Converting First Edition Monsters

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
OK, I can go along with 1d10/1d10 compared to the wyvern's 2d6/2d6. It's strong, but it's not unreasonable for the likely CR.

Speaking of CR, that should likely bump to CR 2. But I'll wait on an update/de-red-ification.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
OK, I can go along with 1d10/1d10 compared to the wyvern's 2d6/2d6. It's strong, but it's not unreasonable for the likely CR.
Updating the Pungi Ray Working Draft.

Hmm, upon reflection I'd be OK with 1d8/1d8 Con for the poison, the same as the SRD Phase Spider.

Also, I wonder whether we need something to boost the Fort DC. Maybe a +2 or +3 racial bonus? Fort DC 12 seems a bit too weak, I think a DC of 15 or so would be more appropriate.

Speaking of CR, that should likely bump to CR 2. But I'll wait on an update/de-red-ification.
Yes, it's definitely a Challenge Rating or two nastier than the CR 1 Manta Ray, but we can worry about that when we come to it.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
A +2 racial bonus to the poison DC feels about right. +3 is just not a normal number. ;)

Are we ready for skills and feats?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
A +2 racial bonus to the poison DC feels about right. +3 is just not a normal number. ;)
It seems no less normal than +2 to me! :p

Still, +2 works or me. We could bump the Con up if we wanted to make the poison DC (and the rest of the Ray) a bit tougher.

What about the suggestion of making the poison damage 1d8/1d8?

Are we ready for skills and feats?
No reason not to talk about them.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
1d8/1d8 is fine for the poison.

Actually, I think I'm ok with skills and feats as they are, if that's ok for you.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
1d8/1d8 is fine for the poison.
Updating the Pungi Ray Working Draft.

Actually, I think I'm ok with skills and feats as they are, if that's ok for you.
Surely it needs a sizable Hide skill, since it's whole modus operandi is lying on the seafloor and waiting for some poor sap to step on it?

I'd be inclined to borrow some skill description from our Sea Bat conversion:

*When it is lying still along the seafloor, a sea bat has a +12 racial bonus on Hide checks. Further, a sea bat can bury itself in silt or mud with only its eyes showing, gaining a +10 cover bonus on Hide checks.

Maybe:

Skills: Hide –1* (+7 on sea floor, +17 if buried), Listen +7, Spot +6, Swim +10
Feats: Alertness, Skill Focus (Hide)

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.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Fair enough, but maybe it should be better at hiding, given its preferred method of hunting (though I confess I can't remember what the sea bat does). Either way, though. It doesn't much matter to me.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Fair enough, but maybe it should be better at hiding, given its preferred method of hunting (though I confess I can't remember what the sea bat does). Either way, though. It doesn't much matter to me.
The Sea Bat lies on the sea bed and swallows creatures unfortunate enough to pass over it. So it's pretty much the same modus operandi.

Also, the proposal already has a better Hide than the Sea Bat. Three points better to be precise, as the Sea Bat has Hide +4 on the sea floor and Hide +14 if buried.

The Sea Bat is a few Challenge Ratings higher than the Pungi Ray, which might argue for it having a higher Hide skill than the Pungi. It does have a decent Swim speed of 50 ft though and doesn't need to wait for a victim to literally be within stepping distance before it strikes, so I'm not that bothered by that.

So, shall I update the Pungi with the proposed skills?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Sure, they're not a big deal.
Updating the Pungi Ray Working Draft.

So what next?

The Environment, Organization, Treasure, Alignment and Level Adjustment look fine to me. That just leaves CR and Advancement.

I'd eyeball the CR as being a strong 2 or a weak 3, but could see it going either way.

For the Advancement, I'd be fine allowing it to increase a size category following the usual ratio thus:

Advancement: 5-8 HD (Large); 9-12 HD (Huge)
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Looks good.

Tactics: A pungi ray hides in sand on the sea floor, waiting for some prey creature unlucky enough to pierce itself with the ray's poison spines. If forced into a fight, a pungi ray will ram, but they greatly prefer to stay at a distance and let their poison do its work.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Looks good.

Tactics: A pungi ray hides in sand on the sea floor, waiting for some prey creature unlucky enough to pierce itself with the ray's poison spines. If forced into a fight, a pungi ray will ram, but they greatly prefer to stay at a distance and let their poison do its work.
Hmm… How about:

A pungi ray hides itself in the silt of the sea floor and waits for a victim unlucky enough to pierce themselves on the ray's poison spines. Once it spines a victim, it prefers to keep its distance and let its poison do its work, but if forced into a fight it attacks with its spines and ram attacks.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I'll go with that!
Updating the Pungi Ray Working Draft.

Hold on a second! We're missing something. The AD&D sources say pungi rays flee if attacked - both the 2E sources say "If a pungi ray is attacked it will try to swim away" and the 1E Monster Manual has "If a pungi ray is attacked it will try to escape by flight".

We'd better incorporate that in some revised tactics.

Do you have some description and flavor text in mind?
Nothing specific. I presumed we were just going to repurpose the rather basic description in the original material.

How's this:

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.
 

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