Icebreaker Shark

Author’s Note: The updated version of the monster below can now be found at the Free Game Resources page of World Builder Blog. Thank you for all your feedback and please keep it coming!

The South Pole has The Lingering Havoc, but the North Pole holds a terror which strikes from the deep. After all, Canus’ North Pole is merely a surface layer of frozen ocean with dark, cold waters swirling beneath. The Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition Exploration Age monster update continues with new statistics for the icebreaker shark. Gotta love October!

Like this, but bigger and more bones sticking out of its face.

The Frozen Terror

If you missed the first and second posts about icebreaker sharks, here’s their story. Icebreaker sharks are massive fish, a little larger than a great white, which prefer the cold, black ocean beneath the ice of the North Pole. They can sense vibrations in the ice above and stalk prey from below, waiting for them to move into an area where the ice is thin enough to break through. Other times the icebreaker shark prepares a killing ground in an area where prey is known to pass through by thinning the ice. The icebreaker shark has thick bony protrusions on its face and tail, which means it can shatter the dense surface of the North Pole and pull down victims into the freezing ocean, before they even realize they are being consumed.

Since the icebreaker shark can prepare its killing grounds, imagine walking through the arctic, suddenly being in a maze or trapped on a slow shrinking island of ice with a 30-foot hungry shark in the freezing depths below. If that doesn’t scare you, you’re probably someone pretty tough, like Vegas Lancaster.

Icebreaker sharks are often loners, but they have to mate, and gods help the person who walks onto the ice above two icebreakers creating life. Those sharks will have worked up an appetite doing their thing…

Statty Bo Batty

Statistics for the D&D 5e giant shark from the Basic rules.
Statistics for the D&D fifth edition giant shark from the Basic rules.

So we need to come up with some new statistics for the icebreaker shark to make it nice and terrifying. I started with the giant shark statistics in the Monster Manual and Basic D&D DM rules. It’s the baddest shark available, however it is not challenging enough for my needs to just do a reskin. The icebreaker shark is a loner meant for encounters in the harsh terrain of Glacius and the South Pole in Canus, where there are creatures a little tougher than the giant shark. So I’m giving its stats a little boost and increases its hit points and damage output. I think a challenge rating of 8 is a good place for this creature, which puts it on par with the frost giant and tyrannosaurus rex. In fact, let’s take a look at the tyrannosaurus stats.

Tyrannosaurus rex statistics from Basic D&D.
Tyrannosaurus rex statistics from Basic D&D.

Nice! So I have an idea of where hit points and damage should be for an equivalent monster. After essentially smashing the giant shark and tyrannosaurus together, I went back to the old statistics for the original icebreaker shark, and took the Ice Smash and Weaken Ice abilities and slapped those onto my awesome dinosaur shark. I also gave the icebreaker shark a little multiattack action, since its tail is almost as dangerous as its head.

I think the most terrifying thing about the icebreaker shark, or any shark for that matter, is that you fight it on its own terms in the water. Most of us are clumsy, slow, and at a huge disadvantage in the ocean blue. Add freezing temperatures to that and things become dire. So part of the icebreaker shark’s terror is the environment which comes with it.

Icebreaker Shark

Huge beast, unaligned

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)

Hit Points 162 (13d12 + 78)

Speed 0 ft., swim 50 ft.

25 (+7) 12 (+1) 23 (+6) 2 (-4) 10 (+0) 9 (-1)

Skills Perception +3

Damage Resistances cold

Senses blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 13

Languages –

Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)

Blood Frenzy. The icebreaker shark has advantage on melee attack rolls against any creature that doesn’t have all its hit points.

Water Breathing. The icebreaker shark can only breathe underwater.


Multiattack. The icebreaker shark can make a bite and a tail attack, make a bite attack and use Ice Smash, or make a bite an attack and use Weaken Ice.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5ft., one creature. Hit: 33 (4d12 + 7) piercing damage. If the target is a Medium or smaller creature it is grappled (escaped DC 17). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the icebreaker shark cannot bite another target.

Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10ft., one creature. Hit: 25 (4d8 + 7) bludgeoning damage.

Ice Smash. The icebreaker shark can destroy a 15-foot cube of ice within 10 feet, possibly creating a hole through which the shark can attack. Any creatures standing on the affected ice must succeed on a DC 17 Dexterity saving throw or fall through the ice. Any creature who succeeds on the save ends up in an unoccupied space adjacent to the smashed ice.

When the icebreaker shark uses this ability on a cube of ice adjacent to any weakened ice (see below) the weakened ice is also smashed. Any weakened adjacent to the smashed weakened ice is also smashed, and so on for any touching patches of weakened ice.

Weaken Ice. The icebreaker shark can weaken a 15-foot cube of ice within 10 feet. This ice counts as weakened for the purpose of its Ice Smash ability.

So there you have it. Are you terrified of this creature? DMs, would you use it in your game? Players do you want to fight one? Let me know what you think!!!

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