Converting First Edition Monsters

Cleon

Legend
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.
 

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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

Legend
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

Legend
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

Legend
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

Legend
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

Legend
(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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