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Converting original D&D and Mystara monsters

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BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
This thread continues my idea of “cooperative conversions” started in this thread, converting a series of monsters from similar sources. For this thread, we will be focusing on monsters that first appeared in various original version Dungeon and Dragons products, as well as those from second edition Mystara products.

What I will do is first post the creature’s original stats and flavor text. Then, I will post a basic outline of the things I think it needs, and then I will give you an opportunity to suggest stats and ideas on how powers and abilities should work. Then, I will add more to it and we will continue to discuss it until I feel it’s done and time to move on to the next. As we work on these creatures, they will be posted in this thread, and after 10 conversions are complete they will be added to the Creature Catalog. You may comment on monsters already finished, of course.

For a list of creatures suitable for this thread, clink on this link. You may feel free to make suggestions, but ultimately I will pick what to convert and when. If I’m missing any monsters from this list or if any of these have appeared elsewhere already, feel free to inform me.
 

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BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
First of all, as a favor to johnsemlak who is converting module X1 here, we’re going to start work on this thread for all of the monsters that appeared in that module.

Aranea are in the Monster Manual, of course.

Kopru, I believe, are in the Fiend Folio.

Megatherium and Phororhacos are right here in the Creature Catalog (thank you, very much.) :)

Elk (Giant) can probably just be substituted with stats for the Irish Deer, also in the CC (thank you, again) unless the two are just too dissimilar.

Natives are just humans; the right combination of stats and NPC classes should handle them.

Phanaton and Rakasta (both also in AC9, DMR2, and the Mystara MC) are a couple of humanoid races that we can start on right here in this thread (which one first, eh?)

Allosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Brontosaurus, Dimetrodon, Grangeri, Plesiosaurus, and Trachodon can be handled in the prehistoric animal conversion thread: http://www.enworld.org/forums/showthread.php?t=67093

There are also several monsters as listed in john’s thread that appeared on the wandering monsters chart. We might just do them after completing the above creatures; we’ll see.
 




Filby

First Post
For my part, my vote is for the rakasta. They have a fairly big presence in a setting I'm developing, so I'd find it useful, personally... :)
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
BOZ said:
Kopru, I believe, are in the Fiend Folio.

Indeed.
BOZ said:
Elk (Giant) can probably just be substituted with stats for the Irish Deer, also in the CC (thank you, again) unless the two are just too dissimilar.
Or you could use the Dire Elk from the MM2.
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
ok, rakasta it is! posting later tonight...

Shade said:
Or you could use the Dire Elk from the MM2.
yes, but the MM2 is not OGL. matter of fact, neither is the FF so he'd be SOL on the kopru as well. ;)
 


BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
sorry i took so long to get to these guys, been busy...


X1 – Isle of Dread:

Rakasta
Armor Class: 6 No. Appearing: 0 (3-30+ 1-8 sabre-tooths)
Hit Dice: 2+1 Save As: Fighter: 2
Move: 90' (30') Morale: 9
Attacks: 2 claws/1 bite Treasure Type: M (special)
Damage: 1-4/1-4/1-4 Alignment: Neutral

The rakasta are a race of nomadic, cat-like humanoids. They walk erect, much like humans, but are covered with soft, tawny fur and have feline heads and features. The rakasta fight with special metal "war claws" fitted over their natural claws (without these special "claws", the rakasta claw attacks do only 1-2 points each). The rakasta can use normal weapons such as swords, but generally disdain them, preferring to use their "natural" weapons (the war claws).

The rakasta often tame sabre-tooth tigers that they then ride to the hunt or into battle. The sabre-tooth tigers are controlled with knee pressure and heavy riding crops and are fitted with special saddles that do not hinder the fighting abilities of the sabre-tooth tigers. These saddles also allow the rakasta to leap off their mounts (up to 20') and attack the same round. The "tame" sabre-tooths are too ferocious to be ridden by any non-rakasta.

Rakasta settlements average 3-30 rakasta and 1-8 sabre-tooths, and are made up of many colorful tents or pavilions. Although they have type M treasure, the rakasta will have rugs and tapestries of fine workmanship, crafted bowls and drinking cups, and other bulky items of value instead of gems-and jewels.


2E stats from the Mystara Compendium:

Rakasta
CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Temperate to tropical plains and deserts
FREQUENCY: Rare
ORGANIZATION: Pride
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Any
DIET: Omnivore
INTELLIGENCE: Very (11 - 12)
TREASURE: M
ALIGNMENT: Neutral
NO. APPEARING: 3d10
ARMOR CLASS: 6
MOVEMENT: 9
HIT DICE: 2 + 1
THAC0: 19
NO. OF ATTACKS: 3
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d2 (claw), 1d2 (claw), 1d4 (bite) or 1d4 (kasa), 1d4 (kasa), 1d4 (bite)
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Rear Claws for 1d3 damage each
SPECIAL DEFENCES: Nil
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Nil
SIZE: M (5' - 7' tall)
MORALE: Elite (14)
XP VALUE: 65 120 (hatra)

Rakasta are a race of intelligent, nomadic, catlike humanoids. They are a proud, barbaric race of warriors who, while not prone to initiating hostilities, quickly respond when provoked.

Rakasta walk upright, much like humans, with an agile, feline grace. They have feline heads and are covered with soft, tawny fur. Most fur coloration ranges from light tan to dark brown. Rakasta have catlike eyes, most of which are brilliant green. A rakasta has a non-prehensile tail 4 to 6 feet long.

Rakasta speak Common and their own language. Some of the more primitive rakasta speak in a purring voice with many rolled r's and hissed s's.

Combat: Rakasta are fierce fighters who neither ask for nor give any quarter. Eschewing normal weapons, rakasta rely on led claws and bites. Since a rakasta's claws inflict only 1d2 points of damage, the creatures usually employ special metal war claws called kasas; worn on the paw like a glove, a kasa inflicts 1d4 points of damage on a successful attack.

A rakasta who strikes with both claws (or both kasas) in the same round can choose to rake with both rear claws. Rear claw attacks are rolled separately and cause 1d3 points of damage on a successful strike.

Certain rakasta ride saber?toothed tigers into battle. These tiger riders, known as the hatra, are considered the bravest and strongest of the rakasta warriors, and only they can hold the respect of the saber?toothed tigers. Hatra have 3+1 Hit Dice, a minimum of 15 hit points, and +1 bonus to damage rolls.

The hatra use special saddles that enable them to leap as far as 20 feet from their mounts and still attack in the same round. The saddles allow the hatra to fight unhindered while mounted, using both hands for attacks yet still maintaining control of their sabertoothed mounts.

Habitat/Society: The nomadic rakasta are organized into prides of 6d10 adult rakasta plus an additional 25% of that number in noncombatant offspring. Each pride also has 1d12 saber?toothed tigers. When not on the move, each rakasta pride sets up its own temporary settlements, composed of many colorful tents and pavilions.

Rakasta possess excellent artisan skills. They typically own many bight rugs and silk tapestries of fine workmanship, artfully crafted bowls and drinking cups, and other items of value. These items are found in place of gems and jewelry in the treasure of a pride of rakasta.

Each pride is led by a chief with at least 5+1 Hit Dice, a minimum of 24 hit points, and a +3 bonus to all damage rolls. The chief is always accompanied by six of the best hatra and their saber?toothed mounts. The chief's word is law, and is obeyed without question.

Each pride has a rakasta cleric of 4 Hit Dice who casts spells as a 4th?level priest. More powerful clerics are rumored to exist, as well as rakasta with wizard abilities, perhaps as high as 7th level.

The hatra, as the finest warriors in a pride, enjoy a special place in rakasta society. Hatra are held in high honor, since this culture values combat prowess over all else. Rakasta also value their code of conduct, known as the Sri'raka. This code dictates a warrior's behavior. Among the most noteworthy tenets:

• No challenge to fight is ever refused.
• Wounded are never left behind; carry them or kill them.
• Better to die in battle than in one's sleep.
• Give no mercy; never expect it.
• Retreat is permissible only in order to regroup. A new attack must be launched against the other force within two sunrises.
• Never surrender. Those who would exist as prisoners are not rakasta.

Ecology: The rakasta make reliable trading partners when their attention can be turned from battles. Rakasta are excellent hunters, and they keep the game herds from overpopulating.
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
not sure if they should be humanoid or monstrous humanoid - i could see them working etiher way.

Some sample conversions of the rakasta:

http://www.dnd.starflung.com/rakas_3e.html (or was that http://www.dnd.starflung.com/rakast3e.html?)

http://home.gwi.net/~rdorman/frilond/rul/dm/rakasta.htm (a 3.5 conversion)

http://66.34.111.89/Eric/conversions/rakasta_laney.rtf (appears to be the same as the first one above)


some preliminary stats for the rakasta:

Rakasta
Medium (Monstrous?) Humanoid
Hit Dice: 2d8+X (X hp)
Initiative: +X
Speed: 25 ft (5 squares)
Armor Class: 14? (+X Dex, +X natural), touch X, flat-footed X
Base Attack/Grapple: +X/+X
Attack: (kasa or claw?)
Full Attack: 2 kasas +X melee (1d4+X) and bite +X melee (1d4+X) or 2 claws +X melee (1d2+X) and bite +X melee (1d4+X)
Space/Reach: 5 ft/5 ft
Special Attacks: improved grab, leap, rake 1d3
Special Qualities: scent
Saves: Fort +X Ref +X Will +X
Abilities: Str X, Dex X, Con X, Int 12, Wis X, Cha X
Skills: 15
Feats: 1

Environment: Temperate and warm plains and deserts
Organization: Pride (3-30 plus 1-8 smilodons) (plus chief and cleric, etc)
Challenge Rating: X
Treasure: (only a fraction of coins, but own precious items)
Alignment: Often neutral
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +X

Rakasta are 5-7 feet tall, with a 4-6 foot long tail

COMBAT

module X1 – The Isle of Dread (1981, David Cook and Tom Moldvay), module X2 – Castle Amber, AC9 - Creature Catalogue (1986), DMR2 - Creature Catalog (1993), and Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1994).
 

Krishnath

First Post
Well, I think Monstrous Humanoid would probably be the better choice.

Additionally from their description, it seems as though either ranger or barbarian would be their favored class.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
The catfolk in the Miniatures Handbook are very similar. They are listed as Humanoid (Catfolk), for what it's worth.
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
i'm leaning more towards humanoid. what's the determining factor that makes one race monstrous and another not? we have the caiveh as regular humanoid...
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
It's a fine line, but I think the highlighted portions give the best answer...

Humanoid Type: A humanoid usually has two arms, two legs, and one head, or a humanlike torso, arms, and a head. Humanoids have few or no supernatural or extraordinary abilities, but most can speak and usually have well-developed societies. They usually are Small or Medium. Every humanoid creature also has a subtype.

Monstrous Humanoid Type: Monstrous humanoids are similar to humanoids, but with monstrous or animalistic features. They often have magical abilities as well.
 

Filby

First Post
I agree with making 'em Humanoids rather than Monstrous Humanoids... I mean, the gnoll is far more animalistic than the rakasta, but it's still a regular humanoid.
 

Psychotic Jim

First Post
I second the Humanoid type sugguestion, perhaps giving it a Feline subtype, given the comparable D&D tendency to give the reptile-like kobold and lizardfolk the Reptilian subtype
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
BOZ said:
not sure if they should be humanoid or monstrous humanoid - i could see them working etiher way.

Some sample conversions of the rakasta:

http://www.dnd.starflung.com/rakas_3e.html (or was that http://www.dnd.starflung.com/rakast3e.html?)

http://home.gwi.net/~rdorman/frilond/rul/dm/rakasta.htm (a 3.5 conversion)

http://66.34.111.89/Eric/conversions/rakasta_laney.rtf (appears to be the same as the first one above)
Just in case your interested, here is my personalized conversion of the Rakasta for my homebrewed world. It is based on the old free Savage Coast download on WotCs site, as well as the anthropmorphic template from Savage Species.

Rakasta
Medium-Size Monstrous Humanoid (Feline)
Hit Dice: 2d8 (9 hp)
Initiative: +4 (Dex)
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
AC: 15 (+4 Dex, +1 natural)
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+3
Attack: Claw +6 melee (1d3+1) or kasa +6 melee (1d6+1) or javelin +6 ranged (1d6+1)
Full Attack: 2 claws +6 melee (1d3+1) and bite +1 melee (1d6) or kasa +6 melee (1d6+1) and claw +4 melee (1d3) or javelin +6 ranged (1d6+1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft. / 5 ft.
Special Attacks: Blind-fight (feat), improved grab, pounce
Special Qualities: Cat’s grace, code of honor, darkvision 60 ft., detect invisible foes, scent, water penalty, weapon familiarity (kasa)
Saves: Fort +0, Ref +7, Will +5
Abilities: Str 13 (+1), Dex 19 (+4), Con 11 (+0), Int 11 (+0), Wis 14 (+2), Cha 10 (+0)
Skills: Balance +9, Hide +9*, Jump +5, Listen +4, Move Silently +8, Spot +4
Feats: Grass Trekker, Multiattack (B), Weapon Finesse (B)

Continent/Region: Any
Environment: Warm plains
Organization: Solitary, pair, or pride (6–10 plus 50% noncombatants plus 1 1st-level leader per 5 adults and 1–4 saber-toothed riding cats or giant lizards)
Challenge Rating: 2
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually neutral good
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +3

Rakasta are feline humanoids that populated most of the known regions of Kulan. They seem most prominent on the western continents and would be unique if encountered in the Fallenlands or Triadora. Western rakasta are a very rare sight in the Eastern Lands and are almost never encountered in Zakhara.

Rakasta fur, eye coloring, and skin tones are as diverse as a human’s are and almost any sort of variation is possible. Rakasta stand anywhere from five to 6¾ feet in height.

Rakasta speak their own racial language.

Combat
Rakasta fight for their pride but never because of their pride. They often ride into melee on saber-toothed riding cats or giant lizards, throwing javelins at their opponents or raking enemies with their kasa as they ride back.

Because of their keen senses, rakasta must make an additional Fortitude saving throw (DC 15) against attacks based on sound (such as a banshee's wail or a harpy's song) beyond any save normally required.

Bonus Feat: Rakasta characters automatically gain the Blind-Fight Feat at 1st level.

Cat’s Grace (Su): Rakasta have excellent balance and reflexes, taking only half damage from any fall.

Detect Invisible Foes (Ex): When confronted with invisible creatures, a rakasta receives a +4 bonus to any saving throws made for detection. A rakasta automatically gets a Will saving throw (with the bonus) when an invisible creature approaches within 10 feet and during every round the invisible being remains that close. The rakasta does not automatically know where the invisible creature is, just that it is close by; locating it still requires other clues. Rakasta can also use this ability to detect the presence of ethereal creatures, such as ghosts, phase spiders, or someone wearing plate mail of etherealness. They recognize the difference between things ethereal and those simply invisible but gain no special attack or defense capabilities against ethereal beings.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, the rakasta must hit with its claw attacks.

Pounce (Ex): If a rakasta leaps upon a foe during the first round of combat, it can make a full attack even if it has already taken a move action.

Scent (Ex): A rakasta can detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell. Range is 30 ft. If upwind, the range increases to 60 ft.; if downwind, it drops to 15 ft.

Water Penalty: Most rakasta have an inherent fear of the water and suffer a -2 racial penalty to all skill checks and saving throws made while exposed to water deeper than 3 feet.

Skills: Rakasta receive a +4 racial bonus to Balance, Hide, and Move Silently checks. *In areas of tall grass or heavy undergrowth, the Hide bonus improves to +12. Rakasta also have a +2 bonus to the Listen skill (which they must still acquire normally).

One-handed Melee Weapon – Exotic
Weapon: Kasa
Cost: 10 gp
Damage (S): 1d4
Damage (M): 1d6
Critical: x3
Increment: -
Weight: 2 lbs.
Type: Piercing

Rakasta Society
Rakasta culture is unique, somewhat mystical, and concerned primarily with battle and honor. They never betray one of their own unless the rakasta in question is an outcast from the society he grew up in. However, since rakasta are so common in the west it isn’t inconceivable that an outcast rakasta could find kinship with other rakasta in a different part of the world, although some outcasts are branded to signify their dishonor.

If rakasta do not follow these principles set down by their ancestors they are branded and cast out of their society and have a -2 penalty to all Charisma based skills when dealing with other rakasta or the simbasta (see Simbasta entry). The rakasta Code of Honor is based on the following general principles.
• Never betray kin.
• Never kill for the sake of bloodlust or vengeance.
• Never battle a lesser foe if it can be avoided.
• Always honor the dead, even of the enemy.
• Life before death.

The rakasta of Harqual must also follow the following principles.
• Always defer judgement to the chosen of Rel and Cronn.
• Honor northerners with good hearts, with friendship.

The rakasta of Janardun must also follow the following principles.
• Never lie to a psionic knight or in front of the Council of the House.
• Always be vigilant against the dark ones and their allies.

Rakasta have a racial weapon known as a kasa, which they never sell to outsiders. On rare occasions, a pride will gift an ornamental kasa to another allied rakasta pride or very rarely to an ally from another race. (See above for the statistics of a kasa.)

Rakasta Characters
Rakasta favor the fighter class. They rarely become wizards, rogues, or sorcerers but may have levels in other classes such as bards, cleric, druids, and rangers. Rakasta barbarians are very rare but possible. Rakasta often become multiclassed fighter/clerics, fighter/druids, fighter/bards, or fighter/traders.

The rakasta of Kulan are the mortal children of the god Rel, Lord of the Rakasta. They aren’t forbidden from worshipping other gods, such as Bast, but most choose their divine liege as their patron. Rakasta clerics of Rel can choose two of the following domains: Community, Family, Good, and Protection. Rakasta clerics of Bast can choose two of the following domains: Chaos, Good, Feline, Protection, Retribution, and Trickery.
 
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Tzeentch

First Post
-- Here's my conservative take.


Rakasta
Medium Humanoid (Feline)
Hit Dice: 2d8+2 (11 hp)
Initiative: +5
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 11 (+1 Dex), touch 11, flat-footed 10
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+2
Attack: Claw +3 melee (1d3+1)
Full Attack: 2 claws +2 melee (1d3+1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft. / 5 ft.
Special Attacks: Rake
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., rakasta traits
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +4, Will -2
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 7, Cha 8
Skills: Balance +5, Jump +9*, Tumble +3
Feats: Improved Initiative

* +4 racial bonus on Jump

+2 Dex, -2 Wis
LA +1?
The Rakasta presented here had the following ability scores before adjustments: Str 13, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 8
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
looks like the majority are going with Humanoid, which is what i was thinking anyway. there's a lot to look at here, and i'll have a good look at it when i have a moment.
 

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