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Monster Conversion Notes

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Monster Junkie
I've been meaning to do this for a long time. This thread will serve as a repository for all the "secrets" we come across while converting monsters, and as a quick link to various conversion resources. This thread is locked to prevent clutter, but please post anything you find beneficial in this thread.

Official Conversion Guides

2E to 3E Conversion Manual

D&D v.3.5 Accessory Update Booklet

Player's Guide to Faerûn Web Enhancement (updates FR monsters from various sources to 3.5)



Does monster have a climb or swim speed? If so, add +8 racial bonus and "always take 10" info to skills entry.

Note speed bonuses or penalties to Jump modifier.

Note size bonuses or penalties to Hide modifier.

If monster wears armor, don't forget max dex bonus and armor check penalties.

Does monster have only a single natural attack? If so, add Str and a half to damage.

Many skills are noted as granting a synergy bonus to the use of another skill when you have 5 or more ranks in the first skill. This synergy bonus increases by +2 for every additional 20 ranks you have in the skill. For instance, if you have 5 or more ranks in Tumble, you get a +2 synergy bonus on Balance checks. If you have 25 or more ranks in Tumble, this synergy bonus increases to +4, with 45 or more ranks to +6, and so on.


Construct Creation

Source: Rules of the Game - Constructs (Part Two)

Creating a fairly elaborate construct such as a golem or shield guardian requires the Craft Construct feat (described on page 303 in the Monster Manual). The process of construct creation is just like creating a magic item. The process is described in Chapter 7 of the Dungeon Master's Guide and in Rules of the Game: Making Magic Items. Here are the highlights:

Prerequisites: A construct has a list of prerequisites, which is included in the creation section of the construct's description. A list of prerequisites might include one or more feats, spells, and miscellaneous requirements such as level, alignment, skills, and race or kind.

A construct's creator must have a caster level high enough to cast any prerequisite spell the construct has.

In most cases, the construct's creator must provide any required spells personally; you can't have another character cast them for you, but you can use a scroll that you activate yourself.

Cost: A construct's description (usually) includes a market price and a cost to create the construct. To calculate the creation cost for a construct, subtract the cost of any special materials the construct requires from the market price. Divide the remainder in half. The result you get represents the basic materials you must buy to build the construct. This basic cost includes the cost of the construct's body. Most construct descriptions include a separate cost for the body to allow DMs and players to use the Craft skill to create the body.

The total cost to create the construct is the basic cost plus the cost of special materials. For example, a construct with a market price of 100,000 gp and 10,000 gp worth of required special materials has a creation cost of 55,000 gp. (Here's the math: 100,000 - 10,000 = 90,000; then 90,000/2=45,000; then 45,000 + 10,000 = 55,000 gp.)

Making the construct also requires experience points equal to 1/25th the market price minus the cost of special materials. The construct from the previous example has an XP cost of 3,600.

You can make an advanced version of a construct (one that has more Hit Dice than shown in the creature description). Each extra Hit Die adds 5,000 gp to the construct's market price. If you add enough Hit Dice to increase the construct's size, add an extra 50,000 gp to the construct's market price.

Time: For every 1,000 gp in a construct's market price (or fraction of 1,000 gp), the creator must spend one day working on the construct. The construct from the previous example would require 100 days of work.

Environment: Creating a construct requires peace, quiet, and comfort, just as preparing spells does (even when the creator doesn't need to prepare spells). Any location a character uses for construct creation also must have enough space to hold any special equipment and materials the construct requires.

Equipment: Some constructs also require a specially equipped laboratory similar to an alchemist's lab. The cost for setting up such a laboratory (if it is required at all) is given in the construct's description. The cost for a lab is not included in the construct's market price or base price. Once you set up a lab, you can use it over and over again.


Obscure Abilities and Where to Find Them

Airy (Plague Brush, MMIII)
Bioluminescence (Firefriend, not-yet-in-CC)
Bleeding Wound [similar to old wounding ability](Nycaloth, MMIII)
Change Size (enlarge/reduce for non humanoids, Efreeti)
Control Temperature (spell in Frostburn, shatjan)
Drown (Aballin, Monsters of Faerun)
Drowning Grapple (Skuz, Dragon #352)
Group Snatch (Dark Wing)
Size Change (Shimnus)
Swarmfighting (Illithocyte, Dragon #337, Dragon Beetle)
Venomous Blood (blue dragonet)

Alien Mind:
Alien Mind (Abomination of Diirinka)
Incomprehensible (Blood Elemental, WotC's site)
Inscrutable Mind (Phiuhl, Fiend Folio)

Rejuvenation Variants:
Morbid Rejuvenation (Charnel Custodian, Dragon #352)

Deaf (Nupperibo, FCII)
Dweomersight (Balhannoth, MMIV)
Discriminating Hearing (Marruspawn, Sandstorm)
Fluidsense (Skuz, Dragon #352)
Greater Arcane Sight (Feystag)
Keen Scent (Sharks)
Lifesense (Illithocyte, Dragon #337, Presence)
Sense Emotions (Joystealer, MMIV)
Unnatural Senses (Presence)

Swallow Whole Variants:
Bury (Charnel Custodian, Dragon #352)

Tied to an Area:
Gravebound (Charnel Custodian, Dragon #352)


Spell Resistance Guidelines

Demon = CR + 8
Devil = CR + 12
Linnorm = CR + 11

Magic Resistance translations:
5% = CR+2
10% = CR+3
15% = CR+4
20% = CR+5
25% = CR+6
30% = CR+7
35% = CR+8
40% = CR+9
45% = CR+10
50% = CR+11
55% = CR+12
60% = CR+13
65% = CR+14
70% = CR+15
75% = CR+16
80% = CR+17
85% = CR+18
90% = CR+19
95% = CR+20


Deity Ability Score Arrays

35, 28, 25, 24, 24, 24. Deities also gain +1 ability point per divine rank, and the usual additional point per 4 HD/levels.


Unsolved Mysteries

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Creature Cataloguer
3.5 Conversions of Psionic Powers from Complete Psionics Handbook

Aura Sight - Aura Sight
Clairaudience - Clairvoyant Sense
Clairvoyance - Clairvoyant Sense
Object Reading - Object Reading
Precognition - Precognition
Sensitivity to Psychic Impressions - Sensitivity to Psychic Impressions
All-Round Vision - Ubiquitous Vision
Combat Mind -
Danger Sense - Danger Sense
Feel Light - Synesthete (psychometabolism)
Feel Sound - Synesthete (psychometabolism)
Hear Light - Synesthete (psychometabolism)
Know Direction - Know Direction and Location
Know Location - Know Direction and Location
Poison Sense -
Radial Navigation - Anchored Navigation
See Sound - Synesthete (psychometabolism)
Spirit Sense -

Create Object - Major Creation, Psionic (metacreativity)
Detonate -
Disintegrate - Disintegrate, Psionic
Molecular Rearrangement -
Project Force - Telekinetic Maneuver
Telekinesis - Telekinetic Force
Animate Object - Control Object
Animate Shadow -
Ballistic Attack - Telekinetic Thrust
Control Body - Control Body
Control Flames - Control Flames
Control Light - Control Light
Control Sound - Control Sound
Control Wind - Control Air
Create Sound - Create Sound (metacreativity)
Inertial Barrier - Inertial Barrier
Levitation - Levitate, Psionic (psychoportation)
Molecular Agitation - Matter Agitation
Molecular Manipulation - Matter Manipulation (metacreativity)
Soften -

Animal Affinity - Animal Affinity
Complete Healing -
Death Field -
Energy Containment - Energy Adaptation
Life Draining -
Metamorphosis - Metamorphosis
Shadow-form - Shadow Body
Absorb Disease -
Adrenaline Control - Psychofeedback
Aging -
Biofeedback - Biofeedback
Body Control - Adapt Body
Body Equilibrium - Body Equilibrium
Body Weaponry -
Catfall - Catfall (psychoportation)
Cause Decay -
Cell Adjustment - Body Adjustment
Chameleon Power - Chameleon
Chemical Simulation - Dissolving Touch
Displacement -
Double Pain - Painful Strike
Ectoplasmic Form - Ectoplasmic Form
Enhanced Strength -
Expansion - Expansion
Flesh Armor - Thicken Skin
Graft Weapon - Graft Weapon
Heightened Senses -
Immovability - Immovability
Lend Health - Empathic Transfer
Mind Over Body - Sustenance
Reduction - Compression
Share Strength -
Suspend Animation - Suspend Life

Banishment - Banishment, Psionic
Probability Travel -
Summon Planar Creature -
Teleport - Teleport, Psionic
Teleport Other -
Astral Projection -
Dimensional Door - Dimension Door, Psionic
Dimension Walk -
Dream Travel - Dream Travel
Teleport Trigger - Teleport Trigger
Time Shift - Time Hop
Time/Space Anchor - Dimensional Anchor, Psionic

Domination - Dominate, Psionic
Ejection -
Fate Link - Fate Link (clairsentience)
Mass Domination -
Mindlink - Mindlink
Mindwipe - Mindwipe
Probe - Mind Probe
Psychic Crush - Psychic Crush
Superior Invisibility - Cloud Mind
Switch Personality - Mind Switch
Tower of Iron Will - Tower of Iron Will
Attraction - Attraction
Aversion - Aversion
Awe -
Conceal Thoughts - Conceal Thoughts
Contact -
Daydream -
Ego Whip - Ego Whip
Empathy - Empathy
ESP - Read Thoughts
False Sensory Input - False Sensory Input
Id Insinuation - Id Insinuation
Identity Penetration -
Incarnation Awareness -
Inflict Pain - Inflict Pain
Intellect Fortress - Intellect Fortress (psychokinesis)
Invincible Foes -
Invisibility -
Life Detection -
Mental Barrier - Empty Mind
Mind Bar - Mind Blank, Personal
Mind Blank - Mind Blank, Psionic
Mind Thrust - Mind Thrust
Phobia Amplification -
Post-Hypnotic Suggestion - Suggestion, Psionic
Psionic Blast - Psionic Blast
Psychic Impersonation -
Psychic Messenger -
Repugnance -
Send Thoughts - Missive
Sight Link - Sense Link
Sound Link - Sense Link
Synaptic Static -
Taste Link - Sense Link
Telempathic Projection - Telempathic Projection
Thought Shield - Thought Shield
Truthear -

Appraise -
Aura Alteration - Aura Alteration (telepathy)
Empower - Craft Universal Item (feat)
Psychic Clone -
Psychic Surgery - Psychic Chirurgery (telepathy)
Split Personality - Schism (telepathy)
Ultrablast - Ultrablast (telepathy)
Cannibalize - Body Fuel (feat)
Convergence - Metaconcert (telepathy)
Enhancement - Psionic Endowment (feat)
Gird -
Intensify -
Magnify - Maximize/Enlarge/Fortify Power (feat)
Martial Trance - Psionic Endowment (feat)
Prolong - Enlarge/Widen Power (feat)
Psionic Inflation - Catapsi (telepathy)
Psionic Sense - Detect Psionics (clairsentience)
Psychic Drain -
Receptacle - Craft Cognizance Crystal (feat)
Retrospection -
Splice -
Stasis Field -
Wrench -


Monster Junkie
Common Spell-like Abilities Among Angels

aid - all but planetar
commune - monadic and movanic devas, solar
continual flame - all
cure X wounds - all devas
detect evil - all
discern lies - all
dispel magic or greater dispel magic - all but movanic deva
heal - astral deva, solar
holy smite - all
plane shift - all devas
polymorph - all
raise dead - all except astral deva and solar (solar has ressurection, though)
remove curse - all
remove disease - all
remove fear - all

"Greater Angels" (solar and planetar) Only:
greater restoration
lesser restoration
mass charm monster
power word stun
waves of exhaustion
waves of fatigue

Always active on "greater angels": detect evil, detect snares and pits, discern lies, see invisibility, and true seeing. They can be dispelled, but the angel can reactivate them as a free action.


Monster Junkie
Magic/Psionic Equivalencies:

detect thoughts = read thoughts
detect magic = detect psionics
dispel magic = dispel psionics
limited wish = bend reality
resiste energy = energy adaptation, specified
spell resistance = power resistance
wish = reality revision
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Monster Junkie
Attack/Defense Modes and Equivalent 3.5 Powers

Attack Modes

A. Psionic Blast
B. Mind Thrust
C. Ego Whip
D. Id Insinuation
E. Psychic Crush

Defense Modes

F. Mind Blank
G. Thought Shield
H. Mental Barrier
I. Intellect Fortress
J. Tower of Iron Will

Ego Whip (2nd, save)

Empty Mind (1st, no save)

Id Insinuation (2nd, save)

Intellect Fortress (4th, no save)

Mind Blast = Psionic blast (3rd, save)

Mind Thrust (1st, save)

Mental Barrier (3rd, no save)

Psychic Crush (5th, save)

Thought Shield (2nd, no save)

Tower of Iron Will (5th, save [harmless])
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Monster Junkie
Polymorph Errata Notes


Replace alter self with disguise self in lists of spell-like abilities.
Replace polymorph with either alter self or change shape, or drop altogether.


Angels: Remove polymorph SLAs and gain:

Change Shape (Su): An angel can assume the form of any Small or Medium humanoid.

Demons: Remove polymorph SLAs and gain either alternate form or change shape.

Devils: Remove polymorph self from spell-like abilities.

Genies: Remove alter self from spell-like abilities and add:

Change Shape (Su): A genie can assume the form of any Small, Medium, or Large humanoid or giant.

Golems: Remove polymorph any object from list of spells required for construction.

Guardinals: Remove polymorph from spell-like abilities.

Imps: Replace alternate form text with following:

Alternate Form (Su): An imp can assume another form at will as a standard action. Each imp can assume one or two forms from the following list: Small or Medium monstrous spider, raven, rat, and boar.

Linnorms: Remove shapechange from its list of spell-like abilities.

Rilmani: Remove polymorph self from spell-like abilities and add:

Change Shape (Su): A rilmani can assume the form of any Small or Medium humanoid.
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Monster Junkie

Typical Slam Damage:
Large - 1d4
Huge - 1d6 (exceptions: death, fomorian 1d8; geriviar 3d6)
Gargantuan - No official Gargantuan giants (extrapolated to 1d8)
Colossal - 2d6

Typical Rock Damage:
Large - 2d6 (exceptions: stone 2d8 )
Huge - 2d8 (exceptions: shadow 1d6)
Gargantuan - No official Gargantuan giants (extrapolated to 3d8)
Colossal - 4d8

Typical Feats for Giants:
Alertness, Awesome Blow, Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical, Improved Overrun, Improved Sunder, Iron Will, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Precise Shot

Typical Skills for Giants:
Climb, Craft, Intimidate, Jump, Listen, Spot
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Monster Junkie
True Dragon Conversion Notes

Here are the basic conversion guidelines I'd like to follow for the true dragons.

  • If the dragon has all its age categories listed, we'll compare to one of the metallic or chromatics of the same era to get a baseline for Hit Dice, ability scores, etc.
  • Since we've yet to figure out the formula for dragon spell resistance in 3E/3.5, we'll probably just look at the old magic resistance values and find a similar metallic or chromatic dragon to use as a baseline.
  • If no age categories were given (as was often the case in 1E), but the creature is clearly a true dragon, we'll assume its given Hit Dice are for a juvenile and compare to a similar metallic or chromatic dragon to use as a baseline and extrapolate the other age categories. (If I'm wrong about the juvenile age as the standard, let me know, but I found several past threads where we seemed to find this to be true).
  • If dragons had a kick ability in previous editions, we're dropping it, as all others have dropped them in 3E.

From Krishnath: Their second edition stats are those for a juvenile dragon, to convert its HD to 3.5, simply add one HD and start with juvenile, substracting 3HD for each category below juvenile (i.e, a young dragons HD would be Juvenile-3, while wyrmlings would be HD-9), of course, you have to make sure that the wyrmling starts with at least one HD. , then for each age category above juvenile you add 3 HD, use the table on page 5 of MM2 to determine the size of each age category, and to determine the starting physical ability scores at each size. Remeber that dex is always 10, regardless of the size of the dragon. Breath weapons are usually easy, but try to port them over to enery types if you can get away with it, this is a balance issue.

From RavinRay: Most Material Plane true dragons have natural AC=HD-1 (brown is -3 due to its leathery scales)
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Monster Junkie
New Statblock Format

What Goes Where

Senses: blindsense, blindsight, darkvision, low-light vision, scent, see in darkness, tremorsense, true seeing

AC: Dodge, Mobility, displacement (50% miss chance), improved uncanny dodge

Resistances: evasion, stability (+4 against bull rush and trip)

Fort +x, Ref +x, Will +x; evasion

Speed: x ft. (x squares); Spring Attack

Atk Options: Awesome Blow, Cleave, Combat Expertise, constrict (xdx+x), Improved Bull Rush, improved grab (applicable natural weapons), Improved Sunder, Point Blank Shot, Power Attack, Precise Shot, sneak attack +xd6, Spring Attack, Whirlwind Attack

Special Actions: summon X

SQ: wild empathy +x (+x magical beasts)
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