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PaizoCon 2014!

Meneena, Derro Bard


Round 3 - Top 16: Create a villain stat block

1 to 50 of 51 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

Meneena
Portrait: 12

Description: Throughout Avistan, mothers warn their daughters to behave or the Lullaby Lady will take them away. She is real and a derro. Pale eyes radiating madness, Meneena croons haunting melodies to beguile victims. Her chain armor reeks of blood and embryonic fluid.

Motivations/Goals: Meneena’s strange gift for song was born from her grief over her stillborn daughter. She wanders the Darklands, experimenting on women to create a derro crossbreed that can survive sunlight. Her twisted lullabies aid her in both stealing victims and keeping them quiet. Offspring born from these gruesome procedures are abominations. Meneena leaves behind villages populated with her “children.” Considering them failures, Meneena scours Avistan for new breeding stock.

Schemes/Plots/Adventure Hooks:
Women are going missing in Kaer Maga. With troll auguries going awry, citizens are discreetly looking for investigators.

Grotesque children at an orphanage in Almas sing a strange melody. The Lullaby Lady has returned.

The PCs investigate a village of deformed humans who only come out at night in Ustalav. They fear a cave at the edge of town they believe leads to “Hell.”

Meneena CR 9
Female derro bard (sandman, APG 82) 7
CN Small humanoid (derro)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 120 ft.; Perception +10
===== Defense =====
AC 21, touch 14, flat-footed 18; ( +5 armor, +3 Dex, +2 natural, +1 size)
hp 85 (10HD; 3d8+7d6+50)
Fort +8, Ref +9, Will +13; +4 vs. bardic performance, language-dependent, and sonic
Defensive Abilities trap sense +2
SR 14
Weaknesses vulnerability to sunlight
===== Offense =====
Spd 25 ft.
Melee +1 aklys +11/+6 (1d6+1)
Ranged +1 aklys +11/+6 (1d6+1)
Special Attacks bardic performance 21 rounds/day (countersong, distraction, fascinate, slumber song, stealspell), sneak attack +2d6
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 3rd)
At will--darkness, ghost sound (DC 15)
1/day--daze (DC 15), sound burst (DC 17)
Spells Known (CL 7th, concentration +12)
3rd (2/day)--blink, dispel magic
2nd (4/day--enthrall (DC 17), invisibility, misdirection (DC 17)
1st (5/day)--alarm, cause fear (DC 16), charm person (DC 16), expeditious retreat, obscure object (DC 16)
0 (at will)--daze (DC 15), detect magic, prestidigitation, resistance
===== Tactics =====
Before Combat Meneena casts alarm on her quarters every day. If triggered, she hides, using ghost sound to lead away enemies.
During Combat Meneena uses fascinate on her foes until at least one opponent is fascinated and then launches into slumber song. She uses stealspell on spellcasters. In melee, Meneena casts blink and tries to feint, opening an enemy to a sneak attack.
Morale If reduced to 20 hit points or less, Meneena flees, casting darkness, invisibility, and expeditious retreat.
===== Statistics =====
Str 10, Dex 17, Con 20, Int 14, Wis 5, Cha 20
Base Atk +7/2; CMB +6; CMD 19
Feats Extra Performance, Deepsight, Fleet, Improved Initiative, Lingering Performance, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +13, Bluff +18, Escape Artist +13, Heal +4, Perform (sing) +15, Perception +10, Sleight of Hand +16, Stealth +22
Languages Aklo, Common, Orvian, Undercommon
SQ madness, master of deception, poison use, sneakspell +1/+2, well-versed
Combat Gear cytillesh extract (3 doses); Other Gear +1 mithral shirt, +1 aklys, manacles of cooperation, 250 gp.
===== Special Abilities =====
Madness (Ex) Derros use their Charisma modifiers on Will saves instead of their Wisdom modifier, and are immune to insanity and confusion effects. Only a miracle or wish can remove a derro’s madness. If this occurs, the derro gains 6 points of Wisdom and loses 6 points of Charisma.
Poison Use (Ex) Derros are not at risk of poisoning themselves when handling poison.
Vulnerability to Sunlight (Ex) A derro takes 1 point of Con damage after every hour it is exposed to sunlight.

Paizo Employee Developer

Hey John! 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. I've got your turnover on my desk; what do I do...?

First, I think you've chosen a good archetype/character concept for the image. If this were a piece of art we ordered for the villain, it would work well. Not needing to redesign characters to match art saves us a ton of time as we get products ready for publication, so good job there.

Next, your description and motivations seem more than adequate for Meneena to feature prominently in an adventure. You'd have no problem basing a horror-themed module around her, and I love that you've gone with an old wives' tale that turns out to be true. It speaks to everyone's memories of things that scared them as a child and the fear they'd feel even as an adult if those fears turned out to be substantiated. I know you were limited by words here, but the choppy, non-flowing nature of the description section would need to be rewritten in development. You could have saved yourself some words in the statblock (which I'll get to in a minute) to make this section a bit more eloquent here. This paragraph is essentially the hook that will either excite me as I read the rest of the villain or bore me and color my impression of the rest, so it needs to be the best part of the entry.

The adventure hooks section is the weakest part of this entry. I'm confused about what troll auguries have to do with anything, for one, and I don't get a sense of what her schemes and plots are from them. I could see them working as a one-line hook to get someone to pick up an adventure on the shelf to thumb through it, but they don't actually give me much insight into the villain and her specific actions in each situation. How a hook interacts with an adventure depends on the adventure, but none of these gives any indication of what type of adventure the PCs may go on in their efforts to uncover or defeat Meneena. I'd love to see hooks that better indicate her specific plans in Almas, Kaer Maga, and Ustalav, not just a brief glimpse at the effects of her presence.

Now, to the statblock. I'll leave rebuilding it to find hidden errors to Stephen (and probably Neil) but some things jump out at me instantly. First, you make no page reference for derro, which is not a core race, and should thus be called out in parentheses on the race/class line. This uses up a few extra words, but it allows you to then omit the descriptions of derro racial abilities, gaining you a sentence or two of more words for description above.

Niggling errors that would need some work in getting this ready for publication are that you make no reference to where some of the non-core material comes from, such as a few feats and cytillesh extract. Anything that GMs aren't assumed to have (which is usually the Core Rulebook and Bestiary) should be reprinted as description (so everything they need to run the adventure is in the statblock), or at least cited so they know where to look something up if they're confused. BAB is just +7, not +7/2. Orvian seems a strange language selection; I'd probably change that to one of the civilized humanoid languages of a community she often preys upon so she can haunt elf children in their own language.

Overall, I think this is a fairly strong entry that, given the right adventure, would require limited development, though some of that would likely be rewriting some less-than-stellar prose. Were this to be included in a book of villains in the format of the contest, the same level of development would be needed, but I think it would be a strong contender for such a product. In future rounds, be sure to look back at existing products to see when we cite non-core sources in statblocks and when we reprint needed rules text to ensure GMs have what they need.

Final verdict: I DO RECOMMEND this villain for advancement to the next round. Best of luck in the vote.

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!

The boogieman background is a good start, as are the lullaby and the sick detail of the embryonic fluid. The grief over a stillborn child cinches it as a solid motivation for an interesting villain. Explaining why Meneena wants a child who can live in sunlight would make it even stronger.

Good hooks, all related to the background motivation.

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

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

Okay, John. Congratulations on making the Top 16. But, the competition gets a lot harder from here on out. And that's no different in how the judges will critique your stuff. Brace yourself as I dive under the hood 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 stuff, and understand that anything I point out is meant to improve you and your designs. I'll also spoiler everything for length:

Spoiler:

Really creative application of the chosen portrait with a derro villain utilizing the sandman archetype as a bard who steals away women for varied experimentation. She's got the villain vibe from the word "go." Nice job. Sufficient description. Plausible motivation. Interesting hooks. I like where this is headed. Big time.

So, let's take a look at your stat-block. Uh-oh. I'm finding a lot of problems and inconsistencies here. For some reason you've gone with d6 Hit Dice for her bard levels (which should be d8's). So, the hit points are off. The Melee and Ranged attacks are missing a +1 (either from her Small size or the magic bonus of the +1 aklys). Your bardic performance should have 27 uses/day as opposed to 21. By my count, she should know six 0 level spells, five 1st level, four 2nd level, and two 3rd level. So something's off there, too. I also can't get the ability scores to line up. A derro has racial bonuses of +4 Dex, +8 Con, -6 Wis, and +6 Cha...and a derro with class levels should use the elite array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, and 8. The best I can re-jigger everything, it looks like her Str should probably be 8 and her Cha should be 21. It also looks like you overspent on feats by 1. And, as far as I can tell, you have 3 leftover skill points because even with maximum ranks, her Stealth score can only get to +19. As a Small creature, you should also specify the reduction for jumping with her Acrobatics skill. And, you need to re-alphabetize your skill list. Perception should be listed before Perform (sing).

Now that said, I really like the description of Meleena's tactics. They seem very in keeping with a derro and utilize her sandman archetype abilities as well as her spells. Personally, I would have liked to see you incorporate Combat Expertise and Improved Feint to go along with that blink tactic to maximize the sneak attack potential. But you were running low on words. So, no biggie.

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

Spoiler:

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

FINAL RECOMMENDATION: You hit the villain-meter with a resounding success, but your mechanics and stat-block execution need some serious help. Of course, you did choose a monster with class levels which can be tricky to figure out, so there was some degree of difficulty involved here, too.

That said, I do RECOMMEND this villain to advance to the next round. But shore up your designs on the technical side. You'll need more than flavor to make it to the end.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

I think the "throughout Avistan" part is stretching it, seeing as she's just level 7. That's a lot of area for one villain to cover.

Even in Ustalav, I can't really picture a village of deformed humans that "only come out at night." It's hard to tend crops or animals if you're only out at night. Unless you have darkvision. Hmmm.

I love creepy children.

Lullaby + creepy kids + sandman = cool.

Watch out for weird extra or lack of spaces in your stat block--see the AC line, the hp line.

We don't list iterative values in the BAB.

If she's reduced to 20 hit points or less, I don't think she'll have three rounds to cast spells before she flees!

CEO, Goblinworks

Summary: 2.5 Points
Recommendation: Recommended for advancement

John 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 creepy image of a derro and made a creepy derro villain!

1 Point

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

OK, I love this concept. A fairy-tale come true - perfect. Mothers warn daughters not to misbehave or they'll be stolen!

Ah, but then, the rest of the entry.

What is she doing? Breeding? How does that work? She smells like amniotic fluid? What does that smell like? How do I explain that as a GM to my players? She obviously doesn't kill all her victims, so why doesn't anyone ever (escape/wander away/find their way home/etc) to explain what's happening?

The IP value here is "crazy derro steals babies leaving wives' tales behind". The rest is not real good from an IP standpoint.

.5 Points

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

Derro live deep underground and are crazy. This derro apparently lives near the surface (and is crazy). I think this is a stretch to fit into the IP but not an impossible stretch.

1 Point

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

As far as I can see there is no twist. She's b&&&*@$ crazy and acts like it. Not much to do but track her down and put her out of her misery and try to rescue anyone who can be rescued. Once she's dead she's not going to be very memorable to the players.

0 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.

Creepy, awesome, and cool. This derro is metal, with a cookie monster growl. We had one derro that was “sane” but this one seems even saner than Ankaradula in a twisted sort of way. She is out to banish the ill effects of the sun, and has a pretty good plan to do it.

But that logic is horrific in its application, and I like a derro with moxie.

Good choice of archetype. Great stat block representation, and excellent choice of spells and simple but flavorful magic items. Her spell choice is going to make her hard enough to run for some GMs, and not plying her with potions and scrolls, sure does help.

I recommend this one for advancement. Good luck in the voting, John.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

The site's back up! Thank you judges for your time, effort, and critiques. I will do the usual systematic breakdown of Meneena after voting is over. Please vote! Thank you!

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

Interesting. I like the basic concept of the lullaby come to all-too-true life. I'd definitely prefer to have seen more in the descriptive text and motivations/goals, but I don't have to really worry about word limits when I ask for that, so obviously understand the constraints.

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

I don't like it. I think you've shot into Inbred Rapist Ogre Town a bit, especially with the "embryonic fluid" line. For one, it's amniotic fluid. For another, what does that smell like? It's gross for its own sake, without being particularly evocative. Her description and hooks are choppy and abbreviated, feeling more like telegraphs than anything, and I don't get how troll augurs fit in at all. Still, as much as I hate to admit it, your stat-block looks pretty darn good to me.

I like derro, and I like derro kidnapping people for hideous experiments, but I think you took it in a bit of a distasteful direction and your prose needs some work. On the other hand, your actual stats are very nice. I do not think I will be voting for this entry, but I doubt that you'll have a lack of votes in the end.

Just stay away from that Ogre Town. It's a bad place.

Star Voter 2013

Of the two Derro, I liked this one more. Perhaps it's not fair to compare them against each other, but c'est la vie.

The only thing I don't get is why she's kidnapping women to impregnate. Does she have male Derro around to help her carry out her experiments? Is there something about Derro anatomy I don't know?

It would be creepier if she were kidnapping men (or boys to grow into men and keep around) to impregnate her and then giving birth to these children herself. The Bard class would work well with the implied reference to the lullaby as siren song.

Overall though, I like it. I like the children's fairy tale aspect of it.


Some seriously cool ideas in this character. The whole nursery rhyme aspect of the concept is brilliant. Yes, there are some rough patches in the execution but what's there and good is more than sufficient platform and inspiration to erect my own answers to those questions. Since that's what I'm looking for, you get my vote.

Osirion Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

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

Creepy choice, great implementation of her bardic abilities into her background. This may need some work but the foundation is so good I have to vote to keep.

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

Normally I don't like derros, but the creepiness makes me overlook that.

"She is real and a derro." This sentence is extremely jarring.

I'm confused on a few points. Why is she CN instead of CE? What exactly is she doing in these experiments and where is she performing them?

I may vote for this, but I may not.


I love it. I think this is one hot b&$++ and I would cherish her forever and a day! Well done!


To me, the biggest problem is that I´m just not imagining confronting her will be that difficult or memorable an encounter. There isn´t any hint of her working with others (charmed, her loyal children, other derro assistants, whatever) which would make ´reaching her and taking her down´ very difficult (even though her skills and abilities would seem to make it easy to have some sort of allies: CHA20!).

I mean, it just seems too obvious that the PCs skulk around about what seem like the likely victims until she shows up, and they either directly confront her or track her down to her lair. A Superstar Villain needs to be setup for a series of amazing encounters, evading capture/death until a grand finale showdown. Henchmen/mooks are the major viable way to do this, but they are no-where in her modus operandi. If she had a ´surface dweller´ ally who was similarly deranged, but who could gain confidence of PCs, that would have added a twist... Or some scenario by which she could (in a non-combat encounter) Enthrall/Charm/mundanely manipulate some of the PCs into aiding her or sabotaging the other PC´s hunt for the kidnapper. At the least, why not a description of how she uses her powers, such a Enthrall to go into towns and get people to turn their girls over to her WITH THEIR KNOWLEDGE AFTERWARDS (which they may hide to PCs, etc)? I realize the word-count limit is a killer here, but it seems like you could have better used the space you had.

You have the bit about ´alarm on her quarters, which if triggered will cause her to HIDE´, which makes me think ´hm, what do PCs do when they come to an empty den of a villain? search it...´, so voila, they find the villain probably prone, and have normal multi PC action advantage to take her down... Which is standard D&D and OK in a way... And she does have Invisiblity which could help her hide (though you don´t mention that, and in any case it´s something that either works so she hides until another showdown with bad tactics on her part, or it doesn´t work because the PCs know she is around and has magic powers, so they use See Invisible/Glitterdust), but it´s more that over-all, the only tactics you give just seem like they´re calling for a ´find the monster´s den and beat on it at the end of the tunnel´ dynamic, with no INTELLIGENT behavior to avoid that end.

The story and flavor are great, and I could see a great adventure developed around it (she easily COULD have allies/mooks and multiple types of encounters suggested, with STRONG ways for her to win/escape), but as-is, she isn´t a superstar villain for me. Sorry. Partly this is just a very challenging round with the word-count, and somewhat unrealistic expectations to express possibilities for interaction, etc, that wouldn´t necessarily need to fit in the actual stat-block in a written adventure... But that´s all we have to go on this round. I may end up giving you a vote, because I liked your previous work, and it wasn´t like this one was UNREDEEMABLE, it just didn´t push my ´ooh ah´ buttons.

Also, your first line in the description: ¨Throughout Avistan, mothers warn their daughters to behave or the Lullaby Lady will take them away. She is real and a derro.¨ made me go ´Whoa, did he write that?´ ´She is real and a derro?´ Maybe that would work if this had to be a Haiku and you fit that in, but without that limiation... it just sounds rather flat.

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

Demiurge 1138 wrote:

I don't like it. I think you've shot into Inbred Rapist Ogre Town a bit, especially with the "embryonic fluid" line. For one, it's amniotic fluid. For another, what does that smell like? It's gross for its own sake, without being particularly evocative. Her description and hooks are choppy and abbreviated, feeling more like telegraphs than anything, and I don't get how troll augurs fit in at all. Still, as much as I hate to admit it, your stat-block looks pretty darn good to me.

I like derro, and I like derro kidnapping people for hideous experiments, but I think you took it in a bit of a distasteful direction and your prose needs some work. On the other hand, your actual stats are very nice. I do not think I will be voting for this entry, but I doubt that you'll have a lack of votes in the end.

Just stay away from that Ogre Town. It's a bad place.

+1

The basic idea is creepy and cool, but it's skating right along the edge of "being gross to be gross," which was a popular but not all that successful theme in last year's Superstar contest.

The hooks are a little sparse; referencing the derro monster entry in the Bestiary would've let you save a lot of words to flesh out the flavor text, motivations, and plots.

There are a number of stat block issues here, but the judges have covered them just fine.

Overall, it has issues but I like it. I'd consider it for a vote.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

Great choices here. Kind of odd that two of you picked derro for the same artwork, but it really does fit and the derro are a cool race which make for cool villains, so I guess it's not that strange. I'm not super keen on the moniker "Lullaby Lady" but I suppose it's derived from some creepy thing mothers can say to their children and have them understand. Mechanical issues aside this shows great design potential, something that can't really be taught. Numbers can be learned so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

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

This wasn't in my top three; I think it was a little thin on being villainous, but it did get one of my votes.

It's creepy, and the tie in to legends that aren't really legends is good. But I think the bar will be set even higher next round.

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

I don't like Derro and i really, really dislike bards, so combining the two was a huge miss for me. however, i need an 8th vote and i loved your cocoon cloak and saboteur archetype. you get my last vote based solely on the strenght of your previous work.

good luck.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nick Bolhuis wrote:
Great choices here. Kind of odd that two of you picked derro for the same artwork, but it really does fit...

Not that surprising, considering the art is a derro.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4 aka OamuTheMonk

"...reeks of blood and embryonic fluid...?"

GYUH

Anyway, I'm diggin' it okay. Some of your flavor text bonked a little, but the concept is solid, baby-snatching is villainous, and Derro are cool. Vote.

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

I'm leaning towards a "maybe". I do like derro, and the experimentation with light-sensitivity. Derro experimentation in general needs more play, since it's a key part of the derro of Golarion.

I felt like the prose came off as choppy. I'd like to see the writing more like the middle paragraph, which I felt was the best. Hooks in particular need to tell a little story in just a sentence or to, rather than come across as bullet points.

The stat block errors are troubling for a rules curmudgeon like myself.

Negative points aside, this entry shows a lot of potential. Good job.


You had me at, "Her coat of armor reeks of blood and embryonic fluid."

Let me comment on that one line for a second:
1. It's good because it immediately invokes a reaction (good or bad).
2. It's really not all that gross for gross' sake. Other entries include killing peole, blood, vampires sucking people dry, girls accosted (and probably raped in the street), and human/eidolon lust. C'mon people, this isn't that gross at all.

As for the villain herself. I like the idea of the Lullaby Lady. At first, I thought it kind of a cop-out name, but then I realized that it is a folk lore/myth kind of name that the commoners would use. That makes more sense, and emphasizes the Boogey Man theme. And the Sandman archetype is perfect for the lullaby angle.

I like the twist that she's trying to create a new crossbreed. It's a fun theme. The Aliens movies give us great examples (human/alien, predator/aliens). As a DM, I could come up with my own derro/human mosters, some more derro than human and some more human than derro.

OK, so the writing in the first paragraph is rough. I'm willing to overlook that given the extensive stat block. As for the problems of the stat block, I have to admit, I haven't double-checked the math on any of the entries. But with this one, the only thing that jumped out at me was one of the judge's comments on using the "elite array" ability scores. For monsters, shouldn't you use the Bestiary rules instead?

Overall, I like this one. You get my vote.

Dedicated Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

+1

Lullaby Lady is a catchy idea and the starting point of a very nice execution from your part.

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

I like the darkness and creepines of your Lullaby Lady, but I feel she is not challenging, and she violates that idea about violence and children. Moreover, we've got no description for how she does what she does? Tie dude down in the barn? Apply alchemy or her own blood to pregnant women? You have to be careful with these details, but they need development. Your concept is pretty shallow - requiring me to makes stuff up almost immediately.

This chick will be reduced to below 20 hp and below 0 hp in the same round, that being round one.

Now, I think the concept could be saved: she covers random places across Avistan because she wanders underground and comes up wherever the tunnels do, make the discovery portion of finding her exciting and creepy. She can get minion support from a motley crew of Munchausen moms or deformed cavedwellers that she accepts even if she desires a better outcom for her own progeny. I'm curious to now why she cares about a derro that can survive in daylight - it seems she'd be more concerned with one with working arms and legs and lungs. You could answer the concern about farmers only coming out at night by saying she's been at this for decades, and he kids are prone to classic derro insanity: ergo, in one or two villages, her offsrping have gathered for support, murdered the normal people, and taken up residence in a creepy town of deformed cast-offs. But you don't give us any of that, and even jsut a few sentences would tidy up those questions and give us a more complete, longer lasting conept.

Sandman bard is a good choice, but she's still very weak as villains go. She is scarier when you haven't met her yet, and then she's done.

Andoran Dedicated Voter 2013

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

John,

You had my vote all the way through... I've enjoyed all your entries.

Meneena is no exception!

As a GM, stat block errors, while annoying, really don't bother me all that much, cause I can adjust them on the fly as I need.

But wow, the creativity and innovation in this gal is spot on!

You got my vote once again!


I get an Edgar Allan Poe vibe when I'm going through this. Intriguing. On my list of vote getters. :)


John,

We have been having a discussion about derro stats over in Ankradula's thread. I just wanted to say here that I really enjoy a difficult stat block like this and you get major points with me for having taken on a challenging build with a fun execution. As we found, derro with class levels are complex and hard to get exactly right, and I commend you for having done it anyway. Good luck, and you have a vote from me!


"sigh" This is not a complete entry, it is a rough draft.

But what a rough draft!

Okay, okay, she technically isn't a CR 9. Maybe a decent CR 7, CR 8 if she had leadership (her breeding stock). This grrl is definitely an adventure on her own, but it does need some cleaning up. Luckily if this was part of a real adventure proposal there would be a large number of hands and minds involved thus allowing her to blossom in her own creepy way without being too gross or underdeveloped.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. There needs to be a class on how to make CR appropriate NPCs! With derro it's usually pretty easy since they have such a ginormous Con mod (+4!) add a +4 or +2 to that from elite array and you can have an NPC with more than enough hp to survive the players assault for at least a few rounds.

Concept = awesome!

Background = creepy! (but unfinished)

Stats = WTF?! (you got a lot wrong here, if you advance clean her up and beef those stats).

Good luck, I'm pretty sure you'll advance to the next round.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

I'm not sure Paizo would publish this as written, which means that it flirts with the rules. Her concept seems more than a little disorganised, despite the fine adventure hooks that it creates.

CR and tactics .. um .. she had better really hope those mind-affecting abilities work on most of the party. In a way it's good to see tactics that don't rely on multiple rounds of spellcasting to get her to CR-appropriate defences.


Oh wow, troll augurs. Doesn't that come out of the Rise of the Runelords fiction chapter as a quick pass? That's obscure enough be almost too geeky, even in this crowd.


John Bennett wrote:

Meneena

Description: Throughout Avistan, mothers warn their daughters to behave or the Lullaby Lady will take them away. She is real and a derro. Pale eyes radiating madness, Meneena croons haunting melodies to beguile victims. Her chain armor reeks of blood and embryonic fluid.

Motivations/Goals: Meneena’s strange gift for song was born from her grief over her stillborn daughter. She wanders the Darklands, experimenting on women to create a derro crossbreed that can survive sunlight. Her twisted lullabies aid her in both stealing victims and keeping them quiet. Offspring born from these gruesome procedures are abominations. Meneena leaves behind villages populated with her “children.” Considering them failures, Meneena scours Avistan for new breeding stock.

Schemes/Plots/Adventure Hooks:
Women are going missing in Kaer Maga. With troll auguries going awry, citizens are discreetly looking for investigators.

Grotesque children at an orphanage in Almas sing a strange melody. The Lullaby Lady has returned.

The PCs investigate a village of deformed humans who only come out at night in Ustalav. They fear a cave at the edge of town they believe leads to “Hell.”...

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?
No. Monstrous young, craziness, etc, etc... Even if she doesn't deliberately venerate Lamashtu, she's at least doing her work. And alu-fiends need to be kept safe from influences like that.

Should a succubus tip off any organisations as to the identity, location, and/or activities of this person?
On the basis of my suspicions that she's executing particular aspects of The Demon Queen's work which I find to be disagreeable, on balance I'd say 'yes'. Mortals who wonder 'what on Golarion can a sophisticated, cultured, succubus possibly have against at least some of the agenda of a goddess who is an ascended demon?' really haven't stopped to take a detailed look at Lamashtu's view of the role of females in the multiversal order...
The question is as to whom to unleash on this particular derro? On the basis that hunting her down is likely to be quite an effort, I'd say that just to be on the safe side, best to tip off the church of Pharasma, the church of Iomedae, the Church of Sarenrae, the Order of the Godclaw (hellknights who aren't necessarily altogether in Asmodeus' pocket), the Bellflower Network, the Kitharodian Academy, and the Eagle Knights. Oh, and I nearly left out the church of Erastil, who need to be alerted in this case too. Their deity's pretty big on family, but more importantly in this context he's a patron of hunters too. Anyhow, between them that little lot ought to be able to track down the twisted little thing and put her out of her misery.

How much money would I lend this person?
Not One Copper, unless it was to snap her neck.

Other comments? (including fruitcake rating where appropriate)
Meneena appears to be a normal Golarion derro - only odd by derro standards in that she's taking a more 'practical' line in her experimentation (trying to deliberately create a sun-resistant breed) rather than following the usual more analytical approach (trying to work out 'what makes surface races sun-resistant in the first place?').
Fruitcake Rating:
A couple of currant buns - despite the different bent to her experimentation, I rate her as still being about as crazy as what for the derro could be considered 'average'.

Rating on the Gulga-Bracht supersuccubus scale of villainy:
2 (person not quite sufficiently motivated to rate as a petty criminal or equivalent) She's basically engaging in 'normal' activity for a derro.

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.


Dorje Sylas wrote:
Oh wow, troll augurs. Doesn't that come out of the Rise of the Runelords fiction chapter as a quick pass? That's obscure enough be almost too geeky, even in this crowd.

It's out of Pathfinder Chronicles: City of Strangers. Its a sourcebook for Kaer Maga. Troll Augers are referenced several times, including in the city adventure hooks and on the back cover (called self-mutilating troll prophets there). Does that make me too geeky? :)

For good or bad, the reference to tainted women's wombs is also in that book (Mother Millie's Little treasures, page 26). I say good or bad, because some people may like the tie-in, others may value originality. Its up to voters to decide.

For my part, I'm not a fan of this entry. I don't see how she is capable of producing light-proof derro offspring, or even deforming children in utero. I also see the embryonic fluid reference as a little gonzo.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

I enjoy this. I agree that it needs more development all around, not just in presentation but in substance (as others have noted there are parts that weren't well considered, parts that could use more context and parts that have just been done before).. but overall I think it holds together. Possible vote.


I like the overall concept of the villian. I don't understand the connection between the stillbirth of her child and the desire to create derro that are not vulnerable to sunlight.

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

John,

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

Concept: Well done, sir. This was the last I read of the 16, and an excellent finish it is. Your first line promises us a bogeyman, and you certainly deliver on that - but you shore that up with hooks and in-game uses that are clear, creative, and creepy. This villain concept could serve as a seed for a wide variety of adventures, thanks to Meneena's creation of hybrid creatures that may serve as monsters, victims, or both. By describing her by reputation, you create a powerful air of menace. Very nice.

The only thing that really bothers me here is Meneena's "offspring." That sounds... squicky. I think you tried to get around the implication of rape by making clear that both Meneena and the abductees are both female... but, errrggh, I'm really not at all sure that improves matters. Options for impregnating women are, to my knowledge, fairly limited. And coming up with a new one does not make this better.

Plot Hooks: I like muchly. You provide us with a variety of different scenarios, demonstrating that your concept is versatile, and that both Meneena herself and her creations have several plots to them.

Mechanics: Stats look good; always happy to see a good villain not buffed up on Strength :) I like that the combat tactics center around the Sandman performance ability.

Use of Archetype: Very nice. It's not front-and-center in the character description, but you make good use of it - certainly enough that it's noticable and significant. The archetype matches your character concept, and complements it well - I think this character would have been possible without the archetype, but the archetype add to it, fleshes it out, which I think is just what an archetype should do.

Use of Portrait: Very suitable. I'm curious to hear to what extent this image inspired your entry, and to what extent you had these ideas pre-prepared.

All in all, I think this is one of my favorite entries of the round. You've made great use of all of the challenge elements, given us a lot of unique color and flavor, and provided great opportunities for memorable experiences for the PCs. Kudos.

Wishing you lots of luck! :)

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

Just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone that commented and voted for Meneena. I will do my usual post game breakdown, probably this weekend. Thanks again!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

This question is for Neil because I saw him answering some questions early. For my stat block, a couple of questions-

Ability scores- I started with the standard derro from the Bestiary and did a +4,+4,+2,+2,0,-2 and then at +1 for fourth level. Is there another way I should be doing this?

Feats- Derro have two feats to start with (Improved Initiative and Weapon Finesse) so I added 4 more for 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th level for total of six.

Skills- Were tough. I gave her 56 skill points (8 per level x 7, no favored anything and assuming I added correctly which I might not have). I stalked them on top of base derro skills which included ranks already in stealth. What was difficult is that when I tried to "deconstruct" how the derro was put together in the Bestiary, for their hit dice, it seemed like the derro was missing skill points. For a 3 HD humanoid, I think it recommends 12 skill points. The derro take a big wisdom hit for Perception and sink most the rest of their skill ranks in Stealth. I think I accounted for maybe 8 or 9 out of the twelve skill points spent. And thanks by the way for your critiques, I'm learning a lot!

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

John Bennett wrote:
Ability scores- I started with the standard derro from the Bestiary and did a +4,+4,+2,+2,0,-2 and then at +1 for fourth level. Is there another way I should be doing this?

Nope. You're doing fine. I think that was my bad. I have this tendency (from 3.5) to go back and rebuild monsters from scratch, which means I start with the elite array rather than trying to adjust things with the "+4, +4, +2, +2, +0, -2" modifiers to the existing creature. To me, that can wind up skewing things...as discussed in the stat-block analysis for Trevor's derro, Ankradula the Sane. I crunched his ability scores using both methods and you can see the results from the application of the "+4, +4, +2, +2, +0, -2" modifiers results in a more powerful build than the elite array of "15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8"...and that's because those modifiers were originally intended to overlay (and upgrade) a creature's base scores of "11, 11, 11, 10, 10, 10" to bring them more in line with the elite array.

For instance, if you alternate the assignment of the +4's and +2's with the 11's and 10's, you can almost create the elite array...i.e., 11+4 = 15, 10+4 = 14, 11+2 = 13, 10+2 = 12, 10+0 = 10, 11-2 = 9...it just gives you one extra point (i.e., turns that 8 into a 9). However, if you're allowed to place the "+4, +4, +2, +2, +0, -2" modifiers wherever you want, you don't have to alternate between the creature's underlying 11's and 10's anymore. And, in some cases, that can let you get some free boosts into higher ability scores. For instance, if you had 11+4 = 15, 11+4 = 15, 11+2 = 13, 10+2 = 12, 10+0 = 10, 10-2 = 8...you've suddenly generated a more powerful creature, because the 15, 15, 13, 12, 10, 8 array is considerably more powerful than the usual elite array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8...and made moreso if you can jack those 15's up to 16's with ability score increases a creature attains as it goes up in Hit Dice or class levels. That's why crunching them using both of those methods can result in different numbers.

Bottom line, though, is that using the "+4, +4, +2, +2, +0, -2" method is perfectly allowable...even preferred, according to the Pathfinder rules. So, it was my bad to single that out for any criticism. And, it makes this whole exercise worth going through both as an object lesson for folks following along...and as an additional lesson for myself.

John Bennett wrote:
Feats- Derro have two feats to start with (Improved Initiative and Weapon Finesse) so I added 4 more for 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th level for total of six.

I'm at the office today, so I don't have the spreadsheet I used to replicate your stat-block in front of me. But, based on what you've described, the Improved Initiative and Weapon Finesse are the base feats a derro gets as a 3 Hit Die creature. One for 1st "level" and one for 3rd "level" as it were. After that, her 7 levels in bard would have added 7 more Hit Dice, picking up another feat at 2nd level bard (because the Hit Dice would jump to 5 total), another at 4th level bard (for 7 total Hit Dice), and your last one at 6th level bard (for 9 total Hit Dice). The 7th level in bard didn't actually gain you another feat, because it just took the total Hit Dice to 10, which doesn't qualify for another feat. Basically, it gets down to two odds (3 racial Hit Dice and 7 Hit Dice from class levels) make an even (10 total Hit Dice) from which to calculate the total feat allotment. And that gets you 5 feats, rather than 6.

John Bennett wrote:
Skills- Were tough. I gave her 56 skill points (8 per level x 7, no favored anything and assuming I added correctly which I might not have). I stalked them on top of base derro skills which included ranks already in stealth. What was difficult is that when I tried to "deconstruct" how the derro was put together in the Bestiary, for their hit dice, it seemed like the derro was missing skill points. For a 3 HD humanoid, I think it recommends 12 skill points. The derro take a big wisdom hit for Perception and sink most the rest of their skill ranks in Stealth. I think I accounted for maybe 8 or 9 out of the twelve skill points spent.

I'm really at a loss without the spreadsheet in front of me, but to explain a base derro's skill allotment, they get 2 skill points per Hit Die (plus 0 for no Int modifier) for a total of 6 to spend...3 of those went into offsetting the -3 Wis penalty for Perception...and the other 3 went into Stealth along with a +2 Dex bonus and +4 size bonus...thus a derro's skills are Perception +0, Stealth +9. So, the PRD and Bestiary have them right.

For the purposes of determining and spending your skill points for an NPC, Paizo's spreadsheet will handily simplify this for you. It automatically calculates the base skill points for a creature's racial Hit Dice based on their creature type. It also applies modifiers for size, various skill-boosting feats, the ability score modifiers, and also whether a class skill bonus applies or not. For RPG Superstar, you don't have that tool at your disposal, though. So, to get as accurate as possible, it's best if you don't take what a creature already has and upgrade from there. You need to dive in and determine exactly how many racial Hit Dice it has...how many skill points that nets them...whether or not there's a size modifier in play for something...what's a class skill or not...and so on. Then, mix in the skill points gained from all your class levels and spend them how you wish.

Hope that helps,
--Neil

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

Neil Spicer wrote:
John Bennett wrote:
Ability scores- I started with the standard derro from the Bestiary and did a +4,+4,+2,+2,0,-2 and then at +1 for fourth level. Is there another way I should be doing this?

Nope. You're doing fine. I think that was my bad. I have this tendency (from 3.5) to go back and rebuild monsters from scratch, which means I start with the elite array rather than trying to adjust things with the "+4, +4, +2, +2, +0, -2" modifiers to the existing creature. To me, that can wind up skewing things...as discussed in the stat-block analysis for Trevor's derro, Ankradula the Sane. I crunched his ability scores using both methods and you can see the results from the application of the "+4, +4, +2, +2, +0, -2" modifiers results in a more powerful build than the elite array of "15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8"...and that's because those modifiers were originally intended to overlay (and upgrade) a creature's base scores of "11, 11, 11, 10, 10, 10" to bring them more in line with the elite array.

For instance, if you alternate the assignment of the +4's and +2's with the 11's and 10's, you can almost create the elite array...i.e., 11+4 = 15, 10+4 = 14, 11+2 = 13, 10+2 = 12, 10+0 = 10, 11-2 = 9...it just gives you one extra point (i.e., turns that 8 into a 9). However, if you're allowed to place the "+4, +4, +2, +2, +0, -2" modifiers wherever you want, you don't have to alternate between the creature's underlying 11's and 10's anymore. And, in some cases, that can let you get some free boosts into higher ability scores. For instance, if you had 11+4 = 15, 11+4 = 15, 11+2 = 13, 10+2 = 12, 10+0 = 10, 10-2 = 8...you've suddenly generated a more powerful creature, because the 15, 15, 13, 12, 10, 8 array is considerably more powerful than the usual elite array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8...and made moreso if you can jack those 15's up to 16's with ability score increases a creature attains as it goes up in Hit Dice or class levels. That's why crunching them using both of those methods can result in different numbers.
...

Wow, fast response. Thanks! I figured I was missing something on the skill ranks. I think what I was doing in my deconstructing, is using Meneena's higher Int score and that's what was confusing me. As for the feats, that I did not know, so thank you. Page 297 of the Bestiary talks about adding class levels but it doesn't specify if do feats based on total HD or just on the class levels (which I did). But, you determine NPC gear by the total CR, so that makes sense to do it the way you said. Again, I appreciate the feedback. And yeah, I sometimes switch back to 3.5, Bards have d8 hitpoints? Really?! :)

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Neil Spicer wrote:


I'm really at a loss without the spreadsheet in front of me, but to explain a base derro's skill allotment, they get 2 skill points per Hit Die (plus 0 for no Int modifier) for a total of 6 to spend...3 of those went into offsetting the -3 Wis penalty for Perception...and the other 3 went into Stealth along with a +2 Dex bonus and +4 size bonus...thus a derro's skills are Perception +0, Stealth +9. So, the PRD and Bestiary have them right.

Why would you do that instead of recalculate the racial skill points based on the adjusted trait? Step 2 on page 297 doesn't talk about *not* doing so, and you'd certainly adjust hit points based on the adjustment.

-Ben.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

terraleon wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:


I'm really at a loss without the spreadsheet in front of me, but to explain a base derro's skill allotment, they get 2 skill points per Hit Die (plus 0 for no Int modifier) for a total of 6 to spend...3 of those went into offsetting the -3 Wis penalty for Perception...and the other 3 went into Stealth along with a +2 Dex bonus and +4 size bonus...thus a derro's skills are Perception +0, Stealth +9. So, the PRD and Bestiary have them right.

Why would you do that instead of recalculate the racial skill points based on the adjusted trait? Step 2 on page 297 doesn't talk about *not* doing so, and you'd certainly adjust hit points based on the adjustment.

-Ben.

It's rather tricky. For example, Pathfinder Chronicles Classic Horrors Revisited has a derro statted up. Between that derro, the Bestiary derro, and a bard from the NPC guide, I tried to deconstruct everything and compared my builds to those. But the derros were hard as they all seemed a little different in the math.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

I'll probably post the "original" write-up for Meneena. It still followed word count but I had to cut 90 words when I thought I needed to add all her derro racial abilities (at the last minute). Having the Classic Horrors Revised book helped get the flavor of what derros do, but I realize now, that not everyone might fully undertand them. They basically are like aliens. They abduct people, experiment on them, and return them. Meneena would use some sort of artificial way to impregnate women, much like real life stories of abduction where women say they were impregnated and the aliens took the babies away. That's kind of Meneena's thing. She wants to create a child that will survive as stillborns are common occurences with derro Being insanse, she doesn't realize, like other derro, that it's the cytellish fungus they consume that causes their problems.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

So this has been a little late- but my post game breakdown and tips on how to use Meneena.

On the design process-
Meneena wasn't my first villain. I came up with a villain concept that I liked using the picture of the girl with the red hair and hat. But, I couldn't do justice to that idea in 600 words. Then, I was going to do a mafia style thug with the picture of the big dude, beard, and hat. He was going to be a gun runner, but while I liked the idea, I didn't think it was villainous enough. I also had idea for an evil druid whose tribe had been killed by a noble. He used a gun to "hunt" people as they had hunted him. (I think all three of my original ideas used guns...). Finally, I was flipping through the APG when I came across the sandman archetype. I have two thoughts about archetypes. 1.) Most of them are designed to be niche classes for very specific types of campaigns and 2.) They make the bard class cool. Someone said of my villain, they weren't a fan of bards, and neither am I, but there are some cool bard archetypes in the APG. So, right then, it was like a bolt of lightning. I knew about derro and just the sandman idea sounded really unusual, but really cool for one. I also liked the idea of playing up the boogeyman aspect, which I think is appropriate for derro. I really wanted to play that up in her plot hooks- mutant villagers, creepy deformed kids, just elements that give her a horror/X-files vibe.

Yeah, she isn't a combat monster, but what bard is? But that being said, I think she would work better as a challenging encounter for a lower level party. Think about using her like a monster in a movie. The reason that Freddy and Jason are so successful, is because generally they are picking off teenagers far weaker than them. In Friday the 13th part 9, a FBI swat team shows up and takes Jason out in the first 5 minutes of the movie. Against a powerful foe, even Jason gets taken down. Build up the horror with Meneena. Creepy lullabies lead to a weird village where abductions are going on. The PCs think they solve the mystery when the kill the weird, machete wielding mutant, yet they discover something even worse. A cave leads to the darklands. As they descend, lullabies echo through the twisting corridors. The PCs find kidnapped villagers tied down to crude beds, horrible surgical scars criss-crossing their bodies. And something stalks them from the dark, crooning softly, trying to lure them away one by one. Against any single one of the PCs she is a powerful foe. Only if the PCs stick together and work together can they hope to survive.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Hydro

I can't tell if your elaboration swayed me more or if she's just grown on me with time, but I do like her even more now. I wonder if your unused words could have been used to better flesh out the horror vibe you were envisioning?

One of my favorite parts is that you just mentioned a mutant with a machete, and how the PCs might beat her children only to find that they're just the tip of the iceberg. There's some awesome potential here to use Meneena as the creepy-ass "evil mommy" standing behind a more traditional slasher-flick-mutant-murderer. The latter is a good villain for a low-level party, but Meneena herself is smarter, more subtle, more powerful, and way more horrible.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

Nicolas Quimby wrote:

I can't tell if your elaboration swayed me more or if she's just grown on me with time, but I do like her now even more now. I wonder if your unused words could have been used to better flesh out the horror vibe you were envisioning?

One of my favorite parts is that you just mentioned a mutant with a machete, and how the PCs might beat her children only to find that they're just the tip of the iceberg. There's some awesome potential here to use Meneena as the creepy-ass "evil mommy" standing behind a more traditional slasher-flick-mutant-murderer. The latter is a good villain for a low-level party, but Meneena herself is smarter, more subtle, more powerful, and way more horrible.

The original plothooks were more detailed before I lost 90 words describing her derro abilities. I'll have to see if I can find a way to post the lullaby my friend played for me when I came up with the idea. It was really creepy and fit Meneena perfectly. I definitely think if you run Meneena, you should have sort of lullaby playing whenever she's near. Build up the fear and horror, that way when the PCs hear the lullaby, they might actually get the shivers!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 aka The Leaping Gnome

Neil Spicer wrote:
I'm at the office today, so I don't have the spreadsheet I used to replicate your stat-block in front of me. But, based on what you've described, the Improved Initiative and Weapon Finesse are the base feats a derro gets as a 3 Hit Die creature. One for 1st "level" and one for 3rd "level" as it were. After that, her 7 levels in bard would have added 7 more Hit Dice, picking up another feat at 2nd level bard (because the Hit Dice would jump to 5 total), another at 4th level bard (for 7 total Hit Dice), and your last one at 6th level bard (for 9 total Hit Dice). The 7th level in bard didn't actually gain you another feat, because it just took the total Hit Dice to 10, which doesn't qualify for another feat. Basically, it gets down to two odds (3 racial Hit Dice and 7 Hit Dice from class levels) make an even (10 total Hit Dice) from which to calculate the total feat allotment. And that gets you 5 feats, rather than 6.

This drives me crazy! Why are feats based on HD but ability score increases base on level? I completely agree with what Neil is saying here but I hate that ability boosts don't follow the same rules.

Just a pet peeve of mine.

Nerd rage!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka John Benbo

I probably would have got Meneena's hit points right if I ever got to play the game as a PC. As it is, ever since we started playing Pathfinder in July, I've been the GM. But really, bards get d8 hit dice?

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 aka The Leaping Gnome

John Bennett wrote:
But really, bards get d8 hit dice?

Yes John, yes they do. Only those with the ability to warp the fabric of reality (i.e. wish) are cursed with the d6 hit die (which is significantly better than the now forgotten d4 hit die).

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