The nalfeshnee

I don’t love it in 5e. It’s the first demon to have telepathy, teleportation, and truesight, which oughta endear me to it, but I just can’t figure out what to do with that boar-faced ape-bodied tiny-winged beastie.

The fact that it “glows terror” is even weirder. It’s not just a fear aura, it’s a lightshow and fear aura.

I’m kind of interested in going in a different direction with these guys: let them keep the horror aura, but let it just be a standard frightful presence, aura 15 (that feels small to me, but the balor’s is only 20). No graphics. Not sure it needs the recharge, since it’s going to catch most of its targets up front, and the fear aura just isn’t that strong at this point; the paladin is going to kill it, the protection from evil is going to kill it, the halfling is going to kill it.

Then, separately, let’s talk lightshow and, more generally, special effects: In 3e, these guys were heavy casters, capable of at will castings of feeblemind and slow. In 2e, it was even worse, spells out the wazoo. In every edition, they seem to do a lightshow-that-makes-you-fear; this treatment does nothing for me. But it seems clear that they need their spells; I know we’ve cut down on spells a fair bit, but I think they got hit too hard. So add:

Innate Spellcasting (casts off of Cha; DC 15 saves, +7 to spell attacks): Cast, at will, dispel magic, modify memory, slow ; 1/day feeblemind. Also, as an action, call lightning (all targets in a 5 foot cylinder up to 100 feet tall within 120 feet; 16 (3d10) lightning damage, dex save DC 15 for half).

If you insist on keeping the light show, let’s steal a page from Holy Aura’s book: As a reaction to getting melee hit from within 5 feet, the Nalfeshenee can flash; DC 15 constitution save or be blinded 1 minute (save again at the end of each round ends).

Once you do that, I totally get what they’re for: they’re for TPKing, because a bad guy who can teleport, feeblemind, and modify memory is horrifying. Meleers beware, they will blind you in retaliation.


About lackhand

I was born in 1984 and am still playing games, programming computers, and living in New York City. View all posts by lackhand

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