Lernean Hydra (3.5e Monster)

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Author: Sulacu (talk)
Date Created: October 7, 2016
Status: Complete
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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Lernean Hydra Lernean Hydra Head
Size/Type: Gargantuan Dragon Large Dragon
Hit Dice: 24d12+384 (540 hp) 24d12+24 (180 hp)
Initiative: +2 +2
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), swim 60 ft. 40 ft. (10 squares)
Armor Class: 30 (-4 size, -1 Dex, +25 natural), touch 5, flat-footed 30 40 (-1 size, +6 Dex, +25 natural), touch 15, flat-footed 34
Base Attack/Grapple: +24/— +24/+40
Attack: Slam +31 melee (6d6+16) Bite +31 melee (4d6+12 plus poison)
Full Attack: 2 slams +31 melee (6d6+16) Bite +31 melee (4d6+12 plus poison)
Space/Reach: 20 ft./15 ft. 20 ft./15 ft.
Special Attacks: Frightful presence, improved grab, miasma cloud, poison, spell-like abilities, swallow whole
Special Qualities: DR 50/cosmic, immunity to poison and death effects, regeneration 50, resistance 50 to all energy types, spell resistance 32 DR 20/cosmic, endless regrowth, immunity to poison and death effects, regeneration 20, resistance 20 to all energy types, spell resistance 32
Saves: Fort +29, Ref +13, Will +14 Fort +17, Ref +20, Will +18
Abilities: Str 32, Dex 9, Con 42, Int —, Wis —, Cha Str 26, Dex 23, Con 12, Int 15, Wis 18, Cha 25
Skills: Jump +46 Appraise +29, Intimidate +34, Knowledge (religion) +29, Listen +31, Search +29, Sense Motive +31, Spot+31, Spellcraft +29
Feats: Great Fortitude, Improved Grapple
Environment: Lakes, swamps and places associated with the underworld Lakes, swamps and places associated with the underworld
Organization: Solitary Solitary
Challenge Rating: 19
Treasure: Triple standard Triple standard
Alignment: Usually neutral evil Usually neutral evil
Advancement: 25-36 HD (Gargantuan), 37-72 HD (Colossal) 25-36 HD (Gargantuan), 37-72 HD (Colossal)
Level Adjustment:

A divine beast created by the Gods for some nefarious purpose, the hydra has spoken to the imagination of countless mortals. A monster possessing overflowing vitality, endlessly regrowing as long as just one of its heads remains. Poison strong enough to induce hallucinations, a frightful presence that can make a man drop dead from fear, and a massive body that no mortal blade can pierce. This manyheaded chthonic beast bears some similarities to dragons and serpents, and is rumored to have its origins within a lake called Lerna that is said to contain a passage to the underworld.

A Lernean Hydra's body is roughly 70 feet from the tip of its heads to the tip of its tail, and weighs about 65 tons.

A Lernean Hydra speaks Abyssal.


A Lernean Hydra ravenously assaults anything within its territory, softening up threats with its poison or its spell-like abilities and then going in to devour them with one of its heads.

A Lernean Hydra standardly has five heads. Advancement can increase this number (see Advancement below).

During its turn, a Lernean Hydra's five heads may each make a standard action, though its body may only make a single move action. To make a double move, or to perform some other additional action with the body, one of the hydra's heads must eschew its standard action for the round.

If the Lernean Hydra's body makes a Reflex save against an area of effect spell or effect, then any of the heads caught within the area gain the benefits of evasion when saving against that particular effect.

Endless Regrowth (Ex): As long as a Lernean Hydra has even a single head remaining, it will never die. The only way to kill a Hydra without a divine tool or other cosmic damage source is to simultaneously have all five heads destroyed (rendered unconscious from accumulated nonlethal damage due to its regeneration).

Whenever a Lernean Hydra's head wakes up from 'unconsciousness', it regrows itself, instantly recovering accumulated nonlethal damage to half its total hit points. As such, when a head regrows, it starts out with 90 nonlethal damage.

Frightful Presence (Ex): A Lernean Hydra projects an aura of frightful presence. All creatures that witness the Lernean Hydra must make a DC 31 Will save. On a failed saving throw, a creature becomes shaken. If the save is failed by more than 10 points or if the creature that failed the save has 12 HD or less, it is instead frightened. A creature that succeeds on the saving throw is immune to the Lernean Hydra's frightful presence for 24 hours.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a Lernean Hydra's head must hit with a bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. The Lernean Hydra can grapple a different opponent with each head without penalty.

Miasma Cloud (Su): To use this ability, all of the Lernean Hydra's currently active heads must expend their standard action. From the mouths of the Hydra issues forth a sickly green vapor that hangs thickly in the air. Upon settling the next round, the miasma cloud has a radius of 100 feet surrounding the Hydra and obscures vision like a fog cloud spell. The Hydra itself is not affected by the vision-impairing effect of its own miasma. Furthermore, there's a 20% chance that on the start of each turn, a creature will see a hallucinatory silhouette within the miasma that he must disbelieve with a DC 29 Will save or perceive as an enemy.

Any creature within the area of the miasma cloud is exposed to the Lernean Hydra's poison.

The miasma cloud can be partially or fully dispersed by strong winds, such as a gust of wind. A storm or weather effect with similarly strong winds will disperse the miasma cloud outright.

Poison (Ex): Those who are bitten by a Lernean Hydra or exposed to its miasma must make a DC 38 Fortitude save or become affected by its poison.

The poison's initial effect is the sickened condition and a confusion effect (as per the spell). The secondary effect is an insanity effect. As such, if the poison isn't neutralized within a minute, its effects will be permanent until removed by any effect that removes insanity. Immunity to mind-affecting effects will protect against the confusion effect, but not the sickened condition. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Regeneration (Ex): Only Gods and other sources of cosmic damage deal normal damage to a Lernean Hydra. If a Lernean Hydra loses a head to any attack or effect that doesn't bypass its regeneration, it regrows as soon as its regeneration reduces that head's total nonlethal damage below its total hit points (see endless regrowth above). Other body parts regrow in 3d6 minutes.

Spell-Like Abilities: At will—fireball (DC 20), phantasmal killer* (DC 21); 3/day—greater dispel magic, greater invisibility, pyroclasm** (DC 25). Caster level 20th. Save DCs are Charisma-based.

*: Depending on conditions currently suffered by the target, they incur a penalty to the save of the spell: shaken (-2), frightened or worse (-4), confused (-4), insane (-8).
**: All active heads must contribute their standard action to cast the spell.

The following abilities are always active on a Lernean Hydra's person, as the spells (caster level 20th)
arcane sight, nondetection, see through fog.

Swallow Whole (Ex): When a Lernean Hydra's head begins its turn grappling an opponent up to Medium size, it can swallow that opponent with a successful grapple check. Once inside the opponent takes the Hydra's bite damage (4d6+12) every round. A swallowed creature can attempt to cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 100 points of damage to the Lernean Hydra's throat (AC 20). This damage is separate from normal battle damage and does not affect overall hit points, and is furthermore not subject to damage reduction or fast healing. Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out. A Lernean Hydra's head can hold 1 Medium or smaller opponent.

A Lernean Hydra can have as many creatures swallowed as it has heads. If a head is destroyed, a creature swallowed by that head can crawl out as a full-round action provided he does so before the head regenerates.

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewMonsters

AlignmentUsually neutral evil +
AuthorSulacu +
Challenge Rating19 + and — +
EnvironmentLakes, swamps and places associated with the underworld +
Identifier3.5e Monster +
Level Adjustment+
RatingUndiscussed +
SizeGargantuan + and Large +
TitleLernean Hydra +
TypeDragon +