Creature Catalogue Overhaul Project Revisited

Shade

Monster Junkie
Original thread closed due to exceeding 1,000 post count.

Like the original thread, this is designed to revise the early 3e conversions on the Creature Catalogue to reflect the latest rules and take into account monster design enhancements we've learned along the way.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Looking over them to see what we still need...

Challenge Rating: x (might vary by specific type)

Level Adjustment: Same as the base creature +x. (again, might vary by specific type)

Poison (Ex): (Contact, Injury), Fortitude negates, initial damage 1 Con, secondary damage 1d2 Con. The save DC is Constitution-based. (I'm thinking injury).

Need to complete "Pseudo-undead as Characters" section.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I'd think most of these are CR +1, though pseudovamps and pseudoghasts might be +2.

Let's make the poison injury.
 

Big Mac

Visitor
We left off with the pseudo-undead nearly complete.
That post now links here. Do you have a link to the original monster text (to save me going into my loft to look for it).

Looking over them to see what we still need...

Challenge Rating: x (might vary by specific type)

Level Adjustment: Same as the base creature +x. (again, might vary by specific type)
If this was a set of regular monsters, I'd expect different stats for each one, so I'd say variant templates would be a good idea.

Poison (Ex): (Contact, Injury), Fortitude negates, initial damage 1 Con, secondary damage 1d2 Con. The save DC is Constitution-based. (I'm thinking injury).
I don't think they all should have this. I think it is more fun if each type continues to have their own attack. (To avoid confusion, it might be worth doing one pseudo-undead at a time.)

Need to complete "Pseudo-undead as Characters" section.
I think this would be very interesting to Ravenloft players. Again, I think you might need a different section for each pseudo-undead. (It might even be better to make each one a separate template.)
 

Big Mac

Visitor
Thinking about this some more, I think the Pseudo-undead could benifit from being more like the Lycanthrope of the SRD.

That has several example lycanthropes (Werebear, Wereboar, Hill Giant Dire Wereboar, Wererat, Weretiger, Werewolf, Werewolf Lord) as well as a template.

The example creatures are mostly human, but there is one giant in there. (I don't see a reason why we couldn't have giant Pseudo-undead if we wanted to. Most giants are just big versions of humanoids anyway.)

After the example creatures, we get the Creating A Lycanthrope template.

So I propose that we do an example Pseudoghoul, Pseudoghast, Pseudowight, Pseudowraith, Pseudospectre and Pseudovampire that use humans as the base creature. But then have the template, so that people can create the same creatures from dwarves, elves or orcs.

Better still, I think we could look at this part of the lycanthrope:

SRD said:
"Lycanthrope" is a template that can be added to any humanoid or giant (referred to hereafter as the base creature). The lycanthrope template can be inherited (for natural lycanthropes) or acquired (for afflicted lycanthropes). Becoming a lycanthrope is very much like multiclassing as an animal and gaining the appropriate Hit Dice.
I think that if you swap out animal for undead, you get a template that could potentially be used for a stack of other undead types.

How is this as a first attempt:

"Pseudo-undead" is a template that can be added to any humanoid or giant (referred to hereafter as the base creature). Becoming a pseudo-undead is very much like multiclassing as an undead and gaining the appropriate Hit Dice.​

I'm not sure if there are natural or afflicted pseudo-undead, so have pulled that sentence (but if you check the source it might be something that should be put back).

I'm also not sure about the hit dice, but can't think what to put in there yet. I suppose that base creatures would gain an appropriate attack form.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I think the problem with "lycanthropizing" these is that some of the abilities the pseudo-undead get are a bit different than the abilities the actual undead have and are in particular less dangerous. I'm not sure how to write guidelines to cover all undead, especially high-CR ones (or templates with big CR boosts).
 

Big Mac

Visitor
I think the problem with "lycanthropizing" these is that some of the abilities the pseudo-undead get are a bit different than the abilities the actual undead have and are in particular less dangerous. I'm not sure how to write guidelines to cover all undead, especially high-CR ones (or templates with big CR boosts).
Fair point. Even though you can tell that each undead has been hobbled as a pseudo-undead, you can't tell how much hobbling is required on a case by case basis (so we would need to review and build additional pseudo-undead ourselves).

However, I still think that the structure of the lycanthrope monster entry would be easier to work with that what we have now (even if we don't allow any base undead to be added). If these monsters are going to be fixed, then maybe we could go for a structure more similar to one of the other multi-option monsters (instead of lycanthropes).

We could make "pseudo-undead" a new subtype* that grants all the shared abilities and then list each type of pseudo-undead and show what gets added to that subtype.

* = Assuming a humanoid is allowed to have two subtypes.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
As someone who really, really, really dislikes the lycanthrope template, I'd rather not go down that road. :rant:
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
As someone who really, really, really dislikes the lycanthrope template, I'd rather not go down that road. :rant:
Seems like we should stick to finishing what we have, then. ;)

Maybe lycanthropizing these is a project for your blog, Big Mac. :D
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Updated.

I rearranged things a bit to hopefully make it easier to follow.

Would it be best to simply make each its own template? The intro part is pretty small, so would be simple to include in each variation's writeup.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I guess these are finally about done.

I'm not sure if breaking them apart would make it easier or not. I guess it depends if we want one entry in the CC or a bunch.

You know, it strikes me as odd that we've made pseudo-undead templates for things like ghouls that aren't templates themselves. ;) Good thing we have the AB for that. :D
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
I guess these are finally about done.

I'm not sure if breaking them apart would make it easier or not. I guess it depends if we want one entry in the CC or a bunch.
It makes no difference to me. Ease of use is the main goal.

You know, it strikes me as odd that we've made pseudo-undead templates for things like ghouls that aren't templates themselves. ;) Good thing we have the AB for that. :D
Don't forget Dragon Magazine #307 and Dragon Compendium Volume One! ;)
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
It makes no difference to me. Ease of use is the main goal.
I think it's ok to leave them in one entry.

Don't forget Dragon Magazine #307 and Dragon Compendium Volume One! ;)
Hmm, maybe I should pick those up. Trying to figure out what to ask for before all the D20 stuff goes away...
 

Big Mac

Visitor
As someone who really, really, really dislikes the lycanthrope template, I'd rather not go down that road. :rant:
Seems like we should stick to finishing what we have, then. ;)
Fair enough. I just want to see things that are easy to use, so if the lycanthrope template has problems it wouldn't be the thing to copy. (I would ask what the problem with the lycanthrope is, but don't want to hijack the thread. :angel: I'm assuming it is the X + Y nature, that makes it hard to balance things.)

Maybe lycanthropizing these is a project for your blog, Big Mac. :D
Someone actually read my blog? :confused: :cool:

Actually, I'm way behind on reading the monsters that have been converted here recently (and got pressganged into a few SJ projects that I'm trying to keep up with). I think that a small set of pseudo-undead works ok, but if I ever decide to create the kitchen sinkfull of pseudo-undead, I'll try to iron the bugs out of the lycanthrope and see if it can be used to create watered down undead abilities.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
Blazing Bones
Climate/Terrain: Any land
Frequency: Very rare
Organization: Solitary
Activity Cycle: Any
Diet: Nil
Intelligence: As in life (very-genius, 11-18), but insane
Treasure: Nil
Alignment: Chaotic evil
No. Appearing: 1
AC: 5
Movement: 12
Hit Dice: 5+5
THAC0: 15
No. of Attacks: 2
Dmg/Attack: 1d4+2 (x2)
Special Attacks: Hurling fire
Special Defenses: See below
Magic Resistance: See below
Size: M (average 6' tall)
Morale: Fearless (20)
XP Value: 3,000

Blazing bones are undead accidentally created when a priest or wizard who has prepared or partially prepared contingency magic to prevent death is killed by fiery damage. The casted magic twists the contingency provisions so the unfortunate victim passes into undeath in the heart of a roaring column of flame. Tormented by the endless agony of fire, the priest or wizard's nature (including alignment, Hit Dice, and thoughts) changes. Hurling flame lessens the pain momentarily, and pouring fire into another living being reduces it considerably, so blazing bones soon become stalking killers, exulting in fiery destruction.

A blazing bones appears as a human skeleton with a nimbus of flames dancing along its shoulders and small balls of flame encircling its hands.

Combat: Blazing bones inflict only 1d4 points of damage per blow to creatures immune to fire, but against all others they strike fiery blows, adding 2 points of dmage to each hit. In any round, one of them may forgo one of its hand attacks in favor of hurling a head-sized ball of expanding flames up to 20 feet distant, dealing 1d6+3 damage to creatures struck, igniting flammable things, and forcing item saving throws vs. magical fire. (Handle misses with the scatter diagram-see "Grenade-like MIssiles" in the DMG). The blazing bones can also (once per turn) forgo both attacks to create a firestorm, collapsing into a whirlwind of bones and flames that acts as a fireball (6d6 damage, save for half) which erupts from where they stand and expands to a 30-foot-radius sphere. A blazing bones may try to embrace a foe before erupting into a firestorm; in this case, it is allowed an attack roll. Success indicates that it strikes the target (no saving throw allowed), and failure means that it misses --consult the scatter diagram.

Blazing bones are immune to all fire and heat damage, and magical heat and fire actually augment their hit points. Treat all damage normally inflicted by such magic as hit points gained, first healing any missing points and then permanently raising the monster's hit point total. For each 8 hp gained by a blazing bones, it gains 1 Hit Die.

Blazing bones are turned as ghasts and are immune to charm, hold, and sleep spells. Cold-based attacks inflict normal damage, holy water causes 4d4 points of dmaage per vial (2d4 if only a splash), and normal water inflicts 2d4 points of damage per bucket (1d4 per splash). Alchoholic liquids do not damage a blazing bones. Blunt weapons impose normal damage, but edged or piercing weapons inflict only half damage.

Habitat/Society: Blazing bones hate life and the happiness of others. Some former priests even believe their fiery attacks cleanse the world around them, if one can judge by the words they howl--they can roar crackling words from their empty mouths, and they often taunt or threaten adversaries. Blazing bones avoid each other and all other types of undead. However, if a battle with other undead is forced upon them, their flames inflict double damage upon "cold" undead such as vampires, liches, wights, and ghouls.

There have been cases where evil archmages or high priests have deliberately created blazing bones as guardians, by slaying underling wizards or priests after laying control magic on them. In such cases, blazing bones may be found in groups of as many as eight. They can never be directly controlled by their creator. However, they can be compelled to remain within a certain area or structure, and not attack their creator.

Ecology: Blazing bones are among the most destructive of undead. They serve no purpose in the cycles of life, save to burn and spur renewal as forest fires do. Their fire can cleanse away disease germs, and at least one archmage has used a blazing bones as a walking garbage-furnace.

Originally appeared in Ruins of Myth Drannor (1995).

CC 3e version.
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
For starters, stick with monster or change to template? I think monster will probably work, as nothing indicates they retain the abilities they possessed in life.

Since they don't take extra damage from cold, I don't think the Fire subtype is appropriate.

Half Damage From Piercing and Slashing becomes DR x/bludgeoning.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I'd agree with your suggestions, though I'm pretty happy with the 3e conversion.

Should we stick with the "advancement by absorbing fire" or switch to the more pedestrian temporary hp? If we stick with advancement (which is kind of fun if nonstandard), I do think we should raise to 12hp=1HD, since undead have d12 HD.

Hurl fire should have an action type (standard?) and probably a radius. 5 or 10 ft?
 

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