Saturday, April 1, 2017

Monster Conversions for AD&D 2e - Golarion and Mirrodin

I did some monster conversions for 2e. I figured I'd announce it in a post and also elaborate on why I decided on certain monsters

First up, the Golarion Appendix, featuring monsters converted from Pathfinder.

Baatezu, Greater, Uniila: There are surprisingly few devils/demons/etc. that really tempt casters with power. Yeah, Succubi and Erinyes can offer sex, but casters can already get that, especially clerics of Bast. Same goes for power promised by Glabrezu. Those fiends are also really, really bad at the whole subtle evil shtick. Enter the Cabal Devil/Uniila. She doesn't say "hey I'll give you a sweet spell if you kill Timmy the blind orphan kid"; she instead tells the wizard that Timmy's heart would function as a substitute for an expensive material component, and that would be true. It's an appeal to player greed.

Frost Firs: These guys fit a niche of low-HD plant monsters to throw against PCs. I also liked how despite being Neutral Evil and outright murderous at some points they do sort of negotiate with humans, etc. It shapes itself into less of a strict "Good v. Evil, a cosmic struggle writ small on the mortal plane" vibe that gets presented when orcs and goblins are presented against humans. It's more pragmatic.

Rakshasa, Amanusya: I read this entry and I had a vision in my head of the PCs sitting in some vaguely Arabic court with minor nobles, watching a dancing girl . . . and then all of a sudden her hands and head turn the wrong way and her foot-long tongue falls out. Definitely horror check material in a Ravenloft campaign. Plus, Succubi/Erinyes are old and busted.

Shabti: My implied setting unintentionally leans toward an Arabic/Egyptian flavor so I like these guys. They also combine the two paradoxical aspects of being special but also mundane, unlike Aasimar or Tieflings.

Sphinx, Cyno-: I just love the image of this huge hound holing up in a necropolis eating and conversing with corpses. It also evokes Anubis in a neat way.

Second, the Mirrodin Appendix featuring monsters from MTG's Mirrodin block. Mirrodin was my first set (although I really didn't play until around RTR) and holds a special place in my heart. I love the lore - or at least the lore my younger self created based on the ~30 cards I had. None of this soul-trapping and interplanar kidnapping silliness, just a world of metal. So I played fast and loose with the lore.

Leonin, Mirrodin: It's a bit odd to realize it but despite appearing in five different colors there are only a handful of humans in the Mirrodin blocks. Leonin dominate white, Vedalken blue, Elves green, Goblins red, Zombies black. Mirrodin Leonin are just really cool aesthetically. I plan on tackling normal leonin at some point too.

Zombie, Mirrodin: Nim are bit non-standard (cf. Nim Abomination). The fact that they're more or less natural works as a reversal of the old "undead have no place in ecology" trope so prevalent in AD&D. Probably depart from canon even more than the Leonin.