Daily Monster #18: Ixitxachitl

Today’s monster has been with us throughout all edition of Dungeons and Dragons. Let’s take a look at these aquatic aberrations.

I’m not going to lie folks, I have no idea how to pronounce this next creature’s name and unfortunately Matthew Mercer doesn’t have a sound bit for it over at dndbeyond. I’m just going to count my blessings that this isn’t a podcast and get the ball rolling on this one. Today’s Daily Monster is…


Ixitxachitl

The basics

Ixitxachitl have negative a CHA stat with a -2 modifier as their lowest stat. Their WIS, INT, CON, and STR are all the same with a +1 modifier. For a CR 1/4 creature, their highest stat is their DEX with a +3 modifier to it.

These small aberrations tend towards chaotic evil and, while they cannot communicate in any language, they can understand Abyssal. They have an AC of 15 and a pool of 4d6+4 hit points. While they do not have a normal speed, they do have a swim speed of 30ft. Probably as a result of their native environment, these creature have a Darkvision of 60ft.

In terms of actions, Ixitxachitl are a bit lackluster with only a standard Bite attack action. The only feature that sets them apart being their Barbed Tail reaction which is just sliiiiiightly better than their Bite attack.


The Lore

More commonly known as “demon rays” Ixitxachitl are basically evil man-eating stingrays that have been a part of the Dungeons and Dragons world throughout all editions. In fact, back in 3rd edition they were actually a playable race… that couldn’t leave the ocean… or talk…

Also a playable race

In terms of their origin, previous editions have established that they were in fact created by Demogorgon, who they also worship fanatically.

These creatures live in shoals of up to two hundred of them. Working together they are an extremely destructive force that takes over coral reefs to make them their homes. While taking residency in their lairs they utterly destroy the surrounding ecosystems by stripping them of plant and animal life before packing up and moving to a new reef. Because of this, Ixitxachitl tend to be at extreme odds with other aquatic races.

Like sharks, they are able to sense the shifts in current around them and are in fact carnivorous in nature to the point where they can easily take out prey as large as dragon turtles by working in packs.


The execution

Ixitxachitl were first introduced to 5th edition as part of the Out of the Abyss module, as such do expect to be running some of these if you plan to DM that module. They could also be extremely suitable for anyone running a Ghosts of Saltmarsh campaign and, considering come of the adventures in the module, extremely easy to add in. If however you’re looking to include them in other campaigns or make them part of your own homebrew world, there are still plenty ways to set up hooks for your adventurers. Here’s a few ideas:

As your party finally reaches a port town and ready themselves for some downtime, they overhear whispers of unrest and discover that a large group of these creatures has recently moved into the nearby reefs that surround the local fishing areas. Not only has the daily catch suffered a blow from these creature’s arrival, but it has also made the fishermen’s jobs extremely hazardous. Fearing for the economic and environmental well-being of the town, authorities collect funds from the townspeople and approach our adventurers with the task after hearing about their valiant exploits.

If you feel like you might just need to add a little extra to that to make sure your players go for the hook, Ixitxachitl are also known to keep slaves that they use for the construction of their maze like lairs. Or you know, just for food.

Alternatively, if your players find themselves at sea, it could be that perhaps they get swarmed by these creatures. When it comes to tactics, Ixitxachitl are known to approach at fast speeds from various directions seeking to confuse prey by striking from various angles. If your player characters decide to go for a swim you could also have these creatures burrow into the ocean floor as they wait expectantly to ambush their fresh prey…


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