Tent Bird

Large beast, unaligned

16 (+3) 17 (+3) 15 (+2) 3 (-4) 12 (+1) 8 (-1)

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 30 (4d10 + 8)
Speed 50 ft.
Skills Perception +3
Damage Resistances fire
Senses passive Perception 13
Challenge 2 (450 XP)

Special Traits

  • Sheltering Wings. As an action, a tent bird can lift and spread its wings, creating a tentlike dome around itself large enough to include 1 Medium or 2 Small creatures. Creatures within are protected from any normal desert weather, and also share the bird’s resistance to fire.
  • Subsonic Call. If trapped beneath the desert sands, a tent bird emits a throaty subsonic call. The sound is audible up to a quarter mile away, and all tent birds, even wild ones, will respond to the call and attempt to dig out a trapped bird.


  • Multiattack. The tent bird makes one bite attack and two talon attacks.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing damage.
  • Talon. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (2d4 + 3) slashing damage.


The wild tent bird is not aggressive, and will generally only fight to if unable to flee, or to protect its young. Captive birds can be trained to fight, though, much like a warhorse.


The tent bird is a tall creature, with pure white feathers and heavy, well-muscled legs with shovel-like feet, it is built like a flightless bird.

Although in some ways it resembles an ostrich, the tent bird’s wings are large and well-feathered, and as the creature settles down to rest these wings fold up in an odd manner.

Desert Striders. Few mounts are more valued than the tent bird. It is hardy, needs little water to survive, remains perfectly happy consuming lizards and cacti for nourishment, and crosses the sands without complaint on its two mighty legs.

Shelter from the Storm. Though the birds are flightless, their wings nevertheless serve an important function: When a sandstorm threatens, the tent bird crouches down and folds its wings around itself, like a tent. With sturdy wings locked in place like a domed canopy, it safely weathers the deadly storm. Its remarkable physiology maintains the temperature within its wings at a level comfortable for beasts and humans, as well as allowing it to support a tremendous weight of sand.

In the wild, the tent bird uses this ability to protect its chicks, but a well-trained bird will do the same for its rider.

Untouched by Flame. The bird also secretes a fire-resistant oil that permeates its feathers, giving it excellent protection from fire. So beloved are the tent birds that they ask that their mount pass with them into death; chiefs traditionally pass into the afterlife with their tent bird’s wings protecting them as the funeral pyre catches flame.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Creature Collection 5e Copyright 2020 Onyx Path Publishing, Inc.