Converting First Edition Monsters

Cleon

Legend
So you're happy with them now? (am going to sleep here as after midnight and I need to be up before 7am)

I decided to make all the stinks last "until 1 hour after the encounter ends" for the sake of consistency and to match the hour's duration of a standard troglodyte's stench.

Also, if a save-immunity to a chief & shaman only lasted 10 minutes that would also apply to "all troglodytes with the same or fewer Hit Dice" than the chief or shaman, which wouldn't make much sense. You'd think a creature that gained save-immunity to the indescribable stench of a chieftain's Command Stink would be immune to a regular troglodyte's Stench for at least as long as a creature that saved against a troglodyte guard's Alarm Stink is immune to regular trog Stench.

Hmm, I think I'm content with them now and will declare them complete.

They Are Complete!
 

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Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Corrected perception bonus of warchief, now here

Tried to buff description of boalisk
 

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Cleon

Legend
Tried to buff description of boalisk

boalisk2-png.149516


I'll have to mull this one over but let's go through the basic stats for now.

The obvious 5E monsters to use as models are the Basilisk, Constrictor Snake and Giant Constrictor Snake.

Not sure about the Huge size. An AD&D boalisk is Large (25′) so is a tad bigger than a normal constrictor snake's Medium (10′-20′ long) but short of an AD&D giant constrictor snake's Large (30′+ long).

I'd make it a Large monstrosity.

The AD&D Boalisk has the same Armour Class as a giant constrictor snake, AC 5, which is one point worse than a AD&D Basilisk's AC 4 and one better than a constrictor snake's AC 6. That suggests AC 13 or 14 to me, not the 15 you've given it.

The AD&D original's Hit Dice of 5d8+1 was partway between a basilisk or giant constrictor (both 6d8+1) and a regular constrictor snake (3d8+1), so 6 Hit Dice is fine.

The CON 16 seems too high, but I'll discuss that below.

Speedwise, a Boalisk is fast for a snake, with an AD&D Move 12 like a human. That's quicker than an AD&D constrictor or giant constrictor's 9 or a boalisk's 6.

So the same Speed 30 ft. as a Giant Constrictor? It seems appropriate to give it a Swim speed like a constrictor, since its bauplan is that of a snake.

Now for the stats!

Since it's somewhat smaller than a Giant Constrictor I was tempted to reduce the STR to 16 or 17 so it has the same +3 modifier as a basilisk but upon reflection a +4 Strength modifier is fine since Basilisks are really quite strong - the AD&D version could bite for 1d10 damage, which is more than the 2d4 damage of a giant constrictor snake in that edition. Would likely have the bite and constrict attacks have lower dice damage than a Giant Constrictor when we get around to that section.

Constrictor snakes (giant & regular) have DEX 14 in 5E and Basilisks have DEX 8, so making this hybrid more dextrous than either seems a bit odd. I'd go for somewhere in the range DEX 10 to DEX 14 depending on how snakelike you want its reflexes.

CON 16 also seems too high. In 5E a Basilisk has CON 15, and both a Constrictor Snake and Giant Constrictor Snake CON 12. So I'm thinking CON 14.

You've given it all a basilisk's Mental Stats, which I guess is fine, although I'd be tempted to give it INT 1 like its snake half so it's marginally dimmer than a true Basilisk.

I think that'll do for now.

Should I start a "Enworld Working Draft" for it?
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
...Should I start a "Enworld Working Draft" for it?
Yes please - have gone with 19/12/14/2/8/7 as attributes and pretty much adopted all suggestions. I was pulling figures out of the air for it to begin with. In sum, I have a large area which has a swiss-cheese like holeyness with other planes, so in this world, basilisks and their ilk came into being in a three-way interaction between material, earth and shadowfell planes. Also my players really loved hunting for magic item ingredients so in process of making a toxic basilisk-infested mini-region. Hence my interest in these critters (as well as watching Witcher). Might also do Chthon from that One-Eye Canyon WD issue as well as I think it could be a fun critter to DM and I can't immediately think of an analogue in existing monsters.
 

Cleon

Legend
Okay. I'll start a Working Draft.

Have stuff to do today so might not post much more today.

Oh, the current rough draft is miscredited - the Boalisk debuted in Monster Manual II (1983) not Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (1982).
 

Cleon

Legend
Boalisk
Large monstrosity, unaligned
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 45 (6d10 + 12)
Speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
19 (+4)​
12 (+1)​
14 (+2)​
1 (−5)​
8 (−1)​
7 (−2)​

Skills Perception +1
Senses blindsight 10 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages
Challenge 3 (700 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Brille. A boalisk has immunity to attacks that require eye contact or direct line of sight, such as some gaze attacks (e.g. the petrifying gaze of a basilisk or medusa). The brille also protect the boalisk's eyes from dust and other irritants.

Rotting Gaze. If a creature other than a boalisk or snake starts its turn within 30 feet of the boalisk and the two of them can see each other, the boalisk can force the creature to make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw if the boailisk isn't incapacitated. On a failed save, the creature takes 10 (3d6) necrotic damage and contracts a magical rotting curse.
 The cursed target can't regain hit points, and its hit point maximum decreases by 10 (3d6) for every 24 hours that elapse. If the curse reduces the target's hit point maximum to 0, the target dies, and its body turns to dust. The curse lasts until removed by the remove curse spell or other magic.
 A creature that isn't surprised can avert its eyes to avoid the saving throw at the start of its turn. If it does so, it can't see the boalisk until the start of its next turn, when it can avert its eyes again. If it looks at the boalisk in the meantime, it must immediately make the save.

Actions

Multiattack. The boalisk makes two attacks: one constrict attack and one attack with its bite or glare.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) piercing damage and the target must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, taking 5 (2d4) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Constrict. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 16). Until this grapple ends, the creature is restrained, and the boalisk can’t constrict another target.

Glare. The boalisk targets one creature it can see within 30 feet of it with its Rotting Gaze (see above). If the target can see the boalisk, it takes 10 (3d6) necrotic damage and contracts the rotting curse. If the target succeeds on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw it takes half damage and is not cursed. Targets that averted their eyes from the Rotting Gaze gain advantage on the saving throw.


Description
A boalisk is a serpentine monster almost indistinguishable from a large constrictor snake apart from its possession of a deadly gaze attack. These creatures are about 25 feet long and live in any tropical habitat that will support a constrictor snake of its size, such as a jungle, swamp or savannah.
Deadly Eyes. A boalisk has a gaze attack rivaling the lethality of their near-namesake the basilisk. Rather than petrification, victims of its eyes slowly decompose until they're nothing but dry dust. This supernatural curse has symptoms indistinguishable from the deadly touch of an undead mummy. A boalisk cannot digest flesh that's rotting away to dust, so uses fangs and coils to catch food like a regular python. Its gaze attack is reserved for enemies; the boalisk can activate and deactivate its eyes at will.
 Unlike basilisks, boalisks cannot be harmed by reflecting their gaze with a mirror. A boalisk's eyes are covered by transparent scales that protect them from many attacks that affect the eyes. Called brille, these membranes are actually permanently fused clear eyelids, so a boalisk has its eyes closed but can still see. These organs are valued by wizards and alchemists as they can be enchanted into eye cusps that provide similar protection to their wearer. Ordinary snakes also possess brille and are immune to a boalisk's gaze attack.
Social Serpents. A curious trait of boalisks is they sometimes congregate with their fellow serpents, either other boalisks, normal or giant constrictor snakes, or a combination of animals. Such groups are still very small, containing no more than three boalisks and a similar number of constrictor snakes. A single boalisk accompanied by one or two normal constrictor snakes is far more common. Some scholars theorize that the "normal constrictor snakes" are actually juvenile boalisks and these monsters don't acquire their deadly gaze until adulthood, so the young might travel with their elders for protection. Other sages claim boalisks have deadly gazes from the time they hatch, like their relative the basilisk, and any attendant snakes are ordinary reptiles such as pythons. Whether either theory holds any truth is unknown.

(Boalisks first appeared in Monster Manual II (1983) by Gary Gygax.)
 
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Cleon

Legend
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 9

Okay, Giant Constrictor snakes are proficient in Perception and have 10-foot blindsight, so how about giving that to the Boalisk instead of or as well as darkvision?

Skills Perception +1
Senses blindsight 10 ft., passive Perception 11
OR
Skills Perception +1
Senses blindsight 10 ft., darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: # (#d# + 4) piercing damage plus # (#d#) poison damage?

The AD&D Boalisk was not venomous, which argues for no venom on its bite. Then again, the AD&D Basilisk wasn't venomous either and the mythical creature was renowned for its poison.

So I'm fine giving it poison, but think it shouldn't be very potent. Maybe along the lines of a Poisonous Snake's "and the target must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw, taking 5 (2d4) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one"?

Also, the original's bite damage is rather unimpressive so I'm wondering about reducing the 5E conversion's base damage die.

As for the Constrict, an AD&D Boalisk does a little less damage than a Giant Constrictor so I'd reduce the size of the base damage dies to d6s.

i.e.:

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) piercing damage and the target must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, taking 5 (2d4) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Constrict. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 16). Until this grapple ends, the creature is restrained, and the snake can’t constrict another target.​
 

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