Nerdarchists Dave and Ted are at it again, and they’ve jumped back into Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes. This time we’re looking at a curious fifth edition D&D monster entry, the stone cursed. The Nerdarchists threw out some great ideas that got me thinking how I would use this entry. I’m a sucker for using under appreciated monster entries and I intend on throwing a creature of two that you might not have seen or used yet. Let’s get into the Stone Cursed and their presence in this encounter line.
Stone cursed of Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes
These D&D monster constructs are interesting as they weren’t always constructs. Victims of paralysis, they afterwards have a ritual placed on them to make them mindless, shambling servants of stone. Their ability to then petrify more intruders and replace those destroyed in the struggle makes these foes alarmingly effective as guards. Their good AC combined with their ability to shrug off most effects makes them an implacable foe. Their slow speed can be curbed with their false appearance, able to get the jump on the party while they their suspicions are still developing. Their Cryptic Whispers allows for planting all manner of narrative seeds for later. This D&D monster is a great minion, but what is a set of evil minions without an evil leader?
The Tao of daoYou know what I don’t use enough? Genies. Let’s grab ourselves a dao and see what we’ve got.
Pretty stout stat block with innate spellcasting, savage maul attacks, and a few ability tricks as well. This greedy slave keeper makes for a great overlord. One might be attempting to maintain a treasure hoard and maybe even with some devilish plot that has earned the attention of the party.
The natural immunity to the petrified condition and earth elemental nature makes for some interesting creature combinations that still make sense. My favorite two aspects.
I like the idea of a brutal dao with a soft spot for their pets, the basilisks it keeps around, and if you’re feeling like bringing in something with a little more punch, grab yourself a greater basilisk from Frog God Games’ Fifth Edition Foes. This big bad lizard can be the favored pet that never leave the side of our dao. [NERDITOR’S NOTE: If you pick up Fifth Edition Foes remember to use Nerdarchy’s exclusive coupon code STAY-NERDY-30 for a 30 percent discount on anything in the store, usable twice.]
If some varying sized lizards aren’t enough for you and you crave something more along the lines of a mook or evil servant, grab up some gargoyles from the Monster Manual and use those as the backbone for the dungeon or scenario. While throwing all these enemies in, remember to play the stone cursed up as a mockery to the party. The gargoyles and even the dao laugh and threaten to turn the party into stone servants once they defeat them.
What do you think? Are you eager to use the stone Cursed? Are you enjoying Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes? How have you been using the creatures in the book? Let us know in the comments below. And check out the comments on the video over on the Nerdarchy YouTube channel — there’s some great ideas there for punching up Curse of Strahd because it’s not dangerous enough already right?
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Child of the Midwest, spending his adolescence dreaming of creating joy for gaming between sessions of cattle tending. He holds a fondness for the macabre, humorous and even a dash of grim dark. Aspiring designer spending most of his time writing and speculating on this beautiful hobby when he isn’t separating planes.