Last Updated on November 5, 2023
In D&D 5th edition, a Rakshasa is an evil fiend that originates from the Nine Hells. Rakshasas have a tiger head and human body, they are known for their manipulative behavior and their ability to change forms.
Medium fiend, lawful evil
- Size: Medium
- Alignment: Lawful Evil
- Creature Type: Fiend
- Armor Class: 16 (natural armor)
- Hit Points: 110 (13d8 + 52)
- Speed: 50 ft.
- STR 14(+2), DEX 17 (+3), CON 18 (+4), INT 13 (+1), WIS 16 (+3), CHA 20 (+5)
- Skills: Deceptions +10, Insight +8
- Damage Vulnerabilities: Piercing from magic weapons wielded by good creatures
- Damage Immunities: Bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
- Senses: Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 13
- Languages: Common, Infernal
- Challenge: 13 (10,000 XP)
Limited Magic Immunity: Rakshasas cannot be detected or affected by spells of 6th level or lower unless they choose to be.
These creatures also have advantage on saving throws against other spells and magical effects.
Innate Spellcasting: A Rakshasa’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 18, +10 to hit with spell attacks.) Using no material components, a Rakshasa can innately cast the spells below:
- At will: Disguise self, detect thoughts, minor illusion, mage hand
- 3/day each: Detect magic, major image, charm person, invisibility, suggestion
- 1/day each: Fly, dominate person, true seeing, plane shift
Multiattack: The Rakshasa makes two claw attacks.
Claw: Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) slashing damage, and if the target is a creature, it is cursed. The magical curse the creature suffers takes effect during short and long rests.
The creature’s thoughts are filled with horrible dreams and images. The cursed creature gains no benefit from the rest. The curse can only be lifted by a remove curse spell or similar magic.
What Is a Rakshasa?
Rakshasas are fiends that particularly enjoy masquerading as influential members of society, such as nobles, advisors to lords or leaders, wealthy merchants, or crime bosses. They are persuasive and generally prefer trickery over direct confrontation when it comes to crushing opponents. However, they can also be quite dangerous in combat.
Rakshasas have several abilities that allow them to be quite versatile.
They can innately cast spells and enjoy immunity from many magic spells and effects, making them difficult for even Wizards and Sorcerers to take on.
They are also immune to nonmagical attacks.
What Does a Rakshasa Look Like?
A Rakshasa typically has the head of a tiger and the body of a human. However, they have also been known to have the heads of other creatures, such as crocodiles.
These creatures are about the same size as a human. They have long, sharp claws that they aren’t afraid to use and a defining feature: their palms are reversed, meaning that their palms are where the backs of their hands should be on a humanoid.
Shapechanging Tiger People
Rakshasas can change their form and frequently do so to disguise themselves as other creatures. They are exceptionally skilled at hiding among humans.
While you won’t be able to tell if someone is a Rakshasa just by looking at them, there are certain giveaway signs, such as their reversed palms. They also usually wear jewelry and clothing that is quite lavish and lead a luxurious lifestyle.
Rakshasa in Combat
Their major weakness is their vulnerability to damage from magic weapons wielded by good creatures. The best strategy when fighting a Rakshasa is to have a mix of melee and ranged attackers who are also good creatures. These creatures should be equipped with magical weapons.
Melee attackers should focus on dealing damage up close while ranged attackers unleash magic arrows from afar. Remember, Rakshasas are immune to many spells and magical effects, so using magic may not be sufficient. Instead, focus on physical attacks.
Having someone who can remove curses on your team is also essential as the Rakshasa can curse creatures with its claw attacks. Otherwise, you may find yourself haunted by the monster for a long time to come.
Incorporating Rakshasa’s Into Your Game: Tips for DMs
If you’re a DM, you might wonder how to incorporate Rakshasa into your game. Here are a few tips:
- Rakshasa can make for exciting villains or allies. They are typically quite manipulative, so they can be used to further the plot in interesting ways.
- A Rakshasa is a shapechanger. They can disguise themselves as other characters. This can lead to some gripping plot twists.
- Rakshasas are often associated with devils, so they can be used to introduce devils into your campaign.
- Rakshasas are immune to many spells and magical effects, making them challenging opponents in combat.
- Rakshasas can curse creatures with their claw attacks. This can be used to create some intriguing plot hooks while giving your players roleplaying opportunities that can further their characters’ development.
Keep these tips in mind when incorporating Rakshasa into your game. With a bit of creativity, you can use these creatures to add some spice to your campaign.
The History of the Rakshasa
While Rakshasas thrill in masquerading on the Material Plane, they actually originate from the Nine Hells.
They came into being when mighty devils performed a dark ritual that liberated their essence from their bodies, allowing them to escape into the Material Plane to wreak havoc.
Due to their origin, Rakshasas cannot die on the Material Plane. Instead, their essence returns to the Nine Hells when they’re dispatched, and they slowly reform a body over a period of months or even years.
However, this does not mean that they cannot be permanently destroyed. If a rakshasa is killed in the Nine Hells, it is destroyed forever.
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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].