View Full Version : Gremlins, the 3.5 Batch (MitPII)

Zeta Kai
2007-07-18, 06:41 AM
These are not the movie gremlins (although working on these guys makes me want to stat them as well). I was checking the Wikipedia article on gremlins (linked below), & I saw a reference to D&D gremlins being different from the 1940's folklore & 1980's movie versions. But I noticed how there are NO gremlins in 3.X anywhere. I checked the D&D website's monster list, & there's nothing at all in any WotC-published book. So I checked my old AD&D Monstrous Manual, & there they are, still rotting in 2.0 with the Flumph. So I decided that something must be done:

Gremlin ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gremlin)
Tiny Monstrous Humanoid
Hit Dice: 2d8+6 (15HP)
Initiative: +4
Speed: 40’ (8 squares), Fly 40’ (8 squares, good maneuverability)
Armor Class: 18 (+2 size, +4 Dex, +2 natural); touch 16; flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/-5
Attack: Claw +2 melee (1d2+1)
Full Attack: 2 Claws +2 melee (1d2+1) & Bite +4 melee (1d3)
Space/Reach: 2½’/0’
Special Attacks: Rend 1d6+3
Special Qualities: Monstrous Humanoid traits, Darkvision 60’
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +1
Abilities: Str 13 (+1), Dex 18 (+4), Con 16 (+3), Int 10 (+0), Wis 6 (-2), Cha 8 (-1)
Skills: Disable Device +8, Hide +14, Move Silently +8
Feats: Improved Sunder, Power Attack B
Environment: any land or underground
Organization: solitary, pair, batch (3-12), pack (13-30), or brood (31-100)
Challenge Rating: 2
Treasure: standard
Alignment: usually Chaotic Evil or Chaotic Neutral
Advancement: 3-5 HD (Tiny); 6-10 HD (Small)
Level Adjustment: +3

You now know what has been breaking all of your equipment, for in the midst of the wreckage that was once your arsenal is a tiny, impish creature. The reptilian being grins at you mischievously as it drops the last few fragments. Before you can even react, it spends its bat-like wings & lunges at you.

Gremlins are small devilish creatures often found in cities & other areas of comparatively high technology. They are as playful as they are destructive, using their mechanically-oriented intellects to disassemble &/or sabotage any mechanical or technological device that they come across, the more sophisticated the better. They are especially known (& despised) for their habit of destroying vehicles, although some druids are fond of their seeming distaste for machinery.

The adults stand about 18” tall & weigh about 6 pounds, with the females (known as fifinellas) nearly identical in size. Gremlins are hatched (their young are called widgets) from eggs, & can live to be 60 years old.

Gremlins would rather tear apart your items & equipment that engage you in a direct confrontation. They tend to flee battle, content to harass someone else, or simply return later to break things another day. When forced to fight, or when interrupted in the middle of a particularly choice rending, they will attack those that attempt to interfere in their “fun.”

Gremlins will often fight with group tactics, swarming their enemies & quickly dispatching them so that they may break things at their leisure.

• Rend (Ex): a Gremlin that wins a grapple check after a successful Claw attack establishes a hold, latching onto the opponent’s body & tearing the flesh; this attack automatically deals 1d6+3 points of damage

• Skills: Gremlins have a +4 racial bonus on Disable Device checks due to their highly destructive nature

Gremlins as Characters
Gremlins are treated worse than goblins by any technically-advanced race that they encounter. They are especially hated by humans, gnomes & dwarves. Elves, orcs & many savage races are not so unfriendly, but only those people with absolutely no possessions are truly safe from a gremlin’s predations, & those races are rare indeed.

Groups that are anti-technology or pro-nature, such as druids & the like, tend to think highly of gremlins’ troublesome natures, but even they are not immune to acts of sabotage at the gremlins’ hands.

Gremlin characters possess the following racial traits:

• +2 Strength, +8 Dexterity, +4 Constitution, -6 Intelligence, -4 Wisdom, -2 Charisma
• Tiny Size (+2 bonus to AC, +2 bonus on attack rolls, +8 bonus on Hide checks, -8 penalty on grapple checks, lifting & carrying limits ¼ those of Medium characters)
• Space/Reach: 2½’/0’
• a gremlin’s base land speed is 40’ (8 squares)
• a gremlin’s base fly speed is 40’ (8 squares, good maneuverability)
• Darkvision 60’
• Racial Hit Dice: a gremlin begins with 2 levels of monstrous humanoid, which provide 2d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +2, & base saving throw bonuses of Fort +0, Ref +3, and Will +3
• Racial Skills: a gremlin’s monstrous humanoid levels give it skill points equal to 2 × (2 + Int modifier); its class skills are Disable Device, Hide, Move Silently, Open Lock, Search & Tumble; they also have a +4 racial bonus on Disable Device checks
• Racial Feats: a gremlin’s monstrous humanoid levels give it 1 feat, plus Power Attack as a bonus feat
• +2 natural armor bonus
• Special Attacks (see above): Rend 1d6+3
• Special Qualities (see above): N/A
• Weapon & Armor Proficiency: a gremlin is automatically proficient with all simple weapons
• Automatic Languages: Draconic
• Bonus Languages: Common, Lizardfolk, Goblin, Orc
• Favored Class: Rogue
• Level Adjustment: +3

2007-07-18, 01:41 PM
Since the gremlins have a 18 dex, shouldn't the Gremlin have a +4 dex bonus to armor class?

2007-07-18, 03:43 PM
You need to be very careful with this kind of creature. Third party products (which this will be) cannot update older material without WotC's permission (for example, that's what Necromancer Games did for the "Tome of Horrors" product).

Now, that said... gremlins are pretty much a folklore thing, which makes them open to anybody to stat. You need to try to steer more towards folklore, though, and less towards just converting the 2.0 material.

I haven't had a chance to actually review the stats (I actually haven't had a chance to review any stats in quite some time, to be honest, because I've been swamped with work that's due by GenCon). But I thought I'd toss that little caveat out, just to avoid any problems.

Zeta Kai
2007-07-18, 07:10 PM
You bring up a good point, one that I was only partially aware of. I did make it a point to not actually read my 2.0 MM; I merely made sure that it was there (okay, I looked at the picture, too). These gremlins are quite close to the folklore version; although similarities to both the D&D & movie versions are probably unavoidable.

2007-07-18, 07:30 PM
I think the far greater point that Zherong makes is to not forget what are classic folk creatures. It would be very sad if folklore and story were given over entirely to recent copyright. You follow in a long line of Gremlin storytellers that only recently might include TSR or WOTC.

Good critter by the way. Its become my default gremlin :)


2007-07-18, 08:53 PM
If you didn't re-read the prior 2.0 version, I think you're probably fine.

Zeta Kai
2007-07-18, 11:19 PM
I just read the old entry, & except for some minor similarities, the 2 versions are completely unrelated.

2007-07-30, 12:25 AM
I wonder about them being Monstrous Humanoids. Mythological Gremlins always struck me as 'spirits'. Am I way off base?

2007-08-04, 01:14 PM
to me gremlins have seemed to be more a type of fey.

Like many historic fey they are small and impish, bound more to a concept which rules them, rather than a usual motivation. For example the gremlins overiding need/desire to destroy things and cause mechanical mishaps. It's this odd concept that defines gremlins more than anything. Much like the shoemaking fey who should never be thanked, or leprechauns and their lust for gold and need to hide their pot, a pixies with their need to prank others, ect.

Monstrous Humanoids are just vaguely humanoid beings which sometimes have magical powers, but are overall relatively normal in it's life goals and motivations.

Zeta Kai
2007-08-04, 10:31 PM
Look guys, as you can read for yourself here ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gremlin), gremlins as a concept were invented by British RAF pilots in WWII to personify mechanical malfunctions. They were apparently cooked up from whole cloth, as it were.

They're not related to fairies, or goblins, or spirits, or anything like that. They didn't exist prior to about 1942, & as such, there's no such thing as a mythological Gremlin, in the usual sense of the word. Gremlins are a very modern "myth", like Chupacabra, Roswell aliens, or the Orcs of Lord of the Rings.

You can classify Gremlins any way that you want, but their spiritual/mythological pedigree is tenuous at best.

2007-08-05, 02:50 AM
Well, you learn something new every day. Still, just because it's a modern myth doesn't mean it's any less appropriate to create as non Monstrous Humanoid. Just a thought.

2007-08-06, 12:51 AM
Yup, gremlins are new mythology. I could see them as monstrous humanoids, goblinoids, incorporeal creatures...or even little animated objects. Kind of a "we were cast aside, so we destroy that which you valued more than us!" kind of thing.

Zeta Kai
2007-08-06, 05:28 AM
Yup, gremlins are new mythology. I could see them as monstrous humanoids, goblinoids, incorporeal creatures...or even little animated objects. Kind of a "we were cast aside, so we destroy that which you valued more than us!" kind of thing.

I like that idea. Yeah, as long as they can tear gadgets apart, they can be pretty much any type you want them to be (although I draw the line at Ooze).

P.S.: If anyone here can make a valid/lucid argument for why a Gremlin should be a different type than Monstrous Humanoid, I'll change them & credit you. Bonus points if you can convince me that they should be an Ooze.:smallwink: