Aswang, Balbal

Medium monstrosity, chaotic evil

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 102 (12d8 + 48)
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 60 ft.

17 (+3) 15 (+2) 18 (+4) 8 (-1) 15 (+2) 12 (+1)

Saving Throws Con +7, Wis +5
Skills Animal Training +5, Athletics +6, Insight +5, Perception +5, Stealth +5
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages Common
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)


  • Aswang Scent. Aswangs have advantage on scent-based Wisdom (Perception) checks, and their sense for blood is so keen that they can perceive any creature at 0 hit points and any creature that has taken piercing, slashing, or necrotic damage within the previous round as if they had blindsight 60 ft. They can detect diseased creatures in the same way.
  • Crocodile Command. The balbal can communicate with crocodiles and similar creatures as if using speak with animals and has advantage on Wisdom (Animal Training) checks made against them, and crocodiles treat them as if they had a permanent sanctuary (DC 12) spell. The balbal’s presence causes crocodilians to become aggressive toward other creatures and hard to control, with advantage on saving throws against becoming charmed or frightened. A typical balbal lurking in the water has 1d6 friendly crocodiles lurking nearby. These crocodiles have advantage on attack rolls against any creature they have seen attack the balbal within the previous minute.
  • Hard to Fool. The balbal has advantage on saving throws against illusions, and creatures have disadvantage on Charisma (Deception) checks made against them.
  • Sensory Sensitivity. Aswangs are sensitive to bright light and loud noise. When an aswang takes radiant or thunder damage, they must succeed on a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 round. In addition, they have disadvantage on saving throws against effects that cause deafness due to loud noise or blindness due to bright light, and Charisma (Intimidation) checks against them have advantage if the aswang is in an area of bright light or in a noisy area (GM’s discretion).
  • Siege Monster. The balbal deals double damage to objects and structures made of wood or softer material.
  • Snake Terror. When the balbal sees a snake, it must succeed on a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 round. It must make this saving throw when it sees statues, paintings, or other artistic representations of snakes, but it has advantage on such saving throws. If the balbal succeeds on its saving throw, it overcomes its snake terror for 1d4 rounds and need not save during this time.


  • Multiattack. The balbal makes one tongue attack and two claw attacks.
  • Tongue. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) slashing damage plus the target takes an additional 7 (2d6) necrotic damage, or half as much on a successful DC 12 Constitution saving throw. If the save is failed, the target takes this damage again at the beginning of its next turn, with a saving throw allowed each round to halve damage and end the effect.
  • Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing damage.
  • Change Shape. The balbal magically polymorphs into a crocodile or back into its true form. It reverts to its true form if it dies. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying is absorbed into the new form. In a new form, the balbal retains its game statistics and ability to speak as well as its tongue attack, but its AC, movement modes, Strength, Dexterity, and other actions are replaced by those of the new form.
  • Corpse Dummy (Recharges After a Short Rest). The balbal can spend 1 minute using its razor-sharp tongue to carve a Small or Medium piece of wood into a humanoid shape. This dummy appears to casual inspection indistinguishable from the corpse of a humanoid of the same size (which may resemble a specific individual). Creatures carefully inspecting the corpse dummy can attempt a DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check to reveal the ruse. This is a magical illusion effect, and creatures using detect magic to examine the corpse dummy have advantage on this check.


Aswangs are hideous shapechanging humanbat hybrids.

Their heads resemble crinkled and weathered humans, though with sharp features and even sharper fangs, and a long razorsharp, ribbon-like tongue that whips about constantly. They can subsist on carrion but prefer fresh blood to consume.

They live on the fringes of settled areas, sneaking in to find prey but shunning bright and noisy areas unless starving.

Reflections in the eyes of these lewd, foul creatures are always upside down.

Balbals are search villagers for the freshly dead, tearing through roofs and windows and using their tongue to dissect and devour the corpse before replacing it with a magical duplicate. Their predations on the recently dead often lead to their disturbed spirits rising from the grave, but the balbal cares little for any collateral damage it leaves behind. The balbal is nearly as tall as an average human with a wingspan of 10 feet and weighs 100 pounds.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Asian Monsters (5E) © 2021, Legendary Games; Authors Miguel Colon, Jason Nelson, Andrew Ha, Aurélien Lainé, Dan Dillon, Ismael Alvarez, James-Levi Cooke, Robert J. Grady, Jeff Ibach, Matt Kimmel, and Thurston Hillman

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