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


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Cleon

Legend
Gu'en-Deeko Fighting Ape
Medium monstrosity, chaotic neutral
Armor Class 18 (natural armor, shield)
Hit Points 112 (6d8 + 24 plus 61 from Brain-Eating)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
20 (+5)​
15 (+2)​
18 (+4)​
8 (–1)​
12 (+1)​
15 (+2)​

Saving Throws STR +8, DEX +5, CON +7, WIS +4
Skills Athletics +10, Intimidation +5, Perception +3, Stealth +6, Survival +2
Senses passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Elvish, Goblin, Undercommon (all from Brain-Eating)
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP) Proficiency Bonus +3

Brain-Eating. The gu'en-deeko fighting ape has used its Brain-Eating power (see the base Gu'en-Deeko for details) and currently possesses the brain powers of a Gladiator, a Knight, a Drow, and a Bugbear (see pages 346, 347, 128 and 33 of the Monster Manual).

Brave. The gu'en-deeko fighting ape has advantage on saving throws against being frightened.

Brute. A melee weapon deals one extra die of its damage when the gu'en-deeko hits with it (included in the attack).

Fey Ancestry. The gu'en-deeko fighting ape has advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can't put the gu'en-deeko to sleep.

Innate Spellcasting. The gu'en-deeko fighting ape's spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 13). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
  • At will: dancing lights
  • 1/day each: darkness, faerie fire
Surprise Attack. If the gu'en-deeko fighting ape surprises a creature and hits it with an attack during the first round of combat, the target takes an extra 7 (2d6) damage from the attack.

Actions

Multiattack. The gu'en-deeko fighting ape makes three melee attacks or two ranged attacks.

Fist. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 5) bludgeoning damage.

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 5) slashing damage, or 16 (2d10 + 5) slashing damage if used with two hands.

Spear. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft. and range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6 + 5) piercing damage in melee or 8 (1d6 + 5) piercing damage at range, or 14 (2d8 + 5) piercing damage if used with two hands to make a melee attack.

Shield Bash. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d4 + 5) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a Medium or smaller creature, it must succeed on a DC 16 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Heavy Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 100/400 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d10) piercing damage.

Leadership (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). For 1 minute, the gu'en-deeko fighting ape can utter a special command or warning whenever a nonhostile creature that it can see within 30 feet of it makes an attack roll or a saving throw. The creature can add a d4 to its roll provided it can hear and understand the fighting ape. A creature can benefit from only one Leadership die at a time. This effect ends if the fighting ape is incapacitated.

Reactions

Parry. The gu'en-deeko fighting ape adds 2 to its AC against one melee attack that would hit it. To do so, the fighting ape must see the attacker and be wielding a melee weapon.


Description

This gu'en-deeko was once the combat slave of a tyrannical warlord. After eating the brain of a knight she acquired the personality of that noble warrior, started referring to herself as "Sir Henry of Whitestaff," and led her fellow slaves in an uprising, battling free of the gladiators barracks they were held in. The gu'en-deeko's delusions of chivalry do not prevent it "honoring" those who it defeats in battle by devouring their flesh, but she has become cautious about eating the brains of creatures whose minds might be powerful enough to overcome her current personality.

(Originally appeared in White Dwarf Magazine #18 (Apr/May 1980) as part of "The Halls of Tizun Thane" by Albie Fiore.)
 
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Cleon

Legend
According to the CR Calculator the Gu'en-Deeko Fighting Ape is Challenge 7.

It would be Challenge 6 if we swapped the Yuan-Ti Pureblood brain for something more conventional, as the Magic Resistance seriously ups its defensive abilities.

Also, I've just realized a problem: Yuan-ti are not in the 5E SRD. They're Product Identity, so we should consider using a different humanoid than the Pureblood so the Fighting Ape is entirely Open Game Content.

Let's see, maybe a …rolls a d25… …result of 4… that's a Duergar. Its Enlarge and Invisibility would keep it at CR 7, but at least it's SRD.

Rolls again… result of 9 for a Goblin. What the heck, the calculator makes that CR 8. Why is Nimble Escape more valuable that Magic Resistance?

Rerolls for a 16, which is a Kuo-toa. That could work, except Kuo-toa are Product Identity as well.

Alternatively, we could trawl through 5eSRD.com's list of humanoids and pick one to replace the Pureblood. At least we can be sure the result would meet the OGL, unlike some of the Monster Manual humanoids.
 

Cleon

Legend
Incidentally, I finished a Description for the Tree-Vargr Pine Kindred a few days ago and just added it to the post.

I think it's done unless you can stop any errors.

Shall I deblue it and start on the Tree-Jotun?

Oh, weren't we talking about doing a Large sized brutish variant too, some kind of Resin-Ogre? Perhaps I'll whip one of those up too sometime.
 

Cleon

Legend
According to the CR Calculator the Gu'en-Deeko Fighting Ape is Challenge 7.

It would be Challenge 6 if we swapped the Yuan-Ti Pureblood brain for something more conventional, as the Magic Resistance seriously ups its defensive abilities.

Also, I've just realized a problem: Yuan-ti are not in the 5E SRD. They're Product Identity, so we should consider using a different humanoid than the Pureblood so the Fighting Ape is entirely Open Game Content.

Let's see, maybe a …rolls a d25… …result of 4… that's a Duergar. Its Enlarge and Invisibility would keep it at CR 7, but at least it's SRD.

Rolls again… result of 9 for a Goblin. What the heck, the calculator makes that CR 8. Why is Nimble Escape more valuable that Magic Resistance?

Rerolls for a 16, which is a Kuo-toa. That could work, except Kuo-toa are Product Identity as well.

Alternatively, we could trawl through 5eSRD.com's list of humanoids and pick one to replace the Pureblood. At least we can be sure the result would meet the OGL, unlike some of the Monster Manual humanoids.

Heck, I'll just remove the Pureblood brain and update the Gu'en-Deeko Fighting Ape to Challenge 6.

Can decide if we want another monster brain later.

The previous version had:

Gu'en-Deeko Fighting Ape
Medium monstrosity, chaotic neutral
Armor Class 18 (natural armor, shield)
Hit Points 112 (6d8 + 24 plus 61 from Brain-Eating)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
20 (+5)​
15 (+2)​
18 (+4)​
8 (–1)​
12 (+1)​
15 (+2)​

Saving Throws STR +8, DEX +5, CON +7, WIS +4
Skills Athletics +10, Deception +6, Intimidation +5, Perception +3, Stealth +6, Survival +2
Senses passive Perception 13
Languages Abyssal, Common, Draconic, Goblin (all from Brain-Eating)
Challenge 7 (2,900 XP) Proficiency Bonus +3

Brain-Eating. The gu'en-deeko fighting ape has used its Brain-Eating power (see the base Gu'en-Deeko for details) and currently possesses the brain powers of a Gladiator, a Knight, a Yuan-ti Pureblood, and a Bugbear (see pages 346, 347, 33 and 310 of the Monster Manual).

Innate Spellcasting. The gu'en-deeko fighting ape's spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 13). The fighting ape can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
  • At will: animal friendship (snakes only)
  • 3/day each: poison spray, suggestion
Magic Resistance. The gu'en-deeko fighting ape has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
 
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Cleon

Legend
Heck, I forgot to include the four saving throw proficiencies in the CR Calculator. It's still Challenge 7.

I think I'll revert it back to the Pureblood version for the time being.

The Gladiator, Knight and Bugbear version with the wrong CR had:

Gu'en-Deeko Fighting Ape
Medium monstrosity, chaotic neutral
Armor Class 18 (natural armor, shield)
Hit Points 112 (6d8 + 24 plus 61 from Brain-Eating)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
20 (+5)15 (+2)18 (+4)8 (–1)12 (+1)15 (+2)

Saving Throws STR +8, DEX +5, CON +7, WIS +4
Skills Athletics +10, Intimidation +5, Stealth +6, Survival +2
Senses passive Perception 11
Languages Common, Goblin (all from Brain-Eating)
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP) Proficiency Bonus +3
 

Cleon

Legend
Still think we need to exchange the Yuan-ti Pureblood brain for something else and am open to suggestions for what SRD Humanoid it comes from.

EDIT: or just remove it entirely as per the previous post.

Have just gone through that list and nothing really grabbed me but was most tempted by the Duergar. However, doubling its Damage Dice when enlarged would really increase its damage output and make the CR 10 or so, which is way more than I'd like.

Maybe a Drow Elf or a regular Dragonborn, Elf or Gnome with a few class levels? That shouldn't give it anything too unbalancing.
 
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Cleon

Legend
I'm fancying changing the Knight's greatsword to a longsword so the gu'en-deeko fighting ape has a sword it can use one-handed with a shield.

That'd swap:

Greatsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (3d6 + 5) slashing damage.​

for:

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 5) slashing damage in melee, or 16 (2d10 + 5) slashing damage if used with two hands.​

Hmm, that increases its average damage when it uses two hands to attack due to its Brute ability, as +1d6 is obviously less than +1d10.

That doesn't seem right, but I'll accept it.
 

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