|Now with mood-ring skin!|
Wow, I never expected that. My beloved flumph not used as a filler monster in some obscure, late-run supplement. No sir, the flumph is right here in the core Monster Manual. That's right kids, Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition is now officially the Flumphth Edition.
So how does my favorite monster stack up in the new edition, and how does it match up with my own image of the flumph? We're told that flumphs are intelligent and wise "possessing advanced knowledge of religion, philosophy, mathematics, and countless other subjects." They also live in small groups called cloisters. This matches pretty well with my own image of the flumphs as soft-spoken, benevolent philosophers. This idea, of course, was engendered by the monastic flumph found in Second Edition. You'll notice that all my extra-system write-ups for the flumph have some sort of healing magic. Sadly, the 5th Ed flumph does not have any cleric levels. This, of course, will change in my games.
"Hey buddy. There's some Illithids down on Level Three. You should totally go kill them."
Old-school flumphs ate small animals, skewering them on their hidden spikes. The new guys are "passive parasites" that harmlessly siphon off small amounts of psionic energy from nearby creatures. Since they live in the Underdark, most of their neighbors are evil. This gives the good-natured flumphs a kind of psychic indigestion--evil thoughts are disturbing to them. When a cloister of flumphs detects the thoughts of good creatures (like adventurers) they will direct them to the source of evil, encouraging the heroes to wipe them out. I am not sure how I feel about the flumph's new role as "dungeon snitch."
Mechanically, the flumph does pretty well. Its tentacles do decent damage (1d4+2), as well as additional acid damage-over-time. They also keep their signature "stench spray" ability that puts the "poisoned" condition on anyone who fails a (relatively easy) saving throw. The poisoned condition is nothing to sneeze at. A battle between a group of flumphs and a group of kobolds could be quite a brawl.
I'm delighted to see the flumph front-and-center in the core bestiary, along side such iconic monsters such as beholders and githyanki. Over all I'm pretty happy with how the little guys are represented.
Also, the grell are in the Monster Manual, too. That means my campaign can continue the cosmic war between the flumphs and the grell.