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Ghost Hound Kinships of the Rolling Plains


Round 2 - Top 32: Design a Country

1 to 50 of 195 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka amusingsn

Ghost Hound Kinships of the Rolling Plains
The Blink Dog Nation

Alignment: Lawful Good
Capital: The Dream Caves of the Ancestors
Rulers: High-Alpha Female Hurfgra Spiderslayer of the Skywatcher Kinship, High-Alpha Male Gurgrauf Cavekeeper of the Skywatcher Kinship

Government
A joint tribal council led by a High-Alpha Male and High-Alpha Female governs the Kinships. These leaders are selected through traditional dominance rituals.

Geography
The land consists of temperate plains, with warm plains and hills to the south and some temperate hills to the west. The Icemelt River flows through the region, and is fed by countless smaller streams and tributaries.

Culture
The blink dogs of the Kinships all share a basic tribal culture with an emphasis on honor, tradition, and the veneration of the celestial powers through the intercession of ancestor spirits. An alpha male and alpha female share leadership of individual packs. The most powerful and influential of these alphas come to dominate extended families known as kinships. The males of the kinships typically focus on gathering and keeping the oral history and traditions, while the females typically focus on hunting and protecting the young. The blink dogs have no written language, but often leave elaborate and long-lasting scent markings and coded colored rock arrays conveying complex messages throughout their territory.

History
Long before the arrival of the human settlers, before discovering the secret of blinking, the Kinships wandered the Rolling Plains living off the bounty of the land. With the rise of the Goblin King in the Verdant Peninsula to the south, the wheels of war began to turn. The Goblin King craved control over the sacred sites protected by the Kinships. He believed they would grant him the mystical power to become a living god. He sent forth his goblinoid janissaries, but they stood no chance against the combined cunning and feral might of the Kinships.
The Goblin King did not give up easily. Beneath his pyramid temple, he bred clutches of arcane phase spiders and trained them to execute his will in the Rolling Plains. The phase spiders marched north to exterminate the Kinships, and the Kinships could do nothing to stop them

The Kinships retreated to the Caves of the Ancestors, their most powerful sacred site, when High-Alpha Rufyar Stormherald answered the call of the Ancestor Spirits, traveling into the Ethereal Plane on a vision quest. The spirits granted him the gift of blinking, and sent him to teach the secret to the Kinships. With the power of blinking, the Kinships fought back against the phase spiders and reclaimed their sacred land.

When humans settled on the Pirate Coast over a hundred years later, the Kinships cautiously avoided the strange colonists. However, now that the human settlers are spreading across the Rolling Plains, the blink dogs have no choice but to deal with the strangers.

Relations
The Kinships are wary of the presence of human settlers in their midst and tensions have occasionally broken out into violence. The benevolent traditions of blink dog culture, however, compel many packs to protect the ignorant humans from the dangers that lurk in the Rolling Plains. The Kinships despise the Goblin King and his phase spider assassins. The savage gnolls of the west fear the Ghost Hounds who drive them ruthlessly from the Rolling Plains whenever they venture near.

Notable Settlements

The Dream Caves of the Ancestors (pop. varies)
The blink dogs perform their most sacred rituals within these winding sandstone caves in the southern hills. All young blink dogs must undergo a vision quest within these caves, communing with the spirits of their ancestors as a rite of passage. The Skywatcher Kinship protects the caves, but all the kinships gather for a great convocation on the winter solstice where they share news, perform rituals of friendship and grievance, and make decisions for the Blink Dog Nation as a whole.

Skywatcher Kinship (pop. 16,000)
The territory of the Skywatcher Kinship centers on the Dream Caves of the Ancestors in the southern hills. The Skywatchers uphold strict traditions of mysticism and spirituality. They spend as much of their time as possible at their sacred sites communing with the ancestors and protecting them from villainous phase spiders.

Rockjumper Kinship (pop. 9,000)
The territory of the Rockjumper Kinship extends from the Rolling Plains into the hills to the south and west. The Rockjumpers value courage and honor above all else and frequently test their mettle against the gnolls of the western hills. Rockjumper braves have saved many human settlers from gnoll raiders.

Elkchaser Kinship (pop 20,000)
The Elkchaser Kinship has the widest migration pattern of any of the major kinships and follows the great elk herds in their seasonal travels across the plains. Elkchaser life revolves around the family, with the most respect given to those who care for the pups.

Stormherald Kinship (pop 12,000)
The Stormherald Kinship roams between several sacred sites in the northern and eastern reaches of the plains. The Stormheralds see themselves as the protectors of the Rolling Plains and practice rituals designed to instill loyalty and foster prowess.

Behind the Scenes

The Gnoll Threat
The gnoll cleric Nergrosh has uncovered rituals to create powerful mummies to destroy his enemies. He is sending gnoll agents into the Rolling Plains in search of a mystic site to empower his dark necromancy.

Imminent Violence
Human settlers have unwittingly trespassed on a sacred site of the Stormheralds. The Stormherald warriors see this as a mortal crime as the site was clearly scent-marked as taboo. The Stormheralds are planning violent retaliation if this misunderstanding cannot be reconciled in time.

Sequel to Villainy
The Goblin King has overseen a vile union of goblin and infernal, and Barghests are the result. The Goblin King has ordered the first of these Barghests to go forth from the breeding pits from which they spawned and into the Rolling Hills to carry out his schemes.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Submission checklist:

Submitted on time? Check.
Submission is a "country"? Check.
Submission contains all of the mandatory content as required by the contest rules? Check.
Submission is within the word limit? Check. 978.
Submission is free of inappropriate content in violation of the "taboo" guidelines? Check.
Submission does not use content from a source other than those listed? Check.
Submission does not reference a published campaign setting? Check.
Submission does not include maps or art? Check.
Submission is a suitable setting for roleplaying with the d20 system? Check.
Submission is not a "joke" or otherwise completely fails to meet the minimum requirements of the competition or other contest rules? Check.

Qadira Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

I'm kind of boggled. A blink dog nation? Ten of thousands of canines ruling the plains? It's original, and it's written reasonably well, but it's also just plain weird.

Blink dogs are a fairly dull monster with a long pedigree, if you'll excuse the pun. Anything to make them more interesting is welcome. Making them rulers of a country is certainly a good premise.

But does that premise work? The main elements I'd want are recent history, adventure hooks, inspirational story or themes, and tools for a DM to use to get the nation across to players.

This has some ok history, a few weak-to-middling hooks, and no overarching theme or story. I'm also really hard-pressed to figure out how to make the PCs care about this nation one way or the other.

Lukewarm recommendation.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

I'm not doing a full review.

This is more an article on "How Blink Dogs Came To Be" than it is a country. This gonzo concept is not the same as a nice, tightly designed and thematically solid submission.

And frankly, from a country standpoint I am more interested in the goblin king and his arcane phase spiders.

How do PCs fit in?

F

NOT RECOMMENDED for top 16.

I'm shocked, coming from the guy who gave us Charts of the Shadow Voyage. Well, I guess that is why we have multiple rounds.

I will say this, I am taking some of the blame here. Because his wondrous item was so good, in my opinion, I am going to try to find another explanation for this submission. Perhaps he felt that we were really rewarding gonzo and wanted to go for that and that mistake led him to this. Perhaps we judges, in liking the wondrous items that really made a splash, created a false incentive to go "wierd." So if I am to blame for that in part, I accept it. But I still dont think this entry is even "good gonzo" or "good wierd". You want good gonzo, go read Boomer's entry.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Uh, "The Blink Dog Nation"?

I guess here is where we find out if the HUGE gamble of going completely weird and off the wall is a good tactic for Round 2. I strongly suspect the answer will be a resounding no, but I have high hopes for the author based on his wondrous item, so onward!

Ok, I'm having a difficult time understanding the perspective I'm supposed to be taking when reading this entry. For starters I'm thrown off as a reader, because I am in no way expecting a nation of blink dogs in my gazetteer. I'm willing to run with it in the interest of the contest and I admire the balls it takes to do something like this, so whatever. I'm game.

But how am I supposed to approach this? Am I supposed to consider making a blink dog character (really?). Even as I started to contemplate that idea (your take on their culture is interesting, and I like the idea of the kinships), I run into the comment that the blink dogs have no language and communicate by colored rock arrays and pissing on things. Cripes.

The first third of the submission (at least) reads like a (very) interesting ecology article on blink dogs, but I don't understand what exactly I'm supposed to do with it.

Still, what a brazen bastard you are to write a nation of blink dogs. And for all its inherent uselessness outside a quasi-Watership Down campaign, you've managed to do so in a well-written, entertaining manner. You've even managed to believably build in a reason for the enmity between blink dogs and phase spiders, and as a card carrying grognard I appreciate that.

But I still don't know what to make of this entry.

I like the way you broke down the Notable Settlements and gave a couple of bits of description for each. That helps the GM run the country, and it lets you jump around a bit thematically. You make me wish we used this format in the Pathfinder Chronicles Gazetteer, so good on you for that. Likewise I appreciate the "Behind the Scenes" header and the way you broke out the DM's Secrets. I wonder if other people think "Behind the Scenes" is cooler than "DM's Secrets."

I take issue with a few things besides the blink dog tactic (which I'll return to shortly). What's up with the names? Rolling Plains? Verdant Peninsula? Pirate Coast? Seriously?

Try seriously disappointing. I expected a lot more from the author of the Charts of the Shadow Voyage.

But while the names lack passion and flavor, the main thrust of the submission throbs with both. Which brings us back to the issue of blink dogs.

Basically, I think you've made a gamble with this tactic. The Charts of the Shadow Voyage were clearly one of the better wondrous items, and it's obvious you know how to write well. Going with a less ambitious, less quirky and ultimately more useful entry would have easily graduated you into the next round on the quality of your writing alone.

Instead, you're asking people to vote for you and support a nation that's going to be well outside the comfort zone of most gamers, and frankly outside the core rules of the d20 system.

I have no doubt that you could write a compelling Watership Down style adventure in which everyone plays a blink dog. I also believe that such an adventure would be pretty fun and would lead to a lot of laughs. But it's not going to lead to a lot of campaigns, and an adventure with that theme would sell a tiny fraction of, well, just about any other d20 idea we would otherwise publish.

So basically the public gets to decide if you advance based on how stupid they think the idea of a blink dog nation is.

Personally? I think it was a mistake.

Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

amusingsn wrote:

Ghost Hound Kinships of the Rolling Plains

My first impression is a lot more favorable than the judges, but I definitely need to think about this one.

I love the name, which is why I lept to this one first.


The name had me look at this one. I was expecting something else...Dog Soldiers perhaps. Thematically I think you had some sound ideas and a great creativity on this one, but the theme, which seems strongly shamanistic might have been better with something the readers can relate to more.

Sorry, while the idea is interesting in theory, in practice, I'm not sure.
I do agree with Erik, what Brazen nether portions you have, doing this.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka amusingsn

I'm standing by this one, and I'm proud of the writing, the concept, and the usefulness of the country. I knew it wasn't going to be everyone's proverbial cup of tea, but I am passionate about this.

Let's prove Clark wrong and send this one on to the next round!


Unique and interesting but doesn't seem playable as it is light on details about how country and PCs interact. Seems like a good nation to have on a map but not a "main" nation to play in (but a good "side" nation).

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Erik, I very sincerely hope that you do prove me wrong, so to speak, and that you get to the next round, personally.


I strongly disagree. This is far better than the redux takes I've seen so far. PCs can't be FROM here, but if I'm gonna add one country to a campaign, there needs to be a reason to add it--and this has the best reason to add so far.

It's conceptually challenging and builds upon the game in a way not done before.

On this particular round of judging, I think you really have to ask yourself what does this one country give that nothing else before it has.


In past campaigns of mine, I allowed Blinklings (half-blink-dog/hafl=halfling crossbreeds form Bastards and Bllodlines, green ronin). But players couldn't ever figure out where such characters would be from.

Now, by taking this and twisitng it 270 degrees, I think I could answer that question. halfings and Blink Dogs, joined together against a goblin king and his phase spiders. Pure chocolate.

So, yeah, I think I'm gonna vote for it. Because, shock of shocks, I *can* yank it, and it's a bold, brave move.


Umm....wouldn't blinking and D-Door be a whole lot more useful in, say, a dungeon instead of ROLLING PLAINS?

If you win it will only be for the Sanjay (or William Hung) factor. I can see why your strategy changes when people get more than one vote...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16

This is a brave entry. But where are the displacer beasts, the main enemy of the blink dog. Not that you have to have them, but it would be more interesting than goblins.

Another thing is that since no players can really come from here unless you create the half-blink / Half-Halfing race (I don't want to see how that happens) this is a place characters go once and my never adventure their again.

But this is your idea and it does add flavor to a game. It would be a great island place to wash up on and throw characters into to mix it up.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Since the author cant actually answer those types of design questions, I'll step in for him. Displacer beasts are not in the SRD and thus cannot be used in a contest entry.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka amusingsn

propeliea wrote:

I strongly disagree. This is far better than the redux takes I've seen so far. PCs can't be FROM here, but if I'm gonna add one country to a campaign, there needs to be a reason to add it--and this has the best reason to add so far.

It's conceptually challenging and builds upon the game in a way not done before.

On this particular round of judging, I think you really have to ask yourself what does this one country give that nothing else before it has.

Thanks a lot! This is going to have to appeal to a far larger niche than I hoped, thanks to the rules changes, so I'm going to need every vote possible to get through to the next round!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka exile

This entry leaves me feeling, well, mindboggled. Not sure what to make of it.

Chad

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka amusingsn

William McNulty wrote:
This is a brave entry. But where are the displacer beasts, the main enemy of the blink dog.

Thank you, I like to think it was a brave entry, and I wish I could answer your content based questions and concerns.

I do feel fairly comfortable in pointing out that displacer beasts are Intellectual Property of Wizards of the Coast, however.


William McNulty wrote:


Another thing is that since no players can really come from here unless you create the half-blink / Half-Halfing race (I don't want to see how that happens)

A Point well said and well raised. Do we really want to know? Though in all fairness this relates more to Dungeon Grrrl post about such creatures existing in another D20 source than the actual entry. Hmm...thats a double entendre...

Andoran

I've seen a few times where people have said, "how can a person be from this country?" Well, I was raised by wolves...
Seriously, who gives a crap if your character can be from there or not?

Blink dogs are intelligent dogs. Dogs are inherently EXTREMELY social creatures. Ergo, I don't see the problem; it's a natural logical next step.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka SmiloDan

I once created a PrC for halflings mounted on blink dogs, and they were fun to run against some evil-flavored PCs, but I'm not sure you need a whole nation of blink dogs. If there were some PC races thrown in, maybe. Or a weird were-blink dog race, then you can do a kind of Werewolf: the Appearance/Disappearance/Reappearance campaign. But as it stands, it's probably only suitable for a single adventure, and not a campaign.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2008 Top 8

Heathansson wrote:

I've seen a few times where people have said, "how can a person be from this country?" Well, I was raised by wolves...

Seriously, who gives a crap if your character can be from there or not?

Blink dogs are intelligent dogs. Dogs are inherently EXTREMELY social creatures. Ergo, I don't see the problem; it's a natural logical next step.

Consider the Lupine race updated in Dragon #325 and the Dragon Compendium.


SmiloDan wrote:
I once created a PrC for halflings mounted on blink dogs, and they were fun to run against some evil-flavored PCs, but I'm not sure you need a whole nation of blink dogs. If there were some PC races thrown in, maybe. Or a weird were-blink dog race, then you can do a kind of Werewolf: the Appearance/Disappearance/Reappearance campaign. But as it stands, it's probably only suitable for a single adventure, and not a campaign.

To give an idea of what appeals to me about this entry, consider the inspiration to build it offers:

This forces a fantastic feeling upon the growing fantasy cliche. Blink dogs are a fanatsy culture that's not a guy in a suit.

Consider the use of shadow mastiffs and hell hounds in the role of humanoids. All the odl story lines can be given a bit of change while forcing players to adapt to new situations.

Or copy the template for the humanoid versions of hell hounds and shadow amstiffs used in the FF(?)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I LOVE IT!!!

Way to get me thinking. As a DM I am already thinking of where and how to place this unique culture. Original to the extreme. This is what I was hoping for in the top 32. Some one to push the envelop and show me something new in a familiar way.

This is only my 5th countried reviewed, but so far it is the only one that has caused me to stop and write the author.

As a voter I'm not getting hung up on grammar and names and some of the other details that will surely matter to a lot of the others voters. I want to be hit up side the head with something original and new. Something that I want to put into my homebrew. In my opinion you have succeded.


I like it.

Not sure if I'm going to vote for it, but its the one that stands out the most in the first half dozen entries I've had time to read today.

IMHO, the blink dog nation concept works. If I'm going to include a nation in my campaign world (either in a homebrew, or just including it as a part of an established setting that I'm going to give screen-time to), it either has to be:

A) Somewhere the PCs can be from
B) Somewhere the PCs want to go to and adventure

And this entry definitely hits on B

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I think I have to get the sourcebook. (Anthropomorphic HERO, anyone?)

I think I will vote for this...Chad, you've become my Kelly Monaco.

As far as PCs go...if you didn't want to make a blink dog, you could be a goblin, or a gnoll, or one of the human colonists.

What if the party consisted of one each of these...

Osirion Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm surprised that nobody else has commented on the whole Australian outback vibe going. Only with Blink Dogs playing the part of the Natives.

I actually kind of like it and could almost see it as a country that would easily fit, almost unnoticed within another human country.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Erik, it looks like the gamble is going to pay off for you. And for the record I think that allowing multiple votes is going to help you much more than it hurts, because while I doubt many people would pick blink dog land as their VERY FAVORITE submission, a lot of folks are going to pick it as one of their top five just for the hell of it in hopes of seeing what you do in the next round.

Despite its quirkiness and general uselessness for a huge number of gamers, I have a strong suspicion this one is going to sneak through.

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Takasi wrote:

Umm....wouldn't blinking and D-Door be a whole lot more useful in, say, a dungeon instead of ROLLING PLAINS?

If you win it will only be for the Sanjay (or William Hung) factor. I can see why your strategy changes when people get more than one vote...

Takasi, FTW.

Agreed.

To the extent I might have voted for it (which is not great), the gaming of the voting irritates me enough not to do so.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Plus, gamers are contrarians. If I give it an F someone has to give it an A to be smarter than me. :) You see it all the time with gamers. You are definately gaining from teh "controversial" buzz.

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Clark Peterson wrote:
Plus, gamers are contrarians. If I give it an F someone has to give it an A to be smarter than me. :) You see it all the time with gamers. You are definately gaining from teh "controversial" buzz.

I've never met a contrarian gamer. Where do you come up with this stuff?

Andoran

Sebastian wrote:
Takasi wrote:

Umm....wouldn't blinking and D-Door be a whole lot more useful in, say, a dungeon instead of ROLLING PLAINS?

If you win it will only be for the Sanjay (or William Hung) factor. I can see why your strategy changes when people get more than one vote...

Takasi, FTW.

Agreed.

To the extent I might have voted for it (which is not great), the gaming of the voting irritates me enough not to do so.

Blinking and D-door would serve a dog on the plains well--being able to teleport up ahead of a swifter preybeast, being able to elude missile weapons and airborne hunters due to lack of cover, you need some sort of edge on the open plains.

Finally, the MM itsself says that blinkdogs live on the plains; don't know what that's worth.

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Heathansson wrote:


Blinking and D-door would serve a dog on the plains well--being able to teleport up ahead of a swifter preybeast, being able to elude missile weapons and airborne hunters due to lack of cover, you need some sort of edge on the open plains.
Finally, the MM itsself says that blinkdogs live on the plains; don't know what that's worth.

I'm just not into it. Here's the deal, if you want to write for Paizo, you've got to live up to Paizo's standards. And they've set a very high bar with what they've done to generic monsters like goblins and an even higher bar for suck monsters like fairies.

Blink dogs suck.

So, the bar's pretty high. It's not enough to come up with a country for them. You've got to make me give a damn about this waste of space in the Monster Manual. Paizo products consistently rise to that challenge.

This just collects the creatures together in one place. It's like having a goblin country, but they all live in caves and are the typical goblins you see in non-Paizo products.

Now, were-blink-dogs, that's a different story...

Edit: and creation myths are the biggest wastes of space known to man. Who cares how they learned to blink? The players will never learn and as a DM, it doesn't give me anything new to consider when running the material.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Clark Peterson wrote:
Plus, gamers are contrarians. If I give it an F someone has to give it an A to be smarter than me. :) You see it all the time with gamers. You are definately gaining from teh "controversial" buzz.

It's very clear that Mr. Peterson is one of those Displacer Beast (tm)-lovers hating all that is Blink!

;)

:wink:


Takasi wrote:

Umm....wouldn't blinking and D-Door be a whole lot more useful in, say, a dungeon instead of ROLLING PLAINS?

Yeah, a 50% miss chance and instantaneous travel are useless outdoors. If I had those abilities I would certainly only use them in underground environments constructed by other races.

Erik Mona wrote:

Even as I started to contemplate that idea (your take on their culture is interesting, and I like the idea of the kinships), I run into the comment that the blink dogs have no language and communicate by colored rock arrays and pissing on things. Cripes.

I would like to point out that one of the three sentences in the SRD describing blink dogs is: "Blink dogs have their own language, a mixture of barks, yaps, whines, and growls that can transmit complex information."

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

mythfish wrote:
Takasi wrote:

Umm....wouldn't blinking and D-Door be a whole lot more useful in, say, a dungeon instead of ROLLING PLAINS?

Yeah, a 50% miss chance and instantaneous travel are useless outdoors. If I had those abilities I would certainly only use them in underground environments constructed by other races.

It's not that they are useless outdoors; they are more useful in a different environment, which is the point. You might as well rely on speed if you are out on the plains.

Compare:

Oh no! A monster with a speed of 60 is charging me. I'll teleport 100 feet away in this open field. Uh oh! He's still after me.

Oh no! A monster with a speed of 60 is charging me. I'll teleport 100 feet away into a cave (or up on top of a bluff, or across a river, or on the other side of any other obstacle that can't be easily bypassed). Look at that. I'm safe.

The only saving grace is the fact that blink dogs are listed as existing on the plains in the core rules. It would have been much more interesting to me if there were caves beneath the plains, and the blink dogs were traveling back and forth between the plains and the caves.

Edit: A significant advantage teleportation has over other means of locomotion is being able to get from point A to point B without crossing the intervening distance. If you could just cross the distance without teleportation, you're not getting as much out of it as you could. Like I said, I don't really lay this issue at the feet of the contestant because the SRD does say that blink dogs live in the plains. The phase spider backstory was an attempt to explain the ability in a sub-optimal environment, for which he deserves credit, but it was far too dependent on magical hand waving for my tastes. I would have been much happier if he illustrated how the blink dogs used their ability to adapt to the environment rather than explain how the blink dogs were forced to develop the ability to adapt to an enemy.

The question of why teleport on the plains is a good one; the answer given is too specific to the circumstances of the country. Rather than open up blink dogs, this country ties them to a specific background.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka amusingsn

Talion09 wrote:

I like it.

Not sure if I'm going to vote for it, but its the one that stands out the most in the first half dozen entries I've had time to read today.

IMHO, the blink dog nation concept works. If I'm going to include a nation in my campaign world (either in a homebrew, or just including it as a part of an established setting that I'm going to give screen-time to), it either has to be:

A) Somewhere the PCs can be from
B) Somewhere the PCs want to go to and adventure

And this entry definitely hits on B

Thank you for looking at it in terms of the big picture, Talion09. I hope I get your vote in the end, because I have a feeling this is going to be a close one for me!

Mactaka wrote:

As far as PCs go...if you didn't want to make a blink dog, you could be a goblin, or a gnoll, or one of the human colonists.

What if the party consisted of one each of these...

Thanks for the constructive comments and the great support, Mactaka. It really does mean a lot to me.

Threeblood wrote:
I LOVE IT!!!

The blink dogs love you too, Threeblood, thank you!

propeliea wrote:

To give an idea of what appeals to me about this entry, consider the inspiration to build it offers:

This forces a fantastic feeling upon the growing fantasy cliche. Blink dogs are a fanatsy culture that's not a guy in a suit.

Thank you so much for the posts, Propeliea. I am honored by your support. And don't forget to "Think Blink!"

Heathansson wrote:

I've seen a few times where people have said, "how can a person be from this country?" Well, I was raised by wolves...

Seriously, who gives a crap if your character can be from there or not?

Blink dogs are intelligent dogs. Dogs are inherently EXTREMELY social creatures. Ergo, I don't see the problem; it's a natural logical next step.

Thank you for the perspective, Heathansson, and your support!

Sebastian wrote:
It would have been much more interesting to me if there were caves beneath the plains, and the blink dogs were traveling back and forth between the plains and the caves.

Sebastian, thank you for the constructive criticism! From your comments I am pretty sure I'm not getting your vote but I appreciate the interest regardless of that fact.

Dungeon Grrrl wrote:
So, yeah, I think I'm gonna vote for it. Because, shock of shocks, I *can* yank it, and it's a bold, brave move.

I'm glad you are going to get some use from it, and thank you for the support, Dungeon Grrrl!

Qadira RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

Wicht wrote:

I'm surprised that nobody else has commented on the whole Australian outback vibe going. Only with Blink Dogs playing the part of the Natives.

I actually kind of like it and could almost see it as a country that would easily fit, almost unnoticed within another human country.

It didn't hit my own Aussie button, but that usually takes something that ties more clearly into the Dreamtime than into Algonquian-esque traditions. This entry passes the first test for me: am I interested? I agree tat I love the possibility of this nation existing within the borders of other nations (not just the waves of settlers, but established government). That I find fascinating, and will likely lift for my own games :) I would like to have seen the entry go further with that idea than just the "interlopers" riff, which is overplayed a bit when used with this sort of culture.

Novel is good. But I'm with the judges in that I don't really see blink dogs as a viable campaign race.


mythfish wrote:


Erik Mona wrote:

Even as I started to contemplate that idea (your take on their culture is interesting, and I like the idea of the kinships), I run into the comment that the blink dogs have no language and communicate by colored rock arrays and pissing on things. Cripes.

I would like to point out that one of the three sentences in the SRD describing blink dogs is: "Blink dogs have their own language, a mixture of barks, yaps, whines, and growls that can transmit complex information."

But I think Erik misread the entry, because it actually says the Blink Dogs have no writtenlanguage.

I've only read a couple of entries thus far, but I think I like this one. Quirky? no doubt! Interesting? Yes! Worthy of top 16? I have to read some more first. I like the good old idea of a clash between cultures simply based on a misunderstanding. "We had our sacred sight clearly marked as taboo!" "Yuck, this place stinks of pee!"

I'm curious in that the few entries I've read thus far, Eric seems to be focusing very highly on the countries interest/feasability as a point of origin for a PC. Unless I missed it, that wasn't mentioned as a specific parameter for this stage? If I had of somehow made it to this stage a few of the ideas I had would have run afoul of that focus.

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

amusingsn wrote:
Sebastian, thank you for the constructive criticism! From your comments I am pretty sure I'm not getting your vote but I appreciate the interest regardless of that fact.

Yeah, yeah, come back and tell me what you really think when the cameras aren't on. ;-)

I doubt I'll be voting for you this round, but you've gotten my attention enough to get me to come back and see what you do next time. Plus, people hate agreeing with me or Takasi, so our coming out against your country probably earned you more votes than our ringing endorsement would.


Sebastian wrote:
Blink dogs suck.

Sebastian, your ire leads me to believe that there must be a 50% chance to miss you with melee or ranged attacks...

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka amusingsn

Wicht wrote:

I'm surprised that nobody else has commented on the whole Australian outback vibe going. Only with Blink Dogs playing the part of the Natives.

I actually kind of like it and could almost see it as a country that would easily fit, almost unnoticed within another human country.

I'm glad you like it Wicht, and also, thank you for pointing out this angle! I'm glad you caught that.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka amusingsn

Greedy_Smurf wrote:
But I think Erik misread the entry, because it actually says the Blink Dogs have no writtenlanguage.

The blink dogs love you. Thank you for noting that, I was worried that nobody would correct Erik Mona on that one! I sure wanted to but I am not allowed to do so by the rules of the contest.


WelbyBumpus wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
Blink dogs suck.
Sebastian, your ire leads me to believe that there must be a 50% chance to miss you with melee or ranged attacks...

That and he has Moderate Fortification. Otherwise he would not have lived this long. Sebastian...just because of that...

Erik. After having finally looked through all the entries and reviewed them I found yours to be a great deal better than many. It is well written, presented in a good style and filled with interesting tidbits.
My only problem is still the completely Blink Dog society.

Not that the idea of making an all animal game doesn't have some appeal of its own, partially from the sheer novelty. In the end, I don't have the virtue of Dungeon Grrrl's gaming group, the folks I tend to play with are good players and are very open to things, but not this I think.

Well done.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

amusingsn wrote:
Greedy_Smurf wrote:
But I think Erik misread the entry, because it actually says the Blink Dogs have no writtenlanguage.
The blink dogs love you. Thank you for noting that, I was worried that nobody would correct Erik Mona on that one! I sure wanted to but I am not allowed to do so by the rules of the contest.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know they can talk, but still.

--Erik

Star Voter 2014

This is well-written and I applaud you for taking this unique stance. That being said, I just do not find a nation of blink dogs to be within the standard tastes of most gamers . . .methinks you may have reached to far for originality's sake.

That being said I liked the presentation and the writing was fairly crisp.

With only 5 votes, though, I doubt I can cast mine in your favor. Good luck, however.


Sebastian wrote:


It's not that they are useless outdoors; they are more useful in a different environment, which is the point. You might as well rely on speed if you are out on the plains.

Compare:

Oh no! A monster with a speed of 60 is charging me. I'll teleport 100 feet away in this open field. Uh oh! He's still after me.

Oh no! A monster with a speed of 60 is charging me. I'll teleport 100 feet away into a cave (or up on top of a bluff, or across a river, or on the other side of any other obstacle that can't be easily bypassed). Look at that. I'm safe.

As a means of transportation it makes no difference whatsoever what is in the intervening distance. There are plenty of bluffs and rivers to teleport across in rolling plains too, not to mention cover of trees, hills, long prairie grass, etc.

A dungeon, while it might put some walls between you and your enemy, actually limits the distance and direction you can teleport. In an open environment even assuming an unrealistically flat landscape with no cover of any kind you dimension door 720 feet (400 feet +40/caster level, cast at 8th level) as a free action every round, and then run 80 feet on top of that. That's 800 feet away in one round. A monster with a speed of 60 takes a full round to run at you, you're still 680 feet away (which is a difficult shot with a longbow even if the blink dog couldn't blink and the enemy hadn't used its whole round moving). That's totally ignoring the cover and hiding places you can find even in rolling plains. How is that not effective? Personally, I think the ability is more useful in this environment than in a dungeon.

To say that because they are not teleporting behind walls they are not using the ability to its full capacity is silly to me. There are plenty of non-wall things to teleport behind, and plenty of other tactical uses for the ability than running away from things.

Not terribly relevant to the design of the country, I admit, but for some reason I'm feeling compelled to argue the point. Have you ensorcelled me?

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