This is part of a series! Go here to see the other entries.
The first non-demonic monster we’re going to look at in ages is the Destrachan. These aberrant dinosaur things first showed up in the Monster Manual 2 for D&D 3.0, if I’m not mistaken. So, in a way, they’re being promoted. They appear only on the MM.
Destrachans are blind sapient predators, roaming dungeons and other underground locations guided by their non-visual senses. When they find something they think they can eat, they kill it dead using bone-shattering bursts of sound. They can learn to mimic sounds they hear often, and will use those to help disguise their approach, which explains why they’re trained in Bluff. I wonder how common it is for a destrachan to mimic the voice of a dying adventurer asking for help.
These creatures have an affinity for other aberrant monsters, and will often team up with them. They’ll also often ally with other underground dwellers and monstrous humanoids such as drow, grimlocks, medusas, trolls… It’s a good bet Eberron’s Droaam has its share of destrachan citizens (if they’re not all daelkyr cultists instead).
We get two varieties of Destrachan here, both Large Aberrant Magical Beasts (blind). They’re also both Evil.
The standard Destrachan is Level 9 Artillery with 80 HP. It has blindsight 10, is immune to gaze attacks and has Resist Thunder 10. It has a ground speed of 6 and a climb speed of 3, so this is yet another Underdark monster who can drop on you from the ceiling.
Its basic melee attack is a weak Reach 1 claw, and its main attack is a Range 10 Sound Pulse that targets Reflex and does thunder damage. It can also go louder and use a Bellowing Blast quite often (recharge 3-6). This targets Fortitude in a Close Blast 5, does the same thunder damage as the pulse, and dazes (save ends).
The monster prefers to stay far away and attack with sound pulses, but it has no reason to not spam Bellowing Blast as often as possible if the PCs manage to close in.
The Destrachan Far Voice is a smarter (Int 10 instead of 7) and stronger variant. It’s Level 15 Artillery with 122 HP. Its blindsight increases to 20, its thunder resistance to 15, and its speed to 8 (climb 4).
It has the same attacks as the classic model, adjusted for the level-up, and a new encounter power named Reverberate. It targets the fortitude of everyone in a Close Burst 2, does a smidge more thunder damage than the Bellowing Blast, and stuns (save ends). On a miss, it still does half damage and dazes for a turn.
The entry has two.
Level 9: 2 destrachans and a trio of assorted foulspawn form an all-aberrant monster team.
Level 15: 1 destrachan far voice, 2 driders, and a trio of assorted drow.
Destrachans are another of those weird monsters who kinda come out of left field, but I think their 4e versions at least have a clear mechanical role. Their propensity to ally with other creatures gives you an excellent excuse to add some convenient ranged support to monster teams that would otherwise lack it.