5E: Monstrous Arthropods for Fifth Edition

Cleon

Legend
For comparison, I'll post some of the Dragonflies' original statistics.

Stats​
White​
Black​
Green​
Blue​
Red​
Armor Class​
2​
1​
0​
–1​
–2​
Hit Dice​
3​
3+2​
4​
4+2​
5​
Breath​
Cold 3​
Acid 3​
Gas 4​
Lightning 4​
Fire 5​
Saves​
F3​
F3​
F4​
F4​
F5​
Morale (BECMI)​
8​
8​
8​
9​
9​
Morale (AD&D)​
Average​
Average​
Average​
Average​
Average​
XP (BECMI)​
35​
50​
75​
125​
175​
XP (AD&D)​
120​
175​
175​
170​
270​

Curiously, they have all have "Morale Average (10)" in AD&D but it's variable in BECMI, with Morale 8 for the three weakest (White/Black/Green) and the two strongest (Blue/Red) having Morale 9.

In BECMI the average for Morale is 7, so the dragonflies of Mystara are braver in BECMI than AD&D.

Some of their stats are effectively the same regardless of coloration.

They have "Move: 60′ (20′) Flying 240′(80′)" in BECMI, which matches the "MOVEMENT: 6, Fl 24 (A)" in AD&D.

Size is listed as Small (3′–4′ long) in both editions for all colors, although the Red Dragonfly subentry of the Mystaran Monstrous Compendium contradicts its own stat table by saying “Most powerful of the dragonflies, the the red can grow to 5 feet in length.”

Intelligence is 2 for every colour in BECMI according to both the AC9 and DMR2 Creature Catalogues, while the Mystaran Monstrous Compendium gives them all “INTELLIGENCE: Animal (1).”

The most significant number is their Armour Class.

A Mystaran Dragonfly has an exceeding tough AC for a relatively low-tier monster. They're harder to hit than the base dragon!

For example, a Red Dragonfly is AC –2 in both BECMI and AD&D.

In BECMI, a Small Red Dragon is AC –1, a Large Red Dragon AC –3 and a Huge Red Dragon is AC –5.

In 1E AD&D, Red Dragons have AC –1 regardless of size or age.

In 2E AD&D, Red Dragons have base AC –3, so the first two age categories are softer targets than the fly (Hatchlings are AC 0, Very Young are AC –1). A Young Red Dragon matches the Dragonfly's AC –2. It's not until its fourth age category of Juvenile that the 2E Red Dragon is harder to hit.

That's an impressive tough target!
 

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Cleon

Legend
That seems too high. The BECMI dragonflies ranged from XP 35 to XP 175 which is what, from a Giant Crab, Shadow or War Horse up to a Grizzly Bear, Gargoyle or Owlbear.

None of those are Challenge 7 in Fifth Edition.

A Mystaran Dragonfly is a nasty little bugger but even a Red Dragonfly is nothing like as lethal as a CR 6 or 7 creature like a Mammoth, Mind Flayer or Young Dragon.

I'm thinking somewhere more in the CR 1/2 to 2 or CR 1 to 3 range, although that might mean we'll have several dragonflies doubling up in the same Challenge Rating.

Musing over the Challenge Rating and Armour Class questions I'm wondering if there's anything we can use from our Dragon Warriors conversions.

Perhaps we should just start putting some stats together and see where they lead us.

Let's start with the basics.

I was assuming Size Type & Alignment will be Small monstrosity, unaligned.

Speed 20 ft., fly 50 ft. (hover)?
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Sounds good - am imagining a high AC from tough exoskeleton plus high dexterity - maybe starting at 18 for the white?

if we tone down to CR 0.5/1/2/3/4/5 then...?
 

Cleon

Legend
Sounds good - am imagining a high AC from tough exoskeleton plus high dexterity - maybe starting at 18 for the white?

Will we be having the Armour Class go up by one for each color of fly?

That'd top up at AC 22 for the Red Dragonfly, which feels a bit too extreme. That's the same as an Ancient Red Dragon.

Maybe use the same starting AC as the Dragon Warriors, where we gave AC 16 for the White, but have it go up every time.

So AC 16/17/18/19/20 for the White/Black/Green/Blue/Red.

If we do the Metallics, I guess they'd be one higher, for AC 17/18/19/20/21 for Brass/Copper/Bronze/Silver/Gold.

if we tone down to CR 0.5/1/2/3/4/5 then...?

It seems more prudent to stat them up and work out what Challenge Rating comes out from that.
 


Cleon

Legend
ok start with AC 16 for white and we can go from there

Will we be giving them Evasive Flight like the Giant Odonatid Dragonflies?

That'd make a lot of difference.

A PC with +5 to hit would have a 50% chance of hitting AC 16, but with disdvantage that becomes 25%, meaning a White Mystaran Dragonfly would be as hard for them to hit as AC 21.

An AC 20 Red would be 30%, which is 9% hit chance with disadvantage, or roughly AC 24.

If we want Evasive Flight to work out equivalent to AC 18 to 22 with disadvantage and it's worth a +4 or +5 difference, that suggests a range of AC 14 to 18 for the White to Red Dragonflies might be enough.
 

Cleon

Legend
Will we be giving them Evasive Flight like the Giant Odonatid Dragonflies?

That'd make a lot of difference.

A PC with +5 to hit would have a 50% chance of hitting AC 16, but with disdvantage that becomes 25%, meaning a White Mystaran Dragonfly would be as hard for them to hit as AC 21.

An AC 20 Red would be 30%, which is 9% hit chance with disadvantage, or roughly AC 24.

If we want Evasive Flight to work out equivalent to AC 18 to 22 with disadvantage and it's worth a +4 or +5 difference, that suggests a range of AC 14 to 18 for the White to Red Dragonflies might be enough.

Dang it, that also suggests the CR Calculator estimates for the Giant Odonatid Dragonflies might be too low. I'll run some tests with higher AC values to see what it says.

Size Rank​
Base AC​
Base CR​
+4 AC​
+5 AC​
Dainty​
AC 13​
CR 0​
CR 1/8​
CR 1/8​
Diminutive​
AC 14​
CR 1/8​
CR 1/2​
CR 1​
Small​
AC 15​
CR 1/2​
CR 1​
CR 2​
Medium​
AC 15​
CR 2​
CR 2​
CR 2​
Imperial​
AC 15​
CR 3​
CR 3​
CR 3​
Mammoth​
AC 15​
CR 5​
CR 5​
CR 5​
Mammoth Phantom​
AC 15​
CR 6​
CR 6​
CR 6​
Titanic​
AC 15​
CR 7​
CR 7​
CR 7​
Titanic Phantom​
AC 15​
CR 7​
CR 7​
CR 7​

That's interesting. The Medium and larger odonatids have the same Challenge Rating as the Enworld versions, but the smaller ones have a hike up in their CR.

Let me think…

Oh, I vaguely recall making some allowance for Evasive Flight when entering the numbers in the CR Calculator during the creation process. Like, checking one of the "defensive" Monster Features.

Maybe I forgot or they didn't work for the Giant Damselfly and smaller entries?

Anyhow, I think I'd better bump up the Tiny & Small varieties.
Might as well update with those values.
 

Cleon

Legend
Okay, I've updated the collected Mystaran Dragonflies with some blank tables modelled on the Dragon Warriors master post.

Mystaran Dragonflies
Small monstrosity, unaligned
Armor Class [see below](natural armor)
Hit Points [see below]
Speed 20 ft., fly 50 ft. (hover)

Dragonflies Statistics Table
Type​
AC​
Hit Points​
STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
Challenge​
Black
##​
## (#d6+##)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (–#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (### XP)​
Blue
##​
## (#d6+##)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (–#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (### XP)​
Green
##​
## (#d6+##)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (–#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (### XP)​
Red
##​
## (#d6+##)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (–#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (### XP)​
White
##​
## (#d6+##)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (–#)​
## (+#)​
# (–#)​
# (### XP)​
?Brass?
##​
## (#d6+##)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (–#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (### XP)​
?Bronze?
##​
## (#d6+##)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (–#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (### XP)​
?Copper?
##​
## (#d6+##)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (–#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (### XP)​
?Gold?
##​
## (#d6+##)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (–#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (### XP)​
?Silver?
##​
## (#d6+##)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (–#)​
## (+#)​
## (+#)​
# (### XP)​

Saving Throws [see below]
Skills proficient in [Skill]
 [SKILL] +# if [NAME] or [NAME]; [SKILL] +# if [NAME], [NAME] or [NAME]
Senses ???vision/sense/sight ## ft., passive Perception ##
Languages
Challenge CR # (### XP) if [NAME] or [NAME]; # (### XP) if [NAME], [NAME] or [NAME]
Proficiency Bonus +# if [NAME] or [NAME]; +# if [NAME], [NAME] or [NAME]

Special Trait. ???.

Special Trait. ???.

Dragonflies Combat Table
Type​
Saves & Skills²​
Bite​
Breath Weapon​
Black
##​
+#, # (#d# + #) slashing
# (#d# + #) acid, DEX save DC ## for ½
Blue
##​
+#, # (#d# + #) slashing
# (#d# + #) lightning, DEX save DC ## for ½
Green
##​
+#, # (#d# + #) slashing
# (#d# + #) poison, DEX save DC ## for ½
Red
##​
+#, # (#d# + #) slashing
# (#d# + #) fire, DEX save DC ## for ½
White
##​
+#, # (#d# + #) slashing
# (#d# + #) cold, DEX save DC ## for ½
?Brass?
##​
+#, # (#d# + #) slashing
# (#d# + #) fire ?OR sleep?, DEX save DC ## for ½
?Bronze?
##​
+#, # (#d# + #) slashing
# (#d# + #) lightning ?OR repulsion?, DEX save DC ## for ½
?Copper?
##​
+#, # (#d# + #) slashing
# (#d# + #) acid ?OR slow?, DEX save DC ## for ½
?Gold?
##​
+#, # (#d# + #) slashing
# (#d# + #) fire or poison, DEX save DC ## for ½
?Silver?
##​
+#, # (#d# + #) slashing
# (#d# + #) cold ?OR paralysis?, DEX save DC ## for ½
1. Note.
2. Note.


Actions

Multiattack. The dragonfly makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its breath weapon.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +# to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: # (#d# + #) ??? damage.

Breath Weapon. ???.
 ???.

Bonus Actions

Bonus Action. ???.
  Dashing Flight?


Description

Text.
 Text.
Crunch. Flavor.

Subentry. ???

(Monster designed by Casimir Liber and Cleon on Enworld.org's General Monster Talk Creature Catalog Forum; based on the Basic/Expert D&D Dragonfly that first appeared in XL1 - Quest for the Heartstone (1984) by Michael L. Gray.)

Have included placeholders for the five Metallics in the Tables of the above, but those require some thought…
 

Cleon

Legend
Have included placeholders for the five Metallics in the Tables of the above, but those require some thought…

Well I thought it over!

The basic issue is BECMI has a different approach to dragons than AD&D.

In BECMI, there are six basic dragons, as follows (in order of power):

Mystaran Dragons
 White (Neutral)
 Black (Chaotic)
 Green (Chaotic)
 Blue (Neutral)
 Red (Chaotic)
 Gold (Lawful)

While AD&D has ten, divided into the Chromatics and Metallics as per the standard dragons of later editions:

Chromatic Dragons
 White (Chaotic Evil)
 Black (Chaotic Evil)
 Green (Lawful Evil)
 Blue (Lawful Evil)
 Red (Chaotic Evil)
Metallic Dragons
 Brass (Chaotic Good)[Neutral tendencies]
 Copper (Chaotic Good)
 Bronze (Lawful Good)
 Silver (Lawful Good)
 Gold (Lawful Good)

Apart from differences in statistics, they have significant differences in behaviour. A BECMI White Dragon has a Neutral personality, while the AD&D version is a ravening Chaotic monster.

I'm starting to think we ought to forget about doing "Metallic" Mystaran Dragonflies and do the standard "Mystaran Six," including the Gold.

If we want to have more variants, we could do Gemstone Dragonflies based on the BECMI Gemstone Dragons, namely:

Mystaran Gemstone Dragons
 Crystal (Lawful), which match to White (Neutral)
 Onyx (Neutral), which match to Black (Chaotic)
 Jade (Neutral), which match to Green (Chaotic)
 Sapphire (Lawful), which match to Blue (Neutral)
 Ruby (Lawful), which match to Red (Chaotic)
 Amber (Chaotic), which match to Gold (Lawful)

The Gemstone Dragons have identical statistics to the corresponding standard Dragon in BECMI (e.g. a Crystal Dragon has the same AC, HD and so forth) except it has a different Alignment and breath weapons. The Crystal, Onyx, Jade and Sapphire have the breath weapon of the corresponding standard dragon (White cold, Black acid, Green chlorine gas, Blue lightning respectively) plus a new breath weapon (crystallizing breath, darkness breath, diseased breath, vaporizing breath respectively). The Ruby has one breath weapon that does fire and melting. The Amber has the Ruby's fire and melting breath weapon plus a chlorine gas and disease breath weapon.

These breath weapons are a LOT nastier than the regular Dragons.

But we can worry about those once we finish the Standard Six.

We might have to stat up the Gemstone Dragons for Fifth Edition, and that's more work than I fancy!
 


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