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Hoarfrost Throat-Tearer, Shapeshifting Huntsman


Round 3 - Top 16: Create a villain stat block

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka primemover003

Hoarfrost Throat-Tearer, Shapeshifting Huntsman
Portrait: 11
Description: Fierce bloodshot eyes leer out from the ghostly painted face of Hoarfrost Throat-Tearer, a feral half-orc whose clawed fingers and overdeveloped tusks scream, "I am a predator!"
Motivations/Goals: Hoarfrost commands a warband of rage worgs (NPC Guide 39) that join him in pillaging Irrisen's borders slaking their bloodthirst by hunting the greatest of prey: Adventurers! This Huntsman gleefully makes trophies of heroes.
Schemes/Plots/Adventure Hooks: Hoarfrost lures adventurers into the wilds by raiding frontier hamlets and thorps taking children and maidens hostage. Baiting pursuers into his prepared hunting grounds, the shapeshifter stalks them learning their tactics before striking. It's rumored the huntsman keeps treasures looted from slain adventurers in a yurt made of Storval auroch hide deep in the Hoarwood Forest.

Hoarfrost Throat-Tearer CR 7
Male half-orc barbarian 2, ranger (shapeshifter, APG 126) 6
CE Medium humanoid (orc, shapeshifter)
Init+6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +12
===== Defense =====
AC 17, touch 10, flat-footed 15; (+5 armor, +2 Dex, +2 natural, -2 rage)
hp 78 (2d12+6d10+32)
Fort +13, Ref +8, Will +6
Defensive Abilities shifter's blessing (form of the dragon, 7 rounds/day), uncanny dodge
===== Offense =====
Spd 40 ft.
Melee bite +15 (1d6+7), 2 claws +15 (1d4+7)
Ranged mwk composite longbow +11/+6 (1d8+4/x3)
Special Attacks cause fear (war paint of the terrible visage 1/day, DC 11), favored enemy (human +4, dwarf +2), rage (8 rounds/day), rage powers (scent), rend +1d6
Ranger Spells Prepared (CL 3rd, concentration +4)
1st--feather step, keen senses
===== Tactics =====
Before Combat Hoarfrost paints his face before a hunt with war paint of the terrible visage then casts keen senses and magic fang on his bite and claws before attacking.
During Combat Hoarfrost throws his javelin of lightning at obvious spellcasters then rages wading tooth and nail into melee using bloody assault then power attack. He saves the cause fear effect of the war paint for flanking rogues and throws tanglefoot bags at highly mobile foes.
Morale If reduced to less than 15 hit points or two of his rage worg allies are defeated Hoarfrost breaks off his attack and flees.
Base Statistics When not raging or shapeshifting, Hoarfrost's stats are AC 17, touch 12, flat-footed 15; hp 62; Fort +11, Will +4; Melee bite +12 (1d6+4), 2 claws +12 (1d4+4); Str 18, Con 14; CMB +12, CMD 24; Skills Climb +8
===== Statistics =====
Str 22, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8
Base Atk +8; CMB +14; CMD 24
Feats Aspect of the Beast(B), Bloody Assault, Endurance(B), Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Rending Claws(B), Rugged Northerner (see below)
Skills Acrobatics +10, Climb +10, Heal +10, Intimidate +10, Knowledge (geography) +4, Knowledge (nature) +9, Linguistics +1, Perception +10, Stealth +10, Survival +10
Languages Common, hallit, orc
SQ fast movement, hunter's bond (companions), intimidating, orc blood, toothy, track +3, weapon familiarity, wild empathy +5
Combat Gear javelin of lightning, potions of cure light wounds (3), potion of enlarge person, tanglefoot bags (2); Other Gear bear traps (5), bloodblock (2), cloak of resistance +1, dog sled, dust of tracelessness, masterwork composite longbow (+4 Str) with 20 arrows, +1 chain shirt, wand of magic fang (25 charges), war paint of the terrible visage (3), 44gp, 50gp in jewelry.
===== Special Abilities =====
Feats Hoarfrost has the Rugged Northerner feat. He treats extreme cold conditions as severe cold, and severe cold as cold weather conditions. Hoarfrost is not impacted at all by normal cold weather conditions. In addition, he does not become fatigued by frostbite or hypothermia. See page 288 of the Inner Sea World Guide.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Okay, Scott. Welcome to the round of the Top 16. The competition gets pretty fierce in ever-escalating intensity from here on out. And that's no different in how the judges review your stuff. So I'm going to dive under the hood a little and mark through this thing like I'd do if I were an editor. My comments are mostly going to come instream as I review things. And I'll spoiler them for length:

Spoiler:

First, let's talk about your choice of villain. You're going for a chilling half-orc shapeshifter in the wilds of Irrisen, which is already a pretty villainous nation to begin with. So, you're giving us a potential ally of Baba Yaga. He takes children and maidens hostage to lure adventurers to their deaths. He makes trophies of their brutalized bodies. And he commands a pack of rage worg minions. These are all good choices. And I think this is a plausible villain.

Now, I'll also say that I'm not a big fan of the descriptive text. I'd rather the villain's claws and overdeveloped tusks not scream "I'm a predator!" and have you demonstrate it instead. In professional writing, this is sometimes referred to as "telling" rather than "showing." You would have been better off just to say the clawed fingers and overdeveloped tusks marked him as an upright animal and predator more than a half-orc or a man. And that would have avoided the campy quote. And I thought the way you described the motivation came off more overdramatic than inspiring or evocative. So, I still think you need to work on this area.

Next, let's take a look at the stat-block. First off, I notice you've left out "human" from among his subtypes. He should actually have three...(human, orc, shapechanger). After that, it looks like your Perception in the Senses line is out of sync with the listed value under the Skills section. Your AC and saves are appropriate in his form of the dragon shapeshift, but it looks like your hit points are miscalculated. Even if I don't add anything for favored class of ranger, it still seems off. In addition, your shifter's blessing ability should probably appear under Special Qualities rather than Defensive Abilities despite increasing his natural armor. And, the Defensive Abilities should include his orc ferocity ability. Looks like you got all your Offense stuff right, except the cause fear ability from his war paint of the terrible visage doesn't need to be referenced as a Special Attack. By citing it under your Before Combat tactics, it's implied that it's available for him to use and that's sufficient for calling it out to the reader's attention.

Speaking of the Tactics section, I think you've done a good job here. Very appropriate use of spells and magic items to prepare himself for combat and a day of hunting. The in-combat tactics seem sound and varied, making use of his abilities and resources in a reasonable manner. I'm a little surprised by the choice of a javelin of lightning as I thought this could be a good place to give him a weapon more in line with the witches of Irrisen which favor cold-based effects over electricity. You got all the Base Statistics information correct, which is impressive for the amount of things a barbarian's rage effects can change. Well done! That's good attention to detail.

I double-checked all stats for the ability scores, level increases, feat selections and skill points. You're good on everything except the skills. By my count, you've still got 6 unspent skill points. Also, you should capitalize the languages he knows. And I'm not sure "intimidating" needs to be added to his Special Qualities. Everything else is pretty solid, but I'm still bothered by some of the mis-steps in presentation here.

I also did a quick check on your Gear selections vs. the expected wealth of a CR 7 creature and you're mostly fine. I like a lot of the choices you made to enhance his natural attacks. And it's good to see a lot of this gear apply to his tactics and dovetail with his goals and schemes.

For the purposes of this round, I'm going to assess each villain according to concept, evocative description/flavor, appropriateness of the applied archetype, interesting/villainous tactics, and mechanical execution of the stat-block. So, here's how I'd rank this one:

Spoiler:

Villain Concept: Excellent
Flavor Text: Poor
Appropriate Archetype: Excellent
Interesting Tactics: Good
Stat-Block Execution: Poor

FINAL RECOMMENDATION: With a good core idea, you've elevated the use of this archetype, but your mis-steps on many of the technical aspects of stat-blocking and campy descriptive text worries me. So, I'm not fully recommending for or against this villain to advance to the next round. I'll leave it in the hands of the voters to determine if you're worthy of the Top 8. Best of luck.

Dark Archive Contributor

Congratulations on reaching Round Three. My job is to comment on your character concept, not the rules. Also, I’ll leave typos and low-level writing issues to the mercies of the other judges.
I’m hoping to see villains with a compelling motivation and clear goal. I’ll try to point out both strengths and weaknesses before making a simple yes/no recommendation. Good luck in the voting!

I love the name, and the description is serviceable if spare and archetypical.

Unfortunately, the motivation/goals tell us mostly what he does, not so much why. That he takes trophies is a nice detail, but it’s a shame it isn’t developed into something more specific or unique—like arranging those trophies in surprising locations through the woods, or something else frightening or weird.

The hooks are bare-bones as well. Apart from the name, I’m afraid this guy doesn’t impress me as a round character.

You have been weighed and measured:
I vote not to advance this one.

Contributor

Your introductory text is very enthusiastic, but it's missing some commas.

The subtype you want is "shapechanger," not "shapeshifter."

The Before Combat section is written a little awkwardly... it reads like he casts keen senses on his bite and claws!

Languages and feats are always capitalized.

I like how you planned out his gear and abilities to work together.

Your reiteration of the Rugged Northerner feat is necessary (because it's in the Inner Sea World Guide and thus the reader's don't have it), but you've included some redundant text--it's already listed in the Feats line, so you don't need to say "Hoarfrost has the Rugged Northerner feat."

I think if you had been more efficient with your word count (like not multiclassing him as a barbarian), you could have given more details on this guy's obsession with "the most dangerous game."

CEO, Goblinworks

Summary: 3 Points
Recommendation: Recommended for advancement

Scott my approach to this round was as a brand manager. I'll leave the detailed mechanical analysis to the others. If I were in charge of the product this villain would appear in, I'd be thinking the following:

Did you follow the instructions?

You picked a scary orc-thing and gave us a scary orc-thing. Excellent.

1 Point

Is this villain memorable and will it add value to my IP?

This is one of those NPCs that the PCs won't be able to ignore or negotiate with. He has no redemption potential and his past deeds are so vile that only death is the acceptable resolution.

Would I make this guy a recurring NPC? Could he survive an encounter with the party to return later, stronger and even more vicious? Maybe, although most players I know would be loath to allow him to escape if it was within their means to kill him.

Ah but the name. The name.

"Hoarfrost" is frozen dew. Doesn't sound all that menacing does it. And you know boys will be boys, and this guy is going to generate endless "whore" jokes. I'm probably going to want to change the name before publication.

I'm giving you a half point because the villain is credibly badass but the name is a problem.

.5 Points

Does the villain's concept make sense within the IP?

He's a half-orc barbarian shapeshifting ranger rage worg wrangler at the frontiers of civilization who enjoys killing adventurers. Yeah, that works for me.

1 Point

What's the twist? (All great villains have a surprise within them)

The first twist is probably the phat loot. Whack some adventurers and you're going to accumulate valuable stuff. Of course you'll have to find this mythical yurt to recover it and that may prove harder than it sounds.

The second twist I guess is Baba Yaga. Bring that old bird into the story at some point and this could be a stepping stone to Epic Level adventuring.

None of this is actually spelled out in your submission though - it's all just potential for GMs who do some thinking about the implications of the character. You get some, but not full credit.

.5 Points

Paizo Employee Developer

Hey Scott! Congrats on making it into the top 16. I'm approaching all of this round's entries with a developer's eye, as the man who will ultimately be developing the winner's Module and the top 4 contestants' Pathfinder Society Scenarios. So let's assume you're one of those four designers and this is a villain you base your adventure around. What's my reaction when this comes in as your idea for a villain for your big adventure?

From the onset, I'm turned off by the name. "Hoar" is a fairly overused term for frost or cold, and while we have several locations in the campaign setting using the term, we don't need more. Also, immature gamers snicker when they hear it read aloud at the table, and nothing kills a villain's mojo more than the players not taking him seriously once they hear his name.

I like the concept here, but your presentation doesn't sound like you're taking the assignment seriously. It's a little too campy and meta, and it screams "I'm having fun with this but maybe not completely professional." It makes me wary of upwards of 10,000 words more from you, as the idea of cutting out a lot of exclamation points and adding in missing commas is giving me panic attacks.

As a nit-picky continuity fiend, I wonder how Storval aurochs get across the Mindspin Mountains from Varisia.

In the statblock, you've got some uncapitalized feats in the tactics section, and I believe you're missing an "if" before his two worg companions are killed. I appreciate that you've included explanation of his non-core feat, so you get points for that.

If this came to me as the basis for an adventure I'd have to get into publishable shape, I'd feel fairly confident in the content, both thematically and mathematically, but would probably start slotting out an extra few days of work rewriting some of the campier prose, which can take longer than I generally have to get an adventure up to snuff.

Final verdict: I DO NOT recommend this villain for advancement to the next round. Best of luck in the vote!

Paizo Employee Designer

Howdy. I’m Stephen, and I will be one of your guest judges for this round of RPG Superstar. I’m looking at the stat block purely based on what I consider fun or interesting to run. I have a little experience with that. That means the villain should be evocative, clear, effective, and big extra credit points go for interesting. There’re a lot of good villains out there, yours needs to stand out is some way.

I like the idea of this guy—savage beast that lives in the hill slowly stalking its game, waiting for the right time to strike. The problem is that I don’t know how effective he is. The rage worgs help. I think the cause fear from the war paint is a good add, but the DC seems too low to be truly effective. And his reliance on magic item seems out of place given the savageness of his condition. I want this guy to hunt with his wolves, not chuck javelins of lightning and tanglefoot bags.

It’s an evocative idea hindered by a scattered application of the stat block and the flavor text.

I do not recommend for advancement. Good luck in the voting, Scott.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

While it has a few issues, I find them fairly minor compared with the outright fun a DM could have with this guy. I want him to hunt my Kingmaker PCs as they explore the wild frontier.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

This one loses my vote mainly from the name and the descriptive text, for the most. I freely admit I'm looking for long-term villains, not encounters. This one has a bit of a hook (kidnapping people), but I feel like that leads right to track him down, kill him, rather than a longer term story.

Also, I'm afraid that even though I just complemented an entry for doing what's expect, in the case of a half-orc, barbarian's a downer for me, particularly when he's already next door to the barbarian-rich Linnorm kings. I'd like to see him as a pure ranger to really focus on the hunter.

For positives: the stat block is well executed, particularly the detailed tactics. A good tactics entry reveals a little bit about the foe's personality, yours gets some points there.

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

Yeah, I have to say I was turned off by the "I'm a predator!" quote. It was campy. Camp is not a good thing, especially when it comes to savage shapechanging orc warriors. I really like shapeshifting rangers, and the tactics are pretty good, but the flavor text leaves me cold. No pun intended.

I don't know if I'm going to vote for this entry. At this rate, I suspect not.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013

The Camp threw me off a bit too. I don't mind Campy, (I started a thread on Power Rangers after all) but I don't think it works here.

He's an orc barbaraian, it just doesn't scream superstar to me.

Sorry Scott, I don't feel there's enough bedvrock to get my vote here.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

Ahh, my headshot nemesis, we meet at last (seriously, this is the last entry I have to read). I was rather hoping no one else would choose artwork so obviously villainous and go for more thematic stuff. I can't really fault you for having good taste though.

This has a lot of potential, but as other have stated, it comes off as a little rushed or campy. It pretty hard to do this guy without barbarian, and i like how you emphasized his bestial qualities. I'll have to agree that his tactics are a little too reliant on gear, as I would imagine him to love the sensation of blood dripping from his chin and torn flesh beneath his claws.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka primemover003

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Keep it coming and I will gladly answer any questions or concerns when the dust has settled and our villains have won or lost the minds of the voters.

--Vrock the Vote

Nick I said there'd be at least 3 pictures duplicated, but who knew there'd be 2 archetypes and 2 races as well!

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

The best thing about this guy is that he's an in your face villain. He's not hiding behind a veil of respectability, or pretending to be a noble/merchant/whatever. He's an evil bastard and proud of it, and that's refreshingly cool.


Why does he hunt adventurers?

Comes off as simply bloodthirsty. I think he needs some backstory. Villains need a reason to be villainous.

I don't think I'll be voting for this one, but good luck.

Scarab Sages

Really really bad descriptive text.

"I'm a predator!"

oi.

This makes me seriously wonder if you are capable of writing a full-length module.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

I have a number of concerns, but still, if this ends up in my lower range of entries for this round, that's a remarkable advance on earlier years.


I don't feel there's anything bad about this villian, but when I'm looking for entries to vote for I'm looking for motivations and schemes that stand out and grab me. This one does not.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka surfbored

Scott Fernandez wrote:

Hoarfrost Throat-Tearer, Shapeshifting Huntsman

Some complained about the name, but "Hoarfrost" didn't really bother me, perhaps because I didn't consider its true meaning. On the other hand, "Throat-Tearer" felt a little cartoony to me. It's nearly scary, but not quite.

Scott Fernandez wrote:

Description: Fierce bloodshot eyes leer out from the ghostly painted face of Hoarfrost Throat-Tearer, a feral half-orc whose clawed fingers and overdeveloped tusks scream, "I am a predator!"

As mentioned by others, this needs a rewrite. It starts off great, then crashes terribly.

Scott Fernandez wrote:

Motivations/Goals: Hoarfrost commands a warband of rage worgs (NPC Guide 39) that join him in pillaging Irrisen's borders slaking their bloodthirst by hunting the greatest of prey: Adventurers! This Huntsman gleefully makes trophies of heroes.

Another exclamation point? Pry this key off of your keyboard. The rest is workable because sometimes all you need is a good killer for your PCs to hunt down and take out. Hoarfrost is just that guy - obviously evil and a challenging combatant. +1

Scott Fernandez wrote:

Schemes/Plots/Adventure Hooks: Hoarfrost lures adventurers into the wilds by raiding frontier hamlets and thorps taking children and maidens hostage. Baiting pursuers into his prepared hunting grounds, the shapeshifter stalks them learning their tactics before striking. It's rumored the huntsman keeps treasures looted from slain adventurers in a yurt made of Storval auroch hide deep in the Hoarwood Forest.

Points for using "thorp" and "hamlet" instead of village. "Yurt" gets points too. Gaming should be educational, let's teach the kids some vocabulary while they have fun. This paragraph reads a lot better than your previous two.

Scott Fernandez wrote:
[STAT BLOCK]

As long as it's close and well written, that's all I need in a stat block. For me the important part is "Tactics" and you delivered by telling me all I needed to know. In addition, you made a complex build that was easy to understand. +1

A villain with simple motivations that suffered from some writing quirks

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

As a PC, I'd love to be opposed by this guy, especially if you were running him. But he's easy. Really easy. There's something to be said for enthusiasm, and for bringing the love to a tried and true idea, but this simply does not meet the minimum level of inventiveness which I expect from this contest.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka Steven T. Helt

I think the schitck where he lures heroes into the woods to ambush and eat them gives him more depth that the usual orc barbarian. I'll give you credit for coming up with a villain that I could challenge my players with without having to do all your work for you.

The descritive text is awful - you have certainly learned that lesson by now, but if part of you wants everyone to lighten up, then reread the comments above. No one wants that kind of language in published material. Like a song with a bad change in rhythm, do disrupt how scary or dramatic your villains' presentation is when you switch moods like that, and suddenly no one is paying attention anymore.

A few impotant stat block mistakes, but a better actual villain concpet than most in this round. You might get by, but if you do, rmember to keep your villainy serious and triple-check your stat work from the ground up every time.


You got one of my votes

I'm not a fan of your descritpion, but this guy is certainly a villian, and I would have no problem finding a reason for him to come into conflict with the PCs. If they don't come after him, he may come after them.


Scott Fernandez wrote:

Hoarfrost Throat-Tearer, Shapeshifting Huntsman

Description: Fierce bloodshot eyes leer out from the ghostly painted face of Hoarfrost Throat-Tearer, a feral half-orc whose clawed fingers and overdeveloped tusks scream, "I am a predator!"
Motivations/Goals: Hoarfrost commands a warband of rage worgs (NPC Guide 39) that join him in pillaging Irrisen's borders slaking their bloodthirst by hunting the greatest of prey: Adventurers! This Huntsman gleefully makes trophies of heroes.
Schemes/Plots/Adventure Hooks: Hoarfrost lures adventurers into the wilds by raiding frontier hamlets and thorps taking children and maidens hostage. Baiting pursuers into his prepared hunting grounds, the shapeshifter stalks them learning their tactics before striking. It's rumored the huntsman keeps treasures looted from slain adventurers in a yurt made of Storval auroch hide deep in the Hoarwood Forest....

Disclaimer:

You should know the drill by now, but in case you (somehow) missed it so far, Ask A RPGSupersuccubus is posting from the point of view of a (very advanced) CE aligned succubus:
Spoiler:
Fairness means both the mortals falling off the plank into the lava at the same time, balance is something a succubus weighs herself on against a sack full of bloody archon feathers to check that she hasn’t been overindulging this month, and logic means that it’s never the succubus at fault – always the incompetent idiot of a second-rate hairdresser who is incapable of living up to a succubus’ expectations. Oh: And always remember it’s a succubus’ privilege to change her mind without any warning…
;)

If a sister succubus seduces this villain or a key henchman and things take their course… Well is this villain likely to be good around a young alu-fiend?
On the positive side, I'm reading that a sort of pack mentality exists within this group, so I would expect a fierce (and violent) protectiveness to extend to anyone perceived to be a member.
On the negative side, they live out in the wilds, miles from anything remotely resembling a decent grocer, and unless there's a very good druid attached to the group it's going to consequently be a bit difficult to come by exotic foodstuffs such as pineapples or cocoa beans.
I also have some concerns over which side of which border they raid? This is important - the survival prospects of a group which persistently annoy a bunch of very powerful witches and their winter-wolf minions or attack lands inhabited by berserker warriors are somewhat different from those of a group which picks on a bunch of tribesmen of one stripe or another. (Although crossing the Shoanti actually probably isn't that good an idea either, come to think of it...)

Should a succubus tip off any organisations as to the identity, location, and/or activities of this person?
Who are their enemies? If they're picking on the winter-witches or the ulfen, I figure that they're not going to last long anyway, so tipping off the appropriate local rulers for a profit or promise of a future favour isn't going to make much difference to this band's prospects of a prolonged existence. If they're raiding Shoanti-free parts of Varisia or the Realm of the Mammoth Lords, I'm much more inclined to leave them to get on with their fun.

How much money would I lend this person?
I do not make a habit of lending feral half-orcs money, and oddly enough I doubt that Hoarfrost would be that interested in borrowing any either.

Other comments? (including fruitcake rating where appropriate)
The fact that Hoarfrost considers 'adventurers' to be the greatest of prey, suggests a certain charming naivete on the part of the half-orc. Ah well. Maybe if he lives long enough he'll learn otherwise...

Rating on the Gulga-Bracht supersuccubus scale of villainy:
4 (leader of a minor organisation or equivalent)

Further Disclaimer:
Ask A RPGSupersuccubus (still with half an eye on Lord Orcus) would once again like to clarify that mortal voters should probably rely on more than just her own (impeccable) assessments in making up their minds on how to vote. Thank You.


If there were ever a villian who's sack I wanted to kick up into his throat, this would be he.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Standback

Scott,

Best of luck with your villain entry! Here's my thoughts, written before I've read anybody else's.

Concept: Self-congratulatingly clever, to my tastes. This is like the killer who stages an impossible murder to tempt the detective into his clutches. Too genre-aware, and doesn't actually make sense - why does a predator care if he kills regular people, hunters, fighters, or "adventurers"? How does he even distinguish between them?

Plot Hooks: Gets the PCs there, I guess. But this doesn't feel like much of a plot - it's luring the PCs into a single battle. Which they're presumably looking for. I don't see this villain as having any presence beyond one single fight scene.

Mechanics: The combat tactics here doesn't seem to match Hoarfrost's description as "learning their tactics" or "baiting pursuers." There's also little mention of his rage worgs, whom I assume would come into play, or at least should be addressed.

Use of Archetype: Weak, in my eyes. Makes him look a bit scary, but this character could just as easily have not been a shapeshifter archetype. Indeed, favored terrain seems a lot more significant to such a character concept than the +2 AC he gets from form of the dragon. I don't feel you've made much of your archetype concept - though thematically, shapeshifting to imply ferocity and a feral nature does make sense.

Use of Portrait: Fits very very well :)

All in all, I'm afraid I really didn't enjoy this entry. I felt the initial description was overly campy, and I didn't feel like the concept brought anything new or interesting to the table. I'm sure you tried to make your villain stand out; I think you were trying to do that by using the (cool) shapeshifter archetype, and by the (clever) motivation of genre-ambushing adventurers. But my reaction was that the shapeshifter archetype didn't affect the concept enough to make it cool, and that the ambushing was artificial and unenticing. I'm sorry for the negative review; I hope others enjoyed your concept more than I did :)

Wishing you lots of luck! :)

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 aka The Leaping Gnome

Sean K. Reynolds wrote:
The subtype you want is "shapechanger," not "shapeshifter."

To be fair, the APG (pg 126, last sentence of the Shifter's Blessing section) says, "While in one of his shifter's blessing forms, the ranger gains the shapeshifter subtype" not shapechanger.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka primemover003

Trevor Merback wrote:
Sean K. Reynolds wrote:
The subtype you want is "shapechanger," not "shapeshifter."
To be fair, the APG (pg 126, last sentence of the Shifter's Blessing section) says, "While in one of his shifter's blessing forms, the ranger gains the shapeshifter subtype" not shapechanger.

Thanks for that Trevor... It seemed like Hoarfrost took a beating here, but he's a tough hombre and mean as a tatzlwyrm in a tanglebriar!

I hit the word count pretty hard with my statblock. Ironically I got panned for writing too much flavor text with the Grave Robber, but not enough here, c'est le vie!

My "campy" description aside I thought Hoarfrost makes a good straight forward Villain whose motivations are really simple, even if his tactics are not. He's an orc that likes luring adventurers into the forest to stalk them, kill them, and by Baba Yaga's hairy mole take back that damned pie!

Looking over his skills I found the ranks were correct, but I misapplied his Dex mod to Climb instead of Str (probably because Acrobatics is Dex for jumping which used to be Str). What may have been overlooked was my Armor Check penalty to Acrobatics, Climb, and Stealth which makes up the rest of that 7 point discrepancy.

What no one caught that I blew was my bite damage. A left over from my first draft with the potion of enlarge person in his Before Combat tactics I didn't drop it back to a d4. That's also why I do not have Orc Ferocity listed, because I swapped it for Toothy (APG). The rest of the style gaffs were just out and out brainfarts.

Even though the statblock was the assignment I realized after I submitted that even I don't read the stats when I see a new monster. I read what they are and what they do first. But unlike many commenters on all the villains I usually strip the flavor text off NPC's and slap mine on to fit the campaign. I only want the engine, not the paint job.

--Vrock Bottom Blues


Disclaimer:
Ask A RPGSupersuccubus is posting from the point of view of a CE aligned (very advanced) succubus; the clarifications of the Abyssal meanings of ‘sorry’ and ‘commiserations’ which she made in the previous round don’t bear repeating here, but the Abyssal definition for ‘sympathy’ has some mileage for repetition, so (once more) in the language of the Abyss ‘sympathy’ is military jargon for a popular model of half a mile high siege-tower with spiked wheels, ballistae and fireball hurling catapults. (By way of explanation for the latter it’s a demonic joke: ‘See, we have sympathy for your situation’.)

Obligatory End of Round 3 Results Post:

Spoiler:
Congratulations on making it to the top 16. Obviously you didn’t get any further otherwise I wouldn’t be making this post. Still: you can now focus on plotting your triumphant return for a future year (if you feel so inclined), have that nervous breakdown which recent events may have made seem *much* more attractive, and/or get on with any other important stuff you’ve been letting go for the past few weeks – E.G. vaporising minions for not scrubbing the scullery floor properly, paying your dressmaker’s bills (important not to let craftsmen skilled with phase-spider silk go out of business) and house-training that paladin of Iomedae you captured a couple of months ago…
And of course there’s still a statistical chance that your villain, even though he failed to see you (personally) through this round, may show up again in this contest…

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka primemover003

Ask A RPGSupersuccubus wrote:

Disclaimer:

Ask A RPGSupersuccubus is posting from the point of view of a CE aligned (very advanced) succubus; the clarifications of the Abyssal meanings of ‘sorry’ and ‘commiserations’ which she made in the previous round don’t bear repeating here, but the Abyssal definition for ‘sympathy’ has some mileage for repetition, so (once more) in the language of the Abyss ‘sympathy’ is military jargon for a popular model of half a mile high siege-tower with spiked wheels, ballistae and fireball hurling catapults. (By way of explanation for the latter it’s a demonic joke: ‘See, we have sympathy for your situation’.)
Obligatory End of Round 3 Results Post:
** spoiler omitted **

Indeed I'm already thinking of villains, archetypes, monsters, and magic items that might sway the vote of the Abyss moreso than this year.

I am the King of Vrock afterall!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 aka The Leaping Gnome

Ask A RPGSupersuccubus wrote:
And of course there’s still a statistical chance that your villain, even though he failed to see you (personally) through this round, may show up again in this contest…

Three times no less!

It's a shame you didn't make it to the next round Scott, I thought Hoarfrost was one of the better villain entries and the nightmare boots were awesome.

I hope to see you next year and your comments in future rounds.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka primemover003

Trevor Merback wrote:
Ask A RPGSupersuccubus wrote:
And of course there’s still a statistical chance that your villain, even though he failed to see you (personally) through this round, may show up again in this contest…

Three times no less!

It's a shame you didn't make it to the next round Scott, I thought Hoarfrost was one of the better villain entries and the nightmare boots were awesome.

I hope to see you next year and your comments in future rounds.

I'm definitely working to axe murder my use of passive voice and strengthen my overall descriptive writing skills. For me the first few rounds were the hardest because they were things I don't consider my strong suit. Adventure design & cartography are my favorite portions of the Craft (dungeon) skill.

--Vrock the House

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 aka The Leaping Gnome

Scott Fernandez wrote:
Adventure design & cartography are my favorite portions of the Craft (dungeon) skill.

Man that sucks, right before the map round too.

I don't know if you've used this one yet:

--But it wasn't a vrock, it was a vrock-lobster!

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka DankeSean

Trevor Merback wrote:
Scott Fernandez wrote:
Adventure design & cartography are my favorite portions of the Craft (dungeon) skill.

Man that sucks, right before the map round too.

I don't know if you've used this one yet:

--But it wasn't a vrock, it was a vrock-lobster!

...damn you, Trevor. That's going to be stuck in my head ALL NIGHT.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka primemover003

Trevor Merback wrote:
Scott Fernandez wrote:
Adventure design & cartography are my favorite portions of the Craft (dungeon) skill.

Man that sucks, right before the map round too.

I don't know if you've used this one yet:

--But it wasn't a vrock, it was a vrock-lobster!

Oh yeah... I'm all over the B-52s, even the B.C. 52's

--in the town of BedVrock

Scarab Sages

Scott Fernandez wrote:

Hoarfrost Throat-Tearer, Shapeshifting Huntsman

Portrait: 11
Description: Fierce bloodshot eyes leer out from the ghostly painted face of Hoarfrost Throat-Tearer, a feral half-orc whose clawed fingers and overdeveloped tusks scream, "I am a predator!"
Motivations/Goals: Hoarfrost commands a warband of rage worgs (NPC Guide 39) that join him in pillaging Irrisen's borders slaking their bloodthirst by hunting the greatest of prey: Adventurers! This Huntsman gleefully makes trophies of heroes.
Schemes/Plots/Adventure Hooks: Hoarfrost lures adventurers into the wilds by raiding frontier hamlets and thorps taking children and maidens hostage. Baiting pursuers into his prepared hunting grounds, the shapeshifter stalks them learning their tactics before striking. It's rumored the huntsman keeps treasures looted from slain adventurers in a yurt made of Storval auroch hide deep in the Hoarwood Forest.

Hoarfrost Throat-Tearer CR 7
Male half-orc barbarian 2, ranger (shapeshifter, APG 126) 6
CE Medium humanoid (orc, shapeshifter)
Init+6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +12
+1
===== Defense =====
AC 17, touch 10, flat-footed 15; (+5 armor, +2 Dex, +2 natural, -2 rage)
hp 78 (2d12+6d10+32)
Fort +13, Ref +8, Will +6
Defensive Abilities shifter's blessing (form of the dragon, 7 rounds/day), uncanny dodge
===== Offense =====
Spd 40 ft.
Melee bite +15 (1d6+7), 2 claws +15 (1d4+7)
Ranged mwk composite longbow +11/+6 (1d8+4/x3)
Special Attacks cause fear (war paint of the terrible visage 1/day, DC 11), favored enemy (human +4, dwarf +2), rage (8 rounds/day), rage powers (scent), rend +1d6
Ranger Spells Prepared (CL 3rd, concentration +4)
1st--feather step, keen senses
===== Tactics =====
Before Combat Hoarfrost paints his face before a hunt with war paint of the terrible visage...

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