Time for some Spooky Banshee mischief. This undead girl is scary as can be and we are going to emphasis that theme with a challenging combat encounter. Banshee: Monster Manual page 23 So, I don't want to break down every single stat on her stat block. Its boring and doesn't make good reading. I'm going to show you the end result of our dastardly tactics and walk you through it. Let's jump straight in.
Cool so from the labelled 'Mausoleum' and 'Gravestone', you can probably tell it's a graveyard. Great! Our Banshee is undead so this is a great place to roam. But the scenery has more than just ascetic function. A : The Banshee hides inside the mausoleum. With her Detect Life feature she can sense the presence of creatures from up to 5 miles away who aren't undead. So she knows our adventurers are coming and she's gonna give them a right scaring! B: Now the heroes won't know what hits them as our Banshee Surprise attacks. Once our the players are in the centre of the graveyard, she can pass through the wall with her Incorporeal Moment feature, blocking their escape.
C: More than likely the character will be surprised by this, giving her time to use her once a day ability Wail. The Banshee lets loose a terrible scream that instantly drop players to 0 HP if they fail a DC 13 Constitution saving throw. It's dam scary. Could even lead to a TPK. But we want fear, it keeps the players invested and makes them think tactically and rise to the challenge. D: Now the melee damage dealers will rush in to attack whilst those of range get some space, if they haven't fallen unconscious that is. But wait, what's this? Your blade seems to pass through the Banshee. Yeah, with her resistances to non magical attacks, you'll have to grind her down. Perfect we can use our Horrifying Visage to give them the heebie jeebies. If we use this ability whilst the characters can see her they have to make a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened of her, reducing the probability of them landing an attack.
Aid: We want to give the heroes something they can use in the fight. A tool they can use to change the tide. In this case it will be cover. As Horrifying Visage can be used every turn by the Banshee, the players have a chance to avoid this debilitating power. They can duck behind the gravestones and avert their gaze. Summary: We want to create a scary encounter, a haunted spirit relentlessly dragging the players down. First we hide her and when the players are in the centre of the graveyard, we pass her through the wall and use our Wail. The following turn we use our Horrifying Visage and then proceed to use Incorporeal Movement to drift through the gravestones and mausoleums towards the players. CR: 4 Sticking with the books recommended CR rating on this one. The Banshee's melee attacks aren't incredibly potent and she only gets one a turn, so without her other abilities she isn't much of a threat. On the other hand, failing those saving throws can quickly spell disaster. Tough characters are likely to pass the Con saving throw but lady luck may not favour the players today, and the party can be greatly diminished in one turn. Ok, hope you guys enjoyed this one and stay tuned for some lovely beastly encounters to come.