Converting First Edition Monsters

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Made a DnDbeyond entry for amblypygid here for completeness

Okay...here's a little critter.....original one just had a single bite attack which was at odds with the description...
 

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Cleon

Adventurer
Schizomid, Giant
Small beast, unaligned
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 7 (2d6)
Speed 30 ft., burrow 20 ft. (only loose strata such as earth, sand or leaves)

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
10 (+0)​
14 (+2)​
10 (+0)​
1 (−5)​
9 (−1)​
3 (−4)​

Skills Perception +3, Stealth +4
Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond that distance), passive Perception 13
Languages
Challenge 1/8 (25 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Eyeless. A schizomid is unaffected by effects that require sight.

Actions

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d8) bludgeoning damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 10). The schizomid can grapple only one target at a time.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit (with Advantage if target grappled), reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) piercing damage.

Blinding Spray (Recharge 6). The schizomid shoots an acetic fluid from glands near its tail; any creature in a 20-foot line that is 5 feet wide must make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw, failure results in blindness for 1d6 rounds or until the target washes away the fluid.

Description
Also called short-tailed whip scorpions, schizomids are arachnids that resembles a cross between a scorpion and a spider. They have relatively soft bodies like a spider. Giant schizomids rarely grow more than 3 feet long and live in humid and lightless areas of jungles, forests and the underdark. They have eight legs and a pair of short but powerful pincers. A schizomid can spray a vinegar-stinking liquid from its abdomen; this can be aimed at opponents in front of it.

Schizomids are eyeless and hunt prey by scent and vibration. When they encounter another creature, they usually feel them with their forelegs to determine if it's a threat or a meal. They are sometimes eaten by larger carnivorous arachnids, such as giant amblypygids.

(Schizomids first appeared as Giant Pedipalps (Schizomida) 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
Made a DnDbeyond entry for amblypygid here for completeness

Okay...here's a little critter.....original one just had a single bite attack which was at odds with the description...

Schizomid, Giant
Small beast, unaligned

Looks like we cross-posted!

My initial version had a multiattack forelegs/claws/bite but I decided that was overly complicated:

Multiattack. The schizomid makes a forelegs attack and a claws attack against the same target. If the forelegs attack hit, it gains Advantage on the claws attack.

Forelegs. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: no damage, but it gains Advantage on melee attack against the target until the end of the round.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d8) bludgeoning damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 10). The schizomid can grapple only one target at a time.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit (with Advantage if target grappled), reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d4 + 2) piercing damage.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Made a DnDbeyond entry for amblypygid here for completeness

Okay...here's a little critter.....original one just had a single bite attack which was at odds with the description...

schizomid-png.148696


Interesting, so you went for a more harmless version than I did.

They're more analagous to uropygids than amblypygids, so I used the "Giant Vinegaroon" as a model.

Dang it, I forgot the Perception from my version. Updating the Giant Schizomid.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
I lowered the AC to 11 as they were described as soft-bodied. Also based on the other thing you liked with them firing at targets a considerable distance away, went with that as a different model to uropygid. Makes them good missile attackers. Diversity and all that. Maybe used by drow or duergar....
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I lowered the AC to 11

I interpreted "soft-bodied" as meaning "they don't get a natural armour bonus" like, well, most humanoids.

They've got chitinous exoskeletons, so presumably their skin is tougher than a human as it has to support their weight and anchor their muscles.

Armor Class 11 would require a negative Armour Penalty. They'd get AC 12 from their +2 Dexterity bonus alone.
 


Casimir Liber

Adventurer
I interpreted "soft-bodied" as meaning "they don't get a natural armour bonus" like, well, most humanoids.

They've got chitinous exoskeletons, so presumably their skin is tougher than a human as it has to support their weight and anchor their muscles.

Armor Class 11 would require a negative Armour Penalty. They'd get AC 12 from their +2 Dexterity bonus alone.
good point - agree on 12. Okay do you like the idea of an accurate missile then for the spray...also good as they are weak in H2H combat
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Uropygid, Giant (Mastigoproctus)
Large beast, unaligned
Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 52 (7d10 + 14)
Speed 30 ft., burrow 20 ft. (only loose strata such as earth, sand or leaves)

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

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

Actions

Multiattack. The mastigoproctus makes three attacks: two with its claws and one with its bite. If it hits the same target with both claws it gains Advantage on the bite attack.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 13). The mastigoproctus has two claws, each of which can grapple only one target.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit (with Advantage if target already grappled), reach 5 ft., one target. Hit 10 (2d6 + 3) piercing damage.

Acetic Spray (Recharge 5-6). The mastigoproctus shoots an acrid irritant fluid from glands near its tail; the spray can cover either a 20-foot cone or a 60-foot line that is 5 feet wide; each creature sprayed must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw, failure results in blindness for 1d6 rounds or until the target washes away the fluid.

Description
Uropygids are Thelyphonida, commonly called long-tailed whip scorpions or vinegaroons. Mastigoproctus is a particularly large genus of uropygid, and the giant version has a body about 12 feet long. Like other giant uropygids, it is a nocturnal scorpion-like arachnid found in damp and dark places such as jungles, forests and the underdark. An uropygid's tail and front legs are long and whip-like, it uses all three like antennae to feel about itself. Mastigoproctus have strong scorpion-like claws augmented with spikes for piercing prey.

Uropygids are named "vinegaroons" from the vinegar stink of a defensive liquid they squirt at enemies. The uropygid can spray this fluid in any direction it can bend its abdomen's tip, including in front of itself. A giant mastigoproctid is unaffected by this fluid and is highly resistant to all other forms of acid and poison.

Giant uropygids lair in burrows dug in earth or soft rock. Females seal themselves inside a hollow while nursing a clutch of 5d6+10 eggs, then carry their newborn hatchlings about on their backs.

Drow elves often keep giant mastigoproctids as guardians and hunting beasts. The dark elves have bred and magically tinkered with these "pets" for millenia and may be responsible for their resistance to venom and corrosives.

(Uropygids first appeared as Giant Pedipalps (Uropygi) 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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Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Heh, the ultimate critter - BTW hp should 45 not 39. Am thinking if different from baseline giant uropygid, I think a little more differnt would be good, so at least one more HD to make a bit more of a gap stat-wise - so 7d10 + 14 (52hp)?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Heh, the ultimate critter - BTW hp should 45 not 39. Am thinking if different from baseline giant uropygid, I think a little more differnt would be good, so at least one more HD to make a bit more of a gap stat-wise - so 7d10 + 14 (52hp)?

Dang it, how did that happen. I remember mentally calculating "33 plus 12 is 45" but somehow it came out "33 plus 6," but that's easy enough to fix.

I did wonder about tweaking it up a bit, but mused about increasing the Strength Bonus by another +1 rather than adding another Hit Dice.

However, the original monster had one less Hit Dice than an AD&D Giant Scorpion and 1 point better AC (AC 2 and 4+4 vs AC 3 and 5+5), so going for 6d10 and AC 15 for this version seemed appropriate.

The current Working Draft has attack damage equal to a Giant Scorpion (+4 to hit, 1d10+2d8+6 damage) except for the poison, but the vinegar-spray isn't useless and has the advantage of potentially affecting multiple enemies.

I did wonder about giving the spray a reduced effect on a save - maybe 1d6 rounds of blindness on a failure, 1 round of blindness on a success?

Even as-is I'm wondering whether it should be Challenge 3 like a 5E Giant Scorpion rather than its current Challenge 2.

It reads a bit nastier than an Ankheg, which is Challenge 2, but is it a whole CR nastier?

If I gave it an extra Hit Dice and bumped the Strength Bonus up by one (or just increased the base bite damage to 2d6?) I think it'd definitely be Challenge 3.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
I think challenge 3 is a really good idea, however which way you wanna get there. As I said, is mainly about making it different enough to the vanilla uropygid to make it worthwhile :)
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I think challenge 3 is a really good idea, however which way you wanna get there. As I said, is mainly about making it different enough to the vanilla uropygid to make it worthwhile :)

Hmm… I don't know, it's basically just a 50% bigger version of a regular Giant Uropygid so needn't do anything different.

I'm tempted to keep it Challenge 2 too, since the original AD&D version was worth 170+ XP in 1E, which is much less than a Giant Scorpion.

They did become 650 XP in 2E though, the same as a Giant Scorpion.

The 2E version was the one that was immune to corrosives and had "often used by drow … as household guardians, pets, and as the equivalent of hunting dogs."

Heck, let's make them Challenge 3!

I'll increase the HD and Strength bonus by one, add resistance to acid and immunity to the poisoned condition, and append some mention of Drow to in description (maybe they tinkered with them magically/genetically?).

That's enough to merit Challenge Ranking boost.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
That's enough to merit Challenge Ranking boost.

Done!

Okay do you like the idea of an accurate missile then for the spray...also good as they are weak in H2H combat

Getting back to the Schizomid, I think they're supposed to be weak scrub monsters. Giving it a 120 foot range is more than I'd care for.

That was the maximum distance I was tempted to give the ginormous Mastigoproctus (going by the 80 cm maximum range quoted for the spray I stumbled upon online and the 85mm maximum body length of a uropygid), but ended up halving it.

Schizomids are tiny animals - rarely more than 5mm long in real life. 120 feet would be thirty to sixty times the giant schizomid 2 to 4-foot body length.

There's a few other problems:

Firstly, short-tailed whip scorpions are eyeless and the giant version wouldn't be able to see anything outside the 60 ft. range of its blindsight. How would it be able to target something 120 feet away?

Secondly, if it's a missile attack, it should have some effect if it hits. The Dex save would probably reduce the duration rather than cancel it. It should also stick closer to standard ranged attack formatting.

i.e. rather than:

Vinegaroon Spray (Recharge 4-6). Missile Attack: +4 to hit. The schizomid shoots a missile of irritant acidic liquid from glands near its tail at a single target up to 120 ft away; if struck, the target must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw, failure results in Disadvantage on all actions for 1d6 rounds or until target is doused in water.

I'd suggest something like:

Acetic Squirt (Recharge 4-6). Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: the target must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw, failure results in blindness for 1d6 rounds, on a success the target is blinded for 1 round.

After musing it over, I decided to tweak my Giant Schizomid's Blinding Spray by giving it a Recharge of 6 instead of 5-6 and making it a line instead of a cone.

The previous version was:

Blinding Spray (Recharge 5-6). The schizomid shoots an acetic fluid from glands near its tail; any creature in a 10-foot cone must make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw, failure results in blindness for 1d6 rounds or until the target washes away the fluid.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Acetic Squirt (Recharge 4-6). Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: the target must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw, failure results in blindness for 1d6 rounds, on a success the target is blinded for 1 round.

Here's an idea.

If you fancy a small pedipalp which is a somewhat effective ranged combatant, how about if it's the result of magical breeding experiments by the drow?

The critter can be a uropygid or uropygid/schizomid hybrid that is able to detect targets at its 120 foot spray range because it's got eyes or super-long-range blindsight.

Hmm, I prefer eyes with darkvision 120 ft. like a Drow Elf.

Then it can actually do acid damage with its spray and we can give it resistance or immunity to acid to follow the 2E giant pedipalps!

Acid Squirt (Recharge 4-6). Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 2d6 acid damage and the target must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw, failure results in blindness for 1d6 rounds, on a success the target is blinded for 1 round and takes half damage.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
I like this idea - ok - will leave the schizomid something like yours

then - flyweight uropygid (specially trained by drow) as small accurate shooters (not thrilled at hybrids...we can just make 'em a smaller uropygid, which then explains why they got ok vision)

also - gotcha wee beastie on dndbeyond now here
 
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Cleon

Adventurer
I like this idea - ok - will leave the schizomid something like yours

then - flyweight uropygid (specially trained by drow) as small accurate shooters (not thrilled at hybrids...we can just make 'em a smaller uropygid, which then explains why they got ok vision)

I prefer the idea of them being some kind of chimera. Basically looks like a Schizomid, but has eyes like a jumping spider so it can clearly see its target.

Uropygids have pretty crummy eyesight, much like scorpions or solifugids. Not enough to be accurate shooters.

Think I'll have it spider-climb like your version of the Schizomid too.

Might stat one up this evening or tomorrow, depending on how many Christmas distractions/inebriants I have.

Wouldn't use "Flyweight" as it isn't its size that's the distinguishing feature. Presumably there are non-acidic giant uropygids/schizomids of the same size.

Maybe call it an "Acid-Shooting Uropygid" or an "Acid Archer Pedipalp"? Hmm, I like the latter as D&D has long had an acid arrow spell.
 


Casimir Liber

Adventurer
(a) I like "Acid archer pedipalp" - go for it. I will see what you come up with and opine
(b) I pinged you for my "mini-me" demogorgon tiny avatar...otherwise known as psychotic sh*t-monkey, in the homebrew section (not sure where else to put it)
(c) am also filling out a section of a dungeon with troglodytes, and realised the 3 HD guard, 4HD leader and 6 HD chieftain (that are in 1e and 2e) are not in 5e. Given reptiles grow steadily with age, thought it prudent to create (I was going to anyway) for here. Worth posting?
(d) am guessing just a bit of breathing and mulling-over space is what's needed before working on descriptions of pine kindred, nandie-bear, and gu'en deeko....
 

Cleon

Adventurer
(a) I like "Acid archer pedipalp" - go for it. I will see what you come up with and opine

Will do. Eventually.

I'm feeling like taking things easy for the rest of the evening, so you're unlikely to see it today.

(b) I pinged you for my "mini-me" demogorgon tiny avatar...otherwise known as psychotic sh*t-monkey, in the homebrew section (not sure where else to put it)

Didn't get any Pings from this end, but have just replied to the thread.

(c) am also filling out a section of a dungeon with troglodytes, and realised the 3 HD guard, 4HD leader and 6 HD chieftain (that are in 1e and 2e) are not in 5e. Given reptiles grow steadily with age, thought it prudent to create (I was going to anyway) for here. Worth posting?

Aren't there any official stats for higher-ranking 5E trogs anywhere online? Or failing already published SRD stats. It seems prudent to check before going to the trouble of reinventing the wheel…

…no, don't seem to be able to find anything official.

Might as well post them if you're doing the work anyway.

If it were me I'd basically reskin a Bugbear and leave it at that. 5E encounters tend to be with relatively small numbers of opponents so three different grades of Trog Commanders seems a bit excessive.

(d) am guessing just a bit of breathing and mulling-over space is what's needed before working on descriptions of pine kindred, nandie-bear, and gu'en deeko....

I was thinking we'll be doing the Nandie-Bear next on the White Dwarf thread.

Started on a Pine Kindred Thane description but kept on getting distracted, but it shouldn't take long to finish once I pay attention to it…

…squirrel!​
 

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