5e SRD >Gamemastering >Monsters & Foes >Monsters By Type >Beasts >

Nemean Lion

Large beast, unaligned

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 68 (8d8 + 24)
Speed 40 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
20 (+5) 15 (+2) 17 (+3) 3 (-4) 12 (+1) 10 (+0)

Damage Immunities piercing and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Skills Perception +4, Stealth +5
Senses passive Perception 14
Languages
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)

Special Traits

  • Keen Smell. The Nemean lion has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.
  • Magic Weapons. The Nemean lion’s weapons are considered magical.
  • Pack Tactics. The Nemean lion has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of the lion’s allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.
  • Pounce. If the Nemean lion moves at least 20 ft. straight toward a creature and then hits it with a claws attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 13 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the Nemean lion can make one bite attack against it as a bonus action.
  • Running Leap. With a 10-foot running start, the lion can long jump up to 25 feet.

Actions

  • Multiattack. The Nemean lion makes two attacks, one with its claws and one with its bite.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8 + 5) piercing damage.
  • Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6 + 5) slashing damage.

About

This golden lion is larger than a man, with a confidence and power in its limbs that indicate it is more than just an oversized feline.

Nemean lions are patient hunters, just like their smaller cousins, but apt to take on bigger prey. Nemean lions grow to be up to 15 feet long and weigh up to 3,500 pounds.

A Nemean lion attacks by running at prey, leaping, and clawing and biting as it rakes with its rear claws. It often jumps onto a creature larger than itself.

Offspring of Echidna. The Nemean lion gained its name from the mountain valley of Nemea, between Cleonae and Phlius. King Eurystheus ordered Hercules to skin the monster. Hercules plugged up one of the lion’s cave entrances, trapping it, and then fired arrows at it in vain.

When the arrows bounced off its chest, Hercules resorted to his club, stunning it, before he strangled it with his bare hands. Hercules was puzzled as to how to create a cloak from the beast, only to receive divine insight to use the lion’s own claws on its hide. It is this hide that served Hercules so well in later adventures. As for the king, he fled in terror upon seeing Hercules’ abilities and demanded he shares his exploits outside of the town’s gates.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

5E RPG: Ancient Adventures. Copyright 2020, Mal and Tal, LLC; Author Michael Tresca.