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Lady Rosiline Mistandre, Razor of Crownsgate


Round 3 - Top 16: Create a villain stat block

1 to 50 of 87 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka DankeSean

Lady Rosiline Mistandre
Portrait: 32
Description: In youth, Rosiline was considered 'plain'; a benefit of age is that she is now politely deemed 'handsome'. Once, she embraced cosmetics and elaborate coiffures; now she simply sweeps her hair back, and only uses rouge on formal occasions. Nevertheless, she is well-dressed and matronly, as befits a Taldan noblewoman. Her face rarely betrays her inner thoughts; only when dreaming do her features show passion.
Her eidolon is a slender, tall, near-human biped in dark robes and a broad-brimmed hat. Six sickle-wielding hands rise from the shadows of his cloak.
Motivations/Goals: The murderer known as 'Longrazor Thom' stalks Oppara's Crownsgate district, preying on streetwalkers and vagabonds. What none know is that he kills for love.
As Taldan nobility, Rosiline's life followed a fixed course: genteel education, arranged marriage, endless social niceties, gossip and ennui. Stifled and bored, she never dared escape; a spontaneous midlife magical awakening changed that. Long dreaming of a soulmate to replace her loveless marriage, now when asleep that dream becomes flesh. Unable to coexist with her dream-lover, she seeks a solution. Thom strengthens with each murder; Rosiline reasons that enough will enable his manifesting even during her waking hours. She regrets the deaths, but love trumps all. Besides... only the lower class suffers.
Schemes/Plots/Adventure Hooks:

  • Investigating the killings, Longrazor Thom battles the party, vanishing when defeated. A lace handkerchief monogrammed 'R.M.' is left behind.
  • Should they have a reputation for discreet inquiries, Lord Mistandre contacts the party. Servants report a man leaving his Lady's chambers at night. They are hired to investigate this possible cuckolding.
  • If known as heroes in Oppara, Rosiline may become enamoured of an male PC, or Thom of a female. A surreal love triangle erupts, as summoner and eidolon try to protect this new obsession from their jealous other.

Lady Rosiline Mistandre CR 4
Female middle-aged human aristocrat 1/summoner (dreamer, R2) 5
NE Medium humanoid (human)
Init +5; Senses Perception -1
===== Defense =====
AC 19, touch 11, flat-footed 18; (+4 armor, +1 dexterity, +4 shield)
hp 45 (6d8+18)
Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +5
===== Offense =====
Spd 30 ft
Melee mwk dagger +3 (1d4-1)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th)
7/day--summon monster III
Summoner Spells Known (CL 5th, concentration +9)
2nd (3/day)--create pit (DC 17), glitterdust (DC 17), slow (DC 16)
1st (5/day)--alarm, grease (DC 16), mage armor, shield
0 (at will)--acid splash, daze (DC 14), detect magic, light, message, read magic
===== Tactics =====
Before Combat Rosiline casts mage armor daily. If combat is imminent, she summons an aurochs using summon monster III, then casts extended shield.
During Combat Rosiline opens with create pit while her aurochs attacks. Slow, glitterdust, and grease follow. If harmed, she uses her wands to turn invisible, summon reinforcements, and heal, reusing summon monster III as needed.
Morale Rosiline flees after losing half her hit points, or when hit for 15 or more damage from a single attack.
Base Statistics Without mage armor or shield, Rosiline's stats are: AC 11, flat-footed 10
===== Statistics =====
Str 9, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 9, Cha 18
Base Atk +3; CMB +2; CMD 13
Feats Augment Summoning, Improved Initiative, Magical Aptitude, Spell Focus (Conjuration).
Skills Bluff +13, Craft (Embroidery) +5, Diplomacy +12, Knowledge (History) +5, Knowledge (Nobility) +5, Perform (Keyboard) +8, Spellcraft +11, Use Magic Device +15
Languages Common, Jistka
SQ bond senses, eidolon (Longrazor Thom), life link, wandering dream
Combat Gear wand of cure light wounds (25 charges), wand of summon monster II (10 charges), wand of vanish (16 charges); Other Gear embroidery sampler, rod of lesser metamagic (extend)

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!

By the time we reach the end of motivation/goals, we have a fairly good character concept. I like that the eidolon is active while she’s asleep. Still, as a GM I would appreciate a more straightforward presentation of the character. It’s a lot of set-up for a simple payoff.
That said, it’s a pretty good basic concept. Also, I like the detail of her expression while dreaming.

I like the potential “love triangle” adventure hook, although I don’t think that term means exactly what you’re suggesting here, unless you wanted to develop the relationship between Rosiline and Thom further.
What’s missing I think is a little more detail on what Rosiline (and Thom) look for in a potential mate. Is it looks? A personality type? Wealth? Rosiline’s class awareness is a good starting place, but a few more points of detail would make it rich.

Ultimately, I like the idea, even if I find the presentation a little ineffective.

You have been weighed and measured:
I vote YES to advance this one.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Well, Sean...welcome to the Top 16. As a former competitor, you already know 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 spoilered them for length:

Spoiler:

Okay, let's examine your choice of villain. Right away, I can see you took on a risk. In the last round, Sean Huguenard took some lumps for devising a summoner archetype whereby the eidolon was only active while its master (or in this case, mistress) was asleep. I get the sense you're attempting to rescue that archetype from the cutting room floor...and reminds me how I approached Sharina Legend-Singer, the bard villain in 2009. Setting aside that I think the dreamer is a flawed archetype design, I'm going to assess your submission here more along the lines of what you've done with it.

Looking through your descriptive text, I'm immediately struck by the quality of your writing. It flows really well. Beyond that, the conceptual stuff surrounding your villain's reason for being all makes sense. Clearly, Sean's dreamer archetype inspired you here. And, much like one of the other villain submissions this round, you've gone for a projected Jack the Ripper kind of vibe. Only, instead of a projected shadow conjuration, you've got an actual eidolon serving as the basis for defining him. Granted, you couldn't give us the eidolon's statistics, but you weren't required to. Instead, the villain truly is Lady Rosiline and I like that you focused more on her than Thom.

In terms of this villain's motivation and goals, she's rock solid. I like the messed up and misplaced sense of romanticism fueling her eidolon's murders. I also like the plot hooks you've devised for introducing her into the mix. And lastly, I really like that you reduced the power level of your villain with a lower CR to conserve on word count so you could spend those words more lavishly on the descriptive text. Because, in all honesty, you need a proper mix of these things. And I think you struck the right balance.

So, let's move on to the stat-block. This is very solid work. I number crunched everything here and mathematically, it all hangs together...even the adjustments for a middle-aged human (very nice!). Stylistically, there's still a couple of places where an editor would have to adjust your stat-block, though. For instance, when you have multiple classes contributing to an NPC or monster's hit points, you need to separate them out rather than rolling them together...even when they're of the same Hit Die. So, instead of "6d8+18" it should be "1d8+5d8+18". Also, for her spell-like abilities as a summoner, you still need to give us a concentration value just in case someone tries to disrupt her when she invokes them. And for your parenthetical explanations of feats and skills like Spell Focus, Knowledge, and Perform, you need to lowercase the words "conjuration," "history," and "keyboard"...

Lastly, Rosiline's tactics are somewhat limited given the meager amount of spells and magic items at her disposal. I actually think you would have been wiser to give her something with more "oomph" to it than a wand of summon monster II (i.e, she can do enough of that already for a combat with her spells) and a wand of vanish (which you could have covered with a lower cost potion). Then, you could have substituted something more tactically interesting for an encounter involving her. I will note, however, that it appears that you've overspent a bit on gear. That rod of lesser metamagic (extend) is a bit too expensive for her...and I don't really view it as all that necessary as any monsters summoned with her spells will likely last the entire combat anyway. Better to spend that gold on something else and give her a different kind of trick up her sleeve.

So, 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: Good
Flavor Text: Excellent
Appropriate Archetype: Average (still not a fan of the Dreamer)
Interesting Tactics: Average
Stat-Block Execution: Good

FINAL RECOMMENDATION: Despite my misgivings about seeing such a flawed archetype used in this round, I've got to recognize the value of the plot elements behind it. And you've certainly done it justice by showcasing it in the best possible light. The stat-block execution is just about as ready for primetime as you can get. And I really appreciate the attention to detail that went into both the villain's backstory and her stats.

So, I do RECOMMEND this villain design to advance to the next round. And I'd really like to see what you'll do in the next challenge. Best of luck in the voting.

Contributor

I think you took a big risk selecting the dreamer archetype, knowing all the problems with it that the judges and voters pointed out.

But I think it paid off.

This is a *great* concept for a villain, someone motivated by love and unconcerned who it hurts, with a supernatural twist that you wouldn't anticipate. I also like that it puts her and her eidolon in a partnership, not a master-servant sort of thing like most summoner-eidolon relationships.

You've shown than the dreamer archetype works (as an NPC concept, though it's still a problem for PCs). It doesn't really redeem that archetype, but it shows that you have some impressive creative chops.

Paizo Employee Developer

Hey Sean! 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. If I get your outline or proposal in my email, what is my feedback to you?

First, risky choice going with one of the less popular archetypes from a previous round. Your work could easily be denied a fair chance by voters (or the judges) simply by association with an archetype that was fairly unanimously criticized in the last round. But I think that shows some chutzpa, and I like chutzpa.

All things considered, this is an excellent villain with a unique, twisted motivation. I had never considered the possibility of a summoner/eidolon love affair, and combining that with the mutual exclusivity of the dreamer archetype works really well. You've found one use of a broken mechanic and based an entire NPC and possibly adventure around it.

I'm a little unclear on how Thom (or Rosiline) chooses victims, and I'd like to see more of that, as it enables a GM to interweave existing NPCs or even PCs into the events leading up to this particular adventure.

In the hooks section, I would suggest not painting a GM into the corner by limiting potential love interests to heterosexual pairings. Simply saying that either Rosiline or Thom could fall in love with a PC sufficiently defines the hook without making any assumptions about the makeup of the group or their particular character traits and sexualities. Not a huge issue, and something easily changed in development, but it is something to think about.

In the statblock, I see very little that jumps out at me. I think you've done a decent job making a somewhat challenging opponent who is unable to use one of her class's most potent combat abilities: her eidolon, though if faced alone, she might be a bit of a glass canon, especially since her first round would be spent using a full round summon. Chances are she'd get hit there and need to make a concentration check (which you don't provide a modifier for in her SLA section).

At first, when I saw you'd chosen the dreamer archetype, I was about ready to write this one off, but I have to say you've done an excellent job with it. I think an adventure based on this villain would require minimum development time from what I see here, and that's a sign of a winner for me.

FINAL VERDICT: I RECOMMEND this villain for advancement to the next round. Best of luck in the vote.

CEO, Goblinworks

Summary: 2.5 Points
Recommendation: Recommended for advancement

Sean 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 middle age matronly looking woman and delivered a six-armed sickle-clawed nightmare.

:)

OK, I'll give you credit for this since you did in fact make a middle age matron as a villain.

1 Point

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

Wow is this memorable. This will bedevil a lot of adventuring groups until they do whatever it is they'll need to do to figure out they're dealing with an eidolon. And even then they'll probably go on fruitless chases after the "nearby" summoner they'll assume must be present.

1 Point

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

No, not really.

Setting aside the issue of the Dreamer archetype (which is fine for an NPC who doesn't need to operate in the context of a party), I have big issues with this character.

First, how does she become a Summoner (Dreamer)? It just happens? She suddenly goes to sleep one day and summons an eidolon? That seems utterly wrong for this character's background of dissolute idleness.

Second, why does her unquenched passion express itself as a six-armed sickle-clawed horror who dresses like Darkman?

Third, what's with the killing? I get the mechanics of gaining XP, but that's a metagame consideration. She should be rightfully horrified by the things she dreams, tortured as stories from the street filter into her social circle and she begins to realize that her strange dreams are really happening... and then drama should flow from that.

Fourth, her husband has to be an issue. He's going to hire some strange adventurers to check up on his wife's boudoir and assignations? I think it unlikely. If a Darkman-dressed six-armed sickle-clawed horror was walking around my house late at night I'd be more than a bit disturbed.

The idea of the inner psyche becoming manifest is ancient and well respected storytelling territory. The Summoner (Dreamer) twist is really good creative work. The core of this idea is good but the rest of it needs a lot of work and development.

0 Points

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

The love triangle thing is twisty alright.

She's in love with her eidolon who can only exist when she's asleep. I take it from the text that the eidolon loves her too? But would rather prowl the streets randomly killing people rather than just climb in bed with her? I'm not buying it enough to let it stand unchallenged.

.5 Points

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.

Wow! Wow! Can I have some more please? Like Tarvin Haddon, this NPC works best accompanied by good encounter and adventure design. I think you did great work getting down the main points, and now all I want to see is more.

That’s all I got. I love this villain. You took an archetype that even Mark almost wrote off, and you did some interesting things with it. You took a lot of care here, and it shows. There are parts that I look at an still wonder about, but I think you can make it work, or at least adjust on the fly when you put Lady Rosiline in her natural habitat.

I highly recommend for advancement. Good luck in the voting, Sean.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka motteditor

Only the second villain I've read so far, but I really like the concept (despite, as the judges said, going with an archetype that didn't really work). I'm definitely curious how I can work something like this into my own campaign.

I think a couple of Mark's comments are a bit contradictory. He says he'd like to know more how they choose victims in one graf and then in the next dings you a bit for painting the GM into the corner by assuming heterosexuality (though I will say I think it's great that the assumption of that isn't just a given in Paizo). I think NOT letting me know how they choose their victims gives me as a DM leave to come up with something tailored to the PCs in my game.

Ryan asks how she becomes a summoner, and I think it's one of those things you have to handwave a bit at. Fantasy's full of examples of people suddenly finding themselves with powers they don't understand. Of course by game mechanics they need to work their way up to a certain level, but that's not necessarily a good story. Some just find themselves with that power.

Thinking about it, I wonder if it could work as an intelligent item that Rosiline somehoq acquired, which is actually acting as the summoner. One of the things I like is it's not easy for PCs to simply say she's guilty and should be killed, and that would makes it even more difficult for them to decide what to do (as well as possibly getting around the flawed archetype).

Like I said, this is just the second villain I've read so far, but I suspect it'll get one of my votes. And then a rework to fit into my campaign.

Star Voter 2014

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

This is the second villain I've read (I was really excited to see what you had for us), and I'm impressed. I wasn't a fan of the Dreamer as a player archetype, but as a villain I think it works really well.

I liked her backstory and motivation, and I would have a lot of fun playing her as a GM.

I think you've done a solid job with this villain, and I'm pretty sure you'll have one of my votes. Good work and good luck.


Absolutely love this. You took a weak archetype and made a memorable, difficult-to-track, and scary villain that can reasonably menace a low-level party for a number of game sessions.

This is vote worthy. It is Superstar work.

Andoran

Besides... only the lower class suffers.

The effective use of italics in the English language in a tool not to be understimated. You won it right there.

Far and away the best of the 16.

With the greatest of respect to SKR, I don't see the risk here. You nailed this thing -- and my guess is that you knew you had, too.

Betting on pocket aces isn't that much of a risk :) Well done.

Qadira

I'm a girl's girl. I fall in love with love themed back stories, and especially with Valentines day coming up, it's a perfect time for them. I see what you're trying to do here, and I give you props for trying to do it. However, it fails for me in a few ways.

I understand that she's married through duty, plain as can be, and can likely only find love in her dreams. I get how Thom as her eidolon becomes her love, but I don't understand how he becomes this murderous monster. You say he kills for love, but how does his killing show his love? Does he gain strength by doing so, coming closer to being 'real' or manifesting during waking hours as it hints in the Motivations/Goals? I see that you leave it open for a triangle, but it sounds like this is resulting in multiple, ongoing deaths. Does Rosiline fall in love with every male that she meets and only at night does Thom get his chance at revenge and kills them all? Does she control Thom and try and kill every female he might have eyes for? I just don't understand why there the blood-lust comes from otherwise.

Even with a villain, it's nice to be able to swoon when you put yourself in their shoes if they have a back story with lovers in it. Too, with a villain I either have to HATE to LOVE them or LOVE to Hate them. Unfortunately with what we've been given and as many questions as it leaves me, I just don't love Rosiline at all.

Rosiline won't be getting my vote this round.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

This one allows for all kinds of emotional evocation, though... Go with the "party hired to investigate," or riff it and make it "hired to guard," and suddenly the Lady has an infatuation with a member of the party-- the eidolon stalks that character in the night, and begins killing off random people who are barely associated but flirt or interact with the character, like a bard, a barmaid, the guard who asked about a horse. Soon it starts chasing down fellow party members. Thom believes he's eliminating the competition for the woman he loves, and will make her happy in a twisted parody of Courtly Love.

Oh, this one's got all kinds of goodness associated with it. I wasn't a fan of the evangelist on matters of taste rather than mechanics, but you nailed it solidly here. Count on my vote.

-Ben.


Creepy tragic romance dreamer villian?

Oh hells yeah.

I can't not vote for this.


There's a lot of things you could do with this villain and all of them really appeal to me, down to the inevitable confrontation where I completely ignore the dreamer archetype and have her fight the PCs and summon Thom at the same time. That's the real crux here.

I feel like the only thing holding you back here is that damn archetype. As just a summoner with a plot-only twist, there's so much... more I could do with this monster of a woman.

It also begs the question that if the eidolon, a manifestation of her inner desires and id, goes around killing people to be with her and to protect her, is she like it, or different? And the conflict comes there for the PCs... do they protect her against her own eidolon when it eventually becomes strong enough to come for her, too? Does she try to stop them? How does that confrontation end up?

I love it.

Star Voter 2013

I really like the concept here. The character was interesting and her background generally well written, except in a couple places in particular that threw me for a loop:

"Long dreaming of a soulmate to replace her loveless marriage, now when asleep that dream becomes flesh."

Maybe you edited too harshly here, but your modifiers don't modify what they should - 'when asleep' and 'long dreaming...' both modify "that dream" (replace "that dream becomes flesh" with e.g. "that woman causes trouble" and you'll see what I mean), a nonsensical interpretation that was hard for me to shake.

The sentence that contains "...that enough will enable his manifesting..." was just phrased very awkwardly.

Otherwise very well done - I loved the jab at the lower classes too; that was a very nice touch.

This is the first of the 16 to really grab my imagination, and one that I'll certainly vote for.

Osirion

You've taken an archetype that I questioned the use of, and turned it into an amazing villain concept. That's worth at least 200 quatloo.

This idea is all sorts of awesome, and Longrazor Thom being an Eidolon means that her cities version of Jack the Ripper is effectively immortal, since, if slain, he'll just come back again. The only way to end his reign of terror is to find his connection to a local noblewoman and kill her!

Cool.

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

OK, this entry absolutely took me by surprise. I hated the dreamer. Hated hated hated. But I did say that it would work well as an NPC or plot device rather than as a PC. And as a villain, you knocked it out of the park. The bad romance angle is really rock solid, and way more interesting than the stuff I thought of for making the dreamer tick. The fact that you can write quite well and the statblock flows nicely all add up to a great entry.

You have my vote, good sir.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Such multitude of possible developments. Room for great supporting cast.
Murder mystery with a twist.
Bonus points for novel use of summoner class.
Bonus points for getting things right.

Nominated for best standalone villain concept.

Regards,
Ruemere

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

I don't want to go to bed. I'm going to be getting up nonstop during the night, stumbling over to my desk, turning on my monitor, and checking new comments. And lying in bed and quietly freaking out when I'm not doing that.

Sigh.

Thanks for your comments and I hope to prove worthy of your vote. I'm looking forward to answering questions and discussing Lady Rosiline when the polls close. :-)

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

I didn't like it the first time I read it.

Then I found myself thinking about it.

Now I love it.

If I ever run Curse of the Crimson Throne, I will use this one.

My only real complaint is that I want to know much, much more about Thom.

Osirion Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

The concept of this villain is great, a very good use of an archetype that was a plot device for villains from the very beginning.
I will use this one in my dragon age campaign once I figured out how to get her to work as a DA character.
Voted.

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

Sean,

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

Concept: My, you're a bold one! Basing your character on the much-disparaged Dreamer archetype is an intriguing move - the judges all panned it at the time, but it was generally agreed to be much better suited to an NPC. And you've taken them up on that.

In general, I do like your concept a lot - it's a natural for this archetype, it's villainously twisted, and you've described it very evocatively. Erik attempted a very similar concept with his Princess in Repose, but you've neatly avoided several difficulties which I think mar his entry - most significantly, his dreaming conjurer wreaks her damage subconsciously, making her innocent of intentional guilt. Your villain may not do the damage with her own hands, but you've made clear that she's a true villain nonetheless.

That said, it's odd to me that thus seemingly demure noblewoman has such a taste for blood - since the killing did start somewhere. Your description hints at no such bloodlust anywhere else in her personality. Is it repressed? Or just, well, thematically convenient? I have difficulty taking the scenario of "Hi! Want a lover? Who kills lots of commonfolk?" at face value.

Another thing is that I'm really missing a better sense of what her waking self is like; how she presents herself to others. A Charisma 18 should be pretty interesting, even when she's awake, no?

Plot Hooks: I love the suspicious husband plot hook! Great eye for unexpected consequence. Moreover, you provide colorful plot hooks that go in lots of different styles and directions - action, investigation, and roleplaying. That, my friend, is pure awesome.

Mechanics:
- I haven't seen stat blocks for NPC summoners. Can somebody please tell me whether or not there's meant to be reference to eidolon form? I know the summoner can change it, but I'd intuitively expect a default/recommended form, or at least some guidelines in the Tactics section.
- I'm pretty sure that you don't need to mention the sampler in her gear. But I LOLed at that. :P

Use of Archetype: Very nice. The archetype is clearly deeply ingrained in the villain concept. I also did a double take wondering "But why would, mechanically, would the eidolon get stronger with random murders? Why does she think this can bring them together?", and then suddenly realizing that killing == XP gain == stronger, and eventually they will be united, as per Master's Visage. And as I said, you really went and vindicated this archetype as a NPC/villain-geared archetype.

On the other hand, some of the original concerns about this archetype do hold true. The guy doing the damage is not, in the PCs' eyes, the Big Bad they fight at the end. I'm afraid they'll fight Thom half a dozen times, until the GM goes "Hah! This random noblewoman has been summoning him all along!", and the PCs go "Huh? Who now?". It's not clear how Rosaline herself might enter the game - so the villain is "adventuring from home," like we were afraid of.

Use of Portrait: Didn't wow me. The portrait looks very sour, and not particularly noble. I didn't feel the choice of portrait added much to the entry, or that the entry was an intriguing presentation of the visual.

All in all, a very solid entry, with much to recommend it. There are some significant flaws, at it might be a tough concept to run and to really bring to a shine. OTOH, you've made it look very enticing to try :)

Wishing you lots of luck! :)

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

Damnit Sean, are you writing these things just to get my vote?

Taldor gets some love here, in all its moral decay. (For every PC who wants to fight for the beardless you need 1 to oppress them or two, like this woman who don't care.)

[psionics hat]One thing I always lamented about the Wilder is that they couldn't start with Astral Construct. While I understand the concern of a low level wilder pulling 'surged' AC's out of their hat and wrecking level appropriate encounters, I just liked the idea of a wilder having an 'imaginary friend' before 5th level.[/psionics hat] This takes another route to the imaginary friend trick.

I do wonder how much her dream self sees the actual form of Longrazor Thom. I think it would be interesting if they ever 'met'.

I don't mind the 'magical menopause' "spontaneous midlife magical awakening" as an aspect.

Yeah, recommending this one for advancement, damnit! ;-)

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

This is really well done. I personally would have liked to see some stats for the eidolon, but since it's not required and I'm not psychic I'll assume you wanted to give them too me. This is not a big issue, as I'm sure in a published product this sort of thing would be detailed. I agree that she is a bit underwhelming in combat (but this is an issue with the archetype, not your own work), and I think you've given a DM enough detail to avoid a premature conflict with her. Really, if the PC's sniff her our right away the jig is up, though they may have to deal with the Taldan nobility defending her as one of their own. In all a nice villain, I'll be looking forward to hearing from you in future rounds.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Mark my words. Sean's not going to be able to compete next year, and I'm betting he may be busy into March.

-Ben.

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Hey, Sean.

You have one of my votes and also my confidence that you'll go all the way in this competition.

I'm curious to see how Lady Rosiline's husband dies...

One grammar issue. There's an error called a misplaced modifier, when a dependent claus is attached to the wrong noun.

Wearing my favorite smoking jacket, my dog nestled at my feet by the fire.

Unless the dog is indeed wearing the smoking jacket, the initial dependent clause is trying to connect to a missing noun (I).

Sean McGowan wrote:
Schemes/Plots/Adventure Hooks:
  • Investigating the killings, Longrazor Thom battles the party, vanishing when defeated...
  • Should they have a reputation for discreet inquiries, Lord Mistandre contacts the party. ...
  • If known as heroes in Oppara, Rosiline may become enamoured of an male PC, or Thom of a female. ...

It was driving me nuts.

Andoran

Wow. Man, this is outstanding. OUT. STANDING.

Great job. You just vaulted up to Cody-like levels of greatness. Easily won my vote, and probably won it through to the final four just with this one entry.

The best thing about this entry is that I now think you'd be a great adventure designer.

Congrats, man!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka motteditor

Jeremiziah wrote:
You just vaulted up to Cody-like levels of greatness.

LOL. I really like your description. But now that I've read all of the villains, I agree Ros is the best of the bunch; I've been thinking about how I can use her (since I didn't really like the archetype enough to add it, though I suppose it could work just as an NPC class) almost as much as I liked Cody's Houndmaster.


I like the concept and execution. I can see this villian used in an adventure.

I think there should be some more information about why the killing started in addition to the killing for love and the strengthening of the eidolon.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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

Very cool! One could hope that in a "real" entry for a book, the story-space would be a bit more generous and you can fill out all the questions left.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

This is awesome. I love how what was viewed as one of the weakest elements last round has been turned right around.

Suddenly, any regrets I have for not competing this round have, to me, become moot :)

Congratulations!


This is truly an awesome entry. Great twist, multiple ways to approach the problem, a few even that would be completely unexpected.

You sir have my vote.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

I love the fact that you took something i considered to be a complete waste of space in the contest (the dreamer archetype) and turn it into a villain concept that totally rocks.

In addition, i think that this is the best written entry this round.

vote given. good luck.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Sean McGowan wrote:

Lady Rosiline Mistandre

Description: In youth, Rosiline was considered 'plain'; a benefit of age is that she is now politely deemed 'handsome'. Once, she embraced cosmetics and elaborate coiffures; now she simply sweeps her hair back, and only uses rouge on formal occasions. Nevertheless, she is well-dressed and matronly, as befits a Taldan noblewoman. Her face rarely betrays her inner thoughts; only when dreaming do her features show passion.
Her eidolon is a slender, tall, near-human biped in dark robes and a broad-brimmed hat. Six sickle-wielding hands rise from the shadows of his cloak.
Motivations/Goals: The murderer known as 'Longrazor Thom' stalks Oppara's Crownsgate district, preying on streetwalkers and vagabonds. What none know is that he kills for love.
As Taldan nobility, Rosiline's life followed a fixed course: genteel education, arranged marriage, endless social niceties, gossip and ennui. Stifled and bored, she never dared escape; a spontaneous midlife magical awakening changed that. Long dreaming of a soulmate to replace her loveless marriage, now when asleep that dream becomes flesh. Unable to coexist with her dream-lover, she seeks a solution. Thom strengthens with each murder; Rosiline reasons that enough will enable his manifesting even during her waking hours. She regrets the deaths, but love trumps all. Besides... only the lower class suffers.
Schemes/Plots/Adventure Hooks:
  • Investigating the killings, Longrazor Thom battles the party, vanishing when defeated. A lace handkerchief monogrammed 'R.M.' is left behind.
  • Should they have a reputation for discreet inquiries, Lord Mistandre contacts the party. Servants report a man leaving his Lady's chambers at night. They are hired to investigate this possible cuckolding.
  • If known as heroes in Oppara, Rosiline may become enamoured of an male PC, or Thom of a female. A surreal love triangle erupts, as summoner and eidolon try to protect this new obsession from their jealous other.
...

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?
In this particular circumstance, this is a matter of some delicacy, so in deference to Lord Orcus and to spare the minds of those of delicate natures for his own schemes I consider a spoiler tag necessary...

Spoiler:
(Painfully) setting aside my instinctive prejudices against summoners and all their kind for a few moments, for a succubus who does enjoy not just living dangerously, but ridiculously so, a possible angle does present itself to my mind in this situation: the succubus offers herself as a proxy to the noblewoman, to do the things she can't do, and to 'share' them empathically and telepathically with her afterwards. It's conceivable that this sort of offer might appeal to the woman (even in the absence of any kind of magical inducement) and extend so far as to 'her ladyship' being absolutely fascinated with (and a patron to) any child born of a union between succubus and eidolon.

Besides being a summoner, however, the woman is considerably unhinged by mortal standards and I consider it a matter of social obligation to invite a succubus to think at least twice about it before involving herself in this volatile relationship situation.

Should a succubus tip off any organisations as to the identity, location, and/or activities of this person?
That depends if a succubus intends to physically involve herself with the summoner and her creature? If not, I would recommend blackmail of the woman (taking appropriate precautions so that the succubus attempting it will be avenged if and when it does eventually go wrong) or simply alerting the local authorities to what is going on. It's not being any kind of moral or ethical being to tip the authorities off in this case - it's one less summoner left at liberty and alive.

How much money would I lend this person?
Absolutely nothing, except out of pure spite. She's a summoner.

Other comments? (including fruitcake rating where appropriate)
In this case I might have been somewhat harsher in my rating on the GB supersuccubus scale (below), but the delightful 'class' views that the woman holds have nudged her up marginally in my estimation of her villainy.
Fruitcake rating:
This woman rates a large, lashed with marzipan and icing, winter festival fruitcake that has been steeped in brandy for twelve months and is served on best porcelain plates with accompanying high-quality tea in the insanity stakes.

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.

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

I'm kind of disappointed to see a dream-killer used twice in the same contest (after commenting that it wasn't overused in Pathfinder, no less), but this is a lot better than the other entry. I like their being better motivations for the murder. I also like that you don't dwell on the gore. Good stuff, I could easily see this is a mid-level entry in an adventure path.

Your evangelist was one of the best entries of the last round, so coupled with that, you've got a sure yes vote here.


This is one of my favorites for this round.

This villain has everything, a cool concept, good backstory, attitude, and is based on one of the most unsuspecting villain pictures of the lot.

The stat block is simple and easy to follow.

If I had to pick one area for improvement, the only thing I can think of would be this line "a spontaneous midlife magical awakening". I'd like a bit more detail on this life-changing event. The way it is written, it's like she rolled out of bed one morning and decided she was fed up with trying to fit in. Instead she would from then on devote her life to a new spirit man she was going to create. I think almost any event you could come up with could be used to kick start this chain of events.

Overall, I think this is fantastic.

You have my vote.


Great stuff, people dinged this archetype as not-PC-appropriate, and you went with it to develop a very captivating demented-murderess NPC, whose psychological issues happened to spiral out of control into a murderous rampage now not entirely in her control. Not needing to stat the Eidolon itself obviously really helped you express this concept thoroughly, so that was as an astute realization you made when looking at possible concepts.

Good luck in the next rounds!

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

While the dreamer archetype sucked as a PC class it is a fantastic choice for an NPC.

You tied the loose ends together very well and your statblock is clean and nice.

This, from all the good works presented here, is the villain that I would most likely include in my next adventure.

Great job!


I had several votes left going into today. Many of the villains simply didn't do it for me, and part of that was most likely the lack of words to use on the competitor's behalf. As such I didn't really chalk it up to a lack of quality but more of a lack of vision -- many times simply seeing the stat block will sell or break a villain for me.

On this entry it almost broke it.

Whenever I see a stat block that has a 'companion' with it I expect to see the companion -- especially if the companion is described in detail or a large part of the villainy. In this case 'Thom' is a major part of the plot and villainy -- in fact he is the major villain... and I don't have stats for him. I know he is supposed to have six arms, and is using weapons but I don't know how he is to be statted out and that really hurts your build.

Let's be clear "Thom" is supposed to be in combat with the PCs -- I can't throw him at them because he isn't there.

Lady Rosiline is statted up however and looks decent. I would have suggest that people "think" she's a sorcerer since she has magic she can use and it would explain away those talents without exposing her eidolon. This would have been a great way to introduce the summoner class to an on going game without just dropping one in willy-nilly.

I like her low level nature but it also plays against really using "thom" as a threat, since at that low of a level his points are really sparse and hitting any PC with six attacks in one round is going to cause some real issues on survivability... not that this is a bad thing, but certainly something to consider.

However despite all the issues I feel you've shown what is needed to design a great encounter: You have the killer instinct to really challenge and drop PCs, while not going too far over the power cliff to make it feel like the CR is artificially low. The mixture of abilities allows a different threat for each party, and the story arch for using this villain is present and easy to follow/use. I think that this is a case where you simply really needed more words and could have earned them with a very strong villain. That in itself is quite the feat as editors/publishers are very tight with their word counts.

In the end I will be voting for this entry. I feel it is no worse than the average I see in several of the better APs and is the stuff that I would expect to see in future work.


If Paizo wanted to take a shot on a relative unknown to write a Pathfinder novel based on their pitch, I'm reading it right here.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

Full disclosure: I read your entry first, and wanted to like it. That said, yea, you didn't disappoint.

Just the fact that you made the Dreamer look so good is really impressive; some people feel you accepted a handicap here, but I wouldn't describe it like that. It might have taken some work to get here, but in the end it doesn't weigh your villain down at all, and in fact enables some really cool storytelling that wouldn't have been possible without it. And that's awesome.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

This was by far my favorite entry this round. Good Luck.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Interesting choice, and unfortunately I think it bears out all the concerns about this archetype. Only half of her class abilities ever come into play at one time (how would an adventure determine her CR, I wonder?) and it looks to me as if this misses almost all statistics for the being that PCs might first encounter. As far as I can see, it doesn't even list Thom's evolutions. This would make a GM's work harder in an adventure.

If players find her mental issues compelling, rather than just fluff (and I don't use that term often) to justify a straightforward search-and-destroy venture, she seems almost well-enough defined as a convincing personality. Sucks to be her, sucks to be a working girl in her city, but I'm not sure this would translate to an out-of-the-ordinary adventure for players without access to the inside of her head.

edit: I may come around to this one - I see another poster added some complexities to the third adventure hook.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Sean,

What more can I say that hasn't been said by our fellow paizoians?

Only this... you have earned my vote.

Well done Sean, well done.

~Dean

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

This representation is what the Princess in Repose should have been, and use of the theme by another finalist should underscore how clear it was thisa rchetype - useless and flawed for a PC - makes for good NPC storytelling.

Now, the whole idea needs redressing. Questions about why she has these dark murderous dreams need answered. Some answers seem pretty easy to me: the eidolon jealously murders anyone who flirts with his summoner, or she unconsciously has him murder the young men who earlier scorned her for her plain looks, or she murders iconic young men she doesn't want anyone else to have, or it murders the objects of her unattentive husband's affections, or she has a thing for asphyxia and the eidolon murders women nightly by accident (making a neck-bruised survivor a key witness for the PCs) Doutless, thinking for a few more seconds on it would yield more possibilities.

The twist with the love triangle and the eidolon hunting down one of the PCs is straight up genius storytelling. And maddening for the PCs. How'd get inside the sorcerer's room? We had guards posted, he couldn't jsut materialize there...could he?

Combining this concept with other oneiromantic elements just screams great mystery adventure, You left a lot of unanswered questions, but I still think use of this archetype as a murderous dreaming (and yet innocent, in a way) villain is among the more exciting ideas to be generated during the whole of RPG Superstar.

I wanted mroe from you, but I think you gave me enough to dethronw the princess and get my vote.

Andoran

Starglim wrote:
As far as I can see, it doesn't even list Thom's evolutions. This would make a GM's work harder in an adventure.

Except it's NOT an adventure; it's a post on a message board.

The Eidolon is listed in the description as a biped with six arms (they all wield sickles). We know that that creature's starting stats are because we are told it's a biped. We know it has five evolutions because that's what the NPC's level is. We know that the extra limbs (six arms) require 2x two point evolutions to obtain. So four evolution points are spent on the extra limbs. At most, there is one evolution point unaccounted for. This is No Biggie.

Each of us could stat out that Eidolon and, the one evolution aside, the creature would be identical and its description the same. Most of us would probably save the Evo point so we could spend it later to increase its size so that we can use the Aspect of Hextor miniature, for the Eidolon, too :)

So let's not overdramatize this issue. The fact we don't have en Eidolon stat block which describes that ONE unaccounted for evolution point is a function of word count.

These entries are being written to be posted; designed to be designed, as it were.

This is not a mockup of a NPC to be published as free-standing NPC in a module, as is. Any suggestion otherwise is, in truth, an instance of moving-the-goal-posts after the fact.

IMO, your comments miss the mark and instead address the flaws of a straw man, created for the purposes of simply knocking it down.


That's just it though Steel_Wind -- it isn't just a "post" it's a villain that very well might be used in the next round or in an actual adventure. It was supposed to be written in such a way as to be immediately used without the GM having to do the author's homework, and write up another stat block.

Now I'm willing to note it and move on since they were rather limited on word count, however the issue is still there and is much more than "just" the "one evolution point". We know the six armed killer uses six sickles, are they supposed to be normal sickles, magical, or masterwork? Does he have anything boosting his defenses? What feats did he take (as this seriously impacts how likely he is to hit with six attacks)? Where did the stat point for leveling up go?

The villain is supposed to be in conflict with the PCs and Thom specifically is highly likely to fight the PCs -- and we don't have anything for him.

Contributor

As I said in this post about the R3 rules

Quote:

Nick Bolhuis wrote:

How much detail will be required for aspects of our villain which are not strictly part of this stat block? For example, if I select leadership as a feat, must I then provide full stats for a cohort or will some details in the description suffice?
Does the same apply for animal companions or familiars?
Quote:

Sean K Reynolds wrote

You can one-line entries for cohorts, animal companions, familiars, eidolons, and so on.

Sean McGowan followed the directions he was given. In a module, we'd require a stat block for the eidolon. For this competition, we aren't.

Osirion

I just want to say that you are among the TWO contestants that I really hope get into the top 4. Great job so far and good luck!

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Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / RPG Superstar™ / Previous Contests / RPG Superstar™ 2011 / Round 3 - Top 16: Create a villain stat block / Lady Rosiline Mistandre, Razor of Crownsgate All Messageboards

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