The Nightmares Box is a Hellraiser inspired magic item for Dungeons & Dragons. It’s the second creation from our upcoming book Weapons of Mass Destruction, a collection of high level threats for your D&D characters to conquer.
This intricate clockwork puzzle box possesses an evil intelligence that has tricked many unfortunate souls into opening the box. It whispers promises of wealth and power, only to unleash terror when the box opens.
The creature that opened the box must succeed on a DC 20 Charisma saving throw or be transformed into a Crawling Nightmare (see below). Reality begins to warp around the box, manifesting deep fears.
Nightmare Aura. Each creature that starts its turn within a 500 foot radius of the box must make a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature becomes frightened for 1 minute. At the end of each of the target’s turns before the nightmare ends, the target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or take 4d10 psychic damage. On a successful save, the nightmare ends.
Large Monstrosity, Neutral Evil
Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 127 (15d10 + 45)
Speed 40 ft., climb 30 ft.
Damage Resistances Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing while in Dim Light or Darkness
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Challenge 10 (5,900 XP) Proficiency Bonus +4
Paralyzing Fear. When a creature starts its turn within 30 feet of a crawling nightmare, that creature must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature becomes frightened of the crawling nightmare for 1 minute. While frightened in this way, the creature is restrained. At the end of each of the frightened creature’s turns, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. On a successful save, the creature is immune to the Paralyzing Fear of crawling nightmares for 24 hours.
Multiattack. The crawling nightmare makes three attacks: one with its bite or Mind Blast and two with its claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack:+8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) piercing damage plus 13 (3d8) necrotic damage.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (4d6 + 4) slashing damage. If the target is Medium or smaller, it is grappled (escape DC 16), and it is restrained until the grapple ends. While grappling a creature, the crawling nightmare can’t make a Claw attack
Mind Blast. Ranged Spell Attack: +8 to hit, range 120 ft., one creature. Hit: 22 (4d10) psychic damage.
Crawling nightmares dwell in the darkness between worlds, emerging in the prime material plane to feast on the fears and flesh of the living. Their misshapen heads with razor teeth and pale staring eyes dangle from spider-like bodies.
Victims are often paralyzed with fear at the sight of a crawling nightmare, allowing the monstrosity to capture and consume its prey with minimal effort.
One hour after the box is opened, its nightmare aura expands and the landscape around the box becomes nightmare terrain.
Nightmare Aura. Each creature that starts its turn within a 1 mile radius of the box must make a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature becomes frightened for 1 minute. At the end of each of the creature’s turns before the nightmare ends, the creature must succeed on a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw or take 27 (5d10) psychic damage. On a successful save, the nightmare ends. A creature that is killed by the nightmare’s psychic damage rises and transforms into a Crawling Nightmare.
Nightmare Terrain. The area within a 500 foot radius of the box is difficult terrain as the landscape twists and warps. Each creature that starts its turn in the area must succeed a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw or be blinded until the start of their next turn.
Nine hours after the box is opened, it creates a portal to the realm of nightmares. Every hour that the portal is open, roll to determine which creatures emerge.
|1 Adult Black Dragon
|2 Crawling Nightmares
|1 Horned Devil
The emerging creatures are living nightmares but have the stats of the creature they represent. They are immune to the box’s Nightmare Aura and Nightmare Terrain effects, and they seek any living creature they can devour or drag back to the realm of nightmares.
Destroying the Nightmares Box
The box can be closed by making a DC 20 Intelligence (Arcana) check to solve the puzzle. On a failed check, you are pulled into the realm of nightmares and the box remains open on the prime material plane.
On a success, the box closes and its effects end. The portal to the realm of nightmares is closed, and the nightmare creatures disappear. The nightmare box remains intact, ready to be solved again.
The nightmare box is invulnerable to harm while on the prime material plane. Even if it is buried beneath tons of stone or thrown in the ocean, it magically reappears somewhere like on a shelf in a curio shop or in a child’s bedroom.
The box can only be dismantled by the dreamsmith that created it in the realm of nightmares. The dreamsmith will destroy the box if you face your greatest nightmare and conquer it.
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