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RPG Superstar 2015

Joshua Kitchens' Churjiir, Two-headed Rat Emperor


Round 3 - Top 16: Create a Monster Stat Block

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka Draconas

Churjiir CR 5
XP 1,600
CE Medium aberration
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +17
=====
Defense
=====
AC 19, touch 15, flat-footed 14 (+5 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 52 (7d8+21)
Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +10
=====
Offense
=====
Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.
Melee 2 bites +6 (1d6+1 plus disease and necrotic wound), 2 claws +6 (1d4+1)
Special Attacks disease, flea swarm, necrotic wound, rat paramount
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th)
At will—detect thoughts (DC 14)
3/day—modify memory (DC 16)
=====
Statistics
=====
Str 12, Dex 21, Con 16, Int 18, Wis 17, Cha 15
Base Atk +5; CMB +6; CMD 21
Feats Alertness, Blind-fight, Combat Expertise, Iron Will
Skills Acrobatics +13, Bluff +6, Climb +9, Escape Artist +11, Intimidate +8, Knowledge (local) +14, Perception +17, Sense Motive +12, Stealth +17, Survival +9, Swim +9; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception, +2 Stealth
Languages Common (cannot speak); telepathy 100 ft.
=====
Ecology
=====
Environment any urban
Organization solitary or pack (2-4 churjiir plus 2-12 rat swarms, 2-8 dire rats, and 2-4 wererats)
Treasure double
=====
Special Abilities
=====
Disease (Su) Spell Blight: Bite—injury; save Will DC 15, onset 1 day, frequency 1 day, effect if a spellcaster, the target loses 1d4 spell slots (chosen at random) and 1 effective caster level for the day, cure 2 consecutive saves
Flea Swarm (Su) Once a day, as a standard action, a churjiir can mentally command the horde of fleas crawling on its filthy flesh into a swarm cloud to harass nearby enemies. The flea swarm forms a 5 foot by 5 foot cloud that moves at 15 feet per round up to 90 feet from the churjiir for a total of 2d4 rounds. The flea swarm is immune to all damage and any creature sharing a space with it at the end of the swarm’s turn is sickened for 1 round (Fort DC 15).
Necrotic Wound (Ex) The bite from a churjiir can be extremely painful as its saliva is teeming with bacteria that causes the wound to necrotize in 1d4 rounds unless the target succeeds on a DC 15 Fortitude save. Damage from a necrotic wound cannot be recovered by natural healing or Heal checks but only through the application of magical healing. In addition, a necrotic wound does 1 point of nonlethal damage every hour until healed.
Rat Paramount (Su) A churjiir is the undisputed master of the rodent world and possesses a powerful influence over its lesser cousins. Any rodent or rodent-like creature, including a wererat, which comes within range of the churjiir’s telepathy is subject to an immediate DC 16 Will save or falls under the effects of a charm monster spell (CL 10). If the Will save is successful, the target is immune to further charm effects from that churjiir for 1 day. Other churjiirs are also immune to this ability.

The churjiir is a two-headed, hairless, and rat-like beast with six clawed limbs. Over ten times the size of a normal rat, its body is two yards in length. It reeks of musty urine, and a haze of servitor fleas seethes over it.

The muddy gray hide of the churjiir’s bald body stretches tautly from both muzzles to its undersized, malformed ears. Lumps and lesions mottle the skin on the creature’s back, and a ropey, ophidian tail twitches behind it. Yellowed fangs jut down from its snouts and both jaws are set with needle-like teeth. Its mouths slaver with luminescent spittle.

It crouches on four squat legs equipped with sharpened digging claws. If confronted, it rears up and uses its third, frontal set of limbs. These are elongated and gangly, terminating in three finger-like talons with wicked points.

Its cavernous, crimson eyes glint with a feral light. Churjiirs possess cruel and calculating intellects, allowing them to thrive in the cesspools and murky corners of settlements. They aspire to reign luxuriously, served by subjugated minions. Despite their size, churjiirs are adept at remaining unseen; like its brethren, it gnaws through wood and other barriers with ease. It can gouge a hole in a solid brick wall in minutes.

Paizo Employee Editor-in-Chief

Oooh, you got into real tricky ground with the flea swarm here. What's presented here tries to act like a secondary monster but then hand waves a lot of the specifics that entails. What's presented here is a flea swarm that can move through walls of fire, resilient spheres, and the unholy death flames of Orcus himself unimpeded and unharmed. Seems good. There's also a lot of questions raised, like what happens if the swarm gets more than 90 feet away from the churjiir, how does the infestation move (walk? jump? fly?), and can anything break the churjiir's control of its fleas? So pretty rough there.

I'm also not pleased with the description on this one. Especially in the last paragraph things get pretty mixed up, going back and forth between singular and plural. I also get a lot of physical description from this section, but not a lot that launches me into adventure writing mode. It just doesn't tell me very much about what these things do or how I should run them as a GM.

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

Note: In my view, this round is more than just making a stat block in a vacuum. I don’t think just seeing if you crunched out the rules properly is the right way to judge a good entry for this round. Instead, I think it’s about taking a concept from someone else and delivering on it mechanically. If a concept has four stated powers, I want to see you execute those four powers somehow unless you have reconcepted the creature. Of course you need to then execute that stat block properly. Sean, Wes and Jason are way more qualified than I am to talk about the nit picks and issues with the stat block. So what I am going to look at is how you took the concept you chose and how executed that concept with your stat block. Because really, that is what freelancing is all about–getting an assignment from someone else and delivering on it.

Initial Impression
Another rat boss. Once again, a risky design choice as you had to think someone else would likely also do this guy. Let’s see how yours goes.

You chose to do a slightly higher CR version of this creature. My gut says that is a mistake. More on that below. I also am not sure about the frame you build your monster on. But that gets more below, too. That said, you did a good job with the cool powers this monster has to have. Much more so than the first version of the creature I read. We'll see how it stacks up against the other three...

The Execution
I have to admit, my gut says CR 3 or 4 is probably where it sits best as wererats are CR 2. CR 5 seems a bit high. I think that starts to take it out of its proper challenge level, which was one of the best things about the monster as a concept—that it is an awesome low level boss encounter. CR 5 starts to take us out of that. But not all the way. So that creates reluctance. Setting the CR of the monster was one of the first design choices you had to make when you statted this guy up, and I think you missed the mark. But you aren’t off the dart board all the way.

I said in another Churjiir thread that this isn’t about the stat block, presuming everyone would do it like I would—as a Small or Medium magical beast (depending on whether the length in the initial description is all tail or not). You don’t. You do it as a medium aberration. I found that to be a surprising choice. When I mentally list aberrations, this thing isn’t on that list. It’s just a brainy rat. But then again, some of the big mind control type monsters are of the aberration type, so maybe I am the one that is getting it wrong. So let’s take a look at your design choice and see who is right, you or me.

Here are the aberrations: aboleth, choker, chuul, cloaker, dark naga, drider, ettercap, froghemoth, gibbering mouther, guardian naga, intellect devourer, mimic, neothelid, otyugh, roper, rust monster, spirit naga, will-o'-wisp.

Here are the magical beasts: ankheg, basilisk, behir, bulette, chimera, cockatrice, darkmantle, giant eagle, girallon, gorgon, griffon, hydra, kraken, manticore, owlbear, pegasus, phase spider, phoenix, purple worm, remorhaz, sea serpent, shocker lizard, sphinx, stirge, tarrasque, unicorn, winter wolf, worg.

This creature sits pretty firmly on the border between both groups and could have fit in either one. That said, you know what, I’m giving you this one. I think now that I look at it this creature fits as an aberration maybe a bit better than I thought at first. I don’t know I would have done it that way. I see it more akin to the way a worg is an intelligent version of a wolf. In particular, when you look at the definition of the two, it seems better as a magical beast. The definitions are:

Magical beast: Magical beasts are similar to animals but can have Intelligence scores higher than 2 (in which case the magical beast knows at least one language, but can't necessarily speak). Magical beasts usually have supernatural or extraordinary abilities, but are sometimes merely bizarre in appearance or habits. A magical beast has the following features.

Aberration: An aberration has a bizarre anatomy, strange abilities, an alien mindset, or any combination of the three. An aberration has the following features.

I still think the Churjiir is BETTER designed on a magical beast frame, but your aberration fits, particularly when you mix in the spellcaster disease and the mind control elements. I think the good Will saves of the Aberration work better, but the traits of the magical beast fit more properly. So nice work. You swayed me. I think this is a viable way to do your version of the Churjiir. I was ready to downgrade you for this, but I’m not going to (even though I think the better way is magical beast).

Now on to the heart of the matter. The special abilities.

The Churjiir, as designed, has:

• Churjiirs can mentally control and communicate at a distance with rodents of any size. This includes intelligent or enhanced rat-like creatures, such as wererats
• It has the magical power to scavenge through a nearby creature’s mind, feeding on and devouring thoughts, tainting the creature’s recollection, and often excreting diseased and foul memories in their place
• Its corrupted bite can unnaturally diminish a victim’s spellcasting ability
• while putrescent saliva causes painful necrosis of the wound
• Churjiirs can send forth hordes of fleas to torment enemies

So what did you do with those?

I love what you did with these, in terms of bringing to life the powers that were suggested in the monster pitch. Detect thoughts and modify memory were good choices, and I think were the right way to deal with the strange, implied abilities of “excreting foul memories”. Then the powers were really good—the disease (spell blight), the flea swarm, the necrotic bite, the “king rat” power were all there (though I have to admit “Rat Paramount” still seems like not quite the right name, but I can’t put my finger on what feels wrong with it. I’d have asked you to find a different name). I'm not sure that the spell slots was the best way to do the spell blight. In fact, having read other Churjiir, I think the spell failure was a better approach.

I’ll let Sean and Wes really dig into the mechanics of the powers themselves as they are far more qualified than me to do so. I have to admit, I see some issues. That flea swarm, as fun as it sounds, has some issues. Immune to all damage? Oh boy. That’s going to get you into trouble. You have to think your monster through, not just for the challenges it will likely face but how it can be exploited or cause problems. A CR 5 rat that has a flea swarm of invincible fleas is just bad design.

You made some real bold and solid design choices here. I don’t like the high CR, but some of the other stuff here was cool, even the aberration choice. The implementation of the fleas, though, is as problem. I wish I could tack some of your stuff onto the other Churjiir that I liked.

Final Thoughts
Joshua, I liked the flavor of the locket, but I wasn’t bowled over by your Astrumal. However, I think you are hitting the right notes (other than the CR) with this guy. I think this is a pretty good version of the Churjiir. I’m not sure if that is enough to make the cut, given that I think there is one other version that is better that I did recommend.

Josh, I just feel this one doesn't do enough and that there are 8 other better entries. Man, you made this tough on me, though. I'm sorry I can't give you a recommend. Thus, I DO NOT RECOMMEND this for Top 8.

Paizo Employee Lead Designer

This one is the rat emperor! All bow before his rat-iness.

Moving on, the statistics here look pretty solid. He is on target for his CR for the most part and his abilities are mostly a good extrapolation of the concept. That said, I gotta side with Wes here. The flea swarm is confusing at best and outright illogical at worst. To top it off, all it seems to do is make folks sickened. If this was the effect, I think it would have been more appropriate just to surround it with an area of fleas that makes folks sickened. Easier to use and a lot more clear.

The next issue for me is the disease. Determining random spell slots to lose at the result of a disease is an innovative way to deal with the rat's theme. That said, I think it is kind of a pain to implement. There is no good system for randomly determining spell slots. To top it off, the disease to not really progress. It just stays at the listed number of slots lost. It would have been better and easier to implement if it started at the lowest level slots and slowly ate its way up the food chain to the high level slots. Perhaps as slowly as 1 per day. It still would have been a terror for spellcasters and it would have been a lot easier to implement.

I am on the fence about the necrotic wound element. It is all good until I get to the repeating nonlethal damage bit. It could be very deadly to a group without healing (I know that is a rarity, but it does happen).

Overall, I think this monster works well with the theme, for the most part.

I give this monster a B.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

Contributor

Wow, that Perception is high. The math is legit (7 ranks max + 3 class skill bonus + 3 Wisdom + 2 Alertness +2 racial) but it seems excessive for a CR 5 monster--you'd have to be a Stealth-maxed Small rogue 5 to have even odds of sneaking past it. It probably doesn't need the racial modifiers *and* Alertness; one or the other would do.

It's always weird for me to see a creature with darkvision that has the Blind-Fight feat--the only times they'd use the feat are if they're fighting a gaze attack monster or if they're in magical darkness.

Spell blight disease: ouch, 1d4 random spell slots! That ouch isn't so much for the loss of the spell slots, it's me as a GM feeling the pain of having to create a system of randomly determining how many spell slots are lost (because you can't just roll once to see what spell level is affected, as you don't have the same number of spell slots at each level).

Organization: It pleases me to see the minion creatures listed here!

Rat Paramount: I can't stop my brain from reading this as "rat paramour"--appropriate, but jarring.

Necrotic Wound: I don't like references to modern terms like "bacteria" in monster writeups. Also, using that term implies this is a disease, and therefore needs a DC or at least a mention that disease-immune creatures don't take this necrotic damage. Also, you heal 1 point of nonlethal damage per hour per character level, so the continuing damage of this effect doesn't really do anything.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka Draconas

Thanks for the feedback, illustrious judges.

It seems we have a swarm of rats on our hands this year but there can only be one Lord of the Rodents. So give my Churjiir a vote so he can begin the absorbtion of his fellow churjiirs' Quickenings. Though that begs the question... does he have to take both heads for it to work?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The fourth two headed rat I’ve looked at in the last hour.

I’m not sure this is my favourite one, but I think you’ve generally made fairly appropriate and solid choices. Design overall looks good, I’m not sure about the flea swarm though – maybe if you were going this route it would have been better to use the standard swarm rules for them? Like, they act exactly as a spider swarm, but lack poison (may or may not be under the rat emperor’s control). But hey, I’m not a Superstar, I could well be wrong!

Good luck moving forward.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

Hello Joshua,

I feel like I should offer the secret rat kingdom handshake. It is really cool seeing someone else's take on the creature I did. I would love to discuss you design decisions once this is over but now I feel like commenting on your entry might be viewed as expanding on mine.

Good luck, hopefully there will be at least two rat kings advancing to next round!

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

A lot of my problems with this monster have already been mentioned, so forgive me if I sound redundant. The fact that the flea swarm cannot be damaged is preposterous--no fireballs, gusts of wind or standard anti-swarm tactics? I don't like that the bite necrotizes 1d4 rounds after the victim is bitten. What good is the delay? Is someone going to heal naturally in the 1d4 rounds between the bite and the effect?

Of all the churjiirs, this one seems the most balanced to the original entry; both the necrotizing saliva and the mental powers are there. But this one doesn't sing to me. The necrotizing bite isn't very well designed, and the flavor text is pretty much all description, instead of ecology, society and place in a campaign. This monster will probably not be getting my vote.


Oy! Four people did the same creature, so unfortunately for you (and the other 3 contestants), all of you will be compared and contrasted more closely than the other submissions. Fair? Who knows, but it is what it is. That said, I immediately skipped other entries to read the four Churjiirs first.

Compared to the original concept:

Creature type: Aberration? Originally I saw this as a magical beast, but consider my opinion changed. Aberration works.

Creature size: correct. 2 yards in length.

Abilities:

…..The good:

1) You limited the claws to 2 attacks, despite it having 6 legs. Not only do I feel this was appropriate for the level, but I for one was not certain how many claw attacks the original concept suggested.
2) Of all the churjiirs, this one’s stat block best captured it’s “cruel and calculating intellect”. 18 intelligence was the correct choice, in my opinion.
3) Detect Thought and Modify Memory are perfect choices for the churjiir’s ability to “scavenge through a nearby creature’s mind, feeding on and devouring thoughts, tainting the creature’s recollection, and often excreting diseased and foul memories in their place.”
4) “Churjiirs are adept at remaining unseen” = +17 stealth.
5) “Gnaws through barriers” = burrow.
6) mentally communicate at a distance = telepathy

…..The bad:

1) I don’t like the addition of a climb and swim speed. It wasn’t in the original concept, and this creature doesn’t need 4 movement modes.

…..The So-So:

1) Rat Paramount: I don’t feel this captured the churjiir’s ability to “mentally control” other rat creatures. Additionally, I’m not fond of “always on”, automatic abilities of this nature. This has serious consequences for Wizards or Arcane Sorcerers with rat familiars, or Rangers with dire rat companions. I would say the familiar or companion counts as a “rodent-like creature.” You should make the churjiir use a standard action. You are already hurting spellcasters with this creature, no need to give it a free beat-down on the poor guys.

2) Spell Blight: While I’m happy that you included this ability, I’ll agree and disagree with previous posters. Losing random spell slots is a bad idea for two reasons. a) Losing random spell slots would be a chore to track. However, where one poster stated that the disease should progress, eating the lowest spell slots first before moving to a higher level, I think the opposite makes more logical sense. As diseases progress, the infected start out with the inability to function at their highest performance level. Over time, they become sicker, until even the most basic functions are difficult. Which brings me to my second point. b) You’ve already replicated this spell loss by the reduction of 1 caster level per day. The loss of random spell slots are not needed.

3) Necrotic Wound: I’m going to agree that there is no reason to have a 1-4 round onset. I’m also not sure that the nonlethal damage is the best way to handle this.

Compared to other creatures of the same CR:

For this section, I'll try and choose a variety of same CR creatures.

Senses: you gave it darkvision 60ft., perception +17
…..Dire Lion (large animal): low-light vision, scent, perception +11
…..Worg, Winter Wolf (large magical beast): darkvision 60, low-light vision, scent, perception +11
…..nightmare (large outsider): darkvision 60 ft., perception +12
…..gibbering mouther (medium aberration): all-around vision, darkvision 60ft., Perception +12

Conparison: on the low side of average

Hit Points: you gave it 52
…..Dire Lion (large animal): 60
…..Worg, Winter Wolf (large magical beast): 57
…..nightmare (large outsider): 51
…..gibbering mouther (medium aberration): 46

Conparison: within the acceptable range

AC: you gave it 19
…..Dire Lion (large animal): 15
…..Worg, Winter Wolf (large magical beast): 17
…..nightmare (large outsider): 19
…..gibbering mouther (medium aberration): 19

Conparison: on the high side of average

Damage reduction/immunities: you gave it none
…..Dire Lion (large animal): none
…..Worg, Winter Wolf (large magical beast): immune- cold (vulnerable- fire)
…..nightmare (large outsider): none
…..gibbering mouther (medium aberration): amorphous, DR 5/bludgeoning, immune-critical hits, precision damage

Conparison: Your churjiir is right on target. (gibbering mouther has negatives that make up for it’s defenses)

Speed: you gave it 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.
…..Dire Lion (large animal): 40 ft.
…..Worg, Winter Wolf (large magical beast): 30 ft.
…..nightmare (large outsider): 40ft., fly 90ft (good)
…..gibbering mouther (medium aberration): 10ft., swim 20ft.

Conparison: You are above the average here.

Attack Bonus: you gave it +6, +6, +6, +6
…..Dire Lion (large animal): +12, +13, +13
…..Worg, Winter Wolf (large magical beast): +10
…..nightmare (large outsider): +9, +4, +4
…..gibbering mouther (medium aberration): +7

Conparison: the attack bonuses start to get very diverse at this CR. I think you are within the acceptable range.

Max possible Damage/Round: you gave it 24
…..Dire Lion (large animal): 41
…..Worg, Winter Wolf (large magical beast): 36 ( breath weapon, reflex half)
…..nightmare (large outsider): 32
…..gibbering mouther (medium aberration): 24 (+ 2 con)

Conparison: you are below the average.

Spell like abilities: you gave it 2 at CL 10
…..Dire Lion (large animal): none
…..Worg, Winter Wolf (large magical beast): none
…..nightmare (large outsider): 1 at CL 6
…..gibbering mouther (medium aberration): none

Conparison: a little high, but acceptable.

Special Abilities/attacks: you gave it disease, flea swarm, necrotic wound, rat paramount, and telepathy
…..Dire Lion (large animal): pounce, rake
…..Worg, Winter Wolf (large magical beast): trip, breath weapon (see above)- reflex DC 17
…..nightmare (large outsider): smoke
…..gibbering mouther (medium aberration): blood drain, engulf, gibbering, ground manipulation, spittle

Conparison: you are on the high side of average.

Conclusion: you have 7 categories where you are on target with other creatures of the same CR, one where you are higher, and one where you are lower. In my humble opinion, as statted, you correctly stated the CR.

The Vote: In my opinion, when this submission is compared to the other churjiirs, it came the closest to the original concept. It was also technically/mechanically accurate. Unfortunately, it seems to lack a "wow" factor. I still have more to read, but this MAY get my vote.

Star Voter 2013

Sorry, Ben's got you beat with this monster and you're only competitive with Dennis due to the spell shut down ability mistake he made. For me to give you my vote, I need to spend three votes on two-headed boss rats.

The flea swarm needs a total rewrite: it's not worth the standard action and it violates some common sense in RAW approaches. The pluses are that if a 3rd level party clears out its warren and faces it solo, they've got a real fight on its hands with its perception and defensive feats.

I'll add a new observation. Your organization line was the reason why I went looking for flaws in this creature. It's supposed to be a boss monster for low level parties, yes? But if it's not alone, its average encounter is:

3 churjiir (CR 5s, CR 8, maybe)
7 rat swarms (CR 2s, CR 7 or so)
5 dire rats (CR 1/3s, maybe CR 1)
3 wererats (CR 2s, CR 5)

We're talking an EL 9 or 10 here. And that's way beyond what this monster's niche is. And it's not going to be a good EL 9 or 10, either, as 6th level party's going to be able to wreck it with a fireball. If it's an EL 10, then Wes' observation about walls of fire becomes a commonly encountered problem, given that you've now got 7th level casters in the mix.

A better organization line would have had more options, which would have meant that it would be facing parties it could challenge.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015 aka Epic Meepo

Your numbers seem pretty solid, and the spell-like abilities are about what I envisioned when I saw the churjiir in Round 2.

However, you stepped on two big landmines in executing the churjiir's special abilities, as pointed out by many other posters. You can't just talk about randomly selected spell slots without explaining how they're randomly selected. And a flea swarm that is inexplicably immune to damage is just not very well thought out.

There's pretty much no salvaging this stat block after those two missteps. I'm going to have to pass on the two-headed rat emperor.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

I like it but I don't love it. I suppose most of my comments have been stated before, but I think that aside from the flea swarm I enjoyed all of its special abilities. I also don't see any real problem with the random spell slot loss. You don't need a SYSTEM for it. Find out how many spells the PC has and roll a die of the appropriate size. Maybe this was back from my 1st Ed days when we would use two dice together to get a number; say you need to get a number from 1-30

roll a d10
roll a d6. If you get 3-4, add 10 to the d10. If you get 5-6, add 20 to the d10.

Bingo bango, instant d30. If the wizard has 27 spell slots, you roll it like that; if you get a 28-30, just reroll.

That said, I will agree that there are good design reasons to make it more systematized and less random.

Overall, this rat is not quite as good as two others (and I have one more yet to go), so I don't think it's quite there for a vote.

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

I felt this one stayed truest to the original churjiir in round 2 and made the interesting choice of using the disease to remove a spellcaster's spell slots. I also liked "rat paramount" name the best for the "control rats" ability.

I wish you luck in this round!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka JoelF847

I'm behind on R3, so I'll be brief. With 4 versions of this monster, I have to say that yours is average. There's not a lot that makes yours stand out from the rest. The collection of powers and SLAs do follow the R2 template, but don't make them gel together and make a cohesive internal logic for why the monster has these powers.

In addition, I thought that for a CR5 creature, it's special abilities are pretty weak. The flea swarm is 1/day, and only makes 1 creature a round sickened, the dissease is somewhat innovative, but with a 1 day onset (like most disseases) it doesn't actually effect the combat at all, the necrotic wounds also isn't too big a deal - it's delayed, and also the no natural healing isn't a big deal - most adventurers have magic healing - spellcasters, potions, etc. Something closer to infernal or cursed wounds that need a DC check to heal would have worked better I think. In addition, I have to echo that the flea swarm is poorly defined - if it can't be damaged, then it's more like a spell effect, not a creature like a swarm.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka JoelF847

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
It's always weird for me to see a creature with darkvision that has the Blind-Fight feat--the only times they'd use the feat are if they're fighting a gaze attack monster or if they're in magical darkness.

It's also useful against blur, invisibility, etc. even if you have darkvision.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16 aka tejón

Most of what I have to say has already been said, and repeated. But even if there were no other churjiirs begging for cross-comparison, and even if you'd closed the mechanical issues laid out above, I think this one would have lost me for one reason: it has very little actual control over other rodents! (Ironic, considering that it's the one called "emperor.") Charm monster, that's all? And immune for a day on a successful save? Sure, it can assemble a court, but they're just admirers; a crew of lackeys who, by their own natures, aren't likely to put their necks on the line when stuff gets nasty. They should be bonded vassals! Minions! Puppets! Phooey.


The maths on the stat block being otherwise pretty tight, I compared this version of the churjiir to a bearded devil (CR 5) to see how it measured up in terms of CR. The churjiir unfortunately seemed to fall short in terms of damage output, as compared to a bearded devil. The only question I have as to possibly bringing the CR of the churjiir up to where it should be is as to how the churjiir's Disease and Necrotic Wound abilities stack up compared to the bearded devil's Beard and Infernal Wound abilities. If the churjiir's abilities can be considered as nasty or nastier than those of the bearded devil, then the CR could be considered acurate. I find the Necrotic Wound ability of the churjiir difficult to fully understand however - I am not sure if remove disease is required to eliminate Necrotic Wounds, or if any old cure spell or potion equivalent will deal with all such wounds from which a victim may be suffering.

The description leaves much to be desired, failing to explain combat tactics, why the creature has detect thoughts and modify memory (and indeed what it does with them) or what its goals and the extent of its ambitions are beyond a somewhat vague reference that it aspires to 'reign luxuriously, served by subjugated minions'.

My principle concern of the Round 2 version of this creature was something to the effect of 'why aren't these things running the world?' From the description of this version I'm not really sure what its aims are, or how it intends to achieve them. To be fair, from what description there is, I wouldn't be concerned without pre-conceptions from a prior version that this was a major threat in the mind-control department. So I suppose you can be regarded as dealing with the issue by not indicating things that could be problematic...

My overall impression of this entry is of a valiant attempt to stat a creature up which ran out of words. My guess is that the multiple separate abilities left rather a hole in the word count, and some things never ended up being covered. For what it's worth the maths at least is tight, although at least one of the abilities could have done with better explanation.

Thank-you for submitting this entry.


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

Straight-forward entry, interesting special abilities.
Only stat errors I see are the DCs of the first three abilities should be 16 I believe. They should list what stat the DCs are based on as well.

Good luck Joshua!


Update:
As Catmandrake has pointed out on other thread, creatures with natural climb and swim speeds get bonuses to the respective skills.
This has not been represented in this entry's stat block.


Commiserations.

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

Hey Joshua,

Thanks for doing the Churjiir, it made my day to see so many versions of the critter floating around. I did like that you put in the abilities such as spellblight and necrotic wounds and went for interesting rules for them. I probably wouldn't have gone for a disease for spellblight, just because people harvest it from the Churjiir's corpse and abuse it, but I did like the idea of eating spell slots, a good way to handle it. Good luck in the future for RPG Superstar!

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