Undead Tactics: The Mummy Lord

So, yeah, mummy lords. This is a totally different league of monster from your rank-and-file mummy—and the power difference between a mummy and a mummy lord is much wider than that between an orc and an orc war chief, a hobgoblin and a hobgoblin warlord, or a gnoll and a gnoll Fang of Yeenoghu. Mummy lords are bosses on par with adult dragons and tougher than giants. Only experienced adventurers need apply.

Their array of powers makes them complicated to run, so this is going to be a long and thorough breakdown.

  • Abilities: Average Dexterity and Intelligence; very high Strength, Constitution, Wisdom and Charisma. They’re brutes, but they’re not fools. And they have personality. Conceited, toxic personality, but personality nonetheless.
  • Damage and Condition Immunities: same as regular mummies but with an added immunity to physical damage from nonmagical weapons. They’re not the slightest bit afraid of your pigsticker unless it’s got a plus in front of it.
  • Damage Vulnerability: Fire, same as regular mummies.
  • Saving Throws: Hefty bonuses on Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma saves. That’s two of the big three and two of the little three, and with Strength 18, it doesn’t need to worry about that one, either. The only gap in this fortification is Dexterity. However . . .
  • Magic Resistance: Even its lower (only in relative terms) Dexterity isn’t too much of a hindrance, because it makes all its saving throws against magic with advantage. Whoo.
  • Rejuvenation: You can’t even kill it unless you jump through the extra hoop of destroying its heart. (For this purpose, I recommend fire.)
  • Spellcasting: More on this in a moment.
  • Legendary Actions: Every turn, it can perform up to three legendary actions on other characters’ turns. These include an out-of-turn Attack, an area-effect blinding, an area-effect stun attack, suppression of healing and turning momentarily incorporeal.
  • Lair Actions and Regional Effects: All the preceding applies if you happen to encounter a mummy lord on the way to the bodega to get milk. A mummy lord in its lair is even more powerful, conveying advantage on saving throws to other undead creatures in the lair, providing them with the equivalent of radar, and giving anyone else who tries to cast a spell a punishing necrotic jolt.

Like I said, a boss. With the attitude of a boss to boot. The mummy lord’s rational and justifiable assumption is that you ain’t jack.

What does it take to show a mummy lord that you are, indeed, jack? Magical weapons, especially ones imbued with fire damage. Non-spellcasting abilities (such as Divine Strike/Divine Smite, Sacred Weapon, Wrath of the Storm and Elemental Wild Shape) that do direct, nonphysical damage with no saving throw to resist. Managing to inflict 60 hp of any kind of damage in a single round. A mummy lord will be taken aback by these things, and its vanity and arrogance will compel it to vanquish whichever attacker(s) produce the aforementioned damage, which is bad for them but good for the littler fish in the party. (Forget about Turn Undead. The mummy lord gets +9 and advantage on that saving throw.)

Now let’s look at its spells. I’m going to group these according to their casting time, because this highlights the roles they play in the mummy lord’s action economy.

Actions (instant or self-sustaining)

  • Harm is the mummy lord’s nuclear option. It gets to cast this spell only once, so it’s going to choose its target and its moment carefully. If a player character with Extra Attack smacks the mummy lord twice with a +1 flame tongue sword while calling down a Divine Smite each time, that PC’s harm request is expedited and approved immediately.
  • Contagion is the mummy lord’s way of showing its contempt. If it suspects a PC may actually be a threat, the mummy lord will inflict Slimy Doom, in order to weaken his or her resistance to the mummy lord’s Rotting Fist and harm. Otherwise, it inflicts Blinding Sickness, because this disease has the most devastating effect overall, thanks to its imposing the blinded condition. (Filth Fever and Seizure affect melee and ranged attackers specifically, but Blinding Sickness nails them both—and also shuts down spellcasters, who generally need to be able to see their targets.) This is a touch attack, and the mummy lord can use it no more than twice, so it reserves contagion for PCs who offend it or pose a threat.
  • Divination is useless in combat. It applies only in the extremely rare event that your PCs are petitioning the mummy lord for the use of its oracular services.
  • Guardian of faith does up to 60 hp of damage against characters who dare to approach the mummy lord, consuming only a 4th-level spell slot and the action taken to cast it. This is a spell to lead with—normally. That being said, is a mummy lord really going to think it needs this level of protection against a bunch of pathetic mortals? I think it will hold off on casting this spell until it feels threatened.
  • Animate dead requires the presence of actual corpses. In a tomb, there are bound to be a few of those lying around; the question is how conveniently located they are, since the spell has a range of only 10 feet. After casting the spell, the mummy lord can control its servant(s) with a bonus action, so this is a desirable spell to cast if and only if the basic conditions are met. Otherwise, spiritual weapon accomplishes the same thing without humanoid remains, and it can be cast without consuming an action.
  • Dispel magic is familiar and uncomplicated.
  • Command is usually best used to provoke opportunity attacks from allied creatures, but thanks to the mummy lord’s legendary actions, it can benefit from commanding a PC with whom it’s engaged in melee to grovel, as long as someone else gets a turn before the PC does. The flip side is, a command must be issued in a language that the target understands, and it’s not only possible but probable that a mummy lord will speak only ancient, dead languages, so this may be one to skip.
  • Guiding bolt is a cheap damage-dealer (4d6 is good for a 1st-level spell, and the damage increases when using higher-level spell slots) that also grants advantage on a future attack. However, the mummy lord’s Rotting Fist attack is even more powerful, so guiding bolt only compares favorably if something is imposing disadvantage on the mummy lord’s attacks, such as if it’s blinded or restrained. On the other hand, this disadvantage also affects whether guiding bolt works in the first place. It’s a bit of a Catch-22. Maybe use it only against a PC whom the mummy lord can’t reach just yet but will be able to reach on its next turn.
  • Sacred flame does 2d8 radiant damage on a failed Dexterity saving throw and no damage on a successful one. Weaksauce. There’s only one situation when this is worth using: when no one in range is susceptible to Dreadful Glare, no one is within reach of a Rotting Fist attack and there’s no other spell worth casting.
  • Thaumaturgy? Pffft.

Actions (continuous, require concentration)

  • Insect plague fills a 20-foot-radius sphere with biting insects that do 4d10 damage on a failed Constitution saving throw and half that on a success. This can put a real hurt on a party with a lot of squishy characters in it.
  • Hold person is familiar and uncomplicated.
  • Silence is good for shutting down several troublesome spellcasters or bards, if they all happen to be within 40 feet of one another. Expect to nab four, on average.

Bonus Actions (instant or self-sustaining)

  • Spiritual weapon is extra damage, round after round, for the cost of the mummy lord’s bonus action. Why not?

Bonus Actions (continuous, require concentration)

  • Shield of faith is carrying coals to Newcastle, since the mummy lord’s AC is already 17. It may be worth casting anyway if the mummy lord doesn’t have a different continuous spell that it would rather sustain, but if combat has already begun, it would probably rather spend its bonus action hitting somebody with a spiritual weapon. It seems to me that a mummy lord should cast shield of faith only when it’s taking more hits than it’s dishing out, and that isn’t going to happen often.

Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of each of these spells, let’s consider the costs: spell slots. Intuitively, we believe that higher-level spell slots should be worth more than lower-level ones, but this isn’t true in every case. Another way to look at it, which I believe is more accurate, is that a scarcer spell slot is worth more than a less scarce one and that a higher-level spell slot can be used to cast certain spells that a lower-level one can’t. So unless the higher-level spell slot is also scarcer, whether it’s worthwhile to spend a higher-level spell slot on a lower-level spell, boosted, depends entirely on whether the boosted lower-level spell is more useful than the higher-level spell.

  • 6th level: The mummy lord has only one 6th-level slot. It’s going to reserve it for harm.
  • 5th level: The mummy lord has two 5th-level slots and two valuable 5th-level spells, contagion and insect plague. It will save these slots for these spells.
  • 4th level: Divination has no purpose here, and guardian of faith is the kind of spell you only bother casting once. The other two fourth-level slots, therefore, are available for boosting lower-level spells.
  • 3rd level: Dispel magic is one to keep in your pocket at all times, so these slots will be retained for it. Animate dead is so situational that we can safely disregard it.
  • 2nd level: Spiritual weapon is an auto-cast, and hold person and silence are good to keep in reserve. Hold person can be cast at higher levels to affect more targets; silence can’t. Spiritual weapon can be cast at higher levels to do more damage, but the cost is two levels per damage die, and it’s not worth that.
  • 1st level: The least scarce spell level—and also the least useful, given the mummy lord’s spell set. Command and shield of faith can’t be boosted by casting them at a higher level; guiding bolt can, but it’s already compromised by the fact that you mostly want to cast it when its chances of succeeding are poorer. Why would you risk a higher-level spell slot on a spell you’ll probably be casting with disadvantage, even if you do have +9 to hit? You’d only do it when you weren’t casting it with disadvantage—that is, when you were using it to set up an attack on a target whom you couldn’t reach yet but would be able to reach on your next turn. Even so, is a 4th-level guiding bolt better than a 4th-level hold person? I don’t think so. Save the slots.

The conclusion I draw here is that two of the mummy lord’s three 4th-level spell slots are flex slots, which it’s most likely to spend either to boost hold person or to cast dispel magic after running out of 3rd-level slots. Otherwise, it will cast spells at their base levels.

With all that analysis finally out of our way, let’s get down to specific tactics.

When combat is inevitable, the mummy first uses its move to approach the PC whom it considers the No. 1 aggressor or transgressor; its action to use Dreadful Glare against that PC, along with Rotting Fist if the PC is within reach and hasn’t fled; and its bonus action to cast spiritual weapon, which takes the form of a spear or flail.

On its second turn, if the first PC has fled, it turns its attention to the second, moving toward it (move); using Dreadful Glare and, if applicable, Rotting Fist (action); and striking it with the spiritual weapon (bonus action). If the first PC hasn’t fled, it directs its Dreadful Glare at a secondary target while continuing to attack the primary target with Rotting Fist (action) and spiritual weapon (bonus action). It repeats these actions unless and until certain circumstances occur:

  • If it’s not yet (or no longer) engaged in melee, and there are at least four non-fighter (non-barbarian, non-paladin, non-ranger) PCs within 40 feet of one another , it drops an insect swarm on those PCs.
  • If a PC manages to attack it with a magical weapon, inflict direct fire damage and do 60 hp of damage to it in a single round—or if he or she does any two of these things—the mummy lord casts harm on that PC. If two or three PCs each manage to do any one of those things, it casts hold person at 4th level on both or all of them. If just one PC does any one of them, the mummy lord casts contagion, afflicting that PC with Slimy Doom. If the mummy lord no longer has a 5th-level spell slot available to cast contagion, it casts hold person at 2nd level instead, paralyzing just that one PC.
  • If a PC who is otherwise a capable damage dealer successfully hits the mummy lord with a weapon attack or spell but does insignificant damage to it (9 hp or fewer) or tries to inflict a condition to which the mummy lord is immune, it casts contagion, afflicting that PC with Blinding Sickness.
  • If four or more spellcasters and/or bards are within 40 feet of one another, and the mummy lord isn’t already sustaining insect swarm or hold person, it drops a sphere of silence on them. (It will drop silence if it needs to cast hold person at 4th level, but if it’s already sustaining silence, it won’t drop it to cast hold person at 2nd level.)
  • If a PC casts a continuous spell or creates some other continuous magical effect that benefits the party or impedes the mummy lord (or any of its minions), it casts dispel magic to get rid of the effect.
  • If it’s chosen a target whom it can’t reach with a melee attack yet but will be able to reach on its next turn, and it’s already tried Dreadful Glare against that target, it casts guiding bolt.
  • If it’s reduced to 38 hp or fewer and has retreated using Whirlwind of Sand (see below), it casts guardian of faith at a point in between itself and the PCs where anyone trying to charge it will have to pass within 10 feet of the spectral guardian.

As for its legendary actions, it uses them in the following ways:

  • When more than one opponent engages the mummy lord in melee, it uses Blinding Dust to raise a swirling, blinding cloud around itself.
  • When at least four opponents are within 10 feet of the mummy lord, it uses Blasphemous Word to stun them.
  • When at least two-thirds of the party are injured, or any one player starts complaining about how low his or her character’s hit points are, it uses Channel Negative Energy to prevent healing (unless it’s already used Blasphemous Word).
  • At the end of any turn in which it’s reduced to 38 hp or fewer, if it has two or three legendary actions left, it uses Whirlwind of Sand to retreat 40 to 60 feet from any PC(s) engaged in melee with it. If has only one legendary action left, or none, it uses Whirlwind of Sand at the next available opportunity.
  • When none of the above situations applies and the number of PCs who still have turns is equal to or less than the number of legendary actions the mummy lord has left, it uses Attack at the end of each of those PCs’ turns.

Finally, a mummy lord in its lair uses its lair action on initiative count 20 to inflict wracking pain on PC spellcasters for the first round during which they have a chance to cast spells and on alternating rounds thereafter. On rounds when it can’t use this lair action, it uses whichever of the other two is more applicable to the situation; if neither applies, it forgoes its lair action for the round.

The mummy lord’s compulsion is vainglory. It doesn’t believe the PCs are capable of hurting it, and it devotes its energy to shutting them down and punishing them for their insolence unless and until they prove to be a significant threat. Only then does it make an effort to protect itself.

Next: Vampires!

36 thoughts on “Undead Tactics: The Mummy Lord”

  1. Ha! The attack routine that gets you an expedited harm is exactly descriptive of the paladin at my Adventurer’s League table … though when I showed the player that paragraph, he informed me that his character is actually immune to the harm spell.

    1. This is true, since paladins of level 3 or higher are immune to disease. But a mummy lord has only average Intelligence, so it wouldn’t necessarily know this, would try anyway and would pitch a fit when it discovered it didn’t work.

  2. So, what does it mean that some of the Legendary actions “cost 2 actions?” That it uses the Mummy Lord’s turn as well as burning a legendary action?

  3. OK, I really appreciated having this playbook when I ran a one-shot mummy lord boss last night, but I have some thoughts on it that I’d like to discuss.

    First, the role-playing aspect. I loved the arrogance you described in using a 5th level spell to show contempt, but in play, I have to take issue with the idea that the mummy wouldn’t cast Guardian of Faith against such worms – what about being so arrogant that he won’t lift a finger of his own against them, just deal with them by proxy, allowing his minions (flameskulls, skeletons, etc plus this giant spectral guard) to keep him from being bothered? Not casting this spell right off the bat was one of the reasons my boss was a bit of a flop.

    I didn’t run it super well, as I forgot to have King of Kings Thaneni use his Lair Action to put the hurt on spellcasters, because they are printed on a different page from the stat block and I’ve never run a boss with Lair Actions before. Also the very first attack they made on him was a fire spell with a dex save which he failed, so right off the bat, they knew his two weaknesses. And I had a light cleric, a paladin and a Spell Binder homebrew character in the party, so it was a little advance-prep-heavy.

    I thought that with three legendary actions per round, the balance would work out a little like fighting two and a half mummy lords, but alas, even a Legendary Creature still falls in a hurry like any solo monster, and I am a sad, timid little DM, so it was anything but epic. Is there *any* way to run a battle against just one creature that is satisfying?

    1. One thing I’ve done to help my bosses is to double their hit points. This lets them stay in the fight long enough to really threaten the PCs. For some reason the damage the PCs can put out seems much greater than bosses abilities to absorb it. The doubling seems to address that without turning combats into slogs. (Basically the boss lasts for 3 rounds instead of 1).

      I’ve also come to believe that we need not leave the initiative slot of a boss to randomness. Bosses should be at least initiative 20 (add their Dex bonus if you want it to vary). I’ve had too many fights fail because I rolled a low initiative for a boss and the PCs just took them apart with ease.

  4. Hi Kathleen,
    Regarding Guardian of Faith, I think of it like this: the Mummy Lord is a Cleric-based caster, getting their powers from their god, and GoF summons a holy protector. Although GoF is only a 4th level spell, the Lord can only go up to 6th level, so it is still a fairly powerful spell for them. But more than that, the Lord is prideful, with a (probably) prideful god- they would try to destroy the weaklings before them with their minions or other powers before calling on the most powerful representation of their god that they can. For me, they view the Guardian as less a minion to control, and more a blessing from their god that they are (for once) thankful for.

    My recommendations for running bosses like the Mummy Lord (not just from me, many of these are stolen from the internet):

    Remember additional/lair actions – it is annoying to forget but it really helps balance the action economy.

    Allow that the mummy lord has pre-cast Animate Dead, and the 5 servants who were buried with them rise the turn after the Lord does. This also helps their action economy.
    Have them run interference on squishy casters who would rather they were left alone. They may not do much damage but they can break concentration or interrupt other plans – the paladin is now soloing the Lord, as the cleric runs back to save the casters.
    This is just the specific version of the idea of giving boss henchman. For other encounters, these can be gnolls who leap from the rafters, minor devils summoned out of the hells or a mind-controlled guard patrol who wandered into the wrong dark alley at the wrong moment.

    The simplest: Give the boss x1.5 max health (maybe just max if the party is not optimised). This makes the fight longer (obviously), but gives more time for a narrative to develop – arrogance at the interlopers, contempt for those trying to cast spells, fury at the 60+ DPR paladin. I have found players get nervous the longer a fight goes on, especially against a creature with a lot of options like the Mummy Lord.

    Hope any of this helps!

    1. Hey Ben, thanks for the tips! I keep thinking that there is a boss out there that I can focus on without distracting myself with minions, but it just isn’t true, is it? it’s hard on a multi-tasking mom.

      I’m still not totally convinced on the Guardian of Faith – I know that the Lord is casting cleric spells, but it feels like that’s just a mechanic. Nothing about the specific spells or the atmosphere of the mummy’s tomb feels holy or benevolent. If the mummy lord were a PC, sure. But it seems like sticking by the cleric class description spoils the flavour of him at least a little. So I don’t really see the fact that it is divine channeling as an argument in favour of saving it up.

      1. Well, it’s specifically unholy, isn’t it? Evil clerics do exist. It’s consecrated, but with malevolent intent. That being said, as the DM, you have the option to have it deal necrotic damage rather than radiant, for the sake of flavor.

    1. Well, except that as noted above, paladins at 3rd level and above are immune to disease. So Slimy Doom won’t work on them, right?

  5. Given that Guardian of Faith has a duration of 8 hours and doesn’t require concentration, it seems to be designed for casting well before combat at some choke point to deter the players from even coming in the mummy lord’s burial chamber.

    1. That’s a very good thought, but if you follow it, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. To cover a burial chamber all the time would mean using all the mummy lord’s 4th-level spell slots every day. If it ever wanted to cast divination for some reason, there would then be an 8-hour window sometime that day when its chamber would be unprotected. It would also be shorting itself on 4th-level slots it could use to boost hold person or dispel magic in combat.

      Now, if a mummy lord had warning that invaders were coming, it might cast guardian of faith shortly before their arrival as prophylaxis. The question then is how it would know they were coming. Mummy tombs seem like places where defensive measures are more likely to be passive and long-term than active and short-term.

      1. Generally agreed, although there’s no prize for passing into oblivion with unused spell slots left over, and combat only lasts a few rounds, so my usual assumption is that if there’s a way to cast a spell in advance and keep it running, it probably has. Especially given how few HP the mummy lord has.

        Mummy lords are buried with lots of treasure, (and if there are faithful around, they may leave offerings of more) including fancy incense etc. So it’s possible the Mummy Lord routinely casts Divination 1/week to find out whether or not there will be an intruder in its tomb, and then prepares itself appropriately by making sure to have Guardian of Faith running at all times (acknowledging it will have to upcast one of those) until the intruders are disposed of.

        Alternately, passive traps or other minions in the tomb might raise an alarm. Or if the Mummy Lord is encountered in its lair, it might be fair to assume that it knows automatically when someone is robbing from it (and triggering its curse), including minor treasures stashed in an antechamber as shmuck-bait.

  6. Excellent write-up. I have some thoughts:

    1) I’d really make it clear that the Mummy Lord desperately wants to avoid melee and damage in general. It NEEDS minions. Its AC is low for a CR15, and its HP is incredibly low. A decent level 10+ group can kill a Mummy Lord in melee in 2 rounds, flat. If the Mummy Lord doesn’t have any minions, its #1 priority should be to at least create some with Animate Dead.

    2) Up-casting Spiritual Weapon with 4-slot. This seems an absolute no-brainer, if it’s going to use SW at all, it will cast it with a 4th level slot so it does 2d8+4. There’s nothing better it can use it’s 4th level slots for, except upcast Hold Person.

    3) Contagion is, unfortunately, something NPCs should never cast unless they have some way to escape. I think your evaluation here might be based on the pre-updated Contagion, and assumption that the disease takes effect immediately. With the updated Contagion, at the very best it’s a 5th level slot to poison 1 target. A waste.

    4) The “wracking pain on spellcasting” Lair Action is incredibly powerful, and is something the Mummy Lord should try to use at all times. I’d say it constantly changes between that and “radar” every other turn 24/7.

    5) Like with many undead, Paladins absolutely wreck Mummy Lords (area immunity to frightened, area boost to saves, immunity to disease, doing huge damage to them, etc). Although you can say the Mummy Lord shouldn’t know this, DMs need to know that a paladin can basically solo a Mummy Lord without a problem. I also think that with it’s +5 in Religion, a Mummy Lord should have some knowledge about its most dangerous enemies by far 🙂

    6) An interesting rules question: if a character is immune to being frightened, can they still be paralyzed by Dreadful Glare?

    1. You’re right about contagion: I’m using a pre-updated PH, and the effects of this spell are quite different—so different that I need to rethink the mummy lord’s entire use of contagion. Thematically, it’s magnificently appropriate, but mechanically, it doesn’t seem to get the job done.

      I’m not sure a boosted spiritual weapon is better than a boosted hold person.

      I think Dreadful Glare can paralyze someone even if it can’t frighten them, if the save roll is bad enough.

  7. I ran a mummy Lord last night. One of the party members peeked into the room and even though she was surprised the minions missed her. Intiative was rolled and the dragon born sorcerer rolled a 20. He lobbed a fireball into the room and destroyed the minions. Not being familiar with lair actions or legendary actions I rolled an 11 for the ML. 3 other characters rolled higher. Another fireball, a gallon of oil and 2 crits on Scorching Ray obliterated the ML before I even acted. What did I do wrong.

    1. I think you’ve answered your own question. Legendary and lair actions are a crucial party of the action economy of any legendary creature. The mummy lord should have had four chances to act and never acted once.

      1. Yeah, and as I pointed out in my previous comment (which apparently is still awaiting moderation?) the ML has super low HP for it’s CR. Combined with Fire Vulnerability it really really needs to stay out of harm’s way.

  8. I find it incredibly funny that the mummy lord has a legendary action where it just swears at the PCs (blasphemous word).

  9. What is your take on the movement with Whirlwind of Sand? Can it ‘fly’ to reach a safe, high area? It doesn’t say anything about fly, but as a whirlwind, it seems likely it doesn’t need contact with the ground. It feels akin to an air elemental.

    1. RAW, it cannot, as there is no mention of flying. Also, RAI, a dust devil of sand, which the mummy lord becomes, a la Imhotep in the Brendan Fraser Mummy film, can’t really exist above ground level; it would simply expel all the loose particles and be too high to pick up new ones, becoming an invisible little wind vortex. Is that something that happens irl? Maybe, but it runs explicitly counter to the description, so I’d argue against it. It seems to be ground-level movement exclusive.

  10. I’ve run one mummy lord and it was a major battle. The first thing I did was modify its spell list to include Hallow. That seemed appropriate to a mummy lord and allowed it to turn the lair into a real part of the encounter. With Hallow in place the mummy lord (and all its subject mummies) gained resistance to fire offsetting the vulnerability to fire. With a group of players who’ve been playing D&D since AD&D was new that was a huge surprise and really messed with their intended tactics. Being a mummy lord casting the spell I waved the part about undead being unable to enter the area (sometimes you have change things for monsters).

    The lair was filled with a variety of undead with plenty of mummies, some of which reported to the mummy lord that an invasion was happening. With that news the mummy lord cast Divination to learn the relative threat level of each PC. That was used to determine who was targeted first. When the PC’s finally got to the inner sanctum they found themselves facing the mummy lord and several mummies. It was a no holds barred battle that they barely won, the best kind of boss encounter.

  11. Bit of a random question – Whirlwind of Sand makes the mummy immune to grappled, petrified, knocked prone, restrained and stunned condition.

    I see the point of it when the mummy wants to escape being grappled by someone, or leave a spell effect without taking damage (Spiritual Guardians, Booming Blade, etc.)

    But if you have condition X before changing shape, and the new shape is immune, but then you change back to the old shape, the condition returns. Online rulings support this.

    So if they are petrified, then whirlwind and come back, they are still petrified. Or still prone. But I don’t think that’s the intent. Pretty sure I’d house rule that prone goes away. And maybe there’s a location-based petrification effect?

    Stunned is the one that really confuses me. You can’t take legendary actions while stunned, so the only purpose to this immunity if a stun effect hits the mummy during its legendary action.

    So is it defence against a monk with a readied action that if the mummy comes close, hit it with stunning strike? That seems very narrow!

    1. It is pretty narrow, but also incredibly important. Whirlwind of sand is the escape hatch, and if it can still get blown up while going through the hatch, it’s a pretty flawed hatch. Making it airtight is pretty important. Besides which, situations in which the mummy lord is popping around cover as a sandstorm should be pretty common overall, given that the ml is a relatively fragile flower of a boss and needs to stay out of harm’s way. Readied actions become pretty common in those scenarios.

  12. Why wouldn’t the Mummy Lord’s Spiritual Weapon take the form of a mace? That was the traditional weapon of the early kings of Upper and Lower Egypt (as depicted on the Narmer Pallet, among other inscriptions). Or for that matter obsidian edged swords of Central and South America, which have their own tradition of mummification

  13. if he is in his “lair” consider having a hallow in effect, energy resistance fire, energy vulnerability necrotic or Darkness. Assume the place has been consecrated by his faith prior to being entombed.

    minions.. always minions 😀 possibly a mix of real monsters and minions concept from 4e. Animal swarms rats, locusts (re-watch “The mummy” 😀 )

    Dangerous terrain, the floor has 25% of creating 30ft sinkholes whenever living creatures turn ends.

    Giant spider allies, WEBS lots of WEBS 🙂 Ettercaps? 😀

  14. I love your breakdown of the powers and Spells, but it seems like a glaring mistake for the first round of combat. You say to move forward and use Dreadful Glare to make a PC run away. That is not how the frightened condition works. That is how the Spell Fear works which adds an additional effect to Frightened. I looked at the power in the MM to be sure there wasn’t an additional condition, which there is not.
    To be clear, I think that your tactic is still sound with the possibility of paralysis and the disadvantage on attacks, but no character flees when suffering the Frightened condition. Maybe that was a rule from a former edition. Otherwise great work.

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