Monsters of Darkest Dungeon in D&D: The Shrieker

The Shrieker is one of my favourite enemies from Darkest Dungeon, particularly as it doesn’t present combat in the same way as most enemies in the game, dealing surprising amounts of damage before suddenly fleeing. Translated to D&D, the Shrieker should present an interesting encounter where players make camp on a moonless night, waking to find a feathered horror stealing their magic items, which flees, leaving only misshapen feathers as a clue for the search.

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A Horror in the Night. The Shrieker was once a majestic corvid that inspired family crests for noble houses, illusive but magnificent. Yet, as time and corruption

slowly

took their course, the sublime avian giant grew tragically twisted and malformed. Not a dreadful predator like other horrors, the Shrieker has become a grotesque scavenger, a creature far more suited to a nightmare than to a noble house’s heraldry.

Trinket Thief. The Shrieker’s many eyes are drawn to all that shines, and it jealously hoards whatever glistening trinkets that catch its attentive gaze. While this may make it steal simple coins and jewellery, it is magic items in particular that draws the creature’s attention. Despite its

misshapen

size, the Shrieker is capable of unexpected feats of stealth, allowing it to rob sleeping travellers of their magic items before fleeing into the night with their hard-earned bounties. 

The Shrieker’s Nest. Those seeking to fight the Shrieker typically find it at its nest, where the tragic horror hoards its stolen trinkets and baubles, for hunting the Shrieker on the wing is all but impossible, the creature’s immense speed making it far harder to hit than it is to track. At its nest, the Shrieker will still quickly give up a fight that it cannot win, but will leave it its wake whatever magic items it has hoarded it its nest. 

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The Shrieker’s stats were based on its in-game attacks, with general rules compared to other bird-like creatures like the Roc (which specifically gave me a guideline for the Shrieker’s high flying speed). The Shrieker’s high AC is inspired by its infamously high dodge, and a similar shock for players with the high damage on the Shrieker’s Peck attack.

Shrieker Magic Items
When searching the Shrieker’s nest characters find 4 Magic Items from Magic Item Table B in the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

In addition to the other magic items found, roll 1d4 to determine which Shrieker item it has left behind:
1 – Callous Talon
2 – Distended Crowseye
3 – Molted Tailfeather
4 – Molted Wingfeather

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Callous Talon
Wondrous Item – Very Rare

This desiccated talon makes your attacks score critical hits on a roll of 19 or 20. In addition, when in dim light or darkness you gain advantage on Constitution saving throws, and when in darkness your melee attacks deal 1d4 necrotic damage in addition to their normal damage.

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Distended Crowseye
Wondrous Item – Very Rare

This mutated eye grants you +1 to all attack rolls.

In addition, when in dim light or darkness you gain advantage on Constitution saving throws, and when in darkness you gain advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks.


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Molted Tailfeather
Wondrous Item – Very Rare

This shed feather grants you +3 Dexterity. In addition, when in

dim light or

darkness you gain advantage on Constitution saving throws, and

when in darkness you gain advantage on Wisdom saving throws.


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Molted Wingfeather
Wondrous Item – Very Rare

This long, shed feather grants you +3 AC when wearing medium or light armor.

In addition, when in dim light or darkness you gain advantage on Constitution saving throws, and when in darkness you gain advantage on Strength saving throws.


With these items, I gave each an appropriate effect to represent the second and third abilities coming into effect at low torchlight as they do in Darkest Dungeon. The disease resistance is represented by advantage on constitution saving throws, whereas each other ability was translated as directly as possible, such as the Distended Crowseye granting +1 to all attack rolls, representing the +10% Accuracy it grants in Darkest Dungeon.

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