More thematically appropriate monsters for The Choking Tower without being overly creepy. I used the base animal from the Monster Manual and added the appropriate resistance, immunities etc of each element. I then increased their damage die by 1, AC by 2 and damage type to the same element (if appropriate) …. Hey presto! Animental template for 5e. Animentals are from the Planescape setting and are essentially animals (sometimes monsters) whose souls have somehow made it to the inner planes instead of the appropriate outer plane (like the Beastland) and there take on the form of the native element.
The first example is giant shark made of air. I turned one of the rooms into an aquarium of sorts built by Furkas filled with air versions of water-born animals. So fish, and whales and dolphins and the like swim through the air happily ignoring the party but the shark, now the shark, will not ignore the party.
The second is a pack of hunting wolves. These roam the entire tower and replace the auromvorax encounter. I ended up using the auromvorax separately as a random encounter while the PCs were traveling across the Nimmerian wasteland.
ANIMENTAL OF AIR – SHARK
Huge elemental, neutral
Armour Class 15
Hit Points 126 (11d12 +55)
Speed 0 ft., fly 50ft. (hover)
STR 23 (+6) DEX 11 (+0) CON 21 (+5)
INT 1 (-5) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 5 (-3)
Skills Perception +3
Damage Resistances lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, unconscious
Senses blindsight 60ft., passive Perception 13
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
Blood Frenzy. The shark has advantage on melee attack rolls against any creature that doesn’t have all its hit points.
Air Form. The elemental can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. It can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 24 (3d12 + 6) piercing damage.
ANIMENTAL OF SMOKE – CINDER WOLF
Large elemental, neutral evil
Armour Class 15 (natural armour)
Hit Points 75 (10d10 +20)
Speed 0 ft., fly 50ft. (hover)
STR 18 (+4) DEX 13 (+1) CON 14 (+2)
INT 7(-2) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 8 (-1)
Skills Perception +5, Stealth +3
Damage Immunities fire, poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses darkvision 60ft., passive Perception 15
Languages Common, Giant, Winter Wolf, Auran and Ignan
Challenge 3 (700 XP)
Death Burst. When the animental dies, it leaves behind a cloud of smoke that fills a 10-foot-radius sphere centered on its space. The sphere is heavily obscured. Wind disperses the cloud, which otherwise lasts for 1 minute.
Keen Hearing and Smell. The wolf has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that re ly on hearing or smell.
Pack Tactics. The wolf has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of the wolf’s allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.
Smoke Form. The elemental can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. It can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 12 (2d8 + 4) piercing damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.
Cinder Breath (Recharge 5-6). The wolf exhales a blast of fire and ash smoke in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw, taking 18 (4d8) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.