The jiangshi (pronounced chyahng-shr, with both syllables in level high tone) is a reanimated corpse from Chinese folklore, nicknamed the “hopping vampire” because of how it struggles to move within the limits of rigor mortis (translated literally, the name means “stiff corpse”). This limitation is reflected in its 20-foot movement speed, which is a key consideration in the jiangshi’s tactics: It’s not going to chase anyone down, and without proficiency in Stealth or Perception, it’s not an ambush attacker, either. The jiangshi has to seek out victims who are sleeping or otherwise immobile—or get next to them without their realizing what it is.
With their exceptional Strength and Constitution (and miserable Dexterity), jiangshi are brute melee fighters, so they’re inclined toward melee combat to begin with, but their speed turns this preference into a necessity. The sine qua non of their combat tactics is their Multiattack, which comprises three Slam attacks and one use of Consume Energy. Consume Energy is their compulsion, the means by which they suck the life force out of living creatures. To get the most out of it, a jiangshi has to kill its victim with the necrotic damage it deals with this action. Therefore, the attacks it makes immediately beforehand have to bring their victim to the point of death.(more…)