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Corpse Stitcher


Round 2 - Top 32: Create a monster concept

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

Corpse Stitcher
Description: No two Corpse Stitchers are exactly the same. A mature Corpse Stitcher’s body is a gruesome collection of parts harvested from its victims and attached wherever the Corpse Stitcher wants to improve existing abilities, or to add new ones. Extra appendages, organs and even additional heads may adorn the body of a Corpse Stitcher, sewn on with black silk from the one organ every Corpse Stitcher has - its spinner.

A larval Corpse Stitcher might be mistaken for a slug until closer examination revealed its spinner and two proto-tentacles. Corpse Stitchers mature slowly, and are unable to attach parts so big that they would dwarf their current body.

Vicious and calculating, Corpse Stitchers use acquired abilities to aid them when stalking a potential victim to harvest appendages they covet. Corpse stitchers enjoy watching conflicts, particularly bloody ones, and will follow armies or adventurers to scavenge from the fallen - seeking fresh parts that will confer new abilities, or to replace older, more decayed, limbs. Corpse Stitchers view all creatures with disdain and as merely a supply of potential parts.

Powers and Abilities: Given sufficient time and opportunity, a Corpse Stitcher may acquire the abilities of virtually any corporeal creature. After each harvest, a Corpse Stitcher may acquire a new attack or movement form, but is never able to use parts as well as the source creature. To compensate, the Corpse Stitcher may acquire additional parts to enable faster movement or more effective attacks.

Heads, attached while fresh, retain a semblance of their former selves and may grant additional powers, skills, and memories. Elder Corpse Stitchers may have vast mental stores from dozens of attached heads, making them truly formidable foes, but the anguish of so many tortured, captive, minds drives the creature deep into madness.

Pathfinder Lead Developer, Frog God Games

Another gorss one--bleeeach! However, it provides a sort of hordling-like monster in that they're all different with different abilities, and they make for a really cool visual. I also like that the base creature is a spider-slug thing and not just another humanoid looking to wear pieces of somoeone else's body--so blase' (It will put the lotion on...)

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

The description isn't clear to me--I think it's a sluglike creature that adorns itself with the parts of other creatures, but I don't know what size or color its base form is.

The judges eliminated a lot of wondrous items from R1 that let you steal the powers of dead monsters because they're hard for GMS to adjudicate and price. This monster is probably going to be a similar problem, though you don't have to "price" them, you just have to figure out how many parts and powers this creature has and what effect that has on its CR--so if you present the base form of the monster in a stat block, the GM has to customize it, or if you present an example form of the monster, the GM has to tweak it in later appearances so all of these aren't essentially identical. And you have to hope that the specific powers you chose don't end up greater than the sum of their parts, and kill all the PCs.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Yeah, it's that last paragraph or so that almost says, "Anytime you're going to want to use this monster, you're going to have to rebuild it," so why not just use another creature that you can put in your game right now. The author might have ideas on this with a narrower scope than "any ability from anywhere ever," but without know that for sure this sets off some pretty loud warning bells.

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

Initial Impression: Patchwork quilt monster with no powers but the power to take powers from others. Hmm...

Concept (name, overall design choices, design niche, playability/usability, challenge): B-
Well, in this case the “two words jammed together” name works, as this is likely what another species would call this thing. That said, the “take abilities from other creatures” creature is about as poor a design choice as the “take powers from other creatures” wondrous item was. Plus, this is a nightmare to run. Its not so much a monster as an idea behind a bunch of unique monsters.

Execution (quality of writing, hook, theme, organization, use of proper format, world neutral, quality of mandatory content—description, summary of powers): C
The powers are problematic. You have to build this thing from scratch each time. No thanks. This was not well thought out.

Tilt (did it grab me, do I want to use one in an adventure?): C
Nope. I want a monster, not an idea behind an amalgam that I can build myself.

Overall: C+
This one didn’t deliver.

Recommendation: I DO NOT recommend this creature advance.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

Well obviously not the reaction I was hoping for and, since clarifying things is verbotten, I'll just say that I hoped that what I saw as the real world horror of this creature would make the right impression.
I guess all I can hope is that other voters see potential and vote for me.

Thanks for all who vote or provide feedback.


Reminds me of the Glubberrog from Earthdawn, but instead of everything sticking to it, it puts them on itself.

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

It feels as if you could not decide on a monster, so you gave us all posible monsters.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8 aka Tarren Dei

Well I understand the concerns about how this could be statted out--or even if it could be statted out as one monster--I like the concept. I don't know what kind of monster this is -- is it an aberration?

I think if you advance, you're going to have a heck of a challenge -- trying to produce mechanics for a monster that can borrow powers from other creatures. I painted myself into a similar corner last year.


What Tarren said. But it also comes across like a template to me. Hmm..

Osirion

My immediate reaction was the same as sean's. What a GM nightmare to put a CR on this one.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

How did the author respond to the challenge? Word count spent to expand upon the concept, not to introduce rules - which potentially will bite home in later rounds, since it raises a lot of questions.

How does it stack up


  • as an opponent? Depends on the attachments. I don't see much of an idea at all of how it actually approaches a battle.
  • as something other than an opponent? It "scavenges from the fallen", which folk in the game world probably object to, but really doesn't make it a major threat that should rouse PCs to strike it down. It seems to me its role in an adventure would be minor at best.
  • in relation to other monsters? Nothing quite like it. But sometimes there's a good reason for that.
  • in relation to the author's item? Another "anything you want" entry makes me question what the author could do if he found a definite idea.
  • in itself? I like the simplicity of the larval body, though not sure exactly what the joins would look like when "sewing" with a spinneret. I can't say I get any clear and definite idea what an adult looks like or how it behaves.

Pass on this one.

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

The concept is cool. A corpse sticher would be a fantastic antagonist in a novel or the like, always waiting in the wings to snatch up the protagonist's latest defeated foes, or stalking the protagonist himself to take his special powers.

Looking at it from a "this is a game" standpoint, though, it becomes ruinous. It has no actual abilities of its own, just the ability to take them. There are a few monsters in various D&D supplements that are similar, but they generally have some limitations. And a base form of their own. I do love hordlings and the Gygaxian tables they supply, but this is just more of the same, only again without any core of abilities to hang the new stuff on. And adjudicating CRs for this would be potentially disastrous.

Although I love the flavor text and the idea of this beastie, I'm leery that it can be properly statted. I'd sort of like to see you take a stab at it in Round Three (assuming that Round Three is "stat up your monster", but who knows this year)... but not enough to lend you my vote.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
The description isn't clear to me--I think it's a sluglike creature that adorns itself with the parts of other creatures, but I don't know what size or color its base form is.

I'm sorry.... This is what comes to mind when reading this monster... I like the idea, but I don't think it translates well without a stat block. When you are dealing with creatures, gaining abilities is easy... but what about with people - are spellcasting an ability? Point Blank shot? any single feat for that matter? Do attached heads count as being re-animated, and thus not able to be resurrected/raised? and how does the larval corpse stitcher cut it's first body part to connect? it doesn't have a hand, or claw?

Overall, I think it's a good idea, but a bit too ambitious for the word count limitation, it leaves too many questions.


When I evaluate these entries, I'm mainly doing so from the point of view of a GM. I ask myself, "Do I want to put this monster in a campaign I run someday? And how much work will I have to do to make the encounter work?"

The corpse stitcher is a neat idea I guess, but it's just "take a bunch of disparate monster abilities and throw them together on the same monster." First off, anyone could think of that. What makes the corpse stitcher neat is the manner in which in acquires new abilities: it actually sews new body parts onto itself using its own silk. A less creative person who wanted to put together a strange grab bag of monster abilities might just apply a bunch of converted 3.5 templates or something.

The second problem is that this monster essentially leaves most of the work up to each individual GM. Each GM has to scour the Bestiary for the abilities he wants the corpse stitcher to have, ponder how those various abilities interact, somehow calculate the corpse stitcher's CR, and figure out how to describe what this individual monster looks like with all its sewn-on body parts. The corpse stitcher could possibly have the most useless Bestiary entry ever.

It's a neat idea with a cool visual, it's just not a particularly useful one.


I'm going to go against the flow here, this was a pretty neat creature concept, enough so that I think Stephen should be given the benefit of the doubt before we decide the rules are untenable. I agree that it would be a challenge to do right but if it could be pulled off (perhaps after the fashion of an PFRPG animated object) it could make a pretty sweet monster.

I kinda relate to this monster, he's being driven mad by the lust of acquisition of new parts. He's almost like a macabre shadow of the PCs who are trying to acquire new magic items, or even a fantasy horror in the shadow of modern consumerism if you will.

I like the idea of an undead creature that's not just a result of a bored necromancer or some pile of rotting goo that magically decided to become animate and spread its necrotic diseases around.

I'm thinking this is vote worthy, as frankly I would like to see stats.

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

This has a cool visual, but I'm not a fan of the "make it up as you go" concept. I have a feeling that others will take to this monster, though.

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

This critter looks like it wants to steal a page from the new Summoner class's Eidolon and somehow tie Evolution Points to its CR.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

I had no idea how much not answering questions / clarifying was going to hurt.

Particular thanks to Maugan for wanting to see where this could be taken.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I have to agree with the criticism so far. Also, the description has some pretty wonky parts - 'unable to attach parts so big that they would dwarf their current body'? We don't even know its size. What exactly does 'dwarf' mean? You could probably clear this up once you design the mechanics, but I think you would have fared better by avoiding this sentence entirely (or rewording it so that it becomes more clear).

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Stephen Sheahan wrote:
I had no idea how much not answering questions / clarifying was going to hurt.

::pats Stephen on the back::

It is rough. Thanks for hanging tight even though it is hard.

I think you fell in the template trap here Stephen. And templates are not bad and I don't think should be prohibited from this Round (and techncially they aren't). Some of our greatest and best iconic monsters are templates.

Also Paizo, likes to use templates. Just look at any AP. They're a valid way to add cool new powers and surprise players.

It might be just too ambitious to sell in 300 words. That's what I think your core problem is here. You need to qualify a lot of mechanical balance issues; and if this was in a monster book you'd need a few paragraphs dedicated to the GM on how to build a balanced one.

I like to root for underdogs! I hope you get another chance!


My initial impression was that the basic concept was clever but unworkable as a stat block, then I thought some more and thought that maybe you could do it if you have a number of 'build points' which scale with Hit Dice and allow a GM to pick from a table of powers (and maybe there's another table which charts the results of conflicting powers such as too many heads) and then I thought it reminded me actually of the Summoner's eidolon... (Which thought I see has also occured to Smilodon.)
This stills strikes me as a creature that is very likely going to be a mess to define in mechanics (see some of the questions and problems Jason Bulmahn has been having with the eidolon), and to take up at least two pages in a bestiary if ever printed. A GM is going to have to build each and every one of these up from scratch, and without a lot of practise, it's something which it seems to me could be very difficult to use on the fly for any but the most experienced of GMs (for whom this is the ultimate excuse to 'wing it').
It's not clear to me how these things reproduce? The implication seems to me to be that there is some way that 'new ones' come about without any attachments... It's not clear to me either how they harvest their first few 'improvements', given that they're apparently not able to do much on their own.

This creature is usable in theory as an encounter for any party, quite possibly anywhere, but it may well require a lot of GM preparation.

My overall impression is this is certainly a flexible creature, but I have concerns about how easy it may be to use if you're not a highly experienced 'make it up on the fly' GM. I'm not sure if I should judge it a rip-off of the summoner's eidolon or an example of a highly novel independently evolved idea.

My thanks for submitting this entry.

Osirion

Interesting, but...um...I saw this creature (or something very like it) in last month's Anita Blake comic.

As stated earlier, this monster seems to require a lot of work from the GM. This limits the usability of the monster to significant plot point, rather than something found.

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

The concept IS real-world horrible, so in that regard you succeeded in giving us something squicky and horrible, but so are a thousand other things in the world of D&D that end up commonplace occurrences within the conceits of the game world, not least the fatal quantities of ultraviolence meted out by the forces of good and evil alike.

There was a spell like this in one of Ravenloft modules, or perhaps one of the boxed sets, Strahd's frightful joining or something like that, where he could stitch monsters together - I believe the sample freakout monster was a gargoyle/werewolf/giant spider amalgam.

But that's just it, it's an amalgam, not an actual creature. Sure, there's a certain utility in having a "build-a-monster" as a monster, but it's not showing me big design chops because what it's doing is handing me a canvas and a box full of paints and telling me that it's a painting. Sure, it's got a frame on it, but it's not a picture yet, and that's what we needed to see here.

Overall: Sorry, dude, just not enough here.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I really like where you've gone here. I like the be-all-you-can be style monster. Self improvement isn't limited to learning new skills. You want better eye-sight? I've got just the eyes right here. Want to run faster? Here's a new set of legs.

Seriously, though, I'm curious what kind of mechanic you'd use to make the statblock for these creatures. I'm guessing a base creature with some bonusses based on the type of creatures it takes it's parts from. I would like to see the execution.


Stephen Sheahan wrote:

Corpse Stitcher

cut for space

This is the twelfth 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.

It’s a self-aware Frankenstein monster that can stitch new parts onto itself to gain new abilities! Yeah, that’s great. Wait. It has…a spinner? Is it part arachnid? This isn’t really explained. Then it has tentacles? Does it glue parts on with octo-spider-silk? It seems a bit confused. Then it follows people around, especially armies, to look for the best parts. Ah, it’s a scavenger. Is this threatening? Or just kinda squickish?

Powers:
*given time, may acquire the powers of virtually any creature (ooookay – this seems pretty broad)
*harvest to get new abilities or movement, but never as good as the original (that works for me – not sure why it needs to downgrade those abilities per se, but sure)
*may compensate by adding additional parts (do you put legs on the legs?)
*heads once attached may grant additional skills and abilities and memories (ohoh, now that’s gruesome and cool – I like that)
*too many heads drives the creature into madness (okay, is this a power or a limitation?)

Summary: Some really good ideas here. I like the ideas. I am not sure about the execution. Why is it a scavenger – that’s not terribly threatening? Maybe the fact that it acquires heads could be a good plot point – I see that. However, does it need limits on the total number of powers it can get? Or will it just continue to add to itself, turning into a hechatonchire-like agglomeration of odd noodly appendages, distorted and tortured heads and wings sewn upon legs? It feels like just another sentence or two of additional description plus a reworking of some of the description could bring this monster out more. This one feels like it has potential, so I’ll revisit it again.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8 aka Tarren Dei

Frankly, I'm surprised that the corpse stitcher isn't getting more love. True, Stephen would have his hands full if the next round is "stat your monsters in 1000 words or less without changing your description" but that's another round.

Telling us all we need to know in order to design a corpse stitcher might take up as many words as the eidolon section of the APG previews.

Giving us one corpse stitcher isn't going to take much space at all.

Leaving the next round concerns for the next round, I've voted for this one. I'd like to see more of it.

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

Okay, aside from the "build each one from scratch issue" I'm having a hard time seeing why this monster is likely to come into conflict with the PCs. It's main motivation seems to be to scavenge parts from dead creatures, and it does that not by killing them itself, but by following around armies and adventurers to steal their kills. Even if this monster followed around a group of PCs, they could just let it take it's parts (or never even notice it doing so after they leave) and never fight it. Yes, it might be calculating and hate all other creatures, but if it's only thinking about how much it hates them, it's not necessarily causing trouble that would warrant anyone doing anything about it.

In addition, while this creature sounds a lot like an undead being, upon reading further, that's not clear. It's some sort of spider slug abberation. Or is it undead after all, and just slug shapped? There's mention that older more decayed parts need replacing, which suggests it's not undead after all. This leads to the question of how long does one of these grafts lasts? If a corpse stitcher is isolated for long enough, do all of the attachments rot away, leaving only the base creature? If you run into just the base creature, can it even attack? It has 2 proto-tentacles, but that doesn't sound like a very effective form of attack. Also, how's one of these guys actually cut off the body parts it want's to stitch on? It doesn't seem to have an effective bite or claw attack which it could use to cut an arm or head or whatever off to then stitch on itself.


Praise:
The mechanics and adaptability of this gross creature are interesting. A modular creature is something I have been trying to develop, but there are a few obstacles.

Concerns:
More gross. This is not your fault, but I think gross has to be used carefully anyways. That there are so many gross entries means there is more potential for comparison. I also feel like gross is a fallback when better ideas aren't apparent. There is alot of description that doesn't exactly match up, and I don't have a clear image of what one of these might look like. Additionally, and I feel like I can say this with confidence, the rules for this creature will be too complex. All of the potential abilities will make this a task to stat out and keep track of.

Overall:
I don't see a ton of originality here, and following your spell component, this seems to be a problem for you. I feel like you are a very technical person, and while that is important, I don't see your creativity shining through.

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

My thoughts on the corpse stitcher...

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

The Description: It's a creature that stitches corpses together, yet it doesn't appear to be undead. That's a breath of fresh air. On the other hand, that information could have been presented better. A succinct description of the creature's base form worked into the opening sentence would have been a nice addition.

The Powers: Oh, dear. It seems that a corpse stitcher wants to be an eidolon without a summoner. If the rules for evolution points were finalized, and were a part of the core rules that future bestaries can reference by page number, that wouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately, they aren't, so the corpse stitcher would need similar rules created from scratch if it is going to live up to its mix-and-match promise.

The Buzz: I think enough people see how this would work to understand that it wouldn't be impossible to create a stat block for this monster. Unfortunately, I think most of them also agree that you'd need some sort of eidolon-like mechanics with points and laundry lists of options to pull off a proper corpse stitcher. Not only is that word-count-intensive, but it isn't particularly novel, since its essentially exactly what an eidolon does.

The Vote: I can see how the mechanics for this would work, but it all seems too close to the proposed eidolon rules to inspire me all that much. I will not be voting for the corpse stitcher.


It's a good general idea, but I agree it would be an absolute pain to DM.

Also, you may have been going for horror, but I have enough Discworld fans at my regular table that it would take about 5 minutes to dissolve into comedy as the "Ivor slug"

Sorry.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Bats Kabber

Stephen Sheahan wrote:
Corpse Stitcher

I really liked the visual on this one, but I can't vote for it since I don't see any description of how it will work. It almost needs a chart added. Creature moves +10 feet for every attached leg. Creature gains +1 BAB and 1 attack per round for each arm. Is it that simple? Doesn't seem fair to get the same bonus from a kobold arm as from a ogre arm, does it? How do the heads work exactly, that can get even messier! Wizard heads, ogre heads, goblin heads, barbarian heads, Oh My!!

Sorry I couldn't vote for you, but if it had clean easy to use mechanic behind it, I would love the visual it would give my players.


Stephen Sheahan wrote:

Corpse Stitcher

I like the visuals of a small, wormlike creature scavenging its way through rotting remains, slowly building a body to walk around in.

But thats about it. I especially dislike that the corpse stitcher basically is a build your own creature creature. I would have vastly preferred if all corpse stitchers' bodies would have the same, or at least nearly the same powers. Instead give it a power to harvest some flesh in combat to heal itself.
This simply doesn't do it for me.
I'm not considering this for a vote. Sorry.

Star Voter 2013

"A larval Corpse Stitcher might be mistaken for a slug until closer examination revealed its spinner and two proto-tentacles. Corpse Stitchers mature slowly, and are unable to attach parts so big that they would dwarf their current body." A slug is 1 to 2 inches in size. With that in mind the current concept sounds like the creature would take awhile to become large enough to become a viable threat to pcs. Also how often can it stitch parts?Design flaw, you've mentioned larval but no description of its growth other than gaining appendages

"Vicious and calculating" why or how is a 1" slug calculating?

"Corpse Stitchers use acquired abilities to aid them when stalking a potential victim" why does a 1" slug stalk?

"Corpse stitchers enjoy watching conflicts, particularly bloody ones, and will follow armies or adventurers to scavenge from the fallen - seeking fresh parts that will confer new abilities, or to replace older, more decayed, limbs." editing? Why does a slug need to have enjoyment? Why does it need to watch? I like the concept but why do the limbs decay? I like the evolving stalker angle growing until it can overcome the larger creature, but when placed into a dungeon why would it follow adventurers and not the beings in the dungeon

"Corpse Stitchers view all creatures with disdain" why does this creature have to be intelligent enough to view victims with disdain?

"Given sufficient time and opportunity, a Corpse Stitcher may acquire the abilities of virtually any corporeal creature." Concept flaw, all it has to do is come across one corpse and it can assimilate the entire corpse

"Elder Corpse Stitchers may have vast mental stores from dozens of attached heads, making them truly formidable foes, but the anguish of so many tortured, captive, minds drives the creature deep into madness." why dont the head decay like the limbs?

I kinda like the the concept, its got a total "The Thing" vibe to it. But the way the concept is described seems like nothing more than zombie doppelganger with a couple extra limbs.


I like this concept. Given that Stephen can't legally respond, please allow me to rebut the concerns on his behalf.

1) The stat block would be too tough: Paizo has already published a monster with similar (albet less varied) mechanics. The Ogrekin from "The Hook Mountain Massacre" each have 1 of 10 advantages, and 1 of 10 disadvantages. That's 100 possible combinations. Corpse Stitchers could easily have a list of 20 options (instead of 2 lists of 10). The core mechanic could easily be something like "1 ability = 1 HD and CR1, 2 abilities = 2 HD and CR2, 3 abilities = 3 HD and CR 3...)

2) No conflict with the PC's: I have 2 issues with this complaint. The first is that the Corpse Stitcher could simply be stalking the PC's for THEIR abilities. The second issue is that not every creature needs to be a conflict for the PC's. As stated in another thread, that's the villain's role. There are plenty of monsters in the Bestiary and other sources (Metallic Dragons, Archons, Angels, Pegasi, Couatl, etc.) that are not necessarily opponents of the PC's.

3) This is a “non-idea”: I think this is far more interesting than a hollow template, to be applied on top of any other creature. This creature could be encountered 20 times, and every fight be different. How many monsters can you say that about?

Stephen: The following IS an issue I have:

FireHawk wrote:


"Given sufficient time and opportunity, a Corpse Stitcher may acquire the abilities of virtually any corporeal creature." Concept flaw, all it has to do is come across one corpse and it can assimilate the entire corpse

Also, I think you would have been better served if you had limited the Corpse Stitcher’s victims by creature type. I don’t feel this should be able to grab abilities from plants or undead.

I still have a couple left to read, but you MAY have my vote. I hope this post helps you, and doesn't come too late for the voters to read. Don't get discouraged, and keep up the good work.

Paizo Employee Developer

It's like the Sylar of Pathfinder! I like the idea of a customizable monster with modular parts, but I think it has to be developed in a specific manner that I don't think this one does. The only way I could see it working would be if you have a base creature with a certain number of points to spend per size or CR (like the Pathfinder animated objects) and can then spend those points on "head" or "wings" or "extra appendage" or whatever, and each of those provided a given bonus. It's hard to know from a statless concept whether that's the way this would actually work. Which means it needs to have a stronger concept. This round is being judged on concept alone, so unless the idea is so awesome that it doesn't matter if it works or not, or it's got abilities that already have mechanics, you're stacking the deck against yourself to make something that's as amorphous as this one. I think it's a cool idea and would love to see it move to later rounds, but I'm not sure the voters will agree. I wish you the best of luck and hope you get a chance to stat this baby up in round 3.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Orange Toque

Does it grab me visually: I like the mix and match aspect. Not really a fan of the base body being a slug. It just doesn’t seem to have enough oomph for what this creature becomes. Also, how much work does this have to do to gain the abilities of other creatures? How much of a dragon does it have to incorporate to gain a breath weapon?

Would I use it in game: If had more time to prepare than I usually do. I like building complex NPCs and monsters, so this would be a treat for me. It would take some work to get the PCs to fight one of these, but I could find some ways to make that happen.

Would my players enjoy an encounter with it: I doubt that they would know what they were dealing with. If I described a boar headed, ogre armed, horse legged slug monster, they would probably look at me like I was crazy and just making things up. But I bet they would get excited if they ran into that corpse stitcher again, and it had added new abilities.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka flash_cxxi

I don't see a problem with giving this creature variable abilities. Paizo is creating a build your own creature currently with it's Eidolon so the Corpse Stitcher can easily borrow similar rules and have a sliding CR scale dependant upon what parts (abilities) it selects.

The one thing I wasn't fussed on with this Monster was it's unadorned appearsnce. I didn't like that it was just a simple slug-like creature.

But that's s mall quibble.

This Monster makes it into my Keep pile.
Good Luck! :)

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 , Star Voter 2013

Thanks for all the feedback and support.
Being new to Paizo, I had not read the eidolon prior to submitting the corpse stitcher. Now that I have, I see where people could see similarities but I think the big overlap might be more in the mechanics not in the creature or role.
I envisioned this creature as a nemesis for PCs. Demiurge’s comment that it would make a fantastic antagonist in a novel made me very happy to read. I wanted a creature that could subvert the trope of automatically levelling the Big Bad evil guy each time the PCs gain a level.
OOTS_581

The stitcher as part of a longer arc could be defeated, lose limbs etc, but still slip down the drain to come back better than before. I didn’t see it as a pc threat until more mature with several attached limbs and maybe a head or two. I would have the first encounter be a low CR relative to the PCs, this defeat would motivate the stitcher to track down the PCs again. The second encounter would have the stitcher be physically different enough that the PCs might not recognize it at first. The second defeat would cause the stitcher to be more cautious, to stalk the PCs and look for heads of henchmen or family members to make foiling the pc more logical and to enable other weaknesses, foibles and sympathies to be exploited. The anguished face of a comrade or sister might make the PCs hesitate and those memories it stole could be used to the stitcher’s advantage.

I envisioned the larval stitcher, which I admit probably needed a more obvious way of gaining parts, to have been placed in an appropriate place by its parent – perhaps a pit with fresh kills or a battle field strewn with corpses. It would be unable to just take over a whole body at first, instead it might take fingers to use like spider legs or insect or animal parts to make use of as best it could until it had aged and grown. Its original body would grow as it aged, creating more room to attach more parts. The limitation being that the weight of its current core body plus attached parts to date could not be outweighed by a new acquisition. Some mentioned this as a design flaw but I saw it as a necessary limitation to avoid it going from tiny to gargantuan overnight.

Scavenging at first, and after a defeat at the hands of PCs, it would move on to kills as soon as it could manage to acquire the right parts. Heads of spell casters would even give it the ability to cast and perhaps dominate minions or to pass into society with illusions as disguise.
I even saw the potential for types of stitchers – one with a “taste” for heads to enable casting and skills with others as more physical brutes. I’d stat out multiple types as samples to simplify the DM’s job but as this is the type of monster you would want to personalize I, perhaps fatally, didn’t see the flaw that everyone saw in building the creature each time it is used.
Well I wish I had had a higher word limit or more writing skill to put all that in 300 words but thanks again for all the feedback and support.


Commiserations.

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

Hey Stephan, I liked the name and flavor of your monster. I think you have picked out the problem of its concept, that each one has to be personalised. I like that you went for it, you tried something different. Keep that creativity flowing and keep submitting those ideas.

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