5E: Converting Monsters from White Dwarf Magazine for Fifth Edition

Cleon

Legend
ok shadowdancer now here

It should be "If the shadowdancer is Animated by Moonlight" in False Appearance, not "While the shadowdancer is not Animated by Moonlight", but the Description looks good.

yes is amusing seeing how each edition they've tweaked the dragon 'league table', as it were.

wamring to idea of temporary and permanent ones...but how to link them...maybe a wish spell cast on one while temporary makes it a free-willed living humanoid with the intelligence and wisdom of the dragon that spawned it.

Actually maybe not needing a spell as strong as wish as wish could be used on anything...Greater Restoration?


Then the temporary version is a construct and long-lived free-willed one a monstrosity as it as a biology

That seems overly complex.

I would just have the stats be for a "normal monster" Dragon Warrior which presumably has a permanent existence.

Then I'd write up a one-use dragon's tooth or fang of draconic warcraft magic item (or whatever we decide to call it) that creates/conjures a Dragon Warrior for, say, 5 or 10 minutes.

A marble elephant will "become an elephant for up to 24 hours" but it doesn't need different stats from a regular elephant or specify it needs a wish or greater restoration spell to switch a "construct" marble elephant to a "beast" actual elephant.

It doesn't actually matter from a game mechanics perspective provided the temp and permanent versions both have the same combat stats.
 

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ilgatto

How inconvenient
Right, so between the three of us we have one vote for Construct, one vote for Monstrosity and one vote for Humanoid.

That doesn't help!
lol
Updating the Dragon Warrior with three type possibilities…

…let's just start work on the rest of its stats and try to resolve the type later. At least in 5E a Monster's type has no mechanical effect on its game stats, unlike 3E.
that may well be the best way forward. perhaps we'll come to some sort of decision along the way
 

ilgatto

How inconvenient
I'd make the Armour Class depend on the source dragon's species rather than age.
Being a purist, I'm in favor of that. ACs varying with age is a 2E invention and DWs are 1E.
Maybe make it 4 points lower than an Ancient Dragon of its colour/metal, so White & Brass Dragon Warriors are AC 16, Green & Copper are AC 17, and Black, Blue, Red, Bronze & Gold are AC 18?

Can go either way on the Shields. It's only the illustration that shows shields, the only equipment mentioned in the Description is Scale Mail and Broadsword.

If they did have shields and we have an AC range from 16 to 18 that matches Scale (AC 14) plus a Shield and DEX (+0 to +2). Since +2 is the maximum DEX bonus for Medium Armour like Scale that sort of fits.
AC seems OK, especially since it would satisfy my 2E notion of DWs actually being equipped with dragon scale armor, which explains the color and can also serve to explain their immunity to the breath weapon of the parent dragon - sort of.
Having a better AC than scale alone would perhaps also satisfy the desire to to equip them with shields as per the illustration, especially since I'm still inclined to ignore the shields for the reasons I mentioned upthread, most notably that they are not mentioned in the original text.
However, if we're doing multiple ACs I'm tempted to go the whole hog and do six steps like the AD&D originals and give them a range of Challenge Ratings.

Let's see, the CRs of 5E SRD Dragons are…

Fifth Edition Dragons Challenge Ratings
Dragon​
Wyrmling​
Young​
Adult​
Ancient​
BlackCR 2CR 7CR 14CR 21
BlueCR 3CR 9CR 16CR 23
GreenCR 2CR 8CR 15CR 22
RedCR 4CR 10CR 17CR 24
WhiteCR 2CR 6CR 13CR 20
BrassCR 1CR 6CR 13CR 20
BronzeCR 2CR 8CR 15CR 22
CopperCR 1CR 7CR 14CR 21
GoldCR 3CR 10CR 17CR 24
SilverCR 2CR 9CR 16CR 23

That's interesting. I thought the Chromatic Dragons and Metallic Dragons were similarly powerful in 5E across the age spectrum, but Metallics Wyrmlings are noticeably weaker than Chromatic Wyrmlings.

In AD&D of course (and 3E) Metallics were slightly stronger than Chromatics (for an equivalent rank in the dragon hierarchy obviously: an Ancient White is not quite as nasty as an Ancient Brass but still way meaner than a Hatchling), but in 5E a Chromatic Dragon has a definite edge at the Wyrmling stage.

I wonder this precociousness is due to the evil dragons having poor parental care, so they've evolved tougher wyrmlings better able to look after themselves?
That is, indeed, quite remarkable! I suppose the 1E metallic dragons had better ACs because they were of good alignment and D&D was "a game of heroic fantasy" and therefore good = better. I cannot begin to fathom why chromatic dragons suddenly have the edge over metallic dragons AC-wise.
If we do do the full range of standard Dragons, it shouldn't take that much longer than doing one since we'd presumably give them all the same or similar "Warrior powers" and it'd just be some numbers and their dragon's breath-based immunities (and maybe damage type?).
I'd say so.
It would be tempting to tweak some of their stats to reflect the idiosyncrasies of a particular type of dragon. For example, Black and Gold Dragons have DEX 14, Copper and Green have DEX 12 and the rest of the standard True Dragons have DEX 10.
I assume you would base this on the various stats of the relevant dragons instead of just making them up?
My purist heart says "no", especially in the light of my earlier argument against Age-based ACs.

However, to my considerable surprise, I don't really really care that much in this case. Perhaps because it wouldn't really be an issue in 2E, where creatures don't have Dexterities et al. (brownies and 2.5E excepted).
If anything, it might add some spice to encounter and sort of add to the notion that some teeth of wondrous power are more desirable than others.
 


ilgatto

How inconvenient
wamring to idea of temporary and permanent ones...but how to link them...maybe a wish spell cast on one while temporary makes it a free-willed living humanoid with the intelligence and wisdom of the dragon that spawned it.

Actually maybe not needing a spell as strong as wish as wish could be used on anything...Greater Restoration?


Then the temporary version is a construct and long-lived free-willed one a monstrosity as it as a biology
If something like Wish or Greater Restoration can do that, why not? As I recall, (some of) the Jason/Cadmus DWs also went on to become real life men. Perhaps such "DWs become real" should also have some feature that will lead to some adverse event for the user or even themselves, as typical of the double-edged aspects of many "favors granted by Greek deities"?
 



Casimir Liber

Adventurer
I like the idea of needing some sort of conversion/ritual/spell/thingy to make them permanent. The original WD21 canon is that they are very clearly a temporary one-shot critter. But somehow linking it to Cadmus/Jason's sown men is a great idea so trying to link them and enrich the lore (like we did for Pine Kindred).
 


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