3E/3.5 Playing monsters from other editions?

I played with a group on 5e a few months back. They had a monster called the Rug of Smothering. Now, I'm DMing a 3.5 game. I know balance can be an issue between editions, so how would I go about adding that monster to my game, fairly?
 

Voadam

Adventurer
I played with a group on 5e a few months back. They had a monster called the Rug of Smothering. Now, I'm DMing a 3.5 game. I know balance can be an issue between editions, so how would I go about adding that monster to my game, fairly?
An animated object (from the srd/Monster Manual) rug is a possibility.

Going with a trapper from the AD&D 1e MM/3e Tome of Horrors/Pathfinder Tome of Horrors is another option.
 
Ah. Reading back to my original question, I see it was vague. What I was really asking was how would I go about converting a monster from one edition to another, keeping it from being too strong or weak?
 

Voadam

Adventurer
Ah. Reading back to my original question, I see it was vague. What I was really asking was how would I go about converting a monster from one edition to another, keeping it from being too strong or weak?
What are the stats? 3e does not have the bounded accuracy so AC and stats and attacks get bigger, but lots of characteristics are fairly directly translateable.

Pathfinder gives some decent guidelines for stat ranges for CRs that can work well for 3.5 http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/monsters/monsterCreation.html
 

was

Explorer
I think there was a creature in 3.5 called a cloaker that was similar to what you are looking for.
 
I guess I should clarify ... The Rug was just an example. Say I found a creature that exists in 1e, 2e, or 5e that doesn't exist in 3.5e. If I wanted to convert that creature to 3.5, how might I go about it? I suppose I could like for stats on a similar 3.5 creature. But is there any technical method, e.g. mathematical formula, for conversion?
 

Celebrim

Legend
I guess I should clarify ... The Rug was just an example. Say I found a creature that exists in 1e, 2e, or 5e that doesn't exist in 3.5e. If I wanted to convert that creature to 3.5, how might I go about it? I suppose I could like for stats on a similar 3.5 creature. But is there any technical method, e.g. mathematical formula, for conversion?
Yes, to a certain extent, there is. When 3e first came out, there was a fairly extensive guide on doing conversions and the underlying math of 3e monsters that was published in several places. It's worth noting however that there are two basic approaches, and the two will demand different things of you. Additionally, you might prefer to apply one technique when translating between two editions, and then another when translating between two different editions. For example, I'd tend to apply an equal HD starting approach then converting 1e to 3e, where I'd try for an equal CR approach when converting from 5e to 3e.

The basic starting point for converting a monster to 3e is to define its HD, it's size, and the type of monster it is. Once you define that, you can work out its basic properties.

From there, you can start working on more complex properties like ability scores and AC.

In 1e, ability scores were seldom precisely defined, but they sometimes were. If precisely defined, it's usually a simple matter of copying them over. Intelligence scores for a 1e creature were defined as a range, like 'low' or 'exceptional' which translates into a range of values. The missing values can generally be inferred according to the creature size. Now look at AC, and try to figure out what portion of the AC is set by size and dexterity of the creature, and what portion is set by armor or natural armor. In some cases in 1e its explicitly defined, and in other cases you'll need to make a best guess. Once you have defined how AC came about, you can fix dexterity to a particular score.

Once you have HD, monster type, and ability scores, you can set derived stats like Saving Throw, Feats and Skill Points.

In some cases working out HD is a little bit tricky because HD was defined differently in 1e or sometimes not defined in a creature entry at all. Many 1e monsters will have entries like HD 4+1 or HD 5+5. Occasionally you'll see, HD 10+40. The second number is bonus hit points, and in general is best treated as a marker of exceptionally good CON scores. I might treat HD 4+1 as being 4 HD plus 2 higher CON than average for its size class, like HD 5+5 might be 5 HD plus 4 higher CON than average for its size class. Some interpretation is necessary for the best results. In the case of a Dragon, Beholder, Golem, or a Fiend Lord, it's best to work out HD by starting with dividing the given hit points by 4.5 to work out the effective HD. A 10 HD ancient dragon is better treated in 3e as a 17 or 18HD monster than a mere 10 HD creature. A fiend lord with 133 h.p. implies a HD of around 30.

Feats and skill points need to be set somewhat subjectively according to the trope of the creature.

After that you start working on converting the creatures abilities. Spell-like abilities, gaze attacks, and sometimes breath weapons can usually be directly converted because many abilities are just defined in terms of spells. If not defined in terms of a spell-effect, use similar creatures as the template.

This methodology I've very briefly outlined here will get you really close, but doesn't necessarily make for the best translation. Sometimes you need to take in to account the limitations of the system you are working from. For example, whales in 1e have very high HD, and a much better conversion to 3.5e would give them lower HD than indicated for 1e, but very high constitution scores. Keep in mind though that when you bury HD like this, you risk making whales a very powerful creature to summon as summoning creatures is based on HD. So you have to think about balance in the new system as well.

It's also possible to define average ability scores, AC, HD, and so forth by CR - although in a much less tight range. I've seen lists somewhere. Sometimes when you are going for a conversion, the best approach is to try to match a targeted CR based on how difficult to defeat a monster is in a particular system. Sometimes its best to start with one method and then refine with the other. Unfortunately, there is enough different between systems that while you can get close to a rote method of conversion, using your judgment is normally required and what is a 'perfect' translation for one DM won't be perfect for another.
 

Prince Atom

Visitor
Edit: Aw heck, I wrote all this out and forgot the OP was asking for 3.5!! Sorry, I'm a numpty.

There are rules for creating monsters in the DMG.

You could very easily import the Hit Dice and damage for the monster just by copying them over. The Hit Dice from earlier editions are usually d8s, that will change in 5E if your monster is not Medium sized.

You'll have to assign ability scores. Monsters from the TSR era very rarely have any written down, but everything WotC has put out helpfully includes ability scores.

The AC you'll have to estimate. If the creature wears armor, use the closest thing in the PHB. Otherwise, fudge it with natural armor. Don't forget your Dex modifier!

Then use the rules in the DMG to estimate a Challenge for the monster.

I find that just copying the Hit Dice, Armor Class and damage output tends to low-ball the Challenge, compared to Challenge Rating.

So if you want to preserve the Challenge Rating as Challenge, use the "creating a monster" chart in reverse. Find the hit point and damage range for the Challenge you want, then figure a way to get that in Hit Dice and Con bonus, and attacks.

For example, if you suddenly take leave of your senses and want to include Corpse Tearer in an adventure, you might look at his Hit Dice (28d12+224 in 3.0, for 406 hp) and damage (4d6+13 bite, 2 x 2d8+6 claws, and 2d8+19 tail slap, for average 70 damage). That suggests Challenge 21 on hit points and Challenge 11 on damage. Average those out, and it comes to Challenge 16 ... not so impressive. But at least you'd have a ball park for his new AC (around 18).

If you want to preserve his Challenge Rating of 28, you'd need to get him up to around 740 hp and doing 275 damage per round, or find two Challenge ratings you can achieve that average out to around 28. Or you could just wave your DM wand and write him down like that, which leads to you just flat-out declaring that he does 275 points every round, which might be odd if your group is used to rolling damage dice.
 

lordxaviar

Explorer
It is missing from 3.5 but its not a monster, its a created magic item

"The large rug is a rug of smothering created
by the Exalted One. It needs no command
words. The rug wraps itself around..." had a value of 1500 in adnd
 
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