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

Casimir Liber

I presumed that it was a lower planar entity and hence some sort of fiend like a quasit...? Spider climb I agree with. Ok I need to sleep. back to this tomorrow.

log in or register to remove this ad


Green Gremlin
Small fey, any chaotic alignment
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 9 (2d6 + 2)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

12 (+1)​
17 (+3)​
12 (+1)​
7 (–2)​
12 (+1)​
13 (+1)​

Skills Acrobatics +5, Athletics +5, Perception +3, Stealth +5
Senses darkvision 90 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Understands Goblin and Sylvan but cannot speak
Challenge 1 (200 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Nimble Escape. The green gremlin can take the Disengage or Hide action as a bonus action on each of its turns.

Spider Climb. The green gremlin can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.


Multiattack. The green gremlin makes two attacks: one bite attack and one claws attack or two attacks with weaponized bric-a-brac.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) piercing damage and the target must succeed on a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A frightened victim must take the Dash action to move away from the green gremlin on each of its turns, unless there is nowhere to move. If the target ends its turn in a location it doesn't have line of sight to the gremlin, it can make a Wisdom saving throw, ending the fear effect on itself on a success.

A green gremlin's bite does not cause fear in other gremlins.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (2d4 + 1) slashing damage.

Weaponized Bric-a-Brac. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) damage of randomly determined type: roll d4; a result of 1-2 is bludgeoning, 3 is slashing, 4 is piercing.


A green gremlin is a capricious fey that inhabits dark places such as ancient forests, dungeons or derelict buildings. Long-limbed and leathery, these implike creatures have horrible faces resembling drooling, vampire-fanged goblins. Their large hands and feet are clawed and sticky, allowing these wiry beings to move across walls and ceilings as easily as the ground.
 A green gremlin's bite causes uncanny terror: they love to bite someone and chase the terrified victim. While they prefer fighting with their claws and fangs, a green gremlin can also snatch up objects and wield them as improvised weapons: hurling a rock, stabbing with a sharpened bone or broken bottle, clubbing with a candlestick, et cetera.
 Most green gremlins are malevolent or amoral, though a few good-natured ones exist. They may be solitary, but are more usually encountered in small groups. Green gremlins sometimes associate with other creatures with similar personalities to their own, such as jackalweres or kenkus, and some powerful chaotic creatures have green gremlin minions or familiars. These mischievous tricksters are hardly reliable allies, so tend to be pets or jesters more than useful servants.
Obsessive Hoarders. All green gremlins love to collect curios. Their hidey-holes contain a bizarre assortment of curious bric-a-brac ranging from mummified remains and pretty stones to finely crafted figurines and a collection of doorknobs. Most items treasured by a green gremlin will be junk with little or no value, but their hoard may include a few objects of actual worth. Valuable items in the lair might include a tool, key or weapon in good condition, a legible book or map, or actual treasure such as coins, jewelry and magic items.

Some green gremlins are willing to serve spellcasters as a familiar. Such gremlins have the following trait.
Familiar. The green gremlin can enter into a contract to serve another creature as a familiar, forming a telepathic bond with its willing master. While the two are bonded, the master can sense what the green gremlin senses as long as they are within 1 mile of each other. While the green gremlin is within 10 feet of its master, the master shares the green gremlin's Spider Climb trait. If its master violates the terms of the contract, the green gremlin can end its service as a familiar, ending the telepathic bond.

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


Okay, the original adventure gave us very little to go on:

from White Dwarf #18
Some pets of Sega Thane: 1–6 green gremlins (AC 7; 1D8; Move 9″; Att 1–3/1–3/1–6 plus fear — save as versus spell or flee for one turn) which are impish, long limbed green, leathery creatures that are equally at home climbing across walls and ceilings as they are on the ground. They have a horrible visage with vampire like fangs and drooling lips. Their bite only can instil fear, their other attacks are with claws. They collect all sorts of odds and ends.​

In 2E AD&D, Gremlins are a group of small goblinoid creatures, possibly or extraplanar origin, that might be related to fey since their numbers include the Mite and Snyad (aka Pestie) which are fairy-like creatures in some editions of D&D.

Most gremlins have bat wings and can fly, but there are wingless varieties like the aforementioned mites and pesties. The Green Gremlin has no fly speed listed so I'm presuming they don't have wings despite being described as "impish".

Okay, let's start with the basics: size and type.

Small suits me, as they have a decent enough damage output I don't think they should be Tiny.

Type is more problematic. Either Fey or Humanoid I guess. Fiend doesn't seem quite right.

Alignment is… who knows! They don't even have one listed. I'm thinking Chaotic Neutral is most likely, or possibly Chaotic Evil or even Unaligned. There's no mention that they're Intelligent or can speak. For all we know a Green Gremlin may be no smarter than a monkey. They where kept as "pets" after all.


So we've got Small and Chaotic Evil, which leaves Type.

I'm thinking Fey but would accept Humanoid or Fiend, which do you prefer?

Armor Class 13 based entirely on a Dexterity works for me, although they're described as "leathery" so could have tough skin and lower DEX I guess, like AC 13 (natural armor) with a DEX bonus of +1 or +2 instead of the +3 that AC 13 that's all DEX requires.

Still, I prefer a +3 DEX bonus.

Hit Points I'm not so sure about. The original monster had 1D8, which is on par with an average grunt monster like an Orc or Goblin.

Standard Orcs got 1d8 HD in AD&D, but got considerably tougher in later editions either due to having high CONs or more HD. In 5E they have 2d8+6 hp.

Goblins were 1d8-1 HD in AD&D, an average of 4.375 hp; they have 2d6 hp in 5E.

Contrariwise, Hobgoblins were tougher than Orcs in AD&D with 1d8+1 HD, but are more fragile in 5E with 2d8+2 hp.

Maybe Hit Points 9 (2d6 + 2) so they're a bit tougher than a 5E Goblin?

Speed I reckon should be 30 ft. on land and climbing since the original monster moved as fast as a standard Orc, which move as fast as a regular humanoid (6", 9" or 12" in AD&D depending on armor, and speed 30 ft. in 5E).

Making them faster with 40 feet wouldn't match the original stats, limited as they are.

Casimir Liber

Ok - obviously fey (my brain not working). They belong to Sega Thane who is chaotic evil. Ditched demonic resistances. Made them resistant to poison/psychic damage and immune to poison/frightened.Agree with hp 9. Made AC 14 (17 dex + 1 for leathery skin)

temptted to leave 120 darkvision as dark/unseelie fey (?)


Ok - obviously fey (my brain not working). They belong to Sega Thane who is chaotic evil. Ditched demonic resistances. Made them resistant to poison/psychic damage and immune to poison/frightened.Agree with hp 9. Made AC 14 (17 dex + 1 for leathery skin)

temptted to leave 120 darkvision as dark/unseelie fey (?)

Oh yes, for some reason I was thinking of Tizun Thane rather than one of his heirs.

Okay, how about "any chaotic alignment" then, like a Half-Ogre?

Wouldn't bother about any resistances or immunities as the original monster didn't have them.

Hmm… yes, I can live with Armour Class 14. It's a point worse than a 5E Goblin's AC 15, which is the same relationship as in AD&D (AC 6 vs AC 7).

I'm fine giving them Darkvision but think 60 feet would be enough. It's good enough for a Hag or Goblin so it ought to be good enough for a Gremlin. Most AD&D versions of the Gremlin don't have infravision (that edition's equivalent of darkvision), but the one in Dragon #79 does and I think there are others Gremlins that can see in the dark but can't be bothered checking.

Updating the Green Gremlin.

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads