Converting monsters from Tales From The Infinite Staircase

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
OK, the basic stats for the warrior look good, and I agree with the ability bump to Con. Feats should definitely include Mounted Combat and EWP (torag pole). And let's go with several extra symbionts, say the gifts of Strength, Con, and Speed.

It's too bad we can't find another fly for these fly mounts, since we converted a number of them before! It's always nice to get use of some of our old conversions, but ah well. Anyway, I think I'd prefer to leave these as mindless vermin. Isn't there a feat or something that lets you train vermin?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
OK, the basic stats for the warrior look good, and I agree with the ability bump to Con. Feats should definitely include Mounted Combat and EWP (torag pole). And let's go with several extra symbionts, say the gifts of Strength, Con, and Speed.
That works for me.

It's too bad we can't find another fly for these fly mounts, since we converted a number of them before! It's always nice to get use of some of our old conversions, but ah well. Anyway, I think I'd prefer to leave these as mindless vermin. Isn't there a feat or something that lets you train vermin?
Like the feat from Drow of the Underdark with the original name of "Vermin Trainer"?

The problem with that is it isn't SRD.

Also, the original stats for the "Giant Fly Mount" give it an intelligence of Animal (1), meaning it isn't a mindless insect like a Giant Horsefly (which are non-intelligence in both AD&D and our CC conversion).

The Giant Fly Mount is very close statistically to a 2E Giant Horsefly including them sharing the "attaches to opponent" special attack. The differences are the Giant Fly Mount's got a better THAC0 (15 vs 17), Morale (11 vs 5-7) and aerial maneuverability (A vs D).

Making them Magical Beast mounts like a Spider Eater seems the easiest solution.

Come to think of it, the higher BAB and larger HD sort-of matches the differences between the AD&D original's: The Mount's attacks are 2 points more accurate and its hit points of 32 are higher than the 27 average it should have for 6d8 Hit Dice.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
OK, I can accept a Magical Beast version of the Giant Horsefly, but it would be nice to have a little more of a difference.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
OK, I can accept a Magical Beast version of the Giant Horsefly, but it would be nice to have a little more of a difference.
Well it already has the difference of being a magical beast. Are there any bits of the Homebrew Giant Fly Mount version I posted recently you like?

I'm thinking we could do without the Evasion and Wallcrawling abilities of my homebrew, since the original monster lacked them.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Attach and Gnaw look fine. Resistant to Disease, too. So I guess we just need a description, wouldn't you say? Can we borrow from our giant horsefly?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Attach and Gnaw look fine. Resistant to Disease, too.
That's certainly enough to start a Working Draft.

I'm tempted to change the name from Giant Fly Mount to Giant Riding Fly. It's a bit easier to my ears.

So I guess we just need a description, wouldn't you say? Can we borrow from our giant horsefly?
The CC Giant Horsefly conversion's background text has:

Giant horseflies are among the largest of their kind. They feed upon nectar and pollen of giant plants, and the blood and flesh of large mammals, birds, and other animals.

Giant horseflies lay their eggs on leaves, stems, or stones near water. On hatching, the larvae fall into water or moist earth, feeding voraciously on anything smaller than themselves.

How about:

Massive magical relatives of the already large giant horsefly, these insects are barely intelligence enough be trained as mounts. Giant fly mounts [?Giant riding flies?] eat anything rich in sugar and protein such as nectar, honey, blood or flesh. They enjoy eating rotting carrion.

These flies lay their eggs on leaves, stems, or stones near water. On hatching, the larvae fall into water or moist earth, feeding voraciously on anything smaller than themselves.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Fly, Giant Riding
Large Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 6d10+18 (51 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), climb 20 ft., fly 70 ft. (good)
Armor Class: 15 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +4 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+14
Attack: Bite +9 melee (2d8+6 plus attach)
Full Attack: Bite +9 melee (2d8+6 plus attach)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Attach, gnaw
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., resistant to disease, scent, vermin traits
Saves: Fort +8 (+12 vs. disease), Ref +9, Will +2
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 1, Wis 10, Cha 3
Skills: Climb +12, Listen +6, Spot +7
Feats: Dodge, Endurance, Lightning Reflexes
Environment: Any warm land (Maelgost)
Organization: Domesticated
Challenge Rating: 4
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 7-9 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment:

This massive fly approaches with a thunderous din from its rapidly beating wings.

Massive magical relatives of the already large giant horsefly, these insects are barely intelligent enough be trained as mounts. Giant riding flies eat anything rich in sugar and protein such as nectar, honey, blood or flesh. They enjoy eating rotting carrion.

These flies lay their eggs on leaves, stems, or stones near water. On hatching, the larvae fall into water or moist earth, feeding voraciously on anything smaller than themselves.

A giant riding fly is around 8 feet long with a 16-foot wingspan and weighs about 1,500 pounds.

Combat
The giant riding fly's mandibles resemble serrated hooks, which they use to latch onto opponents and rip out chunks of flesh, leaving vicious wounds.

Attach (Ex): A giant riding fly that hits with its bite attack latches onto the opponent’s body with its powerful jaws. An attached giant riding fly loses its Dexterity bonus to AC and thus has an AC of 13. An attached giant riding fly can be struck with a weapon or grappled itself. To remove an attached giant riding fly through grappling, the opponent must achieve a pin against the creature.

A giant riding fly cannot bite another creature while attached to an opponent.

Gnaw (Ex): A giant riding fly can automatically deal bite damage (2d8+6) each round it remains attached to an opponent. This counts as an attack of opportunity.

Resistant to Disease (Ex): A giant riding fly has a +4 racial bonus on Fortitude saves vs. disease.

Skills: Giant riding flies have a +2 racial bonus on Listen and Spot checks and a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks. A giant riding fly can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened.

Training a Giant Riding Fly
A giant riding fly requires training before it can bear a rider in combat.

Training a giant riding fly requires six weeks of work and a DC 25 Handle Animal check. Riding a giant riding fly requires an exotic saddle. A giant riding fly can fight while carrying a rider, but the rider cannot also attack unless he or she succeeds on a Ride check.

Giant riding fly eggs are worth 3,000 gp apiece on the open market, while larva are worth 6,000 gp each. Professional trainers charge 1,500 gp to rear or train a giant riding fly.

Carrying Capacity
A light load for a giant riding fly is up to 300 pounds; a medium load, 301-600 pounds; and a heavy load, 601-900 pounds.

Originally appeared in Tales From the Infinite Staircase (1998) in Tale 3: Lord of the Worms as the "Giant Fly Mount".
 
Last edited:

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I kind of like the Giant Riding Fly too. The description looks good, though "barely intelligence" should be "barely intelligent." And I think that flavor and name change will wrap these up.

Back to the Hanim Warrior?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I kind of like the Giant Riding Fly too. The description looks good, though "barely intelligence" should be "barely intelligent." And I think that flavor and name change will wrap these up.
Works for me.

Updating Giant Fly Mount Giant Riding Fly Working Draft.

Back to the Hanim Warrior?
Yup! Where were we again?

This was the most recent post:

OK, the basic stats for the warrior look good, and I agree with the ability bump to Con. Feats should definitely include Mounted Combat and EWP (torag pole). And let's go with several extra symbionts, say the gifts of Strength, Con, and Speed.
I'll update the Hanim Warrior Working Draft with the above.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I'll update the Hanim Warrior Working Draft with the above.
So skills and feats next?

The proposed "max out Climb, Handle Animal, Ride" looks fine to me. That'd give 'em:

Skills: Climb +10, Handle Animal +2 (+6 for valgoss hosts), Listen +1* (+3 on Maelost), Ride +9, Spot +1* (+3 on Maelost), Survival +1* (+3 on Maelost)

Hurr… the Charisma skill penalty for having four symbionts really hits its Handle Animal ability. Maybe we should either say they use flies with a valgoss symbiont or add Handle Animal to the "Intimidate exception"?

As for feats, how about:

Class Level Feats: Mounted Combat, plus one more

Human Bonus Feat: Iron Will?

Fighter Bonus Feats: Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Weapon Focus (torag pole), Weapon Specialization (torag pole)

I couldn't come up with anything terribly interesting for the second class level feat. Just the usual boring choices - Lightning Reflexes, Combat Reflexes, Mounted Archery, Power Attack.

Fighters don't get enough love in this system.

Oh, and we need to decide on a missile weapon for them. The original entry makes no mention of them, so maybe they're only armed with torag poles? Still, I'm more inclined to at least give them javelins or something.

Oh, and I am inclined to give the sample warrior a heavy wooden shield, since they are noted as being able to make shields out of insect carapaces.

Maybe we should list that as "+2 heavy chitin shield [equal to heavy wooden shield]" in the stats?
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Let's have them use flies with valgoss symbionts, I think. That's slightly more flavorful.

Iron Will is fine for the human feat. Let's just go with Mounted Archery for the second class feat. It fits with Mounted Combat, at least.

Let's give them javelins and the chitin shield as you suggest.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Let's have them use flies with valgoss symbionts, I think. That's slightly more flavorful.

Iron Will is fine for the human feat. Let's just go with Mounted Archery for the second class feat. It fits with Mounted Combat, at least.

Let's give them javelins and the chitin shield as you suggest.
Updating the Hanim Warrior Working Draft with the above.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
OK, I guess the mechanics on these are done except for the cost of the torag pole. It's probably close to a spiked chain in value, though the materials it's made of might reduce the value. I'd probably go with 20gp just because it's exotic, but 10gp or even less might be a better reflection of its worth.

Tactics: Hanim warriors fight from their giant fly mounts, throwing javelins or extending their torag poles to stay out of reach.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
OK, I guess the mechanics on these are done except for the cost of the torag pole. It's probably close to a spiked chain in value, though the materials it's made of might reduce the value. I'd probably go with 20gp just because it's exotic, but 10gp or even less might be a better reflection of its worth.
Well statswise it's pretty much just a light mace with optional Reach which is very weak for an exotic weapon. Spiked chains are better in numerous ways. Its telescoping mechanism must presumably make it a lot more difficult and complicated to make so it ought not to be that cheap as a simple staff or mace. When I think about what must be involved in its manufacture it sounds as or more difficult to craft than a repeating crossbow. Arguably more difficult, since repeating crossbows don't have to work reliably after you repeatedly bash them against an enemy.

So I guess we should just pull a number out of the air and use it. I suppose 20 gp is as good as anything.

Come to think of it, we never got around to saying if an action is required to extend and/or contract a torag pole. I suggest we use the precedent of the 3E rod of lordly might, which can switch between a shortspear and a longspear with the press of a button and "Pushing any of the rod’s buttons is equivalent to drawing a weapon".

So shall we add the sentence "Extending or contracting a torag pole is equivalent to drawing a weapon."

Tactics: Hanim warriors fight from their giant fly mounts, throwing javelins or extending their torag poles to stay out of reach.
Hmm…

Hanim warriors usually fight from their giant fly mounts. They try to stay out of their enemies' reach by throwing javelins or striking with extended torag poles.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
That all sounds good to me!

Do you have an idea for background to finish this one off? I've gotten horribly behind.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
That all sounds good to me!
Updating the Hanim Warrior Working Draft.

The sample creature is missing a description. How would you like:

A sinewy human armed with a curiously segmented pole, a quiver of stone-tipped javelins and a shield that appears to be made from the shell of a giant beetle. Dressed in leather armor, the human's equipment shows no scrap of metal, not even a buckle or pin.

Do you have an idea for background to finish this one off? I've gotten horribly behind.
I don't think the Hanim Warrior needs any more background. The first paragraph of Valgoss Symbionts is enough for our needs.

Just remove the "Background" placeholder before "Hanim warriors normally ride into battle on giant riding flies bonded to their own valgoss symbionts."
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Looks good!
Updating the Hanim Warrior Working Draft.

Updating Valgoss Working Draft.

Done with the valgoss now?
That depends on whether you're up for doing a "Hanim Worm Lord" sample creature. The original adventure has a prominent role for a 9th-level wizard/9th-level cleric called Zophiel who enjoyed that title.

Statting him up would be more complicated than the Warrior but someone running the scenario in 3E (i.e. Oryan77) would find it useful.

If you're not interested I'm likely to stat Zophiel up as a Homebrew.

EDIT: Just corrected an error. Zophiel is a 9th/9th level character not a 9th/4th level one. Should we convert him I'd go for Wizard 3/Cleric 3/Mystic Theurge 6.
 
Last edited:

Cleon

Adventurer
Dang it, I just realized we've forgotten the hit point penalty from the Valgoss Host template - that's 4 hit points per symbiont and four symbionts, so the sample creature should have:

Hit Dice: 4d10+12–16 (18 hp)

Hmm… that's an awfully big drop.

Would you have any objection to making it 2 hit points per worm instead? (i.e. 1 per mouth)

Hit Dice: 4d10+12–8 (26 hp)

As an added bonus, that would mean the Hanim Warriors' hit points are the same as the AD&D version!
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Yes, I'm ok with reducing it to 2hp per worm. 4hp turned out to be a pretty big penalty for a fighter type. And might just kill a low-mid level wizard!

Oh, let's do the Worm Lord. I'm all for that. The Mystic Theurge route you suggest sounds fine to me.
 

Advertisement

Top