Daily Monster #4: Red Slaad

Slaad are extra-planar toad like creatures that come in a variety of colors. For today’s Daily Monster we will be focusing on the Red Slaad but we will still touch on shared characteristics and lore. And let me tell you… it is something…

The basics:

Slaad are extra-planar toad like creatures that come in a variety of colors. For today’s Daily Monster we will be focusing on the Red Slaad but we will still touch on shared characteristics and lore.

The numbers: Unlike the dragon that we covered the other day, today we’re looking at a creature that has some pretty bad stats. Red Slaadi have a -2 mod to their WIS, CHA, and INT. But what they lack in mental acuity they somewhat make up for with their physical stats as they do also have a +1 DEX mod and their STR and CON are at a decent +3.

These creatures are large aberrations with a tendency towards chaotic neutral alignments and a handful of pretty neat features. In terms of their endurance in combat their AC is a mediocre 14 but they do have a good pool of hit points at a solid 11d10+33.

Red Slaadi also have a few key resistances that include fire, acid, cold, lightning and thunder as well as 60ft of Darkvision and a form of Telepathy.

More impressively though, they possess a Magical Resistance that gives them advantage on saving throws and a very neat Regeneration feature that allows them to regain 10 hit points at the start of their turn.

When it comes to dishing out damage, these creatures do have a bite-claw-claw multiattack and their claw attacks can potentially be very lethal to player characters as they have a special side effect that we will cover in the next sections.

Red Slaad fall under the CR 5 category.

It’s not easy being red

The Lore:

Okay, remember those side effects to a Red Slaad’s claw attacks we were just talking about? Well, turns out these things are actually just sci-fi horror fodder and here’s why: a successful target of their attack must make a CON saving throw DC14 or become the host to a Slaad egg.

That’s right…if your players roll badly enough we’re reenacting that one scene from that one movie unless you make that save.

Yikes.

In fact after having done a decent amount of extensive reading on these guys I feel like I might have some things to explain to my internet provider. The more I looked into them, the more it became obvious that these things entire existence surrounds their uh… reproduction. I’m going to spare all of you the detail but the gist of it is that Red Slaadi reproduce by implanting eggs, Blue Slaadi reproduce by means of infection (kind of like lycanthropy) and that, even though they hate each other with a passion, the two of them depend on each other to further their species.

I won’t get into other color Slaadi too much but know that it’s kind of like armor and weapon quality in video games where you can go on certain quests to level up your red weapon into a green weapon and then that into to gray and so on.

There’s also a place in Limbo (where these creatures are originally from) called the Spawning Stone where every so often Slaadi of all colors meet and battle it out to lay claim on it for the next generation. Except, oh yeah, the whole fighting thing gets these extra planar toads really worked up and they end up mating all over the place.

(Creator admitted to being on a fever picture)

Charles Stross, creator of our nightmares (who also admitted to coming up with these while running a fever)

The execution

If you’re still set on subjugating your players to these monsters I guess I can’t judge you too much. They do have really cool abilities after all, and I suppose you don’t have to tell your players about all the mating stuff (but if you do don’t forget to dive them disadvantage thanks to their newfound knowledge).

I have to say that this is already one of the very few monsters that I’m not necessarily looking forward to rping but if I had to do it I think I would place an emphasis on their animalistic nature.  This shouldn’t really come as a surprise considering their low mental stats either.  Have a bunch of them just rush the players without any real strategy, Red Slaadi would be unlikely to turn and run if they see their comrades fall.

As to why they are here and causing trouble for your player characters, it could be as easy as it being their reproductive season. Have your Red Slaadi simply be looking for hosts to their eggs. When running these monsters you really don’t have to do a lot of strategic thinking.

The key ingredient when adding these creatures to your games is their overwhelming number.

Once the battle is over and your party of adventurers find themselves triumphant (hopefully) there’s still a bit of work to do depending on how things went down. If any of your players failed their CON save after a claw attack you should definitely make a note of that. If the characters are unaware of the dangers of a Red Slaad claw attack you should make sure to give them hints that something might be up before it’s too late for their character.

Consider describing rashes or feeling like there’s something moving in there or even simple fevers and disadvantages seemingly out of nowhere as the incubation continues. Of course these shouldn’t happen immediately after and you should try to spread your hints throughout the three month period of time to avoid it being too obvious about it but your player will thank you for not waiting three months in game and outright killing their beloved character.

“Oh, right…Jim? A big old alien toad explodes from your chest. Here’s a new character sheet.”

Overall I think these creatures could be an interesting addition to games and fun to run in combat but I wouldn’t necessarily use them extensively. The egg incubation process, albeit gross, could be a pretty interesting thing for players and characters to react to and could also lead to a few side quests as the players attempt to find a solution.

Do you think you will be using Red Slaadi in your campaign? What are some other interesting ways you can think of to incorporate them? What were some of your player reactions to the infection? We have a community forum now! Drop us a line with you answers to these and more over HERE and don’t forget to follow us on twitter and instagram to never miss our Daily Monsters and other D&D content!

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