I know. What an amazing pun... Today you can give your players the gift of fear and trepidation with this fun, easy encounter. Merrow: Monster Manual page 219 Giant Shark: Monster Manual page 328 Cool, so you've landed your party on a desert island and they are awaiting rescue (don't ask me how they got there. That's your problem, not mine!). Merrow have attacked, and they've brought company... We are going to try and creative a tight, tile to tile based battle. Emotion Formulation: Claustrophobia
A) The aim of the game is to get the Merrow to lob their harpoons from the sea. It's a +6 to hit, and does a nice chunky (2d6 +4). Merrows are pretty strong. Which leads us to the nasty part of the encounter. B) Once the harpoon has his the character, he has to make a strength contest against the Merrow. If he fails, he is pulled 20ft forward. Which just so happens to land the target in the water. C) And this is when the players hate you. Lurking by the coast is a giant shark. When the player is dragged into the water and that shark goes Jaws mode. With a bite of +9, (3d10 + 6) piercing damage, its a chunky bite. Not only this, the players will be damaged by the harpoon which then means the Giant Shark has advantage on the attack! This is because the Giant Shark has Blood Frenzy, an ability that allows the shark to roll advantage if the target doesn't have all of it's hit points. Aid: This one is simple. Cut the rope. Do not let the Merrow get you in reach of the Giant Shark. Not only should you as DM emphasis that the rope can be cut-table, but also that it is pull-able. This way the PCs can drag the Merrow onto land to finish them off. I would also make this a timed event. Have a rescue ship approaching the island from afar (say arrive on 4 rounds). This will build drama as the players desperately fend of the vicious attacks of their opponent as they wait for help to arrive. Summary: Merrow attack shipwrecked party with harpoons. Make athletic check if the harpoon hit and drag PC into water. Get the Giant Shark to take a nice chunk out of the player. Await rescue. CR : 3
Yikes! The Giant Shark is CR5 alone. Putting him together with the Merrow would almost guarantee a TPK (Total-Party-Kill). Which is why your players must come to the conclusion to not attack the Giant Shark but stay safely grounded on the isle. A fun quick encounter I hope you all enjoy. Have a very Merrow Christmas Y'all!