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Necrotic Tempest


Round 2 - Top 32: Create a monster concept

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

Necrotic Tempest

Description: A sickening heap of dismembered body parts whirls into action at your approach. A necrotic tempest is often composed of the still viable portions of corpses otherwise too damaged for reanimation. Hands, paws, eyes, viscera, heads, and other anatomy are gathered from multiple sources and animated together as a singular horror. When active, the rotting, fetid components rise into the air as though borne by a malodorous wind. The necrotic tempest ultimately forms into a roughly man sized area of whirling limbs, organs, and eyes. This sickening display, along with its charnel stench, can cause lesser opponents to blanch and flee.

Typically used by necromancers to guard their darkest experiments, a necrotic tempest lays inert near its assigned charge. When an intruder draws near, it activates. Though mindless, it will seek to interpose itself between the perceived trespasser and the item or location it defends.

A necrotic tempest cannot speak, although the heads within the tempest can often be seen mouthing silent screams or hushed utterances. The roiling vortex remains eerily silent.

Powers and Abilities: A necrotic tempest is unaffected by even the strongest of charms, diseases, or poisons. It need not breathe, eat, or sleep. It is tireless, but will not pursue beyond its assigned area.

The limbs that flail from the midst of its vortex are used to bludgeon intruders, its powerful blows pushing them away from its guarded item or location. The very sight of its dread revival may instill fear in its foes.

A necrotic tempest can see in all directions, even in complete darkness.

Pathfinder Creative Director, Frog God Games

Another really cool bit of imagery. I'm a little unclear if this would be a construct or undead, the construction and immunities seem to fit for both. I could also see this being developed as a very interesting type of swarm creature. Lots of ways to go with this one. Good stuff.

Contributor

I like the visual imagery of this creature and its origin. I like that it's silent, too.

I think some of its powers (such as the fear and stench) currently appear in the Description section rather than the Powers section (especially as the Powers section is a little light, covering stuff that would be assumed whether it were a construct or undead).

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

This is one of those monsters that I'm surprised isn't out there already. I mean, heck, if you really want to get into it, it's kind of silly that you can kill a zombie or skeleton at all. It's already dead, and it already shouldn't be standing up, so why do a few whacks dispel the necromantic energies animating it? Shouldn't such a thing keep going until it's magic is dispelled or the body reduced to powder? This monster feels like that idea taken and run down the field. It might be a little obvious, but when there's a hole that feels like it needs filling, obvious can be good sometimes.

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

Initial Impression: Guardian creature made from a necromancer’s left-overs. What does it have in store for us...

Concept (name, overall design choices, design niche, playability/usability, challenge): B
Reasonably generic undead creature. The idea of an undead from “left overs,” so to speak, is relatively interesting though. Fills a vacant niche. Other than that, it’s a pretty standard guardian creature with no motivations and as a result is a bit less interesting than it could be.

Execution (quality of writing, hook, theme, organization, use of proper format, world neutral, quality of mandatory content—description, summary of powers): C+
Some organizational issues–powers up in the description section, for instance. This one seems like its all sizzle and no steak. It’s an interesting visual, and would make a cool art order for a monster book, but then its barely more than a zombie.

Tilt (did it grab me, do I want to use one in an adventure?): B-
Not a lot to this one.

Overall: B-
Boring guardian monster with some neat “flying leftover” special effects.

Recommendation: I DO NOT recommend this creature advance.


Nah, this has potential. The first thing I thought ... what, is this an undead Tazmanian Devil from Looney Toons? I kid, I kid....:)

But imagine if a necromancer was part of a military unit and when one side believes that the battle is nearly won/over ... this necromancer decides to make his presence known and with a couple of incanations with the proper V/S/M, he comes up with a couple of these necrotic tempests on the battle wearied opponents. Oh merde....! Remember Lord of the Rings, anyone?

Would be a neat creature to drop in when trying out those new mass combat rules that are going to be introduced in Kingmaker. ;)

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

This monster lacks any means to interact with the PCs, yes bludgeoning the PCs is a form of interaction but not the one I mean.

Cheliax

Not bad but not good. Solid meh. So much so that I actually found my attention drifting to what the latest thread updates in the sidebar were while reading this.

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

Not impressed. There's a monster that's very similar in Pathfinder #10--the bonestorm. The necrotic tempest sounds like a swarm but isn't, might either be a construct or the undead, might be able to push things back, and might have stench. The only things I'm sure of is that it has a fear aura, darkvision (which, like its immunities, it would have anyway as an undead/construct), and all-around vision. The push is the only unique ability it has, and it might not even actually have that. The bonestorm, on the other hand, is surrounded with a protective barrier of strong winds, deals unholy damage with a touch and can steal bones from its victims to heal. Why should I vote for a monster that already has a more interesting equivalent in the game already?

I don't mean to sound too harsh. You've definitely got descriptive chops. You conjure up an effective mental image, and that was apparently enough to get judges in your corner. But I agree with Clark on this one (which is not something I say often)--I do not think this monster should advance.


Demiurge 1138 wrote:
Not impressed. There's a monster that's very similar in Pathfinder #10--the bonestorm.

Ah...I don't have Pathfinder #10. Perhaps I should.... Thanks!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

Judges, thank you for your time, feedback, and candor. Your dedication to this contest makes it great.

Thank you, also, to everyone that has given feedback thus far.

And for everyone out there contemplating your votes (you good-looking, clever folks you):

Whirling Zombie Blender of Dooooooom!

Tell your friends.

Andoran Contributor , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

The name sets this up for something the text doesn't live up to. I was expecting something more evocative based on the word "tempest". In fact, you do that in your latest post. I do think it's an interesting monster, and you've done a great job in describing its role.

Star Voter 2013

I think it would have been a stronger entry if it its origins were left a little more secretive. The reasoning is I for some reason see this as a devious creation by a dijini (sp?)

"man sized area" - might have been better phrased as 'medium sized creature', thus losing some visual keys that it looks like a human. Unless that is what its supposed to look like.

"The limbs..." Could have been written: 'The limbs flail in the midst of its vortex bludgeoning intruders with powerful blows that push the invaders away from its guarded item or location.'

I also have a minor issue with the use of necrotic in the name. None of the abilities invoked necrosis.

I also have issue with it being silent all time. If you started spinning body parts around fluids are going to be splattering around, and the spinning bits would make a whizzing sound.

Play wise it has some problems. As a player could I just stick out my sword and watch this creature impale itself until its nothing more than spinning mass of soggy goo? What happens when a ranger shoots it? Since it has a leashed aggro radius what happens when an intruder retreats to just beyond the radius?

Love the concept, even with the flaws


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Needs More Zasz wrote:
Not bad but not good. Solid meh. So much so that I actually found my attention drifting to what the latest thread updates in the sidebar were while reading this.

I have to agree with this assessment. It's reasonably generic, but that's both a blessing and a curse. Solid, yes. Superstar? I don't know.

Still, the best of luck to you!

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

My biggest issue with this one is the name, actually. It's got a very 4e vibe to it, and I really dislike the 4e monster naming style.

Nothing wrong with this one, but nor does it seem to add anything new. Mentally I see it as an icky zombie.


First impression: EEEEEWWWWWW!

Second impression: BLEEUUUGGHH!

Third impression: Okay, I think I'm alright now. I just need some fresh air.

Seriously, I think you've created the grossest monster in a gross field. The concept is so simple it's brilliant. Hmm, I wonder what necrosurgeons do with all those leftover body parts? You can't just throw them out; the corpse-stitcher will get them.

Then again, maybe it was a bet between two necromancers. "One hundred gold pieces says I can pump enough negative energy into that pile of butcher scraps to make it get up and try to kill you." "You're on."

Note: Necromancers with a sense of hygiene need not apply. This one is messy.

I don't care for the name. Necrotic tempest sounds like it should be a vortex of pure negative energy. Charnel swarm would be better; that would tell us exactly what this monster is about. However, if it is supposed to be a swarm, it wouldn't be "roughly man sized"; swarms are at least 10 ft by 10 ft in Pathfinder.

That aside, this in an excellent entry. Frankly all the entries are excellent, but only half of you contestants get to move on to round 3. I don't think you'll get one of my votes, but I hope you advance.

Osirion

I like this one, it's simple and seems like a no brainier, it should be around but never has been. Nice flavor, not the most out there of the entry's but one I would use with ease.

Qadira

Joe Wells wrote:


The limbs that flail from the midst of its vortex are used to bludgeon intruders, its powerful blows pushing them away from its guarded item or location.

So, if it bludgeons you with the limbs it used to put itself together, is the damage based on the size of the limbs? What happens if the limb has claws or other natural weapons of some sort? Can you grapple an individual limb from inside the "vortex" and rip it out?


Praise:
It's gross, really gross. I respect the commitment to an idea. Presented simply, and straight to the point. Smell, sound, visual, and even tactile queues are all given or suggested. A simple monster for a straightforward dungeon crawl.

Concerns:
This is, in essence, a trap. It lays hidden, and deals damage to the PCs when they cross a certain point. It is immune to mind-affecting, disease, and poison. As described, it is pigeon-holed into a very specific niche: This monster is to stand in one place in a grody dungeon until the PCs enter, attack them, and yield XP. It lacks any special attacks that I can see, but could benefit from some kind of "catch"; something to give it a little character and say "this thing will bludgeon you to death and X", where X makes the PCs say "oh sh--, what did we get ourselves into".

Overall:
Not terribly original. A really gross trap that flung literal body parts and did xdx damage would be effectively the same thing. And though this entry DID just inspire me to make a trap that does just that(plus blades!) in my next "gross dungeon", it lacks in depth.

Osirion

Good visualization and description. Being completely silent is just creepy!

The vortex part is important, as with out it, it reminds me of something I saw in my wife's Anita Blake comic.

The name makes me expect something...larger. That it's man-sized is a bit of a let down. It should have been Large at the least as this would allow more whirling parts, making it appear more threatening.


Joe Wells wrote:
Necrotic Tempest

This is a really good monster idea. In last week's game, two of my players decided to take on a mob of about 40 zombies by themselves; since the dungeon's location is awash with negative energy, I'm now seriously considering having them fight a necrotic tempest that rises from the charnel pile they left behind when they revisit that room on the way out.

I'm unsure if this entry is Superstar vote-worthy, but the concept is still quite solid, and I get a good idea of the monster's appearance and what the stat block should be like from reading your description.


Yeah, I gotta agree that this is just too close to the Bonestorm. You can't be expected to know every creature that Paizo has printed, especially in their 3.5 adventures, but at the same time, I know this creature has already more-or-less been done. It's unfortunate, but I don't think I'll be able to vote for this one.


Going by what's written in the Powers and Abilities section, this may as well be a swarm of zombie body pieces.

This monster is not likely to show up in encounters except where it has been told to guard a specific location. The entry specifically says it doesn't chase opponents, so unless you have a two foot wide tempest filling a two foot wide doorway that the PCs really need to get through in a hurry, as soon as they set one off PCs can withdraw, strategise, discuss tactics, and either find another way around it, or come back at it prepared to destroy it.

My overall impression is of a monster that might exhibit a spark of an original idea, but which is uninteresting and unlikely to serve much purpose in game except as an obstacle that has to be bypassed. Although that said, once a group of PCs set one of these off they may well prod everything else remotely suspicious with a ten foot pole before advancing.

Thank-you for submitting this entry.

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

This one feels like it's being gross just to be gross. There's a niche for that (and there's a swarm of undead organs in Pact Stone Pyramid, and I liked their use there, so why shouldn't I like this one?). I suppose I just don't feel like this monster really takes that grossness anywhere interesting. It's dead body parts, they fly around and bonk you on the head, and they're scary.

Overall: It's okay, nothing bad here. Just nothing inspiring either.


Joe Wells wrote:

Necrotic Tempest

A whirlwind of necromantic refuse?!

this doesn't grab me with its descriptions and really looses me in the powers section.
Basically you are just reiterating undead immunities. It's whirlwind of rotting body parts, of course it doesn't need to sleep or eat. bring on the interesting stuff!

Creativity/ Innovation.
We already have seen dismembered body parts, alone or in swarms, crawling or floating, intelligent or mindless, in all variations.
This just jumbles some of them together in a whirlwind like monster. ( which also have been done to some degree)
And it doesn't even have any interesting powers. It can hit you (with added bull rush) and has a fear effect. Thats it.

Tilt:
I'm not excited. An animated heap of garbage doesn't make me jump up and want to write an adventure, story or even encounter about it.
If I would see this in a big book of monsters, I would simply skip the page, coming only back if I somehow happen to need just this.

I want more! more!
Not considering for a vote.


Joe Wells wrote:

Necrotic Tempest

cut for space

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

Ew. I like it. The necrotic tempest reminds me of the Organ Swarm I wrote a few years back and something SKR did for umm, Ghostwalk I think.. Sick, nasty and disturbing. Just enough. Points for use of the word “blanch” in the description. More points for it mouthing silent screams.

Powers:
*unaffected by charms, etc (yep, it’s undead)
*need not eat sleep or breath (still undead)
*tireless and won’t pursue (definitely still undead and definitely acting as Guard Monster)
*limbs bludgeon intruders (okay, I like that – is it swarm damage or individual attacks?)
*sight of its rival… (writing went off track here? Is this rewritten from an earlier draft?)
*instill fear (logical choice, even though fear as a mechanic is distasteful to me as a wannabe pro designer – however that’s the fault of the fear subsystem itself)
*can see in all directions, even in darkness (okay, darkvision – facing isn’t important in this system by the way)

Summary: Some very evocative initial flavor text. I like the flailing limbs idea. Other than that, this doesn’t have something. Not sure quite what it is. It hangs together well and it reads well, so on that level it’s a satisfactory critter. I think I would have liked to see just a little more spark of an idea in it. Instead of fear, could it induce disgust (aka nausea?)? What else could this heap of flailing bloody decayed limbs do? Could more be done with the silent screaming mouths? I will revisit this before making my final decision.


varianor wrote:


*sight of its rival… (writing went off track here? Is this rewritten from an earlier draft?)

It's revival, not rival.

Joe:
My impression of this monster matches what seems to be the general consensus. This is OK, and might appear in a book somewhere, but it doesn't grab me as interesting. You needed a better shtick than a body part tornado.

By the way, I think it's undead, not a construct.

Andoran

Urizen wrote:

Nah, this has potential. The first thing I thought ... what, is this an undead Tazmanian Devil from Looney Toons? I kid, I kid....:)

But imagine if a necromancer was part of a military unit and when one side believes that the battle is nearly won/over ... this necromancer decides to make his presence known and with a couple of incanations with the proper V/S/M, he comes up with a couple of these necrotic tempests on the battle wearied opponents. Oh merde....! Remember Lord of the Rings, anyone?

Would be a neat creature to drop in when trying out those new mass combat rules that are going to be introduced in Kingmaker. ;)

if you eman the green undead like swarm in return of the king i do... and not in a good way

that was the ONLY thing I HATED about that movie....

yea all the cool mojo of the rangers used on undead-swarm that looked ridiculous in the big screen... the only cool part was when the ships arrived

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

How did the author respond to the challenge? A simple idea may have left the author with too much word count on his hands. The powers and abilities section goes so far as to spend time on flavour text for standard abilities.

How does it stack up


  • as an opponent? A whirling mass of bludgeoning blows, likely to flash into a fine shower of dust when the cleric gets to it - a straightforward sort of combat. Its stench and ability to push opponents around are relevant to its purpose, which is a welcome touch.
  • as something other than an opponent? I'd say it fulfils much the same function as a trap and accordingly the main point of background is its means of creation.
  • in relation to other monsters? Collective undead are not new. It's interesting to compare this to several of the other entries.
  • in relation to the author's item? As with another entry, a sugary item followed by a foul monster.
  • in itself? I can't say it stands out for its ideas or style.

This round needed a lot more boldness, I think.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

taig wrote:

The name sets this up for something the text doesn't live up to. I was expecting something more evocative based on the word "tempest".

Something bigger, at any rate.

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

My thoughts on the necrotic tempest...

The Name: A functional descriptive name. Nothing wrong with that.

The Description: Dismembered body part monsters aren't particularly original. And the attempt to make this one a bit more interesting by combining body parts with wind falls a bit flat. There's no thematic connection between severed body parts and wind storms. Presumably, a clever one could be invented, but no effort was made to do that here.

The Powers: With the bland description, this monster really needed some cool abilities to catch my attention. Unfortunately, its abilities are all rather straightforward. Nothing too surprising. Nothing that implies the need for a cool new monster ability. Just some functional, guardian undead stuff.

The Buzz: A few other posters have mentioned the bonestorm, which is apparently a skeletal monster that resembles a necrotic tempest. That only makes it harder for the necrotic tempest to stand out in a game with a long history of dismembered body part monsters.

The Vote: Nothing really jumps out at me, here. I will not be voting for the necrotic tempest.

Paizo Employee Developer

I think this evokes a really cool, creepy image. I envision players not knowing how to approach it, and it's always great to get seen-it-all-before players on the edge of their seats. I think you could do a better job explaining its abilities and powers; if that section were as strong as the description, this would be a superstar without a doubt. Keep up the good work. May the force be with you in later rounds.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

Thank you, everyone, for your honest assessment and feedback. I genuinely do appreciate it. I'm looking forward to having a good chin wag with you about my little pets.

Thanks especially to those out there who have already cast a vote my way. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed my creation enough to vote for it.

For everyone else: A free severed limb if you vote for me! See, I have this pile right here...

No? Beer, then? I have beer. And Thin Mints.
Mmmmm Thin Mints.


Only read 3 or 4 so far but this is my favorite so far. Really cool imagery. Haven't seen anything like it in 30+ years of gaming. I like the name too (much better than Zombie Salad or Cannibal Trail Mix). Maybe leave the size open so you could have a bigger one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Gets my vote. I can see a party freaking out in encountering this. I myself HATE swarms....the idea of an undead swarm?

<Shiver.>

Good luck!

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

I don't have a lot to say about this monster, since aside from a creepy and good description, it's not really anything new. I agree with Clark, that it's basically just a zombie (or maybe a zombie variant with a stench like a ghast). It's unintelligent, bludgeons with slam attacks, and perhaps it's slams have a built in bull rush or push attack "its powerful blows pushing them away". However, when it's only attack form is a melee attack, I'm not clear why pushing foes away is to it's advantage. Still, all in all, if you changed the description, it's a stink zombie.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Something for the necromancers to do with the spare bits. This would also be interesting in a Osiran/ Egyptian mummy themed adventure.

I enjoyed reading your entry and it's been a pleasure competing; hopefully we'll both make it to round 3.

Good luck!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Orange Toque

Does it grab me visually: Bunch of damaged body parts flying around in a stinky cloud=I like it.

Would I use it in game: I would use it if I needed one more encounter in a necromancer’s lair. Otherwise, its lack of intelligence makes it pretty difficult to find this anywhere else.

Would my players enjoy an encounter with it: They would freak out when the body parts started flying around, but beyond that, I don’t think it would stand out. It would probably make them think that the necromancer himself was pretty sick and twisted and amp them up for that battle.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka flash_cxxi

Name is descriptive of what the creature is and it's a good Monster, just not a great Monster.

Doesn't get my Vote unfortunately.
Sorry and Good Luck. :)


Commiserations.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

So, I have finally overcome the paperwork golem that had inhabited my office for the past couple of weeks. I know I'm way late to the designer notes/here's my critter party, but you guys still like monsters right?

< We love monsters! >

That's what I thought. Here's mine more-or-less as I had imagined it.

Necrotic Tempest

A sickening heap of dismembered body parts whirls into action at your approach.

Necrotic Tempest CR 3
XP 800
NE Medium undead
Init +2; Senses all-around vision, darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +5
Aura frightful presence (30 ft., DC 14)
=====
Defense
=====
AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 26 (4d8+8)
Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +5
DR 5/slashing; Immune undead traits
=====
Offense
=====
Speed fly 20 ft. (average) (horizontal only)
Melee 2 slams +5 (1d6+2 plus push)
Special Attacks push (slam, 5 feet)
=====
Statistics
=====
Str 15, Dex 14, Con --, Int --, Wis 12, Cha 15
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 17 (can't be tripped)
Feats Hover (B)
Skills Fly +2, Perception +5; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception
=====
Ecology
=====
Environment any
Organization any
Treasure none
=====
Special Abilities
=====
All-Around Vision (Ex) A necrotic tempest sees in all directions at the same time, giving it a +4 racial bonus on Perception checks. A necrotic tempest cannot be flanked.

Flight (Ex) A necrotic tempest can cease or resume flight as a free action. Unlike most creatures with a fly speed, necrotic tempests are essentially earthbound and cannot move vertically via flight. When not flying, they collapse into an immobile heap.

Frightful Presence (Ex) A necrotic tempest can activate frightful presence either when attacking or taking flight. The range is 30 feet, and those failing their DC 14 Will save are frightened for 2d6 rounds.

Often composed of the still viable portions of corpses otherwise too damaged for reanimation, a necrotic tempest is a vortex of dismembered body parts. Hands, paws, eyes, viscera, heads, and other anatomy are gathered from multiple sources and animated together as a singular horror. When active, the rotting, fetid components rise into the air as though borne by a malodorous wind. The necrotic tempest ultimately forms into a roughly man sized area of whirling limbs, organs, and eyes. This sickening display, along with its charnel stench, can cause lesser opponents to blanch and flee.

Typically used by necromancers to guard their darkest experiments, a necrotic tempest lays inert near its assigned charge. When an intruder draws near, it activates. Though mindless, it will seek to interpose itself between the perceived trespasser and the item or location it defends. It will not pursue beyond its assigned area, unless ordered to by its creator.

The limbs that flail from the midst of its vortex are used to bludgeon intruders, its powerful blows pushing them away from its guarded item or location. When used as a guardian, it will often use its push attack to move opponents toward location or proximity triggered traps nearby. The lack of a cohesive anatomy makes piercing and bludgeoning weapons less effective against it.

A necrotic tempest cannot speak, although the heads within the tempest can often be seen mouthing silent screams or hushed utterances. The roiling vortex remains eerily silent.

Necrotic tempests cannot be effectively armored, nor can they use weapons. They are unable to use any sort of magic item except, possibly, those created specifically to enhance undead.

Animating a necrotic tempest
To create a necrotic tempest, remains roughly equal to two medium sized corporeal creatures with discernible anatomies are collected. At least two heads (or pairs of eyes) and six limbs are required. The creator places the remains together in a pile and casts either enervation or inflict serious wounds upon them. This jolt of negative energy binds the components into a cohesive whole, which can then be animated by use of animate dead (minimum caster level of 9th required). A necrotic tempest counts as a 5 HD creature for purposes of creation, control, and material component cost.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

I was pretty well blocked while I was noodling around for a creature concept. I did flash on the idea of a swarm of eyes. I realized that a swarm of eyes would look cool, but wouldn't be much of a threat (Unless they shot rays from their eyes, but who would make an eye-monster that shot rays? That's just dumb.) So I expanded it to the whirling zombie blender of dooooom <ahem>.

I originally thought that I would do it as a swarm, but collecting upwards of 1000 bloody bits would be a bit much for even the thriftiest necromancer. So I pared it down to a man-sized vortex. However, stay tuned for the necrotic swarm. I still want to stat that up.

I had it fixed in my head that this would be a lowish CR monster. I think that hurt quite a bit. I didn't give myself room to expand on it into the realm of the new and different. Qué sera, sera.

My biggest mistake (besides not having a better concept to start with) was not stating it out as I was writing. Under the time constraint (here and elsewhere), I skipped the crunch entirely and went entirely on the concept. Working out the stat block as I went would have helped crystallize everything for me.

Oh well, I had a good time with the whole experience and I wish the Top 16 good luck!


Joe Wells wrote:

So, I have finally overcome the paperwork golem that had inhabited my office for the past couple of weeks. I know I'm way late to the designer notes/here's my critter party, but you guys still like monsters right?

< We love monsters! >

That's what I thought. Here's mine more-or-less as I had imagined it.

Necrotic Tempest
...

Hmm. The description of the flight ability is a bit awkward and I'm unclear if the tempest is affected by gravity or not? Can it hover above a 200 foot deep pit trap it has just slammed someone into? Describing the movement mode of what you've designed is going to be tricky though.

I have some doubts as to whether a mindless undead is capable of recalling the positions of non-obvious traps and deliberately pushing opponents towards them, although I would be happy with it maneuvering opponents towards obvious terrain features such as pit traps and the edges of cliffs.
The maths on the stat block is very tight. I haven't seen anything wrong with it so far, so congratulations there, and thank-you for posting this.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

Responding to the feedback:

Undead vs. construct: A valid issue. I was so concerned about using game terms in the write-up that I avoided even specifying that it's undead. Undead that's built (OK, piled up) by its creator, but undead all the way.

Stench: I didn't have any intention of giving it a stench attack. It's a pile of rotting flesh. It stinks. <shrug> I was trying to cover the bases in the description and maybe leaned too hard on the olfactory. But let's face it, it's gonna reek.

Buffing the powers section: Yeah, guilty. I was trying to get across that it's undead and also padding it out, since it doesn't have any big, crazy abilities. (see also: Undead vs. construct)

Bonestorm: Sorry about that. I had no idea. I searched Paizo, d20pfsrd, and Google and didn't turn up anything similar. My Google-fu failed me.

The name: I deliberately avoided “whirlwind” since that's a game term-of-art that wouldn't apply here. “Tempest” felt right, but I agree that may be a bit big for its breeches. “Necrotic” is just a term for dead tissue, which this is. Giving it a necrotic attack of some sort would have been cool, but I had hemmed myself into a low CR box. I'm not sure about the (unfavorable) comparisons to 4e names. There are plenty of similarish names in <our game>'s history. Carrion Crawler, Shambling Mound, Assassin Vine, Gelatinous Cube, etc.

Man sized area: Again, I was avoiding using a game term in the description.

Visuals / Gross out: This is something that surprised me a bit. About half of the commenters liked the evocative visuals and the other half thought I was trying for gross for the sake of being gross. I'll not deny that I needed this to be cinematic. As stated before, there isn't a huge amount here mechanically. I've re-read my entry a few times and I don't see where this is so terribly disgusting. The description includes many oblique references to how horrible the monster appears, but doesn't expand on that visual by giving specifics. I could have said how the eyes hang listlessly from their sockets, buffeted by its internal winds; or that it spatters gore across the eyes of attackers; or that it disgorges the contents of its bowels as an acid attack. I didn't. I let you fill in the blanks. My own visual concept of it is that there isn't terribly much gore in there. Kind of like a zombie that gets cut but doesn't bleed because there's no longer any circulation.

Limbs with claws: Yeah, I thought about that. In the end I decided that it wouldn't matter. The new creature wouldn't be able to effectively use them.

Bigger version: Sure, just advance it.

Grapple: You'd need to grapple the whole thing, as it were. You don't grapple individual limbs of typical creatures, I don't think this would be much different.

Flight: Yeah, giving it a land speed (but not really) didn't seem much better than flight (but not really). I think restricted flight works OK. It'll need Fly skill checks to maneuver, which seem right thematically. I gave it Hover as a bonus feat to make easier for it to stand still. In any case, yes gravity affects it. But maybe with Slow Fall as a <pulls number out of the air> 8th level monk?

Taking orders: I think it's OK for the creator to point and tell it to "Push them over there". It doesn't need to know why it's pushing intruders to the northwest corner of the room.

Thanks everyone!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

Pushing foes away: Aside from pushing intruders into traps, I just thought that a guardian like this would mainly be designed to make the curious Go. Away. It's tough (compared to the local townsfolk, at least), but who wants their guard dog wrecked? So frightful presence and push attack are used to get rid of the riff-raff.

Tobias Mullen wrote:
...It would probably make them think that the necromancer himself was pretty sick and twisted and amp them up for that battle.

Then my work here is done. Mwaahahaha!

OK, well not really done as such. It's not like I'm leaving the forum or anything. You Won't Get Rid Of Me That Easily!

Hmmm. It may be time for a beer.

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

Hey Joe, just finished rereading your entry. I think that your monster is a good solid one but it was fighting for space with a lot of the other undead in the top 32. With the Corpse Stitcher there, which is very similar, it struggled to stand out. There are a LOT of undead in monster books. Your magic candy from round one was just right for me. Good to hear that you won't be leaving, I hope you will be back for the next competition.

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