5E: Monstrous Arthropods for Fifth Edition

Cleon

Legend
Might be easier to just do the 6 from BECMI and go from there....

Agreed.

I'd better post a Working Draft for the Gold then!

So are we starting the Armor Class around 14 and giving them Evasive Flight or dropping the Evasive trait and compensating with a way higher AC?

Speaking of flight, I'm having second thoughts about the initial proposal of "Speed 20 ft., fly 50 ft. (hover)" and am now leaning towards either "Speed 15 ft., fly 60 ft. (hover)" or "Speed 16 ft., fly 40 ft. (hover)" with a 40 ft. Dashing Flight bonus action option.

That'd exactly match the proportions of the original (60/240 ft vs human average 120 ft).

With 15/60 or 15/40+40dash that works out to 120 feet maximum flight distance, which is twice the running distance of an average 30 ft. speed human, while the ground distance is a quarter the flight distance.
 

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Cleon

Legend
Agreed.

Will update the above posts and Indexes.

EDIT: And they're updated. Tried it both ways around and I think it works better with a Mystaran beginning, so instead of:

Black Mystaran Dragonfly

It's:

Mystaran Black Dragonfly

I'm overwriting this post with a Gold Dragonfly so we're on the same page.

That is, the Mystaran Dragonflies are on the same web page.

I've got Enworld set to 20 posts per page, so I can see from post #106 to #117 without having to switch pages which makes it a lot easier to compare & edit the Dragonflies.

EDIT: Also updated the Mystaran Dragonflies collected post to match.
 
Last edited:

Cleon

Legend
Guess we should talk about Hit Points and complete the pre-abilities stats.

The original monster went from HD 3d8 for the White up to HD 5d8+2 for the Gold.

A Small monster has d6 Hit Dice, and 3d6 to 5d6 would be too weedy. Even the basic White has more hit points than a Ghoul (HD 2d8+2 in AD&D, Hit Points 22 (5d8) in 5E), and the low-tier Black is meatier than a Bugbear (3d8+1 in AD&D, Hit Points 27 (5d8 + 5) in 5E).

So maybe just double the Hit Dice and give the ones with a +2 an extra HD?

That'd be:

White = 6d6 for 21 hit points
Black = 7d6 for 24 hit points
Green = 8d6 for 28 hit points
Blue = 9d6 for 31 hit points
Red = 10d6 for 35 hit points
Gold = 11d6 for 38 hit points
Hmm, might want to slap a Constitution bonus on. The Black is slightly weedier than a Bugbear, not slightly stronger.

Hmm, so how tough is the Gold Dragonfly comparatively? The original had 5d8+2 hit points which, if memory serves me right, is the same as an Owlbear.

Checking my 2E Monstrous Manual and I'm right, "Hit Dice: 5+2" for an Owlbear.

Let's see, a 5E Owlbear is Hit Points 59 (7d10 + 21), so we'd want the Goldfly to have a +2 CON modifier and Hit Points 60 (11d6 + 22) to get the best match.

Hmm, switching from +0 CON to +1 and +2 would make the Hit Points jump about quite a bit.

I'll just whip up a handy table to illustrate…

Variety​
AC​
5E AC​
BECMI HD​
Ratio​
+0 CON​
+1 CON​
+2 CON​
Ratio​
White​
2​
14​
13½ (3d8)​
1.0000​
21 (6d6)​
27 (6d6+6)​
33 (6d6+12)​
1.0000​
Black​
1​
15​
15½ (3d8)​
1.1481​
24½ (7d6)​
31½ (7d6+7)​
38½ (7d6+14)​
1.1666​
Green​
0​
16​
18 (4d8)​
1.3333​
28 (8d6)​
36 (8d6+8)​
44 (8d6+16)​
1.3333​
Blue​
–1​
17​
20 (4d8+2)​
1.4815​
31½ (9d6)​
40½ (9d6+9)​
49½ (9d6+18)​
1.5000​
Red​
–2​
18​
22½ (5d8)​
1.6666​
35 (10d6)​
45 (10d6+10)​
55 (10d6+20)​
1.6666​
Gold​
–3​
19​
24½ (5d8+2)​
1.8148​
38½ (11d6)​
49½ (11d6+11)​
60½ (11d6+22)​
1.8333​

If we stick to a set CON for all the Dragonflies, they will be pretty close to the original's Hit Point ratios BUT if we use the low +0 CON the higher rank ones might be a bit lower in hit points than approximately equivalent 5E creatures, while if we go for +2 CON the lowest rank ones would end up stronger, and presumably the +1 CON ones might be a little too strong at the bottom and a little too weak at the top.

However, if we try to fit the White to be a little weedier than a 5E Ghoul and the Gold to be as tough as an Owlbear in 5E, we're going to have to stagger them, perhaps:

White = 6d6 for 21 hit points
Black = 7d6 for 24 hit points
Green = 8d6+8 for 36 hit points
Blue = 9d6+9 for 40 hit points
Red = 10d6+20 for 55 hit points
Gold = 11d6+22 for 60 hit points
Or, if we wanted it to be more even in the middle:

White = 6d6 for 21 hit points
Black = 7d6 for 24 hit points
Green = 8d6+8 for 36 hit points
Blue = 9d6+9 for 40 hit points
Red = 10d6+10 for 45 hit points
Gold = 11d6+22 for 60 hit points
Considering that Fifth Edition monster hit points can be quite different from other editions, that isn't terribly important.

So we might as well pick whichever of the HD feels right.

So what's your preference?

The same CON modifier for them all, or some kind of staggering arrangement?
 

Cleon

Legend
Maybe a comparison with the Dragon Wyrmlings would be helpful.

In Fifth Edition:

Variety​
CR​
AC​
Hit Points​
Bite​
Breath Weapon​
White​
2​
16​
32 (5d8+10)​
+4 to hit, 7 (1d10+2) piercing & 2 (1d4) cold
22 (4d10) cold, DC 12 for ½
Black​
2​
17​
33 (6d8+6)​
+4 to hit, 7 (1d10+2) piercing & 2 (1d4) acid
22 (5d8) acid, DC 11 for ½
Green​
2​
17​
38 (7d8+7)​
+4 to hit, 7 (1d10+2) piercing & 2 (1d4) poison
21 (6d6) cold, DC 11 for ½
Blue​
3​
17​
52 (8d8+16)​
+5 to hit, 8 (1d10+3) piercing & 3 (1d6) lightning
22 (4d10) lightning, DC 12 for ½
Red​
4​
17​
75 (10d8+30)​
+6 to hit, 7 (1d10+4) piercing & 3 (1d6) fire
24 (7d6) fire, DC 13 for ½
Gold​
3​
17​
60 (8d8+24)​
+6 to hit, 9 (1d10+4) piercing
22 (4d10) fire, DC 13 for ½

Hmm, that's not that different from some of the HP proposals in the previous post, but then 5E Wyrmlings are quite wimpy compared so some editions like 2E.

Still, it reinforces my conviction that we should keep the dragonflies' Challenge Ratings down in the +2 Proficiency Bonus band.

Don't think they should be more powerful than an actual dragon, no matter how young it is.
 
Last edited:

Cleon

Legend
Hmm, switching from +0 CON to +1 and +2 would make the Hit Points jump about quite a bit.

I'll just whip up a handy table to illustrate…

Variety​
AC​
5E AC​
BECMI HD​
Ratio​
+0 CON​
+1 CON​
+2 CON​
Ratio​
White​
2​
14​
13½ (3d8)​
1.0000​
21 (6d6)​
27 (6d6+6)​
33 (6d6+12)​
1.0000​
Black​
1​
15​
15½ (3d8)​
1.1481​
24½ (7d6)​
31½ (7d6+7)​
38½ (7d6+14)​
1.1666​
Green​
0​
16​
18 (4d8)​
1.3333​
28 (8d6)​
36 (8d6+8)​
44 (8d6+16)​
1.3333​
Blue​
–1​
17​
20 (4d8+2)​
1.4815​
31½ (9d6)​
40½ (9d6+9)​
49½ (9d6+18)​
1.5000​
Red​
–2​
18​
22½ (5d8)​
1.6666​
35 (10d6)​
45 (10d6+10)​
55 (10d6+20)​
1.6666​
Gold​
–3​
19​
24½ (5d8+2)​
1.8148​
38½ (11d6)​
49½ (11d6+11)​
60½ (11d6+22)​
1.8333​

If we stick to a set CON for all the Dragonflies, they will be pretty close to the original's Hit Point ratios BUT if we use the low +0 CON the higher rank ones might be a bit lower in hit points than approximately equivalent 5E creatures, while if we go for +2 CON the lowest rank ones would end up stronger, and presumably the +1 CON ones might be a little too strong at the bottom and a little too weak at the top.

However, if we try to fit the White to be a little weedier than a 5E Ghoul and the Gold to be as tough as an Owlbear in 5E, we're going to have to stagger them, perhaps:

White = 6d6 for 21 hit points
Black = 7d6 for 24 hit points
Green = 8d6+8 for 36 hit points
Blue = 9d6+9 for 40 hit points
Red = 10d6+20 for 55 hit points
Gold = 11d6+22 for 60 hit points
Or, if we wanted it to be more even in the middle:

White = 6d6 for 21 hit points
Black = 7d6 for 24 hit points
Green = 8d6+8 for 36 hit points
Blue = 9d6+9 for 40 hit points
Red = 10d6+10 for 45 hit points
Gold = 11d6+22 for 60 hit points

Maybe a comparison with the Dragon Wyrmlings would be helpful.

In Fifth Edition:

Variety​
CR​
AC​
Hit Points​
Bite​
Breath Weapon​
White​
2​
16​
32 (5d8+10)​
+4 to hit, 7 (1d10+2) piercing & 2 (1d4) cold
22 (4d10) cold, DC 12 for ½
Black​
2​
17​
33 (6d8+6)​
+4 to hit, 7 (1d10+2) piercing & 2 (1d4) acid
22 (5d8) acid, DC 11 for ½
Green​
2​
17​
38 (7d8+7)​
+4 to hit, 7 (1d10+2) piercing & 2 (1d4) poison
21 (6d6) cold, DC 11 for ½
Blue​
3​
17​
52 (8d8+15)​
+5 to hit, 8 (1d10+3) piercing & 3 (1d6) lightning
22 (4d10) lightning, DC 12 for ½
Red​
4​
17​
75 (10d8+30)​
+6 to hit, 7 (1d10+4) piercing & 3 (1d6) fire
24 (7d6) fire, DC 13 for ½
Gold​
3​
17​
60 (8d8+24)​
+6 to hit, 9 (1d10+4) piercing
22 (4d10) fire, DC 13 for ½


After further contemplation, looking at how the Wyrmling and Dragonflies HP & HD go up as the varieties change should help me decide which CON arrangement to go for.

Dragonfly
Variety​
BECMI
HD​
HP
Ratio​
5E Uniform
+CON = 0, 1, 2
HP
Ratio​
5E Stagger
0/0/1/1/2/2
HP
Ratio​
Wyrmling
Variety​
5E
HD​
HP
Ratio​
White​
3d8​
1.0000​
6d6+6N​
1.0000​
6d6​
1.0000​
White​
5d8+10​
1.0000​
Black​
3d8​
1.1481​
7d6+7N​
1.1666​
7d6​
1.1666​
Black​
6d8+6​
1.0154​
Green​
4d8​
1.3333​
8d6+8N​
1.3333​
8d6+8​
1.7143​
Green​
7d8+7​
1.1846​
Blue​
4d8+2​
1.4815​
9d6+9N​
1.5000​
9d6+9​
1.9286​
Blue​
8d8+16¹​
1.6000​
Red​
5d8​
1.6666​
10d6+10N​
1.6666​
10d6+20​
2.6190​
Gold²​
8d8+24​
1.8462​
Gold​
5d8+2​
1.8148​
11d6+11N​
1.8333​
11d6+22​
2.8810​
Red²​
10d8+30​
2.3077​
Notes:
1 There's a typo in my previous post. 4E Blue Dragon Wyrmlings have HD 8d8+16 not 8d8+15.
2 I swapped around the Gold Dragon and Red Dragon since Red Wyrmlings are tougher than Golds in 5E, while Gold Dragons & Dragonflies are tougher than Reds in BECMI & AD&D.


Hmm, so the Fifth Edition Wyrmling Hit Points stay pretty close to each other at first, go up a bit at Blue, and then shoot up at Red & Gold. So if we want the 5E Dragonflies to have a similar HP progression, the best fit I could come up with is a CON modifier progression of 0/0/0/0/0/1 with a slight Hit Dice tweak:

Dragonfly​
Hit Dice​
HP Ratio​
Wyrmling​
Hit Dice​
HP Ratio​
White​
21 (6d6)​
1.0000​
White​
5d8+10​
1.0000​
Black​
24 (7d6)​
1.1666​
Black​
6d8+6​
1.0154​
Green​
28 (8d6)​
1.3333​
Green​
7d8+7​
1.1846​
Blue​
35 (10d6)​
1.6667​
Blue​
8d8+16¹​
1.6000​
Red​
38½ (11d6)​
1.8333​
Gold²​
8d8+24​
1.8462​
Gold​
49½ (11d6+11)​
2.3571​
Red²​
10d8+30​
2.3077​

Don't care for that. The progression is too distorted for my tastes.

I prefer the Uniform progression of giving all the Dragonflies the same CON modifier, since it's the closest match to the smooth and uniform linear increase they had in their BECMI and AD&D incarnations.

If we go for that, we just need to decide what CON to give them (assuming we're keeping the "start at 6 HD, add +1 HD per variety increase" rule. I'd go for +0, +1 or +2, which is 1 less than the 5E Wyrmlings range of +1, +2, or +3.

That'd give one of the following:

Dragonfly​
Hit Points (+0 CON)​
Hit Points (+1 CON)​
Hit Points (+2 CON)​
White​
21 (6d6)​
27 (6d6+6)​
33 (6d6+12)​
Black​
24½ (7d6)​
31½ (7d6+7)​
38½ (7d6+14)​
Green​
28 (8d6)​
36 (8d6+8)​
44 (8d6+16)​
Blue​
31½ (9d6)​
40½ (9d6+9)​
49½ (9d6+18)​
Red​
35 (10d6)​
45 (10d6+10)​
55 (10d6+20)​
Gold​
38½ (11d6)​
49½ (11d6+11)​
60½ (11d6+22)​
 

Cleon

Legend
For the sake of argument, how about keep these creatures simple and use an extra-high regular AC like a dragon rather than a medium-high base AC plus a few AC boosting abilities like we did for the Odonatids.

How about using these stats for the next draft:

Dragonflies Statistics Table
Type​
AC​
Hit Points​
STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
Challenge​
17​
31 ((7d6+7))​
13 (+1)​
17 (+3)​
13 (+1)​
2 (–4)​
12 (+1)​
10 (+0)​
1 (200 XP)​
Blue
19​
40 (9d6+9)​
15 (+2)​
16 (+3)​
13 (+1)​
2 (–4)​
12 (+1)​
11 (+0)​
2 (450 XP)​
Gold
21​
49 (11d6+11)​
16 (+3)​
19 (+4)​
13 (+1)​
3 (–4)​
12 (+1)​
12 (+1)​
3 (700 XP)​
18​
36 (8d6+8)​
14 (+2)​
17 (+3)​
13 (+1)​
2 (–4)​
12 (+1)​
11 ( –1)​
2 (450 XP)​
Red
20​
45 (10d6+10)​
17 (+3)​
18 (+3)​
13 (+1)​
2 (–4)​
12 (+1)​
11 (+1)​
3 (700 XP)​
16​
21 (6d6+6)​
12 (+0)​
17 (+3)​
13 (+1)​
2 (–4)​
12 (+1)​
9 (–1)​
1 (200 XP)​

Dragonflies Combat Table
Type​
Saves & Skills²​
Bite​
Breath Weapon​
DEX +5; ??? +#​
+5, 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing
5 (1d10) acid, DEX save DC 13 for ½
Blue
DEX +5; ??? +#​
+5, 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing
7 (2d6) lightning, DEX save DC 13 for ½
Gold
DEX +6; ??? +#​
+6, 7 (1d6 + 4) slashing
11 (2d10) fire or poison, DEX save DC 14 for ½
DEX +5; ??? +#​
+5, 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing
7 (2d6) poison, DEX save DC 13 for ½
Red
DEX +6; ??? +#​
+6, 7 (1d6 + 4) slashing
11 (2d10) fire, DEX save DC 14 for ½
DEX +5; ??? +#​
+5, 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing
5 (1d10) cold, DEX save DC 13 for ½
 
Last edited:

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
yeah I think they all look fine. Agree on the DEX proficiency for saves. I'm thinking some sort of dodgey flying thing for skill/trait etc.
 
Last edited:

Cleon

Legend
Dang it, I got the CRs for the Blue and Gold swapped over in my previous post.

Blue
19​
40 (9d6+9)​
15 (+2)​
16 (+3)​
13 (+1)​
2 (–4)​
12 (+1)​
11 (+0)​
3 (700 XP)​
Gold
21​
49 (11d6+11)​
16 (+3)​
19 (+4)​
13 (+1)​
3 (–4)​
12 (+1)​
12 (+1)​
2 (450 XP)​

Should be Challenge 1 for the weakest pair (White/Black), Challenge 2 for the middle (Blue/Green) and Challenge 3 for the most powerful (Gold/Red).

Just updated it.

My original plan was to have each of them have a Breath Weapon that does slightly different damage. That's probably still achievable while keeping those Challenge Ratings. I'll play around with the calculator a bit…

…okay, this'd keep the CRs the same.

Dragonflies Combat Table
Type​
Saves & Skills²​
Bite​
Breath Weapon​
DEX +5; ??? +#​
+5, 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing
6 (1d12) acid, DEX save DC 13 for ½
Blue
DEX +5; ??? +#​
+5, 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing
8 (1d6 + 1d8) lightning, DEX save DC 13 for ½
Gold
DEX +6; ??? +#​
+6, 7 (1d6 + 4) slashing
10 (3d6) fire or poison, DEX save DC 14 for ½
DEX +5; ??? +#​
+5, 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing
7 (2d6) poison, DEX save DC 13 for ½
Red
DEX +6; ??? +#​
+6, 7 (1d6 + 4) slashing
9 (2d8) fire, DEX save DC 14 for ½
DEX +5; ??? +#​
+5, 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing
5 (1d10) cold, DEX save DC 13 for ½

That looks OK to me.

Is it agreeable?
 

Cleon

Legend
yeah I think they all look fine. Agree on the DEX proficiency for saves. I'm thinking some sort of dodgey flying thing for skill/trait etc.

So some sort of "Agile Flyer" style trait where it gets advantage on Acrobatics checks and DEX saves when flying?

Also, I think we can give it at least one more Save Proficiency, since all Wyrmlings have Saves in DEX, CON, WIS, and CHA.

Giving it 3 or 4 Save Proficiencies would require us to recalculate the Challenge Ratings and change the Breath Weapon Damages though. They'd pair up as CR 2/3/4 rather than CR 1/2/3.

Also, it just occurred to me that if the breath weapon autohits a single target and is save-for-half, shouldn't the Damage Per Round be treated as 150% the average roll rather than the 200% of an area-of-effect or the 100% of a normal attack?

Let's see, for three or four Saves and Challenge Ratings of 2 to 4 we could do something like this according to the CR Calculator:

Dragonflies Combat Table
Type​
Defensive/Offensive CRs​
Bite​
Breath Weapon​
DCR 1; OCR 3 (DPR 18½ of 15–26)​
+5, 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing
8 (1d6 + 1d8) acid, DEX save DC 13 for ½
Blue
DCR 3; OCR 3 (DPR 21½ of 15–26)​
+5, 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing
10 (1d8 + 1d10) lightning, DEX save DC 13 for ½
Gold
DCR 4; OCR 4 (DPR 25½ of 21–32)​
+6, 7 (1d6 + 4) slashing
12 (1d10 + 1d12) fire or poison, DEX save DC 14 for ½
DCR 2; OCR 3 (DPR 20 of 15–26)​
+5, 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing
9 (2d8) poison, DEX save DC 13 for ½
Red
DCR 3; OCR 4 (DPR 24 of 21–32)​
+6, 7 (1d6 + 4) slashing
11 (2d10) fire, DEX save DC 14 for ½
DCR 1/2; OCR 3 (DPR 17 of 15–26)​
+5, 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing
7 (2d6) cold, DEX save DC 13 for ½

EDIT: The above CR Calculations assume the "save for half" means the breath weapon counts for 150% the damage. That is, a 2d6 breath weapon is DPR 10.5 rather than the 14 of an AoE breath weapon. If it was just a standard weapon or spell attack that does no damage on a miss it'd be a simple 100%.

Also, the original monster had a special trait that an opponent who engaged it in melee didn't get a save-for-half against its breath weapon. e.g. "A saving throw vs. breath weapon is allowed only if the victim is not fighting the dragonfly in melee; those in hand-to-hand combat get no saving throw against the breath." in the Mystaran Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1994).

That seems wonky though. Why would an opponent who was sword-fighting the draconic insect not be able to duck out of the way of its breath or block it with a shield? I could understand if the Dragonfly was physically grappling a victim and spitting at them, but the Dragonfly is darting around in the air above or in front of their opponent they're meleeing with according to the flavour text.

I suppose we could give it some trait that an opponent in melee has disadvantage to save against its breath, or maybe that they always fail if the dragonfly has grabbed them and give it some grappling trait like it grabs hold of an opponent with its jaws if it hits.

Have to think about this too.
 
Last edited:

Cleon

Legend
I think I still prefer the Challenge 1 to 3 arrangement in the post before the previous one rather than the Challenge 2 to 4 arrangement above.

Mystaran Dragonflies aren't that tough of a monster.

The Red Dragonfly was XP 270 in AD&D and an XP 175 in BECMI, which is not terribly formidable in the grand scheme of things. 270 is the experience points value of a standard AD&D ogre, and those are Challenge 2 in 5th edition, so making the Red Dragonfly Challenge 4 seems excessive.

Also, the original monster's breath weapon didn't do THAT much more damage than its bite. A White Dragonfly breathed for 3 points of cold damage so it actually did less damage than its 1d6 bite on average.

Will double check my CR calculations.
 

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