Converting First Edition Monsters

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Agreed to all that. I think I'd go for Energy Drain to make it a bit more unique, but I could actually see giving it Energy Drain and Con damage/drain, like a real vamp.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Agreed to all that. I think I'd go for Energy Drain to make it a bit more unique, but I could actually see giving it Energy Drain and Con damage/drain, like a real vamp.
I didn't considered giving it both.

Hmm…

Overall I'd prefer one or the other, but don't really mind which, so Energy Drain is fine.

Incidentally, I'm imagining these as something of a "missing link" between the Ixitxachitl Vampire (which had most of the traditional Vampire powers including regeneration and charm gaze) and a mundane Ray.

The next question is how it delivers the Energy Drain. The original monster has the drain attack delivered "if the ray is able to cover the victim" so I'm thinking it should have Improved Grab plus an Energy Drain that's based on Grapple Checks, like the 3E Vampire's Blood Drain.

Energy Drain (Ex): A vampire pungi ray can suck vital energy from a living victim by making a successful grapple check. If it pins the foe, it drains energy, and the victim gains one negative level each round the pin is maintained. On each such successful attack, the vampire pungi ray gains 5 temporary hit points.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a vampire pungi ray must hit with its slam attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can attempt to energy drain the following round.

Presumably if we go for the Blood Drain plus Energy Drain approach we'd basically give it the same slam+energy drain and grapple+blood drain as a standard Vampire, although I'd still like to add Improved Grab to its roster.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I don't think it's necessary to give it both Blood and Energy Drain, so your proposal will work for me.

By the way, we need to change the abilities a bit. I'm ok with keeping the physical abilities the same, but we need to boost Int at least to 3 and Cha I'd expect to 10 or 11. I guess we won't have save DCs to worry about with this approach, so we probably don't need to do more than that.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I don't think it's necessary to give it both Blood and Energy Drain, so your proposal will work for me.
Updating the Pungi Ray Working Draft.

By the way, we need to change the abilities a bit. I'm ok with keeping the physical abilities the same, but we need to boost Int at least to 3 and Cha I'd expect to 10 or 11. I guess we won't have save DCs to worry about with this approach, so we probably don't need to do more than that.
I'd be fine increasing the Charisma but don't see that increasing its Intelligence is necessary.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Ehh, fair enough. It can be a "dumb" magical beast if you like. ;) There's not really much else to fiddle with mechanics-wise, is there?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Ehh, fair enough. It can be a "dumb" magical beast if you like. ;) There's not really much else to fiddle with mechanics-wise, is there?
Yup!

So shall I update the Working Draft with Charisma 10 and we'll declare the mechanical elements finished and move on to polishing off the flavour text?
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Yes, let's go ahead.

Tactics: Like non-magical pungi rays, vampire pungi rays usually hunt by lying camouflaged on the seafloor and waiting for prey to blunder into its poisonous spines. However, vampire pungi rays are more aggressive, also willing to use their energy drain to bring down larger, stronger prey.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Yes, let's go ahead.

Tactics: Like non-magical pungi rays, vampire pungi rays usually hunt by lying camouflaged on the seafloor and waiting for prey to blunder into its poisonous spines. However, vampire pungi rays are more aggressive, also willing to use their energy drain to bring down larger, stronger prey.
Updating the Pungi Ray Working Draft.

Hold on a mo - we still haven't updated the Challenge Rating.

The addition of energy drain and improved grab plus the upgrade to Magical Beast is worth at least another CR, and I'm thinking maybe the basic Pungi is undervalued at CR 2. It's noticeably deal nastier than some CR 2 creature in the SRD like the Large Viper Snake and Medium Animated Object. Is it that much weaker than, say, the CR 3 Hell Hound?

How about comparing the Vampire Pungi to an energy draining creature? Is it significantly stronger or weaker than the CR 3 Wight.

Wait a second! I've just realized something. The Blackmoor energy-draining version of the Pungi Ray has Six Hit Dice, not Four like the AD&D regular version, plus its AC is better, being 6 rather than 7.

How about we upgrade the Vampire Pungi to 6 HD and make its AC 16? That'd definitely justify making it CR 4. The OD&D version has an AC one point better than an OD&D Sting Ray, which has AC 15 in 3E.

Also, the Blackmoor Pungi Ray has a swim speed of 6 so I guess we ought to cut the Swim speed to 20 feet.

That said, if you prefer keeping the regular Pungi Ray's 30 ft. swim speed I'd go along with it.

As for the regular version's Challenge Rating, upon reflection I'm OK keeping it as a "strong" CR 2 like we decided earlier.

Any thoughts on these tactics?
Hmm… including the above changes, how about:

Hit Dice: 6d10 (33 hp)
Speed: Swim 20 ft. (4 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (-1 size, +7 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+12
Attack: Spines +7 melee (1d12+2 plus poison)
Full Attack: Spines +7 melee (1d12+2 plus poison) and ram +2 melee* (1d6+1)
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +3
Skills: Hide +3* (+9 on sea floor, +19 if buried), Listen +7, Spot +6, Swim +10
Feats: Alertness, Skill Focus (Hide)
[Its 6 HD give it another feat - maybe Weapon Focus (spines) or Ability Focus (poison) ?]
Challenge Rating: 4 [?]
Advancement: 7-9 HD (Large); 10-18 HD (Huge) [?]

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.

Vampire pungi rays are deadly relatives of the pungi ray, named after their fearsome supernatural ability to drain life-energy from their victims. They possess even more lethal poison spines than their mundane cousins.

Vampire pungi rays camouflage themselves in the silt and seaweed of the seabed and attack creatures who stumble upon them. They are extremely aggressive, driven by their eagerness to feed of life-force. A vampire pungi ray will attack a creature too large for it too eat, since it is able to feed entirely by energy draining.

A typical vampire 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 vampire pungi ray hides on the seafloor and tries to impale any living creature that passes over it with its venomous spines. It then tries to grapple a victim and energy drain, relying upon its spines to defend itself from attack. Vampire pungi rays tend to fight to the death rather than flee - they swim too slowly to have much chance of escaping a losing fight.

* * *

Energy Drain (Ex): A vampire pungi ray can suck vital energy from a living victim by making a successful grapple check. If it pins the foe, it drains energy, and the victim gains one negative level each round the pin is maintained. The DC is 13 for the Fortitude save to remove a negative level. The save DC is Charisma-based. For each such negative level bestowed, the vampire pungi ray gains 5 temporary hit points.

Poison (Ex): A vampire pungi ray's spines are poisonous. Injury, Fortitude DC 15, initial and secondary damage 1d8 Con. The save DC is Constitution-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.
 
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Cleon

Adventurer
I forgot to add the "The DC is ?? for the Fortitude save to remove a negative level. The save DC is Charisma-based." bit to the Energy Drain. It has been amended.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Oh and another thing, the original monster has "a 50% chance that there will be 1-10 gems inside the carcass" - should we give it a Treasure entry to reflect that?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Vampire Pungi Ray Working Draft

Pungi Ray, Vampire
Large Magical Beast (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 6d10 (33 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: Swim 20 ft. (4 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (-1 size, +7 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+12
Attack: Spines +7 melee (1d12+2 plus poison)
Full Attack: Spines +7 melee (1d12+2 plus poison) and ram +2 melee* (1d6+1)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Energy drain, improved grab, poison, spines
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +3
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 11, Con 10, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 10
Skills: Hide +3* (+9 on sea floor, +19 if buried), Listen +7, Spot +6, Swim +10
Feats: Ability Focus (poison), Alertness, Skill Focus (Hide)
Environment: Warm aquatic
Organization: Solitary or school (2-5)
Challenge Rating: 4
Treasure: 50% gems
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 7-9 HD (Large); 10-18 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.

Vampire pungi rays are deadly relatives of the pungi ray, named after their fearsome supernatural ability to drain life-energy from their victims. They possess even more lethal poison spines than their mundane cousins.

Vampire pungi rays camouflage themselves in the silt and seaweed of the seabed and attack creatures who stumble upon them. They are extremely aggressive, driven by their eagerness to feed of life-force. A vampire pungi ray will attack a creature too large for it too eat, since it is able to feed entirely by energy draining.

A typical vampire 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 vampire pungi ray hides on the seafloor and tries to impale any living creature that passes over it with its venomous spines. It then tries to grapple a victim and energy drain, relying upon its spines to defend itself from attack. Vampire pungi rays tend to fight to the death rather than flee - they swim too slowly to have much chance of escaping a losing fight.

Energy Drain (Ex): A vampire pungi ray can suck vital energy from a living victim by making a successful grapple check. If it pins the foe, it drains energy, and the victim gains one negative level each round the pin is maintained. The DC is 13 for the Fortitude save to remove a negative level. The save DC is Charisma-based. For each such negative level bestowed, the vampire pungi ray gains 5 temporary hit points.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a vampire pungi ray must hit with its slam attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can attempt to energy drain the following round.

Poison (Ex): A vampire pungi ray's spines are poisonous. Injury, Fortitude DC 17, initial and secondary damage 1d8 Con. The save DC is Constitution-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.

Spines (Ex): Any creature striking a vampire 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 vampire 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 vampire pungi ray can also use its spines to make a grapple attack or melee attack, dealing 1d12+2* piercing damage plus poison.

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

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

Vampire Pungi Relatives
The vampire pungi ray is closely related to the common pungi and may be related to the ixitxachitl, particularly the vampiric ixitxachitl. It could also be a primitive relative of certain ray-like aberrations like the sea cloaker and its terrestrial kin the cloaker and trapper.


Note: This conversion is based on the Original D&D pungi ray. The AD&D pungi ray which initially appeared in the first edition Monster Manual (1977) is significantly different and is converted as the "common" pungi ray.

Originally found in Supplement II - Blackmoor (1975).
 
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Cleon

Adventurer
Sea Cloaker Working Draft

Cloaker, Sea
Medium Aberration (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 5d8+10 (32 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 10 ft. (2 squares, cannot run), swim 40 ft., fly 20 ft. (poor)
Armor Class: 18 (+3 Dex, +5 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+8
Attack: Tail slap +6 melee (1d6+3)
Full Attack: Tail slap +6 melee (1d6+3) and bite +1 melee (1d6+1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Engulf
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., mimic surface
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +6
Abilities: Str 17, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 6, Wis 15, Cha 8
Skills: Disguise +0 (+8 with Mimic Surface), Hide +5, Listen +5, Move Silently +4, Spot +5, Swim +11
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Hover (B)
Environment: Aquatic
Organization: Solitary, mob (2-4) or school (5-12)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually chaotic evil
Advancement: 6-7 HD Medium; 8-15 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment:

A weird creature that resembles a rubbery black cloak or a slimy manta ray. Its underside is pale grey with a pair of glowing red eyes set above a fanged maw.

Sea cloakers are primitive marine cousins of the common cloaker. They are able to engulf victims like their relatives can, but lack the cloaker's ability to impair foes with subsonic moans and shadow-manipulation. Sea cloakers have an affinity for sunken ruins and sometimes serve as "watchdogs" for such places.

A sea cloaker has a wingspan of about 5 feet. It weighs about 40 pounds.

Sea cloakers cannot speak, but they understand Aquan.

Combat
Sea cloakers use their mimicry and stealth to ambush opponents, sometimes dropping upon victims from an overhang. A sea cloaker's first choice of weapon is its engulf attack, but it will switch to its tail and bite once its engulf succeeds or proves ineffective. Sea cloakers are reluctant to fight creatures too big for them to engulf.

Engulf (Ex): A sea cloaker can try to wrap a Medium or smaller creature in its body as a standard action. The cloaker attempts a grapple that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and bites the engulfed victim with a +4 bonus on its attack roll. It can still use its whiplike tail to strike at other targets.

Attacks that hit an engulfing sea cloaker deal half their damage to the monster and half to the trapped victim.

Sea cloakers have a +2 racial bonus to grapple checks.

Mimic Surface (Ex): A sea cloaker can change the color and texture of its back to match almost any kind of earth or stone, such as a shale cliff, a silty sea floor, or even a vaulted stone ceiling. The creature cannot substantially alter its size or shape, though. A sea cloaker’s body is smooth and has a slimy texture, no matter what appearance it might present. Anyone who examines the sea cloaker can detect the ruse with a successful Spot check opposed by the cloaker’s Disguise check. Of course, by this time it is generally far too late.

Water Dependent (Ex): Sea cloakers can survive out of the water for 5 minutes per 2 points of Constitution (after that, refer to the drowning rules).

Skills: A sea cloaker's back can change colors and texture to match its surrounding, giving it a +8 racial bonus on Disguise checks when using its mimic surface ability as well as a +2 racial bonus on Hide checks.

A sea cloaker 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.

Originally found in Lankhmar: City of Adventure (1985).
 
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Cleon

Adventurer
These look all done, so is this thread set to be quiet for a while?
I'd be OK letting this thread rest for a while. There are a bunch of other 1st edition creatures I fancy doing, but the ones I can think of all could equally fall under other threads. For example, there are a few monsters from Dragon #89's Creature Catalog that haven't been done yet but we can do those in the Dragon Magazine thread.

I also fancy doing the Simorgyans since those are connected to Sea Cloakers, but they don't have to be converted here since (a) I'm thinking of doing them in the Lycanthropes and their Ilk thread as they're shapeshifters and (b) they're 2E creatures, not 1E.

Indeed there's a whole bunch of Shapeshifters I fancy doing and a few Nehwon monsters, but that's something to worry about once we finish a few more of the current crop.
 

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