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


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Cleon

Hero
oops - missed that post - I like the resistance to piercing alone - added

I was proposing we give the Pine Thrall either a spear OR dart attack, not both. Just to keep it simple.

Doesn't make much difference to them though, so feel free to either cut out whichever of the weapons you disfavour or leave them both in, whichever you prefer.

Oh, there's a double line space between Spear and Dart which would likely look better as a single line space. Assuming you favour the "armed with two weapons" version.

The Multiattack does not need the "Otherwise restricted to a single attack per round" sentence or the "If using its claws" for that matter. Just "Multiattack. The pine thrall makes two claw attacks" would be explicit enough like, say, a 5E Army Skeleton.

Actually a Skeletal Spider is a better example, as it has "Multiattack. The skeletal spider makes two bite attacks" to give it two Melee Attacks with its fangs, but it only gets one Ranged Attack when making a Web action.

Or if you want to make it even simpler, cut out the Multiattack and Claws altogether and only have it use weapons like a 5E Common Skeleton, since regular Pine Kindred do not have claw attacks or any other "natural weapon" listed, not even a punch.
 

Cleon

Hero
anyway..am off to bed now...just let me know what you reckon we should do next...

Good night!

I'm inclined to finish the Stat Blocks and other mechanics and then do the Descriptions all in one go.

Might post some ideas for the Thanes and Jarl later.

Could rough out a Pine Hound (or maybe Pine Wolf? that sound wilder and nastier).

Although they both could just be alternative names for a "Pine Canine" :p

Perhaps the aforementioned Pine Carl too, depending on how energetic/bored I am today!
 

Cleon

Hero
Okay, Pine Kindred Thane first.

I'm wondering whether we should aim for these to be Challenge Rating 3 like a Wight, since we're giving them damage resistance and decent spellcasting.

For comparison, a Druid Apprentice (2nd-level spellcaster) is CR 1/2 and a basic Druid NPC (4th-level spellcaster) is CR 2, but the Thane has a few more HD, special defences and melee abilities than a mortal druid so ought to be a CR higher.

Hmm, the Living Jungle Druid (8th-level spellcaster) is CR 3 though, and its spellcasting is twice the level of a Thane, so maybe CR 2 will be enough. Still don't have a solid grasp on 5E Challenge Ratings, it's about as inexact a science as 3E Challenge Ratings.

For that matter, I'm still uncertain as to whether the standard Pine Kindred ought to be CR 1 or 2, but CR 1 will do for now. A Harpy is Challenge 1, after all!

There's also a CR 25 Archdruid (20th-level spellcaster) and CR 15 Wood Ape Druid (12th-level spellcaster), but they're way too powerful to be useful comparisons.

Okay, to start with the Thane and Jarl needs better ability scores than the current versions. For comparison:

Creature​
STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
Druid Apprentice
10 (+0)​
12 (+1)​
13 (+1)​
12 (+1)​
15 (+2)​
11 (+0)​
Druid NPC
10 (+0)​
12 (+1)​
13 (+1)​
12 (+1)​
15 (+2)​
11 (+0)​
Living Jungle Druid
13 (+1)​
12 (+1)​
14 (+2)​
12 (+1)​
16 (+3)​
15 (+2)​
Base Pine Kindred (v6)
13 (+1)​
14 (+2)​
12 (+1)​
11 (+1)​
10 (+1)​
5 (-3)​
Common Ghoul
13 (+1)​
15 (+2)​
10 (+0)​
7 (−2)​
10 (+0)​
6 (−2)​
Wight
15 (+2)​
14 (+2)​
16 (+3)​
10 (+0)​
13 (+1)​
15 (+2)​

So I'm thinking give the Thane similar Strength to a Wight and similar Intelligence & Wisdom to a lowish-leveled Druid, then the Jarl can be a rung up from that

So perhaps:

Creature​
STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
Pine Thrall (v3)
13 (+1)​
10 (+0)​
12 (+1)​
7 (–2)​
7 (–2)​
5 (–3)​
Pine Carl (if we bother)
13 (+1)​
12 (+1)​
12 (+1)​
8 (–1)​
9 (–1)​
5 (–3)​
Pine Kindred (v6)
13 (+1)​
14 (+2)​
12 (+1)​
11 (+0)​
10 (+0)​
5 (–3)​
Pine Kindred Thane
15 (+2)​
15 (+2)​
14 (+2)​
12 (+1)​
14 (+2)​
9 (−1)​
Pine Kindred Jarl
15 (+2)​
16 (+3)​
16 (+3)​
13 (+1)​
16 (+3)​
13 (+1)​

The Pine Thane's Armour Class can stay the same as an ordinary Kindred and I'm fine with leaving the Hit Dice at 7.

So that'd make the first part of the Stat Block something like:

Pine Kindred, Thane
Medium undead, neutral evil
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Dice 45 (7d8 + 14)
Speed 30 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
15 (+2)​
15 (+2)​
14 (+2)​
12 (+1)​
14 (+2)​
9 (−1)​

Saving Throws Dex +4, Wis +4
Skills Arcana +?, Nature +?, Perception +?, Religion +? Stealth +?
Damage Vulnerabilities Fire
Damage Resistances Lightning; Poison; Bludgeoning, Piercing and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
Damage Immunities Cold
Condition Immunities Exhausted, Paralyzed
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 10
Languages Druidic, Sylvan
Challenge 3 (700 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2
 
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Cleon

Hero
Pine Kindred
Medium undead, neutral evil
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 27 (5d8 + 5)
Speed 30 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
13 (+1)​
14 (+2)​
12 (+1)​
11 (+0)​
10 (+0)​
7 (−2)​

Saving Throws Wis +2
Skills Nature +2, Perception +2, Stealth +4
Damage Vulnerabilities fire
Damage Resistances lightning, poison; bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities cold
Condition Immunities exhaustion, paralyzed
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages Druidic, Sylvan
Challenge 1 (200 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Special Traits

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

Spellcasting. The pine kindred is a 1st-level spellcaster that used Wisdom as its spellcasting ability (spell save DC 10; +2 to hit with spell attacks). A pine kindred has the following spells prepared from the druid's spell list.
  • Cantrips (at will): druidcraft
  • 1st level (1 slot): entangle
Some pine kindred know spells from outside the druid's spell list (see Dark Druidic Mysteries).

Actions

Multiattack. The pine kindred makes two scimitar attacks or two dart attacks. It can use its Shrieking Wail in place of one scimitar attack or dart attack.

Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) slashing damage.

Dart. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) piercing damage.

Shrieking Wail. The pine kindred howls a terrifying dirge. Every humanoid and giant within within 300 feet of the pine kindred that can hear the wail must succeed on a DC 10 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 kindred must take a multiattack action on its subsequent turns to continue wailing but can stop wailing at any time. The wail ends if the kindred 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 kindred, 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 kindred they saved against, but can be affected by wail attacks from pine kindred with more Hit Dice, such as Thanes or Jarls.

Description

Inhabitants of dark pine forests, pine kindred resemble dried corpses with gnarly skin like the bark of a pine tree. Their hair is matted into spikes that match the pine needles on their forest's trees, including the color. They have pine sap for blood and smell strongly of fresh conifers and decaying wood. The wounds of an injured pine kindred will ooze trails of sap or be scabbed over with dried resin.

 Undead with strange plant-like traits, pine kindred are created by gruesome humanoid sacrifices in a forest grove. They use weapons and equipment like humanoids. A novice or low ranking pine kindred will possess the ragged remains of garb and gear it had when alive, but seasoned pine kindred acquire equipment made by the kindred. Pine kindred have no need of clothing for warmth or modesty, but wear harnesses for weapons and equipment plus personal possessions. Important kindred will have raiment and ornaments to display their status and accomplishments.

The Gift of Nidhogg. In the bowels of Hell on the shore of corpses dwells Nidhogg, a terrible dragon of the serpentine type known as a linnorm. Niddhog regularly gnaws upon the roots of Yggdrasil the World Tree, seeking to spread malice and ruin across the Cosmos. Divine sap leaks from the tree where Nidhogg gnawed it, mixed with necrotic venom from the linnorm's corpse-biting teeth. According to pine kindred myth, the first of their kind was created when corpses were filled with this sap, so they call the necrotic energy of the pine sap that animates them The Gift of Nidhogg. Skilled pine kindred spellcasters can transfer this gift to others with Necrotic Sap Infusion (see Thane for details) and use it in various acts of necromancy.

Kindred of the Pines. Pine kindred are created in a rite that drains living humanoids of blood and replaces it with pine sap infuses with Gift of Nidhogg. Only a pine kindred jarl can perform this Pine Kindred Initiation (see Jarl for details). Pine kindred will go to considerable length to capture living humanoids to propagate their kind. A newly risen pine kindred has no memories from the life of its humanoid body, but has the skills and languages of a kindred. A former lover or hated enemy of the person it used to be will be treated no differently to a complete stranger – just a humanoid to be captured for sacrifice.

 Pine kindred are cruel, cunning and evil, but consider other pine kindred as relatives worthy of respect. Kindred created by the same jarl treat each other as siblings of the same bloodline (or rather sapline), calling each other "brothers" or "sisters of the pines." Traditionally, they use the gender of their jarl, so if a jarl was female when alive it will have "sisters" for pine kindred. The gender of the humanoids these undead were created from is irrelevant, since sex means nothing to a kindred.

 A pine kindred community always has a Pine Kindred Jarl at its head, and larger communities add one Pine Kindred Thane for every twenty or so regular kindred. In addition to these full-blooded pine kindred, some communities include lesser pine kindred in roles similar to armed servants (see Fircarl), slaves (see Resin-Thrall) or trained beasts (see Resin-Hound). A few jarls know the secrets to creating a powerful but brutish lesser pine kindred (such as the Tree-Jotun or Tree-Vargr). True pine kindred do not consider these creatures "brothers of the pines" and treat them accordingly.

Dark Druidic Mysteries. All true pine kindred are spellcasters who cast spells like a druid. The kindred know ancient and horrible secrets of nature forgotten by living druids. These include cantrips and spells from other spellcasting classes such as the bard, cleric, sorcerer, and warlock, as well as strange and horrible magic peculiar to these resinous undead. Examples include the ray of frost cantrip, the spells misty step, silent image, and animate dead, and the ritual spell pine kindred initiation known by all pine kindred jarls. Particularly masterful pine kindred may invent their own spells. A skilled pine kindred spellcaster like a thane or jarl can prepare any spell from the druid spell list and often knows a few druidic mystery spells and cantrips. Regular pine kindred are novice spellcasters who can only prepare a single spell from a limited range of spells, an average pine kindred knows three to six spells (1d4 + 2) and one or two cantrips (1d2), but exceptionally favored kindred may know more spells or possess a single mystery spell or cantrip. The spells a kindred knows varies from kindred to kindred. Kindred with particularly useful spells guard them jealously and only willingly share them with trusted sap-siblings or their jarl.

Nourished Like Trees. A pine kindred derives sustenance from the earth of a pine forest. It can either eat soil (a pound of earth per day) or absorb its nutrients by standing or lying upon the ground (6 hours per day). Pine kindred also drink or absorb water, but only need a few mouthfuls a day to stop their woody flesh drying out. Instead of soil and water, it can also meet its dietary needs by drinking sap or turpentine, eating resin or rotten pine wood, or by receiving the Gift of Nidhogg; a dose of Necrotic Sap Infusion will give a pine kindred who's at full hit points a day's worth of sustenance. Kindred who fail to nourish themselves will suffer hunger or thirst and eventually die if they can't acquire sustenance. Pine kindred can taste food and drink, and often do so just for pleasure. They can get drunk on alcohol or turpentine. Mead made from honey and pine sap is the preferred drink for pine kindred feasts, but some communities can brew or distil stronger spirits. The most decadent may even drink liquors made from the necrotic sap of enemy pine kindred.

 Pine kindred have no need for sunlight. They do not photosynthesize like living plants and are just as active in winter as in spring. While bright sunlight does not harm them, kindred prefer the dark shade of thick forests. Being undead they do not need to breathe carbon dioxide like a plant or oxygen like an animal.

Regrowth. If a pine kindred loses part of its body and survives, it can regrow the lost portion much as a tree can grow a new branch. This is a very slow process. It takes a few weeks to regrow a finger or ear, a season or so to regrow a hand or jaw, and a year to regrow an arm or leg. The kindred must be properly nourished while regrowing (see Nourished Like Trees). The regrown part is fully functional but looks different from the original. As a pine kindred regrows from damage and age it becomes gnarled, bark-like and twiggy, appearing more like an ancient fir in human shape.

Unseelie Allegiances. Pine kindred treat humanoids with no compassion or honor, and will use any disgraceful ploy to capture them for sacrifice. They are not innately hostile towards all life like some undead, and even value trees and sylvan creatures that they find useful. Trees are cut for wood, fuel and sap, while animals (plus other creatures) may be hunted for leather and bone. Woodland creatures of no threat or usefulness are generally just ignored. Pine kindred sometimes treat with wicked sylvan creatures, usually evil fey or plant monsters such as green hags and blights. For example, they might sell weapons to buy captured humanoids with the cash, trade turpentine for ore, or cooperate against a common enemy. On rare occasions, pine kindred work with other intelligent undead. Undead allies are usually types who are not driven to kill humanoids, since that ruins potential pine kindred initiates, nor will they be indiscriminately destructive undead who threaten the forest. A banshee or bone naga is a more likely undead ally than a pack of corpse-eating ghouls or a pyromaniac flameskull.

(Originally created 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

Hero
Pine Kindred, Thane
Medium undead, neutral evil
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 45 (7d8 + 14)
Speed 30 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
15 (+2)​
15 (+2)​
14 (+2)​
12 (+1)​
14 (+2)​
9 (−1)​

Saving Throws Dex +4, Wis +4
Skills Nature +4, Perception +4, Religion +4, Stealth +4
Damage Vulnerabilities fire
Damage Resistances lightning, poison; bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities cold
Condition Immunities exhaustion, paralyzed
Senses darkvision 60 ft., Passive perception 14
Languages Druidic, Sylvan
Challenge 3 (700 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Special Traits

Necrotic Sap Infusion. The blood-sap of Pine Kindred contains a necrotic toxin they call the Gift of Nidhogg. A pine kindred thane has four doses of this gift and can spend up to two doses per round.
 A pine kindred can touch a target to infuse their circulation with sap from its own veins. Treat this as a touch attack spell, the kindred need not spend doses if its misses. The kindred takes 1d6 damage per dose from the blood-sap it sacrifices. If the target is an undead, it regains 1d6 hit points plus 1d6 per dose (so 3d6 for two doses). If the target is a living creature, it takes 1d6 necrotic damage plus 1d6 per dose and 1d6 poison damage plus 1d6 per dose.
 Pine kindred thanes also use Necrotic Sap Infusion for various necromantic practices, such as assisting a Jarl with Pine Kindred Initiation.
 If a pine kindred performs Necrotic Sap Infusion in an unholy grove (see Groves of Death in Pine Kindred Jarl), it takes half damage from sap sacrifices it makes (round down).
 Should a kindred wish to conserve its health, it can bleed only a few drops when it spends a dose and take half damage (no multiple doses); if it's in an unholy grove it only takes 1 damage from the sap sacrifice. However, the effectiveness of the dose is also halved (half damage, half healing, counts as a "half dose" towards the doses of a Pine Kindred Initiation, et cetera).

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

Spellcasting. The pine kindred thane is a 4th-level spellcaster that used Wisdom as its spellcasting ability (spell save DC 12; +4 to hit with spell attacks). The thane has the following spells prepared from the druid's spell list.
  • Cantrips (at will): druidcraft, mending, poison spray*
  • 1st level (4 slots): charm person, entangle, fog cloud, inflict wounds*
  • 2nd level (3 slots): enhance ability, misty step*, moonbeam, spike growth
* Some pine kindred know spells from outside the druid's spell list (see Dark Druidic Mysteries in Pine Kindred).

Actions

Multiattack. The pine kindred thane makes two scimitar attacks or two dart attacks. It can use its Shrieking Wail in place of one scimitar attack or dart attack.

Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) slashing damage.

Dart. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.

Shrieking Wail. The pine kindred thane howls a terrifying dirge. Every humanoid and giant within within 300 feet of the pine kindred that can hear the wail must succeed on a DC 11 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 kindred must take a multiattack action on its subsequent turns to continue wailing but can stop wailing at any time. The wail ends if the kindred 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 kindred, 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 thane they saved against, but can be affected by wail attacks from pine kindred with more Hit Dice, such as Jarls.

Description

A thane is a high-ranking pine kindred. They normally wear emblems of their position, such as an embroidered cloak and jewelled headband. Their equipment and jewelry will be more expensive and better quality than a regular pine kindred, and thanes always carry a satchel or pouches containing ingredients for their spells.

The Pine-Dead Elite. A pine kindred is not created a thane, but becomes a thane through its own efforts. Few full-blooded pine kindred have the resolve or talent to become thanes, most remain standard pine kindred for their entire existence. Achieving thanehood is easier for kindred with the favor of the jarl, who can grant them special training and more opportunities for advancement. The best amongst them might become jarls themselves one day. This makes pine kindred society a sort of undead meritocracy, with thanes filling roles analogous to aristocrats or officials.

Halls of Horror. In most pine kindred communities, the thanes inhabit their jarl's hall when not about their duties. A pine kindred "Hall" is rarely literally a hall, the Jarl's Hall is usually a shrine-filled clearing or wood henge near the Jarl's Grove of Death rather than an actual building. Thanes can have halls of their own, if they're especially important or in in charge of settlements far from the jarl's Grove. These halls are sometimes used for "feasts" during which the pine kindred drink turpentine mead, recite poetry, practice dark rites, and other celebrations.

Secret Rites. Pine kindred spellcasters adept in the Dark Druidic Mysteries need unholy shrines to perform sacrifices, acquire new spells, and maintain their spell-casting abilities. A pine kindred practitioner of Dark Druidism must perform certain Mystery rites at least once each lunar month. If it doesn't meet this requirement, the dark druidic spellcaster loses the ability to prepare two spells for each lunar month it missed until its repertoire is diminished to the single 1st-level spell of a regular pine kindred. Performing the secret Mystery rites will fully restore its spells. The Mystery rites take at least an hour to perform and must take place at night, but this time can be split into separate 10 minute long rituals; these rituals must all occur during the same lunar month but can be spread across multiple nights. It is a tradition, but not a necessity, for pine kindred dark druids to perform these secret rites on nights when the moon is full.
 Most thanes perform their secret rites in the shrines of the jarldom's unholy grove, but some thanes maintain their own shrines. Typically these are thanes who dwell too far away to easily commute to the grove once a month, but particularly studious, secretive, or ambitious thanes may keep a private shrine to practice their spellcasting.

Captains of Kindred, Masters of Thralls. The primary duty of a thane is commanding other pine kindred in battle as a warchief. A typical thane leads twenty or so full-blooded pine kindred and fircarls. A thane may have its own territory, a Thanedom, within the domain of the jarl. Typical thanedoms are military camps from which the pine kindred defend their borders and launch raids to capture humanoids for sacrifice. Complex pine kindred communities have thanes in charge of sites that fill particular needs (weapon manufacture, pine sap fermentation, charcoal burning, mining metal ore, et cetera). Such sites have buildings necessary for their function (i.e. an armory needs shelters to store weapons in good condition). If the role requires a lot of manual labor, the thane will be headmen of a "village" of resin-thralls. Some thanes can create thralls with a Dark Druidic Mystery spell called animate resin-thrall, which is similar to animate dead.

Autonomous Thanedoms. A thanedom can be so far removed from their jarl it becomes semi-independent, with the most powerful thane in it acting as the local chief who makes any decisions which aren't superseded by "royal commands" from the jarl. On rare occasions, a thanedom becomes fully independent, either because the jarl has been destroyed or the local chief has decided to break free of its jarl's authority. Mainstream pine kindred society views most such chieftains as "Traitor Thanes" who rebelled against their jarldoms and "steal" humanoid sacrifices that rightfully belong to their jarl. An independent thane often calls itself a Jarl or Earl, but is more accurately a "pretender to jarldom" as they cannot create full-blooded pine kindred, the defining power of a pine kindred jarl.
 All true pine kindred in an independent thanedom will be outcasts like a traitor thane or refugees from destroyed jarldoms, the bulk of the population will be resin-thralls or fircarls. An independent thane normally has Dark Druidic Mystery powers that produce resin-thralls and fircarls in their own unholy grove or a temple-shrine that performs the same functions. They will have a "Jarl's Hall," but the elite retainers within it will be regular pine kindred instead of the thanes of a true Jarl's Hall, although there may be a few thanes among a pretender jarl's followers.
 Independent thanedoms rarely last long; most are either destroyed by internal strife and war or wither away because they cannot replace slain pine kindred. Most rarely, the thanedom obtains the secret of Pine Kindred Initiation and becomes a true jarldom. This is very rare; few traitor earls become masterful enough spellcasters to research that Dark Druidic Mystery themselves, so they would have to become spellcasters as powerful as jarls and then somehow conquer a jarldom and seize control of an Unholy Grove or steal the secret ritual from a jarl's private shrine.
 Traitor thanes normally lair in defensible locations, such as robber baron's fortresses atop peaks or halls surrounded by mazelike thickets and wooden palisades. They tend to be less isolationist than normal pine kindred and are more likely raid outside their pine forest for living victims to transform into new kindred. Rebel thanes are desperate for allies and have even been known to use evil humanoid mercenaries, since a living warrior can be far more effective than a fircarl. Only a truly foolish humanoid would trust a pine kindred employer. Inhuman allies such as evil fey, trolls, or ogres are more common.

(Originally created 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

Hero
Pine Kindred, Jarl
Medium undead, neutral evil
Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 67 (9d8 + 27)
Speed 30 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
15 (+2)​
16 (+3)​
16 (+3)​
13 (+1)​
16 (+3)​
13 (+1)​

Saving Throws Dex +5, Int +3, Wis +5
Skills Arcana +3, Nature +5, Perception +5, Religion +5, Stealth +5
Damage Vulnerabilities fire
Damage Resistances lightning, poison; bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities cold
Condition Immunities exhaustion, paralyzed
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages Druidic, Sylvan
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Special Traits

Necrotic Sap Infusion. The blood-sap of Pine Kindred contains a necrotic toxin they call the Gift of Nidhogg. A pine kindred jarl has eight doses of this gift and can spend up to three doses per round.
 A pine kindred can touch a target to infuse their circulation with sap from its own veins. Treat this as a touch attack spell, the kindred need not spend doses if its misses. The kindred takes 1d6 damage per dose from the blood-sap it sacrifices. If the target is an undead, it regains 1d6 hit points plus 1d6 per dose (so 3d6 for two doses). If the target is a living creature, it takes 1d6 necrotic damage plus 1d6 per dose and 1d6 poison damage plus 1d6 per dose.
 Pine kindred jarls also use Necrotic Sap Infusion for various necromantic practices, such as Pine Kindred Initiation.
 If a pine kindred performs Necrotic Sap Infusion in an unholy grove (see Groves of Death), it takes half damage from sap sacrifices it makes (round down).
 Should a kindred wish to conserve its health, it can bleed only a few drops when it spends a dose and take half damage (no multiple doses); if it's in an unholy grove it only takes 1 damage from the sap sacrifice. However, the effectiveness of the dose is also halved (half damage, half healing, counts as a "half dose" towards the doses of a Pine Kindred Initiation, et cetera).

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

Pine Kindred Initiation. A pine kindred jarl knows a special ritual spell that transforms humanoids of Medium size (living or dead) into pine kindred. This spell can only be cast in a "Grove of Death" (see Description), and its 20 minute casting time must end during the hour after midnight. Other pine kindred can assist the jarl with Pine Kindred Initiation. If their assistance is interrupted (to fight intruders, for example), it does not break the spell.
 The living humanoids and corpses to become pine kindred are slowly drained of blood. A living humanoid will die 12 to 18 minutes into the ritual (average 150 rounds*). Living victims must be immobilized or cooperative, for a single action can bind a victim's cut and stop the bleeding.
* If it matters, the exact round a living victim will bleed to death can be determined by rolling 3d20 + 1d4 + 116.
 Finally, during the last two minutes of the ritual, the drained victim's empty veins are filled with pine sap from ceremonial vessels (at least a gallon of sap per body) and the pine kindred use Necrotic Sap Infusion to transition them into undeath.

The ritual can create any combination of pine kindred, pine kindred fircarls, and pine kindred resin-thralls the jarl desires. The requirements are as follows:
  • To initiate a Pine Kindred requires a living victim. The animation requires four doses of necrotic sap, at least two doses of which must come from a Jarl.
  • To initiate a Fircarl requires a living victim or fresh corpse (intact and less than three days old). The animation requires two doses of sap; if a corpse is used the necrotic sap must include at least half a dose from a Jarl.
  • To initiate a Resin-Thrall requires only a body in any condition, although thralls without limbs are of little use. The animation requires one dose of necrotic sap, or half a dose for a living victim.
Since Pine Kindred Initiation is in an unholy grove, pine kindred only take half of the 1d6 damage per dose from using Necrotic Sap Infusion on the initiates. They can split a single dose to give two initiates half a dose each.
 The bodies rise as undead when the spell is finished. If an initiate received insufficient necrotic sap, it becomes the strongest type of pine kindred it qualifies for (three doses would create a fircarl, for example) or just a dead body.

Spellcasting. The pine kindred jarl is a 6th-level spellcaster that used Wisdom as its spellcasting ability (spell save DC 13; +5 to hit with spell attacks). The thane has the following spells prepared from the druid's spell list.
  • Cantrips (at will): druidcraft, guidance, chill touch˟, poison spray˟, resistance
  • 1st level (4 slots): entangle, faerie fire, inflict wounds˟, protection from evil and good˟, thunderwave
  • 2nd level (3 slots): augury˟, enhance ability, hold person, misty step˟, moonbeam
  • 3rd level (3 slots): animate dead˟, bestow curse˟, conjure animals, dispel magic, wind wall
˟ Some pine kindred know spells from outside the druid's spell list (see Dark Druidic Mysteries in Pine Kindred).

Actions

Multiattack. The pine kindred jarl makes two longsword attacks or three dart attacks. It can use its Shrieking Wail in place of one longsword attack or dart attack.

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) slashing damage, or 7 (1d10 + 2) slashing damage if used with two hands.

Dart. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.

Shrieking Wail. The pine kindred jarl howls a terrifying dirge. Every humanoid and giant within within 300 feet of the pine kindred that can hear the wail must succeed on a DC 11 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 kindred must take a multiattack action on its subsequent turns to continue wailing but can stop wailing at any time. The wail ends if the kindred 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 kindred, 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 jarl they saved against, but can be affected by wail attacks from pine kindred with more Hit Dice.

Description

A pine kindred jarl is a mighty undead chieftain who rules a tribe of pine kindred. These spellcasters look like pine kindred thanes but often have elaborate crowns, horned headdresses, carved staffs and other complex paraphernalia that reflect their status, especially when the jarl performs spells or ceremonies.

Pine Kindred Creation. The jarl is usually the only pine kindred in a tribe able to create full-blooded pine kindred using the Pine Kindred Initiation power. Due to this, the tribe’s pine kindred view the jarl not just as their ruler and prophet, but as their parent; considering themselves all to be daughters or sons of the jarl (Note this disregards the gender of the humanoid the tribe member was when alive: thus, If the jarl is viewed as female, all the tribe members are “daughters”). Powerful jarls are also able to produce full-blooded pine kindred using a Dark Druidic Mystery spell called create pine kindred, similar to the necromancy spell create undead.

Groves of Death. A jarl performs most of their important magics, especially the Pine Kindred Initiation ritual, in an unholy grove. These are gruesome places where ancient living and dead pine trees loom over blood-soaked altars, ancient stones and wooden idols, all carved with occult runes. The jarl and their attending thanes dwell nearby in the Jarl’s Hall.

Jarldoms. The territory of a jarl is called a jarldom. A pine forest may contain a single jarldom, but large and ancient forests may have multiple jarls within them. If two or more pine jarldoms exist in close proximity, they will either be deadly rivals or one of the jarls will rule over the others. Such a pine king may be no more powerful personally than its subordinate jarls, although it often is, and is almost always the ruler of the oldest and largest pine kindred tribe. The jarls under the king’s command are usually former thanes of his that progressed far enough in the Dark Druidic Mysteries they became jarls in their own right. Once a pine kindred becomes a jarl they found their own tribe of pine kindred apart from their parent community. Relations between jarldoms can be as complex as mortal politics, with much jockeying for power and prestige, which often includes espionage to try stealing the magical secrets of a rival jarl. It’s rare for a subordinate jarl to not be a descendant of the king’s sapline, such jarldoms are effectively conquered territories and far more likely to rebel.

(Originally created 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

Hero
CreatureSTRDEXCONINTWISCHA
Pine Thrall (v3)13 (+1)10 (+0)12 (+1)7 (–2)7 (–2)5 (–3)
Pine Carl (if we bother)13 (+1)12 (+1)12 (+1)8 (–1)9 (–1)5 (–3)
Pine Kindred (v6)13 (+1)14 (+2)12 (+1)11 (+0)10 (+0)5 (–3)
Pine Kindred Thane15 (+2)15 (+2)14 (+2)12 (+1)14 (+2)9 (−1)
Pine Kindred Jarl15 (+2)16 (+3)16 (+3)13 (+1)16 (+3)13 (+1)

Upon reflection, a Kindred should have a better Charisma than a mere Thrall, so either increase the Kindred's or lower the Thrall's Charisma? Guess we should adjust the Carl too while we're at it.

How about:

Creature​
STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
Pine Thrall (revised)
13 (+1)​
10 (+0)​
12 (+1)​
7 (–2)​
7 (–2)​
3 (–4)​
Pine Carl (if we bother, revised)
13 (+1)​
12 (+1)​
12 (+1)​
8 (–1)​
9 (–1)​
5 (–3)​
Pine Kindred (revised)
13 (+1)​
14 (+2)​
12 (+1)​
11 (+0)​
10 (+0)​
7 (–2)​
Pine Kindred Thane
15 (+2)​
15 (+2)​
14 (+2)​
12 (+1)​
14 (+2)​
9 (−1)​
Pine Kindred Jarl
15 (+2)​
16 (+3)​
16 (+3)​
13 (+1)​
16 (+3)​
13 (+1)​
 
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Cleon

Hero
Oh I've also had a relevation, what if the Create Pine Kindred ability of the Jarl was a Druid Circle Power? A regular Druid gains a Circle Power at 2nd, 6th, 10th, and 14th level and the Jarl is a 6th level spellcaster so it fits.

We could give the Thane a "Circle Power" to correspond to the one a 2nd-level Druid gets.
 

Cleon

Hero
Okay, I've tweaked the above Kindred with the slight Charisma improvement and fixed some formatting inconsistencies. Mainly that the ability tables cells were a mix of Left-aligned and Centre-aligned.
 

Cleon

Hero
Pine Kindred, Resin-Thrall
Medium undead, neutral evil
Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 16 (3d8 + 3)
Speed 30 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
13 (+1)​
10 (+0)​
12 (+1)​
5 (−3)​
7 (−2)​
3 (−4)​

Saving Throws Wis +0
Damage Vulnerabilities bludgeoning, fire, slashing
Damage Resistances lightning, poison
Damage Immunities cold
Condition Immunities exhaustion, paralyzed
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 8
Languages understands Druidic, Sylvan but cannot speak
Challenge 1/8 (25 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Special Traits

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

Actions

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) bludgeoning damage.

Description

A resin-thrall is the lowliest of the Pine Kindred. Produced by Thanes or their Jarl leader, these animated humanoid cadavers range from fresh zombie-like corpses to decrepit skeletons held together by roots and leaf mold depending on their age but always stink of rotting flesh and decomposing vegetation. Resin-thralls have pine needles, sap and rootlike tendrils breaking out from their flesh and bones as well as bodies stained with dried resin streaks. They have no use for clothing, but well-preserved resin-thralls may wear the ragged remains of whatever they wore when alive.

Dimwitted Minions. Only barely more intelligent than an undead skeleton or zombie, resin-thralls are only capable of completing the simplest of tasks without direct supervision. They usually work under the direction of a Fircarl on labor intensive tasks such as digging ditches, pumping a forge bellows, and the like. While thralls can fight, fircarls make far more effective warriors. A resin-thrall militia may be armed with greatclubs and rocks, but most only attack with their moldy fists.

Buried Among the Pines. Resin-thralls are sustained by the soil and needles of the pine forest. They rest by burying themselves in such materials, and need the same amount of this "sleep" to replenish their energy as a living humanoid. A resin-thrall is usually stored in the earth when its pine kindred masters have no use for it; they can survive for many decades if covered with pine needles and moist humus. A few pine kindred tribes have entire armies of resin-thralls buried around their Grove of Death, ready to rise en masse in response to the Jarl's call to arms.

As Dead as Decaying Tree Stumps. A resin-thrall cannot regrow missing body parts like more potent pine kindred, even if infused with necrotic sap. They have a limited ability to recover from injury but it is no better than a living creature.

Evolution of the Lost. If all the true pine kindred and fircarls in a tribe are destroyed, any resin-thralls that survive will either continue whatever task they were assigned or sleep under the ground until they are destroyed by decay, accident or an enemy. When pine kindred decompose, their necrotic energies leech into the soil, poisoning nearby plants and pooling in unhallowed places such as an Unholy Grove. If nothing directs these malign forces, such as a hag coven or other pine kindred performing rituals, it may slowly seep into any resin-thralls buried nearby. Normally this just staves off decay for a few more decades before the thrall perishes, but in particularly favorable conditions a resin-thrall can metabolize accumulated necrotic energy into Gift of Nidhogg and transform into a fircarl. Rising from the soil, the newborn fircarl seeks more Gift in order to evolve into a full-blooded pine kindred and study the Dark Druidic Mysteries, with the ultimate aim of becoming a Jarl and founding a new tribe.
 While it seems extraordinarily unlikely for a resin-thrall to achieve this deed, it explains accounts of cursed forests where the pine kindred were completely exterminated only to reappear a century or so later.
 In theory, this suggests a spell or ritual could turn a resin-thrall into a fircarl or higher ranking pine kindred, but such magic would be of so little utility necromancers and pine kindred spellcasters haven't bothered researching it.

(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

Hero
Pine Kindred, Thrall

Actions

Multiattack. The thrall makes two claw attacks.

Spear. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) piercing damage or 5 (1d8 + 1) piercing damage if used with two hands. Ranged Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, range 20/60 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) piercing damage.

Dart. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) piercing damage.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) slashing damage.

Not fond of the Multiattack or claws. I'm tempted to just give it a Slam attack like a Common Zombie and give the Carl the Spear and Dart attacks but no Multiattack.

Actions

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) slashing damage.

EDIT/ Speaking of the Carl… /EDIT
 
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Cleon

Hero
Pine Kindred, Fircarl
Medium undead, neutral evil
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 22 (4d8 + 4)
Speed 30 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
13 (+1)​
12 (+1)​
12 (+1)​
8 (−1)​
9 (−1)​
5 (−3)​

Saving Throws Wis +1
Damage Vulnerabilities fire
Damage Resistances lightning, poison; piercing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities cold
Condition Immunities exhaustion, paralyzed
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 9
Languages Druidic, Sylvan
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Special Traits

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

Spellcasting. A fircarl is an inept 1st-level spellcaster that uses Wisdom as its spellcasting ability (spell save DC 9, +1 to hit with spell attacks) and is only able to cast a single cantrip.
  • Cantrips (at will): guidance
Some pine kindred know spells from outside the druid's spell list (see Dark Druidic Mysteries in Pine Kindred).

Actions

Spear. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) piercing damage or 5 (1d8 + 1) piercing damage if used with two hands. Ranged Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, range 20/60 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) piercing damage.

Dart. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) piercing damage.

Description

Fircarls are lesser pine kindred that can be created by Jarls or particularly adept Thane spellcasters. They are infused with less necrotic sap than their full-blooded kin and serve as followers and rank and file warriors. A fircarl closely resembles a true pine kindred, but closer examination reveals they are more corpselike, with a more skull-like face and their bodies sometimes have exposed bones and unhealed resin-caked wounds. Their eyes are identical to a true Kindred: amber hued or a poisonous sap green and with a gleam of malevolent intelligence, although they lack the glowing intensity of their most powerful kin. Fircarls bear inferior equipment and are typically only armed with a spear plus a few darts stuck through their belts.

Dull-Witted but Cunning. A fircarl rarely speaks but is self-aware and crafty, although they are not as intelligent as a true Kindred. The more foolish full-blooded Kindred view them as stupid disposable slaves like a Resin-Thrall. The wiser ones remember fircarls have minds and desires of their own and treat them accordingly.

Fircarl Creation. Most fircarls are created by Jarls using Pine Kindred Initiation, but they can also be produced with a 3rd-level spell called create fircarl that is similar to animate dead in function. Most thane "pretenders to jarldom" create fircarls to bolster their ranks with this spell.

The Sap is The Life. A fircarl is basically a Pine Kindred who didn't receive enough Necrotic Sap Infusion at its creation to produce a full-blooded Kindred. This gives fircarls a perpetual thirst for sap containing the Gift of Nidhogg. A fircarl who perform exceptionally well is often rewarded with Nidhogg's Gift by their Thane or Jarl.
 Fircarls do not naturally regrow lost body parts like true Kindred, but if an undamaged fircarl receives a Necrotic Sap Infusion it gains the Pine Kindred ability of Regrowth from the excessive dosage of sap. The fircarl loses one excess dose of Gift per season (3 months), and its Regrowth ability ends once its oversaturation with Nidhogg's Gift ceases.
 There is another method of absorbing sap: cannibalism. If a fircarl eats or drinks the sap of a dead Kindred, it becomes infused with however many doses of Gift of Nidhogg the sap contained (the full dosages of Kindred are ½ for resin-thrall, 1 for fircarl, 2 for pine kindred, 4 for thane and 8 for jarl; assuming the entire body is devoured and the kindred did not expend any doses via Necrotic Sap Infusion). Most Kindred societies consider this practice abhorrent but a few encourage fircarls to honor fallen comrades by eating them, or even allow them to devour corpses from enemy jarldoms. Multiple fircarls can share a Kindred corpse to divide its doses between them. Note that only the standard types of kindred can be cannibalized, not the bestial or brutish forms such as Resin-Hounds or Tree-Vargr.
 A fircarl can "evolve" into a true Pine Kindred if infused with enough doses of Gift. Normally this is done during a Pine Kindred Initiation ceremony. This promotion requires four doses of Necrotic Sap Infusion, at least two doses of which must come from a Jarl, just like the normal Initiation of a Pine Kindred from a living humanoid. If a pine kindred is ever infused with 5 or more doses of excess sap it can spontaneously transform into a full-blooded Kindred by succeeding on a Charisma check against a DC of 25 minus the number of excess doses it is infused with.

Sapdrinking Insanity. A fircarl can be tainted with madness and so overcome by sap-thirst they will prey on its own kin. Called a sapdrinker, these undead serial killers are very rare and occur at random, but the madness is more likely to happen to a fircarl who was a particularly evil person when alive and infused with necrotic sap from enemy Jarldoms in undeath. Sapdrinkers may have a higher Intelligence or Charisma score than a normal fircarl. Knowing they would be destroyed if discovered, these insane fircarls resort to secret murder. Resin-thralls are their usual victims, being weak and unlikely to be missed, or Kindred from an antagonistic neighboring tribe. Should the fircarl consume enough Gift of Nidhogg to become a full-blooded Pine Kindred it is either killed immediately or escapes to become an outcast who only the most depraved Traitor Thane would shelter. All mainstream Pine Kindred view sapdrinking as a blasphemous crime.
 Sane fircarls lose their thirst for necrotic sap once they become full-blooded kindred, but not those corrupted by sap-thirst. Even if a sapdrinker becomes a Thane or Jarl it never loses the thirst, which it feeds by bleeding Kindred captives or unfavored minions. Sapdrinkers may have special devices to squeeze every last drop of sap from their Pine Kindred victims or their corpses: boiling them in kettles or grinding them in mills. Some are connoisseurs who savor liquors refined from necrotic sap and herbs in alchemical stills.


(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

Hero
Pine Kindred, Resin-Hound
Medium undead, neutral evil
Armor Class 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points 11 (2d8 + 2)
Speed 40 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
12 (+1)​
12 (+1)​
13 (+1)​
2 (−4)​
11 (+0)​
3 (−4)​

Saving Throws Wis +2
Skills Perception +2
Damage Vulnerabilities fire
Damage Resistances cold, poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Special Traits

Keen Scent. The resin-hound has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.

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

Pounce. If a resin-hound moves at least 15 feet directly toward a creature, and then hits it with a bite attack on the same turn, the target must succeed on a DC 11 Strength saving throw, or be forced prone.

Actions

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) piercing damage.

Baying Wail. The resin-hound bays a terrifying hunting call as a bonus action. The hound must take a bonus action on its subsequent turns to continue wailing but can stop wailing at any time. The wail ends if the resin-hound is incapacitated or makes a bite attack. Every animal within 300 feet of the resin-hound that can hear the wail must succeed on a DC 8 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened and act as if affected by a suggestion spell telling them to "run in terror".
 If the animal is within 300 feet of the kindred, it must move on its turn away from the hound 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. While affected by the wail, a target ignores the wails of other pine kindred (including resin-hounds). If the target stops hearing the wail or flees outside ear shot (i.e. more than 300 feet away from the wailing hound) they are no longer affected by that wail.
 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. A target who successfully saves is immune to the wails of any pine kindred with the same or fewer Hit Dice as the resin-hound they saved against, but can be affected by wail attacks from pine kindred with more Hit Dice, such as the shrieking wails of standard Pine Kindred and Thanes.

Reactions

Ferocity. When the resin-hound drops to 0 hit points, it immediately makes one attack against a creature within 5 feet as a reaction before dying.

Description

Lean wolflike beasts with bodies of gnarled wood and bones with a bristling coat of pine needles as fur, resin-hounds are undead creations of the Pine Kindred. They serve their masters as hunting beasts, war hounds and guard dogs.

Meat Eating. If a resin-hound eats meat or is infused with the Gift of Nidhogg it temporarily gains the pine kindred trait of Regrowth. This allows the hound to slowly regenerate lost body parts and heal itself (a hungry resin-hound does not recover lost hit points naturally). One pound of meat gives a resin-hound one day of healing; one dose of Necrotic Sap Infusion is worth three months of healing. A resin-hound can store up to a year's worth of healing before it can eat or absorb no more. They can devour a month's worth of meat in a day, about 30 pounds. The meat's condition does not matter; putrescent carrion provides the same healing time as fresh flesh. Pine kindred often use resin-hounds to dispose of unwanted corpses.

Resin-Hound Creation. A resin-hound can be made from the dead body of any Medium size carnivorous quadrupedal animal. Most were once wolves or mastiffs, but the corpses of other predators like hyenas, panthers, or giant weasels serve just as well. Such creatures differ in appearance but have the same statistics as a canine resin-hound. Note that bears and boars are too omnivorous to become resin-hounds.
 The majority of resin-hounds are made with a Dark Druidic Mystery spell called animate resin-hound. Most Jarls and even some Thanes know this spell, which works like animate dead but produces resin-hounds instead of skeletons and zombies.
 A rare few jarls possess a secret ceremony, Pine Wolf Transformation. Similar to Pine Kindred Initiation, it can create many resin-hounds and/or one Tree-Vargr.

(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

Hero
Pine Kindred, Carl

I also wondered about making the cantrip a number of times per day and toyed around with various versions of the "Wis check to cast spells" idea.

For example:

Spellcasting. A pine carl is an inept 1st-level spellcaster that uses Wisdom as its spellcasting ability (spell save DC 9, +1 to hit with spell attacks) but is only able to cast a single cantrip from the druid's spell list.

Cantrips (3/day): ray of frost

The pine carl needs to succeed at a bonus action DC 10 Wisdom roll to use its cantrip, otherwise it can only use its nonmagical attacks. It may attempt this Wisdom check again after a long rest.

Some pine kindred know spells from outside the druid's spell list (see Dark Druidic Mysteries).
 
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Cleon

Hero
I think that'll do for today as far as the Stat Blocks go, otherwise I'll spend even longer tweaking the numbers and wording than I already have.
 
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Cleon

Hero
Pine Kindred, Pine Hound

I wasn't sure whether to make Pine Hound an entry in the Pine Kindred "family" or treat it as a separate name, which'd make an alphabetic listing of their names:

Pine Hound
Pine Kindred
Pine Kindred, Carl
Pine Kindred, Jarl
Pine Kindred, Thane
Pine Kindred, Thrall

Going by the precedent of the Zombies and Vampires families in the 5eSRD it looks like you put them together, but that doesn't seem quite right either:

Pine Kindred
Pine Kindred, Carl
Pine Kindred, Jarl
Pine Kindred, Pine Hound
Pine Kindred, Thane
Pine Kindred, Thrall

To my mind the three "full-blooded kindred" (Normal, Thane & Jarl) are versions of the same creature, the Pine Kindred. A Kindred who survives and grows in power could become a Thane or even a Jarl.

The Pine Thrall seems a fundamentally different creature, a zombie-like entity incapable of studious advancement, so are normally stuck being a woody zombie.

The Pine Carl is somewhere inbetween, they don't have enough "sap" or intellectual ability to be considered a proper Pine Kindred as they can't comprehend the Dark Druidic Mysteries, but they're not zombies.

So something like:

Pine Kindred
Pine Kindred Jarl
Pine Kindred Thane
Pine Kindred, Pine Carl
Pine Kindred, Pine Thrall
Pine Kindred - Pine Hound

I did have an idea that Carls or perhaps even Thralls might be able to become Pine Kindred if they can get enough life sap. Rival Jarls could feed their minions defeated enemy thralls or give successful ones transfusions of the jarl's own sap? Perhaps if all the Pine Kindred in a community are destroyed the uncontrolled Thralls and Carls turn feral and start rampaging, devouring one another until the survivors ingest enough sap to become new Pine Kindred? Maybe Pine Carls just sometimes "go rogue" and start hunting their own kind, secretly killing Pine Thralls when the Kindred aren't watching.

For that matter, couldn't it work in reverse, with a regular Pine Kindred weakening into a Pine Carl due to decrepitude, disease or supernatural causes? Maybe Jarls can deliberately drain a Kindreds' sap and turn them into Carls as a punishment. Perhaps an unusually aware Pine Carl with better skill at cantrips?

Dang it, I'm over-complicating things as is my usual want.

I'll try to restrict myself to the original three types when we get to the Description!
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
okay, first up, here's the thrall - ditched the multiattack. just left it with a slam. Insanely annoyingly - in DnDbeyond template, there is no option for resistance to nonmagical piercing weapons only :( ..so left like ofther kindred
 

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Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Dang it, we forgot to think of Skills for the regular Pine Kindred!

Regular Wights have Perception and Stealth.

Druids tend to have Nature and Religion, but these are evil twisted necromancer-druids so I think Arcana works too.

Maybe it's only the Jarls who have Arcana since they've delved into the deeper mysteries, but the Thanes have Religion because they help organize the Pine Kindred's rituals? That sort of makes sense.

We could cut out the Stealth, since they have a decent Dexterity so are pretty stealth at default, but I imagine these green-skinned creatures are quite adept at stalking victims through the woods.

Pine Kindred Skills Nature +, Perception +, Stealth +?
Pine Thane Skills Nature +, Perception +, Religion +? Stealth +?
Pine Jarl Skills Arcana +, Nature +, Perception +, Religion +? Stealth +?

So that'd revise the kindred to the following. I noticed a couple of minor typographical inconsistencies to fix while I was at it (colons that should be full stops, for example).


Pine Kindred
Medium undead, neutral evil
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Dice 27 (5d8 + 5)
Speed 30 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
13 (+1)​
14 (+2)​
12 (+1)​
11 (+0)​
10 (+0)​
7 (−2)​

Saving Throws Wis +2
Skills Nature +2, Perception +2, Stealth +4
Damage Vulnerabilities Fire
Damage Resistances Lightning; Poison; Bludgeoning, Piercing and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
Damage Immunities Cold
Condition Immunities Exhausted, Paralyzed
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 10
Languages Druidic, Sylvan
Challenge 1 (200 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Special Traits

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

Spellcasting. The pine kindred is a 1st-level spellcaster that used Wisdom as its spellcasting ability (spell save DC 10; +2 to hit with spell attacks). A pine kindred has the following spells prepared from the druid's spell list.

Cantrips (at will): druidcraft
1st level (1 slot): entangle

Some pine kindred know spells from outside the druid's spell list (see Dark Druidic Mysteries).

Actions

Multiattack. The pine kindred makes two scimitar attacks or two dart attacks. It can use its Shrieking Wail in place of one scimitar attack or dart attack.

Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) slashing damage.

Dart. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) piercing damage.

Shrieking Wail. The pine kindred howls a terrifying dirge. Every humanoid and giant within within 300 feet of the pine kindred that can hear the wail must succeed on a DC 10 Wisdom saving throw or be compelled to flee in panic until the wail ends; acting as if they had failed their save against a suggestion spell telling them to "run in terror". The kindred must take a multiattack action on its subsequent turns to continue wailing. It can stop wailing at any time. The wail ends if the kindred 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 kindred, 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 kindred they saved against, but can be affected by the shrieking wails of pine kindred with more Hit Dice, such as Thanes or Jarls.
typos (colons) fixed and skills added..
 

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Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Thane updated - added spells in keeping with idea of not direct attack but cunning and capturing victims...
 

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