Creature Feature (5e): Rook

Outsiders are often struck with fear and awe at the Rooks. These mighty constructs are considered by many to be the grandest Pieces of the Kings; mobile fortresses that dwarf nearly any outside force’s tools of war in terms of usefulness on the battlefield. Only the grandest armies of the Hells and the Astral Plane have access to tools of siegecraft that rival the Rooks and even then many are struck at the casual way in which the Kings seem to summon them. While certainly there exist the rare outsider who with more raw power than an individual Rook, rare indeed is the man not intimidated when facing such a thing on the battlefield. The Rooks are perhaps the most obvious proof of the strange and powerful magic at work on the Board.

Gargantuan (30 ft. x 30 ft. x 40 ft.) construct, unaligned

Armor Class 5
Hit Points see below
Speed 0 ft.

30 (+10) 1 (-5) 20 (+5) 5 (-3) 1 (-5) 1 (-5)

Saving Throws Constitution +11, Strength +16
Damage Immunities piercing and slashing from nonmagical weapons that aren’t adamantine, poison, psychic; 
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Challenge 18 (20,000 XP)

Special Traits

  • Checkmate. A Rook is destroyed, crumbling to dust, if its King is ever destroyed.
  • King’s Castle. A Rook has no autonomy, making it immune to all forms of trickery and persuasion. It moves and acts as ordered to by its allied King or an assigned commander, and otherwise allows any ally to enter it and attacks any nearby enemy, beginning with the nearest, unless ordered to do otherwise.
  • Impossible Foundation. A Rook’s magic cannot hold its shape outside the Board demiplane for long. Every round a Rook is outside the Board demiplane, it must make a DC 20 Constitution save or crumble under its own weight, permanently destroying it.
  • Impossible Stone. A Rook’s attacks are considered magical for the purposes of the damage they deal so long as the Rook is alive.
  • Steady and True. Creatures within a Rook move with the Rook if it performs its Shift or Move action without penalty or damage. For this reason, a Rook also cannot attack any creature within it. If a creature does not with to teleport when a Rook performs its special Move action, it may make a DC 15 Wisdom save to resist. Success indicates the Rook teleports away but the creature does not. The creature then usually falls to the ground (taking any damage as appropriate). 


  • Shift. This attack allows a Rook to move 5 ft. without provoking opportunity attack in any direction, ignoring difficult terrain. The Rook may enter the squares of both enemies and allies using this method, with all creatures automatically pushed 5 ft. away. Any creature pushed in this way (both enemies and allies) is also automatically attacked with the following attack:
    • Melee Weapon Attack: +16 to hit, reach special, all targets within range. Hit: 16 (1d12 + 10 ) bludgeoning damage. 
  • Move. Once a day, a Rook may teleport as its action anywhere on the Board within 1 mile. It immediately appears hovering 100 ft. above its target location, pushing any creature currently occupying that space to the nearest unoccupied square. The Rook then immediately crashes down upon the ground onto the target space, moving the 100 ft. distance in less than a single second. Any creature Large or smaller must make a DC 20 Dexterity check or be instantly killed (or destroyed) under the astronomical weight of the tower. Any creature Huge or larger must make a DC 20 Dexterity check or take 120 points of bludgeoning damage, and then be pushed to the nearest available unoccupied space. Successfully saving regardless of creature size indicates a creature has safely leaped to the nearest available unoccupied space. Creatures immune to Bludgeoning damage cannot be killed by this attack but are almost certainly completely immobilized under the Rook and will begin to suffocate if they require air. A GM may rule that certain creatures and objects may damage a Rook, even if they, in turn, are damaged by this attack. Large and smaller creatures and objects of stone or metal might deal 1d12 damage to the Rook’s base, while Huge objects may deal as much as half (or even more, for extremely hard objects like adamantine) as much damage as they receive. 


A Rook is as much an object as it is a creature. For calculation purposes, a Rook’s gate, walls, and floors each should be treated as separate entities. A Rook is three stories, with two arrow slits per wall on each story. Each side is 30 ft. wide and 40 ft. tall. It has a single gate on the first story, which can be opened with a command as a bonus action by the Rook’s King, Commander, or any who have been given permission for such entrance by said King or Commander. If a wall or floor (including a Rook’s base, which can only rarely be intentionally damaged) takes 100 damage, that surface is effectively destroyed and able to be entered by other creatures as they will. The gate is similarly vulnerable but is destroyed if it takes 50 damage. If a Rook’s components ever take a combined 200 points of damage, its magic collapses and it is destroyed. All creatures within must make a DC 20 Dexterity save or take 4d12 bludgeoning damage from falling stone. A successful save indicates half damage.

In terms of design, Rooks are simple. Pure towers of ivory white or ebony black, three stories in height, theirs is a simple beauty. It is a deceptively calm appearance, as entire battlefields move when Rooks begin to stir. One never knows when they shall vanish from sight and appear overhead, only to suddenly crash down like some deity slamming the Piece upon their foes in a grand gesture. Rooks are why the palaces of the Kings are built so mightily: the Kings, at times, must be able to resist the onslaught of not just a single Rook but as many as eight of their rival’s juggernauts.

About Quin Callahan

Quin Callahan is a freelance writer and college level English and economics tutor of over four years experience. He has written for a variety of gaming, technology, and economics publications. His favorite animal might be the squid but he is rarely certain.

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