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.
Lions and dragons and goats, oh my! These are the three heads of the fearsome Chimera, a horrific creature that takes the worst aspects of each and combines them into a vain, stubborn, and vicious monster that likes to hunt and humiliate its prey, including those that rival it in power. The primary tactic of the Chimera is to swoop down from the skies using its dragon-like wings, surprising its target and injuring them before leaving to perform another hit and run. Since they are very territorial they fight tooth and nail to take out rivals, including dragons, griffons, and many more winged predators. However unintelligent and brutish they may be, they cannot ignore their draconic ego and so are susceptible to bribery and flattery. One who can offer regular food and treasure to a Chimera can find it in their company and their service, while one who offers temporary gifts can at least find themselves spared for the moment.
Obviously, there’s a lot going on here with the Chimera. Being a juxtaposition of different beasts, it can fly as well as a dragon and run as well as a half-lion half-goat. They’re tough creatures, with their various hides creating a strong defensive lining and a strong constitution makes them hearty enough to withstand battles with dragons. Once they’ve engaged in combat, they have a few options at their disposal. Each head can make or direct an attack, using a combination of its horns, claws, teeth, and fire breath. Like most breath weapons there is a recharge on the breath, making it uncertain when an adventurer may be at risk of being roasted again, but ensuring that a trio of attacks are still directed their way. Because of their combined attacks making a high output offense, Chimeras are very hazardous creatures to try and take out head to head(s).
While some may suggest Chimeras were first created by a demon prince, there is no reason why they either cannot breed among themselves, or else be created by other mad beings of enough power to combine these poor creatures. A mad wizard concocting a Chimera makes for a great tale, and the Chimera itself makes for either a great guardian or threat to be dealt with at a future time. From another point of few, maybe some locals within a town have been reporting strange sightings- different combinations of animals out in the wild, such as rabbits with the head of a snake, or a deer with the hind quarters of a dog. The Chimera could be the final, terrifying straw before the town asks the adventurers to investigate and deal with the Chimera and any other mad creations that may be on the horizon.
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