The party stalks through the undergrowth, hunting horns echoing through the ancient forest. Maybe it wasn’t the best idea to trap that Owlbear Cub, but they have bigger problems now. Before them towers their target, the Lord of the Hunt himself. Only problem? They’re level 6, and their enemy is a CR 20 Archfey, out for blood!
Dungeons and Dragons lives for cinematic boss encounters but the most epic bosses are usually exclusive to higher levels of play. The Lord of the Hunt design shows you one way to make the toughest monsters in D&D centerpieces of your mid level adventures.
Let us first have a look at his insane stat-block:
From a glance, it is clear that three attacks by this bad boy, with his +13 to hit, can fell most level 6 characters in an instant. Then you take into account his defensive capacities and legendary actions and it is clear that fighting him head-on would spell certain doom…
And that is actually fantastic!
It gives the party a strong incentive to first uncover his weaknesses as a way to even out the fight. This can be done by completing an optional task to get their hands on enchanted spears, crafted specifically to bring down the Lord of the Hunt:
Weapon (spear), Rare
This long spear has a leaf-like blade of shining silver, and is inscribed with flowing fey script that seems to dance and shift when you are not paying attention. The Llyndrych Spear is a +2 spear. When it hits the Lord of the Hunt, a shard of its silver blade breaks off and becomes lodged in the archfey’s flesh, dealing an additional 3d8 damage. For each shard lodged in its flesh this way, the Lord of the Hunt suffers the following cumulative effects:
1: It loses its immunity to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage by nonmagical weapons becomes resistance instead for 1 hour. It loses its immunity to poison, and becomes poisoned for 1 hour.
2: It loses its resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage by nonmagical weapons for 1 hour, and its AC is reduced by 1 for 1 hour.
3: It loses blindsight and is blinded for 1 hour.
4: It loses immunity to fear for 1 hour.
Once the Llyndrych Spear’s blade has broken this way, it becomes an inert, nonmagical spear.
This provides the party with the tools they need to bring the CR 20 Boss down to their level, without removing agency. There is no high level NPC helping them or a spell that just banishes the Lord of the Hunt. They must still do all the work, which requires them to get into melee and in reach of his devastating attacks. Even with the help of the spears, the Lord’s potential damage is unchanged and all his special abilities are still online. After all, fighting an Arch Fey should always be a deadly challenge and result in a story worth telling.
The Lord of the Hunt is now available in the Wild Hunt Collection, and you can get a free Silverback Owlbear Cub by signing up to our newsletter.