Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted find frosty inspiration from the upcoming Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden and create a fast and dirty monster for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. A blood rime is an ooze creature attracted to warm blood found in arctic regions and since Dave and Ted hammer out the basics in the video, here on the website we’ll get down to crunchy brass tacks and put together a stat block along with some lore to give Dungeon Masters some ideas on how to incorporate this cold terror into their 5E D&D games. So let’s get into it.
Sluggishly creeping death by ooze
Oozes are some of my favorite monster types in 5E D&D so when Dave explained his idea for a frozen ooze creature I was all in. Having just watched the Expanse episode Delta-V the image of frozen blood was already in my mind too. Oozes generally operate instinctually and most of the official ooze monsters possess negligible Intelligence. Notable exceptions are the oblex family and slithering tracker, distinct from most oozes also because they have an alignment to reflect their capacity for thought. Part of what I dig about oozes in general is the indiscriminate nature of their aggression but at the same time there’s some appeal to exploring the bizarre nature of these monster types.
Tundra and arctic regions hold swathes of beauty but also present bleak conditions hazardous to only the most prepared or adapted creatures. Long and lonely landscapes stretch out over vast distances filled with perils both natural and otherwise. Isolation and harsh environmental conditions wear on even the strongest minds and those unfortunate enough to become stranded or forced to endure extended time in such places begin to struggle with dark thoughts.
Heinous Inception. Whenever a murder most foul takes place in an arctic region the hot blood spilled on frozen ground absorbs a portion of the negative energy involved in the act of malice. The freezing temperature creates a coating of ice on the supercooled blood, which manifests a dark desire to snuff out the life of other living creatures and absorb their blood.
Greater Purpose. After it absorbs sufficient life force from a living creature a blood rime seeks to escape. Because of their ooze nature it is easy for one to slip away. Those who have survived an encounter with a blood rime, despite the severe weakening caused by its attacks, express a strange feeling that the creature seems to move away with purpose. These survivors convey a sense the creature has some rudimentary intelligence and got uneasy feelings that they are not mindless monsters but in fact some kind of dark entity carrying the blood they absorb to some specific location. Attempts to follow a blood rime and track it to wherever it might be going and substantiate this theory have so far been unsuccessful.
Ooze Nature. An ooze doesn’t require sleep.
Medium ooze, neutral evil
Armor Class 8
Hit Points 65 (10d8 +20)
Speed 10 ft., climb 10 ft.
STR: 15 (+2)
DEX: 6 (-2)
CON: 14 (+2)
INT: 5 (-3)
WIS: 6 (-2)
CHA: 1 (-5)
Damage Resistances Necrotic
Damage Immunities Cold, Poison
Damage Vulnerabilities Fire
Condition Immunities Blinded, Charmed, Deafened, Exhaustion, Prone
Senses Blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this distance), passive Perception 8
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)
Amorphous. The blood rime can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
False Appearance. While the blood rime remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a pool of frost covered blood.
Spider Climb. The blood rime can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
Pseudopod. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) bludgeoning damage plus 3 (1d6) cold damage. In addition, the target must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or the blood rime absorbs one of the creature’s hit dice and the blood rime regains hit points equal to a roll of that die.
Split. When a blood rime absorbs a third hit die with its Pseudopod, it splits into two new blood rimes. Each new blood rime has hit points equal to half the original blood rime’s, rounded down. The original blood rime then attempts to escape, slithering away and using its Amorphous quality to slip out of reach.
And there you have it. What I enjoyed most during video planning and discussing this new ooze monster is the idea of a sinister component to its actions. I imagine the act of murder in an isolated frozen environment imbues the blood with a dark purpose to rob others of life. I also just finished playing the Dead Scape games and I like the notion there’s some kind of signal out there somewhere calling these blood rimes back to a source. As to where this source is and the motivation behind it, perhaps we’ll explore this concept more in our Dark Paths series over at Patreon. Every month we create new content for players and Dungeon Masters alike ready to drop right into your game and you get early access to these along with immediate access to all past rewards too, which eventually make their way to Nerdarchy the Store. Check out our Patreon and discover all the stuff your support gives you access to here.
The other thing I dig is the interaction with hit dice. These are a great mechanic in 5E D&D to play around with, especially if your games are like ours and characters rarely use them during short rests. In fact we came up with a whole book of alternative ways to use hit dice for this exact reason. From Hit Dice to Heroics is one of our bestselling products and tons of players find these exciting new uses for hit dice tremendously fun and useful in their games. When you sign up for Nerdarchy the Newsletter you get a special coupon code for $9.99 off anything in the store, so you could pick up From Hit Dice to Heroics free with a couple of bucks to space. Check it out here.