Converting D20 creatures to SagaBorn

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As the SagaBorn Kickstarter comes to a close, I have had a couple of questions about how to fill in campaigns with monsters if we don’t have a Creature Compendium out yet.

Converting creatures to SagaBorn is quite easy.

Basic Conversion Steps

Hit points, CR, and AC all stay the same.

Ability scores stay the same.

Special abilities are kept the same and any traits can be copied to the creature description.

Skill point base is by ability score bonus. A creature gains extra skill points equal to their CR.

Talents are also by CR. All creatures get 1 Talent point to spend no matter their CR. Talent points are always equal to the CR of the creature.

Converting a D20 Dryad

Base D20 Dryad

Hit Dice: 4d6 (14 hp)
Initiative: +4
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 17 (+4 Dex, +3 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+2
Attack: Dagger +6 melee (1d4/19-20) or masterwork longbow +7 ranged (1d8/×3)
Full Attack: Dagger +6 melee (1d4/19-20) or masterwork longbow +7 ranged (1d8/×3)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Spell-like abilities
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/cold iron, tree dependent, wild empathy
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +8, Will +6
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 19, Con 11, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 18
Skills: Escape Artist +11, Handle Animal +11, Hide +11, Knowledge (nature) +11, Listen +9, Move Silently +11, Ride +6, Spot +9, Survival +9, Use Rope +4 (+6 with bindings)
Feats: Great Fortitude, Weapon Finesse
Environment: Temperate forests
Organization: Solitary or grove (4-7)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually chaotic good

Conversion Steps:

I start with the SagaBorn Monster Template. I copy over all the information that won’t change – HP, AC, CR, attacks, etc.

Things that will be different or need to be changed:

Type: I choose the closest thing from the SagaBorn Type chart.

Type (subtype) Type (subtype)
Animal Humanoid (goblinoid)
Construct Humanoid (Elfling)
Draconian Humanoid (Human)
Elemental Plant
Fey (Athelesian) Undead
Fey (Navirite, Aberration)* Vermin
Humanoid (Dwarf)
Humanoid (Elf)
Humanoid (Giant)

Hit Points: This can fluctuate a little depends on what skills or Feats it may lose or gain. I also simplify HD to basic stats 4d6 to 4HD.

Armor Class: Stays the same, unless you want to tweak it. Remember if you raise on number, another number should lower somewhere.

Saves: Stays the same. Be aware of Feats that may have altered the Save score, and adjust if you choose to not use a corresponding Talent.

Speed: Stays the same.

Melee and Ranged Attacks: Stay the same, except critical range in SagaBorn is default 20/x2.

Special Attacks: Mostly the same, some changing may need to happen. For the Dryad, her spell like abilities Speak to Plants, and Tree Stride are not in the SagaBorn core Rulebook, so I moved them over as special abilites and will describe them in the lower section of the monster template.

Ability Scores: Stay the same.

Skills: To sort out skills, I first give them all ranks according to their corresponding ability score bonus. Then they get additional skill points equal to their CR. So the Dryad gets 3 bonus skill points which I put in Awareness, Survival, and Thievery.

Talents: Since the Dryad is CR 3, she gets 3 points to spend on Talents. With SagaBorn monsters, I view Talents as interchangeable. So the (x) represents how many points a monster has to spend. Then it is followed by suggested Talents.

Special Qualities: Stay the same. I added in Aradan Steel to the DR section, making it work with the Dark Return setting.

Ecology: These all stay the same unless you need changes for your own campaign.

Special Abilities: I tweaked these a little to match the setting or pair down the rules, but you can use them as they are stated in the D20 SRD.

Dryad

Challenge Rating: 3
Size: Medium
Type: Fey, Athelesian
Initiative: +4

Defense
Hit Points: 14 (4HD)
Armor Class: 17, touch 14, flat-footed 13 (+4 Dex, +3 natural)
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +8, Will +6

Offense
Speed: 30′
Base Attack: +2
Melee: Dagger +6 melee (1d4)
Ranged: Masterwork longbow +7 ranged (1d8)
Special Attacks: Spell-like abilities – daze, snare, charm person, suggestion

Statistics
Abilities: STR 10, DEX 19, CON 11, INT 14, WIS 15, CHA 18
Skills: Acrobatics +4, Athletics +0, Awareness +3, Endurance +0, Knowledge +2, Persuasion +4, Spellcraft -, Survival +3, Thievery +5
Talents: (3) Great Fortitude
Special Qualities: Speak with plants, tree stride, damage reduction 5/cold iron-Aradan steel, tree dependent, wild empathy

Ecology
Environment: Forests
Organization: Single

Treasure: Standard

Spell-Like Abilities
At will—daze, snare (DC 13); 3/day— charm person (DC 13); 1/day—suggestion (DC 15). The save DCs are Wisdom-based.

Speak with Plants

A dryad can speak with plants and understand their answers. Plants are very limited in their sense, so they will only be able to give general answers.

Tree Dependent
Each dryad is mystically bound to a single, enormous oak tree and must never stray more than 300 yards from it. Any who do become ill and die within 4d6 hours. A dryad’s oak does not radiate magic.

Tree Shape

Dryads are able to assume the form of a Large living tree or shrub or a Large dead tree trunk with a small number of limbs. The closest inspection cannot reveal that the tree in question is actually a magically concealed creature. To all normal tests you are, in fact, a tree or shrub, although a detect magic spell reveals a faint transmutation on the tree.

Tree Stride

Dryads have the ability to enter trees and move from inside one tree to inside another tree. The first tree you enter and all others you enter must be of the same kind, must be living, and must have girth at least equal to yours. They others trees must be within sight of each other.

Wild Empathy 
This power works like the druid’s wild empathy class feature, except that the dryad has a +6 racial bonus on the check.

 

 

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About Michael Bielaczyc

Artist, Fiction Author, Founder, Game Writer