A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Which cr is this creature? (3.5)

    I'm trying to valuate the Challenge rating of this creature , but it's not easy as there are various restriction , and the Challenge rating of the base creature was not among the best to valuate.
    The creature in question would be a Weird Earth (monster manual II ) Silveraith (CIty of spider Queen) and i modified some of the abilities for the trasformation in undead so the stats would be like these (feats and spell to be decided )
    Spoiler: Stat block
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    Large Undead (Earth , Incorporeal)
    Alignment Usually neutral (can't be good or lawful)
    Initiative +6 (+2 dex +4 improved initiative)
    AC 23 (-1 size +2 dexterity +12 Deflection)
    Hit dice 15d12 (97 hit points) DR 10/-
    Fort +7 Ref +9 Will + 17
    Speed 30 ft , Fly 30 ft (perfect manuevrability) Burrow 30 ft
    Space 10 ft /10 ft
    Base attack +7 /Grapple +??
    Attack Slam +8
    Full attack Slam +8/+3 (from the template the attack after the first have a -5)
    Damage 3d8+10 (Will DC 24 Half) incorporeal touch
    Special attack/Actions:Spells , Elemental command Magic absorption (DC 24)
    Abilities Str - Dex 14 Con - Int 22 Wis 25 Cha 24
    Special qualities "Earth" pool, Prescience , Regeneration Fast healing 10 SR 25 , create spawn, undead traits, incorporeal subtype, turn resistance +4 (see at the end for the changes on the special qualities) , immunities
    Feats :Alertness; Dodge; Empower Spell; Great Fortitude; Improved Initiative; Lightning Reflexes; Maximize Spell (the feats will be change any ideas for the feats?)
    Skills :Concentration +24 , Diplomacy +27, Intimidate +25, Knowledge (any three)+24, Listen +17,Sense motive +25, Spot +17, Hide + 6 , Search + 14
    A silveraith receives a +8 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, Search, and Spot checks

    Elemental Command (Su): A weird can attempt to gain control over any elemental within 100 feet regardless of the latter's elemental type. The elemental must make a successful Will save (DC 24) or succumb to the weird's control. An elemental that saves against this attack it immune to that weird's elemental command ability for 24 hours. There is no limit to the number of elementals that a weird can control.
    Once under the weird's control, an elemental serves the weird until either it or the weird dies, until the weird dismisses it, or until the duration for its summoning expires. It obeys the weird explicitly, even if ordered to attack the being who originally summoned it. The weird does not need to concentrate to maintain control over any elemental it commands.

    Prescience (Su): At will and as a free action, a weird can duplicate the effect of any of the following divination spells: analyze dweomer clairaudience/clairvoyance, contact other plane, detect thoughts, discern location, find the path, foresight, greater scrying, legend lore, locate creature, locate object, tongues, true seeing, vision. Caster level 18th; save DC 17 + spell level.

    Spells: An earth weird can cast arcane spells and divine spells from the "Earth and Destruction" domains as an 18th-level sorcerer but it can't cast healing spells or other spells utilizing positive energy . Probably I will change the domains but I don't have an idea for what domain for now

    Elemental Pool (Su): Each weird dwells within a large pool (at least 20 feet across and 40 feet deep) filled with the purest form of its element. The pool is always secured to a flat surface such that its depth forms a hollow within that surface. The surface must have sufficient depth to accommodate the pool. An elemental pool can also exist as a separate area inside a larger volume of the same element.

    The base of the pool contains a portal to the weird's native plane. Three times per day, the weird can summon forth 2d4 huge elementals, 1d2 greater elementals, or 1 elder elemental through this portal. Any non-elemental creature entering a pool without the weird's permission must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 20) each round or be irrevocably transformed into the elemental material of the pool. Creatures granted access to the pool by the weird are not subject to transformation. However, creatures allowed to enter a pool must still provide their own protection from the elemental material, as well as the means to breathe and move within that environment. In this case the elementals that will be called will be necromental earth elemental instead of nor

    A weird is physically tied to its pool and cannot leave except to return to its native plane through the portal. A weird may rise up to a height of 10 feet above the surface of its pool, but the lower part of its body must always remain in contact with the elemental material. Once a weird exits the pool for its native plane, the portal closes, and the pool loses its special effects.
    It will be bounded in an area but it will be not in this exact way , even if he goes for the other plane the portal will remain open and the pool will retain the special effects

    Earth Pool: This pool is filled with churning mud, and earth. Every creature within it (except the earth weird) takes 4d8 points of damage per round from the ever-grinding earth. In addition, creatures entering the pool suffocate they do not have a way to breathe and are entombed (unable to move) if they cannot burrow. An earth weird's pool may be affixed only to a horizontal surface, and it may appear only in a right side up position (such as in the floor of a cavern.
    The pool will have the same effect of the earth pool but of negative energy and they can move without any problem

    Magic Absorption (Su): A silveraith can ready an action to absorb spells targeted at it as if it were a rod of absorption. When it absorbs spell energy, it creates a backlash of negative energy that deals 1d6 points of damage per absorbed spell level to the caster of the spell (Will save for half). A negative energy protection spell negates this damage, and undead spellcasters are actually healed by this effect.

    Create Spawn (Su): An arcane or divine spellcaster killed outright by the backlash of the silveraith's magic absorption power rises as a silveraith itself in 1d4 days. If the victim would not otherwise qualify for the template, it does not become a silveraith. The silveraith exercises no special control over spawn created in this manner.

    Immunities (Ex): Silveraiths are immune to cold, electricity, polymorph, and mind-affecting attacks.

    Turn Resistance (Ex): A silveraith has +4 turn resistance


    So what Challenge rating this monster would have for you? Because for me it's not easy to say if we take the normal challenge rating and we apply the template it should be a CR 14 but it seems low considering it has 9th level spells (at least are sorcerer spell instead of wizard so i still have some leeway to reduce the power of the monster if it's too high)
    Finally my computer is without any problem!
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    Silver medal as Xin in Round XVII
    Gold Medal as Smit in Round XVIII
    Silver Medal as Hit Me In Round XIX
    Gold Medal as The Exiled in Round XIX
    Silver Medal as Elec Tri in Round XX
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Which cr is this creature? (3.5)

    The Ice and Snow weirds in Frostburn (3.5 instead of 3.0) that are quite similar to the Earth weird and both have a challenge rating of 15 instead of 12. I don't know if the resulting creature really warrants a CR of 17 but it's a better starting point I believe.
    Last edited by Gorthawar; 2021-09-22 at 06:27 AM.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Which cr is this creature? (3.5)

    I'd say 16 alone, 18 with elemental servants
    Trying to resurrect the Negative LA thread, any comment and discussion are very welcome!


    Quote Originally Posted by H_H_F_F View Post
    3.5 allows you to optimize into godhood, yes, but far more importantly, it lets you optimize weak, weird, and niche options into relevance.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Which cr is this creature? (3.5)

    It's quite hard to call, its low HPs make for a "swingy" encounter where the right opponent could kill it in a single round but its 9th-level spells make it a dangerous opponent. I'd guess about CR17 but as you alluded to, its spells known will influence that quite a lot in practice.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Which cr is this creature? (3.5)

    I think a key question is how you intend to adjust the spell absorbtion ability of the silverwraith template. In 3.0 the rod of absorption and the template required a ready action to use. In 3.5 the rod is a free action and the template gives no limits to the amount of spells that can be absorbed.
    Last edited by Gorthawar; 2021-09-22 at 09:22 AM.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Which cr is this creature? (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorthawar View Post
    I think a key question is how you intend to adjust the spell absorbtion ability of the silverwraith template. In 3.0 the rod of absorption and the template required a ready action to use. In 3.5 the rod is a free action and the template gives no limits to the amount of spells that can be absorbed.
    Didn't realized that problem... And the update doesn't help me so probably I will say the first spell casted on him by an enemy is influenced by magic absorption if it's not harmless or not useful against the silveraith earth weird . If a standard action is used to defend himself each spell casted on him is influenced like if he is in a total defense action.

    Probably the spell selection will be crappy because the group doesn't know his trait and is based on a shadowcaster/master of shadow (so it's elemental will be against them), a duskblade (so no vampiric touch or shocking grasp) a factotum and a champion cleric/sword dancer so this monster have somehow the tactical advantage on them if they go without much preparation
    Finally my computer is without any problem!
    Spoiler: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge: E6 Appetizer Edition Medals
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    Silver medal as Xin in Round XVII
    Gold Medal as Smit in Round XVIII
    Silver Medal as Hit Me In Round XIX
    Gold Medal as The Exiled in Round XIX
    Silver Medal as Elec Tri in Round XX
    Gold Medal as Tawamios in round XXI

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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Which cr is this creature? (3.5)

    As a rule of thumb I am hesitant to give a creature a CR under it's spellcaster level. In this case that's 18. Spells are such a "you must be XYZ or fail" that DND turns into a level gating system where you have to be high enough level to have the counters to specific abilities to face threats of that level.
    Last edited by Fouredged Sword; 2021-09-22 at 01:32 PM.

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    Telonius's Avatar

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    Default Re: Which cr is this creature? (3.5)

    Running this through Vorpal Tribble's old CR estimation...

    Spoiler: Vorpal Tribble's method
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    #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.

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

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

    #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.

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

    #6. Divide total by 3. This should be its rough CR


    1: 97/5.5 ~= 18
    2. AC over 10 = 13
    3. Special Attacks: +2 +5 (spells)
    4. Special Qualities: +8, +1 DR, +8 immunities.
    5. Feats: +3

    Total: 58/3= 19.33

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Which cr is this creature? (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    Running this through Vorpal Tribble's old CR estimation...

    Spoiler: Vorpal Tribble's method
    Show
    #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.

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

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

    #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.

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

    #6. Divide total by 3. This should be its rough CR


    1: 97/5.5 ~= 18
    2. AC over 10 = 13
    3. Special Attacks: +2 +5 (spells)
    4. Special Qualities: +8, +1 DR, +8 immunities.
    5. Feats: +3

    Total: 58/3= 19.33
    It's +1 for every 5 AC above 10, not every point of AC above 10. That should drop it to 47/3 = 15.66.
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Which cr is this creature? (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    It's +1 for every 5 AC above 10, not every point of AC above 10. That should drop it to 47/3 = 15.66.
    Ah, missed that flipping back and forth between spoilers - seemed a bit high. CR 16 sounds about right, especially since it's just two domains and not the full casting list.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Which cr is this creature? (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fouredged Sword View Post
    As a rule of thumb I am hesitant to give a creature a CR under it's spellcaster level. In this case that's 18. Spells are such a "you must be XYZ or fail" that DND turns into a level gating system where you have to be high enough level to have the counters to specific abilities to face threats of that level.
    I'd broadly agree with that, but if the creature's overall stats are weaker than a character of that spellcaster level would be (including magic items) I think it's reasonable to drop it a point or two, which is the case with elemental weirds. Their original CR of 12 with 9th-level spells makes no sense for exactly this reason though.

    Also, whether "you must be XYZ or fail" is true of spellcasting depends very much on how optimized their spell selection is; there are lots of spells which just do HP damage or similar. As the OP says he's not intending to optimize it, I don't think this will be a major problem in this case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    Running this through Vorpal Tribble's old CR estimation...
    VT's CR estimator is very unreliable in my experience, although I think it's not far off on this occasion. It leaves out some important information (attacks and damage don't feature in at all for example) and it doesn't work well for high-HD creatures.
    Last edited by Biggus; 2021-09-22 at 04:13 PM.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Which cr is this creature? (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    Ah, missed that flipping back and forth between spoilers - seemed a bit high. CR 16 sounds about right, especially since it's just two domains and not the full casting list.
    From my english (which is not so good) and from the example in Frostburn an elemental weird have access to the sorcerer list and from two domains , as for example the Snow weird have time stop which is neither on the cold or air domain. So his spell list is a sorcerer spell list with possible knowledge of two domains (like he had arcane disciple took 2 time basically ) at least this is what I think with my english
    But yes i don't think I will optimize too much , probably I will go with flavor instead of power , it will be a difficult enemy as it has various resistance against the party and he can summon necromental earth elemental as meat shield somehow
    Finally my computer is without any problem!
    Spoiler: Iron Chef Optimization Challenge: E6 Appetizer Edition Medals
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    Silver medal as Xin in Round XVII
    Gold Medal as Smit in Round XVIII
    Silver Medal as Hit Me In Round XIX
    Gold Medal as The Exiled in Round XIX
    Silver Medal as Elec Tri in Round XX
    Gold Medal as Tawamios in round XXI

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Which cr is this creature? (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quentinas View Post
    From my english (which is not so good) and from the example in Frostburn an elemental weird have access to the sorcerer list and from two domains , as for example the Snow weird have time stop which is neither on the cold or air domain. So his spell list is a sorcerer spell list with possible knowledge of two domains (like he had arcane disciple took 2 time basically ) at least this is what I think with my english
    But yes i don't think I will optimize too much , probably I will go with flavor instead of power , it will be a difficult enemy as it has various resistance against the party and he can summon necromental earth elemental as meat shield somehow
    That's not what is written, but I agree that it is probably what they intended. They cast "as a sorcerer" normally means "they have sorcerer spells per days and spells known (3 spells of their highest level, 5 for the level directly beneath, and 6 below), and their bonus spells and spell DCs are based on their charisma", but if you specify a list, it should supersede the sorcerer list instead of adding to it. For that, there would have to be "can also cast spells from the Sun and Fire Domain", like they did for dragons.
    It should also mean that they cast their spells as arcane spells, but their description says "casts arcane and divine spells", which makes very little sense. But then again, the elemental weird is one of the most notoriously badly edited monsters. They even forgot to give a way to bypass their regeneration! (even though one could assume they take normal damage when not in contact with their element, like the sea serpent from MM3)
    Trying to resurrect the Negative LA thread, any comment and discussion are very welcome!


    Quote Originally Posted by H_H_F_F View Post
    3.5 allows you to optimize into godhood, yes, but far more importantly, it lets you optimize weak, weird, and niche options into relevance.

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