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-   -   Conversion Advice - Ancient Dead (http://forums.wolflair.com/showthread.php?t=48633)

candidgamera March 19th, 2014 07:41 PM

Conversion Advice - Ancient Dead
 
Alright, gang! Sorry to keep bugging you all, but this is a 'best practices' sort of question. I am working on the classic monsters of Ravenloft, starting with Ancient Dead. (AKA Mummies) Unlike in core PF, Ravenloft presents them as a template - and what's more, the Ancient Dead have an age rank from 1 (least powerful) to 5 (most powerful).

There are a couple of ways to tackle this, but there are some complicating factors : Rank 1 Mummies get one vulnerability and one immunity to energy of their choice, and the higher ranks can get more. Also, Rank 2+ Mummies get to choose from a list of bonus powers, some of which get more powerful with rank.

So, my thought is this - to simplify coding, I would create five templates - one for each rank of Ancient Dead. That keeps me from having to program an extra variable to track the creature's rank and a bunch of conditionals that key off of it. That also lets me determine the number of immunities/resistances with certainty, and the number of salient ability picks.

Now, for the abilities, I was thinking I could use the Racial Custom Specials, and just allow them to pick the appropriate number. I don't see any problems with that approach, but I thought I might ask the more experienced folks if they see an issue.

The resistances and immunities are a bit stickier - I haven't been able to think of a monster that allows that number of choices to use as a coding example. The closest thing I could think of was the half-dragon, which picks a parent color and gets resistances or immunities based on that, but at Rank 5, the Ancient Dead have two immunities, a resistance, and a vulnerability - that's a lot of tricky coding! I have thought of a possible workaround - just give the ancient dead an ability called "Mysterious Versatility" (for instance) that basically reminds the GM that all those items can vary, and let the templates have fixed defaults. It's hokey, but it serves the purpose.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Am I just in over my head? :) Or am I missing something obvious?

Aaron March 19th, 2014 07:56 PM

This seems like the sort of thing a Configurable would be perfect for. You could make each type of ability be added to a different table.

I don't favor making multiple templates if it can be helped, but if you decide on that method they can all bootstrap the same configurable with different values in the field allowing X number of things for each of the tables.

For an example of a template which bootstraps a configurable (including granting variable numbers of abilities), look at the Ghost.

candidgamera March 21st, 2014 10:34 AM

thanks very much! I will look at the Ghost and see what I can figure out.

candidgamera April 3rd, 2014 05:18 PM

Follow-up - it looks like that creatures can only have one configurable, is that correct? So that would handle the salient abilities, but not the resistances, immunities, and weaknesses..

Mathias April 3rd, 2014 05:28 PM

Configurables have the option to have more than one table on the same tab. The ghost only needs one of those tables.

candidgamera April 3rd, 2014 05:32 PM

Or maybe that's Secondary, Tertiary, etc? Hmmm.

candidgamera April 3rd, 2014 05:39 PM

I am still learning how things go together here, let me see if I can figure it out now..

candidgamera April 4th, 2014 05:01 PM

I am getting close! Thanks for the advice so far. Question, though - I am trying to get the save DCs for some abilities to come out correctly - the Fear ability, for instance. The DC should be 10 + half HD + Cha; and I have the ability set up to use Charisma under the Racial Specials. The problem is that my 5HD Barbarian Ancient Dead with a Charisma of 14 should have a DC 14 Fear save, and it's showing as 12.

Now, a Bard Ghost I built has a proper save DC for its corrupting touch ability; but that ability is a Racial Cust Special, so maybe they work differently?

What I need to know is if there's some trick to getting a template-granted racial ability to consider the Hit Dice of the base creature for the save DCs.

RavenX April 4th, 2014 05:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by candidgamera (Post 179803)
I am getting close! Thanks for the advice so far. Question, though - I am trying to get the save DCs for some abilities to come out correctly - the Fear ability, for instance. The DC should be 10 + half HD + Cha; and I have the ability set up to use Charisma under the Racial Specials. The problem is that my 5HD Barbarian Ancient Dead with a Charisma of 14 should have a DC 14 Fear save, and it's showing as 12.

Now, a Bard Ghost I built has a proper save DC for its corrupting touch ability; but that ability is a Racial Cust Special, so maybe they work differently?

What I need to know is if there's some trick to getting a template-granted racial ability to consider the Hit Dice of the base creature for the save DCs.

You may have uncovered a bug. Use the bug report thread to report it...

candidgamera April 4th, 2014 05:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RavenX (Post 179805)
You may have uncovered a bug. Use the bug report thread to report it...

Thanks, RavenX. I have now reported it, just in case it's a bug!


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