Converting monsters from Imagine Magazine

Shade

Monster Junkie
This thread continues the idea of “cooperative conversions”, converting a series of monsters from similar sources. For this thread, we will be focusing on monsters that first appeared in TSR UK's Imagine 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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Shade

Monster Junkie
CANOPIC SHADE

FREQUENCY: Rare
No. APPEARING: Usually 2 (one of each type, see below)
ARMOUR CLASS: Not applicable
MOVE: Instantaneous (up to 10 feet)
HIT DICE: 1+6
% IN LAIR: 100%
TREASURE TYPE: Nil
# ATTACKS: Nil
DAMAGE/ATTACK: Nil
SPECIAL ATTACKS: See below
SPECIAL DEFENCES: See below
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Total
INTELLIGENCE: None
ALIGNMENT: Neutral
SIZE: Not applicable
PSIONIC ABILITY: Nil
Attack/Defence modes: Nil
LEVEL/xp VALUE: III/100 xp + 2xp per hit point.

These non-corporeal entities may be thought of as fragments of an undead creature. They are created when the brain and heart of a corpse are removed to be interred separately in containers known as canopic jars.

Any undead creature which arises from this corpse will be sundered into three parts. The first will be one of the usual kinds of undead. This will develop from the main corpse and will have all the usual attributes except that, lacking a brain, it will be non-intelligent and, lacking a heart, will be fearless even to the extent of being resistant to the turning effect of clerics. Clerics (and Paladins) affect them as if they were 3 levels below their actual level. Therefore, clerics of levels 1-3 cannot affect these undead.

The other two fragments, which arise from the brain and heart, are known as canopic shades. These shades are quite separate from the main undead and remain inside their canopic jars until a living being comes within 10 feet. When this occurs the shade will move instantaneously from the jar into the creature's body and there try to fulfil its one desire, to become free of the earthly plane by killing the creature and finding rest along with it.

The ability of a character to resist the attack depends on two of its ability scores; intelligence and wisdom in the case of a shade which arises from the brain, and strength and constitution in the case of the shade from the heart.

The only thing which can prevent a canopic shade from entering a character is a protection from evil (spell or otherwise). Failing this, the shade will automatically gain entry and begin to attack the creature from within. Each round that the shade is within the character the DM should subtract d8 x d6 (i.e. d8 multiplied by d6) from the current total of the character's two appropriate ability scores and apply the results as follows:

Total of abilities minus d8 x d6 is:
0 to 35: Shade takes one hit point of damage
-1 to -12: Character loses d4 points (temporarily) from one randomly determined ability score.
-13 to -34: Character loses one point (permanently) from one randomly determined ability score.

If any of the character's ability scores falls below 3 (including temporary effects), it will be fatal. If the victim dies the shade will pass away with it and not attack any other character.

Canopic shades will always attack until destroyed (reduced to zero hit points) or until the victim dies.

A victim managing to destroy a shade will gain one point on one randomly determined ability score.

CREDITS!
Art and Design: Graerne Morris
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
From another thread...

Mortis said:
A template looks like it would be the best solution for the first fragment of a canopic shade.

The othe two look like tiny sized incorporeal undead with a special attack.

<edit>
The original special attack looks a little complicated, we could reduce it to a Will save in the case of the 'brain' and a Fortitude save for the 'heart'.
</edit>
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
I agree with your assessment, Mortis.

So the "corpse" part almost sounds like it could just use any corporeal undead template and grant it turn resistance +3 (perhaps that stacks with existing turn resistance?).

The "brain" and "heart" should be 1 HD incorporeal undead, right? With an attack similar to this?

Malevolence (Su): Once per round, an ethereal ghost can merge its body with a creature on the Material Plane. This ability is similar to a magic jar spell (caster level 10th or the ghost’s Hit Dice, whichever is higher), except that it does not require a receptacle. To use this ability, the ghost must be manifested and it must try move into the target’s space; moving into the target’s space to use the malevolence ability does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The target can resist the attack with a successful Will save (DC 16). A creature that successfully saves is immune to that same ghost’s malevolence for 24 hours, and the ghost cannot enter the target’s space. If the save fails, the ghost vanishes into the target’s body.
 


freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Heh, this one looks interesting. Very Egyptian. :)

For the corpse part, I'd add that the "canopic shade" template adds the SQs mindless and immune to fear.

For the malevolence attack of the "heart" and "brain," I think magic jar is a good starting point, using Fort/Will saves for the heart/brain shades. I think we could even use the canopic jars as the magic jars. :D I'd simplify the attacks made by the possessing shade as requiring Fort/Will saves each round to prevent 1 point of damage (or drain?) from Con/Cha with death occuring at Con/Cha equals 0. A successful save deals damage to the shade (1 hp?). Do we want a shade victim who survives to gain a point (enhancement bonus?) to an ability?
 

Mortis

First Post
Shade said:
So the "corpse" part almost sounds like it could just use any corporeal undead template and grant it turn resistance +3 (perhaps that stacks with existing turn resistance?).
Any intelligent, corporeal undead? I can't see that you could use skeletons and zombies etc.

The "brain" and "heart" should be 1 HD incorporeal undead, right?
Yeah, they remind me a little of the gray philosopher's malices.
With an attack similar to this?

Malevolence (Su): Once per round, an ethereal ghost can merge its body with a creature on the Material Plane. This ability is similar to a magic jar spell (caster level 10th or the ghost’s Hit Dice, whichever is higher), except that it does not require a receptacle. To use this ability, the ghost must be manifested and it must try move into the target’s space; moving into the target’s space to use the malevolence ability does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The target can resist the attack with a successful Will save (DC 16). A creature that successfully saves is immune to that same ghost’s malevolence for 24 hours, and the ghost cannot enter the target’s space. If the save fails, the ghost vanishes into the target’s body.
Yes

Regards
Mortis
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
freyar said:
For the corpse part, I'd add that the "canopic shade" template adds the SQs mindless and immune to fear.

The undead type has got this covered. ;)

freyar said:
For the malevolence attack of the "heart" and "brain," I think magic jar is a good starting point, using Fort/Will saves for the heart/brain shades. I think we could even use the canopic jars as the magic jars. :D I'd simplify the attacks made by the possessing shade as requiring Fort/Will saves each round to prevent 1 point of damage (or drain?) from Con/Cha with death occuring at Con/Cha equals 0. A successful save deals damage to the shade (1 hp?). Do we want a shade victim who survives to gain a point (enhancement bonus?) to an ability?

I like it! :cool:

Mortis said:
Any intelligent, corporeal undead? I can't see that you could use skeletons and zombies etc.

Eh?

"Any undead creature which arises from this corpse will be sundered into three parts. The first will be one of the usual kinds of undead. This will develop from the main corpse and will have all the usual attributes except that, lacking a brain, it will be non-intelligent and, lacking a heart, will be fearless even to the extent of being resistant to the turning effect of clerics. Clerics (and Paladins) affect them as if they were 3 levels below their actual level. Therefore, clerics of levels 1-3 cannot affect these undead."

Here's a stab at a first draft of the "malevolence" ability...

Malevolence (Su): Once per round, a canopic shade can merge its body with a creature on the Material Plane. This ability is similar to a magic jar spell (caster level Xth), except that it uses the canopic jar as a receptacle. To use this ability, the canopic shade must try to move into the target’s space; moving into the target’s space to use the malevolence ability does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The target can resist the attack with a successful DC X Will save (for the brain) or DC X Fortitude save (for the heart). A creature that successfully saves is immune to that same canopic shade's malevolence for 24 hours, and the canopic shade cannot enter the target’s space. If the save fails, the canopic shade vanishes into the target’s body.

"Essence Drain (Su): Once a canopic shade has successfully used its malevolence ability and merged with a victim, it begins to drain the victim's essence. Each round, the victim must succeed on a DC X Will save (for the brain) or DC X Fortitude save (for the heart). Failure indicates that the victim suffers 1 point of ability drain (Charisma for the heart, Consititution for the body). A victim reduced to Cha or Con 0 in this manner dies, and the canopic shade is immediately destroyed as well.

Each round that a victim succeeds on its saving throw, the canopic shade suffers 1 point of damage. If a canopic shade is destroyed while merged with a victim, a tiny spark of stolen essence bursts forth, granting the victim 1d4 temporary points of Charisma (for the brain) or Constitution (for the heart). These temporary ability scores last for 24 hours.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Shade said:
The undead type has got this covered. ;)

Yeah, I forgot about the immunity from fear. But not all corporeal undead are mindless. From the SRD, ghouls, ghasts, vampire spawn, vampires, and liches all spring to mind (though admittedly the last two don't seem like good candidates for being canopic).

Malevolance and Essence Drain look good to me.

What CR do we think this should have?
 

Mortis

First Post
Shade said:
Eh?

"Any undead creature which arises from this corpse will be sundered into three parts. The first will be one of the usual kinds of undead. This will develop from the main corpse and will have all the usual attributes except that, lacking a brain, it will be non-intelligent and, lacking a heart, will be fearless even to the extent of being resistant to the turning effect of clerics. Clerics (and Paladins) affect them as if they were 3 levels below their actual level. Therefore, clerics of levels 1-3 cannot affect these undead."
Sorry, I could have made that clearer.

What I meant was that you start with an intelligent undead - the removal of the brain (and heart) would then make it non-intelligent.

i.e. You can't remove the brain from a skeleton (for example) because it doesn't have one ;)

Regards
Mortis
 

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