“Could it be that Aboleths are older than the gods…that before the divine ones came to be, such horrors shaped the multiverse?
Now there’s a chilling thought.”—Vaqir Zekh’r, Giyhzerai Philosopher
What is an Aboleth 5e?
The Aboleth is a large aberration that lives in the depths of the oceans. They are tentacled ocean-dwelling creatures with no fins. They have a massive maw filled with teeth and several rows of eyes.
They are one of the oldest creatures in the universe and predate even the gods of DnD.
Aboleth 5e Stats
- Size: Large
- HP: 135 (18d10+36)
- AC: 17 (Natural Armor)
- Speed: 10ft, Swim 40ft
- Saving Throws: Con +6, lnt +8, W s +6
- Skills: History +12, Perception +10
- Senses: darkvision 120 ft ., passive Perception 20
- Languages: Deep Speech, telepathy 120ft.
- Challenge Rating: 10 (5,900 XP)
Aboleth 5e Lore
Aboleths are one of the oldest creatures in DnD. They predate the coming of gods and are one of the primordial creatures of the world. They ruled from beneath the oceans and in the deep underground lakes.
Their influence reached out from the deep where they enslaved the sentient races of the world. It was only after the gods of DnD came into being that the Aboleths were pushed back into the lairs deep beneath the waves.
Aboleths share generational knowledge, so the Aboleths alive and living today have the same knowledge as their predecessors. They still remember ruling the world and time before the gods interfered with their plans, and they still resent and hate them for it.
When consuming other creatures they use their telepathy and magical powers to absorb their knowledge. Each creature eaten adds to its massive knowledge that is constantly growing and never fades with time.
When an Aboleth is killed its spirit returns to the elemental plane of water where it regenerates its body and is free to return to the physical realm once more, but with all of its memories intact.
Aboleth 5e Spells & Abilities
Aboleths are amphibious and can survive above and below water, but they are much more agile underwater.
The Aboleth produces a disease cloud around it within 5 feet. If a creature attacks the Aboleth with a melee attack it must make a DC 14 Constitution save or become diseased for 1d4 hours.
The disease itself is rather unique. The creature will only be able to breathe underwater for the duration of the disease.
If a creature can communicate through telepathy, the Aboleth can probe that creature’s mind and learn its greatest desires. They often enslave and trick other races and they will use this knowledge to their full advantage.
Aboleth 5e Lair Actions & Regional Effects
Aboleths often set up lairs underwater, and when in combat they often get additional actions or bonus effects. They are also powerful enough that simply being in a region will alter the landscape around them.
The Aboleth can cast Phantasmal force as a lair action on an unlimited number of creatures that it can see within 60ft. If they succeed in the save then they remain unaffected by Phantasmal Force for the next 24 hours.
This is incredibly powerful and can alter the perception of everyone around the Aboleth and could wipe a party without the Aboleth ever attacking.
Being near water around an Aboleth is also a huge danger. They have the ability to send a crashing wave of water that knocks players prone and drags them into the water 20ft. This does have a DC Strength save of 14 to prevent movement.
The Aboleth’s lair becomes a place of ancient hatred and rage and is warped from their presence. As a Lair Action, the Aboleth can unleash a psychic attack (with a DC 14 Wisdom save). The attack deals 2d6 on failed save.
The region containing an Aboleth’s lair is warped by the creature’s presence, which turns underground surfaces slimy and is considered Difficult Terrain. All water within 1 mile of the area also becomes foul and will make any who drinks it sick.
As a lair action, the Aboleth can also project an image of itself within a mile of its lair. It can use telepathy, speak, and sense as if the illusory image is real. This makes it incredibly difficult to actually track down the creature’s true body.
Aboleth 5e Actions
The Aboleth makes three tentacle attacks.
Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6 + 5) bludgeoning damage.
If hit with the Tentacle attack, they must succeed a DC 14 Constitution save or they become diseased.
This Aboleth disease is particularly brutal to a party of adventurers. The diseased character’s scene becomes translucent and slimy and cannot regain hitpoints unless they are underwater. A level 6+ Cure can remove the disease.
If they are outside the water, the diseased characters’ skin becomes dry and takes 1d12 acid damage every 10 minutes unless they moisten their slimy translucent skin with water.
Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit , reach 10ft. one target. Hit : 15 (3d6 + 5) bludgeoning damage.
(3xDay) If targeted the character must make a DC 14 Wisdom save or become magically charmed by the Aboleth until it either dies or leaves the plane of existence. It can remake the save whenever it takes damage or once per day.
Aboleth 5e Legendary Actions
The Aboleth is a legendary creature and has 3 legendary actions it can use per round of combat. One Legendary action can be performed after a different characters turn in the Initiative order. This allows the Aboleth to continue moving and performing actions after other players’ turns.
The Aboleth makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.
The Aboleth makes one tail attack.
Psychic Drain takes up 2 out of the 3 of the Aboleth’s Legendary actions. This forces one of the creatures charmed by the Aboleth to take 3d6 Psychic Damage. The Aboleth regains that many hitpoints.
What Level Should I be to Fight Aboleth 5e?
The Aboleth has a Challenge Rating of 10, meaning that a party of 4 players at level 10 each will be able to face an Aboleth in a fight.
If facing it in a lair, you’ll need to be higher levels or have more characters. It’s going to be a difficult fight regardless, so whatever level you decide make sure you have some disease potions or you’ll never leave the water.
How Do You Beat an Aboleth 5e?
The best thing any party of adventurers can do when fighting an Aboleth is to stay dry. If you can help it…
DO NOT FIGHT AN ABOLETH IN THE WATER!
Seriously, the Aboleth’s abilities in the water are much stronger and they have 4x the movement speed. In addition, they’ll probably have access to their lair actions which make them even harder to deal with.
Range is going to be your best friend when facing these aberrations. You don’t want to get hit with Aboelth poison from its Tentacle attacks either. If hit you’ll be forced to stay in the water or take damage.
You could carry water after being poisoned or use the Create or Destroy Water spell to keep your party wet, but it’s still a level 1 spell that’s only available to Bards and Clerics.
Alternatively, you could stock up on cure disease potions or magic items to ensure you can easily get rid of the Aboleth’s poison.
Aboleth 5e FAQ
How do you fight an Aboleth 5e?
The best way to fight an Aboleth is at range and on dry land. Luring it out of its lair and attempting to trap it on land is the best way to fight an Aboleth.
What is an Aboleth 5e?
An Aboleth is a Large Aberration in DnD 5e. They predate the gods of DnD and are one of the primordial creatures of the world. They seek to reclaim their place in the world and have a deep hatred for the gods.
What CR is an Aboleth?
The Aboleth has a CR of 10, but when encountered in their lair they will be much more difficult to fight and possibly have a higher CR.
Are Aboleths immortal?
Aboleths are immortal but can be defeated. If killed in the mortal plane, their spirits and body will eventually be returned to the Elemental Plane of Water where their bodies will regenerate with all of the memories they had before being defeated.
They can be defeated in battle, but they will regenerate in another plane.
Are Aboleths Mind Flayers?
Aboleths are not Mind Flayers.
Before starting GameCows with his wife Kendra, he used to teach English Language Arts in the US. He combined his love of gaming with education to create fun game-based learning lessons until he eventually decided to run GameCows with Kendra full-time. He’s known for pouring over rulebooks in his spare time, being the rule master during game night, and as the perma DM in his DnD group. Bryan loves board games, writing, traveling, and above all his wife and partner in crime, Kendra.