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Converting Monsters from White Dwarf Magazine

Cleon

Adventurer
one labelled 'thane' better as 'jarl' I think...

That HeroForge Thane looks a lot more like I imagine a Pine Kindred than the Thrall, or the Pine Kindred you posted a few pages ago. There's something about those clothes that makes him look like he's just commuting home from a hard day stacking shelves in a shop. That Thane looks way more like a undead woodsman.

Jarls, Thanes and regular Kindred probably look pretty similar, I guess the Jarls or Thanes could have armour or ceremonial garb, or just fancy jewelery or headdresses?
 

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Cleon

Adventurer
Might as well do a text working draft for the Jarl while I'm at it.

Pine Kindred, Jarl
Medium undead, neutral evil
Armor Class 16 (natural armor) [better increase as 16's low for the CR]
Hit Points 67 (9d8 + 27) [maybe add a few HD?]
Speed 30 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
15 (+2)​
16 (+3)​
16 (+3)​
13 (+1)​
16 (+3)​
13 (+1)​

Saving Throws Dex +6, Int +4, Wis +6
Skills Arcana +4, Nature +6, Perception +6, Religion +6, Stealth +6
Damage Vulnerabilities fire
Damage Resistances lightning, poison; bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities cold
Condition Immunities exhausted, paralyzed
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 16
Languages Druidic, Sylvan
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP) Proficiency Bonus +3

Special Traits

Pine Blood. Pine kindred count as both plant and undead for any effect related to type.

Spellcasting. The pine kindred jarl is a 6th-level spellcaster that used Wisdom as its spellcasting ability (spell save DC 14; +6 to hit with spell attacks). The thane has the following spells prepared from the druid's spell list. [maybe increase to 8th-level spellcaster?]

Cantrips (at will): druidcraft, second cantrip, third cantrip
1st level (4 slots): [spells to be decided]
2nd level (3 slots): [spells to be decided]
3rd level (3 slots): [spells to be decided]

Some pine kindred know spells from outside the druid's spell list (see Dark Druidic Mysteries).

Create Kindred. [to be decided]

Actions

Multiattack. The pine kindred jarl makes two longsword attacks or three dart attacks. It can use its Shrieking Wail in place of one longsword attack or dart attack.

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) slashing damage, or 7 (1d10 + 2) slashing damage if used with two hands.

Dart. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.

Shrieking Wail. The pine kindred jarl howls a terrifying dirge. Every humanoid and giant within within 300 feet of the pine kindred that can hear the wail must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or be compelled to flee in panic until the wail ends; acting as if they had failed their save against a suggestion spell telling them to "run in terror". The kindred must take a multiattack action on its subsequent turns to continue wailing. It can stop wailing at any time. The wail ends if the kindred is incapacitated. While affected by the wail, a target ignores the wails of other pine kindred. If the target is within 300 feet of the kindred, the target must move on its turn away from the kindred by the most direct route, trying to get as far away as possible. The target tries to circumvent opportunity attacks and obvious damaging terrain, such as lava or a pit. Whenever it takes damage, the target can repeat the saving throw. The target can also repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns. If the saving throw is successful, the suggestion effect ends on it. The suggestion also ends if the target stops hearing the wail or flees outside ear shot (i.e. more than 300 feet away from the wailing kindred). A target who successfully saves is immune to the wails of any pine kindred with the same or fewer Hit Dice as the kindred they saved against, but can be affected by the shrieking wails of pine kindred with more Hit Dice, such as Thanes or Jarls.

Updated the Jarl with the Challenge 4 stats (the above text shows the old CR 5 version).
 

Casimir Liber

Explorer
That HeroForge Thane looks a lot more like I imagine a Pine Kindred than the Thrall, or the Pine Kindred you posted a few pages ago. There's something about those clothes that makes him look like he's just commuting home from a hard day stacking shelves in a shop. That Thane looks way more like a undead woodsman.

Jarls, Thanes and regular Kindred probably look pretty similar, I guess the Jarls or Thanes could have armour or ceremonial garb, or just fancy jewelery or headdresses?
Ok will leave as thane and do something fancier of jarl :)
 

Casimir Liber

Explorer
You'd better get some sleep then!

When I saw your earlier Circle of Nightmares Draft with its "healing ichor" ability, it inspired an idea for a "2nd level Circle" ability for the Thane and Jarl.

Gift of Nidhogg. The pine kindred thane touches a creature and infuses its circulation with pine sap infused with necromantic venom. [Damages living creatures, heals and gives temporary hit points to undead, infuses sap into pine kindred during a pine kindred jarl's Kindred Initiation ritual. Details to be discussed.]



Yes, I just hadn't got around to updating the Jarl yet.

For the Jarl's Dark Druidic Mysteries spells I was tempted by animate dead* since it seems their schtick to make undead.
Yeah - both of these sound good
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Ichor of Entropy
At 2nd level, you become imbued with the entropic aberrant vitality of the Far Realm. You are a font of energy that offers respite from injuries. You have a pool of outre energy represented by a number of d6s equal to your druid level.

As a bonus action, you can choose one creature you can see within 120 feet of you and spend a number of those dice equal to half your druid level or less. Roll the spent dice and add them together. The target regains a number of hit points equal to the total. The target also gains 1 temporary hit point per die spent.

You regain all expended dice when you finish a long rest.

For the Fircarl's basic description how about:

Fircarls are lesser versions of regular pine kindred, weaker physically and with minimal magical abilities. They can be produced using the same grisly ritual that creates standard pine kindred, but its requirements are less stringent. A fircarl can be formed from a fleshly slain humanoid corpse, and its creation requires the infusion of less sap of Nidhogg than a full-blooded kindred.

Gift of Nidhogg. The pine kindred thane touches a creature and infuses its circulation with pine sap infused with necromantic venom. [Damages living creatures, heals and gives temporary hit points to undead, infuses sap into pine kindred during a pine kindred jarl's Kindred Initiation ritual. Details to be discussed.]

After thinking it over, I think maybe we should leave mention of Nidhogg to the Description as a "myth" of the Pine Kindred and leave the mechanics more, well, mechanical. Perhaps call the ability Necrotic Sap Infusion, although maybe the Kindred themselves refer to it as the "gift of Nidhogg".

Then again, I just like the ring of "Gift of Nidhogg" better.

Here's a fleshed out version:

Gift of Nidhogg. The sap that pine kindred use for blood contains a necrotic venom the kindred call Sap of Nidhogg whose outre energy can be used in various necromantic practices. A pine kindred thane contains Sap of Nidhogg represented by [four?] doses of this gift.​
A pine kindred thane can touch a target and infuse their circulation with Sap of Nidhogg drawn from the thane's own veins. A thane can spend up to two doses when it uses Gift of Nidhogg. It can touch two targets and infuse each with a single dose or infuse a one target with a double dose. The thane takes 1d6 damage per dose. If the target is an undead, it regains 1d8 + 2 hit points per dose. If the target is a living creature, it takes 1d10 necrotic damage per dose plus 1d10 poison damage per dose.​
The thane can also use Gift of Nidhogg to assist a pine kindred jarl when it uses Initiate Pine Kindred.​

I'm also thinking of adding a Rough Draft of a Description to the base Pine Kindred, but I'll see how my time & inclination goes. Might not happen for a while.
 

Casimir Liber

Explorer
Yeah I think keeping it milieu-neutral as "necrotic sap infusion" is prudent. Happy to leave the description to you if you have an idea of how you want it.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Gift of Nidhogg. The sap that pine kindred use for blood contains a necrotic venom the kindred call Sap of Nidhogg whose outre energy can be used in various necromantic practices. A pine kindred thane contains Sap of Nidhogg represented by [four?] doses of this gift.

Come to think of it, the explanation for Sap of Nidhogg is going to be in the base Pine Kindred's Description, should I have a reference to that there?

Could also trim & tidy the wording a little.

Gift of Nidhogg. The sap that pine kindred use for blood contains a necrotic venom the kindred call Sap of Nidhogg (see Pine Kindred) whose outre energy can be used in various necromantic practices. A pine kindred thane's blood contains [four?] doses of this gift and it can spend up to two doses per round.

A pine kindred thane can touch a target and infuse their circulation with Gift-infused sap from the thane's own veins. Treat this as a touch attack spell, the kindred does not need to spend any Gift if the attack misses. The thane can touch two targets and infuse each with a single dose, or infuse one target with a double dose. The thane takes 1d6 damage per dose from the blood-sap it loses. If the target is an undead, it regains 1d8 + 2 hit points per dose. If the target is a living creature, it takes 1d10 necrotic damage per dose plus 1d10 poison damage per dose.

The thane can also use Gift of Nidhogg to assist a pine kindred jarl when it casts Initiate Pine Kindred.
 
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Cleon

Adventurer
Yeah I think keeping it milieu-neutral as "necrotic sap infusion" is prudent. Happy to leave the description to you if you have an idea of how you want it.

That'd be:

Necrotic Sap Infusion. The sap that pine kindred use for blood contains a necrotic venom the kindred call the Gift of Nidhogg (see Pine Kindred) whose outre energy can be used in various necromantic practices. A pine kindred thane's blood contains [four?] doses of this gift and it can spend up to two doses per round.

A pine kindred thane can touch a target and infuse their circulation with sap from the thane's own veins. Treat this as a touch attack spell, the kindred does not need to spend any doses if the attack misses. The thane can touch two targets and infuse each with a single dose, or infuse one target with a double dose. The thane takes 1d6 damage per dose from the blood-sap it loses. If the target is an undead, it regains 1d8 + 2 hit points per dose. If the target is a living creature, it takes 1d10 necrotic damage per dose plus 1d10 poison damage per dose.

The thane can also use Necrotic Sap Infusion to assist a pine kindred jarl when it casts Initiate Pine Kindred.
 
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Casimir Liber

Explorer
..so something a bit more dramatic as jarl...such as .....and got a dog head too
 

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Cleon

Adventurer
call the Sap of Nidhogg (see Pine Kindred)

Come to think of it, if the Dark Druidic Mysteries is going to be in the base Pine Kindred's Description, then the references in the Carl, Jarl and Thane should mention that.

As in "(see Dark Druidic Mysteries in Pine Kindred)"
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Okay, that Jarl Picture is nice. It's good enough I'll add it to the Index in due course. Could do with a buckled-on sword or quiver of darts if that's possible, but I like the staff it's carrying.

The Resin-Hound Picture is iffy, think I'd leave that out. The chap looks like furry pretending to be scary! Guess there's only so much you can do with Hero Forge. Presumably it's set up to model Humanoids rather than Canines.

The Thane Picture is pretty good, but I'd prefer it to have a scimitar or jagged sword and maybe add on a bit more jewelery & ornament?

Contrariwise, if you gave the current Thane Pic a dart instead of a staff it'd make an improved replacement for the Pine Kindred Picture (if HeroForge doesn't do darts, the fletched spear of the current Thrall Portrait would do I guess, but that seems a better fit for the Fircarl if we end up doing a D&DBeyond version of that).

That said, it might be tricky making a visually distinction between the Thane and standard Kindred. Maybe give the Thane a short cloak as well as extra jewelery?

As for a Thrall Pic, it now only has a Slam attack and is basically a Zombie, so remove the weapon and have it dressed in scraps & remnants of cloth. Maybe tweak the colour so it's more "rotten zombie" and less "green man". If you can have a few exposed bones it'd help too. The Fircarl could have some of that discolouration and maybe an exposed bone, since it's an intermediate stage.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Dang it, we forgot to think of Skills for the regular Pine Kindred!

Regular Wights have Perception and Stealth.

Druids tend to have Nature and Religion, but these are evil twisted necromancer-druids so I think Arcana works too.

Maybe it's only the Jarls who have Arcana since they've delved into the deeper mysteries, but the Thanes have Religion because they help organize the Pine Kindred's rituals? That sort of makes sense.

We could cut out the Stealth, since they have a decent Dexterity so are pretty stealth at default, but I imagine these green-skinned creatures are quite adept at stalking victims through the woods.

Pine Kindred Skills Nature +, Perception +, Stealth +?
Pine Thane Skills Nature +, Perception +, Religion +? Stealth +?
Pine Jarl Skills Arcana +, Nature +, Perception +, Religion +? Stealth +?

So that'd revise the kindred to the following. I noticed a couple of minor typographical inconsistencies to fix while I was at it (colons that should be full stops, for example).

I'm going to cut out this "waffling about Skills" text from the Pine Kindred since it's served its purpose and clutters up the post.

Also updated the Fircarl, Jarl, and Thane posts with "Some pine kindred know spells from outside the druid's spell list (see Dark Druidic Mysteries in Pine Kindred)."
 

Cleon

Adventurer
That'd be:

Necrotic Sap Infusion. The sap that pine kindred use for blood contains a necrotic venom the kindred call the Sift of Nidhogg (see Pine Kindred) whose outre energy can be used in various necromantic practices. A pine kindred thane's blood contains [four?] doses of this gift and it can spend up to two doses per round.

A pine kindred thane can touch a target and infuse their circulation with sap from the thane's own veins. Treat this as a touch attack spell, the kindred does not need to spend any doses if the attack misses. The thane can touch two targets and infuse each with a single dose, or infuse one target with a double dose. The thane takes 1d6 damage per dose from the blood-sap it loses. If the target is an undead, it regains 1d8 + 2 hit points per dose. If the target is a living creature, it takes 1d10 necrotic damage per dose plus 1d10 poison damage per dose.

The thane can also use Necrotic Sap Infusion to assist a pine kindred jarl when it casts Initiate Pine Kindred.

I decided "Gift of Nidhogg" is better than "Sap" as Nidhug's a dragon not a plant, plus it serves as a pun since "gift" means "poison" in some Germanic/Norse languages.

Interestingly, that page's Etymology shows the "poison" meaning began as a euphemism. The word originally was gipta "given away in marriage" and hence "gift or present", eventually gained the additional meaning of "dose of medicine" which was then used as a euphemism for "poison" (as in, a harmful dose of medicine). In some languages it lost the earlier non-poisonous meanings, and in others it stuck at "present", like in English.

Apparently in Swedish it can mean "poison" (from German) AND "married" (from the original Norse), which seems a bit awkward!
 


Casimir Liber

Explorer
Okay, I've updated the Pine Kindred with the bare-bone titles of the Descriptions I'm thinking of giving them, to be fleshed out when I have the time and inclination.
Cool - we can always do it bit by bit - would like to get this finished before polishing enslaver. Am also adapting Halls of Tizun Thane for 5e, which has 3 original WD FF monsters in it too.

Intro:

"Pine Kindred are a foul form of undead/plant hybrid, created vai a dark ritual where freshly-dead or still living bodies have their blood replaced by pine sap. They live in dark pine forests and work to lure or catch unsuspecting humanoids to be converted into more of their kind. This foul procedure is carried out by the Jarl of the tribe..

They appear as sinewy humanoids with dark green-brown dry skin with prominent blackish pulsing veins, and a strong, almost overpowering, smell of conifer. They have a menacing demeanour and feral piercing yellow or green eyes. They wear remnants of clothing they wore in life."
 

Casimir Liber

Explorer
here are some jarl and thane images I tried to jazz up a bit, but was hard with limited options...
 

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Casimir Liber

Explorer
O-kay...how's this for resin-hound...original was a commerically free image from wikimedia commons
 

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Cleon

Adventurer
The new Thrall Portrait and Resin-Hound Portrait look fine to me, I'll add them to the White Dwarf Conversion Index.

The Thane Portrait should have a scimitar according to its stats, not a regular sword, and maybe could do with a little more ornament. Maybe the same crossed breastbands or shoulderguards as the Jarl? The blade you gave the first draft Kindred Portrait is at least serrated and somewhat curvy as per the White Dwarf #21 original's "jagged sabre", although it looks too heavy to be the scimitar we gave the Thane and Pine Kindred.

As for the Jarl Portrait, can you put the current Thane Portrait's sword in its raised hand instead of it just being a fist? Apart from that I like it, the antlered headgear is a nice way to make clear it's the boss monster. If HeroForge won't allow that, I'll be OK adding it to the Index as-is.
 


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