Last Updated on November 2, 2023
- STR 16 (+3), DEX 12 (+1), CON 13 (+1), INT 9 (-1), WIS 12 (+1), CHA 10 (+0)
- AC: 13 (natural armor)
- Hit points: 6d8+6 (33 avg)
- Damage Resistances: Bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons
- Speed: 20ft., fly 60ft.
- Skills: Perception (+5)
- Proficiency Bonus: +4
- Senses: Passive Perception 15
- Languages: Understands Common and Elvish but can’t speak
- Challenge Rating: 2
Peryton Stat Block Breakdown
As you can see in our stat block up top, the peryton has relatively balanced, but low, stats.
However, their strength is decent, and notably, they are about as smart as the average person
Dive Attack means that any melee weapon attack that the peryton makes successfully after diving 30 feet straight toward the target deals an extra 2d8 damage (9 average).
Via Flyby, the peryton doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks when past an enemy.
Finally, the peryton has Keen Sight and Smell, which translates to advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight or smell.
In combat, peryton have access to the Multiattack, making one Gore attack and one Talon attack. The Gore attack has a 5-foot range and a +5 to hit, has a single target, and does 1d8+3 (7 avg.) piercing damage.
The peryton’s Talon attack is similar but does 2d4+3 (8 avg.) piercing damage.
What Is a Peryton in DnD 5e?
Perytons have the teeth of wolves, the head of a stag, and the body of an enormous eagle. A peryton can be roughly 5 feet tall and be at least 7 feet long, and when its wings are extended, it can truly loom over even large people.
These creatures have cruel intelligence and savage hearts, and their ability to fly makes them more dangerous than you might expect. They are truly monstrous and can be very creepy, which makes them excellent additions to any campaign quite aside from their combat ability.
Origins and Behavior
The mythology of perytons is not very clear. Some legends have them originate from birds feasting on the corpse of a woman steeped in black magic, while others have them arise from humanoids cursed by the gods or transformed by their own dabbling in the dark arts.
In D&D 5e, perytons have equally unclear origins, but their behavior is pretty clear. Perytons like to eat humanoids, especially humans, elves, and half-elves.
In fact, their lifestyle requires the fresh heart of a humanoid, so perytons will sometimes specifically target a single individual to take their heart.
Perytons are usually found in mountainous regions, preying on travelers and sitting on the top of the local food chain.
Their resistance to nonmagical damage means that few enemies can threaten them. This also means that perytons like to roost near settlements where they can have their choice of humanoid food.
Peryton tactics are straightforward and often relentless. Perytons will usually attack until their prey is dead… or they are.
Occasionally you’ll find older perytons with more experience willing to retreat (such as the peryton in the adventure Ghosts of Saltmarsh), but perytons, whether out of rage, arrogance, or something else, will usually fight to the death.
In actual combat, perytons primarily rely on their Dive Attack ability.
While perytons aren’t exactly tactical masters, they don’t need to be. The simple flyby strategy means consistent damage, and with a high defense, a peryton’s AC or hit points matter much less when a party is restricted to ranged attacks only.
Of course, magical ranged attacks will become a peryton’s instant target for the threat they pose.
This results in a peryton encounter, something with a CR of 2, becoming far more deadly. Remember that D&D 5e is a game among friends, which means that even a single death among the party is a significant loss.
Occasionally, the simple yet effective Dive Attack maneuver might be traded in for a riskier but far deadlier attack: the grapple attempt.
With their decent strength score, perytons have a good chance of successfully grappling an opponent, and they have a carrying capacity of 240 pounds (108.8 kg).
If the peryton is able to grapple one of your party members, they can simply fly away with them. This is an immediate and deadly threat.
Even with immediate action, the party member might still take fall damage. In the same round as the grapple, the peryton might fly 30-40 feet straight up and then simply drop the party member, doing a hefty d6 of damage per 10 feet fallen and leaving the party member prone.
If the grapple lasts longer than a round, then the potential consequences include being taken to the peryton’s nest to be eaten and being dropped 200 feet to take 20d6 of falling damage.
If perytons find themselves attacking with other peryton allies (such as a mated pair of the creatures or a flock of the things), grapple attempts are highly likely.
Dropping an enemy can be both an easy source of damage and an easy way to isolate and weaken the party.
Fighting a Peryton: Tips for Countertactics
These tactics are straightforwardly effective, so how can your party defend against them?
The most obvious method is to negate the peryton’s greatest advantage: flight. A number of spells are useful for this purpose. The most obvious are restraint spells.
Earthbind is specifically targeted toward flight and lasts a full minute on a failed save.
On the defensive side, Fog Cloud or Darkness can be effective at preventing the peryton from making its direct attack, though unless you have a way of targeting the monster, it can just wait these kinds of spells out.
The best spell for countering these monsters by far is Sleet Storm. This humble control spell is rarely used, which is a shame because it can be effective in a wide variety of circumstances.
In this case, the crucial effect is that any creatures that start their turn in the spell’s massive area (an 80-foot diameter circle 20 feet tall) or enter the area have to make a Dexterity save. On a failure, they fall prone.
Creatures that are flying and fall prone fall all the way to the ground, giving you some free-falling damage on the creature.
From there, you can use more conventional restraints or even spells like Web to keep the peryton on the ground.
If you don’t have those options, Feather Fall can be a lifesaver.
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Growing up I spent most of my time reading, so when I first started playing RPGs in middle school and got a copy of DnD 3.5’s rules I loved their collaborative take on storytelling. These days I like to use RPGs to develop my creative problem-solving skills as well.