Cave Eel

Cave Eel

This creature resembles a cross between a snake and an eel, but that’s only if you see it before it bites into you with its steel-hard teeth.

Cave Eel

XP 50 ()

Unaligned Medium

Initiative +2


AC 12

hp: 9 (2d8)


Speed: 25 ft.

Melee Attack—Bite: +4 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature). Hit: 1d8 + 2 piercing damage and the target is grappled and restrained (see Viselike Jaws, below).


Str 13 (+1), Dex 14 (+2), Con 11 (+0),

Int 1 (–5), Wis 10 (+0), Cha 3 (–4)

Languages: None

Skills: Stealth +4

Senses: Darkvision 60 ft.


Concealed Burrow: Cave eels conceal their burrows skillfully, so they have tactical advantage on Dex (Stealth) checks to be hidden at the beginning of an encounter. An attacking cave eel lunges from its cave, bites a victim within 5 feet, and then withdraws back into its burrow without triggering an opportunity attack. While in a burrow, a cave eel has three- quarters cover (+5 bonus to AC and Dex saving throws). The only way to negate this benefit is for a character to ready an action and attack the cave eel with a reaction as it extends its body to strike.

Viselike Jaws: When a cave eel withdraws back into its burrow with a grappled character in its jaws, that character’s body effectively becomes a shield protecting the eel, giving it total cover inside its burrow (it has only three-quarters cover against the character it grapples). While the eel has a character grappled this way, it doesn’t need to extend from its burrow to attack the grappled character, who it bites automatically.


Environment: and other areas

Organization: Group (2–5) or swarm (3–24)

Cave eels resemble large, air-breathing eels, but they have armored snouts and tremendously tough teeth with which they can chew tunnels through rock. They wait in these tunnels for potential prey to walk near, then lunge out to take great bites from whatever’s in front of them. They usually pick narrow cave passages for their ambushes, where prey has little room to back out of reach of the cave eels’ long, sinuous bodies.

These unusual creatures have even been known to chew burrows into earth elementals and stone golems and take up residence in those constructs, to the mutual benefit of both. They don’t collect treasure for any purpose, but because they drag the slain bodies of their victims (including unfortunate adventurers) into their tunnels to eat them, treasure can sometimes be found if one follows their tunnels to their lairs. Cave eel tunnels are just barely big enough for an unarmored human or tiefling to squeeze through; halflings, gnomes, and elves have an easier time of it, while dwarves, half-orcs, and dragonborn are too big to fit.