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Indeed. I've never taken inspiration from anything I've read, nor do I give nods to things I've enjoyed or would have been inspired by, if indeed I was ever inspired by anything, which I am clearly not.
I'm a complete liar (and a bad one, apparently). Yes, Conrad definitely was on my mind when I was working on this one.
Mikko Kallio wrote:
I didn't like this monster initially, but it grew on me.
Yeah, it grew on him...like a fungus! See? Right? High five!
"Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
...while there are some bright spots in this monster...
Yeah, big, blue, phosphorescent ones all over its cap! Right? Right? High five!
Okay, enough with the puns. We now return you to your regularly scheduled monster critique.
This is the 12th monster entry I've read. Initial impression is mixed. Name is kinda punny, but it seems like a cool sentient fungus, and I like those. Let's dig in and see what's here.
Name: Not sold on it. Kinda punny. Fits the monster though.
Description: Sounds slightly silly looking. Not necessarily a bad thing, as adventurers may underestimate it, to their dismay.
hp: Slightly less than normal for its CR. Oddly, it has one less HD than is typical for a plant of this CR.
AC: On target for its CR.
Attack: Within range for its CR, on the high end.
Damage: Within range for its CR, on the low end.
Primary Ability DC: High for its CR, equal to a CR 8.
Saves: Fort slightly high, Ref slightly low, Will on the money. Here's where that missing Hit Die would have come in handy. Base for poor saves would have gone up to +3, evening out the Ref save and you would have had an extra feat to play with.
Feats: Not sure Power Attack fits here. The others are mainly bumping saves, which would have been helped by that extra Hit Die, and there would have been another feat here to work with.
Skills: Looks good. I like that the phosphorescence works against them.
Disease: Good writing, and a sensible ability for the creature.
Hive Mind: Pretty powerful ability that makes these things significantly dangerous in larger numbers. Speaking of numbers, under Organization it should probably read: single, pair, or colony (3-6). I also have to agree with 137ben; I don't see why this is a supernatural rather than extraordinary ability.
Spore Swarm: Excellent idea, and I like how you execute it mechanically.
Phosphorescence: Again, I like that it has a light-based weakness that isn't light blindness.
Poison: Appropriate, but perhaps a bit of overkill at 1d4 Wis damage. Especially with the high DC.
Background: It fits thematically in Nar-Voth, and I like the derro tie-in.
Overall, I rather like this monster. It works rather well as an addition to the Darklands. Is it creative enough to be Superstar? Intelligent mushroom folk have been done before. Does this have enough of a creative spin to it to get past being old hat? Best of luck to you in the voting!
This will be the 4th entry I've viewed. On first glance, I like the initial concept. Swarm of flying, little aberrations with an eye theme. Not exactly original, but let's dig in and see what we've got.
Name: A bit too obvious with the eye connection, and not really explanatory of anything.
Descriptive Text: Provides a clear image of the creature, and a really creepy one at that. Good.
hp: Below average for CR, but given the swarm traits, not a deal breaker. This many HD, however, alters a lot of other abilities. The baseline of 10 HD for a CR 7 aberration is there for a reason. The hp balance might have been better made by a Con boost, since it doesn't affect so many other areas of the monster.
AC: Slightly below average, but it can't be hit by weapons anyway.
Attack: Swarm, so not applicable.
Damage: On par for a swarm of its CR.
Primary Ability DC: High for its CR, as is the distraction ability. However, we're dealing with a swarm and the HD boost to get its hp up boosts a lot of things across the board.
Saves: Saves are high across the board. Gonna make it tough to take this thing down, since weapons don't work. Might be a balance issue here for its CR. Hive mind makes it more vulnerable than an average swarm, but its high Will save negates any advantage that might provide.
Statistics: Half the stats should be even, and the other half odd. All its stats are even. Also, why Str 4? Why are flying eyeballs so strong? Rats are a size category larger, and they only have a Str 2.
Gaze/Multigaze/Unavoidable Gaze: Cool, interactive abilities. Dangerous though. Might be toeing the line for its CR. Not so bad for a party aware of the danger in time to take precautions, but potentially a TPK machine for a group unprepared for the encounter.
True Seeing: Uh-uh. No way. A CR 7 monster with a 5th level spell as an at-will ability on top of the rest? Way too much.
Feats: Wouldn't Fly-By Attack be useless for a swarm? It technically has no attacks, just a set amount of damage done to any creature that starts its turn in the area of the swarm. It can't, per the rules, fly past a creature and deal swarm damage. Iron Will and Lightning Reflexes and their Improved versions move toward unbalancing this monster. There are only so many ways to beat a swarm, and this one is closing those holes in its defense fairly thoroughly.
Skills: I ran the numbers on the skills twice and come up six skill points shy of the 72 the monster should have to spend. That's taking into account that it has Stealth +17 just from its Dex mod and Size bonus, and that Bluff, Diplomacy, one Knowledge skill, and Linguistics are not class skills for aberrations. Also, it seems it should have one more language on its list from Linguistics.
I agree with the judges that double treasure is ridiculous. How do they carry it?
Background: There's too little here. I find the idea of the obsession with seeing everything appealing, but the connection to Nar-Voth is weak. They need a better tie-in. Perhaps if they were creations of the derro, either escaped or perhaps still working for their creators, acting as spies and furthering their insane experiments upon surface dwellers, or both. That would anchor them to the area through an already existing race. As is, the link to Nar-Voth is weak and I'm not sure the background stands on its own.
Overall, I find the concept really intriguing. I have concerns that it might be too strong for its CR as written, which would (technically) put it outside the range required for the contest. Whether the cool factor is able to carry it remains to be seen, after I see what the other dozen entries have to bring to the contest. Good luck!
Male Human (Ulfen) Cleric 7
hp 30/48. And, of course, I have none of my Animal domain spells prepared.
"Aaaaarghh!!! Flamin' arch-hell bastards! Crockplucking pisswads!" By the bloody flamin' horns!
Flailing at the rats covering his body, Agnar quickly takes several long, hopping strides, hurrying outside the barn and away from the rats, then drops his bow and begins fumbling at a pouch at his belt. Move action to clear the barn, second move action to pull a flask of alchemist's fire from his belt pouch.
Lord Snow wrote:
This is a very good point. In the first CA movie, Carter was presented as some sort of badass that the people involved in the project of creating CA were already trusting (it always irritated me, by the way, that it was made very clear that she is a good trusted woman of action, yet somehow nobody ever considered choosing her to be the first to be tested with the new super-soldier thingy - just one of the things that make that movie bad). So she was involved in matters, treated as an equal and relied upon.
There were no women on the front lines of WWII. The idea would have been unthinkable. Carter was a competent agent, but her operations were strictly behind the scenes. They were looking for a super-soldier, not a super-spy. Hence looking for a suitable prospect among the enlisted men.
Just wanted to express my admiration for the official judges who are providing commentary and insight on the submissions, as well as to the voting public taking the time to weigh in and critique. It takes time and effort, especially when you take the time to provide feedback. I hope the finalists appreciate the efforts you make.
I'm reviewing freelancer submissions for LPJ Design, and I'm already tired after two of them. 32 maps or a couple hundred magic items? Forget about it.
Joynt Jezebel wrote:
Yes, and the response is also a quotation, from another comedy film, The Princess Bride and apropos, considering that the joke from the first one is adequately ironic, so they go well together.
Wells is a master manipulator, so it's hard not to feel sorry for anyone that falls under his influence. Whether he intended for anyone other than Barry to be affected remains to be seen, though Hartley wasn't so much affected as afflicted, since he was injured and had the implants to help.
I was impressed by how they managed to work in sexual tension between West and Hartley without any direct dialogue.
Found this article on io9 the other day: 10 rule for making better fantasy maps.
In the tradition of Castle Ravenloft, the fortress of Scarwall from the Curse of the Crimson Throne AP was a pretty impressive map.
Okay, I think I'm ready.
The arcanavore can also absorb energy from sundering magic items, which provide longer lasting bonuses. If it deals sufficient damage to an item to inflict the broken condition, it gains +1 enhancement bonus for every three Caster Levels of the item (or special abilities as above, minimum bonus of +1) that last 1 minute per caster level of the item. If a sunder attack destroys the item, then the duration is doubled.
The arcanavore only sheds light while using absorbed magic.
Male Human (Ulfen) Cleric 7
Hang on a tic...
Sorry to see you go, Patrik. Treshiell will be missed.
I'm okay now. Just needed to let off a little steam, let my Hitler out and have done with it. Given the overall quality of the Top 32, I'm not feeling totally crushed, but there's that tension that just needs to go before I'm ready to give congratulations.
The arcanavore was mine.
Wait? Exit poll? There was an exit poll? How did I miss this?
Nothing in the description of movement during a charge says it doesn't work with air walk.
Nothing in the description of air walk says you can't charge.
Conclusion: A creature under the effects of air walk can charge normally.
6a. "I don't detect any traps." (To the fighter) "Go ahead and open the door." *takes a step back*
Male Human (Ulfen) Cleric 7
"Sorry, Prazil, but whoever made that armor for the owlbear may have also had it attack us. And if it's this guy," he says, pointing at the corpse, "then I'd say his armor making days are over."
Agnar shakes his head, pondering the scene for a moment before heading towards the exit.
"I'm going to find a place to set up camp. The only person we've found that might know something about this owlbear is dead, but that's not going to give him an excuse to give us answers. We should spend the night here. In the morning I'll try a spell and see if I can't convince his departed spirit to speak to me."
If everyone's okay with it, we can rest here, get a point or two of ability damage taken care of, and I'll prep a speak with dead and see if we can unravel at least a little of this mystery.
Every time you use an apostrophe to pluralize a word, zombie Aroden strangles a kitten.
I'm a maverick and a rebel! I'll do what I want! Plus, I'm thinking D is interfering with my comprehension a bit. Kinda fuzzy. I've slept 14 hours out of the last 24. That might be contributing as well.