Monster Manual A-Z is a series of quick looks at each and every monster presented in the Monster Manual for Dungeons & Dragons 5e. New monsters go up every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in alphabetical order, touching on lore, mechanics, and ways to use them in your campaign. To search for all Monster Manual A-Z articles, search MMAZ in the search bar as we’ve excluded them from our Roleplaying Games tag to keep things tidy.
If it looks like a dwarf, crafts like a dwarf, and mines like a dwarf- does that make it a dwarf? Not if it’s an Azer! These fiery beings are actually elementals that resemble dwarves except for two main main differences- their bodies are made of bronze and their hair and beard are made of fire. But while dwarves have carved countless kingdoms from stone, the Azers helped craft the City of Brass on the Elemental Plane of Fire- before being betrayed by the Efreet. Unsurprisingly, they’re also master gem and metal workers and get called on to forge elaborate items.One such thing they forge is each other- Azer don’t reproduce, they simply craft another Azer over time and put some of their inner fire into the new Azer, making them a rare sight even on the Elemental Plane of Fire!
It shouldn’t be shocking to learn that the Azer has some decent defense for a low level monster. A good number of hit points, decent armor, and a deterrent in the form of enemies taking fire damage whenever they get into melee with the Azer. Add immunity to fire and poison, as well as some extra fire damage, and you’ve got yourself an Azer! Other than it’s low level, the Azer doesn’t possess any clear cut weaknesses, such as a susceptibility to cold damage, making them a solid monster for their level.
When I look at the Azer I see some great opportunities for encounters beyond combat, or encounters that could escalate to combat if the players are not careful. Perhaps the group is commissioned to travel to the fortresses on the Azer on the border between the Elemental Planes of Earth and Fire, and they need to survive not only the trip but also negotiations with the fiery elementals. For an added twist, perhaps an Efreet could employ the players for this task without disclosing the hostility between the two peoples, making it dangerous if they reveal who they’re working for. In a more direct story, having the Efreet put a twist on what happened and painting the Azer as the betrayers, only for the players to learn the truth after dispatching a few of the bronze embodied beings. No matter what, play the Azer as you would any dwarf- stubborn, knowing their worth, and never backing down, regardless of roleplay or combat you won’t go wrong.
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