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Converting Monsters from White Dwarf Magazine

Cleon

Adventurer
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.

Halls of Tizun Thane seems to be a popular subject for conversion to later editions of D&D. I've seen multiple takes on its monsters for 3E, plus a couple of conversions of the entire module. Don't think I've seen anything for 5E so far.

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."

Hmm…

The first paragraph reads a bit clunkily and I think some of it could belong in the later paragraph.

The second paragraph is a lot better, and I'll likely use most of it for the start of my take on a Description.

If and when I actually get around to it!
 

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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.

Is there any way to give them a different expression? They've all got the identical snarling mouth.

Maybe have the Jarl be grimly tight-lipped, since he's the mastermind?

Oh, your description mentions yellow eyes as well as green, but only the resin-thrall has them. Perhaps give the Thane or Thrall amber-colored eyes just to personalize them a bit?
 

Casimir Liber

Explorer
ok, one thane with fancier robes, amber eyes and a proper scimitar....jewlry options are annoyingly limited
 

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Cleon

Adventurer
I liked the previous version of the Thane Portrait better than this one. That purple cloth seems very unsuitable for a Pine Kindred!

The different pose also help distinguish it from the Jarl.

You've inspired me to have a look in HeroForge myself to see the options.

Let's see, how about giving that Thane a Scimitar in one hand and a Single Arrow from the Gear/Bow menu in the other hand (that's the clostest I could find to a "Dart" as an option). It should have some spare Darts as Back Items, either Single Arrows on both shoulders or a Quiver (or maybe both? Two Quivers or a Quiver and a Single Arrow).

Accessories could include a Woven Headband from the Clothing/Head menu, and maybe something grisly and savage looking from Gear/Piercings?
 



Cleon

Adventurer
Oh, and when you get around to redoing the basic Pine Kindred Portrait, I suggest putting a Scimitar at its waist with Gear/Side/Sword and having it hold a Single Arrow with more Single Arrows or a Quiver as Back or Side Items.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Trying out HeroForge, giving it Single Arrows as Gear/Side/Bow items looks clunky, especially if it has two of them, although a Quiver of darts looks fine as a Side item.

Single Arrows look better as Gear/Back Items/Bow items.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I'd like the Firecarl Portrait better if it had less clothing, maybe a single strap over its chest like the original Thane Portrait with ragged "shorts" and a bony chest like the Thrall Portrait.

EDIT: Oh I gave the Fircarl darts too, so maybe a Single Arrow on each hip from the Gear/Side/Bow menu?

If you prefer Fircarls with just a spear let me know and I'll edit it out of their stats.

EDIT: If the Fircarl ends up looking too much like a Resin-Thrall, I suggest giving the Thrall the Damaged Features or Humanoid Skull as its Head/Face option to help distinguish them.

We could also give them different haircuts. Maybe use the Short Spike Mohawk for a few of them instead of the same Head/Hair option for them all?

There don't appear to be many choices that resemble "Pine Needles" like we want. unfortunately.

How do you make them bald, by the way? The Thrall could just have a bare skull as its Head, but I can't figure out how to do that.

EDITED EDIT: Got it, you just deflag the Head/Hair option to make it bald.

I'd prefer the Thrall to have patchy pine needles for hair, but alas that doesn't appear to be an option. The Patchy Short Hair isn't anywhere like spiky enough and just looks goofy.

Anyhow, I need to be going out now. Might have some updates later. Ciao!
 
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Casimir Liber

Explorer
Playing with heroforge is fun! Rather than me run back and forth, is more economical time-wise if you just make them as you see them I think. I am not fussed too much regarding weapons, as long as image matches up with description. I'll work on some other monsters....
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Okay, I've been rummaging through the HeroForge options and I'm thinking we could drop the staff from the Jarl's left hand and put a Spell in that hand instead. I'm thinking Gear/Spell/Skull Spell Effect or Smoke Spell Effect? For the blade, there's a Viking Longsword option in Gear/Sword that seems appropriate.

That Wooden Staff does look good though, and I'm thinking about giving that to the Thrall instead of its Slam attacks. It just feels odd to have it the only anthropomorphic Pine Kindred that doesn't use weapons but just fists opponents for more damage than a 5E Club.

I'm also strongly inclined to add Vulnerability to Bludgeoning to the Thrall to go with the Slashing, leaving only Piercing damage weapons to do unmagnified harm to it. Clubs may break its bones and axes may cut it apart, but arrows just stick out of it.

Oh and Gear/Back includes an Animal Skin Cloak, Short Ragged Cape or Tendrilled Mantle, all of which I think might be good for the Thane and HeroForge will let it have a Gear/Back Items/Quiver for its "Darts" over it. The Jarl might have a cloak as well, and in his case I think the Furry Cloak should be considered as an option, since there's something more high status looking about it.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Playing with heroforge is fun! Rather than me run back and forth, is more economical time-wise if you just make them as you see them I think. I am not fussed too much regarding weapons, as long as image matches up with description. I'll work on some other monsters....

Yes, I've been spending more time than I probably should playing around with it.

By the way, what Body/Legs did you use for the Thrall? I can't tell if they're Standard Humanoid, Emaciated or Damaged, since the torn flesh of the Damaged Legs is either out of view because it's on the far side of its ankle or covered by its clothing.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
That Wooden Staff does look good though, and I'm thinking about giving that to the Thrall instead of its Slam attacks. It just feels odd to have it the only anthropomorphic Pine Kindred that doesn't use weapons but just fists opponents for more damage than a 5E Club.

I'm also strongly inclined to add Vulnerability to Bludgeoning to the Thrall to go with the Slashing, leaving only Piercing damage weapons to do unmagnified harm to it. Clubs may break its bones and axes may cut it apart, but arrows just stick out of it.

Heck, I'll just do it. Editing the Resin-Thrall to use a Quarterstaff and be vulnerable to Bludgeoning too.

EDIT: Amended the link
 
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Casimir Liber

Explorer
Yes, I've been spending more time than I probably should playing around with it.

By the way, what Body/Legs did you use for the Thrall? I can't tell if they're Standard Humanoid, Emaciated or Damaged, since the torn flesh of the Damaged Legs is either out of view because it's on the far side of its ankle or covered by its clothing.
I /think/ I just used standard....
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Pine Kindred, Resin-Thrall

Actions

Quarterstaff. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) bludgeoning damage, or 5 (1d8 + 1) bludgeoning damage if used with two hands.

Dammit, I think I'll go back to the Slam. I liked the uncluttered look of the unarmed Portrait, and Resin-Thralls are not proper Pine Kindred after all, but more like resinous zombies.
 


Cleon

Adventurer
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.

Anyhow, better get back to the monster conversion before I'm distracted by Hero Forge again!

Thinking it over, it would be better to remove the stat-modifier from the healing application and just have it do dice of healing. Then the healing will just depend on how many doses the Pine Kindred uses, so the value per dose is the same for a Thane and a Jarl, but a Jarl can use more doses.

I'd make it 2d6 per dose, which averages 7, since the previous versions have the Thane do 1d8+2 (average 6.5) and the Jarl 1d8+3 (7.5) that averages 7, and it also means that if Pine Kindred heals itself (assuming it can do that - I haven't quite decided) it heals 1d6 per dose, since the 1d6 bleeding damage "cancels out" one of the dice in the 2d6 healing.

Furthermore, I'd make the Necrotic Sap powers more effective in a Sacrificial Grove. I'm thinking it just takes less damage when performing a sap-sacrifice there, maybe half damage?

It could also just "nick itself" to do less damage, but the sap sacrifice will be proportionally less effective.

Come to think of it, maybe I should just call the power "Necrotic Sap" and have "Infusion" as the name for usage it can make Touch attacks with?

Will combine those ideas into a new Necrotic Sap power and add it to the Thane and Jarl…

…Eventually.
 


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