Fantastic Lairs: Boss Battles and Climactic Encounters for 5e

Coming Winter 2020

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The best 5e fantasy roleplaying games are often the most unpredictable. When the plans of the Gamemaster meet the actions of the characters, the incredible creative energy that results can spin encounters off in different directions, creating a largely spontaneous campaign story that keeps the GM and the players alike on the edge of their seats. But when it comes to the climactic boss battle encounters that cap off single adventures or entire campaigns, it's often much harder for GMs to work things out on the fly.

That's where this book comes in.

Scott Gray, James Introcaso, and Mike Shea have teamed up to lighten the load of shaping and developing your game's climactic encounters. Fantastic Lairs is a book of capstone lair encounters for your 5e fantasy RPG, designed to inspire and fit into your own campaign. Each fantastic lair includes evocative artwork, a beautiful full-color map, and a well-designed and playtested boss encounter for characters of various levels.

Thanks to the 3,895 backers on Kickstarter, the book will include twenty-three lairs for all tiers of play.

Check out the free sample, which includes two fantastic lairs you can use right now!

Fantastic Lairs is the joint brainchild of all three members of the design team, each of whom brings a wealth of creative skill and experience to the project. From over fifty initial concepts, the team narrowed down a selection of twenty ultimate boss lairs for development in this book.

Illustration by Allie Briggs

The Lairs

The final book will include twenty-three lairs. Here's a look at the first twenty with three backer-selected lairs coming soon.

Lair of the Cockatrice (1st Level). A shadow-infused cockatrice keeps a stone garden in a lair built around an ancient and corrupted fey gateway.

Centipede Cultists (Tier 1). A band of centipede-worshipping cultists feed living sacrifices to their pets in a fallen temple of Asmodeus.

Nevermind (Tier 1). The Dead Roses, a band of cutthroats led by the murderous bandit captain Adilia Rose, hide out between jobs in a seedy tavern built from a titan's skull.

Lord Whiskers (Tier 1). A band of wererats led by the megalomaniacal Lord Whiskers gathers up all the city's silver to be destroyed in their trap-infested sewer lair.

Nature's Rage (Tier 1). A blood-drenched druid and a horde of beasts plot revenge against the despoilers of nature in the ruined zoo of a murdered noble.

The Fiery Belly of the Beast (Tier 2). The half-dragon Tharandra Everflame and her kobold minions steer a machine of war and fire through defenseless villages.

The Lamia Job (Tier 2). The characters must infiltrate a mysterious bank vault to reveal the murderous plots and corrupting illusions of a lamia mastermind.

The Blood Palace (Tier 2). In a lost ziggurat of blood, a sinister spirit naga and its enthralled gnolls need the adventurers' help — to feed their hidden hydra.

Sticky Toffee (Tier 2). The confections at Auntie Bea's Sweet Treats are more than they seem — as is the shop's night hag proprietor.

Those Who Are About to Die (Tier 2). The characters face waves of brutal combatants and devastating hazards in this arena of blood, death, and fire.

Bumpy Ride (Tier 2). A mage uses his airship and an array of deadly incendiary devices to terrorize other wizards into subservience, and the characters must put an end to it.

Deadtention (Tier 2). An oni poses as the kindly headmaster of an academy for young sorcerers, where he uses a dark ritual to sacrifice faculty members and increase his power.

Ithrix Blackblood (Tier 2). A young black dragon uses his acidic breath to keep a band of trolls under his sway in an ancient cyclopean ruin.

The Blue Dragon Spellthief (Tier 3). The characters pursue a blue dragon mage set on robbing an arcane vault filled with volatile magical artifacts.

The Blade Queen's Throne (Tier 3). The characters must retrieve a secret word required to save the world — but that word is protected by a powerful marilith for its demon lord master.

Tomb of the Dragonlords (Tier 3). In the desert tomb of an ancient dragon queen, a dragonborn mummy lord guards a magical jewel that might destroy the world.

Blood Rain (Tier 3). A cloud giant vampire moves across the sky in a red cloud castle defended by monstrous thralls and vampire spawn, raining blood upon the land that raises ghouls in its wake.

The Lich's Sanctum (Tier 4). In an astral sanctum that defies natural physics, the characters battle an ancient lich responsible for the deaths of nine worlds.

Put the Monster Back (Tier 4). The tarrasque breaks free of a secure facility designed to hold the worst monsters of creation, and will tear through the walls of reality, devouring entire worlds unless the characters stop it.

Blood and Gold (Tier 4). In a shattered celestial temple, an ancient gold dragon is possessed by a demon prince encased in a spike buried in the dragon's chest, and threatens the mystical pillar that holds the multiverse together. Three more backer-chosen lairs will be included with those above. Descriptions forthcoming!

Illustration by Jack Kaiser