Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Non-Dark Sun Creatures in Dark Sun - Beetle, Giant

There are many creatures for the various monstrous manuals that have been officially added to Dark Sun. I added some unofficially for my game and I'm sure a lot of other DMs do the same.
There is no inherent problem with this, although the flavor text often doesn't fit with the Dark Sun setting. My goal is to list the various monsters that "don't fit" and rewrite their flavor text to make them fit, or make them more interesting.
Since there are no rhinoceros' on Athas, I renamed the rhinoceros beetle the braxat beetle and made some minor alterations.

Beetle, Giant

Bombardier Boring Fire Braxat Stag Silt
Climate/Terrain Forest Forest Any Land Any Land Forest Silt Sea
Frequency Common Common Common Uncommon Common Uncommon
Organization Solitary Solitary Solitary Solitary Solitary Solitary
Activity Cycle Day Night Night Any Any Any
Diet Carnivore Omnivore Omnivore Omnivore Herbivore Omnivore
Intelligence Non (0) Animal (1) Non (0) Non (0) Animal (1) Non (0)
Treasure Nil C,R,S,T Nil Nil Nil Nil
Alignment Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral Neutral
No. Appearing 3-12 3-18 3-12 1-6 2-12 1-12
Armor Class 4 3 4 2 3 3
Movement 9 6 12 6 6 3/9
Hit Dice 2+2 5 1+2 12 7 4
Thac0 19 15 19 9 13 17
No. of Attacks 1 1 1 2 3 1
Damage/ Attack 2-12 5-20 2-8 3-18/2-16 4-16/1-10/1-10 3-18
Special Attack Acid Cloud Nil Nil Nil Nil Nil
Special Defense Fire Cloud Nil Nil Nil Nil Nil
Magic Resistance Nil Nil Nil Nil Nil Nil
Size S (4' long) L (9' long) S (2½' long) L (12' long) L (10' long) M (6'long)
Morale Elite (13) Elite (14) Steady (12) Elite (14) Elite (13) Elite (14)
XP Value 120 175 35 4,000 975 120

Giant beetles are similar to their more ordinary counterparts, but thousands of times larger – with chewing mandibles and hard wings that provide substantial armor protection.
Beetles have two pairs of wings and three pairs of legs. Fortunately, the wings of a giant beetle cannot be used to fly, and in most cases, its six bristly legs do not enable it to move as fast as a fleeing man. The hard, chitinous shell of several varieties of these beetles are brightly colored, and sometimes have value to art collectors. Armorers use pieces of their shells to produce armor.
All beetles are basically unintelligent and always hungry. They will feed on virtually any form of organic material, including other sorts of beetles. They taste matter with their antennae, or feelers; if a substance tasted is organic, the beetle grasps it with its mandibles, crushes it, and eats it. Because of the thorough grinding of the mandibles, nothing eaten by giant beetles can be revived by anything short of a wish. Beetles do not hear or see well, and rely primarily on taste and feel.
Except as noted below, giant beetles are not really social animals; those that are found near each other are competitors for the same biological niche, not part of any family unit.

The bombardier beetle is usually found above ground in wooded areas. It primarily feeds on offal and carrion, gathering huge heaps of the stuff in which to lay its eggs.

If it is attacked or disturbed, there is a 50% chance each round that it will turn its rear toward its attacker and fire off an 8-foot, spherical cloud of reeking, reddish, acidic vapor from its abdomen. This cloud causes 3d4 points of damage per round to any creature within range. Furthermore, the sound caused by the release of the vapor has a 20% chance of stunning any creature with a sense of hearing within a 15-foot radius, and a like chance for deafening any creature that was not stunned. Stunning lasts for 2d4 rounds, plus an additional 2d4 rounds of deafness afterwards. Deafening lasts 2d6 rounds. The giant bombardier can fire its vapor cloud every third round, but no more than twice in eight hours.

The bombardier action of this beetle is caused by the explosive mixture of two substances that are produced internally and combined in a third organ. If a bombardier is killed before it has the opportunity to fire off both blasts, it is possible to cut the creature open and retrieve the chemicals. These chemicals can then be combined to produce a small explosive, or fire a projectile, with the proper equipment.
The chemicals are also of value to alchemists and bards, who can use them in various preparations. They are worth 50 cp per dose.

Boring beetles feed on rotting wood and similar organic material, so they are usually found individually inside huge trees or massed in underground tunnel complexes.

The large mandibles of the boring beetle have a powerful bite and will inflict up to 20 points on damage to the victim.

Individually, these creatures are not much more intelligent than other giant beetles, but it is rumored that nests of them can develop a communal intelligence with a level of consciousness and reasoning that approximates the human brain. This does not mean that each beetle has the intelligence of a human, but rather that, collectively, the entire nest has attained that level. In these cases, the beetles are likely to collect treasure and magical items from their victims.

In tunnel complexes boring beetles grow molds for food, beginning their cultures on various forms of decaying vegetable and animal matter and wastes.

The smallest of the giant beetles, fire beetles are nevertheless capable of delivering serious damage with their powerful mandibles. They are found both above and below ground, and are primarily nocturnal.

Despite its name, the fire beetle has no fire attacks, relying instead on its huge mandibles to inflict up to three times the damage of a dagger in a single attack.

Fire beetles have two special glands above their eyes and one near the back of their abdomens. These glands produce a luminous red glow, and for this reason they are highly prized by miners. This luminosity persists for ld6 days after the glands are removed from the beetle, and the light shed will illuminate a radius of 10 feet. The light from these glands is cold,– it produces no heat.

This monster roams the Tablelands searching for food, and crushing anything in their path. The horn of a giant braxat beetle extends about 6 feet.

The mandibles of this giant beetle inflict 3d6 points of damage on anyone unfortunate enough to be caught by them; the tremendous horn is capable of causing 2d8 points of damage by itself.

The shell of this desert dweller is commonly sandy brown. Like most beetles, pieces of the shell can be used to make armor, but braxat beetles are large enough for their shells to make barding as well.
If psionically controlled, the braxat beetle may be used as a mount.

These woodland beetles are very fond of grains and similar growing crops, and they sometimes become great nuisances when they raid the cultivated lands around Gulg and Nibenay.

Like other beetles, they have poor sight and hearing, but they will fight if attacked or attack if they encounter organic material they consider food. The giant stag beetle’s two horns are usually not less than 8 feet long; they inflict up to 10 points of damage each.

The worst damage from a stag beetle raid is that done to crops; they will strip an entire farm in short order. Livestock suffers too, stampeding in fear and wreaking more havoc. The beetles may even devour livestock, if they are hungry enough.

The giant silt beetle is found only in and around the silt sea and silt basins.

These beetles will eat almost anything. Slow and ponderous on land, they move very quickly on the surface of silt using its movement after the slash. Giant silt beetles hunt food by scent and by feeling vibrations.

Silt beetles can cause damage to shipping, often attacking silt skimmers to get at the tasty morsels inside.

Silt beetles breath air and have a filtration system in their body that extracts the silt from the air. There is no known way to extract as use these filters for use by other races.

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