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Krampus

Large monstrosity, neutral evil

Armor Class 19 (natural armor)
Hit Points 391 (34d10+204)
Speed 40 ft., fly 40 ft. (can hover)

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
25 (+7) 20 (+5) 23 (+6) 17 (+3) 18 (+4) 22 (+6)

Saving Throws Con +13, Wis +11, Cha +13
Damage Immunities bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks; cold
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened
Skills Insight +11, Perception +11, Stealth +12, Survival +11
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 21
Languages Common; tongues
Challenge 21 (33,000 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the krampus fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
  • Magic Resistance. The krampus has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
  • Magic Weapons. The karmpus’ weapon attacks are magical.
  • Punish the Naughty. The krampus can use a bonus action to designate a single target it can see as being “naughty.” The target creature must be a child or young creature or a victim of Krampus’ regression ability. Against that target, krampus has advantage on attack rolls and Wisdom ability checks, and on a hit with a weapon attack, deals an additional 4 (1d8) damage of the same type as the attack. These bonuses remain in effect until the target is dead or the krampus designates another target as naughty.
  • Regression. At the beginning of each of the krampus’ turns, a creature in its bag must make a DC 21 Charisma saving throw. On a failed save, the creature regresses to the form of a child for 24 hours. The creature becomes one size smaller and has disadvantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws. The creature’s equipment does not reduce in size. This is a curse. Snowstep. In snowy environments, the krampus doesn’t have to expend extra movement for difficult terrain and has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks. Snowsight. The krampus can see without hindrance in snowy conditions, even a blizzard. Tongues. The krampus can understand and be understood in any language.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The krampus makes three attacks: two chain or claw attacks and one gore attack.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (1d10 + 7) slashing damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 24).
  • Gore. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (2d8 + 7) piercing damage.
  • Chain. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d6 + 7) bludgeoning damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 24). Bag. The krampus puts a grappled target into its bag. As long as the creature is grappled, it is blinded and restrained, and has total cover against attacks. A creature in the bag is subject to the krampus’ regression feature. The bag has AC 17 and 20 hit points and can damaged by slashing weapons but has resistance to piercing and is immune to bludgeoning. The weight of creatures in the bag doesn’t count against Krampus’ carrying capacity. Up to four Small creatures or two Medium creatures can fit in the bag at a time. If used by any creature other than Krampus, the container functions as a mundane sack. If Krampus’ bag is lost or destroyed, it can create a new bag with 1 hour of work.
  • Beast Shape (3/Day). This spell transforms a creature that the krampus can see within 60 ft. into a new form. An unwilling creature must make a DC 21 Wisdom saving throw to avoid the effect. This ability has no effect on a shapechanger or a creature with 0 hit points. The transformation lasts permanently, or until the target drops to 0 hit points or dies. The new form can be any beast whose challenge rating is equal to or less than the target’s (or the target’s level, if it doesn’t have a challenge rating). The target’s game statistics, including mental ability scores, are replaced by the statistics of the chosen beast. It retains its alignment and personality. The target assumes the hit points of its new form. When it reverts to its normal form, the creature returns to the number of hit points it had before it transformed. If it reverts as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any excess damage carries over to its normal form. As long as the excess damage doesn’t reduce the creature’s normal form to 0 hit points, it isn’t knocked unconscious. The creature is limited in the actions it can perform by the nature of its new form, and it can’t speak, cast spells, or take any other action that requires hands or speech. The target’s gear melds into the new form. The creature can’t activate, use, wield, or otherwise benefit from any of its equipment. This is considered a curse and can be removed by remove curse. Chortle (3/Day). One creature within 120 feet the krampus can see must make a DC 21 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is frightened for 1 minute. At the beginning of each turn the creature is frightened, it takes 22 (4d10) psychic damage. At the end of each of its turns, the creature may make a new saving throw; on a success, it is no longer frightened. Teleport. The krampus magically teleports, along with any equipment it is wearing or carrying, up to 120 feet to an unoccupied space it can see.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS

The krampus can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The krampus regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

  • Chain Attack. The krampus makes a chain attack.
  • Detect. The Krampus makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.
  • Move. The krampus moves up to half its speed without drawing opportunity attacks.

LAIR

The krampus’ lair is a cave or a castle, nestled deep in the hills or mountains.

On initiative count 20 (losing all initiative ties), the krampus can use one of its lair action options. It can’t do so while incapacitated or otherwise unable to take actions. If surprised, it can’t use one until after its first turn in the combat.

  • Ice Storm. A hail of rock-hard ice pounds to the ground in a 20-foot-radius, 40-foot-high cylinder centered on a point within 300 ft of the krampus. Each creature in the cylinder must make a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 9 (2d8) bludgeoning damage and 14 (4d6) cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. Hailstones turn the storm’s area of effect into difficult terrain until the end of its next turn.
  • Sleet Storm. For 1 minute, freezing rain and sleet fall in a 20-foot-tall cylinder with a 40-foot radius centered on a point within 150 feet of the krampus. The area is heavily obscured, and exposed flames in the area are doused. The ground in the area is covered with slick ice, making it difficult terrain. When a creature enters the spell’s area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it must make a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, it falls prone.
  • Unsettling Whispers. Every creature within 120 feet of the kramus must make a DC 21 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, the creature is frightened until the end of its next turn.

REGIONAL EFFECTS

The environment with 5 miles of a krampus’ lair becomes cold and wintery. Storms are common. If the krampus dies, the weather gradually returns to normal.

Young creatures will not approach the lair and beasts will not birth in its vicinity. This effect ends immediately if the krampus dies.

ABOUT

In frigid northern climes, celebrations and festivals are important to maintain a community’s morale, especially in the winter months when food is scarce and the days are short. Many of these holidays involve lighting cheery fires, forgiving grudges, decorating trees, and exchanging gifts. Unfortunately, in some areas, these times of merriment are tarnished by the looming specter of Krampus, a terrifying creature that hunts those it considers to be acting against the spirit of the times. However, thanks to Krampus’s twisted morality, it sees selfishness and incivility everywhere it goes.

Krampus is a tall, goatlike humanoid with large horns and a long tongue that constantly lolls out of one side of its mouth or the other. Though its fists are powerful enough to break bones, Krampus also carries a set of iron chains that it uses to thrash its foes. The oversized bag it carries is often stained with the blood of its captured victims. Krampus stands 14 feet tall and weighs 1,000 pounds.

The origins of Krampus are shrouded in mystery, with stories of the creature stretching back hundreds or even thousands of years, if not more. To the beleaguered regions under Krampus’s tyranny, the creature has simply always been around.

Some say Krampus first entered the world through the rituals of ancient druids seeking a patron to embody their midwinter rituals to bring joy in the long dark of the season. Their rites, however, were imperfect and tainted by the desperation and bitterness of the folk they served. The fey-touched being they brought forth indeed brought gifts and revels, yet he also brought judgment, punishing those who behaved selfishly during lean times, escalating from simple birching to magical transformation as it came to see everyone as wicked and deserving of torment. Its summoners sought to bound it in chains of silver and iron, hoping they would constrain its fey nature, but such bindings were of no avail as it broke free and used its shackles to slay its captors. Retreating into the snowy forest for the remainder of the season, Krampus returned year after year, growing stronger and more hideous with each winter solstice and gaining a taste for flesh. Many have hunted Krampus and some even have slain him, even bringing back his head, but as every turning of winter approached Krampus would return to continue the cycle of death. Fortunately, while it could ravage the countryside all year long, for some reason it chooses to limit its predations to the winter months. Where it goes the rest of the year, no one has been able to discover.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Dragon’s Hoard #14 © 2022, Legendary Games; Authors Jason Nelson, Miguel Colon, Robert J. Grady, Michael “solomani” Mifsud, Darrin Drader, Matt Kimmel, Scott D. Young, Mark Hart, and Jeff Ibach.

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