Converting original D&D and Mystara monsters

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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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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:

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.


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... :)


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


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.


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. ;)


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

X1 – Isle of Dread:

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:

CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Temperate to tropical plains and deserts
DIET: Omnivore
INTELLIGENCE: Very (11 - 12)
HIT DICE: 2 + 1
THAC0: 19
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d2 (claw), 1d2 (claw), 1d4 (bite) or 1d4 (kasa), 1d4 (kasa), 1d4 (bite)
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Rear Claws for 1d3 damage each
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.

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