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Converting prehistoric animals

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Shade

Monster Junkie
Therezinosaurus
FREQUENCY: Uncommon
NO. APPEARING: 1
ARMOR CLASS: 5
MOVE: 15”
HIT DICE: 15
NO. OF ATTACKS: 3
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 2-12/2-12/3-18
SIZE: L (4O’ long)
% IN LAIR: Nil
TREASURE TYPE: Nil
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Standard
ALIGNMENT: Neutral
PSIONIC ABILITY: Nil
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil

This murderous large carnosaur took rather a different route from the usual carnosaur reliance on large teeth. “The slasher” relies at least as much on its claws as on its fangs.

Most large carnosaurs have small forelegs, but therezinosaurus’ “arms” are an incredible eight feet long, terminating in two-foot-long claws curved like scimitars. The creature stands 12 feet tall when moving.

Originally appeared in Dragon Magazine #55 (1981).
 


demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
"Slasher", nothing. Therezinosaurs were lovable herbivores, something like a giant dino-sloth. Here's a conversion I did a long while ago (so long it's still 3.0) that we might be able to glean some usefulness from.

Therizinosaurus
Huge Beast
Hit Dice: 16d10+128 (216 hp)
Initiative: +1 (Dex)
Speed: 30 ft
AC: 18 (-2 size, +1 Dex, +9 natural)
Attacks: 2 claws +18 melee, bite +13 melee
Damage: Claw 2d8+8 (19-20, x4), bite 1d4+4
Face/Reach: 10ft by 10ft/10ft
Special Attacks: Augmented criticals, rend 4d8+12
Special Qualities: Scent
Saves: Fort +18, Ref +11, Will +6
Abilities: Str 26, Dex 12, Con 26, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 10
Skills: Listen +10, Spot +10
Climate/Terrain: Warm forest, hills, plains or marsh
Organization: Solitary, pair, flock (3-6)
Challenge Rating: 10
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 17-32 HD (Huge), 33-48 HD (Gargantuan)

The therizinosaurus is a bizarre omnivorous dinosaur that, while relatively docile, is dangerous when provoked.

Therizinosaurus stands about 20 feet tall and about 30 feet long. Unlike most dinosaurs, it has a semi-erect posture instead of holding itself parallel to the ground. Its arms are long and apelike, ending in three razor-sharp claws. It has a long neck and a disproportionately small head, with both teeth and a beak. A downy coat covers its entire body.

Therizinosaurus eats mostly fruit, leaves and insects (tearing open termite mounds with its massive claws), but is not averse to scavenging. It will also eat the meat of anything it slays in defense.

Combat
Therizinosaurus, when riled, attacks with its massive claws, tearing at its opponents flesh until it dies. The kills of a therizinosaurus tend to be messy, a fact which makes them avoided by all intelligent inhabitants of their territory.

Augmented Critical (Ex): The claws of a therizinosaurus are very thin and razor sharp. It threatens a critical hit with its claws on a natural attack roll of 19-20. On a successful critical hit, the claw attacks deal quadruple damage.

Rend (Ex): If a therizinosaurus hits with both claw attacks, it latches on and tears its opponent’s flesh. This attack automatically deals an additional 4d8+12 points of damage.

Well, switching from Beast to Animal is a given. I still like the idea of augmented critical, but could go either way on rend.

Demiurge out.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Seems like you're pretty close to the original already, pretty much just slightly different on the HD. I'd say we start from your 3.0 version.

Regarding rend: seems like we might want to get away from that if we want to treat these as herbivores. However, it might be worthwhile to add some interesting combat feats.
 

RavinRay

Explorer
We could go either way. If it has rend maybe it's because it's an aggressively defensive herbivore. If it has a combat feat it means it has a particularly notable way of defending itself beyond the usual slash.

BTW, if you want to see feathered Chinese dinosaurs (like therizinosaurus) in all their glory, artist Luis V. Rey's website has a wonderful gallery. Eye candy!
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
That looks like a great start.

I 3.5ed it in Homebrews.

I'm fine with keeping rend, even if it is a defensive measure.

Demiurge pegged it at 20 feet tall and about 30 feet long. Dragon said 12 feet tall and 40 feet long. Wikipedia says it could grow up to 33-40 feet long and reach 3-6 tons in weight. What is most accurate, dino-experts?

Beyond that, all that's left is an italicized description and feats, of which it gets 6.
 

RavinRay

Explorer
Complete skeletons have not yet been found, so the 30 ft length is a tad conservative estimate and it could be bigger (a similar case for Quetzalcoatlus); it seems like a scaled-up Beipiaosaurus.
 


freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I guess that sounds about right.

Feats: if we're making it an aggressive herbivore, we could give it Awesome Blow or Snatch (or both!). Multiattack would change the attack line, but I think it's worth it. Alertness and maybe Dodge because it is an herbivore, after all. Any other ideas?
 

demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
I say use Wikipedia for the size estimates. Awesome Blow, Imp Bull's Rush and Power Attack are great places to go, feats wise. For the other three, how about Alertness, Endurance and Great Fortitude? Great Fortitude makes sense to me, as it's a hardy omnivore. Since it's not really optimal at using its bite aggressively, I think we should skip Multiattack.

Another possibility, borrowing from my World of Kong project for similar hardy omnivore dinosaurs, is that we give it all three good saves, like a dire animal.

Demiurge out.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I'm fine to drop Multiattack. Regarding saves, I think I'd prefer Great Fort over changing the base saves.
 

demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
Well, really, what changing the base saves would do would be give it a good Will (animals already get Fort and Reflex, with some pack animals and dire animals also getting Will). I'd be content with either Great Fort or Iron Will, or both and drop Alertness. It doesn't have to be too observant--it only eats stuff that isn't moving, and if any predators try to fight it, they'll probably end up ripped in half.

Demiurge out.
 






Shade

Monster Junkie
Kronosaurus
CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Subtropical/tropical, any water
FREQUENCY: Rare
ORGANIZATION: Solitary
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Day
DIET: Carnivore
INTELLIGENCE: Animal (1)
TREASURE: Nil
ALIGNMENT: Neutral
NO. APPEARING: 1-2
ARMOR CLASS: 7
MOVEMENT: SW15
HIT DICE: 17
THAC0: 5
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1 bite
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 7d8
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Swallow whole
SPECIAL DEFENCE: Nil
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Nil
SIZE: G (42')
MORALE: Champion (16)
XP VALUE: 11,000

This was the largest of the plesiosaur family, but it looked little like its relatives. Kronosaurus had a short, thick neck and a huge flat skull similar to that of a crocodile. At 9’ long, Kronosaurus’s skull was larger than that of Tyrannosaurus rex. The total length of Kronosaurus was 42’, but the body was massive and thick, not elongated as in Plesiosaurus. This beast looked much like a crocodile with flippers. It fed on large fish and squid. Creatures up to man-size will be swallowed whole on a roll of four or more over what it needs to hit.

Originally appeared in Dragon Magazine #187 (1992).

Wikipedia Entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kronosaurus
 

RavinRay

Explorer
Quick take: with such a gaping maw it must have Swallow Whole, and as the jaws in all likelihood applied a tremendous amount of force it could have Ability Focus (bite), increased damage, or Improved Grab.

Here's a video of it's close relative Liopleurodon attacking, from Walking With Dinosaurs.
 

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