5E: Converting AD&D Monsters to Fifth Edition

Cleon

Hero
looks good ...ugh...dndbeyond appears to have gone down....

re-entering the numbers I get CR 7 now


Yeah, Challenge 7 feels better than 6 for them.

Updating the Ghuuna.

Also updated the credit to "(Originally created by Tomas Willis; appeared in Dragon Magazine #89 (September 1984) as part of the "Creature Catalog" centrefold insert.)"

I think that's enough mechanically, so it just needs the Description to be finalised.
 

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Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Going over the original text, the author highlights their superior hearing and smell and 90' infravision. Hence have made darkvision 90' and given them:

Keen Senses. A ghuuna has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.

Description

A Ghuuna is a gnoll afflicted with crocutanthropy (akin to lycanthropy, but affects only gnolls) that enables it to shapechange into a giant hyena or hybrid humanoid form. Ghuuna are influenced by phases of the moon much like other lycanthropes.

For every ten gnolls in a community, there is a 5% chance of 2-5 ghuuna being present Part feared and part revered, they are treated as leaders in gnollish communities. They are outranked solely by (and are beholden to) gnoll shamans. Once per day, a shaman can command a ghuuna as if it cast a geas on it.

Ghuuna refrain from infecting significant numbers of gnolls with ghuunism, preferring not to swell their ranks unduly.


When in gnoll form, they eschew armor or shields wield greatswords. They often (80% of the time) keep 5 (2d4) hyenas or 2 (1d4) giant hyenas as companions.

(Created by Tomas Willis, the ghuuna first appeared in the September 1984 article "Creature Catalog: A menagerie of new monsters for you" in Dragon #89)
 

Cleon

Hero
Going over the original text, the author highlights their superior hearing and smell and 90' infravision. Hence have made darkvision 90' and given them:

Keen Senses. A ghuuna has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.

I'd thought about that trait but the 5E Giant Hyena doesn't have advantage with scent and hearing, just proficiency in the Perception skill, so it seemed more appropriate doing the same for the Ghuuna.

Still, if you're keen on the idea I have no objection. It's not quite a regular Lycanthrope so they don't have to follow their precedent in all respects.

However, it should be Keen Hearing and Smell not Keen Senses, according to the precedent of the 5E Wolf.

Come to think of it, a Weretiger has Keen Hearing and Smell despite a 5E Tiger only having Keen Smell. Which seems all kinds of wrong to me. Since when have wolves had better hearing than big cats?
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
True...again I guess it boils down to faithfulness to the original design of a monster as created by its author vs "realism" vs (for me) playability and interest as an opponent that adds something interesting and different to an encounter or set of encounters.

For this critter, I can accept that ghuunism is more of a demonic gift/buff than usual, which explains why it has heightened sense and increased darkvision. This also creates some playability possibilities with at least some differential in darkvision stats from the usual/monotonous 60ft.
 


Cleon

Hero
True...again I guess it boils down to faithfulness to the original design of a monster as created by its author vs "realism" vs (for me) playability and interest as an opponent that adds something interesting and different to an encounter or set of encounters.

For this critter, I can accept that ghuunism is more of a demonic gift/buff than usual, which explains why it has heightened sense and increased darkvision. This also creates some playability possibilities with at least some differential in darkvision stats from the usual/monotonous 60ft.

Okay, I've added Keen Hearing and Smell to the Ghuuna.

That just leaves the Description

A ghuuna is a gnoll with the ability to fully or partially transform into a demonic hyena the size of a horse. They shun the use of armor or shields in their humanoid form and are usually armed with the largest sword they can find. Like werewolves, ghuunas often form packs that may include hyenas and giant hyenas.​
Gift of Crocutanthropy. Ghuuna are similar to lycanthropes in many respects, including being forced into their beast or hybrid form during a full moon, but are not vulnerable to silver weapons; instead being harmed by special forms of iron. A nonmagical silvered blade is as useless as a steel one when fighting a ghuuna.​
 Ghuunism is considered a blessing by gnolls, a gift from their Demon Lord, giving ghuunas a high position as champions and leaders in gnoll society. Ghuunas are jealous of their status so rarely create potential rivals by afflicting other gnolls with their crocutanthropy. Most ghuunas are natural born shapechangers whose gift can only be removed with a wish, but a remove curse can strip an afflicted crocutanthrope of ghuunism.​

That'll do as a start. It needs another section about them answering to a shaman/priest of the Gnoll Lord.

Hmm…

Beasts of the Gnoll Lord Since a ghuuna was granted its powers by the demonic Gnoll Lord, some priests and shamans of the Beast of Butchery have a special spiritual authority over them. This manifests as the ability to cast geas on a ghuuna once a day as an Innate Spellcasting ability. The most powerful gnoll clerics can use geas on ghuunas multiple times a day and have other powers over them, such as dominate person or locate creature.​

Not sure about the red bit as it isn't in the original monster, which just increased the X/day of the quest for a powerful shaman's influence over ghuuna. Was wondering about mixing it up a bit.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Mixing it up is fine - just published it for ease of comparison

 

Cleon

Hero
Mixing it up is fine - just published it for ease of comparison

Added the Description to the Ghuuna. Also changed the darkvision to 90 ft. since I'd forgotten to change it.


Still don't care for the "typically" in the alignment and prefer plain "chaotic evil".

The Claws damage should be 6 (1d4 + 4) not 5 (1d14 + 4).

Apart from that it looks good to go.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Added the Description to the Ghuuna. Also changed the darkvision to 90 ft. since I'd forgotten to change it.



Still don't care for the "typically" in the alignment and prefer plain "chaotic evil".

The Claws damage should be 6 (1d4 + 4) not 5 (1d14 + 4).

Apart from that it looks good to go.
tweaked/changed incorporated and now at Ghuuna
 



Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Due to my campaign and intrigues, Mephistopheles plays a big role and am planning on using Adonides (his steward) in a game...so converting from Ed Greenwoods devils in D76
 

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Cleon

Hero
Due to my campaign and intrigues, Mephistopheles plays a big role and am planning on using Adonides (his steward) in a game...so converting from Ed Greenwoods devils in D76

The Dragon Magazine version of Adonides is a little tougher than a 1E Pit Fiend so I'd bump the CR up a little.

For comparison:

AdonidesPit Fiend
Armour Class–2–3 (one point better)
Hit Dice/Hit Points121 hp (16+ HD)13 HD (13-114 hp; average 58.5)
Magic Resistance70%65%
Average Damage/Round
25 (1d8 + 8 twice)
16 (1d4+4 plus 1d6+6)
or 21 (+2d4 constriction)
 


Cleon

Hero
Ok happy to buff...

buffed Hit Points 339 (27d10 + 189)

given Vicious Mockery (4d4 psychic damage) as a Bonus Action

Upon reflection, the version you posted already has a bunch of potent abilities a Pit Fiend lacks so is arguably higher than CR 20 already. For a start, it can summon in an Ice Devil once a round, which is a CR 14 critter by itself.

Come to think of it, do high-ranking fiends in 5E have summoning ability like earlier editions? Pit Fiends can't summon allies like they do in 1E to 3E. Perhaps that should be cut out.

What Challenge Rating are you aiming for anyway? Somewhere around 21 or 21? He's not that much higher in the pecking order than a Pit Fiend.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
21-22 I guess. I think I overshot as buffs I stuck in shot it up to 24...oops..

ok, if I go hp = 312 (25d10 + 175), and nerf damage a little - Twisted Staff. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d6 + 8) force damage plus 14 (4d6) cold damage (3x /rd) + 10 vicious mockery/rd

comes out at CR 22
 

Cleon

Hero
21-22 I guess. I think I overshot as buffs I stuck in shot it up to 24...oops..

ok, if I go hp = 312 (25d10 + 175), and nerf damage a little - Twisted Staff. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d6 + 8) force damage plus 14 (4d6) cold damage (3x /rd) + 10 vicious mockery/rd

comes out at CR 22

It should really have "Resistances" rather than "Immunities" in the calculation since (a) you've given it Damage Resistance to bludgeoning/piercing/slashing from nonmagical unsilvered weapons and (b) there's basically zero odds of a CR-appropriate party not having magical weapons.

Even with Damage Resistance when I plug the above numbers in the CR Calculator came out Challenge 23.

Also, I'm not keen on the staff doing such a high proportion of cold damage. A Balor does about 60% more slashing damage than lightning damage with its Longsword.

Speaking of its Twisted Staff, why would it do force damage rather than the normal bludgeoning of a staff? The original monster just does ordinary magic weapon damage augmented by the guy's supernatural strength.

I could get Challenge 21 by reducing the HP to 250 (20d10 + 140) and the DPR to 82-92, say by making the Staff 15 (2d6 + 8) bludgeoning plus 10 (2d8) cold damage for 75 average damage and increasing the Mockery damage to 4d6.

A lot of the issue is the high regeneration rate. A 5E Balor doesn't regenerate, unlike the AD&D version, and you've given Adonides twice as fast a regeneration as a 5E Troll. If it had regeneration 5 or 10 it could have a way higher DPR.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
All fiends are doing force damage since Mordenkainens. Happy to drop some cold damage. rejigged stats as suggested. Leaving regen and lower hp. makes it a bit different
 

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