Ready for something exotic? Few creatures in the D&D game are as unusual as the rakshasa. Derived not from any Western mythic source, but instead inspired by the legends of India, the rakshasa holds a key place within the game's monstrous cosmology. Despite this, relatively few games use these powerful and compelling monsters, perhaps because DMs are unfamiliar with the legends behind these potent spell-casting creatures, and are thus uncomfortable using them.
Consider this installment of Recurring Villainy to be one small step in rectifying that situation. Presented here are 20 encounters ranging from EL 4 to 10. Each involves the rakshasa and/or its minions. Feel free to substitute other figures of the same CRs if you want more variety or to keep players who peruse this website off-balance. Only the Rakshasa and the Zakya Rakshasa are rare. If you lack one or both of these figures, replace the Rakshasa with a Hill Giant Barbarian, a Night Hag, or another figure of your choosing. A Wemic Barbarian, Khumat, or a Chimera can replace the Zakya Rakshasa.
As always, DMs must preserve the "Big Bad" in the campaign long enough for the Rakshasa to become a focus of the heroes' attention. Rakshasas are fiendishly intelligent, so staying a step ahead of the PCs' plans is to be expected for such a being. Let the Rakshasa's minions come up against the characters more and more as the heroes advance in levels. Ratchet up the suspense and the consequences of each encounter until either the PCs or the Rakshasa feel compelled to eliminate the opposition once and for all.
About the Author
Raised on a steady diet of comic books, monster movies, and roleplaying games, Dale Donovan has been creating stories for games since he was 15. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife and daughter.
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