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

Cleon

Legend
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

Legend
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

Legend
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

Legend
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

Legend
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

Legend
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

Legend
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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