Converting Creatures from Other Campaign Settings

Cleon

Hero
Well, based on your line about the great falchion, we'd best keep Weapon Focus anyway. ;) So Power Attack, Cleave, Weapon Focus (falchion), and Imp Crit (falchion) for the fighter feats? Does that do it for the chieftain? I guess we need to calculate initiative, which would be +4 with Imp Init, I believe.

You fell into my Precisely Focused Weapon Shot trap.

Bwah hah hah! :p

However, I would point out you've given the Chieftain Power Attack twice, as it already has that as one of its Giant feats:

Feats: Cleave˟, Improved Critical (falchion)˟, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mounted Archery, Mounted Combat, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, EVEN MORE Power Attack˟, Weapon Focus (falchion)˟
7 feats plus 4 fighter feats˟

So how about we give it another feat from the POWER ATTACK CHAIN instead of the surplus fighter feat Power Attack? I'm leaning towards Improved Sunder.

Feats: Cleave˟, Improved Critical (falchion)˟, Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder˟, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mounted Archery, Mounted Combat, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (falchion)˟
˟fighter bonus feat

Anything else on these?

Well I guess it needs a brief description and maybe a few words on tactics, but mechanically it's done.
 

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freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Those feats look good to me!

I think you need to put the shock notation in the attack line for the falchion.

Do you think the chieftains need additional description and tactics? I think I'd be fine on leaving that blank and letting the DM borrow from the main critter entry.
 

Cleon

Hero
Those feats look good to me!

I think you need to put the shock notation in the attack line for the falchion.

I also forgot to add the masterwork to the hurling spear's melee attack line.

Updating the Desert Giant (Chieftain) Working Draft.

Do you think the chieftains need additional description and tactics? I think I'd be fine on leaving that blank and letting the DM borrow from the main critter entry.

It was just going to be a line or two but I have no objection to leaving it out. I was more interested in a tactics line pointing out that the chief favours melee more than a regular desert giant than a description.

So are we done with these guys?
 


Cleon

Hero
Yup, I think that does it! What's next here?

Next for this Thread?

Well for Other Campaign Settings how about Ravenloft's Sentinel Bat, Nehwon's Gladiator Lizard, or Faerun's Denizens of Hades?

Or just let it rest for a while to work on other threads' conversions.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I think we're down to about 7 active conversions, including this thread. So we should probably keep it going! Pick your favorite of those suggestions.
 





Cleon

Hero
The Gladiator Lizard appears four times in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. I'll post the original stats in reverse chronological order:

The most recent official source is Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar (1996), which uses a slightly modified version of the 2nd Edition AD&D rules:

Gladiator Lizard
Climate/Terrain:Dismal, coastal areas
Organization:Group
Intelligence:Very (11–12)
Alignment:Neutral evil
No. Appearing:2d4
Armor Class:–3
Movement:15
Hit Dice:7
THAC0:13
No. of Attacks:2
Damage/Attack:1d10
Special Attacks:Mental link
Special Defenses:Nil
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:L (8′ tall)
XP Value:1,400

 Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser encountered these horrible creatures on the Bleak Shore. They have rarely been spotted in other dismal, rocky domains of Nehwon. The lizards have crested reptilian heads, bony-spiked shoulders, and arms ending with a single, yard-long claw that is sharp as a sword.
 When encountered, gladiator lizards are paired into brood mates. Brood mates have a mental link that allows them to coordinate their attacks in combat. If both lizards strike the same target in the same round, the second lizard to strike gains +1 to hit on both its blows.
 Gladiator lizards often live as a group where they can protect their eggs. Inside each of the giant eggs is a full-grown, though immature, gladiator lizard . These eggs can fetch up to 500 gold rilks on the black markets of Lankhmar. The lizards cannot be trained except by sorcery, but make impressive guardians in areas their owners rarely need visit.


Then comes Lankhmar: City of Adventure (1993), which uses a full "Monstrous Compendium" 2E AD&D presentation:

Gladiator Lizard
CLIMATE/TERRAIN:Bleak Shore
FREQUENCY:Very rare
ORGANIZATION:Group
ACTIVITY CYCLE:Any
DIET:Carnivore
INTELLIGENCE:Very
TREASURE:Nil
ALIGNMENT:Neutral evil
NO. APPEARING:1–4
ARMOR CLASS:–3
MOVEMENT:15
HIT DICE:7
THAC0:13
NO. OF ATTACKS:2
DAMAGE/ATTACK:1–10
SPECIAL ATTACKS:Mental link (see below)
SPECIAL DEFENSES:Nil
MAGIC RESISTANCE:None
SIZE:L (8′ tall)
MORALE:Fearless (19–20)
XP VALUE:1,400

The two creatures which emerged in the gathering dusk held enormity even for the Mouser’s drugged mind. Shambling things, erect like men but taller, with reptilian heads boned and crested like helmets, feet clawed like a lizard’s, shoulders topped with bony spikes, forelimbs terminating in a single yard-long claw. In the semidarkness they seemed like hideous caricatures of fighting men, armored and bearing swords. Dusk did not hide the yellow of their blinking eyes.
—From “The Bleak Shore”

This extremely rare creature is only found naturally on the Bleak Shore of Nehwon. Eggs of the gladiator lizard may occasionally be taken from the Bleak Shore and the hatchlings used as guards or in zoos.

Combat: Gladiator lizards fight with extreme agility, attacking twice per round, once with each claw. When encountered in pairs, they are always brood mates. Brood mates have a mental link that allows them to coordinate attacks, giving the second gladiator lizard to attack in a round a +1 to hit.

Habitat/Society: These dangerous monsters are solitary (except when defending eggs) and extremely aggressive. They may rarely be found in other locations throughout Nehwon, usually as guardian creatures for especially rich or sacred treasures.

Ecology: Gladiator lizards appear to be of magical or alien origin. They seem never to need food or other nourishment.

The lizards are normally solitary. They mate once every five or six years and stay together until the eggs have hatched, which may take two years or more. A female gladiator lizard lays 1–4 eggs.
Young lizards emerge from their eggs fully grown. Their lifespan seems to be considerable—two decades or more. This is especially useful when they are used as guardians, since they cannot be tamed or otherwise civilized. In such cases, there is always a fail-safe device that can cage or otherwise restrain the gladiator lizards if the owner wishes to visit his valuables.

Originally from Lankhmar: City of Adventure (1993).

Next is LNA2 - Nehwon (1990), an early 2E AD&D release:

Gladiator Lizard
CLIMATE/TERRAIN: The Bleak Shore
FREQUENCY: Very Rare
ORGANIZATION: Solitary
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Any
DIET: Carnivore
INTELLIGENCE: Very (11-12)
TREASURE: Nil

ALIGNMENT: Lawful evil


NO. APPEARING: 1-2
ARMOR CLASS: -3
MOVEMENT: 15
HIT DICE: 7
THAC0: 11
NO. OF ATTACKS: 2
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1-10
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Nil
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Nil
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Nil
SIZE: L (8′ tall)
MORALE: Elite (13-14)
XP VALUE: 650


Found on the Bleak Shore, they hatch full-grown and ready to fight (although hatching takes many years). It stands erect with a reptilian head, boned and crested helmet, clawed lizard’s feet, shoulders topped with bony spikes, and yard-long claws in place of hands which they wield like swords, attacking twice per round. Pairs are always brood mates, having a mental link allowing them to coordinate their attacks. They speak a language of screeches and whistles.

Originally from LNA2 - Nehwon (1990).

Finally, the oldest source is TSR 9162: Lankhmar - City of Adventure (1985). This is the only 1st Edition AD&D version.

Gladiator Lizard

FREQUENCY: Very Rare
NO. APPEARING: 1-2
ARMOR CLASS: -3
MOVE: 15″
HIT DICE/POINTS: 7 HD
% IN LAIR: 80%
TREASURE TYPE: Nil
NO. OF ATTACKS: 2
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1-10
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Nil
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Nil
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Standard
INTELLIGENCE: Very
ALIGNMENT: Lawful Evil
SIZE: L (8′ tall)
PSIONIC ABILITY: Nil
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil
LEVEL/XP VALUE: VII/ + 8 per hp


 This extremely rare monster is found only on the Bleak Shore of Nehwon. Hatched fully grown, the gladiator lizard is ready to fight. It takes many years to hatch one properly. This accounts for their rarity, even on the Bleak Shore.
 The gladiator lizard is a shambling creature that stands erect. It has a reptilian head, boned and crested like a helmet. Its feet are clawed like a lizard’s and its shoulders are topped with bony spikes. It has no hands; instead its forearms end in a single yard-long claw. In dim light they are hideous caricatures of gladiators.
 They wield their claws like swords, with extreme agility. A gladiator lizard can attack twice per round, once with each arm. When encountered in pairs, they are always brood mates. Brood mates have a mental link which allows them to coordinate their attacks. Gladiator lizards speak a language of screeches and whistles.


Originally appeared in Lankhmar - City of Adventure (1985).​

I don't have a pdf of Lankhmar (1985) so had to dig the physical copy out of my collection and type the text out. It took way longer than the rest of the entries combined!

…and that is all.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Monstrous humanoid, usually NE, I guess. The main interesting thing is the mental link, which I guess allows them to flank. I'd also give them the "if one of a pair is not flat-footed, neither is" ability. What do you think about all that?
 

Cleon

Hero
Monstrous humanoid, usually NE, I guess. The main interesting thing is the mental link, which I guess allows them to flank. I'd also give them the "if one of a pair is not flat-footed, neither is" ability. What do you think about all that?

Before getting too far, it's worth mentioning that the D&D stats leave out a lot of the details from the original story I think are relevant.

Here's the story description from Fritz Leiber’s Lankhmar (1996), which covers all the relevant points:

The Bleak Shore
[Swords Against Death]
 Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser are sent to seek their doom by a small, pale, mysterious man. Unable to resist his curse, the two sail off in Fafhrd’s sloop as if in a trance . The sloop is crewed by four Mingol sailors indebted to serve it for life after being saved by the Twain from the City of Black Idols during their earlier travels. After a dream-like voyage of over 40 days, the small vessel reaches land, and the Twain send their Mingols back to Lankhmar. (Only one, Ourph, survives the journey.)
 On the rocky island that is the Bleak Shore, Fafhrd and the Mouser discover two score giant eggs. Terrible gladiator lizards hatch from two eggs and, with talons as long and sharp as swords, attack the heroes. It truly seems the two have met their doom when the Gray Mouser finds and smashes an egg containing the embryonic form of the pale man, “lying here and sending its spirit abroad, lying here and calling men to doom.” The Mouser stabs this form with his blade. Instantly, the two snap out of their stupor, the lizards fall dead, the eggs crumble to dust, and the curse is broken—leaving the two heroes stranded “on Nehwon’s western continent, or on the easternmost shore of its eastern continent. No one knows.” They spend the next three stories trying to get home.​

So it appears Gladiator Lizards are only part of a magical gestalt lifeform based on this "Pale Man" which somehow creates a cluster of "eggs" that contain Gladiator Lizards, then mentally projects to geas creatures to come to its nest where the Lizards hatch to kill the victims, then the lizards eat them and somehow share the food between all the eggs?

The Bleak Shore, as indicated by its name, is a completely lifeless and barren area, so maybe that's the only way these creatures can obtain food.

Also, I wonder whether the "eggs" aren't technically cocoons, and the Lizards spin them around themselves after they finish with their meal before waiting for the next geased victim. If the Bleak One had to hatch an eight foot tall murder lizard every time a humanoid is lured into reach, wouldn't it gain less food value from its victim than it spent creating the Lizard that kills and eats them?

Also, if the "astral food sharing" theory is correct, then Gladiator Lizards that are taken off the island and used as guards won't want to cocoon, since they're getting fed by their keepers as well as the flesh of whatever intruders enter the area they're guarding.
 

Cleon

Hero
Monstrous humanoid, usually NE, I guess.

I'm wondering whether to mention a tendency towards Lawful Evil like the earlier versions of the monster. Maybe Usually neutral evil, occasionally lawful evil?

The main interesting thing is the mental link, which I guess allows them to flank. I'd also give them the "if one of a pair is not flat-footed, neither is" ability. What do you think about all that?

I'm fine giving them Hive Mind if that's what you mean.

Something like:

Hive Mind (Ex): All gladiator lizards within 50 miles of another gladiator lizard are in constant communication. If one is aware of a particular danger, they all are. If one in a group is not flat-footed, none of them are. No gladiator lizard in a group is considered flanked unless all of them are.​

Maybe tweak the range down or up? It could be anywhere from 1 mile or less or "All gladiator lizards from the same egg clutch are in constant communication over any distance (although not from one plane to another)" as per a telepathic bond spell.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Maybe gladiator lizards are normal monsters, and mysterious dude has summoned them from somewhere? That seems a bit simpler and doesn't require putting in new mechanics.

I did mean Hive Mind, but only for pairs. I'm pretty sure we've had some monster like that before. It seems like maybe they should be able to flank with a brood mate as well, since they can "coordinate their attacks."
 

Cleon

Hero
Maybe gladiator lizards are normal monsters, and mysterious dude has summoned them from somewhere? That seems a bit simpler and doesn't require putting in new mechanics.

There's an annoying disconnect between the RPG version of the creature, which just treats it as a normal monster with no mention of the "dude" and the actual story where "he" pays a key role.

Actually, the Bleak Dude could be treated as a hazard rather than a monster in 3E terms, as the only interactions they make are in astral form trying to geas new victims to their "nest."

It's definitely more than just some guy summoning a monster though - both the Lizards and the Dude are in eggs of the same nest.

Anyhow, let's do the Lizards first and worry about the Bleak One later.

I did mean Hive Mind, but only for pairs. I'm pretty sure we've had some monster like that before. It seems like maybe they should be able to flank with a brood mate as well, since they can "coordinate their attacks."

Hmm, I guess the original monster writeup specifies brood-mates come in pairs. I was going to make brood-mates all other gladiator lizards from the same clutch of eggs, since the No. Appearing is 1-4.

A paired version of Hive Mind would be something like:

Hive Mind (Ex): Gladiator lizards hatch in pairs, called brood-mates. Brood-mates within 50 miles of each other are in constant telepathic communication. If one brood-mate is aware of a particular danger, both are. If one in a pair is not flat-footed, neither of them is. No gladiator lizard in a pair of brood-mates is considered flanked unless both of them are.​

While an "entire brood" version could be:

Hive Mind (Ex): Gladiator lizards hatch in broods of two to four individuals. Brood-mates within 50 miles of each other are in constant telepathic communication. If one brood-mate is aware of a particular danger, they all are. If one in a group is not flat-footed, none of them are. No gladiator lizard in a group of brood-mates is considered flanked unless all of them are.​
 


Cleon

Hero
Gladiator Lizard
Large Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 7d10+ (hp)
Initiative: +–
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 1 (–1 size, Dex, + natural), touch 1, flat-footed 1
Base Attack/Grapple: +7/+
Attack: Talon + melee (1d10+[/19-20 or 18-20?])
Full Attack: 2 talons + melee (1d10+[/19-20 or 18-20?])
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Martial ability
Special Qualities: Hive mind
Saves: Fort +, Ref +, Will +
Abilities: Str , Dex , Con , Int , Wis , Cha
Skills: Skill
Feats: Feat, Bonusᴮ
Environment: Cold deserts
Organization: Solitary, pair or brood [(3–4) OR (3–8), maybe with "typically 2 pairs" or "typically 2 to 4 pairs" added?]
Challenge Rating: #
Treasure: None
Alignment: [Always/Usually neutral evil?]
Advancement: 8– HD ()
Level Adjustment:

Description.

Background.

Combat
Tactics.

Hive Mind (Ex): Gladiator lizards hatch in broods of two to four individuals. Brood-mates within 50 miles of each other are in constant telepathic communication. If one brood-mate is aware of a particular danger, they all are. If one in a group is not flat-footed, none of them are. No gladiator lizard in a group of brood-mates is considered flanked unless all of them are.

Martial Ability(Ex): A gladiator lizard gains fighter bonus feats as if it were a fighter with a level equal to its Hit Dice.

Skills: [None I guess?].
 
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Cleon

Hero
I'd be ok with the "entire brood" Hive Mind.

Updating the Gladiator Lizard Working Draft.

Large Magical Beast or possibly Monstrous Humanoid? 7HD.

Hmm, Magical Beast doesn't feels right.

The humanoid being that "projects from an egg" to geas victims to the Bleak Shore doesn't seem like a supernatural animal, and the Lizard is described as resembling an oversized armored human.

I'd go for either Monstrous Humanoid or Outsider (Native), depending on whether you want it to have Good Fortitude saves and lots of skills or not.
 

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