Round 3: Create a Bestiary entry
Create a Bestiary-style Golarion monster, including physical description, stat block, and general monster description, in no more than 600 words.
Entries must be submitted through the submission tool at paizo.com/rpgsuperstar by 11:59 AM Pacific time on Thursday, September 17, 2015. As with Rounds 1 and 2, you shouldn't wait until the last minute to submit your monster.
Voting begins at 12:00 PM Pacific Time on September 21, 2015, and ends at 11:59 PM Pacific Time on September 27, 2015. We'll announce the Top 8 entries on September 28, 2015.
- Entry must be a CR 6, 7, 8, or 9 monster.
- Monster must be native to, and appropriate for, Golarion.
- Entry cannot be or use a monster template (fiendish, lich, and so on).
- Entry cannot have class levels.
- Entry cannot reference any existing rules that are not part of the PRD. You can reference all of the lore of Golarion, and may create your own special abilities as appropriate, but do not reference feats, spells, universal monster abilities and similar rules elements unless they can be found on the PRD.
- Entry must be no longer than 600 words. All words in the provided format count toward this total, but the code tags such as [b] do not. Note that if you hit the Preview button before you hit Submit, the forum software will tell you what the word count is for your monster, which gives you a chance to edit it down if it's over the word count.
- Entry must be a new Golarion monster (not world-neutral or set in a world other than Golarion).
You must follow the monster format included below. The stat block format below is designed so you can copy and paste it into your submission form.
You should hit the Preview button just to give your monster a final look before you hit the Submit button. Remember to type your monster's name in the subject line of your submission (the submission process uses the message boards, so the subject line of your submission is what people will see first) and do not include BBCode (such as [b]) in your subject line. The subject field should include only the monster's name and, optionally, a *brief* descriptive tag. (Example: "Zurbolax, Eater of Eyes").
[b]zzMonstername CR ##[/b]
zzAlignment zzSize zzType
[b]Init[/b] +##; [b]Senses[/b] zz, zz,; Perception +##
[b]Aura[/b] zz (## ft., DC ##)
[b]----- Defense -----[/b]
[b]AC[/b] ##, touch ##, flat-footed # (+## zzModifier, +##zzModifier)
[b]hp[/b] ## (##d##+##); fast healing ##
[b]Fort[/b] +##, [b]Ref[/b] +##, [b]Will[/b] +##
[b]Defensive Abilities[/b] ##/zzAbility; [b]DR[/b] ##/zzMaterial; [b]Immune[/b] zz; [b]Resist[/b] zz ##, zz ##; [b]SR[/b] ##
[b]Weaknesses[/b] zz, zz
[b]----- Offense -----[/b]
[b]Speed[/b] ## ft., fly ## ft. (zzManeuverability)
[b]Melee[/b] zzAttacktype +## (zzDamage plus zzOthereffect), zzAttacktype +## (zzDamage)
[b]Ranged[/b] zzAttacktype +## (zzDamage)
[b]Space[/b] ## ft.; [b]Reach[/b] ## ft.
[b]Special Attacks[/b] zz, zz
[b]Spell-Like Abilities[/b] (CL ##zz; concentration +##)
At will—[i]zz[/i], [i]zz[/i]
[b]----- Statistics -----[/b]
[b]Str[/b] ##, [b]Dex[/b] ##, [b]Con[/b] ##, [b]Int[/b] ##, [b]Wis[/b] ##, [b]Cha[/b] ##
[b]Base Atk[/b] +##; [b]CMB[/b] +## (+## zzConditionalmaneuverbonus); [b]CMD[/b] ## (## vs. zzManeuvername)
[b]Feats[/b] zzFeatname, zzFeatname
[b]Skills[/b] zzSkillname +##, zzSkillname +## (+## zzCondition); [b]Racial Modifiers[/b] +## zzSkillname, +## zzSkillname when zzCondition
[b]----- Ecology -----[/b]
[b]Environment[/b] zzClimate zzTerrain
[b]Organization[/b] zz, zz, or zz
[b]----- Special Abilities -----[/b]
[b]zzName (Ex/Sp/Su)[/b] zzDescription
Submissions may be disqualified for the following reasons:
- Submission is not a monster.
- Submission is not CR 6, 7, 8, or 9.
- Submission is not native to, and appropriate for, Golarion.
- Submission uses or is a monster template (fiendish, lich, and so on).
- Submission has class levels
- Submission exceeds 600 words.
- Submission references rules elements not present in the PRD.
- Submission does not contain all required information.
- Submission is a science fiction, steampunk, or some other genre monster that could not reasonably be a part of a standard fantasy roleplaying game.
- Submission is taken from a previously published source.
- Submission has world-specific content from a world other than the Golarion setting.
- Submission refers to rules, monsters, or copyrighted material from publishers other than Paizo.
- Improper Pathfinder RPG monster stat block format.
- Competitor adds to, expands upon, or clarifies the contents of his or her own submission during the voting period, whether this takes place on paizo.com or elsewhere.
- Contains content that in the sole view of Paizo is inappropriate.
Notes for the Top 16
Here are some tips for using the above stat block, and building stat blocks in general.
- ## is a placeholder for a number, so an entry like "Init +##" should be something like "Init +2" or "Init -2" in your monster stat block.
- zz is a placeholder for anything other than a number (obviously, "zzSize" means you should replace it with a game term for size, such as "Medium," not "zzMedium").
- When you are finished, your monster stat block should not have ## or zz in it at all.
- If your monster doesn't have an ability mentioned in the sample stat block format (such as DR, SR, Immune, a "plus" effect for a melee or ranged attack, a conditional skill bonuses, or racial skill modifiers), delete that ability and its placeholders. For example, if your monster doesn't have damage reduction, delete the "DR ##/zzMaterial" and the semicolon after it so the line starts with "Immune."
- If your monster has an ability that isn't presented in the sample stat block format (such as Spells Known), add it to the stat block, making sure to put it in the correct section of the stat block (for example, Spells Known goes in the Offense section) and match the bold and/or italic format for that ability as shown in a printed stat block.
- If the monster doesn't have Feats, Skills, or Languages, delete the entire Feats, Skills, or Languages line.
- If your monster has Space 5 ft. and Reach 5 ft., delete that entire line (the default is a monster with that size and reach).
- When you are finished, your stat block shouldn't have any "blank" entries like "DR —."
- The Defense, Offense, Statistics, and Ecology lines have "-----" at the beginning and end to visually offset those section headers. This is because the messageboard code doesn't allow you to underline text, and this is an easy and clear way to duplicate the printed stat block format for this purpose. Do not tamper with those lines.
- In a printed stat block, the individual listings for the spell-like abilities are indented, but it's difficult to make that work in the messageboards, so if your monster has spell-like abilities, just use the non-indented format as presented in the above sample stat block.
- If your monster has a new ability (such as "Arcane Vengeance" or "Eyeball Eater"), you must explain it in the Special Abilities part of the stat block.
- If your monster has a common ability from the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook (such as sneak attack) or a universal monster rule from the Bestiary, Bestiary 2, Bestiary 3, or Bestiary 4 (such as grab or stench), you do not need to provide the description of that ability in the Special Abilities part of the stat block (we assume the reader knows how sneak attack, grab, and stench work, or can look them up in the appropriate book).
- When in doubt as to how to format part of your stat block, check the monsters in the Bestiary and universal monster rules.
Which is more important: a monster that has a lot going for it creatively, or a monster that has no technical errors?
An RPG Superstar does not see a contradiction between these "extremes." Follow the format as closely as possible—it's designed so the reader can consistently find information in the same place from monster to monster. If you feel you need to break format, you may want to rethink what your monster is doing. If you aren't sure how to use a particular part of a stat block, refer to the Bestiary for examples.
Do I have to repeat descriptions of class abilities or universal monster abilities?
No. If your monster has a common ability from the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook (such as sneak attack) or a universal monster rule from the Bestiary, Bestiary 2, Bestiary 3, and Bestiary 4 (such as grab or stench), you do not need to provide the description of that ability in the Special Abilities part of the stat block (we assume the reader knows how sneak attack, grab, and stench work, or can look them up in the appropriate book).
If you create new abilities, they must be fully defined and described as part of your wordcount. Do not reference or recreate rules not found in the PRD.
How am I supposed to fit a monster in just 600 words? My monster is way too complex for that.
Some monsters are simpler than others, and require more space (for example, a dragon has a larger stat block than an ogre because of the multiple age categories and special abilities). However, to make it fair for all competitors, we're limiting each entry to 600 words (approximately the length of a one-page monster entry in the Bestiary), and encourage contestant to use at least 550 words to make sure they have fully utilized their available words. If you're having a problem staying within the word count, you may want to consider a different monster for your submission. The ability to produce a specific kind of entry within wordcount is one of the things that makes a freelancer a Superstar!
Can we refer to Golarion setting material, such as nations, heroes, or gods, when describing our monster?
Can we refer to the campaign setting material of other publishers?
No. Reference to non-Paizo rules or setting material is grounds for disqualification.
How about material from my own campaign?
Provided the campaign has never been published, this is fine, but keep in mind that all submissions become the property of Paizo Inc. Also keep in mind that your monster must be native to and appropriate for Paizo's Golarion setting.
If the judges or anyone else has questions about my monster, can I post answers to their questions?
No! At least, not while voting is open. See Rule #5 on the Contest Rules page. Your submission has to get by on its own, even if everyone has the same question and you could answer it with a single word. That's because if you write a monster and it gets published, the book doesn't include a little copy of you to answer questions or offer suggestions, so you need to make sure your submission is clear on its own. Just grin and bear it—you'll be able to say as much as you want about it once voting is closed. While voting is open, it is best to resist the temptation to post anything—just let your submission stand on its own.