Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Building the Bestiary #4: Undead

Undead are a staple of most fantasy role-playing games, so GMs of this genres are going to need some undead miniatures eventually. Even in a low-level game, the players can expect to meet weak undead like skeletons and zombies very early in their careers. Fortunately, the LEGO Group has released a good variety of these monsters over the years, and other kinds of D&D or Pathfinder undead can easily be built or approximated with other minifigures and parts.

Skeletons and Ghosts


The most readily available LEGO undead are skeletons and ghosts, which first appeared in Castle sets and have been featured in various forms in many other themes since then. Some version of these two monsters are almost always in production in one theme or another.

Skeletons, and droids as quadruped skeletons
Skeletons: Basic skeletons can be found in many Castle and Pirate sets, and occasionally in other themes, such as Pirates of the Caribbean. (Even Star Wars and Lord of the Rings sets have included skeletons, in the Rancor Pit and Mines of Moria, respectively.) The Ninjago theme introduced several skeleton characters with individual looks and personalities. More recently, the Minecraft theme offers its own variety of block-headed skeletons, and Minifigures Series 14; Monsters! included a normal guy in a skeleton costume.

Some sets have included skeletal horses, in both white and black, and the LEGO Cuusoo Research Institute included a brick-built dinosaur skeleton. The Ninjago LEGO game included skeleton microfigures, perfect for smaller reanimated corpses such as kobolds or goblins.

The skeleton of a dog, wolf, or similar-sized quadruped is easy to make: take a Star Wars soldier-droid, remove its weapon and backpack, and bend it down onto all fours (see the photo).

Peeves (Harry Potter) and classic ghost (Castle)
Ghost: The original "white sheet"-type ghost minifigure first appeared in the Castle theme, Modified versions of this classic form appeared in the Monster Fighters and LEGO Movie themes. New types of ghosts have appeared in Harry Potter (Peeves the poltergeist), Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (Army of the Dead and the Witch-King), Spongebob Squarepants (The Flying Dutchman), Ninjago (spirit warriors and tiny demonic ghosts), and Ghostbusters (Slimer and related ghosts). The Spectre and Banshee in Minifigures Series 14 use the transparent ectoplasmic lower body piece that first appeared in Ninjago. Dementors (Harry Potter) aren't technically ghosts, but can serve as such.
Example of a custom-built ghost

If you lack any of these ghostly characters, a skeleton head on a white body works well (as will other white heads such as Asajj Ventriss or the Minifigures geisha and mime). For the ghosts of creatures that are not Medium humanoids, build the model in a uniform white, light gray, or transparent colors to show that it's incorporeal.

Mummies, Vampires, and Zombies


The other types of undead that have appeared in LEGO form include mummies, vampires, and zombies.

Mummy: The first LEGO mummies appeared in the Adventurers and LEGO Studios sets. The Pharaoh's Quest theme included a variety of mummies--even winged ones! More recently, Monster Fighters and Minifigures Series 3 and 14 have each included a mummy. Mummy microfigures appeared in the LEGO Games Ramses Pyramid and Ramses Return.

Snape and  vampire
Vampire: Vampires have appeared in LEGO Studios, Monster Fighters (along with a Vampire Bride), and Minifigures Series 2. Monster Fighters also included humanoid Vampire Bats, reissued with a color change for Minifigures Series 8. The LEGO Heroica game Ilrion features a vampire microfigure and a brick-built vampire bat. The Spider Lady from Minifigures Series 14 is obviously a vampire as well, and pasty, black-clad Professor Snape (Harry Potter) makes a decent vampire as well.

Zombie: The first LEGO zombie appeared in Minifigures Series 1, followed soon after by some zombie crewmen in the Pirates of the Caribbean theme. The Monster Fighters theme offered additional zombies, and more recently, Minifigures Series 14; Monsters! included three new zombies (pirate, businessman, and cheerleader). There is also an alien Geonosian Zombie in the Star Wars theme,

Zombie crewmen (Pirates of the Caribbean)
If you don't own any LEGO zombies, look for minifigure body parts printed with torn clothing, cuts and bruises, and dirt and blood stains. The various Frankenstein's Monsters (Monster Fighters and Minifigures) would make good zombies, though you may wish to remove the brow/hair piece to denote that they are zombies, not flesh golems.

Other Undead


Fantasy RPGs include many more kinds of undead that haven't appeared in LEGO form. I will give a few suggestions here for how to build figures for them, but I'm limiting the list to those found in the D&D Monster Manual and first Pathfinder Bestiary.

Incorporeal Undead: Most incorporeal undead, such as spectres, can use the same suggestions above for ghosts. (See also the brick-built apparitions in the photo at the top of this column.)

For shadows, allips, and wraiths, you'll need a darker minifigure. A Ringwraith is an ideal choice here, but any all-black minifigure (preferably with little or no printing) will do nicely, as will a Dementor.

Custom-built devourer
Devourer: These undead are Large, so use the techniques discussed in the Giants installment of this series to modify a minifigure or build a new model. For the soul trapped in the monster's chest cavity, try to find a tile with a face or body on it, and attach it to the devourer with a SNOT ("studs not on top") brick. (The tile shown in the photo here is a specimen from an old Space set.) If you can build a microfigure into the creature's torso, that might be even creepier!

Ghoul: The best matches that I've found for ghouls are zombies and Gollum. The latter captures the ghoul's emaciated, hunched, predatory look quite well!

Lich: Minifigures such as the Witch-King (Hobbit) or Emperor Palpatine (Star Wars) can be used as-is for a lich. Lacking those, use a skeleton, zombie, or mummy, but give it sorcerer's robes, Pharaoh's regalia, or other suitably arcane and sinister gear to make it obvious that this is a much more dangerous foe.

Mohrg (modified skeleton)
Mohrg: Start with a skeleton minifigure. Use one of the L-shaped collars used to attach bricks to the back of a minifigure to attach a tendril or tentacle representing the monster's tongue attack, as shown in the photo. Alternately, attach the appendage to the stud on top of the skull, or to one of the hands.

Wight: A wight is similar to a zombie or mummy in that it's a corporeal husk of a body. Either of those monsters will do, but I prefer black minifigures with scary heads, such as Darth Maul (Star Wars), Lord Garmadon or the Stone Army (Ninjago). Garmadon has the added benefit of being bony without being a skeleton.

I may tackle additional undead monsters in future columns, but that's all for this installment. I hope these suggestions inspire your designs for your own games!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Advanced Bestiary: Clockwork Formian

Formian society is built around the orderly preservation and expansion of the hive and its queen. (See Bestiary 4 108.) The uncanny coordination possible through the hive mind makes each formian appear to be like a single cog in an immense and highly complex machine.

Clockwork formians take this impression to the next level: they are not bred for the welfare of the hive, but are literally built for it. Being clockworks (see the clockwork template, Advanced Bestiary 55), these creatures lack the full intelligence and initiative of normal formians. This simply makes them more rigidly adhere to the race's obsession with order.

The hive's queen is essentially a living computer and factory. Her underlings build the metal exoskeletons for each new formian, while she produces and installs the magical mechanisms that animate these shells under her control.

Clockwork formians are quite rare on the Material Plane, but are rumored to have originated on a strongly lawful-aligned Outer Plane composed entirely of massive machinery. (If the GM decides that they are native to such a plane, then add the extraplanar subtype when they encountered elsewhere.)

Stat blocks for clockwork formian workers, warriors, and taskmasters appear below.


CLOCKWORK FORMIAN WORKER (CR 1)
XP 400
LN Small construct (clockwork)
Init +6 (+10 with hive mind); Senses blindsense 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, hive mind; Perception -1 (+3 with hive mind)
Defense
AC 17, touch 16, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +3 dodge, +1 natural, +1 size)
hp 15 (1d10+10)
Fort +0, Ref +4, Will -1
Defensive Abilities ; DR 5/adamantine; Immune construct traits; Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10, sonic 10
Weaknesses metal body, vulnerability to electricity
Offense
Speed 40 ft., burrow 10 ft.
Melee bite +4 (1d6+3)
Statistics
Str 17, Dex 14, Con --, Int 4, Wis 8, Cha 3
Base Atk +1; CMB +3; CMD 15 (19 vs. trip)
Feats Dodge[B], Improved Initiative[B], Lightning Reflexes[B], Skill Focus (Profession [miner])
Skills Craft (clockwork) +2, Disable Device +7, Perception -1 (+3 with hive mind), Profession (miner) +5, Stealth +1
Languages Common, telepathy 60 ft.
SQ able assistant, created mind, creator bond (hive queen), difficult to create, formian traits, peerless bearer, swift reactions, winding
Ecology
Environment warm or temperate land or underground
Organization solitary, work crew (6-12 plus 1 taskmaster), band (3-15 plus 5-8 warriors and 1 taskmaster)
Treasure incidental (occasionally a 10-50 gp gem embedded into a worker's carapace)
Special Abilities
Able Assistant (Ex) When a formian worker succeeds at an aid another check or attack roll that aids another hive mate within its telepathy range, it grants a +4 bonus to the skill check, on the attack roll, or to AC instead of the normal +4.
Created Mind (Ex) A clockwork formian only accepts commands from its creator (the hive's queen) or designated surrogate (a higher-ranked formian within the hive mind). It can act independent of any commands that are given to it. If it wishes to directly disobey a command, the clockwork needs to make a successful Will save (DC 20). On a failed save, the clockwork follows the command to the best of its ability as if under a command spell. If a command would destroy the clockwork formian or otherwise cause it harm, it gets a second Will save (DC 15) immediately after the first.
Once a clockwork formian's creator dies or frees it, the clockwork becomes an independent creature. A free clockwork no longer follows any other creature's command unless magically compelled. A clockwork typically continues to perform the last tasks it was command to complete; however, it may still act independently outside its last commands.
Creator Bond (Ex) A clockwork formian can instinctively detect the location of its creator (the hive's queen) within 100 ft., regardless of magical and natural barriers. Within this range, the clockwork gains a +10 circumstance bonus vs. Bluff and Disguise checks, and any other effect made to impersonate the clockwork's creator. [Note that the formians' hive mind usually makes this quality superfluous.]
Difficult to Create (Ex) See the clockwork subtype.
Peerless Bearer (Ex) Workers have a +5 racial bonus to Strength when calculating the effects of encumbrance.
Swift Reactions (Ex) See the clockwork subtype.
Winding (Ex) See the clockwork subtype.


CLOCKWORK FORMIAN WARRIOR (CR 4)
XP 1,200
LN Medium construct (clockwork)
Init +9 (+13 with hive mind); Senses blindsense 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, hive mind; Perception +3 (+7 with hive mind)
Defense
AC 24, touch 18, flat-footed 16 (+5 Dex, +3 dodge, +6 natural)
hp 42 (4d10+20)
Fort +1, Ref +8, Will +0
DR 5/adamantine; Immune construct traits; Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10, sonic 10
Weaknesses metal body, vulnerability to electricity
Offense
Speed 40 ft.
Melee sting +8 (1d4+4 plus poison), 2 claws +8 (1d4+4 plus grab)
Ranged javelin +9 (1d6+4 plus poison)
Special Attacks deadly grasp, poison
Statistics
Str 18, Dex 21, Con --, Int 5, Wis 8, Cha 6
Base Atk +4; CMB +8 (+12 grapple); CMD 23 (27 vs. trip)
Feats Dodge[B], Improved Initiative[B], Lightning Reflexes[B], Skill Focus (Acrobatics), Step Up
Skills Acrobatics +12 (+16 jumping), Craft (clockwork) +2, Disable Device +10, Perception +3 (+7 with hive mind), Stealth +4
Languages Common, telepathy 60 ft.
SQ coordinate, created mind, creator bond (hive queen), difficult to create, formian traits, swift reactions, winding
Ecology
Environment warm or temperate land or underground
Organization solitary, pair, band (3-15 plus 5-8 warriors and 1 taskmaster), or patrol (3-12)
Treasure incidental (6 javelins, other treasure)
Special Abilities
Coordinate (Su) Once a formian warrior has acted in combat, all allied formians within the hive mind are no longer considered flat-footed. When a formian warrior attacks a creature in melee, allied formians gain a +2 insight bonus on melee attack rolls against that creature until the start of the warrior's next turn.
Created Mind (Ex) See the Clockwork Formian Worker (above).
Creator Bond (Ex) See the Clockwork Formian Worker (above).
Deadly Grasp (Ex) When a formian warrior has a foe grappled, it deals sting damage when it succeeds at a grapple check to damage its opponent.
Difficult to Create (Ex) See the clockwork subtype.
Poison (Ex) Javelin or sting--injury; Fort DC 12; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Dex; cure 1 save.
Swift Reactions (Ex) See the clockwork subtype.
Winding (Ex) See the clockwork subtype.


CLOCKWORK FORMIAN TASKMASTER (CR 8)
XP 4,800
LN Medium construct (clockwork)
Init +8 (+12 with hive mind); Senses blindsense 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, hive mind; Perception +7 (+11 with hive mind)
Defense
AC 30, touch 17, flat-footed 23 (+4 Dex, +3 dodge, +13 natural)
hp 75 (10d10+20)
Fort +3, Ref +9, Will +5
DR 10/adamantine; Immune construct traits; Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10, sonic 10
Weaknesses metal body, vulnerability to electricity
Offense
Speed 40 ft.
Melee sting +15 (1d4+5 plus poison), 2 claws +15 (1d4+5)
Ranged dart +14/+9 (1d4+5)
Special Attacks poison
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +11)
3/day--detect thoughts (DC 13), sending (to the hive queen only)
Bard Spells Known (CL 7th; concentration +8)
3rd (1)--confusion (DC 15), good hope
2nd (3)--heroism, invisibility, sound burst (DC 13), suggestion (DC 14)
1st (5)--charm person (DC 13), comprehend languages, cure light wounds, hideous laughter (DC 13), silent image (DC 12)
0 (at will)--dancing lights, daze (DC 12), detect magic, mending, messages, prestidigitation
Statistics
Str 21, Dex 18, Con --, Int 7, Wis 14, Cha 13
Base Atk +10; CMB +15; CMD 29 (33 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Casting, Dodge[B], Improved Initiative[B], Lightning Reflexes[B], Point Blank Shot, Quick Draw, Rapid Shot, Spell Focus (enchantment)
Skills Bluff +6, Climb +9, Craft (clockwork) +6, Diplomacy +6, Disable Device +10, Perception +7 (+11 with hive mind), Sense Motive +7, Stealth -1
Languages Common, telepathy 60 ft.
SQ created mind, creator bond (hive queen), difficult to create, formian traits, mental motivator, swift reactions, winding
Ecology
Environment warm or temperate land or underground
Organization solitary, work crew (1 plus 6-12 workers), band (1 plus 3-15 workers and 5-8 warriors), embassy (2-6)
Treasure incidental (10 darts, other treasure)
Special Abilities
Created Mind (Ex) See the Clockwork Formian Worker (above).
Creator Bond (Ex) See the Clockwork Formian Worker (above).
Difficult to Create (Ex) See the clockwork subtype.
Mental Motivator (Su) A formian taskmaster can inspire competence or inspire courage as a 7th-level bard (typically 17 rounds/day). The taskmaster's performance is purely mental and and only affects formians from its own hive mind within range.
Poison (Ex) Sting--injury; Fort DC 15; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d4 Dex; cure 2 consecutive saves.
Swift Reactions (Ex) See the clockwork subtype.
Winding (Ex) See the clockwork subtype.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Building the Bestiary #3: Giants

Minifigure scale is suitable for Small and Medium humanoids, but larger creatures such as giants require other solutions. But before I talk about how to acquire or build the models themselves, I want to discuss how to denote size categories when working with LEGO bricks.

Size Categories


If you play D&D or Pathfinder, creatures larger than Medium size take up more than one 5-foot square on the battle map. In most cases, you will want to put your model on an appropriately-sized base in order to clearly mark what space it occupies. A round base is often preferable to a square one, so that you can easily turn the model without any corners sticking out into other squares. (However, given the nature of LEGO bricks, squares and rectangles are much easier to find!)

Girallon (modified Yeti minifigure)
Studs are spaced three to an inch, so a Small or Medium creature takes up a 3x3-stud space, Large creatures 6x6, Huge 9x9, Gargantuan 12x12, and Colossal 18x18 (or more). You don't need to match those dimensions exactly; just make sure you don't exceed them, and that you center your model in its space on the map. I use 2x2 or 2x3 plates as bases for Small and Medium creatures, as both those sizes are plentiful and fit inside a 1" square. I prefer a 6x6 round plate or radar dish for Large creatures, but a 4x4 or 4x6 plate also serves well. I typically use 8x8 square plates (or four 4x4 quarter-circles) for Huge creatures, and 10x10 octagonal plates for Gargantuan ones. For a Colossal creature, you will need a 16x16 or larger base, which you can build out of smaller plates if necessary.

I find it useful to have a few extra Large and Huge bases handy during play so that I can place them under miniatures that don't already have a standard-sized base. For example, I own a number of plastic animal toys that I use for creatures of which I don't own LEGO versions, so I'll put the toy on top of a LEGO plate to show its proper size category. Also, if a creature changes size during an encounter, I can put its miniature on a different sized base to show that.

Giant troll (Castle)

Big Figures


Over the years, a number of oversized characters have been produced for various LEGO themes. The more-or-less humanoid characters of this type include:

  • Adventurers: Jun-Chi (a lion-dog spirit), Tygurah (a tiger deity), Yeti.
  • Castle: Giant Troll.
  • Harry Potter: Hagrid (near minifigure scale), Troll.
  • Legends of Chima: Mungus (Mammoth Tribe).
  • The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit: Cave Troll, Goblin King.
  • Ninjago: Dogshank (giant pirate).
  • Power Miners: Eruptor, Geolix, Tremorex (three rock monsters).
  • Rock Raiders: Rock Monster.
  • Star Wars: Rancor, Wampa.
  • Superheroes: Darkseid, Gorilla Grodd, Hulk, Green Goblin, Thanos. 
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Dogpound, Leatherhead.
Using one of these "Big Figures" gives you a well-defined large character, but they are usually only available as part of larger sets, and those sets tend to only be available through retail for a year or two at most. Many of these figures are available through websites such as Bricklink, where you can expect to pay anywhere from $5-$10 for a smaller, more common character, up to $35+ for a Rancor. Another drawback of these figures is that they have few parts for their size, and few free studs, so are hard to customize. Also, most of them are very specific licensed characters, which may be distracting if you want to use them to represent other monsters. For example, my pair of Harry Potter trolls see frequent use as ogres and giants, but my Hulk is a little too, well, Hulk-ish for that.

A related option is using Duplo figures for giants. These characters are a good scale for depicting Large humanoids, but are rather more silly-looking than scary. Also, unless you buy them individually through a reseller, you will end up with several oversized bricks as well. Duplo bricks are fully compatible with regular LEGO bricks (being exactly twice their dimensions) but they aren't nearly as useful for small-scale models. 

Ogre (modified minifigure)

Modified Minifigures


If Big Figures are out of your price range or don't cover the monster you need, then you'll need to build your own model. The easiest way of doing this is to modify a minifigure to make it a little bigger, then put it on a base appropriate to its size category. 

Some of the collectible Minifigures, such as the Minotaur, Cyclops, and Frankenstein's Monster, already represent creatures that would be larger than human-scale in D&D or Pathfinder. You can simply put these minifigures on a larger base to indicate their true size. (The 3x4 plate that comes with each one will serve well enough for this.)

You can also make a minifigure taller by standing it on two 1x1 bricks, and taller yet by inserting a 1x2 brick between the torso and legs (as was done for the ogre shown here). These changes leave the arms rather short in proportion to the rest of the body, but a larger weapon can help offset that.

Building from Scratch


The other option is to build a custom model yourself. The photo below shows two Large giant models, one very simple and the other more advanced, with a minifigure for scale. The one on the left is just a stack of bricks with an antenna for a weapon. (If you lack cylinders and slope bricks, simply replace them with standard bricks.) The result is rather crude, but conveys the creature's size and general humanoid shape.


The giant on the right is more detailed, with a few articulated joints allowing it to be posed. The next photo shows the subassemblies better. The right leg uses a slope brick to extend forward, as if taking a step. The shoulders are 1x1 bricks with a stud on one side. (You can also use "headlight" bricks, but you'll need to stick 1x1 plates over the recessed side-studs in order to attach the arms.) A 1x2 jumper plate provides a centered stud for attaching the head. 


Each arm is a hinged plate, with 1x1 and 1x2 plates giving extra thickness. The hands are 1x1 plates with side-clips, allowing the giant to hold minifigure accessories. The head is a stack of 1x2 and 2x2 plates, with two 1x1 round plates for eyes. You could also use a 2x2 cylinder brick for the head (like the simpler giant above) or a minifigure head.

Experiment with different colors and pieces to change this base model into the kind of giant you need: brown and tan bricks for ogres and hill giants, green for trolls, gray for stone giants, white and blue for frost giants, red for fire giants, etc., with contrasting colors for clothing and armor. Bricks with side-studs can be used to attach additional plates and tiles for hair, beards, or armor, or simply to add bulk to the torso.

Other Large Humanoids

And finally, these various methods for providing giant miniatures can also be used for other large monsters with a generally humanoid shape: golems, minotaurs, devourers, genies, dire apes, and many celestials and fiends. Future columns will show examples of some of these creatures.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Building the Bestiary #2: Underwater Races

In the first installment of "Building the Bestiary," I covered the most common humanoid races. This time, I'll tackle several underwater races. Over the past several years. I've run three campaigns set in Green Ronin's Freeport: The City of Adventure, so I've needed a large number of aquatic creatures during that time.

Undines or aquatic elves
Aquatic Elves are the most human-looking of the various undersea races. They tend to have bluish skin and blue or green hair. Blue-skinned minifigures are rare, and include Aayla Secura and Cad Bane (Star Wars), male and female genies (Minifigures Series 6 and 12), and Nova (Guardians of the Galaxy). Blue and green hair are even harder to find, being pretty much limited to the short-lived Exo-Force theme and some of the new LEGO Elves minidolls. If you lack such unusual parts, build them as any other elf (see "Building the Bestiary" #1), but choose clothing and weapons appropriate to the water.

Most Undines (Pathfinder) and Water Genasi (D&D) largely resemble aquatic elves, so can be built in the same way.

Merfolk
Mermaids first appeared in the classic Pirates theme, but have also appeared in Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney Princesses, the Minifigures theme, and one fairy tale-themed minifigure collection. Mermen can be built using the same fish-tails, preferably with a muscular bare chest (as with the Ocean King). If you lack the fish-tail, you can build one out of bricks; the photo here shows two possibilities, but an even simpler tail can be built with a 2x3 brick with a smaller brick or two for the fin. (Remember that merfolk are Medium creatures, so you'll need to make them fit them within a 1" square, or 3x3 studs.)

For a Cecaelia (Pathfinder Bestiary 3 or True20 Freeport: The Lost Island), replace the fish tail with the tentacled bottom piece from a Squid Warrior (Atlantis) or Alien Commander (Alien Conquest). (The Disney Minifigures series, due out in May, will include Ursula, who will make an excellent cecaelia.) Or, if you don't mind the body being grossly oversized for a Medium figure, attach a minfigure torso to the studs on the top of an octopus's head.

Sahuagin and four-armed mutant
The Swamp Creature (Monster Fighters) makes an ideal Sahaugin, with the Barracuda, Manta, and Shark Warriors (Atlantis) coming a close second. For more recent (and thus easier to acquire) minfigures, try the Shark Suit Guy (Minifigures Series 15), various Serpentine (Ninjago), or Greedo or other Rhodians (Star Wars). To make a four-armed mutant sahuagin, you'll either need an older minifigure torso that lacks the "X"-like structure in the center, or one of the special torso-extending pieces that adds a second set of arms (like Ninjago's Lord Garmadon or Nadakhan). For the former, a breastplate or other accessory is useful for covering the upper torso's printing, as in the photo. (Side note: This same method can be used to build other many-armed creatures, such as girallons or mariliths.)

Other fish-like races, such as Locathah and Kuo-Toa, can also be built in the same way as sahuagin. Gungans and the Alien Conquest aliens also make good locathah or kuo-toa.

Sea hag and merrow
For a Merrow or Scrag, simply put a fishy head onto a giant's body, such as the Alien Conquest head on the Harry Potter troll shown here. (I'll be devoting a future "Building the Bestiary" column to giants.)

For a Sea Hag or Greenhag, use a witch (preferably a green-skinned one), or the head and torso of a Medusa (Minifigures Series 10). In my Freeport game, I built a sea hag using the Alien Avenger's head (Minifigures Series 9) and a robed statue torso (see photo).

That covers the major underwater humanoid races. Future columns will cover other types of aquatic creatures.