Converting First Edition Monsters

Cleon

Adventurer
fair points all. ....grave domain?

An NPC cleric doesn't need to have a full set of domain abilities, remember. We could just give it clerical Spellcasting. If it's Challenge 3, it's likely to be a decent spellcaster, maybe 6th level or so?

We could add on one or two Special Traits that feel appropriate for a Trog shaman if we feel like it, but it's not a necessity.

As for which domains to use as inspiration, isn't Grave more to do with necromancy than reptiles and caves? It doesn't seem terribly appropriate. Besides, is it SRD?
 

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Casimir Liber

Adventurer
An NPC cleric doesn't need to have a full set of domain abilities, remember. We could just give it clerical Spellcasting. If it's Challenge 3, it's likely to be a decent spellcaster, maybe 6th level or so?

We could add on one or two Special Traits that feel appropriate for a Trog shaman if we feel like it, but it's not a necessity.

As for which domains to use as inspiration, isn't Grave more to do with necromancy than reptiles and caves? It doesn't seem terribly appropriate. Besides, is it SRD?
The range of domains is pretty slim in 5e - and nothing I see seems to fit well (Grave not listed in srd page so I guess not). Ok can just roll with some spells.
 


Cleon

Adventurer
aawww, what you got against Demogorgon? :giggle:

Nothing, apart from that he's a fiend bent on the ruination of life and the multiverse. :devil:

However, if you're referring to a certain bicephalic Homebrew of yours (🐵🙊) I was waiting to hear whether (a) it was Completed and (b) whether you wanted it on the Index or not.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Nothing, apart from that he's a fiend bent on the ruination of life and the multiverse. :devil:

However, if you're referring to a certain bicephalic Homebrew of yours (🐵🙊) I was waiting to hear whether (a) it was Completed and (b) whether you wanted it on the Index or not.
yes to both - pending any glaring errors I'd missed that you can see...
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Now, speaking of first edition monsters. Been musing on basilisk variants since watching (and greatly enjoying) the witcher. Found the idea of bird-reptile hybrid being essentially a velociraptor a brilliant idea - only issue is that basilisks have been steadfastly crawling cold-blooded reptilian things in all five editions. The two-step petrification makes them less instakill in 5e but un-petrifying is still a massive pain in the neck for players to fix.

In my campaign, there is a naturally porous region where (in ancient times) an unhealthy influx of shadowfell and elemental plan of earth warped some reptiles to make basilisks and swavain basilisks, chickens to make cockatrices, constrictor snakes to make boalisks (which were in 1e but I can't find them in 2e monstrous compendium...so wanna buff for here)

The Witcher's agile jumping basilisks strike me as possible dracolisks - we could have black dracolisks (from the canon - hybrid of black dragon and basilisk) and more powerful white dracolisks (the big critter at end) - we can say it was more powerful as...larger stock? unexpected hybrid vigour?) - they have small wings and can use to leap but not really fly for any period. (Alternately we can describe then as transformed velociraptors - "Raptorlisks"?

In lore, area around basilisk lair gets icky - so can do Greater Basilisk with Lair Actions - also in keeping with cold-blooded critters getting larger with age.......

I can see pyrolisks and abyssal basilisks in Open Source, which is great.

Reason I am prioritising these is all have a niche in my campaign....and witcher was really really cool
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Now, speaking of first edition monsters. Been musing on basilisk variants since watching (and greatly enjoying) the witcher. Found the idea of bird-reptile hybrid being essentially a velociraptor a brilliant idea - only issue is that basilisks have been steadfastly crawling cold-blooded reptilian things in all five editions. The two-step petrification makes them less instakill in 5e but un-petrifying is still a massive pain in the neck for players to fix.

In my campaign, there is a naturally porous region where (in ancient times) an unhealthy influx of shadowfell and elemental plan of earth warped some reptiles to make basilisks and swavain basilisks, chickens to make cockatrices, constrictor snakes to make boalisks (which were in 1e but I can't find them in 2e monstrous compendium...so wanna buff for here)

The Witcher's agile jumping basilisks strike me as possible dracolisks - we could have black dracolisks (from the canon - hybrid of black dragon and basilisk) and more powerful white dracolisks (the big critter at end) - we can say it was more powerful as...larger stock? unexpected hybrid vigour?) - they have small wings and can use to leap but not really fly for any period. (Alternately we can describe then as transformed velociraptors - "Raptorlisks"?

In lore, area around basilisk lair gets icky - so can do Greater Basilisk with Lair Actions - also in keeping with cold-blooded critters getting larger with age.......

I can see pyrolisks and abyssal basilisks in Open Source, which is great.

Reason I am prioritising these is all have a niche in my campaign....and witcher was really really cool

If you want to create more Basilisks, that seems more a job for Homebrews than General Monster Talk.

An agile jumping basilisk variant strikes me as a type of cockatrice rather than a true basilisk, formed from some predatory avian or other. Maybe something like a Helmeted Hornbill?

Incidentally, Pyrolisks are cockatrices not basilisks despite the "lisk" in their name.
 



Cleon

Adventurer
Stench. Any creature other than a troglodyte that starts its turn within 5 feet of the troglodyte must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the start of the creature's next turn. On a successful saving throw, the creature is immune to the stench of all troglodytes for 1 hour.
Stench. Any creature other than a troglodyte that starts its turn within 5 feet of the troglodyte must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the start of the creature's next turn. On a successful saving throw, the creature is immune to the stench of all troglodytes for 1 hour.
Stench. Any creature other than a troglodyte that starts its turn within 5 feet of the troglodyte must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the start of the creature's next turn. On a successful saving throw, the creature is immune to the stench of all troglodytes for 1 hour.

Okay, let's update these stinkers!

I've added the following Stink Attacks to the Actions of the Guard, Warchief and Chieftain and reset their Stench to DC 12 to match the regular troglodytes. That way the "On a successful saving throw, the creature is immune to the stench of all troglodytes for 1 hour" makes sense, since Stinking is a different attack.

Was thinking about making Stink a bonus action but decided on free action, since stinking up the place is the troglodyte equivalent of shouting.

Alarm Stink. A troglodyte guard can release a powerful stench as a free action. Any creature other than a troglodyte that starts its turn within 20 feet of the guard must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a successful saving throw, the creature is immune to the stink attacks of all troglodytes with the same or fewer Hit Dice than the troglodyte guard.

The alarm stink alerts any nearby troglodytes and can convey one simple word's worth of information (such as "intruders!", "food!" or "DRAGON!!"). In still air other troglodytes can smell it from 80 feet away, but wind currents can increase or decrease this distance.

War Stink. A troglodyte warchief can release a horrendous stench as a free action. Any creature other than a troglodyte that starts its turn within 40 feet of the warchief must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a successful saving throw, the creature is immune to the stink attacks of all troglodytes with the same or fewer Hit Dice than the troglodyte warchief.

The war stink alerts any nearby troglodytes and can convey one or two words worth of information, including names of individual troglodytes or warbands (such as "orc intruders!", "Blackclaws outflank!", "run!" or "set ambush!"). In still air other troglodytes can smell it from 120 feet away, but wind currents can increase or decrease this distance.

Command Stink. A troglodyte chieftain can release an indescribable stench as a free action. Any creature other than a troglodyte that starts its turn within 60 feet of the chieftain must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a successful saving throw, the creature is immune to the stink attacks of all troglodytes with the same or fewer Hit Dice than the troglodyte chieftain.

The command stink alerts any nearby troglodytes and can convey up to five words of information (such as "Blackclaws outflank; Rottentails throw darts!", "Warchief Smoothnose, withdraw to ambush!"). In still air other troglodytes can smell it from 150 feet away, but wind currents can increase or decrease this distance.
 
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Cleon

Adventurer
Troglodyte Shaman
Medium humanoid (troglodyte), chaotic evil
Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 60 (8d8 + 24)
Speed 30 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
15 (+2)​
14 (+2)​
16 (+3)​
11 (+0)​
14 (+2)​
13 (+1)​

Saving Throws Intelligence +2, Wisdom +4
Skills Intimidation +3, Nature +2, Perception +4, Stealth +4
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Troglodyte
Challenge 3 (700 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Chameleon Skin. The troglodyte has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide.

Stench. Any creature other than a troglodyte that starts its turn within 5 feet of the troglodyte must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the start of the creature's next turn. On a successful saving throw, the creature is immune to the stench of all troglodytes for 1 hour.

Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the troglodyte has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.

Innate Spellcasting. The troglodyte shaman's innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 12). The shaman can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components.
  • 3/day poison spray, speak with animals (reptiles only)
Spellcasting. The troglodyte shaman is a 6th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 12, +4 to hit with spell attacks). It has the following spells prepared.
  • Cantrips (at will): guidance, resistance, thaumaturgy
  • 1st level (4 slots): cure wounds, detect poison and disease, inflict wounds
  • 2nd level (3 slots): barkskin, hold person
  • 3rd level (3 slots): conjure animals (reptiles only; e.g. 1 allosaurus or 8 giant lizards), spirit guardians, stinking cloud
Actions

Multiattack. The troglodyte shaman can attack two times with a quarterstaff or it can make three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) slashing damage.

Quarterstaff. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage, or 8 (1d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage if used with two hands.

Sublime Stink. A troglodyte shaman can release an unholy stench as a free action. Any creature other than a troglodyte that starts its turn within 20 feet of the shaman must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a successful saving throw, the creature gains temporary immunity to the stink attacks of all troglodytes with the same or fewer Hit Dice than the troglodyte shaman. This immunity lasts until 1 hour after the encounter ends.

The sublime stink alerts any nearby troglodytes and can convey up to six words of information, including names and abstractions that are relatively complex for a troglodyte (such as "Muster in shrine while enemy distracted!"). In still air other troglodytes can smell it from 120 feet away, but wind currents can increase or decrease this distance.

Description
A troglodyte shaman is only slightly larger than a regular troglodyte but its canniness and divine spellcasting abilities make it far more dangerous. Troglodytes typically worship Laogzed, lizard god of the troglodytes, but may offer devotion to other evil gods and demonic deities.

Some small troglodyte tribes lack shamans, but most large ones do. The tribe is usually officially led by a warrior troglodyte such as a warchief or chieftain, but if the leader is weak they may be a mere figurehead for the shaman. It is surprisingly rare for a shaman to be a tribe's official ruler.

A troglodyte shaman sometimes has some physical peculiarity, such as albinism, different colored eyes, or an exceptionally slimy skin which the superstitious troglodytes interpret as a sign of Laogzed's favor.
 
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Cleon

Adventurer
Cantrips (at will): one, two, three, domain
1st level (4 slots): ???
2nd level (3 slots): ???
3rd level (3 slots): ???
[eight spells plus two "domain spells" per spell level and possibly a "domain cantrip"]

So we've basically just got some spells and flavour text to figure out.

For the "domain spells", how about

Cantrips (at will): poison spray
1st level (4 slots): longstrider, speak with animals (reptiles only)
2nd level (3 slots): barkskin, spider climb
3rd level (3 slots): conjure animals (reptiles only), stinking cloud

Those all seem to be appropriate for Laogzed.
 


Casimir Liber

Adventurer
The stinks are a great idea - reallly add flavour to the monster without straying from canon. nice simple combat team-modifiers that can make for some creative DMing. A+ from me. CON rating amendments above sound reasonable too.

Spell list is good - comes over as appropriately "shamanic". I was thinking they should have something more divinatory as well but no options are jumping out and "speak with animals" sort of fulfils that role. Maybe the cantrip "guidance"....but then again they're pretty chaotic creatures.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
If you want to create more Basilisks, that seems more a job for Homebrews than General Monster Talk.

An agile jumping basilisk variant strikes me as a type of cockatrice rather than a true basilisk, formed from some predatory avian or other. Maybe something like a Helmeted Hornbill?

Incidentally, Pyrolisks are cockatrices not basilisks despite the "lisk" in their name.
True points - yet medieval folklore has cockatrices and basilisks closely related if not syonymous..so their main difference is the name of the former not ending in "-lisk". "Greater basilisk" and "boalisk" are def preexisting so would create here. More I think about it, "raptorlisk" is a cool version and agree is a homebrew critter....
 

Cleon

Adventurer
The stinks are a great idea - reallly add flavour to the monster without straying from canon. nice simple combat team-modifiers that can make for some creative DMing. A+ from me. CON rating amendments above sound reasonable too.

Will tweak the Chieftain to CON 18 then.

I'm seriously tempted to make a couple of the stats odd, there's just something about all even ability scores that feels iffy. Maybe STR 19, CHA 13 instead of STR 18, CHA 12?

Or just STR 19? Mused about INT 9 instead of INT 8 but there seemed no need to make the boss slightly smarter than the warboss, since troglodyte boss status is all about how big and powerful they look. Smarts is the shaman's department!

Spell list is good - comes over as appropriately "shamanic". I was thinking they should have something more divinatory as well but no options are jumping out and "speak with animals" sort of fulfils that role. Maybe the cantrip "guidance"....but then again they're pretty chaotic creatures.

It's still got three cantrips and eight spells from the cleric list from its spellcasting levels and Wisdom modifier remember, one of those cantrips could be guidance.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
True points - yet medieval folklore has cockatrices and basilisks closely related if not syonymous..so their main difference is the name of the former not ending in "-lisk". "Greater basilisk" and "boalisk" are def preexisting so would create here. More I think about it, "raptorlisk" is a cool version and agree is a homebrew critter....

Don't care much for "raptorlisk," mostly because raptor has been overused for birds of prey and dinosaurs it's a bit of a cliché. Also, the word literally means means "robber" in the sense of someone who seizes something by force. Birds of prey are called raptors because they seized their prey with their talons.

Also, you're putting a Greek ending (-isk) on a Latin word (raptor) which I suspect shouldn't have an -l- in the middle based on my rudimentary knowledge of classical languages.

Basilisk literally means "little king", and the l comes from the "king" part (basileús) with a diminutive ending (-ískos) to make basilískos.

So rather than raptorlisk something like raptorisk or raptoriskus might be more classical/medieval sounding. Plus, it'd means "little robber" which might not be what you're aiming for.

Let's think, you could always combine the king-part and the robber-part to make Basiliraptor (Robber King).

Or slap -raptor on the end of some Latin words for a bird of prey:

Aquilaraptor (Eagle Robber)
Buboraptor (Owl Robber)[an Eagle Owl]
Falcoraptor (Falcon Robber)
Strigiraptor or Strixiraptor (Owl Raptor)[a Night Owl]

I don't know whether any of those are decent Latin, but it's no worse than a lot of the pseudo-classical names in D&D.

Of those, my favourite is the Strigiraptor as the true owl family Strigidae is named after the Strix, a mythical bloodsucking nocturnal bird that became a weird insect thing in D&D.
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Will tweak the Chieftain to CON 18 then.

I'm seriously tempted to make a couple of the stats odd, there's just something about all even ability scores that feels iffy. Maybe STR 19, CHA 13 instead of STR 18, CHA 12?

Or just STR 19? Mused about INT 9 instead of INT 8 but there seemed no need to make the boss slightly smarter than the warboss, since troglodyte boss status is all about how big and powerful they look. Smarts is the shaman's department!



It's still got three cantrips and eight spells from the cleric list from its spellcasting levels and Wisdom modifier remember, one of those cantrips could be guidance.
ok - I think adding guidance is good (can throw in resistance to make 3 cantrips then too). making some ability stats odd numbers is valid so go for it. Will add to dndbeyond once yr happy with it
 


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