Plan-dom Encounters: Remorhaz

Many generations of the Remorhaz!

Big ol’ terrifying worms that are perfectly at home in the lands of ice-and-snow, Remorhaz are great creatures to populate a cold-weather area with. There’s quite a bit to like about them if you’re playing 5e.
Here’s FIVE things to love about Remorahaz in 5E:
1) We get stats for Young (which are Large creatures) and Adult (which check in as Huge creatures) Remorhaz
2) Few players are familiar with them even though they’ve been with us since pre-AD&D days (they appeared in a Dragon Magazine in 1976). This means Meta-Gaming will tend to be lower.
3) They have a burrowing speed! Burrowing could be better than fling when it comes to being troublesome for players to deal with a monster.
4) They survive in cold extremes because they’re basically giant insectoid furnaces: Getting close enough to hit them with a regular melee attack incurs fire damage to the player who takes a swipe at them.
5) The big ones can swallow a hero whole! If you’ve never had a creature swallow a player at your table… you’re i for a great time!


If you want your party to wrangle with these big burning bugs here’s our top suggestion for building a great encounter:

Your players are trekking across an icy waste-land, they come across a long flat section of frozen expanse. As they move across it you should start to telegraph the presence of something very dangerous in the area. Maybe half of a Giant Elk antler is found on the ice, snapped off like a weak tree-branch. Maybe the bones of a mammoth with some blood spray across the snow. Maybe the rear leg of Polar Bear… Once they get the idea that here there be danger drop this interesting find on them:

They find a steaming pile of some sort of strange dung near a crevasse in the ice. As they near it they realize it’s not just steaming but it’s really putting out some heat. It’s like a small camp-fire of poo, but it’s cooling rapidly.

Now you’ve given your party plenty of telegraphs: Something big and dangerous lives here, as well as something with an abnormally high internal temperature.

Now, Spring an appropriate number of Young Remoraz on them! Keep in mind that the young ones are CR5, so we’re looking at a higher-level party here. Once they’ve dispatched your group of cute little burrowing beasties THEN you spring the adult on them. They’ve only been dealing with the little-fellas but now it’s MAMA’s turn! Also keep in mind that she checks in at CR11.

Keep in mind that when Big Mama restrains people with her insect jaws, and then on the next turn she can attempt to swallow said player. You know that one character that’s super annoying because they’re super mobile… (you know, that rogue or that monk), you can’t be mobile if you’re restrained. Once inside the belly of the beast your’e also blinded as well as restrained and this can put interesting limitations on abilities and spells (many require a character to be able to SEE the target). Hopefully your band of adventurers succeed in defeating the nest of wee babes and then big mama. If they do they’ll be telling the tales of being swallowed alive and then the wizard being spit out stone cold dead as the cleric rushed into striking distance to revivify them!




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