Converting Monsters from Polyhedron Magazine

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Monster Junkie
Hopefully this one proves easier.

Grave Watcher
CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Thmbs, crypts, graveyards, burial grounds
DIET: Unknown
HIT DICE: 5-16
THAC0: 15 (5-6 HD) 13 (7-8 HD) 11 (9-10 HD) 9 (11-12 HD) 7 (13-14 HD) 5 (15-16 HD)
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1-8 per attack
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Regeneration, immune to electrical attacks, edged weapons cause half damage
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Immune to mind-effecting spells
SIZE: M (5'-6')
MORALE: Fearless (19-20)
XP VALUE: 1,400 (5 HD) 2,000 (6-7 HD) 4,000 (8 HD) 5,000 (9 HD) 6,000 (10-11 HD) 7,000 (12-13 HD) 8,000 (14-15 HD)

A grave watcher looks like hundreds of tiny, pulsating lights -- a ballet of fireflies hovering over a grave or about a tomb. At any given time the lights are all the same color. However, the colors do vary from creature to creature, from white to rose to emerald green and shades in between.

The lights are not a part of the creature, but are residual bursts of energy that it constantly gives off. Some sages believe that the colors of the lights correspond to the creature's moods or strength. The lights effectively mask the creature, which is a black, vaguely man-shaped form with tentacles. The lights can also be distracting. Any characters viewing a grave watcher for the first time easily can become mesmerized by the light display. Such characters must make a saving throw vs. petrification at a -2 penalty or stand transfixed by the lights for 2d4 rounds.

The body of a grave watcher is made of thousands of small particles from the negative material plane that are held together by electrical energy. A grave watcher's hit dice determines the number of tentacles it has: HD-4 = # of tentacles. For example, a 5 HD grave watcher has one tentacle, a 6 HD, two; a 7 HD, three; and a 15 HD, 11.

Further, grave watchers have maximum hit points. This means a 5 HD grave watcher has 40 hit points, and a 15 HD grave watcher has 120.

Combat: A grave watcher only attacks if someone or something trespasses over a grave it has chosen to watch. A grave watcher has as many attacks as it has appendages. Each successful strike causes 1d8 points of electrical damage. In addition, if a struck victim is wearing or carrying more than 20 pounds of metal, the electricity has a scatter effect. All those standing within 10 feet of him suffer 1d8 points of damage from the electricity bouncing off of him (save vs. breath weapon for half). Please note that most metal armor weighs more than 20 pounds, and treasure often has a lot of metal in it.

For every 8 hit points of damage the grave watcher suffers, it loses one tentacle, and therefore one attack. Tentacles reform and reattach to the main body after four rounds (regenerating 2 hp a round); however, if a grave watcher's hit points ever fall below zero, the creature is slain.

Because a grave watcher is composed of small particles, edged weapons cause only half damage, as they pass between some of the particles. Bludgeoning weapons cause full damage, however. Magical attacks which are mind-effecting, such as charm person, charm monster, suggestion, etc. have no effect on a grave watcher. Electrical attacks harmlessly pass through the creature's body.

Grave watchers which have 10 or more hit dice can split themselves in two. For example, a 10 HD grave watcher can become two 5 HD grave watchers. This process takes four rounds.

Habitat/Society: Each grave watcher guards a specific area and will not allow intruders to disturb the dead or their possessions. It is not known how a grave watcher chooses a home, but it is rumored that one can be summoned to act as a guardian.

Only one grave watcher has been noted at anyone time. Sages theorize that when multiple grave watchers come in contact with each other they fuse to form a larger creature.

Ecology: Grave watchers perform a useful task by guarding the resting places of those departed from this world.

From Polyhedron #76 (1992).


Extradimensional Explorer
Shade said:
I could see arguments for either. Undead isn't even completely out (think nightshades).
True, but an undead in a graveyard would be so trite! :p

I kind of like the idea of an aberration, but I'm willing to go with a majority on this one.


Extradimensional Explorer
Given that they attack with their tentacles, I actually don't think so. That would be cool, though.


Monster Junkie
Yeah, good point.

Let's try to come up with some ability scores for this thing.

We know Int is 15-16. Beyond that, what do you think?


Extradimensional Explorer
Tough call. I'd probably go low Str, high Dex. Cha should probably also be high-ish. What about Str 5, Dex 20, Con 15, Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 15?

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