Converting prehistoric animals

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BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
About time to get back to work on hallucigenia too, since I did have this one queued up and ready to go…

Hallucigenia, cave
FREQUENCY: Common
NO. APPEARING: 1-12
ARMOR CLASS: 6
MOVEMENT: 2
HIT DICE: 4
THAC0: 17
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1d12 +2
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Blood drain
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Nil
SIZE: S (3’ long)
MORALE: Average (9)
XP VALUE: 420

This subspecies of Hallucigenia has evolved to live in caverns on dry land, using its tentacles to climb slowly among the stalactites. It is a pure carnivore, subsisting solely on the blood of its prey.
The creature wraps its tail-tentacles around a stalactite hanging over a likely passage or intersection. When prey appears, the cave Hallucigenia drops down, swinging at the victim while its “tail” stretches to several times its length. AD&D game PCs have a +2 penalty on surprise rolls against this attack. The fourteen spines (or “legs”) slam into the prey, doing up to 14 points of damage. After the initial strike, the Hallucigenia’s powerful tail draws up both predator and prey among the stalactites, where the victim can be drained at leisure. Each combat sequence that the victim is on the spines after the initial strike, he will take 14 points of damage due to blood drain until he is freed (he cannot free himself) or dies.
Hallucigenia subsists only on the victim’s blood, and when it is drained, it drops the body to the cavern floor and leaves it for more conventional predators and scavengers to devour. Thus, the remains of previous victims might provide a warning for alert characters strolling through the area (Wisdom or Intuition checks as appropriate), though not enough to tell them from which direction the imminent attack will come.
some preliminary stats for the cave hallucigenia:

Hallucigenia, Cave
Small Vermin
Hit Dice: 4d8+X (X hp)
Initiative: +X
Speed: 5 ft (1 squares)
Armor Class: 14 (+1 size, +X Dex, +X natural), touch X, flat-footed X
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+X
Attack: X
Full Attack: 14 spines +X melee (1) ?? (cluster of 14 spines, could instead be one attack roll)
Space/Reach: 5 ft/5 ft
Special Attacks: Blood drain
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft
Saves: Fort +X Ref +X Will +X
Abilities: Str X, Dex X, Con X, Int ---, Wis X, Cha X
Skills:
Feats:

Environment: Any aquatic
Organization: Solitary or 1-12
Challenge Rating: X
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 5-8 HD (Small); 9-12 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment: ---
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Holy loose ends, Batman! :lol:

For starters, I'm thinking that the "tail" should have reach.

Suggested ability scores: Str 12-14, Dex 17-19, Con 10-14, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 2
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
Shade said:
For starters, I'm thinking that the "tail" should have reach.

I don’t believe it attacks with the tail, though.

Shade said:
Suggested ability scores: Str 12-14, Dex 17-19, Con 10-14, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 2

Str 12, Dex 17, Con 13
 


BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
Shade said:
Oh, good point. These fellas are really hard to visualize. So, I suppose the tail gives it reach with its "spiny body slam", then?

I know they’re hard to visualize… let me work on getting you a picture of them like I did for the other one. We’ll pick this back up after that. ;)
 

demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
Personally, I'd say that all 14 spines should attack in one blow, since they're not really on stalks or flexible or anything; it's just a slam attack with pointy bits. The slam should do a lot of damage, though, and I'm thinking the Str should go to 14 just so the damage could be 2d6+2 (to duplicate the 14 damage of the original). Also, the blood drain should be prefaced with an attach ability, ala a stirge or dire weasel (so it can hold on to drain). The drain should deal Con damage (probably 1d4), instead of pure hit point loss.

Demiurge out.
 

BOZ

Creature Cataloguer
sorry Shade, there are no pictures for the "sub-hallucigenia".

demiurge1138 said:
Personally, I'd say that all 14 spines should attack in one blow, since they're not really on stalks or flexible or anything; it's just a slam attack with pointy bits. The slam should do a lot of damage, though, and I'm thinking the Str should go to 14 just so the damage could be 2d6+2 (to duplicate the 14 damage of the original). Also, the blood drain should be prefaced with an attach ability, ala a stirge or dire weasel (so it can hold on to drain). The drain should deal Con damage (probably 1d4), instead of pure hit point loss.

That's a much better idea than what I had in mind. :D makes a whole lot more sense, too. And it was always one attack, so might as well keep it that way. How's aboot:

Attack: Spine slam +5 melee (2d6+2)

Attach (Ex): If a cave hallucigenia hits with a spine slam attack, it uses its spines to latch onto the opponent's body. An attached hallucigenia is effectively grappling its prey. The hallucigenia loses its Dexterity bonus to AC and has an AC of 11, but holds on with great tenacity. Hallucigenias have a +X racial bonus on grapple checks (already figured into the Base Attack/Grapple entry above).
An attached hallucigenia can be struck with a weapon or grappled itself. To remove an attached hallucigenia through grappling, the opponent must achieve a pin against the hallucigenia.

Blood Drain (Ex): A cave hallucigenia can drain blood from a living victim by making a successful grapple check. It if pins the foe, it drains blood, dealing 1d4 points of Constitution damage each round the pin is maintained. (On each successful attack, the hallucigenia gains 5 temporary hit points.)

Keep the gain temporary hit points part?

The normal grapple check is +0, so the bonus should make it comparable to other creatures but not be ridiculously high.
 

demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
I say a +4 bonus to the grapple check - comparable to the Improved Grapple feat. Also, I might be wrong, but the creatures that gain temporary hit points from blood drain are all supernatural creatures, like undead. Both dire weasels and stirges (the model for attach) just feed on blood, and don't gain any temporary hit points, and I don't think the cave hallucigenia should either.

Demiurge out.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
I find your lack of picture disturbing. ;) (No problemo.)

This all looks good so far. As for the grapple bonus, I found a couple of critters, and it appears that the racial bonus to grapple checks is enough to offset the size penalty, plus an additional +4. Granted, two creatures isn't a great sample, but it could suggest we go with +8.

For its feats, I'd recommend Improved Init and Stealthy.

I think this fella should have a climb speed as well.
 

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