All living things must die. The multiverse is a fantastical place filled with wonder and mystery, but that one fact is true across all the planes. Not that heroes or adventurers are concerned, since surviving party members can just track down a cleric who will resurrect them for a generous donation to the temple. But such actions have consequences, even upsetting the delicate cosmic structure of reality.
And when that happens, a reaper arrives to balance the scales.
Reapers don’t care if a hero is good or evil. They aren’t moved by pleading, bargaining, or curses. It’s not even clear if they can be killed, since the few who claim to have survived a reaper tend to die a few short years later. All that matters to them is restoring the cosmic order of life and death.
You can hide behind protective spells. Move from one safe house to another. Perhaps even challenge them to personal combat (which they’ll gleefully accept). But one way or another, the reaper earns its due. It’s just a question of when.
Do you want a miniature of this Beastie? Well, this Reaper artwork is provided by the folks at ArcKnight, who produce Flat Plastic Miniatures and other RPG supplements. You’ll get one if you order ArcKnight’s Ancient Evils set!
A pay-what-you-want, OGL compatible PDF of the Vengeful Cecaelia can be found at DriveThruRPG. You can also support our Weekly Beasties by giving to our Patreon page. The Beastie itself can be found below:
Medium celestial, neutral
Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 280 (40d8 + 120)
Speed 50 ft., fly 100 ft., swim 100 ft.
STR 16 (+3) DEX 16 (+3) CON 16 (+3) INT 14 (+2) WIS 20 (+5) CHA 10 (+0)
Saving Throws Str +10, Dex +10, Con +10, Int +9, Wis +12, Cha +7
Damage Vulnerabilities Radiant
Damage Resistances Bludgeoning, force, piercing, slashing
Damage Immunities Acid, cold, fire, lightning, necrotic, poison, psychic, thunder
Condition Immunities Blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, stunned, unconscious
Senses Blindsight 5000 ft., Truesight 5000 ft., Passive Perception 15
Languages All languages
Proficiency Bonus +4
Challenge Rating 22 (41,000 XP)
Innate Spellcasting. The reaper’s innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 17, +9 to hit with spell attacks). The reaper can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components.
At will: Plane shift, power word kill, scrying, teleport, true resurrection
Undead Fortitude. If damage reduces the reaper to 0 hit points it must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5 + the damage taken, unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, it drops to 1 hit point instead.
Won’t You Spare Me Over ‘Til Another Year? When a character is resurrected by any means, the character conducting the resurrection rolls a d20. On a result of 1 (or within any range of the GM’s discretion), the character’s life force has upset the cosmic balance of the multiverse. They are now targeted by a reaper, who can follow them to any location as a reminder that their time is running out.
If the target attempts to flee or hide, the reaper’s scrying spell may be cast with a -15 to the DC, and it can detect the target on any plane. If the spell succeeds, the reaper will attempt to teleport to the target’s location. If the spell fails, the reaper will recast scrying every hour while seeking the target through traditional means.
The reaper is only visible to its target and Level 20 spellcasters. Only radiant damage can harm a reaper unless it is challenged to combat. If the reaper takes damage it will teleport away and return fully healed in 1d10 hours.
If the reaper is miraculously killed outside of a challenge to combat, it will reappear in 1d10 years. No characters will be aware of the result of this roll. The reaper may use the power word kill ability automatically at this time.
If the target dies, balance is restored and the reaper disappears.
Power Word Kill. After a week of following its target, the reaper will use its power word kill spell on the target. The chosen phrase will be the target’s name as known by the character who conducted the resurrection. The reaper’s version of this spell automatically kills targets with 500 hit points or less.
If the name given to the cleric was not the target’s true name, the spell will fail. If the target has managed to hide itself from the reaper, it will continue to pursue the target until an opportunity presents itself.
Correct the Cosmic Balance. If the reaper’s power word kill spell fails – whether because the target used a false name or is above 500 hit points – the universe itself will turn against the target.
All of the target’s saving throws and combat checks will be disadvantaged if they are rolled while the reaper observes the target. Furthermore, all combat checks other characters make against the target are advantaged.
This condition replaces the Halfling’s Lucky feature and any abilities granting advantage or disadvantage until cosmic balance is restored.
Challenging the Reaper. At any time, a target may challenge their reaper to combat. The reaper will hear this challenge no matter where it is in relation to the target and automatically teleports to the target’s location. Once the challenge is made, the reaper becomes visible to all observers, but only the challenger is able to damage them.
Other characters may challenge the reaper on behalf of the target. If so, the challenge must be issued of their own free will, without coercion, in the presence of the target. If a challenge is issued that does not meet these terms, the reaper will act as though its target issued the challenge.
The duel is fought to the death, or to the satisfaction of the reaper (typically meaning death, unless it can be convinced otherwise). All attempts to negotiate with the reaper using Charisma rolls are treated as hostile for the purpose of difficulty checks. Spells and abilities cast on the challenger by other party members will automatically fail until the duel is complete.
Once the duel is complete, no matter who is victorious, balance is restored to the universe and the reaper disappears. Challengers killed in the duel cannot be resurrected by any means, unless the character conducting the resurrection is a reaper.
If the reaper is defeated it will leave behind its scythe. Any character who wields the reaper’s scythe in combat will become permanently bonded to it, and may summon the scythe at will. The wielder will be transformed into a reaper upon death, leaving behind all belongings except for the scythe. Their alignment will be set to neutral at this time.
Reaper’s Scythe. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one creature. Hit: 9 (1d12 + 3) per damage type. For each type of damage the target is not immune to, make a damage roll. The maximum number of damage types is 13, allowing for a total of 117 (13d12 + 39).