• Justin Handlin

100 Interesting Dungeons & Dragons Boss Mechanics

Updated: May 1

100 Interesting Boss Mechanics!

As Dungeon Masters, we always do our best to attempt to have the most interesting of villains. Cool motivations, relatable morals, and so much more. But when it comes to the characters engaging the big bad enemy guy, that...that is where we want our villains to shine. We want to give the players an encounter they will never forget! This can be a challenging task sometimes, luckily, DNDSpeak has you covered! The DNDspeak site has an awesome list just for you! Find them here! Below are some of our favorites!

Ian’s Picks!

5. The boss is blind and takes damage when hit by natural light. Adventurers need to use the boss’s tremorsense/echolocation to lead it into beams of light.

Armor Ecdysis: The boss is wearing powerful heavy armor that takes damage instead of the boss, but makes the boss slow. As the armor is attacked, it breaks off and leaves the boss vulnerable, but the boss gets faster and more maneuverable as a consequence. For each stage of armor that is destroyed, the boss takes more damage, the boss’s heavy attacks get weaker/fewer, they become able to perform light attacks, movement speed +, initiative order +, etc.

Justin’s Picks!

The bosses are a dark mirror of an adventuring party from another plane. One of the main quest givers actually traveled from that plane to the adventurer’s plane and gathered them together because he knew they had great power potential - since he knew of their evil might. Make them twisted versions of the characters, and have the player’s aid come from good versions of baddies the characters fought on their home plane. For example - A gnome cleric was a warlock, the fighter was a death knight, the wizard was an enchanter, etc.

Every turn, the boss teleports as a bonus action. Every time the boss takes damage, it teleports to a random spot in the arena.

A strong fighter-type character with a greatsword emanates magic power. Turns out that he’s being possessed by the weapon. When disarmed he won’t know where he is or what is going on and surrender immediately. Just make sure that no one else picks up the sword.

Justin’s Picks!

The boss cannot be close to an object or another boss, or else it will rapidly restore health; keeping it away will make it easier to takedown.

The boss is a wall, slowly shrinking the room and pushing the party to a pit or wall of spikes

Shadow Tag: The boss can restrain/hold a person with advantage by simply standing on that creatures shadow. The boss has multiple spotlights they can move around the battlefield. Although the boss cannot hold people on a dark battlefield, the boss has keen darkvision.

33 Adaptivity.

  • Type A. The boss can only be damaged the first time by each attack, after that the boss becomes invulnerable to it until they have a long rest. The party must come up with new ways to damage the boss. (switch weapons, new spells, etc.)

  • Type B. The boss is protected by a shield/forcefield that reflects damage of the type last used to hit the boss.

Brandon’s Picks!

Blank...no surprise there….

Capes & Crooks a 5e Superhero RPG playtest streams bi-weekly on Fridays. This is our upcoming Kickstarter Project. To sign up for notifications on this project visit our website!

Unearthed Tips and Tricks! We bring you new and creative content for you to bring with you on your next adventure