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Carapace Devil


Round 2 - Top 32: Create a monster concept

1 to 50 of 71 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Sollir

Carapace Devil (Loricalia)

Description:

Symbiotic fiends, carapace devils—loricalia, as diabolists know them—are malleable, spider-like creatures that are sealed into a suit of hell-forged armor at the start of their existence.

‘Infernal Regalia’, the formal name of the armors that contain these lesser devils, always vary in style, each suit changing subtly over time depending on the sins of the damned soul within, though by design they all share an essential trait. Each suit’s breastplate is wrought with the visage of a terrifying fiend with a gaping maw—an embellishment that conceals the lair of the loricalia.

The regalia are given to mortals whose base desires match that of the devil inside. No matter how buried the sin the fiend digs it out, amplifying every dark impulse. Cunning, patient fiends, loricalia prefer to guide mortals empathically in this way, posing as potent magic armor. They share their infernal might with such a host, often using the influx of power to distract their bearer from changes in behavior. Through this subtle influence they seek to ensure their host’s damnation.

Powers and Abilities:

Alone, carapace devils are poor combatants; they are too sluggish to pose much of a threat. With a host however, the symbiotic fiend’s weaknesses seldom matter. Within the armor, the fiend’s seven lesser legs clasp their host’s ribcage, firmly embedding in their bearer’s back. Through this link, the loricalia synchronizes with their host, allowing them to function as a singular entity.

The devil then hides their two main, sword-like legs inside the armor’s maw, relying on the host like a knight her steed. Meanwhile, the loricalia empowers their bearer with an Infernal Aegis, sharing diabolic strength, resistances, and stamina with the mortal, as well as granting a dark boon pertaining to their deadliest sin.

Pathfinder Creative Director, Frog God Games

I appreciate the fact that these guys want to quietly influence their wearers into greater acts fo evil, but I think the subtlety may be lost on what can essentially become terminators from hell. I'm thinking a guy willingly puts this get-up on, you don't have to push him very far to get him on the eternal damnation train, next stop: you're there. That said, I love the picture this presents of blackguards running around in infernal power armor as they plow through the ranks of the goody-goody paladins in their lily-white elven chain atop their prancing unicorn ponies.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Oooooh, this is a tricky one, especially as it blurs the line between sentient magic item and monster. Maybe even a little too much, I think in many ways this might work better as a magic item since it seems to rely on its host so much. Even the description doesn't really seem to think this is something you're going to tackle with swords and spells, and then once it's on a host, you're dealing more with the host's stats than its. At it's core I think the idea is cool, especially seen through the lens of Greg's "Terminators from Hell," but I think it needs some tinkering before it's a true monster.

Contributor

I'd like to know more about what this creature can DO, rather than what it can't do, or how it bonds with a creature. I like that it tempts and corrupts its host, it's not until the very last line that I hear about what the creature can do for its host, and much of that is summed up by a pointer to the Infernal Aegis. I'd really like a suggestion as to what sort of boon it grants for an example sin or two--cutting some of the description of the armor and how it changes shape would have freed up more room for this info.

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

Initial Impression: This is an item, not a monster.

Concept (name, overall design choices, design niche, playability/usability, challenge): D
This is an item, not a monster. When you know more about the item the thing is in, that’s a problem. This is a big idea that was never thought through. All sizzle, no steak.

Execution (quality of writing, hook, theme, organization, use of proper format, world neutral, quality of mandatory content—description, summary of powers): C
Good writing doesn’t get us past the fact that this is more about the item and the magical aegis it grants than it is about a monster.

Tilt (did it grab me, do I want to use one in an adventure?): B
It’s cool. Goodness knows I love the idea of a carapace devil. Great name. But this is an item, not a monster.

Overall: C
You know where I’m at on this. I think this is a possible auto-reject. But the voters can decide.

Recommendation: I DO NOT recommend this creature advance.

And Sean, the reason we don't know more about what the monster can DO is because this is an item not a monster and the fact you don't know what the monster can do just makes that point for me.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Sollir

Thank you judges very much for your feedback! I knew I was taking a gamble with my monster and can definitely see where all the judges are coming from. I hope the voters go over it and give it a chance.

Thank you again.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

There's a solid precedence for monsters who can also fuse with NPCs to create composite creatures (in fact, one just won the King of the Monsters competition on koboldquarterly.com). Sometimes they really work as monsters, sometimes they don't, and without stats its hard to tell.

However, the problem is that you come right out and say that the carapace devil is weak on its own, thus de-emphasizing its roll as a monster to focus on its roll as an item/template. That was probably a mistake. Making the devil a badass in its own right would have not only made it a better fit for the rules of this round, it would have arguably made it cooler (imagine the PCs spend several sessions in conflict with this diabolical knight and defeat him, only to find that the armor itself- either empty or containing the knight's still-warm corpse- is a formidable foe in its own right. THAT'S a climactic encounter).

Whether its a monster or not, though, I have to say that this idea has a lot of traction with me. I have a feeling these guys are going to appear in my game some day.


This sounds almost like a cursed artifact and not a creature. I like where you are going with this but i think you needed to make the "carapace" a parasite and force its will on some unwilling host. But that is just my two cents worth.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Sounds ALOT like the Angrar Assault Robot from the RIFTS RPG.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

I thought it sounded more like an item then a creature as well, while I think a creature like this could be pulled off, I am not sure from the entry that this creature could end up well. gotta pass on this one.

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

I'm not particularly sympathetic to the argument that this is an item and not a monster (though I do think more words should have been expended to describe the monster itself). This sort of outside the box approach to a monster appeals to me and, when done well, is (IMO) one of the hallmarks of an RPG Superstar. Had this been submitted as an item, I have no doubt the judge's comments would read "This is a monster, not an item." Rejecting entries for not complying with categories that are vague at best seems harsh and discourages RPG Superstars from submitting a potentially innovative creature for fear that the judges will deem it to be not within that category. If there are some criteria to differentiate a monster from a non-monster, those should be set out in the rules rather than imposed after the fact.

This is particularly problematic when there isn't a stat block included in the entry. Maybe the stat block would've been something like the Tatterdemain (that funky clothes monster that posseses the wearer). Without seeing how this would've been statted up, it's difficult to say it's not a monster.

I get frustrated with judging like this that dodges the merits of the entry over a technicality that may not have been adequately explained to the contestant. Obviously, as has been said many times before, following the rules is a key component of RPG Superstar, but it's not clear to me that (a) this violated the rules or (b) the rules were sufficiently clear to alert the contestant of the potential violation. At the very least, I would prefer the judges assumed the entrant is a monster when there is reasonable doubt about the category. Clark's review would've been more in the spirit of this contest if it had approached this entry as a monster (ala the Tatterdemain) and then explained the flaws inherent in such a monster or the fact that the entry itself did not adequately establish what differentiates this monster from a magic item.

That's the crux of the issue to me. Is this a monster? I'd say yes, it is, and I've seen other monsters like this. I think it could've been written better to focus on the monster aspects, but the entry in no way deserves a categorical rejection, particularly when the category is so ill defined and subject to interpretation.

I would really hate to see how the judges would react to swarms, one of the more interesting monster types developed for 3.5, had one been submitted prior to their official release. I suspect the comments would've been "a swarm is not a monster."


Clark Peterson wrote:

Initial Impression: This is an item, not a monster.

Concept (name, overall design choices, design niche, playability/usability, challenge): D
This is an item, not a monster. When you know more about the item the thing is in, that’s a problem. This is a big idea that was never thought through. All sizzle, no steak.

Execution (quality of writing, hook, theme, organization, use of proper format, world neutral, quality of mandatory content—description, summary of powers): C
Good writing doesn’t get us past the fact that this is more about the item and the magical aegis it grants than it is about a monster.

Tilt (did it grab me, do I want to use one in an adventure?): B
It’s cool. Goodness knows I love the idea of a carapace devil. Great name. But this is an item, not a monster.

Overall: C
You know where I’m at on this. I think this is a possible auto-reject. But the voters can decide.

Recommendation: I DO NOT recommend this creature advance.

And Sean, the reason we don't know more about what the monster can DO is because this is an item not a monster and the fact you don't know what the monster can do just makes that point for me.

This is another example of Clark acting unprofessionally. This is an entry that deserves full consideration, so here goes.

Initial Impression: A creature which disguises itself as a suit of armor is a neat trick and the fact each Loricalia (great name) looks different from each next allows the trick to be played out multiple times. I immediately imagined a greedy PC trying on the defeated Big Bad's armor only to find it rooted to their flesh.

Concept (name, overall design choices, design niche, playability/usability, challenge): B
The variety of names combined with diversity of forms makes this a unique and bold entry. I see this either being part of the main plot of a campaign or acting as a brutal side-quest encounter that gets talk about for a long while. This leaves an impression. Many gamemasters feel discouraged from using intelligent items as villains. This offers a path towards that without solely being an item.

Execution (quality of writing, hook, theme, organization, use of proper format, world neutral, quality of mandatory content—description, summary of powers): B
The mystery behind the Living Carapaces abilities falls in line with the submission requirements. Many of the other entries come off as stat blocks while this outright states each Loricalia could offer vastly different boons without quantifying what those boons are in some veiled attempt to stat his monster. In 300 words we know what to expect out of this, something different every time.

Tilt (did it grab me, do I want to use one in an adventure?): A
I absolutely want to use this in an adventure and look forward to seeing the sin mechanic statted up. It could lead to the creation of a whole new class of Devils which disguise themselves as items, or transform into coveted objects. A great idea is one that generates more ideas.

Overall: A
You know where I’m at on this. It carries flavor while leaving you asking for more. This is interesting at any CR and opens the floodgates for new ideas without forcing new rules on the game.

Recommendation: I DO recommend this creature advance.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Sollir

Thank you everyone for your comments.

Nicolas, Sebastien, and Hexcaliber, you all are really encouraging with your words and opinions. I really appreciate it, most especially for your thoroughness. Thanks.

Andoran Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Hexcaliber wrote:

[

This is another example of Clark acting unprofessionally. This is an entry that deserves full consideration, so here goes.

Clark's criticism of this item actually tells the author one helluva lot more than most form rejection letters do.

Is bashing him somehow getting people "cool points" somewhere?

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

While I like the concept, I must agree with Clark on this one. I don't really see why this thing needs a monster stat block. Were I to stat this guy out, it would be an intelligent suit of armor. And that's really cool. But... not what this round is about. Sorry.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Mike Kimmel wrote:
While I like the concept, I must agree with Clark on this one. I don't really see why this thing needs a monster stat block. Were I to stat this guy out, it would be an intelligent suit of armor. And that's really cool. But... not what this round is about. Sorry.

I believe this thing COULD do just fine as an intelligent suite of armor.

However, it could also make a fine example of a symbiotic monster, in the tradition of the glimmerskin, the raggamoffyn, or (most recently) the spark.

So, I see why some people are annoyed by the suggestion that it should be an auto-reject. On the other hand, like Clark said, this is up to the voters now. There's a reason why a wide range of viewpoints and opinions are represented by our judging panel, whether you agree with them all or not, and excessive judge-bashing pollutes another contestant's thread with more and more bad vibes.

Anyway. Personally, I think it would be cool if you pulled kind of a switcheroo on the raggamoffyn model, giving the armor concrete stats which are augmented or altered depending on who is inside it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hmm...

This one is tricky. The concept is cool, and I like how its parisite nature but the way you described it does sound much more like an item.

I think you spent to much time describing the armor and not enough on the monster. Hence is just comes off as an intelligent item.

I feel like there is some real potential here but unfortunatly your description seemed to miss the mark.

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

Nicolas Quimby wrote:

There's a solid precedence for monsters who can also fuse with NPCs to create composite creatures (in fact, one just won the King of the Monsters competition on koboldquarterly.com). Sometimes they really work as monsters, sometimes they don't, and without stats its hard to tell.

However, the problem is that you come right out and say that the carapace devil is weak on its own, thus de-emphasizing its roll as a monster to focus on its roll as an item/template. That was probably a mistake. Making the devil a badass in its own right would have not only made it a better fit for the rules of this round, it would have arguably made it cooler (imagine the PCs spend several sessions in conflict with this diabolical knight and defeat him, only to find that the armor itself- either empty or containing the knight's still-warm corpse- is a formidable foe in its own right. THAT'S a climactic encounter).

Whether its a monster or not, though, I have to say that this idea has a lot of traction with me. I have a feeling these guys are going to appear in my game some day.

I very rarely do this, but this. I pretty much agree with everything above. This could be a really cool monster that also augments its host with hellish might, but it's sort of shot in the foot by the assurance that they're weak without a mortal to "ride". They've got two giant sword arms that fold out of their carapace and command the power of the deadly sins! That should be a pretty good encounter on its own. I sort of see the PCs fighting one of these on its own, it surrendering and "seeing the error of its ways" and offering to serve, say, the party's paladin in penance. And then work to bring him down to its level.

Andoran Contributor , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

This is quite an interesting concept. It's not quite there for me, but I can see this getting a lot of votes.


You're walking the line between monster and cursed item with this entry. I think there's some good design space to be explored in that part of the rules, but I don't think you've successfully used that desgin space with this entry. I'm not saying I know how to do right; I certainly don't, but I think the carapace devil falls to far on the cursed item side. I guess there's just not enough monster here. With so many great monster concepts in the top 32, the carapace devil was unfortunately one of the first few entries eliminated from my voting consideration.

Please, keep refining your skills and ideas. You have great potential, as evidenced by making it into the top 32 in the first place. It would be a terrible shame to waste it.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Sollir

I'll echo what Nicolas said: feel free to post opinions different to the judges, but please don't turn this into a judge-bashing thread. I don't think any of them are treating any of the RPG Superstar's different than they would someone submitting stuff to them for publication.

That said, thank you for the continued feedback everyone, I really appreciate it. I hope you find room in your votes for my diabolic concoction =)

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

This creature seems to ride the edge of things, whether it's a creature or an item probably depends on it's stat block. Does it supplement the wearers abilities or does it slowly take over his mind and control him like a puppet? (Don't answer that Andrew)

It is quite well written and it is a really cool idea... in fact one of the cooler entries I've seen.

"Does he get wet or does the water get him instead" - Particle Man

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Nicolas Quimby wrote:

There's a solid precedence for monsters who can also fuse with NPCs to create composite creatures (in fact, one just won the King of the Monsters competition on koboldquarterly.com). Sometimes they really work as monsters, sometimes they don't, and without stats its hard to tell.

However, the problem is that you come right out and say that the carapace devil is weak on its own, thus de-emphasizing its roll as a monster to focus on its roll as an item/template. That was probably a mistake. Making the devil a badass in its own right would have not only made it a better fit for the rules of this round, it would have arguably made it cooler (imagine the PCs spend several sessions in conflict with this diabolical knight and defeat him, only to find that the armor itself- either empty or containing the knight's still-warm corpse- is a formidable foe in its own right. THAT'S a climactic encounter).

Whether its a monster or not, though, I have to say that this idea has a lot of traction with me. I have a feeling these guys are going to appear in my game some day.

I agree 100% with Hydro here. Though for me the real dealbreaker was that you have this creature that subtly tempts its wearer to sin living in such blatently evil looking armour. I mean I'm visualising this as very similar to Hellknight illustrations and I can't think of a many none-evil characters or NPCs I've played that would put on armour looted from a Hellknight without significant cosmetic adjustments. What happens to the creature when I try and hammer out its learing devil-face hideout into something I could wear in polite company?

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Thinking on this a little more I can't help but see this as a close cousin to Spiderman's Venom Suit... Is Venom a creature or a costume?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I agree with the sentiment that this should NOT be an auto-reject just because the author thought outside the box. This could be a creature just as well as an item.

However, as has already been stated, the entry suffers from marginalizing the creature and its abilities. A lot of potential wasted there.

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

Andrew Sun wrote:

I'll echo what Nicolas said: feel free to post opinions different to the judges, but please don't turn this into a judge-bashing thread. I don't think any of them are treating any of the RPG Superstar's different than they would someone submitting stuff to them for publication.

That said, thank you for the continued feedback everyone, I really appreciate it. I hope you find room in your votes for my diabolic concoction =)

Thank you for your very classy response, Andrew. I've been most impressed with your conduct during the competition, FWIW.


Being a 10th level Jerk myself, I know it when I see it. I never meant to go on a judge bashing spree, I was simply offended that an idea I liked was dismissed so abruptly.

I was out of line.

With that said I do agree with the entry coming off as weak. The loricalia should be able to stand on its own, and it should not always look like demon armor either. Such things can added to the stat block, but are not evident by the above description.

I have voted already and I look forward to seeing the results.


My Impressions:

1) As said, it's an item not a monster
2) It's excellently written, except for a few glaringly long run-on sentences that any good editor would fix for him. The author's got real talent for putting together words, but just needs to learn how and when to use a comma, semi-colon, and period.
3) I think this is really outside-the-box and if the author had taken less words to describe mundane details and focused more on how the monster functions this could be a shoe-in for the next round.
4) I found myself asking, "What happens when you realize you're wearing a devil?" There should be some discussion on how to get it off and battle it, even if it is a psychic battle.

I am back and forth on this one. On one hand, it seems like an auto-reject, because it is described as a magic item. On the other hand, it has the potential to be a very cool monster.

In the end I think I'll end up leaning towards the rules of the contest, and I just don't think it met the rules.

Sorry. It's awesome. Clean it up for next year because it could be submitted in either category with the write details.

Ken


To the Scotch Assassin: ACK! A Doppelganger!

Now to my opinion:

I normally hate saying something that's already been pointed out, but with so many conflicting opinions, I'll go ahead and give my opinion, re-stating something that has already been voiced.

In my opinion, this item walks a very fine line between item and creature. This submission could have benefited from a stat block to clarify the issue (can you attack it directly?). Unfortunately for you, that's not part of this round.

.

On the side of "item":

It looks like armor
It's worn as armor (a bearer can't wear other armor, can they?)
it "empowers their bearer"
it "grants a dark boon"

These are things that magic armor does. A creature would simply HAVE these powers, not grant them to someone wearing it. It also (probably) takes up the armor slot.

On the side of "creature":

Creatures that look like items have been done before (see: mimic)
It's described as a spider like creature.
It relies on it's host "like a knight her steed".

Using a host like a "steed" seems to imply that the Carapace Devil can utilize feats like mounted combat. That's something living things do, not objects.

.

Lacking a stat block (not part of this round) my opinion is that this is an item. However, the true issue is not really "Is this an item?". The true issue with this submission is that it's too vague with the description to clarify the question of it's role. That's probably not "Superstar".

Sorry. This is a decent idea, but considering it's problems, I don't think I'll be voting for it.

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

Wolfboy wrote:

Clark's criticism of this item actually tells the author one helluva lot more than most form rejection letters do.

Is bashing him somehow getting people "cool points" somewhere?

Yes. I think you get XBox rewards for it somewhere. ;)

I dont mind the bashing, and neither should the contestant. A negative review from me and the resulting backlash of support has wound up being a real positive for contestants in the past.

As for the submission itself, please understand we did not auto-reject this. If we had, it would have been out and an alternate advanced to the top 32. We've done that before. We didn't do that here. All I did is give my comments that I thought this was borderline and you, the voters, get to discuss and decide. I could be wrong. It's just my opinion. But this wasn't an autoreject.

This reminds me of the post I put on the Marrow Worm entry. The author put us as judges in the position of saying its an auto-reject by his own design choices. You may disagree about whether this is an item or a monster, but I dont think anyone can disagree that it is on the borderline. The question is which side of the line do you think it falls. Now, the fact this submission is on the borderline was a design choice of the author. As I said in the Marrow Worm thread, "don't dribble into the double team."

Andrew, I hope you make it. I think you have promise. But I have to review the item on its merits (see, there, I said it, item. I mean monster).

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

This is chock full of great ideas. That's the important thing for me, because it speaks to the author's ability to be an "idea generator".

Not every great idea is brilliantly executed the first time. I feel I'm personally qualified to say that. ;-)

That does not mean that there isn't a great monster here waiting for a re-write. I regret not reading it sooner. Fortunately I haven't voted yet.

Part of me really likes voting on potential as well as product. I think product has to come first, but I'm not willing to abandon potential either.

Also Andrew has conducted himself respectfully and professionally. I'm not dissing his defenders! I'm just saying he personally has handled *himself* well. That means something to me.

Good luck Andrew, I'll keep this in mind when I go to the Booth.

Andoran Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Clark Peterson wrote:


I dont mind the bashing,

I DO, especially when it's couched in the irony of calling YOU unprofessional.

Also, when you consider that I've read nearly every item, country, villain, and everything from all the iterations of the contest over its existence since the beginning of December, I have a much shorter timeframe of reference for the abuse.

Frankly, you provide fairly objective editorial viewpoint on the items (in the broad sense, meaning "contest entries") that is invaluable.

Quite honestly, as a writer and contributor, I would rather have a short, brusque, but honest critique of anything I submitted, rather than a robotic form letter, with even the signature photocopied—and I have a considerable stack of those.

People need to understand that editors and publishers cannot, and most WILL not, waste their time on things they think are silly, stupid, poorly written, badly designed, or fail in any other way.

Is it subjective? Sure, but that's their right and responsibility as publishers to decide what they want to publish.

Railing on and criticizing them for their rudeness, outlandish demands, and whatnot is the true-er unprofessionalism.

Sorry for the rant, but, quite honestly, I'm sick to death of judge bashing.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Sollir

I feel a bit like a robot but I still want to say thank you everyone for your continued comments and discussion. I appreciate all the encouraging words, criticism and don't mind any of the bashing (aimed at my entry)-maybe with the exception for Clark's last sentence, that was just mean ;-)

It's odd how different this round is from the first, I don't think I ever realized it as a viewer. The first round is simply a high-congrats you got in, here are some comments! This round has been much more enlightening as to what the judges and audience are looking for.

Whether I make it into the next round, the next Superstar or some other D&D competition, I know I'll be a much stronger designer because of this. Thank you all for that opportunity.

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

Dance of Ruin wrote:

I agree with the sentiment that this should NOT be an auto-reject just because the author thought outside the box. This could be a creature just as well as an item.

However, as has already been stated, the entry suffers from marginalizing the creature and its abilities. A lot of potential wasted there.

Agreed here. It WOULD works just fine as an evil magical item, but it can also work as a symbiotic creature. The problem comes in the write-up, which is 90% about the armor and 10% about the creature (percentages invented, not actual (TM)) - what about the devil itself when there's nobody wearing the armor? Can it use those sword arms to fight, or use its own powers to mentally influence people who aren't already wearing the armor. Yeah, we get it that it can tempt people who are IN the armor, but can it tempt them TO wear the armor?

Even inside, can it disguise the armor's appearance? Can it reshape the type of armor? Can it resize the armor?

Overall: The visual is very cool, the concept is neat, the name is great, the razor's edge walk between item and monster is dangerous but interesting ground to explore (compare to one or two of the folks from 2008 who made intelligent items as their villains), but I think we need to see a little more of the monster itself, not just its hand puppets (the armor and the wearer). This guy hasn't fallen off, but he's teetering on the wrong side of the item/monster divide.

All in all, an interesting gamble, which might pay off in getting to the next round. There are some big issues, but it also shows a big idea. That's not Superstar by itself, but it's POTENTIAL Superstar, and that might win you enough votes to get through.


[gratuitous ccg reference] Hah! Reading the description made me think of the illustration on the Corrupting Licid card in the Tempest block. [/gratuitous ccg reference]

Okay, back to business. My impression of this entry is that the contestant has written it up in a manner which treats it more as if it is about an intelligent item than a monster, irrespective of whether or not it is a monster or an item or some weird in between categories thing. Information like this needed to be developed more:

Andrew Sun wrote:
...The devil then hides their two main, sword-like legs inside the armor’s maw, relying on the host like a knight her steed...

If the carapace devil had been stated as getting those blades out and whacking anyone in range in combat, independent of the wearer, that would have helped create an image for me of greater independence. But instead pretty much everything I read suggests that the devil doesn't interact much with anyone apart from the wearer, which says to me magic item or remote mastermind/controller at best.

I can see potential for it to be interacting with people other than the wearer, but I simply haven't been told about it, so I have to assume or guess things, and if I start doing that then a lot of the entries start looking much better...
As a quick question, does magical armour with one of these attached possess a 'resize' ability or are there limits to how much devil there is to 'go around'? (Hmm, Jason Nelson has asked a question about a different angle of resizing.)

I will say that this has potential to show up in a lot of encounters. Whether it's a suit of armour or a monster disguised as a suit of armour, the point is that an opponent can show up wearing one of these. Or possibly it can turn up in a treasure hoard/armoury.

My overall impression is of an entry which is written in a confusing manner and causes a split in opinions over whether it is an item or monster. Assuming the benefit of the doubt and that it be considered a monster, I don't think that enough has been made of its Powers and Abilities.

Thanks for submitting this entry, and you've certainly got a debate going even if it may not be to your benefit...

Cheliax Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Clark Peterson wrote:
You may disagree about whether this is an item or a monster, but I dont think anyone can disagree that it is on the borderline. The question is which side of the line do you think it falls. Now, the fact this submission is on the borderline was a design choice of the author. As I said in the Marrow Worm thread, "don't dribble into the double team."

It's a fair point to say that this monster is on the borderline; I even think it's fair to say that it's too close to the item side of the border line. I just don't think it's fair to say "this is over the line, end of story." Again, I've seen monsters of this ilk - they may not be good monsters in general and this may not be a good monster in particular - but they are monsters.

The way I read your response is that any monster so close to the borderline is unacceptable and a candidate for rejection. If there is such a sharp dividing line between monster and item, I think it should be disclosed in the rules. If it's just that this particular monster is too much like an item, it'd be nice if that were clear in your comments and provided some insight as to why you reached that conclusion (as Wes and Sean did).

Of course, I'd also advocate for Wes and Sean to adopt a similar judging scheme as the one you use. I think that's probably why you end up with a greater mass of comments. I like your grading system, I like your recommendation system, and find that it helps frame the discussion of a particular entry. It's a good enough innovation that I wouldn't mind it seeing widely adopted by the judges, but it also has the effect of giving people a grade or recommendation to rail against.

B%!@&ing about the umpires is a time honored tradition in American competitive activities, and I'd like to see Wes and Sean calling fouls right by you so they can experience their own share of armchair quarterbacking and sour grapes throwing.

Paizo Employee Developer

Other than the fact that this devil lives in armor like a hermit crab and has long, crablike legs, I have no idea what it looks like. A more thorough physical description would be nice.

I also agree with Clark that this is really an intelligent magic item more than a monster. I don't get the sense that one could fight it on its own.

Additionally, I found some of the writing to be awkward and stilted, with a few instances of passive voice.

I think it really could have benefited from additional editing and a tighter concept.

Star Voter 2013

This creature as posted is an item. the only tidbit that have that is a creature is the "spider-like" references. Would the pcs even know they encountered the creature, or would they think they've encountered a npc with a dark pact?

"hell-forged armor" should have been chitin

"The regalia are given to mortals whose base desires match that of the devil inside. No matter how buried the sin the fiend digs it out, amplifying every dark impulse." Is this a contradiction? If the armor is given by evil why would it need to hide the 'sin' amplification, and why would it change the wearer's behavior.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Sebastian wrote:

It's a fair point to say that this monster is on the borderline; I even think it's fair to say that it's too close to the item side of the border line. I just don't think it's fair to say "this is over the line, end of story."

He didn't say that at all, though; he just said it was close.

Now, I for one WILL say that this isn't on the borderline, anymore than a swarm is "on the line" between monster and area attack spell. But that's also purely a matter of opinion, and hardly the first time that voters have disagreed with the judges or with eachother.

I agree with Sebastian that the more constructive question is "Why is this a GOOD monster or a BAD monster?" And there's been a lot of great discussion to that effect.

My impression was that the entry has a few details which hint that it COULD be a very interesting hybrid creature, if the author had the opportunity to strip it down and refocus his ideas, but that the entry as written does a lot to de-emphasize its roll as a pro-active entity. Which is unfortunate.

I'll agree with the others that there's promise here.


If a ghost possesses a suit of armor (or sword, or doily) and passes some of its abilities onto the wearer (wielder, place setter) is it no longer a ghost? Is the item in question magical?

On those merits alone I defy you to state a ghost possessed item isn't interesting enough to put in an adventure.

Now someone comes along and offers us a devil possessed item, but the possession takes on a very non-standard form. People either like this idea and want to see it advance or they like this idea, but want to auto-reject it out of some draconian understanding of the rules.

Either way, people like this.

-------------------------------

Side note on Judge Bashing.

Clark wrote 3 times "this is an item, not a monster" and implied as much in a separate sentence. If a non-judge had presented a similar review of someone's idea in a different thread I still would've called them on it.

Judge Bashing assumes people are attacking a Judge in a baseless or pointless manner. If Clark had written, "I believe this entry fails to follow the rules for the round. I move to have this auto-rejected," we'd be having a very different conversation right now. Instead he chose to beat anyone reading that post over the head with his opinion. I could have sent him a PM expressing my disapproval. Instead I made a choice to call him on it publicly. I chose to defend an idea I love and want to see advance.

When someone shows up with a marketable idea you don't kick it to the curb and yell "NEXT!" You find a way to make it work. Much of what we see here will end up in a monster book at some point. Almost none of them will appear as written here.

Star Voter 2013

Hexcaliber wrote:

If a ghost possesses a suit of armor (or sword, or doily) and passes some of its abilities onto the wearer (wielder, place setter) is it no longer a ghost? Is the item in question magical?

You said it. It is possessed armor, just like a haunted sword or ring.

Is the ghost still a ghost? yep as you said it passed some of its abilities. If the ghost was wearing the armor then it's still a ghost and you still know what a ghost is even with out the armor.

Is it magical? that depends on the imbued abilities and the game's rules

Hexcaliber wrote:
When someone shows up with a marketable idea you don't kick it to the curb and yell "NEXT!" You find a way to make it work. Much of what we see here will end up in a monster book at some point. Almost none of them will appear as written here.

but thats not the purpose of this round. the contestants were to "Describe a new fantasy monster for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. This includes its description (physical shape, mental outlook, and so on) and a summary of its powers and abilities." within a "300 word count" the round wasnt design a marketable idea, it was describe a new monster

Andoran Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Hexcaliber wrote:
Now someone comes along and offers us a devil possessed item,

This round is about creating a monster, not an item. Marketability is irrelevant in this context.

hexcaliber wrote:


This is another example of Clark acting unprofessionally.

Reiterating the rules of the contest in his posts is hardly unprofessional. Stating his observations on the item in question is his JOB in this context.

I stand by my assertions in my previous post.

hexcaliber wrote:
This is an entry that deserves full consideration,

I contend that, by his own implied admission, Clark, and by extension, the other judges, have given this item more consideration than it actually deserves.

Is this a quality submission? Is it well-written and interesting? Is it something I would use in a campaign involving devils and demons and other such entities?

Yes, to all the above, but it's not a monster.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8 aka Zynete

Hexcaliber wrote:

Side note on Judge Bashing.

Clark wrote 3 times "this is an item, not a monster" and implied as much in a separate sentence. If a non-judge had presented a similar review of someone's idea in a different thread I still would've called them on it.

I would say that would it is a fair comment to emphasize and possibly a very good thing for Clark to do for this contestant.

If in the next round, the goal is to actually stat up a new monster (probably the one from this round). Then I think it would be very important that it actually be a monster.

If I were have to guess this creature's stats from the current description, it would be more like a intelligent magic item than an actual monster. I like the core idea behind this monster, but that is not going to make me vote for it if it just seems to be a magic item with a base attack bonus.

Right now, from this description, I believe that the party wouldn't remember this monster if I threw it at them. I think they would remember that awesome warrior with that evil living armor though.

I think it is very fair and good to repeat the complaint several times because I think it is the biggest failing of this creature and that, if it is used in later rounds, a large amount of focus should be used to fix this issue.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Wolfboy wrote:
Yes, to all the above, but it's not a monster.

I think that this is the crux of the issue; one side categorically rejecting the submission, the other vehemently rejecting the first side's rejection.

Can we agree that this is a matter of opinion, and discuss it accordingly, without the forceful and unsupported "Yes it is"/"No it isn't" assertions?

I've made my own thoughts on the issue perfectly clear and stand by them. So have others. They differ from Clark's, but that's fine- it's his job to give his honest and forthright opinion on these things, as a gamer and as a publisher, and no one should be arguing that that makes him a bad judge.

I would much rather be talking about WHY haunted objects or symbiotic beings or what have you do or don't make good monsters (or, if you must, why they should or should not be treated as monsters at all). These threads should be for constructive criticism, and for exploration of ideas.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8 aka Zynete

To clarify, I am not completely convinced that this is not a monster nor am I set on whether I will vote for this entry. But as a symbiotic creature it does come to the line between monster and magic item. It is an area that I actually like. It is just that with the current abilities, for myself, this creature falls farther onto the Magic Item side of that line and as I'm looking at this as a monster rather than just being a cool idea, I'm not really in a place where I think this is a great submission for this round.

This thing is cool, but it is cool for what it is doing as a magic item rather than what it is doing as a monster.


hmm.. aside from wether it is a monster or not, this creature despite it's attempt at fluff does not strike me as a devil, it lacks some elements that puts it in the corner, a spidery like creature seems more like an abberation to me or maybe a demon.

It might be likened to spawn's suit, but it seems more like a diabolic item in that case.

altogether it isn't a bad creature, it just doesn't grab me.

Star Voter 2013

Hexcaliber wrote:


This is another example of Clark acting unprofessionally. This is an entry that deserves full consideration, so here goes.

edit:

I see that you admitted you were out of line. That's good, and it takes some character. Everyone gets hot under the collar at times.

Star Voter 2013

As for the item monster itself--and it is an item monster as the upthread citations make clear its precedents--I think this would have worked better if it corrupted whoever wore it and you could save the bearer's soul by killing the symbiote but NOT the bearer. It's always fun when the PCs are taking a -4 to do nonlethal damage.

But it's not getting my vote. Yes, the clothing monster has a long history in the game, but it's a history of shame and embarrassment marked by derisive humor. Riffing on this type of monster was probably a strategic error. Scroll down to #1 on the list. And the sequel has three more clothing/item monsters in it.

Andoran

Andrew Sun wrote:
Carapace Devil (Loricalia)

cool description

but yes... this is a devil infused item with some very cool background. I would catalogue this under Intelligent Item.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

I posted above but since decided to review all the creatures using a template so I'm revisiting.

  • Writing: Is this just a suit of armor or is there a physical creature hermit crabbing around in it? I really want to know more about how this would look to a character in the game. The writing is otherwise very tight and reads quite well.
  • Originality: The idea of a suit as an extension of a person is fairly well established. This is a pretty good implementation of that and I haven't seen anything like this in the game world. It is similar to intelligent magic items but the very physical sounding connection with the armor implies a bit more.
  • Mojo/ spirit: This is a great villain concept and would also be an interesting/ fun role playing item for a mature player.

    Sidenote: I don't really have a slot for "is this a creature" or not so I'm not going to touch that topic. I leave that as an exercise for the reader.

    Spoiler:
    Writing: My impression of your writing style.
    Originality: Is this creature a unique creation? Does it fill a unique niche in the game?
    Mojo/ spirit: Do I want to see your creature in my game?

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