Last Updated on January 9, 2023
The origins of the False Hydra are just as mysterious in the game as they are in real life. This homebrewed creature first appeared on a bizarre blog post, possibly with otherworldly origins… or, just “a guy in Nebraska” origins.
Regardless of the nebulous origin story, Dungeon Masters in DnD’s Fifth Edition (5e) campaigns widely used the False Hydra. DnD 5e is home to many bowel-loosening beasts, but the False Hydra in 5e holds a special place in players’ nightmares.
What is the False Hydra 5e?
In 5e, the False Hydra resides below ground. It is spawned from lies and adds to its mass by feeding on treacherous feelings.
Physically the False Hydra resembles a regular hydra with a few exceptions. False Hydras have shockingly pale skin due to the time it likes to spend underground. Its heads also hit the uncanny valley of humanoid resemblance.
The False Hydra 5e does dwell in the ground but not far from the surface. To grow in size and gain power, the False Hydra 5e must feed. Worms and bugs and rats are not enough. This beast needs the flesh of intelligent creatures to fulfill its brutal goal.
What this goal is, however, is not readily apparent. The False Hydra grows with every intelligent consumption. As it grows, it also produces extra heads to increase its reach and better gorge itself on the oblivious members of a small town or village.
Why don’t the townsfolk notice a multiheaded abomination slowly picking off essential members of the local homeowner’s association? Because this creature sings. And it doesn’t just sing any song. It sings a song of forgetting.
False Hydra 5e Abilities & Effects
The hydra is a multiheaded beast and can use its other heads to make the effects of the song more potent.
The False Hydra’s mindsong can be heard by any creature up to five miles from its current location. The song starts with one head. The other heads of the beast may join, creating a symphony of obscuration.
Only the DC 15 wisdom check is needed if the song starts with one head. If a creature within range hears the multi-cranial music, it must subtract 1d4 from its wisdom save for each additional head.
Any creature that hears this song will experience altered perception. The villagers describe a vacant building as always standing abandoned. Villagers dismiss empty stores and vacant positions with similar apathy. They also won’t be able to see the long soft face of the False Hydra creeping closer to them.
If unchecked, the presence of a False Hydra can cause an entire community to descend into paranoia and madness. If the party fails to discover the subterranean beast, the only release may be a deadly sonic blast from the False Hydra’s thin lips.
Head & Claw Attacks
Once confronted, the False Hydra can respond to combat with multiple attacks per round with its numerous heads and fierce claws. They also have specialized reactions. Their multi-reaction ability allows them to take two reactions per round as long as it has two or more heads.
The False Hydra also has the Wail reaction. The False Hydra lets out a screech after an attack, which affects creatures within a 5-foot range. These creatures receive 2d4 physic damage.
False Hydra 5e Weaknesses
The False Hydra’s mindsong has the capability of distorting the mind. This effect does have its weaknesses, however. It is not effective on the deaf. It also may create a “split mind” effect. This effect allows two different memories to exist simultaneously in an intelligent creature’s mind.
So ultimately, it is up to the brave, immune, and conscious to protect the rest from the villainy of the False Hydra. After the players uncover the truth, perhaps by casting Silence or by relying on a differently-abled party member, they may find that the damage was far worse than imagined.
Using the False Hydra as a DM
The False Hydra as a monster started as more of an idea shared around the internet than something from the Wizards of the Coast Monster Manual. The False Hydra is an instrument of the DM.
The False Hydra’s power scale is directly related to its number of heads. The DM can alter the False Hydra’s attack capacity pretty simply. If the DM adds more heads, then the creature’s blind song is more effective.
The DM is also responsible for the rules of combat. If the False Hydra has three heads, the DM will have to decide how much HP lost equals the loss of a head.
The False Hydra starts with 150hp, which could prove problematic for a low-level party. Introducing a False Hydra scenario at level 6 or higher is best. Most party members should understand their character’s abilities and traits, such as reacting to situations and forming plans.
The False Hydra is a creature designed for role-play-heavy scenarios. The False Hydra slowly encroaches on a village or town. It may take a while before a party realizes something needs to be fixed.
They may go on various side quests before they realize that the bartender’s assistant, who the party drank under the table, is not remembered by any of their coworkers. The DM has much control over how far the mystery reveals itself.
The False Hydra’s primary weapon is sound and psychic. The creature can quickly get into party members’ heads, given the right opportunity. A DC wisdom check is a tall order for many martial classes. Though having a deaf player character or NPC would make fighting the False Hydra a little more interesting.
Fighting the False Hydra
There are several ways a party could combat a False Hydra. Once they understand the origin of the mindsong, plugging their ears or using mirrors might be effective.
Additionally, False Hydra can be discovered using magic. If a player has true sight, they may be able to combat the creature.
However, the complexity of encountering a False Hydra might lend itself to metagaming. For the story to unfold believably, it would be best to roleplay as honestly mind-wiped.
Once the party figures out the source of the town’s ailments, they should be able to plug their ears and similarly approach the False Hydra as they would any other creature.
False Hydra 5e FAQ
What is a False hydra?
A False Hydra is a popular fan-made (Homebrew) Dnd Monster that resembles the multi-headed hydra, but with pale skin and humanoid heads.
Thematically it is a mixture of Hydra and Siren. Its multi-heads sing to lure intelligent creatures away where it can devour them. The False Hydra grows with each intelligent creature it eats and can go unnoticed for years as it grows larger underground.
Why is it called a False hydra?
It is called a False Hydra because they both have multiple heads on long serpentine necks connected to a similar body. They share a similar physical form to a Hydra, but the False Hydra has pale skin and humanoid heads.
They also both can regrow heads, but the Hydra regrows them naturally and the False Hydra must consume intelligent creatures to grow a new head.
What level should I be to fight a False Hydra?
The minimum advisable level to run a scenario with a False Hydra is a party of 3-4 adventurers at level 6 or above. Since it is a fan-made (Homebrew) monster the stats can be altered to any desired level, however, the False Hydra’s abilities lean heavily towards a higher level party.
If you use a variant that has legendary or lair actions you will need to be at a much higher level or even max level to survive an encounter with a False Hydra.
How much HP does a False Hydra have?
Since the False Hydra is a fan-made (Homebrew) DnD monster there is no official HP, but it is advised that the False Hydra has at least 150 health to start with.