Lair Actions

The air within 60 feet of the lair fills with howling wind. Until the start of the next round, that area is difficult terrain. Medium or smaller flying creatures entering or starting their turn in the area must succeed on a DC 13 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

The creature rolls a d8 and regains a spell slot of that level or lower. Nothing happens if there are no spent spell slots of that level or lower.

The creature creates a 60-foot-long, 10-foot-wide line of powerful current originating from a point anywhere in its lair. All targets in that line must succeed on a DC 18 Strength saving throw or be pushed 15 feet in the direction the water is rushing. The current disperses surrounding muck and debris.

 
Lair Action sign illustration

Lair Action Generator

Lair Action Examples

List of Lair Actions 5e

Vampire Lair Actions 5e

Lair Actions 5e

Devil Lair Actions 5e

Lich Lair Actions

Lair Actions 5e Ideas

Lairs are alive with the sound of magic.

Lairs are far more than caves or burrows where monsters dwell. As a creature achieves legendary status, its shelter becomes a conduit for the latent magical energies collected over time. Though they may start as a creature's home, lairs evolve into the embodiments of their inhabitant's emotional and magical propensities. They become defensive and active sanctums for the creature's deepest desires, grandest schemes, and most envious of hoards.

Intended or not, most creatures establish their lairs in areas of powerful magical resonance. These sites often intersect with multiple ley lines of surging magical energy. It could be within a crater where a massive celestial body struck, atop a burial site of a bizarre magical relic, or among the ruins of a long-forgotten magocratic empire. Sites with such arcane saturation often feature additional magic abnormalities like extreme climate zones, areas of wild magic, portals to alternate planes of existence, and even fluctuations in the forces of gravity.

Similar to regional effects, which expand beyond the bounds of a creature's sanctum, lair actions reveal a shared connection to the magical energy that courses through and around the lair. The broad range of magic available to the monsters of Dungeons & Dragons provides opportunities to expand upon actions listed among source books or adventure guides. Like many other aspects of RPGs, lair actions can provide engaging role-playing opportunities and new challenges to seasoned players.

Lair actions, how do they work?

As players progress through a campaign, they will undoubtedly stumble through increasingly more formidable encounters. However, merely increasing the challenge rating may no longer test high-level characters or players who have become familiar with the game. When fights become predictable or too easy for an adventuring party, dungeon masters (DMs) may want to consider giving their monster's lair some power.

Trading blows with various weapons or damaging spells until one side yields can get boring. Introducing lair actions gives the environment a feeling of sentience, allowing it to contribute to the battle and affect combat. These "actions" add a new sense of danger to the encounter and can provoke players to strategize instead of hacking and slashing their way to victory.

While legendary actions can also help balance combat, they differ during gameplay. They are additional, functional actions granted to legendary creatures. Generally limited to a few uses per round, legendary actions always occur at the end of another creature's turn. In contrast, lair actions occupy a place at the top of the initiative order, separate from other creatures, and operate more like independent environmental effects within the lair.

Using this feature as a relative entity within the initiative order gives DMs the ability to up the ante when they see fit. Legendary creatures with lair actions typically have an average of four from which the dungeon master can choose. Although, the most dangerous or significant options commonly cannot be used twice in a row. This rule provides players with a necessary, if only momentary, reprieve from a potential onslaught. In these instances, the DM can choose to forgo using an action on the lair's next turn or select a less ruthless option.

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