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The Bogeyman Subtype


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My upcoming campaign has a high focus on bogeymen. So much so I pulled a rakshasa on the one in bestiary 3 and made it a full on subtype. However, while determining what abilities would transfer over I decided to do an audit of the bogeyman's stats and discovered the strange bonus to damage the creature has as well as a deflection bonus to AC that isn't explained. I also noticed they are not immune to fear, which is strangely ironic. Nor do they have darkvision.

It inspired the Force of Personality ability that all my bogeymen will have. I've also given them darkvision and generated an interaction with magical fear and bravery effects. I've also provided an example of a fledgling at CR1. Enjoy.

Bogeyman Subtype

Spoiler:

A bogeyman has the following traits, unless otherwise noted in the creature’s entry.

Spell resistance equal to 11 plus CR.

Damage Reduction 5/cold iron. Increase this amount by 5 for every 5th CR.

Bogeymen have a constant detect thoughts and tongues in effect and can cast ghost sound at will. Most bogeymen have additional abilities beyond this. Their caster level for these and any other spell-like abilities is equal to their CR, however a bogeyman qualifies for feats that apply to their fear based spell-like abilities using their total hit dice instead.

Deepest Fear (Su) A bogeyman is cloaked in a 30-foot aura of fear. This aura manifests as a shifting haze of images that reflect the viewer's deepest fears. The first time it ends its turn within the aura, a creature must make a Will save or become shaken for as long as it stays within the aura. If the creature succeeds at the saving throw, it cannot be affected again by the aura for another 24 hours. This is a fear effect. The DC is 10 plus half the bogeyman's hit dice plus its Charisma modifier.

Force of Personality (Ex) A bogeyman adds its Charisma modifier to damage dealt by its claws and as a deflection bonus to AC (note: this also applies to the bogeyman's CMD by default).

Formed From Fear (Su) Spells with the fear descriptor heal a bogeyman as if they were cure spells of equivalent spell level, but only if cast by a non-bogeyman source. Effects that counter fear effects act as inflict spells of equivalent spell level. These spells have no other effect on bogeymen save to heal or harm them.

Sneak Attack (Ex) All bogeymen have 1d6 sneak attack just like the rogue ability. A bogeyman gains an additional amount of sneak attack dice equal to half their CR rounded down.

Striking Fear (Su) If a bogeyman confirms a critical hit or a sneak attack with one of its claws on a target currently suffering a fear effect, that effect automatically becomes one step more severe (shaken creatures become frightened, frightened creatures become panicked, and panicked creatures cower in fear). A Will save negates this increase. In addition, a critical hit from the bogeyman's claw forces any target that has successfully saved against the creature's fear aura to make another Will save against its effects, even if 24 hours have not yet passed. This is a fear effect. The DC is 10 plus half the bogeyman's hit dice plus its Charisma modifier.

Terrible Rejuvenation (Su) A bogeyman gains fast healing equal to half its CR while any creature within its deepest fear aura is suffering from a fear effect, including any fear effect created by the aura itself.

+4 racial bonus on Intimidate and Stealth checks.

Fledgling Bogeyman CR1

Spoiler:

XP 400
NE Medium fey
Init +4; Senses low-light vision; Perception +5
Aura deepest fear (30 ft., DC 12)
DEFENSE

AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+2 deflection)
hp 10 (3d6); terrible rejuvenation 1
Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +3
DR 5/cold iron; SR 12
OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft.
Melee* 2 claws +0 (1d8+1)
Special Attacks sneak attack +1d6, striking fear
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 1st; concentration +3)

Constant—detect thoughts, tongues
At will—ghost sound (DC 12)
3/day—darkness
1/day—invisibility

STATISTICS

Str 8, Dex 11, Con 10, Int 9, Wis 10, Cha 15
Base Atk +1; CMB +0; CMD 12
Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Stealth)
Skills Bluff +7, Escape Artist +6, Intimidate +9, Knowledge (local) +4, Perception +5, Stealth +13; Racial Modifiers +4 Intimidate, +4 Stealth
Languages Aklo, Common; tongues
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Deepest Fear (Su)

A fledgling bogeyman is cloaked in a 30-foot aura of fear. This aura manifests as a shifting haze of images that reflect the viewer's deepest fears. The first time it ends its turn within the aura, a creature must make a DC 12 Will save or become shaken for as long as it stays within the aura. If the creature succeeds at the saving throw, it cannot be affected again by the aura for another 24 hours. This is a fear effect. The DC is Charisma-based.
Striking Fear (Su)

If a fledgling bogeyman confirms a critical hit or a sneak attack with one of its claws on a target currently suffering a fear effect, that effect automatically becomes one step more severe (shaken creatures become frightened, frightened creatures become panicked, and panicked creatures cower in fear). A DC 12 Will save negates this increase. In addition, a critical hit from the fledgling bogeyman's claw forces any target that has successfully saved against the creature's fear aura to make another Will save against its effects, even if 24 hours have not yet passed. This is a fear effect. The DC is Charisma-based.
Terrible Rejuvenation (Su)

A fledgling bogeyman gains fast healing 1 while any creature within its deepest fear aura is suffering from a fear effect, including any fear effect created by the aura itself.

As always criticism is welcome.


This looks interesting. I take it there are a variety of bogeymen, since you list a fledgling one?

Some other things (from the race builder) you may want to consider either for the fledgling, or for more advanced boogeymen:
.
.

See in Darkness:
Members of this race can see perfectly in darkness of any kind, including that created by spells such as deeper darkness.

Light Sensitivity:
Members of this race are dazzled as long as they remain in an area of bright light.
or
Light Blindness:
Abrupt exposure to bright light blinds members of this race for 1 round; on subsequent rounds, they are dazzled as long as they remain in the affected area.

Vulnerable to Sunlight:
Members of this race take 1 point of Constitution damage after every hour they are exposed to sunlight.

Frightful Gaze:
Members of this race gain the following supernatural ability: Creatures within 30 feet of a member of this race that meet its gaze must succeed at a Will saving throw (DC 10 + the 1/2 user's character level + the user's Charisma modifier) or stand paralyzed in fear for 1 round. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. A target that successfully saves cannot be affected by the user's frightful gaze for 24 hours.

The following could be made into Terrifying Noise:

Terrifying Croak:
Members of this race gain the following supernatural ability: Once per hour as a standard action, a member of this race can emit a thunderous croak. Any creature not of its subtype (if humanoid) or type (if another race type) must make a successful Will saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the user's character level + the user's Charisma modifier) or become shaken for 1d4 rounds. A target that successfully saves cannot be affected by the user's terrifying croak for 24 hours. Creatures that are already shaken become frightened for 1d4 rounds instead. This is a sonic, mind-affecting effect.

Shadow Travel:
When a member of this race reaches 9th level in any combination of classes, she gains the following spell-like ability (the caster level is equal to the user's character level):

1/day—shadow walk (self only)

When a member of this race reaches 13th level in any combination of classes, she gains the following spell-like ability (the caster level is equal to the user's character level):

1/day—plane shift (self only to the Shadow Plane or the Material Plane only)

Shadow Blending:
Attacks made against members of this race while they are within areas of dim light have a 50% miss chance instead of the normal 20% miss chance. This trait does not grant total concealment; it just increases the miss chance. This is a supernatural ability.

Dissolution's Child:
Members of this race gain the following supernatural ability: Once per day, a member of this race can change its appearance to look as if it were little more than a 4-foot-tall area of shadow. Its physical form still exists and it is not incorporeal—only its appearance changes. This racial trait works like invisibility, except the effect only lasts 1 round per level (maximum 5 rounds).

Out of curiosity, what would someone see if looking at the boogeyman through a gem of true seeing or similar? Are boogeymen born or made or a bit of both?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I did find it weird that the bogeyman in Bestiary 3 had no darkvision nor classic vulnerabilities. I've been using bogeymen on and off over the years in a previous campaign, but basically treated them as a template because anything that people feared could be a bogeyman.

Seeing stats brought me joy, until the mistakes came to light. Hence the need (IMHO) for a subtype and lesser/greater versions.

In B3 it kind of follows the classic myth of a child being stolen by a bogeyman and becoming his protege over time. In my last campaign bogeymen were living fear that festered and grew into an intelligent entity. If people in a city feared a particular dark alley long enough it would attract a fledgling who's personality and powers would develop as a reflection of this fear. Tell a scary story often enough a bogeyman's existence may become inspired by it.

One player asked me why not just ban scary stories from the world and I replied "imagine a bogeyman forming off of raw fear, as opposed to an identity that can be interacted with, one that can have a weakness. It is in the stories we tell that the rules for these creatures exist. Want to avoid Mr. Jangles? Scrape your feet three times and say his jingle, as the story goes." The idea is that every bogeyman has a weakness or a way of being warded off by common folk, otherwise they would murder everyone and everything.

I should have incorporated that into the subtypes description. Consider that remedied with this expanded description!

Spoiler:

A bogeyman has the following traits, unless otherwise noted in the creature’s entry.

Spell resistance equal to 11 plus CR.

Damage Reduction 5/cold iron. Increase this amount by 5 for every 5th CR.

See in darkness: Members of this race can see perfectly in darkness of any kind, including that created by spells such as deeper darkness.

Light Blindness: Abrupt exposure to bright light blinds members of this race for 1 round; on subsequent rounds, they are dazzled as long as they remain in the affected area.

Bogeymen have a constant detect thoughts and tongues in effect and can cast ghost sound at will. Most bogeymen have additional abilities beyond this. Their caster level for these and any other spell-like abilities is equal to their CR, however a bogeyman qualifies for feats that apply to their fear based spell-like abilities using their total hit dice instead.

Deepest Fear (Su) A bogeyman is cloaked in a 30-foot aura of fear. This aura manifests as a shifting haze of images that reflect the viewer's deepest fears. The first time it ends its turn within the aura, a creature must make a Will save or become shaken for as long as it stays within the aura. If the creature succeeds at the saving throw, it cannot be affected again by the aura for another 24 hours. This is a fear effect. The DC is 10 plus half the bogeyman's hit dice plus its Charisma modifier.

Force of Personality (Ex) A bogeyman adds its Charisma modifier to damage dealt by its claws and as a deflection bonus to AC (note: this also applies to the bogeyman's CMD by default).

Formed From Fear (Su) Spells with the fear descriptor heal a bogeyman as if they were cure spells of equivalent spell level, but only if cast by a non-bogeyman source. Effects that counter fear effects act as inflict spells of equivalent spell level. These spells have no other effect on bogeymen save to heal or harm them.

Sneak Attack (Ex) All bogeymen have 1d6 sneak attack just like the rogue ability. A bogeyman gains an additional amount of sneak attack dice equal to half their CR rounded down.

Striking Fear (Su) If a bogeyman confirms a critical hit or a sneak attack with one of its claws on a target currently suffering a fear effect, that effect automatically becomes one step more severe (shaken creatures become frightened, frightened creatures become panicked, and panicked creatures cower in fear). A Will save negates this increase. In addition, a critical hit from the bogeyman's claw forces any target that has successfully saved against the creature's fear aura to make another Will save against its effects, even if 24 hours have not yet passed. This is a fear effect. The DC is 10 plus half the bogeyman's hit dice plus its Charisma modifier.

Terrible Rejuvenation (Su) A bogeyman gains fast healing equal to half its CR while any creature within its deepest fear aura is suffering from a fear effect, including any fear effect created by the aura itself.

Vulnerable to Sunlight (Ex) Bogeymen take 1 point of Constitution damage after every hour they are exposed to sunlight.

Warding Effect (Ex) All bogeymen have something, be it a simply made trinket or a child's rhyme that can ward him off or cause him harm. For each bogeyman it's different. A knowledge local check DC 10+the CR of the bogeyman can determine what it is. The GM has final say on what the warding effect is, but it can be even odds whether it's one or the other. If it's a trinket then a craft check using the same DC can be made to craft the warding trinket. It takes a full round action to craft such a trinket and is interrupted if the crafts person is damaged. The trinket will only work for 24 hours, after that it must be either repaired as a standard action or a new one must be made. A warding trinket can be held aloft as a standard action and acts as a sanctuary spell cast by the wielder which only affects that bogeyman. In order to overcome the effect the bogeyman must make a Will save DC + half the wielders hit dice + their Charisma modifier, increase this DC by 4 if the wielder is a child. If it's a rhyme then a perform check using the same DC will cause harm to the bogeyman if it is within 30' of the performer. It's a standard action to perform this rhyme with it's effect lasting one round. Should the bogeyman be within range when the effect starts or end his turn within its range he takes 1d6 non-lethal damage for every two hit dice of the performer. He must make a Fortitude save DC + half the performers hit dice + their Charisma modifier or be stunned for one round. This is a warding effect though, so if the performer advances on the bogeyman not only does the effect wear off, but all the damage dealt is instantly removed (it would be wise for a GM to track the damage separately).

+4 racial bonus on Intimidate and Stealth checks.

Of course, different bogeymen have different abilities.

Bog Stomper CR 4

Spoiler:

XP 1200
NE Medium fey
Init +7; Senses see in darkness, smell fear; Perception +8
Aura deepest fear (30 ft., DC 12)
DEFENSE
AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 14 (+4 deflection, +3 Dexterity)
hp 33 (6d6+12); terrible rejuvenation 2
Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +6
Weaknesses light blindness, warding effect
DR 5/cold iron; SR 16
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft. swim 40 ft
Melee 2 claws +6 (1d8+4)
Special Attacks sneak attack +3d6, striking fear, terrifying croak
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th; concentration +3)
Constant—detect thoughts, tongues
At will—darkness, ghost sound (DC 14), jump
3/day—invisibility
1/day—hold person
STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 12, Cha 19
Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 17
Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Stealth), Weapon Finese
Skills Acrobatics +12 (+22 with jump), Bluff +10, Escape Artist +9, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (local) +4, Knowledge (nature) +5, Perception +8, Sense Motive +8, Stealth +19, Swim +14; Racial Modifiers +4 Intimidate, +4 Stealth
Languages Common; tongues
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Deepest Fear (Su)
A bog stomper bogeyman is cloaked in a 30-foot aura of fear. This aura manifests as a shifting haze of images that reflect the viewer's deepest fears. The first time it ends its turn within the aura, a creature must make a DC 17 Will save or become shaken for as long as it stays within the aura. If the creature succeeds at the saving throw, it cannot be affected again by the aura for another 24 hours. This is a fear effect. The DC is Charisma-based.
Smell Fear (Ex) Acts as the scent ability, but only on those under a fear effect of some sort.

Striking Fear (Su)
If a bog stomper bogeyman confirms a critical hit or a sneak attack with one of its claws on a target currently suffering a fear effect, that effect automatically becomes one step more severe (shaken creatures become frightened, frightened creatures become panicked, and panicked creatures cower in fear). A DC 17 Will save negates this increase. In addition, a critical hit from the bog stomper bogeyman's claw forces any target that has successfully saved against the creature's fear aura to make another Will save against its effects, even if 24 hours have not yet passed. This is a fear effect. The DC is Charisma-based.
Terrible Rejuvenation (Su)
A bog stomper bogeyman gains fast healing 2 while any creature within its deepest fear aura is suffering from a fear effect, including any fear effect created by the aura itself.

Ecology: In the darkest corners of marshes and swamps a type of fiend known as the bog stomper bogeymen dwell. Many of these creature's have names that locals can rattle off, along with the stories on how to avoid them. While in the mire it is advised that travelers stay away from abandoned homes and over turned boats. These are believed to house the big booted fey, whose eyes and necks bulge like a bloated dead frogs. They'll bellow out a croak that will still the stoutest heart and once they smell your fear no place in the marshes will hide you.


You might want both a warding rhyme and item since they do such different things. Do you see anything permanently warding off a bogeyman?

How effective would hiding under blankets be?

Are they after death, fear, or both? If they're mostly after fear (as a source of power, for instance), then they probably want to avoid killing except under circumstances associated with their story.

Which reminds me - how do the stories start? I can imagine that for some bogeymen (the ones that were originally not bogeymen) that the item or rhyme somehow reminds them of their human self, which causes them pain. As they start gaining reputations their power probably grows, but then so would their ties to their stories...

Thoughts?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The warding effect is to pay a nod to real world stories while allowing a mechanic that players and common folk could use. I suppose a hallowed area or some place where fear effects were removed could work as permanently warded area. I often find adding too many "unique rules" to a monster can frustrate my players.

Bogeymen are sustained by fear so killing may not always be their chosen tactic, but more powerful bogeymen prefer despair. Murdering a loved one scratches that itch. Plus, if a bogeyman isn't feared enough, then I guess he'll just have to do something about that. A public display if you will.

So, hiding under the blanket "works" if the bogeyman allows it.

Stories of bogeymen start like any story. A teller is looking to either imparting some information (here's WHY you don't go down that dark alley) or to force a reaction (here's what HAPPENS if you go down that dark alley). It's what makes stories entertaining.

A responsible story teller will offer rules for avoiding or defeating a bogeyman. Bear in mind too, most stories about a bogeyman shouldn't be true. The true stories though, are the ones whispered in hushed tones while a fire brightly roars and the room remains eerily still. Here the fear is real and the recounting is to aid those who may face this living terror.

There are no fanciful tales of Mr Jangles. To joke and jibe on the man in chains invites a display of horrific proportions.

Fledgelings also attach themselves to an already existing fear so that they may evolve from it. In my game this event is called cascading. It's when a bogeyman would "level up" and take on a more defined form with powers to match.

This post is quickly becoming a TLDR, so I'll spoiler the next two bits of info.

Bookworm

Spoiler:
A fledgeling that attached itself to the fears scribes had of the shadows between the bookshelves in an underground library. It took him over a hundred years before his presence could form, but once it did he quickly kidnapped some children that were visiting the ground level of the city's library and brought them down below via a secret passage. The players were asked to locate the missing children and discovered the passage. As they followed it the bogeyman appeared and attacked from between the bookshelves making himself a very difficult target.

Eventually the players drove him off and then tracked him down to his lair. here he had the children pinned under large piles of books that stood impossibly high. He was merrily tossing more books on top of the kids when the players charged in. Half the group tended to the kids while the rest focused on taking the slippery fiend down. As they fought him his form became more and more pronounced. As the children cried and each player fell victim to his fear inducing claws he cackled madly. One player said, "I'm putting this bookworm down!" and as he did the creature replied, "yes, that'll be my name, call me Bookworm!" The final assault was too much for the freshly cascaded fledgeling and he was laid low by the player that named him.

The Nameless Dark

Spoiler:

This is an example of a bogeyman that formed without stories or intelligent fear. It is an ancient creature that is, in no small part, inspired by the black smoke monster of the show Lost.

In the deep jungles of a undiscovered island, where no speaking creature dwells, where no hewn stone houses the living, where no language is spoken, is a living darkness. Ancient and without direction, only a drive to feed off of fear this thing without name or form scuttles the jungle floor devouring all life that flees from it. From predator to prey animals and dinosaurs, none are exempt. The God's themselves have turned a blind eye to this isle, for they know what men do not. If this nameless dark tastes an intelligent mind it could form into something unimaginably powerful.

For now, tumultuous storms and aggressive sea monsters prowl the surrounding waters keeping the island secluded, and the rest of the world, safe. For now.

Thanks for the comments, and encouragements.

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