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View Full Version : Mishe-Nahma, King of Fishes [My First Attempt at Homebrewing a Monster!]

SuperDave
2013-03-03, 09:34 AM
This is my first-ever attempt at homebrewing a monster, so my math may be wrong, and I'm pretty sure I've overshot the target CR, but if you see anything you think is off, please let me know.

Mishe-Nahma, King of Fishes

http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs18/i/2007/123/d/a/Mishe_Nahma_by_destroyerofpottery.jpg

On the white sand of the bottom
Lay the monster Mishe-Nahma,
Lay the sturgeon, King of Fishes;
Through his gills he breathed the water,
With his fins he fanned and winnowed,
With his tail he swept the sand-floor.
There he lay in all his armor;
On each side a shield to guard him,
Plates of bone upon his forehead,
Down his sides and back and shoulders
Plates of bone with spines projecting!
Painted was he with his war-paints,
Stripes of yellow, red, and azure,
Spots of brown and spots of sable;
And he lay there on the bottom,
Fanning with his fins of purple,
As above him Hiawatha
In his birch canoe came sailing,
With his fishing-line of cedar.

- The Song of Hiawatha, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chapter VIII: Hiawatha's Fishing (http://www.hwlongfellow.org/poems_poem.php?pid=282)

A Mishe-Nahma is an enormous sturgeon, recognizable by its elongated body and tail lobe, its blunted “snout”, and its four distinctive whiskers (“barbels”) which precede its toothless mouth. Like all sturgeons, Mishe-Nahma have bony plates (“scutes”) instead of scales. Unlike normal sturgeons, Mishe-Nahma possess an array of poisonous spines, are at least as intelligent as a human, and possess an innate ability to control other aquatic creatures.

On land, a Mishe-Nahma is ungainly: it can drag itself five feet per turn, and it can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to twice its Constitution score (10 rounds), but only if it does nothing other than take move actions or free actions.

A typical adult Mishe-Nama is about 30 feet long and weighs 2 tons. Larger specimens can only be found in the largest of freshwater lakes.

Mishe-Nahma understand Aquan, though they rarely speak it aloud. Mishe-Nahma of advanced age often learn Spirit-Talk.

Size/Type:
Huge Magical Beast (Aquatic)

Hit Dice:
8d10+43 (87 hp)

Initiative:
+2

Speed:
5 ft. (1 square), swim 60 ft.

Armor Class:
18 (-2 size, +2 Dex, +8 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 16

Base Attack Bonus
+8

CMB
+17

CMD
29

Attack:
Bite +13 melee (2d4+7 bludgeoning) or Body Slam + 13 melee (3d6+7 plus poison)

Full Attack:
Bite +13 melee (2d4+7 bludgeoning) and Tail Slap + 8 melee (2d6+3) or Body Slam +13 (3d6+7 plus poison)

Space/Reach:
15 ft./10 ft.

Special Attacks:
Breach, Crush (3d6+10), Improved Grab (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm#improvedGrab), Spell-like Ability, Swallow Whole

Special Qualities:
Blindsense 60 ft., Darkvision 60 ft., Immunity to Poison, Low-light Vision

Saves:
Fort +6, Ref +2 Will +2

Abilities:
Str 24 (+7), Dex 15 (+2), Con 20 (+5), Int 12 (+1), Wis 20 (+5), Cha 14 (+2)

Skills:
Escape Artist +13, Hide +0 (+4 while motionless), Listen +7, Move Silently +13, Spot +7, Swim + 18 (+22 to resist non-lethal damage while swimming)

Feats:

Environment:
Any Fresh Water

Organization:
Solitary, or mated pair (rare)

Challenge Rating:
Aiming for CR 8 or 9

Treasure:
Double Standard

Alignment:
Usually Neutral

9–16 HD (Huge); 17–24 HD (Gargantuan)

Combat

In battle, Mishe-Nahma prefer to first wear down their foes with waves of fishes. If the enemies are not driven off, they will race to the surface and breach, attempting to crush their foes (and/or their boat) as their bodies come crashing down on the water.

Bite: Though sturgeons do not have teeth, they do possess a bony crushing-plate, used to pulverize shellfish they suck up from lake beds. As such, a Mishe-Nahma’s bite attack deals bludgeoning damage, instead of the normal piercing or slashing damage.

Blindsense (Ex):In the murky depths where vision is obscured by debris, they can sense other creatures with their blindsense ability. Mishe-Nahma use their barbels to feel movement in the water around them, granting them blindsense out to 60 feet while underwater (though this "vision" only extends below the surface of the water).

Breach (Ex):When a Mishe-Nahma spends a full round to take a run action while swimming straight upwards, it can breach the surface and come crashing down on the surface of the water. (If the Mishe-Nahma attempts to land on its opponents or their boat/raft, see Crush.)

The impact of the Mishe-Nahma’s body generates powerful waves, which extend for 100 ft. around the point of impact. Any creature caught in these waves must make a Reflex save (DC 21), or be swept backwards for 5 squares. The save is Constitution-based.

For ten rounds after impact, the water within 40 ft. is considered rough water (DC 15) for the purposes of Swim checks.

Crush (Ex):A breaching Mishe-Nahma can land on opponents as a standard action, using its whole body to crush them. Crush attacks are effective only against opponents two or more size categories smaller than the Mishe-Nahma. A crush attack affects as many creatures as can fit under the Mishe-Nahma’s body. Creatures in the affected area must succeed on a Reflex save (DC 16) or automatically take 3d6 points of bludgeoning damage plus 1½ times the Mishe-Nahma’s Strength bonus. The save is Charisma-based.

Improved Grab (Ex):To use this ability, a Mishe-Nahma must hit with its slam attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can attempt to swallow the foe the following round.

Immunity to Poison (Ex): Mishe-Nahma are immune to all naturally-occurring poisons.

Poison (Ex): When a Mishe-Nahma successfully hits a target with a body slam, the target must succeed on Fort DC 19 save or become fatigued (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/conditionSummary.htm#fatigued) initially and 1d4 Con secondary. The save is Constitution-based.

Spell-Like Ability (Sp): As a standard action, a Mishe-Nahma can assert direct control over one of its subjects. It may use dominate monster as a spell-like ability at will, but it only affects aquatic animals. It can only dominate one creature at a time. If it attempts to dominate a second creature while controlling another, the first spell immediately ends. A successful DC 19 Will save negates. The save is Charisma-based. If a creature is affected by the Mishe-Nahma's Command Fish ability, it automatically fails its saving throw to be dominated.
This ability may also affect schools of fishes, and allows them to be commanded as a single aquatic swarm (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/swarm.htm).

Swallow Whole (Ex): Mishe-Nahma can try to swallow a grabbed opponent of a smaller size than itself by making a successful grapple check. Once inside, the opponent takes 2d8 points of crushing damage plus 4 points of acid damage per round from the beast’s stomach. A swallowed creature can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 20 points of damage to the stomach (AC 14). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out. A Huge sturgeon’s interior can hold 1 Large, 4 Medium, 16 Small, 64 Tiny, or 256 Diminutive or smaller opponents.

Skills: A Mishe-Naha has a +6 racial bonus to Hide. When hiding motionless in the water, this bonus increases to +10. These bonuses are incorporated in the creature's statistics block.

A Mishe-Nahma has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Treasure: The bodily fluids of the Mishe-Nahma (especially their oil) are prized by alchemists and potion-makers as potent antivenoms. With a successful Craft (Alchemy) check, DC 30, an alchemist can refine the oil of a Mishe-Nahma into potent antivenom, which confers a +8 alchemical bonus on Fortitude saving throws against poison for 1 hour after consumption.

The oils of the Mishe-Nahma are so full of vital energy that they can even protect against and cure many diseases, including magical ones, such as mummy rot or lycanthropy. Turning the raw oils into medicine effective against natural disease requires a successful Craft (Alchemy) check, DC 20. To create a medicine that protects against magical diseases requires two consecutive Craft (Alchemy) checks at DC 30. A Mishe-Nahma of Huge size typically yields enough oil to produce 5d4 doses of antivenom.

A Mishe-Nahma’s scutes can be turned into armor of masterwork quality by a sufficiently-skilled craftsperson. A normal Craft (Armorsmithing) check applies, DC 25. A Mishe-Nahma of Huge size typically yields enough scutes to craft one Large suit of armor, or two Medium suits of armor, or four Small suits of armor.

Scute Armor: This special nonmagical armor is made from the scutes of a Mishe-Nahma. Because it is organic, it is easy move within it. It has most of the properties of masterwork scale mail armor although it is lighter, confers a +4 alchemical bonus to Fortitude saves against poison, and it is more flexible, so someone wearing it does not incur a speed penalty. Caster Level: n/a; Prerequisites: None; Market Price: 850 gp Weight: 20 lbs.

Other valuable organs include:

Eyes
Heart
Kidneys
Liver
Spines
Fins
Roe (caviar)

Frathe
2013-03-03, 02:54 PM
HP is wrong. Should be 8d10+40 (84 HP). 8d10 is average 8*5.5 (average for a d10) plus 8 (number of Hit Dice)*5 (the Con modifier).

Initiative is wrong. Should be +2, equal to Dex modifier.

Grapple is wrong. Should be +23 (base attack + Str modifier + special grapple size modifier)

You have to decide which one is the main attack. It's important. I'd make bite the main.Never mind, Squish is right.

If this is a Long creature, reach should be 10 ft.

There's a Poison special attack listed that doesn't appear anywhere else. Is that an artifact?

Toxin Resistance is very unhelpfully vague. I would just give them immunity to poison as a special quality in the stat block and then separate describe a special precious oil that they produced. Alternately, you could give a special quality that described their antivenom oil that gave them immunity to natural poisons (and only natural poisons, not manmade ones) and mention that it could be harvested after death.

Please don't give an "especially" in the environment section. It's bizarrely specific, breaks immersion, and might drive people off from incorporating this in non-Native American campaigns.

A more normal alignment would be "usually neutral". In this context, I'm pretty sure "neutral", without another word in front of it, implies true neutral.

HD advancement should start at 9 HD (one above the sample one you're giving, rather than including it).

The Skills section usually goes last, after everything else (after more important things like Combat).

You should probably give some kind of mechanical underpinnings to the hand-like manual dexterity you describe for the barbels. Some way of separating it from Reflex-type Dexterity, perhaps, like a bonus to certain skill checks.

With Breach, you really need to give a radius for how large an area the waves affect.

For crush, you need to say how many creatures can fit under the Mishe-Nahma's body. Inquiring minds want to know. Could two Medium creatures, or four Small, or Eight Tiny, etc., in a similar progression to Swallow Whole? Also, I feel like they should be able to crush creatures only one size category smaller. Also, you don't really need to specify a "Mishe-Nahma of at least Huge size", considering all of them are that size or Larger right now.

Also: DO NOT MAKE THAT A SWIM CHECK TO AVOID DAMAGE. WHY WOULD IT BE A SWIM CHECK. They might be in a boat when they get crushed. Can't swim then. Seriously, though, Reflex works and makes sense.

Why does Body Slam let them use poison? Seems odd. I'd expect something else to, maybe bite.

Don't know if you're aware of the trident of fish command. :smalltongue: I'd say "aquatic animals" instead, so they don't get to command aboleths and merfolk and such. Edit: This could generally use some more specification. You could look at what Squish said, or look at that trident and then have it improve based on the Mishe-Nahma's HD.

I would just give Bite and Tail Slap as normal attacks. Don't give them descriptions; just give them in the stat block. Not everything needs to be a special attack. Those are perfectly normal attacks and that seems fine.

I wouldn't spend to much on the organ stats. Actual monsters don't bother with that.

Fast healing could work, although I'd like some logic behind that (just because it's such a fearsome enemy? Or could that tie into its miraculous antivenom oil? I'd focus on that stuff as loot and maybe even let it heal people as well as counter poison.)

2013-03-03, 05:01 PM
That seems a bit harsh, frathe.

He's mostly right, though.

Technically, you don't HAVE to decide if bite or tail slap is the primary attack. Crocodiles can use bite or tail, and we're looking at a relatively similar body plan.

I think, for similarity to the book, you should go with bite. You also need to attach an improved grab ability, because as it stands, he'd have to make a regular grapple check in order to swallow.

As for breach, I'd go with reflex save. Standard formula is 10 + 1/2 HD + ability modifier, in this case, strength.

On control fish, I would rewrite it a bit. Let's see... First, as mentioned, it should only be able to target aquatic animals (spirits?), not anything aquatic. Secondly, you need to mention it can use it at-will. Finally, I'd say include an aura effect that charms all aquatic animals within a sizable range, such as 100 feet. Animals (spirits?) get a will save to resist when they first enter the range. Not sure how to include spirit-fish with names...

Here's my take:
Mishie-Nahma is the king of fishes, and all must bow to his influence. All aquatic animals within 100 feet must make a will save (DC 16) or be suject to a charm effect. The effect lasts as long as they remain within range. If a creature makes this save, it cannot be affected by this ability again for 24 hours. In addition, Mishie-Nahma can assert direct control over one of his subjects. He may use Dominate Monster as a spell-like ability at will, but it only affects aquatic animals. He can only dominate one creature at a time. If he attempts to dominate a second creature while controlling another, the first spell immediately ends.

I shall attempt to do more later, but I must go in to the office.

Frathe
2013-03-03, 05:10 PM
Sorry if I came off as harsh. This is how people always criticize my monsters. :smallfrown:

I guess I could've just said "Initiative should be X", instead of "Initiative is wrong, should be X."

SuperDave
2013-03-04, 10:39 AM
OK, I've made quite a few changes to the stats, and I've filled in as many of the blanks as I could. Do any of the damage dice strike you as obviously too strong or too weak? I'm not sure what the "normal" damage dice would be for this kind/size of creature.

I think that fast-healing is appropriate, given what a lively and poison-resistant creature Mishe-Nahma is. If I do give it that ability, though, then I'll definitely have to make it able to heal the players after the battle, like you mentioned, Frathe.

One big question remains: how to redistribute the Skill points after dropping Concentration. Where should those extra points go? Hide?

I'll also be adding some "mechanical underpinnings to the hand-like manual dexterity", and determine how many creatures can fit under the Mishe-Nahma's body. But right now, I've got to go to work. Later!

Debihuman
2013-03-04, 04:54 PM
Cool beans on making your first critter. 3e has a lot of picayune rules so I'll pipe up here.

You might find this resource useful d20srd.org. It is very easy to navigate and you can find most of the information you'll need quickly. This section is useful: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/intro.htm.

Let me help with some of the details. I'll give you advice while going through the stat block. Because this is so long, I've included a corrected stat block.

You forgot to include the +3 bonus hit points from Toughness feat to your bonus hit points. Hit point total should be increased by 3 as well.

Long is not a Subtype.

Grapple is BAB + special size mod (Huge is +8) and Str Mod. So 8 +8 +7 = 23.

Since fish generally swim forward, it would make sense to have its bite be its primary attack. Its tail slap would be a secondary attack. Since you are aiming for CR 8, I recommend it has 2 attacks it can use together. You mentioned a sting but I suggest you remove it since it has more than enough attacks. I like the body slam as second primary attack (note it cannot use its other attacks when it makes a body slam).

Primary Attack is BAB + size mod + Str mod. Secondary attack is BAB -5 +size mod + ½ Str mod. Damage is full Str bonus for primary attack and ½ Str for secondary (though this can vary but if you do, it should be noted as an Extraordinary ability).

Only a creature's primary attack shows up in the Attack line. It looks like this creature can bite and tail slap OR it can body slam as a full attack. Secondary attacks are always secondary, even when used as a primary attack. It cannot body slam and hit with its tail in the same round.

Since there is a chance to be poisoned when the creature hits you with a body slam, you need to add a poison section. Mishe-Nahma poison should probably be a mild poison. A Fortitude save DC against a creature’s natural poison attack is equal to 10 + ½ poisoning creature’s racial HD + poisoning creature’s Con modifier (DC 19)

The type of special abilities (Ex, Sp, Su) isn't noted in the stat block; it belongs in the text.

Skills--It all depends on what you think this creature can do. Obviously fish don't have many skills but it can have max skill ranks = HD +3 (11) so you could give it 3 skills at max. Escape Artist (it's a slippery fish), Move Silently and Swim would be excellent choices. It also gets Spot and Listen from its Alertness feat but you probably don't need to add skill points to those since it adds its Wisdom modifier to those.

Due to their size, these are terrible at Hiding so they should get a racial bonus bonus to compensate. I recommend giving them a +6 racial bonus to Hide and let it increase to +10 when they are motionless.

Improved Grab is not a feat. It is a Special Attack.

While I commend you on a novel way of making the creature's body useful, I think that DC 20 for making an alchemical antitoxin vs. magical diseases is too low. Usually, only magical items can affect magical diseases. I'd be very leery of introducing this. I recommend the Craft (alchemy) check be set at DC 30 and perhaps even require two consecutive successes. I think the oil and armor are more than sufficient as treasure.

Environment should be as simple as you can make it. Any fresh water would suffice.

Also, special abilities go in alphabetical order when listing them in sections; skills and treasure go at the end.

Speaking of Special Abilities, when you have a save the DC is 10 + 1/2 creature's HD + relevant ability modifier. You should note which ability the save is based on. You need to list ALL of the creature's special abilities in the stat block. The DC for Breach is either Constitution-based or Strength-based. I recommend it be Strength-based making the DC 21 instead of 20. Since all of these creatures are of at least Huge size, you should edit Crush. Damage does belong in the stat block for crush (3d6+10); 1/2 of 7 is 3 not 4. You always round down. You have a sting listed but no sting mentioned. I recommend that you remove that. Command Fish should be separated into Command Fish and Spell-like Ability since one is Su and the other Sp.

Blindsense and Blindsight are different abilities and not interchangeable. I've kept it with blindsense since these can see. Blindsense is good because the bottoms of lakes tend to be murky from all the debris rather than simply from lack of light. This was a good call. Some of this material belongs in the creature's description rather than in the Special Ability.

These have neither Amphibious or Hold Breath Abilities. That means that they can hold their breath for a number of rounds equal to twice their Constitution score (10 rounds), but only if they do nothing other than take move actions or free actions. This should be noted somewhere.

Magical Beasts normally have both darkvision 60 feet and low-light vision. You should either add them or explain why they don't have them.

Here are my suggested corrections.

Mishe-Nahma, King of Fishes
Huge Magical Beast (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 8d10+43 (87 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 5 ft. (1 square), swim 60 ft.
Armor Class: 18 (-2 size, +2 Dex, +8 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +8/+23
Attack: Bite +13 melee (2d4+7 bludgeoning) or Body Slam + 13 melee (3d6+7 plus poison)
Full Attack: Bite +13 melee (2d4+7 bludgeoning) and Tail Slap + 8 melee (2d6+3) or Body Slam +13 (3d6+7 plus poison)
Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Breach, Crush (3d6+10), Improved Grab, Spell-like Ability, Swallow Whole
Special Qualities: Blindsense 60 ft., Command Fishes, Darkvision 60 ft., Immunity to Poison, Low-light Vision
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +2 Will +2
Abilities: Str 24 (+7), Dex 15 (+2), Con 20 (+5), Int 12 (+1), Wis 20 (+5), Cha 14 (+2)
Skills: Escape Artist +13, Hide +0 (+4 while motionless), Listen +7, Move Silently +13, Spot +7, Swim + 18 (+22 to resist non-lethal damage while swimming)
Environment: Any Fresh Water
Organization: Solitary, or mated pair (rare)
Challenge Rating: 8
Treasure: Double Standard
Alignment: Usually Neutral
Advancement: 9–16 HD (Huge); 17–24 HD (Gargantuan)

A Mishe-Nahma resembles an over-sized sturgeon, with its long, slender body. Instead of scales, it has large bony scutes that serve as a form of armor. The four whisker-like protrusions on its face, barbels, are used for finding food and navigating in the murky depths of its lake. Its barbels have dexterity and strength equal to human hands, but cannot be used as natural weapons in combat, or to wield weapons or shields in combat.

On land, a Mishe-Nahma is slow and ungainly. It can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to twice its Constitution score (10 rounds), but only if it does nothing other than take move actions or free actions.

A typical Mishe-Nama is 18 feet long and weighs 2 tons. Larger specimens can only be found in the largest of freshwater lakes.

They understand Aquan, though they rarely speak it aloud. Mishe-Nahma of advanced age often learn Spirit-Talk.

Combat

In battle, Mishe-Nahma prefer to first wear down their foes with waves of fishes. If the enemies are not driven off, they will race to the surface and breach, attempting to crush their foes (and/or their boat) as their bodies come crashing down on the water.

Bite: Though sturgeons do not have teeth, they do possess a bony crushing-plate, used to pulverize shellfish they suck up from lake beds. As such, a Mishe-Nahma’s bite attack deals bludgeoning damage, instead of the normal piercing or slashing damage.

Blindsense (Ex):In the murky depths where vision is obscured by debris, they can sense other creatures with their blindsense ability. Mishe-Nahma use their barbels to feel movement in the water around them, granting them blindsense 60 feet while underwater.

Breach (Ex):When a Mishe-Nahma spends a full round to take a run action while swimming straight upwards, it can breach the surface and come crashing down on the surface of the water. (If the Mishe-Nahma attempts to land on its opponents or their boat/raft, see Crush.)

The impact of the Mishe-Nahma’s body generates powerful waves, which extend for 100 ft. around the point of impact. Any creature caught in these waves must make a Reflex save (DC 21), or be swept backwards for 5 squares. The save is Constitution-based.

For two turns after impact, the water within 40 ft. is considered rough water (DC 15) for the purposes of Swim checks.

Crush (Ex):A breaching Mishe-Nahma can land on opponents as a standard action, using its whole body to crush them. Crush attacks are effective only against opponents two or more size categories smaller than the Mishe-Nahma. A crush attack affects as many creatures as can fit under the Mishe-Nahma’s body. Creatures in the affected area must succeed on a Reflex save (DC 16) or automatically take 3d6 points of bludgeoning damage plus 1½ times the Mishe-Nahma’s Strength bonus.The save is Charisma-based.

Command Fishes (Su): Mishe-Nahma is the king of fishes, and all other aquatic creatures must bow to its will. All aquatic animals within 100 ft. must make a Will save (DC 16) or be subject to a charm effect. The effect lasts as long as they within range. If a creature makes this save, it cannot be affected by this ability again for 24 hours. The save is Charisma-based.

Improved Grab (Ex):To use this ability, a Mishe-Nahma must hit with its slam attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can attempt to swallow the foe the following round.

Immunity to Poison (Ex): Mishe-Nahma are immune to all naturally-occurring poisons.

Poison (Ex): When a Mishe-Nahma successfully hits a target with a body slam, the target must succeed on Fort DC 19 save or become poisoned with no damage initially and 1d4 Con secondary. The save is Constitution-based.

Spell-Like Ability (Sp): As a standard action, a Mishe-Nahma can assert direct control over one of its subjects. It may use dominate monster as a spell-like ability at will, but it only affects aquatic animals. It can only dominate one creature at a time. If it attempts to dominate a second creature while controlling another, the first spell immediately ends. A successful DC 19 Will save negates. The save is Charisma-based. If a creature is affected by the Mishe-Nahma's Command Fish ability, it automatically fails its saving throw to be dominated.

Swallow Whole (Ex): Mishe-Nahma can try to swallow a grabbed opponent of a smaller size than itself by making a successful grapple check. Once inside, the opponent takes 2d8 points of crushing damage plus 4 points of acid damage per round from the beast’s stomach. A swallowed creature can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 20 points of damage to the stomach (AC 14). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out. A Huge sturgeon’s interior can hold 1 Large, 4 Medium, 16 Small, 64 Tiny, or 256 Diminutive or smaller opponents.

Skills: A Mishe-Naha has a +6 racial bonus to Hide. When hiding motionless in the water, this bonus increases to +10. These bonuses are incorporated in the creature's statistics block.

A Mishe-Nahma has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

Treasure: The bodily fluids of the Mishe-Nahma (especially their oil) are prized by alchemists and potion-makers as potent antivenoms. The oils of the eldest Mishe-Nahma are so full of vital energy that they can even protect against and cure many diseases, including magical ones like mummy rot and lycanthropy. Turning the raw oils into usable medicine against natural disease requires a successful Craft (Alchemy) check, DC 20. To create a medicine that protects against magical diseases requires two consecutive Craft (Alchemy) checks at DC 30.

A Mishe-Nahma’s bony plating (“scutes”) can be made into armor of masterwork quality by a sufficiently-skilled craftsperson. This armor grants a +8 alchemical bonus to Fortitude saves to resist poison and disease. A normal Craft (Armorsmithing) check applies, DC 25.

Let me know what you think.

 Improved Grab moved from feat to Special Attack; edited description.

Debby

SuperDave
2013-03-05, 09:29 PM
OK, this is kind of a long post to respond to, so I'm just gonna address each point in order.

Cool beans on making your first critter. 3e has a lot of picayune rules so I'll pipe up here.
You might find this resource useful d20srd.org. It is very easy to navigate and you can find most of the information you'll need easily. This section is useful: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/intro.htm.
Let me help with some of the details. I'll give you advice while going through the stat block. Because this is so long, I've included a corrected stat block.
Thanks for both of those! I'll be sure to use them!

You forgot to include the +3 bonus hit points from Toughness feat to your bonus hit points. Hit point total should be increased by 3 as well.
Right, I forgot about that (though I gotta admit, beyond the first few levels, three additional HP seems a little dinky).

Long is not a Subtype.
I know, but I wasn't sure where to put it. "Huge (Long) Magical Beast (Aquatic)" just didn't look right. Where should it go?

Grapple is BAB + special size mod (Huge is +8) and Str Mod. So 8 +8 +7 = 23.
A'ight. Fixed.

Since fish generally swim forward, it would make sense to have its bite be its primary attack. Its tail slap would be a secondary attack. Since you are aiming for CR 8, I recommend it has 2 attacks it can use together. You mentioned a sting but I suggest you remove it since it has more than enough attacks. I like the body slam as second primary attack (note it cannot use its other attacks when it makes a body slam).
I thought "sting" just meant "this creature is poisonous". The stinging action would occur automatically when he body-slams an opponent. But if the poisoning is just part of the slam, i guess it should go under Slam, rather than being a separate attack/ability.

Only a creature's primary attack shows up in the Attack line. It looks like this creature can bite and tail slap OR it can body slam as a full attack. Secondary attacks are always secondary, even when used as a primary attack. It cannot body slam and hit with its tail in the same round.
That makes sense. I thought maybe he could lash out with his tail after as he moves past the recipient of his body-slam, but that much damage in one turn does seem a bit excessive.

Since there is a chance to be poisoned when the creature hits you with a body slam, you need to add a poison section. Mishe-Nahma poison should probably be a mild poison. A Fortitude save DC against a creature’s natural poison attack is equal to 10 + ½ poisoning creature’s racial HD + poisoning creature’s Con modifier (DC 19)
That seems fair. But it remains to determine what effects the poison will have. Since the spines are mainly defensive, they'd be more aimed at things that would eat sturgeons, than things sturgeons eat. So it's probably not designed to paralyze prey, but to make anything that tries to bite a Mishe-Nahma feel ill or die. How about the primary damage be making the subject sickened, and the secondary damage could cause Con damage or something similar?

The type of special abilities (Ex, Sp, Su) isn't noted in the stat block; it belongs in the text.
Gotcha. I'll take care of that. Actually, looking at the definition of an extraordinary ability, I don't think that Breach, Crush, etc., should be labelled as (Ex), since they're not really breaking the laws of physics.

Skills--It all depends on what you think this creature can do. Obviously fish don't have many skills but it can have max skill ranks = HD +3 (11) so you could give it 3 skills at max. Escape Artist (it's a slippery fish), Move Silently and Swim would be excellent choices. It also gets Spot and Listen from its Alertness feat but you probably don't need to add skill points to those since it adds its Wisdom modifier to those.
I kind of like the idea of Mishe-Nahma having access to Knowledge (any one), but since he's not especially smart (Int 12), maybe it doesn't belong after all. Deleted!

Due to their size, these are terrible at Hiding so they should get a racial bonus bonus to compensate. I recommend giving them a +6 racial bonus to Hide and let it increase to +10 when they are motionless.
Good idea. I forgot about size penalties to Hide.

Improved Grab is not a feat. It is a Special Attack.
I thought it was a feat which improved your "Grab" ability, rather than a separate attack in its own right.

While I commend you on a novel way of making the creature's body useful, I think that DC 20 for making an alchemical antitoxin vs. magical diseases is too low.
I thought that converting raw animal fluids into a potion should be pretty standard stuff for an alchemist, so I decided to go with a mid-range DC. But after reviewing Alchemy skill in the SRD, I noticed that making antivenom has a DC of 25, so if Mishe-Nahma's oils are fairly rare, a DC of at least 30 makes sense. You might need to make a few tries before you get it right.

Speaking of needing extra oil, I need to figure out how much oil a 6,500-pound fish would produce. http://www.iffo.net/downloads/100.pdf says that "If we take 1 tonne (1000 kg) of wild fish, they assume that this would yield 225 kg of fishmeal and 50 kg of fish oil".
1000 kg/225kg = 4.444. Therefore, a 6,500-lb. Mishe-Nahma could yield up to 1,462 lbs. of fish-oil, assuming the PCs know how to harvest it correctly, and have the proper equipment. This also assumes that the seagulls don't eat a good portion before the PCs are finished. :smallyuk:

Usually, only magical items can affect magical diseases. I'd be very leery of introducing this. I recommend the Craft (alchemy) check be set at DC 30 and perhaps even require two consecutive successes. I think the oil and armor are more than sufficient as treasure.
Perhaps, but would that be worth double standard treasure? Mishe-Nahma is also likely to destroy or seriously damage the PCs' boat, and if they drop anything into the lake while fighting him, it's probably gone forever.
On a related note, how does the environment/terrain affect CR, if at all? The players will have to take Mishe-Nahma on his own turf, and if they fall into the water, unless they've got some kind of water-breathing spell or gear, some of them might even die just of old-fashioned drowning. So there's the added danger to consider when determining the difficulty of an encounter with Mishe-Nahma.

Environment should be as simple as you can make it. Any fresh water would suffice.
Done.

Also, special abilities go in alphabetical order when listing them in sections; skills and treasure go at the end.
I'll fix that too.

Command Fish should be separated into Command Fish and Spell-like Ability since one is Su and the other Sp.
Why should the ability be broken into two? One to establish a hold, and the other to actaully command the fish to do something? That seems needlessly complicated, don't you think? Though you're right: Command Fishes should be (Sp), not (Su).

Blindsense and Blindsight are different abilities and not interchangeable. I've kept it with blindsense since these can see. Blindsense is good because the bottoms of lakes tend to be murky from all the debris rather than simply from lack of light. This was a good call. Some of this material belongs in the creature's description rather than in the Special Ability.
The SRD says that blindsense allows a creature "to use a nonvisual sense (or a combination of such senses) to operate effectively without vision. Such sense may include sensitivity to vibrations, acute scent, keen hearing, or echolocation."
Blindsense requires line-of-sight; since Mishe-Nahma is sensing vibrations in water, it should be able to feel other creatures around it, even if they're hiding behind something. Besides, a king should know everything that goes on within his domain, right?

These have neither Amphibious or Hold Breath Abilities. That means that they can hold their breath for a number of rounds equal to twice their Constitution score (10 rounds), but only if they do nothing other than take move actions or free actions. This should be noted somewhere.
I forgot about Amphibious, since he breathes water. But yeah, sturgeons are not lungfish, and therefore should not have either of those abilities.

Magical Beasts normally have both darkvision 60 feet and low-light vision. You should either add them or explain why they don't have them.
I thought that Blindsight covered everything else, including Darkvision. If he can already feel other creatures around him, I thought there was no need to be able to see them, too. But you're right, I should probably add them.

...

I think that about covers it, except for one thing: just how effective should Mishe-Nahma's oil be against poisons? To set it apart from normal antitoxin (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/goodsAndServices.htm#antitoxin), I'd say a +7 or +8 alchemical bonus on Fortitude saving throws against poison for 1 hour sounds reasonable.

...

Oh, and Crush shouldn't deal poison damage - the spines are on the back and sides, not the stomach.

Frathe
2013-03-05, 10:21 PM
Thanks for both of those! I'll be sure to use them!I also use that site. :smallbiggrin:

I know, but I wasn't sure where to put it. "Huge (Long) Magical Beast (Aquatic)" just didn't look right. Where should it go?It doesn't go anywhere. It's just an abstraction to calculate reach. It's not something you need (or are supposed) to give in the stat block.

I thought "sting" just meant "this creature is poisonous". The stinging action would occur automatically when he body-slams an opponent. But if the poisoning is just part of the slam, i guess it should go under Slam, rather than being a separate attack/ability.Sting is its own attack type, and implies piercing damage. It's not really a good way to give poison for a slam attack.

That seems fair. But it remains to determine what effects the poison will have. Since the spines are mainly defensive, they'd be more aimed at things that would eat sturgeons, than things sturgeons eat. So it's probably not designed to paralyze prey, but to make anything that tries to bite a Mishe-Nahma feel ill or die. How about the primary damage be making the subject sickened, and the secondary damage could cause Con damage or something similar?Maybe, but sickened isn't that much of an effect on its own (-2 penalty on all attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks).

Gotcha. I'll take care of that. Actually, looking at the definition of an extraordinary ability, I don't think that Breach, Crush, etc., should be labelled as (Ex), since they're not really breaking the laws of physics.No, they probably should be. You're supposed to label special attacks as one of the three (Ex), (Su), (Sp), and (Ex) is definitely the best fit here.

I thought it was a feat which improved your "Grab" ability, rather than a separate attack in its own right.Nope, it's a special ability. I'll quote:

Constrict
A creature with this special attack can crush an opponent, dealing bludgeoning damage, after making a successful grapple check. The amount of damage is given in the creature’s entry. If the creature also has the improved grab ability it deals constriction damage in addition to damage dealt by the weapon used to grab.(Emphasis mine).

Speaking of needing extra oil, I need to figure out how much oil a 6,500-pound fish would produce. http://www.iffo.net/downloads/100.pdf says that "If we take 1 tonne (1000 kg) of wild fish, they assume that this would yield 225 kg of fishmeal and 50 kg of fish oil".
1000 kg/225kg = 4.444. Therefore, a 6,500-lb. Mishe-Nahma could yield up to 1,462 lbs. of fish-oil, assuming the PCs know how to harvest it correctly, and have the proper equipment. This also assumes that the seagulls don't eat a good portion before the PCs are finished. :smallyuk:...That seems like an awful lot of oil. You might want to limit that, even if it's unrealistic. Either that or make people distill it (boil it down) for full potency.

Perhaps, but would that be worth double standard treasure? Mishe-Nahma is also likely to destroy or seriously damage the PCs' boat, and if they drop anything into the lake while fighting him, it's probably gone forever.
On a related note, how does the environment/terrain affect CR, if at all? The players will have to take Mishe-Nahma on his own turf, and if they fall into the water, unless they've got some kind of water-breathing spell or gear, some of them might even die just of old-fashioned drowning. So there's the added danger to consider when determining the difficulty of an encounter with Mishe-Nahma.That wouldn't affect CR (which is just how tough the monster is) so much as it would affect Encounter Level. I don't think I'd worry too much about it; sure, the fish has a tactical advantage, but that seems hard to mechanically define with XP and such. You could just increase the Encounter Level if you felt it was justified (at least, I think that would work).

Debihuman
2013-03-05, 10:28 PM
I know, but I wasn't sure where to put it. "Huge (Long) Magical Beast (Aquatic)" just didn't look right. Where should it go?

It doesn't actually get mentioned in the stat block. You just mention in the description how long or tall the creature is.

I thought "sting" just meant "this creature is poisonous". The stinging action would occur automatically when he body-slams an opponent. But if the poisoning is just part of the slam, i guess it should go under Slam, rather than being a separate attack/ability.

A sting would be a separate attack like the stinger on a stingray. It doesn't have to be poisonous that would separate.

That makes sense. I thought maybe he could lash out with his tail after as he moves past the recipient of his body-slam, but that much damage in one turn does seem a bit excessive.

Whereas I envisioned the attack more like a sideswipe with the tail as rudder.

But it remains to determine what effects the poison will have. Since the spines are mainly defensive, they'd be more aimed at things that would eat sturgeons, than things sturgeons eat. So it's probably not designed to paralyze prey, but to make anything that tries to bite a Mishe-Nahma feel ill or die. How about the primary damage be making the subject sickened, and the secondary damage could cause Con damage or something similar?

Feel free to make whatever poison you like. I just threw out an idea but it's easy to change.

Actually, looking at the definition of an extraordinary ability, I don't think that Breach, Crush, etc., should be labelled as (Ex), since they're not really breaking the laws of physics.

They don't have to break the laws of physics to be extraordinary, they are just "nonmagical." See other creatures in the SRD like whales and such.

I thought it was a feat which improved your "Grab" ability, rather than a separate attack in its own right.

Improved grapple is a feat but improved grab is a special ability.

I thought that converting raw animal fluids into a potion should be pretty standard stuff for an alchemist, so I decided to go with a mid-range DC. But after reviewing Alchemy skill in the SRD, I noticed that making antivenom has a DC of 25, so if Mishe-Nahma's oils are fairly rare, a DC of at least 30 makes sense. You might need to make a few tries before you get it right. Exactly

Speaking of needing extra oil, I need to figure out how much oil a 6,500-pound fish would produce. http://www.iffo.net/downloads/100.pdf says that "If we take 1 tonne (1000 kg) of wild fish, they assume that this would yield 225 kg of fishmeal and 50 kg of fish oil".
1000 kg/225kg = 4.444. Therefore, a 6,500-lb. Mishe-Nahma could yield up to 1,462 lbs. of fish-oil, assuming the PCs know how to harvest it correctly, and have the proper equipment. This also assumes that the seagulls don't eat a good portion before the PCs are finished. :smallyuk:

I had figured on it weighing two tons (2,000 lbs), which would yield 110 doses of antivenom. Of course, you may adjust size and weight accordingly. There is a chart for creature's sizes and stuff in the combat section of the SRD (big and little creatures in combat) that is very useful. You have to include the price of the antivenom as part of the creature's treasure. 110 doses of antitoxin is worth 5,500 gp.

A CR 8 creature should have 3,400 gp in treasure so doubling that would make sense.

Mishe-Nahma is also likely to destroy or seriously damage the PCs' boat, and if they drop anything into the lake while fighting him, it's probably gone forever. There are ways around this such as contingency spells.

On a related note, how does the environment/terrain affect CR, if at all? The players will have to take Mishe-Nahma on his own turf, and if they fall into the water, unless they've got some kind of water-breathing spell or gear, some of them might even die just of old-fashioned drowning. So there's the added danger to consider when determining the difficulty of an encounter with Mishe-Nahma.

Terrain has no bearing on CR. Considering the CR, they should have some of that stuff already

Why should the ability be broken into two? One to establish a hold, and the other to actually command the fish to do something? That seems needlessly complicated, don't you think? Though you're right: Command Fishes should be (Sp), not (Su).

Because it can command fish but the other ability works on creatures that aren't necessarily fish.

The SRD says that blindsense allows a creature "to use a nonvisual sense (or a combination of such senses) to operate effectively without vision. Such sense may include sensitivity to vibrations, acute scent, keen hearing, or echolocation." Which it can do. It has blindsense 60 feet.

Blindsense requires line-of-sight; since Mishe-Nahma is sensing vibrations in water, it should be able to feel other creatures around it, even if they're hiding behind something. Besides, a king should know everything that goes on within his domain, right?

It depends on what you mean by "King." In this case it's super-sized but doesn't have deific abilities. It's not even an epic creature.

It can see so it has line of sight most of the time. Both blindsense and blindsight need line of effect (not line of sight). Creatures hiding behind a rock still cannot be located as the rock is in the way.

From the SRD:

The creature with blindsense usually does not need to make Spot or Listen checks to notice and locate creatures within range of its blindsense ability, provided that it has line of effect to that creature. Any opponent the creature cannot see has total concealment (50% miss chance) against the creature with blindsense, and the blindsensing creature still has the normal miss chance when attacking foes that have concealment.

I hope that clarifies blindsense for you.

I forgot about Amphibious, since he breathes water. But yeah, sturgeons are not lungfish, and therefore should not have either of those abilities.

That's what I figured. The aboleth don't breathe air either (and they're even described as amphibious but don't have the amphibious special quality.).

I thought that Blindsight covered everything else, including Darkvision. If he can already feel other creatures around him, I thought there was no need to be able to see them, too. But you're right, I should probably add them.

Darkvision is the extraordinary ability to see with no light source at all, out to a range specified for the creature. Darkvision is black and white only (colors cannot be discerned). It does not allow characters to see anything that they could not see otherwise—invisible objects are still invisible, and illusions are still visible as what they seem to be. Likewise, darkvision subjects a creature to gaze attacks normally. The presence of light does not spoil darkvision.

Characters with low-light vision have eyes that are so sensitive to light that they can see twice as far as normal in dim light. Low-light vision is color vision. A spellcaster with low-light vision can read a scroll as long as even the tiniest candle flame is next to her as a source of light. Characters with low-light vision can see outdoors on a moonlit night as well as they can during the day.

So the Mishe-Nahma has excellent sight. It doesn't need to rely on blindsight most of the time since it can see just fine. The only place this is useful is at the bottom of a lake (where the PCs likely can't see at all without help).

Normally, creatures that can't see have blindsight (like a bat's echolacation). If the creature can see (and having both darkvision and low-light vision is a huge benefit underwater), then blindsense is all that is needed. Blindsense is weaker than blindsight, but for this creature's purposes, it is all that is really needed. The PCs will have enough trouble dealing with it.

I do not recommend CR 9 for this. It has too few hit dice. As it stands, it might be too weak for CR 8. An 8th level wizard could cast charm monster on it. At 9th level, the wizard has access to baleful polymorph and could simply turn this into a normal sized sturgeon (albeit with a lot of hit points) but if it fails its save after 24 hours it becomes just a normal fish).
It would need to be a lot tougher to handle a 9th level party.

CR should be equal to or less than HD for good creature design. The exceptions are generally demons, devils, dragons and undead. Those tend to have a lot of immunities, spells and/or spell-like abilities, and high hit points.

Edit (One more thing)

For 2 turns after impact, the water within 40 ft. is considered rough water (DC 15) for the purposes of Swim checks

3.5 doesn't use "turns" to express time. It should be in rounds. It should be 10 rounds.

Debby

SuperDave
2013-03-09, 09:05 PM
Hey guys! Sorry it's been a while since I responded. It's surprisingly difficult to find time to both keep up with the various threads and also find time to compose coherent responses.

I do not recommend CR 9 for this. It has too few hit dice. As it stands, it might be too weak for CR 8. An 8th level wizard could cast charm monster on it. At 9th level, the wizard has access to baleful polymorph and could simply turn this into a normal sized sturgeon (albeit with a lot of hit points) but if it fails its save after 24 hours it becomes just a normal fish).
It would need to be a lot tougher to handle a 9th level party.

If it shouldn’t be CR 8 and it shouldn’t be CR 9, and you can only have whole-number CRs, then what should I rate this guy?

Why should the ability be broken into two? One to establish a hold, and the other to actaully command the fish to do something? That seems needlessly complicated, don't you think?
Because it can command fish but the other ability works on creatures that aren't necessarily fish.
Wait, no it doesn’t! It says so in the description that it only affects aquatic animals. If that's the impression I gave, it's not what I meant to say.

In the poem, when Hiawatha goes fishing, Mishe-Nahma initially sends his servants, Kenozha the pike and Ugudwash the sun-fish, to chase the irksome youth away. Only after Hiawatha catches both of them does Mishe-Nahma attack personally.

I'm trying to grant Mishe-Nahma the a reasonable expectation to be able to order any fish in his immediate vicinity to attack the PCs, or at least to distract them long enough for him to escape. (I was also thinking that for smaller fish that travel in schools, the ability would treat them as a single entity, a Swarm if you will, for the purposes of using the ability Command Fishes.)

[Being] sickened isn't that much of an effect on its own (-2 penalty on all attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks).

How about the primary damage be making the subject sickened, and the secondary damage could cause Con damage or something similar?
Feel free to make whatever poison you like. I just threw out an idea but it's easy to change.
Initial damage: Fatigued
Secondary damage: 1d4 Con

...That seems like an awful lot of oil. You might want to limit that, even if it's unrealistic. Either that or make people distill it (boil it down) for full potency.
Yeah, even without factoring in the weight of containers, a hundred doses of antivenom would probably weigh a lot more than even the whole party can carry. Unless they were to transport it by water (which is made more difficult if Mishe-Nahme wrecked their canoe).

3.5 doesn't use "turns" to express time. It should be in rounds. It should be 10 rounds.
Right, I should fix that.

By the way, is a +8 Fortitude bonus from the armor too much? Should that be able to stack with Fort bonus from drinking the oil? I'm thinking they probably shouldn't stack, since they're from the same creature.
I'm thinking that it might be too high after all. How about the armor grants +4 to Fort saves (making it just a little less effective than consuming antivenom, but it's more or less a permanent effect on the wearer), but consuming the distilled oil grants a +7 alchemical bonus against poison for 2 hours?

Should the oil of elder (i.e., Gargantuan or larger) Mishe-Nahmas grant better or additional bonuses? Or should they just yield more oil and armor?

Debihuman
2013-03-10, 03:35 AM
If it shouldn’t be CR 8 and it shouldn’t be CR 9, and you can only have whole-number CRs, then what should I rate this guy?

Go with 8 and see how it works. It might be 7. CR isn't an exact science, VT's CR estimator is fairly good. Vorpal Tribble’s CR estimator

#1. Divide creature's average HP by 4.5 to 6.5.
4.5 for 5 HD or lower, 5 for 6-10 HD, 5.5 for 11-15 HD, 6 for 16-20 HD., 6.5 for 20-25 HD.

8 HD and 87 hp/5 = 17

#2. Add 1 for each five points above 10 its AC is, subtracting 1 for every 5 below.

AC 18 = 3

#3. Add 1 for each special attack (+2 to +5 or more if it has a decent number of spells in its spell-like abilities).

5 possibly 4 because it's spell-like ability doesn't directly affect the PCs

#4. Add 1 for each quality unless you deem it worthy of more. Add 1 for each resistance and 10 points of DR it has, and 2 for each immunity. Subtract 1 for each vulnerability.

3 (I never count darkvision and low-light vision since those come from its Type)

#5. Add 1 for every two bonus feats it has. 0

#6. Divide total by 3. This should be its rough CR. 27/3= 9 but that's just an estimation. I'd peg it CR 8 and maybe CR 7 depending on the party and how optiized they are and how well you use the command fish/dominate ability.

It has a lot of offensive abilities but very few defenses. It's not likely the party will use poison against it.

Wait, no it doesn’t! It says so in the description that it only affects aquatic animals. If that's the impression I gave, it's not what I meant to say.

In the poem, when Hiawatha goes fishing, Mishe-Nahma initially sends his servants, Kenozha the pike and Ugudwash the sun-fish, to chase the irksome youth away. Only after Hiawatha catches both of them does Mishe-Nahma attack personally.

I'm trying to grant Mishe-Nahma the a reasonable expectation to be able to order any fish in his immediate vicinity to attack the PCs, or at least to distract them long enough for him to escape. (I was also thinking that for smaller fish that travel in schools, the ability would treat them as a single entity, a Swarm if you will, for the purposes of using the ability Command Fishes.)

Command Fish ability only works on Fish but Dominate works on all Aquatic Animals (that's why they are separate abilities.) That's what you said. If you meant something else, you should be clearer. Swarm is a subtype so Command Fish would work on a swarm of fish. Howeve, Mishe-Nahma could not command a Cryptoclidus from MM2 (see page 21) an aquatic reptile. It could dominate one though. You didn't have to say it worked on a swarm of fish specifically since that was already covered.

And before you say that YOU don't use those, remember that this creature can be used by other DMs who might have other aquatic animals and creatures in their campaigns and should be able to use this creature as is.

Initial damage: Fatigued
Secondary damage: 1d4 Con

That's fine too.

Yeah, even without factoring in the weight of containers, a hundred doses of antivenom would probably weigh a lot more than even the whole party can carry. Unless they were to transport it by water (which is made more difficult if Mishe-Nahme wrecked their canoe). [/

Right, I should fix that.

By the way, is a +8 Fortitude bonus from the armor too much? Should that be able to stack with Fort bonus from drinking the oil? I'm thinking they probably shouldn't stack, since they're from the same creature.
I'm thinking that it might be too high after all. How about the armor grants +4 to Fort saves (making it just a little less effective than consuming antivenom, but it's more or less a permanent effect on the wearer), but consuming the distilled oil grants a +7 alchemical bonus against poison for 2 hours?

Should the oil of elder (i.e., Gargantuan or larger) Mishe-Nahmas grant better or additional bonuses? Or should they just yield more oil and armor?

Debihuman
2013-03-10, 03:44 AM
If it shouldn’t be CR 8 and it shouldn’t be CR 9, and you can only have whole-number CRs, then what should I rate this guy?

Go with 8 and see how it works. It might be 9. CR isn't an exact science, VT's CR estimator is fairly good. Vorpal Tribble’s CR estimator

#1. Divide creature's average HP by 4.5 to 6.5.
4.5 for 5 HD or lower, 5 for 6-10 HD, 5.5 for 11-15 HD, 6 for 16-20 HD., 6.5 for 20-25 HD.

8 HD and 87 hp/5 = 17. The problem is that it has really high Con so most of its points come directly from here.

#2. Add 1 for each five points above 10 its AC is, subtracting 1 for every 5 below.

AC 18 = 3

#3. Add 1 for each special attack (+2 to +5 or more if it has a decent number of spells in its spell-like abilities).

5

#4. Add 1 for each quality unless you deem it worthy of more. Add 1 for each resistance and 10 points of DR it has, and 2 for each immunity. Subtract 1 for each vulnerability.

3 (I never count darkvision and low-light vision since those come from its Type)

#5. Add 1 for every two bonus feats it has. 0

#6. Divide total by 3. This should be its rough CR. 28/3= 9 but that's just an estimation. You could put it a 9 and see how well it works against 9th level PCs. The problem is that it doesn't defend well against magic and ranged attacks, things a CR 9 party are likely to use.

Wait, no it doesn’t! It says so in the description that it only affects aquatic animals. If that's the impression I gave, it's not what I meant to say.

In the poem, when Hiawatha goes fishing, Mishe-Nahma initially sends his servants, Kenozha the pike and Ugudwash the sun-fish, to chase the irksome youth away. Only after Hiawatha catches both of them does Mishe-Nahma attack personally.

I'm trying to grant Mishe-Nahma the a reasonable expectation to be able to order any fish in his immediate vicinity to attack the PCs, or at least to distract them long enough for him to escape. (I was also thinking that for smaller fish that travel in schools, the ability would treat them as a single entity, a Swarm if you will, for the purposes of using the ability Command Fishes.)

Command Fish ability only works on Fish but Dominate works on all Aquatic Animals (that's why they are separate abilities.) That's what you said. If you meant something else, you should be clearer. Swarm is a subtype so Command Fish would work on a swarm of fish. However, Mishe-Nahma could not command a Cryptoclidus from MM2 (see page 21) an aquatic reptile. It could dominate one though. You didn't have to say it worked on a swarm of fish specifically since that was already covered. Swarm is a Subtype not a Type. It would be Animal (Aquatic, Swarm). Note this ability doesn't affect leeches which are Vermin (see swarm of leeches here: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/bs/20040926a)

And before you say that YOU don't use those, remember that this creature can be used by other DMs who might have other aquatic animals and creatures in their campaigns and should be able to use this creature as is.

Initial damage: Fatigued
Secondary damage: 1d4 Con

That's fine too.

Yeah, even without factoring in the weight of containers, a hundred doses of antivenom would probably weigh a lot more than even the whole party can carry. Unless they were to transport it by water (which is made more difficult if Mishe-Nahme wrecked their canoe).

The antivenom doesn't have to be a 1-to-1 ratio to the oil either. It could take 10 pounds (or more) of oil to yield a single dose of antivenom for example. You should state the number of doses of antivenom a typical one yields. I'd say 5d4 That keeps it from being ridiculous. (5 to 20 is a nice range unless you just want to give them a static 20.

By the way, is a +8 Fortitude bonus from the armor too much? Should that be able to stack with Fort bonus from drinking the oil? I'm thinking they probably shouldn't stack, since they're from the same creature.
I'm thinking that it might be too high after all. How about the armor grants +4 to Fort saves (making it just a little less effective than consuming antivenom, but it's more or less a permanent effect on the wearer), but consuming the distilled oil grants a +7 alchemical bonus against poison for 2 hours?

This is harder to judge because some campaigns rarely use poison at all and others rely on it quite heavily. I think +8 from the armor might be too high for the CR but as the party goes up in level, it just means they might keep the armor longer rather than sell it. You should determine its worth as a magic item. If it exceeds the amout of worth in treasure that the creature should have, then lower it. And dodn't forget to include the Price of antivenom.

Even though the antivenom and the armor are from the same creature, they are from different parts of the creature (oil and scutes) so they could stack.

Should the oil of elder (i.e., Gargantuan or larger) Mishe-Nahmas grant better or additional bonuses? Or should they just yield more oil and armor?

That is entirely up to you. 2 suits of armor and 3d10 vials of antivenom wouldn't be amiss.

FYI Standard Treasure for a CR 9 encounter is only 4,500 gp. Antivenom is worth 50 gp per dose. You might want to make it simply 20 vials of antitoxin per fish for normal sized Mishe-Nahma and 30 for advanced.

The worth of the armor made of scutes is harder to figure out. I figure it is going to be like masterwork scale mail armor but more expensive since the only source is the Mishe-Nahma.

Scute Armor: This special nonmagical armor is made from the scutes of a Mishe-Nahma. Because it is organic, it is easy move within it. It has most of the properties of masterwork scale mail armor although it is ligher, confers a +4 alchemical bonus to Fortitude saves against poison, and more flexible so someone wearing it does not incur a speed penalty. Caster Level: n/a; Prerequisites: None; Market Price: 850 gp Weight: 20 lbs.

Debby

Cidolfas
2013-03-10, 11:16 AM
This may be nitpicking more than anything, but the fluff doesn't match with the creature to me. The poem in the beginning suggests that there is only one of them, while the monster entry makes it sound like there are boatloads of them. I think it is OK to have a unique creature at a not-very-high CR; for example, I consider Cerberus (the three-headed dog and guardian of Hell) to be around CR 10 or so. If this is the actual King, I would expect there to only be one of them. I suppose the species could be referred to as the King, but that doesn't seem to work as well with the fluff. Like I said, it's flavor, so whatever.

On a grammatical note, "fishes" doesn't necessarily seem correct as the plural. There's a whole mess of stuff on Google about which is actually correct that I don't really care to go into, but "King of Fish" just seems like it has a better ring to it in this case.

On to the actual stuff. This seems reasonable for a CR 8 creature, especially given that it is presumably fought underwater where most characters can't take advantage of things like flight. Were that not the case, I would suggest that it have some kind of ranged attack. Even as is, I am concerned about its ability to be kited. If you're concerned about the realism aspect of that, I suggest you don't be; making it a capable encounter is much more important than realism.

Huge is pretty standard for a creature of that CR, and Swallow Whole and the like are pretty par for the course as well. I think that may actually be a disadvantage in this case, since none of the abilities stand out as particularly unique/special, which disappoints me a little. The feat choices also seem particularly lame when you could have melee combat staples like Power Attack and the like instead. But is it about CR 8? Sure, although against characters of a higher balance level I would expect it to struggle.

SuperDave
2013-03-14, 08:22 AM
: The problem is that it doesn't defend well against magic and ranged attacks, things a CR 9 party are likely to use.
How would one make him defend better against ranged attacks? Increase the AC?

Command Fish ability only works on Fish but Dominate works on all Aquatic Animals (that's why they are separate abilities.) That's what you said. If you meant something else, you should be clearer.
How about this: instead of Command Fish being a supernatural ability and Dominate Monster is a spell-like ability, how about we just give him Dominate Monster (fish only) as a spell-like ability?

The antivenom doesn't have to be a 1-to-1 ratio to the oil either. It could take 10 pounds (or more) of oil to yield a single dose of antivenom for example. You should state the number of doses of antivenom a typical one yields. I'd say 5d4 That keeps it from being ridiculous. (5 to 20 is a nice range unless you just want to give them a static 20.
That sounds good. A lot of the oil might be lost during battle, depending on the number and depth of Mishe-Nahma’s wounds. Plus, they probably won’t be able to keep all the seagulls away.

Even though the antivenom and the armor are from the same creature, they are from different parts of the creature (oil and scutes) so they could stack.
That sounds reasonable. Would the armor be an enchantment bonus, while the oil’s bonus is alchemical?

That is entirely up to you. 2 suits of armor and 3d10 vials of antivenom wouldn't be amiss.
Should I actually figure out how much surface area a 30 ft. sturgeon would have, and divide that by the surface area of the average human? What about Large or Small suits of armor? Maybe I could put it this way: “A Mishe-Nahma of Huge size typically yields enough scutes to craft X Large suits of armor, X2 Medium suits of armor, or X4 Small suits of armor.”

FYI Standard Treasure for a CR 9 encounter is only 4,500 gp. Antivenom is worth 50 gp per dose. You might want to make it simply 20 vials of antitoxin per fish for normal sized Mishe-Nahma and 30 for advanced.
(Just to be sure: By “Advanced,” you mean “Gargantuan”, right?)
Well, a larger Mishe-Nahma would also yield more usable scutes for armor, so I should calculate as part of the treasure as well, right?
I based this on an Aboleth, so I assumed that double-standard treasure is reasonable for a boss-type creature. But since Mishe-Namah lacks the psionics and flesh-warping mucous-cloud of the aboleth, maybe he should just yield Standard treasure instead.
What determines whether treasure is Standard or Double Standard? It can’t just be the CR, can it?

The worth of the armor made of scutes is harder to figure out. I figure it is going to be like masterwork scale mail armor but more expensive since the only source is the Mishe-Nahma. Scute Armor: This special nonmagical armor is made from the scutes of a Mishe-Nahma. Because it is organic, it is easy move within it. It has most of the properties of masterwork scale mail armor although it is lighter, confers a +4 alchemical bonus to Fortitude saves against poison, and more flexible so someone wearing it does not incur a speed penalty. Caster Level: n/a; Prerequisites: None; Market Price: 850 gp Weight: 20 lbs.
These stats sound reasonable to me. Though you mentioned that you "think +8 from the armor might be too high for the CR but as the party goes up in level, it just means they might keep the armor longer rather than sell it. You should determine its worth as a magic item."

I guess I’d like the party to hang onto it for a while, but I’m not sure how to calculate the value of a suit of armor. I noticed that the SRD says (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/armor.htm#armorCost) that scale mail would normally only cost 50 gp. Is a +4 to Fortitude and a 2/3 reduction in weight really worth a seventeenfold increase in price? I guess it is pretty rare, and expensive to acquire, though...

--------------------------

: This may be nitpicking more than anything, but the fluff doesn't match with the creature to me. The poem in the beginning suggests that there is only one of them, while the monster entry makes it sound like there are boatloads of them. ... If this is the actual King, I would expect there to only be one of them. I suppose the species could be referred to as the King, but that doesn't seem to work as well with the fluff.
In the poem, there’s only one Mishe-Nahma (as far as we know). For the purposes of this monster, I wanted to give DMs the option to either use Mishe-Nahma as a unique monster, or as a race of monsters, like a North American version of the aboleth. (I had visions of the Mishe-Nahma pursuing the players for thousands of miles along the waterways of North Vespuccia, popping up as a monstrous recurring villain, endlessly pursuing the PCs for killing his mate and callously harvesting her beautiful scutes for their armor.)
Since I’m new to homebrewing, I used the aboleth as the basis for most of this creature’s stats, figuring that if DMs want him to be a truly epic baddie, they can just add a few hit dice, and maybe pump up his poison. That’s also the reason why he’s got the feats he does; they’re aboleth feats. I suppose that if Mishe-Nahma is going to be more directly oriented towards physical combat, a different set of feats would be appropriate, such as the Power Attack you recommend.
Though that would mean I’d have to rework the stats...

Even as is, I am concerned about its ability to be kited. If you're concerned about the realism aspect of that, I suggest you don't be; making it a capable encounter is much more important than realism.
Well, we definitely don’t want to make him too easy. What kind of ranged attack would you recommend? Let him shoot off his spines at attackers? Make the spines burrow through flesh, a la porcupines? A hydro-cannon spitting attack?

(Also, we don’t have to worry too much about players using flight powers, because the Vespuccia setting doesn’t allow for flight abilities or flying mounts. Their presence would mess with history too much.)

Edit: I went with "King of Fishes" instead of "King of Fish" because that's how Longfellow wrote it.

Debihuman
2013-03-18, 06:29 PM
I'll try to help as best I can

How would one make him defend better against ranged attacks? Increase the AC?

I don't think he needs a higher Armor Class. However, he's light on special abilities and you removed "Command Fishes" which I rather liked. One thing I would have given him would have been Deflect Arrows as a Bonus feat (he doesn't have to meet the prerequisites for bonus feats).

How about this: instead of Command Fish being a supernatural ability and Dominate Monster is a spell-like ability, how about we just give him Dominate Monster (fish only) as a spell-like ability?

See above. Dominate monster is fine but I liked Command Fishes since it suited the theme of this critter. Fish aren't smart. This thing he should be able to dominate all Aquatic creatures with 6 or fewer Hit Dice.

Would the armor be an enchantment bonus, while the oil’s bonus is alchemical?

Yes though the armor would get an "enhancement" bonus rather than an "enchantment" bonus. The oil's bonus would be alchemical.

Should I actually figure out how much surface area a 30 ft. sturgeon would have, and divide that by the surface area of the average human? What about Large or Small suits of armor? Maybe I could put it this way: “A Mishe-Nahma of Huge size typically yields enough scutes to craft X Large suits of armor, X2 Medium suits of armor, or X4 Small suits of armor.”

Nah. A Huge Mishe-Nahma would yield one suit of armor. Most of its surface area would be damaged in the battle that would kill it. It should really work like dragonhide armor: "One dragon produces enough hide for a single suit of masterwork hide armor for a creature one size category smaller than the dragon." [See Special Materials]. One Large or smaller suit of armor is plenty. You should also allow druids to wear this armor since it doesn't contain any metal.

What determines whether treasure is Standard or Double Standard? It can’t just be the CR, can it?

Ecology. If the creature has a reason to collect treasure (dragons are treaure hoarders for example), then it has a reason. Most animals don't collect treasure and most mindless creatures don't either. It's not like this is likely to have a lot of treasure even though it is intelligent. Most items would dissolve or rust under the water and it doesn't have hands to use magic items.

These stats sound reasonable to me. Though you mentioned that you "think +8 from the armor might be too high for the CR but as the party goes up in level, it just means they might keep the armor longer rather than sell it. You should determine its worth as a magic item."

I guess I’d like the party to hang onto it for a while, but I’m not sure how to calculate the value of a suit of armor. I noticed that the SRD says (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/armor.htm#armorCost) that scale mail would normally only cost 50 gp. Is a +4 to Fortitude and a 2/3 reduction in weight really worth a seventeenfold increase in price? I guess it is pretty rare, and expensive to acquire, though...

That's really up to you to decide. Its major allure is that it's good for a druid and that might keep it in play longer. Another party might just sell it and pocket the coins.

In the poem, there’s only one Mishe-Nahma (as far as we know). For the purposes of this monster, I wanted to give DMs the option to either use Mishe-Nahma as a unique monster, or as a race of monsters, like a North American version of the aboleth. (I had visions of the Mishe-Nahma pursuing the players for thousands of miles along the waterways of North Vespuccia, popping up as a monstrous recurring villain, endlessly pursuing the PCs for killing his mate and callously harvesting her beautiful scutes for their armor.)
Since I’m new to homebrewing, I used the aboleth as the basis for most of this creature’s stats, figuring that if DMs want him to be a truly epic baddie, they can just add a few hit dice, and maybe pump up his poison. That’s also the reason why he’s got the feats he does; they’re aboleth feats. I suppose that if Mishe-Nahma is going to be more directly oriented towards physical combat, a different set of feats would be appropriate, such as the Power Attack you recommend.

Though that would mean I’d have to rework the stats...

It was a suggestion not a demand. Do as you see fit.

Well, we definitely don’t want to make him too easy. What kind of ranged attack would you recommend? Let him shoot off his spines at attackers? Make the spines burrow through flesh, a la porcupines? A hydro-cannon spitting attack?

Any of those attacks would be interesting.

(Also, we don’t have to worry too much about players using flight powers, because the Vespuccia setting doesn’t allow for flight abilities or flying mounts. Their presence would mess with history too much.)

Sadly, I'm not all that familiar with the setting. I'd seen bits of it. It's a homebrew setting is it not?

Edit: I went with "King of Fishes" instead of "King of Fish" because that's how Longfellow wrote it.

Sounds good to me.

Debby

SuperDave
2013-11-18, 08:56 AM
Scute Armor: This special nonmagical armor is made from the scutes of a Mishe-Nahma (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=274180). Because it is organic, it is easy move within it. It has most of the properties of masterwork scale mail armor, although it is lighter, confers a +4 alchemical bonus to Fortitude saves against poison, and it is more flexible (so someone wearing it does not incur a speed penalty).

Caster Level: n/a; Prerequisites: None; Market Price: 850 gp Weight: 20 lbs.

The Pathfinder SRD says that masterwork scale mail has the following properties:
Armor/Shield Bonus: +5
Maximum Dex Bonus: +3
Armor Check Penalty: -4
Arcane Spell Failure Chance: 25%

Since the scute armor is lighter and more flexible than normal have any effect on these values? I'm thinking that the Max Dex Bonus might increase to +4 or +5, and maybe a decrease to the Armor Check Penalty as well. Does that seem reasonable to you, Debihuman?