Giant Preying Mantis
This towering insect walks on its back four legs. Its head is triangular and its front legs sport razor-sharp edges and claws.
Known to many as the giant praying mantis for the way the creature’s deadly front limbs fold under its head as it lies in wait for food, this creature is well feared along caravan tracks that pass through dense woodlands. The giant mantis, a master of hiding in dense undergrowth, is almost unnaturally patient as it lies in wait, striking with unsettling speed as unsuspecting meals wander by.
In many savage societies, the giant mantis is particularly feared—in regions where these vermin are common, they are often regarded as messengers of death sent to the world by angry gods. Their swift speed, alien appearance, and near-invisibility in forests give rise to many legends—that the giant mantis can become invisible, that it can smell fear, and that the souls of those who it slays and eats are digested and kept from moving on to the afterlife.
While the giant mantis is nothing more than an efficient and deadly vermin, the numerous legends and whispers regarding its supposed powers and alien intellect have inspired some spellcasters to work such features into their constructs as a way to make them even more fearsome. There are even stories of entire societies of assassins who worship an immense mantis as a god, and who have taken to heart the mantis’s style of murderous ambush, fighting with twin serrated rapiers.
The giant mantis presented here stands 7 feet tall and 15 feet long, and weighs 650 pounds. Larger giant mantises exist in the deepest, darkest forests of the world, where they might prey upon things as mighty as giants or dragons. Known by various names, such as the drake-eating mantis, the treebender mantis, or simply the deadly mantis, these immense behemoths average more than 60 feet in height and have a terrifying habit of destroying entire villages or towns in order to satiate their ravenous appetites. A deadly mantis is a giant mantis advanced to Colossal size, 16 Hit Dice, and CR 14.
Large beast, unaligned
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 59 (7d8 + 28)
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft., fly 60 ft.
|16 (+3)||13 (+1)||18 (+4)||3 (-4)||14 (+2)||1 (-5)|
Skills Athletics +5, Perception +4, Stealth +3
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Challenge 3 (450 XP)
- Foliage Camouflage. The giant mantis has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide among plants or other greenery.
- Gnaw. If the giant mantis begins its turn with a creature grappled, as a bonus action it can make a bite attack against that creature with advantage on the attack roll.
- Multiattack. The giant mantis can make two claw attacks.
- Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) piercing damage.
- Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d4 + 2) slashing damage, and if the target is Medium or smaller the blood mantis can use a bonus action to make a Strength (Athletics) check to grapple the target.
- Lunge. A giant mantis’ limbs are capable of reaching much farther than normal for a creature of its size. If not using multiattack, it can make a single claw attack with advantage on the attack roll and a reach of 20 feet. It cannot grapple a creature with this Lunge unless the target is Small or smaller.
- Pounce (Recharge 5-6). The blood mantis moves up to its speed and makes a bite attack and two claw attacks with advantage on its attack rolls. It cannot use this ability while it is grappling a creature.
Cousin to the simple hunting insects that devour pests and sometimes are kept as pets, these green hunters’ deadly front limbs fold under its head as it lies in wait for food. Giant mantises are feared along caravan tracks that pass through dense woodlands, as despite their size they are masters of hiding in dense undergrowth, almost unnaturally patient as they lie in wait and striking with unsettling speed as unsuspecting meals wander by.
Section 15: Copyright Notice
Latin American Monsters (5E) © 2021, Legendary Games; Authors Miguel Colon, Ismael Alvarez, Robert J. Grady, Jason Nelson.
Giant Preying Mantis CR 3
N Large vermin
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +6
AC 15, touch 10, flat-footed 14 (+1 Dex, +5 natural, –1 size)
hp 30 (4d8+12)
Fort +7, Ref +2, Will +3
Immune mind-affecting effects
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft. fly 40 ft. (poor)
Melee 2 claws +5 (1d6+3 plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks lunge, mandibles, sudden strike
Str 16, Dex 13, Con 16, Int —, Wis 14, Cha 11
Base Atk +3; CMB +7 (+11 grapple); CMD 18 (22 vs. trip)
Skills Climb +11, Fly –5, Perception +6, Stealth +1 (+13 in forests); Racial Modifiers +4 Perception, +4 Stealth (+12 in forests)
A giant mantis’s limbs are capable of reaching much farther than normal for a creature of its size. As a full-attack action, it can make a single attack with its claws at double its normal reach. When a giant mantis attacks with a claw in this manner, it gains a +4 bonus on its attack roll. A giant mantis cannot make attacks of opportunity with its lunge.
A giant mantis that grabs a foe can make a bite attack against that foe as a secondary attack. The mantis’s bite is a +0 attack that inflicts 1d6+1 points of damage on a hit.
Sudden Strike (Ex)
A giant mantis is particularly adept at moving quickly when its foes are surprised. During a surprise round, a giant mantis may act as if it had a full round to act, rather than just one standard action.
Environment temperate forests