Death Vulture

Large monstrosity, neutral evil

Armor Class 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points 76 (8d10 + 32)
Speed 10 ft., fly 60 ft.

18 (+4) 10 (+0) 18 (+4) 6 (-2) 12 (+1) 7 (-2)

Saving Throws Con +6
Skills Perception +3
Damage Immunities necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages understands Common but can’t speak
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Special Traits

  • Awful Stench. The vulture has a disgusting body odor. Any creature that starts its turn within 5 feet of the vulture must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the start of its next turn.
  • Keen Sight and Smell. The vulture has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight or smell.
  • Pack Tactics. The vulture has advantage on attack rolls against a creature if at least one of the vulture’s allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.


  • Multiattack. The death vulture makes two attacks: one with its beak and one with its talons.
  • Beak. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d4 + 4) piercing damage.
  • Talons. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) slashing damage.
  • Decaying Breath (Recharge 6). The vulture breathes necrotic energy in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, taking 22 (4d10) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. Creatures that fail this saving throw by 5 or more also age a number of years equal to half the damage taken.


The putrid stench of death wafts off a grotesquely muscled vulture with glowing green eyes. It opens its mouth in a shrill call, rotting meat dripping from its beak.

Death vultures are giant birds transformed by their diet of undead flesh.

Mutated Monstrosities. When a giant vulture gorges on undead flesh, the necromantic magic suffused in the meal warps and changes the bird’s body. The vulture’s muscles bulge in odd places, making it stronger and tougher, its eyes burn with green fire, and it reeks of rot, earning these mutated monsters the name “death vultures.” The vulture also gains the ability to regurgitate necromantic energy, which can cause the flesh of living creatures to decay and age rapidly.

Massive Meat Appetites. Death vultures have incredible appetites and are far more willing to attack live prey than other vultures. They have a special taste for rotting flesh, and they use their decaying breath weapon to “season” their foes with necrotic energy before using their talons and beaks to tear apart their quarry.

Necromancer Neighbors. Death vultures often form kettles near the lairs of necromancers as they feed on their undead creations. While some necromancers find the birds to be a nuisance, many necromancers feed the vultures, encouraging them to stay. Most death vultures are willing to trade service as guardians of the lairs for food.

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