As you stride through the deep caverns of the world, if you hear a giggling, hissing sound, stop. You may have stumbled on a nest of listeners.
Standing a little over a meter tall when fully erect, these humanoid creatures have slimy gray-green skin, exposed jaws, and a ridge of orange spines along their backs. Most notably, a set of red tendrils extend from slits in their heads and serve as extremely powerful organs of hearing.
Listeners live in packs of 10 to 20, normally hunting small prey like fish and rodents. However, they are more than capable of taking down one or two full-sized humanoids.
Listeners are eager hunters and reasonably clever but seem incapable of speech, written language, or significant culture, as evidenced by their complete lack of clothing and permanent habitation.
For stats, I want these to be low-level but challenging in a group. I'm going to base it off the dire wolf, increasing its perception from +3 to +6 and dropping its keen smell. I'll also change its bite from knocking its opponent prone to giving an ally a chance to attack, to represent the listeners ganging on up an enemy like pirhana.
OK, let's do this!
Homebrewery stat block:
Medium humanoid, unaligned
- Armor Class 14 (natural)
- Hit Points 40 (5d8 + 18)
- Speed 40 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA 17 (+3) 15 (+2) 15 (+2) 3 (-4) 12 (+1) 6 (-2)
- Skills Perception +6, Stealth +5
- Senses Blindsight 60 ft., Passive Perception 13
- Languages --
- Challenge 1 (200 XP)
Keen Hearing. The listener has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing.
Pack Tactics. The listener has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of the listener's allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn't incapacitated.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit 10 (2d6 + 3) piercing damage. One ally of the listener's choice that is adjacent to the target can take its attack action now instead of on its turn.