Homebrew 5e Monster Monday: Chatterhound, a Terrifying Undead tracking beast for D&D 5e

I’m on an undead kick. I think I’ve made my case pretty clearly last week regarding their inherent punchability and universal applicability. They are my favorite chassis to strap fun mechanics and deadly surprises onto, so while I’m going to apologize for handing you two of these things in a row, understand that I am not too sorry.

I’ll give you guys a nice abomination next week, promise.

But this week, I’m leaning into the body horror of necromancy. Just because necromancers raise the dead does not mean that whatever they bring kicking and screaming back from the realm of the dead has to look like what it was. That means that the enchanters and such are the only ones that get to have any fun creating magical atrocities. Owlbears? Forget that. Let me introduce you to the chatterhound, a necromantic war-crime in the making just itching to chase down your low-level parties and turn them into puppy chow.

Chatterhound

Medium Undead, Chaotic Evil


  • Armor Class 13
  • Hit Points 30(4d8 + 12)
  • Speed 30ft., Climb 20ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
13 (+1)16 (+3)14 (+2)5 (-3)12 (+1)5(-3)

  • Condition Immunities Blinded
  • Senses passive Perception 14, Scent, Blindsense 60 ft.
  • Languages Understands the Languages it spoke in life, but cannot speak.
  • Challenge 2 (450 XP)

Multiattack. Chatterhounds make two attacks per turn, once with their claws and once with their bite.

Scent. Chatterhounds have advantage on perception checks involving tracking by scent.

Pack Tactics. The chatterhound has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of the chatterhound’s allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.

Uncanny Movement. Difficult terrain and other nonmagical effects will not reduce the Chatterhound’s speed.

Actions

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit 5 (1d6 + 2)

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit 7 (2d4 + 2). If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 13 Strength Saving throw or be knocked prone.

Chatterhounds

Wilhem ran, pelting across the loose-scree. He half-slid, half-fell into the river, hoping that the frigid running water would disperse his scent. In the distance, the chattering howl of the hounds echoed from ridge to ridge. He turned to look back and saw them, pulling at their chains. Faces blank, sinews open to the night air, whatever was human about them ripped away by necromancy, they moved like spiders of spilled ink, leading the hunters to their fleeing quarry. Wilhem breathed a prayer, and pelted on. If they caught him, he would be lucky if they only fed him to the hounds. If he wasn’t, he’d be the next on chain.


Credit: BrogdanMRK on Deviantart



The Corrupted Fallen. Chatterhounds are hunting beasts created from the corpses of intelligent humanoids, perverted through vile necromantic rituals. These corrupted magics twist the bodies into sinewy, eyeless horrors with fearsome speed, brutal cunning, and an unparalleled sense of smell.


Wall-Running Beasts. Chatterhounds are kept as stalking beasts for particularly heinous necromancers. While some may be content to allow a legion of zombies to carry out their bidding, some have seen the virtue in these springing bag of claws and teeth. While there is a chance that you might seek safety from the shambling hordes behind walls or in the treetops, the chatterhound’s claws and preternatural agility allow it to climb with terrifying speed.


Tireless Hunger. Packs of Chatterhounds are often found at the forefront of the armies of the dead. Howling in the vanguard, running on two or four legs, they smash into massed defenders, climbing over shields and between spears to assuage a hunger that can never be sated. Between battles, they are kept chained in kennels in necromancers’ lairs, tugging at their chains and trying to eat each other. Dead flesh is a poor substitute, but the hunger of a chatterhound does not discriminate for long.

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