The Dire Turkey

Does this look like the face of mercy to you?

Those soulless black eyes. The dagger-sharp beak. The terrible snood! It’s almost more than the staunchest adventurer can stand. The ostrich-sized dire turkey is a fearsome beast that stalks rural farmsteads and quiet pastures throughout the land. Though their smaller cousins are unutterably stupid, these big birdies are crafty enough to know when to fight and when to flee. Just don’t get too close to their nests or their…poults? Baby turkeys are called poults? Neat.

Regardless of what they’re called, don’t get too close or you could find yourself on the wrong side of a…rafter…of the beasts. That’s right, there’s more weird turkey terms – a group of turkeys is called a rafter. Educate yourself before you bust these beasties out against your unsuspecting party so all your players will be impressed by your strangely deep knowledge of turkey nomenclature. 

Dire Turkey

Medium beast, unaligned

Armor Class 12

Hit Points 30 (3d12 + 9)

Speed 25 ft.

STR 16 (+3) DEX 10 (+0) CON 16 (+3) INT 2 (-4) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 3 (-4)

Skills Athletics +5

Senses Passive Perception 10

Challenge ½ (100 XP)

Flapping Leap. The dire turkey’s long jump and high jump are up to 25 feet, with or without a running start.

Pack Tactics. The dire turkey has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of the dire turkey’s allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.

Fearful Fowl. The dire turkey is afraid of everything and has disadvantage on saves vs. Fear


Multiattack. The Dire turkey makes two attacks: one with its beak and one with its talons.

Beak. +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6+3) piercing damage

Talons. +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit 7 (1d6+3) slashing damage

Tactics: Perhaps because they are so skittish, Dire Turkeys always travel in rafters of five or more which makes it easy for them to take advantage of their Pack Tactics. Clever PCs can scare them fairly easily, either by activating an effect that causes fear or by a suitably clever action intended to spook the giant birds. Don’t neglect the turkeys’ Flapping Leap ability if the players get the dire turkeys in a tight spot. Further, they will use this feature to reposition any time they aren’t able to use their Pack Tactics.

The turkey image used in this writeup was slightly edited from this image.

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