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Unflinching Evil

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

When brainstorming a new hardcover bestiary, we have many goals. These books give us an opportunity to support new Adventure Paths and other products. A new 300-plus-page volume of monsters gives us a chance to delve deep into the world’s mythologies and find new and interesting creatures from stories around the world. We get to express our love for classic creatures, exploring the genre’s rich history and smoothing out some of its wackiness. But it also gives us the opportunity to be evil.

And we love us some evil.

Monsters have the potential to take on a number of roles in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. They can help a GM illuminate his or her campaign world. Monsters can serve as the impetus for adventure, calling the characters to quests with both words and actions. There is little doubt, though, that the chief job of monsters is to bring the hurt. Some of the best monsters are unflinching in their evil, and that’s the way we like them. While any monster has the potential for true evil, few fill that role like undead. And Bestiary 3has a large portion of undead. From the life-draining hollow serpent, to the soul trapping demilich, to the ship-wreaking sea bonze, all of these monsters have an all-consuming hatred for living things and the living world that has forsaken them. Even on the rare occasions where diplomacy is employed and parley is engaged, all but the most hopeful or deluded adventurer knows that an encounter with undead is doomed to end in the destruction of that corrupt thing or with character death. Their foul nature leaves little room for any middle ground. Even the gun-toting pale stranger—a gunslinger risen from the grave to right some past wrong—is corrupt, evil, and must eventually be put down to make the world a better, safer place.

So if you are like me, you love your monsters purely evil, and like to unleash hordes of unredeemable and creepy undead at your party, you are going to like what you find when you crack open Bestiary 3. While Halloween is long gone, consider celebrating a nightmarish holiday season with the ghastly things you find within its pages. You can start with this one: the tzitzimitl, and creature of apocalyptic evil, which exists only to blot out the sun and end all life that dares come across its path.


Illustration by Kieran Yanner

Tzitzimitl CR 19

XP 204,800
NE Gargantuan undead
Init +9; Senses arcane sight, darkvision 60 ft., true seeing; Perception +31

Defense

AC 35, touch 11, flat-footed 30 (+5 Dex, +24 natural, –4 size)
hp 319 (22d8+220); fast healing 15
Fort +17, Ref +14, Will +19
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4, light to dark; DR 15/bludgeoning and good; Immune cold, electricity, undead traits; Resist fire 15; SR 30

Offense

Speed 50 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee bite +26 (2d8+14 plus 3d6 electricity and energy drain), 2 claws +27 (2d6+14/19–20 plus 3d6 electricity)
Ranged eye beam +17 touch (10d6 electricity and 10d6 force)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 20 ft.
Special Attacks eclipse, energy drain (2 levels, DC 31)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 19th; concentration +29)
  Constant—arcane sight, fly, true seeing
  At will—bestow curse (DC 24), deeper darkness
  3/day—animate dead, contagion (DC 23), greater teleport, haste
  1/day—create undead, temporal stasis (DC 28), wail of the banshee (DC 29)

Statistics

Str 39, Dex 21, Con —, Int 20, Wis 23, Cha 30
Base Atk +16; CMB +29; CMD 44
Feats Awesome Blow, Combat Reflexes, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (claw), Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Point-Blank Shot, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (claw)
Skills Fly +35, Knowledge (arcana) +28, Knowledge (nature) +27, Knowledge (planes) +25, Knowledge (religion) +30, Perception +31, Sense Motive +31, Spellcraft +23, Survival +21, Use Magic Device +30
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Celestial, Common

Ecology

Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Eclipse (Su) Anytime a tzitzimitl casts deeper darkness, any creatures in the area of darkness when it is created take 8d6 points of cold damage (DC 31 Fortitude for half). Any creature that takes damage from this effect becomes staggered as long as it remains in the area of darkness and for 1d4 rounds after it leaves that area. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Eye Beam (Su) As a standard action, a tzitzimitl can fire a glowing beam of force from its eyes at a range of 100 feet as a ranged touch attack dealing 10d6 points of force damage and 10d6 points of electricity damage.
Light to Dark (Su) As an immediate action up to three times per day, a tzitzimitl can convert a positive energy effect that affects it into negative energy. Doing so transforms the entire effect, such that it affects other creatures as well. A tzitzimitl can transform channeled positive energy in this way even if the positive energy would not otherwise harm it.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Design Tuesdays Kieran Yanner Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Now that's what I call an Undead.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Really cool. And frightening.

But, I really would like to see some interesting non-evil undead too. It sounds like they're definitely going to be a no-show though. :( The pale rider certainly sounds cool, I just wish it didn't get pushed as having to be evil.

Here's hoping for some darkness-themed/ugly/weird/alien-looking celestials at least.

Cheliax

wow, nice... I love this this!


Light to Dark (Su)!!!

I plan to steal this ability and splice it onto some heinous undead foes in the future. I like this beastie! (though I confess, I haven't the slightest idea how to pronounce its name)

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

My absolute favorite monster from Bestiary 3, and that's sayin' something because there are a lot (I mean *a lot*) of cool real-world inspired monsters in there.
He's dreamy! ...In an apocalyptic, world-ending, nightmare sort of way.

Andoran

From the sound of the name and the look of the illustration, I'm guessing this comes from Aztek / Mayan myth?


Maybe this is obvious and I'm just not getting it..

With Light to Dark: Let's say a cleric channels energy in the vicinity of the Tzitzimitl to heal her party, which means it isn't harming the Tzitzimitl. Light to Dark changes that into negative energy and damages the party? I assume that if the energy was channeled to harm undead, the Tzitzimitl would change it into negative and heal all affected undead instead.

Also, OW if the cleric is careless and includes the thing in a Mass Heal. That would sting a bit...

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Dal Selpher wrote:
(Though I confess, I haven't the slightest idea how to pronounce its name)

Most of the sources I've seen go with something like: tsee-tsee'-mee-tl or zee-zee-meel.

Marc Radle wrote:
From the sound of the name and the look of the illustration, I'm guessing this comes from Aztek / Mayan myth?

Aztec. Throw the name into Google. You'll get a healthy bit of real-world background.

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

Marc Radle wrote:
From the sound of the name and the look of the illustration, I'm guessing this comes from Aztek / Mayan myth?

Aztec, if I'm remembering correctly.

Zhangar wrote:

Maybe this is obvious and I'm just not getting it..

With Light to Dark: Let's say a cleric channels energy in the vicinity of the Tzitzimitl to heal her party, which means it isn't harming the Tzitzimitl. Light to Dark changes that into negative energy and damages the party? I assume that if the energy was channeled to harm undead, the Tzitzimitl would change it into negative and heal all affected undead instead.

Also, OW if the cleric is careless and includes the thing in a Mass Heal. That would sting a bit...

Yes and yes.


bestow curse at will, ... that's even more versatile than evil eye, too bad its CR is so high I can't run a few of those against a normal group.

pronounciation, I would go with german: a bit like tseetseemittle (like see and little)
ninjaed by Mr. Schneider, I was close tough :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I looked it up on wikipedia and it says they are female skeletal dieties of the stars.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oh, my sweet dead Aztec gods... This is freaking SWEET! This has now brightened (darkened) by day :)

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Liz Courts wrote:
Zhangar wrote:

Maybe this is obvious and I'm just not getting it..

With Light to Dark: Let's say a cleric channels energy in the vicinity of the Tzitzimitl to heal her party, which means it isn't harming the Tzitzimitl. Light to Dark changes that into negative energy and damages the party?

Yes and yes.

I may also have missed something, then, because it sounds as though Light to Dark couldn't be used to make that change:

Quote:
...a tzitzimitl can convert a positive energy effect that affects it into negative energy.

(Emphasis added.) In Zhangar's example, the positive energy effect does not affect the tzitzimitl, and would thus not be susceptible to Light to Dark.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
John Woodford wrote:
(Emphasis added.) In Zhangar's example, the positive energy effect does not affect the tzitzimitl, and would thus not be susceptible to Light to Dark.

I caught on to that as well.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
I looked it up on wikipedia and it says they are female skeletal dieties of the stars.

I got the same wiki page as well, though if you keep reading the article there is definitely a good portion about sun-eating and eclipses as well.

And remember that the term "deity" is relative in some mythologies. Note that in the article these things have their own deity above themselves. In this case CR 19 doesn't sound unreasonable for the normal kind.

I like how the Aztec mythology has a duel aspect which almost seems to conflict with itself. The creatures are deities of women and childbirth, but yet also attack the sun. That already seems like a great impetus for a campaign. "This evil guy is going to make an artificial eclipse that will turn the normally benevolent Tzitzimitl into giant hate machines!"


Really cool. I'm a sucker for cool undead (who isn't?) and this fits the bill.

But what has me even more excited is the little teaser about the pale stranger. SO. MUCH. POTENTIAL AWESOME.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

He is pretty cool.

Fellahs like him are like the tarrasque. They could be the subject of their very own Adventure Path.

(Or a trio of linked modules...)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That Light to Dark ability is so awesome thematically that I'm tempted make it even more powerful via houserules.... by allowing it to convert a smite evil into a smite good ;)

Of course, I'd have to allow the poor paladin to expend an additional smite on his next round to get around the ability.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

An internet cookie to he or she who tells me how to pronounce the name of this behemoth!

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The valiant heroes defeat the evil cultists. No longer will good people have their hearts ripped out of their chests and offered up to the evil sun demon. Unfortunately, deprived of of his power, the sun demon can no longer keep the tzitzimitl at bay. They flood into world of light and start destroying the sun. A few heathen sacrifices don't seem so bad now, do they?


Marc Radle wrote:
From the sound of the name and the look of the illustration, I'm guessing this comes from Aztek / Mayan myth?

I think this was inspired by the Tzitzime, the Star Demons, who were winged women with skull-like faces and massive fanged jaws who descended to Earth during eclipses to devour humans.

I hope that one day we get to see a monster version of Tezcatlipoca as the Haunter of Graveyards, in which form he was a giant, headless skeleton, his viscera dripping blood and gore, and with his ribs hanging open to reveal his rotted but still-beating heart. The only way to defeat him was to walk up to him fearlessly and snatch the heart from his chest. Oh, and try not to get killed in the process.


Yowza! This thing looks like it could be an undead titan.


Eric Hinkle wrote:

I think this was inspired by the Tzitzime, the Star Demons, who were winged women with skull-like faces and massive fanged jaws who descended to Earth during eclipses to devour humans.

I hope that one day we get to see a monster version of Tezcatlipoca as the Haunter of Graveyards, in which form he was a giant, headless skeleton, his viscera dripping blood and gore, and with his ribs hanging open to reveal his rotted but still-beating heart. The only way to defeat him was to walk up to him fearlessly and snatch the heart from his chest. Oh, and try not to get killed in the process.

Sounds somewhat similar to a mohrg. The heart thing is definitely way cooler, thematically.

Excited for B3, but I am hoping there will be a diversity of CR. Is it pretty varied, or are the creatures generally CR 10+ ?

Taldor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Holy Huitzilopochtli Batman! Get some Clerics and Inquisitors of Sarenrae on that beast double quick! And I thought the Nightshades were nasty.

--Jingle Bell Vrock

Cheliax

preordered! I'm going to kill me some PC's }:->

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Blackborn wrote:

Sounds somewhat similar to a mohrg. The heart thing is definitely way cooler, thematically.

Excited for B3, but I am hoping there will be a diversity of CR. Is it pretty varied, or are the creatures generally CR 10+ ?

It's pretty similar in CR spread to Bestiary 2—keeping these books with a nice spread of CRs is something we've been focused on.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Liz Courts wrote:
Zhangar wrote:
Maybe this is obvious and I'm just not getting it..

With Light to Dark: Let's say a cleric channels energy in the vicinity of the Tzitzimitl to heal her party, which means it isn't harming the Tzitzimitl. Light to Dark changes that into negative energy and damages the party?

Yes and yes.
I may also have missed something, then, because it sounds as though Light to Dark couldn't be used to make that change:

John Woodford wrote:
(Emphasis added.) In Zhangar's example, the positive energy effect does not affect the tzitzimitl, and would thus not be susceptible to Light to Dark.

I think the bit that is in question is at the end

"A tzitzimitl can transform channeled positive energy in this way even if the positive energy would not otherwise harm it."

My take is that when it is in the area of a positive channel, used to heal others then it can convert it using Light to Dark.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This would make a very nice addition as a future Pathfinder Battles model. It is mean, has a deviously atypical power, and is gargantuan; hard to go wrong with that combination. Strong table-shock value, too.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yet another reason to have your party healer pick the selective channeling feat.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

A cleric who used the Selective Channel feat to avoid hitting this monster with channeled energy would have nothing to fear. But if the cleric just assumed since it was undead he didn't have to worry and let a channeled energy "affect" the critter... even though the tzitzimitl gains no benefit from the energy if it's being used to heal allies, the energy still "affects" it, and thus the monster would be able to use Light to Dark to make it so that the energy would do negative energy damage to the cleric's allies. Effectively, this changes the cleric's channeled energy option from "use positive energy to heal living creatures" to "use negative energy to harm living creatures." The tzitzimitl would NOT gain healing in this case. It would gain healing if the cleric attempted to harm it with positive energy, though, and the monster then used Light to Dark to change that to negative energy.

Cheliax

Cool critter.
Looks like that almost-forgotten death god from an Hellblazer story ("All his engines"), and seems on par with the scary factor.

Paizo Employee Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Awww...My little baby made the blog. It makes a designer proud.

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

Adam Daigle wrote:
Awww...My little baby made the blog. It makes a designer proud.

I salute your evil critter-makin' skillz.


Whoa. Can it Vital Strike its eye beams?

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

Ravingdork wrote:
Whoa. Can it Vital Strike its eye beams?

Isn't Vital Strike for melee attacks only? Edit: Apparently not the case, as it implies ranged attacks as well (not sure about laser eyes of death attacks). Duly noted.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Liz Courts wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Whoa. Can it Vital Strike its eye beams?
Isn't Vital Strike for melee attacks only? Edit: Apparently not the case. Duly noted.

Ravingdork is my hero;

40D6 damage, half of it Force damage. I'm gonna need a box to roll that with.

Let's go murder us some PC's. <evil Laugh>

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

The eyebeam is a Supernatural attack. Vital Strike only affects weapon/physical attacks. The Eyebeam can no more use vital strike then a dragon's breath weapon.

==Aelryinth


1 person marked this as a favorite.

GM: The attack roll lands and you take 20d6 damage from his eye ray.

Player: Hah! I laugh in the face of a mere 20d6 damage!

GM: Alright then, on its next turn the tzitzimitl, seeing that you are far tougher than it originally anticipated, shoots TWO death rays from BOTH eyes for 40d6 damage.

Player: *jaw drops, stares wide eyed*

Party Cleric: Don't worry, I got your back! *casts mass heal on party and tzitzimitl*

GM: *steeples fingers, smiling wickedly*

Very cool beast! Worthy of its CR! :D


Aelryinth wrote:

The eyebeam is a Supernatural attack. Vital Strike only affects weapon/physical attacks. The Eyebeam can no more use vital strike then a dragon's breath weapon.

==Aelryinth

Funny. I see no such restriction under Vital Strike. The eye beams look like a natural weapon to me. Can you not vital strike with natural weapons? They are considered weapons after all. (Also, just because it is supernatural ability doesn't mean it is not also a natural weapon.)


I don't think Huitzilopochtli is going to like this guy at all... It's good to see some Aztec monsters. :D

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

The eyebeam is a Supernatural attack. Vital Strike only affects weapon/physical attacks. The Eyebeam can no more use vital strike then a dragon's breath weapon.

==Aelryinth

Funny. I see no such restriction under Vital Strike. The eye beams look like a natural weapon to me. Can you not vital strike with natural weapons? They are considered weapons after all. (Also, just because it is supernatural ability doesn't mean it is not also a natural weapon.)

Actually the Jabberwork has eye beams and can use vital strike on them.


Golden-Esque wrote:
An internet cookie to he or she who tells me how to pronounce the name of this behemoth!

the best I can find by searching is the following

tsee-tsee'-mee-tl

Lantern Lodge

Mr. Green wrote:
Golden-Esque wrote:
An internet cookie to he or she who tells me how to pronounce the name of this behemoth!

the best I can find by searching is the following

tsee-tsee'-mee-tl

I would have to say it would be:

tzee-tzee-meel and the tz is pronounced like hertz

Edit: Actually if you compare it to how you would say Quetzalcoatl (ket-salkoat-el) it would be like Mr. Green stated with the tz sound.


Quote:

GM: The attack roll lands and you take 20d6 damage from his eye ray.

Player: Hah! I laugh in the face of a mere 20d6 damage!

GM: Alright then, on its next turn the tzitzimitl, seeing that you are far tougher than it originally anticipated, shoots TWO death rays from BOTH eyes for 40d6 damage.

Player: *jaw drops, stares wide eyed*

Party Cleric: Don't worry, I got your back! *casts mass heal on party and tzitzimitl*

GM: *steeples fingers, smiling wickedly*

Very cool beast! Worthy of its CR! :D

Dude, no offense, but it only gets ONE EYE RAY ATTACK PER ROUND! DM's that make up rules just to kill off their PC's aren't cool dude!

Lantern Lodge

Berselius wrote:
Quote:

GM: The attack roll lands and you take 20d6 damage from his eye ray.

Player: Hah! I laugh in the face of a mere 20d6 damage!

GM: Alright then, on its next turn the tzitzimitl, seeing that you are far tougher than it originally anticipated, shoots TWO death rays from BOTH eyes for 40d6 damage.

Player: *jaw drops, stares wide eyed*

Party Cleric: Don't worry, I got your back! *casts mass heal on party and tzitzimitl*

GM: *steeples fingers, smiling wickedly*

Very cool beast! Worthy of its CR! :D

Dude, no offense, but it only gets ONE EYE RAY ATTACK PER ROUND! DM's that make up rules just to kill off their PC's aren't cool dude!

He is talking about using the feat Vital Strike as it essentially doubles the damage done, thematically this could be described as shooting a ray out of both eyes rather than just one super ray out of one eye. He wasn't making up any rules, he was using his imagination to describe a feats application.

Paizo Employee Developer

Mr. Green wrote:
Golden-Esque wrote:
An internet cookie to he or she who tells me how to pronounce the name of this behemoth!

the best I can find by searching is the following

tsee-tsee'-mee-tl

Nahuatl is a weird language. This guide is helpful.


Vital Strike won't work on the eye beam because of that pesky "when you use the attack action..." wording. The eye beam ability is its own separate action; it isn't an attack action. Same with the Jabberwock's eye rays.


Thanks Fozbek. Have a cookie. (hands Fozbek cookie)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Correct. The monster's eye beams can't be enhanced by Vital Strike because using them requires a standard action. Since vital strike requires an attack action (a specific KIND of standard action, and not the one used by this monster to activate its eye beams—see the entry for eye beams under its special attacks), it can't be used at the same time the monster uses a standard action instead to use its eye beams.

It's a hazy distinction, and one that even we editors/developers took a bit to figure out, which is why we've said (erroneously, in my opinion) things like the Jabberwock COULD use Vital Strike on its eye beams.

Honestly, I wish we'd just errata the Vital Strike feat to specifically limit it to attacks with weapons. The "common sense" solution (that a monster's high-damage unusual attack does average damage more or less for it's CR indicating that doubling that just because it has Vital Strike is not the intent of the monster) doesn't seem to work.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
A cleric who used the Selective Channel feat to avoid hitting this monster with channeled energy would have nothing to fear. But if the cleric just assumed since it was undead he didn't have to worry and let a channeled energy "affect" the critter... even though the tzitzimitl gains no benefit from the energy if it's being used to heal allies, the energy still "affects" it, and thus the monster would be able to use Light to Dark to make it so that the energy would do negative energy damage to the cleric's allies. Effectively, this changes the cleric's channeled energy option from "use positive energy to heal living creatures" to "use negative energy to harm living creatures." The tzitzimitl would NOT gain healing in this case. It would gain healing if the cleric attempted to harm it with positive energy, though, and the monster then used Light to Dark to change that to negative energy.

So what you're really saying is that if the tzitzimitl is in the area of effect of a positive energy effect, it can change it to a negative energy effect? Because I look at the original phrasing and conclude that since a cure has no effect on the tzitzimitl, it doesn't affect it; I don't see falling within the area of effect of a spell as necessarily implying that one is affected by it, unless that's stated somewhere in the rules and I've missed it.

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