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


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Cleon

Hero
added

Call beyond the Grave (1/Short Rest). Summon four hyena spirits, which materialize within 30 feet.

The you don't care for the idea of it being able to use it multiple times in an Encounter but with a cap on the maximum number of hyena spirits that can be present?
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Hadn't thought of that - the 4e has both with no cap but is balanced by damage when the spirits are killed, so suggests some cap would be prudent as an alternate limiting factor...?

I mean, could go environmental - maybe if in native environment (savannah) there will be up to 24 (4d6+10) spirits available nearby, decreasing with difference in locale..?
 
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Cleon

Hero
Hadn't thought of that - the 4e has both with no cap but is balanced by damage when the spirits are killed, so suggests some cap would be prudent as an alternate limiting factor...?

I mean, could go environmental - maybe if in native environment (savannah) there will be up to 24 (4d6+10) spirits available nearby, decreasing with difference in locale..?

I'd go for a fixed number rather than a random range and would argue against making it circumstantial just to make it consistent.

Also, bear in mind the number of Hyena Spirits it has on the field affects the Shaman's DPR.

If it normally has two dozen spirits accompanying it that each doing 2d6 damage, that's potentially 168 damage. They won't hit as frequently as the Shaman since their "to hit" is lower but that's still a lot of ouch!

I'd think maybe a maximum of six to eight would be enough, which is 42 to 56 damage. That's a similar ballpark to the Shaman's normal damage output, which feels more appropriate.

I was going to discuss the Hyena Spirits next.

Might as well post a blank Working Draft for them.
 

Cleon

Hero
Spectral Hyena
Medium undead, chaotic evil
Armor Class 14
Hit Points 5 (1d8 + 1)
Speed 50 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
7 (–2)​
19 (+4)​
12 (+1)​
2 (–4)​
12 (+1)​
5 (–3)​

Skills Perception +3
Damage Resistances acid, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities cold, necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Ethereal Sight. The spectral hyena can see 60 feet into the Ethereal Plane when it is on the Material Plane, and vice versa.

Incorporeal Movement. The spectral hyena can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. It takes 5 (1d10) force damage if it ends its turn inside an object.

Pack Tactics. The spectral hyena has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of the spectral hyena's allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn't incapacitated.

Actions

Withering Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d6) necrotic damage.


Description

Ghostly vestiges of gnoll animal companions, spectral hyenas appear as bluish, transparent versions of their living selves. They linger on the material plane to serve gnoll shamans.

(Inspired by the Chosen of Yeenoghu in 4th Edition's Monster Manual 3 (2010).)
 
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Cleon

Hero
Okay, checking the current Hyena Spirit I notice a couple of technical issues.

Firstly, wouldn't its DEX 14 (+2) give it a minimum AC of 12. Why is it 11?

Secondly, it has an awful lot of resistances and immunities. The original Monster Manual 3 had none. Indeed it popped like a balloon to any damage, being a Minion.

Thirdly, the 4E version was not incorporeal. It couldn't walk through walls like this Hyena Spirit does.

I have no objections to making it so "Ghostly" but think that'd merit a different name. Calling it a Spectral Hyena makes it clearer it's a spook, differentiates it more from the MM3 version, and is less generic than "Hyena Spirit".

Fourthly, the Bite should be higher than +2 to hit. With DEX 14 and CR 1/4 shouldn't it be +4. I'd suggest making it a rank higher DEX to 16 or 17 (+3) so it has +5 to hit like the Beast Shaman.

The 4E Hyena Spirit and Chosen of Yeenoghu both have +12 vs. AC melee attacks and I'd favour these 5E spectral beasts also being Level-matched companions to their boss and having the same to hit in melee.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
I just looked up 4e version - it's called a medium shadow beast and has a trait, spectral jaws, which to me indicates incorporeal nature (as does the word spirit). Despite this, happy to call it spectral hyena, or ghostly hyena.

Going with dex 17 to keep 3 odd and 3 even ability scores. They have standard resistances of incorporeal creatures but very low hit points, so if hit with the right attacks, they fold pretty easily.
 

Cleon

Hero
I just looked up 4e version - it's called a medium shadow beast and has a trait, spectral jaws, which to me indicates incorporeal nature (as does the word spirit). Despite this, happy to call it spectral hyena, or ghostly hyena.

Going with dex 17 to keep 3 odd and 3 even ability scores. They have standard resistances of incorporeal creatures but very low hit points, so if hit with the right attacks, they fold pretty easily.

I like the ring of Spectral better.

Will update the rough draft in due course and then check what CR that calculates to.
 



Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Ok now where were we....posting a visual of spectral hyena for ease of alignment
 

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Cleon

Hero
Ok now where were we....posting a visual of spectral hyena for ease of alignment

Looks fine mechanically apart from that it's missing a "ft." after "Darkvision 60" in Senses.

It's got more resistances and immunities than I'd have given it, but then I'm not the one designing it!

I think it's good to go once it has darkvision 60 ft. and a Description.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Ok you wanna do description or shall I?


"Spectral hyenas are the ghostly vestiges of past animal companions of gnoll tribes, lingering on the material plane to serve shamans. They appear as transparent bluish versions of their living selves."

-doesn't need to be long I guess
 

Cleon

Hero
Ok you wanna do description or shall I?


"Spectral hyenas are the ghostly vestiges of past animal companions of gnoll tribes, lingering on the material plane to serve shamans. They appear as transparent bluish versions of their living selves."

-doesn't need to be long I guess

Hmm, that first sentence is a bit messy.

Maybe:

Spectral hyenas are the ghostly vestiges of a gnoll tribe's animal companions, who linger on the material plane to serve their shamans. They appear as transparent bluish versions of their living selves.​

Still seems a bit clumsy.

How about:

Ghostly vestiges of gnoll animal companions, spectral hyenas appear as bluish, transparent versions of their living selves. They linger on the material plane to serve gnoll shamans.​
 

Cleon

Hero
Ok you wanna do description or shall I?


"Spectral hyenas are the ghostly vestiges of past animal companions of gnoll tribes, lingering on the material plane to serve shamans. They appear as transparent bluish versions of their living selves."

-doesn't need to be long I guess

Just remembered/noticed something else.

Didn't you originally make these Medium undead, chaotic evil rather than merely unaligned like a mundane hyena?

The 4E Monster Manual 3 original was Chaotic Evil in alignment, and the Hyena Spirit working draft is too:

Hyena Spirit
Medium undead, chaotic evil
Armor Class 1#
Hit Points # (#d8 + #)
Speed 50 ft.
 






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