Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Basilisk

This one’s a tricky monster. For one thing, the Basilisk appears in D&D already. In that case, it’s a many-legged, angry-looking reptile. Imagine a blue Komodo Dragon with extra legs and spikes and the ability to turn those that look their way to stone.

The second issue is that the Fantastic Beasts Basilisk is a tough little gigantic monster. Harry Potter obviously has the ultimate plot armour when he goes up against the big snake in the basement, but oh boy, was he stupidly lucky. A stare that kills instantly, venom that kills in minutes, and scales that reflect spells…

The main issue is the eyes. As awesome as that sounds for a beast in a children’s book, a monster that kills just by locking eyes with you is not going to make for the most entertaining encounter.

“Shall we role initiative?” say the players.

“No need. All your characters died immediately.” says the Dungeon Master.

But then, taking away the deadly stare defeats the purpose of building the Basilisk. Also, high level characters can contend with something deadly if they have time to prepare. So, I made two versions of the Basilisk. One, which I named “Great Serpent” is a dangerous monster with poison, reflective skin and stare that can potentially kill. The second, called “King of Serpents”, has a truly life-devastating glare.

Basilisk, Giant Serpent
Basilisk, King of Serpents

Despite it’s ability to kill you fast with eyes, fangs or just squeezing the life out of you, a teenager did manage to outrun this thing, hide from it, and kill it with a good sword thrust. So the stats I’ve made are very much offence before defence. It’s health is meagre for a creature rating of 12 or 18, and it doesn’t move faster than an average person. I was going to make it a bit squishier by giving it a lower Armour Class, but then I read that the scales are equivalent to dragon scale.

You could make the Basilisk even tougher, pumping up the venom damage or making the stare and insta-kill, but there’s a point where you monster just isn’t fun to be around.

Thank You For Reading

How well has the Basilisk translated into D&D? Should it be tougher? weaker? If you an expert, did I get the CR right? Should he have ‘vulnerability to phoenix claws’? Let me know!

Written by Rufus Scott.

Author: Rufus Scott

I am a long term Gamer, a full-time History Teacher and a part-time geek. I enjoy writing about the positive aspects of gaming, especially when it comes to education. My posts are sometimes nostalgic, occasionally irrelevant, largely meant to provoke further discussion. I'll sometimes punctuate these whimsical ramblings with a random comment on gaming and/or teaching.

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