June 5, 2019

The Carnivore

Comments from the Finger: This one needs all sorts of background: 

The new season of Hero Club, Here There Be Monsters, has this really creative nautical setting: all the characters are anthropomorphic animals, from sea otters to elephants, which imposes a whole strange order on the world. Generally, animals don't eat one another (fish are another matter), except for the Carnivore, the season's antagonist, a gazelle that's taken up meat-eating and pirate-hunting.

Also, if you've read our High Seas Update, you've probably already pieced together the other important aspect of the setting, which is that magic-users are extremely powerful at sea; a fireball can just destroy a wooden ship in seconds. So, the Carnivore comes with a built-in antimagic field, to thwart the pirates' spells.

Last but not least, while I normally tackle the stat creation, this one is all George (Hero Club's fantastic DM), so it's a sterling example of how effective he is at the mechanical side of the game that we champion so hard around here.

The Carnivore

Nicholas Blackbriar, AKA The Carnivore, sails the seas of Emporia aboard The Briarpatch, terrorizing innocents and pillaging to his black heart’s content. Infamous for consuming his victims, the gazelle commands an entire crew of lions bent completely to his will. Blackbriar loves toying with prey and is always eager to find new powerful artifacts to cement his status as Apex Predator.

Nicholas Blackbriar, aka the Carnivore
Medium humanoid (gazelle), chaotic evil
Armor Class 17 (studded armor)
Hit Points 210 (28d8 + 84)
Speed 40 ft.

STR 16 (+3) DEX 20 (+5) CON 16 (+3)
INT 14 (+2) WIS 18 (+4) CHA 20 (+5)

Saving Throws Dex +9, Cha +9
Skills Insight +8, Perception +12
Damage Resistances poison
Condition Immunities frightened
Languages Common
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)

Alert. Blackbriar cannot be surprised while concious, and gains a +5 bonus to initiative. Other creatures do not gain advantage on attack rolls as a result of being hidden from Blackbriar.
Black Pearl. Blackbriar’s right eye has been replaced with a magical black pearl creates an area of antimagic, as in the antimagic field spell, in a 30-foot-cone. 

Multiattack. Blackbriar makes two weapon attacks. If he has half his hit points or fewer, he instead makes three weapon attacks.
Blackbriar’s Horn (Dagger). Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d4 + 5) piercing damage, and the target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the dagger remains in the target and the target is paralyzed. The target can reattempt the saving throw at the beginning of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself and causing the dagger to fall out of them. Blackbriar can use his bonus action to retrieve the dagger, ending the effect early.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 5) piercing damage, plus 18 (4d8) necrotic damage if the target is paralyzed, restrained, or incapacitated. Blackbriar regains hit points equal to the necrotic damage dealt.
Cleavers. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d6 + 5) piercing damage, plus 13 (3d8) slashing damage if the target is paralyzed, restrained, or incapacitated.

Changelog: 6/5/19: HP and attack bonuses updated


  1. If Blackbriar is disarmed and his weapon is theoretically used against him, can he still pluck it out with his bonus action, or would this apply to the new wielder instead?

    1. I imagine it's a property of the weapon rather than an ability unique to Blackbriar, based on where in the stat block it's presented, so it should apply to the new wielder.

  2. Coool. Really cool. However...

    How is the bite +5 to hit? That modifier can't be based on any ability modifier, and the damage includes the dex mod.

    Is the carnivore not proficient with its own bite?

    And wait, how are the other attacks +10 rather than +9?
    And the saving throws and skills?

    I'm guessing George used the hit dice (class levels?) to determine the prof. bonus, but that's pretty weird to see in a villain's stat block.

    Also, with studded leather the AC should be 17.

    1. Agreed. Prof bonus should be +4. I could see the dagger having a magical +1, but there's clearly been an error here. Well, two errors, counting the AC.

      No, three errors, because 3x16=48, not 64.

      I think I'd better stop reading before I get myself into trouble...

    2. I see what I've done! I checked the math using a CR calculator and I forgot that I had 'Resistances' checked! I accidentally used the effective HP instead. Also, I just had a brain-fart about the prof. bonus.