Welcome back to Card Killers! This set of articles are written around the idea of creating creatures usable in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition inspired by Magic: The Gathering. In this article we will be doing the Bone Shredder, which originally appeared in Urza’s Legacy.
Small Fiend, NE
Armor Class: 15 (natural armor)
Hitpoints: 21 (6d6)
Speed: 5 ft., fly 40 (hover)
Str: 15 (+2) Dex: 16 (+3) Con: 10 (+0) Int: 8 (-1) Wis: 8 (-1) Cha: 2 (-4)
Senses blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 9
Portal Reduction. When a Bone Shredder passes through a magical portal it is affected as if by a Reduce spell for 1d4 hours.
Manipulator Pincers. Melee Attack +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit 4 (1d4+2) Bludgeoning damage. A target struck by a Bone Shredder’s Manipulator Pincer must succeed on a DC 15 Strength (Athletics) check or automatically be subject to the Bone Shredder’s Hooked Shredder Swarm attack.
Hooked Shredder Swarm. Melee Attack +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit 7 (1d10+2) Slashing damage. Can only be used on targets of the Bone Shredder’s Manipulator Pincers that fail their Strength (Athletics) check.
Upper Sting. Melee Attack +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit 1 Piercing damage. The Bone Shredder’s Upper sting can only be used when the creature is in reduced form. The target must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or be infected with a disease- a minuscule Bone Shredder egg. A host can carry only one Bone Shredder egg to term at a time. Over three months, the egg moves to the chest cavity, gestates, and forms a Bone Shredder larvae. In the 24-hour period before giving birth, the host starts to feel unwell, its speed is halved, and it has disadvantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. At birth, the fully grown Bone Shredder tears its way through vital organs and out of the host’s chest in 1 round, killing the host in the process. If the disease is cured before the larva’s emergence, the unborn Bone Shredder is disintegrated.
Buzzing insects from Bleak Eternity of Gehenna, Bone shredders travel the plane in search of portals (to increase their numbers) and other creatures (for food). Looking little more than an inverted wasp abdomen with delicate petal-like wings sprouting from just under the enlarged stinger and two tiny manipulator pincers mid-body. The “abdomen” splits open longways, with the cavity lined with tiny hook tipped claws used to tear apart and move food into its mouth. As its name suggests, the Bone Shredder is a very efficient eater, leaving little but spilled bodily fluids behind. While it prefers to feast on living creatures as they enjoy the terror it causes their victims, Bone Shredders will eat carrion if no other food is available. Great swarms of them can be spotted around Blood War battlefields after the action has moved on, swooping among the dead and dying.
Bone Shredders travel through portals whenever they encounter them. Shrinking in size as they pass through, they seek out living bodies to implant as many of their eggs into as they can during their allotted time, then return to Gehenna before their reduction wears off. New-born Bone Shredders are fully equivalent to adults and swarm together, feasting on any creature (living and dead) they encounter until they find a portal back to Gehenna.