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Converting prehistoric animals

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demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
There are no D&D cynodonts, dicynodonts or labyrinthodonts, although I did stat out a few cynodonts for my World of Kong project that we could use as a baseline.

Anyway...

Dinicthys
Huge Animal (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 10d8+50 (95 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: Swim 40ft (12 squares)
Armor Class: 22 (-2 size, -1 Dex, +15 natural), touch 7, flat-footed 22
Base Attack/Grapple: +7/+23
Attack: Bite +13 melee (3d6+12)
Full Attack: Bite +13 melee (3d6+12)
Space/Reach: 15ft/10ft
Special Abilities: Improved grab, swallow whole
Special Qualities: Low-light vision
Saves: Fort +12, Ref +6, Will +5
Abilities: Str 26, Dex 8, Con 21, Int 1, Wis 14, Cha 2
Skills: Move Silently +9, Spot +8
Feats: Endurance, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Move Silently)
Environment: Warm aquatic
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 6
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 11-20 HD (Huge), 21-30 HD (Gargantuan)

This massive fish is entirely covered with huge bony plates, which extend over its jaws to form a horny beak.

The dinicthys is a fish out of history, one whose species is only slightly younger than the evolution of jaws.

A dinicthys is around 30 feet long, but they grow throughout their lives, resulting in some frightfully huge specimens. Although driven into extinction in most areas by the faster and keener-sensed sharks, dinicthys thrive in warm costal waters. They are capable of living in much shallower water than sharks even of smaller sizes, and feed on fish and animals venturing into their territories- including humanoids.

Combat
In combat, a dinicthys grabs an unsuspecting prey item and either swallows it or rips it into bloody chunks. Its bite is as powerful as that of a tyrannosaurus, and can shear through steel.

Improved Grab (Ex): In order to use this ability, a dinicthys must hit with a bite attack. If it hits, it can make a grapple check as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it gets a hold, it deals automatic bite damage each round and can swallow its opponent whole.

Swallow Whole (Ex): By making a successful grapple check, a dinicthys may swallow a held foe at least one size smaller than itself whole. Once swallowed, a victim takes 2d8+8 points of bludgeoning damage plus 8 acid damage every round until it escapes or dies. A successful grapple check allows the creature to climb out of the stomach and into the dinicthys’s mouth, where another grapple check is required to get free. Alternatively, the swallowed creature can escape by cutting its way out with either claws or a light slashing or piecing weapon. Dealing at least 30 points of damage (AC 13) in this fashion allows the creature to escape. Once a single swallowed creature exits, muscular action closes the whole; another swallowed creature must cut its way out as well. A dinicthys’s stomach can hold 2 Medium-sized, 8 Small, 32 Tiny or 128 Diminutive or smaller creatures.

Skills: A dinicthys has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.



Based on its crazy shearing jaws, augmented critical seems like a good SA. We also might want to slow it down a bit. Wikipedia suggests (in the article on this animal's actual scientific name, Dunkleosteus) that it was a powerful suction feeder, pulling prey into its jaws, which might be fun to figure out mechanically.
 

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Shade

Monster Junkie
Based on its crazy shearing jaws, augmented critical seems like a good SA. We also might want to slow it down a bit. Wikipedia suggests (in the article on this animal's actual scientific name, Dunkleosteus) that it was a powerful suction feeder, pulling prey into its jaws, which might be fun to figure out mechanically.
Agreed on both counts. Maybe something like a reverse bull rush?
 



RavinRay

Explorer
Based on its crazy shearing jaws, augmented critical seems like a good SA. We also might want to slow it down a bit. Wikipedia suggests (in the article on this animal's actual scientific name, Dunkleosteus) that it was a powerful suction feeder, pulling prey into its jaws, which might be fun to figure out mechanically.
Either that, or the "teeth" can have a keen edge, maybe even a vorpal bite for creatures sufficiently small enough.


When the Monster Manual III art gallery came out I thought the armored eel fish was this creature, it turns out it's actually the dragon eel.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Here's an attempt at the abilities suggested above....

Augmented Critical (Ex): A dinicthys's bite threatens a critical hit on a natural attack roll of 18–20, dealing triple damage on a successful critical hit.

Vorpal Bite (Ex): The bite of a dinicthys severs the head of a Large or smaller opponent on a critical hit.

Vortex Maw (Ex): A dinicthys can open its mouth so quickly that it creates a powerful suction. All creatures within x feet must make Strength checks opposed by the dinicthys's Strength check (+16 for a standard dinicthys), with the same modifiers as a bull rush. If the dinicthys beats a creature's Strength check result, it pulls the victim 5 feet closer to its jaws. For each 5 points by which its check result is greater than a victim's check result, the dinicthys pulls the victim an additional 5 feet closer. The victim provokes attacks of opportunity if it is moved.
 


demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
Not such a big fan of the vorpal bite, especially with the current text. I think augmented critical is lethal enough. If we keep it, can we tone it down to vorpal standard, by which I mean, a confirmed critical hit on a natural 20 only?
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Probably doesn't need the vorpal bite, to tell the truth. Agreed that we should tone it down if we keep it.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
We can drop it. While vorpal is always fun, this fella would probably rather eat his meal than let part of it float away. ;)

Added to Homebrews.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Range on Vortex Maw? Suggested 10 ft upthread.

Bump to CR 7 based on new abilities?
 


freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Something that can suck fish in from 30 ft away? I'm ok if others think it's realistic enough (this was a real animal, after all!), but I might be more comfortable with 15 or 20 ft.
 



demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
Nothosaurus
Large Animal
Hit Dice: 4d8+8 (26 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 20ft (4 squares), swim 40ft
Armor Class: 13 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +3 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+11
Attack: Bite +6 melee (1d8+3)
Full Attack: Bite +6 melee (1d8+3), 2 claws +4 melee (1d4+1)
Space/Reach: 10ft/5ft
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +2
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 13, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 7
Skills: Listen +6, Spot +6, Swim +13
Feats: Alertness, Multiattack
Environment: Warm aquatic
Organization: Solitary, pair or shoal (3-12)
Challenge Rating: 2
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 5-8 HD (Large) 9-12 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment: -

This horse-sized reptile has smooth skin, long jaws with needle-like teeth, webbed paws and a short fin running along its back and tail.

A nothosaurus is a primitive semi-aquatic reptile related to plesiosaurs.

Nothosaurs live on beaches in tropical and semi-tropical climates, and behave much like seals- spending most of their time sleeping on the shore and going into the water to feed. Despite their bulk (10 feet long and about 500 pounds), they are very graceful in the water, where they hunt small fishes and squid.

Combat
Nothosaurs are usually not aggressive to anything larger than a fish, but during mating season the bulls do get territorial and lash out against anything in their way. If provoked, a nothosaurus attacks with its bite and its two front claws.

Skills: A nothosaurus has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform a special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Sorta boring, huh? On top of that, I'd recommend hold breath.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Hold breath sounds good.

Hold Breath (Ex): A nothosaurus can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 8 times its Constitution score before it risks drowning.

Wikipedia said:
Nothosaurus hunted by sneaking up slowly on prey, such as shoals of small fish, the putting on a last-minute burst of speed. Once caught, few animals would be able to shake themselves free from the mouth of Nothosaurus.
A swim variation on sprint?

Racial bonus on Move Silently?

Improved grab and/or bonus on grapple checks?
 

demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
Racial bonus to move silently and Imp. Grab sound good. I just noticed that the damage is wrong--it's calculated using Str 16, it looks like. I'd also be willing to drop the claw attacks and let it do bite only.
 



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