Beetle, Sniffer

Family: Beetles

Small beast, unaligned

Armor Class 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points 5 (1d6 + 2)
Speed 30 ft., fly 10 ft.

13 (+1) 10 (+0) 14 (+2) 3 (-4) 12 (+1) 7 (-2)

Skills Perception +5
Senses darkvision 30 ft., passive Perception 15
Challenge 1/8 (25 XP)

Special Traits

  • Keen Smell. The sniffer beetle has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.


  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) piercing damage.


Many types of beetles inhabit the world, and, depending on the location and culture, they are used as food, companions, or beasts of burden by its people.

Forest Beetles. Giant bombardier beetles lurk on the forest floor. A placid herbivore content to go about its business, the beetle has a powerful defense mechanism in the form of a boiling liquid it can spray to scald would-be predators as it makes its escape.

Arctic Beetles. Giant snow beetles are carrion-eating beetles that inhabit the coldest parts of the world. They collect snow into large balls for use against their enemies, for protection for their lairs, and to house their eggs. When food is abundant, they pack extra carrion into snowballs, saving the food for later or for feeding freshly hatched larvae. When attacked, giant snow beetles fling any snowballs on-hand that don’t contain their young, often splattering attackers with frozen, rotten meat.

Underworld Beetles. Lantern and sniffer beetles live in the Underworld and feast primarily on the fungus that grows in the darkest caverns. The glow of the lantern beetle’s abdomen is from the digestion of bioluminescent fungus, which reacts with the beetle’s gut to make the glow. Both lantern and sniffer beetles are docile, and they’re often trained by denizens of the Underworld as mobile light sources or for detecting particular scents.

Companions and Familiars. Forest rangers often train bombardier beetles as companions, valuing the beetle’s spray for its ability to deter beasts without setting fire to the forest.

Lantern and sniffer beetles can be called to serve a spellcaster via the find familiar spell. The lantern beetle is a popular choice among junior wizards seeking a light source for late-night studying. The sniffer beetle sees a variety of uses on the surface world, with its most common use being as the eyes and nose for wizards with limited vision.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 2. © 2020 Open Design LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Celeste Conowitch, Darrin Drader, James Introcaso, Philip Larwood, Jeff Lee, Kelly Pawlik, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham.

This is not the complete section 15 entry - see the full license for this page