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Old Critters to D&D3X

 
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jamesdglick
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Joined: Jul 09, 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:02 pm    Post subject: Old Critters to D&D3X Reply with quote

I was thinking about all the weird types that could become PCs or could just be useful NPCs (cohorts and the like). The D&D 3.5 Monster Manual doesn't seem to have the following:

Brownies
Bullywugs (found in the Vast Swamp and the Hool Marshes)
Firenewts (Sea of Dust)
Gibberlings (Suss Forest)
Jermlaine (Sea of Dust)
Norkers (Bone March)
Orogs (everywhere, particularly Iuz)
Xvarts (Bone March)

And what about the Peryton?!

Are they in MM II or MM III? I read somewhere that MM III was mostly Eberron stuff.

I have seen the Norker in one of the Living Greyhawk Journals, but it was D&D 3.0 (before every racial stat bonus/penalty had to be +2 lest someone not get/avoid a +/- 1 for the modifier).
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny that you mention bullywugs. I am using them, right now, for my Pathhawk/Greyfinder campaign. bullywugare mentione in Monsterf of Faerun 3.0E, and for 3.5E you will need the 3.5E conversion/web-enhancement file for the 3.0e Monsters of Faerun book. Here is the info:

Quote:
Bullywug: Humanoid (aquatic); +0/+1; 5 ft./5 ft.; Hide +4*, Swim +9; Endurance; LA +1; Ability scores change to: Str 13, Dex 11, Con 18, Int 6, Wis 5, Cha 4. Hit Dice change to 1d8+4 (8 hp); attacks change to halfspear +1 melee (1d6+1); saves change to Fort +6, Ref +0, Will –3. The bullywug presented here had the following ability scores before racial adjustments: Str 13, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 8.

Extrapolated Racial Modifiers: Con +6 Int -4 Wis -4 Cha -4
Str 13, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 8 (base array)
Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 8 (elite array)


For any special racial abilities, you will need to reference Monsters of Faerun.

I found the above to be...a bit too limiting for Bullywugs, who are supposed to have lots of clerics. With a -4 Wis bonus, that just isn't going to be the case at all, especially considering a base stat array (the highest score for Wisdom, a 13, would be reduced to a 9, resulting in a cleric with no clerical ability). Even an elite array "only" has a 15 as its highest score, meaning the super awesome bullywug cleric would have a Wisdom score of 11 after the -4 modifier. Yes, the "super awesome" higher up cleric would be able to cast 1st level spells, and [i]only[/y] 1st level spells. Rubbish! So, I fixed it. In the process of doing so, I reviewed all bullywug entries, from 1E to 3.5e, and so I included many capabilities that had seemingly been dropped, altered, or added to the entry for no good reason over the iterations. Here is what I ended up with:

Quote:
Bullywug
Bullywug CR 1/3
XP 135
CE Medium humanoid (bullywug)
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +4
Defense
AC 15, touch 10, flat-footed 15 (+2 armor, +3 natural)
hp 8 (1d8+4)
Fort +6, Ref +0, Will -1
Offense
Speed 20 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee halfspear +1 (1d6+1) and a bite -1 (1d3), or 2 claws +1 (1d2+1) and a bite +1 (1d3)
Special Attacks leap attack
Statistics
Str 13, Dex 11, Con 18, Int 6, Wis 8, Cha 4 (base array; shown above)
Str 15, Dex 13, Con 20, Int 8, Wis 8, Cha 4 (elite array)
Base Atk +1; CMB +1; CMD 10
Feats Endurance
Skills Acrobatics +1 (+17 jumping), Handle Animal +0, Stealth +0 (+8 in swamps), Swim +10; Racial Modifiers +16 Acrobatics when jumping, +4 Perception, +8 Stealth in swamps, +10 Swim
Languages Bullywug
SQ hold breath, swamp stride, summoning (clerics only)
Ecology
Environment temperate marshes
Organization solitary, gang (4–9 with 1-3 giant frogs), warband (10–16 with 3-6 giant frogs), or tribe (20+ plus 100% noncombatants; 1 sergeant of 3rd level per 20 adults; 1 or 2 lieutenants of 4th or 5th level; 1 leader of 6th–8th level; 1 cleric of 1st level for every 20 adults; 1 cleric of 2nd-3rd level for every 30 adults; 1 cleric of 6th-8th level; and any combination of 10–40 giant frogs, giant poisonous frogs, or giant carnivorous frogs)
Treasure NPC gear (leather armor, halfspear, other treasure)
Special Abilities
Hold Breath (Ex) A bullywug can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to four times its Constitution score before it risks drowning or suffocating.
Swamp Stride (Ex) A bullywug can move through any sort of natural difficult terrain at its normal speed while within a swamp. Magically altered terrain affects a bullywug normally.
Powerful Legs (Ex) Bullywugs get a +16 racial bonus on Acrobatics skill checks when jumping (always counting as having a running start).
Swimming (Ex) Bullywugs have a swim speed of 30 feet. A bullywug has a +10 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. A bullywug can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. A bullywug can use the run action while swimming, provided he swims in a straight line.
Leap Attack (Ex) When jumping as part of a Charge action, a bullywug deals double damage when using a piercing weapon, and does not provoke an attacks of opportunity when leaving a threatened square if doing so by jumping.
Summoning (Sp): Bullywug clerics are notorious for their powerful but unpredictable summoning abilities. When a bullywug cleric uses a summon monster spell, there is a 50% chance that one more monster than the spell would ordinarily summon will appear. In such cases, there is then a 2% chance that the summoned monsters will not be in the bullywug’s control, rampaging and attacking at random. It is not uncommon for bullywugs that have summoned monsters and failed to control them to spend all their efforts fighting their own summoned creatures instead of attacking their original foe.


I left out the flavor text, as that is all it is. Now, on to the "bullywugs as characters" bit, or in other words, the base building blocks for making bullywugs with class levels:

Quote:
Bullywug Racial Traits

+6 Constitution, -4 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -4 Charisma: Bullywugs are exceptionally tough, but are greatly lacking in intelligence and social graces.
Medium: Bullywugs are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Bonus Feat: Endurance.
Camouflage: Bullywugs get a +4 racial bonus on Stealth skill checks, increasing to a +8 bonus in forests, jungles, or swamps.
Darkvision: Bullywugs can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Hold Breath: A bullywug can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to four times its Constitution score before it risks drowning or suffocating.
Keen Senses: Bullywugs get a +4 racial bonus on Perception skill checks.
Leap Attack: When jumping as part of a Charge action, a bullywug deals double damage when using a piercing weapon.
Natural Weapons: Bullywugs possess natural claw and bite attacks that inflict 1d3 and 1d2 points of damage respectively. The bite is a primary attack, or a secondary attack if the bullywug wields a manufactured weapon.
Powerful Legs: Bullywugs get a +16 racial bonus on Acrobatics skill checks when jumping (always counting as having a running start).
Swimming (Ex) Bullywugs have a swim speed of 30 feet. A bullywug has a +10 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. A bullywug can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. A bullywug can use the run action while swimming, provided he swims in a straight line.
Summoning: Bullywug clerics are notorious for their powerful but unpredictable summoning abilities. When a bullywug cleric uses a summon monster spell, there is a 50% chance that one more monster than the spell would ordinarily summon will appear. In such cases, there is then a 2% chance that the summoned monsters will not be in the bullywug’s control, rampaging and attacking at random. It is not uncommon for bullywugs that have summoned monsters and failed to control them to spend all their efforts fighting their own summoned creatures instead of attacking their original foe.
Swamp Stride: A bullywug can move through any sort of natural difficult terrain at its normal speed while within a swamp. Magically altered terrain affects a bullywug normally.
Tough Hide: Bullywugs have a +3 natural armor bonus.
Languages: Bullywugs begin play speaking Bullywug. Bullywugs with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Aquan, Common, Draconic.

My extrapolated Racial Modifiers: Con +6 Int -4 Wis -2 Cha -4
Modified stats (for a Melee NPC) according to my extrapolated racial modifiers:
Str 13, Dex 11, Con 18, Int 6, Wis 7, Cha 4 (base array)
Str 15, Dex 13, Con 20, Int 8, Wis 8, Cha 4 (elite array)

Modified stats (for a Divine NPC) according to my extrapolated racial modifiers:
Str 10, Dex 8, Con 18, Int 5, Wis 11, Cha 7 (base array)
Str 12, Dex 8, Con 20, Int 6, Wis 13, Cha 9 (elite array)


So, a super awesome elite array Bullywug cleric can at least access 3rd level spells in my version, while a base array Bullywug cleric will have Wisdom 11. For stats, an "elite array" really represents leader types, but one can have a "supreme leader" that goes a bit beyond even the elite array. Just add 2 to every stat for a quick look at what the next rank of leader could be, or just give them the stats that you want them to have. Not everything need be completely formulaic, but having a formula of some kind is nice for when a DM must get things ready on short notice. Wink

Then, seeing as I am running a Wastri cult, I went one better:

Quote:
Bullywug-Human Hybrid Racial Traits

+4 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma: Bullywug-human hybrids are tough, but are lacking in intelligence and social graces.
Medium: Bullywug-human hybrids are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Camouflage: Bullywug-human hybrids get a +2 racial bonus on Stealth skill checks, increasing to a +4 bonus in forests, jungles, or swamps.
Low-Light Vision: Bullywug-human hybrids can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light. See Chapter 7.
Hold Breath: A bullywug-human hybrid can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to three times its Constitution score before it risks drowning or suffocating.
Keen Senses: Bullywug-human hybrids get a +2 racial bonus on Perception skill checks.
Powerful Legs: Bullywug-human hybrids get a +8 racial bonus on Acrobatics skill checks when jumping.
Swimming: Bullywug-human hybrids have a swim speed of 15 feet. A bullywug-human hybrid has a +5racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard.
Swamp Stride: A bullywug-human hybrid can move through any sort of natural difficult terrain at its normal speed while within a swamp. Magically altered terrain affects a bullywug-human hybrid normally.
Tough Hide: Bullywug-human hybrids have a +1 natural armor bonus.
Languages: Bullywug-human hybrids begin play speaking Common and Bullywug. Bullywug-human hybrids with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Aquan, Draconic, Giant, Goblin, Undercommon.


The players are still trying to figure out exactly what the "strange humans" are. Those are the Pathfinder stat blocks. If you want the 3.5 version of them, simply do the following:

* Change all references to "Acrobatics" to "Jump".
* Change all references to "Perception" to "Spot".
* Change all references to "Stealth" to "Hide".

Oooh, so tough. Razz There you have it.
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Last edited by Cebrion on Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:28 am; edited 4 times in total
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As to the Peryton, Gibberling, and Firenewt, they are also in Monsters of Faerun, and any notable changes/updates to them will also be in the Monsters of Faerun/Player’s Guide to Faerun 3.5E Web Enhancement/Update. The Jermlaine is in the Monster Manual II 3.0; and there is a 3.5E web enhancement/update for that as well.

From Wikipedia:

Quote:
The xvart appeared in third edition for the Greyhawk setting in Living Greyhawk Journal #1 (September 2000), in "Enchiridion of the Fiend Sage."[6] The xvart appeared in Dragon #339 (January 2006), where it was also presented as a playable character race.


The Brownie (and Boggart) can be found here: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/al/20041006a

From the Monstrous Compendium:
Quote:
Ogrillons are the issue of a female orc mated with a male ogre. Thankfully, it is sterile. The union of a male orc and a female ogre yields an orog...


...and Orogs can breed true, and so they have in Greyhawk and elsewhere. There are a few treatments of Orogs out there, but the base creature treatment in the Tome of Horrors Complete version is good. For building an Orog with character levels, this version is good: http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Orog_%283.5e_Race%29

As to Ogrillons, which you don't mention (but which I thought suitable to add), there are also a few versions out there, but I like this one:
http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Ogrillons_%283.5e_Race%29

Also, there are TWO versions of the Tome of Horrors Complete. One is for D&D 3.5, and the other is for Pathfinder.
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jamesdglick
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cebrion wrote:
...bullywug are mentione in Monsterf of Faerun 3.0E, and for 3.5E you will need the 3.5E conversion/web-enhancement file for the 3.0e Monsters of Faerun book...


...and...

Cebrion wrote:
As to the Peryton, Gibberling, and Firenewt, they are also in Monsters of Faerun, and any notable changes/updates to them will also be in the Monsters of Faerun/Player’s Guide to Faerun 3.5E Web Enhancement/Update...


-Faerun. Hmmpf. Thirty years later, I'm still trying to catch up on Oerth. Hmmpf.



Cebrion wrote:
As to the Peryton, Gibberling, and Firenewt, they are also in Monsters of Faerun, and any notable changes/updates to them will also be in the Monsters of Faerun/Player’s Guide to Faerun 3.5E Web Enhancement/Update. The Jermlaine is in the Monster Manual II 3.0; and there is a 3.5E web enhancement/update for that as well...

The Brownie (and Boggart) can be found here: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/al/20041006a


-DOH! I cut and pasted these to my notes, and already had some of them, along with the Aarakocra (Lortmils) and Kenku:

[ From the Glick Files
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dnd/20030718a

Jermlaine: Fey 2-1/2ft /0ft: Craft(trapmaking) +2, Hide +14, Listen +8, Move Silently +6, Spot +8; Alertness; LA =0 Wild Empathy (EX): This power works exactly like the druid's wild empathy class feature

http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Master_List_Project_(3.5e_Other)

Jermlaine: -6 Str +6 Dex -2 Con -2 Int +6 Wis -6 Cha, tiny, 40 ft., rogue, fey, monster manual 2 pg.131

Kenku: -2 Str +2 Dex, medium, 30 ft., rogue, humanoid (kenku), monster manual 3 pg.86

http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19844578/Player_wants_a_Bullywug_Character_!

Aarakocra: Monstrous Humanoid; +1/+0; 5 ft./5 ft.; Craft or Knowledge (any one) +2, Listen +2, Spot +2, Survival +2; Flyby Attack; LA +2.

Bullywug: Humanoid (aquatic); +0/+1; 5 ft./5 ft.; Hide +4*, Swim +9; Endurance; LA +1; Ability scores change to: Str 13, Dex 11, Con 18, Int 6, Wis 5, Cha 4. Hit Dice change to 1d8+4 (8 hp); attacks change to halfspear +1 melee (1d6+1); saves change to Fort

+6, Ref +0, Will –3. The bullywug presented here had the following ability scores before racial adjustments: Str 13, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 8.

Firenewt: Monstrous humanoid (fire); +2/+2; 5 ft./5 ft.; Intimidate +2, Ride +3; Mounted Combat; LA +3. Update for changes to fire subtype. ]

OTOH, I was trying to confirm if there were official D&D 3.5 versions for these critters. Now I know.

Cebrion wrote:


From Wikipedia:

Quote:
The xvart appeared in third edition for the Greyhawk setting in Living Greyhawk Journal #1 (September 2000), in "Enchiridion of the Fiend Sage."[6] The xvart appeared in Dragon #339 (January 2006), where it was also presented as a playable character race.




-DOH! I know I've seen that in the Fiendsage series (same as the Norker). Sorry.


Cebrion wrote:


From the Monstrous Compendium:
Quote:
Ogrillons are the issue of a female orc mated with a male ogre. Thankfully, it is sterile. The union of a male orc and a female ogre yields an orog...


...and Orogs can breed true, and so they have in Greyhawk and elsewhere. There are a few treatments of Orogs out there, but the base creature treatment in the Tome of Horrors Complete version is good. For building an Orog with character levels, this version is good: http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Orog_%283.5e_Race%29

As to Ogrillons, which you don't mention (but which I thought suitable to add), there are also a few versions out there, but I like this one:
http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Ogrillons_%283.5e_Race%29

Also, there are TWO versions of the Tome of Horrors Complete. One is for D&D 3.5, and the other is for Pathfinder.


-Ah! Forgot about Ogrillons. Good Catch.

Ah. Now for Bullywugpalooza...

[quote="Cebrion"]Funny that you mention bullywugs. I am using them, right now... Here is the info:

Quote:
Bullywug: Humanoid (aquatic); +0/+1; 5 ft./5 ft.; Hide +4*, Swim +9; Endurance; LA +1; Ability scores change to: Str 13, Dex 11, Con 18, Int 6, Wis 5, Cha 4. Hit Dice change to 1d8+4 (8 hp); attacks change to halfspear +1 melee (1d6+1); saves change to Fort +6, Ref +0, Will –3. The bullywug presented here had the following ability scores before racial adjustments: Str 13, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 8.

Extrapolated Racial Modifiers: Con +6 Int -4 Wis -4 Cha -4...

I found the above to be...a bit too limiting for Bullywugs...


vs.

[quote="Cebrion"]

Quote:
Bullywug Racial Traits
+6 Constitution, -4 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -4 Charisma: Bullywugs are exceptionally tough, but are greatly lacking in intelligence and social graces.
Medium: Bullywugs are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size...


1) You're mostly concerned about WIS, but what of INT? -4? Really? Orcs are only -2. In AD&D, orcs were listed as having "low" intelligence, but the supplements seem to put bullywugs are "low to average," i.e., smarter than orcs, not dumber.

So, -2 INT is more reasonable, and you could make an argument for -0. For those of us not stuck on even numbers, -1 INT would be fine.

2) On your main bug (WIS), I think the designers went on the theory that INT and WIS would be roughly the same, which of course does not follow, as with orcs (-2 INT, -2 WIS). Taking a quick look through the D&D 3.5 MM, snakes and crocodiles have INT scores of 1 but WIS scores of 12, while dogs, horses, and rats are 2 and 12 (warhorses are 2 and 13). More to the point, lizardmen and troglodytes are both -2 INT but -0 WIS.

-2 WIS seems perfectly reasonable, and I'd argue that you might actually be under-rating bullywugs. Maybe -0 or even a bonus might be appropriate.

3)What's the rationale for giving bullywugs such a high CON score? In AD&D1 they were roughly as tough as orcs. Maybe +2, but +6??? Seems a bit over the top.

4) I won't argue against -4 CHA.

Of course, I don't agree with everything in the official rules, but normally, I grit my teeth and move on (although 16 pages of additions and changes to the PHB might indicate differently... Laughing ). For example, orcs are +4 for strength, making them stronger than hobgoblins and gnolls. I suspect that's another result of the silly "even number" rule; if half-orcs are +2 STR, then orcs would have to be +4. I think it's a little bogus, but I accept it in the interest of convertability.

Cebrion wrote:

Bullywug-Human Hybrid Racial Traits...


-Good catch. To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever bothered to consider this.

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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamedglick wrote:
1) You're mostly concerned about WIS, but what of INT? -4? Really? Orcs are only -2. In AD&D, orcs were listed as having "low" intelligence, but the supplements seem to put bullywugs are "low to average," i.e., smarter than orcs, not dumber. So, -2 INT is more reasonable, and you could make an argument for -0. For those of us not stuck on even numbers, -1 INT would be fine.


I can see that, but if Int was only -2, I would drop the +6 Con to +4. Even +4 Con is a really big deal; hit points being a hugely integral part of the game mechanics. The system revolves around even numbers, so it is best to stick with them.

jamedglick wrote:
2) On your main bug (WIS), I think the designers went on the theory that INT and WIS would be roughly the same, which of course does not follow, as with orcs (-2 INT, -2 WIS). Taking a quick look through the D&D 3.5 MM, snakes and crocodiles have INT scores of 1 but WIS scores of 12, while dogs, horses, and rats are 2 and 12 (warhorses are 2 and 13). More to the point, lizardmen and troglodytes are both -2 INT but -0 WIS.

No, Wisdom represents cunning and wisdom, and has not been equated to intelligence, which is why many animals/creatures have low intelligence but equal to or higher wisdom scores than the average human. Many things are equally or more cunning than humans, because they have to be to survive. Bullywugs are a bit less cunning (and a bit less wise as well), but their toughness has much to do with them being able to stick around as a nuisance and not be dead. Lizardfolk and Troglodytes are not very learned, but they are no more or less wise/cunning than the average human (but better than the average bullywug). This makes for different kinds of potential enemies.

jamedglick wrote:
-2 WIS seems perfectly reasonable, and I'd argue that you might actually be under-rating bullywugs. Maybe -0 or even a bonus might be appropriate.

No Wisdom penalty means these creatures are as wise as elves and humans, which they are not. A bonus means they are exceptional, which they very much are not. Just because a race has an affinity for a class doesn't mean that they should have a bonus in the key stat for that class. The reason for the whole "summoning gone wrong" thing is that bullywugs unwisely do more than they should. It can be helpful, but you never know when it will bite you back. They are the "leap before you look" race; literally. Happy

jamedglick wrote:
3)What's the rationale for giving bullywugs such a high CON score? In AD&D1 they were roughly as tough as orcs. Maybe +2, but +6??? Seems a bit over the top.

Not really, 1E didn't stat out bullywugs, ever. I vacillated on keeping the +6 bonus, as is is a very noticeable benefit rules-wise, but I kept it. Amphibians are sort of tough. They don' seem tough, but they are, an so the +6 Con translates not only to them having more hit points than usual things, but it also means better resistance to poison, ability to hold their breath longer, ability to exist in harsher environments better, etc. so I kept it. I would be perfectly fine with dropping it to +4 and dropping Int to -2 though. Having now used bullywugs with these stats though, they do play very nicely in-game. Everything works.

jamedglick wrote:
Of course, I don't agree with everything in the official rules, but normally, I grit my teeth and move on (although 16 pages of additions and changes to the PHB might indicate differently... Laughing ). For example, orcs are +4 for strength, making them stronger than hobgoblins and gnolls. I suspect that's another result of the silly "even number" rule; if half-orcs are +2 STR, then orcs would have to be +4. I think it's a little bogus, but I accept it in the interest of convertability.


That variance in stat bonuses is really there to make the humanoids more functionally different from one another. Think about 1E for a bit, and the "differences" in orcs and hobgoblins. They are practically the same creature, and as such could have just been one "Orcs' monster entry, with a tacked on:

"A strain of orcs having orange skin are known as hobgoblins. Hobgoblins are slightly more intelligent than orcs (Average), and have +1 hit point per hit die. They are also not adversely affected by sunlight. Hobgoblins do not have the tunneling and mining skills of orcs, and see such work as beneath them (they often keep goblin, gnome, or dwarven slaves to perform such menial tasks). Hobgoblins live in highly organized and well-equipped militaristic tribes, and are seen to be less savage (though no less brutal) than their orc cousins."

In 3.X, the humanoid stat variances are all about building up more apparent differences between the humanoid races. Orcs are dumb, tough, strong brutes; hobgoblins are tough and agile brutes; gnolls are large, strong, tough, less intelligent, feral brutes; etc. All are brutes to be sure, but they are different kinds of brutes. I think the variance is a very good thing. Half-orcs are meant to be superior to orcs, and in orc society that really means strength (i.e they might be smarter than orcs as well, but that doesn't protect one from an axe to the face all that well), and so they get a slightly better bonus there ("best of both worlds" type of thing). Bullywugs have great toughness as their good "thing", plus some special abilities that are very useful.

jamedglick wrote:
Quote:
Cebrion wrote:

Bullywug-Human Hybrid Racial Traits...

-Good catch. To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever bothered to consider this.


It is an older reference, but I have been wanting to run with it for some time. Finally pulled it out of my bag of tricks. Cool
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cebrion wrote:
...Not really, 1E didn't stat out bullywugs, ever...


-I didn't think my memory was that bad, but I've long since sold my AD&D1 Fiend Folio. However, U2 Danger at Dunwater, p. 8, has the stats for the encounter, and notes that the stats are in the Fiend Folio (no page). Anyone still have the Fiend Folio?

Cebrion wrote:
...I can see that, but if Int was only -2, I would drop the +6 Con to +4. Even +4 Con is a really big deal...


-I agree. I'll make it +4 CON and -2 INT, maybe -1.

Cebrion wrote:
...No, Wisdom represents cunning and wisdom, and has not been equated to intelligence...


-I just typed that (see above), but I think that's what the designers must have had in mind. Either that, or they just made it up. Shocked Laughing

Cebrion wrote:
...No Wisdom penalty means these creatures are as wise as elves and humans, which they are not. A bonus means they are exceptional, which they very much are not...


-Says who? It would just mean that bullywugs have as much (or more) sense than people. Wouldn't be hard. Laughing

A +0 would be another way of saying that bullywugs are wiser than orcs. Again, wouldn't be hard.

I'll probably make it -2 or -1 WIS, tho'.

Cebrion wrote:
...I vacillated on keeping the +6 bonus, as is is a very noticeable benefit rules-wise, but I kept it. Amphibians are sort of tough. They don' seem tough, but they are, an so the +6 Con translates not only to them having more hit points than usual things, but it also means better resistance to poison, ability to hold their breath longer, ability to exist in harsher environments better, etc. so I kept it...


-I'm not saying that amphibians can't be tough, I'm just saying that there is no precedence for such an extreme level of toughness for bullywugs. If only we could find the Fiend Folio...

Cebrion wrote:
...The system revolves around even numbers, so it is best to stick with them...


-But trying to insure that every racial modifier results in an immediate game mechanic result was a solution for a non-existent problem.

Cebrion wrote:
...That variance in stat bonuses is really there to make the humanoids more functionally different from one another. Think about 1E for a bit, and the "differences" in orcs and hobgoblins...


-That's an attempt to solve a problem (a small one at most) with a game mechanic instead of better writing and better DMing/role-playing. It plays havoc with continuity for those of us who have been playing since OD&D/Basic D&D. My players have yet to clear those pesky Caves of Chaos...
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I said "stats", I should have said ability stats: Str, Int, etc. 1E books just don't tell you about those things. Instead they will say something like "For every 20 of these critters, there is a leader who will have 12+ hit points and be +1 on damage.", or something similar. No ability stats.

2E actually does have some information, but you won't find it in any monster book. It is "hiding" in The Complete Book of Humanoids. The modifiers there are minimal for 2E, and do little to represent bullywugs. Heck, kobolds are -1 Str and Con. That's it. Apparently kobolds are just as charming as anyone, drinking their tea pinky out and everything. Razz The main problem with that book is that it didn't do enough, but then the reason for that is to stat the humanoids out to be PCs, in which case they apparently wanted them to have ability modifiers roughly comparable to those for the PHB races; at least for the medium and small humanoids. The bigger things, like ogres and minotaurs, do have +/- 2 modifiers. Some of the smaller races do as well, but it will usually only be for one stat, and it will usually be counter to +1 bonuses in two other stats.

3.X has such seemingly drastic modifiers because of the way ability score modifiers were completely revamped. Having a slightly above average ability scores actually means something in 3.X. The whole point of the +/-2 modifiers (or quantities thereof) is not to have slight variance, but to have recognizable variance. If one departs from that, there is little or no notable variance (which is somewhat boring). I have grown to like it, but it might not be for everyone. It definitely seems drastic at face value, but in-game it really isn't. And so I would stick with increments of 2 in 3.X, as then they are actually representative of something, one way or the other.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I found it always complex to covert older monster, but there is the creature catalog that has converted many older monster and also from obscure sources. Maybe it can give you a hand with some of them.

Link: http://creaturecatalog.enworld.org/
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.therpgsite.com/showthread.php?t=14882&page=4

Fran_Horace wrote:
Hi,

I found it always complex to covert older monster, but there is the creature catalog that has converted many older monster and also from obscure sources. Maybe it can give you a hand with some of them.

Link: http://creaturecatalog.enworld.org/


-Hmmpf: http://creaturecatalog.enworld.org/cc/converted/index.php

They have the Al Mi' Raj. Really. The Al Mi' Raj. But no Bullywugs?!

Hmmpf.

Nice compendium, tho': http://creaturecatalog.enworld.org/cc/locator/index.php

Cebrion wrote:
When I said "stats", I should have said ability stats: Str, Int, etc. 1E books just don't tell you about those things. Instead they will say something like "For every 20 of these critters, there is a leader who will have 12+ hit points and be +1 on damage.", or something similar. No ability stats...


-Well, not in the D&D 3X format, but for INT, you can extrapolate from the INT rating. In D&D 3.5, orcs are -2 INT. In AD&D1, bullywugs were at least as smart as orcs, if not smarter, indicating that bullywugs' INT penalty should be -2 or less.

For CON, normal orcs and bullywugs both had 1 HD, no bonuses. That would indicate that bullywugs should not have outrageous CON scores.

Cebrion wrote:
...The modifiers there are minimal for 2E, and do little to represent bullywugs. Heck, kobolds are -1 Str and Con. That's it. Apparently kobolds are just as charming as anyone, drinking their tea pinky out and everything...


-If CHA were all about etiquette, Napoleon would have been a 3. Well, maybe not that bad, but nothing exceptional.

Cebrion wrote:
...The whole point of the +/-2 modifiers (or quantities thereof) is not to have slight variance, but to have recognizable variance. If one departs from that, there is little or no notable variance (which is somewhat boring)...


-Small variations aren't more "boring" or more "interesting" than subtle variations except for those of the "BLOW IT UP!" mindset. They should simply be what they are, based on precedent. Again, if people are bored, that's an issue of characterization, not game mechanics. But I suppose that where the game designers were going. "POW!" "SLAM!" "KA-POWIE!" Sad. Ebberon, anyone? Laughing

Hmmm...

Even in terms of D&D 3.5 game mechanics, every STR point counts for encumbrance, which effects every character. For spellcasters, every point of INT/WIS/CHA effects the highest level of spell they can use (as you mentioned in your bullywug example). Of course, that only effects spellcasters, usually of relatively high level. Certain feats are only available to characters with certain score, and they seem to be at odd numbers (I guess the game designers did give some thought to the issue Laughing).

Also, age often changes stat's with odd-numbered modifiers: STR/DEX/CON at middle-age (-1) and venerable (-3) and INT/WIS/CHA (+1 at each age checkpoint). Then there's the 4th level +1 for a single stat'.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The leveling up and aging bits are as they are to represent minimal differences between individual of *the same type*, which is sensible. The +2 bonuses are meant to be immediate affects for the things that have the most impact in the game, such as chance to hit, damage bonus, bonus hit points, AC bonus, missile attack bonus, skill usage bonus, saving throws, and so on. That all goes to establishing the baseline for things. Everything you listed messes with the baseline only minimally, by design.

Basically, they made the races a bit less like a boy band, meaning they are not just about exactly the same and only have cosmetic differences. The differences are much less cosmetic in 3.X, even among races which are seemingly similar. Compare orcs and hobgoblins in Pathfinder:

Orcs
Stats: +4 Str, -2 Int, -2 Wis, -2 Cha
Other: darkvision 60', Ferocity (fights on at negative hit points, but dies at negative hit point total = Con), Light Sensitivity (-1 to hit in bright light and on Perception checks), weapon familiarity (knows how to use "orc" weapons); tend toward less training and so are more often Warriors than they are Fighters.

Hobgoblins
Stats: +2 Dex, +2 Con
Other: Darkvision 60', Sneaky(+4 on Stealth); tend toward more training and so are usually Fighters.

Orcs are savage ferocity incarnate; hobgoblins skilled killers. Orcs will rush you and bash your face in. Hobgoblins will take a more tactical approach (and there might just be one sneaking up to stab you in the back too). Both are very dangerous, but for completely different reasons *rules-wise*. The "Holy Grail" for me is *noticeable* crunch that represents fluff. 3.X has it, and you will definitely see it manifest in every game you play. Such a definitive in-game difference between orcs and hobgoblins is not present in 1e or even 2e, even if using the 2e Complete Book of Humanoids:

Orcs
Stats: +1 Str, -2 Cha
Other: mining skills 35%, infravision 60', -1 to hit in bright light/sunlight,

Hobgoblins
Stats: -1 Cha
Other: mining sklills 40%, infravsion 60', +1 to be hit by dwarves.

In a game system where stats between 10-14 count for much of nothing, and Cha is about as useless as a stat can be, orcs and hobgoblins might as well be humans with face paint. Sure, there will be an in-game effect...if there is a contest to see who can carry more weight or to see who can get better initial reactions with NPCs, but when fighting them (which is what you will be doing) there will be no difference. As a 1e/2e DM, you might as well say "You are fighting ten standard humanoids. Yes, the ones with 1HD, AC 6, and one Attack that does 1d8 damage. They have (insert color of choice here) skin, and are therefore (choose the name corresponding to the color: orcs, hobgoblins,etc.)."

There is a reason I grew to like using bugbears and gnolls when playing 1e/2e, and that is because they are noticeably different from orcs/hobgoblins, and I don't just mean in appearance. In 1e/2e, to get into real differences you have to change Size class usually. I think it is more than a bit of a failure if somebody will ever say "Ahah! See there? Yeah, *that* right there. *That* freak occurrence is the one instance in the game where you can blatantly tell the difference between an orc and a hobgoblin." Nobody will be saying that when playing 3.X. I like how the differences are worked into the system itself, and the role-playing serves to further enhance what is already there. Then you have everything.

Hmmm. Now I kind of want to throw some orcs and hobgoblins into my current Pathhawk/Greyfinder game. Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My beef is that they ignored 20+ years of precedent. In AD&D1, hobgoblins averaged 15 STR and orcs only averaged 12 STR. Now, all of a sudden, the orcs average 17 STR and the hobgoblins only have 13 STR. Bogus. Oh well.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another example of the tyranny of even numbers: Wood Elves are -2 INT. I can see -1 INT, but -2 INT is a but much.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Average Wood Elf stats;

Str: 11-12, Dex: 11-12, Con: 8-9, Int: 8-9, Wis 10-11, Cha: 10-11

Those stats are somehow egregiously "off"?

I think you are fixating too much on the numbers, rather on what the numbers actually mean in terms of the rules. Wood elves are not as well educated, so on average they will have a -1 penalty on Intelligence-related skill checks and earn -1 skill point per level (to a minimum of 1). And "Wizard" is not exactly a class they will favor, but there's nothing stopping them for being clerics, druids, or sorcerers. That is all it means. Besides, they get +2 on Strength and Dexterity, both of which stats are used much more often in the game (and more proactively and to greater effect) than Intelligence, meaning Wood Elves are coming out way ahead on the deal.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cebrion wrote:
Average Wood Elf stats;

Str: 11-12, Dex: 11-12, Con: 8-9, Int: 8-9, Wis 10-11, Cha: 10-11

Those stats are somehow egregiously "off"?

I think you are fixating too much on the numbers, rather on what the numbers actually mean in terms of the rules...


-Well, we have to "fixate" on the numbers precisely because they have repercussions in the rules.



Cebrion wrote:
... Wood elves are not as well educated...




...apparently not as well educated as goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds, or bugbears, who have no INT penalty! Laughing



As a matter of fact, sylvan elves are so badly educated that their -2 penalty to INT is the same penalty given to orcs, who are presumably not particularly well educated, and are probably genetically predisposed to stupidity as well. Therefore, they must be really, really, really, REALLY badly educated indeed! Laughing



Cebrion wrote:
...And "Wizard" is not exactly a class they will favor, but there's nothing stopping them for being clerics, druids, or sorcerers. That is all it means. Besides, they get +2 on Strength and Dexterity, both of which stats are used much more often in the game (and more proactively and to greater effect) than Intelligence, meaning Wood Elves are coming out way ahead on the deal.




-Agh. Too much roll playing, not enough role playing, here. In role playing terms, this makes the average wood elf as stupid as the average orc, and dumber than goblins! Even in a quasi/pseudo-medieval world, the repercussions of one group averaging 2 fewer intelligence points than another would stick out. Even in roll playing terms, that's 4 points of skills at 1st level, and 1 point for each level thereafter, including those with military applications. The fact that they have a few physical benefits doesn't necessarily compensate in the long run. And in the long run culturally, good luck getting by when you're on the same cultural level as goblins...


(BTW, I'm ignoring the fact that a +2 on STR is also way overblown).


What I'm saying is that a -1 penalty could show a lack of education as well, but because it would only effect the stat' modifiers 50% of the time, the effect would be more muted, and properly so. But this opportunity for a more subtle variation is squashed because of the game designers' weird fixation on making every racial modifier an even number.
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