The Tarrasque Monk, it’s totally a thing

In my last post, I reviewed the awesome Monstrous Races doc on DMsGuild, a lovely item that has character options for every single monster in the Monster Manual.

In this post, I thought we’d go ahead and build a Tarrasque Monk, because, well… it’s funny.

Of course, part of the absurdity here is that the Tarrasque is supposed to be gargantuan, insanely powerful and, importantly, a unique creature. To bring this monster down to the level of a human player character several adjustments have to be made.

Here’s the description of the Tarrasque Traits as a playable monstrous race:

Tarrasque Traits

Tarrasques share the following racial traits.

Creature Type. Monstrosity (titan)

Ability Score Increase. +1 Strength, +1 Constitution.

Alignment. Normally a destructive, unintelligent beast, most tarrasques are neutral.

Size. Your size is medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 ft.
Bite and Claws. You are proficient with your unarmed strikes, which deal 1d8 piercing or slashing damage on a hit.

Damage Resistance. You have resistance against fire damage and poison damage, and you have advantage on saving throws against poison.

Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 120 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Natural Armor. While unarmored, your AC is equal to 12 + your Dexterity modifier.

No Hands. You are unable to wield weapons or wear shields, and cannot use items which require manipulation, including spellcasting foci, wands, tools, etc.
Reflective Carapace. Any time that you are targeted by a magic missile spell, a line spell, or a spell that requires a ranged attack roll, you have a chance to reflect the spell back at its caster. If the spell requires a saving throw, you may do so by rolling a natural 20 on the saving throw. If the spell requires a ranged attack roll, you may do so why the caster rolls a natural 1 on the attack roll. If the spell is a magic missile spell, roll a d20 and on a natural 20 you may reflect the spell. If you successfully reflect the spell, you are unaffected, and the effect is reflected back at the caster as though it originated from you, turning the caster into the target.

Siege Monster. You deal double damage to objects and structures.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write in Common.

Okay, with its Strength and Constitution bonuses and excellent defensive abilities, Kamstra suggests Fighter or Barbarian. A Barbarian Tarrasque would obviously make a great meat shield.

However… I can’t get the image of a rogue or monk Tarrasque sneaking around in the shadows out of my head.

There is a special note about Monks in the introductory rules clarifications:

“For the purposes of Martial Arts and Flurry of Blows, the bonus unarmed strikes made as a Bonus Action must be conventional unarmed strikes: punches, kicks, etc. instead of relying upon claws, teeth, etc. These attacks deal bludgeoning damage, and follow the standard Monk Unarmed Strike damage progression.”

Fair enough.

So, let’s put together a simple backstory that explains this silliness.

Ferdin, the absent-minded farmer, was rambling along in his cart with his pregnant wife, Fennina, by his side on a day when they ran into a Hexorian Witch. Unfortunately, they literally ran into the witch and knocked her into the mud. Hearing the angry screams of the witch, the two absent-minded lovebirds stopped the cart and hurried back to help the very angry witch up and apologized profusely.

The witch was having none of it and did what Hexorian Witches do; she cursed them.

“You vile peasants! For your transgression, your child will be born in the shape of that which you most fear!” She glared at them for a moment more and then, certain the curse took hold, turned and continued on her way. Before she got home she’d also cursed 3 squirrels, a passing drunkard and a bird. She settled in at home, quite pleased with her hexing for the day and fell asleep in her favorite chair.

Ferdin and his wife, however, were quite upset by the encounter. Just last year they had seen a most terrible monster in the distance. It was big as a hill and terrifying to look upon. Later, they had learned it was a Tarrasque, awakened by an adventurer and then put back to sleep by others. The creature had destroyed whole cities and both the farmer and his wife still had nightmares of the thing.

All their fears bore fruit when their child was born in the shape of that same creature, only smaller. The distraught peasants couldn’t bear the thought of bringing such a monster into the world and also couldn’t bring themselves to kill it, so they traveled to a nearby monastery and explained their plight, asking if the monks would care for the child. The head monk rolled his eyes and accepted the child, then told an acolyte to send a message to the witch to please stop cursing the villagers.

Thus, Terassa was raised and trained as a Monk of the Benevolent Fist. It wasn’t an easy life, but she took it seriously and trained hard, working fiercely to make up for the deficiencies of her form. Eventually, she was ready to explore the world, secretly hoping to see the creature whose appearance had inspired her own. Lacking social graces and often attacked for her appearance, she generally kept to herself, living the life of a wandering hermit.

Alright, we’ve got a backstory a race, class and a background of “hermit”.

I rolled some dice and filled out my fillable PDF and got this:


I was a bit tired when I was doing it, so let me know if I made any mistakes or have any ideas for improvements.

Thanks to rakaduanii for correcting the AC for me!

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  1. rakaduanii on April 3, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Ac is wrong. It should be 16 not 18. Natural armor is 12+ dex unless you have a VERY nice dm who would let you have both the natural armor and unarmored which is against RAW. Funny idea though.

    • Dave Goff on April 3, 2018 at 9:56 pm

      Good catch! I’ll update the PDF. Thanks!