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Converting monsters from Dragon magazine (Part Two)

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Shade

Monster Junkie
Let's get this one out of the way while centaurs are still fresh in our mind.

CENTAUR, SEA
FREQUENCY: Very rare
NO. APPEARING: 1-3
ARMOR CLASS: 5
MOVE: //24"
HIT DICE: 5
% IN LAIR: Nil
TREASURE TYPE: See below
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1 weapon
DAMAGE/ATTACK: By weapon type
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Spells
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Spells
MAGIC RESISTANCE: 5%
INTELLIGENCE: Average to exceptional
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic good
SIZE: L (12-15' long)
PSIONIC ABILITY: Nil
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil
LEVEL/X.P. VALUE: V/245 + 5/hp

These aquatic creatures appear to be a cross between a triton and a hippocampus. They are found in any area where either of the other two creatures might be found.

Sea centaurs usually gather in small, nomadic families, but occasionally may be found amongst a group of tritons. Tritons feel superior to the sea centaurs because of the latter's lesser abilities (e.g., lower magic resistance, lack of psionic ability, etc.); tritons sometimes use sea centaurs as mounts if the latter are agreeable.

For the most part, sea centaurs have no treasure (except for an occasional piece of jewelry), although 10% of them have acquired tritons' magic conch shells. When used by sea centaurs, these shells summon 2-8 hippocampi; they can also be used to send messages underwater within a halfmile radius.

There is a 10% chance that any sea centaur has the ability to cast spells as a 1st-4th level druid. All sea centaurs speak triton and hippocampus, and 25% of them also speak common. They say little about the deity they worship, but it is assumed to be the same one as worshiped by the tritons (i.e., Triton).

Originally appeared in Dragon Magazine #116 (1986).
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Compare to 2e standard centaur stats...

CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Temperate forest
FREQUENCY: Rare
ORGANIZATION: Tribal
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Day
DIET: Omnivorous
INTELLIGENCE: Low to average (5-10)
TREASURE: M, Q (D, I, T)
ALIGNMENT: Neutral or chaotic good
NO. APPEARING: 1-8
ARMOR CLASS: 5 (4)
MOVEMENT: 18
HIT DICE: 4
THAC0: 17
NO. OF ATTACKS: 3
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1-6/1-6 and weapon
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Nil
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Nil
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Nil
SIZE: L(8'-9' tall)
MORALE: Elite (13-14)
XP VALUE: 175
Centaur leader 270
Centaur priest 420

Centaur: Str 18, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 11, +3 natural
Hippocampus: Str 16, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 5, Wis 13, Cha 8, +3 natural
Triton: Str 12, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 13, Cha 11, +6 natural

Average to Exceptional translates to Int 8-16.

AC = 15 with no armor suggested.

How about: Str 18, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 13, Cha 11, +4 natural (to go with +2 Dex and -1 size)?
 

RavinRay

Explorer
Would it be feasible to adapt the tauric template to the triton and hippocampus (Stormwrack, not Arms and Equipment Guide) to come up with sea centaur? It gets the Str, Dex and Con of the hippocampus and the Int, Wis and Cha of the triton.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
The template would give it Str 16, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 13, Cha 11 and +6 natural armor.

Or Str +6, Dex +4, Con +6, Int +2, Wis +2.

Compared with typical centaur's Str +8, Dexterity +4, Constitution +4, Intelligence -2, Wisdom +2.

So basically it would trade some Str and Con for greater Wisdom. I could live with that. :)
 


Shade

Monster Junkie
Added to Homebrews.

I went with the standard triton weapons (trident and heavy crossbow).

Skills: 24
Hippocampus has Listen and Spot
Triton has Craft (any one), Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Ride, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival

Feats: 2
Hippocampus has Alertness, Iron Will
Triton has Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack

Organization:: Solitary, family (2–3), or x (x plus x tritons)
Tritons are Company (2–5), squad (6–11), or band (20–80)

Challenge Rating: 4? (Standard 4HD centaur is CR 3)

For the most part, sea centaurs have no treasure (except for an occasional piece of jewelry), although 10% of them have acquired tritons' magic conch shells. When used by sea centaurs, these shells summon 2-8 hippocampi; they can also be used to send messages underwater within a halfmile radius.
Treasure: No coins; standard goods (jewelry only); standard items?

Tritons no longer have these conch shells. We could make them, though.

There is a 10% chance that any sea centaur has the ability to cast spells as a 1st-4th level druid.
Favored class: druid?

A sea centaur is 12 to 15 feet long and weighs about x pounds.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
For skills, let's go with Listen, Spot, and Survival at 8 ranks (we can siphon some off if you want).

Feats: I'd stick with the hippocampus ones, Alertness & Iron Will.

The rest sounds good. I don't see a real need for the conch shells. No good idea for the weight at the moment.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Updated.

Let's just go with 2,400 pounds (slightly heavier than a standard centaur).

Anyone know the domains for Triton (the god, not the creature)?

Bonus Languages: Draconic, Elven (for aquatic elves), Sahuagin?
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
No idea about the domains, though Water is an obvious one. The bonus languages look good.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Some searching revealed that Persana is the deity of the tritons, and his focus is on architecture, and domains include Protection and Water.
 


Shade

Monster Junkie
I added Artifice as an additional domain, so they'd have a choice. It was about the closest thing I could find to architecture.

And yes, it looks like we're done. ;)
 


Shade

Monster Junkie
Gargoyle, Spouter
CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Ruins and occupied dwellings
FREQUENCY: Very rare
ORGANIZATION: Solitary
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Any
DIET: Nil
INTELLIGENCE: Low (5-7)
TREASURE: Nil
ALIGNMENT: Neutral (Evil)
NO. APPEARING:
ARMOR CLASS: 6
MOVEMENT: 14
HIT DICE: 5 + 7
THAC0: 15
NO. OF ATTACKS: 2
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 2-5/2-5
SPECIAL ATTACKS: See below
SPECIAL DEFENSES: See below
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Nil
SIZE: S (3')
MORALE: Elite (13-14)
XP VALUE: 1,400

The spouter gargoyle generally looks like an ugly goblinoid statue, often found perched above a door or serving as a raingutter outlet on a roof. Its mouth is always gaping hideously, and its forearms sport two rows of sharp spikes; on its back are two undersized wings, far too small to provide flight.

Combat: Anyone who enters the spouter's territory without sneaking the password or making the appropriate gesture will be attacked, usually from above, by the spouter's acid spittle. This spittle can be used only once every four rounds and has a range of just 5' unless the attack is from above (the spouter can attack anyone directly below it no matter how far down). The acid inflicts 2-40 (2d20) points of damage, with a successful save vs. breath weapons indicating half damage. If the spouter's opponents somehow escape or prove resistant to the acid, the gargoyle can float down using its undersized wings to break its fall. The spouter can attack on the ground using its arm-spikes, which cause 1d4+1 points of damage per attack.

The spouter has a nasty streak and revels in "accidentally" attacking its master or his or her associates if they forget to make the appropriate signal, even if the gargoyle recognizes them as "safe."

The spouter is immune to all forms of acid, is struck only by +1 or better weapons, and can climb wall with 90% probability.

Habitat/Society: Though occasionally matched sets of spouters are found, usually there is only one creature. Very rarely (5%), a group of 1d4+2 spouters has found each other and joined up in defense of their mutual territory. There isn't much competition between the group members, so there is no chieftain or ruler.

Occasionally, a "free" spouter will offer its services to a powerful evil entity, such is its love of mayhem and its guardian instinct.

Ecology: Spouters need not eat, drink or sleep, and like all gargoyles can remain perfectly motionless for any length of time. Thus, they generally have little impact on the environment
around them, though their acid works wreaks havoc on mature and often the presence of a spouter can be detected by the numerous acid-scars on plants and structures in the area.

Originally appeared in Dragon Magazine #223 (1995)

---------------------------------------------------------
Gargoyle, Spouter
CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Building or ruin
FREQUENCY: Very rare
ORGANIZATION: Solitary
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Any
DIET: Nil
INTELLIGENCE: Low (5-7)
TREASURE: Nil
ALIGNMENT: Neutral evil
NO. APPEARING: 1 (rarely more)
ARMOR CLASS: 6
MOVEMENT: 12
HIT DICE: 5 + 7
THAC0: 15
NO. OF ATTACKS: 2
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d4+1/1d4+1
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Acid
SPECIAL DEFENSES: +1 or better magical weapon to hit
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Nil
SIZE: S (3' tall)
MORALE: Elite (13-14)
XP VALUE: 1,400

The spouter gargoyle generally looks like an ugly imp. It is often found perched above a door or serving as a raingutter outlet on a roof. Its mouth is always gaping hideously. Its forearms sport two rows of sharp spikes; on its back are two undersized wings, far too small to provide flight. When motionless, it is indistinguishable from normal stonework. However, plant life and structures in the area will often be pitted and scarred, as if by acid.

Combat: Anyone who enters the spouter's territory without uttering a password or making the appropriate gesture will be attacked, usually from above, by the spouter's acid spittle. This spittle can be used once every four rounds and has a range of just 5 feet (unless the attack is from above--the spouter can hit anyone directly below it no matter how far down). The acid inflicts 2d20 points of damage, with a successful save vs. breath weapon indicating half damage. If the spouter's opponents escape or prove resistant to the acid, the gargoyle can float down using its tiny undersized wings to break its fall. On the ground, the spouter can attack using its arm-spikes, which cause 1d4+1 points of damage per attack.

The spouter has a nasty streak and revels in "accidentally" attacking its master or his or her associates if they forget to make the appropriate signal, even if it recognizes them as safe.

The spouter is immune to all forms of acid, is struck only by weapons of +1 enchantment or better, and can climb wall with 90% chance of success.

Habitat/Society: Though matched sets of spouters are occasionally found, usually there will be only one. Very rarely, a group of 1d4+2 spouters will find each other and join for mutual defense of their territory. There isn't much competition between group members, so they will choose no chieftain or ruler. Sometimes a "free" spouter, one whose master has been slain, will offer its services to a powerful evil entity, such is its love of mayhem and its guardian instinct.

Ecology: Spouters need not eat, drink or sleep, and can remain perfectly motionless for any length of time. Thus, they usually have little impact on their surroundings, other than the havoc their acid wreaks on local plants and structures.

(Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Three version.)
 
Last edited:

demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
OK, so the breath weapon seems fairly easy to convert, but should we make it a ranged touch attack instead? That way, the spouter doesn't become ludicrously overpowered merely by virtue of sitting directly above a party climbing up to melee with it and useless by them all stepping five feet away from the wall and engaging it at range. If we made it a ranged touch, we could make it a Fort save for half damage, keep the Reflex save or just ignore the save altogether.

Other than that, it doesn't have much. Camouflage as an ordinary gargoyle, feather fall, a racial climb speed, DR and acid immunity. Our target CR should probably be only a little higher than an ordinary gargoyle, so it should have more hit dice (and the HD 5+7 seems to support this, although I'm unsure how many Hit Dice gargoyles had in 2e).

Demiurge out.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Compared to a standard 2e gargoyle, it appears to have a higher Con (due to greater bonus hps), 1 worse AC (so maybe worse Dex?), and deals more damage with its claws (2-5 vs 1-3), so maybe greater Str.

3e gargoyle ability scores: Str 15, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 7

So maybe...

Str 17, Dex 12, Con 20, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 7?
 


freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I like the abilities, too. As far as the "breath weapon," I'm for making it a ranged touch attack and maybe decreasing the damage output a step. I'd guess we're looking at CR5, so what do you think about the damage?
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Added to Homebrews.

For the "wings break the fall", we could model it after feather fall or after the glide ability of the hadozee:

Gliding: A hadozee can use its wings to glide, negating any damage from a fall of any height and allowing travel 20 feet horizontally for every 5 feet of descent. A hadozee glides at a speed of 40 feet (poor maneuverability).

For the spout acid ability, I agree that just allowing it to dump endlessly from above is unfair. How about if we give it the option of either breathing a 5-foot cone or making a ranged touch attack? That way, it doesn't draw attacks of opportunity when right next to opponents (if it were just a ranged touch attack)?
 

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