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Book of Beasts: Berberoka


In the deep rivers and swamps, beneath the murky waters, lies the Berberoka – a swamp creature that has made many-a-traveler wary about traversing thick jungles spliced by complex river systems. Over the years, many eyewitnesses have given several descriptions of what a Berberoka might look like – all of them both right and wrong. This shapeshifting creature takes camouflage to a whole new level, making itself look like nothing more than just fallen leaves and moss before striking and devouring its prey whole. It can also make itself look like just a huge fish, before opening up its wide gaping maw filled with rows of teeth. Berberoka Clever Masters of Trapping Prey. The Berberoka are intelligent creatures, able to shift and transform its body however it pleases. It is known to morph into a huge-sized rock-like creature to clog up rivers, waiting for days until the river beyond the clog dries up. It stays perfectly still, indeterminable against its surroundings. Then, when folk come around to investigate, it moves from its position, catching its prey in a sudden rush of torrential waters. This is when it comes around to pick them off one by one.  

Jets of Water. As if it were not terrifying enough, the Berberoka can also intake a huge amount of water into itself, as long as they’re in a body of water. This allows them to shoot streams of water out of their mouths and towards their victims.  

Chameleons of the Swamp. A Berberoka’s presence is nearly imperceptible until it is too late. Their shapeshifting abilities is also the reason why people don’t know what a Berberoka’s true form is: whether fish-being or swamp cryptid. They can lay very still in one spot for a long time until their next meal appears. Shapeshifting into a large fish with teeth, or a large rocky creature Sharp teeth Water jets while in water  


Huge monstrosity, unaligned

Armor Class 17 (natural armor)

Hit Points 126 (11d12 + 55)

Speed 30 ft. in humanoid form, swim 50 ft. in fish form

STR     DEX      CON     INT       WIS      CHA

21 (+5)    11(+0)  21(+5)  12(+1)  14(+2)   9(-1)

Skills Perception + 5, Stealth +6

Damage Resistances Poison

Condition Immunities  Charmed, Frightened, Poisoned

Senses Blindsight 30 ft., Passive Perception 15

Languages Common

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)                     Proficiency Bonus +3


Amphibious. The berberoka can breathe air and water.

False Appearance. While in swampy environments, the berberoka can take on the appearance of the environment around it, be it mud, roots, rocks, or leaves. While it remains motionless, the berberoka is indistinguishable from a natural part of the swamp around it.

Shapechanger. The berberoka can use its action to polymorph into a Huge humanoid made of stone or a Huge fish with a massive maw of sharp teeth. Other than its speed and its attacks, its statistics are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. The berberoka remains in its most recent form if it dies.



Multiattack (Humanoid Form Only). The berberoka makes two slam attacks.

Bite (Fish Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d10 + 5) piercing damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 15). The berberoka can grapple only one target at a time.

Slam (Humanoid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 5) bludgeoning damage.


Creative Director: Kevin Andrew Murphy

Lore: Sinta Posadas


Statblock: Eugene Marshall


Ink: Bien Flores


Colors: Carly Sorge


Sensitivity Editor: Pamela Punzalan


Art Director: Aaron Acevedo



This creature is from the upcoming Book of Beasts. Keep an eye out every Thursday for a new monster as part of our Monster of the Week series!  

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Kevin Andrew Murphy writes short stories, plays, poems, novels, and roleplaying games. A long-standing contributor to Wild Cards (www.wildcardsworld.com), George R.R. Martin’s super-hero series, Kevin’s story for Mississippi Roll, “Find the Lady,” won the 2019 Darrell Award for Best Novella. On the gaming end, Kevin’s currently editor in chief for Savage Sign, the Savage Worlds roleplaying game magazine. Kevin’s next short story is “Anastasia’s Egg” coming out in October in Weird World War III edited by Sean Patrick Hazlett for Baen. A lifelong resident of California’s Bay Area, Kevin has recently relocated to Reno, Nevada.

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