Monster Manual A-Z: Cloaker

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.

Cloaker

Cloaker

I don’t know what it is about monsters that look like everyday items when they’re at rest, but the aptly named Cloaker is one of the. Appearing as a leather clock with bone clasps, the Cloaker is actually a deadly and intelligent underground creature, staling and hunting its prey without being seen until flying in for the kill. While they mostly hunt and live alone, these creatures can communicate with one another in subsonic frequencies, as well as speak a few languages, and they pass around information about new dangers or developments in their hunting grounds. Additionally they can use their subsonic voices to main, causing fear to strike adventurers and others nearby. Cloakers have plenty of other tricks up their sleeves as well for both escaping dangers and closing in on their prey.

More than just a common cloak or flying manta ray, Cloakers are not to be taken lightly. While they aren’t the most heavily armored of monsters, they can take a bit of ap unch before going down, and likely will eat your face before you can swing your sword hard enough to kill it. On the attack, Cloakers are stealthy, getting the jump on unsuspecting adventurers and wrapping around them potentially suffocating them. And biting their face. And all the while, their barbed tail either keeps would-be allies of their prey away or helps to dispatch of their prey quicker. There is also a good defensive benefit of latching onto their prey- any damage that they Cloaker takes is likely to be passed onto those they are wrapped around, making it tricky to save someone already under the grasp of the Cloaker. Additionally, they are in possession of two other powers. The first is their moan, which is able to strike fear into the hearts of their enemies. The second, and arguably cooler ability, is that they can create magical illusions of them to help them get away from dangerous situations.

Like many of the other monsters like look like inanimate objects, Cloakers make for good random encounters within a cave or dungeon. A ragged leather cloak in a section of cave being used as an armory is unassuming, and you know players can’t help but rummage through these goods. They can also be a great active hunter, chasing down adventurers trying to get a quick meal when they’re weakened, but then peeling off and retreating when they are able to fight back. This can create an interesting dynamic of shifting cat and mouse, and since Cloakers have a good intelligence, they can and should adapt and maybe bring in some friends to try and get the job done.


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