Last Updated on November 13, 2023
Medium Humanoid (Kuo-Toa), Neutral Evil
- Size: Medium
- Creature Type: Humanoid
- Alignment: Neutral Evil
- Armor Class: 13 (natural armor, shield)
- Hit Points: 18 (4d8)
- Speed: 30 ft., swim 30 ft.
- STR 13 (+1), DEX 10 (+0), CON 11 (+0), INT 11 (+0), WIS 10 (+0), CHA 8 (-1)
- Skills: Perception +4
- Senses: Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 14
- Languages: Undercommon
- Challenge: 1/4 (50 XP)
- Proficiency Bonus: +2
Amphibious. The kuo-toa can breathe air and water.
Otherworldly Perception. The kuo-toa can sense the presence of any creature within 30 feet of it that is invisible or on the Ethereal Plane. It can pinpoint such a creature that is moving.
Slippery. The kuo-toa has advantage on ability checks and saving throws made to escape a grapple.
Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the kuo-toa has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) piercing damage.
Spear. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) piercing damage, or 5 (1d8 + 1) piercing damage if used with two hands to make a melee attack.
Net. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 5/15 ft., one Large or smaller creature. Hit: The target is restrained. A creature can use its action to make a DC 10 Strength check to free itself or another creature in a net, ending the effect on a success. Dealing 5 slashing damage to the net (AC 10) frees the target without harming it and destroys the net.
Sticky Shield. When a creature misses the kuo-toa with a melee weapon attack, the kuo-toa uses its sticky shield to catch the weapon. The attacker must succeed on a DC 11 Strength saving throw, or the weapon becomes stuck to the kuo-toa’s shield.
If the weapon’s wielder can’t or won’t let go of the weapon, the wielder is grappled while the weapon is stuck. While stuck, the weapon can’t be used.
A creature can pull the weapon free by taking an action to make a DC 11 Strength check and succeeding.
What Is a Kuo-Toa?
A kuo-toa is an amphibious medium humanoid that resembles an anthropomorphic fish. They have a complex society and are usually hated by every other creature.
What came first, the kuo-toa or the murlocs? I mean the annoying little fish people from World of Warcraft.
Because that’s what kuo-toa are. Annoying little fish people that are very dangerous in large numbers.
At least that’s what you would think at first. The truth is, they aren’t little, they are plenty dangerous on their own, and their madness — while annoying — hides a cunning intelligence that can quickly surprise and overwhelm entire humanoid societies.
Overview of Kuo-Toa
The kuo-toa seen here is a basic version of the monster. In addition to this, there is a Kuo-toa Archpriest that is essentially a 9th-level cleric (CR 6), a class of kuo-toa called Whips that are essentially 2nd-level paladins (CR 1), and kuo-toa monitors that are basically 2nd-level monks (CR 3).
I make these comparisons because of their combat abilities and spellcasting. They have no other class abilities other than what is listed in the standard kuo-toa stat block.
Together, these four classes make for a varied and complex kuo-toa adventure. If you see these monsters, be prepared. They aren’t all the same.
All kuo-toa have uncanny perception. They can perceive invisible creatures even while moving and have a passive perception of 14.
However, this can be hindered by their sunlight sensitivity, which all kuo-toa also have. Finally, all kuo-toa have the Slippery trait, so don’t try to tie one up or grapple one.
How To Fight Kuo-Toa
Do not underestimate these weird creatures.
The first thing to know is that their perceptive abilities are uncanny. As mentioned above, they have an impressive Passive Perception and can detect invisible creatures freely. Stealth may not be your best option here – at least not up close.
One thing all kuo-toa lack is ranged combat ability (except for the spellcasters). This is likely because they fight underwater just as well as they do on land. Ranged weapons don’t work so well underwater. If you do happen to come across kuo-toa in the big blue, stick with melee or spellcasting.
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Rich is an avid D&D player and DM. He has been playing since the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st and 2nd editions. He has run campaigns of various editions with family and friends for over 20 years. Playing DnD 5th Edition in person at local game stores and online with VTT’s over the past 10 years has provided a consistent connection to how the game has grown. He strongly believes in understanding the source material, but catering the games to your individual players. Feel free to ask anything in the comments or drop him an email: [email protected].