Converting First Edition Monsters

Cleon

Adventurer
I think the Unhallowed Aura and Unholy Sentinel revisions will work.
Updating the Bone Tyrant Working Draft.

But I don't like using summon monster for the summoning. The duration is way too short. I think calling honestly makes more sense for the Master anyway, since there doesn't seem to be anything in the original monster about the Masters automatically getting banished back to the Nine Hells.?
Hold your horses.

The current draft of the Unholy Sentinel ability has a duration built into it - the duration of the unhallow effect. So we don't need to worry about how long the duration of the spell that summoned/called the bone tyrant is, since it's superceded by the Master's "Become a Sentinel" ability.

So it doesn't really matter how the bone tyrant is brought to the Material Plane, so long as it's there to agree to act as a sentinel and receive its payment.

The negotiation of terms & conditions could be sorted out in advance via some means of interplanar communication, or the use of multiple conjuration/summoning - e.g. summon a bone tyrant minion and give it a scroll with an Unholy Sentinel proposal to pass to its master, then summon it again to get a reply.

So I suggest some kind of planar ally for the Master, dropping that bit from Unholy Sentinel, and maybe an additional new summoning spell for the Minions. Maybe the Master automatically summons the Minions when the planar ally negotiations are concluded?
I'd rather not invent a new couple of spells for the process, since most of the technical "fiddly bits" are already covered by the Unholy Sentinel power.

Although I suppose we should consider whether the Master can replace missing minions that have been destroyed by combat or accident, either by summoning them itself or by having a third party do it for them.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I still think the flavor of the original monster text makes more sense with a calling. And I certainly don't like replacing minions, as that reduces the ability of PCs to weaken the master via minion attrition. How about we allow the regular planar ally spell to call the master, and then the master calls the minions automatically? That's a kind of cheat on the HD cap, but I don't think it's too bad.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I still think the flavor of the original monster text makes more sense with a calling. And I certainly don't like replacing minions, as that reduces the ability of PCs to weaken the master via minion attrition. How about we allow the regular planar ally spell to call the master, and then the master calls the minions automatically? That's a kind of cheat on the HD cap, but I don't think it's too bad.
I'd be OK with that, I guess. We don't need to address how it replenishes lost minions.

The calling does have a built-in "one time return to home plane ability", which the Master can use to leave if the terms of its contract expire.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
So maybe this text for the master's background would work?

A master bone tyrant may be called by a planar ally or greater planar ally spell. If it agrees to the bargained service, it automatically summons a full complement of bone tyrant minions.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
So maybe this text for the master's background would work?

A master bone tyrant may be called by a planar ally or greater planar ally spell. If it agrees to the bargained service, it automatically summons a full complement of bone tyrant minions.
That works for me.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
OK, good.

I don't have many great ideas for the background, unfortunately. Native to the Nine Hells, rule over other undead, ???
 

Cleon

Adventurer
OK, good.
Updating the Bone Tyrant Working Draft.

Hold on, shouldn't we mention the name of the actual ability?

Come to think of it, we ought to say how many a "full complement" is...

e.g.

A master bone tyrant may be called by a planar ally or greater planar ally spell. If it agrees a bargain to use its Unholy Sentinel ability, it automatically summons a full complement of six bone tyrant minions.

I don't have many great ideas for the background, unfortunately. Native to the Nine Hells, rule over other undead, ???
I think we'd better keep it short, since there's not much information about them in the original source.

Let's see...

Bone tyrants are diabolical undead that can be conjured from the Nine Hells by evil priests. A bone tyrant's main strength is its ability to control undead, which is similar to an evil cleric's rebuke undead ability but far more powerful. Bone tyrants come in two varieties, the large bone tyrant masters and the man-sized bone tyrant minions. A master bone tyrant has a supernatural bond with its minions which allows them to communicate telepathically and share their power to subjugate undead.

Bone tyrants are usually encountered as protectors of unholy places of worship when on the Prime Material Plane. On their native plane, bone tyrants control hordes of lesser undead on behalf of a godlike Infernal power, such as an Archduke of Hell.

A master bone tyrant may be called by a planar ally or greater planar ally spell. If it agrees a bargain to use its Unholy Sentinel ability, it automatically summons a full complement of six bone tyrant minions.

A bone tyrant master stands 8 feet tall and weighs about 250 pounds.​

I've worded it so we just need to swap the last two paragraphs for the Minion version.

A minion bone tyrant may be called by a lesser planar ally spell. They can also be summoned by a bone tyrant master who has agrees a bargain to use its Unholy Sentinel ability.

A bone tyrant minion stands 5 to 6 feet tall and weighs about 60 pounds.​

What thinks thee?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
That looks excellent! Are these done in that case?
Updating the Bone Tyrant Working Draft.

I think so, but will give them a quick once-over just to check...

Well both Master and Minions are missing a touch and flat-footed AC.

There's a space before a comma after "agrees to serve as an Unholy Sentinel, " in the Master's Unhallowed Aura.

There's a surplus "to" in in the first line of the Minion's Subjugate Undead - "bone tyrant minion can to rebuke".

Nothing that's not easy to fix...

Re-updating the Bone Tyrant Working Draft.

And I think we're done with this one!
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
As you've noticed, I don't have a ton of time to post ;) :p. So I think it's best if we let threads rest unless we have a specific critter queued up to go in one of our themed batches.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
As you've noticed, I don't have a ton of time to post ;) :p. So I think it's best if we let threads rest unless we have a specific critter queued up to go in one of our themed batches.
I suspected you'd say that.

I don't mind letting things rest for a while.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Didn't we do a conversion of the Pungi Ray on this thread?

I was updating my lists and when I added our "Sea Bat" conversion of the Giant Manta Ray to my Ray file I couldn't find a Creature Catalog version of the Pungi.

I know there's a Vaults of Pandius version, but could have sworn we did our own.

If not, is anyone game to do a conversion?
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
It's not in the CC according to the most recent version of Echohawk's index, and I know we haven't done it since then. So we could go ahead and do that!
 

Cleon

Adventurer
It's not in the CC according to the most recent version of Echohawk's index, and I know we haven't done it since then. So we could go ahead and do that!

Here goes then!

Here's the most complete version from the 2nd Edition AD&D MC1. There's also a 1-line condensed version in the "Fish" entry of the 2E Monstrous Manual, but it doesn't have anything that isn't in the following:


Ray

CLIMATE/TERRAIN:
FREQUENCY:
ORGANIZATION:
ACTIVITY CYCLE:
DIET:
INTELLIGENCE:
TREASURE:
ALIGNMENT:
NO. APPEARING:
ARMOR CLASS:
MOVEMENT:
HIT DICE:
THAC0:
NO. OF ATTACKS:
DAMAGE/ATTACK:
SPECIAL ATTACKS:
SPECIAL DEFENSES:
MAGIC RESISTANCE:
SIZE:
MORALE:
XP VALUE:

Pungi

Shallow tropical waters
Rare
Solitary
Day
Carnivore
Non- (0)
Nil
Neutral
1-3
7
Sw 12
4
17
1-12
1-4 each
See below
Nil
Nil
L (15′ wingspan)
Unsteady (5)
975
Rays, also known as sea bats, are native to warm tropical shallow waters. They are broad, flat creatures, with eyes on the upper, dark colored surface of their body and the mouth and gills on the lighter underbelly. Their pectoral fins are huge, which gives them a batlike appearance, and they use their short tail as a rudder. They feed on mollusks and crustaceans and only rarely attack humans, with the exception of the malevolent ixitxachitl. These long, flat creatures bury themselves in the silt and sand of the sea floor in order to surprise their prey.

Pungi Ray
The tropical pungi rays conceal themselves in the sand of the ocean floor with their terrible back spines protruding. Their spines are greenish or brown, resembling plant growth so closely as to be 90% undistinguishable from normal seaweed. Pungi rays are 15 feet across and 6 feet long. Their back spines are in a 3 foot by 4 foot area, with one spine per square foot (12 in total). Any creature stepping on a pungi spine must save versus poison or die instantly. A footstep on a pungi ray equals one attack; if a creature fell on a pungi ray it would suffer 2-8 spinal attacks. If a pungi ray is attacked it will try to swim away.

Originally found in MC1 - Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989).

The following is the 1st edition AD&D version:


RAY

FREQUENCY:
NO. APPEARING:
ARMOR CLASS:
MOVE:
HIT DICE:
%IN LAIR:
TREASURE TYPE:
NO. OF ATTACKS:
DAMAGE/ATTACK :
SPECIAL ATTACKS:
SPECIAL DEFENSES:
MAGIC RESISTANCE:
INTELLIGENCE:
ALIGNMENT
SIZE:
PSIONIC ABILITY:
Attack/Defense Modes:


Pungi
Rare
1-3
7
12”
4
0%
Nil
1 to 12
1-4 each
See below
Nil
Standard
Non-
Neutral
L
Nil
Nil
Pungi Ray: Another of the tropical rays, the pungi is found only in relatively shallow bottoms. The creatures conceal themselves in the sand, with their terrible back spines protruding. These spines are greenish or brown, resembling plant growth so closely as to be 90% indistinguishable from normal seaweed. Pungi rays are some 15′ across and 6′ or so long. Their back spines are in an area of 3′ by 4′, with an average of 1 such spine per square foot, or 12 spines altogether. The spines vary from 1′ to 2′ in length. Any creature landing on a spine must save versus poison or be killed instantly. A footstep upon a pungi ray will equal 1 attack; if a human fell across a pungi ray he would suffer from 2-8 spine attacks. If a pungi ray is attacked it will try to escape by flight.


Originally appeared in Monster Manual (Gary Gygax, 1977).

There's also an original D&D version in the Blackmoor Supplement (1975) and another version in Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar (1996), but I don't have either of those sources immediately to hand.

Still, I might dig them out just to see if there's any useful extra data in them.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I'm going to start a Working Draft with the Manta Ray copy-pasted for the "base creature", if only to get this conversion moving.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Pungi Ray Working Draft

Pungi Ray
Large Animal (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 4d8 (18 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: Swim 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 13 (-1 size, +4 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+9
Attack: Spines +4 melee (1d12+2 plus poison)
Full Attack: Spines +4 melee (1d12+2 plus poison) and ram -1 melee* (1d6+1)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Poison, spines
Special Qualities: Low-light vision
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +2
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 11, Con 10, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 10
Skills: Hide –1* (+7 on sea floor, +17 if buried), Listen +7, Spot +6, Swim +10
Feats: Alertness, Skill Focus (Hide)
Environment: Warm aquatic
Organization: Solitary or school (2-5)
Challenge Rating: 2
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 5-8 HD (Large); 9-12 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment:

A mottled-green ray at least twice as wide as a human is tall. A dozen or so spines that resemble stalks of seaweed protrude from its back.

Pungi rays live in shallow tropical waters, where they conceal themselves in the silt and seaweed of the seabed. They widely feared for the deadly poison in their iron-hard back spines. Most pungi rays have a dozen or so spines, but exceptional specimens may have up to thirty or more.

A pungi ray lying on the sea floor is exceptionally well camouflaged, and many creatures have stepped upon their venomous spines before noticing the threat. Pungi rays prefer to eat molluscs and crustaceans, but may feed on any creature that falls victim to their venom.

A typical pungi ray is 6 feet long, excluding its tail, and 15 feet wide from tip-to-tip of its broad pectoral fins. Their back spines normally cover a 3-foot by 4-foot area. They generally weigh about 2,000 to 3,000 pounds.

Combat
A pungi ray hides itself in the silt of the sea floor and waits for prey to pierce themselves on its poison spines. Once it spikes a victim, it prefers to keep its distance and let its poison do its work. A pungi ray will try to swim away if attacked, but if forced into a fight it defends itself with its spines and ram attacks.

Poison (Ex): A pungi ray's spines are poisonous. Injury, Fortitude DC 14, initial and secondary damage 1d8 Con. The save DC is Constitution-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.

Spines (Ex): Any creature striking a pungi ray with handheld weapons or natural weapons takes 1d12* points of piercing damage from the ray's spines and is exposed to the ray's poison. Note that weapons with exceptional reach, such as longspears, do not endanger their users in this way.

A creature that steps on a pungi ray will have their feet pierced by its spines, taking 1d12* points of piercing damage plus exposure to the ray's poison. In addition, the creature has its land speed reduced by one-half due to the wound. This movement penalty lasts for 24 hours, or until the creature is successfully treated with a DC 15 Heal check, or until it receives at least 1 point of magical curing.

A pungi ray can also use its spines to make a grapple attack or melee attack, dealing 1d12+2* piercing damage plus poison.

*Pungi rays add their Constitution modifier to the damage its spines inflict to opponents who strike or step upon them. A pungi ray adds its Strength modifier to grapple and melee attacks with its spines.

Skills: A pungi ray 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 pungi ray has a +8 racial bonus on Hide checks when in areas of seaweed or lying on the sea floor. Further, a pungi ray can bury itself in silt or mud with only its eyes showing, gaining a +10 cover bonus on Hide checks.

Vampire Pungi Rays
The common pungi ray presented above has a more dangerous magical relative, the vampire pungi ray.

Note: This conversion is based on the AD&D pungi ray. The earliest version of the pungi ray from Original D&D's Supplement II - Blackmoor (1975) is converted as the vampire pungi ray.

Originally found in Monster Manual (Gary Gygax, 1977).
 
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