Converting First Edition Monsters

Cleon

Adventurer
Okay, on to the Stat feedback for the Flyweight, Medium and Giant!

Skills
The Flyweight and Medium have Perception +3, Stealth +7. Why is that? The Giant Solifugid doesn't have any Skills. I suspect this was cribbed from the Giant Wolf Spider's.

Now I'm fine with Solifugids having Perception and Steath, but the Stealth +7 seems a bit high and if your giving junior skills, give the Giant one or both those skills too. It'd only be fair.

Attacks
They should all have their "Forelegs" attack changed to "Foreleg", as they attack once with each leg. Although technically those are pedipalps, so you could use that name.

A couple of the Foreleg escape DC also wrong - Strength alone would give the Medium DC 12 and the Flyweight DC 11, but I'd give the Medium an arbitrary +1 bonus to DC 13 so the progression is a neat 11/13/15.

So that'd be:

[Giant] Foreleg. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: no damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 15). The solifugid can grapple only one target at a time.

[Medium] Foreleg. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: no damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 13). The solifugid can grapple only one target at a time.

[Flyweight] Foreleg. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: no damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 11). The solifugid can grapple only one target at a time.

The Medium has "(with Advantage)" in its bite that should be "(with Advantage if target already grappled)".

[Medium] Bite. Can only attack grappled targets. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit (with Advantage if target already grappled), reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) piercing damage.

That needs to be in the the Giant's bite too, remember.

As in:

[Giant] Bite. Can only attack grappled targets. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit (with Advantage if target already grappled), reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (4d6 + 4) piercing damage.

I've also just realized the Giant's +4 to its bite damage suggests it could have Strength 18 (+4), but I think the current Strength 16 (+3) is plenty. I'd have no objection to bumping it up if you wanted to, that'd make the Foreleg escape DC 16 and both its foreleg and bite attacks +6 to hit, which is still fair for a Challenge 3 monster.

Challenge Ratings
The 1/8 Challenge Rating of the Flyweight eyeballs a tad low. While it does a piddly 2d4+1 damage, it's certainly tougher than a Wolf, which is CR 1/4 and also has an Advantage gaining combat ability, but with 2/3rd the Hit Dice, a lower AC 13, the same speed and similar physical stats (Str and Con the same, but Dex 15 for a bonus one lower).

Looks more like a 1/4 to me. It's on the edge of 1/2 but isn't quite there. Something like a CR 1/2 Worg would beat it without too much difficulty.

It doesn't need an ally to use its Advantage-granting ability though, and it has 50% more hit points than a Wolf so I'm wondering if it needs tweaking slightly down? I guess the fact it has to hit with a foreleg before it can bite, so might have to spend a round trying to grab an opponent justifies it being a bit lower CR than the numbers say, but it's definitely in the 1/4 ballpark.

The Challenge 1 of the Medium looks OK. It's not that far off from a Worg. The worg's bite is slightly better, with a point more to hit at +5 and a drop more bite damage (2d6+3) but its AC and hit points are lower plus, for some inexplicable reason, it doesn't have Pack Tactics like a Wolf. It may be evil, but you'd think being intelligent and working in concert with goblins it'd know the value of cooperation!

Description
All the descriptions say "They have a large four-jawed mouth". Solifugids do not have four jaws, they have two Chelicerae, so something like "they have two massive fangs for a mouth" would be more accurate.

The Medium Solifugid has "Huge solifugids are around 7 feet long", which should be changed to "Medium solifugids are around 7 feet long".

I'm also thinking that they all would benefit from a note as to their original Source, namely something like "Solifugids first appeared in Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits (1980) by Gary Gygax and David C. Sutherland III, the original author was Sutherland."
 

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Cleon

Adventurer
I'm also thinking that they all would benefit from a note as to their original Source, namely something like "Solifugids first appeared in Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits (1980) by Gary Gygax and David C. Sutherland III, the original author was Sutherland."

Actually, that gives me an idea. Remember the Rhagodessa?

Oh, and there's also a Mystara / BECMI version of a Giant Solifugid, the Rhagodessa "Spider-Kin" that first appeared in the D&D Expert Set (1981). It has an official 2E appearance in the Mystara Monstrous Compendium and 3E manifestations in Dungeon #139 and #144.

Maybe we can use the name for one of our Solifugids?

Unlike the 2E Giant Solifugid, the Rhagodessa was Large size in both AD&D and BECMI, unlike the Medium sized Giant Rhagodessa, so I wondered about calling the bug guy a Giant Rhagodessa or Giant Rhagodessa Solifugid.

The Rhagodessa was originally a BECMI / Mystaran version of this arachnid. According to the D&D Expert Sets and Rules Cyclopedia, it lived in caves but would venture above ground during the night. The 2E version adds that it lives in "Forest, mountains, subterranean". It appears in generic 3E D&D during the Savage Tide adventure path in Dungeon Magazine (issues #139 and #144). The Dungeon #144 version is an advanced version named the "Blackfang Rhagodessa". Oh, and there's a 4E version in Dragon Magazine #418 as a Level 2 Skirmisher in "Ye Olde Creature Catalogue" by Tim Eagon.

I've checked the original stats BECMI, 2E and 3E stats, and it was Large size and had 4+2 Hit Dice, it was also "the size of a small horse" and 2E adds that it was 7 feet long.

Nah, scrub that idea. I just checked the original version and it had Four Hit Dice and a weaker bite than the 6+6 Giant Solifugid. In fact, its numbers are pretty close to AD&D's Huge Solifugid, except it's a size larger.

So, how about insteead of Medium Solifugid the 5 HD version is called a Rhagodessa Solifugid? A name with long precedence in Dungeons & Dragons.

If the name Rhagodessa is adopted, then I'd suggest a source reference of "Solifugids first appeared in Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits (1980) by Gary Gygax and David C. Sutherland III, the original author was Sutherland. The Rhagodessa first appeared in the D&D Expert Set (1981)."

Incidentally, Rhagodessa is a real genus of Solifugids found around Sudan. I see no reason not to use the name for one of these conversions as it's just another Solifugid. The type species is Rhagodessa melanocephala. I'm having trouble finding a picture of one, but since the species name melanocephala means something like "Black-Headed", I would guess it has the normal sandy-coloured body and legs and a darker head. I suspect they're a larger than average genus, because Middle Eastern "Camel Spiders" are bigger than most, but I haven't been able to confirm that.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Fast-moving yes, as in they can run quickly. I haven't heard that they're super agile.

To me that suggests either a higher speed than a Scorpion's 40 ft. rather than a better Dexterity than a Scorpion, or possibly some special trait to allow it to dash or charge at a faster speed than normal, perhaps only for a few rounds.

What kind of endurance do Solifugid's have? If they're only faster over short distances, I'd go for the latter option.

Further on that, I've rummaged around the internet and some of the more reliable looking sights (such as APHC, Arachnipedia Fandom and The Smaller Majority) do indicate they can very fast reflexes and some of them can keep up with a human who isn't running away from them at full tilt.

There are claims of an estimated top speeds of 16 kph, but that seems highly unlikely. For example, the House Centipede Scutigera coleoptrata is considered one of the fastest arthropods in the world and is said to do about 40 cm per second, which is just under 1.5 kph.

Still, they clearly have an extremely fast ground speed for an arthropod, so if you wanted to give them a higher speed I would not object.

Say Speed 50 ft.?

That's the speed of a Behir, Centaur, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus rex, Hell Hound, Invisible Stalker, Purple Worm* plus the Camel, Elk, Panther**, Winter Wolf and Worg in the 5E Monster Manual.
 *That's oddly fast, considering most edition's Purple Worms moved at half the speed of an unencumbered human.
 **Meaning a leopard is faster than a 5E Wolf (40 ft.) - which is actually true, over short distances. Wolves are endurance hunters, if a cat can't escape with a burst of speed, a dog will outlast it.

I'd also accept Speed 60 ft., the rate at which the 5E Monster Manual's Allosaurus, Giant Elk, Nightmare and Horses (Riding or War), but that might require a bit of persuasion.

Note that this wouldn't match the original stats. The AD&D Solifugids have an unimpressive human-level of 9" or 12" (AD&D Humans have 12" base, 9" medium load, 6" heavy), but the Rhagodessa is faster than a human (Move 15"), and both are faster than humans in 3E (40 ft. vs human's 30 ft.).

However, if a Purple Worm can go from 20 ft. in 3E (encumbered humanoid speed) through Speed 6 in 4E (unencumbered average humanoid) to 50 ft. in 5E (as fast as a worg!), why not have the Solifugids be as faster than earlier editions suggest?

Incidentally, an AD&D Giant Scorpion is Speed 15" just like a Rhagodessa, but for some reason Scorpions were made particularly fast in 3E. Monstrous Scorpions of size Large or bigger are speed 50 ft., with the epic Devastation Scorpion having Speed 60 ft.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Right then, all good points and adopted - went with 50ft, gave them all a bit of perception as they are active predators, and used 'rhagodessa' as 'medium' is lame...
I dropped damage of bite by giant solifugid by 1 rather than increase its str
 

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Cleon

Adventurer
If no more suggestions - all good btw as I have a problem with lack of finer eye to detail so works well - I will publish on dndbeyond

You could drop the "Can only attack grappled targets" from the bite if you like, as per the bite in Option #5. Apart from that they look good to go.

The original monster could attack creatures it hadn't grabbed first, it just didn't get a bonus to hit.

Thus:

[Flyweight] Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit (with Advantage if target already grappled), reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (2d4 + 1) piercing damage.

[Rhagodessa] Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit (with Advantage if target already grappled), reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) piercing damage.

[Giant] Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit (with Advantage if target already grappled), reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (4d6 + 4) piercing damage.
 


Cleon

Adventurer
ok great
now published - thx for all the input
flyweight

giant

rhagodessa

There's a double period typo at the end of the Rhagodessa's bite (i.e. an ". ." that ought to be "."), but apart from that minor quibble they look great.

I'm guessing that the unnecessary space between "beast" and the following comma (i.e. "beast , unaligned" rather than "beast, unaligned") is an artifact of D&DBeyond, since I've noticed it on other conversions posted there.

Like the capitalization of the resistances & immunities, their formatting doesn't quite match that of the published material.
 


Cleon

Adventurer
Do you think we need posted versions of the completed D&DBeyond versions of the Flyweight Solifugid, Giant Solifugid and Rhagodessa Solifugid here on Enworld?

If so, would you like to post the text or leave it to me to do?

Also, what about Indexing these Solifugids? Do you expect to do any more First Edition Monster conversions on this thread which might benefit from an Index.

For that matter, where would I put an Index. I can't stick it on the first post of this thread, since I didn't create this thread. The earliest I could do is edit the Fourth Post of this thread to add an Index, but I'd rather not change that as it's part of a conversion conversation.

I'm starting to think we need a dedicated thread with a compiled 5E Monster Conversion Index rather than having Indexes for each thread, although we could do both?

For example, Completed Creatures Index & Current Conversions has a complete Index of recent Creature Catalog additions in the first post, while my Cleon Specials Monster Index combines the Indexes from Cleon Specials – SRD Redux Monsters and Related Creatures and Cleon Specials – Prehistoric Beasts!
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Do you think we need posted versions of the completed D&DBeyond versions of the Flyweight Solifugid, Giant Solifugid and Rhagodessa Solifugid here on Enworld?

If so, would you like to post the text or leave it to me to do?
Umm - you may as well (also good incase DnDbeyond disappears in a puff of smoke...) - we'd both be just pasting text and if you do it you can instantly fix formatting etc.

I'd be happy for you to index them..ummmm...you know the layout of this place much better than I do
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Umm - you may as well (also good incase DnDbeyond disappears in a puff of smoke...) - we'd both be just pasting text and if you do it you can instantly fix formatting etc.

I'd be happy for you to index them..ummmm...you know the layout of this place much better than I do

Okay, I'll most likely do that tomorrow.

I've had a Saturday evening out so am a beer or five past the point I think I should be posting anything even mildly complicated.

G'night!
 


Cleon

Adventurer
Solifugid, Flyweight
Medium beast, unaligned
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 16 (3d8 + 3)
Speed 50 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
13 (+1)​
16 (+3)​
12 (+1)​
1 (−5)​
9 (−1)​
3 (−4)​

Skills Perception +3, Stealth +5
Damage Resistances poison
Senses blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Actions

Multiattack. The solifugid makes two foreleg attacks against the same target. If it hits, it can make a bite attack against the target, with Advantage if it hits with both forelegs, without Advantage if it hits with one foreleg.

Foreleg. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: no damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 11). The solifugid can grapple only one target at a time.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit (with Advantage if target already grappled), reach 5 ft., one target. Hit 6 (2d4+1) piercing damage.

Description
Also called “camel spiders,” “wind scorpions,” or “sun spiders,” solifugids are arachnid predators found in arid regions (where they are usually nocturnal) and the underdark. Highly mobile and fast movers, they appear to have five pairs of legs. In reality, the front pair are pedipalps, which are extremely efficient grippers and very difficult to escape. They have two massive fangs for a mouth.

Called "flyweights" as they are the smallest of the monster solifugids but still feisty, these critters are around 5 feet long, their hairy bodies are shades of tan, orange, yellow or russet.

(Solifugids first appeared in Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits (1980) by Gary Gygax and David C. Sutherland III, the original author was Sutherland)
 
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Cleon

Adventurer
Solifugid, Giant
Large beast, unaligned
Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 68 (8d10 + 24)
Speed 50 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
16 (+3)​
16 (+3)​
16 (+3)​
1 (−5)​
9 (−1)​
3 (−4)​

Skills Perception +3
Damage Resistances poison
Senses blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages
Challenge 3 (700 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Actions

Multiattack. The solifugid makes two foreleg attacks against the same target. If it hits, it can make a bite attack against the target, with Advantage if it hits with both forelegs, without Advantage if it hits with one foreleg.

Foreleg. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: no damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 15). The solifugid can grapple only one target at a time.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit (with Advantage if target already grappled), reach 5 ft., one target. Hit 17 (4d6+3) piercing damage.

Description
Also called “camel spiders,” “wind scorpions,” or “sun spiders,” solifugids are arachnid predators found in arid regions (where they are usually nocturnal) and the underdark.

Highly mobile and fast movers, they appear to have five pairs of legs. In reality, the front pair are pedipalps, which are extremely efficient grippers and very difficult to escape. They have two massive fangs for a mouth.

Giant solifugids are around 9 feet long, their hairy bodies are shades of tan, orange, yellow or russet. Unlike their smaller kin, they are resistant to poison. There are rumours of giant solifugids being used as steeds by drow in the underdark.

(Solifugids first appeared in Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits (1980) by Gary Gygax and David C. Sutherland III, the original author was Sutherland)
 
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Cleon

Adventurer
Solifugid, Rhagodessa
Medium beast, unaligned
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 32 (5d8 + 10)
Speed 50 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
14 (+2)​
16 (+3)​
14 (+2)​
1 (−5)​
9 (−1)​
3 (−4)​

Skills Perception +3
Damage Resistances poison
Senses blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages
Challenge 1 (200 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Actions

Multiattack. The solifugid makes two foreleg attacks against the same target. If it hits, it can make a bite attack against the target, with Advantage if it hits with both forelegs, without Advantage if it hits with one foreleg.

Foreleg. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: no damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 13). The solifugid can grapple only one target at a time.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit (with Advantage if target already grappled), reach 5 ft., one target. Hit 9 (2d6+2) piercing damage.

Description
Also called “camel spiders,” “wind scorpions,” or “sun spiders,” solifugids are arachnid predators found in arid regions (where they are usually nocturnal) and the underdark. Highly mobile and fast movers, they appear to have five pairs of legs. In reality, the front pair are pedipalps, which are extremely efficient grippers and very difficult to escape. They have a large four-jawed mouth.

Rhagodessa solifugids are around 7 feet long, their hairy bodies are shades of red-brown to dark brown with a blackish head.

(Solifugids first appeared in Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits (1980) by Gary Gygax and David C. Sutherland III, the original author was Sutherland. The Rhagodessa first appeared in the D&D Expert Set (1981))
 
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Cleon

Adventurer
Okay, while posting the above I noticed three more errors and a minor inconsistency in the D&D Beyond Versions.

Firstly, the Rhagodessa ought to have "Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2)", somehow I failed to notice it's average damage shouldn't be 8 as far back as the Medium Rhagodessa!

Secondly, their Perception +2 and Passive Perception 13 don't match up.

They should either have +3 and 13 or +2 and 12. No idea how I missed that one!

Now, the usual "rule of thumb" is creatures that are extra-proficient at skills get twice their Proficiency Bonus, which is why the Giant Spider has Stealth +7 (from its Dex +3 and another +4 from twice its +2 Proficiency Bonus), so I'd go for +3 and 13.

Thirdly, the Flyweight has Stealth +3 just from its Dex, if it's proficient it should have +5.

So I would change it to:

Flyweight
Skills
Perception +3, Stealth +5
Senses blindsight 60 ft., Passive Perception 13

Giant & Rhagodessa
Skills
Perception +3
Senses blindsight 60 ft., Passive Perception 13

Finally, I only just noticed that the Giant version has Int 2 while the two Medium sized ones have Int 3. They both give the same ability modifier, so I'm wondering why the incongruity. Shouldn't they all have the same Intelligence, probably 2 like the Giant Solifugid, since I haven't seen any folklore portraying Solifugids as "cunning" like a Spider (which I guess is why Giant Spiders have Int 3 in 5E, although that's still way inferior to the Intelligence of 5 to 7 they had in AD&D)

Personally, I prefer Int 1 (−5) like a Giant Scorpion, but it's your conversion.

Apologies for not noticing these issues before you posted them on D&D Beyond.
 


Casimir Liber

Adventurer
ok fixed them - agree with INT 1 as per Giant Scorpion and aligned all the skills/bonues. was worried I couldn't fix once published but seems I can overwrite easily, so have done.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
ok fixed them - agree with INT 1 as per Giant Scorpion and aligned all the skills/bonues. was worried I couldn't fix once published but seems I can overwrite easily, so have done.

That's a relief, I was afraid I'd made you have to re-enter the whole thing.

You forgot to correct the surplus full stop at the end of the Rhagodessa's Bite – the "Hit 9 (2d6+2) piercing damage. ." should just be "Hit 9 (2d6+2) piercing damage.") – but that's just a trivial typo.

The page addresses of the monsters have changed on D&D Beyond though, so I'll need to update the links in my newly minted 5E Index. The new ones will be:

Flyweight Solifugid
Giant Solifugid
Rhagodessa Solifugid

Oh, and I'll update the Enworld versions above while I'm at it.
 

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