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Chittik, Fey Would-be God


Round 3 - Top 16: Create a villain stat block

Cheliax RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Boxhead

Chittik, Fey Would-be God
Portrait: 19
Description: Standing a hair over 2 feet tall, Chittik’s gaunt appearance seems atypical for a pixie. He wears dark-colored clothing, favoring royal purple. A cheap brass crown perches atop his limp brown hair and a large chunk of glowing blue-green stone dangles on a golden chain around his neck.

Motivations/Goals: A shrieking sound from above is the sole memory Chittik retains of his old life. He awakened to find a chunk of glowing rock in a crater nearby. A single whispered word echoed in his mind- Starstone. He now spends his time trying to activate it in an attempt to reach godhood. Little does he realize that this rock is actually Abysium; a rare skymetal that is causing a gradual deterioration of his mental and physical states. So far the effects are still in their early stages, giving him his haggard appearance while not truly hindering him.

Schemes/Plots/Adventure Hooks: Perhaps as a perversion of the prankster nature of pixies, Chittik’s madness has twisted his sense of geometry and architecture. He has persuaded himself that he can design a labyrinthine structure of eldritch composition that will energize his meteorite and catapult him into godhood. To this end he convinced a gang of minotaurs to serve as both construction overseers and muscle. He himself sneaks into houses, knocks out healthy adults and has the minotaurs drag them off to toil endlessly on his architectural delusions. His escalating dementia has encouraged him to break into progressively more elabrate trap-laden locales in search of better architectural slaves.

Spoiler:

Chittik CR 8
Male pixie rogue (burglar, APG 132; Bestiary 228) 4
NE Small fey
Init +8; Senses low-light vision; Perception +12
===== Defense =====
AC 25, touch 20, flat-footed 16; (armor, deflection, +8 Dex, +1 dodge, +1 natural, +4 shield, +1 size, etc. alphabetical)
hp 52 (4d6+4d8+20)
Fort +4, Ref +16, Will +6
Defensive Abilities evasion, invisibility, trap sense +1; DR 10/cold iron; SR 19
===== Offense =====
Spd 20 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee short sword +15 (1d4-1/19-20)
Ranged +1 composite longbow +15 (1d6/x3)
Special Attacks sneak attack +2d6, special arrows
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th)
Constant—detect chaos, detect evil, detect good, detect law
1/day—dancing lights, detect thoughts (DC 17), detect magic, entangle (DC 16), lesser confusion (DC 16), permanent image (DC 21; visual and auditory elements only), shield
===== Tactics =====
Before Combat If Chikkit expects combat, he casts shield.
During Combat Chittik uses his special arrows to put his foes to sleep, letting his allies carry them off. He switches to lethal attacks if someone is threatening his meteorite.
Morale If at all possible Chittik avoids a fight, especially if he is alone. If his meteorite is threatened, he fights to the death.
Base Statistics AC 20
===== Statistics =====
Str 9, Dex 26, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 20
Base Atk +5; CMB +3; CMD 21
Feats Dodge, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +19, Bluff +16, Disable Device +15, Escape Artist +19, Fly +25, Knowledge (engineering) +11, Knowledge (nature) +10, Perception +12, Sense Motive +12, Stealth +23, Use Magic Device +16
Languages Common, Giant, Sylvan
SQ careful disarm, rogue talents (quick disable, trap spotter), trapfinding +2
Combat Gear potions of cure moderate wounds (2); Other Gear +1 composite longbow with 20 arrows, masterwork short sword, cloak of resistance +1, potions of glibness (2), Abysium meteorite worth 1000 gp, brass crown worth 20 gp
===== Special Abilities =====
Invisibility (Su) Bestiary 228
Special Arrows (Su) DC 17, 20 uses per day; Bestiary 228

Cheliax 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 like the description and the mysterious element to his background, but madness is always a disappointing motivation unless it’s very specific and connected to sympathetic human emotions. You’ve got half of the equation nailed: his interest in geometry and architecture makes for a good visual representation of his dementia. Unfortunately, if that isn’t linked internally to a desire more specific than “he’s crazy,” it lacks weight.

I would love to see a version of this character that connects his outer behavior to a clearer internal goal. The former is a cool idea that deserves more foundation.

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

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Okay, Eric...welcome to the Top 16! You should realize by now 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 at this stage of the game. 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 please take them as constructive criticism. I've also spoilered them for length:

Spoiler:

First, let's check your choice of villain. A pixie rogue with the burglar archetype? Well...it doesn't really change a whole lot about the base class with only 4 levels of rogue involved. And, thematically, I'm kind of curious how you'll associate a pixie with a burglar archetype that normally focuses on robbing homes and such. Looking through your descriptive text, I can see you're characterizing him as something other than the typical pixie. So, that's good. And then we learn that he likes to dress in royal purple and wear a crown...which again, seems a bit at odds with the burglar archetype, but he can make himself invisible at will, so okay. Moving on...

And...hmmm...your motivations/goals for this villain involve another meteorite that supposedly contains the same godhood-inducing effect as the Starstone...or, at least, some delusions of such? Regardless, I think this is a big mistake. The Starstone is a core underpinning of Golarion lore. As such, playing around with how that works and having some whispered voice drive this pixie to start exploring how to make himself a god by using a piece of meteorite comes off very ill-advised to me. I don't buy it. It's not nearly as grandiose as the actual Starstone and I think this concept actually reduces the importance and mystery of the real one. I can appreciate that the stone is warping his mental faculties...and, in some ways, enhancing his understanding of geometry and engineering. But all this still feels more like a bad idea than an innovative one. And, by the time I reach the schemes and plot hooks, I already lost quite a bit of interest in the concept and his potential villainy.

So, let's put that aside and examine the technical aspects of this round by looking over your stat-block. Everything's looking good up until I reach the AC breakdown. Clearly, you've left some tags or reminders to yourself in place here, as you have no actual armor bonus or deflection bonus in play for your villain and the "etc. alphabetical" obviously shouldn't be there. It looks like you forgot to add the cloak of resistance +1 to Chittik's saves. Also, the SR shouldn't scale with the pixie's class Hit Dice. It's just based off the racial Hit Dice for a pixie. In your Melee line, you forgot to identify Chittik's short sword as being masterwork ("mwk") so you can justify the +15 attack bonus. It also looks like the save DCs for his spell-like abilities should be bumped up. And, I think you're over by 1 ability score point...probably your Wis, which should be 12 instead of 13. The CMD should also be 22 instead of 21. Lastly, it looks like you've overspent on gear by over 4,000 gp or so.

The pixie's tactics come off very pedestrian for me. You've got him primarily relying on his sleep arrows and (presumably) his sneak attacks while flying about invisibly among his allies. But, with all the potent spell-like abilities he possesses (i.e., permanent image, lesser confusion, and even entangle), I'm disappointed to see that none of them get introduced. After all, an entangled victim is going to be pretty easy pickings for an invisible rogue sneak attacking from range. So, I would have liked to see you get a bit more vicious here...or even innovative with the potent illusions he could produce with some extra elements involving his meteorite-induced dementia.

At any rate, 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: Average
Flavor Text: Poor (primarily because of the decision to include the Starstone)
Appropriate Archetype: Average
Interesting Tactics: Average
Stat-Block Execution: Average to Poor

FINAL RECOMMENDATION: There's just not enough here for me to back this one. The concept doesn't intrigue me enough, despite the interplay of the dementia, Starstone, and would-be aspirations to fey "godhood." In addition, there's a handful of stat-block miscues, some more serious than others, which speak to insufficient attention to detail.

As such, I do NOT recommend this villain design to advance to the next round. Best of luck in the voting.

CEO, Goblinworks

Summary: .5 Points
Recommendation: Not recommended for advancement

Eric 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?

I don't feel that you did. The artwork provided is a regal looking elf. You gave us a demented pixie. I felt that you shoehorned a concept into the artwork instead of the other way around.

0 Points

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

This thing is all over the place (and not in a good way). We've got a pixie, who is a burglar, who is insane, who is running a construction crew of minotaurs, who is building a Lovecraftian device to channel the Outer Gods (or something) while wearing a chintzy crown ...

WTF dude?

0 Points

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

No, not really. Pixies aren't supposed to be insane Lovecraftian foremen burglars.

0 Points

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

The twist is that his rock isn't starstone but instead its something else that's driving him mad.

You know what - the villain in your submission isn't the insane burglar pixie. IT'S THE ROCK.

I don't think you realize this, so I'm giving you half credit.

.5 Points

Contributor

Hmmm. I'm not sure why he didn't travel to Absalom and try to connect his mini-Starstone with the real Starstone. That seems a more obvious connection than trying to build mazes.

I don't see the connection to this whole maze stuff--I get that the object is eroding his mind and therefore it doesn't have to be a strong connection/justification, but to the reader, it's better if the reason is decipherable and something other than "he's crazy."

If he needs slaves to help build (and test?) his architectural experiments, why does he need to break into "more elabrate trap-laden locales"? Why not just use peasants or laborers? And if he needs more skilled people (like adventurers) to test these things, why not lure them to his lairs with rumors of treasure? It seems like he's making more work for himself with questionable results, and it's just an excuse to use the burglar archetype (or vice versa). And the burgler doesn't really give him any useful combat abilities, so it's entirely behind-the-scenes stuff that the PCs would never know.

His disheveled appearance and "cheap brass crown" means PCs aren't going to fear him, they're going to laugh at him or pity him. We had this problem with Hecateus in the 2009 competition. If the villain looks silly (not to say the art looks silly, but your description of him implies he does), PCs aren't going to take him seriously, and not in a "aha, he is much more dangerous than he appears!" sort of way.

You left some placeholder and instruction text in your stat block.

His tactics don't take into account his rogue levels at all; they're basically the same as a standard evil pixie. Heck, he's always invisible, yet his tactics don't even point out that he'll be getting sneak attack all the time--and neither of his rogue talents rely on sneak attack, another missed opportunity.

Paizo Employee Developer

Hey Eric! 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?

Huh, you took a picture of an elf (or half-elf, I can't really tell cause the ears say one thing and they eyes say something else) and went pixie with him. Interesting choice to say the least. It'd get a raised eyebrow from me if this were something I had to develop, but I'd keep reading.

I like the "mini Starstone" origin story, and think it's a clever tie to an iconic artifact of Golarion without actually being another villain that wants to be a god. That said, I don't get the maze thing. That's got me scratching my head. It's neither something to do with pixies nor the starstone nor, well, anything other than minotaurs, so I'd be interested to see what your line of logic was that led you there.

Sean's touched on a lot of the story consequences of this, and that would likely be one of the more time-consuming elements of developing this villain in a product. A lot of extra work would need to go into getting his motivations, backstory, and burglary skills across to the PCs in a way that wasn't just an exposition dump.

Moving on to the statblock, you left some of the template text in the AC line, which shows me you didn't take the time to look this over, as they're pretty obvious errors. Then the lack of blending of racial and class abilities and tactics that Sean mentioned. That's pretty big as far as development goes, because it means I have to essentially rebuild your villain from scratch to get him to be at all effective in combat, as he might as well be a fighter 4 or an expert 4 or whatever for all he uses his rogue abilities here. If he's not taking full advantage of his racial strengths, why make him a pixie in the first place? Just to put a unique spin on the art?

In the final analysis, I think you've shown an ability to think outside the box here, with an unorthodox interpretation of a fairly standard image and a neat spin on a potentially overdone setting element. You haven't wowed me quite as much with the execution of that idea in the details or the mechanics, and I could see this as resulting in a longer than normal development stage for this product.

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

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.

What pixie doesn’t have a god complex, right? Overall, while I am a fan of apotheosis stories and villains thirsting for godhood, this one just came off as too weird. Weird isn’t enough, Chittik lacked in real motivation. Many things seem tacked on. The minotaurs, the rational for his strange behavior, the burglar archetype, and the justifications for using portrait 19.

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

Star Voter 2013

Sigh. I was really prepped to love a Starstone connection. Unfortunately, I agree with the judges: the plan makes no sense, and it isn't fey or abyssal or god-themed. For goodness sake, what does he want to be the God of? Mazes? If so, why don't you have the minotaurs worship him as a living demigod? In DnD, you're not a god, you're always a god of something and often 2-5 somethings, given the portfolio system.

Plus, this guy's only really got defense going for him in the inevitable battle with the PCs. Even if he sneak attacks every round with his invisibility, he's only doing 8.5 damage per hit with that sword. And he'd better run if they memorized glitterdust or see invisibility.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

I agree with the judges that there were a lot of missed opportunities here, and also a few things which didn't fit.

That said I love the pixie as racial choice here. I thought long and hard about making an a-typical racial selection as well, but I totally discounted any human-looking fey races. Nice move.

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

I was with you up until "burglar". Okay, so a radioactive rock is ruining his mind and driving him towards delusions of godhood. He's mimicking the Starstone's elaborate cathedral by building a labyrinth with his rock in the center. He's kidnapping people to toil forever building an insane vanity project. I'm digging this. He's sort of more "Silver Age comic supervillain" than most D&D foes, but I like the Silver Age.

But he's a burglar. And he breaks into people's houses to kidnap them.

What?

Why? Why isn't he just snatching random folks off the street with his minotaur posse? If he was collecting up famous architects or something, then maybe his selectivity would come into play. But his flavor isn't doing anything with rogue except for maybe Craft: traps... which he can't craft! Make him a bard and I'd love it. A devious trapsmith rogue. Even an antipaladin.

...but a burglar?

I do not think I will be voting for this entry, which is a shame, because I really wanted to.

Star Voter 2013

Demiurge 1138 wrote:

He's mimicking the Starstone's elaborate cathedral by building a labyrinth with his rock in the center. He's kidnapping people to toil forever building an insane vanity project. I'm digging this. He's sort of more "Silver Age comic supervillain" than most D&D foes, but I like the Silver Age.

Good point. I missed that connection.


The idea of someone trying to build their own path to being a deity is cool, but the way this character does it is not. There are less risky ways of getting prisoners and workers than breaking into homes.

Spoiler:
For now I am not going for this one.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

It's ok, but I'm not sold on the villainy. Also not sure how he'd get his minotaurs to follow him. The biggest obstacle for me, though, is the CR on the stat blocks. CRs have as much art as science to them, and I see this guy as more like CR 6 no matter what the formulas say.

Props for going with a pixie, though, it's a pretty original way to read the art. And I like the gaunt experience explaining why he doesn't look too pixie like.

In my "no" column, but good luck.


I really liked this until I read too much of it.

The idea of using architecture to catapult oneself into godhood is awesome. Sacred Geometry being a part of real world history/religion and runic symbols and mathematical sequences being part of some magic systems for a very long time. I really loved it until...

"breaks into homes, knocks people out, and enslaves them."
Really?
A fey can't trick someone with illusions or manipulations into working for him? He freaking press ganged some minataurs but can't get a few humans to work for him?

It's like:
"The masterful villain discovers a path to godhood, but in order to power his artifact, he must steal candy from infants. If they cry, the artifact gains more power."

It's kinda silly...

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

Perhaps it's the nitpicky law enforcement official in me, but a burglar is someone breaks into someone's house to steal things. A kidnapper is someone who steals people. There's a distinction.

With that out of the way, I can't imagine using this guy as a GM except maybe as a joke villain. I don't want a joke villain. I want a super-evil villain of DOOM.

This was the last one I read, but it's almost definitely not making the cut.

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

Eric,

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

Concept: I definitely like the concept. Demented god wannabe; building something supposedly threatening but actually pointless. I like it.

The one thing that bothers me is that I'm not sure how this guy has enough power to be a threat and advance his goals. He convinced minotaurs to do his bidding - that sounds... well, not entirely unlikely, but like it would require some explanation.

Plot Hooks: You describe a solid, compelling arc, with plenty of opportunity to find conflict with the PCs, and a great finale of epic tragedy.

Mechanics: No major comments here. Nothing caught my eye as particularly intriguing and/or off-kilter.

It would have been nice to see some use of the meteorite, possibly in the mechanics. As it is, it's a fairly inert maguffin; more could have been made out of it.

Use of Archetype: A fey burglar sounds like it works well, and you do a good job of demonstrating how this archetype comes into play, and how the villain uses those skills.

Use of Portrait: Reasonable choice; I feel this portrait is fairly regal - more how Chittik sees himself than how he actually looks. I can see how you'd base such a character off this portrait, but it doesn't quite match up.

All in all, a worthwhile and compelling entry with no strikes against it. I hope that doesn't sound unenthusiastic - in Superstar, "no strikes against it" is high praise indeed! I liked your entry a lot, and I certainly hope we'll be seeing more of you in the next round.

Wishing you lots of luck! :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Before Combat: If Chikkit expects combat, he casts shield.
During Combat: Chittik uses...

I wonder what the name of this guy is, Chikkit or Chittik?


I like the concept and the goal and motivation.

I don't like the following part of the schemes section.

He himself sneaks into houses, knocks out healthy adults and has the minotaurs drag them off to toil endlessly on his architectural delusions. His escalating dementia has encouraged him to break into progressively more elabrate trap-laden locales in search of better architectural slaves.

The breaking into areas for slaves doesn't make sense to me. I think something new here would make this a really good villian.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Demiurge 1138 wrote:
If he was collecting up famous architects or something, then maybe his selectivity would come into play.

I actually thought that was the whole point of him breaking into rival trapsmith's lairs; to kidnap people who have the skills.

You want someone to help you build your crystal maze;

Step one: kidnap Richard O'Brien...

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Neil Spicer wrote:
And...hmmm...your motivations/goals for this villain involve another meteorite that supposedly contains the same godhood-inducing effect as the Starstone...or, at least, some delusions of such? Regardless, I think this is a big mistake. The Starstone is a core underpinning of Golarion lore. As such, playing around with how that works and having some whispered voice drive this pixie to start exploring how to make himself a god by using a piece of meteorite comes off very ill-advised to me.

I disagree with those who say the use of references to the Starstone are a bad idea.

I totally get that the actual Starstone is a core element of the campaign setting, and should be out of bounds to all except the official staff writers, who want to reserve the ability to do something epic with it.

Had the OP written that the NPC had a chunk of the real Starstone, that would be a fatal error. But this is quite clearly not the real deal, so I don't see why it should be off the table.

As a player of Skaven in Warhammer, I love the idea of the maddening 'warp-stone', and want to see a scenario in which rival bands of treasure seekers and aspiring demagogues tear themselves apart for a touch of it.

I do agree I want to see more done with it, mechanically.
Having his lair be at the local spring, with the poisonous fumes of the faux-stone seeping into the nearby village's water supply?
Having the PCs have to get past a horde of deranged innocents, preferably by rarely-used non-lethal means would be a change of pace to players who like to 'kill'em all and let the gods sort'em out'.

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

I like the idea of a pixie driven mad by a meteor that he THINKS is the Starstone. I think that's a fun beginning for his origin story. However, Ryan hits it on the head:

Ryan Dancey wrote:

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

The twist is that his rock isn't starstone but instead its something else that's driving him mad.

You know what - the villain in your submission isn't the insane burglar pixie. IT'S THE ROCK.

He seems more like the object of his villainous story than the subject. I suppose there are plenty of stories of people corrupted by inanimate objects and turned to eeeeevil, but I don't know if I'm feeling it. His fixation with mazes is interesting as an affectation, but his plots are straightforward average-Joe-villain kidnapping and slavery.

And his motivation just goes back to "he's crazy, man."

The stat block issues have been mentioned above, so I won't rehash them, other than to say that a pixie rogue should be focusing on sneak attacking ALL THE TIME. But maybe that's just my inner min-maxer talking. :)

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Jason Nelson wrote:

However, Ryan hits it on the head:

Ryan Dancey wrote:

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

The twist is that his rock isn't starstone but instead its something else that's driving him mad.

You know what - the villain in your submission isn't the insane burglar pixie. IT'S THE ROCK.

Now that would have been awesome. An intelligent rock (maybe an insane earth elemental) who has convinced a pixie that he's a fragment of the Starstone.

The party takes out some crazy pixie, and later on has to deal with a crazy nixie, or brownie, or goblin, or what-have-you. And they start going "What the heck is up with these woods!?"

Elemental with enchanter levels. Hmmmmmm......

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

It's an evil fey...strike 1
It's a pixie rogue...strike 2
It's a chunk of magic rock controlling an evil pixie rogue...strike 3

sorry, but this is just a boring concept than has too many extremely overdone themes jammed together.

It's not something I'd ever use or endorse, but congrats on making it this far and good luck with the other voters.


"sigh", sorry neighbor (I live in Maine) you just tried too hard and crammed too much into one entry. There are multiple villains here all rolled up into one convoluted entry. In the future remember to pick one idea and stick with it.

Thematically, , , yeah you have too much going on.

Mechanically, , , 52 hp? 21 AC (if shield isn't cast or gets dispelled). A single see invis makes this guy the most poppable XP bubble there is. My 5th level group could easily drop this guy for some phat l00t and mondo experience.

Man, they should offer a class on monster/NPC making. Just about everyone makes the same mistakes!


I've read this one a couple times. The idea of building a labyrinth in an attempt to create the perfect geometry to access another dimension is a very interesting theme (See Dario Argento's The Church).

BUT, I'm having a hard time getting over the burglar thing. I understand that there needs to be a tie-in with the rest of the world to make him a villain, but kidnapping builders doesn't really make sense. How does he know they're any good at building things? Is there some sort of Architect Guild that hands out giant signs that people can hang outside their homes?

You said, "His escalating dementia has encouraged him to break into progressively more elabrate trap-laden locales in search of better architectural slaves." Would architects be likely to trap their own homes?

I think the idea started strong, but it needs another tie-in to the community to make him a villain. Unfortunately, I don't have any good suggestions here.

Right now, I'm leaning toward not voting for this one.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor , Dedicated Voter 2013

With eight votes and not enough "maybes", I came back to this entry and put it in my vote stack.

Andoran Dedicated Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Eric,

Huge fan of your glove. Probably my favorite of all the items created.

Not so much a fan of your knife-fighter. But your glove got my vote sending you into this round.

I'm sorry, as much as I loved your glove, I can't vote for you further in this contest. This villain is just too schizo for me.

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

My! Seems I'm backing a dark horse on this one.

There have been a lot of excellent critiques of Chittik. Some of them I disagree with, despite the fact that they're excellent :P

Neil Spicer wrote:
And...hmmm...your motivations/goals for this villain involve another meteorite that supposedly contains the same godhood-inducing effect as the Starstone...or, at least, some delusions of such? Regardless, I think this is a big mistake. The Starstone is a core underpinning of Golarion lore. As such, playing around with how that works and having some whispered voice drive this pixie to start exploring how to make himself a god by using a piece of meteorite comes off very ill-advised to me. I don't buy it. It's not nearly as grandiose as the actual Starstone and I think this concept actually reduces the importance and mystery of the real one.

Vehement disagree here. It's quite clear that the stone is not connected to the Starstone. It's also very natural that, with such a powerful artifact in the world as the Starstone, people will be thinking about it and influenced by its very reputation. This Abysium is simply a calcium-based Golarion version of Jerusalem Syndrome - influencing people to delusions of grandeur. It's only natural that the greatest illusions of grandeur involve the Starstone - in other words, Eric's presenting a very plausible extrapolation of a world with the Starstone (and dementia) in it. But at the same time, this adds nothing to the Starstone cannon that wasn't already there.

This is like saying "Elvis is a major NPC in the setting; don't mess around with what he does," and then taking that to mean that nobody's allowed to play an Elvis impersonator.

Ryan Dancey wrote:
This thing is all over the place (and not in a good way). We've got a pixie, who is a burglar, who is insane, who is running a construction crew of minotaurs, who is building a Lovecraftian device to channel the Outer Gods (or something) while wearing a chintzy crown ...

A lot of people gave this as a primary reason they didn't like the entry. Obviously, if Eric didn't get a unified concept across, then the fact that there might be a unified concept doesn't count for much. Still, I myself didn't feel this way at all; I thought I'd present how I read the villain concept. YMMV.

OK: Imagine a villain whose story is this: he was wandering around perfectly innocently, when a Starstone meteorite fell out of the sky and into his lap. He never had any great aspirations before... but with a Starstone, who wouldn't start thinking of godhood?... Hmmm... Maybe I'll just get myself a little godhood, just a smidgen... Shame the thing won't turn on, isn't it?

Aha!, he says, I must activate the stone! So he finds an ancient ritual describing how you construct an enormous structure of intricate symmetry around the stone to activate it. And he sets to work finding (ummm, abducting) the crew he needs to do that.

Until now, I think most of you will agree that the concept I've just described is pretty straightforward. Even cliche. And that covers a good 90% of Chittik's concept.

All you need to do is add in the last crucial 10%: that the stone is a fake; that Chittik is demented, that Chittik is wrong about the whole thing. That's it. That's who and what Chittik is. Is that really so very "all over the place"?

I know, I know, I skipped some of the annoying details. The minotaurs, and especially the kidnapping people as a work crew. I agree, in retrospect, that those elements were presented rather poorly. I just don't think they're the crucial part of the concept.

I'd also like to address the "his only motivation is that he's mad" issue, which has come up: yes, he's mad. But he's got a clear goal and a plan. If he wasn't mad, and did the same things, with a real stone, you'd say his motivation was lust for power, possibly with the temptation of an artifact dropped right in his lap. And he's got enough activity and proactive scheming going on to make up for not being a very complex character. I'm not saying he's got a great, deep motivation; I'm saying he's too directed and goal-oriented to be written off as "madman who does weird things at random".

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Pixies aren't supposed to be insane Lovecraftian foremen burglars.

OK, now I really really really want to know who is, so I can play that race!

I just wanted to say this line really cracked me up :D

Ryan Dancey wrote:

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

The twist is that his rock isn't starstone but instead its something else that's driving him mad.

You know what - the villain in your submission isn't the insane burglar pixie. IT'S THE ROCK.

I don't think you realize this, so I'm giving you half credit.

No, that's not the twist.

The twist is this: that all of Chittik's epic plans of ascension are going to fail. Doomed from the start. They seem no different than any of a hundred other nefarious schemes to gain immortal power through some mystic mcguffin - except the mcguffin here won't ever work.

And nobody will know that until the end.

(BTW, if the PCs kill Chittik... and take the stone... well, there's another twist in the offing. More on the lines of what you were saying, because whoever has the stone becomes the villain.)

Demiurge wrote:

But he's a burglar. And he breaks into people's houses to kidnap them.

What?

Why? Why isn't he just snatching random folks off the street with his minotaur posse? If he was collecting up famous architects or something, then maybe his selectivity would come into play. But his flavor isn't doing anything with rogue except for maybe Craft: traps... which he can't craft! Make him a bard and I'd love it. A devious trapsmith rogue. Even an antipaladin.

...but a burglar?

Yeah, the kidnapping is a bit weird - several other suggestions have been raised. Quite possibly, this is only in to justify using the burglar archetype, to fit the contest rules.

OTOH, I don't think it's that far-fetched. Kidnapping is more subtle than mass abduction. If that's his modus operandi, I can roll with that.

On the third hand, yeah, I wouldn't have designed him like that to begin with. Tempting and tricking master architects and trapsmiths to join would be a lot more fitting, and a lot more interesting.

----------

I was disappointed to see the problems with the stat block, and I also really agree with others' comments about how the tactics could have been made a lot more interesting and unique.

So I'm obviously forced to rescind my "no strikes against it" comment, but I do hope my comments might help others appreciate the elements of this entry that I enjoyed so much :)

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

I think at this point, if you're going to ahve a villain with a starstone connection it has to be really neat. Like, desperate to save his people from being vanquished by nearby tribes, or groomed his whole life for a nobility that mortality just doesn't satisfy. Crazy is not a reason to chase godhood. You gave us a most unfey-like redrafting of Gollum and his obsession over the preciousss.

A key element missing in the conept of villains this round is a clever motivation story. Crazy, robbed of a relative, the impatient martial arts student who wants more respect: some people believe that every plot that can be devised has been. Not sure I agree. But certainly if your plot has been done before, give us something unique. I think a key hallmark of a villain is that his reputation precedes him. you're either left wondering when the guy you keep hearing about will turn up and smoke your party, or after you encounter him, you are given a reason to hate or fear him even more.

Not so with crazy pixie.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

I would have thought bugbears were the obvious candidates for the role described for his minotaur allies. His half-finished, warped, pixie-scale creation might make a neat encounter location, but otherwise his story seems a bit arbitrary.


Eric Hindley wrote:

Chittik, Fey Would-be God

Description: Standing a hair over 2 feet tall, Chittik’s gaunt appearance seems atypical for a pixie. He wears dark-colored clothing, favoring royal purple. A cheap brass crown perches atop his limp brown hair and a large chunk of glowing blue-green stone dangles on a golden chain around his neck.

Motivations/Goals: A shrieking sound from above is the sole memory Chittik retains of his old life. He awakened to find a chunk of glowing rock in a crater nearby. A single whispered word echoed in his mind- Starstone. He now spends his time trying to activate it in an attempt to reach godhood. Little does he realize that this rock is actually Abysium; a rare skymetal that is causing a gradual deterioration of his mental and physical states. So far the effects are still in their early stages, giving him his haggard appearance while not truly hindering him.

Schemes/Plots/Adventure Hooks: Perhaps as a perversion of the prankster nature of pixies, Chittik’s madness has twisted his sense of geometry and architecture. He has persuaded himself that he can design a labyrinthine structure of eldritch composition that will energize his meteorite and catapult him into godhood. To this end he convinced a gang of minotaurs to serve as both construction overseers and muscle. He himself sneaks into houses, knocks out healthy adults and has the minotaurs drag them off to toil endlessly on his architectural delusions. His escalating dementia has encouraged him to break into progressively more elabrate trap-laden locales in search of better architectural slaves....

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?
His mental state is currently not too good and only going to get worse according to the report. He may associate with minotaurs (who for the most part venerate Baphomet) but there's nothing to indicate that his insanity has any personal particularly pro-demon slant to it. On these grounds, whilst I don't doubt the ability of a skilled temptress to ensure good times for herself and any daughter, at least for a short spell, I would have to recommend against any prolonged involvement. One day he's going to completely snap, and at that point he's going to be very vicious and dangerous to anyone in his vicinity.

Should a succubus tip off any organisations as to the identity, location, and/or activities of this person?
Whilst I'd advise succubi to steer clear of long-term associations with Chittik themselves, there are other organisations out there who would be delighted to meet and work alongside the crazy pixie. For example, if you spin it right to them, the Harbingers of Absalom should certainly be prepared to pay for an introduction (this is bound to be able to fit in with one of their 'prophecies').

How much money would I lend this person?
Nothing. Unless for some reason I had been obliged to visit him and he turned nasty and loaning him money was the only way out without causing a fuss.

Other comments? (including fruitcake rating where appropriate)
His fascination with architecture needs a careful eye keeping on it. If it takes a particular bent, it might be advisable to steer clear of the area that he's operating from until one way or another he's moved on, just to be on the safe side. There are angles, and then there are angles...
Fruitcake Rating:
When it comes to insanity, Chittik rates a whole patisserie of produce.

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.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8 aka Benchak the Nightstalker

This freaky little pixie is pulling off the fantasy equivalent of alien abductions! Personally, I would have played that up a bit more (using dancing lights, swapping something out for hold person, and then using memory loss to create 'missing time'). Then again, I like quite a bit of sci-fi in my Pathfinder/D&D :D

Regardless, I like that element, if only for the weird associations I make with it.

And overall, I really like your villain. As others have pointed out it feels disjointed in places (the connection between the abductions, the labyrinth, and the pseudo-starstone feels somewhat forced), but taken separately I love all the elements. I think with a higher word count, I suspect you would have been able to tie these things together better and would have absolutely nailed this round.

You've got my vote, I'm hoping you make the 4. I'm interested in seeing what madness you come up with for an adventure pitch.


The one thing I feel that a lot of folks have overlooked is just how much fun this guy and the elements would be in play.

A tiny little pixie with a chintzy crown convinced he is destined to be a god?

Ordering minotaur minions in a sprawling labyrinth where the angles are just wrong (in a Lovecraftian sense)?

An alien corrupting meteorite, bizarre abductions? Oh and on top of that a bogus link to the starstone (well thats an adventure hook if I've ever seen one)

Also I really dig the different interpretations people gave of this villain, from the alien abductions to Standback's remarks.

Is this villain a bit off kilter, yes there's a couple of things, stat block issues aside that are a bit strange. But it seems more good strange than bad for the simple reason do I believe this villian would be memorable and provide for several sessions of adventure?

Well yes.

He's not the big evil boss of an entire campaign but I guarantee the players will be talk about this demented pixie for quite awhile.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I must say that I enjoy this villian.

His only ambition is to become a god, and around his neck hangs the key... or at least would, if it wasn't for the fact that the stone is a lie and he is only succeeding in slowly killing himself as his mind is destroyed.

Thats a great way to get an emotional hook for this villian. He isn't just a villian you want to destroy. It invokes a degree of pity.

I do agree that the architype feels a tad forced, and that him personaly breaking in and kidnapping people is a bit odd, but this is a minor issue.

As for the portrait I think its a good fit. I don't see a regal looking elf in that photo. I see a snide, arrogant looking "elf". I say "elf" as all we see is a face with pointed ears, and he also looks rather aged, which is not something I normally attribute to elves. Having the stone age his apperance was a good call.

Overall this is a very solid entry, I look forward to what you will produce in further rounds.

+1 Vote.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

I do like his appearance, cheap crown and all, and in fact like the style and feel of this in general. There's some fun here. I feel that all the "don't mess with the starstone" comments are very ill-considered, and agree with Standback's well-articulated defense of the villain.

But to be perfectly honest, the core concept doesn't do much for me.. I think the author is going for a "pitiable villain", but where's the pathos? Where are the sympathetic elements? I mean, I guess I can understand wanting to be a god . . . but if the most sympathetic and human thing about the character is his ambition, that's a little weak.

He's really just a batpoop-wacko pixie. And I suppose this could work, in a cackling Mad Hatter kind of way (and I admit I'm thinking more of the Batman villain than the Lewis Caroll character; I think the mention of Silver-age comic villains above was insightful).. though when I look at it that way I sort of wish he were more fabulous, more choleric and flamboyant in his delirium, to drive home how silly yet terrifying a braindamaged pixie can be.

I was personally quite impressed with your round 1 entry and rather unimpressed by your round 2 entry.


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…

Cheliax RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Boxhead

Okay, I'm not going to try to make excuses here. I ran up against the word count hard, and tried to get away with it anyways. Thanks to everyone who commented here, I value all the feedback and know it will help me focus my ideas better in the future. I tried to do too much and it didn't come across the way I wanted. I also made stupid errors in the stat block, which I should have caught. I mean, I had typos on the villain's name.

Since the judges seem to be coming back and reading these comments, I had a few questions (if someone has time):

Neil Spicer wrote:
... the SR shouldn't scale with the pixie's class Hit Dice.

I used Serpentfolk from the most recent Pathfinder AP as an example of SR, and they seemed to use the full hit dice, including class levels. Is it normally just racial hit dice?

Neil Spicer wrote:
It also looks like the save DCs for his spell-like abilities should be bumped up.

These do account for his higher Cha. Did I miss something else? Usually hit dice and levels don't affect DCs, right?

Neil Spicer wrote:
And, I think you're over by 1 ability score point...probably your Wis, which should be 12 instead of 13.

I think I have the same issue with your breakdown as the Derros, but I could be wrong- I used the +4, +4, +2, +2, 0, -2 approach.

Neil Spicer wrote:
Lastly, it looks like you've overspent on gear by over 4,000 gp or so.

I used table 14-9 in the Core rulebook, treating Chittik as a "Heroic Level" 8 character. Do monsters with class levels use another method? Should I have used the monster treasure table instead? Added a CR 4 treasure to a 4th level NPC's equipment?

I swear I'm not picking on you Neil, but with long, in-depth responses come many questions.

I'll be around for the rest of the contest folks, and I'll try to break down my reasoning for Chittik later, I don't want to provide "canon" answers for background in case any of the top 8 want to play with his details. I do have some ideas for a "revised" Chittik, though.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Eric Hindley wrote:
Since the judges seem to be coming back and reading these comments, I had a few questions (if someone has time)...

No worries, Eric. I'll make the time. :-)

Re: SR Scaling

Eric Hindley wrote:
I used Serpentfolk from the most recent Pathfinder AP as an example of SR, and they seemed to use the full hit dice, including class levels. Is it normally just racial hit dice?

There are exceptions to how spell resistance scales according to racial Hit Dice vs. overall character "level"...such as the drow. The serpentfolk may fall into that category as well. I don't recall. But, for the most part, I believe SR sticks to racial Hit Dice as the basis for determining its numerical value. Sean mentioned that earlier, I believe...maybe in one of the other villain critiques.

Regardless, the PRD and CRB don't really say much about it...

The PRD wrote:

Spell Resistance (Ex) A creature with spell resistance can avoid the effects of spells and spell-like abilities that directly affect it. To determine if a spell or spell-like ability works against a creature with spell resistance, the caster must make a caster level check (1d20 + caster level). If the result equals or exceeds the creature's spell resistance, the spell works normally, although the creature is still allowed a saving throw.

Format: SR 18; Location: Defensive Abilities.

So, personally, I wouldn't have held this against you all that much. But I do think it's important to point it out for the purposes of fostering this exact kind of conversation among the designers and the voters. The contest helps everyone learn things along the way about game design. And this issue very much falls into that educational category of constructive criticism.

Re: Spell-Like Ability Save DCs

Eric Hindley wrote:
These do account for his higher Cha. Did I miss something else? Usually hit dice and levels don't affect DCs, right?

I'm not sure. Once again, I'm posting from the office, so I don't have the spreadsheet I used to replicate your villain in front of me. It's proven very reliable on calculating DC values, though. So, as long as I plugged in everything correctly, it should have worked fine. I only called out things where the spreadsheet came up with a different number. And, in some cases, that was a mistake...because even the spreadsheet isn't surefire...yet. On SLAs, though, it usually does a great job.

Re: Ability Score Breakdown

Eric Hindley wrote:
I think I have the same issue with your breakdown as the Derros, but I could be wrong- I used the +4, +4, +2, +2, 0, -2 approach.

Very possible.

Re: NPC Wealth

Eric Hindley wrote:
I used table 14-9 in the Core rulebook, treating Chittik as a "Heroic Level" 8 character. Do monsters with class levels use another method? Should I have used the monster treasure table instead? Added a CR 4 treasure to a 4th level NPC's equipment?

As long as you used table 14-9 and the "Heroic Level" column, that should have been fine. And this is a point where I think the spreadsheet may have an issue, which I've been meaning to ask Sean about. On one of the other villains, I went back and double-checked the difference and it looked like the spreadsheet was pulling from the right column on that table, but from the next lowest row...which means I was probably measuring you against a CR 7 character rather than a CR 8. So, you may have been perfectly fine here.

Eric Hindley wrote:
I swear I'm not picking on you Neil, but with long, in-depth responses come many questions.

No worries. I actually think there's value in discussing the art of stat-blocking a bit in the course of this contest. Even the pro's mess up an item here or there in the stat-blocks. And, on occasion, I know I've turned over a stat-block (which was 100% accurate) only to have it come out with an error of some kind because a developer had to adjust the creature's level or CR to better fit with the adventure and didn't quite get all the necessary adjustments made. It happens.

And remember, for the purposes of RPG Superstar, the critiques of the judges aren't the be-all, end-all of your submission's success from round-to-round. The public holds the power in voting you forward. And, quite honestly, I don't think most people vote as much on perfect stat-block execution as overall villain concept. Of course, good stat-blocks can help. But concepts and creativity carry more weight...

But that's just my two cents,
--Neil

Cheliax RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka Boxhead

Hey Neil,

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I'm trying to see exactly where my actual stat block deficiencies were. It's a lot easier (IMO) to read through people's comments and see why they didn't like the villain concept itself. As I said above, I didn't tie the elements of Chittik together in a compelling enough package. I can already see ways to improve the background and hooks. That makes me much more interested in the parts that didn't seem like mistakes from my end, since I had to make a few guesses in the overall design. Your post helped immensely.

Eric

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Eric Hindley wrote:
...That makes me much more interested in the parts that didn't seem like mistakes from my end, since I had to make a few guesses in the overall design. Your post helped immensely.

Good. That's exactly what I'd hoped to provide when deciding to do a deeper dive on the stat-blocks than in years past. I had the extra time. Stat-blocking is an important skill for freelancers to develop. So, why not? And, in the course of doing so, I managed to learn a few things, too.

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