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

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Well, in two minds. They're called the demon elephant after all....but have now dropped the "demon" tag as I guess they're more like sidekicks like hell hounds, nightmares etc.

Shared now so link is Gurgotch
 

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Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Okay - so happy to think of an alternate name...Kaiju Gurgotch, Titan-gurgotch, Gurgotch Juggernaut...

what I got so far
 

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Cleon

Hero

Cleon

Hero
Okay - so happy to think of an alternate name...Kaiju Gurgotch, Titan-gurgotch, Gurgotch Juggernaut...

what I got so far

Gurgotch Behemoth? Merge the two together into the Gurgohemoth?

Challenge Rating 18 seems a reasonable target. We don't want them to be a pushover!

I thought we were going for Colossal so they can have small keeps full of fiends and evil doers on their backs, à la Legend of the Sword, since that's what started off this madness.

Unless you're wanting to stat another one that's even more enormous!

I was thinking maybe give it a different Breath Weapon than the regular Gurgotch, or maybe give it a range of Breath Weapons or even several ranged attacks. Like the ability to shoot lines of lightning and/or fire from its tail and trunk? Or maybe the ability to hurl massive boulders?

Was also thinking it could have a Sweep attack to brush petty opponents out of existence.
 

Cleon

Hero
Speaking of the regular Gurgotch's Breath Weapon, I just thought of something.

As written, its tetraplegic victims will stand in place like statues since, like the 5E Paralyzed condition, there's no mention of the victim falling prone.

That means they'd have to stiffen their limbs and hold them immobile to stay upright, like someone with Withdrawn Catatonia. However, doesn't real world paralysis tend to cause its victims limbs go all noodle-like since their muscles aren't receiving any nerve signals. Rather than remaining rigidly on their feet, a paralyzed creature usually collapses in a heap.

If that's the case with gurgotch gas it would create more targets for the Demon Elephant to stomp and trample upon!

I'm tempted to amend the Breath Weapon's "must succeed at a DC 15 Constitution saving throw against poison or become tetraplegic (see below) for 1 minute" to "must succeed at a DC 15 Constitution saving throw against poison or fall prone and become tetraplegic (see below) for 1 minute."

What do you think?
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Yes - dammit thought I removed the demon tag - also yes adding "fall prone" is what I was thinking but agree it needs to be spelt out

and a colossal Gurgohemoth sounds good to me
 

Cleon

Hero
also yes adding "fall prone" is what I was thinking but agree it needs to be spelt out

Updating the Gurgotch.

and a colossal Gurgohemoth sounds good to me

Sounds good!

So are we adopting Gurgohemoth as the name or shall we leave it on the burner to see if we can come up with anything better?

Let's see…

Gurgotch Juggernaut => Gurgoggernaut?

Not keen on that. Gurgohemoth has a nicer ring to it.

Anyhow, it's approaching midnight over here so I'll call it a night.

It's a night!
 



Cleon

Hero
Okay, moving on to the Gurgotch Juggernaut Gurgohemoth then!

Hold on a moment, there's no such thing as Colossal size in 5E, the sizes cap at Gargantuan. I'm too used to designing 3E monsters. Better change it back to Gargantuan!

I've updated the size and CR to "new and improved" figures in your latest version (i.e. the deadlier one!), so I guess we'll just go through the rest of the statblock in order like we normally do.

OK, the AC 20 and 580 hp are both a bit higher than the Challenge 18 average, but I think that's reasonable as I think we're aiming for a creature that's really tough to take down but has a relatively low damage output for its CR. That gives under-CR'd parties more opportunity to retreat* before they get squashed!

*I guess we could give it some version of Frightful Presence to encourage them to run away?

On that note, the PCs won't be able to run away in terror if they're unable to move their legs! That bolsters my inclination to change the regular Gurgotch's paralyzing breath to a more conventional damage causing area-of-effect attack such as a cone of fire and/or acid, a cloud of disease-inflicting poison, a violent windstorm that bludgeons and blows victims away, et cetera.

We can leave the Breath Weapon for later, we've got Abilities to consider next.

The current draft still has an older version of the regular sized version's stats, namely:

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
25 (+7)​
10 (+0)​
19 (+4)​
10 (+0)​
12 (+1)​
12 (+1)​

That's a bit weaksauce. It's no stronger than a Mammoth (STR 25, CON 21) which is considerably smaller and has a higher CON too boot.

There don't appear to be any CR 18 monsters in the Monster Manual, but that's between the CR 17 Adult Red Dragon (STR 27, CON 25) and the CR 19 Balor (STR 26, CON 22). Thought about using the Dragon Turtle (STR 25, CON 20) as a comparison, but Strength 25 is strangely weedy for a Gargantuan dragon considering an adult red is a size smaller and has a STR two points higher.

The Balor and Red Dragon are both Huge and our baby is COLOSSAL Gargantuan, so I'd give it a Strength from 27 to 29, depending on whether you prefer a +8 or +9 for the ability modifier. I don't want to make it quite as strong as the top of the goliath monsters such as a Tarrasque (STR 30, CON 30) or Ancient Red Dragon (STR 30, CON 29) but I'd like it to be semi-competitive with them.

Which brings us onto Constitution, which also needs a boost. I think CON 23 (+6) would be enough. That said, I'd be open to making it ridiculously tough with, say CON 30 (+10).

We'd better reduce the number of Hit Dice if we're keeping it at around Challenge 18.

How about one of the following:

Hit Points 495 (30d20 + 180) [CON 23]
Hit Points 525 (30d20 + 240) [CON 27]
Hit Points 512 (25d20 + 250) [CON 30]​

I think DEX 10 is fine.

Will leave discussing Mental Ability scores for later.
 


Cleon

Hero
Ok. Let's go for Hit Points 525 (30d20 + 240) [CON 27] and STR 27

I'd lean more towards STR 29, mainly because STR 27 is only 2 points higher than a Mammoth which is a lot smaller beast.

Still, most of the damage will come from the dice and it'll have Proficiency Bonuses to help its attack rolls and, presumably, Strength saves so I guess it doesn't make that much difference.

So I'll leave the final vote on Strength to you (unless someone else wants to join us with this conversion. Assuming There's Anyone Out There!)

Will add Hit Points 525 (30d20 + 240) and CON 27 (+8) to the Gurgohemoth Working Draft.

Oh, and DEX 10 (+0) as well as the AC and Speed.

EDIT: Heck, let's use STR 27 (+8) for now. It can always be changed to 28 or 29 later if we decide that's better.
 
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Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Forgot about mammoth - this thing is huge so DTR 29. I got this below. Thought about breath weapon - how about dark energy - functions as a hybrid between necrotic and radiant energy, with victims suffering the most unfavourable resistance/vulnerability to each.
 

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Cleon

Hero
Forgot about mammoth - this thing is huge so DTR 29. I got this below. Thought about breath weapon - how about dark energy - functions as a hybrid between necrotic and radiant energy, with victims suffering the most unfavourable resistance/vulnerability to each.

Updating the Gurgohemoth Working Draft with STR 29.

I have a suspicion this thing will end out a little higher than CR 18 once we've finished with it, but I'm fine with that. It is an epic threat. Or should that be Jumbo threat?

Anyhow, I think we can tweak the mental abilities up a bit more from INT 10, WIS 12, CHA 12.

That's not much better than a regular Gurgotch's INT 10, WIS 12, CHA 8. I imagine these things as potentially being hundreds or thousands of years old, with the cunning and wisdom of countless battles.

Let's see, the CR 17 Adult Red Dragon has INT 16, WIS 13, CHA 25 and the CR 19 Balor has INT 20, WIS 16, CHA 22 but those both seem a trifle high to me.

The 5E version of the Tarrasque seems a better comparison. It only has INT 3, WIS 11, CHA 11 but has Proficiency in all three of those stats' Saving Throws to make up for those lackadaisical numbers, presumably representing its ancient experience.

How about doing the same?

Instead of the STR save proficiency I proposed (mainly because that'd give it STR, CON, WIS, CHA saves like a Balor) we give it INT proficiency and leave the mental stats at the current 10/12/12 for saves of CON +12, INT +6, WIS +7, CHA +7.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Yeah I like the idea of proficiency on all those saves

also resistance to Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks (though am thinking of making it resistance to all Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing attacks as its hide is really thicc
 

Cleon

Hero
Yeah I like the idea of proficiency on all those saves

Updating the Gurgohemoth Working Draft with said saves.

also resistance to Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks (though am thinking of making it resistance to all Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing attacks as its hide is really thicc

If we did that it'd take AGES to chop through all those hit points.

Guess we could do that if we trimmed down the number of Hit Dice to compensate?

Then again, even 5E Balor with its similar CR only has resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks.

One idea I had was it could have Resistance to damage by creatures much smaller than it who don't have magical weapons.

i.e. "bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks by creatures of size Large or smaller"

So an elephant-sized opponent can fight it normally even without a magical weapon, but it's resistant to the pinpricks of insignificant foes.

Thought about making it immune to nonmagical damage from Medium or smaller opponents, but that seemed a bit extreme. Although it's tempting to make a multi-tiered damage system so its enemies are better off attacking it with siege engines.

Something like:

Damage Immunity: ???; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical damage by creatures of size Medium or smaller.
Damage Resistance #1: ???; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from magical damage by creatures of size Medium or smaller as well as nonmagical damage not caused by siege engines or creatures of size Huge or larger.
Damage Resistance #2: ???; 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 Resistance #3: ???; 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 Gargantuan.

I quite like that idea although it'll seriously boost the Challenge.

But as already stated, I have no objection to increasing that.

Would go up as far an Ancient Dragon threat level of CR 24 or so, although I'd aim a bit short of the CR 30 Tarrasque.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Wow, you've given it some thought....been mulling over these.

Starting to DM at higher levels now...characters can really dish out enormous amounts of damage so I have no qualms about jigging it so this thing has the equivalent of >1000 hp functionally.

My preferences (maybe best to carve between up to Large/Huge or larger - goliaths and some other playable races are Large - so this simplifies things for the DM running the combat):

Damage Immunity: bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical damage by creatures of size Large or smaller.
Damage Resistance: 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.


Also contemplating adding:

(inspired by the honking great elephants in 2017 film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword)
 

Cleon

Hero
Wow, you've given it some thought....been mulling over these.

Starting to DM at higher levels now...characters can really dish out enormous amounts of damage so I have no qualms about jigging it so this thing has the equivalent of >1000 hp functionally.

My preferences (maybe best to carve between up to Large/Huge or larger - goliaths and some other playable races are Large - so this simplifies things for the DM running the combat):

Damage Immunity: bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical damage by creatures of size Large or smaller.
Damage Resistance: 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.

Works for me.

Updating the Gurgohemoth Working Draft.

I assume it'll still have the fire/lightning/poison protections.

Any other resistances or immunities you fancy adding?

I'm tempted to give it immunity to being paralyzed as an extension of the normal Gurgotch's immunity to their breath weapon.

Also contemplating adding:

(inspired by the honking great elephants in 2017 film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword)

Wouldn't bother if it was up to me. I suspect they were rip offs of the Mûmakil in The Return of the King, although those aren't the only oversized pachyderms in fiction.
 


Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Works for me.

Updating the Gurgohemoth Working Draft.

I assume it'll still have the fire/lightning/poison protections.

Any other resistances or immunities you fancy adding?

I'm tempted to give it immunity to being paralyzed as an extension of the normal Gurgotch's immunity to their breath weapon.



Wouldn't bother if it was up to me. I suspect they were rip offs of the Mûmakil in The Return of the King, although those aren't the only oversized pachyderms in fiction.
yeah - immune to paralysis sounds good
 

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