|Paizo Pathfinder® Paizo Games|
|About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ|
I'm waiting to see what's with the young girl (Enid?). They said she's another survivor from outside. Where is her family? The people that traveled with her? It's unlikely she survived on her own. If she did come in on her own, then she's probably a plant, sent in to scope out the place ahead of an attack. If they just put her in as a romantic interest for Carl, I would be sorely disappointed.
Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey
When the dwarves he summoned arrive, the commander remands custody of the mocking to the guardsman who originally brought the creature to his office. "Put it in a cell until we can determine what it is and what should be done with it."
The four dwarves, a pair of identical female twins and two males, he sets to the task of relieving the group of their weapons and offensive magical items. The one called Rogan casts a spell and notes any magical devices on your person, taking any scrolls or wands they find. Everything is logged in a book before being locked away. You note that the commander carries the key. Let me know if anyone wants to use Sleight of Hand to conceal anything, or any other tactic of that sort.
Then you're led to your rooms, where they confiscate your stowed gear. You are locked in, awaiting your interview with the commander. Stilgar, you are brought out first to see him.
"All right. Give me the story from the beginning. Don't leave anything out. I'm giving you some leeway here, given your position in the church, but things as they are I can't afford to overlook suspicious circumstance. This right here is plenty suspicious."
Each of you will be brought in, in turn, to give your statements. He will be asking you to explain the reason for your group going beyond the wall. You can post your response here if you wish to be forthcoming. Otherwise, we can RP it depending on how you want to go about the encounter. Please spoiler your posts.
Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey
With the mocking manacled, the commander moves over and examines it, a look of fascination on his face. A moment later, that look vanishes, as his features go hard and he moves his steely gaze from one party member to another. Several long moments pass, then he speaks, addressing the guardsman that brought in the mocking.
"Send me Agna and Ingra, Hargrim, and Rogan.. Then take half our remaining force and organize them into pairs. Sweep the place from top to bottom. If you find anyone you don't recognize, take them into custody. If they resist, kill them." The guardsman, wide-eyed, salutes and leaves in a rush. Then the commander turns his attention back to you lot.
"When my people arrive, you will disarm yourselves and place any weapons and potentially harmful magic in that locker to the left of the door. You will then be escorted back to your rooms and locked inside. Make yourselves comfortable. I will have each of you brought to me in turn to provide a full accounting and explanation of what your friend Magnus just said. If I am fully satisfied, then you will be released from confinement. Then, and only then, will I decide whether you are to be allowed into the pass. When you leave the fort, no matter which gate you take, out or back whence you came, your weapons and goods will be returned to you. Any questions?"
Coming in at number one with 24 favorites, my response to a post about the slayer class, which asked: "How would a novel or film adaptation indicate that a character is a slayer and not one of the other two, assuming an audience familiar with fantasy tropes but with no knowledge of the mechanics of roleplaying games?"
"In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer."
Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey
Auric locks its arms and slams it face down on the desk. It continues to struggle, but is unable to get free. Commander Ironfist helpfully removes the axe from its hand and replaces it on its mount on the wall, speaking as he does.
"There are manacles in the drawer on the left. Someone want to explain how this...thing got in my fort?"
I'm just hoping he doesn't look quite so washed out. Maybe some blues and more prominent golds in the costume, because it appears that the only thing DC took away from their failure with the Green Lantern movie is: 1) the colors were too bright, so we need to tone those down, and 2) people don't want humor in their superhero movies.
Seriously, the Wonder Woman promo shot looks like Xena goes to Hell, and this one is one step away from a black and white photo. I really want to be optimistic about this one, but it's difficult. DC does better TV (at least until Daredevil is released, maybe). Marvel still owns the silver screen.
Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey
Naked Stilgar is led away by the guards, presumably to be taken inside the fort. The ponies would like you to freshen their water and perhaps put some more grain in the troughs. Janet concurs.
Commander Ironfist's mouth quirks up a bit at the corner when Magnus displays his magic. Perhaps this is what passes for a smile. But it quickly disappears as he considers the gnomes words.
"So you've got some magic. Then there is Stilgar, of course," he says with a deferential nod to the cleric, "But I'm not certain that's quite the number you make it out to be." He gives both Kalaya and Auric an appraising gaze, lingering long enough for his appraisal to become almost uncomfortable, before breaking eye contact and turning to respond to Stilgar.
"I'd thought of that, but I'm not inclined to let in a mob of giants to gawk at it. This falling star has certainly brought a host of troubles, enough on its own that all the doomsaying and prophecy about it hardly seem worthwhile. I'd like to be sure..." His last thought goes unfinished, as there is a knock at the door. The commander calls for the knocker to enter.
The door opens at the hand of one of the fortress warriors. "Ten-deep, I found this fellow wandering the wall. Erm, he doesn't seem quite in his right mind, and..."
He is interrupted by the person behind him, a dwarf wrapped in the guard's cloak, who suddenly pushes past and into the room. Except for a notable lack of clothing, he's the spitting image of Stilgar. He makes a rush towards the cleric, grabbing an axe off the wall in passing and making an overhand chop at Stilgar at the end of his charge. However, Stilgar is able to move his head at the last second, feeling the blade kiss his hair before it bites deep into the back of the chair!
Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey
The commander raises bushy eyebrows.
"Indeed? Surprising. I thought the church's opinion was that anything outside of our territory was too much risk of contamination to be worth talking to. I can say that you won't find much west of here if you're seeking trade. Nothing but human barbarians, goblins, giants, and worse."
"Of course, I don't put much stock in tales of contamination. I've been covered in 'contaminated' blood up to my eyeballs and had no lasting harm done to me. Still, going out there is a risk. As it is, I'd have to make a concerted effort to drive those giants off before I could let anyone out there. Last thing I need is to have a bunch of citizens slaughtered just out of sight of my walls. And led by a priest at that? I'd be lucky to get the headsman's axe. More likely they'd tattoo my face up and cast me out."
Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey
Ugh. Sorry about your dog. We have a 14 year old dog as well, and for the last few months she hasn't been doing well. Symptoms point to Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (basically "doggy dementia"). Not much to be done, as the only medication to treat it is expensive and not guaranteed to be effective. Just have to watch her closely and make life as comfortable as possible.
Congratulations on the election win, though.
Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey
Jon watches as naked Stilgar scrambles clumsily up the wall and makes the parapet, then starts to scamper up after him. He's just about to the battlements when a cry of challenge goes up. After a brief moment of panic, Jon realizes that one of the guards on the wall has seen Stilgar and not him. After a moment, the guard seems to recognize him as one of the travelers that recently arrived, and questions him, with no immediately reply. Hesitantly, he comes to the decison that Stilgar must be ill or unwell, and takes off his cloak, putting it around Stilgar's shoulders and escorting him into the gatehouse. Stilgar says nothing, allowing himself to be led away by the guard.
When the party has had a short while to stow their belongings and refresh themselves, one of the dwarves returns, taking the group to a spare, if messy, room. It has various maps on the walls, and a large table in the center, with more maps and paperwork strewn across it. On the walls are what appear to be various trophies: a torn banner displaying a dwarf head with daggers in its eyes, a pair of eight inch tusks secured to a plaque, various shields and weapons, and the stuffed and mounted left arm of a giant.
A battle-scarred dwarf with his black hair and beard tied and secured with simple silver fittings, is poring over one of these maps as you enter.
"Sir, these are the visitors wanting to head out of the pass. Folks, this is our commander, Rurik Ironfist."
The commander raises storm-gray eyes to regard your group with what seems to be mild curiosity, then makes a motion to come in, indicating a couple chairs near the wall, not enough for all of you. "Come in. I'd like to hear more about this expedition."
What gets me is that no one second-guessed this plan. Not even the law enforcement officer who is privy to it. You can also make an argument for the metahumans, but what about the Pied Piper? He's just a regular guy, albeit a genius, when you take away his toys.
This is the 16th and final monster entry I've read. Initial impressions are mixed. A mind-reading shapechanger has possibilities, but there appear to be some problems with this build. Let's dig in and see what's here.
Name: Ugh. I really don't like it.
Description: I would have gone with something more concrete. There's no way that line would be read aloud to my players.
hp:Just under average for its CR.
AC: Low for its CR.
Attack:On target for its CR.
Damage:Low for its CR. Grapple and constrict tactics might make up for this.
Primary Ability DC:Little high for the CR.
Saves: Low saves are a little high, high save is low.
Abilities: There should be three even scores and three odd scores.
Feats: Not bad, but Skill Focus seems like it could have been replaced with a better choice. The thing is a shapechanger, how stealthy does it need to be?
Skills: Math checks out. Nothing wrong here.
Chameleon: Good defensive ability, though the bonus should be listed under skills for reference.
Detect Desire: Again, this ability works for what the monster is intended to do, but it lacks finesse. As pointed out by others, one isn't usually expecting their deepest desire to be sitting in a tunnel in the Darklands. What if a fighter's deepest desire is to make enough money to buy a tavern and make it a shrine to Cayden Cailean? I think the ability is too focused on a cliched theme. I'm also not sure why the DC is Constitution-based. It should be Int or Wis based.
Mimic Desire: Again, a good ability for the monster.
Background: Theme is solid, and it fits into the Nar-Voth ecology well.
Overall, its a variation on the mimic/ambush predator theme, which has been done before. I don't think it's covering new ground. I did an ambush predator, the arcane angler, as a Wayfinder submission for issue #8. It also read the minds of potential prey, and covered itself in an illusion of something desirable for its prey. When the prey got close enough, it would swallow them whole.
I think the major weakness here is that unlike the mimic and most other ambush predators, it has the lure, but nothing to seal the deal. The mimic has glue to ensure the prey doesn't escape. My arcane angler had grab and fast swallow. Ropers sap the strength of their prey. The deep desire can grab them, but has nothing to ensure it can hold them. After the initial surprise round, a party of PCs is going to beat the snot out of this thing. That's a major design flaw.
Good luck to you in the voting.
This is the 15th (almost there!) monster entry I've read. Initial impressions are positive. A radioactive, laser-shooting cave wasp? Sounds good so far. Let's break it down and see what's here.
Name: From just the name, I was expecting something shadow-based, not light-based. Not sure if this is the best fit.
Description: Excellent. I've got a clear mental image of the thing.
hp: Low, but close to target. HD is actually one higher than typical for a magical beast of this CR.
AC: On the money for its CR.
Attack: On the high end of its CR.
Damage: Really low, but the special attacks might balance that.
Primary Ability DC: A little high for the CR.
Saves:Little high, little low...one on target. No problems here.
Spell-Like Abilities: They fit. Constant see invisibility is nasty, but in a good way.
Feats: Good selection that fit the monster. Again, another teamwork feat. Walking into a nest of these things would be scary.
Skills: Math adds up. Looks good here.
Black Light: I share Adam's concerns that multiple attacks using this ability could be severe. That Con damage really adds up.
Corrupt Light: Neat ability. I like it. Very original concept.
Light Ray: Mikko makes a good point that there's no real need for using corrupt light when it has these attacks, especially with the teamwork feat added in.
Shadow Blending: Neat defensive ability.
Background: I like it overall. Tight theme, fits nicely into Nar-Voth.
On the whole, this is a strong entry. Good concept, themed abilities, and a monster I'd like to throw a party against. Good luck to you in the voting.
All right, this is the 14th monster entry I've read. Initial impressions are favorable. A non-evil, subterranean fey that focuses on force effects? Haven't seen that before. Let's dig in and see what's here.
Name: Not bad.
Description: Bland. Little head, big eyes, skinny body. Not a lot to go on, and doesn't really evoke a clear image.
hp: Slightly low for its CR.
AC: Very high for its CR.
Attack: On the low end for the CR, but it has an auto-hit for its special ability.
Damage: Very low, though the special attack is just low with an auto-hit and the extra effect.
Primary Ability DC: n/a
Statistics: Monsters should have three odd-numbered stats, and three even.
[b]Saves: Fort is high for its CR. The others are on the money.
Feats: Reasonable selection.
Skills: Everything adds up here.
Aetherwall: I have concerns about this ability. It's wall of force, albeit with a limited area, but with a perpetual effect, so long as the aetherling continues to concentrate on it as a move action. Combine that with the force alteration effect and I now have total cover from which I can throw force javelins to my heart's content, since they act as magic missiles and can just slip around my wall. Add in the cooperative effect and this seems like something outside the realm of a CR 5 monster.
Force Alteration: Again, this will rip through a wizard or sorcerer's defenses quickly. It does bring them in melee range, but with a healthy AC and decent hp, they might last in close quarters for a bit. At least they don't have the typical fey DR/cold iron.
Force Javelin: Big magic missle at will. Auto-hit every round. Sure, it's an average of 8.5 hp a round, but with a squad of 5 that's suddenly 42.5 a round.
Force Sight: Fits with the theme, but not terribly impressive.
Background: I really wish the judges had made the playtest material off limits. It's not official, and not everyone is familiar with it. I've only given it a cursory glance, so my first thought was that we were talking about the drug from the Gamemastery Guide, which made this monster really, really weird at first.
Also, even with additional description added here, I still don't know what these things look like. I know they're garbed in force, so are they looking naked to everyone but themselves? What color is their skin? Do they have hair? Are they more elvish looking like some fey, or more like leprechauns, or brownies? I can't say, because the listing doesn't say. The only real link to Nar-Voth is that they live there because the aether is there. I'll have to take your word on that. I just don't feel a real connection here.
Overall, it's an interesting concept, but very one-note. If there was a more creative description concerning their appearance, some social interaction with the rest of Nar-Voth, something, I might warm to them. Mechanically the powers seem above what I'd expect for a creature of this CR, but at the same time Owen might be right that fights could grind on without a clear victor. This one isn't really winning me over. Good luck to you in the voting.
This is the 13th monster entry I've read. First impression is positive. A big, floating fungus? Sounds like it might be interesting. Let's see how this breaks down.
Name: Well, the name indicates a type of fungus, but it's nothing like what's presented here. A bit misleading.
Description: Provides a complete picture of the thing, including scent. Mikko already mentioned making assumptions in either the monster or PCs actions.
hp: Below average, which is weird because it has one more Hit Die than average for its CR.
AC: Low for its CR.
Attack: On par for its CR. "Tendril" is not a form of attack. Should be "3 slams."
Damage: High for its CR.
Primary Ability DC: High for its CR.
Saves: Fort is on par, Ref and Will low for its CR.
Speed: This thing has no legs. Why does it have a land speed and climb speed that are both faster than it can fly?
CMD: This thing has no legs and is a primarily flying creature. It shouldn't be able to be tripped at all.
Feats: An adequate collection of feats. They match the thematic and combat elements of the creature.
Skills: Stealth +0? Why? It should have 10 skill points for its Hit Dice. If they were all put into Stealth then its score should be +9 (10 ranks + 3 class skill bonus - 4 Size penalty + 0 Dex mod) barring any specific penalties to the monster, of which there are none. Perception is listed as +7 in the Senses line, but not listed here. With a +1 Wisdom modifier and class skill bonus, that means 3 points put into Perception, which would make Stealth +6.
Congeal: Weirdly worded. I think it would be better to say "If it takes more than 20 points of cold damage in a single attack." That said, this would be a pretty severe weakness, except for the fact that it is faster on the ground and could flee.
Contents Under Pressure: I like this ability, but while the damage limit for congeal works, it doesn't here. This should be due to damage type and activate for any slashing or piercing attacks, I think. I like Jacob's idea of making this do a bull rush in addition to the damage, rather than having the thing woosh away like a balloon, and dropping its prey seems silly when it is designed to grapple. Special abilities shouldn't gimp a monster rather than help it.
Feed: Good ability, but needs clarification as has been pointed out by other commenters.
Description: Adequate, but I would have liked to have seen some further tie-in to vegepygmies aside from the mere mention. They're cousins of a sort. How do they interact with one another?
Overall, I feel this was a good concept, but not well executed. Good luck to you.
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!
So this is the 11th monster entry I've viewed thus far. Initial impression is positive. A big rock-monster that swallows its prey whole? Sounds like fun. Let's dig in and see what we have.
Name: Not a huge fan, but it's a descriptive name that fits the creature.
Description: I'm having trouble getting a complete image here. What's it shaped like? Does it have legs? I get the big, crystal-toothed maw, but that's about it.
hp: Right on the money for its CR.
AC: Slightly low for its CR. Why not just up the natural armor by 1?
Attack: High for its CR, but since the bite sets up its major offense, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Damage: Low for its CR, but again, the set-up leads to some nasty damage from swallow whole, assuming it works. I think Owen is right that there were options you could have used to make it more threatening even if its big ability didn't pay off.
Primary Ability DC: Low for its CR. I'd have upped its Charisma to put this on par, since the power is its main way to deal with multiple opponents outside of melee, and it really needs this power to work since it can't escape with its main method of travel with swallowed prey.
Saves: High, low, and low. Given its overall abilities and methods, not a terrible array.
Feats: I would have just upped the damage of the bite and saved yourself a feat. Otherwise, good selection.
Skills: Everything adds up here.
Language: Had to look this one up, as I wasn't familiar with it. Excellent choice.
Blood Gorger: Nice bit of flavor here with this weakness, and nicely offset by the blood lantern ability.
Blood Lantern: Very creative. I like this a lot.
Crystal Gnasher: Unnecessary, really. There are plenty of monsters that do damage higher than the baseline for natural attacks of their size without needing special powers to do so.
Freeze: As has already been said, no point in wasting words to reiterate this if it doesn't operate differently than the standard ability.
Background: Well done. Establishes the monster into the Nar-Voth ecosystem and gives it some excellent flavor. My only concern is that you've tied the blood crystals into the treasure found (a great idea) but didn't note what amount and value of blood crystals can be harvested from an average specimen. That's important information for the GM.
Overall, I'm pleased by this entry. It's flavorful, interesting, and fun. A few glitches here and there but a strong entry overall. Good luck to you!
This is the 10th entry I've read thus far. Initial impressions are mixed. A tiny dragon, Chris? After last year's monster round? I can't tell if you're taking a risk or trying to play it safe. Interesting earth theme. Let's break this down and see what's here.
Name: I too learned a new word. Still, not crazy about the name.[/b]
Description: It works. Clear visual.
hp: Low for its CR.
AC: Slightly high for its CR.
Attack: On the low end for its CR.
Damage: Way low for its CR.
Primary Ability DC: On target for its CR.
Saves:These are way low, and the math is wrong. Dragons get good saves across the board and as a 6HD creature its base save is +5. With the stat array you've given it, the saves should be Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +6. Even then, they're low for its CR.
Feats: I applaud you on your use of unconventional feats to really cement the theme and tactics of your monster. It would have been the icing on the cake if this were up to snuff as a CR 5 monster.
Skills: Skills are on target.
Caustic Burrowing: It uses its acid-dripping horn to burn tunnels through the earth. Cool. Now why does that very caustic acid which can melt stone only do 1d4 damage on an attack? That's less than a flask of acid. Upping the damage would have helped put it on par with other monsters of its CR.
Jumblestone: A clever ability, and I like it. However, it seems the damage should increase if, say, the wimblewyrm drops the rocks from the top of an 80 foot cavern ceiling as opposed to just 5 or 10 feet up.
Background: I like the background, and it seems a good fit for Nar-Voth.
Overall, I'm a bit disappointed. While its tactics are clever, it's still underpowered for a Darklands monster, especially one of the dragon type. Obvious errors on the saving throws when it's already underpowered just add to the problem. I'm not sure if the mojo of it outweighs the problems, especially since we saw so many tiny dragons last year.
This is the 9th entry I've read thus far. Initial impressions are positive. Evil fungal-themed subterranean fey? Sounds good. Let's dig in and see what's here.
Name: Meh. Could be better.
Description: I'm with Owen on this one. More common language for descriptive passages means less time running to the dictionary and slowing down the game. Also, I'm pretty sure Paizo publishes in standard U.S. English, so you'd drop the "o" from words like "fungous."
Speed: For something that's half grub, basically inching along the ground, they sure move awfully fast. I would have thought they'd be slower due to the wormy bottom half.
hp: Slightly lower than average for the CR, but not as low as I'd expect for something of the fey type.
AC: Also slightly low for the CR.
Attack: Toward the low end of the CR range, again typical of fey.
Damage: Well below the low end of the CR range. We'll see if its other abilities compensate.
Primary Ability DC: High for its CR.
Saves: Fort slightly high, Reflex high, Will slightly low.
Spell-Like Abilities: I would have liked to have seen something a bit more related to the theme here. Cause fear works, but how about entangle since they fight in areas overgrown with fungus?
Feats: This seems like a hodge-podge assortment. Weapon Finesse and Power Attack? Combat Reflexes? Are these things really going to want to wade in and tear things apart with their claws? Seems like the tactic would be to ambush, immobilize, and infect. Better choices could have been made here. Hit and run tactics seem like they might be more useful.
Skills: Good selection, and the points add up.
Dread Burst: Not sure about the ability name. I like the overall flavor and effect of the ability, especially "infecting" others nearby with their fear. Very creative. Seems like it could be worded better. I'm assuming it's a Will save to avoid having the sprouting mushrooms absorb emotions, thus avoiding the Cha damage, rather than resisting the actual growth of the mushrooms themselves.
Fungus Snare: Good ability. These things would need relatively immobile targets, because they'd get stomped in a fight on equal footing.
Spider Climb: What you're looking for is the expert climber ability, which giant geckos and morlocks possess.
Spores: These things really do need to be treated like a disease, along with some mention on how to get rid of them once someone is infected.
Background: It's well suited to Nar-Voth, and has some solid tie-ins to the region.
All in all, I'm favorably inclined toward this entry. I like the overall flavor, and the mechanics are good, they just need a few tweaks. Well done, and good luck to you in this round.
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
You are correct, sir. My eyes must have jumped a line in the table when I was consulting it. Happens sometimes when I'm reading off a screen rather than out of a book.
We already have programs like the G.I. bill for military service. How about college in exchange for federal service of some form, civil or military, to the person's preferences?
Make it so college takes place concurrently with a civil service program, or after a minimum service period of 2 years. Those that go the military option can do a 2 year term of service and then go to college for a 2 year degree, with the option of reenlisting with the possibility of advancement in rank or change of service type based on education if they so choose.
This is the 8th monster entry I've read. (Halfway there! Yay!) First impressions are positive. What?! A living insectocycle? Neat! Let's dig in and see how this breaks down.
Name: I like it. I also like that you put thought into why it has that name.
Description: Clear, but I'd probably steer away from "elk-sized." Elk vary in size. I'm pretty confident that bull elk are firmly in the Large-sized category, rather than Medium. That said, I wish this thing was large. I'm have visions of morlock insectocycle gangs kekking through the Darklands that I want to play out properly.
hp: Just about on target for the CR.
AC: On target for the CR.
Attack: On target for the CR.
Damage: Average damage is on the low end for its CR. Troubling, since it is primarily a predator. The bleed helps up this a bit. We'll see if the special abilities balance this a bit.
Primary Ability DC: n/a
Saves: Slightly high or right on target for its CR.
Feats: Good selection that fits the theme.
Skills: With its Int score, as a magical beast, it should have 8 skill points (1 per HD). Doing the breakdown of skills, I'm coming up with 9. Survival seems the odd one out, as it is not a class skill for magical beasts, so it would need an extra rank to be +4 (2 ranks + Wis modifier). Personally, I think it should have Swim, if only for the image of it using its wheel-leg as a paddle wheel.
Spell-Like Ability: It fits, given the description of its hunting techniques.
Monstrous Momentum: Here's the crux of the creature, and where I feel it has its greatest triumph and its biggest stumble. It's a solid ability, but I don't think it does enough. This thing is a predator in an area where things tend to be tougher and more dangerous than they are on the surface. First, why is this thing not Large-sized with the trample ability? In conjunction with monstrous momentum, that would make it a truly fearsome opponent. If the bleed ability had been tied to a trample attack, it would be a lot more fitting (spikes on the wheel put a bunch of holes in overrun opponent.) As it is now, a mere overrun without any damage isn't very scary. Or it could remain Medium-sized and have some sort of damage multiplier for the sheer momentum of its attack. If there'd been that kind of follow-through here, I'd be sold. I get that it has tactics to use this in conjunction with the environment, and that's good, but if the environment isn't right, or the PCs change the environment, then it goes from dangerous to merely annoying.
Wheel Barbs: Excellent, though I wish they'd been incorporated into the offense as well, as noted above.
Background: I like the way the monster has been placed into the ecology and made to sound like it belongs in Nar-Voth. Well done.
Overall, this is a really cool idea that falls just short of the mark. If it had been given abilities that really nailed the fast, deadly predator aspect, it would be a shoe-in. That said, it's still a contender. Writing is solid, formatting is sound, and I encountered fewer missteps here than with some of the others I've read thus far. Good luck to you!
Male Human(ish) Level 3 RPG Monkey
"It's not so much the lack of visitors. We don't get a lot of traffic up this way aside from supply runs," the dwarf says in response to Magnus. "Its that the relief detail is overdue. The new crew was supposed to take up duties three days ago."
As to Stilgar's remark about the giants, the dwarf grunts affirmation. "No outright attacks, but they've been lurking in the pass, observing us. Patrols have been harrying them and driving them off, but they keep creeping back. They don't have the strength for a full assault from what we've seen. Still, if you're set on going out there, you'll want to talk the commander into organizing an assault to drive them off. Shouldn't be hard. Ten-Deep likes a good scrap. Says it helps us keep our edge. Better it be against giants than the Narok. Those barbarians and their ice witches are creepy."
You are provided clean and comfortable rooms to sleep in for the night and store your gear. Wash basins allow you to clean yourselves up before meeting with the commander.
Jon speaks with the dwarves' mounts and discovers they were severely frightened by the great light and noise a while ago (likely the falling star.) They note encounters with big two legs, and how one of their number was killed by a large thrown rock.
As Jon speaks to the ponies, he notices...:
A figure, short and stocky like a dwarf, skirts around the far side of the corral, opposite the gatehouse. You hear noises from the far side of the stable, as if something were scaling up the side of it.
This is the 7th entry I've read thus far. Initial reaction is positive. A creepy underground fey with enchanted dancing abilities? Sounds interesting. Let's dive in and break it down.
Name: I like it.
Descriptive text: Here, I'll agree with Owen about using the word "humanoid." The fey descriptions I read through tend to use the word "figure." The remaining text tends to lend evidence that the "figure" in question is basically humanoid in shape. Besides that, it's a very clear picture, and being a subterranean fey, its body reflects its environment. Good stuff.
Speed: Given its focus on grace and mobility, I would have preferred a 40 foot speed.
hp: A little low for its CR, but not overly so. In fact, less so for most fey.
AC: High for its CR, CR 8 range, in fact.
Attack: Slightly low for its CR.
Damage: Very low for its CR, but as fey generally aren't built to be melee monsters, this is fine.
Primary Ability DC: On target for its CR.
Saves: Fort is on target for a low save. Reflex a bit high, Will a bit low. Not too far as to be out of whack though.
Spell-Like Abilities: Seem appropriate for the creature. Judges have already mentioned formatting.
CMD: Shouldn't it be 25?
Feats: Appropriate for it build. Quicken Spell-Like Ability should have the name of the SLA it augments in parentheses after the name of the feat.
Skills: No problems. Thank you for keeping the math simple.
Elegant Maneuvers: Fitting ability given its others, and thematically appropriate.
Enchanting Dance: I like it, but I have problems with its mechanics. This is an opportunity to make up for its practically nonexistent offense. Maybe up the damage to 3d6, or even 4d6 since it's nonlethal. The Wisdom damage thing is weird. Creatures with 0 Wis are usually comatose. I think this could use some tweaking.
Background: Excellently written. I get a clear fix on their presence in Nar-Voth.
Overall, I really like the flavor of this monster. There are a couple of mechanical issues, but it has a lot of mojo. We'll see if the mojo is enough to carry it past half the contenders into the next round. Good luck!
Thanks for the clarification. The problem here is that it's still a visual description. The Deeplit gives off light. It wouldn't do that if the flame were colorless and simply a "distortion in the air," especially if it is putting out all other light sources in the area. Adding the blue is a good call, because then it's actually generating light in the visible spectrum.
This is the sixth entry I've read. My initial impression is mixed. Big worm that eats blightburn? Cool! Wait, why is it an elemental? Let's dig in and see what's here.
Name: Dig it.
Description: Excellent. Gives a clear, vivid picture of the beastie.[/b]
hp: High for its CR.
AC: Mistake in calculation (size modifier). Otherwise AC would be on target for the CR.
Attack: Attack bonus is high for its CR.
Damage: Average damage is within range for its CR, just shy of the top end.
Primary Ability DC: High for its CR. Equivalent of a CR 9.
Saves: Not sure what happened here. Outsiders get two good saves, usually Reflex and Will. Had you kept to that formula, then its saves would have been Fort +7, Ref +3, Will +9. With some adjusting of feats, they could have been on par.
CMB: It's off by 1. Might be another change you didn't make when changing the size of your creature from Huge to Large. Which means CMD is also off.
Skills: Why Swim? It doesn't seem like it would be in the water much, if at all. Those are skill points that could have gone elsewhere, in my opinion.
Blightburn Vapor: Seems like overkill. If there's a reason to keep it, I might make it a secondary ability and lower the save.
Scent Minerals: In keeping with the flavor of the creature.
Defenses/Weaknesses: Its immunities and weakness seem appropriate, though I'm not sure why it's resistant to electricity, seeing as it has a whole lot of metal incorporated into its body. The DR seems a bit much as well. Once again we have something that's not a construct with DR/adamantine. That doesn't happen often, and I'm not sure it's called for here.
Background: The background speculates that they were engineered, yet it also says they were originally from the Plane of Earth. So were they brought here and then engineered? By whom? I question the decision to make it an elemental and an outsider. It seems the concept would have worked well as a magical beast, and since there's already an underground worm monster out there, the blightbore could have been bred from an existing Darklands stock.
The idea of the patterns is interesting, but it doesn't go anywhere. The rest of the information is sound, but I don't get a real Nar-Voth connection here. As Adam said, this sounds like it would be from the deeper Darklands.
In general, the concept is interesting, but I'd say this creature is more powerful than a CR 7, given its abilities and the fact that much of its stats are suited for a higher CR. There are missteps and mechanical issues here that I'm not sure can be overlooked. Good luck to you.
This is the fifth entry of this round I've read thus far. My initial reaction is positive. It's the first undead monster I've seen this round, and the overall flavor is interesting. Let's break it down and see what we find.
Name: I'm not as fond of it as the judges, but it's okay.
Description: In agreement with the others about the "colorless" flame. Otherwise, a decent description.
hp: Slightly low for CR.
AC: Slightly high for CR.
Attack: Melee goes above the high end. Ranged hits the low end. If it crits with that pick though, ouch.
Damage: Average damage for melee and ranged is below the lower limit for its CR.
Primary Ability DC: Slightly higher than standard for CR.
Saves: Low all around for its CR.
Statistics: Typically, monsters have three odd stats and three even. This has four even stats.
Feats: Good selection, except maybe for Skill Focus. Too bad its Base Attack isn't just a little higher, then it could have Improved Critical for that pick.
Skills: Should have 20 skill points for its HD. Ran the numbers on the skills and came up a point over. Twice.
Palelight Aura: Nice little ability. Aura info should be included in the line at the top of the stat block for quick reference.
Pattern Susceptibility: Great idea. My only reservation is taking a monster whose overall stats are baseline or below and giving it a weakness on top of that. It should have some ability that is balanced by this weakness.
Background: It almost works. If they want to see the light, why not just use Knowledge (dungeoneering) and follow the tunnels that head up? What would happen to one should it actually reach the surface and behold the sun, moon, and/or stars? Still, it ties in nicely with Nar-Voth specifically and Golarion history in general.
Overall, I like the combination of abilities and flavor of this monster. Mechanics are sound with a few minor errors here and there. Is it good enough to garner a vote? That remains to be seen, but I have a good feeling about this one. Good luck!
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!
This will be the third monster I've viewed thus far. Initial impressions are favorable. A stony spider that weaves tunnels to misdirect and capture it's prey. Sounds cool. Let's see how this plays out.
Name: Like it.
Description: I'm going to butt heads with Owen on this one and point out the description of the phase spider: "This large spider-like monster has an eerie, humanoid face surrounded by a shaggy mane of fur." It uses the word "humanoid" to describe the face. Why? Because that's what it looks like. I don't see where writing around the obvious is good, because that leads a writer to use more words to describe something that could be said in one. That said, starting with the face does reinforce the idea that it is humanoid. I agree with Mikko about your word choice. Keep the descriptions simple and save the 25-cent words for another time.
hp: A bit high for CR 6.
AC: Low for CR 6. In fact, it's below CR 4 range. Yes, it has DR, but I'm once again looking at a monster that doesn't have the usual qualifications for that DR (being a golem or other construct) and I'm questioning the choice of that over simply giving the creature more natural armor.
Attack: Right on the money for its CR.
Damage: Low, falls into the CR 4 range, but offset by additional effects like grab and poison.
Primary Ability DC: High, in the CR 8 range. Might be an attempt to offset the lower damage.
Saves: Fort is on the money, Reflex is a little low, and Will is low.
CMD: Off by 1. CMB of +14 plus 10 plus 3 for Dex and it should be 27. (39 vs. trip for multiple legs.)
Feats: I like that there is a team feat included here; it reinforces the idea of a pack hunter. Not so thrilled about Skill Focus, since with its stony appearance you could have just given it a racial bonus to Stealth.
Skills: Skills are off. With its Int score, it should have a total of 8 skill points. After playing around with the points, it would seem that it has no points in Acrobatics at all, 2 points each in Climb and Perception, and 4 points in Stealth. If so, then Stealth should be +9 (4 ranks + 3 class skill + 3 Dex + 3 Skill Focus - 4 size penalty).
Poison: I like the idea of a psychotropic poison, but fear seems the wrong way to go. A confusion effect seems more logical.
Stone Tunnel: I would have just called it Tunneling. I see where you're going with this, and it fits the creature thematically, but there is the possibility of abuse, as pointed out by Adam. If these were Medium-sized creatures, it would be better overall. The tunnels would be more cramped, the creatures could come at opponents without fear of being ganged-up on, etc.
Wall Weave: I really like this ability.
Background: I'm going to call Adam out on the use of the word "tertiary." It is used extensively in Into the Darklands and even has its own section on page 11 as a type of terrain. Perfectly acceptable, and it shows you did your research on the environment. Kudos to you. If a developer or editor thinks it is "clumsy" or will "throw readers off" then I'd advise that it could be smoother and less confusing with a quick reference to the appropriate info in the book.
Overall, I'm impressed with this concept. Packs of stony spiders hunting the tertiary tunnels of Nar-Voth, creating their own mazes and putting up walls to confuse and herd their prey is a great idea. That said, I'm not completely sold that it was executed to Superstar level. I'll have to see what offerings the other contestants have to be sure. Good luck to you.
This is the second monster I've viewed. On my initial read-through, things look fairly interesting. Let's see how things break down here.
Description: Gives a clear picture of the monster, and from a PC's perspective, that picture isn't good. Immediate "uh-oh" impression, which is to be expected.
hp: Hit points are below the CR 5 standard, yet it has one more hit die than a plant of this CR would typically have. How is that possible? Seems to be some problems with the number-crunching here.
AC: AC is also well below average for the CR. Granted, it has some hefty DR to make up for that, but why? It has a stony outer surface. Surely it can meet the AC baseline. DR/adamantine is rare outside of golems and other constructs, and to have both adamantine and slashing? Seems a bit much for the CR.
Attacks: Attack bonuses are within the appropriate CR range.
Damage: Damage falls on the low end for melee, which isn't necessarily bad given its other abilities. As already noted, it should have slam attacks listed. Also, rock throwing damage is too low. According to the universal monster ability, "[d]amage from a thrown rock is generally twice the creature's base slam damage plus 1-1/2 its Strength bonus," which should put it at 2d6+6, putting it up closer to the low end damage for CR 5.
Ability DC: Again, too low. It's at CR 3 level. Unless this is a boss monster in an adventure, most PCs fighting it can make this save fairly regularly. The stonevine stalker clearly needs a Con boost.
Saves: On the money for the first two, but Will is low. Granted, being a plant, Will saves aren't usually a problem, but if this is a lower level encounter for the PCs, a properly prepared druid or cleric with the plant domain will own this thing.
Feats: Combat Reflexes I can see. Lunge seems odd. Why not just increase its reach? Power Attack is okay, but Cleave seems out of place.
Skills: Skills are off. With its Int score, it should have 8 skill points. Divided evenly, that should give it Perception +9, Stealth +9. Also, it really should be an ambush predator. Given its stony complexion, and the fact that it lives underground, why doesn't it have a bonus to Stealth in its natural environment?
Petrifying Touch: While petrification isn't exactly new, having a plant turn you to stone certainly is. I like it. However, I'm not sold on the saves to unpetrify. First, the save is already too low. Second, petrification is usually pretty permanent without a break enhantment spell. Sure, I could handwave it with the "it's magic" explanation, but the ability just feels half-baked. Given the nature of the ability, I would have been fine with a restoration being able to restore Dex and reverse the condition.
Rooted: Yeah, okay, I can see that, except that I never usually see PCs attempting to bull rush or reposition plants. Seems like a missed opportunity to increase its offense, rather than its defense.
Throw Rocks: Should read "Rock Throwing." I have to admit, I'm amused at the idea of a plant throwing rocks at things. The concept is appealing.
Earth Glide: I understand it fits with the earth theme, just not sure why it has it. Is this thing originally from the Elemental Plane of Earth? Not according to the description. Also, why is it so fast? Most other plants are slow-moving. This thing is a plant, and stony, and moves as fast as your average humanoid. Again, I have to ask "why?"
Background: There is a missed opportunity here to give it a stronger tie to Nar-Voth. Its primary prey appear to be vegepygmies. It understands their language, and can apparently speak it as well (which makes sense, since it's a non-vocal language.) Again, this screams ambush predator to me. Lure them in with cries of help, and Bam! you've got yourself a meal. More detail on its predator-prey relationship would have cemented its role better.
There are a lot of design missteps and mechanical mistakes here. I find myself asking "why" a lot. Like why does it have darkvision and tremorsense? Seems like overkill. While I find the overall concept appealing, the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Good luck to you in this round.