D&D 5e: How to integrate Krampus into your campaign
As the mythical villain of Yuletide, Krampus would be a perfect addition to any holiday-themed Dungeons & Dragons session. Here’s how to add it.
The holidays are a great time to spend time with friends and family, and a seasonal theme. Dungeons & Dragons adventure is the perfect way to achieve it. Given the game’s strong folk influence, there are plenty of Dungeon Masters creatures and myths out there who want to throw a Christmas one-shot they’ll remember for the coming year – and there is no better nasty to include that famous Krampus.
Although Krampus is not part of D&D and, therefore, does not have a statistics block, table RPG colleague Scout included the cruel winter villain in First edition‘s Bestiary 6. It was then added to Second edition in 2nd‘s Bestiary 3. These stat blocks are useful for setting up fights that pit the party against Krampus, but it’s also important to prepare for that boss fight. Understanding who Krampus is and where he came from is an important first step.
Who is Krampus?
Coming from the pagan Alpine tradition in what is now Germany, Krampus has terrorized rascal children for over two millennia. Its name comes from the German word “krampen”, which means “claw”. As for appearance, Krampus has goat hooves, horns, and dark fur. His tongue is wide and menacing, and he wears fangs. He wears chains, which are believed to represent his connection to the devil, which he struggles with with bells on his foot. Krampus sometimes carries a basket, which he uses to take victims to Hell with him – if he doesn’t drown or eat them first.
In Scout lore, it is said that a circle of druids who feared losing their social prowess summoned Krampus. The rites of the Druids had been called into question, as they were ineffective in protecting the city from the harsh winter. Originally, the spirit acted as a moral arbiter, punishing those who misbehaved by turning them back into children. However, the village’s petty crimes corrupted his soul over time, and he developed a lust for flesh, returning to unleash terror even after the druid circle had disappeared. In their absence, there remains the 14 foot tall, 1,000 pound demon known as Krampus.
How to add Krampus to DnD 5th
Based on Path searchr statistics block, Krampus is a large monster of the evil neutral alignment. Its armor class is 15 thanks to natural armor. Hit points are 324 (24d10 + 192), and speed is 50 feet. Krampus is resistant to many natural elements, such as cold, fire, lightning, and poison. Additionally, he is immune to clubbing, piercing, slashing nonmagical weapons, and psychic attacks, as well as Charmed, Frightened, and Paralyzed conditions. He understands all languages ââand is telepathic. Krampus is also immortal and, after death, is reborn at the start of winter to resume his reign of terror.
Due to his fairy origins, Krampus is well suited for adventures involving dryads, goblins, and satyrs. Elves, especially Wood Elves, have some connection with fairies, and the monster would be welcome in their realm. Because a major goal of the Wood Elves is to defend the forest, they can fight to rid their house of this monster once and for all. A longer or continuing adventure might involve the unification of all the fairies to right the mistakes of previous druids and banish Krampus forever.
Players can also choose to include Krampus in a more historical way. Players with human figures might remember him as a threat to their community during the winter. According to Germanic legend, Krampus helps Saint Nicholas visit children before the mid-winter celebrations. Saint Nicholas rewards nice children with gifts, while Krampus punishes naughty children with Ruten, a bundle of birch branches, or a whip used to crush them. DMs could also opt for a more contemporary take on the story that includes Santa Claus – perhaps Krampus is heading to the suburbs or interrupting a city parade. The possibilities with this timeless holiday enemy are as endless as D&D itself, and that’s what makes it the perfect BBEG for any vacation-themed game.
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