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Converting prehistoric creatures


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Shade

Monster Junkie
Did we determine the following was too similar to the dire hippo in Sandstorm? Or is it worth a quick conversion?

Hippopotamus, giant
CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Tropical lakes and rivers
FREQUENCY: Rare
ORGANIZATION: Family group
DIET: Herbivore
NO. APPEARING: 1-4
ARMOR CLASS: 4
MOVEMENT: 6; SW 12
HIT DICE: 10 +5
THAC0: 9
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACKS: 5-20 or 4-16
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Surprise
SIZE: L (12. long)
MORALE: Unsteady (7)
XP VALUE: 2,000 (males), 1,400 (females)

This massive animal is the direct ancestor of the behemoth (AD&D 1st Edition Monster Manual II) but has two differences, detailed below.

Combat: First, the giant hippo has smaller tusks than the behemoth, doing only 5-20 hp damage (4-16 for females). Second, the giant hippo has eyes that stick up above the skull like periscopes. Thus, it can hide its entire body below the water, with only its eyes above the surface. This gives it a -2 modifier to surprise rolls against swimmers and boats.

Habitat/Society: When a group is encountered, it will typically be one male (bull) and 1-3 females (cows). Only the young are subject to attack, and only by the largest predators.

Originally appeared in Dragon #167 (1991).
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Well the Sandstorm version has a lot more HD so I guess we could do one. Something between a Dire Hippo and a regular one.

Not terribly interesting though, a Sandstorm Hippopotamus with a few HD advancement would do in a pinch.

I'll leave it to you.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Further on the Giant Hippo, it says it's an ancestor of the Behemoth.

The Creature Catalog 3.0 version of the Behemoth is mighty close to what I'd imagine our Giant Hippopotamus conversion will end out like.

How about we just update the Behemoth to 3.5 and say it's also known as Giant Hippopotamus, and make the Sandstorm Dire Hippopotamus the "real" Behemoth?
 


Cleon

Adventurer
Yeah, that makes good sense.
Okay then!

So, do we want to give them anything more than the usual 3.5 updates to feats, skills and so forth.

Hold Breath?

Augmented Critical with the bite?

A +10 bonus to Hide when submerged, like the SRD crocodile? That would fit with the Surprise of the Dragon 167 Giant Hippopotamus.
 


Shade

Monster Junkie
Added to Homebrews.

Feats: 4
Hippo has Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun, Power Attack
Dire hippo has those plus Alertness, Die Hard, Endurance, Improved Critical (bite),
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Added to Homebrews.

Feats: 4
Hippo has Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun, Power Attack
Dire hippo has those plus Alertness, Die Hard, Endurance, Improved Critical (bite),
I'd give them the Hippopotamus's feats plus Alertness.

Sadly, they don't have the BAB for Improved Critical (bite).

The size limit and DC for their Overturn SQ seems very low. I'd have thought they'd be able to overturn boats at least their own size & weight. At +1 DC per 100 lb and Str 34 they couldn't flip a boat weighing more than 1200 lbs, but its maximum carrying load is 16,800 pounds.

How about:

Overturn (Ex): Behemoths can overturn small watercraft on a Strength check, the DC depends on the total weight of the craft and contents: DC20 if the weight it a light load for the behemoth (up to 5,600 pounds for a typical behemoth); DC 25 for a medium load (up to 11,200 pounds); and DC 30 for a heavy load (up to 16,800 pounds). If the check succeeds, the boat overturns, spilling its passengers and contents into the water.
 


freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
CR 8 or maybe 9? It's about as good as a triceratops except for hp. And it's probably better than a T-rex except for hp, too. How the tyrannosaurus ended up worse than a triceratops is beyond me...

Once we agree on CR and Cleon provides us a weight range ;), I'd say it's done.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
I think it's a solid CR 9. That damage output is fierce.

For weight calculations, note...

A typical dire hippo is over 20 feet long and weighs between four and six tons.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I think it's a solid CR 9. That damage output is fierce.
I'd make them CR8. A triceratops has trample, 6 more HD, ~50%more hp and does more damage with a powerful charge (4d8+20 vs 2d8+18 is 11 points more on average).

The giant hippo is also slower than a human on land, but that probably doesn't make much difference.

For weight calculations, note...

A typical dire hippo is over 20 feet long and weighs between four and six tons.
Let's see, I've got a table of animal sizes somewhere...

A cow hippo is 1300-2500 kg and 280-370 cm, a bull hippo 1600-3200 kg and 330-400 cm. Those length exclude the tail. That's a range of 2863-7000 lbs and 9'2" to 13'1".

The behemoth (giant hippopotamus) is 12 feet or more, which is near the top of that range, so how about:

"A typical behemoth is 12 feet long and weighs 3 tons, but these animals can grow considerably larger than that."
 




Shade

Monster Junkie
Wanna do anything with this?

Eucladoceros
This giant forest deer is equal to the giant stag in the MC4 Monstrous Compendium, DRAGONLANCE® Appendix. However, Eucladoceros has a huge antler array with numerous tines; its antler damage is 3-18 hp damage.

Originally appeared in Dragon Magazine #167 (1991).

Eucladoceros - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

GrayLinnorm

Explorer
I'm reading USA Today and they have an article about Inkayacu, a giant prehistoric penguin, one of the largest species to exist. Does that sound like something we could stat up?
 


Cleon

Adventurer
Wanna do anything with this?

Eucladoceros
This giant forest deer is equal to the giant stag in the MC4 Monstrous Compendium, DRAGONLANCE® Appendix. However, Eucladoceros has a huge antler array with numerous tines; its antler damage is 3-18 hp damage.

Originally appeared in Dragon Magazine #167 (1991).

Eucladoceros - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I'm reading USA Today and they have an article about Inkayacu, a giant prehistoric penguin, one of the largest species to exist. Does that sound like something we could stat up?
Why not do both, they don't look like they'd take long.
 

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