Lurking in the water is a strange child-sized humanoid that resembles a bizarre cross between a turtle, a lizard, and a monkey. It has a beak-like mouth, scaly reptilian skin, clawed and webbed hands, and a turtle-like shell on its back. In the top of its head is a bowl-like depression filled with water.

Small fey, chaotic neutral or chaotic evil

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 49 (11d6 + 11)
Speed 25 ft., swim 40 ft.

18 (+4) 14 (+2) 12 (+1) 7 (-2) 14 (+2) 8 (-1)

Skills Athletics +6, Medicine +4, Perception +4, Stealth +4
Senses passive Perception 14
Languages Common, Sylvan
Challenge 2 (450 XP)

Special Traits

  • Amphibious. The kappa can breathe air and water.
  • Expert Wrestler. The kappa can grapple creatures that are two sizes larger than itself and can move at full speed when dragging a creature it has grappled.
  • Head Bowl. The kappa has a bowl-like indentation on its head which holds water from the river or lake where it lives. If the kappa’s head bowl is empty, it has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks until the bowl is refilled with water. Normal movement and combat do not cause water to spill from the bowl, but an opponent can empty the bowl by knocking the kappa prone or by making two successful grapple attacks – one to grab the kappa, and one to tip its head while it is grappled.
  • Slippery. The kappa has advantage on ability checks and saving throws made to escape a grapple.
  • Sure-Footed. The kappa has advantage on Strength and Dexterity saving throws made against effects that would knock it prone.


  • Multiattack. The kappa makes two claw attacks.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d4 + 4) slashing damage. The target is grappled (escape DC 14) if it is a Large or smaller creature and the kappa doesn’t already have another creature grappled.


Tricksters and Trouble-Makers. Kappa are impish fey spirits that live in the rivers, lakes, and swamps of the eastern lands. Mischievous, they will often play lewd, childish pranks on those passing close to their homes, such as pulling down a traveler’s breeches or stealing its clothing while it is swimming. They love the taste of horse and cow flesh and can drag the large animals into the water to drown before sucking out the creatures’ entrails. Dark-hearted kappas will attempt to wrestle and drown innocent mortals.

Weak Spot. The source of a kappa’s power is the bowl-like cavity on the top of its head, which is filled with water from the river, lake, or other body of water where it resides. If this bowl ever becomes empty, the kappa is weakened and it will refill the bowl as soon as possible. Kappa are both scrupulously polite and not very bright. If approached with courtesy, a person bowing deeply can trick a kappa into returning the gesture, so that the water pours out of its head bowl.

Favorite Foodstuffs. A kappa’s favorite food is the cucumber. Wise travelers who must cross a bridge over a river inhabited by a kappa will throw cucumbers carved with their names and those of their companions into the water to assuage the creature’s appetite. Farmers have been known to befriend kappas with regular gifts of cucumbers, melons, eggplants, and the occasional cow. In return, the kappas may irrigate the farmer’s fields, provide fresh fish, or teach the farmer how to set broken bones.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Creature Codex. © 2018 Open Design LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Dan Dillon, Richard Green, James Haeck, Chris Harris, Jeremy Hochhalter, James Introcaso, Chris Lockey, Shawn Merwin, and Jon Sawatsky.

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