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
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
Okay, so we're going for the above with Intelligence 0 to 3 and a normal retinue of CR 4?
Do you favour Note #1 or #2?
I'm in favour of allowing Challenge 4 entries to the retinue if only so the chthon can have an elephant enforcer. I can visualize it now…
Chthon grins evilly, then chuckles "say hello to my little friend"…
…clump Clump CLUMP angry trumpeting TRAMPLE!!
We could place a max CR on the individual creatures and forget about the maximum or drop it entirely, in which case we'd have to use Note #2 or a variant, since the CR will vary enormously. The original entry placed no limit on the nastiness of the Chthon's controlled creatures.
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.
Note (complex): The chthon's Challenge of # does not include its retinue of controlled beasts and plants. A typical chthon will be accompanied by up to a dozen creatures whose total Challenge Rating is 3, such as a single CR 3 ankylosaurus; one CR 2 giant constrictor snake plus eight CR 1/8 giant rats; or a dozen CR 1/4 wolves and boars. Some chthon's only have a few squirrels and foxes at their beck and call, a few have massive retinues such as a herd of elephants.