Converting monsters from Dragon magazine - Page 147
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  1. #1461
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    Quote Originally Posted by abe ray View Post
    Ok, now what do you think about my bite damage?
    Well 2d3 is too low - even regular SRD Hounds have 1d8 and the Trollhound's AD&D stats did more damage than a Yeth Hound or Hell Hound.

    I would be willing to entertain 1d12 if Freyar prefers that, but currently like my 2d4 better.
    XP abe ray gave XP for this post

  2. #1462
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    2d4 seems pretty reasonable for the bite damage to me.

    Regeneration 1 would match the original monster. That could be ok, but it's possibly a tad light compared to a 3.5e troll (or other critters). What about regeneration 2?

  3. #1463
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    Quote Originally Posted by freyar View Post
    2d4 seems pretty reasonable for the bite damage to me.
    Well that's two out of three so let's stick to that.

    Updating Trollhound Working Draft.

    Quote Originally Posted by freyar View Post
    Regeneration 1 would match the original monster. That could be ok, but it's possibly a tad light compared to a 3.5e troll (or other critters). What about regeneration 2?
    Regeneration 2 is fine by me. A standard 3E troll has roughly twice the regen speed of its AD&D version after all (5 vs 3) so doubling the Trollhound's 1/round rate feels right.

    Updating Trollhound Working Draft.

    Okay, I guess we ought to figure out the Lockbite and Disease special attacks next.

  4. #1464
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
    Okay, I guess we ought to figure out the Lockbite and Disease special attacks next.
    The disease is the easiest of the two. The original text is "Ten percent of all trollhounds carry a nonmagical disease of the DM’s choice. When a trollhound bites a foe, there is a 1% chance per point of damage of infecting the victim. During a lockbite, this chance rises to 2% per point of damage. In both cases, the chance to be infected is non-cumulative."

    That's way too fiddly, so shall we just give its bite filth fever like a Dire Rat?

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

  5. #1465
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    For the lockbite it's pretty much a limb-immobilizing form of Improved Grab combined with augmented critical.

    For the effects of limb immobilization it seems simplest to base it on a temporary form of a sever limb attack like our Murdakus conversion:

    Sever Limb (Ex): The tail blade of a murdakus is extremely sharp, capable of severing limbs or heads on a successful critical hit. The victim must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC equal to 10 + damage dealt) or lose an extremity. Randomly determine which extremity is severed based on the creature's number of limbs and heads (for example, a d6 for a typical humanoid, with a 1 and 2 severing an arm, a 3 and 4 severing a leg, a 5 beheading the opponent, and reroll a 6). A severed 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. A victim who loses all its legs falls prone and its land speed is reduced to 5 feet. A severed 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 severed head kills most creatures instantly. Some creatures, such as many aberrations and all oozes, have no heads. Others, such as golems and undead creatures other than vampires, are not affected by the loss of their heads.

    A 10 foot drop in land speed seems ridiculous for LOSING A LEG. I'd have used "Movement reduced by ½". However half movement is part of the standard being-in-a-grapple penalty so in this case I think I'll keep the 10 ft. reduction for this special attack.

    Let's see…

    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 [circumstance/racial?] bonus on grapple checks against an opponent in its lockbite.

    The above looks OK to me. Do you prefer circumstance or racial for the grapple bonus? I guess precedent (i.e. the SRD Stirge) favours using a racial bonus.

  6. #1466
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    Oh I guess filth fever is alright, just so commonplace. Still, I think the DC on red ache is too high, and the infection method for other diseases like mindfire is wrong.

    Lockbite looks pretty good. I'd go with the racial bonus for the grapple.

  7. #1467
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    Quote Originally Posted by freyar View Post
    Oh I guess filth fever is alright, just so commonplace. Still, I think the DC on red ache is too high, and the infection method for other diseases like mindfire is wrong.
    Actually, disease special attacks tend to use the 1/2 HD + Con modifier formula for the Fort DC rather than the saving throw DCs in the DMG so if you wanted to give them Red Ache with the same DC we could.

    That said, I prefer Filth Fever since it includes Constitution damage in its effects.

    Quote Originally Posted by freyar View Post
    Lockbite looks pretty good. I'd go with the racial bonus for the grapple.
    Updating Trollhound Working Draft.

  8. #1468
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    Okay, Skills and Feats next I guess.

    Let's see, some appropriate creatures from the SRD are:

    Troll: Listen 4 SPs, Spot 5 SPs
    Wolf: Hide 0 SPs, Listen 2 SPs, Move Silently 1 SP, Spot 2 SPs, Survival 0 SPs
    Dire Wolf: Hide 0 SPs, Listen 2 SPs, Move Silently 0 SP, Spot 2 SPs, Survival 1 SPs (short by 4 SPs)
    Worg: Hide 0 SPs, Listen 1 SPs, Move Silently 3 SP, Spot 1 SPs, Survival 0 SPs (short by 1 SP)
    Winter Wolf: Hide 0 SPs, Listen 2 SPs, Move Silently 5 SP, Spot 2 SPs, Survival 0 SPs
    Shadow Mastiff: Hide 7 SPs, Listen 7 SPs, Move Silently 7 SP, Spot 7 SPs, Survival 7 SPs (28 SPs too many)
    Yeth Hound: Listen 9 SPs, Spot 9 SPs, Search 9 SPs, Survival 9 SPs (30 SPs too many)

    Hmm… I'd forgotten the SRD Yeth Hound and Shadow Mastiffs had their skills points so out of wack.

    Anyhow, I guess since the Trollhound has "very keen senses" and "can track its quarry as well as 3rd-level ranger" but there's nothing about them sneaking up to prey any better than a regular beast we could give them 2 ranks apiece in Listen, Spot and Survival.

    For feats, I'm thinking Alertness and Weapon Focus (bite) plus Track as a bonus feat.

    Not very original feats but they seem appropriate and have a decent overlap with the Dire Wolf and Worg's feats.

    A lot of SRD canines have Run or Improved Initiative, but those don't seem as good matches for the Trollhound.

  9. #1469
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    How about (as a compromise) jog as a feat which gives the user of said feat the ability to move only half again as fast as they normally can?

  10. #1470
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    Quote Originally Posted by abe ray View Post
    How about (as a compromise) jog as a feat which gives the user of said feat the ability to move only half again as fast as they normally can?
    In general we only use SRD feats for these conversions since we don't know what sourcebooks our readers have access to. Should a non-SRD feat be a particularly good match for a monster we sometimes convert it into a Special Quality power but I don't recall us ever doing a new feat. We've done new or 3E conversions of spells and magic items though.

    More to the point, there are a few problems with the proposed "Jog".

    Mechanically, a feat that does the same thing as an existing feat but only half as well seems a pretty poor use of a feat slot. Why not just Run? Unless this proposed feat gives a 50% land speed increase for all move actions, in which case it is arguably (a) too powerful and (b) is no different from giving the Trollhound a 50% higher land speed which would be a mechanically cleaner approach.

    More thematically, Trollhounds is only a bit faster than a human (15) and there's no mention of them running or moving rapidly in their description, so why would we be adding this ability to them? It seems a bit superfluous.

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