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Converting Creatures from Other Campaign Settings

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Shade

Monster Junkie
This thread continues the idea of “cooperative conversions”, converting a series of monsters from similar sources. For this thread, we will be focusing on monsters that first appeared in the assorted campaign settings not covered by other threads, such as Jakandor, Birthright, Ravenloft, etc.

What I will do is first post the creature’s original stats and flavor text. Then, I will post a basic outline of the things I think it needs, and then I will give you an opportunity to suggest stats and ideas on how powers and abilities should work. Then, I will add more to it and we will continue to discuss it until I feel it’s done and time to move on to the next. As we work on these creatures, they will be posted in this thread, and after 10 conversions are complete they will be added to the Creature Catalog. You may comment on monsters already finished, of course.
 
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Shade

Monster Junkie
Silver Spider

CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Ruins
FREQUENCY: Very Rare
ORGANIZATION: Solitary
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Any
DIET: None
INTELLIGENCE: Animal (1)
TREASURE: O, P
ALIGNMENT: Neutral
No. APPEARING: 1-4
ARMOR CLASS: 2
MOVEMENT: 15
HIT DICE: 4+4
THACO: 17
No. OF ATTACKS: 3
DAMAGE/ATTACKS: 1d6 (x2)/1d2
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Bite
SPECIAL DEFENSES: None
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Nil
SIZE: L 6' long
MORALE: Champion (15)
XP VALUE: 420

Silver spiders appear as six-foot-long creatures apparently made of a highly reflective silvery metal. They have bulbous abdomens and thin, sleek legs. Charonti wizards created these creature ages ago, as non-lethal guardians and hunters. A few have survived to this day.

Combat: Fearsome fighters, the silver spider attacks with its two sharp forelegs inflicting 1d6 vs. Man-sized or smaller targets and 1d8 vs. Large targets. They can direct each leg to strike a different target.

This spider's bite is its strangest weapon. The spider bites first any foe that harms it, otherwise, biting spellcasters first. Its toxin causes any victim to save vs. Poison or his skin is transformed to the same silvery material as the spider. This process takes 1d10 rounds to complete. Victims encased with silver skin gain AC 2, but suffers an effect similar to paralysis. The victim's skin hardens and he can no longer move or breathe. While so encased, the character is preserved and needs no air or sustenance. Only blows that would hit AC 2 or forces that succeed against the victim's save vs. Breath Weapon will cause the character any harm.

The magical skin lasts for 24 hours, after which the victim's skin returns to normal in the same amount of time it took to transform. The victim may be hungry and thirsty, but up to 1d8 points of damage are healed. The victim's hair and eyes retain the silvery sheen. No amount of washing removes the sheen and no illusions will cover the gleam. Forever are the victim's hair and eyes silver.

The silver spider's webbing is also of the same silvery metal, and is as strong as steel. While it is not used in combat against its foes, the webbing is used to restrain victims who've been transformed. Binding helpless victims may be a natural instinctive reaction on the part of the spider or it may make the victim easier to move. More than one person has found himself bound in metal strands as strong as steel. Only a successful Bend Bars/Lift Gates roll allows a bound victim to escape.

Habitat/Society: As a solitary, magical creature, silver spiders have no society.

After a silver spider's bite has transformed its victim, he or she is wrapped securely in the spider's webbing and is taken to some designated storage area (a jail or holding facility) where Charonti authorities later handle the trespassers. With the Charonti of the ruins all dead, there's no one to interrogate the spider's prisoners, and as most beings possess not enough strength to escape, most perish from dehydration or starvation.

Ecology: As artificial creatures, silver spiders have no place in the cycles of life and death in the natural world. Enterprising beings could, however, make good use of the spider and its byproducts if such can be gained safely:
  • The spider's webbing, if gathered carefully, can be wound and corded to form a remarkably thin, but amazingly strong wire. Such wire is useful in making jewelry. If enough web is used, several wires can be twisted into a small cable stronger than any rope.
  • The spider's weapon-like forelegs can be used as improvised weapons (with a -1 attack penalty due to the lack of a proper hilt). If a hilt is added, a foreleg functions as short sword. The forelegs of a silver spider qualify as silver weapons for determining damage against foes not harmed by normal weapons, such as lycanthropes.

Originally appeared in Jakandor, Land of Legend (1998).
 

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Big Mac

Explorer
This thread continues the idea of “cooperative conversions”, converting a series of monsters from similar sources. For this thread, we will be focusing on monsters that first appeared in the assorted campaign settings not covered by other threads, such as Jakandor, Birthright, Ravenloft, etc.
"etc" = ? :confused: :heh:

Originally appeared in Jakandor, Land of Legend (1998).
Do you think it is worth going through all the Jakandor monsters before doing another campaign setting? Or should we mix and match?

I'll read the actual monster after this post and come back and make some comments.

Silver spiders appear as six-foot-long creatures apparently made of a highly reflective silvery metal. They have bulbous abdomens and thin, sleek legs. Charonti wizards created these creature ages ago, as non-lethal guardians and hunters. A few have survived to this day.
This sounds like it is mostly flavor, but does the fact that they were created make them magical beasts?

Combat: Fearsome fighters, the silver spider attacks with its two sharp forelegs inflicting 1d6 vs. Man-sized or smaller targets and 1d8 vs. Large targets. They can direct each leg to strike a different target.
How should the sharp legs be described? Should they be put down as claws? The description below seems to suggest they work like sword blades.

This spider's bite is its strangest weapon. The spider bites first any foe that harms it, otherwise, biting spellcasters first. Its toxin causes any victim to save vs. Poison or his skin is transformed to the same silvery material as the spider. This process takes 1d10 rounds to complete. Victims encased with silver skin gain AC 2, but suffers an effect similar to paralysis. The victim's skin hardens and he can no longer move or breathe. While so encased, the character is preserved and needs no air or sustenance. Only blows that would hit AC 2 or forces that succeed against the victim's save vs. Breath Weapon will cause the character any harm.
Demiurge is right about this. The bite works just like a magic spell.

If the process is going to take 1d10 rounds should the AC change in stages?

Would Magical Bite (Sp) be a suitable name, or does it need to be more descriptive?

I'm not sure exactly how the silver spider can target a spellcaster first. Should they have some sort of Detect Spellcaster ability?

The magical skin lasts for 24 hours, after which the victim's skin returns to normal in the same amount of time it took to transform. The victim may be hungry and thirsty, but up to 1d8 points of damage are healed. The victim's hair and eyes retain the silvery sheen. No amount of washing removes the sheen and no illusions will cover the gleam. Forever are the victim's hair and eyes silver.
I think the "return" time is irrelivant. It isn't going to have any impact on combat (like the "transformation" time does). I've seen an ability that heals a creature that returns to its own form. I thought it was polymorph, but I can't find it at the moment.

The silver spider's webbing is also of the same silvery metal, and is as strong as steel. While it is not used in combat against its foes, the webbing is used to restrain victims who've been transformed.
I can't see anywhere where it says how the webbing is "used in combat".

Binding helpless victims may be a natural instinctive reaction on the part of the spider or it may make the victim easier to move.
I don't think that needs to be explained. I'd expect any spider to do that.

More than one person has found himself bound in metal strands as strong as steel. Only a successful Bend Bars/Lift Gates roll allows a bound victim to escape.
That needs some crunchy bits. How about Steel Webbing (Ex) as a name?

Habitat/Society: As a solitary, magical creature, silver spiders have no society.
This conflicts with the fact that 1-4 appear.

Unless we say that they are sometimes found in small groups, but ignore each other and don't work as a team. Personally, I'd make it a solitary creature.

After a silver spider's bite has transformed its victim, he or she is wrapped securely in the spider's webbing and is taken to some designated storage area (a jail or holding facility) where Charonti authorities later handle the trespassers. With the Charonti of the ruins all dead, there's no one to interrogate the spider's prisoners, and as most beings possess not enough strength to escape, most perish from dehydration or starvation.
Does the spider do this? I think that a spider should wrap its victim in webbing and take them to a lair...unless they are a tame version.

Ecology: As artificial creatures, silver spiders have no place in the cycles of life and death in the natural world. Enterprising beings could, however, make good use of the spider and its byproducts if such can be gained safely:


  • They don't seem to eat. This sounds like they are changed into constructs.

    [*]The spider's webbing, if gathered carefully, can be wound and corded to form a remarkably thin, but amazingly strong wire. Such wire is useful in making jewelry. If enough web is used, several wires can be twisted into a small cable stronger than any rope.
    Should this be folded into treasure? Or added to the information about rescuing a person who has been tied in webbing?

    [*]The spider's weapon-like forelegs can be used as improvised weapons (with a -1 attack penalty due to the lack of a proper hilt). If a hilt is added, a foreleg functions as short sword. The forelegs of a silver spider qualify as silver weapons for determining damage against foes not harmed by normal weapons, such as lycanthropes.
Lucky you did that silver silatic for me recently:
"A silver silatic's natural attacks are treated as silver weapons for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction."

BTW: I couldn't see a silver spider on that cover shot, so I looked up a larger shot of Jakandor, Land of Legend
 
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freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
This sounds like it is mostly flavor, but does the fact that they were created make them magical beasts?
That, or constructs, like you also mentioned. I'm leaning toward magical beasts. Once we pick a type, should we get down to abilities?

How should the sharp legs be described? Should they be put down as claws? The description below seems to suggest they work like sword blades.
I think claws will work, with the fact that they count as silver for overcoming DR. (Like the silatic; this is a somewhat common ability.)

Demiurge is right about this. The bite works just like a magic spell.

If the process is going to take 1d10 rounds should the AC change in stages?

Would Magical Bite (Sp) be a suitable name, or does it need to be more descriptive?
One or two of the other spider-creatures we converted maybe last fall also had a slow paralysis type of poison. Maybe I'll look for that. Should victims just gain +8 natural armor? (And be paralyzed, of course.)
I'm not sure exactly how the silver spider can target a spellcaster first. Should they have some sort of Detect Spellcaster ability?
Good point, as they're not really smart enough to know the difference between fighting and casting.
I think the "return" time is irrelivant. It isn't going to have any impact on combat (like the "transformation" time does). I've seen an ability that heals a creature that returns to its own form. I thought it was polymorph, but I can't find it at the moment.
Agreed.

I can't see anywhere where it says how the webbing is "used in combat".
...
That needs some crunchy bits. How about Steel Webbing (Ex) as a name?
Probably like the web spell or more likely like the monstrous spider's web ability with boosted DCs for Escape Artist and especially the Str check.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Sounds like the bite inflicts temporal stasis, with some flavor changes.
Agreed.

"etc" = ? :confused: :heh:
If it's from a specific campaign setting, and it doesn't have another thread, it's fair game. ;)

Do you think it is worth going through all the Jakandor monsters before doing another campaign setting? Or should we mix and match?
No preference, really. I already asked Echohawk for the stats (and received them) for the remaining Jakandor monsters, so they'll probably be tackled among the first.

This sounds like it is mostly flavor, but does the fact that they were created make them magical beasts?
It screams "magical beast" to me. ;)

How should the sharp legs be described? Should they be put down as claws? The description below seems to suggest they work like sword blades.
The similar sword spider simply lists "legs" on the attack lines.

If the process is going to take 1d10 rounds should the AC change in stages?
Possibly.

Would Magical Bite (Sp) be a suitable name, or does it need to be more descriptive?
I'd prefer something more descriptive. :)

I'm not sure exactly how the silver spider can target a spellcaster first. Should they have some sort of Detect Spellcaster ability?
Possibly, or simply observe active spellcasting.

Webbing stuff
Let's revisit the webbing later.

This conflicts with the fact that 1-4 appear.

Unless we say that they are sometimes found in small groups, but ignore each other and don't work as a team. Personally, I'd make it a solitary creature.
When this occurs (as it often does), I generally suggest we go with Solitary or group.

They don't seem to eat. This sounds like they are changed into constructs.
Not necessarily. We'll just need to note it in the text.


BTW: I couldn't see a silver spider on that cover shot, so I looked up a larger shot of Jakandor, Land of Legend
I just posted the cover to avoid the automatic threadmerging feature. Adding an attachments is a way to trick it. Sorry for the confusion.

That, or constructs, like you also mentioned. I'm leaning toward magical beasts. Once we pick a type, should we get down to abilities?
Absolutely!

First we'll need to decide on Medium or Large. It says L (6') so it could go either way. I vote for Large.

Ability scores of similar creatures:

Phase Spider (L): Str 17, Dex 17, Con 16, Int 7, Wis 13, Cha 10
Sword Spider (L): Str 18, Dex 10, Con 14, Int -, Wis 11, Cha 3
Medium Monstrous Spider: Str 11, Dex 17, Con 12, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 2
Large Monstrous Spider: Str 15, Dex 17, Con 12, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 2
Medium Argent Spider: Str 13, Dex 16, Con 14, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 6
Large Argent Spider: Str 21, Dex 14, Con 14, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 6
 
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demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
Agreed to Large Magical Beast. The ability scores should be closer to a phase spider than a sword spider, physically; these guys have a good AC and are bloody fast, so I think a good Dex makes sense.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Hmm, what about Str 16, Dex 17, Con 16, Int 1, Wis 13, Cha 10? Not quite as strong as the phase spider, maybe.

Shade, are these really smart enough to understand when someone's spellcasting? I can understand that constructs have that "programmed in" but don't get it here.
 



freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Arcane sight, perhaps?
Sounds right. Didn't we give something like that to a critter recently? Maybe it was one of the constructs. Anyone remember?

Also, I can't remember what it was that got the slow paralysis ability recently. Anyone remember that?
 

Big Mac

Explorer
I've been busy for a bit, but everything everyone has done seems good.

Arcane sight, perhaps?
That is good. Should we cut it down, so they only see aura's of spellcasters? Then we could instinctively make them go for anyone who "glows" and they wouldn't run after magic swords.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
That is good. Should we cut it down, so they only see aura's of spellcasters? Then we could instinctively make them go for anyone who "glows" and they wouldn't run after magic swords.
Yeah, that's a good idea. They really wouldn't benefit from detecting other forms of magic.

There's also this:

Dweomersight (Su): A balhannoth can sense the presence and position of magic auras within 120 feet of itself, and knows the strength and school of each one. It can pinpoint the location of any creature with ongoing spells cast on it, carrying magic items, or otherwise using magic, and it can notice anything within the area of a magic effect (including its own dimensional lock aura). This otherwise functions like blindsense.
 
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Shade

Monster Junkie
Attempting a few of the abilities...

Silver Toxin (Ex): A victim bitten by a silver spider must succeed on a DC X Fortitude save or find its skin transformed into the same silvery matter as the spider. The victim is slowed (as the spell) for 1d10 rounds, but gains a +8 bonus to its natural armor. At the end of this duration, the creature is fully encased.

Once fully encased, the creature retains the natural armor bonus and is considered unconscious and needs no air or sustenance. It remains in this state for 24 hours, after which its skin reverts back to normal and it receives natural healing as if it had slept for an entire night. The victim's hair and eyes retain the silvery sheen permanently, and nothing short of a limited wish, wish, or miracle can restore their original appearance.

The transformation process can be slowed or halted before the creature is completely encased by a delay poison, neutralize poison, or similar magic. The save DC is Constitution-based. Creatures with immunity to poison are unaffected, and creatures resistant to poison receive their normal bonus on their saving throws.

Silver Web (Ex): A silver spider can throw a web up to eight times per day. This is similar to an attack with a net but has a maximum range of 50 feet, with a range increment of 10 feet, and is effective against targets up to one size category larger than the spider. The web anchors the target in place, allowing no movement.

An entangled creature can escape with a successful DC x Escape Artist check or burst the web with a successful DC x Strength check. The check DCs are Strength-based and includes a +4 racial bonus. The web has 15 hit points and hardness 10, and takes double damage from fire.

A silver spider can create sheets of sticky webbing up to 30 feet square. It usually positions these sheets to snare flying creatures but can also try to trap prey on the ground. Approaching creatures must succeed on a DC 20 Spot check to notice a web; otherwise they stumble into it and become trapped as though by a successful web attack. Each 5-foot-square section has 15 hit points and damage reduction 5/-.

A silver spider can move across its own sheet web at its climb speed and can determine the exact location of any creature touching the web.
 

Big Mac

Explorer
There's also this:

Dweomersight (Su): A balhannoth can sense the presence and position of magic auras within 120 feet of itself, and knows the strength and school of each one. It can pinpoint the location of any creature with ongoing spells cast on it, carrying magic items, or otherwise using magic, and it can notice anything within the area of a magic effect (including its own dimensional lock aura). This otherwise functions like blindsense.
Hmm. If the Silver Spider is only supposed to detect spellcasters, you might have to make a modified Dweomersight that detects uncast spells. A sense that picks up the magical version of "potential energy".

Attempting a few of the abilities...

Silver Toxin (Ex): <snip>

Silver Web (Ex): <snip>
Both of these are good. The Silver Toxin reminds me of the Softwood spell from Concordance of Arcane Space (AD&D Adventures in Space boxed set)
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
If we fall back to the earlier suggestion of continuous arcane sight, that outta take care of the "innate spellcaster with no apparent effects" issue.
 


Shade

Monster Junkie
Updated.

Let's fill in some X's:

Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares), climb x ft.?

Environment: x

Organization: Solitary or x (2-4)

Advancement: x

A silver spider is x feet long and weighs x pounds.

Silver spiders do not speak, but understand x. (Charonti?)
 



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