Converting Greyhawk monsters

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Monster Junkie
[...] The wizard succeeded in creating a strange new creature, but his creations were not under his control and they slew him. They wander about the laboratory, breaking things and making a lot of noise.

Greymen (7): AC 5; MV 6; HD 3; hp 19, 18, 17(x2), 16(x2), 15; THAC0 18; #AT 2; Dmg 1d6/1d6 (blows); SD immune to mind-influencing spells, corrodes weapons; SZ M (6' tall); ML Elite (14); Int animal (1); AL N; XP 175.
Note: A greyman looks like a nearly dead human with shorts swords grafted where its forearms would be. Each head has a scar circling at forehead level. Their movements are jerky, as if not used to their bodies. They bleed a weak gray fluid that corrodes metal at half the rate of a gray ooze (thus chain mail corrodes in 2 rounds, plate in 4, magical armor in 2 rounds + 2 for each plus to Armor Class). A greyman has a small hole in its back above where its heart would be. They do not speak, are immune to mind-influencing spells, and are not undead (and thus cannot be turned). When a greyman is killed, it collapses and the gray ooze trapped in its body is freed to attach as a full-strength creature, taking one round to crawl from the hole in the greyman's back.

Originally appeared in Crypt of Lyzandred the Mad (1998).


Inventor of Super-Toast
Hey! These guys got ripped off for something in the PDF "Template Troves: Serpents, Spiders and Godlings". Their version was a template applied to a zombie to make it an aberration. I personally like Shade's construct idea.



I agree, it's got a lot of flavour that reminds me of a flesh golem - stitched together, scar circling the head, "nearly dead" jerky movements. Plus, it specifically says they're not undead.

So, imagine a weak flesh golem with a gray ooze for a circulatory system.

The conversion may be a bit tricky, are there regular constructs or 'living constructs' with Con scores that can heal?

Anyway, we might as well get stuck in. What do the stats tell us?

Medium Construct
Hit Dice: 3d10+20 [assuming it's not a "living construct"]

Attack: Swordarm +X melee (1d6+Y/19-20) [as a shortsword]
Full Attack: 2 swordarms +X melee (1d6+Y/19-20)
Special Attacks: Corrode weapon [those that damage it], release ooze.
Special Qualities: construct traits [already includes the immunity to mind-affecting effects described in the write up]

What about ability scores? Intelligence 1 from the description.

May be worth remembering the ability scores of the critter inside:

Gray Ooze (Medium): Str 12, Dex 1, Con 21, Int 0, Wis 1, Cha 1

I guess we could also scale down a flesh golem:

Flesh Golem (Large): Str 21, Dex 9, Con 0, Int 0, Wis 11, Cha 1
Greymen: Str 13, Dex 11, Con 0 (or more if 'living construct'), Int 1, Wis 11, Cha 1

Don't think I like those scores, Str looks a bit low, Wis a bit high. Since they're described as uncoordinated I'm tempted to give them subpar Dex. How about averaging a flesh golem and a grey ooze, that gives:

Greymen: Str 16, Dex 5, Con 0, Int 1, Wis 6, Cha 1

I think that's better. Probably want to bump up the Dex and Wis a bit say Dex to the Flesh Golem's 9, Wisdom to 8?

Greymen: Str 16, Dex 9, Con 0, Int 1, Wis 8, Cha 1

That feels like it's in the right ballpark.

What do you lot think?


Extradimensional Explorer
I dunno, even though we're going with the construct (which I like), I definitely get a zombie vibe. That would be more like Str 13. I'm ok with Dex 9, but I think Wis can be average. I don't think these are living constructs.


Inventor of Super-Toast
Not a living construct, no.

I'm okay with them being stronger than zombies. I like Cleon's stats, with the Wisdom bumped to 10-11.


Monster Junkie
Yeah, definitely not a living construct.

Added to Homebrews.

I added immunity to acid, since it contains a gray ooze constantly secreting the stuff inside it. B-)


Inventor of Super-Toast
Wait a second. Doesn't this thing have short swords for hands? Why don't they dissolve in the acid that's constantly dripping from its pores?


Monster Junkie
That is an excellent question. I'm assuming that when they become incorporated, they supernaturally become immune like the creature itself.

Odd design, eh?


Inventor of Super-Toast
And they're porous, so the acid can ooze out of the swords to do damage! Kind of fragile, though. Perhaps they break on a natural 1?


Don't much care for the acid-oozing shortswords, it's a stretch to far from the ur-text, which gives no reason to think they're not regular metal blades. I'd assumed they keep the ooze's acid inside their skin, which is why it doesn't corrode their grafted shortswords, but when an attacker causes them to bleed it corrodes the weapon.

EDIT: Upon reflection, I prefer metal shortswords that are alchemically treated to be immune to gray ooze and grayman acid. :ENDEDIT

That does raise the question as to why the description only refers to the times it takes for their blood to corrode armour. Do they spray out blood upon an attacker? I think it's just a carry-over from AD&D, 3E SRD gray ooze's can dissolve weapons immediately, but there's no mention of them affecting armour.

So, I'm in favour of the greymen doing ongoing acid damage to any metal weapon that injures them and leave it at that. You'll notice that their acid only dissolves metal, not organic items. The grayman may alter the trapped gray ooze's acids somehow so it does not dissolve its body. Maybe this effect ends when the grayman is destroyed, and the ooze eats its way out ot the construct's body?

I do agree with immunity to acid, though possibly only until the grayman is "killed".

I'd vote against intelligence for the gray ooze. Just make it a regular gray ooze, and assume the Int 1 is intrinsic to the grayman.

Oh, and since it says their acid works half as fast as a gray ooze, I'd halve the acid damage to 8 points per round instead of the 11 points in the current version of our conversion.
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I like the bone swords idea myself. Kind of Deadpool type flavor. This would solve the reason why it doesn't disolve (it's part of the creature), and doesn't have to come up with why they have magical short swords created just for them. ONe less item for the PC to have as treasure.

I'd counter that if the PCs attempt to disarm them, if the creature rolls a Natrual 1 the weapon is destroyed per the Sunder feat.

As for the Gray ooze, we can mention something that it's an offshoot of the original designed for these creatures or based upon the original design and implanted that's why it interact with the host differently.

Now that brings up a good point. Why make this a just critter and not a template? After all look at the base creature, it's a humanoid with ooze implanted in it's chest. It's base gets converted to construct, it loses some abilities here and there, but in the end it's still a human warrior with a tempalte overlay. You could tack this onto an ogre and wreck worlds.


Monster Junkie
For awhile there, we veered into Wolverine movie territory, then back into Wolverine comics. :p

I do like the bone sword idea, but I think the "alchemical treatment" process common in golem creation is probably enough to explain why the grafted swords could survive the acid damage.

Cleon said:
Oh, and since it says their acid works half as fast as a gray ooze, I'd halve the acid damage to 8 points per round instead of the 11 points in the current version of our conversion.

The "ooze standard" for acid is ongoing damage equal to the save DC of their acid, hence 11. ;) I suppose we could add a -3 racial penalty to the save to represent the "diluting" of the ooze's acid passing through the greyman, which would bring the damage down to 8.

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