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

Cleon

Hero
Hmm. Had assumed they were demons from the name and alignment. However not really clarified elsewhere...I suppose it begs the question...what would be the difference if it was just a chaotic evil fiend vs a demon (narrowly-defined)?

Not much. Apart from the "political element" that Devil and Demons hate each other but sometimes work with other fiends, there might be spells or other magics that have specific effects on creatures with the (demon) subtype which wouldn't affect a Gurgotch if it isn't an actual Demon.
 

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Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Further on that, the WD14 description says they are "another of the infernal forces once conjured forth to do war against the forces of Good" who know wander "seeking the depths from which they originated."

Now "infernal forces" could mean they were conjured with a bunch of devils as easily as demons. Devils won't work with Demons in D&D, but will hire other kinds of fiends as mercenaries such as Yugoloths, some of which can be CE.

Still, they could just as well have the demon subtype. Any preferences?



I'm thinking the Constitution shouldn't be higher than a Mammoth's CON 21.

If we're aiming for Challenge 7 and assuming we're lowering the AC to 15 to match a Vrock the the HP should be slightly better than a Vrock, so maybe Hit Points 115 (10d12 + 50) or 126 (11d12 + 55)?

Alternatively, we could give it CON 19 so the Con bonus is +4 like a Vrock and slap on more HD for, say, Hit Points 126 (12d12 + 48).

Hmm, I think I like the second option: HD 12, CON 19. That's still a lot tougher than a 5E Elephant.
ok - gone with 12HD and 19 CON

I suppose if not a demon, does broaden scope in that other entities from Pandemonium to Acheron may own or use them. Yeah I prefer that as I think that gives them more flexibility for use
 



Casimir Liber

Adventurer
As a 2-for-1 offer..let me throw in this pint-sized kaiju gurgotch....am not sure about damage or STR with this one....
 

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Cleon

Hero
Gurgohemoth
Gargantuan fiend, chaotic evil
Armor Class 20 (natural armor)
Hit Points 525 (30d20 + 210)
Speed 40 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
29 (+9)​
10 (+0)​
25 (+7)​
10 (+0)​
12 (+1)​
12 (+1)​

Saving Throws CON +14, INT +7, WIS +8, CHA+8
Damage Resistances fire, lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from magical damage by creatures of size Large or smaller as well as nonmagical damage not caused by siege engines or creatures of size Huge or larger
Damage Immunities poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical damage by creatures of size Large or smaller
Condition Immunities paralyzed, poisoned
Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Understands Abyssal but cannot speak, telepathy with creatures touched by its trunk (reach 20 ft.)
Challenge 23 (50,000 XP) Proficiency Bonus +7

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the gurgohemoth fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Magic Resistance. The gurgohemoth has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Siege Monster. The gurgohemoth deals double damage to objects and structures.

Trampling Charge. If the gurgohemoth moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a gore attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 24 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the gurgohemoth can make one stomp attack against it as a bonus action.

Actions

Multiattack. The gurgohemoth can use its Frightful Presence. It then makes three attacks: one gore attack or one stomp attack together with two tail-lightning attacks or two different attacks from its tail and/or trunk (i.e. its tail, tail-flick and tail-lightning attacks or its trunk, trunk-crush, trunk-hurl and trunk-snort attacks, but it cannot use the same melee attack twice). An opponent attacked by the gurgohemoth's tail melee attacks cannot be targeted by gore or trunk attacks. Its tail and tail-flick can only be combined with a stomp attack or other attacks from its tail (its tail-lightning ranged attack can freely combine with other attacks).
 Alternatively, the gurgohemoth can use Frightful Presence and then make two attacks: one gore and one stomp against separate opponents.

Breath Weapon (Recharge 6). The gurgohemoth exhales a 40-foot-radius cloud of toxic gas centered on a point within 40 feet. The cloud spreads around corners. Gurgohemoths and gurgotches are immune to this attack, so a gurgohemoth can safely center the gas cloud on itself. Each creature within the cloud must make a DC 22 Constitution saving throw. On a failed roll they take 39 (6d12) poison damage and are poisoned for 1 minute, on a successful one they take half as much damage and are not poisoned. Poisoned targets can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns, ending the poisoned condition with a success.

Earsplitting Trumpet (Recharge 5-6). The gurgohemoth uses its trunk as a magical trumpet. The trumpet affects each creature within 200 feet of the gurgohemoth or a 300-foot cone, as the gurgohemoth chooses. Each creature in that area able to hear the trumpet must make a DC 22 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 13 (2d12) thunder damage and is deafened for 5 (1d10) rounds, and if the creature is size Large or smaller it is also stunned for 1 round. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and isn't deafened or stunned. Gurgohemoths and gurgotches are immune to this attack.

Juggernaut of Destruction (Recharge 5-6). The gurgohemoth moves up to 80 feet, trying to crush underfoot any creature in its path that is smaller than itself. This attack covers the 20-foot-square space occupied by the gurgohemoth's starting position plus the 20-foot wide zone the gurgohemoth's space enters as it moves along this path of destruction. The gurgohemoth stomps over Large or smaller creatures on the ground without slowing, but a prone Huge creature count as difficult terrain. If the juggernaut path of destruction contacts a non-prone Huge creature, the creature must make a DC 24 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone and stomped. On a success the gurgohemoth cannot enter the Huge creature's space and they take no damage, ending its path of destruction. The path of destruction cannot move over or damage a Gargantuan creature even if it is prone, although the gurgohemoth may be able to sweep the creature out of its path (see below).
 Each creature in the path of destruction must make a DC 24 Dexterity saving throw or take 42 (6d10 + 9) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone. Large or smaller creature take no damage if they succeed, Huge creatures take half as much damage if they succeed.
 The gurgohemoth can also sweep up to three areas with its trunk and tusks, each swept area costs 10 feet of movement. The gurgohemoth can sweep across a 20 ft. by 20 ft. square (in any direction) or along the length of a 15 ft. by 30 ft. rectangle or a 10 ft. by 50 ft. line; the sweep always has a direction that determines the order creatures in its area are affected. Swept areas can overlap with each other but this does not increase their effectiveness. Every part of a swept area must be within 20 feet of the gurgohemoth's path of destruction. A gurgohemoth can sweep an area and then overlap it with its path of destruction, but it cannot sweep into its space or the path behind it. A gurgohemoth cannot sweep through a Gargantuan creature or object, such obstacles are affected by the Sweep but block the swept area from extending past them.
 Each creature in the swept area much make a DC 24 Dexterity saving throw. If they fail, they take 30 (6d6 + 9) bludgeoning (falling) damage, or half as much damage on a successful one. Should the swept area overlap with the gurgohemoth's path of destruction, the creature takes the path of destruction's 42 (6d10 + 9) bludgeoning damage instead of the sweep's normal damage even if the creature is Gargantuan, or half as much damage on a successful save. With a failed save the target also suffers the following:
 If the target is Huge size or smaller, they are tossed a distance of 40 ft. (8d6 + 12) in the direction of the sweep, or 20 ft. (4d6 + 6) for a Huge creature. If the gurgohemoth tosses its victim over a cliff or into a pit that also causes falling damage, the target takes whichever falling damage rolls higher (do not add the sweep's 6d6 + 9 or 6d10 + 9 falling damage to other falling damage).
 If the target is Gargantuan size, the sweep hits their legs and slams the creature into the ground, causing them to fall prone. If the sweep overlaps with the path of destruction, there is a 50% chance the target will fall off to one side of the path, allowing the gurgohemoth to continue along the path at the cost of 10 feet of movement.

Forked Lightning (Recharge 5-6). The gurgohemoth's tail shoots black lightning in a 100-foot line that is 5-feet wide. Each creature in that area must make a DC 22 Dexterity saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The lightning ignites flammable objects in the area that aren’t being worn or carried. Gurgohemoths and gurgotches are immune to this attack.

Frightful Presence. Each creature of the gurgohemoth's choice that is within 120 feet of the gurgohemoth and aware of it must succeed on a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the gurgohemoth's Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.

Gore. Melee Weapon Attack: +16 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 42 (4d12 + 16) piercing damage.

Stomp. Melee Weapon Attack: +16 to hit, reach 10 ft., one creature that must be prone or Large size or smaller. Hit: 42 (6d10 + 9) bludgeoning damage.

Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +16 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (2d6 + 14) piercing damage.

Tail-Flick. Melee Weapon Attack: +16 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: No damage on hit, but target must make a DC 22 Dexterity or Strength saving throw (target's choice). The target takes 3 (d6) bludgeoning damage on a successful save, but on a failed save the target suffers the following:
 If the target is Large size or smaller, they are thrown a distance of up to 30 ft. (6d6 + 9) in a random direction, or 15 ft. (2d8 + 6) for a Large creature. When the target hits the ground it takes 10 (3d6) falling (bludgeoning) damage and lands prone. If the gurgohemoth flicks its victim over a cliff or into a pit that also causes falling damage, the target takes whichever falling damage rolls higher (do not add the tail-flick's 3d6 falling damage to other falling damage).
 If the target is Huge size or bigger, the tail knocks them over, the target takes 10 (3d6) falling (bludgeoning) damage and falls prone.

Tail-Lightning. Ranged Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, range 100 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (6d6) lightning damage. Gurgohemoths and gurgotches are immune to this attack.

Trunk. Melee Weapon Attack: +16 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (4d6 + 7) bludgeoning damage and the target must make a DC 24 Dexterity or Strength saving throw (target's choice) or be grabbed (escape DC 24).

Trunk-Crush. Melee Weapon Attack: +16 to hit (can only target opponents that are grabbed and up to Huge size; automatically hits restrained targets), reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (2d4 + 16) bludgeoning damage and the target is restrained.

Trunk-Hurl. Melee Weapon Attack: +16 to hit (automatically hits grabbed opponents), reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: The target must make a DC 24 Dexterity or Strength saving throw (target's choice) or take 21 (4d6 + 7) bludgeoning (falling) damage, halved on a successful save. With a failed save the target also suffers the following:
 If the target is Huge size or smaller, they are scooped up and hurled a distance of up to 40 ft. (8d6 + 12), or 20 ft. (4d6 + 6) for a Huge creature. The gurgohemoth can hurl the target in any direction and may throw them to land a shorter distance away than the listed maximum range if it desires. If the gurgohemoth hurls its victim over a cliff or into a pit that also causes falling damage, the target takes whichever falling damage rolls higher (do not add the trunk-toss's 4d6 + 7 falling damage to other falling damage).
 If the target is Gargantuan size, the trunk sweeps their legs and slams them into the ground, causing them to fall prone.

Trunk-Snort. The gurgohemoth puffs toxic gas at a single creature within 30 feet. The creature must make a DC 22 Constitution saving throw. On a failed roll they take 11 (2d10) poison damage and are poisoned for 5 (1d10) rounds, on a successful one they take half as much damage and are not poisoned. Poisoned targets can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns, ending the poisoned condition with a success. Gurgohemoths and gurgotches are immune to this attack.

Legendary Actions
The gurgohemoth can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. The gurgohemoth regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Detect. The gurgohemoth makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.
Scatter Nuisance. The gurgohemoth makes a tail-flick or trunk-snort attack.
Tail Attack (Costs 2 Actions). The gurgohemoth makes a tail or tail-lightning attack.
Trident Tail-Lightning (Costs 3 Actions). The gurgohemoth unleashes intertwined bolts of black lightning from the three points of its pitchfork-like tail, producing a Forked Lightning attack.
Trumpet of Doom (Costs 3 Actions). The gurgohemoth broadcasts an Earsplitting Trumpet.
Trunk Attack (Costs 2 Actions). The gurgohemoth makes a trunk, trunk-crush or trunk-hurl attack.


Description

A gurgohemoth is also known as a gurgotch juggernaut, for they are titanic relatives of that demon elephant. The size of a small castle keep, this enormous fiend appears very similar to a gurgotch: a coal-black elephant with great ears, ebony tusks, and a tail ending in a three-point trident. Black lightning occasionally sparks from the tips of this tail. Its glowing white eyes are no larger than a gurgotch's so appear tiny in its vast head. Like gurgotches, gurgohemoths occasionally snort puffs of noxious gas from their trunks.

Elephants of Annihilation. A gurgohemoth is a siege monster called on to destroy armies and fortifications. They are often a prized weapon in the army of a fiendish lord, such as a demon prince. When not in such service, these demonic juggernauts mostly sleep inside mountains or tors, occasionally emerging to wander around and amuse themselves by destroying creatures and buildings they happen upon.
 A gurgohemoth in military service usually wears a harness that supports an armored howdah containing elite troops. It often has spiked anklets and trunk-rings that look intimidating but do not improve its combat effectiveness. Some also wear cloth coverings (a caparison) decorated with crests of its army or faction.
 A prince's personal gurgohemoth is often elaborately and richly caparisoned, especially if its fiendish lord is particularly vain or going on procession. The gurgohemoth sometimes serves its master as a mobile throne room, with a howdah crammed with deceitful and mighty demon nobles, guards and attendants.

(Inspired by the Gurgotch created by Roger Musson; appeared in White Dwarf Magazine #14 (Aug/Sept 1979) as part of "The Fiend Factory", edited by Don Turnbull.)
 
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Cleon

Hero
Okay, let's continue!

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
## (+–#)​
## (+–#)​
19 (+4)​
## (+–#)​
## (+–#)​
## (+–#)​

Okay, let's consider the ability scores.

Strength
Elephants are STR 22 and Mammoths are STR 24, while Vrock are STR 17.

The Fiend Factory Gurgotch only does 1d10 damage with a tusk, while a 1E/2E Elephant does 2d8 (!) and a Mammoth does 3d6 (!!) which argues that that they're either weaker or their tusks are less effective weapons.

That doesn't seem right for a Demon Elephant the same size as an actual large elephant, so I'd lean towards giving it the same Strength as an Elephant/Mammoth or averaging the two to STR 23.

Dexterity
Hmm, it's got a lot higher Armour Class than an elephant, so maybe some of that is because its way more agile than a non-demonic Pachyderm? If it had a +2 Dex bonus like a 5E Vrock instead of –1 like an Elephant, that'd account for its AC being three points higher (15 rather than 12).

So maybe DEX 14? Or DEX 12 or 13 plus skin that's a bit thicker or tougher than an Elephant? That'd be a pleasant surprise for adventurers fighting it!

Constitution
We've decided on CON 19 already.

Intelligence
The current INT 10 is fine by me.

Wisdom
The current WIS 12 is fine by me.

Charisma
Giving it CHA 12 feels a tad high. An ordinary Elephant has CHA 6 and a Vrock has CHA 8. Somewhere from 7 to 9 would suit me better.
 




Cleon

Hero
O-kay....so....umm...what next :)

Well we're going through the stats in order, so it's Saving Throws followed by Resistance/Immunities.

Not sure it needs proficiency in STR and CON saves as it's already got plenty high stats in those areas. It would benefit more from proficiency in WIS and CHA to compensate for the weak ability scores. Note that Vrocks are proficient in those saves.

Vrocks are proficient in three Saves as they also have DEX. I'd be game to add a third proficiency, but maybe a different stat such as INT.

As for the Resistance/Immunities, the original White Dwarf #14 article doesn't mention it having any, apart from the 50% Magic Resistance, but I have no strong objection to giving it some or all the resistances and immunities in your current Rough Draft as they're pretty standard for a Demon of that CR.

Maybe switch them up a bit to make it slightly less conventional? Perhaps change the lightning resistance to acid or something?
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Sounds reasonable to switch to WIS and CHA. Will ditch the STR one but leave the CON one to help it resisting things (though is immune to poison anyway).

Were you still thinking of (maybe) a mini lightning attack with its tail? If so, I'd leave lightning resistance and maybe drop cold resistance and add acid resistance
 

Cleon

Hero
Sounds reasonable to switch to WIS and CHA. Will ditch the STR one but leave the CON one to help it resisting things (though is immune to poison anyway).

So that'd be CON +7, WIS +4, CHA +2? Works for me.

Were you still thinking of (maybe) a mini lightning attack with its tail? If so, I'd leave lightning resistance and maybe drop cold resistance and add acid resistance

It was you who proposed the lightning attack not me.

I was just thinking it'd use it like a pitchfork to stab or toss opponents:

I keep on wanting to do something with that pitchfork tail. What's the point of a tail like a trident if you can't stab things with it!
OKay - have nerfed it to something abut the same size as the elephant in 5e. Nerfed the damage and it gives us a critter of CR 7. Agree about the tail. Maybe zap of electricity? Gives it a electric bolt attack (recharge on 5-6)?

The original monster could make three Multiattacks per round: two piercing attacks with its tusks and one toss attack with its tail.

So I'm thinking if its Multiattack could choose any three attacks from a piercing Tail Trident, piercing Gore, "

I'd be fine giving the Juggernaut version a tail zap attack and maybe a cone of acid from its trunk, but that'd feel like it strays too far from the original monster.

Still, lightning resistance or immunity is a common feature of 5E demons so I guess we'd better keep it.

Plus they get cold & fire as standard.

Hmm, how about we give them resistance to acid, cold, fire, lightning? There are demons around that CR have special defenses against 4 energy types, like the CR 6 Babau.

The Damage Resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks feels more of a stretch to me.

The original monster didn't have any weapon immunities. Demons are traditionally tough against fire and the like in D&D but a fair few of the weakest or "part demon" creatures are subject to normal weapons.
 



Casimir Liber

Adventurer
So that'd be CON +7, WIS +4, CHA +2? Works for me.



It was you who proposed the lightning attack not me.

I was just thinking it'd use it like a pitchfork to stab or toss opponents:



The original monster could make three Multiattacks per round: two piercing attacks with its tusks and one toss attack with its tail.

So I'm thinking if its Multiattack could choose any three attacks from a piercing Tail Trident, piercing Gore, "

I'd be fine giving the Juggernaut version a tail zap attack and maybe a cone of acid from its trunk, but that'd feel like it strays too far from the original monster.

Still, lightning resistance or immunity is a common feature of 5E demons so I guess we'd better keep it.

Plus they get cold & fire as standard.

Hmm, how about we give them resistance to acid, cold, fire, lightning? There are demons around that CR have special defenses against 4 energy types, like the CR 6 Babau.

The Damage Resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks feels more of a stretch to me.

The original monster didn't have any weapon immunities. Demons are traditionally tough against fire and the like in D&D but a fair few of the weakest or "part demon" creatures are subject to normal weapons.
Okay went with acid..

So with multiattack - any 3 of tail/gore/gore/stomp?
 

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