Mortal Kombat D&D 5e: Shao Kahn

Dust off your gaming thumbs people! Street Fighter D&D 5E is done and what lay ahead is arguably its only true competitor among fighters in the golden age of video games: MORTAL KOMBAT D&D 5E (yes, all caps, every time). In this series I’ve put together RAW builds using Mists of Akuma (my eastern fantasy noir steampunk campaign setting) to supplement the core rules–with the litany of martial arts stances (playtest versions here) there’s a lot that can be done, and what can’t will get items to bridge the gap. 😀

This was an easy build to fit into RAW. With the exception of his Wrath Hammer and high Haitoku, he’s just a 20th level barbarian. That said it would’ve been heresy not to include him so here he is!

The Mists of Akuma Mega Adventures Kickstarter ends TOMORROW! I hope you’ve pledged (I’m writing this from the past and have no idea if you did or not) and if you haven’t been to the project page yet I strongly recommend doing so–there are free PDFs that are truly dope (on google drive so no downloading necessary) and when these books go up on the distributor sites I’m positive my publisher is going to charge more for them.


Shao Kahn DnD 5E Mortal Kombat.png

Shao Kahn

Medium humanoid (soburi human), neutral evil barbarian (berserker) 20
Armor Class 18 (Constitution)
Hit Points 230 (20d12+100)
Speed 40 ft. (50 ft. in combat)

20 (+5) 16 (+3) 21 (+5) 8 (-1) 10 (+0) 12 (+1) 11 (+0) 22 (+6)

Saving Throws Str +11, Con +11
Skills Athletics +11, Deception +7, Insight +6, Intimidation +7, Perception +6
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing (while raging)
Senses passive Perception 16
Languages Chinese, English, Netherese (Outworlder)
Challenge 16 (15,000 XP)

Brutal Critical. Shao Kahn can roll three additional weapon damage dice when determining the extra damage for a critical hit with a melee attack.

Danger Sense. Shao Kahn has advantage on Dexterity saving throws against effects that he can see, such as traps and spells. To gain this benefit, he can’t be blinded, deafened, or incapacitated.

Feat: Great Weapon Master. On his turn, when Shao Kahn scores a critical hit with a melee weapon or reduces a creature to 0 hit points with one, he can make one melee weapon attack as a bonus action. In addition, before he makes a melee attack with a heavy weapon that he is proficient with, Shao Kahn can choose to take a -5 penalty to the attack roll. If the attack hits, he adds +10 to the attack’s damage.

Feat: Magic Initiate. Shao Kahn knows the eldritch blast and thunderclap cantrips. He can cast hellish rebuke as a 1st-level spell. Once he casts it, Shao Kahn must finish a long rest before he can cast it again. His spellcasting ability for these is Charisma (spell save DC 15; spell attack +7).

Feat: Martial Adept (1d6). Shao Kahn knows the following maneuvers. He can use only one maneuver per attack. A superiority die is expended when Shao Kahn uses a maneuver. He regains all of his expended superiority dice when he finishes a short or long rest.

  • Goading Attack. When Shao Kahn hits a creature with a weapon attack, he can expend one superiority die to attempt to goad the target into attacking him. Shao Kahn adds the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and the target must make a DC 19 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the target has disadvantage on all attack rolls against targets other Shao Kahn until the end of his next turn.
  • Pushing Attack. When Shao Kahn hits a creature with a weapon attack, he can expend one superiority die to attempt to drive the target back. He adds the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and if the target is Large or smaller, it must make a DC 19 Strength saving throw. On a failed save, Shao Kahn pushes the target up to 15 feet away from him.  

Feral Instinct. Shao Kahn has advantage on initiative rolls. Additionally, if he is surprised at the beginning of combat and isn’t incapacitated, he can act normally on his first turn, but only if he enters his rage before doing anything else on that turn.

High Haitoku. Shao Kahn gains a +10 ft. bonus to speed in combat, +1 to Strength and Constitution, he ignores the first 3 points of damage from attacks and spells, but has a visible physical mutation (radiating evil), and suffers disadvantage on Dignity ability checks and saving throws.

Indomitable Might. If Shao Kahn’s total for a Strength check is less than 20, he can use that score in place of the total.

Intimidating Presence. Shao Kahn can use his action to frighten someone with his menacing presence. When he does so, he chooses one creature within 30 feet that he can see. If the creature can see or hear Shao Kahn, it must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened of Shao Kahn until the end of his next turn. On subsequent turns, Shao Kahn can use his action to extend the duration of this effect on the frightened creature until the end of his next turn. This effect ends if the creature ends its turn out of line of sight or more than 60 feet away from Shao Kahn. If the creature succeeds on its saving throw, Shao Kahn can’t use this feature on that creature again for 24 hours.

Mindless Rage. Shao Kahn can’t be charmed or frightened while raging. If he is charmed or frightened when he enters his rage, the effect is suspended for the duration of the rage.

Rage. On his turn, Shao Kahn can enter a rage as a bonus action. While raging, he gains the following benefits if he isn’t wearing heavy armor:

  • advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws,
  • when he makes a melee weapon attack using Strength he gains a +4 bonus to the damage roll,
  • and he has resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.

His rage lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if Shao Kahn is knocked unconscious. Shao Kahn can also end his rage on his turn as a bonus action. Shao Kahn can go into a frenzy when he rages. If he does so, for the duration of his rage he can make a single melee weapon attack as a bonus action on each of his turns after this one. When his rage ends, he suffers one level of exhaustion.

Reckless Attack. When Shao Kahn makes his first attack on his turn, he can decide to attack recklessly. Doing so gives him advantage on melee weapon attack rolls using Strength during this turn, but attack rolls against him have advantage until his next turn.

Relentless Rage. If Shao Kahn drops to 0 hit points while he’s raging and doesn’t die outright, he can make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw. If he succeeds, he drops to 1 hit point instead. Each time he uses this feature after the first, the DC increases by 5. When he finishes a short or long rest, the DC resets to 10.

Unarmed Savant. Shao Kahn’s unarmed strike damage increases by one step (to 1d6) due to his soburi heritage and he gains proficiency in the Athletics skill.


Extra Attack. Shao Kahn attacks twice.

Unarmed. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d6+5) bludgeoning damage.

Wrath Hammer. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 30/60 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6+5) magical bludgeoning damage and if thrown, the hammer returns to Shao Kahn’s hand at the end of his turn.


Retaliation. When Shao Kahn takes damage from a creature that is within 5 feet of him, he can use his reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature.


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