Converting monsters from Dragon magazine

Cleon

Legend
Ihagnim
Large Aberration (Extraplanar)
Hit Dice: 8d8+32 (68 hp)
Initiative: –2
Speed: Fly 20 ft. (perfect)(2 squares)[only on Astral plane]
Armor Class: 20 (–1 size, –2 Dex, +13 natural), touch 7, flat-footed 20
Base ]Attack/Grapple: +6/+8
Attack: Tentacle +3 melee touch (grapple)
Full Attack: Four tentacles +3 melee touch (grapple)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft. (15 ft. with tentacles)
Special Attacks: Devour, extraplanar lure, improved grab
Special Qualities: Astral weightlessness dependency, damage reduction 5/piercing or slashing, darkvision 60 ft., fire resistance 10, immunities (haste, slow, hold, paralysis and mind-affecting powers), sensitivity to cold, vomiting reflex
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +0, Will +6
Abilities: Str Str 7, Dex 7, Con 18, Int 8, Wis 11, Cha 8
Skills: Hide –6* [+10 on Astral Plane], Knowledge (the planes) +0, Spot +10
Feats: Feat, Feat, Feat, Bonusᴮ
Environment: Astral Plane
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: #
Treasure: 50% coins; 25% goods (gems only); 10% items (inorganic only)
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 9–16 HD (Large)[see below]
Level Adjustment:

Description.

Background.

An ihagnim can only communicate with other ihagnim. Its cannot understand or be understood by any other creature, even if magic or telepathy is used to interpret its language.

Size/Weight.

Combat
Tactics.

Astral Weightlessness Dependency (Ex): Ihagnim can only fly on the Astral Plane. A flightless ihagnim can still attack with tentacles and pull itself around at a speed of 5 feet if it's floating in liquid or in an area of weightlessness or low gravity, but is helpless in an area with normal gravity.

Outside the Astral Plane, an ihagnim can survive for 10 minutes per point of Constitution in normal gravity, after which it starts suffocating (refer to the drowning rules). It can survive for 1 hour per 2 points of Constitution if it's afloat or weightless.

Devour (Su): An ihagnim can try to devour a grabbed opponent its own size or smaller size by making a successful grapple check. Once devoured, the opponent is consumed in 1 round. The ihagnim destroys the victim's body and prevents any form of raising or resurrection that requires part of the corpse. There is a 50% chance that a wish, miracle, or true resurrection spell can restore a devoured victim to life. Check once for each destroyed creature. If the check fails, the creature cannot be brought back to life by mortal magic. Devoured creatures are considered to be grappled and trapped within the ihagnim's body. They have one round to escape or kill the ihagnim before being consumed, and can only use light slashing or piercing weapons to attack its interior (AC 20).

An ihagnim's interior can hold 1 Large, 4 Medium, 16 Small, 64 Tiny, or 256 Diminutive or smaller opponents; or up to 30 cubic feet of material.

Once an ihagnim has devoured creatures equal to its internal capacity (i.e. one Large creature, 1 Medium creature plus 12 Small creatures, or any other arrangement) it grows in size, gaining a Hit Dice over the next 1d6+4 rounds. A 16 Hit Dice ihagnim that gains a Hit Dice splits into two 8 HD ihagnim instead of growing larger; the ihagnim can still attack while splitting but is unable to move. Ihagnim can also grow by devouring other organic matter than living creatures or their corpses.

Extraplanar Lure (Su): An ihagnim's interior has a transdimensional conduct to a lure on the Prime Material Plane. This lure is the magic item known as a bag of devouring, and any creature destroyed by the bag counts as being devoured by the ihagnim (see above). Destroying a bag of devouring does no harm to the ihagnim connected to it. An ihagnim can have only one lure in existence at any given time. If the bag is destroyed, it takes an ihagnim 1d4 weeks to grow a new lure. It takes an ihagnim an hour to either create or absorb the lure's transdimensional conduct, to either "cast" the lure onto the Prime Material Plane or "reel in" the lure from another plane. Reeling in the lure causes the ihagnim's bag of devouring to appear on the Astral Plane in a space within the monster's reach.

If a ihagnim's bag of devouring is transported to the Astral Plane, the ihagnim infallibly senses its position as if using the discern location spell, and can travel to the location of its bag in 1d12 hours.

Immunities (Ex): An ihagnim has immunity to haste, slow, hold and paralysis effects and is also immune to all mind-affecting powers.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, an ihagnim must hit with a tentacle attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can attempt to devour its foe the following round.

Sensitivity to Cold (Ex): If an ihagnim takes cold damage, it reflexively absorbs its pseudopods back into its body, releasing any creature or object being grappled with its tentacles, and then cannot make tentacle attacks for the next 1d4 rounds.

Vomiting Reflex (Ex): If an ihagnim is damaged by poison from any source, it immediately vomits out all creatures or objects being devoured in its interior (see Devour).

Skills: An ihagnim's translucent body grants it a +16 racial bonus on Hide checks against the background of the Astral Plane.

Advanced Ihagnim
???

Originally from Dragon Magazine #89 (1984).
 
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Cleon

Legend
Okay then, let's rough out some basics.

To begin with, it seems prudent to refer to the 3E version of the bag of devouring, since that serves as the "feeding orifice" of an Ihagnim:

SRD said:
Bag of Devouring
This bag appears to be an ordinary sack. Detection for magical properties makes it seem as if it were a bag of holding. The sack is, however, a lure used by an extradimensional creature—in fact, one of its feeding orifices.

Any substance of animal or vegetable nature is subject to “swallowing” if thrust within the bag. The bag of devouring is 90% likely to ignore any initial intrusion, but any time thereafter that it senses living flesh within (such as if someone reaches into the bag to pull something out), it is 60% likely to close around the offending member and attempt to draw the whole victim in. The bag has a +8 bonus on grapple checks made to pull someone in.

The bag can hold up to 30 cubic feet of matter. It acts as a bag of holding type I, but each hour it has a 5% cumulative chance of swallowing the contents and then spitting the stuff out in some nonspace or on some other plane. Creatures drawn within are consumed in 1 round. The bag destroys the victim’s body and prevents any form of raising or resurrection that requires part of the corpse. There is a 50% chance that a wish, miracle, or true resurrection spell can restore a devoured victim to life. Check once for each destroyed creature. If the check fails, the creature cannot be brought back to life by mortal magic.

That seems like it'd serve as the basis for some kind of Devouring special attack. The bag of devouring uses grapple mechanics to determine whether it's devouring works, so I'm tempted to tweak the monster stats so the starting version has the same +8 grapple modifier as the bag.

However, it'll likely be an Ooze or an Aberration, which both have BAB equal to ¾ total Hit Dice, which is +6 for 8 HD. Add +4 for its Large size makes +10, so it'll only have grapple +8 if its Strength modifier were –2.

Strength 6 or 7 seems rather feeble, plus it'd give it a pretty lousy melee attack. Although I guess it could be a melee touch attack to grab its victims, which would.
Large Aberration or Ooze​
Hit Dice: 8d#+# (## hp) [8d10 if Ooze, 8d8 if Aberration]​
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+8​
Attack: Tentacle +3 melee touch (grapple)​
Full Attack: [Two? Four?] tentacles +3 melee touch (grapple)​
Space/Reach: 10 ft./ 5 ft. (15 ft. with tentacles)​
Special Attacks: Devouring, improved grab​
Abilities: Str 6 or 7​
Guess we could make it so the extraplanar application of Devouring is considered Medium sized as a bag of devouring itself is 2 foot by 4 foot, (or just give it a –4 circumstance penalty?). Then if the Ihagnim has Strength 14 or 15 it could have a +12 grapple as a Large ooze, and +8 grapple when devouring. If the tentacles had a regular melee attack, that'd be:
As Above, Except
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+12 (+8 when devouring)​
Attack: Tentacle +7 melee (grapple)​
Full Attack: [Two? Four?] tentacles +7 melee (grapple)​
Abilities: Str 14 or 15​
A point worth mentioning is a bag of holding type I has a maximum contents limit of 250 pounds as well as the 30 cubic feet volume limit. That weight is way too low for that volume. 250 lbs is roughly the weight of 4 cubic feet of water, and 30 cubic feet of water would be around 1,875 lbs or just under a ton.

It'd seem better to limit it to a number of creatures of a certain size, as is used for Swallow Whole. Maybe it can devour 1 Medium creature at a time?
 
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freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I'd forgotten we were going to do a bag of devouring monster!

I'm thinking aberration for these.

Since the bag is a free-floating organ, I'm fine with giving it a different grapple modifier than the main body, so I like your second option. I'm not even sure we need to make the bag's devouring attack an SA of the monster, since it's got it's own stats as a hazard-like item. I do agree that the digestion effects need to be the same as the bag's, though. It should be able to devour 1 Medium or maybe 1 Large critter at a time.

I'm thinking we should have a base Int score and put a note about advancement.
 

Cleon

Legend
I'd forgotten we were going to do a bag of devouring monster!

I'm thinking aberration for these.

I couldn't make up my mind between Aberration and Ooze, so I'll agree to Aberration. At least they have a higher tendency to have an Intelligence score!

Updating the Ihagnim.

Since the bag is a free-floating organ, I'm fine with giving it a different grapple modifier than the main body, so I like your second option. I'm not even sure we need to make the bag's devouring attack an SA of the monster, since it's got it's own stats as a hazard-like item. I do agree that the digestion effects need to be the same as the bag's, though. It should be able to devour 1 Medium or maybe 1 Large critter at a time.

Well I was partially thinking that I didn't want it to devour creatures held by it's tentacles-pseudopods too easily since it's basically a death sentence unless the victim can escape on the next round, which would be rather difficult.

The stomach should have the same volume as a bag of devouring, since that's what the interior of the bag literally is. It'd make little point for it to be a different size! I'd be fine having the creature being able to Devour creatures up to Large size on the Astral Plane, since the limiting factor is the size of the bag's mouth.

An Ihagnim can devour multiple creatures simultaneously, since it can stuff one victim into its body per tentacle it possesses and it has up to four tentacle attacks.

So how about 1 Large creature and the usual exponential progression? (4 Medium, 16 Small, 64 Tiny et cetera).

Speaking of tentacles, the original monster could attack with 1-4 of them so presumably its Full Attack is with four tentacles. Can it attack the same creature with more than one of them? Can its tentacles be cut off? If so, they need hit points. Since they're spontaneously created pseudopods it can presumably reform a tentacle very quickly if it is damaged or severed, so I suppose damage to a tentacle must all be on the same round or in a single hit to sunder one and it repairs itself the next round (although the main body of the creature might take half damage).

Come to think of it, if the Ihagnim takes a round or two to pull its victim into "devouring range" that might address many of my concerns about it not devouring the entire party in a round. Perhaps it needs to make contested checks to slowly draws its victims closer, like a Roper's tentacles?
 

Cleon

Legend
Since the bag is a free-floating organ, I'm fine with giving it a different grapple modifier than the main body

After rereading the monster description above I remembered a more important reason why I wanted the main monster's grapple modifiers to match.

The original text says "A victim has a chance of pulling free from the tentacle equal to his chance of pulling free of a bag of devouring," which to me says it should employ the same numbers as the 3E bag of devouring, which uses a +8 grapple to determine if a victim gets devoured.

I think the easiest solution is to make it unusually weak. The thing spends its whole existence floating in the Astral Void and moves itself with its mind, so it has little need for muscles.

Updating the Ihagnim with both possibilities until we can agree on one.
 
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Cleon

Legend
Oh, I'm wondering whether an Ihagnim can move, attack or even survive on the surface of a normal Prime Material world.

I'm thinking it might collapse under its own weight and quickly perish if summoned to a place with Earth-type gravity, since it's adapted to live in free fall on the Astral Plane.

Maybe give it an "Astral Dependency" special quality?
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
OK, I'm getting a concept of the ihagnim as the ultimate glass cannon monster. It has this great swallow whole devour attack, but it's pretty wimpy. That's why it needs the deceptive extra dimensional organ to eat things.

So I'm happy with the weaker version to get the grapple modifier to match the bag.

I also like the Swallow Whole size progression you have. In principle, it's odd to be able to swallow a critter as large as itself, but its insides are extra dimensional, after all!

What if it takes an extra grapple check to transfer a grabbed victim to its mouth before being able to swallow whole? I don't see any monsters in the SRD like that, but I think we must have done that before. And it's a little simpler than keeping track of dragging.

Oh, and I like the general idea, but what about "Vulnerable to Gravity" rather than "Astral Dependency"?
 


Cleon

Legend
OK, I'm getting a concept of the ihagnim as the ultimate glass cannon monster. It has this great swallow whole devour attack, but it's pretty wimpy. That's why it needs the deceptive extra dimensional organ to eat things.

So I'm happy with the weaker version to get the grapple modifier to match the bag.

I also like the Swallow Whole size progression you have. In principle, it's odd to be able to swallow a critter as large as itself, but its insides are extra dimensional, after all!

I imagine the Ihagnim's stomach is on the Astral Plane like the rest of it, it's just elastic and shapeless enough to contain a horse. There are real life animals that can swallow creatures larger and heavier than themselves, such as some deep sea fish (e.g. Lophiiformes, Saccopharyngiformes) and they have skeletons limiting their ability to squeeze prey inside their bodies.

Updating the Ihagnim.

What if it takes an extra grapple check to transfer a grabbed victim to its mouth before being able to swallow whole? I don't see any monsters in the SRD like that, but I think we must have done that before. And it's a little simpler than keeping track of dragging.

Well it doesn't have a mouth, it's more like an ooze's Engulf attack with it pulling a victim into its body with a tentacle but I was planning on it requiring a grapple check.

I still fancy it having to spend a round or two to drag its victim close enough to its body to "devour" using a mechanism similar to the Roper's strands:

Drag (Ex): If a roper hits with a strand attack, the strand latches onto the opponent’s body. This deals no damage but drags the stuck opponent 10 feet closer each subsequent round (provoking no attack of opportunity) unless that creature breaks free, which requires a DC 23 Escape Artist check or a DC 19 Strength check. The check DCs are Strength-based, and the Escape Artist DC includes a +4 racial bonus. A roper can draw in a creature within 10 feet of itself and bite with a +4 attack bonus in the same round. A strand has 10 hit points and can be attacked by making a successful sunder attempt. However, attacking a roper’s strand does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If the strand is currently attached to a target, the roper takes a -4 penalty on its opposed attack roll to resist the sunder attempt. Severing a strand deals no damage to a roper.​

Hmm, if we use a modified version of that we don't need Improved Grab do we?

Should probably change the Special Attack's name to "Pseudopod" or the like and alter the attack lines "Tentacle(s)" to match.

Oh, and I like the general idea, but what about "Vulnerable to Gravity" rather than "Astral Dependency"?

Works for me!

Updating the Ihagnim.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Hmmm, I keep thinking of it having a mouth because of the bags.

I'm not seeing Drag for these, though. A roper's strands are 50 ft long vs 15 ft for the ihagnim's tentacles. I'm just thinking that the tentacles get Imp Grab. On a round that they have a critter grappled, they can take a grapple check to start Devouring it, a lot like Swallow Whole when a grapple victim is held in the mouth.
 

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