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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: 18 (–4 size, +12 natural), touch 6, flat-footed 18
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.
 



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 Su):
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 attacks by spells or missile weapons (inflicting 25% of the afanc's hit points in damage while it is circling forces it to stop whirlpooling). 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, culminating in improved cover after four rounds (+8 to AC, +8 to Reflex saves, effectively gains improved evasion against any attack to which the Reflex save bonus applies).

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 after being in the vortex for the duration listed in the Afanc Whirlpool Ship-Sinking Table below. The captain of a properly crewed ship can make Profession (sailor) checks to delay the sinking of their vessel (DC 15 for the first round, +1 per additional round).

Afanc Whirlpool Ship-Sinking Table
Ship Size* (typical length)Example Ship TypeSinking Time
Colossal (80 ft. or longer)Galley, Sailing Ship, WarshipNone (Too large to sink.)
Gargantuan (40 ft. to 80 ft. long)Longship*1d4+4 rounds
Huge (20 ft. to 40 ft. long)Keelboat*, Launch**1d3+2 rounds
Large (10 ft. to 20 ft. long)Dugout**1d2+1 rounds
Medium or smaller (10 ft. or less)Rowboat1 round
*Campaigns that use the Stormwrack book or another nautical system may use that source's vehicle sizes and ship-sinking rules instead. The above table assumes the vessel is seaworthy and has a deep enough draft to resist being easily swamped (typically 15 ft. for a Colossal ship, 10 ft. for Gargantuan, 5 ft. for Huge, 2½ ft. for Large and 1 ft. for Medium). If the ship's draft is less than this (such as a Keelboat or Longship) the Whirlpool Ship-Sinking table treats it as one size category smaller than its actual size. The ship may also be treated as one size category smaller even if its draft is deep enough if it is unseaworthy (Seaworthiness –2 or lower in Stormwrack) or badly damaged. Contrariwise, a very seaworthy vessel (Seaworthiness +2 or higher in Stormwrack) will not have a size category penalty if its draft is too shallow and may even be treated as a size category larger than it actually is (although this cannot move it into the "Unsinkable" Colossal Ship category). If a ship is extraordinarily badly built or so rotten/damaged/wormholed it can barely float give it a two size category penalty on the Ship-Sinking table.
**This ship type is described in Stormwrack.

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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freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
This is pretty good! I have just a few thoughts. For one, it feels like Ex and Su would make more sense than Sp. Like you, I find the rate of ship sinking to be a bit odd, though maybe they're thinking of ship length as related to inertia or something. This is where picking naval combat rules would be helpful (there are 3rd party supplements for that), since I feel like some kind of check would make sense. Is there anything else in standard ship statistics we could use?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
This is pretty good! I have just a few thoughts. For one, it feels like Ex and Su would make more sense than Sp. Like you, I find the rate of ship sinking to be a bit odd, though maybe they're thinking of ship length as related to inertia or something. This is where picking naval combat rules would be helpful (there are 3rd party supplements for that), since I feel like some kind of check would make sense. Is there anything else in standard ship statistics we could use?
I was going to make it (Ex and Su) or just (Su) but started having cold feet because dispel magic normally only affects (Sp) powers.

I'm fine changing it to (Ex and Su), and while I'm at it I'll correct a slight grammatical clumsiness - the "or successful attack by spells" should be "attacks".

There are more elaborate ship rules in official 3E supplements such as Stormwrack, which give ships a "Seaworthiness" rating and a volume in "Hull sections" that'd be pertinent if I wanted to write up a version of the whirlpool ability that used those rules, but I'd rather stick to the SRD as much as possible.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I'm fine changing it to (Ex and Su), and while I'm at it I'll correct a slight grammatical clumsiness - the "or successful attack by spells" should be "attacks".

Updated the Afanc Working Draft.

I'm wondering whether there should be some hit point amount in that rule, since as written two damage from a single arrow or magic missile might be enough to dissuade the afanc.

How about "or successful attacks by spells or missile weapons (inflicting ##% of the afanc's hit points in damage while it is circling forces it to stop whirlpooling)."

We just need to decide on a percentage for the "##", my initial idea was 50% (93 hp) but that seemed way too many, so 25% (46 hp), 20% (37 hp) or even 10% (18 hp) seem more suitable.

It's circling AC is between 24 and 34 remember so it'll be very hard to hit with arrows.

Hmm… actually that seems a bit high high. The original monster was AC 6 (and AC 14 in the 3.0 version) so I think we rather overcompensated by giving it a base of AC 22.

I'm tempted to reduce that to base AC 16 (+10 natural). It's what the Rhinoceros and Cachalot Whale have, which seem appropriate comparisons as tough-skinned natural beast. That'd but the "maximum whirlpool AC" at AC 28, which is difficult but achievable by a midlevel archer (i.e. a typical 7th level fighter with a few pluses to hit can easily have +10 attack or more).

Hmm… let's run some numbers.

We're aiming to make this thing roughly CR 9 or 10 aren't we? A 10th level warrior-type will have about +12 to +15 attack with a missile weapon depending on how specialized they are. The 10th-level sample Barbarian NPCs in the DMG has:

Barbarian: +1 composite longbow [+4 Str bonus] +13/+8 (1d8+5/×3)

So if we use the lower AC of 16 then over the six rounds of whirlpool formation the afanc goes from AC 18 to 28, meaning our Barbarian needs to roll
5/7/9/11/13/15 for the first iterative arrow and 10/12/14/16/18/20 for the second, so on average he'd hit with… 5.1 arrows. He averages 9.5 damage an arrow, so that's 48.45 damage without even allowing for critical hits.

And remember that's just one party member, presumably the others will be contributing as well!

With the current AC 22 our guy needs to hit AC 24 to 34, for rolls of 11/13/15/17/19/21 for the first arrow and 16/18/20/22/24/26. That's 2.15 arrows, on average 0.1075 of those are criticals so the average arrow damage is 22.4675 hit points.

Hmm… on the other hand I think the afanc will mostly likely be encountered as an single overstrong encounter by a party of around 7th or 8th level.

Have to think about this…
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Upon reflection, the "Barbarian" calculations might be exaggerated since many of the attackers won't have mighty composite bows. An ordinary bow or crossbow will do roughly half the Barbarian's 1d8+4 arrow damage and might not even have iterative attacks.

How about we compromise and make the base AC 18, the halfway point between the 3.0 Catalogue version's 14 and the current 22?

Currently I favour 25% for the ## in "inflicting ##% of the afanc's hit points".

I'm also thinking we could lower the deep cover cap from +12 to AC and +6 to Reflex saves to +8/+4 to match the bonuses from improved cover. I only used +12 in the Rough Draft since that's what the 2E AD&D version employed. We can also use the improved cover rule "A creature with this improved cover effectively gains improved evasion against any attack to which the Reflex save bonus applies":

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, culminating in improved cover after four rounds (+8 to AC, +8 to Reflex saves, effectively gains improved evasion against any attack to which the Reflex save bonus applies).​

That way an 8th level party have some chance of stopping a circling afanc from whirlpooling with missile weapons but can't trivially knock it out of circling with an area-of-effect lightning bolt.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
In the end, I like what you have there, including base AC 18.

I'm still not terribly fond of using the ship's length to determine sinking time. What do you feel about the ship's captain making some kind of check or save to keep afloat? Otherwise, this ability is probably ready to go.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
In the end, I like what you have there, including base AC 18.

Updated the Afanc Working Draft.

Updating the Whirlpool Working Draft.

In the end, I like what you have there, including base AC 18.

I'm still not terribly fond of using the ship's length to determine sinking time. What do you feel about the ship's captain making some kind of check or save to keep afloat? Otherwise, this ability is probably ready to go.

Yes, it is a bit odd. Logically one would think it'd depend on the ship's draft and seaworthiness. A long shallow-hulled "island hopping" war canoe should be easier to sink than a short, deep-hulled sea-going cog.

That's hard to do using just the SRD, since it doesn't include Stormwrack's ship rules.

That said, one would like a certain amount of randomness in the sinking times too. Maybe just list some random dice rolls for different classes of ship?

I would have no objection to the captain & crew being able to make round-by-round Profession (sailor) checks to keep the ship above water. Preferably cumulative "DC increases by 1 per round" ones so the ship would eventually sink even if those aboard have epic level sailing skills.

Here's a Rough Proposal:

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 after being in the vortex for the duration listed in the Afanc Whirlpool Ship-Sinking Table below. The captain of a properly crewed ship can make Profession (sailor) checks to delay the sinking of their vessel (DC 15 for the first round, +1 per additional round).

Afanc Whirlpool Ship-Sinking Table
Ship Size* (typical length)
Example Ship Type​
Sinking Time​
Colossal (80 ft. or longer)Galley, Sailing Ship, WarshipNone (Too large to sink.)
Gargantuan (40 ft. to 80 ft. long)Longship*1d4+4 rounds
Huge (20 ft. to 40 ft. long)Keelboat*1d3+2 rounds
Large (10 ft. to 20 ft. long)Yacht**1d2+1 rounds
Medium or smaller (10 ft. or less)Rowboat1 round
*If your campaign employs the Ship rules in Stormwrack use the vehicle sizes in that book. The above table assumes the vessel is seaworthy and has a deep enough draft to resist being easily swamped (typically 15 ft. for a Colossal ship, 10 ft. for Gargantuan, 5 ft. for Huge, 2½ ft. for Large and 1 ft. for Medium). If the ship's draft is less than this (such as a Keelboat or Longship) the Whirlpool Ship-Sinking table treats it as one size category smaller than its actual size. The ship may also be treated as one size category smaller even if its draft is deep enough if it is unseaworthy (Seaworthiness –2 or lower in Stormwrack) or badly damaged. Contrariwise, a very seaworthy vessel (Seaworthiness +2 or higher in Stormwrack) will not have a size category penalty if its draft is too shallow and may even be treated as a size category larger than it actually is (although this cannot move it into the "Unsinkable" Colossal Ship category). If a ship is extraordinarily badly built or so rotten/damaged/wormholed it can barely float give it a two size category penalty on the Ship-Sinking table.

I think that looks OK.
 
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freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Yes, I like this! Am I right in assuming that the ** on the Yacht is just supposed to be a single *? I also wouldn't mind putting a sentence in the footnote that a DM can substitute other ship rules if desired. So shall we say that the whirlpool is done?

Answering one question mark in the working draft, I definitely think we should give it a capsize/ram type attack based on the original monsters. I know we have a capsize ability somewhere, probably in WotC products too. Do you remember where we can find that?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Yes, I like this! Am I right in assuming that the ** on the Yacht is just supposed to be a single *?

No.

The ** is because Yacht is a ship type of my own invention that isn't in the SRD. I needed something to fill the empty gap in the Large Vessel category and I couldn't decide whether to create a new type or use on of the Large Vehicles from Stormwrack.

Upon reflection, since we're referring to Stormwrack rules we might as well use a vessels from those rules - the Dugout appears to be the only option, .

I meant to put a ** explanatory note there but forgot.

I also wouldn't mind putting a sentence in the footnote that a DM can substitute other ship rules if desired. So shall we say that the whirlpool is done?

It seems simpler to just change the first line to "Campaigns that use the Stormwrack book or another nautical system may use that source's vehicle sizes and ship-sinking rules instead."

Updating the Whirlpool Working Draft.

Answering one question mark in the working draft, I definitely think we should give it a capsize/ram type attack based on the original monsters. I know we have a capsize ability somewhere, probably in WotC products too. Do you remember where we can find that?

Yes.
 

Cleon

Adventurer

Okay, maybe that wasn't quite the most informative answer I could have given. :p

The official rule's Capsize attack appears in the Dragon Turtle, but I don't care for it much:

SRD said:
Capsize (Ex): A submerged dragon turtle that surfaces under a boat or ship less than 20 feet long capsizes the vessel 95% of the time. It has a 50% chance to capsize a vessel from 20 to 60 feet long and a 20% chance to capsize one over 60 feet long.

I would prefer some variation of the Chont's Ramming attack:

Ramming (Ex): As a standard action, a chont can swim at up to quadruple speed (200 feet) and ram a waterborne target (such as a ship or another creature). To ram, the chont must end its movement in the target's space. This attack deals 2d8+5 points of damage. If the target is a creature, it can attempt either an attack of opportunity or a DC 18 Reflex save for half damage. The save DC is Strength-based.

Upon ramming a ship, the chont can make a Strength check to breach its hull, which causes the ship to sink in 1d10 minutes. The break DC varies with the type of vessel rammed, as follows: rowboat DC 20, keelboat DC 23, sailing ship or longship DC 25, warship DC 27, or galley DC 30. (See Equipment in the SRD for information about ships). Regardless of the check result, every creature aboard must attempt a DC 15 Reflex saving throw. Success means the creature takes 1d6 points of damage from being thrown about by the impact; failure means the creature is hurled overboard.

I happen to already have a Homebrew rule for this very occasion:

Capsizing Ram (Ex): As a full-round action, a submerged ??? can attempt to sink a boat or ship. The ??? can move up to its normal swim speed (#0 feet) and surface under a vessel in an attempt to hoist it upwards until it keels over, or it can swim at up to quadruple speed (##0 feet) and ram the target vessel with the same intent, the impact inflicts #d#+# points of damage to the rammed vessel but also does #d#+# damage to the ??? itself. In either case, the ??? must end its movement in the target's space. The ??? takes no impact damage if it rams a creature, and the target creature can attempt either an attack of opportunity or a DC ## Reflex save for half damage. The save DC is Strength-based.

If it surfaces below a vessel, the ??? must make a Strength check to capsize it with a +## size bonus (total modifier +## for a typical ???). The capsize DC varies with the type of vessel, as follows: rowboat DC 16, keelboat DC 30, sailing ship or longship DC 38, warship DC 42, or galley DC 45. If the Strength check fails with a result 10 points or less lower than the capsize DC (check result 20-29 for a keelboat, for example), then every creature aboard must attempt a DC ## Reflex saving throw (the creature may substitute a Balance check or Climb check for this Reflex save). Failure means the creature takes 1d6 points of damage from being thrown about by the impact and must succeed at a DC 20 Balance check or be knocked prone; if the creature fails by 5 or more they will be hurled overboard if they're on deck. The save DC is Strength-based and includes a –4 penalty.

If a ??? rams a vessel, it makes a Strength check to breach its hull, which causes the ship to sink in 1d10 minutes. The break DC varies with the type of vessel rammed, as follows: rowboat DC 20, keelboat DC 23, sailing ship or longship DC 25, warship DC 27, or galley DC 30. Regardless of the check result, every creature aboard must attempt a DC ## Reflex saving throw (the creature may substitute a Balance check or Climb check for this Reflex save). Failure means the creature takes 1d6 points of damage from being thrown about by the impact and must succeed at a DC 20 Balance check or be knocked prone; if the creature fails by 5 or more they will be hurled overboard if they're on deck. The save DC is Strength-based and includes a –4 penalty.

If a vessel's captain or master is aware of an imminent capsizing ram attack they can try to evade the impact or counterbalance their vessel to prevent it from tipping over. If the captain succeeds at a DC 20 Profession (sailor) check their ship's capsize DC increases to 30 or by +2, whichever is greater; if the result succeeds against the ram's Reflex save DC (typically a DC ## Profession (sailor) check) the ship also takes half damage from the ram and everyone aboard receives a +2 bonus to their Reflex save and skill checks against being thrown about by the impact.

In campaigns that use the nautical rules from Stormwrack a vessel's shiphandling modifier applies to Profession (sailor) check against capsizing ram attacks, if the handling modifier is a bonus, it adds to the capsize DC if the shipmaster's skill check succeeds. For example, if a vessel has +2 shiphandling a successful Profession (sailor) check increases its capsize DC to 32 or by +4, but a –2 shiphandling does not lower the capsize DC. (Note a ship's Stormwrack seaworthiness modifier is assumed to be incorporated into the vessel's capsize and breach DCs.)

EDIT: Upon reflection, I'm tempted to add a "launch" between the rowboat and keelboat on the DC progression, although that's a non-SRD vessel. Maybe Capsizing Hoist DC 24, Ramming Breach DC 23? The previous SA uses the same Ramming DCs as the Chont for the sake of consistency, but I'm tempted to tweak the Rowboat down and put the Launch in a gap between it and the Keelboat (i.e. "The break DC varies with the type of vessel rammed, as follows: rowboat DC 18, launch DC 21, keelboat DC 23,…" instead of "rowboat DC 20, launch or keelboat DC 23,…"
 
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