bounties from adventurers. Makes for poor jelly though, yuck.

What are the Gelatinous Cube’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 6
  • Hit Points 84 (8d10 + 40)
  • Speed 15 ft.
  • Condition Immunities Blinded, Charmed, Deafened, Exhaustion, Frightened, Prone
  • Senses Blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), Passive Perception 8
  • Challenge 2 (450 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • The cool thing about the Gelatinous cube is its clear color. 
  • Adventurers may wander into a corridor that seems to have some sort of antigravity magic with floating armor and coins but as soon as the first one gets too close the Ooze will jump forward to consume the unlucky adventurer. 
  • The Gelatinous cube, using its “engulf ability” will slowly digest the adventurers while they struggle to get out of the death jelly.
  • They often serve as slaves to dungeon denizens to guard important corridors or treasure.
  • Open them up for that sweet sweet loot.

 

24. Chimera

The Chimera is a monstrosity, barely held together by the madness of its 3 heads. I wonder if it has to eat 3 times as much.

It is said that the first Chimeras were created when the Demon Prince came to the material plane and I’d believe it. These dudes are SPOOKY! It’s Dragon Head drives it to greed, it’s lion head drives it to hunt, and its goat head drives it to make screaming goat memes.

What are the Chimera’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 14 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 114 (12d10 + 48)
  • Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft.
  • Skills Perception +8
  • Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 18
  • Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • A chimera can breathe fire and do this while flying overhead, away from danger. 
  • Driven by the lion head, after weakening its prey, the Chimera loves to fly down and rip its targets apart, just inches of their life, then playing with it before consuming them. 
  • Facing a Chimera can be foreboding as well, as they can easily be enslaved by powerful mages who played into the temptation of the Dragon Head.

 

23. Spirit Naga

The Naga looks like it got a sweet "Finish Him" combo in. This is why snakes shouldn't have hands!

Nagas are often compelled by powerful magic users to guard artifacts, magical locations, or magical items. The tricky part is that Nagas May return to life in a several days and hold intense grudges, plotting vengeance against those they believe have wronged them.

What are the Spirit Naga’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 15 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 75 (10d10 + 20)
  • Speed 40 ft.
  • Saving Throws DEX +6, CON +5, WIS +5, CHA +6
  • Damage Immunities Poison
  • Condition Immunities Charmed, Poisoned
  • Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 12
  • Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • One of the most intriguing parts about facing a Naga is the hint at something greater beyond it that it has been compelled to guard. Players LOVE sick loot! 
  • As a DM, you will be pleased to have a recurring villain that can return to life and swear vengeance against players that have taken the loot it was charged to protect. 
  • A Naga is also armed with up to 5th level spells and bears a deadly, poisonous bite.

 

22. Medusa

The wicked Medusa contemplating how best to decorate you for her garden.

If you thought the snake was scary on the last one, beware of the snake hair! These creatures were once humans who struck contracts with Demons or Devils to have hot summer bods then when it came time for payment, they were made into Medusas with snake hair and anyone that looked upon them would be turned to stone.

What are the Medusa’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 15 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 127 (17d8 + 51)
  • Speed 30 ft.
  • Skills Deception +5, Insight +4, Perception +4, Stealth +5
  • Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 14
  • Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • A good Medusa villain may be someone who wishes to rid themselves of being “ugly” or become amad scientist assembling abominations to carry out their deeds.
  • Have your Medusa be a “plastic surgeon” casting stone shape on the creatures she has petrified then un-petrifying them with their new look. 
  • By crossing a Medusa an adventurer may find themselves being turned to stone. 
  • The party may need to find a creative *nudge nudge* way to defeat such a villain or they will all join the Medusa’s garden.
  • A Medusa is Immortal (but doesn’t come back when they are killed) , so this Boss Monster could have information on a World long gone.

 

21. Balor

This impressively powerful Balor can and will pass if he pleases, Gandalf.

A Balor is one of the highest-ranking demons and serves as generals over the infernal army. They have risen through their hierarchy and were granted this powerful form by Asmodeus himself! The Balor will never be a solo monster and will, often, have many minions at their command.

What are the Balor’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 19 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 262 (21d12 + 126)
  • Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft.
  • Saving Throws STR +14, CON +12, WIS +9, CHA +12
  • Damage Resistances Cold, Lightning; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
  • Damage Immunities Fire, Poison
  • Condition Immunities Poisoned
  • Senses Truesight 120 ft., Passive Perception 13
  • Challenge 19 (22,000 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • With the Balor’s fiery aura, standing too close can burn the adventurers and attacking within melee range will also hurt them. 
  • The party will be hard-pressed to stay away from this powerful demon with its 80 ft fly speed not to mention its teleporting at-will ability. 
  • The Balor’s whip has a 30 ft reach and can strike down its foes without ever touching the ground. 
  • If the party is even able to take down this great demon, IT EXPLODES! Like that perk that killed me EVERY TIME in the old school Call of Duty games.

 

20. Balhannoth

This weird looking creature is nothing to laugh at, unless it tricked you into laughing so it could eat you.

The Balhannoth, the twisted creature from the shadow fell, serves as a powerful, lone hunter or a useful slave to the Drow. They use hope to draw in their prey, making the heroes feel as though they are drawing close to whatever they truly desire and while the Balhannoth reads their minds, it creates a hallucinatory area that resembles what an adventurer has been searching for before it drops in to attack. Wait, was Willie Wonka a Balhannoth?

What are the Balhannoth’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 17 Natural Armor
  • Hit Points 114 (12d10 + 48)
  • Speed 25 ft., climb 25 ft.
  • Saving Throws CON +8
  • Skills Perception +6
  • Condition Immunities Blinded
  • Senses Blindsight 500 ft. (blind beyond this radius), Passive Perception 16
  • Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • A Balhannoth is a Legendary Creature giving it Legendary Actions and Resistances.
  •  It, also, has the ability to become invisible and teleport 
  • The Balhannoth can, while in its lair, make itself seem invisible to a certain target or teleport one of its enemies 60 ft in any direction.
  •  The Balhannoth may also use its tentacles to draw its prey in towards its mouth. 
  • It may even open a chocolate factory to lure in hopeful children to be consumed. Seriously, can we get fanfic of this one?

 

19. Rakshasa

The Rakshasa's backward hands must make it really hard to pick things up.

This manipulative demon can assume any guise it wants and can avoid detection from spells below 6th level. They often masquerade as nobles or rich merchants. Encountering a Rakshasa will not just be a slogfest of blades and claws but adventurers will need to carefully maneuver the political webs the Rakshasa has weaved to even have access to this cunning villain.

What are the Rakshasa’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 16 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 110 (13d8 + 52)
  • Speed 40 ft.
  • Skills Deception +10, Insight +8
  • Damage Vulnerabilities Piercing from Magic Weapons Wielded by Good Creatures
  • Damage Immunities Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
  • Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 13
  • Challenge 13 (10,000 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • A Rakshasa has powerful, magical abilities to take control of players and force adventurers to battle each other or stand down to the Rakshasa.
  • Taking even a single claw hit from this fiend places a curse on the heroes, to be haunted by their thoughts and dreams, not allowing them to get the benefits of a short or long rest.
  • The Rakshasa, when killed, returns to the Nine Hells and begins to reform. Making for a powerful recurring villain with a vengeful spirit that will not only go after the adventurers but will target their family and friends.

 

18. Illithid/Mind Flayer

These Cthulu-like creatures just love having their friends around to, you know, slurp on brains and stuff.

Eating brain, like old school zombies, is the Illithid’s favorite pastime. What a Tinder bio that would be.  They were once slavers that spanned many worlds and used their collective hive mind to take control of entire races. Davy Jones Fascists also command psionic abilities and can communicate through telepathy.

What are the Illithid’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 15 (Breastplate)
  • Hit Points 71 (13d8 + 13)
  • Speed 30 ft.
  • Saving Throws INT +7, WIS +6, CHA +6
  • Skills Arcana +7, Deception +6, Insight +6, Perception +6, Persuasion +6, Stealth +4
  • Senses Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 16
  • Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • A Mind Flayer, often, works for a greater colony serving an Elder Brain, though a lone Illithid could be an Outcast, bitter to their colony. Mind Flayers with Arcane abilities are usually outcast from their hives as well. A powerful creature with magical abilities and a thirst for vengeance? I think that’ll do.
  • The Mindblast ability allows them to cause AOE damage and stun their enemies, leaving them more susceptible to brain-sucking.
  • They also have Magic Resistance and Psionic abilities that allow them to take control of creatures to become thralls!
  • A Mind Flayer may be coupled with Intellect Devourers, human thralls, or other Underdark denizens.

 

17. Aboleth

The Ancient Aboleth draws an adventurer into its waters, never going to the beach AGAIN!

You know what they say, an Aboleth never forgets. These creatures were swimming through the primordial waters, legends say, even before the Gods arrived on the Material Plane, taking slaves from the budding humanoid races.  For a time, they served as Gods to the denizens of the world before their Empires were destroyed by the True Gods.

What are the Aboleth’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 17 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 135 (18d10 + 36)
  • Speed 10 ft., swim 40 ft.
  • Saving Throws CON +6, INT +8, WIS +6
  • Skills History +12, Perception +10
  • Senses Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 20
  • Challenge 10 (5,900 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • An Aboleth is a Legendary Creature that possesses Legendary Actions.
  • The Aboleth sets up ambushes far ahead of time as it speaks telepathically to adventurers in order to learn their greatest desires and tempt them with promises.
  • They excrete a mucous that can force a creature to exclusively be able to breathe water, forcing heroes to fight on Its terms.
  • They can Enslave their foes to serve them and may also drain an Enslaved’s life force to heal itself.
  • Its tentacles can cause a disease that harms its enemy for being out of the water, making its quarry come to them.
  • An Aboleth villain has perfect clarity of events from the beginning of time and can serve as excellent Lore Gathering tools! If you can trust them.

 

16. Beholder

Greed always kills, especially if you're stealing from a beholder. Terrible choice.

The Paranoid Eye Tyrants are convinced everyone is out to destroy them, so they are constantly creating elaborate plans to destroy their enemies and command Networks of Agents to do its bidding. They hide out in strange Lairs that were carved out by their disintegration ray, consisting of a lot of vertical corridors that it can easily move through but it would be difficult for others to do so. 

What are the Beholder’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 18 Natural Armor
  • Hit Points 180 (19d10 + 76)
  • Speed 0 ft., fly 20 ft. (hover)
  • Saving Throws INT +8, WIS +7, CHA +8
  • Skills Perception +12
  • Condition Immunities Prone
  • Senses Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 22
  • Challenge 13 (10,000 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • The Beholder can expel an antimagic field in its field of view, turning off the mighty heroes numerous magic items and leaving the party’s casters as nothing more than peasants with cool hats.
  • They have numerous eye rays that range from paralyzing their targets to telekinetically throwing their target around to Disintegrating their enemies.
  • A Beholder has Legendary Actions that allow it to use an Eye Ray on another creature's turn.
  • They will, often, have creatures serving them, acting as agents that can serve in the Beholder’s evil plot!
  • It’s a floating ball of eyeballs; what’s not to love?
  • A Beholder’s lair has a multitude of abilities that make the encounter more dynamic like vines that grab the heroes or eye rays that shoot from the walls.

 

15. Death Tyrant

When I have bad dreams I wake up in a sweat. When the Beholder has bad dreams it loses all its skin. You decide which you would rather.

The Floating ball of Eyes had some spooky dreams and “POOF!” all its skin disappeared! The Death Tyrant is obsessed with undeath but is still like the paranoid creature it was when it was a Beholder, just more Bony! 

What is a Death Tyrant Capable of?

  • Armor Class 19 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 187 (25d10 + 50)
  • Speed 0 ft., fly 20 ft. (hover)
  • Saving Throws STR +5, CON +7, INT +9, WIS +7, CHA +9
  • Skills Perception +12
  • Damage Immunities Poison
  • Condition Immunities Charmed, Exhaustion, Paralyzed, Petrified, Poisoned, Prone
  • Senses Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 22
  • Challenge 14 (11,500 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • Instead of the Beholder’s antimagic cone, the Death Tyrant has a cone that does not allow creatures to regain hitpoints and if a humanoid dies while in its sight, they rise the next turn as a Zombie.
  • A Death Tyrant can command undead hordes, therefore pitting the heroes against an army of Undead as well.
  • They have eye ray abilities just like the Beholder and can use legendary actions to perform eye ray attacks as well.
  • A Death Tyrant’s lair has the same abilities as the Beholder’s lair allowing for dynamic combat while the heroes fight off zombies and avoid lasers.

 

14. Mummy Lord

Is it just me or does wrapping a zombie in toilet paper make it way scarier?

A terrible monarch or perhaps a dark priest from times long past may be risen under a dark ritual to become a Mummy Lord, once again seeking to rule an Empire. They remember who they were in life and still command the dark powers that vaulted them into their thrones in the first place. They provide near-endless toilet paper to their followers if they can bear the smell.

What are the Mummy Lord’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 17 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 97 (13d8 + 39)
  • Speed 20 ft.
  • Saving Throws CON +8, INT +5, WIS +9, CHA +8
  • Skills History +5, Religion +5
  • Damage Vulnerabilities Fire
  • Damage Immunities Necrotic, Poison; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
  • Condition Immunities Charmed, Exhaustion, Frightened, Paralyzed, Poisoned
  • Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 14
  • Challenge 15 (13,000 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • A Mummy Lord has Legendary actions allowing it to blind, stun, and sap the life from their enemies. They can also become a whirlwind of sand to avoid damage or ensure escape.
  • They can also rot their enemies into dust with their cursed attacks or freeze them in place with its dreadful gaze.
  • The Mummy Lord may also cast spells up to 6th level to destroy their enemies.
  • Their lairs allow their followers to automatically know the location of creatures inside, damages non-undead attempting to use magic and gives advantage to undead creatures from being turned.
  • Even if the heroes win they may leave with cursed treasure and a Mummy Lord may Rejuvenate within 24 hours, serving as an excellent recurring villain.

 

13. Skull Lord

The Skull Lord unleashes its fury on Driz'zt, maybe next time he'll avoid the three headed skeleton creature.

During Vecna’s rising, his captains and warlords began fighting each other once Vecna was betrayed by his General, Kas. They say Vecna took these captains and fused their bodies into groups of 3, cursed to fight with themselves for all time. Now, they rule over domains within the Shadowfell yet they still plot against themselves. 

What are the Skull Lord’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 18 (Plate)
  • Hit Points 105 (14d8 + 42)
  • Speed 30 ft.
  • Skills Athletics +7, History +8, Perception +12, Stealth +8
  • Damage Resistances Cold, Necrotic; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
  • Damage Immunities Poison
  • Condition Immunities Blinded, Charmed, Deafened, Exhaustion, Frightened, Poisoned, Stunned, Unconscious
  • Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 22
  • Challenge 15 (13,000 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • The Skull Lord possesses Legendary Actions that allow it to attack, cast a cantrip, move without provoking opportunity attacks, or even raise the dead. They also possess Legendary Resistances.
  • They can boost the abilities of their undead minions and have the ability to evade powerful spells.
  • They can cast powerful spells up to 7th level.
  • A Skull Lord that has found its way into the Material Plane may plan to amass an undead army to conquer land and hold dominion over it. Another interesting quest hook may be of a Skull Lord trying to separate itself from the other 2 consciousnesses sharing its body. 

 

12. Vampire

Dracula would be a shoe in for ballet, just check out those pointed toes!

A Vampire coming into town may be marked with an increase in bat, rat, and wolf populations or the yearning to dress in all black and put on dark eyeliner. They often turn their servants into Vampire Spawn and these aren’t the pretty Twilight Vampires these are some seriously nasty monsters. All their earthly desires have become obsessions and serve as the center of their sinister plots.

What are the Vampire’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 16 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 144 (17d8 + 68)
  • Speed 30 ft.
  • Saving Throws DEX +9, WIS +7, CHA +9
  • Skills Perception +7, Stealth +9
  • Damage Resistances Necrotic; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
  • Senses Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 17
  • Languages the languages it knew in life
  • Challenge 13 (10,000 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • A Vampire is a Legendary creature that possesses Legendary Actions and Resistances.
  • They often work in subtlety, charming creatures to follow them and they assume the role of powerful nobles.
  • They can CALL BATS OR RATS TO ATTACK!
  • A Vampire Regenerates health every turn, and when it drops to 0 it becomes a mist that allows it to easily escape to Rejuvenate itself and come back for vengeance unless the heroes can conquer its weaknesses.
  • If the Vampire defeats its foes they rise as Vampire Spawn, expanding their army. 

 

11. Sphinx

The Sphinx is RIPPED, I wonder what his diet is like. I can't imagine they'd be allowed into any gym.

These guys love puzzles so much that they bind someone trying to solve them to death if they cannot figure them out. They were created to guard ancient secrets or treasures of the Gods. Terrible at parties.

What are the Sphinx’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 17 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 199 (19d10 + 95)
  • Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft.
  • Saving Throws DEX +6, CON +11, INT +9, WIS +10
  • Skills Arcana +9, Perception +10, Religion +15
  • Damage Immunities Psychic; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
  • Condition Immunities Charmed, Frightened
  • Senses Truesight 120 ft., Passive Perception 20
  • Challenge 17 (18,000 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • The Sphinx may serve as a key obstacle to pass to further the heroes’ story or a fallen Sphinx may serve as an excellent villain, pursuing all those even curious about its secrets.
  • The Sphinx’s lair may alter the flow of time or allow the Sphinx to take its foes to another plane of existence, creating combat that spans the multiverse.
  • Its Roar has the power to frighten, deafen, paralyze, or knock an enemy on their butt coupled with a ton of thunder damage. It may also teleport or cast powerful magic.
  • The Sphinx is a Legendary Creature with Legendary actions like its Teleport feature or casting a spell on another creature’s turn. 
  • Insight checks against it have disadvantage, making it very hard to tell if its “lion”. Gottem.

 

10. Demilich

If you don't consume enough souls you just become a floating skull? Now I know why Lich's are so desperate for souls!

A Lich that sucks at life… or unlife… may have their entire body turn to dust leaving only their skull and becoming just a husk of what they once were. The Demilich hides in its lair for fear of being destroyed, protecting its treasure with powerful creatures.

What are the Demilich’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 20 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 80 (32d4)
  • Speed 0 ft., fly 30 ft. (hover)
  • Saving Throws CON +6, INT +11, WIS +9, CHA +11
  • Damage Resistances Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Magic Weapons
  • Damage Immunities Necrotic, Poison, Psychic; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
  • Condition Immunities Charmed, Deafened, Exhaustion, Frightened, Paralyzed, Petrified, Poisoned, Prone, Stunned
  • Senses Truesight 120 ft., Passive Perception 13
  • Challenge 18 (20,000 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • A Demilich’s lair prevents their enemies from teleporting and makes their thralls more powerful. It also drains the life force from unwanted guests and allows the Demilich to prevent magic and prevent their enemies from regaining health.
  • The Demilich possesses Legendary Resistances and Legendary Actions that allow them to curse or drain life from their enemies.
  • The Demilich can take no damage from saves it succeeds on and only takes half damage from saves it fails.
  • They command a following of powerful monsters that act as their agents weakening the party before they even get to the life-draining entity.
  • An interesting hook for a Demilich may be that they are trying to return to their former selves.

 

9. Sibriex

I'm glad someone took the time to chain that thing up. I don't think it would be greeted well floating through the neighborhood.

The Sibriex, often serve as advisors or oracles to Demon Lords after spending their lives amassing all the Lore they can get their hands… no… their nastiness on? They warp the bodies of creatures into demons to serve as part of their demonic army and drip stuff all over the abyssal carpets. Ok, these guys are gross, there I said it.

What are the Sibriex’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 19 (Natural)
  • Hit Points 150 (12d12 + 72)
  • Speed 0 ft., fly 20 ft. (hover)
  • Saving Throws INT +13, CHA +13
  • Skills Arcana +13, History +13, Perception +13
  • Damage Resistances Cold, Fire, Lightning; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
  • Damage Immunities Poison
  • Condition Immunities Poisoned
  • Senses Truesight 120 ft., Passive Perception 23
  • Languages all, telepathy 120 ft.
  • Challenge 18 (20,000 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • The Sibriex can use its Legendary Actions to attack on its enemy’s turn.
  • They can warp the bodies of their foes forcing them to become further and further exhausted until they take the form of a demon under their control.
  • They Contaminate the area within 60ft of them with a poisonous cloud.
  • They can shoot throwup at people. Disgusting.

 

8. Astral Dreadnought

Giant crab snail monsters are even more terrifying if they can fly and are the size of skyscrapers. Let's do it.

This Titan travels through the Astral Sea, consuming every living thing it crosses, transferring them to another plane in which they slowly wither and die. This hunter is indiscriminate and destroys everything it comes across unless it is somehow taken into the service of an extremely powerful mage.

What are the Astral Dreadnought’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 20 Natural Armor
  • Hit Points 297 (17d20 + 119)
  • Speed 15 ft., fly 80 ft. (hover)
  • Saving Throws DEX +5, WIS +9
  • Skills Perception +9
  • Damage Resistances Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
  • Condition Immunities Charmed, Exhaustion, Frightened, Paralyzed, Petrified, Poisoned, Prone, Stunned
  • Senses Darkvision 120 ft, Passive Perception 19
  • Challenge 21 (33,000 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • The Dreadnought possesses Legendary Resistances and Legendary Actions that allow it to teleport a creature into its pocket plane or cause an AOE psychic damaging spell.
  • They possess an antimagic field that follows their eyes, much like a beholder.
  • An Astral Dreadnought serves as a merciless, destructive monster creating a boss fight that may not be doused in intrigue but will be a fight for survival.

 

7. Solar

The Evil Angel descends, I don't think they care that they are surrounded.

The Solar may be a powerful celestial in the service to one of the many Gods but my favorite way to use them is as Fallen Angels who now disown the Gods and could serve their own devious machinations. An Evil Solar may start a cult and serve as a major antagonist to the Adventurers.

What are the Solar’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 21 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 243 (18d10 + 144)
  • Speed 50 ft., fly 150 ft.
  • Saving Throws INT +14, WIS +14, CHA +17
  • Skills Perception +14
  • Damage Resistances Radiant; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
  • Damage Immunities Necrotic, Poison
  • Condition Immunities Charmed, Exhaustion, Frightened, Poisoned
  • Senses Truesight 120 ft., Passive Perception 24
  • Challenge 21 (33,000 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • A Solar may become obsessive in its retribution, amassing followers to fulfill their plans.
  • A Solar’s Longbow has the chance to instantly kill its target and its Weapons do an insane amount of damage.
  • They can heal their allies who could very well be other powerful monsters.
  • They have Legendary Resistances and Legendary Actions that allow it to cause AOE BLINDNESS or AOE FIERY RETRIBUTION.
  • A fallen Solar can serve as a powerful, vengeful enemy who can put the morality of the characters into question. 

 

6. Lich

Why do people always run from the Lich? Maybe they're just lonely. They wouldn't have to summon the dead if living people just hung out sometimes!

The good old, classic Lich that raises undead armies, masters powerful forbidden magic, and gets the elderly discount at every restaurant. A Wizard that becomes obsessed with immortality and undeath may choose to split their soul into a phylactery and become a Master to the Undead. 

What are the Lich’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 17 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 135 (18d8 + 54)
  • Speed 30 ft.
  • Saving Throws CON +10, INT +12, WIS +9
  • Skills Arcana +19, History +12, Insight +9, Perception +9
  • Damage Resistances Cold, Lightning, Necrotic
  • Damage Immunities Poison; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
  • Condition Immunities Charmed, Exhaustion, Frightened, Paralyzed, Poisoned
  • Senses Truesight 120 ft., Passive Perception 19
  • Challenge 21 (33,000 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • The Lich has Legendary Resistances and Legendary actions that allow them to frighten, paralyze, or absorb the life of their enemies.
  • They are masterful spell casters who were, most likely, Archmages when they were alive meaning they are the most powerful casters in the world.
  • The Lich will command a horde of undead and other creatures to act as its minions to accomplish their plans in continuously feeding on souls to maintain their life force.
  • A Lich in their lair can split incoming damage with another target, summon undead, or restore spell slots. 

 

5. Elder Brain

It's like a giant brain but with tentacles and it's incredibly smart. Illithid Jimmy Neutron?

The Elder Brain is a giant brain that hovers in a viscous liquid taking hold of all the minds around it to bend their perception of reality and their dreams to push forward a plot that it is always slowly devising. The ever-hungry brain consumes the minds of creatures and takes their knowledge as its own, growing ever more intelligent.

What are the Elder Brain’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 10
  • Hit Points 210 (20d10 + 100)
  • Speed 5 ft., swim 10 ft.
  • Saving Throws INT +10, WIS +9, CHA +12
  • Skills Arcana +10, Deception +12, Insight +14, Intimidation +12, Persuasion +12
  • Senses Blindsight 120 ft., Passive Perception 14
  • Challenge 14 (11,500 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • The Elder brain commands an entire colony of Mind Flayers to push its plan that, with its giant ego, believes is the most important thing in the entire universe.
  • It infiltrates the minds of others to make them believe they are acting of their own accord but, truly, are driving the Brain ever closer to its goal.
  • An Elder Brain can create psychic links with its enemies allowing it to hurt them through the link or perceive through their senses.
  • They can also force a creature to drop concentration on a spell with its Legendary action as well as damage a creature with a psychic link.
  • An Elder Brain, in its lair, can give an ally advantage on its rolls, create a wall of force, or hold an enemy down. 
  • An Elder Brain can serve as an excellent “Master Villain” that has caused a multitude of events the heroes were involved with to unfold even if they seemed unrelated.

 

4. Dracolich

The Dracolich could rip you apart with its jaws or have its zombies do it, just let them keep their horde in peace.

It's like a Lich, but a Dragon. Everything's better when it is Dragonified right? The Dracolich is formed when a Dragon is close to the end of its long life and it chooses to find a way to remain on the material plane rather than pass into its afterlife. This ritual is often extensive and requires entire cults to aid the dragon in accomplishing this goal.

What are the Dracolich’s Stats?

This depends on the Dragon that becomes a Lich but we will go with the available stat block for the Adult Blue Dracolich.

  • Armor Class 19 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 225 (18d12 + 108)
  • Speed 40 ft., burrow 30 ft., fly 80 ft.
  • Saving Throws DEX +6, CON +12, WIS +8, CHA +10
  • Skills Perception +14, Stealth +6
  • Damage Resistances Necrotic
  • Damage Immunities Lightning, Poison
  • Condition Immunities Charmed, Exhaustion, Frightened, Paralyzed, Poisoned
  • Senses Blindsight 60 ft., Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 24
  • Challenge 17 (18,000 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • A Dracolich may be surrounded by Dragon worshipping cultists or other monsters that swear fealty to its rule.
  • A Dracolich could serve as a Tyrant or a tool to be used by a powerful cult that controls its phylactery. 
  • They may also control hordes of undead and keep all the abilities they had when they were alive.
  • The Dracolich returns if its phylactery was not also destroyed making for a very powerful recurring villain.
  • It may have the same lair actions and Legendary actions it held as a living Dragon. 

 

3. Kraken

RELEASE THE KRAKEN! I hope that guy can hold onto that rope REALLY tightly.

The Kraken, known for being released and destroying entire civilizations. Enjoys long sleeps deep beneath the waves and performing body alterations. These Tinder profiles are getting out of hand. The Kraken is often bent on destruction and sinking the world to awaken their ancient Kraken God. 

What are the Kraken’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 18 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 472 (27d20 + 189)
  • Speed 20 ft., swim 60 ft.
  • Saving Throws STR +17, DEX +7, CON +14, INT +13, WIS +11
  • Damage Immunities Lightning; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
  • Condition Immunities Frightened, Paralyzed
  • Senses Truesight 120 ft., Passive Perception 14
  • Challenge 23 (50,000 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • Krakens serve as virtual Gods that may be the center of worship of those that want to see the world sink or those who may just be terrified of this creature's potential.
  • Ocean Creatures within a 6-mile area of a Kraken's lair are charmed by the Kraken and are hostile to all creatures in the area.
  • A Kraken can control the weather like Storm from the X-Men and smite its foes with lightning called from the sky.
  • The most vicious Kalamari ever can also fling creatures around with its tentacles or swallow its enemies whole.
  • Within the Kraken’s lair, it can cause strong currents to move its enemies around, cause lightning damage to be even more powerful, or send electronic surges through the water. 

 

2. Ancient Dragon

This Green Ancient Dragon looks stoic and approachable but don't give it pets unless you're wearing a gas mask.

A Dragon’s goals and temperaments depend on its color but all can be expected to be ruthless, tyrannical, and hungry for gold. An Ancient Dragon may have been alive for thousands of years already and watched Empires rise and fall but their rule has never shaken. They instill fear in all those that lay eyes on them and strike awe in those that worship them.

What are the Ancient Dragon Stats?

This, also, depends on the type of Dragon but it can range from:

  • Armor Class 20 (Natural Armor) to Armor Class 22 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 297 (17d20 + 119) to Hit Points 546 (28d20 + 252)
  • Speed, Damage Immunities, Condition Immunities, and Resistances depend on the type of Dragon.
  • Challenge 20 (25,000 XP) to Challenge 24 (62,000 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • An Ancient Dragon will have a multitude of minions from cultists, to kobolds, to Half Dragons, to Goblin-kin, and more. They will use their minions to amass hordes of treasure for it to eventually consume.
  • Depending on its type, an Ancient Dragon’s lair actions will mimic its damage type in harming the heroes between turns.
  • They have Legendary Resistances and Actions that allow them to attack on other creature’s turns. 
  • Their Breath attack is immensely powerful and coupled with their ability to stay out of reach, they serve as powerful adversaries. 
  • Dragon Parts are fun to collect.
  • Its Frightful Presence generates disadvantage on the enemy’s attacks and advantage on its own.

 

1. Tarrasque

The most powerful creature in the DnD universe must have an incredible dentist!

A creature of Nightmares, a possible world-ending entity, and a giant angry armadillo all rolled into one. Godzilla here is not just around to stomp around Tokyo but the Tarrasque is a true force of destruction, unleashing devastation to everything around it. 

What are the Tarrasque’s Stats?

  • Armor Class 25 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 676 (33d20 + 330)
  • Speed 40 ft.
  • Saving Throws INT +5, WIS +9, CHA +9
  • Damage Immunities Fire, Poison; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
  • Condition Immunities Charmed, Frightened, Paralyzed, Poisoned
  • Senses Blindsight 120 ft., Passive Perception 10
  • Languages --
  • Challenge 30 (155,000 XP)

What Makes Them Such Great Boss Monsters?

  • Though many may worship the Tarrasque, it recognizes no allies. The Tarrasque indiscriminately rocks everyone’s world.
  • It is immune to normal weapon damage and can reflect spells on their casters.
  • Getting too close to this beast could mean taking an insane amount of damage from its combination of teeth, claws, and tail.
  • With its Frightful Presence, it can keep away the Magic Weapon wielders and force them to roll with disadvantage against its already outrageous defenses.
  • This Legendary creature has Legendary Resistances and Actions that only allow it to wreak further devastation.
  • There is no conversing with this creature, it is merely a force of nature, hell-bent on eating everything, like me at a Buffet. RAWWWWR GIVE ME THE ROLLS!!

 

That's all the Terrifying Monsters I can muster for now. Let me know if you guys have used any of these insane boss monsters in your campaigns and how it went. Let me know if your favorite boss monster didn’t make the list. I couldn’t even fit in all of MY favorites!

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These fingers have written many adventures to thwart heroes and pressed many buttons pretending to be one. Raised in the swamps of Louisiana by Necromancers. I gain a d12 inspiration from a good book.
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