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

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Ok, am converting the Sunfire's Heart to 5e (appeared in WD 56/57) and have been playing around with the Buggane..incorporating folklore plus the original description...
 

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Cleon

Hero
Ok, am converting the Sunfire's Heart to 5e (appeared in WD 56/57) and have been playing around with the Buggane..incorporating folklore plus the original description...

I'll need to pull out my copy of White Dwarf to make a detailed critique but first impressions are (a) Shouldn't it have Shapechange as a Special Trait rather than a Bonus Action; (b) Fiendish Blessing seems a bit pointless, I'd just include it in its regular (un)natural armor; and (c) should it be able to Multiattack and use Claws and Bite in bull, calf and humanoid form as well as it can in its true giant shaggy monster form?
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
good points -will get on it. main thing is I think the shapechange should be a bonus action rather than an action as such as if combat lasts 3 rounds is a very expensive trait for little benefit and undermines the whole point of shapechanging.
 

Cleon

Hero
good points -will get on it. main thing is I think the shapechange should be a bonus action rather than an action as such as if combat lasts 3 rounds is a very expensive trait for little benefit and undermines the whole point of shapechanging.

But a Werewolf doesn't have "Shapechanger" listed under Actions.

If you want it to be a bonus action, just use the Shapechanger formula and change "the [name] can use its action" to "the [name] can use its bonus action" while leaving it in Special Traits.

Although it might be advisable to add a modifier to emphasize it's faster than normal shapechanging, maybe Rapid Shapechanger.
 


Cleon

Hero
ok called it an "Adept shapechanger", which allows me to put at top alphabetically

I don't think you need that excuse, since the protocol appears to be to put Shapechanger as the first Special Trait regardless of whether it is first alphabetically, since officially published Lycanthropes have Keen sensory Special Traits after their Shapechanger trait.
 


Cleon

Hero
Well then "Adept" as it changes with a bonus action rather than an action, so functionally different from the base shapechanger trait

I'm fine with it being called Adept Shapechanging, I was pointing out that if it follows the priority ordering of regular Shapechanging it does not need the "allows it to be put at top alphabetically" excuse.

If we statted up a Orycteropusthrope and gave it Aardvark Summoning and Adept Shapechanging as Special Traits, the Adept Shapechanging could be at the top despite Aa coming before Ad alphabetically.
 


Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Shouldn't we finish off the Chthon before getting too distracted with a new White Dwarf conversion?
oh crap, yes. now where were we...

Ok - I thought you'd decided on the wording of Rooted Stability

thought about the following as an at-will action:

Charm Beast or Plant. The chthon attempts to charm a beast it can sense within 60 ft. The beast must make a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw, or be charmed for 1 hour. If territorial or naturally aggressive, it can be influenced to attack opponents. A maximum of twenty subjects may be affected in this way.

(I also made its wisdom 14 as it is presumably strong-willed
 
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Cleon

Hero
oh crap, yes. now where were we...

Erm… here's the Chthon Enworld draft, the following posts (to #743 to #758) appear to be all the discussion we've had so far.

Ok - I thought you'd decided on the wording of Rooted Stability

No, I was still at these musings:

I'm wondering whether a Chthon is capable of moving very very slowly. If it were literally immobile, then surely it'd fall prone at some time in its life whereupon it'd be unable to get its face out of the dirt. Also, how would it turn to face an enemy?

We could give it Speed 5 ft., burrow 5 ft. or maybe even lower (1 ft., burrow 1 ft.?).

Alternatively, what if it's too slow to move in "combat time". Perhaps it moves a few feet if if it spends a full minute taking the Dash action?

I'm thinking it should be able to stand up from prone and turn on the spot as easily as a fully mobile creature. Maybe rather than literally moving, the Chthon has a limited ability to reshape its mineral body, so when it "turns round" its face is absorbed into its boulder body and reemerges on the other side of its mass.

That might also be how it can move about (very very slowly).

Should its movement ability also be a Special Trait?

…and hadn't translated them into a Special Trait yet.

thought about the following as an at-will action:

Charm Beast or Plant. The chthon attempts to charm a beast it can sense within 60 ft. The beast must make a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw, or be charmed for 1 hour. If territorial or naturally aggressive, it can be influenced to attack opponents. A maximum of twenty subjects may be affected in this way.

(I also made its wisdom 14 as it is presumably strong-willed

I thought its "controlling nature" ability was Charisma-based. Having a high CHA can represent a strong-willed creature after all, and Chthons give me the vibe of being egotistical tyrants rather than wise and insightful beings.
 

Cleon

Hero
…and hadn't translated them into a Special Trait yet.

Dammit, I just finished writing a post when a browser update wiped my cache.

Here I go again…

Rooted. The chthon is normally fixed to the bedrock and cannot be knocked prone or moved by effects, it is still free to rotate in place to view or attack in any direction. A chthon can unroot itself as an action and then reroot itself by remaining in one spot for a minute. An unrooted chthon has a speed of 1 foot and can be knocked over and moved around by effect, but gains advantage on ability checks and saving throws against such effects and always uses Strength to make the roll if it gives the chthon a higher chance of success.​

I'm game to add a burrowing speed at the same rate and would entertain the idea of increasing the speed to a blistering 5 feet (with or without burrow).
 


Cleon

Hero
yeah 5 ft. burrow sounds plausible

and may as well make "walking" speed 5 ft.

Very well, so:

Rooted. The chthon is normally fixed to the bedrock and cannot be knocked prone or moved by effects, it is still free to rotate in place to view or attack in any direction. A chthon can unroot itself as an action and then reroot itself by remaining in one spot for a minute. An unrooted chthon has speed 5 ft., burrow 5 ft. and can be knocked over and moved around by effects, but gains advantage on ability checks and saving throws against such effects and always uses Strength to make the roll if this gives the chthon better odds of success.​

Tweaked the wording a little in the last sentence.

Updating the Chthon.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
ok updated my end...you wanna give it a bite attack? also thought of a missile attack "spit chips" - spitting bits of sharp rock (play on words as spitting chips = very annoyed
 

Cleon

Hero
Okay, now for the tricky bit. It's Control Animals and Plants ability.

Here's a first stab at it.

Control Animals and Plants. The chthon can telepathically control nonsapient flora and fauna. A single chthon can control up to twenty beasts and plants of Intelligence 0 to 3 [?] whose total Challenge Rating adds up to 3 [?] or less.​
The chthon may try to establish control over any beast or plant within 60 [?] feet which does not have a special link to another creature (it cannot control a ranger's animal companion or a plant animated by a druid's spell, for example). The target must succeed at a DC 13 Charisma [or Wisdom?] saving throw or fall under the chthon's control, which lasts until the chthon releases the controlled creature (a free action), the chthon or the creature are dead or unconscious, the two are separated by more than a mile, or the creature is affected by a power that breaks mind control. Controlled creatures always seek to remain within 1 mile of the chthon.​
If a controlled beast or plant is within 120 [?] feet, the chthon can send it telepathic orders the creature follows to the best of its natural ability. The chthon cannot force a controlled creature to do anything it could not do normally, such as suicidal or unnatural actions.​
The chthon can telepathically call any or all creatures under its control to come towards the chthon and receive orders. This call has a range of 1 mile.​
It also seems to be prudent to include a note as to how the animal allies & Chthon's CR combine, i.e.:
Note (inclusive): The chthon's Challenge of # include a Challenge # retinue of controlled beasts and plants.
Note (exclusive): The chthon's Challenge of # does not include its retinue of controlled beasts and plants.

My original draft used a Challenge 5 total, but upon reflection that seemed too much. That's twenty wild boars or ten giant wolf spiders. Challenge 3 allows, say, a giant boar or allosaurus plus four giant wolf spiders, a dozen boars, or 20 giant rats. Those seem way more manageable encounter sizes.
 

Cleon

Hero
ok updated my end...you wanna give it a bite attack? also thought of a missile attack "spit chips" - spitting bits of sharp rock (play on words as spitting chips = very annoyed

I'd give it a bite but am not in favour of rock-spitting as there's no indication of that in the original.

However, I think we can do something with the "Plants are encouraged to grow in a thick defensive screen about the Chthon for protection" in the description.

Maybe it can raise barriers of living wood, smack distant enemies by animating a nearby branch or root, cover the ground with thorns, et cetera.

Don't want to go too overboard. It's main "offence" should be its retinue of controlled creatures.
 

Cleon

Hero
Don't want to go too overboard. It's main "offence" should be its retinue of controlled creatures.

Hmm, if 75% of its offense is said retinue maybe I should tweak its Total Challenge up to 4 or the original 5?

I'm having trouble getting a feel for how it would play in game to have most of the heavy damage lifting be from its posse of critters.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
ok - int 0-3 and CR up to 4 total sounds fine. I initially looked at an elephant (CR 4) but am happy to keep to 3 but as I was typing saw last post
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
The original doesn't have a bite either FWIW...but looks like it should I concede/ CR 5 for critters might be on the high side

Maybe it can cast a plant growth once a day/week/month?
 

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