5E: Alternate Takes on Official Fifth Edition Monsters

Cleon

Legend
To stay off-topic, I'm not quite so sure about there being no HD/level cap in OD&D. But now I'm starting to doubt if this could be because I now turn out to have never fully grasped the demon Hit Dice vs "Levels"/saving throws thing. I'll do some allow-all-this-to-sink-inning and then perhaps some digging if still warranted.

Well OD&D isn't like 2E or 3E were class level caps at 20 unless the DM uses optional Epic Level Rules.
 

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Cleon

Legend
Animated Object, Top Ballista
Large construct, unaligned
Armor Class 18 (natural armor)
Hit Points 105 (14d10 + 28)
Speed 5 ft., fly 60 ft. (hover)

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
18 (+4)​
18 (+4)​
14 (+2)​
1 (–5)​
5 (–2)​
1 (–5)​

Saving Throws DEX +6
Skills Perception +4
Damage Immunities poison, psychic
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses blindsight 120 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP) Proficiency Bonus +3

Limited Antimagic Susceptibility. If the top ballista enters the area of an antimagic field or starts its turn within an antimagic field, it must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against the spell save DC of the field's caster or fall unconscious for 1 minute, which also causes the top ballista to lose its Magical Flight (see below). The top ballista can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, regaining consciousness on a success.

False Appearance. While the top ballista remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a normal object.

Flyby. The top ballista doesn't provoke opportunity attacks when it flies out of an enemy's reach.

Flyby Slash. If the top ballista moves at least 20 feet straight toward a target and then hits it with a wingblade attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 3 (1d6) slashing damage for every 10 feet of the ballista's speed, up to a maximum of 21 (6d6) extra slashing damage.

Keen Sight. The top ballista has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.

Magical Flight. The top ballista's ability to fly is magically generated. If the top ballista is targeted by dispel magic, it must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against the caster's spell save DC or lose its fly speed for 1 minute. The top ballista can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns provided it is conscious. The top ballista loses its Magical Flight if it is rendered unconscious for any reason, including its Limited Antimagic Susceptibility trait (see above). If the top ballista succeeds at a saving throw to regain consciousness, it immediately makes a saving throw to restore its ability to fly.

Magic Weapon Systems. The top ballista's weapon attacks are magical and function as +1 weapons (included in the attack).

Actions

Multiattack. The top ballista makes two ballista javelin attacks or four ballista dart attacks.

Wingblade. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 5) slashing damage.

Ballista Dart. Ranged Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, range 150/600 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (2d6 + 1) piercing damage.

Ballista Javelin. Ranged Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, range 120/480 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (3d10 + 1) piercing damage.

Lightning Lance (Recharge 4-6). Ranged Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, range 300 ft., one target. Hit: 35 (10d6) lightning damage.

Thunderball (Recharge 4-6). The top ballista targets a point within 300 feet. Each creature in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 5 (5d6) thunder damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.


Description

A top ballista is a curious device vaguely resembling a fat winged fish with two or three pairs of broad wings, one set atop the other, and a three-lobed fan for a tail. When on the ground, it stands on a tripod of legs fitted with metal rollerskates; these legs withdraw behind hatches in its wing-roots and underside when it flies. These animated objects are normally brightly painted and are marked with bold runes and striking crests. A viewer knowledgeable in aeronautical heraldry can easily read these markings to know the affiliation and individual identity of a top ballista, and may be able to identify its owner or flier.
 The gnomes who invented this construct claim it is the pinnacle of combat automata, and a top ballista is certainly far more lethal than an ordinary animated object. Critics accuse these mechanical creatures of having the typical flaws of gnomish inventions: unreliable complexity, unnecessary features, and an excessively high price. A top ballista may break down or behave erratically without constant expert maintenance, ideally from gnome engineers familiar with the quirks of that particular model.
 Instead of being a creature created by animate objects or similar magic, a top ballista may be a normal construct that does not require the Antimagic Susceptibility trait.
Air Cavalry. The top ballistae often has a hollow where a fish's dorsal fin would be. This space is just big enough for a Small humanoid to sit in with their head peering out the top. Inside the hollow is a saddle-like seat surrounded by a bewildering complexity of metal stirrups, pedals, reins, levers, cranks, crystal discs, and even stranger machinery, all these instruments are positioned so the saddle's rider can reach them with a hand or foot. Some top ballista do not have these "saddlepits" and never carry riders, but either follow their orders autonomously or are directed by more intelligent creatures flying alongside them (often an airborne gnome with a megaphone and a bucket of flags). Other top ballista are more spacious and can carry a Medium creature or even several of them.
Flying Weapons. A top ballista is named after the giant torsion engine that takes up much of its interior; this ballista is a magic weapon fitted with many elaborate devices and can shoot multiple types of projectile at a rate far faster than a mundane ballista can manage. It can hurl javelins that match standard ballista bolts or rapidly shoot long-range finned darts, both types of ammunition are stored in bays within the construct. The ballista can also shoot special alchemical weapons. The standard top ballista is equipped to hurl exploding balls of thunder or streaks of electricity.
 While ranged weaponry is a top ballista's primary armament, it is not helpless in close combat. Its wings are incredibly light and strong with razor-keen metal edges and have special joints designed to bend if the wing hits something. This allows a top ballista to slash an enemy with a wing and fly past them instead of crashing from the impact.

(Original monster designed by Cleon on the Creature Catalog General Monsters forum.)
 
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Cleon

Legend
Been spending more time than I'd like to admit dithering between doing a Large animated siege engine based on a Springal and a Huge one based on a Mangonel (a massive stone-throwing ballista).

Couldn't decide which I preferred, so decided to do both. Eventually!

Incidentally, My original inspiration was an animated ballista from a 3E adventure in Dungeon Magazine. Namely the adventure "Interlopers of Ruun-Khazai" by David Noonan in Dungeon #92 (May/June 2002).

There's also a somewhat similar construct in 4E that fires lightning bolts, the Arcane Ballista from "Sleeper in the Tomb of Dreams" by Matthew Sernett in Dungeon #155 (June 2008).
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Wow, interesting thread. Yeah I remember kobolds as the first half-a-hit-dice critters well. I mean, OD&D was a WIP its whole time really.
 

Cleon

Legend
Wow, interesting thread. Yeah I remember kobolds as the first half-a-hit-dice critters well. I mean, OD&D was a WIP its whole time really.

Yeah, there were pretty major rules additions with each of the supplements.

Anyhow, better get back to the Objects.

Not tonight though, I'll be calling it a day soon.
 

Cleon

Legend
I've been dithering about whether to post writeups for the "standard issue" animated objects created by an animate objects spell, or at least my version of that spell, and decided I might as well.
 

Cleon

Legend
Animated Object, Tiny
Tiny construct, unaligned
Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 10 (4d4)
Speed 30 ft. or fly 30 ft. (hover)

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
6 (–2)​
14 (+2)​
10 (+0)​
1 (–5)​
3 (–4)​
1 (–5)​

Damage Immunities poison, psychic
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 6
Languages
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Antimagic Susceptibility. The animated object is incapacitated while in the area of an antimagic field. If targeted by dispel magic, the fan must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against the caster's spell save DC or fall unconscious for 1 minute.

False Appearance. While the animated object remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a normal object.

Actions

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) bludgeoning damage.


Description

A standard construct created by the animate objects spell. The DM might rule that a specific object inflicts slashing or piercing damage based on its form.

(Variant monster designed by Cleon on the Creature Catalog General Monsters forum.)
 
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Cleon

Legend
Animated Object, Small
Small construct, unaligned
Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 17 (5d6)
Speed 30 ft. or fly 30 ft. (hover)

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
10 (+0)​
14 (+2)​
10 (+0)​
1 (–5)​
3 (–4)​
1 (–5)​

Damage Immunities poison, psychic
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 6
Languages
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Antimagic Susceptibility. The animated object is incapacitated while in the area of an antimagic field. If targeted by dispel magic, the fan must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against the caster's spell save DC or fall unconscious for 1 minute.

False Appearance. While the animated object remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a normal object.

Actions

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) bludgeoning damage.


Description

A standard construct created by the animate objects spell. The DM might rule that a specific object inflicts slashing or piercing damage based on its form.

(Variant monster designed by Cleon on the Creature Catalog General Monsters forum.)
 
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Cleon

Legend
Animated Object, Medium
Medium construct, unaligned
Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 36 (8d8)
Speed 30 ft. or fly 30 ft. (hover)

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
14 (+2)​
12 (+1)​
10 (+0)​
1 (–5)​
3 (–4)​
1 (–5)​

Damage Immunities poison, psychic
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 6
Languages
Challenge 1 (200 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Antimagic Susceptibility. The animated object is incapacitated while in the area of an antimagic field. If targeted by dispel magic, the fan must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against the caster's spell save DC or fall unconscious for 1 minute.

False Appearance. While the animated object remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a normal object.

Actions

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d10 + 2) bludgeoning damage.


Description

A standard construct created by the animate objects spell. The DM might rule that a specific object inflicts slashing or piercing damage based on its form.

(Variant monster designed by Cleon on the Creature Catalog General Monsters forum.)
 
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Cleon

Legend
Animated Object, Large
Large construct, unaligned
Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 66 (12d10)
Speed 30 ft. or fly 30 ft. (hover)

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
18 (+4)​
10 (+0)​
10 (+0)​
1 (–5)​
3 (–4)​
1 (–5)​

Damage Immunities poison, psychic
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 6
Languages
Challenge 2 (450 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Antimagic Susceptibility. The animated object is incapacitated while in the area of an antimagic field. If targeted by dispel magic, the fan must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against the caster's spell save DC or fall unconscious for 1 minute.

False Appearance. While the animated object remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a normal object.

Actions

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage.


Description

A standard construct created by the animate objects spell. The DM might rule that a specific object inflicts slashing or piercing damage based on its form.

(Variant monster designed by Cleon on the Creature Catalog General Monsters forum.)
 
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