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


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Casimir Liber

Adventurer
I guess the other visual image that came to mind with resin-brutes were the gargantuan zombies from plants vs zombies :LOL:

But seriously - I started with the ogre zombie template...but that has morning star and we've made the thrall just use slam so I guess it'll be a giant slam...?
 

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Cleon

Legend
Ok pine kindred looks good - words after hyphens nest not capitalised. Alos the resin-brute?

You mean with the "Resin-Hound" and "Resin-Thrall" links?

The hyphenation of capitalized doesn't need to follow hard-and-fast rules. For example, the 5E Monster Manual uses both "Will-o'-Wisp" and "Will-o'-wisp" in that monster's writeup.

I just used whatever I thought looked better. Something about "Resin-hound" and "Resin-thrall" looked weird to me, especially when bolded.

I guess it should mention that some rare jarls can create powerful boss monsters like the Tree-Jotun. If I do that, I'd better create some posts to put them in so I can include links to them.

Oh heck, I'll just do it…
 

Cleon

Legend
Pine Kindred, Tree-Jotun
Huge undead, neutral evil
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 136 (13d12 + 52)
Speed 40 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
23 (+6)​
6 (−2)​
18 (+4)​
6 (−2)​
11 (+0)​
9 (−1)​

Saving Throws Wis +3
Damage Vulnerabilities fire
Damage Resistances cold, poison; piercing from nonmagical attacks
Condition Immunities exhaustion, paralyzed
Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft. (300 ft. in Treeform), passive Perception 10
Languages Druidic, Sylvan
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP) Proficiency Bonus +3

Special Traits

Pine Blood. Pine kindred count as both plant and undead for any effect related to type.

Rooted Stability. If the tree-jotun is standing on the ground it gains advantage on saving throws and ability checks against effects that would knock it prone or move it. In addition, it can use Strength for the roll instead of whatever ability normally saves against the effect it is resisting if that increases its chance of success.

Siege Monster. The tree-jotun deals double damage to objects and structures.

Treeform. The tree-jotun can use its action to polymorph into the form of a dead tree within one size category of its own size or back into its true form of an undead giant. While in treeform, the tree-jotun must remain motionless, but remains aware of its surroundings and its tremorsense increases to 300 feet. It reverts to its true form if it moves or loses consciousness.

Actions

Multiattack. The tree-jotun makes two slam attacks.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (3d6 + 6) bludgeoning damage.

Hurl. Ranged Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, range 60/180 ft., one target. Hit: 28 (4d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage.

Shatter the Earth (Recharge 5–6). The tree-jotun strikes the ground within 20 feet, each creature within 10 feet of the impact must make a DC 17 Dexterity saving throw, on a failed save they take 11 (2d6 + 4) thunder damage plus 11 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage and fall prone, on a success they take half as much damage and do not fall.
 A creature standing on the ground within 40 feet of the impact point but outside the area of damage must make a DC 17 Dexterity saving throw, with advantage, or fall prone.


Description

This towering undead creature appears to be a giant crudely shaped out of rotting wood, with a few patches of dead pine needles clinging where hair would normally be.
 A tree-jotun normally stands between two and a half and four and a half times the height of a human. When inactive it transforms into a dead tree of any shape it likes, from a tree stump half its normal height to a spindly spruce whose tallest branch is up to twice as tall as its true form. If a tree-jotun is destroyed, its remains collapse into a huge pile of rotten fragments of wood mixed with the decaying bones of a giant skeleton.
 Pine Kindred do not consider tree-jotuns as kinfolk but view them as powerful and useful tools. They are loyal servants but too dim-witted to perform complex tasks.

Earth-Shattering Power. A tree-jotun is sometimes deployed as a weapon of war, their immense strength allows them to tear apart even well-fortified buildings and smash enemy troops out of existence. The jotun can tear great chunks of earth or rock from the ground or tear a nearby tree apart and hurl this object as a missile, acting as if it were an autonomous undead trebuchet that provides its own ammunition.
 Instead of hurling a massive object, a tree-jotun can smash its feet or fists into the ground with the same degree of force. This literally shatters the ground where it hits, creating a shockwave of splintered shrapnel that concusses and skewers any creature unfortunate enough to be in the area as well as a localized earthquake that knocks creatures off their feet in a considerable radius.

Watcher of the Grove. A tree-jotun is a rare monster that typically acts as the guardian of a Unholy Grove (see Pine Kindred Jarl). It waits in tree shape until it senses intruders, then assumes its giant form to bellow an alarm and attack.

Sacrificed Giants. A tree-jotun is created in a gruesome ceremony in which a living giant is nailed to a pine tree with wooden stakes and then infused with the Sap of Nidhogg. Both tree and giant blacken and die, then fuse together into a tree-jotun, with the giant's bones forming the undead's skeleton and the tree's decomposing wood acting as its flesh. This Dark Druidic Mystery is known to few pine kindred and is thought to be similar if not identical to the magic that creates a Root-Ogre.

(Inspired by the Pine Kindred by Julian Lawrence; appeared in White Dwarf Magazine #21 (Oct/Nov 1980) as part of the Fiend Factory mini-module "One-Eye Canyon", edited by Albie Fiore.)
 
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Cleon

Legend
Pine Kindred, Tree-Vargr
Large undead (shapechanger), chaotic evil
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 90 (12d10 + 24)
Speed 40 ft. (50 ft. in wolfbeast form)

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
17 (+3)​
14 (+2)​
14 (+2)​
8 (−1)​
11 (+0)​
9 (−1)​

Saving Throws Wis +2
Skills Perception +4, Stealth +4
Damage Vulnerabilities fire
Damage Resistances cold, lightning, poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Condition Immunities exhaustion, paralyzed
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Druidic, Worg
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Special Traits

Keen Hearing and Smell. The tree-vargr has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.

Pine Blood. Pine kindred count as both plant and undead for any effect related to type.

Shapechanger. The tree-vargr can use its bonus action to polymorph into a wolfbeast, or back into its true form of a manwolf, a wolf-humanoid hybrid. Its statistics, other than speed and attacks, are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn't transformed. If it dies it decomposes into a pile of putrescence, pine needles and bones, both animal and humanoid.

Vestigial Limbs. When in wolfbeast form, a tree-vargr can use its vestigial arms to carry one or two objects that it can hold with one hand, such as its battleaxe or a helpless Medium sized victim. It cannot use items or weapons in wolfbeast form or carry an object so bulky or heavy it requires two hands to hold.

Actions

Multiattack. The tree-vargr makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its battleaxe or claws. It can use its Howling Wail in place of its bite attack.

Battleaxe (Manwolf Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8 + 3) slashing damage, or 14 (2d10 + 3) slashing damage if used with two hands.

Bite (Manwolf Form). Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage.

Bite (Wolfbeast Form). Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (3d6 + 5) piercing damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 13 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) slashing damage.

Howling Wail. The tree-vargr pine kindred howls a terrifying wail. Every animal, humanoid and giant within within 300 feet of the tree-vargr that can hear the wail must succeed on a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened until the wail ends and compelled to flee in panic; acting as if they had failed a save against a suggestion spell telling them to "run in terror". The tree-vargr must take a multiattack action on its subsequent turns to continue wailing but can stop wailing at any time. The wail ends if the tree-vargr is incapacitated.
 While affected by the wail, a target ignores the wails of other pine kindred. If the target is within 300 feet of the tree-vargr, the target must move on its turn away from the kindred by the most direct route, trying to get as far away as possible. The target tries to circumvent opportunity attacks and obvious damaging terrain, such as lava or a pit.
 Whenever it takes damage, the target can repeat the saving throw. The target can also repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns. If the saving throw is successful, the suggestion effect ends on it. The suggestion also ends if the target stops hearing the wail or flees outside ear shot (i.e. more than 300 feet away from the wailing kindred). A target who successfully saves is immune to the wails of any pine kindred with the same or fewer Hit Dice as the pine kindred tree-vargr they saved against, but can be affected by wail attacks from pine kindred with more Hit Dice.


Description

These horrible undead are shapechangers with blood red eyes and a furlike coat of brown-black pine needles and bodies made of mummified flesh and tree roots. Their true form is an ogre sized semi-humanoid resembling a coniferous werewolf with loose skin from its shoulders to waist resembling a short cape. Huge canine paws dangle from its shoulders and each hip, and it has a short wolflike tail.
 A tree-vargr can also assume the shape of an enormous beast resembling a lean ravening wolf. Like a bear, this wolfbeast form can rear on its hind legs for short periods. There is something disturbingly humanoid about this lupine form’s face. It has a pair of humanlike hands on stubby arms protruding from under its armpits, and two humanoid feet hanging from each side of its waist.
 Very few Pine Kindred Jarls have the knowledge, power and desire to create tree-vargr, who serve their lord as bloodthirsty warriors and terror weapons. Tree-varge are hard to control due to their insatiable love of slaughter. Unless kept on a short leash, a tree-vargr will run amok, murdering any living creature it comes across. These ravenous brutes are intelligent and can speak even in wolfbeast form, but prefer killing to conversation. A tree-vargr can use tools and weapons when in manwolf form.

A Fusion of Man and Beast. Tree-vargr are created by ritually sacrificing a powerful humanoid warrior and a Large sized carnivorous quadrupedal predator and magical combining the corpses into a hybrid shapechanging undead. Bizarrely, this gives a tree-vargr eight limbs: two pairs of full-sized functional limbs that match its current form (four legs for its wolfbeast form, two legs and two arms for its manwolf form), plus two pairs of vestigial appendages from the form it is not assuming. These vestigial limbs have hands or feet of normal size, but the rest of the limb is a short stump.

Sustained by Flesh. Unlike most undead, a tree-vargr must periodically eat raw flesh and drink fresh blood or it will fall into a torpor until awakened by having humanoid blood poured over it. It needs to devour the equivalent of a Medium sized humanoid every lunar month to stay active (or be awakened from a slumber).

Tree-Vargr Creation. Tree-vargr can be created by a secret ceremony, Pine Wolf Transformation. This Dark Druidic Mystery is similar to the Pine Kindred Initiation ceremony that produces pine kindred, but is capable of creating a single tree-vargr, a pack of Resin-Hounds, or both.

(Inspired by the Pine Kindred by Julian Lawrence; appeared in White Dwarf Magazine #21 (Oct/Nov 1980) as part of the Fiend Factory mini-module "One-Eye Canyon", edited by Albie Fiore.)
 
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Cleon

Legend
I guess the other visual image that came to mind with resin-brutes were the gargantuan zombies from plants vs zombies :LOL:

But seriously - I started with the ogre zombie template...but that has morning star and we've made the thrall just use slam so I guess it'll be a giant slam...?

For clarification, when I get around to statting them up I intend the "Tree-Vargr" to be a pine kindred undead werewolf-like thing that can switch between an ogre-like wolfman form (a wolfogre?) and a worg or bear-like quadrupedal form. Originally planned for CR 2 but suspect it'll end up 3 or perhaps even 4, depending on how carried away I get.

The "Tree-Jotun" will be kind of a cross between a zombie giant ogre and an undead treant. I'm aiming to make it roughly as strong as a Hill Giant, so CR 5.

Haven't decided on the details yet. Will likely have the Jotun use logs and boulders as melee and thrown weapons and the Vargr prefer claws and fangs but have the capacity to wield weapons when it's an undead wolf-ogre.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Heh ...aaah I see where you're going with them....seriously dark stuff! Okay I'll sit back and watch.

Anyway, I am converting Halls of Tizun Thane to 5e. So preparing to convert nandie, nandie bear and gu'en-deeko (the last one could be quite fun). is a first lvl dungeon so keeping the nandies low. Main issue is name - orginally nandi bear named for Nandi people - hence calling baboons "nandies" in this day and age is quite possibly highly problematic. My idea is "dinopithecus" or "baboon (dinopithecine)" as this was a genus of double-sized prehistoric baboon.
 

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Cleon

Legend
Heh ...aaah I see where you're going with them....seriously dark stuff! Okay I'll sit back and watch.

Well Vargr may literally mean "wolf" but it also means a destructive wolf-like human (i.e. murderers, berserkers, criminals) and I've also seen it used for a lupine monster (i.e. werewolves, Tolkein-style wargs), hence the approach to the monster.

Jotun was just a fancier way of saying "Giant" (although mythic Jötunn
weren't necessarily BIG, they tended to be presented that way.

Anyway, I am converting Halls of Tizun Thane to 5e. So preparing to convert nandie, nandie bear and gu'en-deeko (the last one could be quite fun). is a first lvl dungeon so keeping the nandies low. Main issue is name - orginally nandi bear named for Nandi people - hence calling baboons "nandies" in this day and age is quite possibly highly problematic. My idea is "dinopithecus" or "baboon (dinopithecine)" as this was a genus of double-sized prehistoric baboon.

Eh? Isn't calling a type of animal a "Nandi Bear" no more objectionable than calling a breed of dog a "Welsh Corgi"?

The choice of name was for the same reason, as a reference to the beast's place of origin, Nandi Country, rather than being intended as a slur on an ethnicity (like, say "Welching a bet" is of the Welsh).

Still if it bothers you, just employ one of the synonyms for the Nandi Bear. I'd favour Kerit, since that appears to be what the Nandi themselves call the creature.

Would avoid using Chemosit, since that name is already sued for a D&D and Pathfinder monster.
 

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