Benthid (5e Creature)

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Large beast, neutral

Armor Class 12
Hit Points 112 (15d10 + 30)
Speed 10 ft., swim 60 ft.

17 (+3) 14 (+2) 14 (+2) 16 (+3) 14 (+2) 10 (+0)

Saving Throws Int +6, Wis +5
Skills Deception +3, Perception +5, Stealth +5
Proficiency Bonus +3
Condition Immunities charmed, prone
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)

Innate Spellcasting. The benthid's innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 14). The benthid can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

3/day each: confusion, counterspell, hypnotic pattern, mirror image

Magic Resistance. The benthid has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Hold Breath. While out of water, the benthid can hold its breath for 1 hour.

Underwater Camouflage. The benthid has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made while underwater.

Water Breathing. The benthid can only breathe underwater.


Multiattack. The benthid can use its Mesmerizing Presence. It then makes two tentacle attacks.

Tentacles. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a creature, it is grappled (escape DC 16). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained. The benthid has eight tentacles, each of which can grapple one target

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (3d10 + 3) piercing damage. If the target is a Small or smaller creature grappled by the benthid, that creature is swallowed, and the grapple ends. While swallowed, the creature is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the Benthid, and it takes 10 (3d6) acid damage at the start of each of the benthid's turns.
If the benthid takes 50 damage or more on a single turn from a creature inside it, the benthid must succeed on a DC 20 Constitution saving throw at the end of that turn or regurgitate all swallowed creatures, which fall prone in a space within 10 feet of the benthid. If the benthid dies, a swallowed creature is no longer restrained by it and can escape from the corpse using 15 feet of movement, exiting prone.

Psychic Shock. Ranged Spell Attack: +6 to hit, range 90 ft., one creature. Hit: 9 (2d8) psychic damage.

Mesmerizing Presence. The benthid creates a mesmerizing pattern with its tentacles and bioluminescence. Up to two creatures of its choice within 30 feet of it must make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, a creature is charmed and moves up to 10 feet in any direction the benthid chooses. An affected creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success and taking 9 (2d8) psychic damage on a failure.


The benthid can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. The benthid regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Attack. The benthid makes one tentacle attack.
Mesmerizing Presence (Cost 2 Actions). The benthid uses its Mesmerizing Presence.
Illusory Swarm (Cost 3 Actions). The benthid magically creates a swarm of illusory cuttlefish at a point it can see within 60 feet of it. Each creature in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) psychic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The swarm spreads around corners.

Artist: Kev Walker
In the depths lies a creature, whose charm is brighter than any gold and deadlier than any poison.

Over the course of centuries, the benthid species were formerly average cephalopods, but deep within the waves they became exposed to unknown magical energies that twisted them. They became exponentially more cunning and intelligent as they were able to use illusions and enchantments to ensnare their prey. While content to prey on fish, they do seek out sources of magic—whether it be spellcasters, rifts to the elemental planes, or leylines spreading arcane energy in the depths of the sea. They feed on it, whether they consume it or absorb it.
Benthids are often solitary creatures preferring to traverse the ocean currents alone, but during mating season there will be an entire school of benthids with a swarm of illusions to protect their young. Benthids are quick to attack sources of magic energy to nurture their young, but otherwise the benthid will resort to using trickery to evade confrontation. While they made be formidable foes and hunters, they are quick to run when they feel the odds are against them. Over the course of the benthid's life of approximately twenty-five years, it will consume magic until it dies.

An Ancient Benthid's Lair

Some benthids come across a source of never-ending arcane energy and create a lair around it. These ancient benthids are often hundreds of years old, harnessing energies of arcane power. These lairs are often ancient underwater ruins containing magical energy, caverns exposed to the elemental planes, or shipwrecks that housed magical knowledge. These are sacred places to the benthids who make it home, often guiding or helping young benthids in the region and deterring any rivals.

Lair Actions

On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the benthid takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects; the benthid can't use the same effect two rounds in a row:

  • An illusory swarm surrounds each creature of the benthid's choice in the water within 60 feet of it. An affected creature has disadvantage on ability checks and saving throws against illusion spells until initiative count 20 on the next round.
  • The lair becomes labyrinthine in nature, with only the exit appearing clear. Creatures with truesight are not affected.
  • A wave of magical energy washes over each creature of the benthid's choice in the water within 60 feet of it. Each creature must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or take 7 (2d6) psychic damage and become frightened until the end of its next turn.
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