5E: Converting AD&D Monsters to Fifth Edition


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Casimir Liber

Adventurer
While on this thread...as we did for trogs, I did a couple of lizardfolk buffs. lizardfolk sorceror here as a devotee of Chac (Tlaloc) - or any weather god really. To mix it up as different to shaman. Idea of sacred bloodlines...
 

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Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Also brought blackscale lizardfolk into 5e...with some melee quirks to make them interesting foes
 

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Cleon

Hero
Only had time for a quick read through. The blackscale lizardfolk looks fine at first glance, but the lizardfolk sorcerer looks more like a Challenge 4 to me.

I wouldn't give Summon Frogs a Recharge 6 as it means the sorcerer can spam it and amass an army of, on average, 83 giant frogs. (10 minutes = 100 rounds, so with recharge 6 that averages 15 2/3rd summons of 2d4 frogs per summons).

I'd make it a X/day ability, probably only 1/day.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Only had time for a quick read through. The blackscale lizardfolk looks fine at first glance, but the lizardfolk sorcerer looks more like a Challenge 4 to me.

I wouldn't give Summon Frogs a Recharge 6 as it means the sorcerer can spam it and amass an army of, on average, 83 giant frogs. (10 minutes = 100 rounds, so with recharge 6 that averages 15 2/3rd summons of 2d4 frogs per summons).

I'd make it a X/day ability, probably only 1/day.
Good point and changed. Anything else as keen to publuish as topical on twitter

I keyed it out on CR caluclator and came out as 3 - but if you feel spells make it stronger then 4 is fine
 
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Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Also made a blackscale champion - listening to podcasts about how to make more intereting combats so a champion type with some surprises
 

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Cleon

Hero
Good point and changed. Anything else as keen to publuish as topical on twitter

I keyed it out on CR caluclator and came out as 3 - but if you feel spells make it stronger then 4 is fine

Well it's kind of at the dividing line. NPC type spellcasters tend to have CR of at least half their level in 5E, i.e.:

Mage (9th level spellcaster) CR 6 (level+3 / 2)
Druid (4th level spellcaster) CR 2 (level / 2)
Priest (5th level spellcaster) CR 2 (level-1 / 2)

The lizardmage is a 7th-level caster, which ought to put it at Challenge 3½ from the spells alone. Most of its spells are lightning or thunder, so do an additional 2d6 damage due to its Heart of the Storm trait, which I think is worth another half-CR for 4.

Also, it's HP, AC and melee ability are noticeable better than a typical spellcaster.

By the way, did you consider having it produce frogs as a spell instead of an action? It could use a variant conjure animals, either a 1/day Innate Spellcasting or just added to its spell selection?

Like so:

3rd Level (3 slots): conjure animals (giant frogs only), gust of wind, shatter, warding wind

Innate Spellcasting.
The lizardfolk sorcerer's spellcasting ability is Charisma. The lizardfolk can innately cast the following spell, requiring no material components:

1/day: conjure animals (giant frogs only)​

That would make a couple of significant changes though.

First, it summons eight giant frogs each time instead of 2d4, as conjure animals summons eight beasts of challenge rating 1/4 or lower.

More importantly, conjure animals is a Concentration spell while Summon Frogs doesn't require concentration, allowing the sorceror to cast spells while its frog allies protect it.
 

Cleon

Hero
Hold on a second, both the Blackscale Lizardfolk and Blackscale Champion are Large humanoids, so it doesn't need the Brute trait.

Its weapons should do two dice damage due to its size alone like the 11 (2d8 + 4) Greatclub of an Ogre, if it had Brute as well wouldn't they do three dice damage? As in 24 (3d12 + 5) for the Champion's Greataxe.

That'd seem a bit excessive to me, though.
 

Cleon

Hero
Also, reading the Reckless Desperation more closer the Blackscale only gets a benefit from ONE attack in its reckless round, but all its enemies get advantage on all their attacks until its next turn.

That doesn't seem terribly useful. Surely it just makes it more likely to be chopped to pieces!
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Ok - I think I prefer the sorceror as is then.

Good points about Brute and removed (should have realised), but I want to put in something for when it gets bloodied - maybe go into (barbarian) rage?
 

Cleon

Hero
Ok - I think I prefer the sorceror as is then.

As you like. It certainly would work better as a solo encounter with the non-concentration version of its batrachian buddies.

Good points about Brute and removed (should have realised), but I want to put in something for when it gets bloodied - maybe go into (barbarian) rage?

There are plenty of existing traits and powers to crib from.

The Barbarian class's rage would work fine, though you'd need to check how that affects its CR as it's quite a potent ability.

You could just have it gain the Berserker's Reckless trait when "bloodied" as a lesser version of that, or something like a Sahuagin's Blood Frenzy that only gives it advantage to attacks.

Or combine things. Maybe the advantage/disadvantages of Reckless plus it adds its proficiency bonus to melee damage?

I'd be game including the advantage to STR rolls like in Rage too.

Something like:

Reckless Frenzy (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). If the blackscale champion is reduced to half hit points it goes berserk for 1 minute. The champion gains advantage on melee weapon attacks, Strength checks and Strength saving throws and adds its Proficiency Bonus to melee and thrown weapon damage, but attack rolls against it have advantage until its frenzy ends.​
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Sounds good - ya sold me on reckless frenzy.

Actually I just realised something dumb. If they are 8.5 to 9 ft tall they are still size M...? So is making them M + Brute better? As L is 10ft by 10ft...

(and yes, my idea with the sorceror was having a non-concentration summon power)
 

Cleon

Hero
Sounds good - ya sold me on reckless frenzy.

Actually I just realised something dumb. If they are 8.5 to 9 ft tall they are still size M...? So is making them M + Brute better? As L is 10ft by 10ft...

(and yes, my idea with the sorceror was having a non-concentration summon power)

Well if I remember correctly the original 3E version of the Blackscale Lizardfolk was Large, so I'd just make them Large. 8'6" to 9" is into Large territory, since most Medium humanoids are between four and eight feet tall.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
5e rules are saying size L is 10 ft by 10 ft. I dunno how this compares to older editions. Though the Crab Folk are now large and were Medium before in 1e...
 

Cleon

Hero
5e rules are saying size L is 10 ft by 10 ft. I dunno how this compares to older editions. Though the Crab Folk are now large and were Medium before in 1e...

That's the Space the creature occupies in the combat rules, not how tall its body stands.

A Large creature is not literally 10 feet wide and 10 feet deep - well, unless it's a gelatinous cube of course! If they're bipedal, they tend to be about as tall as the dimensions of the Space but can be a bit taller or shorter and remain in the same size category. They're also usually only a fraction of the width and depth of the Space, so there's room for them to maneuver on the spot and for creatures to squeeze past them in the same space if neither are contesting the Space. Quadrupeds and "wormlike" creatures and the like might be longer than the dimensions of the Space. A Large snake, for example, is probably 20+ feet, so the Space represents where the bulk of its body is.

In the Monster Manual, the Barlgura Demon is "just under 8 feet tall" and weighs 650 pounds while the Half-Ogre "stands 8 feet tall and weighs 450 pounds on average." Both those monsters are Large in size and shorter than 8½ to 9 feet of a Blackscale Lizardfolk.

So I'd definitely say Blackscales would be Large in 5E like they are in 3E and 4E.
 


Cleon

Hero
Okay - sold. They can stay large. Do the three statblocks look okay otherwise (have adopted reckless frenzy as written above)

Let me check…

I think the Sorcerer is fine provided you make it Challenge 4.

For the basic Blackscale Lizardfolk, the listed Javelin damage is wrong (5 when it should be 7) and I'd rather it have the same Multiattack as a standard Lizardfolk:

Multiattack. The blackscale lizardfolk makes two melee attacks, each one with a different weapon.​

I'd also give it the Bite attack of a regular Lizardfolk and suggest noting the frenzied damage in the attacks, as follows:

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage or 13 (2d6 + 6) piercing damage in a reckless frenzy.​
Morningstar. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) piercing damage or 15 (2d8 + 6) piercing damage in a reckless frenzy.​
Javelin. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit (Melee): 11 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage or 13 (2d6 + 6) piercing damage in a reckless frenzy. Hit (Ranged): 7 (1d6 + 4) piercing damage or 8 (1d6 + 6) piercing damage in a reckless frenzy.​

Finally, the Blackscale Champion. According to the CR Calculator it comes out as Challenge 4, not CR 3 as listed. Its Greataxe has the wrong damage type of piercing (presumably a copy-paste error from the Morningstar). I'd also recommend noting the Reckless Frenzy damage and making the same Multiattack & Bite additions as the suggested for the regular Blackscale, which'd make it:

Multiattack. The blackscale lizardfolk champion makes two melee attacks, each one with a different weapon.​
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6 + 5) piercing damage or 14 (2d6 + 7) piercing damage in a reckless frenzy.​
Greataxe. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (2d12 + 5) slashing damage or 20 (2d12 + 7) slashing damage in a reckless frenzy.​
Javelin. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit (Melee): 12 (2d6 + 5) piercing damage or 14 (2d6 + 7) piercing damage in a reckless frenzy. Hit (Ranged): 8 (1d6 + 5) piercing damage or 10 (1d6 + 7) piercing damage in a reckless frenzy.​

Finally, the Champion seem a trifle fragile as its HP are only about 50% higher than a regular Blackscale.

I'd recommend adding a couple more Hit Dice to make it Hit Points 95 (10d10 + 40), which still keeps it Challenge 4 but provides a better balance of Offensive CR 5, Defensive CR 3.
 

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