Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Dragonwarriors & The Way of Wizardry - Monster Commentary & Conversions to D&D adjacent

Dragon Warriors is one of my formative rpg texts, and has a particularly BOSR oppositional feel to some of the (US) D&D of the time (BECMI and Dragonlance, for example). 

I've already done conversion work on some of DW's monsters, and I thought I'd (belatedly) start the year with a fairly exhaustive run-through and review of monsters across the 6 book series, with conversions, comparison (to OSE, for ease of use, range and clarity - it's got an SRD) and commentary.

System synopsis for Dragon Warriors in Commentary at the end.

The first two books of the series cover the basics of the game: adventuring, fighting, monsters, spells and treasure, plus total of three adventures. No Reaction Rolls or other social mechanics.

The basic bestiary is pretty much what you'd expect, though there are some oddities in there, and there's lip-service to a more generic version of fantasy rpg that isn't really what DW is about. Gives monster names in the plural.

Alan Craddock cover art.

Dragon Warriors.

BAB based on ATTACK/DEFENCE for monster vs. 1st Rank Knight.

AC Armour Factor for worn armour is close to OSE but not quite; I've given extra pluses for high DEFENCE and EVASION.

att. either by weapon or Armour Bypass die (damage score as half damage dice); + for STR given as for DW, port straight over or convert.

HD maximum hp divided by 4.5

Rank Rank Equivalent, used for DW XP calculation, but useful for comparisons.

Special Abilities converted to D&D adjacent, but sometimes using the DW subsytem/mechanic if it doesn't rely on system-specific stats; dice values either max. roll divided by 4.5 or as written.

Reflexes/DEX where I've found a value, it's given - inclusion of this and some other data is inconsistent across the books.

Indirect attack magic is spells like fireball and lightning - the spell produces something that causes the damage/effect, save to evade. Direct attack magic is spells like charm and hold - save to resist. Ray of enfeeblement would be indirect; weakness (reversed strength) would be direct attack.

Choose from BAB, HD or Rank (or average them out) to determine basic monster HD. DW ATTACK-derived BAB is often significantly higher than D&D/OSE averages, particularly further up the threat scale.


  • BAB +1 AC unarmoured att. by weapon +1 (STR 16-18) HD 3.3  Rank 1st
  • OSE: Neanderthal (Caveman) BAB +1 AC +1 att. by weapon +1 HD 2 
  • OSE: Ape, White BAB +3 AC +3 att. x2 claws d4 or thrown rock d6 HD 4

    Gorilla-like carnivores. Strong, stupid, live in mountains. More Lost World than Wood Wose/ Sasquatch, and seem thematically inappropriate. Pretty close to the Neanderthal (Caveman).


    • BAB +5 AC +2 att. beak or claw d8(d6) + poison HD 4.2 Rank 6th
    • OSE: Basilisk BAB +6 AC +5 att. bite d10 + petrification & gaze HD 6+1
    • OSE: Cockatrice BAB +4 AC +3 att. d6 + petrify HD 5
    Petrifying Gaze: 80% d4 of your party meet its gaze if surprised, otherwise 40%/round, save or stoned; immune to own reflected gaze; fight it with -1 to Hit and -1 AC per 10% to reduce chance of meeting gaze. Or use OSE mechanics.
    Poison: weak; save at advantage/bonus or lose d6 hp.

    Giant cockerel with long tail, four claws and metallic feathers. Sounds more like the Cockatrice, but those gaze-avoidance mechanics are almost the same as the OSE Basilisk.


    • BAB 0 AC +2 att. bite d3(d2) HD 0.2 Rank 1st
    • OSE: Normal Bat BAB -1 AC +3 att. confusion HD 1hp

    In DW, these staples of the creepy castle and gloomy forest carry disease. Otherwise not much of a threat to anyone wearing chain or plate, because of DW's Armour Bypass combat mechanic. They still auto-hit on a crit (bypassing armour), if that's in your game (it is in DW).

    AC bonus is for good DEFENCE (most of the flying monsters have this), otherwise Unarmoured.

    • BAB +6 AC +1 att. claws d8(d10) HD 7.1 Rank 6th
    • OSE: Cave Bear BAB +6 AC +4 att. claw/claw/bite d8 x2/2d6 HD 7

    Hugs on critical/nat 20: 2d8 damage

    It's a Bear. Description says it will avoid/flee a large and well-armed party. Mechanical analogue is the biggest/toughest in OSE.


    • BAB +5 AC +1 att. antlers/horns d8(d8) HD 6.2 Rank 5th
    • OSE: Large Herd Animal (Elk) BAB +3 AC +2 att. butt d8 HD 4

    Initial Charge: save to dodge or double-damage, plus knocked prone/winded d3 rounds. Optionally knocked back 5m or 15'.

    Says to use the Bull statblock for Elks and Stags. Text says it will also fight with hooves, but gives no stats.Use the damage dice above, or look for another hoofed animal (eg. Horses).


    • BAB +4 AC +2 att. bite d6/d8 HD 5.1 Rank 3rd
    • OSE: Large Crocodile BAB +5 AC +6 att. bite 2d8 HD 6

    Bearing in mind the fairly explicit setting throughout, Croc is a bit misplaced.

    Death's Heads.

    Nothing to compare with in OSE: a horned, winged head that wants to sit where it's bitten off your head and drive you like a car. 

    Like. Already done a full conversion of it and the other flying head monsters in DW.


    • BAB +19 AC +6 att. talons d12(d16) HD 19.1 Rank 20th
    • OSE: Gold Dragon BAB +8 AC +11 att. claw/claw/bite 2d4 x2/6d6 or special HD 11
    • OSE: Dragon Turtle BAB +14 AC +11 att. claw/claw/bite d8 x2/10xd6 or special HD 30

    Kings of the Earth in an earlier era. Don't know if this means they're dinosaurs/ descendants of (this crops in another BOSR touchstone, Slaine in 2000AD), or if they literally ran things. Apart from a little story in the text, there's nothing unsurprising here. There was no way they weren't going to be on the list. 

    Definitely the most powerful monster in the book. Challengers for the crown start showing up in Book 4.

    Already covered, here.


    Generic fantasy Dwarves, lacking setting specific flavour.

    Mechanically, they're Humans, but they can see in the dark, have min STR 12 and max Psychic Talent & Looks 11 each (WIS and CHA?). Advance as Knights or Barbarians, forge magical arms and armour as a Mystic at 7th Rank.


    • BAB +8 AC +1 att. d10/d12 HD 6.2 Rank 8th
    • OSE: Lesser Elemental BAB +7 AC +7 att. d8 HD 8
    Immune to nonmagical weapons.
    Air: +1 AC for high EVASION; immune to light/normal missiles; hard to see, so you're at -1 to Hit and -1 AC when fighting it. 
    Earth: described as very strong; tunnels underground at 2m/hour (does it mean metres or miles?).
    Fire: +1 AC for high EVASION; immune to fire, and anything it tries to carry will be set on fire.
    Water: nothing unexpected.

    Not much to say. These Elementals have no flair.


    They have no souls and can live 300 years. As the books go on, Elves are developed more as monster/NPC foe types rather than just another chargen option. However:

    • max. 13 STR & CON (DW Strength).
    • min. 12 DEX, WIS & CHA (DW Reflexes, Psychic Talent, Looks).
    • +2 to Hit with bows.
    • at will total concealment in woodlands vs. non-Elves 1st to 4th level.
    • Premonition (6th sense) (as a DW Mystic): 3 rounds of concentration, then 35 + (level x2) = % of detecting danger from/in specific object/location within 5m.
    • ESP (7th sense) (as a DW Mystic): 3 rounds of concentration, then 5 + (level x3) = % of detecting thoughts within 10m; can tell animal thoughts apart.
      • Human Mystics cannot detect Elves, Ghosts, Gnomes, Goblins, Hobgoblins and/or the Undead - but Elves, I'd let them detect Goblins and Hobgoblins as fellow faerie folk.
    • -1 hp per HD.
    • can't be Barbarians (I disagree).
    • basic Movement 120% of Normal Human.
    • lacking a soul, they can't be raised by standard methods and have some immunity to possession (the text specifies the Amulet of Soul Storing, but there could be others).
    Also, affected by various spells etc. as are Elves in Lamentations of the Flame Princess.

    Frost Giants.

    • BAB +8 AC +4 (Giant-size Leather) att. weapon +2 (STR 19) HD 7.5 Rank 5th
    • OSE: Frost Giant BAB +8 AC +5 att. weapon 4d6 or boulder 3d6 HD 10+1
    • OSE: Hill Giant BAB +7 AC +5 att. weapon 2d8 HD 8

    Cold-dwelling 2.5m (c. 8') humanoids. Honourable, so 80% chance they'll let you go if you best their leader in single combat. Don't use bows or throw rocks, because that's cowardly. They do eat people, though.


    • BAB +5 AC +7 (only +2 vs. magic weapons) att. talons d10(d6) HD 4.8 Rank 5th
    • OSE: Gargoyle BAB +3 AC +4 att. claw/claw/bite/horn d3 x2/d6/d4 HD 4
    Surprise on 1-3 on d6 because you can't tell they're not a statue.
    Partial immunity to nonmagical weapons.

    Readily mistaken for stone, so not necessarily constructs. 30% chance that they'll become your loyal follower if you heal them with magic. Capable of flight and of remaining still as a statue for as long as it takes for them to become overgrown.


    DW makes a nice distinction between the Ghost and the Undead, which breaks down when we take in Barudaths and Jumbees (Book 4), but has stuck with me.

    Also introduces the mechanics of fear, the fright attack: roll 2d10 > d12 - Rank or be scared to death. The text implies that if you don't drop from heart failure, you run screaming regardless, but is explicit that survivors can no longer be frightened to death by that particular Ghost.

    All fright attacks can be swapped for fear saves of some kind, with or without adjustments, but I'll leave that up to you.

    20% chance it then decides to haunt you and your party: double chances of being surprised and causes bad luck (-1 to Hit and AC, or apply another low-level penalty effect). You need Exorcism (undefined but capitalised) to get rid of the Ghost, as you can't otherwise harm or foil it.

    The text specifies that a haunting will also cancel a Mystic's (or Elf's) Sixth Sense ability, so you could apply Ravenloft divination adjustments as the D&D equivalent.

    Giant Rats.

    • BAB -2 AC unarmoured att. bite d3(d6) HD 1.5 Rank 1st
    • OSE: Giant Rat BAB 0 AC +2 att. bite d3 + disease HD 0.5

    Size of a dog... carriers of plague. Giant Rats. They're Giant Rats. Specifies they only attack if they outnumber you 2-to-1 or better.

    Reflexes/DEX 16.

    Giant Scorpions.

    • BAB +11 AC +2 att. pincer x2 d6(d8) or stinger d4 + poison HD Rank 5th
    • OSE: Giant Scorpion BAB +3 AC +7 claw/claw/sting d10 x2/d4 + poison HD 4
    Surprise on 1-3 on d6 because camouflage.
    Grabs you with both pincers, and tries to pull you apart: d6 unsoakable damage/round.
    If it hasn't grabbed something within 3 rounds, it'll sting instead (BAB +17 or with advantage/bonus to Hit).
    Poison: strong; save with disadvantage/penalty or die.

    3 - 4m (c. 10-13') long. Senses vibrations in the ground and won't engage if there's more than 5 or 6 of you. Those BABs show how crude my conversion methods are.

    Giant Spiders.

    • BAB +4 AC +1 att. bite d6(d6) HD 2.4 Rank 2nd
    • OSE: Spider, Giant - Black Widow BAB +2 AC +3 att. bite 2d6 + poison HD 3
    Webs: if caught, cumulative -2 to Hit/-1 AC per round until unable to attack or defend; 30%, diminishing by 10%, per round to free self (no other action, auto-hit by any attack), but +15% if you're holding an edged weapon or flaming torch.
    Venom: normal poison save or paralysed 2d6 rounds, then dead in 10 minutes.

    Nothing about size in the text. Pretty close to the Black Widow in OSE/BX, including web and poison.

    Reflexes/DEX 14.


    • BAB +4 AC +3 att. claws d8(d10) HD 4.4 Rank 3rd
    When motionless, they are concealed from characters of 1st to 7th Rank; 1st and 2nd, if you're Elves.
    Embog: special 1/day spell makes a bog that cuts your Movement to 10% but not theirs; AoE 15m x 15m (c. 50' x 50'), duration d6 hours.

    Their bodies are like the gnarled boles of old trees, their eyes glimmer like dewdrops, they have tangled roots for fingers and their mouths resemble a dank hole in a bank of earth.

    A Gnome will usually tolerate a party of Elves passing through its neck of the woods, but it is less lenient [to others]... apt to react violently.

    Territorial elementals/faeries. Not cute. Not zany. Probably don't have much time for Druids, either.

    My favourite Gnomes. Wandering from here via Return to Oz, Vance's The Miracle Workers and possibly a misprint in a Dragon computer game review, I ended at a whole other monster type.


    Already covered, here. Converted, they're statistically similar to Wolves and Gnolls (for threat comparison).

    Mix with Labyrinth and Legend, and these are my go-to Goblins; they're faerie folk, kin to Elves, not lumpen mortals. I happily retain the traditional 1-1 Goblin HD (and the Hobgoblin's 1+1), but they keep the rest of the DW trappings. 


    • BAB +5 AC unarmoured att. weapon + specials HD 3.1 Rank 5th
    • OSE: Medusa BAB +3 AC +1 att. snakebites d6 + poison HD 4
    Snakey tresses: 1-3 bite attacks (BAB -1) for d4(d2); poison is save or die.
    Gaze attack: save or stoned; mechanics for avoiding/meeting the gaze as for DW Basilisks, but Gorgons are vulnerable to their reflected gaze.
    Spell-casters: 5th Rank Sorcerers, so spells as a 5th level Magic User (for simplicity).

    Beautiful body, ugly face, snakes for hair, don't often use armour and/or shields.

    Reflexes/DEX 8.


    • BAB -2 AC unarmoured +1 att. weapon HD 1.5 Rank 1st (not given)
    AC bonus: for high DEFENCE.
    Woodlore: tracking in woodlands 60% chance.
    Surprise: 1-2 on d6 (or x2/+1 depending on your system) and cannot be surprised (it reads like this applies to woodland only).

    Halflings, Hobbits, Hearthlings - doesn't say anything about their feet. Can rise to max. 3rd Rank as Knights, but with -1 ATTACK (-1 to Hit), if they choose the adventuring life. However, no min/max Ability Scores specified as with Dwarves and Elves.

    Statwise, Halflings are almost identical to Giant Rats, which is some food for the imagination.


    Already covered, here. I feel the same about them as I do the Goblins.

    If you need Dark Elves in DW, reskin the Hobgoblin or merge with the existing Elf.


    • Horse BAB 0 AC unarmoured att. bite d8(d6) HD 4.6 Rank 2nd
    • Warhorse BAB +6 AC unarmoured att. bite d8(d8) or kick d10(d12) HD 4.8 Rank 5th
    • OSE: Riding Horse BAB +1 AC +2 att. x2 hoof d4 HD 2
    • OSE: Warhorse BAB +2 AC +2 att. x2 hoof d6 HD 3

    IIRC, D&D Horses got 2 HD so they could be one-shotted by setting vs. charge. No such luck here. 

    RAW, DW Warhorses get more guaranteed basic hp, but have a similar range to their riding counterparts.


    The Normal Human and the 1st Rank Knight are the attacker/defender on which the conversions are calculated.


    • BAB +9 AC +4 att. claws d10(d12) or sting d6(d6) + poison HD 8 Rank 8th
    • OSE: Manticore BAB +6 AC +5 att. claw/claw/bite d4 x2/2d4 or x6 spikes d6 HD 6+1
    Sting: save or collapse and die within 1 minute (10 DW rounds).

    The DW Manticore can't fly and has a scorpion tail.


    • BAB +9 AC unarmoured +1 att. weapon +2 (STR 19) HD 6.6 Rank 7th
    • OSE: Ogre BAB +4 AC +4 att. club d10 HD 4+1

    Dull-witted and frequently drunk. Takes prisoners for ransom, but might just eat them. An Ogre.

    Almost as tough as a DW Frost Giant.


    Weird and creepy tentacle-trailing flying head.


    • BAB +1 AC unarmoured att. weapon HD  Rank 1st
    • OSE: Orc BAB 0 AC +3 att. weapon HD 1
    Warriors/Chieftains: to 4th Rank as DW Barbarians, so up to 4 Fighter levels, and can trade AC penalty for to Hit bonus 1-for-1.
    Darkvision/Heliophobic: Specified that they can see in the dark and they fight at -1 to Hit & -1 AC in sunlight.

    The archetypal henchthings of Evil. 

    Apart from this entry and on the basic random encounter tables, the only other mention of Orcs is in an NPC's backstory in Book 3.

    In DW, Orcs are mechanically weaker than Goblins, and I think they're only in here for generic fantasy reasons.


    • BAB +3 AC unarmoured att. bite d3(d4) HD 3.1 Rank 2nd
    • OSE: Snake, Giant - Rock Python BAB +4 AC +3 att. bite d4 + special HD 5
    Surprise: 1-3 on d6.
    Constrict: on its 1st hit (implied it doesn't need to bypass armour), the Python coils around you. d20 =/< Dexterity and your fighting arm is free, otherwise you can't attack or defend. d3 hits and you are asphyxiated in 2d6 rounds - text implies you only take the hp damage once. It can still bite others while it's killing you.

    The constricting snake is an important basic rpg bestiary entry, because it also provides the template for assorted Serpents (sea or otherwise) and the mechanics for tentacles.


    • BAB +5 AC +1 att. claws d8(d10) HD 3.7 Rank 5th
    • Dungeoneering with Demons (Liz Fletcher, White Dwarf 48): BAB (via OSE) +4 AC +2 att. weapon or flame breath d8 HD 4+3
    Illusory Disguise: as battle-sickened Knights or forsaken lazars, for example; only 5% chance to see through it, if you're suspicious and look carefully, so they can surprise 1-4 on d6 (Dungeoneering w/ Demons has this as change self at will).
    Flame Breath: every other round for d6+3 hits; save to evade.
    Create Illusion: 1/day; this is DW Image spell, the lowest level illusion (either an equivalent spell or fold into the change self ability).
    Grapple: no mechanics given, but the Pazuzu can carry someone off at half-speed with the intention of dropping them.

    Described as of unnatural origin or at least from warmer, southern climes, but not explicitly demonic - winged clawed fire-breathing leonine humanoids. 

    They smuggle themselves to northern fantasy Europe in the bilges of ships, where they readily adapt to predatory mischief-making in an unfamiliar environment. Cool.

    DW author Dave Morris also wrote the RQ articles that Dungeoneering with Demons drew on.

    (I've only just noticed that Pythons and Pazuzus are out of alphabetical order in the book)

    Snow Apes.

    Stats as Apemen, but they surprise 1-3 on d6 in their natural environment - the arctic.

    The Sufiriad.

    • AC +5 att. special HD 12 Rank 10th
    Implosion: save or die (RAW it's a d20 =/< STR); if you survive, d10 minus your armour value in damage and 10% your eardrums are shattered (permanent deafness?).
    Vulnerable to fire, +2 damage per die.
    Immune to direct-attack magic.

    Minor demons motivated by the spirits of long-dead priests. Appear as a moaning, screaming, freezing whirlwind. Moves up close and implodes. 

    If you can see it, it's form is an ultraviolet, ophidian body... horned but human skull... wreathed in cold white fire. Even though DW doesn't have infravision, it would appear from the text (beyond the visible spectrum) that this would allow you to see them.

    Because they get the definite article, I wonder if their name is an institutional rather than species categorisation. Would like to have known more about the (possibly specific, though unspecified) snow-choked temples ruins they patrol and never leave.

    RAW it has 0 DEFENCE. Feels like it should be immune to nonmagical weapons, but it isn't.

    Tigers (Sabre Tooth).

    • BAB +8 AC +1 att. bite d8(d14) claws d12(d12) HD 6.6 Rank 6th
    • OSE: Sabre-toothed Tiger BAB +7 AC +3 att. claw/claw/bite d8 x2/2d8 HD 8
    • OSE: Tiger BAB +5 AC +3 att. claw/claw/bite d6 x2/2d6 HD 6
    Surprise: 1-4 on d6 - it's a skilled hunter.
    Leap 8m (c. 25') to attack.
    Bloodcurdling Roar when leaping to attack. d10 =/< level or rooted to the spot for 1 round; DW RAW you have 0 DEFENCE, so rule either an auto-hit by the Tiger or a hefty AC penalty.

    Use/used for any big cat.


    • BAB +7 AC unarmoured +1 att. d6(d8) +1 (STR 16+) HD 4.6 Rank 5th
    • OSE: Troll BAB +6 AC +5 att. claw/claw/bite d6 x2/d10 HD 6+3
    Magic Resistance: save vs. magic at x2 HD, or with advantage, or with +4 bonus. Whatever you like.
    Immune to blunt non-metallic weapons.

    Share a distant supernatural ancestry with Goblins, which gives them their magic resistance. Turned to stone by sunlight. Sometimes have 2 or 3 heads. 

    Compared to the D&D humanoid threat standard hierarchy, DW Ogres and Trolls are swapped.

    Specified they can't use sorcery, so maybe they can be Mystics?


    • BAB +5 AC unarmoured +1 att. weapon +1 (STR 16+) HD 3.5 Rank 1st

    Tropical (so therefore Barbarian) parrot warriors. Less interesting than they sound, as they're hardly developed here or in later books (I'm not sure they even get a mention in The Lands of Legend).

    Wild Boars.

    • BAB +6 AC +1 att. gore d6(d10) HD 5.1 Rank 3rd
    • OSE: Boar BAB +2 AC +2 att. tusk 2d4 HD 3

    Statline suggests a +1 Armour Bypass/damage adjustment, so Strength 16+.


    • BAB +4 AC unarmoured att. bite d4(d10) HD 2.2 Rank 1st
    • OSE: Wolf BAB +2 AC +2 att. bite d6 HD 2+2

    Just Wolves. Except they are impossible to surprise.

    Reflexes/DEX 14.

    The Undead.

    They get their own section, and their common characteristics are: immunity to poison, disease and spells which only affect the living - which is broad and flexible - and they also see in darkness/abhor the light of day (no penalties suggested).


    • BAB +6 AC unarmoured att. weapon HD 3.5 Rank 4th

    Humans, Dwarves and Elves that eat corpses can transform into Ghouls.

    Already did these, here.


    • BAB +9 AC unarmoured +1 att. weapon HD 6.4 Rank 6th
    • OSE: Mummy BAB +5 AC +6 att. touch d12 + disease HD 5+1
    Flammable: 20% of catching alight for d4 hits/round, extinguish themselves on 5-6 on d6 (or 1-2 if that fits your consistency) - roll at the end of each round.
    Doom! if you strike them down, they strike you down with a curse - save or you die within 1 month.

    In the deeper, grander, older tombs they may be better armed and armoured, be of higher Rank etc. but this isn't developed. Otherwise, they are Mummies.


    Already done the basic Skeleton and some of its bony chums.

    STR 8; Reflexes/DEX 12.


    • BAB +8 AC unarmoured/ethereal att. touch d12(d10) HD 6.2 Rank 8th
    • OSE: Spectre BAB +5 AC +7 att. touch d8 + special HD 6
    Surprise 1-4 on d6, because it's silent and can fly/walk through walls.
    Fright Attack like a Ghost's, but only d6 intensity.
    Immune to non-magical weapons and physical spells (indirect-attack spells).

    Mostly unremarkable. The DW equivalent of the D&D standard.

    Reflexes/DEX 17.


    There isn't an average/typical Vampire. Fairly standard Vampire characteristics, but I like that it's a template you add to an existing statblock rather than a discrete monster classification. Glad it drinks blood instead of double energy drain.

    • superhuman strength (STR 19).
    • uncanny speed (Reflexes/DEX 18).
    • +3.5 HD (hit points, combat, saves, abilities).
    • +1 save vs. magic (DW MAGICAL DEFENCE +1).
    • lie torpid in lair for 2d4 hours after feeding.
    • mesmerism vs. lower HD/level; range 8m (c. 25'); takes min. 30 seconds (5 rounds) of conversing; 2d10 =/< (Vampire's HD/level + 3d6) - victim's HD/level or stand passive until killed/Vampire departs (or save vs. charm); no statement that it doesn't work in combat.
    • half damage from non-magical weapons.
    • drink blood to heal: 2 pints is cure light wounds, 4 pints is cure serious wounds, completely drain a victim to get back to full hp.
    • special vulnerabilities:
      • rendered powerless by sunlight (not destroyed).
      • vs. garlic: -1 to Hit for d6 rounds from first presentation.
      • vs. cross (holy symbol): flinch back, giving escape opportunity; if you can present it for 30 seconds, you can attempt to drive if off using the same mechanic as Vampire mesmerism - Sorcerer's (so Magic Users and probably Elves too) roll 1d6, not 3; failure or blocked escape route means the Vampire goes berserk.
      • cannot pass through running water.
      • irrevocably slain only if staked in the heart, decapitated with blessed sword, remains burned to ashes; otherwise, fresh blood can bring them back.
    • make new Vampire by sacrificing 2d100 x 100 XP; it's subservient, but not loyal.
    • polymorph to Bat (4 HD/level), Wolf (6 HD/level), gaseous form (8 HD/level); each change costs 1 hp.
    • 90% chance of having class levels: 40% Knights, 30% Sorcerers, 15% Barbarians and 5% Mystics - decide how you make these relevant to your setting/system.

    Vampire entries always seem to have been some of the longest in rpg bestiaries, back in the day. 


    Already done this one. Twice.


    • HD 4.4 Rank 5th
    • OSE: Wraith BAB +3 AC +6 att. touch d6 + special HD 4
    Fright Attack: d8 intensity.
    Death Shriek: save or die (irrevocable - the Wraith eats your soul) vs. random victim; 1-3 round build up, increasing in power so save with advantage/bonus 1st round and disadvantage/penalty 3rd round.
    Can only be harmed by magic weapons, or Turn Undead or banishment spell.

    Over multiple thousands of years, a Ghost (dead) takes on substance and becomes a Wraith (undead).

    More Banshee, less Nazgul. Like.


    Already done and already reskinned.

    Unless you have a holy relic, or access to particular spells, there is nothing equivalent to Turning Undead in DW (see Vampires), and this makes the lowly Zombie a much more significant threat than its 2HD D&D counterpart. It's not a good fighter and it's not fast, but an average DW Zombie can withstand 5 or more sword-blows before it goes down - translating into their surprisingly high HD in conversion (5.5). Plus, they have +1 STR adjustments.

    From the Adventure.

    DW adventures, even in the books with bestiary sections, even in this first one, almost always had new monsters. They're presented more as puzzle/hazards, despite having stats to compute combat with - there's also a Dragon, but they don't stat it out.

    DW uses the term underworld in place of dungeon, and this is particularly appropriate as so many of these (usually ancient tombs) seem planted in the mythic rather than the mundane - this first adventure is in the burial place of local analogue King Arthur, complete with Merlin and Mordred.

    Tapestry Warriors.

    • BAB +3 AC +4 att. weapon HD 2.4 Rank 2nd

    Step down from the tapestry and are as effective as armed, armoured Knights. You can fight them to death, or set fire to the tapestry and they all go up in smoke.

    Reflexes/DEX 12.

    Living Statue.

    • BAB +11 AC +7 att. x2 claws d10(d16) HD 6.6 Rank 10th

    Made without legs, so you can try to sneak or run past at the risk of 1 or 2 claw attacks. Or you can rapidly heat and cool it so that it shatters.

    Reflexes/DEX 16 (but it can't move from the spot).

    Alan Craddock cover art.

    The Way of Wizardry.

    Mystics (sort-of Clerics, sort-of Jedi), Sorcerers (basically Magic Users) and magical treasures (including holy relics). Two adventures driven by medieval feudal obligation and saturated with the supernatural. And we learn that when you slay a Wight, it comes back as a Ghost.


    • BAB +5 AC +4 (armour) att. weapon HD 3.5 Rank 4th

    Unhuman Knight from another world... blue-white skin, violet eyes... gilded armour of quite unearthly design.

    Can see in total darkness and are summoned using the Ring of Sentinels (no more than 3 at a time). Otherwise, they're average 4th Rank Knights with two-handed swords.

    Moon Dogs.

    • BAB +7 AC +6 att. bite d8(d10) HD 5.1 Rank 6th

    Statline implies STR 16+. They're animated/animating guardian statues. As long as they're not destroyed/killed, they heal all damage when they revert back to being statues.

    Reflexes/DEX 14.


    Okay. That was a bit of a slog. Sorry. I did it because there's at least one nerd out there who is interested, even if that is only me on a different timeline. 

    I wonder how much (mechanically) was adapted from pre-existing systems: the OSE comparisons are there to highlight the likely lines between BX and DW. RQ seems likely, and I believe GURPS was the system Dave Morris and chums preferred to use when playing in the DW world.

    Next time (hopefully), the mini-campaign The Elven Crystals. 

    If you're not familiar with the Dragon Warriors system:

    DW is basically a d20/2d10 attack/save and 3d6 Ability Score system, with non-unified roll-over-and-under mechanics across a range of circumstances and polyhedra. 

    Six-second Combat Rounds. Metric measurements. Slot-based encumbrance. d6 surprise. Roll to hit (ATTACK vs. DEFENCE), then roll to beat armour, flat damage. Approximately, +1 bonus for 13,14 or 15; +2 for 16+ (and the reverse for low scores). Strength is different, with a +1 bonus at 16+, +2 at 19 (beyond human maximum), and is also used for poison saves (which use d6s). Reflexes approximates Dexterity, determines initiative order.

    Unified level (Rank)/XP progression for all adventurers. 1 DW XP is (not very) approximately 100 D&D/OSE XP (for energy drain purposes). DW XP is from killing monsters and completing adventures, plus spot awards.

    Adjustments to ATTACK and DEFENCE etc. can be converted directly to D&D/OSE -/+ to Hit,/AC, damage, saves etc. DEFENCE adjustments are often higher than the equivalent for D&D/OSE, so there's room for reduction to keep the numbers in line.

    Some of the mechanical nuance of the DW monsters is lost in conversion, as their stats include MAGICAL DEFENCE, EVASION, sometimes SPEED, MAGICAL ATTACK and (later) STEALTH and PERCEPTION. Some of this will be folded in, but maybe without comment. If DEFENCE is high enough, I've given an AC bonus, though this doesn't accurately represent the monster's defensive capability.