Monday, May 16, 2016

Monster Monday: Charchaeopteryx

Tim over at The Other Side blog recently posted about returning to a feature he's called Monstrous Mondays (and which seems to be acceptably called Monster Mondays, as well).  The idea is to post about monsters.  On Mondays.  And everyone is encouraged to join the fun.

So, let's have some fun!

I'm going to try to combine a few of my interests in my participation:  (1) My love for the cheap plastic creatures often dubbed "Chinasaurs" that are have a connection to D&D's early years (check out a great writeup by artist Tony DiTerlizzi; or see my first "real" post on this blog, on the Rust Monster); (2) A desire to stat up some new monsters that might be used in Underground Elemental Beastfighting; and (3) A goal to learn more about 5E monsters (and especially how their stats might blend in with OSR-useable stats).

Here's the first entry...


A volery of Charchaeopteryxes (Charchaeopteryces?) in the wild.  Photograph presumably by Tony DiTerlizzi, and stolen somewhat shamelessly from his website.  Please check out his site so I can feel better about said theft.

The Charchaeopteryx is a feathered, flying reptile that can often be found near volcanic rifts.  It is believed to be an evolutionary link between the phoenix and various reptiles associated with the element of fire.

The stats below can probably be used in 5E or Basic games with little to no change.  If you make all the dice d6's, they might work for White Box games, too.  Eventually, maybe I'll figure out a good way to connect this format back to the GRIND and set up a proper OGL reference.  I did use the handy online Quick Monster CR Calculator to help me out with some guesstimation.

Armor Class  16
Hit Dice  4d10 + 8 (30 Hit Points)
Speed  30 ft., fly 60 ft.
Damage Vulnerability  Water
HDE / Challenge  8 / 2
XP  450


Fireblast -- Ranged Attack +6 // 10 (2d6 + 3) fire damage
Bite 'n Hack -- 3 Melee Attacks +5 // 5 (1d6 + 2) slashing damage

After being reduced to 0 hit points or otherwise knocked out, the Charchaeopteryx will collapse into a chaotically sparking flame.  If water is not poured onto the flame, the Charchaeopteryx will fly forth in 1d8 rounds with (1d6)d8 starting hit points.  Natural healing can eventually restore the Charchaeopteryx to full health.

Even when water is poured on the flame, the Charchaeopteryx will smolder and eventually fly forth after 1d8 hours.  Only if water is repeatedly poured on the flame, preventing the monster's return for 24 hours straight, will the Charchaeopteryx die.


  1. Very cool! Props to using dinosaurs from the same batch that the rust monster came from.

    Something like this could have worked in the original Monster Manual!

    1. Thanks for checking it out! I hope to hit on a few more of those cheap plastic gems.