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    Default Help Me stat my childhood nightmare

    For some time I have an idea of creating D&D monster based on cartoon creature that was my haunting my childhood nightmares - The Groke, but I'm not very good with D&D mechanics, so I would appriciate if anybody could help me stat this creature to make it balanced and yet still challenging ecounter. Below is describtion of what I'm aiming for:

    First something to get you in the mood:
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    With gusts and howl I wither field
    An eerie shudder splits wood and bark
    Looking back on frost and fog
    Night as day in eternal watch
    Golden frost tears
    Towards the light I drift
    But all embers die
    Where I rest my burden
    Always alone
    No one is able to walk with me
    Eternal winter is what I am
    You're afraid when I am near
    The soul is seeking eternal warmth
    All it has is lonely rage
    Growth of the soil forever desolate
    Where I leave my track
    My sorrow is greater than words

    --Arcturus, Hufsa (The Groke), as translated by youtube user oraknes

    and a picture:





    The Describtion
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    Legends of the north tells of a terrifing monster feared by many races. Called many names in many languages, this creature is commonly know a Groke. It looks like a giant rock that moves, with a large nose, pale eyes and terrifing grin on it's face. These rare creatures usually lives in caves or wanders the world, bringing cold whenever they appears. Where Groke walks, earth freezes and where it stands for too long nothing will ever growth again. Nobody has even seen a groke in usually warm places if it wasn't the time of the winter, leading many to belive that they affect the weather, brining the cold season whenever they walks.
    Grokes are attracted to pretty and shiny objects, which they often collects intheir caves and leave unprotected, as they wander. But if anything is stolen from Groke's treasury, she will feel it and go there immiediately, then follow the thief's smeel, trying to get back her propherty, but can be bribed with other treasures and will leave the thief alone if he'll give back what he had stolen. They aren't agressive and terirotrial, but once provoked they attack with fury.
    Rumors says that Grokes eat living creatures, but it's unconfirmed. However, other rumors describes them as quite social, often approaching other beings in seek of companionship, and even quite friendly, sometimes saving people who were nice to them. Most of Grokes long for companion and warmth, but cannot get either - most creatures run away from them and they freeze all beings and objects they touch and put down any fire they come in contact with. Some villages even have a stories about how a Groke put down a forest fire or saved burning building by charging into it, desperately trying to warm itself. What is interesting is that they avoid other Grokes, almost like they could feel each other's pressence and steer their path away from them and whenever they ecounter a creature or object that is colder than they, they seems to be afraid of it.
    Some rumors mentions larger and more powerful breeds of Grokes, who apparently have tails and can fly, but they're unconfirmed.


    Info that should be reflected in stats
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    * Groke is Immune to cold, but, unusually for cold subtype monsters, is also immune to fire. In fact, Groke is attracted to fire and warmth and will seek it out, but is so cold that every nonmagical fire that comes in contact with it will be put out immiediately
    * Groke has an aura of cold - the colser you are to it, the colder it becomes, being too close it starts dealing you cold damage. Ground Groke walks on freezes and if it's standing in one place for too long, nothing will ever grow on it again.
    * Any object that comes into contact with the Groke freezes and any person who comes in contact with it is dealt cold damage. If a person happen to touch the object that touches the Groke and freezes, that person is dealt cold damage equal 1/4 of what it would be dealt by touching Groke directly.
    * During the winter or in cold climate Groke becomes enlarged - it's size increases by one.
    * Groke is much slower than a normal being, unable of jumping and has pretty weak dexterity score. However, it has pretty good grapple and is more willing to
    * Groke has pretty good smell, allowing it to chase it's target for a long time.
    * It doesn't sleep and eat.
    * Groke terrifies other creatures. It's however peaceful and won't attack until provoked and even then can be reasoned with.
    * Whatever languages Groke knows, it usually doesn't speak them - it can read and understand in them, but the only sound it makes are moans and can say no more than few words and that's with trouble.
    Last edited by Man on Fire; 2012-04-13 at 07:33 AM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Help Me stat my childhood nightmare

    This is my first ever monster that I've made from scratch. The deep chill ability is cribbed heavily from the 'soul chill' power of Father Llymic, a monster from the book 'Elder Evils'. Some of the names are kind of weak but I hope it's close to what you wanted!

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    The Groke
    Huge Aberration (Cold)
    Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares)
    Hit Dice: 12d8+60 (114 hp)
    Init: +0
    Armor Class: 20 (+12 natural + -2 size), touch 8, flat-footed 20
    Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+26
    Attack: slam +16 melee (2d6 plus deep chill)
    Full Attack: 2 slams +16 melee (2d6 plus deep chill)
    Space/Reach: 15 ft./15ft.
    Special Attacks: Aura of cold, frightful presence, improved grab, deep chill, trample
    Special Qualities: Aberration traits, darkvision 60 ft., drawn to heat, winter weight, immunity to fire, immunity to cold, scent
    Saves: Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +8
    Abilities: Str 28, Dex 10, Con 20, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 7
    Skills: Hide +2, Intimidate +6, Move Silently +8, Spot +10, Survival +4
    Feats: Ability Focus (deep chill), Improved Natural Armor, Improved Natural Attack, Self-Sufficient, Track
    Environment: Any
    Organization: Solitary
    Challenge Rating: 10
    Treasure: 1/2 standard
    Alignment: Usually neutral
    Advancement: 13 - 18 HD (Huge), 19 - 24 HD (Gargantuan), 25+ (Colossal)
    Level Adjustment: n/a

    Combat:

    (Unless otherwise noted, the saving throw DC for the Groke's abilities is equal to 10 + (1/2 of its Hit Dice) + its Constitution modifier).

    Aura of cold (Su): The Groke is constantly surrounded by a 15-foot-radius emanation of bitterest cold. Any creature within this radius except for the Groke must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 21) or suffer 1d6 points of cold damage each round. Nonmagical fires within the aura's radius are instantly extinguished.

    Deep chill (Su): The Groke's wintry aura is nothing compared its arctic touch. Any creature struck by its slam attack must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 21) gain one level of deep chill. Deep chill levels function like negative levels, except they never results in actual level loss. In addition to the usual associated penalties of a negative level, those suffering from deep chill levels are beset with frostbite. This takes the form of a -2 penalty to Dexterity score. If a creature's total number of deep chill levels is equal to or greater than its total number of Hit Dice, it dies instantly, turning into a frozen sculpture of ice.

    Levels of deep chill can be removed by inflicting five points of fire damage to the victim for each level, exposing the victim to natural sunlight for at least one hour, by making a successful DC 15 Heal check for each deep chill to be removed, or by using any magic that would remove an ordinary negative level. All deep chill levels are removed 24 hours after the last deep chill level was inflicted.

    Objects struck by the Groke's slam attack gain the deep chill property; any creature that subsequently touches an object afflicted with deep chill suffers 1d4 points of cold damage. Objects afflicted with deep chill are resistant to fire; in order to remove the deep chill property from an object, it must be thawed out by direct exposure to natural sunlight for at least one hour.

    Drawn to heat (Ex): The Groke is preternaturally drawn to heat. When within 60 ft. of a major source of heat (such as a fire of Small or larger size) or within 10 ft. of a smaller source of heat (such as the body heat of a living creature), the Groke must succeed on a DC 15 Will save or be forced to move inexorably closer to the heat. It may take no other actions except to defend itself. However, it will not enter any clearly dangerous situations.

    Frightful presence (Ex): The Groke can inspire fear when it moves, charges, or attacks. Affected creatures must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + (1/2 total Hit Dice) + Charisma modifier) (15) or become shaken, remaining in that condition for as long as they remain within 30 feet of the Groke.

    Heat sense (Ex): The Groke can sense any source of heat, including body heat, within 150 feet.

    Immunities (Ex): The Groke is immune to both fire and cold.

    Improved grapple (Ex): To use this ability, the Groke must hit a Large or smaller foe with its slam attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking attacks of opportunity.

    Winter weight (Su): During winter conditions or while in a cold climate, the Groke's body expands. Its effective size category increases by one step, with only the following effects on its stats:

    • It gains the following bonuses: a +2 size bonus to Strength, a +4 size bonus to grapple checks
    • It suffers the following penalities: a -2 size penalty to Armor Class, Dexterity checks, and attack rolls
    • Its space and reach both increase by 5 ft.


    EDITS: removing reference to specific size in 'winter weight' ability; include save DC formula where applicable; fixed problem with calculation
    EDITS 2: adding frostbite damage, adding new way to strip off deep chill levels
    Last edited by Steward; 2012-04-16 at 08:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Help Me stat my childhood nightmare

    It's amazing. Thanks a lot. Now I need to find a game in which I can kill that bastard

    If you don't mind, I'll put a link to this thread in my signature, work you put into this guy deserves promotion.

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    Default Re: Help Me stat my childhood nightmare

    Looks great on the whole; a couple of adjustments I thought might be useful, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post
    Treasure: n/a
    It sounds to me like the Groke does have treasure, just not carried with it. (Perhaps 1/2 standard?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post
    Aura of cold (Su): The Groke is constantly surrounded by a 15-foot-radius emanation of bitterest cold. Any creature within this radius except for the Groke must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 21) or suffer 1d6 points of cold damage each round. Nonmagical fires within the aura's radius are instantly extinguished.
    I suggest mentioning the DC formula in the entry (10+1/2HD+Con?) so adjustments are easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post
    Deep chill (Su): The Groke's chill goes down to the bone. Any creature struck by its slam attack must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 21) gain one level of deep chill. Deep chill levels function like negative levels, except they never results in actual level loss. The only way to remove a level of deep chill is to successful Heal check (DC 16) while remaining an area with an average temperature above freezing. Objects struck by the Groke's slam attack gain the deep chill property; any creature that subsequently touches an object afflicted with deep chill suffers 1d4 points of cold damage.
    Again, the DC formula would be handy to have. (Also a few minor grammatical corrections.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post
    Frightful presence (Ex): The Groke can inspire fear when it moves, charges, or attacks. Affected creatures must succeed on a Will save (DC 16) or become shaken, remaining in that condition for as long as they remain within 30 feet of the Groke.
    Here I'd expect a DC formula of 10+1/2HD+Cha mod, but that's one off (15). Is my math wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post
    Winter weight (Su): During winter conditions or while in a cold climate, the Groke's body expands. Its size category increases by one step, to Gargantuan, with the following effects on its stats:
    Just in case, I'd take out the specific reference to Gargantuan; a Groke can be advanced to Colossal, after all, and it still increases in (virtual) size category, rather than shrinking to Gargantuan


    Anyway, good job!
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    Default Re: Help Me stat my childhood nightmare

    Thanks for the help!

    I was using the Monster Manual 1 for the Great suggestions!

    I based the save DCs on the instructions provided in Monster Manual 1. If they don't match yours, it's probably because I screwed up the math! If I remember correctly, the save DC is supposed to be 10 + 1/2 the monster's hit dice + a relevant ability score modifier. Here's the thing though -- I'm not sure which ability score to use. The book implies Charisma, but if I used that the DC would have been really low (just 16, right?)

    So for the Aura of Cold, I used the Constitution modifier instead, since I figured it was kind of like a breath weapon...

    Therefore, the save DC was 10 +6 (1/2 the hit dice) +5 (Constitution modifier) -- which makes it 21, right?

    For the frightful presence one, I forgot that I made the Cha score 7 instead of 9, so the DC was missing the penalty.

    Good call on the Gargantuan thing!

    I have an idea for the 'deep chill' thing -- since it's supposed to represent the monster's freezing touch, would it be a good idea to give the characters an option, in place of a Heal check, to remove the deep chill level by dealing fire damage to the target, or exposing it to natural sunlight instead?

    If you don't mind, I'll put a link to this thread in my signature, work you put into this guy deserves promotion.
    Thanks! It was a lot of fun -- now I can see why people here are so taken with the whole 'homebrewing' thing.
    Last edited by Steward; 2012-04-13 at 08:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Help Me stat my childhood nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post
    So for the Aura of Cold, I used the Constitution modifier instead, since I figured it was kind of like a breath weapon...

    Therefore, the save DC was 10 +6 (1/2 the hit dice) +5 (Constitution modifier) -- which makes it 21, right?
    Indeed, and I more than agree it should use the Con mod. It's an ability based on its physical nature, not its emotional and mental force of presence. Con is the perfect fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post
    For the frightful presence one, I forgot that I made the Cha score 7 instead of 9, so the DC was missing the penalty.
    Ahh, that explains it, yeah. No problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post
    I have an idea for the 'deep chill' thing -- since it's supposed to represent the monster's freezing touch, would it be a good idea to give the characters an option, in place of a Heal check, to remove the deep chill level by dealing fire damage to the target, or exposing it to natural sunlight instead?
    That seems like a solid idea. Also, depending on how the Groke's immunity to fire comes about, you could make the objects resistant to most fire and require sunlight to thaw out, or some other variant, if that seems appropriate.

    I have a vague idea that Frostburn (aka It's Cold Outside) may have special rules for frostbite damage or something... if you have the chance to look at those, you could crib useful ideas from there.
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    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
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    Default Re: Help Me stat my childhood nightmare

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    How do the level adjustment, CR, and alignment look? I'm not familiar with this creature so I'm not sure if it's really supposed to be evil or just misunderstood -- so I just stuck it in the 'True Neutral' column. (The Wikipedia article is somewhat ambiguous). The CR is completely random -- I remember reading how to calculate it somewhere but I can't remember where that was. The level adjustment seems like it's designed for people who want to play the monster, not fight it.

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    Default Re: Help Me stat my childhood nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post
    I'm not familiar with this creature so I'm not sure if it's really supposed to be evil or just misunderstood -- so I just stuck it in the 'True Neutral' column. (The Wikipedia article is somewhat ambiguous).
    I think that true neutral fits the best. In the books and tv shows Groke starts as a monster, but later is seen as just misunderstood and lonely. True neutral I think would express that the most, Groke doesn't care about all that good vs evil order vs chaos, Groke just wants friends warmth and shiny things.

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    Default Re: Help Me stat my childhood nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Man on Fire View Post
    I think that true neutral fits the best. In the books and tv shows Groke starts as a monster, but later is seen as just misunderstood and lonely.
    I'd say this goes for almost everyone in the books. If there are villains, they are typically Lawful rather than Evil. That said, the one of these creatures that were described (and it was never made clear if there were others), was probably the most dangerous thing in the entire setting. I like how you capture her desire to warm herself - it almost seems like a curse, really. Also interesting idea with fearing greater cold.

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    Default Re: Help Me stat my childhood nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Analysis View Post
    I'd say this goes for almost everyone in the books. If there are villains, they are typically Lawful rather than Evil. That said, the one of these creatures that were described (and it was never made clear if there were others), was probably the most dangerous thing in the entire setting. I like how you capture her desire to warm herself - it almost seems like a curse, really. Also interesting idea with fearing greater cold.
    Thanks. That last bit comes from a rumor I once heard that there is a story (or an episode of cartoon, I never managed to nail down if it's even true) where something colder than Groke does show up and Groke is afraid of it. I thought that this idea fits nicely with whole "wants to warm herelf" theme.

    But remember, my part was easy, it's Steward who deserves recognition for turning this into sweet crunchy monster.

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    Default Re: Help Me stat my childhood nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post
    So for the Aura of Cold, I used the Constitution modifier instead, since I figured it was kind of like a breath weapon...
    The Aura of Cold is based in its physiology rather than its mind if I understand things correctly, so that makes it CON based. (If it were based in its mind, it would be CHA-based.)
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    Default Re: Help Me stat my childhood nightmare

    not really good at critiquing monsters since they have a different baseline than things a player may use. But I love the concept and might use it in the future.
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    Default Re: Help Me stat my childhood nightmare

    I think a variation of locate object would be good, perhaps one without range. Also some sort of Su that tells it if its hoard is messed with. This is a cool ability, that though the players would never see - would help flavor match crunch a tad bit better.

    Otherwise, good job.
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