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D&D 5E Epic Monsters: Grendel (5E)


D&D 5E – Epic Monsters: Grendel (5E) | EN World | Dungeons & Dragons | Tabletop Roleplaying Games

At first glance I sort of wrote Grendel off as your average ogre or giant but he’s definitely something more. In the story he has tremendously powerful hearing and later on–a good while after he’s already dead–his blood proves corrosive enough to ruin a (maybe magical) sword. He’s definitely not a match for Beowulf (who has appeared elsewhere in Mythological Figures) but certainly no pushover.

Large giant, chaotic evil

Armor Class
 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 114 (12d10+48)
Speed 45 ft.

22 (+6)​15 (+2)​18 (+4)​11 (+0)​14 (+2)​7 (-2)​

Saving Throws Cha +1
Skills Athletics +9, Perception +8, Survival +5
Damage Vulnerabilities thunder
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, slashing from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities acid
Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 18
Languages Giant, Olde English
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)

Big-Handed Grappling. Grendel has advantage on attack rolls against a creature he is grappling and he can use an action to try to pin a creature he’s grappled. To do so, Grendel makes another grapple check. If he succeeds, the creature is restrained until the grapple ends. Grendel only needs one hand to grapple a creature of Medium size or smaller.

Leap. Grendel increases the distances of his horizontal jumps by 20 feet and his vertical jumps by 10 feet.

Superior Hearing. Grendel has advantage on sound-based Wisdom (Perception) checks.

Toxic Blood. When a creature within 5 feet of Grendel hits him with a melee attack that deals piercing or slashing damage, that creature takes 7 (2d6) acid damage.


Multiattack. Grendel attacks three times.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d8+6) piercing damage.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d6+6) slashing damage.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d8+6) bludgeoning damage.

Rock. Ranged Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, range 250/500 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d6+6) bludgeoning damage.

Thrown Object. Ranged Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, range 250/500 ft., multiple targets (determined by object size; make one attack roll per target). Hit: 13 (1d8+9) damage. The damage type depends on the object (bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing) and at 100 pounds and every 100 pounds thereafter, the damage increases by 1d8 (up to a maximum of 10d8 at 1,000 pounds). A creature thrown at an object bigger than it takes regular damage, but only takes half damage when thrown at another creature.


“Very terrible was this ogre Grendel to look upon. Thick black hair hung about his face, and his teeth were long and sharp, like the tusks of an animal. His huge body and great hairy arms had the strength of ten men. He wore no armour, for his skin was tougher than any coat of mail that man or giant might weld. His nails were like steel and sharper than daggers, and by his side there hung a great pouch in which he carried off those whom he was ready to devour. Now day by day this fearsome giant was tortured more and more, for to him it was a torture to hear the sounds of laughter and of merriment. Day by day the music of harp and song of minstrel made him more and more mad with jealous hate.” An illustration of the ogre Grendel from Beowulf.

This loping horrid creature resembles a man, but no man was ever so tall or so feral. Its hide is thick, and its jaws and claws appear adept at tearing human flesh. It carries over its shoulder a massive bag crafted out of dragonskin.

Originally Posted by demiurge1138 of the En World forums.

On  this Thread

Grendel is the ogre-like descendent of Cain, the first murderer. Hated by the gods, he lived in a haunted mere with his mother, a powerful hag. Grendel fed on wild game and the occasional traveler until King Hrothgar built Herorot, a great hall with the purpose of being a stronghold and center for merriment. When investigating Herorot, he heard a song singing the praises of the Creator, and fell into a blind and hateful rage. From that day forward, he raided the hall nightly, grabbing and killing sleeping warriors and shoving them in his dragonskin bag to be eaten later.

Grendel’s reign of terror lasted 12 years, before the hero Beowulf came to Herorot to kill him. The unsuspecting Grendel found himself in the iron grip of Beowulf, who wrenched off his arm as the creature escaped. Grendel then died in the swamps from his grievous wound, and his mother swore revenge.

Cain-son* Bog Giant Barbarian 2, Rogue 1
Large Giant 
Hit Dice8d8+2d12+1d6+99 (159 hp)
Speed40ft, Swim 40ft
Armor Class22 (-1 size, +2 Dexterity, +11 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 20
Base Attack/Grapple+8/+24
AttackClaw +19 melee (1d6+12)
Full Attack2 claws +19 melee (1d6+12), bite +17 melee (1d8+6)
Special AttacksRage 1/day, rend 2d6+18, sneak attack +1d6
Special QualitiesDarkvision 60ft, DR 15/bludgeoning, Low-Light Vision, trapfinding, Scent, uncanny dodge
SavesFort +18, Ref +6, Will +2
Abilities**Strength 35, Dexterity 15, Constitution 29, Intelligence 6, Wisdom 11, Charisma 10
SkillsHide +11*, Listen +7, Move Silently +11, Swim +20
FeatsCleaveGreat Fortitude, Power Attack, Stealthy
EnvironmentCold marsh
Challenge Rating11
TreasureDragonskin bag of Grendel
AlignmentChaotic evil
AdvancementBy character class


Grendel prefers to avoid fair fights, and always attacks from ambush. Whether this consists of hiding in the mere or merely creeping towards a sleeping human depends on the situation. If he fails to kill his opponent on the first attack, he is liable to fly into a rage, biting and clawing his foe until one of them is dead.

Rend (Ex) Whenever Grendel hits an opponent with two claw attacks, he grabs and tears the opponent’s flesh. This attack automatically deals an additional 2d6+12 damage.

Skills Grendel has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Grendel has a +4 racial bonus to all Hide checks. This bonus increases to +8 in marshes.

* The Cain-son template is the half-troll template, with the fast healing replaced with damage reduction.

** These abilities are based on the elite array.

New Magic Item

Dragonskin bag of Grendel This large sack is crafted from the hides of black dragons and swamp serpents. The bag has the ability to affect any objects carried within it as if a shrink item spell had been cast on them. The objects remain shrunken until they are removed from the sack. Grendel was not the first owner of this item; he gained it by waylaying a traveler. Grendel uses the sack to store and carry bodies.

Faint transmutation; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Itemshrink item; Price 18,000gp (15,000 if made as a mundane sack); Weight 2 lbs

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