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Creature Catalogue Overhaul Project Revisited

Cleon

Adventurer
Afanc Working Draft

Afanc

Gargantuan Magical Beast (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 15d10+105 (187 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: Swim 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 22 (–4 size, +16 natural), touch 6, flat-footed 22
Base Attack/Grapple: +15/+39
Attack: Bite +23 melee (2d8+12)
Full Attack: Bite +23 melee (2d8+12); or 2 flippers +18 melee (2d6+6)
Space/Reach: 20 ft./15 ft.
Special Attacks: Capsize/ram?, improved grab, swallow whole, whirlpool
Special Qualities: Amphibious, low-light vision, scent
Saves: Fort +16, Ref +9, Will +6
Abilities: Str 35, Dex 11, Con 24, Int 6, Wis 13, Cha 10
Skills: Listen +12, Spot +12, Swim +16 [includes Alertness]
Feats: six [includes Alertness]
Environment: Warm aquatic
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: #
Treasure: None (but see below)
Alignment: Always neutral (often evil)
Advancement: 16–30 HD (Gargantuan); 31–45 HD (Colossal)
Level Adjustment:

Description.

Text.

Combat
Tactics

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, an afanc must hit with its bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can attempt to swallow the foe the following round.

Swallow Whole (Ex): An afanc can try to swallow a grabbed opponent of up to two sizes smaller than itself by making a successful grapple check. Once inside, the opponent takes #d#+12 points of crushing damage plus # points of acid damage per round from the worm’s gizzard. A swallowed creature can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 25 points of damage to the gizzard (AC 18). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out. A Gargantuan afanc's interior can hold 2 Large, 8 Medium, 32 Small, 128 Tiny, or 512 Diminutive or smaller opponents.

Whirlpool (Su): [or (Sp)?] ###

Skills: An afanc has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some 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.

Afanc Young
Large Magical Beast (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 5d10+ ( hp)
Initiative: +
Speed: Swim # ft. (# squares)
Armor Class: # (–1 size, Dex, + natural), touch #, flat-footed #
Base Attack/Grapple: +5/+
Attack: Bite + melee (d+)
Full Attack: Bite + melee (d+); or 2 flippers + melee (d+)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks:
Special Qualities:
Saves: Fort +, Ref +, Will +
Abilities: Str , Dex , Con , Int , Wis , Cha
Skills: ?
Feats: Listen +, Spot +, Swim +
Environment: Warm aquatic
Organization: Solitary, pair, or pack (3–18)
Challenge Rating: #
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always evil (often neutral)
Advancement: 6–8 HD (Large); 9–14 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment:
 
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Cleon

Adventurer
Okay, the main points I'd like to address is adding a Capsize/Ram special attack or separate Capsize and Ram attacks, since these existed in the AD&D originals but went AWOL in the CC's conversion.

We might want to tweak some of the original's numbers a little but most of its stats look fairly sound.

Once we're done with the 3.5 overhaul I'd like to stat up a Young Afanc.

Let's start by figuring out what numbers from the 3.0 version to keep:

Afanc [Enworld Creature Catalog 3.0 Conversion]
Gargantuan Beast (Aquatic)
Needs to become a Magical Beast since it is Intelligent and has special powers.
Hit Dice: 15d10+105 (187 hp)
No point straying from the Fifteen HD of the AD&D versions.
Initiative: 0
Apart from missing a "+" that's fine.
Speed: Swim 40 ft
A decent match to the originals' 15″ swim so let's keep its 40 ft. swim speed.
AC: 14 (-4 size, +8 natural)
Way too low to be competitive, how about increasing the NA to +14 or +16?
Attacks: Bite +17 melee, or 2 flippers +17 melee
The +17 attack is wrong. I make it +19: BAB +11 from fifteen ¾-attack HD, +12 from Str, –4 from size. Also, shouldn't the flippers be a secondary attack? Regardless, its attacks will go up significantly due to it becoming a Magical Beast with full-attack HD.
Damage: Bite 5d4+18, or flipper 3d4+12
Hurr… I'd be inclined to change the base damage to conventional d6s or d8s and would definitely consider making the flippers damage bonus the conventional ×½ secondary although would be happy keeping the ×1½ primary for the bite rather than changing it to ×1 as it only has a single attack with that option.
Face/Reach: 20 ft by 40 ft/10 ft
Presumably we'll use the standard 20 ft./15 ft. for a Gargantuan short-reach monster. Its fins and head aren't anywhere near elongated enough to justify long-reach.
Special Attacks: Whirlpool, swallow whole
We'd better add a Capsize/Ram type special attack and I think the Whirlpool attack needs tweaking (for a start, the 2E version was "partially magical in nature" and could be affected by dispel magic). Also, shouldn't it have Improved Grab to go with its Swallow Whole?
Special Qualities:
Guess we could add Low-light vision or scent. It also needs to have Amphibious, since they "are capable of breathing both air and water" in 1E and the CC version.
Saves: Fort +16, Ref +9, Will +6
Saves are fine.
Abilities: Str 35, Dex 11, Con 24, Int 6, Wis 13, Cha 10
Stats are perfectly sound for a Gargantuan brute-type monster although I'm wondering why it has Charisma 10 - guess that helps the few talking ones to lure sailors to their doom, or just to give them a decent singing voice!
Skills: Listen +12, Spot +12, Swim +16
15 HD and Int 6 gives it 18 SPs, which'd be Listen +10, Spot +10 if split evenly. That strongly implies it has the Alertness feat. Also, its Swim skill should be +20 (12 from Str plus a 8 racial bonus).
Feats:
It needs six feats. We can leave them for later debate.
Climate: Warm aquatic
Warm aquatic's the best match to the original. Why does 3E only have the one "Aquatic" habitat? It doesn't even divide by fresh- or salt-water! That's long bugged me.
Organization: Solitary
Matches the original
Challenge Rating: 14
No way they're as lethal as CR 14. I'd eyeball them as being CR 10 or 11, a Challenge Rating or two below a Purple Worm which has Poison and Burrow as well as the Afanc's Swallow Whole. The Whirlpool/Capsize ability doesn't improve its damage dealing ability after all.
Treasure: None
This matches the 1E's "Nil" but the 2E had "See below" due to its eggs being valuable delicacies. Do we want to do anything with that?
Alignment: Always neutral (evil tendencies)
I don't think "(evil tendencies)" follows standard 3E monster formatting. We could either make it "Always neutral (often evil) or simply "Neutral evil" to make it invariably malevolent. I prefer the former.
Advancement: 16-30 HD (Gargantuan); 31-45 HD (Colossal)
This is OK, but if we do stat up Young Afanc I'm wondering how the Advancement will match up. They're 5 HD and 15 ft. long in the 2E sources that debuted in, suggesting the two stages go something like:
Young Afanc: 5–7 HD (Large); 8–14 HD (Huge)
Adult Afanc: 15–30 HD (Large); 31–45 HD (Colossal)

it'll also need a Level Adjustment, I don't think many players would want to play one, so "Level Adjustment: —" seems appropriate.
 
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freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Point by point (only answering where I think you need an answer; otherwise I agree with all you say):
Let's do NA +16.
Make the flippers secondary attacks.
Let's do d6 damage dice (same number as the d4s?) and make the bite 1-1/2 Str and flippers 1/2.
15 ft reach is ok.
Will deal with SAs later; I'd agree with adding all the proposed SQs.
Skills are ok, assuming we give it Alertness when we deal with the feats.
Let's revisit CR when the rest of the mechanics are done.
No treasure, but we can talk about the eggs in the flavor text perhaps.
I agree with the "always neutral (often evil)" alignment.
Agreed on advancement and LA.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Let's do d6 damage dice (same number as the d4s?) and make the bite 1-1/2 Str and flippers 1/2.
So 5d6+18 with the bite and 3d6+6 with the flippers?

That's a bit more damage with the bite than a pair of flippers - the averages are bite 35.5 and flippers 33. The original was the other way around, with bite 12.5 (5d4) and the pair of flippers 15 (3d4×2).

If we used ×1 damage it'd match the AD&D version's relationship better, with the bite 29.5 (5d6+12) and a pair of flippers averaging 33 (3d6+6×2).

That's a flipper/bite ratio of 1.12, which is still lower than the original's 1.2

Actually, I'm not liking the odd number of d6s for the bite, so maybe we could cut that to, say, 4d6 or increase it to 6d6 so it fits on the standard monster d6-based natural weapon damage progression? What happens when it size-increases to Colossal, does the 5d6 become 7d6 or 10d6 it it adds Improved Natural Attack?

Upon further reflection, both those damages seem too high. I would rather it not deal out massive damage since the original was relatively modest in its lethality. Its 5d4 bite was a lot less deadly than, say, an Tyrannosaurus's 5d8. That damage is in the same ballpark as an AD&D Purple Worm's 2d12 (average of 13 vs the AD&D afanc's 12.5), suggesting the 3E conversion should be similar to the SRD Purple Worm's 2d8+12.

I feel this is a monster that lowish-level characters were meant to encounter while boating so it shouldn't have a murderously high damage output.

Also, if its bite does more modest damage it also makes it more likely its opponents will survive being bitten and enjoy the experience of being swallowed.

So maybe 2d8+12 for the bite and 2d6+6 for the flippers? (average bite 21, flippers 26, ratio 1.23)
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Sure, 2d8+12 and 2d6+6 sound pretty reasonable to me.

It looks like I answered most all of the rest of the points before. Do you mind "de-bluing" the text, so we can see where we are? At least if you agree with my previous post.
 


freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
OK, that's a bit easier to read now! Thanks.

Want to deal with the ramming attack or the whirlpool first?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
OK, that's a bit easier to read now! Thanks.

Want to deal with the ramming attack or the whirlpool first?
Whirlpool I guess, since that's the Afanc's preferred trick. Here's the earlier versions:

1E Monster Manual II
…the creature usually attacks surface prey by swimming rapidly around it in closing circles, starting 100 feet out and closing at 20 feet per round to 40 feet. From its usual 15″ rate, the circling afanc propels itself at ever-faster speed, until a rate of as much as 30″ or more is attained. This swimming creates a whirlpool of size and power sufficient to draw down a ship of small to small-medium size (up to 60 feet in length). Ships will be dragged to the bottom at a rate of 10 feet per round.

2E Monstrous Compendia
When approached by a vessel between 30 and 60 feet in length, the afanc attacks by swimming rapidly around it in ever-closing circles, creating a whirlpool that pulls the craft into the depths. It begins circling its target at its normal movement rate, at a distance of 100 feet. At this time, it is near the surface of the water, but the partial cover of the water gives opponents firing missiles a -2 penalty to attack rolls, in addition to any range modifiers. Those foolish enough to enter melee with the afanc cause the creature to break off its attack on the ship and attempt to eat its attackers.

The afanc requires 1d4+4 rounds to create a whirlpool. Each round, it moves faster, closing to within 40 feet of the vessel. During each succeeding round, the ship spins faster and the afanc gains depth, increasing opponents’ missile attack penalties by -2 per round, to a maximum penalty of -12. The great fish eventually reaches a movement rate of 30, its increasing speed and innate magic creating a whirlpool that draws the ship down into the water after a period equal to one round per 10 feet of ship’s length. Since the attack is partially magical in nature, a dispel magic cast on the afanc, or some sort of magic resistance on the ship, decreases the rate of sinking by half (one round per 5 feet of ship’s length).

3.0 Creature Catalogue:
Whirlpool (Ex)
: An afanc can create a whirlpool by swimming in closer and closer circles around its target. It will usually attack craft between 30 feet and 60 feet in length in this way, starting near the surface of the water at a distance of 100 feet from the vessel, moving at its normal speed.

It takes the afanc 1d4+4 rounds to create the whirlpool, every round moving faster, closer to the ship, and deeper into the water. As it completes the attack, its speed is doubled, and it is within 40 feet of the ship, which begins to sink below the waves at a rate of 10 feet per round. This attack can be stopped by distractions, such as crew jumping or falling into the water, or successful attack by spells or missile weapons.

Points to note. The original 1E Afanc doesn't state how long it takes to initiate a Whirlpool so it might do so immediately. The fish circles at 100 foot radius on its first round, 80 on the second, 60 on the third and finishes up at a 40 foot radius on the fourth and subsequent rounds, which might mean the whirlpool takes 4 rounds to establish and is 40 feet in radius. Presumably this is where the 2E version's 1d4+4 rounds is derived from.

In both 1E and 2E, the whirlpool takes 1 round to drag down a ship per 10 feet of the ship's length. Which seems a bit odd - you'd expect it'd depend on seaworthiness or something - but I suppose the Afanc could be using its magical ability to literally "drag the ship down" and it just happens to depend on the target vessel's dimensions.

The 2E version says the Afanc swims deeper as it forms the whirlpool, imposing increasing penalties on missile attacks from the surface. I think we'd better follow that lead, but we can just use the standard Underwater Combat Rules:


SRD
Ranged Attacks Underwater: Thrown weapons are ineffective underwater, even when launched from land. Attacks with other ranged weapons take a -2 penalty on attack rolls for every 5 feet of water they pass through, in addition to the normal penalties for range.

Attacks from Land: Characters swimming, floating, or treading water on the surface, or wading in water at least chest deep, have improved cover (+8 bonus to AC, +4 bonus on Reflex saves) from opponents on land. Landbound opponents who have freedom of movement effects ignore this cover when making melee attacks against targets in the water. A completely submerged creature has total cover against opponents on land unless those opponents have freedom of movement effects. Magical effects are unaffected except for those that require attack rolls (which are treated like any other effects) and fire effects.

Hmm… if submerged creatures have total cover against opponents on land presumably that applies to opponents on ships or flying, in which case "if you don’t have line of effect to your target he is considered to have total cover from you. You can’t make an attack against a target that has total cover", so the combat penalties for shooting missiles at the Afanc are irrelevant as people on a ship can't make attacks. That seems screwy. I think we can rationalize it away by saying the Afanc is only partially submerged. Swimming on the surface normally gives improved cover (+8 AC, +4 on Reflex saves) so presumably it's just gradually swims deeper and deeper until it get +12 AC.

Oh, I guess we should also give it a half bonus to Reflex saves for the sake of consistency.

In closing, we might want to crib a few pointers from the Water Elemental's vortex special attack:


Vortex (Su): The elemental can transform itself into a whirlpool once every 10 minutes, provided it is underwater, and remain in that form for up to 1 round for every 2 HD it has. In vortex form, the elemental can move through the water or along the bottom at its swim speed. The vortex is 5 feet wide at the base, up to 30 feet wide at the top, and 10 feet or more tall, depending on the elemental’s size. The elemental controls the exact height, but it must be at least 10 feet.

The elemental’s movement while in vortex form does not provoke attacks of opportunity, even if the elemental enters the space another creature occupies. Another creature might be caught in the vortex if it touches or enters the vortex, or if the elemental moves into or through the creature’s space.

Creatures one or more size categories smaller than the elemental might take damage when caught in the vortex (see table for details) and may be swept up by it. An affected creature must succeed on a Reflex save when it comes into contact with the vortex or take the indicated damage. It must also succeed on a second Reflex save or be picked up bodily and held suspended in the powerful currents, automatically taking damage each round. An affected creature is allowed a Reflex save each round to escape the vortex. The creature still takes damage, but can leave if the save is successful. The DC for saves against the vortex’s effects varies with the elemental’s size. The save DC is Strength-based.

Creatures trapped in the vortex cannot move except to go where the elemental carries them or to escape the whirlwind. Creatures caught in the whirlwind can otherwise act normally, but must make a Concentration check (DC 10 + spell level) to cast a spell. Creatures caught in the whirlwind take a -4 penalty to Dexterity and a -2 penalty on attack rolls. The elemental can have only as many creatures trapped inside the vortex at one time as will fit inside the vortex’s volume.

The elemental can eject any carried creatures whenever it wishes, depositing them wherever the vortex happens to be. A summoned elemental always ejects trapped creatures before returning to its home plane.

If the vortex’s base touches the bottom, it creates a swirling cloud of debris. This cloud is centered on the elemental and has a diameter equal to half the vortex’s height. The cloud obscures all vision, including darkvision, beyond 5 feet. Creatures 5 feet away have concealment, while those farther away have total concealment.

Those caught in the cloud must make a Concentration check (DC 15 + spell level) to cast a spell.

An elemental in vortex form cannot make slam attacks and does not threaten the area around it.

I think I'll whip up a Whirlpool Rough Draft in my next post to avoid cluttering up this post even more.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Whirlpool Rough Draft

Whirlpool (Ex and Sp):
An afanc can create a whirlpool by swimming in closer and closer circles around its target. It will usually attack craft between 30 feet and 60 feet in length in this way. The water's depth must be at least half the length of the afanc for it to form a whirlpool (minimum of 25 feet).

It takes the afanc 1d4+4 rounds to create the whirlpool, every round moving faster, closer to the ship, and deeper into the water. The afanc starts on the surface of the water at a distance of 100 feet from the vessel, moving at its normal speed. When it completes the attack, its swim speed is doubled and it is 40 feet from the ship. This attack can be stopped by distractions, such as crew jumping or falling into the water (the afanc stops circling to attack them), or successful attack by spells or missile weapons. For every round the afanc spends circling it gains a +2 bonus to AC and a +1 bonus on Reflex saves against creatures above the waterline due to its increasingly deep cover of water (maximum +12 to AC and +6 to Reflex saves).

The whirlpool is 80 feet wide at the top, 5 feet wide at the base, and 10 to 20 feet deep. The ship at the center of the whirlpool will be dragged underwater in one round per 10 feet of the ship's length.

Creatures in the water that are smaller than the afanc might take damage from the whirlpool or be caught in its vortex if they touch or enter the whirlpool. The creature must succeed on a DC 29 Reflex save when they come into contact with the whirlpool or take 2d8 bludgeoning damage. They must also succeed on a second Reflex save or be picked up bodily and held suspended in the powerful currents, automatically taking damage each round. An affected creature is allowed a Reflex save each round to escape the vortex. The creature still takes damage, but can leave if the save is successful. The save DC is Strength-based.

Creatures trapped in the whirlpool cannot move except to go where the current carries them or to escape its vortex. Creatures caught in the whirlpool can otherwise act normally, but must make a Concentration check (DC 10 + spell level) to cast a spell. Creatures caught in the whirlpool take a –4 penalty to Dexterity and a –2 penalty on attack rolls. The afanc can have only as many creatures trapped inside the whirlpool at one time as will fit inside the whirlpool's volume.

An afanc's whirlpool ability is partially magical. Casting dispel magic on the afanc causes the whirlpool to form at half its normal speed. A break enchantment that succeeds against a DC of 11 + the afanc's Hit Dice completely collapses the whirlpool and slows the afanc to its normal speed, but it may just start forming a new whirlpool. A mage's disjunction automatically collapses the whirlpool.
 

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