5E: Fifth Edition Monster Variants Inspired by Fourth Edition Sources

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
I have no problem with it going to CR 8 if it makes narrative sense. 6 hyenas is better.

Rephrasing is fine


Spectral Pack. The gnoll beast shaman is surrounded by a ghostly pack of hyenas. Normally intangible (insubstantial?) and harmless, the shaman can summon spectral hyenas from this pack to serve it on the Material Plane. The number of spectral hyenas the shaman can summon cannot exceed six. The beast shaman can send any spectral hyena it summons back to the spirit realm as a free action.
 

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Cleon

Legend
I have no problem with it going to CR 8 if it makes narrative sense. 6 hyenas is better.

If my back-of-an-envelope calculations are correct, we can go up to 8 hyenas with a Challenge 8 Gnoll Beast Shaman if we make the spectral hyenas 3 (1d6) necrotic damage and Challenge 1/4.

We could also make the spectral hyenas DEX 18 (+4) for +6 to hit and AC 14 at the same time, since thr CR Calculator says we can give a CR 8 Beast Shaman a +6 to hit with a DPR from 57 to 74, meaning we can return its Strength to 17.

That's give the Shaman a 32 damage Multiattack, Eight 1d6 hyena bites is 28. Average DPR should be a hair above 60 allowing for the bonus actions and such, so neatly in Challenge 8.

Updating the Gnoll Beast Shaman to Challenge 8.

EDIT: I increased the Shaman's Wisdom to 16 so its spell to hit was +6 like its melee to hit. :ENDEDIT

Shall I update the Hyena Spirit Spectral Hyena with the above?

REEDIT: Used the wrong link for the Hyena :ENDEDIT
 
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Casimir Liber

Adventurer
yes - spectral hyena tweaked to here

shaman in progress looks like this:
 

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Cleon

Legend
Spectral Pack. The gnoll beast shaman is surrounded by a ghostly pack of hyenas. Normally intangible (insubstantial?) and harmless, the shaman can summon spectral hyenas from this pack to serve it on the Material Plane. The number of spectral hyenas the shaman can summon cannot exceed six. The beast shaman can send any spectral hyena it summons back to the spirit realm as a free action.
Spectral Pack. The gnoll beast shaman is surrounded by a ghostly pack of hyenas. Normally intangible and harmless, the shaman can summon spectral hyenas from this pack to serve it on the Material Plane. The number of spectral hyenas the shaman can summon cannot exceed four/six [?]. If the number of spectral hyenas would exceed four/six [?] then some must vanish to reduce the number to four/six [?] or less, the beast shaman can send any spectral hyena it summons back to the spirit realm as a free action.
 A spectral hyena from the Spectral Pack can be "killed" while on the material plane, but this merely vanishes them back to their normal ghostly form; all materialized spectral hyenas will vanish if the beast shaman is killed or knocked unconscious.

Hmm…

Spectral Pack. The gnoll beast shaman is surrounded by a ghostly pack of hyenas. Normally insubstantial and harmless, the shaman can summon spectral hyenas from this pack to serve it on the Material Plane. The number of hyenas the beast shaman can summon may never exceed six/eight [?]. If the shaman summons more, they must dismiss some of the materialized hyenas to make the total six/eight [?] or less. The beast shaman can send any spectral hyena it summons back to the spirit realm as a free action.​
 A spectral pack hyena can be "killed" on the material plane, but this only returns it to their original ghostly form; the spectral hyenas also vanish if the gnoll beast shaman who summoned them is killed or knocked unconscious.​
 


Cleon

Legend
yes - spectral hyena tweaked to here

Was going to make the DEX 19 rather than 18 to keep the odd/even arrangement the same as a living hyena.

shaman in progress looks like this:

Don't forget the WIS 16 (+3) to make the spell attack +6 to hit.

I returned the Multiattack to "three attacks: one with its bite and two with its flail" and the Jaws of Ruination can now make three attacks instead of two.

Still tweaking the wording. Just updated it to:

Jaws of Ruination (Recharge #–6). The gnoll beast shaman makes three ranged spell attacks (+6 to hit) with a range of 120 feet. On a hit, the target takes 7 (2d6) necrotic damage. Each attack summons a spectral hyena from the shaman's Spectral Pack to appear within melee range of the target, the hyena appears regardless of whether the attack hits or misses.​

As for Spirit Strike, I'm thinking maybe we should rephrase it…

Spirit Strike #2. The gnoll beast shaman spurs one of its summoned spectral hyena to attack a creature, both of which must be within 300 feet of the shaman. The hyena teleports to within melee range of the target and makes a bite attack with advantage.​
 
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Cleon

Legend
do you think the extra ext conveys information that my shorter version doesn't convey?

It doesn't strictly need the "A spectral pack hyena can be "killed" on the material plane, but this only returns it to their original ghostly form" although I felt it was nice flavour and a reminder that the gnoll shaman can summon spectral hyenas as often as they like.

Keeping something like "Spectral hyenas vanish if the gnoll beast shaman who summoned them is killed or knocked unconscious" is important though.

There's no duration in the summoning(s) and it doesn't mention Concentration, so as written the spectral hyenas hang around indefinitely once they materialize.

Didn't want to add durations (i.e. make the Jaws of Ruination end "the hyena appears regardless of whether the attack hits or misses and remains on the Material Plane for 1 minute."), since they'd be way too fiddly to keep track of considering how many Hyenas will be popping into existence and vanishing.
 

Cleon

Legend
Spirit Strike. The gnoll beast shaman spurs one of its summoned spectral hyena to attack a creature, both of which must be within 300 feet of the shaman. The hyena teleports to within melee range of the target and makes a bite attack with advantage.

Wondering about adjusting that so the hyena auto-crits if it hits, i.e.:

Spirit Strike #3. The gnoll beast shaman spurs one of its summoned spectral hyena to attack a creature, both of which must be within 300 feet of the shaman. The hyena teleports to within melee range of the target and makes a bite attack with advantage. It automatically scores a critical if it hits, doing 7 (2d6) necrotic damage.​

EDIT: Also should mention the Spectral Pack in its Conjure Hyenas ability, come to think of it.

Conjure Hyenas #2. The gnoll beast shaman summons one or two spectral hyenas from their Spectral Pack, which appear within 30 feet of the shaman.​

Hmm… maybe another wee revision:

Spirit Strike #4. The gnoll beast shaman spurs a spectral hyena it has summoned from its Spectral Pack to attack a creature, both the hyena and its target must be visible to the shaman and within 300 feet. The hyena teleports to within melee range of the target and then makes a bite attack with advantage. It automatically scores a critical if it hits, doing 7 (2d6) necrotic damage.​
 
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