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Converting Monsters from White Dwarf Magazine?

diaglo

Adventurer
has anyone started a conversion for the Catalog from old White Dwarf articles?


i found my notes on The Chronicle Monsters.

The Raver
Evil Cormorant
Ur-Vile
Vile
Waynhim
Cavewight
Khresh
Ranyhyn
Ramen
Bloodguard
Seareach Giant
Jheherrin
Unfettered One


edit: unfortunately, my actual magazines were recycled...so all i have is my notes on the monsters above. heck, i don't even have the issue number.
 
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Shade

Monster Junkie
I've never owned a White Dwarf magazine and have only seen a few. However, count me in if you'd like to convert any of 'em, as long as someone can post the original stats. ;)
 

Garnfellow

First Post
Shade said:
I've never owned a White Dwarf magazine and have only seen a few. However, count me in if you'd like to convert any of 'em, as long as someone can post the original stats. ;)
I'd also want in on this project -- I started some notes last spring, but never got very far on my own.
 

Garnfellow

First Post
Spikehead

OK, here’s one to start us out. This monster appeared in the Fiend Factory column of White Dwarf No. 27. The theme was “Near Misses”: monsters that just barely missed the cut for the original Fiend Folio. Albie Fiore’s introduction states that most of these monsters were cut “for copyright reasons, as many were derived from various SF and fantasy novels.”

The spikehead is the only monster without an author listed, so I suspect that it may have been designed by Albie himself. I don’t recognize the creature from any work of fiction, but would not be surprised to find out there was an antecedent. The monster description was accompanied by a very cool drawing by Russ Nicholson, who drew many of the most striking illustrations in the old Fiend Folio. (A pity my scanner is on the fritz; it’s a pretty neat picture.) Anyway, here’s the original text:

SPIKEHEAD

No. Appearing: 1-20
Armour Class: 4
Movement: 9"
Hit Dice: 4d8
Treasure: Individuals K, L; O, Q in lair
Attack: 2d8 hug plus 1d10 gore
Alignment: Neutral
Intelligence: Low
Monstermark: 108 (level VI in 12 levels)

These uncommon creatures are squat, ape-like beasts with powerful limbs (and abnormally long arms) and a wicked bone horn projecting 2' from the centre of the forehead. Spikeheads do not speak and communicate with each other by grunts.

These creatures are ferocious fighters and will attack a party of any size A spikehead will charge on a chosen victim and attempt to grapple -- a successful hit indicates that it has delivered a powerful hug for 2d8 damage. In the next round it will automatically hug again for the same damage, and will also attempt to gore its victim, striking at +2 hit probability. A successful hit with the horn inflicts an additional 1d10 points of damage.

The spikehead will break off from grappling a victim only if it receives, in a single melee round, damage equal to 60% or more of its remaining hit points. Otherwise it continues to hug and requires no “to hit” roll to inflict the appropriate damage.
 
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Garnfellow

First Post
Here are some preliminary stats:

SPIKEHEAD

Large Monstrous Humanoid
Hit Dice: 4d8+8 (26 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares)
Armor Class: 14 (–1 size, +1 Dex, +4 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+14
Attack: Gore +10 melee (1d10+9)
Full Attack: Gore +10 melee (1d10+9)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Crush, improved grab
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft, scent
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +5
Abilities: Str 22, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 8
Organization: Solitary, pair, or troupe (3–20)

Crush (Ex): A spikehead deals 2d4+9 points of damage with a successful grapple check.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a spikehead must hit with its gore attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can crush.
 
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Shade

Monster Junkie
They'd probably be more of a magical beast than monstrous humanoid, based on the description. The artwork may have indicated otherwise, though.

Per the conversion guide, AC should be 16 (20 - original AC of 4) and speed should be 30 feet (2.5 x original speed of 9, rounded up to nearest multiple of 10).

It looks like the hug attack should be the primary attack, and improved grab should say "if it hits with its hug attack".

Finishing up the stat block:

Challenge Rating: 2
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually neutral
Advancement: 5-8 HD (Large); 9-12 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment: +4
 

Garnfellow

First Post
Shade said:
They'd probably be more of a magical beast than monstrous humanoid, based on the description. The artwork may have indicated otherwise, though.
No, I think magical beast /is/ probably a better choice -- I like the hp boost and having Fort rather than Will as a good save.

The rest of your suggestions seem right, too. The only thing I'm a little unsure about is making the hug the primary attack -- would a hug use a Grapple check or a regular attack roll? It seems like there is another monster out there that uses a hug as its main attack, but I'm drawing a blank.

I had considered giving him 2 slams as a primary attack, and then changing the improved grab to read, "if the spikehorn hits with both slam attacks, it can automatically start a grapple."
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Garnfellow said:
No, I think magical beast /is/ probably a better choice -- I like the hp boost and having Fort rather than Will as a good save.

The rest of your suggestions seem right, too. The only thing I'm a little unsure about is making the hug the primary attack -- would a hug use a Grapple check or a regular attack roll? It seems like there is another monster out there that uses a hug as its main attack, but I'm drawing a blank.

I had considered giving him 2 slams as a primary attack, and then changing the improved grab to read, "if the spikehorn hits with both slam attacks, it can automatically start a grapple."
Good question. I'd probably make it similar to bears, since they are the creatures traditionally known for "hug" attacks. The brown bear, polar bear, and owlbear all have claws as their primary attack and must hit with one claw to start a grapple as part of improved grab. So you could either make it one slam or two for improved grab, and allow it to automatically gore any creature it has grappled at the beginning of its turn.
 


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