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PaizoCon 2014!

Christine Schneider

Round 1: Arcane Anvil
Round 2: Theocracy of Carnamach
Round 3: Arthelia "Lady of Legends Undone"
Round 4: Mind the Machine

Arthelia “Lady of Legends Undone”


Round 3 - Top 16: Design a villain

1 to 50 of 72 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Cheliax RPG Superstar, Contributor aka Leandra Christine Schneider

“When the legends die, the dreams end; there is no more greatness.”
- Tecumseh

ARTHELIA, “Lady of Legends Undone” CR 9 [1 level psion + 8 levels soulknife]

Male (female mindset) elan psion(shaper) 1/soulknife 8
CE Medium aberration (psionic)
Init +3 [+3 Dex]; Senses Listen +5, Spot +5 [see Skills]

DEFENSE

AC 21, touch 14, flat-footed 17
(+5 armor, +3 Dex, +1 dodge +2 shield) [+5 chain shirt (+1), +3 Dex, +1 haste, +2 buckler (+1)]
hp 45 (1d4+8d10-9)
Fort +2 [+2 soulknife 8, -1Con, +1 resistance], Ref +11 [+6 soulknife 8, +3dex, +1haste, +1 resistance], Will +10 [+6 soulknife 8, +2 psion 1, +1Wis, +1 resistance]
Defensive Abilities Dodge, Mobility, Resilience, Resistance Immune Elans are not subject to spells or effects that affect humanoids only.

OFFENSE

Spd 70ft.[30ft. base, +30ft. enhancement Haste, +10ft insight Speed of Thought], Up the Walls
Melee +2 vicious mindblade(shortsword) +13/+13/+8[6 bab, +3 weapon finesse, +2 enhancement, +1 weapon focus, +1 haste] (1d6+2+2d6/19-20 x2)[+2 vicious shortsword]
Ranged +2 vicious mindblade(shortsword, thrown) +13[6 bab, +3dex, +2 enhancement, +1 weapon focus, +1 haste] (1d6+2+2d6/19-20 x2)[+2 vicious shortsword]
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks Psychic strike +2d8, throw mind blade
Powers Known (ML 1 [1st lvl psion], Power Points 7 [2 Psion, +1 bonus pp, +2 elan, +2 wild talent]):
1st- conceal thoughts, entangling ectoplasmA, grease, psionic (DC 13) [10 base +1 power level, +2 Int]

TACTICS

Before Combat Arthelia uses her Boots of Speed every round she is in combat and her stats have been adjusted for the haste this item provides. The boots function for 10 rounds per day.
At the start of combat, her mind blade is always imbued with a psychic strike.
Arthelia never fights without the advantage of surprise, minions on her side or an already wounded opponent.
During Combat Arthelia relies heavily on her Spring Attack feat since it allows her to attack and retreat, preferably into total cover. Because of her incredible speed she might be able to set up an attack pattern that makes it impossible for her enemies to reach her at all.
If faced with an opponent that is able to keep up with her, she tries to use entangling ectoplasm on him, but she always spares a few power points to increase her weak fortitude save or prevent fatal damage with her resistance and resilience ability.
Due to the Up the Walls feat, she is able to attack from higher ground (+1 to melee attack rolls) and ignore hindering terrain while moving along a wall.
Morale Arthelia flees combat as soon as her enemies adapt to her tactics, using her potion of invisibility if necessary. If captured or unable to flee, she relinquishes mental dominance and leaves it to the personality of the boy to plead for his life.
Base Statistics When not under the effect of haste Arthelia uses the following statistics. Spd 40ft., AC 20, touch 13, Melee +12/+8, Ranged +12, Ref +10, Jump + 5

STATISTICS

Str 10, Dex 16 [15base +1level], Con 9 [8base +1level], Int 14, Wis 13, Cha 10 [12base, -2 Elan] [Abilities generated using the elite array]
Base Atk +6 [+0 psion 1, +6 souknife 8] ; Grp +6 [+6 bab]
Feats Dodge, Mobility, Speed of ThoughtB, Spring Attack, Up the WallsB, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (mind blade)B, Wild TalentB [1st, 3rd, 6th and 9th lvl feat, psion bonus feat, soulknife feats]
Skills [64 skillpoints] Balance +3 [-2 armor check +3 Dex +2 synergy], Bluff +5 [4 ranks, +1 rank cross-class], Diplomacy +2 [+2 bluff synergy], Disguise +12 [4 ranks, +8 ranks cross-class] (+24 with disguise self and disguise kit, +26 to act in character [+2 bluff synergy]), Hide +7 [6 ranks, -2 Armor Check, +3 Dex], Intimidate +2 [+2 synergy], Jump +17 [1 rank, –2 armor check, +16 speed, +2 tumble synergy], Knowledge (history) +6 [4 ranks, +2 Int], Listen +5 [4 ranks +1 Wis], Move Silently +7 [6 ranks, -2 Armor Check, +3 Dex], Perform (act) +2 [2 ranks cross-class], Spot +5 [4 ranks +1 Wis], Tumble 10 [9 ranks -2 Armor Check, +3 Dex]
Languages common, elven, dwarven [common, +2 from Int]
SQ Free Draw, Mind Blade, Mind Blade Enhancement, Repletion, Shape Mind Blade
Combat Gear boots of speed, potion of cure moderate wounds (x2), potion of invisibility; Other Gear +1 chain shirt, cloak of resistance +1, disguise kit (10 uses), exquisite clothing and jewellery (value 200gp), hat of disguise, +1 buckler
[12000gp+600gp+300gp+1250gp+1000gp+50gp+200gp+1800gp+1165gp=18 365gp]

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Free Draw (Su) Arthelia is able to materialize her mind blade as a free action instead of a move action. She can make only one attempt to materialize the mind blade per round, however.

Mind Blade (Su) Arthelia can create a semisolid blade composed of psychic energy distilled from her own mind. The blade is identical in all ways (except visually) to a +2 short sword. She can wield it as a light weapon, and the blade deals 1d6+2 points of damage (crit 19-20/×2).

The blade can be broken (it has hardness 14 and 30 hit points) [base hardness 10 + 4 from enhancement, base hit points 10 +20 from enhancement]; however, Arthelia can simply create another on her next move action. The moment she relinquishes her grip on her blade, it dissipates (unless she intends to throw it; see below). A mind blade is considered a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

For interaction with places where psionic effects do not normally function, see the soulknife class feature.

Mind Blade Enhancement (Su) As the soulknife classfeature. Arthelia always enhances her mind blade with the vicious special ability. Her stats already reflect that.

Psychic Strike (Su) As a move action, Arthelia can imbue her mind blade with destructive psychic energy. This effect deals an extra 2d8 points of damage to the next living, nonmindless target she successfully hits with a melee attack (or ranged attack, if she is using the throw mind blade ability).
Creatures immune to mind-affecting effects are immune to psychic strike damage. (Unlike the rogue’s sneak attack, the psychic strike is not precision damage and can affect creatures otherwise immune to extra damage from critical hits or more than 30 feet away, provided they are living, nonmindless creatures not immune to mind-affecting effects.)

A mind blade deals this extra damage only once when this ability is called upon, but Arthelia can imbue her mind blade with psychic energy again by taking another move action.

Once Arthelia has prepared her blade for a psychic strike, it holds the extra energy until it is used. Even if she drops the mind blade (or it otherwise dissipates, such as when it is thrown and misses), it is still imbued with psychic energy when she next materializes it.

Repletion (Su) By expending 1 power point, Arthelia does not need to eat or drink for 24 hours.

Resilience (Su) As an immediate action, Arthelia can reduce the damage she is about to take by 2 points for every 1 power point spent.

Resistance (Su) As an immediate action, Arthelia can spent 1 power point to gain a +4 racial bonus on saving throws until the beginning of her next turn.

Shape Mind Blade (Su) As the soulknife class feature. Arthelia rarely utilizes this ability (Delivering a coup de grace being an exception).

Throw Mind Blade (Ex) Arthelia can throw her mind blade as a ranged weapon with a range increment of 30 feet.

BACKGROUND
Arthelia is a dual minded, deeply disturbed personality balancing on the verge to utter and irredeemable madness. Once human, she lived the life of a successful assassin but always feared the grisly fate that awaits her in the afterlife. Egoistic, self-centred and wealthy, she chose to bribe and blackmail her way into immortality.

Arthelia’s rebirth as an Elan went dreadfully wrong, and her cries of dismay were silenced forcefully as her sadistic mind was incarcerated in the body of a frail boy and quenched by a new-formed pure and innocent soul.
At first, the young Tiras was gifted with the peaceful, if unsuccessful, life of an actor. Specialized in enacting the tales of the legendary heroes he always venerated, his tawdry performances caused mostly laughter among the audience. This lack of success lead to grave depressions and out of his mental weakness, the spirit of Arthelia resurfaced.
Malevolent and cunning, she quickly realized that her conscious time was limited only by how much her rival personality suffers.

MOTIVATION
Arthelia’s primary goal is to spent more time in control of her new, albeit frail, body. To achieve this, she will crush and mutilate what Tiras holds most dear – legends and the people that forge them. Giving her murderous intend a physical existence in form of a cruel mind blade, she has started to prey on famous heroes, adventurers, saints and villains alike.

Realizing that it is even more devastating to Tiras’s psyche to destroy tales instead of people, Arthelia also uses her expertise in disguise to taint the reputation of the heroes she can’t face in battle or murder in their sleep.

APPEARANCE
When not portraying a famous hero or villain from his beloved stories and epics, Tiras is a rather unusual, but hardly imposing figure. Expertly hidden behind his usual guises is the frail, but flexible frame of a shy and timid boy that is coming of age. He is often dressed in elaborate and expensive clothing of either sex, including dark make-up and heavy perfume.

When faced with combat, he impulsively manifests the deadly mind blade and his demeanour changes dramatically. His body starts to follow the malicious movements of the weapon like a puppet on a string, while his face is wracked by the agony and pain the purple blade inflicts upon him and its victims.

HOOKS

Spoiler:
  • The PC’s watch a performance of their own deeds that suddenly turns into a murderous assault on their lives.
  • Arthelia delights in tasting different lives by replacing the people she killed. She enjoys spending wealth, power and minions at her depraved whims and without concern for modesty.
  • After many battles, the PC’s find their nemesis murdered and the glory of defeating him taken from them.
  • Being incredibly afraid of death but strong in personality, Arthelia is likely to rise again as a ghost if her body is destroyed.

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

Initial Impression: Who knew I would like psionics this much. That makes two or three entries now with psionics that I have actually liked! I really like this entry. Great idea. Great execution. Thank you for following the format and really submitting what we asked for. The content is all there, and the spoiler section is a nice touch. I like this one.

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

Word count: 497.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Last round I asked you to work on your English and I think this entry shows that you really took that challenge to heart. You're not there yet (watch your verb tenses especially), but in terms of writing this submission flows much more gently and is a significant improvement over last round.

Two minor quibbles, if I may. In the Before Combat paragraph in the Tactics section, you accidentally capitalized Boots of Speed. Also, in the languages section, you neglected to capitalize Common, Elven, and Dwarven. Being languages, they need to be capitalized. These are minor editing points, but if part of this contest is to point out common errors so people can get better, there's two common errors right there.

On to the meat of the thing. I am not super-conversant in psionics, and I must say I'm surprised how common they've been in this round. I've either been underestimating the popularity of psionics in the general public or we happen to have accidentally attracted psionics fans to this contest. I dunno which it is. But because I don't know everything there is to know about psionics, I am a bit fuzzy on the whole concept behind the elan.

The SRD isn't all that helpful. It provides some rules and a monster write-up, but it doesn't provide much in the way of telling you what the heck an elan is. So I'm a bit at a loss when it comes to Arthelia's bargain to avoid death and her subsequent entrapment in the body of Tiras. Is that how elans work? I just don't really understand this part of the submission.

But I do like the idea of a presence within Tiras that can take over, and I like the way Arthelia's anti-legendry bent is likely to put her at odds with the player characters. I think this submission definitely provides what we asked for, and does so with panache.

The real question for me is when I'm no longer going to be able to support your advancement based on the quality of the writing. Conceptually I think you are one of the strongest contestants. And while I think it's possible that the contest can lose eight contestants without getting into the bone, that's not going to be true even one more round later.

So I think you've made it through again, at least for me, but from this point forward it is going to be almost impossible to get my endorsement and vote. With more dedicated practice I have no doubt that you could win the RPG Superstar contest. But I wonder if you're going to be able to win it this time.

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

Villain Concept (name, title, is it actually a villain?, design choices, playability?): A
The Good: After a bunch of CR 15-ish villains I like seeing your CR 9 villain. Plus, this is just genius: “Realizing that it is even more devastating to Tiras’s psyche to destroy tales instead of people, Arthelia also uses her expertise in disguise to taint the reputation of the heroes she can’t face in battle or murder in their sleep.” S/he is destroying your legend and reputation. You really hit on a big idea here. What a concept. I like that you went psionic. And I am shocked that I say that since I hate psionics. The normal cliché would probably be doppelganger, but that is all played out. Psionics was a clearly superior choice. I loved these hooks and the conflict they create: “The PC’s watch a performance of their own deeds that suddenly turns into a murderous assault on their lives. Arthelia delights in tasting different lives by replacing the people she killed. She enjoys spending wealth, power and minions at her depraved whims and without concern for modesty. After many battles, the PC’s find their nemesis murdered and the glory of defeating him taken from them.”
The Bad: The concept you have is not the problem. The problem may be playability and survivablilty. This isn’t a villain with minions. Not sure what his/her long term success rate would be. But I won’t penalize for that.

Stat Block Execution (proper content, proper format, good math, generally mistake free?, not abusing word count?): B+
The Good: Solid.
The Bad: Huh? “Male (female mindset).” Is that actually a rule thing? Or just a story extension? Capitalization is an issue for you. Spelling and grammar as noted below as well. Nice tactics, for a CR 9 villain.

Description (quality of writing, hook?, theme?, organization, contains all mandatory content—physical description, motivation/goal, scheme/plot?): B+
The Good: Excellent job providing just what we wanted—background, motivation, description, hooks. Your submission did this perhaps better than any other.
The Bad: The quote up front is nice, but it doesn’t really warm me up. It doesn’t get my blood flowing or tell me who this villain is. Neither does the tag line. Plus, while I respect your improvement with the English language, there are still some glaring problems (“spent,” “intend”). I’ll give you a pass on those, but I’m not sure for how long.

Tilt (did it grab me?, is it unique and cool?, do I like it?, flavor and setting?): B+
The Good: I liked it. This is not my normal thing, but I would run him/her and it would make me stretch as a DM, which is a good thing.

Overall: B+
Very unique, high-concept villain with some flaws in the writing.

You are really working hard at this contest and I respect that. Carnamach and the anvil were very good. I think you are excellent with the big idea. I have so much respect for that. I am trying not to hold the English issue against you, but there will come a point where it might start to be a bigger hurdle. I think you have the goods to win this. Good luck!

RECOMMENDED for Top 8

Cheliax RPG Superstar, Contributor aka Leandra Christine Schneider

*Posts right now just to show that she has been clicking the refresh button for an hour out of sheer nervousness*

Thank you for the nice critique. *blushes*

I've really tried to work on my English. While the occasional spelling error managed to slip in (:-S), I hope my general readability and sentence structure improved.
(...some words in this language still sound plain wrong...I excruciated myself to find the right adjective sometimes...hmmm, I guess all of us did.)

I will try to get better (fast :-S) and show it in the next round...that is if all of you care to click that lovely little checkbox thingy besides Arthelia on the voting page ;-)

...now I am off to grab some great villains for my campaigns.

Qadira

A few words in german:

Christine, das ist jetzt das zweite Mal, das mich dein Eintrag absolut vom Hocker haut. Ich hatte mir fest vorgenommen, Dir keinen Heimatbonus zu geben, umso glücklicher bin ich, dass das gar nicht nötig ist.

back to english-mode:

Christine, I can't believe that your entries will be rejected based on any language-related weaknesses as a non-native english speaker. I've just read through the first 8 entries and yours is totally awesome. Better than anything else I've seen so far. So I really hope to see you next round.

I've to check the stat-block yet but I cannot imagine that this will change my vote.

*edit to avoid possible misunderstandings; I'll post a more thorough critique of your entry if I've read through all 16.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013

And she uses psionics. and the elan.

Christine, I think I'm in love.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Soulknives are one of my favorite classes. I like that this villain is one of those 'in the shadows' types that the PCs might never catch on (due the possibility of many faces) to. More of an RP villain than a beat 'em up. Which to me is a good thing.

Also, like that its midlevel. You can spring him/her on PCs just coming into their own.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2008 Top 8

Being the only official mention of the elan is in the XPH and consequently the SRD, there isn't much information about them. The only real info we have is that they are made from humans, essentially resetting the character to zero and making them naturally psionic. Christine and I both came up with explanations for the creation of elans. The SRD doesn't even provide a real description of them, so it is a simple LA +0 race which we are able to tailor to our whims and make them what we wish.

Good show.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Right, I'd gathered that. I thought your version was a little tighter in that regard. Christine is trying to do something interesting with gender as it relates to the creation of a new elan, but there's not _quite_ enough info here for me to understand what it is.

Cheliax

Wow!

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In terms of concept, goals, tactics, description – and did I mention concept? – I love this entry.

In terms of crunch and use to my game … well, I don’t use or know the rules for psionics or élans. If I were to use this villain in my game I would either need to learn a whole new ruleset, or rebuild it into something I understand.

That’s not really a point against – the creativity shines through exceptionally whether one is familiar with psionics or not … but I would prefer to see what people can do with more “conventional” (rules-wise) villains.

Having said that – still love the entry!

EDIT: oh, and I like seeing a low-mid level villain too.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Sheyd

This is a strong entry. I like it.

The Elan is also a mystery to me, I'm not a fan of the Psionics in 3.* so that is no doubt why I haven't heard of the Elan. The schism is great and her tactics of destroying the legends the boy so loves is just wonderful.

I am less concerned with verb tenses and more interested in how sentences and paragraphs flow. You've done a great job in improving your grasp of english (not an easy language) between the rounds for that alone you get a pat on the back from me.

This is most certainly a villain. She would be a great foil for the players and I'm a sucker for any use of disguise.

This one has my vote.

Osirion

I think this is going to be the Migrus Locker for me this round. Everyone is ringing it's praises, but it really just isn't working for me. Crazy badguys are a tough sell for me, as being craaazzzy isn't enough for me as a motive. Plus from what I understand about elans, there's a lot of strangeness here as far as her becoming one and the kind of elan she turned into. It turns a mysterious and exclusive shadow group into something you can just bully yourself into when you desperately need to swap identities. Don't really care for that at all. Plus for as much as the idea of killing people's legends is compelling, her reasons for wanting to do that seem pretty weak. "I couldn't make it as an actor...and I'm an assassin...so I'll assassinate stories!" Not quite doing it for me.

So yeah. Sorry. Not my thing I guess.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka Steven T. Helt

Christine: as you were in my top 10 last round, but not top 5, I am glad to see you in this round. And I am not disappointed. You are the third entry, and standing head and shoulders above the first two.

Take to heart what's being said about your english. That's important - you can't blame anyone for insisting on better english as you go on. And yet, your ability to conceive great ideas means it would be a shame if that was the reason your progress in superstar halted.

On to your entry:

This is a real villain. S/he is creepy. S/he has the potential for recursion. I rejected psionics on principle until 3rd ed - and merely kept my difference after that. This character motivates me to learn psionics and grow her capabilities as the campaign goes on.

She has been knocked for being fragile, but she has a weird kind of defense mechanism: she's just a boy. A heroic party might stoop to beating information out of him, but should stop short of eliminating the elan in early encounters. Afterwards, the symbiote only gets creepier as the strange little boy goes from assassinating the character of the heroes, to mudering rival actors, snobbish playwrites, and the PCs' enemies(to steal credit). By the time yo let the party understand that this villain is 'buy one, get one free', s/he should be more powerful and ready for a tougher fight.

Maybe the best design feature in all of superstar for me: when she realizes it hurts him more to destroy the stories than it does to destroy him. That's dramatic. That's a villain. That's superstar.


I find the villain's motive here intriguing. Not revenge, not world domination, not wealth or power per se. To me, that novelty is worthy of consideration. Working her into a campaign could be as simple as mentioning a few bards telling stories of the PCs that soon end up dead.

I also like the use of psionics here. I haven't studied the 3.5 rules for them, but this villain almost makes me want to grab the EPH and start reading. Considering that I hold a fair bit of disdain for psionics from previous editions, that's a good thing.

Great job Christine!

Oh, and your problem with English? Don't sweat it. I'm an American, and I write and speak Americanized English, which means I mangle the language just fine. You'll improve with practice; you already have improved.


This is my favorite entry so far, Bravo! :-)

What really grabs me is that I feel that Arthelia is a true Villain! How can people NOT see as Villainous with a capital 'V', someone trying to actually crush the dreams of the young, and laying low legends-to-be!? You grinches astound me!! >:-D

This villain makes great sense as a recurring foil. I can easily envision early interactions with the PCs starting out as character assassinations in public, and culminating in direct, hand to hand conflict.
This entry in particular lends itself well for easily increasing the verisimilitude of the game world. I can imagine the PCs hearing occasional word of various NPCs being discredited, or even mysteriously disappearing. Not until later would it be revealed as being inter-connected with malice aforethought, as opposed to random happenstance.

I think this villain really works well for its level and CR, as it is poised, in my opinion, at the right place and _time_ for someone to take notice of PCs starting to truly make their mark on the game world in a highly visible way.

I'd much prefer an author that brings the meat and the sweets to the table, rather than an overdose of one or the other. This is a balanced entry, that to me, did a great job of capturing the stated goals for this round -- this is a great bad guy, AND a great villain.

Please keep up the good work, and I hope enough people vote for you to continue on, I know I will. :-)

Farrell


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Quick thoughts:
-1 for psionics (it's just me I guess, but I hate them)
-1 because I'm really unclear on the Arthelia/Tiras relationship - is he totally gone and she's just riding his shell, or not (seems like not). If not, there should be more on him.
+1 for the interesting setup about killing legends
+1 for being low CR, shows style IMO

Some of this may be because I have no idea how one is 'reborn an elan' or whatnot. But though this is an interesting character, I think out the various scenarios using this in a campaign - the best case is "the PCs know the kid and it only becomes clear over time that he's related tot he killings and then they're unsure what to do about him because the kid is innocent but the chick personality is evil". And I have trouble getting excited about that best case.


LeandraChristine wrote:

“When the legends die, the dreams end; there is no more greatness.”

- Tecumseh

ARTHELIA, “Lady of Legends Undone”

I love this entry. It is well thought out and executed, just what I have come to expect out of your entries so far. I admit to knowing very little of psionics for 3.* so I will have to do some digging to get to the meat of the crunch section.

I am glad to see your skills in English composition are improving, keep at it, its not an easy language to learn.

I also think that denying you advancement for lack of finesse in a second language would be cruel. If your problem was more pronounced with glaring misspellings and poor sentence structure I could see doing so. However, your problems are more a matter of refining your skill. I truly doubt that a gaming company would look at your entry and refuse to publish it because your English skills are a little off. The purpose of the contest is to find the next RPG Superstar not the next RPG Superstar Who Speaks/Writes English as a primary language! After all what are editors for? :P


" After all what are editors for? :P" ~thoughtful look~ I am still trying to figure that out. Any ideas Mike? ~innocent look~

Osirion Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

*tents fingers* Excellent...

This is my kind of villain...

Excellent, and continue to work on the English! I have a feeling next round might be your deathknell of your English is lacking.


While I can get behind the style evident in this entry, it feels more like a favorite minion than a true "big bad" in her/his/it's own right.

You're still high on my list so far though.


It's all been said. If anyone can relax this round, it's you.

You have my vote, and I hope your obvious superiority doesn't cost you votes as others see you as 'safe.'

Osirion

shexty!

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

I like this one a lot.

I have always liked psionics, and I find the elan an interesting idea, even though I have never really used them in my game (though in my most recent campaign they did exist and were tied into part of the campaign, but the PCs never went anywhere near where they were nor really showed any interest in doing psionic stuff).

It's a clever twist and a nice execution. I think your grasp of English is amply sufficient and like someone said, you have an excellent grasp of the Big Idea.


I would not have gone into this contest with the idea of, “What we really need is more transvestite soulknives.” It’s a little rough around the edges, but I like it, and will likely vote for it.

Psionics never gets any love. :(


Can I just say - if I had only one vote, it'd be for this. The conflict between "good little boy", and "evil, conniving woman" is perfect. Plus, it makes PCs have to consider - is it right to kill this person? Or should we be non-lethal in our approach?

I'm not huge on psionics, but this really made me want to use her. It also made me look at the Soulknife again.

10/10. Nearly PERFECT. Loved it even more than your previous entry, which is no small feat.


sorry just can't get a feel for this one. Probably cause i have no love for the psionics. I still think you will make it to the next round, because the concept is good.

Taldor RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013 aka TerraNova

Ok, after re-reading this entry (along with the others), i can only say, i gave it way too little credit. While originally, i thought the concept was unnecessarily complicated, now i see the beauty of it. This is a villain you could actually redeem without having to go against his character - actually, the more you support the boy, the less likely Arthelia will surface again.

While i admit to having a soft spot for the "poor sod" concept of villains, i think even beyond that this makes the whole concept more appealing than any card-carrying villain. Well done, very well done. Consider yourself my new number 1 for this round.

As i said, i try to judge each round on its own merits, but up till now, you have yet to disappoint. Keep up the good work.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Darkjoy

Yup, it feels like this is going to end up like the Migrus Locker. Everybody loves it but I don't know why. Why is this a villain?

Not voting for this one.


I don't think I'll be using this as a master villain. As has been mentioned, crazy is somewhat overdone.

But as a minnion-villain? Heck yeah! I can see Arthelia as one of the seven "named" agents of a real Ming type, sent to deal with particular kinds of missions. His specialist in character assassination and deception. So the PCs might run into her and think she's behind everything, but eventually they discover she's just a named agent, an evil version of the PCs themselves, working for a master villain patron. THAT i can use!

And for that, you get my vote.

Osirion

This was my 4th vote, the 'hard' one to choose.

I also was considering, ironically, the other two Psionic options as my fourth, so it was up against the Aboleth priest Thrallherd and the Pyrokineticist half-fiend Djinn. I'm not at all a fan of Psionics, and if the other two choices had been a pyromancer Djinn or an Enchanter Thrallherd, you'd likely have lost out, but the concept was so strong with this one that I ended up looking past the mechanics and seeing *story.* Story wins, and this schizophrenic two-character-in-one concept was powerful. The whole theme of attacking heroes and trying to destroy legends is very cool.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
LeandraChristine wrote:
Arthelia delights in tasting different lives by replacing the people she killed. She enjoys spending wealth, power and minions at her depraved whims and without concern for modesty.

This is awesome.

I can see this leading to any number of seemingly unrelated plots before Arthelia is even confronted for the first time.

And the wider her net is, the more effective the tactic will be.

"Another noble has gone crazy, this one in Oak Haven! This is the fourth one this year!!"

Of course, my players would know it was something from the Far Realms. All the better.

Osirion

I told myself before the entries were published that I would only look at CR<10. I have been disappointed for the most part. I really think the contest should have specified a level range for the villains, but I digress. It is MUCH more difficult to write a compelling villain in the low levels (CR 1-5) and gets progressively easier as you go up in CR. The reason for this has to do with connecting the crunchy rules driven stat-block with the fluffy story. At CR 9, this is the highest CR that fit my personal criteria.

I am also not a fan of psionics, but I do like this entry. This is a great recurring villain (as opposed to simply a villain).

Using the Elan as the race is completely unnecessary and actually will be totally lost on the players who have to face such a villain.

I think the minion aspect of this villain is a bit weak. Here I would have liked to see Tiras be a sympathetic character for other NPCs to rally around when the PCs come to pick on poor Tiras. It offers a great opportunity for PCs to be at odds with Paladins, Clerics of Good deities, Aasimar, etc. Heck, even a detect evil spell can throw the part off...one day Tiras is good, the next he's wielding a soulknife trying to kill them and detect evil is screaming "EVIL, EVIL".

While these are clearly criticisms, I am definitely voting for this entry since the others did not spark my imagination well at all.

Good Job.


Love it both for using psionics and for being a real conflict of personalities. As well as that it provides a moral dilemma - ok... so this dude is a crazy assassin but also a frightened kid? HOw do we solve this one?

It also gives a DM so much fun role-playing the boy's horrified expression and sobs as his body is used to kill the very people he idolises. Nasty.


LeandraChristine wrote:


OFFENSE

Spd 70ft.[30ft. base, +30ft. enhancement Haste, +10ft insight Speed of Thought], Up the Walls
Melee +2 vicious mindblade(shortsword) +13/+13/+8[6 bab, +3 weapon finesse, +2 enhancement, +1 weapon focus, +1 haste] (1d6+2+2d6/19-20 x2)[+2 vicious shortsword]
Ranged +2 vicious mindblade(shortsword, thrown) +13[6 bab, +3dex, +2 enhancement, +1 weapon focus, +1 haste] (1d6+2+2d6/19-20 x2)[+2 vicious shortsword]
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks Psychic strike +2d8, throw mind blade
Powers Known (ML 1 [1st lvl psion], Power Points 7 [2 Psion, +1 bonus pp, +2 elan, +2 wild talent]):
1st- conceal thoughts, entangling ectoplasmA, grease, psionic (DC 13) [10 base +1 power level, +2 Int]

A challenging choice to go with a psion, as they are often a niche market favorite only. Good name. That drew me in. I like the fact that the gp values for the gear were explicitly included. That makes it a lot easier for an editor to check.

This is really two villains in one. Or rather a foil plus a purported villain. I like the fact that this character preys upon other villains sometimes (nice touch and tribute to the competition). I am not quite sure how she is a villain in the large scale, but on the small scale I can see her as a nemesis. I am not quite sure I buy the 'crush the dreams by killing heroes' motive at the end of the day. I will return to view this entry again before making decisions.


Conflicted heroes or villains always intrigue me,and you are to be complimented on your perseverance in this competition, especially since you are writing using the very tricky English language.


I really like your ideas Christine and the villain was cool and action packed, but I have to admit it wasn't until the adventure hook describing the play based on the heroes exploits that I truly bought in. That idea is incredible! Oh my God Christine, that alone is worth a vote and the price of admission.

Good work. And the villain will make for a really cool fight, with her running up the walls and jumping through windows - maybe a chase across the rooftops via "Bourne Ultimatum."

PS. Thanks for using Psionics, I love them, and so you can imagine I don't get to see them very often.


I would vote for you just because you are a woman, since we are not represented in strong numbers in this competition, but in this round you get my vote for creating an interesting, workable villain, woman or no. Boots of speed? Mind blade for psychic strikes? Excellent. Congrats!

Andoran RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka JoelF847

Wow, another stellar entry. Having not progressed in the contest, I have to say, I hope you win the big prize. So far, your entries have knocked my socks off each time. This entry has lots to like:

1) mid CR villain - it's a lot harder to come up with something compelling at this range, and you did a great job.
2) the moral dilemma of what to do with him/her once you defeat them is great. Serious alignment issues if the PCs just slay out of hand (as long as the DM has done their job showing that the boy persona is good and innocent.) Assuming that the PCs don't kill the villain, then sooner or later, the villain can escape and cause more mischief.
3) A good use of the viscious weapon quality without having a huge hp barbarian just take the damage because they can afford to.
4) good variety of plot hooks

This is my first definate vote of what I've read so far.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I didn't like the Migrus Locker. However, I do like this villain. Furthermore, Christine's Caramach and Arcane Anvil were both strong entries to me. She gets my vote.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6 aka adanedhel9

Nothing's really grabbing me here. Don't get me wrong, Christina, you've shown a lot of creativity here, your English has definitely improved, and this entry deserves its voters. But I just don't get it. I'm not a fan of psionics at all, and that might be clouding my judgement.

But I think a big part of it is the motivation. I don't like insane villians, and while Arthelia/Taris aren't really insane, they certainly act like it. I'm not certain that players would ever see anything past the insanity without some heavy-handed DMing.

A little reorganization could've helped your entry. A (apparently) real-world quote doesn't do much to grab me, and following with the stat block didn't help.

Mechanically, I enjoy her a lot. She'd be a really fun fight, and you did a great job of blending her stats with your concept.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Spar

I keep finding myself rereading this one. I don't know why, but I do. I like it. I am unsure why, but I like it.

WC


Mactaka wrote:

I didn't like the Migrus Locker. However, I do like this villain.

I liked the Migrus Locker. I don't really care for this villain. Though the killing heroes and villains hook makes it incredibly easy to use her in a variety of ways, I just don't quite buy the motivation.

Christine, I probably would never have known you weren't a native English speaker if it hadn't been pointed out. Most native English speakers don't write as well as you do.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Alright, on to number 3. Very nice quote! And CR 9, something I can use. And I personally like psionics, or the idea of them. I don't know elan, but that has been said before. I don't mind learning about them.

In the stat block I'm thrown off by the fact that she will relingquish mental dominance and leaves it up to the boy to plead his way out... boy... what boy... huh???? I guess I'll read about it later, but I'd rather have known before.

Overall I like the possibilities and this definately gets another read.

Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

1. Good use of psionics.

2. A truly good insane villian is difficult to produce both by game balance and rules wise. I think you have pulled it off well however, especially with a language handicap.

3. I love elans, and I currently have a Elan Soulknife/Warmind playing in a unique campaign world. Good choice for a villian! (The Elan looks at the blade sticking in his gut, concentrates and pulls it out bloodlessly. Looking up, tossing the dagger aside, he states in a frosty voice, "Please tell me you can do better than that?")

4. Just a reminder, she's a slayer a "Legends" not just Heroes if I remember correctly. Legends can be real/imagined/evil/neutral/monsters too...(The Dread Pirate Roberts comes to mind for some reason. Would she have to kill ALL the DPRs or just the current one? Hmmm...)

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

A very well-chosen quote to start off the entry.

I was a little surprised not to see the obvious combination of tactics (using Resilience to soak up the damage from the vicious mind blade) but perhaps the damage feeds her motivation even as it dangerously weakens her body.

This presents a self-absorbed and twisted scheme that's worthy of an insane psionic villain. It's very interesting to see an antagonist as vulnerable and pitiable as this. I think she'll raise some difficult moral questions for some groups.

To me, the entry doesn't explain clearly what the personalities Arthelia and Tiras are, exactly, when they are each dominant or what happened to her elan transformation.

It's intriguing but may have fatal flaws. I'll come back to this one.


Hehehehehe.

Even while psionics is not my thing, I like this one. And considering that your previous entries have been among my favorites, you might get my vote next round just by showing up to claim it.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013

Starglim wrote:

A very well-chosen quote to start off the entry.

I was a little surprised not to see the obvious combination of tactics (using Resilience to soak up the damage from the vicious mind blade) but perhaps the damage feeds her motivation even as it dangerously weakens her body.

She doesn't have that many power points (7) so that's not as good an option as it sounds. Better to use them to buff saving throws.

That and maybe Tiras feels the pain more than Arthelia?

Were I to advance her I'd add two more levels of psion and take the Expanded knowlege feat to get astral construct. the fun she could have with sculpted constructs...

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