Danse Macabre

Large undead, neutral evil

Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 262 (15d10+60)
Speed fly 40 ft.

1 (-5) 24 (+7) 18 (+4) 8 (-1) 16 (+3) 20 (+5)

Saves Cha +10, Dex +12
Skills Insight +8, Perception +8
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities cold, necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 18
Languages none
Challenge 14 (11,500 XP)


  • Dance of Death. A danse macabre is constantly surrounded by a 40-foot aura known as the dance of death, an endless gala of dancing spectral figures. Any living creature that enters the area of the dance of death must make a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw or join the ghostly dancers. Such a creature gains a level of exhaustion and cannot willingly move from the square they are dancing in unless the danse macabre moves in such a way that the creature is no longer in its aura. A creature can make another saving throw at the end of every hour, gaining another level of exhaustion each time it fails this saving throw. Creatures immune to being charmed are immune to this ability.
  • Deathless. If the danse macabre is reduced to 0 hit points, it is not killed outright but disappears. It reappears after 24 hours in the same location it died. Only by reducing a danse macabre to 0 hit points in an area of a hallow spell will it be destroyed completely.
  • Lifesense. A danse macabre notices and locates living creatures within 60 feet.


  • Multiattack. The danse macabre makes 4 scythe attacks.
  • Scythe. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (3d6 + 7) piercing damage. If the danse macabre scores a critical hit with the scythe, roll the damage dice a third time to calculate damage.


Incorporeal and ominous, danse macabres typically manifest as looming, black-cloaked skeletons, although they might appear in other sinister forms depending on personifications of death unique to the cultures near where they manifest, typically a fiery pillar, a pale child, or a man in a white mask.

The crowd of dancing souls that surround these 10-foot-tall specters typically do little to dispel their ominous aura.

Inevitability. Danse macabres embody the inevitability of death. They represent the ultimate equalizer of station, revealing in their dance of death the futility of all life. In the end all mortal beings must face the fateful piper and dance to its tune. As undead creatures, danse macabres require nothing from their environments and contribute nothing in return.

A danse macabre is a solitary creature that seeks only to call others to join its eternal celebration of the inevitable. They only manifest in locations tainted by untimely deaths—the sites of countless violent executions, estates overrun by deadly plagues, or on battlefields where mass slaughters took place. The common thread is that at all of these locations hundreds, if not thousands, of victims met their fate, often in rapid succession.

Some scholars of the undead suggest that danse macabre harbor no hate for the living, merely a natural drive to bring them to their final state on an accelerated schedule.

Witnesses of danse macabres, however, tend to disagree, and the manifestation of a danse macabre can quickly depopulate a location through both its depredations and the flight of any survivors. Fortunately, though, these morbid shades rarely move far from the site of their initial manifestation, leading to numerous tales of haunted halls where the dead endlessly dance in their eternal revel.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Faerie Bestiary (5E) © 2022, Legendary Games; Authors Matt Kimmel, Michael “solomani” Mifsud, Miguel Colon, Robert J. Grady, Jason Nelson, Jeff Ibach, Tim Hitchcock.

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