Copyright 2010 Wizards of the Coast

This is part of a series! Go here to see the other entries.

I’m fairly sure Banderhobbs are a new monster. If they appeared before, it was in a book I don’t own.

The Lore

Banderhobbs stuck in my memory as a notable monster when I first read this book, and now that I’m here again I can see why. They’re D&D’s take on the Boogeyman, the monsters parents use to scare their children. Be good, or a banderhobb will come to you in your sleep and take you away.

This isn’t just a fairy tale, though. Banderhobbs really exist. On moonless nights, they set forth from their home in the Shadowfell, cross into the world, and look for victims. Once a banderhobb has chosen a victim, it will chase and swallow them.

All banderhobbs live in the same sinister tower in the Shadowfell, under the command of an ancient master the book doesn’t describe beyond saying he exists. Banderhobbs who catch their victims return there to regurgitate them, intact, in front of their master. No one knows what the inside of the tower is like, or what happens to the abductees.

The Numbers

We get three Banderhobb stat blocks here. They’re all Shadow Magical Beasts with darkvision and ground/swim speeds of 6. Their levels place them in the mid-to-late paragon tier.

Banderhobb Warder

This Large monster is a Level 16 Soldier with 160 HP. Warders are the ones that most closely resemble a classic horror movie monster or boogeyman. They have an uncanny ability to chase their chosen victims, appearing from under beds and inside closets, always a step ahead.

They strike with a Reach 2 Lonfinger Claw or with a Longfinger Clutch that’s a little weaker but can target two creatures. Both attacks mark on a hit, and the mark lasts for a turn. They can also make a a Range 5 Lightning Tongue attack that deals lightning damage and knocks prone on a hit.

Marked enemies are in for a bad time. When they end their move, the warder can teleport up to 10 squares to appear next to them. If they try to make an attack that doesn’t target the warder, the warder can Swallow them! This is an attack against Fortitude, and the warder can shift 3 squares before making it. A hit means the victim is removed from the map, as they’re now inside the warder.

While in the warder’s gullet, they take ongoing 10 damage. They can make melee and close attacks against the warder, or take other non-attack actions. The effect lasts until the warder hits 0 HP, or until it spits the victim out as a free action.

There is no save or test that allows an early escape. The warder must die or regurgitate for the victim to leave its gullet. I guess the warder could also opt not to damage the victim if we want something like what happens in the lore story.

Banderhobb Filch

Instead of being a big frog thing that swallows people, the filch is a Small lizard thing that puts people in a sack and drags them away. It’s a Level 17 Skirmisher with the Leader keyword and 164 HP.

Filches fight with their claws, using Quick Claw basic attacks that allow them to shift on a hit and weaker Hook Strikes that grab the target. Once per encounter they go on a Distracting Frenzy, attacking every enemy in a Close Burst 1 and allowing an ally within 5 squares to make a free standard action.

They can attack from further away by hocking Stinking Gobs (Ranged 5) at their enemies, or by teleporting with Shadow Blink and making a strong claw attack at either end of the movement.

I would guess being grabbed by a banderhobb filch means being stuffed into the sack. It’s a normal grab, so you can still fight back and try to escape, but there’s no limit to the number of greabbed creatures. The filch can use Drag Away to move its speed and pull all grabbed creatures along with it.

Banderhobb Abductor

We’re back to the “big frog thing” form factor. Abductors are Level 18 Brutes with 211 HP. They’re all about swallowing victims as quickly as possible.

Their basic attack is a Bite and they can fling their Grasping Tongues out to Range 5. A hit does damage and pulls the victim adjacent to the banderhobb, grabbing it. It can use Swallow (recharge 5+) on a grabbed victim, which works like the Warder power but as a standard action attack instead of a reaction.

When the abductor is first bloodied, it Crosses into Shadow, disappearing from play for a turn and re-appearing 10 squares away. A bloodied abductor can use Gobble, which is a stronger bite that also grabs the target and allows an immediate Swallow follow-up, recharging the ability as needed.

Final Impressions

Bandehobbs are spooky and evocative. The book text really lays the purple prose on thick for them, but I think that works rather well. They’re also a shadow creature without a death theme. They’re neither goth nor undead, which is kind of a rarity.

They pair well with evil fey that have a “nightmare” theme, and that Shadowfell tower sounds like a good final dungeon for a Paragon Tier campaign.