Converting monsters from Dragon magazine - Page 145
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  1. #1441
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    I like all the suggestions for the stats so far.

    The locking bite sounds like some improved form of grab. Have we done something like this before?

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    Quote Originally Posted by freyar View Post
    I like all the suggestions for the stats so far.
    I'm going to be busy this week, but hopefully I'll find time to post a Working Draft.

    Quote Originally Posted by freyar View Post
    The locking bite sounds like some improved form of grab. Have we done something like this before?
    The old "biting unto death" trait is a fairly common one in fantasy so I'm sure there's a few special attacks to represent it somewhere.

    Where that somewhere might be is another question.

    It's a simple enough ability though, so it may be quicker just writing it up rather than trying to wade through 100s of monsters looking for an earlier version.

  3. #1443
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    Trollhound Working Draft

    Trollhound
    Medium Magical Beast
    Hit Dice: 3d10+9 (25 hp)
    Initiative: +2
    Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
    Armor Class: 15 (+2 Dex, +3 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 13
    Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+6 (+26 with lockbite)
    Attack: Bite +6 melee (2d4+4 plus disease/18–20/×2 plus lockbite and disease)
    Full Attack: Bite +6 melee (2d4+4 plus disease/18–20/×2 plus lockbite and disease)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
    Special Attacks: Lockbite, disease
    Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, regeneration 2, scent
    Saves: Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +2
    Abilities: Str 17, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 6
    Skills: 6 SPs
    Feats: Two [maybe Track as a Bonus feat?]
    Environment: Any
    Organization: Solitary, pair, gang (3–6) or pack (7–24)[?]
    Challenge Rating: 2 [?]
    Treasure: ?? [maybe 25% coins; 50% goods (gems); 50% items?]
    Alignment: Usually chaotic neutral
    Advancement: 4-6 HD (Medium); 7-9 HD (Large)[?]
    Level Adjustment:

    Description.

    Background.

    A trollhound stands ? feet tall at the shoulder and weighs about ??? pounds.

    Combat
    Tactics.

    Disease (Ex): Filth fever—bite, Fortitude DC 14, incubation period 1d3 days, damage 1d3 Dex and 1d3 Con. The save DC is Constitution-based.

    Lockbite (Ex): A trollhound's deadly jaws give its bite attack a critical threat range of 18–20. If its bite attack confirms a critical, the trollhound's jaws automatically lock into the flesh of one of its opponent's limbs. Determine the limb randomly (for example, roll 1d4 for a typical humanoid with 1=left arm, 2=right arm, 3=left leg, 4=right leg). A trollhound in a lockbite is effectively grappling its opponent.

    Every round a trollhound holds an opponent in a lockbite it automatically deals bite damage on its initiative and immobilizes the limb it is biting. A lockbite on an arm imposes a –4 penalty on attack rolls, Strength checks, Climb checks, and Swim checks, and makes it impossible for the subject to use objects or cast spells with somatic components unless it has a remaining hand free. The victim also loses the ability to wield a weapon two-handed (unless it has at least two arms left). A lockbite on a leg imposes a –4 penalty on Reflex saves, Dexterity checks, and Dexterity-based skill checks and reduces the victim's land speed by 10 feet. These penalties are in addition to the normal consequences of being in a grapple.

    A lockbite last until the trollhound voluntarily releases it, dies, loses consciousness or is forcibly removed via grappling. To remove an lockbite-attached trollhound through grappling, the opponent must achieve a pin against the creature. The trollhound has a +20 racial bonus on grapple checks against an opponent in its lockbite.

    Regeneration (Ex): Fire and acid deal normal damage to a trollhound.

    Skills: *A trollhound has a +4 racial bonus on Survival checks when tracking by scent.

    Originally appeared in Dragon Magazine #199 ("Dragon's Bestiary - Those terrible trolls" by Alec Baclawski, November 1003).
    Last edited by Cleon; Tuesday, 18th June, 2019 at 10:32 PM.

  4. #1444
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    While working up the rough draft I realized I'd forgotten to propose a Strength score.

    I favour Strength 17 like a Yeth Hound, Shadow Mastiff or Worg.

    That'll give its bite attack a +4 damage modifier, the same modifier as the original.

    As for variable damage component, I would accept either 1d8 or 2d4. Do you have any preferences?

  5. #1445
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    I’d favor 18 strength instead of 17 because 17 only gives you a +3 instead of a +4.

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    Quote Originally Posted by abe ray View Post
    I’d favor 18 strength instead of 17 because 17 only gives you a +3 instead of a +4.
    It's a single primary attack so has 1.5 times Str bonus, or +4. If if had Strength 18 it'd have a +6 damage bonus.

  7. #1447
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    Str 17, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 6 is ok by me!

    I'd be willing to go with a threat range of 19-20 or maybe even 18-20. Let's think about the Lockbite mechanics first. We can probably borrow some wording from Attach. Do we want to make it literally impossible to remove or just give it some insane grapple bonus? I mean, shouldn't a great wyrm be able to pry one of these things off?

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    Quote Originally Posted by freyar View Post
    Str 17, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 6 is ok by me!
    Updating Trollhound Working Draft.

    Quote Originally Posted by freyar View Post
    I'd be willing to go with a threat range of 19-20 or maybe even 18-20.
    I'm game for increasing the critical threat range to 18-20 if you are. The lockbite is the creature's main combat schtick, so we want them to have at least some chance of it happening. The current draft's 19-20 just might not be enough…

    Quote Originally Posted by freyar View Post
    Let's think about the Lockbite mechanics first. We can probably borrow some wording from Attach. Do we want to make it literally impossible to remove or just give it some insane grapple bonus? I mean, shouldn't a great wyrm be able to pry one of these things off?
    The original wording says their jaws are so strong its lockbite can't be opened while the trollhound is conscious. I'd interpret that as meaning it's not literally impossible to remove, but to do so you've got to do major damage to the Trollhound - at the very least it requires breaking its jaw (or knocking it cold so you can "unlock" it). Think of it like their jaws are a manacle.

    Hmm… that might be an appropriate model. Maybe instead of a high-DC grapple check to escape, you need to make a high Break DC to escape? Regular manacles are Break DC 26 so a normal human can't break free of them. But if we do that, doesn't it imply that succeeding would either break the Trollhound's jaw and deprive it of its bite attack or render the beast unconscious (since that's what the original says is required to break free).

    Then again, even manacles allow Escape Artist checks to wriggle out of, which has an overlap with escaping grapples since you can use that skill to slip out of a hold. I would certainly consider the aforementioned grapple bonus solution if the modifier is "insane" enough. Maybe +20 so most creatures of their CR won't have a chance to break free?

  9. #1449
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    Let's go for an 18-20 threat range. I think I'd prefer to go with a very large grapple bonus rather than anything else too exception-based. +20 would be fine by me, or we could even go a little higher. I think a Large dragon would have a pretty good shot at beating it, and maybe we want to make it a tad tougher.

  10. #1450
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    Quote Originally Posted by freyar View Post
    Let's go for an 18-20 threat range. I think I'd prefer to go with a very large grapple bonus rather than anything else too exception-based. +20 would be fine by me, or we could even go a little higher. I think a Large dragon would have a pretty good shot at beating it, and maybe we want to make it a tad tougher.
    Let's just go for the 18-20 and +20 to grapple. We can always change it later if we come up with an idea we like better.

    Incidentally, I'm wondering whether the grapple bonus might be a circumstance bonus rather than a racial bonus.

    Updating Trollhound Working Draft.

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