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Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild

New Combat Actions for the Creatures in Curse of Strahd

The bugbear chief nurses a gushing wound in her side before issuing an order of retreat to her allies. A bright light forms around the angel’s dying body, blinding everyone near it as it passes on from the world of the living. With blood streaming down its torso, an enraged hill giant slams its fists into the ground and causes the earth around it to quake. 

Bloodied & Bruised is a series providing new combat actions for the creatures in the 5e roster. When pushed to their limits in combat, these monsters, critters, fiends, and foes gain new abilities that aid them in battle, or perhaps spell their doom depending on the circumstances. Bloodied & Bruised takes inspiration from the “bloodied” condition from 4e, making entirely new combat actions that can completely change the nature of a fight.

In addition, Bloodied & Bruised also introduces several “death throes” to the game, marking the demise of certain creatures with a grand explosion, heavy fall, or other unique effect to make the slaying of a great monster a truly unique experience.

Examples of Bloodied Actions

Baba Lysaga
When bloodied at 60 HP, Baba Lysaga has the following features.

Frailty: A Mother’s Love. While bloodied, a creature can use its action to threaten Strahd von Zarovich. Upon hearing the threat to the being she loves the most, Baba Lysaga must succeed on a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or be enraged, exclusively targeting the creature that threatened Strahd with spells and attacks until she or the creature dies. If multiple creatures threaten Strahd, Baba Lysaga can choose any of those creatures to target.
Strength: Gifts from Mother Night. While bloodied, Baba Lysaga is resistant to damage dealt by spells and other magical effects. In addition, her AC increases by 2.
New Ability: Cast Attack. While bloodied, if Baba Lysaga uses an action to cast a spell, she can make a melee attack as a bonus action.
Trigger Ability: Spellcasting. When first bloodied, Baba Lysaga can use a reaction to cast a spell that normally requires an action to cast. This reaction is limited to spells that are 5th level or lower.

Izek Strazni
When bloodied at 56 HP, Izek Strazni has the following features.

Strength: Brave. While bloodied, Izek has advantage on saving throws against being frightened.
Strength: Frightener’s Resolve. While bloodied, Izek has advantage on attack rolls against creatures that are frightened.
New Ability: Death’s Face. While bloodied, if Izek scores a critical hit against a creature using his Battleaxe, he can force the creature to make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is frightened of Izek for 1 minute. A frightened creature can repeat its saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

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