Send In The Clowns… (or, Converting the Oddballs)


Creature Cataloguer
Send In The Clowns… (or, Converting the Oddballs)

This is a special thread (special, that is, as in Special Olympics) that will only be running through April. In this thread we will only be working on the silliest of the silly, the weirdest of the weird, the lamest of the lame… the creatures we might otherwise not waste our time on. ;)

This thread will cover any monster from any edition that you would never use in your campaign, other than as a joke. These can be creatures already in the CC that need a 3.5 update, or stuff better left unconverted. ;) Yes, this can include creatures from April issues of Dragon. When we finish one, you tell me what you want to torture us with next. :)

To give you an example of what I mean, here is our first victim. :D

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Creature Cataloguer
Medium-Size Aberration
Hit Dice: 2d8+4 (13 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 10 ft
AC: 10
Attacks: 2 spikes +4 melee, claw -1 melee
Damage: 2 spikes 1d4+3, claw 1d4+1
Face/Reach: 5 ft by 5 ft/5 ft
Special Attacks: Improved grab, constrict 1d4+3, illusions
Special Qualities: All-around vision
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +0, Will +4
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 11, Con 15, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10
Skills: Hide +5, Jump +8, Listen +5, Search +8, Spot +9

Climate/Terrain: Any mountains and marsh
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 3-4 HD (Medium-size); 5-6 HD (Large)

The tirapheg may well be one of the strangest known aberrations in existence. Its humanoid shape stands about 7 feet tall, is naked, and hairless. The tirapheg has three heads; the outer two being featureless. The central head has three large, inset eyes, two on the front of the head (above the nose) and one to the rear. Small ears flank each side of the central head. The tirapheg has no mouth.

Three arms protrude from the tirapheg’s body; two at the shoulders and one from the central chest. The two arms at the shoulder are jointed so as to move both forwards and backwards. They are prehensile and end in a 6-inch long spike rather than hands. The third arm (the chest arm) ends in a three-fingered hand. The tirapheg’s lower torso ends in three legs; the outer two ending in stumps and the central leg ending in a single foot with three long toes.

Below the tirapheg’s third arm, situated in the middle of its torso, is the creature’s mouth. Three small tentacles writhe constantly above the mouth.

Normally the tirapheg avoids encounters, but these unpredictable creatures have been known to attack living creatures for reasons known only to the tirapheg.

A tirapheg that successfully hits an opponent with its central arm usually maintains the hold until it or its opponent is dead. If cornered or if melee is going against it, the tirapheg uses its illusion ability to deceive its attackers.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, the tirapheg must hit an opponent of up to Medium-size with both of its spikes. If it gets a hold, it uses its central arm to strangle the opponent.

Constrict (Ex): A tirapheg deals 1d4+3 points of damage with a successful grapple check against Medium-size or smaller creatures. Because it seizes victims by the neck, a creature in the tirapheg’s grasp cannot speak or cast spells with verbal components.

Illusions (Su): A tirapheg can project two illusionary replicas of itself which it controls telepathically. These illusions fight as the original creature and take no damage themselves, though they deal damage to opponents if they are not recognized for what they are (this works like the silent image spell in all other respects, except that the illusions disappear only when the creature is killed or when its opponents retreat out of sight).

At the instant the illusions are created by the creature, it has the ability to generate a split-second blinding flash of light to cover the appearance of the illusions, which causes all creatures and persons within a 30 range to stand as if affected by a confusion spell for one melee round (no save to avoid). The tirapheg and its illusions attack in the melee round in which the illusions are created.

All-around Vision (Ex): The tirapheg’s three eyes allow it to see things in front of it as well as behind it, bestowing a +4 racial bonus to Spot and Search checks. Tirapheg’s can’t be flanked.

The tirapheg first appeared in the 1st edition Fiend Folio (1981)


Monster Junkie
Man, I was hoping you'd start a thread like this. All those goofy monsters from Dragon's April Fools issues will finally be unleashed upon 3E.

Somewhere, carbuncles and stwingers are rejoicing. :lol:


Creature Cataloguer
heheh... :)

carbuncles are covered already, they were in the ToH. stwingers, on the other hand, we have in the CC, and they could always be next... ;)


Monster Junkie
Well, for starters, it gets a feat now. Should we give it something odd to go along with its strangeness (like Deceitful), or something it could really benefit from (like Multiattack)?


Creature Cataloguer
i think the tirapheg was the second monster i ever converted - the first was the qullan. i was going for things that i thought no one else would do. ;)

this version i posted above was after my version was edited by scott, but here is my original conversion of the tirapheg from way way long ago:

i thought i remembered giving it multiattack before, and maybe i did and later removed it. but i think that feat is probably the best one for this guy.


Monster Junkie
I'm just glad that Leopold gave up on LA's. We wouldn't want to encourage anyone to play a tirapheg. ;)

Multiattack sounds good.

Are we giving them the aberration standard darkvision 60 feet?

It gets 10 skill points now.

Assuming Multiattack, attack lines should now read:

Attack: Spikes +4 melee (1d4+3)
Full Attack: 2 spikes +4 melee (1d4+3), claw +2 melee (1d4+1)

You gotta love that AC 10. At least it doesn't care whether its a touch attack or caught's all the same! :eek:


Creature Cataloguer
here is the original:

FREQUENCY: Very rare
MOVE: 3"
% IN LAIR: 20%
DAMAG E/ATTAC K: 1-4/1-4/1-4
SIZE: M (7' tall)
Attack/Defence Modes: Nil
LEVEL/X.P. VALUE: 111/73 + 2 per hit point

This tripedal hermaphrodite is 7' tall, naked and hairless. Its shape is human-like, but there are significant deviations from human form. The creature has three heads of which the outer two are featureless. The middle head has three large, deeply-inset eyes, two t o the front, (above the nose as a human) and one to the rear; it has ear-like organs on each side, but no mouth.

From the body of the creature spring three arms; the two at the shoulders are jointed in such a way that they can attack to the rear with equal facility as t o the front of the body - these are prehensile limbs with a 6" long spike a t the end of each. The third arm, emerging centrally from the chest, is like a human arm except that the hand has three strong fingers. Of the creature's three legs, the outer two are stumps and the central one has three unusually long and strong toes.

The tirapheg's mouth is located in its belly below the central arm; this is for the sole purpose of eating, the creature's favourite diet being decayed flesh. Above the mouth are three 3" long tentacles which writhe continuously - the function of these organs is unknown.

When this curious creature attacks to its rear the spikes will strike a victim at -2 on the 'to hit' roll because the single eye gives poor depth of vision. A spike causes 1-4 hit points of damage if it hits.

When attacking to it s front, the creature strikes with the spikes, though with no 'to hit' penalty; if both spikes hit a victim, the central arm will hit the same victim automatically, requiring no 'to hit' roll, grasping the victim's neck and strangling him for an additional 1-4 hit points of damage.

Normally the tirapheg will shy away from other creatures, but its behaviour can be unpredictable and it has been known for a tirapheg to attack a party of adventurers for no apparent reason.

I f the creature is cornered in melee, with the fight going against it but a retreat impossible (it moves very slowly) it will project two illusions - replicas of itself - which it controls telepathically. These illusions will fight as the original creature and will take no damage themselves, though they will do damage to opponents if they are not recognised for what they are (treat as phantasmal force except that the illusions disappear only when the creature is killed or when i t s opponents retreat out of sight). At the instant the illusions are created by the creature, .it has the ability to generate a split-second blinding flash of light (to cover the appearance of the illusions) which causes all creatures and persons within a 30' range to stand confused for one melee round. The tirapheg and its illusions can attack in the melee round in which the illusions are created.

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