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3E/3.5 Kraken Variants

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Whew, that's a lot! I will agree to that space/reach and your proposed ability scores.

320 ft jet speed seems ok if we go with the 80 ft swim speed. What's the deal with the 240' (80') in the original, though?

10x low-light vision is ok. Maybe darkvision 100ft (more than a kraken since it's so much bigger)?

On NA: 3 size increases (using Gargantuan to Colossal, anyway) is +15. Compared to a kraken, that's NA +29. I also get NA +29 starting from the giant octopus, but NA +25 starting with the giant squid. Honestly, I want this thing to be fairly hard to hurt, so I'd go with at least the NA +29. What do you think?
 

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Cleon

Adventurer
Whew, that's a lot! I will agree to that space/reach and your proposed ability scores.

320 ft jet speed seems ok if we go with the 80 ft swim speed.
Good!

Updating Mystaran Kraken Working Draft.

What's the deal with the 240' (80') in the original, though?
I don't follow you. What's the issue you'd like clarifying?

10x low-light vision is ok. Maybe darkvision 100ft (more than a kraken since it's so much bigger)?
If we're increasing the darkvision I'd be tempted to make the range match or exceed the creature's reach so it can see what it's attacking.

Darkvision 750 ft or 900 ft. seems rather high though.

On NA: 3 size increases (using Gargantuan to Colossal, anyway) is +15. Compared to a kraken, that's NA +29. I also get NA +29 starting from the giant octopus, but NA +25 starting with the giant squid. Honestly, I want this thing to be fairly hard to hurt, so I'd go with at least the NA +29. What do you think?
Let's see.

Giant Octopus +7 NA, add +12 for Large=>Colossal and +10 for "Colossal++" is +29 natural armour.
Giant Squid +6 NA, add +9 for Huge=>Colossal and +10 for "Colossal++" is +25 natural armour.
Kraken +14 NA, add +5 for Gargantuan=>Colossal and +10 for "Colossal++" is +29 natural armour.

Yup, your sums match mine.

I'd be OK just using the Giant Squid's enlarged NA with a 2 point boost to +27 natural armour. That way we've got a "0" in the AC like the original. :p

Armor Class: 30 (–8 size, +1 Dex, +27 natural), touch 2, flat-footed 29

If you rather make it higher you might be able to persuade me, although I prefer this beastie to be somewhat "squishy" for its Hit Dice.

The original has a respectable AC 0 for a BECMI cephalopod. That's 7 points better than a standard BECMI/AD&D Giant Squid or Giant Octopus. The AD&D Giant Squid also an AC 3 body shell and BECMI has an AC5 Giant Squid in X13 but those seem irrelevant.

So I might consider adding +8 to the Giant Octopus's enlarged NA to make it:

Armor Class: 40 (–8 size, +1 Dex, +37 natural), touch 2, flat-footed 39

What do you think?
 
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freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Well, it can see what it's attacking when there's a bit of light! But the darkvision should really be at least its space, I guess. Does 500 ft still seem too large?

I prefer +37 NA, total AC 40 option :devil:
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Regarding the speed, I didn't know what the 240' was for. Land speed sounds weird, and 80' looks like swim speed.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Well, it can see what it's attacking when there's a bit of light! But the darkvision should really be at least its space, I guess. Does 500 ft still seem too large?
500 seems too small - it makes its Darkvision shorter than its tentacles.

I was thinking its tentacle Reach or larger - 750 ft. or 1000 ft. perhaps?

I prefer +37 NA, total AC 40 option :devil:
Well I guess I can go along with making a monster nastier. :devilish:

Updating Mystaran Kraken Working Draft.

Regarding the speed, I didn't know what the 240' was for. Land speed sounds weird, and 80' looks like swim speed.
The 240 is its "combat speed" and the 80 is its "regular speed" - the first is the maximum it can move in a melee round, the second how fast it moves when it's just "walking around".

Or swimming around in this case.

BECMI monster stats nearly always state both speeds. The combat speed is three times the regular speed.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
500 seems too small - it makes its Darkvision shorter than its tentacles.

I was thinking its tentacle Reach or larger - 750 ft. or 1000 ft. perhaps?
Aw hell, let's just kick this conversion back into life and give it darkvision 750 feet so it can see as far as it can reach.

Updating Mystaran Kraken Working Draft.

Shall we decide on attack damage next?

The original had tentacles which did 7-42 damage (i.e. 7d6) and a bite that did 8-80 (i.e. 8d10) plus it could constrict for 7d6. Also, its tentacles had 60 hit points apiece.

By comparison:

Giant Octopus is 1d4 tentacle[10 hp]/1d8 bite/2d8 constrict; Large=>Colossal would make it 2d6 tentacle/4d6 bite/6d8 constrict.
Giant Squid is 1d6 tentacle[10 hp]/2d8 bite/1d6 constrict; Huge=>Colossal would make it 2d6 tentacle/4d8 bite/2d6 constrict.
Kraken is 2d8 tentacle[20 hp]/1d6 arm[10 hp]/4d6 bite/2d8 or 1d6 constrict; Gargantuan=>Colossal would make it 3d8 tentacle/1d8 arm/6d6 bite/4d8 or 1d8 constrict.

Hmm… those are all significantly less dangerous than the Mystaran version.

I would be game just giving the Mystaran Kraken 7d6 tentacles and an 8d10 bite like the original, but that doesn't match well with standard 3E damage progression.

How about making the tentacle attacks either 6d6 or 8d6 damage and the bite attack either 8d8 or 12d8?

Of the two options, I prefer the 6d6/8d8 version since 12d8 is at the end of the Improved Natural Attack feat's d8 damage progression and is roughly equal to 10d10 (average 54 vs. 55) it leaves room for advanced Mystaran Kraken to get Improved Natural Attack to bump up their bite damage.

Oh, and I'd be fine keeping the 60 hit point tentacles.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Well, in my defense, you were worried that 750 ft was too long for darkvision. But I'm happy with that value.

Yeah, let's go with 6d6/8d8. Anything higher may be fun but just out of line with similar critters. Constrict at 6d6, I assume.

Camouflage (Ex): Since a Mystaran kraken is mottled blue-green, it takes a DC X Spot check to distinguish a resting Mystaran kraken from a mass of kelp before it attacks. Anyone with ranks in Survival or Knowledge (arcana) can use one of those skills instead of Spot to notice the monster.

This kind of thing usually has a static DC. Want to make it DC 20?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Well, in my defense, you were worried that 750 ft was too long for darkvision. But I'm happy with that value.

Yeah, let's go with 6d6/8d8. Anything higher may be fun but just out of line with similar critters. Constrict at 6d6, I assume.
Updating Mystaran Kraken Working Draft.

I gave the tentacles the standard "severing a tentacle does half damage to the cephalopod" but would be game for it doing no damage like the original text. With 992 hit points it makes little difference.

Camouflage (Ex): Since a Mystaran kraken is mottled blue-green, it takes a DC X Spot check to distinguish a resting Mystaran kraken from a mass of kelp before it attacks. Anyone with ranks in Survival or Knowledge (arcana) can use one of those skills instead of Spot to notice the monster.

This kind of thing usually has a static DC. Want to make it DC 20?
Hmm, I'm not that keen on the "since a Mystaran kraken is mottled blue-green" beginning.

How about:

Camouflage (Ex): A Mystaran kraken can rest motionless and almost perfectly mimic a floating mass of kelp. It takes a DC ?? Spot check to distinguish a camouflaged Mystaran kraken before it moves. Unfortunate creatures may already be within reach of the kraken's tentacles before they see it. Creatures with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) or Survival may use one of those skills instead of Spot to notice the monster.

This kind of thing usually has a static DC. Want to make it DC 20?
Well a group of PCs of high enough level to fight one would find a Spot DC of 20 trivial, but I'm OK with that. I consider it more of a "flavour" ability than something useful.

Do you want to do anything with the following?

"When a kraken attacks a ship, it wraps six of its tentacles around the craft … The six tentacles hold on to the ship, automatically inflicting 7d6 points of constriction damage each round (half damage, in hull points, to the vessel)"

Maybe:

Shipcrusher (Ex): A Mystaran kraken can constrict a colossal creature or object with more than one tentacle. The constriction damage increases by 1d6 for each additional tentacle.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Half damage to the body from severing tentacles is ok.

I can also go with the revised Camouflage text and the proposed Shipcrusher ability.

Any other SAs, or are we ready for skills and feats?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Half damage to the body from severing tentacles is ok.

I can also go with the revised Camouflage text and the proposed Shipcrusher ability.
Updating Mystaran Kraken Working Draft.

Any other SAs, or are we ready for skills and feats?
I did wonder about tweaking the Camouflage to allow the Kraken to substitute a Hide or Disguise check for the flat DC, similar to the SRD Mimic.

Kelp Mimicry (Ex): A Mystaran kraken can rest motionless and almost perfectly mimic a floating mass of kelp. Anyone who observes a camouflaged Mystaran kraken can detect the ruse with a successful Spot check opposed by the kraken's Hide check. A Mystaran kraken can take 10 on a kelp mimicry Hide check and normally does so, giving the Spot check a DC of ??. Unfortunate creatures may already be within reach of the kraken's tentacles before they see it. If the Mystaran kraken moves it immediately reveals itself. Creatures with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) or Survival may use one of those skills instead of Spot to notice the monster.

or are we ready for skills and feats?
We might as well start talking about them.

If we use the Kelp Mimicry above I was thinking we'd give it a hefty racial bonus to kelp mimicry of +12.

I'm inclined to split the skill points between Spot and Listen with the extra point in Spot, like the SRD Giant Squid. I'll assume it has the Alertness feat, since the Squid and all giant Cephalopods have it.

Also, since these things appear to be giant octopi rather than squid I'm inclined to give them the racial skill bonuses of an Octopus:

Skills #1: Escape Artist +13, Hide +5 (+13 kelp mimicry), Listen +38, Spot +39, Swim +29​
Skills: A Mystaran kraken can slightly change its color and shape, giving it a +4 racial bonus on Hide checks. *When using its kelp mimicry power, the Hide bonus improves to +12. A Mystaran kraken also can squeeze and contort its body, giving it a +10 racial bonus on Escape Artist checks.​
A kraken 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.​

Alternatively, we could trim the Listen and Spot down to +30 to match the SRD Kraken and put those points in Hide to give it a more CR appropriate skill level:

Skills #2: Escape Artist +13, Hide +22 (+30 kelp mimicry), Listen +30, Spot +30, Swim +29​
Skills: A Mystaran kraken can slightly change its color and shape, giving it a +4 racial bonus on Hide checks. *When using its kelp mimicry power, the Hide bonus improves to +12. A Mystaran kraken also can squeeze and contort its body, giving it a +10 racial bonus on Escape Artist checks.​
A kraken 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.​

Hmm… I quite like that.

For the feats, I'd take Alertness, Blind-Fight, Improved Critical (tentacle), Improved Initiative, Improved Trip and Iron Will from the Kraken and Diehard and Endurance from the Giant Squid.

Add Combat Reflexes, Dire Charge, Epic Will, Improved Critical (bite), and Weapon Focus (bite, tentacle) to buff out its combat abilities.

Let's see, that's 14 feats so we've still got eight more to pick. I'm not seeing that much else I'm really enamoured for this creature. Devastating Critical would seem a really munchkin option - the save to avoid instant death would be Fort DC 63!

Maybe some of the other combat feats - Superior Initiative, Multiattack and Improved Multiattack, Great Fortitude, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave would make eight but they're pretty much the "usual suspects".
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Huh, I read it more as just of a natural coloration thing rather than an active ability, so more like camouflage. I think I'd rather stick to camo since they're not shapechangers like mimics. I'm up for boosting the camouflage DC, though.

Your skill option #1 looks pretty good, though putting the Hide ranks somewhere else would be fine, too.

You probably have the right feats for it, including the combat ones.

Got behind on this thread, the Displaced Critters got bumped a time or two, so I missed it.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Huh, I read it more as just of a natural coloration thing rather than an active ability, so more like camouflage. I think I'd rather stick to camo since they're not shapechangers like mimics. I'm up for boosting the camouflage DC, though.

Your skill option #1 looks pretty good, though putting the Hide ranks somewhere else would be fine, too.
Okay I can live with that, how about we give it Skill Option #2 with Camouflage and just arbitrarily set the Camouflage DC to 30 since it's effectively the same DC as spotting an invisible living creature who's holding still as it's "identical" to kelp.

You probably have the right feats for it, including the combat ones.
Works for me!

Updating Mystaran Kraken Working Draft.

Got behind on this thread, the Displaced Critters got bumped a time or two, so I missed it.
These things happen. Especially when our threads wander away to other forums!
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Well while updating the Working Draft I realized that I'd got the total skill ranks wrong in post #90 of this thread:

Skills #1: Escape Artist +13, Hide +5 (+13 kelp mimicry), Listen +38, Spot +39, Swim +29

Skills #2: Escape Artist +13, Hide +22 (+30 kelp mimicry), Listen +30, Spot +30, Swim +29
That's 18 more skill ranks than it should have - I forgot to apply the -16 Hide Penalty for it being Colossal and for some reason it has two excess points in Escape Artist (I suspect I used its Wis bonus).

To amend this I've changed the skills to:

Skills #3: Escape Artist +12, Hide +15, Listen +25, Spot +25, Swim +29

If you prefer it having Listen and Spot +30 like the standard Kraken I'd be fine swapping over 10 ranks to make it:

Skills #4: Escape Artist +12, Hide +5, Listen +30, Spot +30, Swim +29
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I could go for skills option #4. But, you know, it doesn't really need Hide at all with a static camouflage DC. Would something like Climb be fun? I can just imagine a giant squid climbing onto an island mountain (while holding its breath, of course). :p
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I could go for skills option #4. But, you know, it doesn't really need Hide at all with a static camouflage DC. Would something like Climb be fun? I can just imagine a giant squid climbing onto an island mountain (while holding its breath, of course). :p
I gave it ranks in Hide because the SRD Kraken has ranks in that skill. There's no mention of it clambering about on land like a Sea Demon does.

How about we move some or all the Hide ranks to some other skills. I'd go for Escape Artist, Intimidate or Knowledge (nature) or (geography).

Maybe even a combination of the above.

Let's see, with an Intelligence of 5 it'd have crummy Knowledge skill anyhow so let's go for Intimidate. Let's set that skill to the same +16 as the SRD Kraken and see how that works.

That'd be:

Skills #5: Escape Artist +13, Hide –11, Intimidate +16, Listen +30, Spot +30, Swim +29

Ranks (67): Escape Artist 2 (+1Dex+10racial), Hide 0 (+1Dex+4racial– 16size), Intimidate 15 (+1Cha), Listen 25 (+3Wis+2feat), Spot 25 (+3Wis+2feat), Swim 0 (+21Str+8racial)

I like the idea of it having enough of a modifier in Escape Artist to auto-succeed (or only-fail-on-a-1) at the DC 30 "squeeze through tight spaces" check. Also wouldn't mind a few more ranks in Hide so it's closer to the Kraken's +0. We can only achieve that by moving ranks from Listen & Spot though.

So something like:

Skills #6: Escape Artist +19, Hide –11, Intimidate +16, Listen +27, Spot +27, Swim +29

Ranks (67): Escape Artist 8 (+1Dex+10racial), Hide 0 (+1Dex+4racial– 16size), Intimidate 15 (+1Cha), Listen 22 (+3Wis+2feat), Spot 22 (+3Wis+2feat), Swim 0 (+21Str+8racial)

or:

Skills #7: Escape Artist +18, Hide –6, Intimidate +16, Listen +25, Spot +25, Swim +29

Ranks (67): Escape Artist 7 (+1Dex+10racial), Hide 5 (+1Dex+4racial– 16size), Intimidate 15 (+1Cha), Listen 20 (+3Wis+2feat), Spot 20 (+3Wis+2feat), Swim 0 (+21Str+8racial)

Overall I prefer having its Intimdate, Listen and Spot skills be the same as the SRD Kraken though, so lean toward the Skills #5 option.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I could go for skills option #4. But, you know, it doesn't really need Hide at all with a static camouflage DC. Would something like Climb be fun? I can just imagine a giant squid climbing onto an island mountain (while holding its breath, of course). :p
Oh, and with a Strength of 52 it has Climb +21 without putting any ranks in it, which ought to be enough for casual mountaineering. :cool:
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I will go for your skills suggestion number 5. You're right about the Strength being sufficient for climbing should it decide to go for a stroll. :p

Let's go for Triple Standard treasure but maybe note in the flavor that the treasure is mostly in its lair, I guess other than a few (magic) items the kraken might be using.

I think advancement would be good at 65-192HD.

I always have a hard time with epic CRs. What do you think? Low 30s somewhere?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I will go for your skills suggestion number 5. You're right about the Strength being sufficient for climbing should it decide to go for a stroll. :p
Updating Mystaran Kraken Working Draft.

Let's go for Triple Standard treasure but maybe note in the flavor that the treasure is mostly in its lair, I guess other than a few (magic) items the kraken might be using.
The original creature's has "G, H" treasure which isn't much better than an AD&D Kraken's "G, R, S (+A)" Considering it's so much more powerful than a Kraken, that implies it's got proportionally less loot – which I guess might be because the Mystaran variety is dimwitted compared to the Genius-level standard Kraken.

So I'm inclined to reduce the amount of treasure and, yes, I'd definitely mention that most of its loot is in its lair.

Maybe "Double Standard (mostly in lair, only useful magic items will be carried)"?

I think advancement would be good at 65-192HD.
I was fancying 65–96 HD (Colossal) since it's already ginormous enough for me, although I'd be content with the current draft's 65–128 HD.

How likely is it a 192 HD Kraken to see play anyway? At that size it's easier for a DM to just say "too big to harm with ordinary weapons" like some Spelljammer creatures that are treated as scenery or spelljammer ships rather than monsters.

I always have a hard time with epic CRs. What do you think? Low 30s somewhere?
Ugh! I too have a hard time with high-level CRs. The game is just broken at that level (well, it can start breaking down around the teens depending on the classes & gear the PCs can access).

Still, my gut is telling me "high 20s" rather than "low 30s". A simple freedom of movement spell negates its grappling ability and it doesn't have much else going for it apart from humongous size and damage output.

Put it this way, who would you rather face - this guy or Khalk'ru? Then consider we gave The Dissolver a CR of 25 after much agonizing debate. A creature that has twelve annihilating tentacle attacks, remember. The Mystaran Kraken seems a teddybear by comparison.

Hmm… did we give The Dissolver a too-low CR? I don't want to go back to that nest of thorns.

Let's see, a normal Kraken is CR 12. Its bigger Mystaran cousin has 52 more HD (+17) and is a size bigger (+1), which'd make him a nice round CR 30. However, he's real stupid and doesn't have any SLAs which might knock off a CR to 29.

That still feels a bit too high to me though, my gut feeling was the big guy's a CR 27 or 28 at most. I tend to guesstimate "big dumb brawler" monsters as being something like 3/5th their Hit Dice at epic levels, since they tend to have several (or many) easily exploitable weaknesses such as a weak Will save and vulnerability to charm spells or ability damage / energy-draining attacks. (Ability attacks are worse, since it usually has a couple of stats lower than 10 and knocking any of those down to 0 knocks it out of the fight).

2/5th HD for the Mystaran Kraken is CR 25 or 26 by the way, about what Khalk'ru has.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
2/5th HD for the Mystaran Kraken is CR 25 or 26 by the way, about what Khalk'ru has.
Hmm, how would a fight between Khalk'ru and the Mystaran Kraken play out? (Course this isn't exactly a good comparison to a PC party vs. monster conflict)

If the Kraken full-attacks Khalk'ru its +78 melee attacks will pretty automatically hit, so it's likely to do about 500 damage (its ten tentacle average 42 damage apiece and its bite 46 and it's likely to critical with one of them due to having Improved Critical) odds are, it won't quite do enough damage to overcome Khalk'ru's 555 hit points.

Contrariwise, Khalk'ru twelve +37 melee tentacles have a 90% chance of hitting the Kraken's AC 40, so he'll likely hit with 10 or so for about 300 damage (28.5 average), but then Mystie has to make ten +30 Will saves vs Touch of Destruction's DC 33, which statistics tells me is only 34.86% likely, so about 65% of the time the Mystaran Kraken will be drained to a lifeless husk. Although on the good side, Mystie will probably make the +46 Fort saves vs. Destruction so at least he'll leave a corpse!

However, if the Kraken's smart it'll power-attack Khalk'ru, it can power attack at -40 to hit and still have a 95% hit chance, almost doubling the damage-per-hit and tearing The Dissolver asunder with one round of full attacks. Even with only Intelligence 5 it's likely to figure that one out.

'Course Khalk'ru's exceptionally intelligent so would just keep greater teleporting out of the Kraken's reach and spamming enervation at the beast's tentacles until the Kraken's done for.

So basically if they both fight "smart" Khalk'ru wins, if they immediately jump into a all-tentacle brawl it's fairly close, and pretty much whoever wins initiative wins.

Although "whoever wins initiative wins" is pretty much the maxim of high-level 3E combat.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Regarding the PC vs Mystaran Kraken scenario, the Kraken can only constrict a PC with a single tentacle for 6d6+21 which might reduce the threat it represents.

Unless it can hold a PC in a tentacle and "Megaslap" them with the other nine it might not be able to do the ridiculous amounts of damage its stats suggest (and remember freedom of movement negates its grappling ability.

Actually, that makes me wonder whether we should place some limit on the number of tentacles it can bring to bear. The Mystaran Kraken's original stats did not specify, unlike the 2E AD&D Giant Squid which has "As many as eight tentacles can attack one opponent, but only one at a time can constrict a man-sized opponent (the rest are free to attack anything else within reach)" - i.e. it can tentacle attack a Medium opponent up to eight times, but once it hits it can only make constriction attack with the tentacle that hit and must turn its other tentacles elsewhere.

So how about adapting my "Giant Cephalopod" Redux rule?:

A giant octopus can attack with all its tentacles simultaneously, dividing its attacks among as many opponents as it likes. A giant octopus can bring all eight tentacle attacks to bear against an opponent its own size or larger, it can attack a creature 1 size smaller than itself with up to 4 tentacles, a creature 2 sizes smaller with 2 tentacles, and smaller opponents with only one tentacle.
That'd produce something like:

A Mystaran kraken can attack with all its tentacles simultaneously, dividing its attacks among as many opponents as it likes. The kraken can bring all eight tentacle attacks to bear against a Colossal opponent, it can attack a Gargantuan creature with up to 4 tentacles, a Huge creature with 2 tentacles, and Large or smaller opponents with only one tentacle.
 

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