Converting monsters from Dungeon Magazine

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BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
This thread continues my idea of “cooperative conversions” started in this thread, converting a series of monsters from similar sources. For this thread, we will be focusing on monsters that first appeared in Dungeon magazine.

What I will do is first post the creature’s original stats and flavor text. Then, I will post a basic outline of the things I think it needs, and then I will give you an opportunity to suggest stats and ideas on how powers and abilities should work. Then, I will add more to it and we will continue to discuss it until I feel it’s done and time to move on to the next. As we work on these creatures, they will be posted in this thread, and after 10 conversions are complete they will be added to the Creature Catalog. You may comment on monsters already finished, of course.

For a list of creatures to choose from, see this thread. We will only be working on those creatures from magazines that appeared before the start of 3rd Edition, and that haven’t yet appeared in official WotC products, the Tome of Horrors, or the Creature Catalog. You may feel free to make suggestions, but ultimately I will pick what to convert and when. If I’m missing any monsters from this list or if any of these have appeared elsewhere already, feel free to inform me.
 
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BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
ok, here we go on the shimmering wraith. when shade posts the original stats, we can really get going on this one. :)


Wraith, Shimmering

CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Any
FREQUENCY: Summoned only by curse
ORGANIZATION: Special
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Any
DIET: Nil
INTELLIGENCE: Non (0)
TREASURE: Nil
ALIGNMENT: Neutral

NO. APPEARING: 1 the first day, 2 the second, 4 the third, 16 the fourth, 256 the fifth; on the sixth day and onward, attacks are nonstop
ARMOR CLASS: 4
MOVEMENT: 12
HIT DICE: 4
THAC0: 17
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d6
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Shadow chill
SPECIAL DEFENSES:
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Nil
SIZE: M (5’-6’ tall)
MORALE: Special
XP VALUE: Unaffected by cold, electricity, priestly turning attempts, or dispel magic

These entities are nonliving energies created by combining the forces of the Negative Energy Plane and the Quasi-elemental Plane of Lightning. Shimmering wraiths resemble shadows filled with sparkling points of light. They often go unnoticed until they coalesce into man-sized but irregular forms, just before attacking.

Shimmering wraiths speak no languages and are not known to communicate in any meaningful way.

Combat: These wraiths attack with a single touch, but a maximum of three wraiths can assault a man-sized creature at one time, and each inflicts 1d6 points of electrical damage, regardless of armor or clothing. Oddly, every hit point of damage a shimmering wraith inflicts lowers its own hit points by the exact same number, until the wraith dissipates.

Shimmering wraiths can be successfully struck by any weapon, but using a metallic weapon to touch or strike a wraith causes 1 point damage per successful touch to the attacker, as electricity surges through the weapon every time it contacts the monster.

It there is enough light (the equivalent of full daylight or a continual light spell) for a wraith to cast a shadow, it gains a second weapon. Anyone who is touched by the shadow of a wraith suffers 1d4 points of cold damage, regardless of armor or clothing. The Dungeon Master will have to determine the direction from which the light source emanates, and the area in which the wraith's shadow falls.

The wraiths are unaffected by cold or electrical attacks, and they cannot be turned like other wraiths, nor will a dispel spell eliminate them. However, a banishment spell will send them back to the Inner Planes from whence they came. When confronted with protective spells and wards such as protection from evil, wall of force, wall of iron, etc., or with physical barriers, the wraiths can become ethereal and penetrate most barriers (movement at half speed), then coalesce back into physical form and attack once more. They are nonintelligent, and their only tactic is to embrace their target.

Habitat/Society: Shimmering wraiths don't appear to have sentience, although they do recognize and pursue specific targets. They appear as the result of a curse uttered by an elemental being. Bound elementals cannot curse their masters, nor can they send shimmering wraiths from the Inner Planes to harass a former summoner, but if they break free of control while on the Prime Material Plane, they may curse a person for thwarting a plan or unsuccessfully attempting to bind them.

One day after the curse is laid, a single wraith appears and attacks the cursed character. The creature may be easily destroyed, but it reappears on the next day with another of its kind. Each day the number of shimmering wraiths is multiplied by itself, and the result is the number of them that will appear on the next day and so on until the cursed character is slain.

The only way to break the curse is to find the cursing elemental (if it is still on the Prime Material Plane) and either bind it or destroy it. If the elemental has returned to the Inner Planes, it must be summoned and bound, at which point it will withdraw its curse perforce. The creature must be satisfied or banished in order to keep it from cursing again.

Ecology: Some mages think that shimmering wraiths can be used to power wands of lightning and similar items, but since they dissipate upon defeat and always fight to the death, no one can test the theory.


some preliminary stats for the shimmering wraith:

Wraith, Shimmering
Medium Outsider?
Hit Dice: 4d8+X (X hp)
Initiative: +X
Speed: 30 ft (6 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (+X Dex, +X natural), touch X, flat-footed X
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+X
Attack: X
Full Attack: Touch +X melee (1d6)
Space/Reach: 5 ft/5 ft
Special Attacks: draining touch, shadow chill, electric backlash
Special Qualities: immunity to cold and electricity, turn immunity, immune to dispel magic?, cursed summons
Saves: Fort +X Ref +X Will +X
Abilities: Str X, Dex X, Con X, Int ---, Wis X, Cha X
Skills: X
Feats: X

Environment: Negative Energy Plane?
Organization: Solitary or (varies)
Challenge Rating: X
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: ---
Level Adjustment: ---


A shimmering wraith is 5-6 feet tall and weighs

A shimmering wraith does not speak, and does not appear to communicate in any significant way.

COMBAT



Originally found in Dungeon Magazine #26 (“title,” date, author), and Monstrous Compendium Annual One (1994).
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
And here are those stats. Note that they were originally called "wraths" instead of "wraiths".

Shimmering Wrath

CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Any
FREQUENCY: Summoned only by the curse
ORGANIZATION: Special
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Any
DIET: Nil
INTELLIGENCE: Non
TREASURE: Nil
ALIGNMENT: Neutral
NO. APPEARING: 1 the first day, 2 the second day, 4 the third day, 16 the fourth day, 256 the fifth day; on the sixth and later days, the attacks are nonstop
ARMOR CLASS: 4
MOVEMENT: 12
HIT DICE: 4
THACO: 14
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1-6 (electric shock)
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Shadow chills for 1-4
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Unaffected by cold, electricity, clerical turning, dispel magic
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Nil
SIZE: M
MORALE : Special
XP VALUE: 175

These entities are combined nonliving energies created from the Negative Material plane and the elemental plane of Lightning. Resembling shadows filled with shimmering points of light, they often go unnoticed until they coalesce into mansize but irregular forms just before attacking the victims specified by the curse of the shimmering wrath of Dylihos.

The wraths attack by touch, with a maximum of three wraths attacking a size-M creature at a time, each dealing 1-6 hp electrical damage regardless of armor or clothing. Normal weapons can hit a wrath, and every hit point of damage a wrath inflicts lowers its own hit points by the same number until the wrath is dissipated. In addition, using a metallic weapon to touch or strike a wrath causes 1-6 hp damage per touch to the attacker.

If enough light (the equivalent of full daylight) exists for a wrath to cast a shadow, anyone who is touched by the shadow of a wrath suffers 1-4 hp damage due to cold, regardless of armor or clothing. The wraths are unaffected by cold or electrical attacks and cannot be turned (as undead), nor will a dispel magic spell eliminate them. When confronted with protective spells and wards such as shield, protection from evil, wall of force, wall of iron, etc., or with physical barriers, the wraths simply become ethereal until the barrier is penetrated (movement at half speed) or circumvented, then coalesce into man form and attack once more.

Wraths are nonintelligent, and their only tactic is to embrace their targets. The wraths continue to appear on schedule, pursuing their victims anywhere through the material planes until the victims are destroyed.

Originally found in Dungeon Magazine #26 (“The Curse and the Quest", November/December 1990, p.42, by Craig Barrett and Cristopher Kederich).
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
To avoid reinventing the wheel, here's how the shocker from RTTOEE handles similar abilities:


Electricity (Ex): The touch attack of a shocker inflicts 1d8 points of electrical damage. This damage is dealt to the shocker as well. Shocking Discharge (Ex): If touched with bare flesh (including being struck in combat with a fist or claw) or a metallic weapon, the shocker delivers 1d8 points of damage to the attacker. This is true whether or not the attack is capable of affecting the shocker. The damage it inflicts is subtracted from the shocker's hit point total as well.
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
I’m fine with calling it “wrath” instead of “wraith”. I see no solid evidence to suggest that it is actually undead, so the name wraith can be misleading.

Odd how the shocker has such a similar ability!! Hey, can you figure what sort of damage the shimmy’s touch does? Is that electricity, cold, negative energy, or something else?

And here is a picture of the “wraith”, from MCA1:
 

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BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
is that based on preference, or did you gather that much from reading on it? ;)
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
BOZ said:
I’m fine with calling it “wrath” instead of “wraith”. I see no solid evidence to suggest that it is actually undead, so the name wraith can be misleading.
Cool. No sense confusing it with undead. We could always mention in the flavor text that people sometimes mistake them for wraiths, hence the other name.

BOZ said:
Odd how the shocker has such a similar ability!! Hey, can you figure what sort of damage the shimmy’s touch does? Is that electricity, cold, negative energy, or something else?
I get the impression that it does electricity damage with its touch. If its shadow touches a creature, the shadow does cold damage. I haven't figured out how negative energy figures into this thing at all. :confused:

BOZ said:
And here is a picture of the “wraith”, from MCA1:
Cute. :)
 

Krishnath

First Post
I think shade put it best, electricity appears to be the most logical choice for what type of damage it would deal.

Question: Elemental or Outsider?
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
Negative energy probably has nothing to do with this creature’s capabilities, but it is said to come from that plane. That’s why I was asking what appropriate damage its touch attack should be…

It’s not impossible that this could be an elemental rather than an outsider, they are summoned by elementals after all…
 


BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
Allright, elemental it is fellas. :) the question there is, doesn’t elemental require an energy-related subtype, and if so what would we use? Is Electricity still a subtype?

“These wraiths attack with a single touch, but a maximum of three wraiths can assault a man-sized creature at one time, and each inflicts 1d6 points of electrical damage, regardless of armor or clothing.” D’OH! Sorry guys, I should have re-read before pestering you. ;)
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
BOZ said:
Allright, elemental it is fellas. :) the question there is, doesn’t elemental require an energy-related subtype, and if so what would we use? Is Electricity still a subtype?
From the SRD: "An elemental is a being composed of one of the four classical elements: air, earth, fire, or water."

Unfortunately, Electricity isn't a subtype. Krish and I had this discussion before in the video game thread, and he suggested the Electricity subtype would have electricity immunity and vulnerability to acid. We both agreed that we need more subtypes. That being said, to keep "in line", we could give it the Air subtype like many electrical beings have.

In a perfect world, these guys would have the Electricity and Negative subtypes. Speaking of which, I propose the following...

Negative Energy Adaptation (Ex): Shimmerwraths are immune to the detrimental effects typical of the Negative Energy Plane.

This will get around the age-old question: "How do they survive there?" Paging Mr. Yi, Mr. Xeg-Yi. [Actually, the Negative Energy Plane writeup states that "Outsiders native to the Negative Energy Plane (including the xeg-yi) are immune to the detrimental effects typical of the plane." I just wish they'd state that in the critter's writeup, too.]

BOZ said:
“These wraiths attack with a single touch, but a maximum of three wraiths can assault a man-sized creature at one time, and each inflicts 1d6 points of electrical damage, regardless of armor or clothing.” D’OH! Sorry guys, I should have re-read before pestering you. ;)
No problem! :cool:
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Looking at these things more, I'm starting to think that they should be constructs. It states that they are "nonliving", they are mindless, and have ties to an elemental. Sounds like a golem, doesn't it?

If we do stick with elemental, we may not need a subtype. The xeg-yi is an elemental, and its only subtype is Incorporeal. Of course that is from the 3E MOTP, but the conversion guide didn't state otherwise (of course, it is unreliable).
 
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BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
hmm... i don't know about construct. seems a bit of a stretch to me. are there any constructs composed entirely of energy rather than matter?

i'm ok with only Extraplanar as a subtype, if everyone else is. ;)
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
BOZ said:
hmm... i don't know about construct. seems a bit of a stretch to me. are there any constructs composed entirely of energy rather than matter?
Check out the quesar in Book of Exalted Deeds. ;)

BOZ said:
i'm ok with only Extraplanar as a subtype, if everyone else is. ;)
Extraplanar works for me. I'm fine with elemental, too, although a mindless elemental seems a bit...odd.
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
perhaps so, perhaps not. there isn't that much of a difference from mindless to stupid. ;) of course, no skills or feats kinda sucks.

also, i could see no evidence that the quesar is composed of energy.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
True enough. I looked at the quesar again, and it doesn't explicitly state that it is made of energy, although it appears to by made of light.

Let's just stick with elemental and move along. Sorry for derailing the conversion train. :uhoh:
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Here are some thoughts at dealing with this:

It there is enough light (the equivalent of full daylight or a continual light spell) for a wraith to cast a shadow, it gains a second weapon. Anyone who is touched by the shadow of a wraith suffers 1d4 points of cold damage, regardless of armor or clothing. The Dungeon Master will have to determine the direction from which the light source emanates, and the area in which the wraith's shadow falls.
Cast Shadow (Su): In areas of shadowy illumination, a shimmering wrath casts a shadow. The wrath's shadow deals 1d4 points of cold damage to any single creature within 5 feet of the wrath (wrath's choice of target).

This simplifies trying to determine where a shadow is cast. If we want to make it a little more complicated and random, we could use the splash/grenadelike weapon chart, or say that the shadow is cast from the point opposite the light source. However, this could get complicate in areas with multiple light sources.
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
nah, i like that paragraph as it is - no need to make things extra complex when they're not a big thing.

and don't worry about expressing contrary opinions! sometimes i learn a lot from people thinking differently from me! you had me considering it for a moment. :D i wish more people posted their thoughts in these threads (hint hint, all you lurkers!)
 

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