Converting Epic Level Beings

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BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
This thread is a special version based on my idea of "cooperative conversions" started in this thread, converting a series of monsters from similar sources. For this thread, we will be focusing on epic level creatures that have appeared in various D&D sources throughout the years.

Naturally, the scope of these monsters is bigger than most, and will require more work and research. We have already compiled a number of conversion notes in this thread, and that is also the place to discuss the specifics of the process of converting monsters with over 20 HD. The thread you are reading right now is only for working that process on actual conversions.

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.

The following is a list of high-level individual creatures from various D&D sources that haven't yet appeared in official WotC products, the Tome of Horrors, or the Creature Catalog. You may feel free to make suggestions, but ultimately I will pick what to convert and when. If I'm missing any monsters from this list or if any of these have appeared elsewhere already, feel free to inform me. I have left off this list anything that is essentially just a character with levels, including creatures that can just be created with templates such as liches. This thread is for the special, unique ones!

Already in the Creature Catalog, we have:
Demon (Miska the Wolf-Spider)
Demon (Queen of Chaos)
Devil (Duke Alastor)
Devil (Duke Baalberith)
Devil (Duke Baalzephon)
Devil (Duke Caarcrinolaas)
Devil (Duke Focalor)
Devil (Duke Melchon)
Devil (Duke Zimmimar)
Devil (Princess of Hell- Baalphegor)
Devil (Princess of Hell- Glasya)
Devil: Selm (Prince of the Possessors)
Elemental (Quasi-Mineral- Crystalle)
Modron (Primus)
Slaad Lord (Chourst)
Slaad Lord (Rennbuu)


Besides that there are, for starters:

Yugoloth lords (Dragon Annual 1 or 2?)

And from the first edition Deities and Demigods, as well as the second edition Legends and Lore, there are a number of beings that are not quite gods but very powerful all the same. These include:
Air Maidens (Finnish - Ukko's warriors)
Dahak (Babylonian three-headed dragon spirit of death)
Fenris Wolf (Norse)
Garm (Norse guardian of Hel-gate)
Spirits of the Air (Chinese - also appeared in Planescape campaign setting)

Legends and Lore additions:
Norse (Fafnir)

Age of Heroes - Scylla
 
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BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
our first victim for this thread will be the demon lord Kerzit. He was a big baddie from the module Mordenkainen’s Fantastic Adventure. He was the last creature from that module left to convert, so hey I figured why not start with him? :)

(don’t worry, there’s plenty of time to get to other guys!) :D


Kerzit the Guardian
(Major Demon)
FREQUENCY: Very Rare
NO. APPEARING: 1
ARMOR CLASS: -2
MOVE: 12”
HIT DICE: 15 (112 hit points)
% IN LAIR. 65%
TREASURE TYPE: Special
NO. OF ATTACKS: 4+1
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1-10/1-10/2-12/2-12 + 2-24
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Poisonous bite
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Immunities (see below)
INTELLIGENCE: High
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Evil
SIZE: L (10 ft. tall)
PSIONIC ABILITY: Nil
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil
LEVEL/XP VALUE: X/13,800 + 20/hp (16,040)

Kerzit is a special guardian, especially created by higher demons to serve the cause of chaos on the Prime Material Plane. It is thus most often encountered there, guarding some item or area of import.
Kerzit is currently the guardian demon of the Tome of the Black Heart, summoned forth from that volume by Tomorast, as a necessary prelude for the use of powers and other arcane knowledge contained within that leather-bound manual of black lore and demon-begotten magic. Kerzit maintains a watchful vigil over this tome, and, in return for this service, accepts sacrifices from Tomorast.
Kerzit may attack up to 5 times per round. Its tentacles (ld10 each) and saw-like arms (ld12 each) account for the majority of its melee capability. If both tentacles strike the same victim in a single round, the victim is dragged to Kerzit’s waiting jaws for an additional bite (normal “to hit” roll) of 2-24 points plus deadly poison (-3 penalty to saving throw).
Kerzit is immune to all 1st-3rd level magic-user and illusionist spells, 1st and 2nd level druid spells, and 1st level cleric spells. At will, it may create darkness 10’ radius, use detect magic, read magic, detect invisibility, and telekinesis (maximum 7,000 gp weight) spells once per round. It can gate (70% successfully) a Type II (400/0) or Type III (60%) demon, though it may only gate two demons of one type per day, as its abilities while on the Prime Material Plane are somewhat limited.

Description
Kerzit stands 10 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide at the shoulders. Its overly large wolfs head sports two menacing, silver eyes, and its jaws open wide to reveal ebon black teeth that drip a greyish fluid. The entire body is covered with matted black fur, and its upper appendages resemble 6 ft. long octopus tentacles, located upon its torso where a human’s arms might be. Its lower torso has a pair of saw-like appendages, chitinous to a degree, but the black fur common to all parts of this demon’s body (except the tentacles) is present here also. Kerzit’s feet resemble 2 ft. long wolfs paws, with polished black six-inch long talons. These talons emit an audible clicking sound when the demon walks on a hard surface, which may give a warning of this horrific monster’s approach to those who might be listening, negating surprise by the creature.




Nowadays, Type II demons are called Hezrou, and Type III are called Glabrezu.

One of the first things we need to decide on is the HD. 15 is simply not good enough – even a modern balor could beat him up then. Gotta be over 20 nowadays. I could see him maybe being on par with glasya, but probably a bit more powerful than that. He is a major demon after all, but not a prince of any sort. I mean, he’s a demon lord sent to guard things (implying that he has a boss) and he’d be really hard to beat for the average adventurer, but he sure ain’t no Orcus. :)


here are some preliminary stats for Kerzit:

Kerzit the Guardian
Large Outsider (Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar)
Hit Dice: Xd8+X (X hp)
Initiative: +X
Speed: 30 ft (6 squares)
Armor Class: X (-1 size, +X Dex, +X natural), touch X, flat-footed X
Base Attack/Grapple: +X/+X
Attack:
Full Attack: 2 tentacles + X melee (1d10+X) and 2 arms +X melee (1d12+X) and bite +X melee (2d12+X and poison)
Space/Reach: 10 ft/10 ft
Special Attacks: Improved grab, poison, spell-like abilities, summon tanar’ri
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 15?/epic and good (?), darkvision 60 ft, (fast healing?), immunity to electricity and poison, resistance to acid 10, cold 10, and fire 10, spell immunities (immune to arcane spells of 3rd level or less, immune to druid spells of 2nd level or less, immune to divine spells of 1st level or less), telepathy 100 ft
Saves: Fort +X Ref +X Will +X
Abilities: Str X Dex X Con X Int 14+ (heh) Wis X Chr X
Skills: X
Feats: X

Environment: Infinite Layers of the Abyss
Organization: Solitary or
Challenge Rating: X
Treasure: None (guardian)
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: ---
Level Adjustment: ---


COMBAT


Originally found in module WG5 - Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure (1984, Robert J. Kuntz and Gary Gygax).
 
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Clifford

First Post
kerzit the guardian

Here is my humble opinion on kerzit.

how about 24 or so hit dice that seems good without going overboard I agree that he wouldent be as tough as a prince but he should definatly be tougher than glassya.

Also i think you should just make him immune to all 3rd level or less spells as not to make him too convoluted with multiple imunities. I think a good comparison would be a minor globe of invaunerability which can give you immunity to all 3rd level or less spells not just the one type or another to varrying degrees.

Also what about revamping the adamant dragon to make it more epic, I know its not qthe unique creature you are loking for in this thread but i thing it needs an epic representation.

Cliff :D
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
thanks for the input cliff. :)

as for the adamantine dragon, i'l pass that along to krishnath along with the rest of the dragons. :)
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
I'll start with what we usually do last--the description. :p

Standing 10 feet tall, this broad-shouldered creature's entire body is covered with matted black fur. It bears an overly large wolflike head with two menacing, silver eyes, large jaws filled with ebon black teeth dripping a greyish fluid, two octopus-like tentacles instead of arms, and a pair of chitinous, saw-like appendages from its lower torso. It’s legs end in two-foot long wolfs paws, with polished black six-inch long talons, which click as it walks.
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
you might have noticed that i just (re)wrote some of the descriptions on recent monsters myself. ;) i don't think i'll wait till the end anymore, unless i just can't come up with something on my own. :)
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
I had noticed that. Do you want me to stop doing descriptions?

For DR, we have a couple of options. We could go epic and good, or we could go cold iron and good. The klurichir, which is a CR 26 non-unique demon from the Fiend Folio, has DR 15/cold iron and good (according to the 3.5 conversion guide).

If you go with 24 HD, it would be entitled to seven nonepic and two epic feats.

Its base saves would all be +14 (+12 for 20 HD outsider, +2 epic for remaining 4 HD).
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
Shade said:
I had noticed that. Do you want me to stop doing descriptions?

no... i was just doing that for the sake of convenience. ;)

For DR, we have a couple of options. We could go epic and good, or we could go cold iron and good. The klurichir, which is a CR 26 non-unique demon from the Fiend Folio, has DR 15/cold iron and good (according to the 3.5 conversion guide).

too bad the 3.5 revision guide didn't touch on the BoVD. :confused: i don't think epic is necessary for a lower demon lord like this, but i wouldn't say it doesn't fit either.

If you go with 24 HD, it would be entitled to seven nonepic and two epic feats.

i think we should list the epic ones separately, like the ELH does.

Its base saves would all be +14 (+12 for 20 HD outsider, +2 epic for remaining 4 HD).

first thing's first, is 24 HD the number we're going with or is there any disagreement? :) on reflection, i noticed that under 1E he had 112 hp, which oddly enough gave him more hp than juiblex, yeenoghu, baphomet, and kostchtchie! but the weird thing is that he is listed with HD instead of straight up HP (unheard of in 1E demon lords). if we used that as a basis, we'd put his HD in the low 30's, but i'm not so sure we should go that high.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
BOZ said:
no... i was just doing that for the sake of convenience. ;)

:cool:

BOZ said:
too bad the 3.5 revision guide didn't touch on the BoVD. :confused: i don't think epic is necessary for a lower demon lord like this, but i wouldn't say it doesn't fit either.

No kidding. And with the BOED fully 3.5, it makes even less sense to have left out the BOVD.

Ironically, the cold iron and good DR would actually be superior to epic and good in most cases, as +6 weapons are feasible over CR 20, and align weapon takes care of the alignment aspect, but nothing duplicates cold iron. :rolleyes:

BOZ said:
i think we should list the epic ones separately, like the ELH does.

I agree. We just need to keep in mind that it can select a nonepic feat in place of an epic feat, if so desired.

BOZ said:
first thing's first, is 24 HD the number we're going with or is there any disagreement? :) on reflection, i noticed that under 1E he had 112 hp, which oddly enough gave him more hp than juiblex, yeenoghu, baphomet, and kostchtchie! but the weird thing is that he is listed with HD instead of straight up HP (unheard of in 1E demon lords). if we used that as a basis, we'd put his HD in the low 30's, but i'm not so sure we should go that high.

I don't think we should go that high. He isn't a prince or lord. He could still have more hit points than those guys with a high enough CON score and a couple of Epic Toughness feats, if so desired. ;)
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
Shade said:
Ironically, the cold iron and good DR would actually be superior to epic and good in most cases, as +6 weapons are feasible over CR 20, and align weapon takes care of the alignment aspect, but nothing duplicates cold iron.

well, cold iron it is then. :D

I agree. We just need to keep in mind that it can select a nonepic feat in place of an epic feat, if so desired.

we'll probably want to list it as "Epic feat suggestion(s):"
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
BOZ said:
we'll probably want to list it as "Epic feat suggestion(s):"

I like the way they handled something similar in a recent issue of Dragon. They had a demon that used spells and feats from the BOVD. After each one from the BOVD, they put an alternate core rules feat or spell in brackets, and noted that the items in brackets were for those not using the BOVD.

Of course, the Fiend Folio method was nice too, which simply added a sidebar stating, "If you are using the Epic Level Handbook..." and made suggestions for swapping out feats.
 

Krishnath

First Post
24HD sounds good to me, the base saves should be Fort +14, Ref +14, and Will +14, but not for the reasons stated above. As the demonlords HD are all racial it's saves are equal to it's HD/2+2, or 12+2=14, epic save and BAB progressions only count when classes are involved. It's a common mistake. :D

Anyways, on to the abilities:

Poison: Initial and Secondary damage 2d6 con?
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
yeah, that sounds good. the only damage listed for the poison is "deadly", so it must have been an instant kill on a failed save. 3E poisons are much more merciful, but the damage you listed could still be pretty fatal. ;)

other random thoughts...

in addition to suggesting ELH feats, we can also suggest a few BoVD feats.

also from BoVD...

all demon lords have SR of CR + (10-14)

demogorgon has fast healing 10, graz'zt and yeenoghu have 5.

demogorgon, graz'zt, orcus, and yeenoghu have see invisibility.

most appear to have an insight bonus to AC that is based on Wis bonus, but Juiblex's is higher and Yeenoghu's is actually lower. orcus also has a Cha-based Deflection bonus to AC.

i finally got the BoED (yay!) and it appears to be a whole lot more consistent. all of the paragons have an insight bonus and a deflection bonus. all except for the eladrin king and queen have the insight based on Wis and the deflection based on Cha. perahps the lesson here is that if you're chaotic you don't have to follow the rules? ;) i'd say we should use our best judgement on this topic.

also, in BoED all paragons have their race as a subtype, so we should also reflect this in new conversions.
 

Grazzt

Demon Lord
Shade said:
Its base saves would all be +14 (+12 for 20 HD outsider, +2 epic for remaining 4 HD).


Like Krish- said above, epic level progressions (for saves, BAB, etc.) only count when class levels are involved. A 24 HD monster (outsider in this case) has a BAB of 24 and base saves of Fort +14, Ref +14, Will +14.
 

Krishnath

First Post
Hi Grazzt!

Boz: Then the 'guardian demon' (that's an oxymoron if I ever saw one), would have the Tanar'ri subtype?
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
if you mean the one we're working on, then yes i would suppose so. ;) it does seem to be associated with the other tanar'ri, at least loosely.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
BOZ said:
in addition to suggesting ELH feats, we can also suggest a few BoVD feats.

also from BoVD...

all demon lords have SR of CR + (10-14)

I guess we'll have to determine its CR first. :confused:

BOZ said:
demogorgon has fast healing 10, graz'zt and yeenoghu have 5.

Since this guy is only a "lowly" guardian, I'd give him none.

BOZ said:
demogorgon, graz'zt, orcus, and yeenoghu have see invisibility.

Since this is a guardian, he'd definitely benefit from this ability.

BOZ said:
most appear to have an insight bonus to AC that is based on Wis bonus, but Juiblex's is higher and Yeenoghu's is actually lower. orcus also has a Cha-based Deflection bonus to AC.

He'd probably be fine with natural armor only.

BOZ said:
i finally got the BoED (yay!) and it appears to be a whole lot more consistent. all of the paragons have an insight bonus and a deflection bonus. all except for the eladrin king and queen have the insight based on Wis and the deflection based on Cha. perahps the lesson here is that if you're chaotic you don't have to follow the rules? ;) i'd say we should use our best judgement on this topic.

I'm glad you got it. It appears to be one of the most consistent books they've released (except for changing the archon resistances, but I maintain that the Monster Manual 3.5 is wrong, not the BOED).

BOZ said:
also, in BoED all paragons have their race as a subtype, so we should also reflect this in new conversions.

Agreed. And I second the motion to give this guy the tanar'ri subtype.
 


Krishnath

First Post
I suggest giving it either a deflection bonus equal to his cha bonus -or- an insight bonus equal to his wis bonus, but not both, in addition to any natural armor we give him. This would increase the demons touch AC a little without making it unbalanced.(and if to high AC is a problem, just reduce it's natural armor accordingly.)
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
The reason I don't believe he should have a deflection or insight bonus to AC is simple: he is not a demon lord or prince.

In BOVD, Demogorgon's CR 27 Marilith blackguards do not have any AC bonus other than natural and Dex. Nor does Glasya, whom we were using as a benchmark for this guy's power.

It would definitely beef the guy up, but I think we should reserve the insight/deflection bonuses for the true rulers of the Lower Planes.
 

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