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Nerdarchy > Dungeons & Dragons  > Creatures and Characters in Your 5E D&D Games Need More Limbs!

Creatures and Characters in Your 5E D&D Games Need More Limbs!

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D&D Ideas -- Adventuring Company

I love when something really stands out in a fantasy world. When you watch the Avatar movie your eyes can go wild seeing all the glorious plants and animals distinct to the world of Pandora. I feel such details and features makes a setting more real. In a typical Dungeons & Dragons plenty of creatures possessed of loads of limbs or extra limbs might make you question why this came to be. The behir seems to be lizard like but has legs like a centipede for example. This distinction makes a creature a little more unique in a world of strange and interesting creatures.

Extra limbs for extra fun in 5E D&D

My favorite D&D monster is the displacer beast. This is a prime example of a creature that stands out because of extra limbs. It starts out at first glance as simply a large black cat. Then you see the extra pair of legs and a set of long tentacles emerging from the creature’s back.

Why is it that adding extra limbs makes creatures more bizarre? Third edition D&D even included a template for being a multiarmed creature. This character option of course added extra attacks. Fifth edition D&D does not like to add extra attacks for something like this when it comes to the adventurers but for a monster stat block there is no issue giving a creature more attacks so long as the damage stacks up to the expected output for their challenge rating.

If you decide to give a player character extra limbs what would this look like mechanically? I am looking at lycanthropes as an example of a creature feature incorporating a static ability score change as a jumping off point. [NERDITOR’S NOTE: Could you consider a head as a limb? Whether or not if you wanna play a character with a detachable head check out our the Dullahan from our very own Winter Lord’s Throne!]

Multiarmed Template for 5E D&D

You can apply this template to any humanoid and it can be added multiple times. For each extra set of limbs added to a humanoid the creature gains an additional interaction with object action they can use for free during either their move or their action. This does not count using an item or drinking a potion but can include opening a door, picking up an item or drawing a weapon from a sheath. You can find a few examples of the sorts of things you can do in tandem with your movement and action as your free object interaction in the free Basic Rules or Player’s Handbook chapter 9: Combat.

A creature with the Multiarmed Template still requires the Two Weapon Fighting Style to add their ability modifier to the damage of the second attack along with following any other parameters for fighting with weapons in multiple hands.

A creature with the Multiarmed Template gains gains a Dexterity of 13 if his or her score isn’t already higher. If the character gains the Multiarmed Template a second time they gain a Dexterity of 15, increasing by 2 for each additional time the template is added. For each time the Multiarmed Template is added the creature’s height increases by a reasonable amount to account for the additional torso space.

Magical transformations, mechanical additions or things like the wish spell can be used to grant this template. There can of course be other options as well. The only limitation is your imagination.

Hero Forge alien 5E D&D

A while back I created a character who was supposed to be an alien aberration seeking to invade the Material Plane. I made a six-armed spell caster as the final boss for this campaign. Click on the image to read more about the campaign and this final boss in the post I wrote earlier.

I created this mini over on Hero Forge so I could drop this incredible combatant on the table. If you are not aware one of the many, many, many Hero Forge options allows you to add additional arms in pairs to your customized miniatures. You can further adjust them and position an arm inside the figure making it disappear if you are creating a creature with an odd number of limbs. Check out Hero Forge and add some characters with extra arms to your mini collection right here.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, stay nerdy!

*Featured image — The marilith, girallon and star spawn mangler are some 5E D&D monsters boasting more than two limbs. [Composite images courtesy Wizards of the Coast]

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Ted Adams

The nerd is strong in this one. I received my bachelors degree in communication with a specialization in Radio/TV/Film. I have been a table op role player for about 20 years 17 of which with the current group. I have played several itterations of D&D, Mutants and Masterminds 2nd and 3rd editions, Star wars RPG, Shadowrun and World of Darkness. I am an avid fan of books and follow a few authors reading all they write. Favorite author is Jim Butcher I have been an on/off larper for around 15 years even doing a stretch of running my own for a while. I have played a number of Miniature games including Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy, Heroscape, Mage Knight, Dreamblade and D&D Miniatures. I have practiced with the art of the German long sword with an ARMA group for over 7 years studying the German long sword, sword and buckler, dagger, axe and polearm. By no strecth of the imagination am I an expert but good enough to last longer than the average person if the Zombie apocalypse ever happens. I am an avid fan of board games and dice games with my current favorite being Quarrios.

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