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Cleon Specials – Prehistoric Beasts!

Cleon

Legend
Allosaurus Redux
Large Animal
Hit Dice: 10d8+50 (95 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares)
Armor Class: 17 (–1 size, +2 Dex, +6 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +7/+17
Attack: Bite +12 melee (2d6+6)
Full Attack: Bite +12 melee (2d6+6) and claws +7 melee (1d6+3)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab, swallow whole
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +5
Abilities: Str 23, Dex 15, Con 21, Int 1, Wis 15, Cha 10
Skills: Hide +6* [+10 in undergrowth], Listen +9, Spot +9, Survival +9
Feats: Endurance, Power Attack, Run, Track
Environment: Warm forests or plains
Organization: Solitary, pair or pack (3–12)
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 11–12 HD (Large); 13–24 HD (Huge); 25–30 HD (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment:

An Allosaurus is a classically built predatory dinosaur, with a large head full of serrated teeth and two short but powerful forelimbs ending in 3-fingered hands for grasping prey.

A typical Allosaurus stands about 8 feet tall, with a total length of 25 feet, and weighs about 2,500 pounds. They can grow considerably bigger than this, and some of its larger relatives may rival a Tyrannosaurus in size.

Combat
An Allosaurus strikes fast and hard, often from ambush. They usually charge in with their bite attack, and then tries to grapple with its foreclaws and strikes repeatedly with power-attack bite attacks. Against particularly large opponents they attempt to circle around to make hit-and-run attacks against their flanks.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, an Allosaurus must hit with its bite or claws attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

If it wins the grapple check with a bite attack, it establishes a hold and can try to swallow the foe the following round. If it wins with its claws attack it can full-attack the held opponent with both its bite and claws at their full +12 attack bonus.

Swallow Whole (Ex): an Allosaurus can try to swallow a grabbed opponent of up to two sizes smaller by making a successful grapple check. The swallowed creature takes 1d10+6 points of bludgeoning damage and 8 points of acid damage per round from the Allosaurus’s gizzard. A swallowed creature can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 25 points of damage to the gizzard (AC 13). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out.

A Large Allosaurus’s gizzard can hold 2 Small, 8 Tiny, or 32 Diminutive or 128 Fine opponents.

Skills: An Allosaurus has a +4 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, Spot, and Survival checks.

*Its racial bonus to Hide increases to +8 when it is in thick undergrowth.

Greater Allosaurus
Huge Animal
Hit Dice: 15d8+90 (157 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares)
Armor Class: 18 (–2 size, +1 Dex, +9 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 17
Base Attack/Grapple: +11/+27
Attack: Bite +17 melee (3d6+8/19–20)
Full Attack: Bite +17 melee (3d6+8/19–20) and claws +12 melee (1d8+4)
Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab, swallow whole
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +15, Ref +10, Will +9
Abilities: Str 27, Dex 13, Con 23, Int 1, Wis 15, Cha 10
Skills: Hide +6* [+10 in undergrowth], Listen +9, Spot +10, Survival +9
Feats: Endurance, Improved Critical (bite), Iron Will, Power Attack, Run, Track
Environment: Warm forests or plains
Organization: Solitary, pair or pack (3–12)
Challenge Rating: 7
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 16–24 HD (Huge); 25–30 HD (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment:

10 feet high and 35 feet long, weighing around 6,000 pounds. This represents the old AD&D 15 Hit Dice Allosaurus and could be a particularly big specimen of Allosaurus of a larger relative such as Saurophaganax.

Design Notes
The official 3E stats for the Allosaurus appear in Monster Manual II. The main objections I have to them are (a) at 36 feet long and Huge size it's arguably a little too big, that's roughly the size of the LARGEST Allosaurids such as Saurophaganax maximus (which some consider to be a species of Allosaurus). If the MMII version had 15 Hit Dice like the AD&D Allosaurus did I wouldn't mind so much, but the official 3E Allosaurus is reduced to 10 Hit Dice and has Strength 24, which seems more appropriate for a smaller animal – that's between a Bison's Str 22 and a Brown Bear's Str 26, both of which are Large animals.

Secondly, I didn't care for the special attacks of the MMII version, which gave the Allosaurus a Trample and Rake special attacks in addition to the Grab & Swallow Whole of the Tyrannosaurus. While I guess any sufficiently large animal could trample smaller creatures underfoot, a Theropod seems build for grabbing on and tearing a single opponent up with tooth & fang rather than rushing about stomping everything underfoot. As for the Rake, I am perplexed how an Allosaurus is supposed to contort itself enough to hold onto an opponent with its jaws while kicking them with both its hind feet - they're not as flexible as a cat after all!

Now I appreciate that giving the dinosaur another special attacks can make it more interesting in play, I just don't feel those particular special attacks are appropriate.

So I've statted up a "minimalist" 10 Hit Dice Allosaurus by reducing its size to be the high end of Large and cutting the Rake and Trample while adding a separate Greater Allosaurus to cover the Huge size and 15 Hit Dice aspects of the old versions.

You probably notice I've also given it a "claws" attack rather than 2 separate claw attacks. The main reason I did this is that it made it simpler to match the damage of a Tyrannosaur-style "one big bite" dinosaur and an Allosaur-style "bite and claws" dinosaur of the same size. If I gave it two claw attacks, each with ×½ its Strength bonus added to the damage, the only way to have two dinosaurs of these bauplans do roughly similar damage would be to give one of them natural weapon's base damages massively higher or lower than the other.

i.e. say you have two Str 26 theropods, an Allosaur-type with a bite/claw/claw routing would get +16 damage from its Strength and the Tyrannosaurus-type would get +12 damage from its strength. Even with only 1d4 base damage claws, the Allosaur's claws could do 13 more damage on average, so the Tyrannosaur's bite would need to have a base damage 4d8 or 5d6 higher for it to have the same lethality.

Making it a single "claws" is a lot easier.

The Allosaurus could do with some sort of special attack to make it a little more interesting, but for this bare-bones version I'll just leave it with Improved Grab & Swallow Whole. Most likely if I get around to Re-Reduxing this bauplan of dinosaur I'd add some sort of special effect to its bite. Allosaurs (and many other "carnosaur" type predatory dinosaurs) had thin sharp teeth and might have gaped their jaws wide to slash great wound in their prey's flesh much like a shark does. That will have to wait for another day though.


Skill Breakdown
Allosaurus: Hide 4S+Dex2+4R–4size, Listen 3S+4R+Wis2, Spot 3S+4R+Wis2, Survival 3S+4R+Wis2
Greater Allosaurus: Hide 9S+Dex1+4R–8size, Listen 3S+4R+Wis2, Spot 3S+4R+Wis2, Survival 3S+4R+Wis2
 
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Cleon

Legend
Megaraptor Redux
Huge Animal
Hit Dice: 12d8+60 (114 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (–2 size, +2 Dex, +6 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+24
Attack: Bite +15 melee (2d6+8) or claw +15 melee (1d10+4)
Full Attack: Bite +15 melee (2d6+8) and 2 claws +13 melee (1d10+4)
Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +13, Ref +10, Will +6
Abilities: Str 27, Dex 15, Con 21, Int 1, Wis 15, Cha 10
Skills: Hide +2* [+10 in undergrowth], Listen +10, Spot +10, Survival +9
Feats: Multiattack, Run, Track, Weapon Focus (bite), Weapon Focus (claw)
Environment: Warm forests or swamps
Organization: Solitary or pair
Challenge Rating: 6
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 13–19 HD (Huge); 20–30 HD (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment:

A Megaraptor is a predatory dinosaur with oversized claws on its hands. Its statistics can be used for similar large-clawed carnivorous dinosaurs, such as Baryonyx or a young Spinosaurus (see the Fish-Eating Megaraptor variant).

A typical adult Megaraptor stands about 12 feet tall, with a total length of 30 feet. It weighs 4,000 pounds or so.

Combat
A Megaraptor seeks to grab hold of an opponent and tear it apart with their claws and teeth. They usually hunt prey smaller than themselves.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a Megaraptor must hit with a claw or bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Skills: A Megaraptor has a +4 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, Spot, and Survival checks.

*Its racial bonus to Hide increases to +12 in undergrowth.

Fish-Eating Megaraptor
Spinosaurs such as Baryonyx may be relatives of Megaraptor and their stomach contents suggest they ate fish, possibly hooking them from the water with their claws like bears do. Apply the following changes to make Megaraptor a fish-eater.

Skills: Hide +2* [+10 in undergrowth or water], Listen +10, Spot +10, Swim +12, Survival +9

Skills: A fish-eating Megaraptor has a +4 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, Spot, Swim, and Survival checks.

*Its racial bonus to Hide increases to +12 when it is in undergrowth or submerged in water.

Design Notes
The SRD Megaraptor models the dinosaur as an oversized dromaeosaur, an interpretation that further paleontological studies found to be incorrect. This version is more accurate to the current model of the animal. See the Utahraptor conversion for more information and stats for a "jumbo-sized Deinonychus" like the SRD Megaraptor was portrayed as being.


Skill Breakdown
Megaraptor: Hide 4S+Dex2–8size +4R, Listen 4S+Wis2+4R, Spot 4S+Wis2+4R, Survival 3S+Wis2+4R
Fish-Eating: Swim 0S+Str8+4R
 
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Cleon

Legend
Redux Note:
The following is the first prehistoric beast to appear here that isn't a Redux conversion. The Primal Tyrannosaurus is a glorification of a dinosaur that appears in the 3E Monster Manual, so although it's a new monster I can't view it as entirely separate from my Tyrannosaurus Redux.

There will be more!
 
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Cleon

Legend
Pliosaurus
Huge Animal
Hit Dice: 10d8+60 (105 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), swim 50 ft.
Armor Class: 15 (–2 size, +2 Dex, +5 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +7/+22
Attack: Bite +14 melee (2d8+12)
Full Attack: Bite +14 melee (2d8+12)
Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab, swallow whole
Special Qualities: Hold breath, low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +15, Ref +9, Will +4
Abilities: Str 26, Dex 14, Con 22, Int 1, Wis 13, Cha 9
Skills: Hide –4* [+4 in water], Listen +4, Spot +9, Swim +16
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Weapon Focus (bite)
Environment: Warm aquatic
Organization: Solitary, pair, or herd (5–8)
Challenge Rating: 7
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 11–20 HD (Huge); 21–30 HD (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment:

These relatives of Elasmosaurus have short necks and massive heads crammed with large teeth. A typical Pliosaurus is 30 feet long, with a head about 6 feet long, and weighs about 10,000 pounds.

These stats can be used for other species of marine reptile with a similar body plan, such as Liopleurodon or Kronosaurus, which may not have been closely related to Pliosaurus but were probably similar to it in their habits.

Combat
A Pliosaurus is aggressive and attacks anything it notices. The creature is strong, fast, and highly maneuverable, able to turn quickly and lunge at prey.

Hold Breath (Ex): A Pliosaurus can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 10 × its Constitution score before it risks drowning. For a typical Pliosaurus, this is 220 rounds, or 22 minutes.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a Pliosaurus must hit an opponent of up to one size smaller with its bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can try to swallow the foe the following round.

Swallow Whole (Ex): A Pliosaurus can try to swallow a grabbed opponent of up to two sizes smaller by making a successful grapple check. The swallowed creature takes 2d8+8 points of bludgeoning damage and 8 points of acid damage per round from the Pliosaurus’s gizzard. A swallowed creature can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 25 points of damage to the gizzard (AC 12). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out.

A Huge Pliosaurus's gizzard can hold 2 Medium, 8 Small, 32 Tiny, or 128 Diminutive or smaller opponents.

Skills: A Pliosaurus has a +8 racial bonus on Swim checks. It can always choose to take 10 on a Jump or Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

* A Pliosaurus has a +8 racial bonus on Hide checks in water.

Design Notes
This is a typical large-headed Sauropterygian, a type of Mesozoic aquatic reptile. Sauropterygians with small heads and long necks hunted smaller fish and squid, but their large-headed cousins tackled bigger prey, including other aquatic reptiles as well as fish and ammonites. Large-headed pliosaur evolved multiple times among the Sauropterygia, so a particular species might have long-necked "plesiosaur" cousins more closely related to it than many large-headed pliosaurs.

Mechanically, it is just the Elasmosaurus Redux with a slightly increased Strength, no increased reach, an increased bite damage and Swallow Whole capacity.

In taxonomical terms it is not a dinosaur just like Elasmosaurus, so I'm going to be agonizing over whether to index it as "Dinosaur - Pliosaurus" to match the SRD's "Dinosaur - Elasmosaurus". There are a few Pliosaurs in AD&D sources (Kronosaurus appears as one of "several new dinosaurs and their relatives" in Dragon #187 and there's a generic Pliosaur in Dragon #112).

The Creature Catalog has its own entry for generic Pliosaurs of sizes ranging from Large to Colossal. They are similar to what I'd likely do should I ever write up a Cleon Special Pliosaur entry. Which is unsurprising, as I contributed to the CC version!
 
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Cleon

Legend
Spinosaurus
Gargantuan Animal
Hit Dice: 20d8+120 (210 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares)
Armor Class: 18 (–4 size, +2 Dex, +10 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +15/+37
Attack: Bite +22 melee (3d6+10/19–20) or claw +22 melee (2d6+5)
Full Attack: Bite +22 melee (3d6+10/19–20) and 2 claws +20 melee (2d6+5)
Space/Reach: 20 ft./15 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +18, Ref +14, Will +8
Abilities: Str 31, Dex 15, Con 22, Int 1, Wis 14, Cha 10
Skills: Hide +4* [+12 in undergrowth or water], Listen +11, Spot +11, Swim +14, Survival +9
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Improved Critical (bite), Iron Will, Multiattack, Weapon Focus (claw), Weapon Focus (bite), Track
Environment: Warm plains or swamps
Organization: Solitary or pair
Challenge Rating: 9
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 21–30 HD (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment:

A Spinosaurus is slim for a theropod and has unusually long, narrow jaws. It has fairly large forearms with 3 fingered hands.

This dinosaur is an swift moving, opportunistic predator that hunts small prey such as fish, juvenile dinosaurs and even pterosaurs. Its lightweight build and narrow jaws mean its ill-equipped for preying upon big creatures, but its Gargantuan size means there are many victims small enough for it to hunt.

A typical adult Spinosaurus has a total length from 50 to 60 feet and weighs between 8 and 10 tons.

Combat
A Spinosaurus seeks to grab hold of an opponent and tear it apart with their claws and teeth. They usually hunt prey smaller than themselves.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a Spinosaurus must hit with a claw or bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Skills: A Spinosaurus has a +4 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, Spot, Swim and Survival checks.

*Its racial bonus to Hide increases to +12 when it is in undergrowth or submerged in water.

Design Notes
This is an out-of-date model of Spinosaurus resembling the one in Jurassic Park III. See Spinosaurus Redux for a more paleontologically accurate animal.

Official 3E stats for Spinosaurus appear in the Monster Manual II. I happened to lack that product while writing Reviewing, Revising, and Finalizing Prehistoric Animals and Dinosaur Ecology. If I'd had access to that book's dinosaur entries at the time I might not have bothered with a Homebrew Spinosaurus conversion.

Mechanically my conversion came out fairly close to the MMII version, its Strength is noticeable lower (mainly so its claw/claw/bite full attack damage wouldn't completely overwhelm a Tyrannosaurus's single bite full attack damage) and it doesn't have a Frightful Presence, Trample or Swallow Whole attack (although I'd consider giving it Frightful Presence & Swallow Whole, since they seem appropriate special attacks for such a formidable predator). Many of the other numbers differ by a bit too, but not significantly.

Like many 3.0 creatures, the official version has a Challenge Rating that's a bit higher than it probably should be.

While the species Spinosaurus aegyptiacus was probably the largest carnivorous dinosaur and may have been the biggest predator to ever walk on land, I prefer to interpret it as being roughly a match to its rivals such as Tyrannosaurus, Giganotosaurus or Carcharodontosaurus. None of those other dinosaurs lived in the same place and time as S. aegyptiacus, so they would have never fought each other in real life. This dinosaur was long and leanly built compared to, say, a Tyrannosaur rex and might not have weighed much more than one. A particularly massive T. rex could have been heavier than a small S. aegyptiacus and arguably was built better for dealing with a huge opponent than Spinosaurus, which had a narrow skull similar to a crocodile rather than the bone-crushing jaws of a Tyrannosaur. Much is unclear about this species, including whether it normally walk on two legs or four.

One noteworthy hypothesis is that Spinosaurs specialized in hunting fish. The giant sawfish Onchopristis was a contempory of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus [it's fish #9 in this picture] and may have been among the large fish it preyed upon, at least according to an episode of the BBC's Planet TV Dinosaur series.

One noteworthy hypothesis is Spinosaurus used its long body and sail to drive fish into a cluster before stunning them them with blows from its long flexible tail, then seized the stunned fish with its claws or jaws and devoured them. Should I ever revise this conversion I'd definitely consider adding a Tail-slap and a stunning Tail Sweep to its attack repertoire!
 
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Cleon

Legend
Tanystropheus
Medium Animal
Hit Dice: 3d8 (13 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 15 ft. (3 squares), swim 30 ft.
Armor Class: 14 (+2 Dex, +2 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+4
Attack: Bite +5 melee (1d6+3)
Full Attack: Bite +5 melee (1d6+3)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft. (10 ft. with bite)
Special Attacks: Improved grab, swallow whole [Diminutive-sized as combat attack, 1d4+2 plus 2 acid, 5 hp, AC11]
Special Qualities: Hold breath, low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +2
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 4
Skills: Hide +7* [+11 in water or body-concealed, +15 body-concealed in water], Listen +3, Spot +3, Swim +10
Feats: Skill Focus (Hide), Weapon Focus (bite)
Environment: Warm aquatic and swamps
Organization: Solitary or cluster (2–8)
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 4 HD (Medium); 5–6 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment:

This reptile has an extraordinarily long neck, longer than the rest of the body put together. It has a slim lizard-like torso with fat, muscular hindquarters and a tail of average length. Parts of the body are covered in rectangular scales. The head is tiny, with a narrow snout full of spike-like teeth that interlock when its jaws are closed. The neck is pretty stiff, about as flexible as fishing rod.

Tanystropheus are carnivores, mainly eating little fish and squid. They usually hunt by concealing their body – typically in swamp vegetation, above an overhanging rock along the shore, or buried in mud or a rock-hollow under the water – and wait until a meal swims by, then move out to snatch their prey up in their jaws. Their extravagantly long necks allow them to close with a witless fish without the latter realizing they've come within a larger creature's reach. A Tanystropheus swims with its strong hind legs, often by kicking itself along the bottom of shallow water.

In areas with abundant marine life Tanystropheus can be quite common. They are not social animals, but are gregarious enough to cluster at a particularly good fishing spot without too much squabbling.

A typical Tanystropheus has a total length from nose to tail of around 13 feet, 7 feet of which is neck, but has a head only 8 or 9 inches long. It weighs 180 pounds or so. An extremely big individual may approach 20 feet in length. Smaller individuals are quite common, both actual Tanystropheus and related species of lesser size.

Combat
Tanystropheus only attack prey small enough to swallow. When faced with larger creatures they would rather hide or flee than fight, but will readily bite in self defence.

Hold Breath (Ex): A Tanystropheus can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 4 × its Constitution score before it risks drowning.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a Tanystropheus must hit with a bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can try to swallow the foe the following round.

Swallow Whole (Ex): A Tanystropheus can try to swallow a grabbed opponent of up to three sizes smaller by making a successful grapple check. A Tanystropheus can swallow a creature two sizes smaller than itself, but it takes it 1d6+4 rounds and two successful grapple checks to do so (one to start, one to finish). Therefore it does not swallow bigger victims while in combat.

The swallowed creature takes 1d4+2 points of bludgeoning damage and 2 points of acid damage per round from the Tanystropheus's gizzard. A swallowed creature can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 5 points of damage to the gizzard (AC 11). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out.

A Medium-sized Tanystropheus's gizzard can hold 4 Tiny, 16 Diminutive or 64 Fine opponents.

Skills: A Tanystropheus has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

*A Tanystropheus has a +4 racial bonus on Hide checks when it is in water. Further, if a Tanystropheus conceals its body, leaving its slim neck and tiny head visible, it gains a +4 cover bonus on Hide checks, or +6 if it is a Large-sized Tanystropheus.

Large Tanystropheus
Large Animal
Hit Dice: 5d8+5 (27 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 15 ft. (3 squares), swim 30 ft.
Armor Class: 15 (–1 size, +2 Dex, +4 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+11
Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d8+6)
Full Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d8+6)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft. (15 ft. with bite)
Special Attacks: Improved grab, swallow whole [Tiny-sized as combat attack, 1d6+4 plus 4 acid, 10 hp, AC12]
Special Qualities: Hold breath, low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +2
Abilities: Str 19, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 4
Skills: Hide +5* [+9 in water, +11 if body-concealed, +15 if body-concealed in water], Listen +3, Spot +3, Swim +12
Feats: Skill Focus (Hide), Weapon Focus (bite)
Environment: Warm aquatic and swamps
Organization: Solitary or cluster (2–8)
Challenge Rating: 2
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 6 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment:

Like many reptiles, Tanystropheus do not stop growing, so a particularly old and well-nourished specimen can reach an impressive size, as represented by the above stats. Such individuals are very rare, however.

A big Tanystropheus is some 20 feet from nose to tail, with a foot-long head upon a neck that's 10 feet long, if not longer. They typically weigh from 500 to 700 pounds.

Small Tanystropheus (Dinocephalus)
Small Animal
Hit Dice: 2d8 (9 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 15 ft. (3 squares), swim 30 ft.
Armor Class: 14 (+1 size, +2 Dex, +1 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/–2
Attack: Bite +5 melee (1d4+1)
Full Attack: Bite +5 melee (1d4+1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab, swallow whole [Fine-sized as combat attack, 1d3+1 plus 1 acid, 5 hp, AC10]
Special Qualities: Hold breath, low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +1
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 4
Skills: Hide +7* [+11 in water or body-concealed, +15 body-concealed in water], Listen +3, Spot +3, Swim +9
Feats: Weapon Finesseᴮ, Weapon Focus (bite)
Environment: Warm aquatic and swamps
Organization: Solitary or cluster (2–8)
Challenge Rating: ½
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 3–4 HD (Medium); 5–6 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment:

This could be an adult Tanystropheus of modest size, or a member of a smaller related species, such as Dinocephalosaurus orientalis.

A typical Small Tanystropheus is 9 feet long with a 6 inch head on a 5 foot neck, and weigh about 60 pounds.

Dire Tanystropheus
Large Animal (Dire)
Hit Dice: 7d8+21 (52 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 15 ft. (3 squares), swim 30 ft.
Armor Class: 18 (–1 size, +3 Dex, +6 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +5/+15
Attack: Bite +11 melee (2d6+9)
Full Attack: Bite +11 melee (2d6+9)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft. (20 ft. with bite)
Special Attacks: Constrict 1d10+9, improved grab, swallow whole [Tiny-sized as combat attack, 1d8+6 plus 4 acid, 15 hp, AC13]
Special Qualities: Hold breath, low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +6
Abilities: Str 23, Dex 17, Con 16, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 8
Skills: Hide +8* [+12 in water, +14 if body-concealed, +18 if body-concealed in water], Listen +5, Spot +5, Swim +14
Feats: Alertness, Skill Focus (Hide), Weapon Focus (bite)
Environment: Warm aquatic and swamps
Organization: Solitary or cluster (2–8)
Challenge Rating: 4
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 8–14 HD (Large); 15–29 HD (Huge); 30–45 (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment:

This is not a real-world animal (or even a realistic one). While an ordinary Tanystropheus has a quite rigid neck, a dire Tanystropheus's neck is as flexible as a serpent, and can crush victims in its coils like a python. They can also process prey items too large to swallow, by bracing a carcass in their coils, or wedging it under a rock or sunken tree, then tearing off bite-sized chunks with their jaws. However, a dire Tanystropheus is so stupidly voracious they have been known to attempt to swallow objects to big for them to consume and subsequently choke to death.

A dire Tanystropheus averages about 25 feet long, with a cubit-long head on a neck 13 feet long, and weighs between 1,200 and 1,500 pounds.

Combat
Dire Tanystropheus are far more aggressive than the mundane variety, and will attack any creature smaller than themselves. When faced with larger creatures they would rather hide or flee, but will ferociously fight in self defence.

A dire Tanystropheus usually lurks in ambush under the water or above a cliff, then lashes out its long neck when prey wanders within reach. Once combat begins they are recklessly vicious, and generally fight to the death without even a thought of retreat.

Constrict (Ex): On a successful grapple check, a dire Tanystropheus deals 1d10+9 points of damage.

Hold Breath (Ex): A dire Tanystropheus can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 4 × its Constitution score before it risks drowning.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a dire Tanystropheus must hit with a bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can try to constrict or swallow the foe the following round.

Swallow Whole (Ex): A dire Tanystropheus can try to swallow a grabbed opponent of up to three sizes smaller by making a successful grapple check. A dire Tanystropheus can swallow a creature two sizes smaller than itself, but it takes it 1d6+4 rounds and two successful grapple checks to do so (one to start, one to finish). Therefore it does not swallow bigger victims while in combat.

The swallowed creature takes 1d8+6 points of bludgeoning damage and 4 points of acid damage per round from the dire Tanystropheus's gizzard. A swallowed creature can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 15 points of damage to the gizzard (AC 13). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out.

A Large-sized dire Tanystropheus's gizzard can hold 4 Small, 16 Tiny, 64 Diminutive or 256 Fine opponents.

Skills: A dire Tanystropheus has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

*A dire Tanystropheus has a +4 racial bonus on Hide checks when it is in water. Further, if a dire Tanystropheus conceals its body, leaving its slim neck and tiny head visible, it gains a +6 cover bonus on Hide checks.

Huge Dire Tanystropheus
Huge Animal (Dire)
Hit Dice: 15d8+75 (142 hp)
Initiative: +7
Speed: 15 ft. (3 squares), swim 30 ft.
Armor Class: 20 (–2 size, +3 Dex, +9 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 17
Base Attack/Grapple: +11/+29
Attack: Bite +20 melee (3d6+15)
Full Attack: Bite +20 melee (3d6+15)
Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft. (30 ft. with bite)
Special Attacks: Constrict 2d8+15, improved grab, swallow whole [Small-sized as combat attack, 2d6+10 plus 8 acid, 25 hp, AC14]
Special Qualities: Hold breath, low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +14, Ref +14, Will +10
Abilities: Str 31, Dex 17, Con 20, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 8
Skills: Hide +10* [+14 in water, +16 if body-concealed, +20 if body-concealed in water], Listen +6, Spot +6, Swim +18
Feats: Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (Hide), Weapon Focus (bite)
Environment: Warm aquatic and swamps
Organization: Solitary or cluster (2–8)
Challenge Rating: 8
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 16–29 HD (Huge); 30–45 (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment:

A Huge dire Tanystropheus averages about 40 feet long and typically weighs between 4,000 and 7,000 pounds, with a head at least 2 feet long on a neck 25 feet long.

Combat
A Huge dire Tanystropheus ambushes prey like a regular dire Tanystropheus. Its head strikes with blinding speed. They often use their Combat Reflexes feat to bite multiple opponents as they close with them. The Gargantuan-sized variety can snap up a couple of lesser foes in one pass by using the Cleave feat.

Gargantuan Dire Tanystropheus
Gargantuan Animal (Dire)
Hit Dice: 30d8+150 (345 hp)
Initiative: +7
Speed: 15 ft. (3 squares), swim 30 ft.
Armor Class: 22 (–4 size, +3 Dex, +13 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 19
Base Attack/Grapple: +22/+48
Attack: Bite +33 melee (5d6+21)
Full Attack: Bite +33 melee (5d6+21)
Space/Reach: 20 ft./15 ft. (40 ft. with bite)
Special Attacks: Constrict 3d8+21, improved grab, swallow whole [Medium-sized as combat attack, 3d6+14 plus 8 acid, 30 hp, AC16]
Special Qualities: Hold breath, low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +24, Ref +26, Will +18
Abilities: Str 39, Dex 16, Con 24, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 8
Skills: Hide +13* [+17 in water, +19 if body-concealed, +23 if body-concealed in water], Listen +10, Spot +10, Swim +22
Feats: Alertness, Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Attack (bite), Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Hide), Weapon Focus (bite)
Epic Feat: Epic Reflexes, Great Dexterity
Environment: Warm aquatic and swamps
Organization: Solitary or cluster (2–8)
Challenge Rating: 14
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 31–45 (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment:

A Gargantuan dire Tanystropheus is at least 70 feet long and weighs 16 tons or more, with a yard-long head on a neck that can reach over 40 feet. Such a monster can swallow human beings like oysters.

Design Notes
Pretty much did this conversion because I thought these Triassic aquatic reptiles were cool. Despite being a somewhat obscure animal, they do have AD&D stats in two Monstrous Compendia (MC3 & MCA2) and BECMI stats in HWR1 Sons of Azca. They lack official 3E stats, but a Creature Catalog conversion exists. All of these other conversions made Tanystropheus much bigger than it actually was, with sizes ranging from Large to Gargantuan.

Originally gave the Gargantuan Dire variety Great Cleave but eventually decided against it, so swapped the feat for Great Dexterity and removed the "The Gargantuan variety can snap up many lesser foes in one pass by using the Great Cleave feat." In favour of "The Gargantuan variety can snap up a couple of lesser foes in one pass by using the Cleave feat."


Skill Breakdown:
Small - Hide 1+Dex2+4size, Listen 2+Wis1, Spot 2+Wis1
Regular - Hide 2+Dex2+3F, Listen 2+Wis1, Spot 2+Wis1
Big - Hide 4+Dex2+3F–4size, Listen 2+Wis1, Spot 2+Wis1
Dire - Hide 6+Dex3+3F–4size, Listen 2+Wis1+2F, Spot 2+Wis1+2F
Huge - Hide 12+Dex3+3F–8size, Listen 3+Wis1+2F, Spot 3+Wis1+2F
Gargantuan - Hide 19+Dex3+3F–12size, Listen 7+Wis1+2F, Spot 7+Wis1+2F
 
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Cleon

Legend
Tusoteuthis (Prehistoric Giant Squid)
Large Animal (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 6d8+12 (39 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: Swim 60 ft. (12 squares)
Armor Class: 15 (–1 size, +3 Dex, +3 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+15* [+1 per 2 limbs]
Attack: Tentacles +7 melee (1d4+3)
Full Attack: Tentacles +7 melee (1d4+3) and 8 arms +4 melee (1) and bite +4 melee (1d10+1)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft. (15 ft. with tentacles, 10 ft. with arms)
Special Attacks: Constrict [1d6+3 plus 1/two extra limbs], improved grab, tearing beak [grapple or +6 melee, 1d10+3]
Special Qualities: Chameleon, damage reduction 5/slashing or piercing, ink cloud, jet, superior low-light vision
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +3
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 17, Con 15, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 2
Skills: Hide +3, Listen +7, Spot +12, Swim +11
Feats: Blind-Fight, Endurance, Multiattackᴮ, Weapon Focus (tentacles)
Environment: Warm aquatic
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 3
Advancement: 7–9 HD (Large); 10–12 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment:

Tusoteuthis is a type of giant squid that lived in the warm, shallow seas of the Cretaceous. They are not closely related to Architeuthis, the modern-day giant squid.

These squid are voracious hunter that would eagerly devour a humanoid in the water. Unlike a giant squid or the colossal squid Mesonychoteuthis, the flesh of a Tusoteuthis does not contain ammonia and is quite edible, even tasty if skillfully prepared. So, if the situation were reversed a single Tusoteuthis could provide a feast for an entire village or castle. Formidable as they are, this squid is preyed upon by other animals – the prehistoric tropical seas they inhabit are terrifying places full of huge sharks, giant crocodiles, great mosasaurs and other massive predatory fish and reptiles capable of eating even a fully grown Tusoteuthis.

A typical Tusoteuthis is 20 feet or so from tailfin to tentacle-tip and weighs around 500 pounds. The squid's body is about 6 feet long, its pair of tentacles exceed 10 feet in length and its eight arms are almost as long. Huge individuals can reach a length of 30 feet or more.

Combat
A Tusoteuthis giant squid seizes hold of prey with its tentacles, then secures them in its arms and bites with its beak. It focuses on one opponent and does not divide its attacks should it encounter multiple targets.

If wounded or frightened the Tusoteuthis jets away, maybe covering its escape with a cloud of ink.

If a Tusoteuthis already has a hold on an opponent in the water when it succeeds at a grapple check during a standard or full attack, it can automatically reduce the distance between it and its opponent by a distance of up to 20 feet, either by moving towards its opponent or pulling them closer with its limbs. The movement may affect the squid, the opponent or both. If this movement pulls an opponent into the Reach of its arm attacks or bite attack the giant squid is able to make attacks-of-opportunity with those natural weapons.

An opponent can attack a giant squid’s limbs with a sunder attempt as if they were weapons. An Tusoteuthis’s tentacles and arms have 5 hit points each. If a giant squid is currently grappling a target with the appendage that is being attacked, it usually uses another limb to make its attack of opportunity against the opponent making the sunder attempt. Severing one of a giant squid’s limbs deals 2 points of damage to the creature. A giant squid usually withdraws from combat if it loses four limbs. The creature regrows severed limbs in 1d10+10 days.

Chameleon (Ex): A Tusoteuthis can change its colour and produce light, giving it a +4 racial bonus on Hide checks. The squid does not need cover or concealment to attempt a Hide check if it can match the colour and brightness of its surroundings.

Constrict (Ex): A Tusoteuthis automatically deals 1d6+3 points of constriction damage with a successful grapple check, the damage is increased by 1 for each two additional limbs the squid constricts the opponent with (i.e. a Tusoteuthis that constricts with its tentacles and all 8 limbs inflicts 1d6+7 damage).

If the squid is close enough to bite an opponent it is constricting it can simultaneously uses its Tearing Beak special attack on them.

The constrict attack of a Huge Tusoteuthis does 1d8 base damage plus its Strength modifier, increased by 1 damage per additional limb the squid constricts with. A Huge Tusoteuthis normally has Strength 24 so inflicts 1d8+15 damage if it constricts with its tentacles and all eight limbs.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a giant squid must hit an opponent of any size with a tentacle or arm attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can constrict.

*A Tusoteuthis has a +4 racial bonus to grapple checks with its tentacles, with an additional bonus of 1 per two arms or tentacles it is holding its opponent with. If it hits a target with multiple limbs as part of a full attack routine it only makes one grapple check to resolve the hold.

Tearing Beak (Ex): A Tusoteuthis can bite an opponent it is grappling as a primary attack (bite +6 melee for 1d10+3 damage) or by succeeding at an opposed grapple check (for the same damage).

Ink Cloud (Ex): A Tusoteuthis can emit a cloud of jet-black ink 10 feet high by 10 feet wide by 20 feet long once per minute as a free action. The cloud provides total concealment, which the squid normally uses to escape a losing fight. All vision within the cloud is obscured.

Jet (Ex): A giant squid can jet backward once per round as a full-round action, at a speed of 300 feet. It must move in a straight line, but does not provoke attacks of opportunity while jetting.

Superior Low-Light Vision (Ex): A Tusoteuthis can see five times as far as a human can in dim light.

Skills: A giant squid’s huge eyes give it a +8 racial bonus to Spot checks and its chameleon ability gives it a +4 racial bonus to Hide checks.

A giant squid has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard and can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Advanced Tusoteuthis
A Huge Tusoteuthis has a 20 foot Reach with its tentacles and a 15 foot Reach with its arms. Each of a Huge Tusoteuthis's limbs has 10 hit points and severing a limb deals 5 points of damage to the creature.

A Huge Tusoteuthis can emit an ink cloud 30 feet high by 30 feet wide by 30 feet long.

Design Notes
A lot of the description is highly speculative, Tusoteuthis longa might have had tentacles as short or shorter than its arms, or even no tentacles at all, as it may have belonged to the Vampyromorphid or been more closely related to octopuses. It's impossible to tell for sure, since only fossil gladii have been found (the gladius (named after the ancient Roman shortsword) or "pen" is a chitinous strut within many Decapodiform cephalopods' mantles that acts as an internal skeleton).

Mechanically it’s basically my
Architeuthis conversion with the 60 foot swim speed of a standard pelagic squid but a shorter tentacle reach. Since I wanted to give it the longer tentacles of an squid while matching the 10 foot arm Reach of my Medium Octopus Redux.

The Revolting Taste special quality was deliberately omitted to further distinguish Tusoteuthis from my other "natural giant squid" conversions.


Skill Breakdown:
Tusoteuthis Squid (9 SPs):
Hide 0S+Dex3–4+4chameleon, Listen 6S+Wis1, Spot 3S+Wis1+8R, Swim 0S+Str3+8R
 

Cleon

Legend
Xiphactinus
Large Animal (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 7d8+14 (45 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: Swim 60 ft. (12 squares)
Armor Class: 15 (–1 Size, +1 Dex. +5 Natural), touch 10, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +5/+13
Attack: Bite +8 melee (1d8+6)
Full Attack: Bite +8 melee (1d8+6)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab, swallow whole
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +3
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 13, Con 15, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 2
Skills: Listen +5, Spot +5, Jump +16, Swim +12
Feats: Endurance, Diehard
Environment: Warm Aquatic
Organization: Solitary or school (2–20)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 8–11 HD (Large); 12–14 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment:

A great fish at least as long as two tall humans. Its powerful torpedo-shaped body ends in a crescent-moon tail, while its ugly slab of a face has bulldog jaws crammed with spiky fangs.

A Xiphactinus is a giant predatory fish that was a common apex predator of the shallow Cretaceous seas. They resemble an oversized fanged tarpon (Megalops), although they are not actually related to that fish.

A typical adult specimen is 12–14 feet and weighs about 1,200 pounds, the largest Xiphactinus can reach 20 feet long and weigh 5,000 pounds or so.

Combat
Xiphactinus are ferocious predators, attacking anything they think they can eat. A Xiphactinus only attacks prey small enough for it to swallow, since its jaws are designed for seizing victims, not tearing them into bite-sized chunks. Unfortunately, most Xiphactinus are large enough to swallow Medium-sized creatures such as adventurers. They are so voracious they sometimes swallow victims too dangerous for them, and are killed by their prey's struggles in their stomach.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a Xiphactinus must hit a smaller opponent with a bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can swallow whole.

Swallow Whole (Ex): A Xiphactinus can try to swallow a grabbed opponent of a smaller size than itself by making a successful grapple check. Once inside, the opponent takes 1d8+4 points of crushing damage plus 4 points of acid damage per round. A swallowed creature can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 15 points of damage to the stomach (AC 12). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out. A Xiphactinus's interior can hold 1 Medium, 4 Small, 16 Tiny, 64 Diminutive or 256 Fine opponents.

Skills: A Xiphactinus has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Design Notes
Xiphactinus audax - giant Cretaceous fish, looks like a fanged tarpon, probably grew up to 20 feet (6m) although the biggest complete fossils to date are 17 feet long (~5.2m). A typical adult specimen is 12–14 feet (~4 metres). They swallowed their prey whole, which occasionally resulted in them choking to death or suffering fatal internal injuries – some fossil Xiphactinus have been found containing large, well-preserved fish up to half their length. (e.g. a 13 foot X. audax with a 6 foot Gillicus arcuatus inside it).

Weight estimate (using the angler's rule of thumb, 150 inch length and 80 inch girth -> 1200 pounds for a 12½ foot Xiphactinus, up to about 5000 pounds for a 20 foot specimen. (said Rule-of-thumb is: weight = length × girth squared / 800).
 
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Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Right then, what about one from the carboniferous.....a Giant Trigonotarbid! (like a spiny spider that can do some reactions with its spines...trying to incorporate a shield rush type reaction....
 

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Cleon

Legend
Right then, what about one from the carboniferous.....a Giant Trigonotarbid! (like a spiny spider that can do some reactions with its spines...trying to incorporate a shield rush type reaction....

These "Cleon Specials" threads were meant just for my 3E Homebrews, many of which were originally scattered around various other threads that got Displaced.

This would originally have gone in Converting Prehistoric Animals, a thread which never returned to the Creature Catalog's bosom from the Dark Depths of the Dungeons & Dragons forum.

I revived that thread as Converting Prehistoric Creatures, but that version got displaced to the D&D forum too!

I'll start a new version of that thread here in General Monster Talk and quote your Trigonatarbid post, then we can discuss the conversion there.

EDIT: Okay, created a revived Converting Prehistoric Creatures thread.

EDIT: Reposted your Giant Trigonotarbid there.
 
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