Converting First Edition Monsters

Cleon

Legend
Tactics (master): Rather than entering combat itself, a bone tyrant master prefers to direct its minions and subjugated undead in battle. When in melee, a bone tyrant master makes heavy use of its Divine Might and Power Attack feats.

Does it need anything else???

Since using Diving Might is a free action, I'd think the bone master would always use it every round it fights, as it has unlimited "rebuke undead" uses per day.

We could add something about whether they'll try to flee a fight.

How about:

A bone tyrant master would rather direct its minions and subjugated undead than enter battle itself. If combat is unavoidable, it uses its Divine Might feat every round to boost its weapon damage, since it has unlimited uses of rebuke undead. A bone tyrant master that is bound to an unholy altar is unable to retreat, so will fight until destroyed, but unbound tyrants will withdraw to preserve their existence and then marshall undead for a counter-attack.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I can go with that.

Tactics for the minions: Bone tyrant minions outside the presence of their masters act as lieutenants, directing any undead in their presence while remaining to the rear of combat. In the presence of a master, however, a bone tyrant minion stops at nothing to protect its master. ????
 

Cleon

Legend
I can go with that.

Updating the Bone Tyrant Working Draft.

Tactics for the minions: Bone tyrant minions outside the presence of their masters act as lieutenants, directing any undead in their presence while remaining to the rear of combat. In the presence of a master, however, a bone tyrant minion stops at nothing to protect its master. ????

Methinks we should mention how they use their dimension door power. Also, in The Bane of Llewelyn adventure they pretended to be ordinary (i.e. dead) skeletons while directing their undead hosts. That seems worth including.

So how about.

Bone tyrant minions prefer to stay out of melee and direct their subjugated undead from the back ranks. They sometimes "play dead" and direct their undead subjects while pretending to be a lifeless skeleton. A minion frequently uses dimension door ability to escape or outflank opponents.

Bone tyrant minions will unquestioningly follow the commands of a bone tyrant master they are bonded to, even if this would result in their destruction.
 



freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Well, we have this:
Description: Bloody bones appear as human skeletons clad in fine textured, heavy robes of a black, charcoal grey or dark brown color. The bones are a deep red from the blood that flows through them. The eye sockets are jet black, but bloody bones are quite capable of sight.

A humanoid skeleton, wrapped in dark robes of possibly religious significance. Disturbingly, the bones are dark red, rather than white.
 

Cleon

Legend
Well, we have this:

A humanoid skeleton, wrapped in dark robes of possibly religious significance. Disturbingly, the bones are dark red, rather than white.

I think we could do without the "possibly religious significance" and "disturbingly".

How about.

A humanoid skeleton dressed in dark robes made with fine, heavy cloth. Instead of being yellow-white like a normal skeleton, its bones are the gory red of arterial blood – except for the eye sockets, which are pitch-black holes.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
That'll do. I think we can use the same text for both master and minion.

Any ideas for background? About all we've got is that they're native to the 9 Hells and are often used to protect evil shrines. Probably it's worth determining what spells can summon them at what caster levels --- I don't recall figuring that out yet. Any ideas? I'd probably go with planar ally to get the master, and maybe the minions come for free? That seems like skirting the rules a bit. But even greater planar ally doesn't allow all the HD needed. Gate? Seems too high-level. Write a new spell? Too much trouble?
 

Cleon

Legend
That'll do. I think we can use the same text for both master and minion.

Updating the Bone Tyrant Working Draft.

Any ideas for background? About all we've got is that they're native to the 9 Hells and are often used to protect evil shrines. Probably it's worth determining what spells can summon them at what caster levels --- I don't recall figuring that out yet. Any ideas? I'd probably go with planar ally to get the master, and maybe the minions come for free? That seems like skirting the rules a bit. But even greater planar ally doesn't allow all the HD needed. Gate? Seems too high-level. Write a new spell? Too much trouble?

Well since their main power is rebuking undead, while on the Nine Hells I'd guess they are used as undead overseers on the Nine Hells, driving hordes of undead about various tasks at the behest of some powerful Devil.

As for how to summon them, the original adventure says "evil priests, in a spiteful act, entered it and summoned the Master Bloody Bones".

That tells us they can be summoned by (evil) clerics and it may take more than one to do so, since it uses the plural "priests".

We could use the planar ally series and allow the minions to be summoned separately - e.g. it requires a planar ally or greater planar ally for the Master and either six lesser planar ally spells, three planar ally or two greater planar ally spells for the Minions, so the pact requires a head priest to summon the master and between two and six assistant priests to summon the minions.

Hold on though. The planar ally is a Calling spell, not a Summoning, and the flavour of the original suggests it's a summoning, since the Bone Tyrants disappear when the conjuration is broken.

That suggests we either need to create a new spell or make it a specialized application of monster summoning. We could modify the Unholy Sentinel and Unhallowed Aura special abilities to allow for the binding.

It'd probably require monster summoning VI to summon a Bone Master and a monster summoning III for a Minion.

Furthermore, I think it'd be nice to let a "free roaming" bone tyrant still have an unhallowed aura, but with a reduced radius.

Incidentally, reading the original adventure there's no mention of an unholy altar, the Master Bones is simply bound where it was originally summoned. We could edit that detail out of the Unholy Sentinel description, but it just feels right.

So, how about the following modification...

A bone tyrant master can be summoned with summon monster VI, a master and up to six bone tyrant minions can be summoned with a summon monster VII.

A bone tyrant minion can be summoned with summon monster III.

Unhallowed Aura (Su): A bone tyrant master continually radiates an effect similar to the unhallow spell. When not serving as an Unholy Sentinel (see below), a bone tyrant master's Unhallowed Aura is a 40 ft. radius emanation that moves with the bone tyrant.

If a bone tyrant master agrees to serve as an Unholy Sentinel , its Unhallowed Aura is centered on the unhallow spell used in the Unholy Sentinel pact. The unhallowed ground can have any shape as long as it is continuous and at least as large as the unhallow spell at its heart. Its maximum size is a radius of 100 ft. plus 10 ft. per caster level of the unhallow.

All turning checks made to turn undead within the Unhallowed Aura take a profane penalty equal to half the effective cleric level of the master's Subjugate Undead ability. Remember that the master gains positive levels if any of its minions are destroyed (see Minion Dependence), which will lower its effective cleric level. For example, a typical master has a Subjugate Undead level of 11, so radiates a -5 turn check penalty. If it loses 3 minions it gains 3 positive levels, weakening its Subjugate Undead to 8th level, for -4 turn check penalty.

Note that the Unhallowed Aura's turn undead penalty does not stack with the -4 turn undead penalty of an unhallow spell, since both are profane penalties.

Nonmagical barriers do not obstruct an Unhallowed Aura. A hallow spell will block the effects of the aura, while a protection from evil or magic circle against evil spell will weaken the Aura by 2 (e.g. a -4 turn undead penalty becomes a -2 penalty).

Unholy Sentinel (Su): A summoned bone tyrant master can agree to protect an area by mystically binding itself to an unhallow effect, such as an unhallow spell or an unholy altar. In the case of an unhallow spell, this counts as the "spell effect" that can be fixed to the unhallow, so has a maximum duration of one year.

The bone tyrant master always requires payment consistent with the duration and danger of the sentinel duty. Until it completes its term of service or is released from its agreement, the master may not move outside the unhallow effect (normally a 40 ft. radius, like the spell). If the master is forced outside that range, it is instantly teleported back to a designated area adjacent to the centre of the unhallow effect, as if by a word of recall spell. The bone tyrant master and its minions can not travel to another plane until the Unholy Sentinel pact expires, so cannot be banished to their home plane by holy word and the like.

Should the unhallow effect be destroyed or broken, the bone tyrant master and all its minions are instantly banished back to the lower planes. A typical unholy altar has hardness 8, hit points 80 and Break DC 30.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I think the Unhallowed Aura and Unholy Sentinel revisions will work. But I don't like using summon monster for the summoning. The duration is way too short. I think calling honestly makes more sense for the Master anyway, since there doesn't seem to be anything in the original monster about the Masters automatically getting banished back to the Nine Hells. So I suggest some kind of planar ally for the Master, dropping that bit from Unholy Sentinel, and maybe an additional new summoning spell for the Minions. Maybe the Master automatically summons the Minions when the planar ally negotiations are concluded?
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top