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

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Current description for tweaking.....

Also known as the demon elephant, the gurgotch is a being from the Demonic Abyss. It resembles an enormous African elephant with a matte coal-black hide, long grey curved tusks and large saucer-like white pupilless eyes. The tip of its tail is shaped like a trident, and its long trunk has a widened trumpet-like tip from which emanates the occasional puff of smoke.

Unholy Juggernauts. Initially created as destructive shock troops for abyssal armies in the face of celestial forces, gurgotch were left to their own devices after their masters were defeated. Some lost individuals still roam the Material Plane, though they are more commonly encountered on an infernal plane or summoned to be mounts by evil giant-sized masters or to cause mayhem.

(Originally created by Roger Musson and published in the Fiend Factory of White Dwarf 14 in 1979)
 

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Cleon

Adventurer
Also known as the demon elephant, the gurgotch is a being from the Demonic Abyss. It resembles an enormous African elephant with a matte coal-black hide, long grey curved tusks and large saucer-like white pupilless eyes. The tip of its tail is shaped like a trident, and its long trunk has a widened trumpet-like tip from which emanates the occasional puff of smoke.

Unholy Juggernauts. Initially created as destructive shock troops for abyssal armies in the face of celestial forces, gurgotch were left to their own devices after their masters were defeated. Some lost individuals still roam the Material Plane, though they are more commonly encountered on an infernal plane or summoned to be mounts by evil giant-sized masters or to cause mayhem.

Hmm, the original text says "In place of an ordinary tongue, the Gurgotch has a great trumpet-like funnel from which it exhales a noxious gas" as well as referring to its trunk, suggesting they might have both.

That said, I would be fine making the "trunk" and "funnel" one and the same, or maybe the "funnel" is inside the trunk and it "sticks out its tongue" to use it.

I wonder whether the Gurgotch uses its funnel-tongue to feed. Maybe the damage the gas does is actually it supping on the nervous systems of its victims?

There's no mention of their trunks being grey - the illustration shows them to be as dark or darker than the Demon Pachyderm's body. Maybe have them be ebony black rather than the ivory white of a true elephant?

Not sure about specifying they were created as shock troops, would prefer it to just say demonic armies use them for that purpose.

One idea I had was to say its face looks somewhat skull-like with its trunk/tongue protruding from where its nasal socket would be. However, that would be at odds with the description & picture which are pretty clear it just looks like a fiendish elephant.

Commonly known as the demon elephant, a gurgotch is a being from the lower planes. Matte black like coal and ashes, it resembles a huge African elephant with great saucer-like white eyes, glowing and pupilless, and long curved tusks the hue of ebony. Their tail ends in three barbs like a trident.

Unholy Invaders. Gurgotches are often part of Abyssal armies attacking other planes, serving as shock troops, living siege engines, or mounts for giant evil masters. If their demon allies are defeated they are often abandoned to roam the material plane causing mayhem.

[Some Title. Stuff about their funnel-tongue and its neurotoxic vapours.]​

Anything else?
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
That's about it I think

how about

"Occasional puffs of noxious vapour emanate from its funnel-shaped tongue within its trunk. The gurgotch derives sustenance from the vapour's interaction with living creatures."
 
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Cleon

Adventurer
That's about it I think

How about this for the tongue:

Trumpet of Paralysis. A gurgotch has a long tubular tongue whose tip can flare out like a trumpet-shaped flower. Grotesquely, the demon elephant can stick this tongue out of its trunk instead of its mouth and usually prefers to do so. The gurgotch can puff clouds of a mysterious gas from this trumpet. This vapor smells revolting and has the horrible property of numbing or paralyzing the spinal cord (or equivalent nervous system) of creatures who inhale it, which can completely immobilize them below the neck.
 A few eccentric sages believe the gurgotch's funnel-trumpet of a tongue is a feeding orifice, claiming the fiend literally inhales nerve energy from its victims' spines to sup on their strength and coordination. There are demonic entities who sustain themselves on far stranger fare than meat and plants.
 


Cleon

Adventurer
"eccentric" might be an overstretch...but sounds good

No problem. I'll just cut it out.

Upon reflection, I don't care much for "puff" or the wording of the paragraph after that word.

Will change it to "bellows" which has a nicer ring to it and I like the dual meaning. Does the grugotch puff out its sides or cheeks like a bellow or does it make a bellowing noise? It amuses me to imagine it doing both, trumpeting with its nose-funnel like a cartoon elephant.

So here's a revision:

Trumpeters of Paralysis. A gurgotch has a long tubular tongue whose tip can flare out like a trumpet-shaped flower. Grotesquely, the demon elephant can stick this tongue out of its trunk instead of its mouth and usually prefers to do so. The gurgotch can bellow forth clouds of a mysterious gas from this trumpet; this stinking vapor has the horrible property of numbing or paralyzing the spinal cord (or equivalent nervous system) of creatures who inhale it, often immobilizing the victims below the neck.
 A few sages believe the gurgotch's funnel-trumpet of a tongue is a feeding orifice, claiming the fiend literally inhales nerve energy from its victims' spines to sup on their strength and coordination. There are demonic entities who sustain themselves on far stranger fare than meat and plants.​

Better?
 



Casimir Liber

Adventurer
ok then. this is how it looks now - you feel happy with it?
 

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Cleon

Adventurer
Updating the Gurgotch.

ok then. this is how it looks now - you feel happy with it?

Well there's a couple of things.

The minor issue is credit at the end is missing a few words, the Enworld Version has:

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

The important issue is you've increased it to Challenge 10 which throws off a bunch of the numbers by increasing the Proficiency Bonus to +4, a point higher than the +3 of the Enworld Gurgotch which is still at Challenge 7.

Making it CR 10 (well anything from CR 9 to 12) also affects the DCs and attack rolls from the higher PB.

I'm fine increasing the CR from 7 since the paralytic cloud attack is pretty nasty, but I thought we where boosting it to 8 so didn't adjust any of the numbers.

Have to check the DMG advice on paralysing attacks to figure out what Challenge is appropriate for the beastie, then I'll recalculate the bunch of numbers…
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Also, I miscalculated the DCs:

Trample/Trunk. Base 8 & STR +6 & Proficiency +3 = 17 (not 18 since it's a point weaker than the Mammoth I copy-pasted the numbers from).

Breath Weapon. Base 8 & CON +4 & Proficiency +3 = 15 (must have used Base 10 as if it were an melee attack! Breath Weapons usually use Base 8).

If it becomes Challenge 9+, which seems likely, that becomes Trample/Trunk DC 18, Breath DC 16.
 


Cleon

Adventurer
Have to check the DMG advice on paralysing attacks to figure out what Challenge is appropriate for the beastie, then I'll recalculate the bunch of numbers…

…and the blinking DMG doesn't have any advice on creatures with paralyzing attacks!

Okay, using the 5e.tools calculator I make it to be CR 8 if I use the WEB and STENCH options to represent its Breath Weapon as there's no Paralysing Cloud equivalent. I didn't forget MAGIC RESISTANCE.

The calculator gives it Offensive CR 8, Defensive CR 7.

I didn't include "Resistances" as they would only affect a small fraction of PC attacks, but they might be enough to put the Defensive up to CR 8. Seems unlikely

More importantly, the Tetraplegia effect could give its Offensive CR a kick up to 9 or even 10+, which makes Challenge 9 a possibility (especially as that'll increase all those DC and attack numbers).

Hmm…​

Long story short, I'm OK making it Challenge 8 or Challenge 9.

Don't really mind which. Care to pick one and I'll set the other numbers to match?
 




Cleon

Adventurer
So we're done with it now?

All that's left is a last check to make sure the Enworld and D&DBeyond version's text matches.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
see below - description is unchanged apart from parenthetic bit re author and WD as noted by you above
 

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Cleon

Adventurer
see below - description is unchanged apart from parenthetic bit re author and WD as noted by you above

Dang it, the Enworld version doesn't have (Demon) in its type line. How did I miss that?

…updating the Gurgotch…​

…Well it does now!​

Well I guess this one's finished then. Might as well start on the superjumbo version.

Care to provide a link to the D&D Beyond version so I can update the Index?

Oh, and whatever happened to those Starfish conversions we started. Shouldn't we get back to those sometime?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Dang it, the Enworld version doesn't have (Demon) in its type line. How did I miss that?

Come to think of it, didn't we decide it was a generic fiend like, say, a Nightmare rather than being a true Demon?

Indeed, I believe that was my thinking when making the Enworld Gurgotch a Huge fiend, chaotic evil rather than Huge fiend (demon), chaotic evil.

So should we revert to that?

Maybe the reason Gurgotches got left on the Prime Material when the demon armies were defeated was because they fiendish hordes got hit by anti-demon spells and they aren't actually demons?
 

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