What happens when your roast chicken gets angry?
It’s the Phoenix!
The Phoenix is also from greek myth, and is our first real high-level monster on Sense of Immersion. This is to celebrate the release of the newest D&D book, Mordenkainen’s Tome Of Foes.
One of the most famous monsters in both myth and metaphor, the Phoenix is a great gargantuan flaming eagle that, when killed, comes back to life from its own ashes.
The Phoenix is classic in that it is just mighty to fight, and if you need to get rid of it, you must figure out a way to destroy it and stop it’s cycle of rebirth. Wether this is as simple as killing it in egg form, or as complicated as destroying the sun it was born from, is decided by the DM.
Phoenixes are, at their core, elemental. This means that they are the Servants of Druids who call upon them, and they regularly live in the Elemental Plane of Fire. The one who summons a Phoenix must be incredibly powerful, for the Phoenix is a CR 16 monster, and is nothing to laugh at. It will burn your city down if you aren’t careful.
As the Phoenix is not natural to the Prime Material Plane, which is where all D&D settings take place, save for Planescape, we will cover the place it is summoned from, The Elemental Plane of Fire.
The Elemental Plane of Fire is described the same way we would describe the Catholic or Christian version of hell. Pure fire, surrounding all things. If you do not have magical items that protect from fire and toxic gasses, you will have the shortest and most deadly of times.
The Phoenix flies through the skies, engulfed in a warm echo of its own body. Pure, white-hot flames. This constant heat and inferno invigorates the Phoenix. If I were to stage a fight with one on it’s home turf, it would get a severe bump in power. Such as an attack that allows it to ignore fire immunity on a recharge, or the ability to regain health by diving into liquid fire rivers for a turn.
These things represent how truly connected the several Elementals in D&D are to their respective Planes of Origin.
Once a Phoenix is summoned, it cannot be captured. As a being of pure flame, it flies through houses, setting all inside ablaze. The Phoenix can move through a hole as little as an inch wide thanks to it’s Fire Form ability. A Phoenix going through a window and out the other side could light the whole place up in seconds, and all the damage dealt will be doubled thanks to the Siege Monster ability.
The Phoenix also has talons and a beak that are engulfed in fire. Attacking with these twice in a turn is common, and the Phoenix also has legendary actions that it can use to be ever more aggressive outside of its turn. Fire damage and Poison damage is completely ineffective as the Phoenix is immune to them. The Phoenix can’t even be affected by most conditions, including petrification and being prone.
Once defeated, a Phoenix’s body explodes into a fireball that affects all creatures within 60ft, dealing 4d10 points of fire damage. Then, a large cinder left behind twists into the shape of an egg, and after 1d6 days, the Phoenix is reborn as an adult.
The only loot you can really get from the Phoenix is a few gnarly burns, if you’re lucky. The Phoenix’s egg hatches far too quick to do anything with it, and will cause quite a bit of fire damage if handled without proper protection.
It is not known wether destroying a Phoenix egg will stop the cycle, but one has to assume as much. I would rule that it is truly difficult to attempt however, needing some sort of mystical ice blade to plunge into it, or some cosmic fire extinguisher.
Because I’ve done a Sense of Immersion on Fire itself, I’ll simply be covering the Phoenix’s more specific traits that make it unique. A large portion of my fire article works very well with this monster though, so give it a look!
However, the Phoenix has a few specific things that make it memorable all on its own.
The feeling of massive claws raking across your back, heating up the metal of your armor until it burns your skin, then feeling all of that tear away as it rips into your body.
The sound of an immense roaring screech, like an eagle’s piercing cry mixed with the sound of a fire gulping in more and more air to fuel it’s heat.
The sight of the Phoenix’s monstrous fire form, dilating and expanding to fit into any area, diving in and out of windows and chimneys, hell bent on smiting all in its path.
The Phoenix is one part beautiful, one part horrifying, and all parts fun as hell. It’s a nice simple monster to have a knock-down drag out fight with a high level party. It can cause all sorts of damage to environments and buildings, though it’s true powers are focused on attacking and moving. This all makes it a simple monster to run, and an easy one to run in a memorable way.
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Image Sources: Wizards of the Coast
Roll on the table below to see what the Phoenix can do in it’s home plane!
01-10: The Phoenix may use one Legendary Action to move up to its speed through a source of liquid fire, regenerating 4d6 HP.
11-20: The Phoenix may use one Legendary Action to fire off its own flaming feathers as if casting the spell Magic Missile at 3rd level. The damage is fire.
21-40: When the Phoenix becomes bloodied (reaches half health) for the first time, an explosion emanates from it, equal to the explosion in the ability Fiery Death and Rebirth. This explosion does not kill the Phoenix, nor does it create a Phoenix egg.
41-70: When a creature makes a melee attack against the Phoenix, they must make a DC 12 Constitution Saving Throw or be blinded for 1d4 turns.
71-80: The Phoenix may use one Legendary Action to ignite a flammable object within its sight. This is represented by a burning of it’s eyes, a ray of heat, and the object bursting into flames. If, in the next two turns, a creature takes their action to put out the fire, the object will not be destroyed.
81-95: The Phoenix may use it’s action to cast the spell Burning Hands at 7th level instead of it’s Multi-attack. This action is on a recharge of (5-6).
96: The Phoenix has a 50% chance of creating two eggs when it dies. Each of those Phoenix’s should be rolled on this table again.
97: The Phoenix has the ability to spend one Legendary Resistance point in order to change the damage type of its attacks permanently, until it uses a Legendary Action.
98: The Phoenix regenerates 10 HP per turn. This health is removed from the Maximum health of it’s next rebirth.
99: The Phoenix can speak Primordial, Ignan, and has an Intelligence of 13.
00: Roll Twice on the Table.