Sunday, 22 January 2023

Let’s Convert the Fiend Folio: Vision and Vodyanoi

For my money, the Fiend Folio was the best of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons monster books, but not everything in it is a gem. This post contains a couple of monsters that I never found that inspirational, and doing the conversion work has not made me think differently about them.

There is a part of me that wants to do another “Let’s Parody the Fiend Folio post with statistics for the Vision from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Instead we get a monster that, in the original text, had 8 Hit Dice as well as an attack that required only that you saw the creature from within 30 feet. Instead of the tactical choice that a monster like a Gorgon/Medusa creates, there isn’t a lot your PCs can do to protect themselves. I have made them drastically weaker, so that there is at least some opportunity for an interesting encounter, rather than a slaughter.

The Vodyanoi in the Fiend Folio isn’t very similar to the one from Slavic folklore, which is misfortunate. The illustration, while brilliant, doesn’t lend to a more folkloric treatment, either, so I have done a more direct conversion. The original version could summon electric eels, but that seems more likely in a tropical or subtropical environment, which isn’t in keeping with the creature’s original background. As a result, I gave them piscine (fish) allies.

The Vodyanoi write-up in the Fiend Folio is also for the freshwater version, with a line about larger ones in salt water. I have statted those up for you as well, and left a cheeky note about their rumored subterranean land-locked cousins.

There are now only four more posts to go before the Fiend Folio is fully converted. I am looking forward to almost everything left, but the art for the Xvart is truly unfortunate.

If you feel like tipping, here is a way to do so.



Vision: Init +4; Atk Non-corporeal touch +4 melee (aging); AC 20; HD 2d8; MV 50’; Act 1d20; SP Non-corporeal, aging, immune to non-magical weapons, silver vulnerability; SV Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +10; AL C.

These non-corporeal beings are illusions which have become semi-real. Their attack is a non-corporeal touch (which ignores physical armor and shields) that ages targets 2d10 years. When a vision is slain, the victim is allowed a DC 15 Will save – if this succeeds, the aging is illusory and falls away; if failed, the aging is real and permanent. You can find information on the effects of character aging here, published in the Sanctum Secorum Episode #36 Episode Companion: The Book of Three, or reproduced below.

Visions are immune to non-magical weapons in general, but silver weapons can cause them half damage. While they may appear to be humanoids, they can appear as any type of creature. Their appearance does not affect their statistics in any way.

Young/Adult:     No modifiers to stats as rolled

Mature:             –(1d3-1) Str/Agi/Sta, +(1d3-1) Int

Old:                   –(1d3-1) Str/Agi/Sta, +(1d4-2) Int*

Venerable:        –(1d3-1) Str/Agi/Sta, –(1d3-2) Int/Per**

Ancient:            –1d3 Str/Agi/Sta, –(1d3-1) Int, Per

* If a “1” is rolled on the 4-sided die, a -1 penalty occurs.

** If a “1” is rolled on the 3-sided die, a +1 bonus is gained.  Congratulations!   You've aged well.

Note that each modifier is rolled separately.  For example, an old character rolls 1d3-1 for Strength, a separate 1d3-1 for Agility, and a third 1d3-1 for Stamina.



Fresh-Water Vodyanoi: Init +0; Atk Claw +5 melee (1d6+4) or bite +4 melee (1d12); AC 18; HD 6d8; MV 20’ or swim 40’; Act 3d20; SP Damage or overturn ships, piscine allies; SV Fort +8, Ref +4, Will +4; AL C.

Salt-Water Vodyanoi: Init -2; Atk Claw +8 melee (2d6+5) or bite +6 melee (2d12); AC 22; HD 12d8; MV 30’ or swim 60’; Act 3d20; SP Damage or overturn ships, piscine allies; SV Fort +14, Ref +0, Will +8; AL C.

These aquatic predators are most often encountered in deep bodies of fresh water, although larger and fiercer vodyanoi can be found in the ocean depths. Their skin is green and slimy and their powerful webbed claws are capable of rending the hull of any passing boat, while their strength and bulk allow them to overturn smaller vessels. Salt-water vodyanoi can capsize much larger vessels than fresh-water ones, and sailors avoid any area where such a creature is found.

Vodyanoi sometimes have piscine allies (50%), with whom they can communicate, and which aid the monsters in combat. Such allies can include giant fish of all types, sharks, electric eels, or whatever else the judge deems appropriate. Giant sturgeons, piranha swarms, quippers, and sharks are all possible.

There are persistent rumors of land-based vodyanoi, umber in hue, found in the deepest regions below the surface of the Lands We Know. Such creatures are said to have a second set of eyes, and the innate power to cause confusion in their foes.

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