Medium undead, chaotic evil

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 82 (11d8 + 33)
Speed 30 ft.

18 (+4) 12 (+1) 16 (+3) 6 (-2) 10 (+0) 6 (-2)

Skills Perception +3, Stealth +4
Damage Resistances necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages the languages it knew in life
Proficiency Bonus +3
Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)


  • Compression. The rawhead can move through any opening at least 6 inches wide without squeezing. It can also squeeze to fit into a space that a Tiny creature could fit in.
  • Horrific Appearance. Any humanoid that starts its turn within 30 feet of the rawhead and can see it must make a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, with disadvantage if the rawhead is within line of sight, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the rawhead’s Horrific Appearance for the next 24 hours. Unless the target is surprised, the target can avert its eyes and avoid making the initial saving throw. Until the start of its next turn, a creature that averts its eyes has disadvantage on attack rolls against the rawhead.
  • Undead Fortitude. If damage reduces the rawhead to 0 hit points, it must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5 + the damage taken, unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, the rawhead drops to 1 hit point instead.
  • Undead Nature. A rawhead doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.


  • Multiattack. The rawhead makes two attacks: one with its Bite and one with its Claws.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or take 14 (4d6) necrotic damage. The target’s hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and the rawhead regains hit points equal to the necrotic damage dealt. This reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0.
  • Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d4 + 4) slashing damage. If the target is Medium or smaller, it is grappled (escape DC 15) and pulled 5 feet toward the rawhead. Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, the rawhead tries to drown it, and the rawhead can’t use its claws on another target.
  • Extract Skeleton. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one incapacitated humanoid grappled by the rawhead. Hit: The target takes 55 (10d10) piercing damage. If this damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, the rawhead kills the target by extracting its skeleton, leaving the skull intact. The rawhead animates the corpse, turning it into a bloody bones under the rawhead’s control. The bloody bones appears in an unoccupied space within 5 feet of the rawhead and acts immediately after it in the initiative order. The rawhead can have no more than twelve bloody bones under its control at one time.


A rawhead’s appearance is grotesque, with decayed flesh hanging from its bones, blood-stained teeth, and an aura of dread.

Rawheads are malevolent undead creatures that haunt dark and desolate places, known for their ability to reanimate the bodies of their victims into headless skeletons under their control. Rawheads are drawn to areas with a history of violence and tragedy, such as battlefields, massacre sites, and abandoned places where dark deeds have occurred. They often lurk in forgotten wells, marshes, and hidden underground locations, waiting for unsuspecting victims to cross their path.

Rawheads are relentless hunters, stalking the night for living creatures to add to their undead minions. They prey on the vulnerable, such as children and the easily frightened. Their chilling presence can instill fear in their victims, making them easier targets. Once they’ve claimed a victim, they use their terrifying powers to reanimate the fallen creature, binding it to their will and forcing it to serve in their gruesome army.

Rawheads are driven by an insatiable hunger for fear and suffering. They delight in the terror they inspire in their victims and revel in the chaos they create. Their reanimated minions carry out their sinister will, spreading fear and destruction wherever they go. Encountering a rawhead is a horrifying experience, and those who survive often carry the scars of their encounter for the rest of their lives.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

5E RPG: Celtic Bestiary. Copyright 2023, Mal and Tal Enterprises, LLC; Author Michael Tresca.

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