Converting monsters from Dragon magazine


log in or register to remove this ad



Cleon

Legend
Monsters of the Deep

The big nine
These are the creatures Heuvelmans describes in his massive volume In the Wake of the Sea Serpents. The average length for all sea serpents is on the order of 60’-100’, although larger specimens are certainly possible. Heuvelmans points out that the wake a swimming creature leaves behind it may be mistaken for part of its body (hence the title of his book), resulting in exaggerated lengths given by witnesses. He also pointed out, however, that animals can grow to very great size when buoyed up by water, and that the serpentine form most of the creatures in this article have distributes weight very evenly. Thus, a serpentine creature 250’ long (one of the largest sizes reported) would weigh no more than a bulky blue whale 113’ long (the record for this species). As a final note of caution, none of the air-breathing animals described below spouts like a modern whale. They stick only their head or part of it above the surface to breathe, making a mockery of skeptics’ claims that they would be seen more often.

Super eel: This is just what it sounds like: an enormous eel. There may be more than one species, as some have blunt heads, some pointed; some are reddish, some are blue or blackish-brown on top and white underneath, while still others are speckled (the speckled ones seem confined to the Mediterranean). Most seem built on the order of a greatly enlarged conger or moray eel. They are all different from the other “sea serpents” Heuvelmans describes due to the fact that we know they exist.

In 1930, the Danish oceanographer and biologist Dr. Anton Bruun was conducting a marine survey in the South Atlantic; one which included trawling the depths to see what lived down there. Among the specimens he brought back up was an elver (an eel larvae) six feet long. Normal elvers are only a few inches long at most, yet they can grow into 6’ eels. Extrapolating from this, Dr. Bruun calculated that this elver might grow into an eel anywhere from 108-180’ in length! A more conservative approach, assuming a slower growth rate, still suggests an eel 50’ in length. To top this off, he brought the eel larvae up in the exact vicinity of one of the most famous sea serpent sightings of all time: that of the S.S. Daedalus in 1848. The drawings and descriptions of this creature are far more like an eel than anything else: an interesting coincidence, at the very least. The last I heard, Bruun’s specimen was still preserved in alcohol at the Charlottenlund Marine Biological Laboratory, on the very outskirts of Copenhagen.

For AD&D® game purposes, the super-eel should be treated as a giant eel, but one 50, 108, or 180’ in length. Its swimming speed should be reduced to 8 and 7 for the last two versions, while the HD for the three specimens would be boosted to 9, 13, and 18, respectively. THAC0 for them is 11, 7, and 5. XP value is 975, 3,000, and 10,000 for the largest! Damage/Attack is 4-16, 3-18, and 5-20, while AC and all other stats are the same.
 

Cleon

Legend
Okay, the "Super-Eel" is pretty well covered by the Dire Eel from Stormwrack that's advanced to Huge size (13-18 HD), so shall we skip it or make it a Gargantuan-sized 18+ HD relative?
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Well, a 180 ft one would be Gargantuan (or maybe even Colossal), but I'm not sure there's enough else to it other than just a nonstandard advancement for the dire eel. And the 180ft version just seems like an advanced version in the original text anyway. I'd lean toward skipping unless you think it's different enough.
 

Cleon

Legend
Well, a 180 ft one would be Gargantuan (or maybe even Colossal), but I'm not sure there's enough else to it other than just a nonstandard advancement for the dire eel. And the 180ft version just seems like an advanced version in the original text anyway. I'd lean toward skipping unless you think it's different enough.

How about we just say it's a Stormwrack Eel with the Mystaran Gargantuan template?:

Super Eel [A Stormwrack Eel with the Mystaran Gargantuan Template]
Gargantuan Animal (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 16d8+112 (184 hp)
Initiative: +5
Speed: Swim 60 ft. (12 squares)
Armor Class: 18 (-4 size, +2 Dex, +10 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +12/+37
Attack: Bite +21 melee (3d6+19/19-20)
Full Attack: Bite +21 melee (3d6+19/19-20)
Space/Reach: 20 ft./15 ft.
Special Attacks: Attach, swallow whole
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +17, Ref +11, Will +6
Abilities: Str 37, Dex 13, Con 24, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 2
Skills: Hide +8 (+12 in coral or rock), Listen +5, Move Silently +3, Spot +6, Swim +21
Feats: Alertness, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Hide), Stealthy, Weapon Finesse (B)
Environment: Warm aquatic
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 7
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 17–40 HD (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment:

A typical super eel is between 50 and 75 feet long and weighs about 8000 pounds, they can reach 180 feet in length and weight up to 100 tons.

COMBAT
Super eels are generally shy and only attack if disturbed or surprised. They can strike with startling speed.

Attach (Ex): If a super eel hits with its bite attack, it uses its powerful jaws to latch onto the opponent’s body and automatically deals bite damage each round it remains attached. An attached eel loses its Dexterity bonus to AC and has an AC of 16.

An attached eel can be struck with a weapon or grappled itself. To remove an attached eel through grappling, the opponent must achieve a pin against the creature.

Swallow Whole (Ex): A super eel can swallow opponents up to three size smaller than itself by making a successful grapple check. Once inside, an opponent takes crushing damage equal to the creature's bite attack plus 8 points of acid damage from the creature's gizzard. A swallowed creature can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 25 points of damage to the gizzard (AC 15). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out. A Gargantuan super eel's interior can hold 2 Medium opponents, 8 Small opponents, and 32 Tiny or smaller opponents.

Skills: Eels have a +4 racial bonus on Hide checks, which improves to +8 in areas of coral, rock, or heavy kelp. An eel has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.
 

Cleon

Legend
Super Eel Working Draft

Super Eel
Gargantuan Animal (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 13d8+65 (123 hp)
Initiative: +5
Speed: Swim 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 17 (-4 size, +1 Dex, +10 natural), touch 7, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+32
Attack: Bite +16 melee (2d6+16)
Full Attack: Bite +16 melee (2d6+16)
Space/Reach: 20 ft./15 ft.
Special Attacks: Constrict 2d6+16, chew, crush ship, improved grab
Special Qualities: Dire, low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +13, Ref +11, Will +9
Abilities: Str 32, Dex 13, Con 21, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 2
Skills: Hide +7* (+11 in weeds), Listen 7, Move Silently +7, Spot +7, Swim +19
Feats: Alertness, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Lightning Reflexes, Stealthy
Environment: Warm aquatic
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 7
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 14-23 HD (Gargantuan); 24-39 HD (Colossal)
Level Adjustment:

An enormous eel, at least ten times longer than a human is tall.

A super eel resembles a conger eel or moray eel of titanic size. They are secretive beasts who are so seldom seen that many surface-dwellers consider them legends or sailor's lies. Super eels prefer warmer waters and are most often found roaming open oceans, kelp forests or sargassos. Their young live in the depths of the sea and are comparatively enormous - a super eel larva is about 6 feet long, while a normal eel's is only a few inches.

A typical super eel is between 50 and 75 feet long and weighs about 8000 pounds, they can reach 180 feet in length and weigh up to 100 tons.

COMBAT
Super eels are generally shy and only attack if disturbed or surprised. They can strike with startling speed.

Chew (Ex): A super eel deals automatic bite damage every round it maintains a grapple against an opponent smaller than itself.

Constrict (Ex): On a successful grapple check, a super eel deals 2d6+16 points of damage.

Crush Ship (Ex): A super eel can wrap its serpentine body around a ship up to half the eel's length (i.e. a 30 ft. ship for a 60 ft. eel) and squeeze with devastating pressure. This action takes 1 full round and provokes attacks of opportunity. This attack deals 2d6+16 points of damage and breaches the ship's hull if the super eel succeeds at a Strength check, which causes the ship to sink in 1d10 rounds. The break DC varies with the type of vessel crushed, as follows: rowboat DC 20, keelboat DC 23, sailing ship or longship DC 25, warship DC 27, or galley DC 30. A vessel's crew can counteract a super eel's Crush Ship attack if the captain succeeds on a DC 20 Professional (sailor) check; this increases the Crush DC of their ship by +2. The ship's crew cannot make Aid Another actions to assist their captain, as they are involved in resisting the attack. (See Chapter 5 of the DMG for information about ships).

Dire (Ex): A super eel is considered to be a dire animal for the purposes of saving throws.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a super eel must hit an opponent up to 1 size larger than itself with its bite 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 chew or constrict its foe the following round.

Skills: A super eel has a +4 racial bonus on Move Silently checks. Super eels have a +8 racial bonus on Hide checks, which improves to +12 in areas of coral, rock, or heavy kelp. An eel has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Originally appeared in Dragon #190
 
Last edited:

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Well, that's a nice use for the template to be sure, but I'm not sure it's worth a separate conversion. We have to let the other DMs have some fun. ;)
 

Cleon

Legend
Well, that's a nice use for the template to be sure, but I'm not sure it's worth a separate conversion. We have to let the other DMs have some fun. ;)

Well I think making it a "Gargantua Eel" and leaving it at that is about all the conversion we need - unless you fancy tweaking the stats or adding some flavour text?
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top