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Churjiir


Round 2 - Top 32: Create a monster concept

1 to 50 of 60 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Churjiir
Description: The Churjiir is a two-headed, hairless, and rat-like beast with six clawed limbs. Over ten times the size of a normal rat, its body is two yards in length. It reeks of musty urine, and a haze of servitor fleas seethes over it.
The muddy gray hide of the Churjiir’s bald body stretches tautly from both muzzles to its undersized, malformed ears. Lumps and lesions mottle the skin on the creature’s back, and a ropey, ophidian tail twitches behind it. Yellowed fangs jut down from its snouts and both jaws are set with needle-like teeth. Its mouths slaver with luminescent spittle.
It crouches on four squat legs equipped with sharpened digging claws. If confronted, it rears up and uses its third, frontal set of limbs. These are elongated and gangly, terminating in three finger-like talons with wicked points.
Its cavernous, crimson eyes glint with a feral light. Churjiirs possess cruel and calculating intellects, allowing them to thrive in the cesspools and murky corners of settlements. They aspire to reign luxuriously, served by subjugated minions.
Powers and Abilities: Churjiirs can mentally control and communicate at a distance with rodents of any size. This includes intelligent or enhanced rat-like creatures, such as wererats. It has the magical power to scavenge through a nearby creature’s mind, feeding on and devouring thoughts, tainting the creature’s recollection, and often excreting diseased and foul memories in their place.
Its corrupted bite can unnaturally diminish a victim’s spellcasting ability, while putrescent saliva causes painful necrosis of the wound. Churjiirs can send forth hordes of fleas to torment enemies.
Despite their size, Churjiirs are adept at remaining unseen; like its brethren, it gnaws through wood and other barriers with ease. It can gouge a hole in a solid brick wall in minutes.

Pathfinder Lead Developer, Frog God Games

Kind of the cerberi of the rat world. I don't know that it's everyone's cup of tea but I've been interested in variants on big nasty rats ever since I read "Graveyard Shift" and "Rats in the Walls" as a kid and puzzled over what exactly was a sumatran rat in the 1e MM. I could see me using this sort of thing in an adventure along with the ratkin from The Tome of Secrets. It gets a thumbs up from me for delving into the under-appreciated world of rats in RPG. (P.S. Richard Pett would love this critter.)

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

The physical description of this totally reminds me of the osquip from the 1e Fiend folio--bald, mangy, spotty, multilegged rat-thing with big fangs.

Odd that so many submissions this year are though-eater or psychic vampire monsters.

I think the mental stuff put this monster over the edge for me, it's trying to do too much. If it were just a crazy rat-thing with a pet flea swarm, and even if it could command other rats, and even if it had a poisonous bite, that would have been cool for me, but eating thoughts and altering memories and interfering with spellcasting is just a little too much IMO.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Love the pet fleas angle, that's gross, and has some really interesting rules potential. Even the idea of being able to boss around rats is pretty cool. I think I'd ramp this down to be a low CR, low Int rat lord, which alone has some potential for a neat adventure. Everything else just feels like gravy on the icing.

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

Initial Impression: A rat boss! Now that is some low level fun. Reminds me of the naked pig-rat boss from Fallout 2. Rats (and wolves) are great low level fun and this one has got me interested. Also reminds me of a really bad B movie I saw as a kid, something about an island of killer shrews or something. Anyway, let’s see how it goes…

Concept (name, overall design choices, design niche, playability/usability, challenge): A
Name is a bit off-putting, but I prefer it to some rat variant name. Great choice of a low level boss niche.

Execution (quality of writing, hook, theme, organization, use of proper format, world neutral, quality of mandatory content—description, summary of powers): A
Perhaps a bit overdone and indulgent (“excreting diseased thoughts,” I’m looking at you), I nevertheless really like this monster. I like the powers—the flea swarm, the rat communication and control (including wererats, now that is cool), corrupting bite messes with spellcasting, necrotic wounds, multi-claws.

Tilt (did it grab me, do I want to use one in an adventure?): A
I want to run this monster. I love this as a low level boss for rats. Nice replacement for the stereotypical wererat boss.

Overall: A
The freaky rat brings it big time!

Recommendation: I DO recommend this creature advance.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

I totally missed in the first read that this is a two-headed rat-thing. Not sure why that was necessary, but it makes the creature less like an osquip and more like its own style of freak.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Thank you for your comments and support. If anyone has questions, I'll be happy and able to answer them once voting for this round is closed.


Clark Peterson wrote:


A rat boss! Now that is some low level fun. Reminds me of the naked pig-rat boss from Fallout 2.

Mole rat king! EEE! SHOOT IT! :D


I don't get the two heads, either. Drop one of the heads, the thought eating / altering memories, but keep the rest. Those fleas could actually be the bane of spellcasters that can cause them to fail their attempt. Or maybe a successful failure for the spell attempt is something those fleas feed upon and with those energies, it takes it back to its host, the churjiir, and it can be used as a symbiotic parasite by spitting the spell energies back into it as a means of self-healing or boosting its SR.

Definite potential for a low CR boss.


The many-legged critter and its burrowing/gnawing ability makes me think of the Aurumvorax (old edition critter, though it had a 3.5 writeup in Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk as well). Thats not necessarily a bad thing though. An Aurumvorax was always a nasty little bugger to tangle with.

There, the resemblance ends (and its more just my first impression anyway)...as it goes on to be a diseased rat-master! The fact that it can mentally control other rat creatures is a neat ability, especially that it might involve Wererats too.

Definitely a critter with lots of interesting potential.

Andoran Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

I like that it has two heads. This is very evocative and the abilities are very interesting. I can just imagine it sending its flea swarm after spellcasters to distract them while it mucks around with the fighter's head.

This is a candidate for my short list.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Matt Goodall wrote:
It reeks of musty urine, and a haze of servitor fleas seethes over it.

Ha! Nice line; way to set the tone early while also deftly hinting at what the critter does. In fact, the writing was pretty solid all around. I seem to be the target audience for the sort of flamboyant word-slinging that annoys Clark, because I really got a kick out of "excreting diseased and foul memories".

I do feel that "two-headed rat overlord" and "mind-raping psionic manipulator" might be a mismatch of themes. I'm okay with some level of telepathic power (that just makes it a good boss-monster), but the monster you describe sounds like a REALLY powerful psychic. I'm not saying the two ideas can't be woven together, but so far I'm just not feeling it.

Someone should introduce this guy to Gulga Cench; I bet they'd really hit it off.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Demiurge 1138

Greg A. Vaughan wrote:
Kind of the cerberi of the rat world. I don't know that it's everyone's cup of tea but I've been interested in variants on big nasty rats ever since I read "Graveyard Shift" and "Rats in the Walls" as a kid and puzzled over what exactly was a sumatran rat in the 1e MM.

Wait, the Giant Rat of Sumatra, the story of which the world is not yet prepared, is in the 1e MM? How did I miss that? Awesome!

OK, so where were we? Two headed psychic rat king? Right. And it is pretty right, I think. The physical description is plenty hideous and creative (although the six legs does put me in mind of the osquip), and the description of their bite tunnelling through victim's minds and leaving behind the diseased droppings of memory was ridiculous in the right way. You have studied well at the feet of Pett and Logue, Mieville and Lovecraft.

These guys are on my short list. Some people might think "king of rats" and "mental masters" don't work together, but I'm getting flashbacks to Pratchett's Rat King in "The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents". Scariest damn villain in a "children's book". Good work!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Nicolas Quimby wrote:
Someone should introduce this guy to Gulga Cench; I bet they'd really hit it off.

Ha!

Also, I like this submission very much. Best of luck to you, I'd love to see this statted up in a later round!


Matt Goodall wrote:

Churjir

cut for space

This is the third monster that I am looking at. I do not read the comments below the entry before posting my opinion. Apologies if this is duplicative of someone else’s entry, in part or whole.

The name is not the best. Okay, it does lead in with a really good description of a skanky, rat-like critter. Good writing there. If anything, it could be a tad shorter (see the new Pathfinder Bestiary, an exercise in brevity!), however I don’t think that harms it. Toward the end we see that it wants to rule over others. We don’t actually get much of an idea of why it’s a monster other than a) ratlike nature and b) it lives in sewers. Hm.

Powers:
*it can communicate with other rodents (okay, establishing it as a King Rat)
*it scavenges thoughts and excretes foul memories in their place (simultaneously disgusting and intriguing – neat idea that could go astray or really work well –where are you going with it?)
*corrupting bite = damage (yep, rats have teeth)
*diminishes spellcasting (ah, neat, cool idea)
*necrosis of the wound (disease? Still ratlike)
*fleas torment enemies (swarm? Area damage in a burst? Interesting. Dire fleas?)
*remains unseen (mm-kay)
*can dig through or burrow through stuff quick – wait no, they can go through a brick wall in a minute (still ratlike, and I’m now underwhelmed)

Summary: King Rat. As noted above. A concept with a really well done intro that feeds a smorgasbord of powers, that is essentially Wan Beeg Rat. I have mixed feelings on this. I think it could have been done a lot better as a boss monster instead of a species? It throws out a couple of interesting ideas that tie in nicely to its theme. I think it has merit, and I’ll have to see how the remaining 29 come out. This one looks like it would be a good fit for an encounter in a low-level adventure.


I like this one, it has potential in the sewers of a city and great for a boss of a low level campaign. I would like to see the stat block of this creature, it has my vote (#3).


Praise:
This is a nasty creature that definitely ratchets up the difficultly level and usefulness of the MM's many rodent derivatives. An army of templated rodents awaits the Churjiir's call. I really liked this quote -
"They aspire to reign luxuriously, served by subjugated minions"
It's appearance is creepy and weird, just this side of too creepy.

Concerns:
I really did not like this quote -
"Its corrupted bite can unnaturally diminish a victim’s spellcasting ability".
I really try to avoid these types of mechanics. They are not only complicated, but can be frustrating to the player and are not something to be applied through a simple bite attack. Unless part of a very specific party-wide limitation that has an obvious reasoning which the players can understand and accept, removing character abilities is a no-no in my book. The name is weird, and I can see a lot of DMs and players having trouble with it. Points for originality.

Overall:
An overlord for rodents? Not bad, and just this side of 'too creepy'. I don't see them hiding from anything, at a seemingly Large size category or bigger. In spite of all the positives, this still doesn't grab me. I think this could easily be replaced by a weirdo humanoid, and the spell mechanic killed it for me.

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

Hydro wrote:
Matt Goodall wrote:
It reeks of musty urine, and a haze of servitor fleas seethes over it.
Ha! Nice line; way to set the tone early while also deftly hinting at what the critter does. In fact, the writing was pretty solid all around. I seem to be the target audience for the sort of flamboyant word-slinging that annoys Clark, because I really got a kick out of "excreting diseased and foul memories".

Count me in as a lover of that phrase as well! The purpleness of prose is sometimes in the eye of the beholder, and this one skates close to the edge but I think manages to stay on the evocative side and away from the destructive side.

Hydro wrote:

I do feel that "two-headed rat overlord" and "mind-raping psionic manipulator" might be a mismatch of themes. I'm okay with some level of telepathic power (that just makes it a good boss-monster), but the monster you describe sounds like a REALLY powerful psychic. I'm not saying the two ideas can't be woven together, but so far I'm just not feeling it.

Someone should introduce this guy to Gulga Cench; I bet they'd really hit it off.

Indeed they would! Or eat each other. Or both.

I'm not crazy about the two-headed thing, osquip or no osquip comparison, and the extraneous gangly limbs feel tacked on, but I actually rather like the idea that THIS kind of icky rat monster can disease not just your body but also your mind. It is a very nice change of pace from the ubiquitous wererat, esp. as something that can boss wererats around!

I'd like to know more about the servitor fleas, but I guess that could come in the stat block.

Overall: I think the abilities hang together well, the description is icky without going straight to "Fort save vs. nauseated" land. The writing is florid and on the edge of too much but still teetering on the right side. All in all, I like it. I'll put it in the "I'll think about it" pile.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Thanks everyone for your comments, I'm very interested in what people think of my beastie.

Of course if you want to see more of the Churjiir (and me), remember to vote for Matt Goodall and the Churjiir.

Vote 1 Rat!

Cheliax

varianor wrote:
Matt Goodall wrote:

Churjir

cut for space

This is the third monster that I am looking at. I do not read the comments below the entry before posting my opinion. Apologies if this is duplicative of someone else’s entry, in part or whole.

The name is not the best. Okay, it does lead in with a really good description of a skanky, rat-like critter. Good writing there. If anything, it could be a tad shorter (see the new Pathfinder Bestiary, an exercise in brevity!), however I don’t think that harms it. Toward the end we see that it wants to rule over others. We don’t actually get much of an idea of why it’s a monster other than a) ratlike nature and b) it lives in sewers. Hm.

Powers:
*it can communicate with other rodents (okay, establishing it as a King Rat)
*it scavenges thoughts and excretes foul memories in their place (simultaneously disgusting and intriguing – neat idea that could go astray or really work well –where are you going with it?)
*corrupting bite = damage (yep, rats have teeth)
*diminishes spellcasting (ah, neat, cool idea)
*necrosis of the wound (disease? Still ratlike)
*fleas torment enemies (swarm? Area damage in a burst? Interesting. Dire fleas?)
*remains unseen (mm-kay)
*can dig through or burrow through stuff quick – wait no, they can go through a brick wall in a minute (still ratlike, and I’m now underwhelmed)

Summary: King Rat. As noted above. A concept with a really well done intro that feeds a smorgasbord of powers, that is essentially Wan Beeg Rat. I have mixed feelings on this. I think it could have been done a lot better as a boss monster instead of a species? It throws out a couple of interesting ideas that tie in nicely to its theme. I think it has merit, and I’ll have to see how the remaining 29 come out. This one looks like it would be a good fit for an encounter in a low-level adventure.

I have mixed feelings too. It has too many powers - makes it odd for a species. I think it's overdone. Better to keep it simple IMO.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Jason Nelson wrote:
I actually rather like the idea that THIS kind of icky rat monster can disease not just your body but also your mind.

I believe that the "mental disease" theme could use further development, because it's a theme that was lost on me the first time I read it. Yes, he described the mental effects in a very icky way, but I just took that for good ambient writing, somehow not making the "mental illness" connection.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Wow!

Two days later I finally got around to reading this one.

First off, I think to design a low level boss for city adventures is brilliant. Our hobby is matured, and I buy Paizo because I want adventures in a variety of locations and settings; from "underground dungeons" to cities. You can use this rat boss in a variety of different locations and that's good design.

Like other posters I think you need to watching getting too carried away with the mental powers. Don't get rid of the mental powers entirely! Just make sure you're working on a theme. In fact, I think it's the bite combined with the mental powers. Choose one or the other. Both are tipping the scales a little; my opinion only.

Aside: Sometimes I think "Design a Monster" got mixed up with "Design a Villain". As an observation a lot of our fellow competitors seemed to have a great idea and just take it a little too far. No harm though! I'd just trim this back a little and take delight in being a great Rat King.

This is a rock solid entry that just needs some trimming. Good luck! I'm hoping you make it to Round Three!


Okay, I like the control over rats power, the fleas, the nasty bite, etc, etc, but I think that the rummage through minds and dump memories is going a bit too far. You're making it look to me more like a cross between an osquip and a cranium rat with some extra stuff tacked on when you do that rather than a very big rat. I'd go so far as to be cautiously enthusiastic about the mind-messing powers being good for maybe a handful of 'named' NPC villains from this race, but the whole lot of them having the things is asking too much I feel. It starts raising credibility questions of 'why haven't they taken over the world', etc, etc, which is a route that often only leads to perdition and much torment for game designers.

As to encounters, I'm seeing churjiirs (is that the correct plural???) as being potentially useful at all levels as controllers of gangs or lieutenants/pets of more powerful figures.

My overall impression is that this entry does something unexpected and original, although I have some reservations about it as currently written.

Thanks for submitting this entry. :)

Osirion

This is pretty good, and I'd be excited to see this one statted out. I could do without the two-headed thing (unless there were already a miniature to accompany such a beast).

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 aka tejón

Charles Evans 25 wrote:
churjiirs (is that the correct plural???)

If it hearkens to the source I'm immediately reminded of, "churjiir" is both singular and plural, and either "churjiiri" or "churjiiric" is adjective.

If it has nothing to do with that source, it's probably "churjiirs." :)


Matt Goodall wrote:

Churjiir

Your description of the Churjiir is vivid and well written, if slightly overdone.

They are a new version of rat- monster, fairly intelligent, mutated and disease ridden. The only thing i wouldn't like to see is one of this creatures trying to behave human-like or being served by ones that are not mad disease cultist, but your last sentence seems to imply otherwise.
After reading your description I was kind of surprised that i was intrigued by a mundane critter.
But your Powers section pretty much killed it for me. suddenly the churjiir is all but mundane. Mind-reading/controlling and spelleating. You disappointed me with what you made me expect of your creature. I like the flea swarming and diseased bites, but the supernatural stuff kicked me off.
I would have been comfortable with some, theme-fitting supernaturals, (like with the displacer beast) but making them genius overminds simply is too much for me.

Creativity/ Innovation
You got me interested in a seemingly mundane critter, which says something in itself, after all I'm here, looking for the big ideas.
I think you went a bit too much into detail with your description, but thats about it. You gave the rat-typed monster a new face and somewhat new direction and easily had me following you, but the conflict in theme lost me. Suddenly I'm wondering how all these nifty powers are fitting in the image you crafted about the churjiir, and I can't get them to fit.

Tilt:
Again I have to say that you had me. Bait and Hook, you already had me thinking about giving the sever type adventure another try, and again the disparity between the themes tripped me off.

Sorry, not considering for a vote. Without the powers section i might have. try not to do everything or even too much of one thing.

Andoran Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

I got 1 vote left, this might be it. A two headed rat that can control wererats, that's hot!

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

How did the author respond to the challenge? Great description and connection of the concept to each of its powers.

How does it stack up


  • as an opponent? I think its combat potential would turn on how quickly it could put down opponents with its mental abilities. Hanging back, or hiding, and harassing opponents with its minions seems viable.
  • as something other than an opponent? Good potential as a driving force of various unpleasant occurrences through an adventure and its motives are well developed.
  • in relation to other monsters? Maybe I'm particularly sensitive to its osquip-plus derivation. Several existing creatures control vermin and have mental attacks.
  • in relation to the author's item? Certainly shows me something different.
  • in itself? Impressive build-up of images of filth and squalor across a variety of senses.

I'm very much inclined to keep it for writing prowess as well as a well-constructed entry. Some hard decisions ahead.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Epic Meepo

My thoughts on the churjiir...

The Name: An odd and potentially hard to pronounce name. This one could have benefited from some real-world urban folklore and just been called a rat king.

The Description: It's a big rat with an extra head and some extra limbs. A bit osquip-like, but there's nothing wrong with that. Of course, that's even more of a reason to change the name to "rat king," since a rat king was supposedly a bunch of rats fused together at the tail. It's just a small leap to go from that image to the image of multiple giant rats fused into a single multi-headed, extra-limbed mass.

The Powers: I like the rodent control, and the fleas were a nice touch. The mental powers were a bit over the top, though not as much as the mental abilities tacked on several other monsters this round. The churjiir's mental powers are at least described in a way that make them thematically appropriate. The churjiir is riffling through your mind and leaving filth in its wake.

The Buzz: To other posters who dislike the churjiir's mental powers, I'd suggest reading the description of those mental powers again. The way those abilities are described seems, to me, to indicate that the churjiir has a few specific spell-like abilities to supplement its other attack forms, not that the churjiir relies upon mental powers to do its heavy lifting.

The Vote: Although I'm defending the churjiir a bit, that's a problem. There are several other entries that are strong enough, I don't feel the need to defend them. Unfortunately, this means that I won't be voting for the churjiir. However, the churjiir is a solid monster, and I'll be surprised if it doesn't make the cut without my help.

Osirion

This beastie has some good ideas in it. And, my problem, is that it has too many good ideas shoved into one beastie.

King Rat, lording it over the lesser rats, and even able to impose his will on his teeming population of fleas, is interesting. And then it just kept going. The 'excreting diseased or foul thoughts' thing was CREEE-PEEE, and I would love to see something like that, on a completely other monster, that has nothing to do with this one. The magic-blood thing, just whatever. Too much.

I felt the same way during the descriptive paragraph. Cool sentence. Another cool sentence. Yet more descriptor! Too much now. I went from being intrigued to fatigued by the descriptor in like three sentences, and I think you might have benefitted there from ruthlessly trimming down descriptor until you had something slimmer and more effective and with quite a bit less adjectives.

I want to see a King Rat. And I want to see a critter that eats and excretes thoughts and memories (cause that sounds evocative as all get out). Just not at the same time.

Andoran

Most of this monster is cool in my opinion but for some reason I keep getting stuck on the "Six clawed limbs" idea. Not sure why. I guess the visual image of this creature that I am getting is fine until I picture it with six limbs. Sounds fierce though!!!

Andoran

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I totally missed in the first read that this is a two-headed rat-thing. Not sure why that was necessary, but it makes the creature less like an osquip and more like its own style of freak.

Hmmm Maybe it has two minds since it has mental powers... :o)


I'm surprised that people see this as a low level monster. I don't see that at all. It's easily a mid-level baddie. It's got WAAAAY to many powers to be low CR.

Here is what it can bring against the PC's:

1) two heads and 6 limbs (bite, bite, claw, claw, claw, claw, claw, claw?)
2) two yards in length (large creature, and probably decent HP)
3) servitor fleas (torment enemies)
4) Ophidian tail (ophidian = snake. poison or constrictor?)
5) calculating intellect (inherently tougher than animal intelligence)
6) mental control (multiple minions, each one is a CR 2 alone)
7) scavenge thoughts (mind altering, at range)
8) corrupted bite (hurts spell casters)
9) putrescent saliva (necrosis of the wound)
10)adept at remaining unseen (high stealth)
11)gnaws through barriers (burrow)

IMO, you need to trim down it's abilities. This is trying to do way too much. It's bite alone does 3 things (razor sharp teeth, necrosis, and hurts spell casting), and it looks like it gets 2 bite attacks per round. Whatever you do, DONT get rid of the fleas. Thats the best ability.

Also, I don't get this sentence "If confronted, it rears up and uses its third, frontal set of limbs." You've established that it's already standing on 4 of it's 6 limbs, so why isn't it already using its frontal limbs? Did you mean it's rear limbs (I would call them the third set, counting front to back)? Or did you mean it's middle limbs? In other words, does it get 2, 4, or 6 claw attacks?

Nice idea, but I didn't like the execution. This has too many things going on to feel like a focused idea for me. More is not always better. Sorry, I don't think this will get my vote.

I hope this helps with future design if you do advance.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 aka tejón

Jason Rice wrote:
Whatever you do, DONT get rid of the fleas.

Seconded.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

The "diseases your body AND mind" connection that Jason Nelson pointed out kind of sold me on the mental abilities. I agree that it could use a little trimming down but I would be sad if it lost all its mental powers, as they lend it a certain vibe of supernatural evil that I'm digging.

To Jason: I think people are assuming that it's low level because it seems to primarily be a melee foe that's only medium size. I would probably shoot for CR 7, but you never know; if we do see stats then the author of those stats might surprise us.

Star Voter 2013

"Churjiir" is this a good name for a 2 headed rodent master?

"The Churjiir is a two-headed, hairless, and rat-like beast with six clawed limbs." you probably could have left out the 'and'

"It reeks of musty urine, and a haze of servitor fleas seethes over it." I think a tad bit of editing could have been used here. The reeking could have probably been placed on the first line. I normally dont think of fleas as capable of being servents

"The muddy gray hide" Im not sure if hide is the correct word, I think flesh works better

"Its mouths slaver with luminescent spittle" hmm should this creature have bio-luminescence? I'm thinking 6 legs and bio-luminescence equals too much Avatar for this creature ;)

"They aspire to reign luxuriously, served by subjugated minions." what is luxury to a creature that lives in a cesspool? ;)

"It has the magical power to scavenge through a nearby creature’s mind, feeding on and devouring thoughts, tainting the creature’s recollection, and often excreting diseased and foul memories in their place." Needs some editing

"Its corrupted bite can unnaturally diminish a victim’s spellcasting ability, while putrescent saliva causes painful necrosis of the wound." Needs some editing

pretty solid entry, with a good discription. I think it could be dropped into a game fairly easily. It's thought corruption could be excessively dangerous if stated wrongly. I'm also concerned that it can control rats and fleas. Maybe the control over rats should become an influence/suggestion. Which would also alleviate my other concern that the creature can control a wererat in human form.

Edit: the saliva's anti magic property would be a marketable item. dip you blade or arrows in it and you can hamper a caster


I was totally thinking Osquisp too. Love the flea swarm, very cool idea.

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

I thought the 'rat king' was a pretty cool monster, up until the mental abilities beyond controlling rats. That just seems tacked on that it eats thoughts and doesn't fit what otherwise is a neat monster (and yes, servitor fleas are awesome!)

I also like that you not only described what it looked like, but gave a good indication of how it acted and where it fit in the world. Great job! If I had 8 votes, I think I'd give one to you, but with only 4, I think the psychic abilities were just a bit too far. I do hope to see you in R3 though!

Paizo Employee Developer

I think you've come up with a really inventive concept here, and you write very eloquently. It's amazing how you can turn a phrase so evocatively about something as repugnant of a 6-foot-long, bald, two-headed rat. I will echo the judges in saying that the mental powers are a bit too much and don't quite fit the rat-lord theme you have going for it with everything else. That's really the only criticism I have of the piece, though. I think it's a very strong entry and I look forward to seeing what you can come up with in future rounds. Best of luck to you, and stay out of the sewers.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Thanks to everyone of your comments on the Churjiir. Thank for taking the time to put down your thoughts and suggestions. If a future round involves statting up the Churjiir, I certainly will be reviewing and studying all the comments in this thread as part of that process. Of course to advance to the next round I need your votes, so:

Vote 1 Rat!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Orange Toque

Does it grab me visually: My first question was, “why does it have two heads?” It seemed really out of place with the rest of the creature. But the rest of the description was cool. I love that the dirty, flea ridden , 6 foot long rat longs to live in luxury. The mental attacks also seem out of place.

Would I use it in game: Low level boss monster are lots of fun. I could see building an adventure with one of these controlling a city full of rats and wererats. And the surprise at the end, when the PCs discover that a massive six legged rat is controlling them=priceless.

Would my players enjoy an encounter with it: This would be a shock to players. They would love taking down the king of the rats. Especially if he started calling in all of his rat minions during the battle.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka flash_cxxi

I like it but I think it tries to do too much. Controlling Rats and the Pet Fleas was enough for a nice low CR "Vermin Lord" style creature (not sure about controlling Wererats though) but the other mental abilities were a bit of a stretch.

While a decent Monster, it doesn't get my Vote.
Sorry and Good Luck. :)


I really liked this one. I thought the author should have described more on its desire to live a luxurious life, and thus its motivations in that direction. The use of its ability to eat memmories and replace them with bad ones is an interesting idea, but needed to be played out more.

It's on my list, but not as high as some others.

Ken

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Once again, thanks everyone. I'm going to wait until we see what the next round is before commenting on the Churjiir. (Just in case the next round requires you to expand on or stat your monster.)

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Well given what round 3 entails, it looks like I'll be delaying putting down my comments a little longer. I do hope that someone decides to stat up the Churjiir, I would really like to see their take on it.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Congratulations Matt! You crazy Rat Guy you!


Congratulations on making the top 16.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Matt:
First of all, congratulations on making it to the Top 16. I thought I would wait until after the voting for Round Two ended before offering any commentary or advice. And I'm going to come at it a little differently, in that I'm not going to focus primarily on your design this round. Rather, I'm going to have a go at examining your entire portfolio to this point to sort of assess what you've done well, where you could shore up a few things in your overall design and writing, and then give you some more pointed advice on stuff you could showcase in future rounds to maybe improve your chances of going all the way to the end. So, with that in mind, here goes:

Spoiler:

I wasn't a big fan of the spellstrike vambraces. The concept got introduced last year and I've just never really signed onto the spell-catching types of items very much. But your presentation and command of language to describe things in an evocative way is very good. I think you demonstrated that again with the Churjiir. The name wasn't necessarily anything that grabbed me, but the niche you defined for the creature and its physical characteristics worked really well. Judging by the exit polls, though, the Churjiir may have just squeaked into the next round. So, I'd recommend that you start looking for ways to really reinvent yourself and your designs so they become much more cutting-edge. Take a big swing and try to get that homerun with the perfect blend of great idea, great descriptive language, and great execution (both in core design and rules mechanics). This next round gives you the opportunity to showcase all those things, so I recommend you make the most of it.

Looking ahead to the later rounds of the competition, you're going to want to have a portfolio of material that builds on each submission. Your first two entries so far have been "okay, but not great" and though they've advanced you to the next round, you really need to start focusing on creating something special that will make people go "WOW!" If you can pull that off, it'll serve you better than anything else right now.

Best of luck,
--Neil

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Ok I can't resist. Here is a fun, Churjiir related, fact.

Why is is it called a Churjiir?

Spoiler:
When I was designing my monster, I was glancing through the monsters in Rise of the Runelords: The Skinsaw Murders, and read Wes Schneider’s notes about ‘Naming Monsters’ (pg. 82). I decided that the ‘what does the monster call itself?’ option was a good one for my creature.

Looking up noises that rats make, I came across that they make a Churr noise when groomed or in altercations.

I then looked up the word for 'rat' in other languages, in several languages it is 'rat', ratta', 'rot' or some variation, but it is 'jiir' in the language of:

Extra Spoiler:
Somali

And so the Churjiir was named, I’m aware that it isn't a name that is super easy for some people to say straightaway, but I hope it starts to grow on you, like it has me.


Matt Goodall wrote:

Ok I can't resist. Here is a fun, Churjiir related, fact.

Why is is it called a Churjiir?

** spoiler omitted **

And so the Churjiir was named, I’m aware that it isn't a name that is super easy for some people to say straightaway, but I hope it starts to grow on you, like it has me.
[/spoiler]

A spoiler...inside a spoiler. Now that's Superstar.

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