D&D Monster Monday: Green Slaad
Finally, you’ve snuck your way into the wizard’s dungeon and located the prisoner. You jimmy the lock on the cell door and call out for the prisoner. You receive no response, but the prisoner stares right at you, grinning as they shapeshift into a horrifying green slaad. It’s a trap!
Do you know what wizards need in D&D? More types of magical henchmen!
The slaad are these odd frog-like creatures that can have control gems embedded in their brains. Whoever binds with this stone is effectively the boss of the slaad.
As far as henchmen, goons, and general muscle are concerned, slaadi have to be one of the nastiest options for a wizard to have at their disposal. Green slaadi are one of the more disturbing types of slaadi to run into due to their shapechanging and spellcasting abilities. Plus they are tough to take down due to their strong defenses and unhindered HP regeneration.
For today’s Monster Monday we’re going to open up the Monster Manual to talk about slaadi until my autocorrect stops changing “slaad” to “salad”. Wish me luck!
Green Slaad Lore
I’m not a lore nerd, but even I knew that we were going to be in for a ride as soon as I read “Long ago, Primus, overlord of the modrons…” in the slaadi lore in the Monster Manual.
From what I could understand, Primus decided he’d create this giant stone and imbue wit with the power of law. In his great wisdom, he decided to yeet the stone into Limbo to bring order to the chaos of that plane and stop all the chaos from leaking out everywhere.
As expected, that didn’t work.
The stone absorbed tons of chaos energy and started popping out slaadi into Limbo. However, the stone, now known as The Spawning Stone embedded small fragments into the brain of each slaad it spawned. These fragments are the previously mentioned control gems. A person with a knack for magic can attune themselves to the control gem and become the slaad’s unquestioned master.
Yet this isn’t even the wildest thing about slaadi. Slaadi can reproduce naturally in addition to being popped out of The Spawning Stone. Of course, they can’t just be normal creatures and reproduce the old fashioned way.
Slaadi have two, to quote the book “horrific cycles of reproduction”. The first is that they can implant a humanoid host with eggs like an alien. The second is that they can infect a person with a transformative disease called chaos phage which slowly kills the infected then they’re reborn as a slaad.
Green Slaad Stats and Abilities
You can find the green slaad’s statblock on pg 277 of the Monster Manual.
Size: Large aberration (shapechanger)
AC: 16 (natural armor)
HP: 127 (15d10 + 45)
Speed: 30 ft.
STR: 18 (+4)
DEX: 15 (+2)
CON: 16 (+3)
INT: 11 (+0)
WIS: 8 (-1)
CHA: 12 (+1)
I’m in awe at the green slaad’s base defenses. 16 AC is pretty average, but it’s backed up by a large health pool which is reinforced with plenty of damage resistances. Chewing through a green slaad is going to take a while.
The only glaring issue that their ability score array has is their awful Wisdom. This is a problem since it’s one of the three most common saving throw abilities in 5e. However, their Magic Resistance trait helps to bridge this small gap in their statblock.
Besides that though, they have a solid array. Well, their casting stat, Charisma, is too low as well, but only Fear and Fireball suffer from this. Besides, Fireball will still deal at least half damage to anyone without Evasion.
Resistances, Immunities, Saves, and Skills
Skills: Arcana +3, Perception +2
Damage Resistances: acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder
Senses: blindsight 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages: Slaad, telepath 60 ft.
CR: 8 (3,900 XP)
Proficiency in Arcana is a nice flavor addition. It was somewhat necessary to give them Perception as well since they’ll need to be at least somewhat coherent when acting as a guard for a powerful magic-user.
The green slaad’s damage resistances are superb. Acid, cold, and fire are all super common damage types so you’ll get plenty of mileage out of these resistances. Lightning and thunder are both much less common, but they’re still a nice bonus to have.
30 ft. of blindsight is awesome as well. It’s going to make sneaking past these creatures increasingly difficult despite their mediocre passive Perception.
CR 8 may be a bit too low for the green slaad honestly. They have a lot of cool features and tools in their statblock that combine to make a true menace. There’s little that the green slaad can’t do.
Traits and Abilities
Shapechanger. The slaad can use its action to polymorph into a Small or Medium humanoid, or back into its true form. Its statistics, other than its size, are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.
Innate Spellcasting. The slaad’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 12). The slaad can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: detect magic, detect thoughts, mage hand
2/day each: fear, invisibility (self only)
Magic Resistance. The slaad has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Regeneration. The slaad regains 10 hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point.
Shapechanger is a very fun trait to make use of if you’re creative enough. A magic-user could command their slaadi to shapeshift and go gather intel in the nearby towns and villages. They could also use their slaadi as traps, luring unsuspecting do-gooders to their deaths.
The green slaad’s spellcasting list is fantastic. They have plenty of detection magic to give them the up-and-up on any tricks that their enemies may be up to. They can utilize Invisibility to either assist them in a strategic retreat or set up a devastating ambush.
While their spell DC is awful, they can still deal a fair bit of base damage with Fireball. They have a decent chance of taking heavily reduced damage due to their decent Dexterity modifier and their resistance to fire damage.
Magic Resistance is always a fantastic perk, but for the green slaad, it’s a lifesaver due to their abysmal Wisdom modifier. Keep in mind too that if your slaad has a control gem implanted in their brain then they are are also immune to the Charmed condition!
The green slaad’s Regeneration is top-tier. Most creatures that have this trait have a caveat included where taking a certain type of damage will halt its regeneration. Not the slaad though, this is an unhindered 10 hp of healing per round!
Multiattack. The slaad makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws or staff. Alternatively, it uses its Hurl Flame twice.
Bite (Slaad Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage.
Claw (Slaad Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) slashing damage.
Staff. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.
Hurl Flame. Ranged Spell Attack:+4 to hit, range 60 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (3d6) fire damage. The fire ignites flammable objects that aren’t being worn or carried.
One observation that I can make right off the bat is that slaadi are always going to want to shift into slaad form before you begin combat. You get an additional attack simply by being in slaad form which is a huge boost for the creature’s action economy.
The most optimal Multiattack combo is for sure one Bite and two Staff attacks for an average of 33 damage per turn. Keep your staff handy because you lose out on a whopping 8 damage per Multiattack when you have to resort to your claws instead!
While it’s far from ideal, the green slaad does have the option to throw two Hurl Flame attacks for their Multiattack. This would’ve been a solid option, but with only a +4 to hit you should do everything in your power to avoid using this combo.
Green Slaad Strengths
5e tends to favor creatures with high-powered offenses. It’s better to have a few powerful rounds of damage-dealing than to linger about being an annoyance to the party for 10 rounds. However, I think the green slaad is still a solid option despite its strengths being in their fantastic defenses and survivability.
Their health pool is huge, even for a CR 8 creature. This is primarily due to their phenomenal damage resistances which can effectively double the slaad’s HP against a party that wields a lot of acid, cold, or fire damage.
Magic Resistance props-up their weak Wisdom modifier and gives an enormous boost to their already solid Dexterity and Constitution modifiers. It’s going to be difficult to crowd control these creatures if you’re relying on anything other than a Wisdom saving throw.
Regeneration is usually just a nice perk. On paper, it looks great, but when it just takes a single point of fire or acid damage to shut down the trait it’s not something you’ll put much stock in. However, the green slaad’s Regeneration doesn’t have this downside. It’s free HP baby!
These are not easy creatures to take down. They will soak up a boatload of the party’s valuable resources due to their enormous health pool and Magic Resistance.
Fantastic Supporting Spell List
The green slaad’s spell list isn’t flashy, but by gods is it useful. This is a utilitarian’s dream list.
At will uses of Detect Magic, Detect Thoughts, and Mage Hand will come in clutch when sneaking about unfamiliar locations shapeshifted into a humanoid. They’re also great intel-gathering tools for the slaad to use on the party before it fights them directly.
Invisibility is by far my favorite spell in this list. You can use it in the middle of a fight to safely reposition yourself. You can set up an ambush with a couple of green slaadi easily thanks to the spell’s hour-long duration. Hell, you can even use it to flee from battle so that the slaad can warn the others of the party’s arrival!
It’s a fantastic spell for a creature that heavily favors attacking in melee range. Plus it makes an already difficult to kill creature that much more difficult to kill.
Fireball is… well it’s Fireball. It’s a powerful AoE nuke to drop ontop of 2+ people. Be careful though, each green slaad only has 1 cast of Fireball per day so you should be trying to cram as many targets into its radius as possible.
Fear is the only “bad” option here and that’s just due to the green slaad’s low Spell Save DC. It may be worth a use against a party that has a lot of people dumping Wisdom though.
The variety of spells and their uses in this list are amazing. After acquainting myself with the rest of the creature’s kit I saw how each of these pieces fit into the puzzle so perfectly.
A Variety of Attack Options
I won’t stand here and tell you that the green slaad is an offensive powerhouse because they’re certainly not. However, I do believe it’s worth mentioning the variety of attack options they have at their disposal. There’s no situation that the green slaad doesn’t have an answer for.
Melee is by far their preferred combat style. Their Bite, Claw, and Staff attacks will tear a creature apart and deal more consistent damage than most of their other options.
Fireball is a great option for getting some guaranteed damage on the entire party. The only downsides to this are its single-usage per day and the green slaad’s piss-poor spell save DC of 12. Still, it’s probably your strongest attack even if everyone passes the save.
Hurl Flame is pretty bad. Its +4 modifier to hit is quite laughable even if its damage is alright. I’d never use this unless I was forced to, but the fact that you still have a ranged attack option at all is nice. Options are nice, even if they’re not great options.
Green Slaad Weaknesses
Weak Average Damage
Let’s call it like it is. 33 damage per Multiattack is a bit low for a CR 8 creature. Even Fireball won’t deal a ton of damage due to the green slaad’s low spell save DC.
Let’s not mention their Hurl Flame Multiattack. Yikes.
You’re not picking the green slaad for their offensive powers because, quite frankly, they’re not great. The green slaad’s strength is in their ridiculous defensive capabilities. These creatures will gorge themselves on the party’s resources and tank plenty of damage for their magic-user boss so that they can drop powerful spells on the party.
How to Play a Green Slaad
Chomp Down Hard
The green slaad is blessed with a variety of attacks. They have an answer for practically any situation in combat which is a fantastic perk to have. Unfortunately, though, their low Charisma significantly harms their chances at landing attacks with Hurl Flame. It’s best to only rely on ranged attacks when it’s your last resort.
Green slaadi want to rush into melee range and chomp down on their opponents. To do this, they’ll need to be in their true slaad form though so keep that in mind when combat begins.
Rush into melee range and start hacking your foes to bits. If there are a bunch of them grouped up together you may also want to use Fireball to spread the pain around a bit.
The green slaad’s spell list is fantastic. It has variety just like the rest of their kit, but it also has a couple of great choices for battlefield repositioning.
Invisibility is for sure the first option that comes to mind when discussing battlefield repositioning. It’s difficult for an enemy to attack a target that they cannot see so you gain some leeway in moving about the battlefield to gain an ideal position.
Couple this with Regeneration and your green slaadi can buy some time and reset the fight on their terms. Keep the party guessing and walking on eggshells as they cautiously traverse the dungeon, not knowing when the slaadi will appear again.
Fear is also a tool that you could use to assist you with repositioning. After all, eared targets cannot advance toward the source of their fear. The only downside is that it’s quite unreliable due to the green slaad’s low spell save DC.
5 Green Slaad Plot Hooks
- A New Spawning Stone – A portal opened up and plopped out an odd-looking hunk of stone into the nearby swamp. Travelling merchants and guard patrols have reported seeing odd-looking toadlike creatures wandering the murky swamp.
- A New Sheriff in Town – In an awesome display of power a wizard paraded down the streets with their slaadi underlings in tow. The wizard proclaimed himself to be the new ruler of the town and soon, all of humanity.
- Freeing the Slaadi – An evil magic-user has been controlling the minds of many slaadi. In your research, you’ve found a way to disable their control gems and give the slaadi their freedom.
- Disappearing Reagents – Magic shops across the land have been reporting mysterious break-ins. A culprit has not been found, but they have been stealing the most mysterious materials from the shops…
- Messenger of Chaos – A green slaad’s body was found in the town square. No one knows how it got there or who killed it. In fact, no one has ever seen one of these creatures before.
The green slaad is a fantastic henchmen-type creature for a magic-user to employ. Their control gems give them an unwavering loyalty to whoever binds with them. Plus, they’re quite beefy and can serve as a solid frontline creature for a powerful spellcaster.
Their damage leaves a bit to be desired, but the trade-off for low damage output is a massive amount of damage absorption. Coupling their Invisibility spell with Regeneration further improves their damage soaking capabilities. These are terrifying creatures to deal with because of their ability to reset the fight multiple times.
Keep in mind that there are a ton of different types of slaadi. The green slaad just scratches the surface that is these chaotic killing machines. A powerful magic-user could amass an army of these unwavering servants and wreak havoc across the land.