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Dr Davaulus

Demiurge 1138's page

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8. RPG Superstar 2013 Marathon Voter, 2014 Star Voter. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber. 1,328 posts (1,331 including aliases). 12 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.


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RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

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Jakotsubaba
An emaciated old woman stands here, clad in nothing more than rags. Her eyes glint with yellow light. Two immense serpents, one red and one blue, grow from her shoulders and wind around her arms.

Jakotsubaba statistics:

Jakostubaba CR 8
XP 4,800

LN Medium outsider (kami, native)
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect undead, Perception +17
Aura unnatural aura (30 ft.)
Defense
AC 21, touch 14, flat-footed 17 (+4 Dex, +3 natural, +4 armor)
hp 93 (11d10+33); fast healing 4
Fort +10, Ref +7, Will +10
DR 10/cold iron; Immune bleed, mind-influencing effects, petrification, polymorph; Resist acid 10, electricity 10, fire 10; SR 19
Offense
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 snakebites +16 (2d4+4/19-20 plus poison)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with snakebites)
Spell-like Abilities CL 11th, concentration +16 (+20 casting defensively)
Constant—detect undead, mage armor
3/day—spectral serpent (DC 18)
1/day—disrupting weapon, mass cure moderate wounds (DC 21)
Statistics
Str 18, Dex 19, Con 17, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 20
Base Atk +11; CMB +15; CMD 29
Feats Combat Casting, Combat Reflexes, Dazzling Display, Improved Critical (snakebite) Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (snakebite)
Skills Intimidate +19, Knowledge (religion) +15, Perception +17, Sense Motive +17, Spellcraft +15, Stealth +18, Survival +17
Languages Common, Celestial, telepathy 100 ft.
SQ merge with ward, ward (cemetery or gravesite)
Ecology
Environment temperate land
Organization solitary
Treasure standard
Special Attacks
Poison (Ex) bite—injury; save Fort DC 18; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; damage 1d3 Dex; cure 2 saves. The save DC is Constitution based.
Spectral Serpent (Sp) This spell functions as spiritual weapon, except that any creature struck must succeed a Reflex save (DC 18) or be entangled as 1 round as they are bound by the spectral serpents. This is the equivalent of a 3rd level spell.

Jakotsubabas are kami that guard the dead and protect them from both living marauders and the depredations of the undead. Although they can be found in large cemeteries, they are more frequently found warding a lonesome tomb or a mass grave hidden in the wilderness. Due to their emaciated forms, they are typically mistaken for undead creatures, but jakotsubabas are nothing of the sort and indeed despise the undead above all else.

The unnatural aura of a jakotsubaba is typically sufficient to guard the bodies they protect from mundane predators, but either mortal or undead marauders must be repelled with force. Most jakotsubabas will begin by attempting to frighten away trespassers, but if this fails, they attack with the snakes growing from their bodies and swarms of phantasmal serpents conjured by their magic. Mortal intruders will typically be left unconscious by the jakotsubaba’s venom and dragged to a remote spot to recover or succumb to the elements.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

The iconic part of Jack isn't just the cutting up prostitutes. It's the taunting letters. A cleric of the Skinsaw Man or something similar can send taunting sending spells--psychic messages that target the head of the guard, the mayor or some other civic authority to let him know he's killed again.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

My first author credit! I hope you guys like this one!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

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Todomeki
Although its outline is humanoid, a closer look reveals that this creature is anything but. It is wrapped in layers of thick fabric and has arms that reach down to its knees. Its skin is an inhuman pastel hue and its body is covered from head to toe in hundreds of eyes.

Todomeki statistics:

Todomeki CR 2
XP 600

CN Medium aberration
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +6
Defense
AC 15, flat-footed 13, touch 12 (+2 Dex, +2 natural, +1 armor)
hp 17 (5d8-5)
Fort +0; Ref +3; Will +4
DR 10/slashing or piercing; Defensive Abilities all-around vision
Offense
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 slams +4 (1d4+1)
Statistics
Str 12, Dex 14, Con 9, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 11
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 16
Feats Combat Reflexes, Nimble Moves, Stealthy
Skills Acrobatics +7, Bluff +3, Climb +6, Disable Device +4, Disguise +3, Escape Artist +9, Knowledge (local) +6. Perception +6, Sleight of Hand +9, Stealth +9; Racial Modifiers +4 Sleight of Hand
Languages Common, Undercommon
SQ eat coins
Ecology
Environment urban or underground
Organization solitary, pair or band (3-6)
Treasure double standard (padded armor, other treasure)
Special Abilities
Eat Coins (Su) As a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, a todomeki can consume up to 10 coins, imbuing itself with magical ability. The effect that this has is determined by the values of the coins consumed.
Copper: The todomeki can gain a +2 competence bonus to one d20 roll of its choice. It can use this ability as a free action once within a duration equal to the number of coins consumed.
Silver: The todomeki gains a +1 resistance bonus to all saving throws for a number of rounds equal to the number of coins consumed.
Gold: The todomeki gains a +2 insight bonus to attack rolls, skill and ability checks for a number of rounds equal to the number of coins consumed.
Platinum: The todomeki gains fast healing 2 for a number of rounds equal to the number of coins consumed.
A todomeki that eats a mixture of coins at once gains the benefit of the coin with the least value. A todomeki can only have one bonus from eating coins at a time.

Todomeki number among the ranks of human-mimics—creatures of roughly human body plan which lurk in the outskirts of cities and villages, preying on society while contributing nothing. Todomeki are less aggressive and dangerous than many of these creatures, as they care nothing for human lives or flesh—only wealth. Todomeki are excellent sneak-thieves, and make their livings out of the pockets of others.

Todomeki feed on metal, but they can only consume it in small amounts at a time. Rather than having a slavering maw like a xorn or the ability to disintegrate metals like a rust monster, todomeki must feed using dozens of tiny mouths scattered around the surface of their bodies. When closed, these mouths are nearly invisible, but they bear long tongues and speak with piping, bird-like voices. Todomeki will eat metals of all kinds, but precious metals are their favorites, imbuing them with magical energy in addition to nutrition. A todomeki lair is typically strewn with coins and other stolen baubles of all kinds—a larder as much as it is a horde.

Townsfolk tell tales that todomeki are the damned souls of the avaricious or thieves, doomed to live out their old actions inside of a monstrous body. There is little evidence for such claims—todomeki reproduce as do other creatures, laying a clutch of leathery-shelled eggs and guarding them for months. Todomeki are good parents, but drive away their children once they reach full size. Todomeki lairs are built in abandoned houses and wells, in played out mine-shafts, anywhere a bit of structure can shelter them from the elements. Although todomeki have little material culture of their own, they are obsessed with clothing, wearing dozens of mismatched layers to protect themselves and conceal their inhuman features.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

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Wannabe Demon Lord wrote:
Demiurge 1138 wrote:

Oni, Ushi-Oni

This immense creature has the leering head of a fanged demonic bull atop a furry, crab-like body. Eight spidery legs tipped with an ivory claw carry it forward, and a tail tipped in a similar appendage lashes behind it. Its entire body pulses and ripples, as if it were barely containing some immense energy
** spoiler omitted **...
The Ushi Oni is awesome and well worth the wait. Seriously, man, every time you post one of these it makes my day. Eagerly awaiting the next one.

Thank you for your kind words!

Heikegani
A crab the size of a small dog scuttles forth, its shell bearing ridges and stripes forming a leering demonic face.

Heikegani statistics:

Heikegani CR 1
XP 400

N Small magical beast (aquatic)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +4
Defense
AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 13 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 13 (2d10+2)
Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +0
Defensive Abilities negative energy affinity, retributive strike
Offense
Speed 30 ft., swim 20 ft.
Melee 2 claws +3 (1d3)
Statistics
Str 10, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 1, Wis 10, Cha 13
Base Atk +2; CMB +1; CMD 12 (20 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Reflexes
Skills Perception +4, Stealth +9, Swim +8
SQ amphibious
Ecology
Environment temperate costal
Organization solitary, pair, gang (3-6) or cast (4-24)
Treasure incidental
Special Abilities
Retributive Strike (Su) Whenever a heikegani is struck with a melee weapon, a touch attack or a natural weapon, it can make an attack of opportunity against the creature that made the successful attack. This attack deals 1d8 points of damage and is considered to be slashing, magic and force for the purposes of bypassing damage reduction. Weapons with exceptional reach do not endanger their wielder in this way.

In bays and shoals where massive battles have been fought, the seas have run red with the blood of slain soldiers. The scavenging invertebrates of these places feed well on such bounty, but their descendants are forever changed. The resulting crabs are marked with shells that resemble the battle masks of a samurai and are haunted by their ghosts. The possessing spirits imbue their hosts with only a slight modicum of intelligence, but they react violently if their crab bodies are harmed, lashing out with spectral blades. Due to this supernatural protection, the heikegani, or samurai crabs, are rarely disturbed by either predators or fishermen, and can live hundreds of years scuttling along the coasts and seafloors.

Heikegani are somewhat more aggressive than other crabs of their size, as their supernatural abilities protect them from retribution. As such, heikegani are active predators as often as they are scavengers—although they will rarely attack a party of humans, a lone halfling or gnome may find themselves prey. Their ghostly intelligence has no humanity to it, but they do find themselves attracted to metal items, perhaps in memory of the weapons and armor their souls once used. Heikegami lairs are decorated with scraps of iron, silver and bronze, and the occasional valuable may be found there.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

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Crystal Frasier wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
Trying to figure out the Egyptian equivalent of cherry blossoms so that it can be used accordingly.
Sand

I hate sand. It's coarse, and gets everywhere...

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Sure, I'm game. I'll send you a PM with my email.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

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Bound to water and enchanting music? Sounds to me like you might want to reskin a Bestiary 4 fossegrim. Switch it from fey to monstrous humanoid, maybe swap out the treasure form ability for something more melee-focused, and you've got yourself a nokken.

Of course, Paizo hasn't put B4 into its rules archive quite yet, but I think d20pfsrd.com has.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

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Oni, Ushi-Oni
This immense creature has the leering head of a fanged demonic bull atop a furry, crab-like body. Eight spidery legs tipped with an ivory claw carry it forward, and a tail tipped in a similar appendage lashes behind it. Its entire body pulses and ripples, as if it were barely containing some immense energy

Ushi-Oni statistics:

Ushi-Oni CR 16
XP 76,800

CE Huge outsider (aquatic, native, oni)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +24
Defense
AC 32, touch 9, flat-footed 31 (-2 size, +1 Dex, +22 natural)
hp 235 (18d10+136), regeneration 10 (acid, fire)
Fort +19, Ref +9, Will +14
Defensive Abilities shifting anatomy
Offense
Speed 40 ft., climb 40 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +27 (2d6+11 plus poison), gore +27 (2d8+11), 5 claws +28 (1d8+11/19-20)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon, powerful charge (gore, 4d8+16), unstable form
Statistics
Str 32, Dex 12, Con 27, Int 9, Wis 17, Cha 18
Base Atk +18; CMB +31; CMD 42 (54 vs. trip)
Feats Critical Focus, Dazzling Display, Improved Critical (claw), Improved Initiative, Intimidating Prowess, Lightning Reflexes, Shatter Defenses, Staggering Critical, Weapon Focus (claw)
Skills Climb +40, Intimidate +35, Perception +24, Sense Motive +24, Swim +40
Languages Common
SQ amphibious
Ecology
Environment temperate coastlines
Organization solitary
Treasure standard
Special Abilities
Breath Weapon (Su) 60 ft. cone, Reflex DC 27 half, once every 1d4 rounds, 18d6 fire damage. Creatures that take damage from an ushi-oni’s breath weapon must also make a saving throw against the creature’s poison. The save DC is Constitution based.
Poison (Ex) Bite or breath weapon—injury; save Fort DC 27; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d6 Str; cure 2 saves. The save DC is Constitution based.
Shifting Anatomy (Ex) An ushi-oni has a 75% chance to ignore any bonus damage from a sneak attack or critical hit.
Unstable Form (Su) As a move action, an ushi-oni can reshape its body to grant itself one of the following abilities. The ability lasts for 1 minute or until the ushi-oni spends another move action to change it.
Rip and tear—the ushi-oni gains the grab (claw) and rake (4 claws, +28, 1d8+11) universal monster abilities
Flight—the ushi-oni gains a fly speed of 80 feet with good maneuverability
Armor plating—the ushi-oni gains a +4 enhancement bonus to its natural armor and DR 5/-
Reach—the ushi-oni’s reach increases by 5 ft for all of its attacks.
Quills—the ushi-oni gains the ability to fire up to four quills as a ranged attack as a standard action (+17, 1d10+11), and any creature that strikes an ushi-oni with a natural weapon, touch attack or melee weapon takes 1d10+11 damage. Melee weapons with reach do not endanger their wielder in this way.
Trample—the ushi-oni gains the trample universal monster ability (1d8+16, DC 30)

Ushi-oni are simultaneously among the least and the greatest of the oni. Formed from spirits envious of the freedom and savagery of minotaurs and other monstrous humanoids, ushi-oni are trapped in a rebellious shell of ever-shifting flesh and their intellect is a dull flicker beside that of most other oni. Their strength is, however, legendary, and their metamorphic abilities make them unpredictable and dangerous opponents.

Ushi-oni rarely associate with others of their own kind, but may strike up crude friendships with other powerful aquatic horrors such as scylla, krakens or nure-onna. These monsters use the ushi-oni as muscle, the ushi-oni gains a more adroit brain to assist it in preying on mortals and gathering treasure, and they both benefit from another pair of eyes to look for either prey or adventurers seeking to stop their depredations.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

I've got a thread for that here. There are three oni in the Year of Yokai thread so far at CRs 3, 9 and 10. If you want to give me money, though, two of the Creature Codices have featured Japanese monsters. The Infernal Index has the CR 10 hanadaka oni and First Level Foes has the CR 1 nuppeppo.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Goth Guru wrote:

What a perfect arch enemy for The Purge.

The Purge is an organization that tries to destroy any animals or objects that become sentient and might rise against people.

The eri-tate-goromo are the third tsukumogami I've statted for this thread, and they won't be the last. Expect to see more in the months to come!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

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Eri-Tate-Goromo
The bundle of priestly robes moves and shifts, shaping itself into a vaguely bird-like form. The pointed collar is elongated and folds over the front like a beaked nose, and two beady eyes glare from behind it.

Eri-tate-goromo statistics:

Eri-Tate-Goromo CR 5
XP 1,600

CN Small construct (tsukumogami)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +4
Aura interdiction (30 ft., DC 16)
Defense
AC 16, flat-footed 14, touch 16 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +1 dodge, +3 deflection)
hp 69 (7d10+21 plus 10)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +9
DR 5/slashing; Defensive Abilities sacred shield, soul-powered
Weakness haunted
Offense
Speed 20 ft.
Melee slam +9 (1d4+3)
Spells CL 5th, concentration +8 (+12 casting defensively)
2nd (5/day)—enthrall (DC 15), spiritual weapon
1st (7/day)—command (DC 14), cure light wounds, inflict light wounds (DC 14), sanctuary (DC 14)
0th—detect magic, light, mending, purify food and drink, read magic, stabilize
Statistics
Str 15, Dex 13, Con -, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 16
Base Atk +7; CMB +8; CMD 23 (cannot be tripped)
Feats Combat Casting, Dodge, Iron Will, Nimble Moves
Skills Bluff +4, Diplomacy +4, Knowledge (local) +6, Knowledge (religion) +6, Perception +4, Spellcraft +4, Stealth +7
Languages Common, Celestial, Draconic
SQ compression
Ecology
Environment urban
Organization solitary, pair or cloister (3-6)
Treasure standard
Special Abilities
Aura of Interdiction (Su) Any time a creature attempts to cast a divine spell within 30 ft. of an eri-tate-goromo, it must succeed a DC 16 Will save or lose the spell. The spell is expended, but it has no effect. Eri-tate-goromos are immune to their own auras of interdiction and the interdictions of other eri-tate-goromos.
Sacred Shield (Su) An eri-tate-goromo gains a deflection bonus to AC and a resistance bonus to its saves equal to its Charisma modifier.
Spells An eri-tate-goromo casts spells as a 5th level oracle. It does not gain any other oracle class abilities, such as a mystery or revelations, from this ability.

Objects that survive long enough can become invested with a personality, and the robes of priests are no exception. Those vestments that become transformed into eri-tate-goromos are those that are passed down through generations of the priesthood, but this effect is not sufficient to imbue a garment with life. Only robes possessed by multiple generations of prideful clergy are so transformed, the self-satisfaction and confidence of the robes’ owners becoming a part of the clothing itself. Such creatures are likely to crawl away as soon as they become aware, convinced that they could do a better job tending to the spiritual needs of the community than their owners.

Eri-tate-goromos brook little insolence or competition, and prefer to be in situations where they are the only source of faith in town. These creatures often patch together hodge-podge faiths based on folk traditions and local practices, scoffing at the ignorance of those who disbelieve. The tendency for divine magic to fail around them serves them as evidence for their grandiose claims of divine truth and may easily encourage their veneration by the laity. They are craven creatures, preferring negotiation or flight to a direct confrontation, but will defend themselves with heavy slams and magic if cornered.

The only religious authority an eri-tate-goromo can stand is another eri-tate-goromo, and when these creatures encounter each other, they form odd confederations and syncretic faiths. It is not unknown for a traveler to seek the wisdom of a remote college of scholars only to discover a gang of bickering eri-tate-goromos seeking new converts.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

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Gancanagh wrote:
Is the Namazu also a Yokai?

"Yokai" is such a broad tent that the namazu is definitely covered. Namazu don't usually show up in yokai prints or books, but I see no reason why they shouldn't.

And now, for this week's featured creature:

Suiko
This reptilian humanoid has a face like a cross between an ape’s and a tiger’s. Large fish-like scales cover its body and a set of wicked claws grow from its kneecaps in addition to its hands and feet.

Suiko statistics:

Suiko CR 8
XP 4,800

NE Medium monstrous humanoid (aquatic)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +11
Defense
AC 20, touch 15, flat-footed 15 (+5 Dex, +5 natural)
hp 103 (9d10+55)
Fort +11, Ref +11, Will +10
DR 5/cold iron; Resist acid 10, cold 10
Offense
Speed 30 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +14 (1d8+3), 2 claws +14 (1d6+3 plus grab)
Special Attacks blood drain (1d4 Con), nimble grappler, rake (4 claws +14, 1d6+3)
Spell-like Abilities CL 9th, concentration +11
At will—invisibility, ventriloquism (DC 13)
3/day—chill touch (DC 13)
1/day—charm monster (DC 16, creatures with the aquatic subtype only), enervation, inflict serious wounds (DC 15), vampiric touch
Statistics
Str 17, Dex 20, Con 23, Int 11, Wis 14, Cha 14
Base Atk +9; CMB +13 (+17 grapple); CMD 26
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Stealthy, Weapon Finesse
Skills Escape Artist +17, Intimidate +11, Perception +11, Sense Motive +8, Stealth +16, Swim +20; Racial Modifiers +4 Escape Artist
SQ amphibious
Ecology
Environment temperate aquatic
Organization solitary, pair, band (3-6) or gang (1d6 plus 4-24 kappa)
Treasure double standard
Special Abilities
Nimble Grappler (Ex) A suiko can make rake attacks the round that it successfully grapples an opponent. In addition, a suiko takes no penalty to Dexterity when grappling and is not flat-footed when pinning an opponent.

Those who live near the water’s edge understand the dangers posed by kappa. These amphibious humanoids are tricksters and pranksters, but they are usually violent only when met with violence. When kappa become more violent and aggressive, it is a sign that their activities may be controlled by a suiko. Suiko are cousins of the kappa, but lack both the physical and psychological weaknesses of their kin. A suiko’s skull is fully closed, trapping its life-giving water within, and suiko care nothing for politeness or cucumbers—only the allure of gold and blood can sate their desires.

Suiko are giants among the kappa, but are still fairly short—being the height of a dwarf, but lean and lanky. They are bullies through and through, happiest when controlling a gang of weaker creatures (especially kappa) through threats, violence and mind-altering magic. Most suiko are ambitious creatures and may gain power through the service of more magical and fearsome aquatic monsters such as sea-going dragons, giants or krakens. Suiko are as comfortable in salt water as freshwater, and their schemes can bring those far from the sea into the clutches of malign oceanic interests.

Suiko delight in wrestling even more than do their smaller relatives, but when a suiko grabs hold of an opponent, it aims to kill. The clawed knees and feet of a suiko allow it to rapidly shred a held victim, and their hollow fangs drain blood quickly. Legends attribute to suiko soul-stealing abilities, rumors that the suiko themselves are happy to spread, but this is likely an exaggeration of their talent for necromantic magic.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

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Continuing the nautical theme from the last entry, I present the latest horror!

Funa-Yūrei
This white robed humanoid skeleton clutches a two-handed ladle. The stink of the sea is upon this apparition, and water drips from its sodden robes.

Funa-Yūrei statistics:

Funa-Yūrei CR 7
XP 3,200

LE Medium undead (aquatic)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +14
Defense
AC 20, touch 13, flat-footed 17 (+3 Dex, +7 natural)
hp 85 (10d8+40)
Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +8
DR 10/magic and bludgeoning; Immune cold, electricity, undead traits
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2
Offense
Speed 30 ft., swim 20 ft
Melee +1 quarterstaff +13/+8 (1d6+7 plus energy drain) or 2 claws +11 (1d4+4 plus energy drain)
Special Attacks create spawn, energy drain (DC 18), flood
Spell-like Abilities CL 7th, concentration +10
3/day—fog cloud, hydraulic torrent*
1/day—major image (DC 16)
Statistics
Str 18, Dex 17, Con –, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 17
Base Atk +7; CMB +11; CMD 24
Feats Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Toughness, Weapon Focus (quarterstaff), Weapon Specialization (quarterstaff)
Skills Climb +17, Perception +14, Profession (sailor) +16, Stealth +16, Survival +15, Swim +25; Racial Modifiers +4 Profession (sailor), +4 Survival
SQ staff master
Ecology
Environment any aquatic
Organization solitary, pair or crew (3-30)
Treasure standard (masterwork quarterstaff, other treasure)
*see the Pathfinder RPG Advanced Player’s Guide
Special Abilities
Create Spawn (Su) Any humanoid slain by a funa-yūrei becomes a funa-yūrei itself in 1d4 minutes. Spawn are less powerful than typical funa-yūrei; they suffer a -2 penalty on all d20 rolls and checks, as well as -2 hp per Hit Die. Spawn are under the command of the funa-yūrei that created them and remain enslaved until that funa-yūrei dies, at which point they lose their spawn penalties and become full-fledged funa-yūrei. They do not possess any of the abilities they possess in life.
Energy Drain (Su) A funa-yūrei can only use its energy drain through its quarterstaff once per round, no matter how many attacks it makes per round.
Flood (Su) As a standard action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity, a funa-yūrei can create a five foot radius burst of water from its staff. This burst is centered on a five foot square adjacent to the funa-yūrei. Any creature within the burst must succeed a DC 18 Reflex save or take 4d6 points of nonlethal damage and be knocked prone. On a successful save, the creature takes half damage and is not knocked prone. A funa-yūrei is immune to its own flood attack and the flood of all other funa-yūrei.
Staff Master (Ex/Su) A funa-yūrei is treated as a fighter with a base attack bonus equal to its HD for the purpose of qualifying for feats using the quarterstaff. Any staff held by a funa-yūrei is treated as a +1 weapon.

Funa-yūrei are created from the bodies of sailors who died due to the foolishness of their captains. These hideous undead are surprisingly organized, capable of forming crews and sailing ships with an ease envied by mortals. These ghostly crews have only one purpose—drown more sailors and create more of their kind.

A funa-yūrei attack is typically heralded by a dense bank of magical fog. Some funa-yūrei attacks commence by ramming the enemy ship, whereas others are launched by distracting the enemy crew with illusions before stealthily coming close. Smaller vessels are likely to be flooded from afar using the water created by the funa-yūrei’s ladle-tipped staves, whereas larger vessels are boarded and the sailors engaged in hand-to-hand combat. Funa-yūrei fight with single-minded dedication, stopping only when they or their enemy crew is slain to a man. Most ships captured by the funa-yūrei are scuttled, but if an attack is especially successful in creating new monsters, the undead crew might split in two and sail their separate ways.

Funa-yūrei collect treasure, possibly as a reminder of their mortal lives, and their haunted ships are laden with booty. Few are the adventurers, however, who can battle these undead on their own territory and claim this treasure without succumbing to endless claws, staves and blasts of water.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

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Unfortunately, things have been crazy, so I wasn't able to get this week's yokai up on the usual Monday date. It's a wee bit late, but I'd like to think this one is worth the wait.

Oni, Sazae-oni
This creature’s torso resembles that of a shapely woman, but the rest of its body is anything but. A thick tail grows where the legs should be, and its head is the shell of an immense snail. Two probing eyes on stalks emerge from the shell.

Sazae-oni statistics:

Sazae-oni CR 10
XP 9,600

NE Medium outsider (aquatic, native, oni)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +19
Defense
AC 25, touch 15, flat-footed 20 (+5 Dex, +10 natural)
hp 123 (13d10+52); regeneration 5 (acid or fire)
Fort +8, Ref +13, Will +11
Offense
Speed 20 ft., swim 60 ft.
Attacks sting +16 (1d4+3 plus poison), tail slap +16 (1d8+3)
Special Attacks sneak attack +4d6, steal appendage
Spell-like Abilities CL 13th, concentration +17 (+21 casting defensively)
At will—charm person (DC 15), invisibility, water breathing
3/day—fly, gentle repose, hold person (DC 16), suggestion (DC 17)
1/day—charm monster (DC 18), dominate person (DC 19), mass suggestion (DC 20), song of discord (DC 19)
Statistics
Str 17, Dex 21, Con 18, Int 15, Wis 16, Cha 18
Base Atk +13; CMB +16; CMD 31
Feats Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Deceitful, Dodge, Improved Feint, Mobility, Spring Attack
Skills Bluff +25, Disguise +25, Knowledge (local) +18, Knowledge (nature) +18, Perception +19, Sense Motive +19, Stealth +21, Swim +19
Languages Common, Aquan, Elven
SQ amphibious, change shape (humanoid, alter self), reattach
Ecology
Environment temperate aquatic and costal
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure double standard
Special Abilities
Poison (Ex) Injury—sting; Fort DC 22; damage 1d6 Dex; duration 6 rounds; cure 2 saves. The save DC is Constitution based.
Reattach (Su) A sazae-oni can, as a full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, attach a minor appendage to a willing or helpless living creature. Such new appendages can grant the creature a claw attack, low-light vision, darkvision or scent or other minor extraordinary abilities at GM discretion.
Steal Appendage (Su) As a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a sazae-oni can steal a minor appendage from a willing or helpless creature. A sazae-oni can steal a hand, foot, eye, ear or nose. A creature with a stolen hand cannot use that hand and takes a -4 penalty on skill checks requiring the use of both hands, such as Disable Device or Climb. A creature with a stolen foot reduces its land speed by 10 feet. A creature with a stolen sensory appendage takes a -4 to Perception checks. A sazae-oni can steal other body parts of similar size, at GM discretion.

Sazae-oni are one of the few fully aquatic oni, being formed from spirits envious of the free lives of the merfolk and other ocean-dwelling humanoids. Despite their power, they are among the most petty and spiteful of the oni, wreaking massive havoc to avenge trivial slights.

Like the gastropods they superficially resemble, all sazae-oni are hermaphroditic, capable of acting as a male or female as they please. Sazae-oni are lustful creatures, and many half-fiends and tieflings with oni blood can trace their ancestry back to one of these creatures. Sazae-oni are sculptors of flesh, capable of removing and attaching appendages from their victims as easily as a human can change clothes. Sazae-oni use this power to extort tributes of gold or slaves from their victims and the mightiest of sazae-oni have armies of slaves befuddled by mind-influencing magic and rendered monstrous through stolen, grafted body parts.

Sazae-oni prefer to avoid fair fights, beguiling their way into an enemy’s confidence with a false face and charming words before slaying or enthralling him. If discovered and forced into battle, sazae-oni remain mobile and strike with their tails and sharp, harpoon-like sting. This sting delivers potent paralytic venom, incapacitating enemies for the oni to remove or replace appendages from at its discretion.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

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Dorotabō
As if growing from the muddy ground, the head and torso of a skeletal humanoid bursts forth. One of its eye sockets is empty, and the other glares balefully.

Dorotabō statistics:

Dorotabō CR 4
XP 1,200

LN Medium outsider (kami, native)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., Perception +10
Aura frightful presence (DC 14, 30 ft.)
Defense
AC 15, touch 11, flat-footed 14 (+1 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 47 (5d10+20)
Fort +8, Ref +4, Will +6
DR 5/cold iron and bludgeoning; Immune bleed, mind-influencing effects, petrification, polymorph; [b]SR 15
Offense
[b]Speed
20 ft., burrow 20 ft., swim 20 ft.
Melee 2 claws +8 (1d4+3)
Ranged mudball +6 touch (entangle)
Spell-like Abilities CL 5th, concentration +7
At will—speak with plants
3/day—fog cloud, quench (DC 15), soften earth and stone
1/day—plant growth
Statistics
Str 17, Dex 13, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 14
Base Atk +5; CMB +8; CMD 19 (cannot be tripped)
Feats Lightning Reflexes, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot
Skills Intimidate +10, Knowledge (local) +8, Perception +10, Stealth +9, Survival +10, Swim +19
Languages Common, Sylvan
SQ merge with ward, ward (cultivated land of 2.5 acres or smaller)
Ecology
Environment agricultural land
Organization solitary, pair or coalition (3-6)
Treasure standard
Special Abilities
Mudball (Ex) As a standard action, a dorotabō can throw a lump of mud at an opponent within 30 feet. A creature struck by this mud is entangled for 5 rounds, and must succeed a DC 16 Fortitude save or be sickened for 1 round. At least a gallon of water washes off the mud and ends the entangled effect. The save DC is Constitution based.

Due to their grotesque appearance, many believe the specters known as dorotabō to member among the undead. They are in fact a form of kami, devoted to protecting the sanctity and the productivity of agricultural land. Most dorotabō keep as their ward a rice paddy, although some dwell in orchards or fields of other grains. When a dorotabō is pleased, they are rarely seen—their effects felt only by the reduction of pests and the high yields of crops. When a field guarded by a dorotabō is tended by a slothful or profligate farmer, however, they make their displeasure known with appearances intended to either shame owners into improving their performance or frighten them into leaving and selling the land to someone more worthy.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Name: Sebastian
Race: Fetchling
Class: Magus (black blade hexcrafter) 11
Adventure: Beyond the Doomsday Door
Location: Council chamber
Catalyst: Mauled by mummies
The Gory Details: Although the PCs were expecting to fight a zombified bugbear (due to some good intel gathering), his mummy minions caught them completely by surprise. Both Princess Luna, the gnome heavens oracle, and Sebastian were caught paralyzed, but only Sebastian was far enough ahead of the party for the mummies to catch him defenseless. One Power Attack-augmented coup de grace later, and Sebastian's chest is caved in. Fortunately for the party, the half-orc summoner Fireday has teleport in his roster, allowing them to escape back to Maginmar for a raise dead mere seconds after Sebastian's demise.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

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By request, I bring you the akaname! Interestingly enough, it fits with the parameters of this year's RPG Superstar monsters--below CR 4 and urban. If you haven't voted yet, go now! Time's almost up!

Akaname
This humanoid creature creeps around on all fours, its face concealed by a mane of shaggy black hair. It looks up, revealing its froggishly wide jaws, from which protrudes a tongue the size of a human arm.

Akaname statistics:

Akaname CR 3
XP 800

N Medium monstrous humanoid
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, Perception +7
Defense
AC 15, touch 14, flat-footed 11 (+3 Dex, +1 natural, +1 Dodge)
hp 30 (4d10+8)
Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +5
Immune acid, disease; Weakness light sensitivity
Offense
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee slam +6 (1d6+3 plus 1d6 acid plus alkali slime)
Special Attacks alkali slime
Statistics
Str 14, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 6
Base Atk +4; CMB +6; CMD 20
Feats Dodge, Stealthy
Skills Climb +14, Escape Artist +8, Perception +7, Stealth +11, Swim +8
Languages Undercommon
SQ compression
Ecology
Environment urban and underground
Organization solitary, pair or pack (3-8)
Treasure half standard
Special Abilities
Alkali Slime (Ex) The acid of an akaname’s slam attack deals double damage to oozes or other acidic creatures. Any ooze struck by an akaname’s slam attack must succeed a DC 14 Fortitude save or suffer a -1 penalty to the save DC of its acid attack for the next 24 hours. Multiple failed saves cause stacking penalties. The save DC is Constitution based.

Although the sight of a red-skinned monster lovingly combing the surfaces of a privy with its tongue is a revolting sight, the creatures behind these sightings, the akaname, are fairly benevolent urban scavengers. They delight on feeding on refuse of all types and will slip into the dwellings of townspeople to pick over their leavings. Akanames have extremely sensitive senses of taste and can be quite choosy about what filth they decide to consume. They have a particular fondness for oozes of all types, which inadvertently saves communities with an akaname population from much grief.

Akanames dwell in the shadows of settlements, sleeping by day in sewers or abandoned buildings before emerging at night to feed. Their society is rudimentary and often reflective of a distorted version of the way its host society lives. They rarely use armor or weapons, preferring to protect themselves with their muscular, acidic tongues. Akanames rarely go out of their way to attack people, but will defend themselves violently if attacked.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I've given this round a lot of thought. I've read over all of the monsters, done some deliberation, and come to my conclusions. That said:

Concept wise, we're dealing with gold here. Sewer adventures are a dime a dozen, and yet few aquatic organisms end up there--it's always otyughs, rats, undead and (in PF at least) derro. Since most sewers do have copious water in them, making more critters for it is a niche that needed filling. Making it a sore-covered shark/squid hybrid feels classic. Honestly, this critter could have been designed for the original Fiend Folio.

Mechanically, the entry is pretty tight, but could use some tweaking. As pointed out upthread, it's weaker than a shark or a squid, but I think that's a feature, not a bug. The multigrab combo is nasty, and boosting the strength scores could elevate the damage, and thus the CR, a bit. Since it's sickly and deformed, there's even a good flavorful excuse for this drop in ability scores.

The spit skeletons doesn't sit quite right with me, but not for any reasons mentioned previously. Although I agree that plain old rats are a little underwhelming as summons for CR 4, my big problem is the "40% each round" thing. Percentile rolls to determine when a monster makes an attack went out with 2e. It already has the 1/day limitation--this means that poor rolls will prevent a selachipod from making its most dramatic attack in a combat. And if you're using a skeleton-vomiting tentacled sewer shark, you want to make sure it gets to vomit some skeletons.

Despite the misstep with the spit skeletons ability, I really like this entry. It has that "1st edition feel" that some publishers are big on, without seeming unfair or overly mean. I did vote for this entry. Best of luck!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I started making detailed critiques for the top 32 entries, but unfortunately I do not have the time to finish them by the end of the contest. I apologize.

If any of you want to specifically request a critique, either before or after the round ends, shoot me a PM or respond to this post and I'll see what I can do. I can send your critique privately or post it in your monster's thread, whichever you prefer.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I've given this round a lot of thought. I've read over all of the monsters, done some deliberation, and come to my conclusions. That said:

I like the idea of a fey guardian of cemeteries very much. The interaction of the fey and mortal worlds is a big part of why fey are interesting (and not just monstrous humanoids), so putting a fey creature into a semi-urban area with a hook is a neat idea. It reminds me quite a bit of a church grim. Not sure if this was intentional (although putting the names "grymp" and "church grim" together makes me suspect that it is), but anything that takes a folkloric idea and puts a twist on it gets kudos in my book.

Mechanically, the grymp is pretty solid. Although its abilities are powerful, they're mostly focused on opposing the undead, rather than the PCs (see: invisibility to undead). I agree with the comments that the ghost touch property lasts a little too long for my tastes, but I can absolutely see the rationale behind it--recruit the reluctant help of the grymp in order to defeat some incorporeal menace that punches a bit above the PCs' weight class. Perhaps if they could only invest a certain number of weapons at a time?

To sum up, the grymp is flavorful and the mechanics support that flavor. It might be a touch too powerful for its CR, but considering that it's designed as an ally and not an enemy makes this a bit less of a concern. I will be voting for this entry. Best of luck!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

Chimney Troll
Emberling
Timberjiff
Guttersnipe
Grymp
Selachipodia
Immured
Agoravore

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I've given this round a lot of thought. I've read over all of the monsters, done some deliberation, and come to my conclusions. That said:

The idea of a monster bound to protect a child is not a new one, and it's gotten a lot of tread over the decades. It's not one that is super-well-represented in Pathfinder, but that niche could very easily be taken by a 1st level summoner's eidolon or the like. The descriptive text is not strong, as others have pointed out. The prose in general could use some tightening. I do like the idea of putting them in Nidal, with its high rate of orphans--but perhaps Isger could have served you better? Lots of orphanages, lots of potential for conflict there.

Mechanically, this entry is way off the map. Since its invisibility snaps back at the start of every turn, and it has sneak attack, that means that it will always get its sneak attack off. That makes it a PK machine. The "magical affinity" ability is too complicated--it tries to do too much at once. Splitting it up into multiple abilities would have made it more streamlined and comprehensible.

Overall, the imaginus has a lot of issues, both conceptually and mechanically. A good monster could be built from this idea, but a few more passes are certainly needed. I will not be voting for this creature. Best of luck!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I've given this round a lot of thought. I've read over all of the monsters, done some deliberation, and come to my conclusions. That said:

Conceptually, I quite like this monster. I don't particularly agree with the complaints about its Golarion ties--the Grungir Forest is a perfectly logical name drop for fey-haunted woods being brought into contact with civilization (although I agree that Darkmoon Vale would also be a good place to put them). The visual of them being made of sawdust and wood shavings is neat, and reminiscent of the twigjacks without striking me as derivative.

The sawdust-themed abilities are perhaps, a bit of overkill. Having them do it as a ranged attack, when struck and when slain is pretty gnarly. Unlike some of the judges, I do like the "blinded to a certain range" thing. Darkvision has a limited range of sight, as do oracles with the blindness curse. It's less mean than full blindness (with, which how often they can inflict it, is pretty fair).

I fell in love with the concept for this monster, and its special abilities are on-point with that theme. I will be voting for this monster--I feel it needs a little more love than the voting public seems to be giving it. Best of luck!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I've given this round a lot of thought. I've read over all of the monsters, done some deliberation, and come to my conclusions. That said:

This is a peculiar one. I like diatoms. I like Cyphermages. I like the visual behind forced teleportation. The idea of an ooze living in the sewers created from magical runoff is a pretty cool one. But there's some holes here. Why does it attack people? It doesn't seem to gain nutrition from them, and it's not intelligent, so it can't be spite or revenge or whatnot.

The jolt mechanic I was prepared to like, but the percentile roll for elevation is a very peculiar one. Percentile rolls in exception-based attacks went out, for the most part, in 3e. Sometimes, it'll do an extra 3d6 damage by picking up a foe and dropping it. Sometimes, it'll send them into a basement or... embedded in the earth? Does the jolt shunt deal damage ala dimension dooring into a solid wall? Hydroslime is also peculiar. The idea of resistance that goes away with time is a novel one, but it seems like it would add more bookkeeping for the GM trying to run a fight with one of these things (which, since it keeps zapping party members in random directions, is already high).

Although the basic concept is solid, the mechanics ended up annoying me more than anything else. The cypherplasm is okay... but okay is not what I'm looking for in a Superstar entry. I will not be voting for this creature. Best of luck!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I've given this round a lot of thought. I've read over all of the monsters, done some deliberation, and come to my conclusions. That said:

This entry is gutsy. Making a mythic creature, and one based on a classical mythological creature no less, is pretty daring. The Minotaur, the Medusa and the Hydra were once all unique creatures, so why not an ammut? Points for chutzpah.

Unfortunately, the entry falls apart in the clutch. Although it is daring to slot the Eater of Damned Hearts who sits at the feet of the gods itself at a CR 3, it doesn't really work. The fact that it can eat your heart at a CR seems indicative of that. And the heart eating mechanic doesn't work conceptually well, either. It phases the heart out magically? Having your heart removed doesn't straight up kill you? The heart can be surgically restored without doing any damage to the victim? This fails the suspension of belief test, even for a game as crazy as Pathfinder.

The "transforming into an ankh" ability feels shoehorned in. It strikes me as an excuse to make this an "urban creature". And the fact that it can, according to the flavor text, bestow mythic tiers? Weird. And if it's LN, why does it favor Good creatures with that particular gift?

This entry shot for the moon, but in my opinion didn't make it. It's messy and confused where it should be brash and exciting. I will not be voting for this entry. Best of luck!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I've given this round a lot of thought. I've read over all of the monsters, done some deliberation, and come to my conclusions. That said:

The name threw me off of this entry, first thing. Monsters named a word in English, even obscure-ish ones, can be confusing (see Sean K. Reynold's rant about the "effigy" from MMII). The concept, however, is tight. Urban extortionist dragons? Pretty cool. The link to shady seaports and pirates is one that not many monsters have, and one that gives the guttersnipe a clear role in Pathfinder (what with the Riddleports and Shackles and all).

Mechanically, the guttersnipe is pretty solid, but I do have a single niggle. Is there any way to repair the loss of hardness from rotting wind? A mending? Make whole? It seems to me that a guttersnipe could destroy entire buildings pretty handily, which seems a touch strong for a CR 3.

The more I come back to this entry, the more I like it. "Urban dragon" was a concept many of the contestants clearly favored, but this particular entry accomplishes that concept with the most panache. I will be voting for this entry, and I suspect that many others will be as well. Best of luck!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I've given this round a lot of thought. I've read over all of the monsters, done some deliberation, and come to my conclusions. That said:

Seeing "emberling" and "construct" in unison was a little peculiar, and I'm not sure I'm convinced by the entry itself. A spontaneously forming bug made out of metal seems like it could have been an elemental to me. The mechanics use the smoke rules from the Core, which is smart, seeing as they're cool rules and ever-so-rarely used.

Unlike some of the commenters above, I totally get their behavior. They like fire and they know that they "came from fire", so they hang around forges and furnaces. You've given them some good hooks for an urban infestation. I especially like the idea above about using them in conjunction with chimney trolls.

I've waffled back and forth on this particular monster in my head for a while. On the initial read, I was reluctant with the construct type and not wowed by the mechanics, but this guy has grown on me. I will be voting for this entry. Best of luck!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I've given this round a lot of thought. I've read over all of the monsters, done some deliberation, and come to my conclusions. That said:

This monster threw me from the start with the name. Does it eat open spaces? Reading the entry got me to see what was going on there, but it still rubs me the wrong way. That said, the actual concept, of a terror-fey with a penchant for anxiety, is killer. The description of them as elf-caricatures is delightful and creepy in an uncanny valley sort of way. The prose is very strong throughout, and clear thought has been given to how to build an encounter around one.

Mechanically, the agoravore is strong, but doable. Wisdom drain, as opposed to damage, is nasty at this level, but like the similarly CRed vampire spawn, it needs a bit to set up--it needs to find someone suffering from agoraphobia before it can snack on them.

When the biggest complaint I have about a creature is its name, that's a good sign. I am a big fan of the agoravore, and it has one of my votes. Best of luck!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I've given this round a lot of thought. I've read over all of the monsters, done some deliberation, and come to my conclusions. That said:

The concept of this monster is not terribly creative. "A dryad for aqueducts" doesn't have exact mythological precedent, but there are enough water nymphs and goddesses that it could happen. The mismatch of "mistress" and "little girl" at play with the name put me a bit off my footing initially, but I got over it--I can see what you're going for.

Similar to a dryad, these aren't exactly combat-machines. Unlike a dryad, however, they can't supplement their lack of damage with save-or-suck spells like suggestion, charm and even entangle. The misfortune is similar to, yet different than, that of a pugwampi. It only targets those who are hostile to the waterway mistress and requires a save, but that save DC is pretty darn high. Between that and the transparency, fighting one of these things seems like an exercise in frustration.

And why would you fight one of them? Unlike dryads, which are goodly but selfish and have a rather generous attitude towards kidnapping people to serve as guards and paramours, the waterway mistress seems just generally nice. Not all monsters need to be fought, of course, but these don't have any plot hooks to hang on when the standby of "boo! roll initiative!" fails.

To sum up, the waterway mistress reads very similar to a dryad. Too similar, and the major ways in which it has changed have been for the worse. I will not be voting for this entry. Best of luck!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

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I've given this round a lot of thought. I've read over all of the monsters, done some deliberation, and come to my conclusions. That said:

Gremlins are one of the home-grown stars of Pathfinder, so making another one of them could either be a very good idea or a very bad one. Me, I think it works. There's nothing mechanical that unites gremlins--they're just small fey who like to screw with people. Calling it a "gremlin" pulls in certain mental associations with a minimum of word count, and that's fine. The idea of a gremlin that likes to play mind games and drug people has some room to work with, but I think you could have gone farther with it. Do they infest breweries and vineyards? Hold distillers' families hostage in order to force them to distribute their tainted brew?

Speaking of "taint"... it's a perfectly fine word that has unfortunately been derailed by modern slang. That said, considering the possible associations with that particular word could have saved some trouble.

Mechanically, there's nothing wrong with the mugrog, but there's nothing particularly innovative about it either. It sits pretty solidly at the middle of the pack, mechanics-wise. And that's my problem with this entry. It's competent, but not stellar. A little more oomph, in either the mechanics or flavor, could have done it a world of good. I was on the fence for voting for this creature for a long time, but I've slid down to the "will not vote for" camp. Best of luck!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I've given this round a lot of thought. I've read over all of the monsters, done some deliberation, and come to my conclusions. That said:

The concept of this monster is a little weird. I get the idea of making a non-Newtonian ooze. That's cool. I don't get, however, the idea of making it based on flesh golem run-off. For one thing, human fat is not a non-Newtonian fluid. Also, in D&D, flesh golems are typically made by stitching together corpses, not by making Creepy Crawlers out of meat. Although that is a good mental image.

The mechanics are a mess, frankly. The non-Newtonian mechanics of being flexible or stiff depending on input should be the star, and they are, only they don't work for the CR. Half damage, for the most part, was rejected for DR in 3.5, for good reason. It shouldn't be harder to damage monsters the better you are at fighting. The stealing weapons doesn't work conceptually with the rigidity--it resists blows, but softens enough to steal weapons? The SR is just mean. Low-level casters have enough woes without dropping a crazy-high SR onto them, especially when melee is useless and it doesn't have the commensurate weaknesses of a golem.

Overall, there have been alchemical oozes in Pathfinder and meat oozes in Pathfinder (the living flesh in B4). This entry doesn't fill a novel niche conceptually, and mechanically it is highly problematic. I will not be voting for this entry. Best of luck!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I've given this round a lot of thought. I've read over all of the monsters, done some deliberation, and come to my conclusions. That said:

The idea of an other-dimensional trapdoor centipede nabbing victims and dragging them into an extradimensional bolthole is a solid one. The visuals are compelling and the niche works for a low-level urban predator with a twist. The creature type bugs me, but that's mostly a matter of taste--native outsiders tend to be creatures with strong connections to souls and spirits (oni, kami, rakshasa) or hybrids of extraplanar and mortal life (tieflings et al). An extraplanar aberration or magical beast would have suited it more, I think. The intro sentence, while dynamic, is a beast of a run-on.

Putting aside this more nit-picky stuff, a number of mechanical problems that prevent me from voting for this in good confidence. The airless hole/ lack of no breath combo has been brought up a number of times. This isn't a lair--it's a trap, and one nearly as dangerous to the kaliswyrm as to its victims. Remember, breath held is lost at double-rate if the critter takes a standard action. It would have to be popping into and out of its lair frequently in order to breathe, especially since its tremorsense really shouldn't work across planar boundaries. If the entry called this out as an exception, I'd be game for it. But it doesn't.

In addition, its poison-spit (love a good poison-spit) deals an ability penalty, not ability damage. Ability penalties do not stack with themselves, so nobody is ever going to take secondary damage from this.

To sum up, although the concept is solid and appealing, there are a number of serious design flaws that prevent the kaliswyrm from actually playing the way it was intended to. I will not be voting for this entry. However, it does seem to be very popular, so I imagine that you will be moving on to Round 3. Best of luck!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

gamer-printer wrote:
Number 2 would be nupperibbo - you're missing an 'r'.

"Nupperibo" is the Gygaxian version, a devil circa the original MMII. The mythological creature it's based on, the nuppeppo, is a similarly gross blob monster thing. I will not stat one up during the course of this project because I've already done one! My nuppeppo can be found in First Level Foes, one of the products in my Creature Codex series.

As for the other requests...

The umibozu is already in Pathfinder, in Bestiary 3 as a sea bonze. The akaname has been on the list for a while... I'll bump it to the front of the queue. As for the other three requests, this is the first I've ever heard of them! I was only able to find details on the enenra. Neat, and I'm intrigued. The akki appears to be a regionalism of "oni", and the oomukade appears to only exist as a monster-girl (hardly a traditional, or even established, yokai).

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

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Let's see how this board handles formatting of special characters...

Shōjō
Although this smiling, red-haired creature looks much like an ape, its posture is as upright as a man’s. It wears a loincloth made of seaweed and clutches a hollow gourd in one hand.

Shōjō statistics:

Shōjō CR 6
XP 2,400

CN Medium monstrous humanoid
Init +4; Senses low-light vision, Perception +12
Defense
AC 20, touch 15, flat-footed 15 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +5 natural)
hp 66 (7d10+28)
Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +7
Defensive Abilities rolling dodge
Offense
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.
Melee 2 slams +10 (1d6+3)
Ranged thrown item +11 (varies)
Extracts Prepared CL 6th
2nd—blur, bull’s strength, fire breath* (DC 16), resist energy
1st—bomber’s eye*, expeditious retreat, identify, shield, true strike
*See Pathfinder Advanced Player’s Guide
Special Attacks kill or cure, rend (2 slams, 1d6+4)
Statistics
Str 16, Dex 19, Con 18, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 9
Base Atk +7; CMB +10; CMD 25
Feats Brew Potion, Dodge, Mobility, Point Blank Shot
Skills Climb +11, Craft (alchemy) +16, Knowledge (nature) +9, Perception +12, Spellcraft +9, Stealth +14, Survival +12, Swim +11; Racial Bonuses +4 Craft (alchemy)
Languages Aquan, Common
SQ master brewer
Ecology
Environment warm coastlines and forests
Organization solitary, pair or party (3-8)
Treasure standard (potions and alchemical items, formula book, other treasure)
Special Abilities
Extracts (Sp) A shōjō can prepare and use extracts as a 6th level alchemist.
Kill or Cure (Su) Three times per day as a full-round action, a shōjō can infuse a draught of alcohol with magical energy. To the shōjō, or to any creature the shōjō designates as a swift action, drinking this draught has the same effects as a dose of restorative ointment. Any other creature must succeed a DC 17 Fortitude save or be affected as if by wolfsbane (see Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook). Unused draughts expire after 24 hours, reverting back into ordinary alcohol. The save DC is Intelligence based.
Master Brewer (Ex) A shōjō may use the Craft (alchemy) skill to brew any form of alcohol. A shōjō never takes penalties for making alchemical items without the use of an alchemist’s lab.
Rolling Dodge (Ex) Once per round, when a shōjō is missed by a melee attack, it may take a 5-foot step as an immediate action. The shōjō’s movement in the next round is reduced by 5 feet.

Despite their great intelligence, the ape-like humanoids known as the shōjō have no civilization to speak of. Their talent with brewing potions, poisons and assorted tinctures has never led them to develop an economy, they prefer to sleep under the stars than in any sort of permanent dwelling, and they eschew honor and hard work for days spent drinking and making merry. Although many scholars consider this contrast between their mental capacity and their indolence a contradiction, the shōjō see it as merely a logical consequence of their intelligence—they have deliberately chosen to abandon responsibility for fun.

A shōjō most closely resembles an orangutan, except that the males never grow the enlarged cheek pads of a mature orangutan male. Shōjō society, such as it is, is egalitarian and free-wheeling, with the most respect more typically coming to those that have invented a new recipe for sake or devised some clever game than the oldest, wisest or strongest. Shōjō are native to remote tropical islands, where they have grown quite skilled at transforming fruits, coconuts, shellfish and bird’s eggs into both potent liquors and alchemical items of all sorts. Each shōjō maintains a catalog of recipes and formulae to refer to, and some claim that the first human alchemists learned their trade from these mischievous ape-men.

Interactions between humanoids and shōjō may proceed in a number of ways. Trade between shōjō bands and ship’s crews are typically mutually beneficial. Alcohols of the civilized world are especially prized to the shōjō, and if they are unable to obtain it fairly, most shōjō will not hesitate to steal it. The only time shōjō fight to the death is in defense of their homes, but a riled shōjō is a terrifying foe indeed.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

Sam Harris wrote:
Nicholas Herold wrote:
Round 3, on the other hand, I was quite sanguine about.
As well you should have been. The Caliban was a masterpiece, and my greatest regret from last year's competition was not getting the chance to submit an encounter featuring this creature.

Thank you!

As for books I'm reading, currently I'm finishing up Animal Earth, a book about animal diversity. Has all sorts of beautiful photos and info of weird and obscure life... perfect fodder for monster-making.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

Netopalis wrote:
People who have made it in rounds past: Is it normal to feel a gripping sense of dread shortly after submitting?

Oh yeah, that was my Round 2 experience. And my Round 4. Round 3, on the other hand, I was quite sanguine about.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I'm looking forward to this! Monster rounds are always the most fun for me.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

Christopher Wasko hit the nail on the head with this one. Haunts are in-game effects that require a story to be woven into them, but frequently end up being reduced to a single save. This item lets the players in on the story, which is a great thing. It does require a little legwork for the GM, but in so doing can be richly rewarding.

Congratulations, and best of luck in Round 2!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

This one got some of my votes. The fact that it's a caster item that benefits both spontaneous and prepared casters, and in different ways, is hugely appealing to me. It also turns spellbooks into something more than just portable cash if the party has a caster but not a wizard.

Congratulations, and best of luck in Round 2!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

Welcome back to the top 32! The cinematics of this item are what sells it for me. This design space isn't unexplored (as mentioned with earthbind), but the idea of stomping and increasing gravity around the target is cool. It's also nice to see a save-for-half effect on an item, since most of them with a save are save negates.

Congratulations, and good luck with Round 2!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I am not a fan of this item. It's a spell in a can, and not even a very creative or evocative one. This is honestly kind of dull, and that's not something that should be Superstar. Your monster needs to show more creative chops in order to get votes.

Congratulations, and best of luck in Round 2!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

Welcome back to the Top 32! This item is super-cool. The visuals are evocative and the mechanics are not overpowered or a "must have", but useful.

Congratulations, and good luck in round 2!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I'm not a fan. Thematically, it's on point, but mechanically it strikes me as being a much cheaper version of a ring of spell storing. The inclusion of magic aura is a good way to combine thematics and mechanics, though, which I liked.

Congratulations, and best of luck in Round 2!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

Another item I didn't see! How did I earn this voter tag this year?

This is a really cool item. The DR is a bit much for a consumable--raising the AC bonus while also raising the ACP would have been better for the price point. The idea of using this as an anti-caster bomb is delightful.

Welcome back to the Top 32! It's nice to see multiple veterans of 2013 represented. Congratulations, and best of luck in Round 2!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

There are a lot of Top 32 items I didn't see during voting. This one is cool!

Congratulations, and best of luck in Round 2!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

Hey! A mythic item made it! I didn't see this one during voting. It's pretty cool, but the phrasing of the blowback is a little peculiar. Tighten up your rules language for Round 2.

Congratulations, and best of luck in Round 2!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

I typically downvoted this one, because it's more weapon than it is wondrous. The nova ability is awesome, though. Your clarifications on the wording of some aspects are certainly helpful, but illustrate one of the keys to this competition--be as precise with language as you can. Tighten it up, and you have mojo to spare for the monster round.

Congratulations, and best of luck in Round 2!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

Well, "easiest" is a matter of opinion. This is the first round that your work will be publicly dissected. It's a lot of pressure to keep quiet if you're misinterpreted or misrepresented by the judges or the voting public. We've had some great competitors over the years get DQed because they couldn't keep it bottled up.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Not a lot of burrowing type items in the core or ways to play with difficult terrain, so this definitely holds a niche. That niche being "play landshark" makes this item extra cool. For those people worrying about raking back and forth through a hallway--it takes a standard action to go underground and a move action to emerge. So unless you just want to pop in and out, you're going to have to spend a turn moving.

Congratulations, and good luck in Round 2!

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