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Leechroot


Top 16: Create a monster and stat block

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

7 people marked this as a favorite.

This tangle of rotten, lifeless roots raises two tentacles above the ground, reaching for fresh blood to quench its unholy thirst.

Leechroot CR 4
XP 1,200
NE Large undead
Init -1; Senses bloodthirst, tremorsense 30ft.; Perception +3

----- Defense -----
AC 18, touch 8, flat-footed 18 (-1 Dex, +10 Natural, -1 Size)
hp 32 (5d8+10)
Fort +3, Ref +0, Will +7
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2, earth barrier; DR 5/bludgeoning or slashing; Immune undead traits

----- Offense -----
Speed 5 ft., burrow 5 ft.
Melee 2 tentacles +7 (1d6+5 plus bloody sap and grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks drag under

----- Statistics -----
Str 20, Dex 8, Con —, Int —, Wis 17, Cha 15
Base Atk +3; CMB +9 (+13 grapple); CMD 18 (can't be tripped)
Skills Stealth +11 Racial Modifiers +16 Stealth
SQ bloodthirst

----- Ecology -----
Environment any forest (Avistan)
Organization solitary
Treasure none

----- Special Abilities -----
Bloodthirst (Su) A leechroot can detect bleeding creatures as if it had the scent ability. It can also absorb blood directly from its victims’ cuts. Once per round, while maintaining a grapple, a leechroot may heal 2 points of damage for each grappled opponent with the bleed condition.
Bloody Sap (Su) The vicious resin that exudes from a leechroot’s tentacles is infused with negative energy, preventing both natural and magical healing. Every time an opponent takes damage from a tentacle, it must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 15) or take 2 points of bleed damage each round thereafter. Multiple wounds do not result in cumulative bleeding loss. The bleeding can only be stopped by removing the sap from the wounds as a standard action. Casting a cure spell on a creature suffering from this bleed effect requires a successful caster level check (DC 15 + level of the spell).
Drag Under (Ex) As part of an action to maintain a grapple, a leechroot can bury a grappled foe 5 feet into the ground. A buried opponent is pinned and cannot receive help to break free from the grapple. A buried opponent that escapes the grapple remains pinned unless it succeeds on a DC 10 Strength check to dig up through the loose soils as a move action.
Earth Barrier (Ex) A leechroot burrowing 5 feet from the surface is partially visible, can make attacks using its normal reach, and gains concealment and partial cover. It can be uprooted with a successful drag maneuver, losing cover and concealment. It may burrow back as a move action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

The brutal Goblinblood Wars left in their wake a devastated land, a horde of orphaned children, and, among other tragedies, the arising of a new undead horror. The first leechroot emerged from the remains of plants drowned in the blood-drenched soils of Chiterwood. A chaotic intertwining of rotten roots, this monstrosity quickly spread its curse, soaking other dead plants in its sap to spawn a horrid offspring. Not even the cleansing fire that consumed Chitterwood could rid the world of this sprouting danger. Moving underground, the leechroots dispersed to forests all over Avistan, reaching as far as the Ustalavic Shuderwoods.

A leechroot is driven solely by an insatiable thirst for blood. It hides among undergrowth and below the earth while waiting for unwary prey, slashing against anything that comes its way. Relying on razor-sharp tentacles, a leechroot snatches its victims and feeds directly from their wounds. The absorbed blood mutates into a thick, dark red sap which runs through the leechroot’s vessels and oozes from its unhallowed body.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Initial Impression: Nasty blood-sucking undead leech plant thing is vicious (or is that viscous?). I like the core concept. I have some power creep concerns, similar to the other leech monster but not as bad. Again, unifying monster abilities was a huge part of 3E (inherited by Pathfinder). You don't want burrow and dig and drag abilities in a CR 4 undead that, say, an ankheg doesn't have. Or a bulette. That said, I think those are development notes. I still think this is a very good monster. I'm going to have to see where this one sits once they are all in.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Initial Impression Undead plant thing drags you under the earth? Can plants really be undead?

I like the concept of some undead *thing* dragging you under the earth, even if the rationale leaves me pretty skeptical. but I'm surprised that Clark doesn't see that as viable just because the drag mechanic isn't there for another monster. It's this monsters whole thing, and frankly is something that fantasy rules should support for a whole host of monsters.

That said, this really ought to address suffocation at least tangentially. I don't know that the rules on being dragged under the earth exist in the Core Rules.

Sap that requires caster checks for magical healing PLUS induces bleed is truly nasty. I like it.

We do have a LOT of ambush predator monsters in this set including the Iceroot, the Miremane, and the Deadfall Dweller. And inevitably they will be compared against one another. This one, I'm on the fence about: it's a mixed bag.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Oh I see it as viable. I just think you have to be careful giving a creature a power that if anyone should have it the ankheg should. 3E was very good about unifying those kinds of powers across power levels. It's just a design criticism I have. Not saying it's fatal. Like I said, those are just development notes.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Welcome to Round 3! I'm posting this little blurb at the top of my reply for everyone. FYI, I'm not going to crunch all the math in your stat block, for several reasons. One, I don't have an hour for each monster. :) Two, I'm sure you've been very diligent about this and if anything is wrong, it's probably only off by a little bit. Three, if you were writing this for publication in a Paizo book, you'd be using our stat block spreadsheet, which takes care of the math for you--your job is to understand the rules and bring the mojo. :) My focus in this review is on the overall coolness and balance of your monster, with an eye on how efficiently you put it together and a spot-check of stat block elements that catch my eye.

Okay, your monster is an undead-plant that feeds on blood. That's creepy.

Stat block nitpicks: You need a space between "tremorsense" and the range. Don't capitalize "natural" or "size" in the AC bonus parenthetical. You need a semicolon before "Racial Modifiers" in the Skills entry.

When I first read this, I actually skipped the stat block to read the main text. I got to the point where you said "moving underground" and I thought to myself, "please give this creature the burrow ability"... and you did. Yay!

Instead of an undead made from a dead person, this is an undead made from plants drowned in blood. That's a wicked twist, and I like it.

DR 5/bludgeoning or slashing is weird. You'd think a bludgeoning weapon wouldn't be very good against a root monster.

Bloodthirst: This is really two abilities—detecting bleeding creatures and healing while grappling. Because it already has tremorsense, it doesn't really need the bleed-detection ability (in most cases, tremorsense is better than scent, and as this creature hunts from underground, it would be okay if it ignored flying creatures that it couldn't detect with tremorsense). As for the healing, it would be simpler to just give it fast healing when it's grappling a creature with the bleed condition—especially as we have rules explaining fast healing and we know how that works.

Bloody Sap: Just skip the Fort save and give it the bleed ability, it's a reasonable ability for a monster of this CR. The "hard to heal wounds" bit is cool.

Drag Under: At first I thought "this should be an action it can take against a pinned opponent." And then I thought "but that means 2-3 rounds of combat for grapple-pin-bury, is it likely to last that long before the PCs kill it?" And then I thought "what advantage does this creature gain by burying its current victim? It's not intelligent, so it's not doing this as a defensive strategy." I suppose it is like a croc's death roll ability, but that just knocks the target prone and maintains the grapple. So... neat ability, but I'm not sure what the purpose is other than to make the monster weirder.

I like this monster. It needs a little fiddling, but I think it's cool and fun.

I DO recommend this monster for advancement.

Founder, Legendary Games & Publisher, Necromancer Games, RPG Superstar Judge

Pedro, welcome to Round 3!

Now that I’ve read all 16 entries, I can say that there are some real strong entries here—more strong entries than spots, unfortunately. Some good submissions won’t make the cut. I am only going to recommend 8 of you since only 8 can advance. In close cases, I took into account your prior work.

What I am looking for: I’m a big picture guy more than a minute details guy. I don’t think just seeing if you crunched out the rules properly is the right way to judge a good entry for this round. Of course you need to execute the stat block properly. Luckily, Sean and Wolfgang are way more qualified than I am to talk about the nit picks and issues with the stat block so I will leave that to them. My comments to you will be more “big picture.” For me, I want to see a monster that is fun and playable—a monster that leaps of the page and makes me find a way to incorporate it at the game table. That, to me, is a superstar monster. So here we go…

You got my Initial Impressions above. I’ve done a lot of thinking about all 16 submissions and initially I didn’t have you in my top 8 but I kept coming back to this submission. In the end, while it has its flaws, the core concept here is just too good for me to leave behind and as a result you get one of my final two recommendations to advance.

Design (name, overall design choices, design niche, playability/usability, challenge): A
The nasty undead leach plant thing is just wicked cool and it is a really great core idea. Do I still have some of the power creep concerns I listed above? Yes, but they are not fatal. They cost you an A+, though. I just kept coming back to this monster. It was better than Steven’s deadfall dweller and better than Kalervo’s miremane and Joseph’s iceroot devourer, in my view. So you, Michael and Maurice got my final spots.

Execution (quality of writing, organization, Golarion-specific, use of proper format, quality of content—description, summary of powers, rules execution, mechanics innovation): B+
Without repeating Sean, I really like the slate of abilities. This is a fun monster that is well executed. Perfect? No. Budding Superstar? Yes.

Tilt (did it grab me, do I want to use one in an adventure?, mojo, just plain fun factor): A
I just couldn’t get away from this one. It’s creepy undead roots got me. Mojo city, baby!

Overall: A-
Pedro, you squeaked into one of my last recommend spots this round with this nasty undead plant thing. Somehow it had a Dracula meets Day of the Triffids kind of vibe. Loved it.

Final Verdict: I DO RECOMMEND this monster advance.

Pedro, your reins were good but we called on you to improve your writing, which you did with your Round 2 archetype, which was an improvement. This one is a step better, too. But you need to really bring it next round. I hope the voters agree with me and give you that chance.

Good luck!

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

I get a serious Evil Dead vibe off of this monster.

That's a good thing. Got my vote.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

As a frequenter of the Paizo boards, I noticed immediately that you A) wrote an undead monster in a game that has consisted mostly of oozes and aberrations thus far, and B) you created an inhuman undead, which is something not many people (even designers) do.

And hot damn, did you pull it off with style. I love this monster; it perfectly utilizes its undead nature in its hunt. The low speed bugs me; I think you could have gotten away with 10 or 15 squares (sort of like it was a staggering zombie) and I agree with others that it might rely too much on the ambush. However, it is a monster that I truly believe Wes would love; it a rare breed of monster whose tool kit is absolutely perfect for horror.

Star Voter Season 6

With its move speed, this feels more like a hazard than a monster, but overall I like it.

Grand Lodge

I definitely like this thing, and will vote for it, but I wonder if it should have the Plant type as well as the Undead type, instead of just being an Undead made out of Plant. Not sure what all that might do to the statblock, though.

Im also marking this one as a Favorite, just in case it doesnt ever see the light of day in an official product. I'd still want to use it. ;)

Good luck!

Scarab Sages Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

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

Creepy! Undead blood sucking plan...yeah, I will surely use this one and that means, it gets my vote!

Good luck with the remainder of the contest!

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

This is a creepy undead plant, which makes this - unlike most other plants - actually interesting. Most plants are pretty boring on their own (and this is technically undead), but I think it works.

I agree with all of the above that burying a creature is a little weird. Great imagery, sure, but unclear mechanics-wise. It sounds like this creature's ideal strategy would be grab a single PC, and pull them underground as fast as possible. Once there, it will almost absolutely have no trouble eating them. After all, it's already proven it can maintain the grapple for at least two turns.

The problem is: because it's grapple based and not intelligent I can't see one of these monsters being a good encounter. You list them as solitary, so you're not going to see a bunch of them in a... grove, or something, and with 5ft move speed you never have to worry about them following you (though at least PCs won't pick it off from a distance with a burrow speed), and nonsentient probably means you're not going to see them working with/for other creatures (maybe as a necromancer's trap)..

It feels like a really elaborate trap. A good, creepy undead plant trap - but a trap more than a monster.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

Name: Descriptive, but at a higher level than most. It's fairly evocative.

Cool Factor: I like that you took an odd idea like an undead plant and made it work. That's got some mojo. I'm not completely sold that given what it does it needs to be a plant, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

This monster does seem to be highly situational, though. Not something that's threatening in a wide variety of environments. Though I like the idea of ambushing a sleeping party. Everyone wakes up to shouting and sees Pippin being pulled underground.

I think it does need to address the suffocation issue for pulled-under characters, but the tactic makes sense.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8

My favorite mosnters so far.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Phloid

I had brainstormed the idea of an undead plant monster for this competition too as it seemed to be an unexplored idea, but I think this one falls short. Other than having channel resistance and undead traits (which have many similarities to plant traits), I don't know why this monster couldn't just have been a bloodsucking plant monster. There are some reasons for it being undead in the descriptive text, but even this seems sort of tacked on. It is not a plant monster that died and became undead, but a "mundane" dead plant that absorbed the blood or souls of the dead and then gained some sort of sentience and spread its undead nature to other dead plants. I'm just not buying it. It seems like the undead/plant nature was just a gimmick added to make it stand out, and I can't vote for that.

Star Voter Season 7

I love this concept, and I have no specific issues with the stats, but I'm not quite sure it works as an effective encounter.

My suggestions for making it more viable would be to give it a 15' reach and a modification to Drag Under where foes underground are still grappled, but the Leechroot isn't considered to be grappling them. See the Giant Frog's Tongue ability, the Balor's Entangle ability, the Kraken's Tenacious grapple, or the Swallow Whole UMR.

You've got my vote, though.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Epic Meepo

@Pedro: I think this is an interesting monster, though its undead nature seems a bit tacked-on and gratuitous. The drag under ability technically works as written, but could have been improved had it borrowed wording from the shaitan genie's stone curse special attack. All of that being said, I could envision this monster creating a memorable ambush for a low-level party.

With some hesitation, I give this monster the Epic Meepo seal of approval; it will be getting one of my votes this round.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847

I like it. Dragging its victims under the earth is particularly horrifying, and would make it much harder for allies to come help out. I can see memorable encounters will it dragging a victim under, and other PCs grabbing hold of either the monster or ally to drag them back out. I also liked earth barrier as a defensive ability that can be countered.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Standback

I confess that after Steve Miller's terrific Necrotic Reef last year, merely declaring a plant undead doesn't seem as innovative to me. That one reeked with undead flavor; this one, as Nickolas mentioned, doesn't feel too different to me than any bloodthirsty plant. Not Superstar to me - though, nonetheless, good work, and good luck :D

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka DankeSean

I'll admit to a strong bias against plant monsters; that's not against the Plant type, but rather monsters that are trees, shrubs, giant flowers, etc. There always just feels like there's a kind of sameness about them. So, points for making an undead plant, but in the end it feels like it has the same sameness about it that so many 'carnivorous shrubbery' plants do: it wraps you up in its roots and dribbles nasty sap on you. Now, that's probably not completely fair of me; you do pull it off with a lot more panache than that, and I like the infusing of undead nastiness onto that sameness (the negative energy in the sap impeding healing spells is particularly fun, especially with it being a bleed effect.)

I don't hate it; the more I read it the more it grows on me, and you're a vote contender. Best of luck whichever way I go.

Liberty's Edge Contributor , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

You took a typical plant monster and went in an unexpected direction with it. I would have liked a little bit more from you to make this a better fit as an undead creature (bloody sap approaches this, but it seems like a plant with extra exposure to negative energy could have this ability). It's a terrifying monster no matter how you classify it, though. :)

Best of luck in the voting!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Well! I'd like to commend my fellow contestants for a batch of really neat monsters. I agree with Clark's statement that there were more good entries than spots. Second, thanks to everyone who spent the time to read, comment and/or vote for this monster (but specially to those who voted for it!:P). Now, I'd like to talk a little about the design process and chime in on the discussion.

Design Process and why this is an undead (Wall of Text):

First, I think one thing that hurt me considerably was that this was a last-minute idea. I didn't have enough time to let it sit for a while and then come back to look at it with fresh eyes for a final polish. I had been working with other concepts (ironically, one of them was a small dragon creature that had an aura spreading plantlife and turning people into plants - loved your acclaimed Blackwood Drake, Matthew!), and the one I was going with was more original than this, I think, but I felt it lacked some punch and was a bit too niche, bordering on sci-fi. So I thought up the leechroot on wednesday, and it was due Friday - basically, I put this together in two nights and two drafts. Talk about hurrying a design. Still, I don't regret sending this in, I'm passionate about the monster concept and abilities - though I think the mechanics needed more work. Still, I think it would be a fun encounter. I stand by this monster, despite the not-so-great reception it got in the messageboards.

Now before going point by point in the mechanics, I'd love to clear some things up regarding the nature of this monster. I've read every comment with an open mind, taking the criticism and reflecting upon it. The only thing that upset me was this:

Quote:
It seems like the undead/plant nature was just a gimmick added to make it stand out.

I thought this was unfair. It's an assumption that does not make justice to the creative process here. Though the opinion that this maybe shouldn't have been an undead is echoed in other comments, this one said to me "nah, you are just trying to garner some votes with your cheap trick". That was not the case, and here is how it really went.

Like I said, a couple of days before the deadline, I was not completely happy with what I had cooked up. So I started brainstorming for something else, going through the creature types. I was guessing there would be lots of magical beasts, fey (still can't believe no one went that route) and plants (yes, I knew there would be lots of plants). My previous entry was a construct, and I wanted to do something else that I thought was unlikely to come up. So I picked undead, also because I love encounters with undead creatures, and in general I really dig the backstory behind the creation of such monsters - always something creepy or tragic. Of course, I wasn't planning on doing anything water-related after Round 2, so it was forest and swamps for me. So I could go with forest spirits and the like, or undead animals, or hey - undead plant, even if I was trying to avoid plants altogether. To me this seemed ok, as in my view anything that lives can become an undead (undead ooze, I'm looking at you). So when people say "undead gimmick" I say "undead template". Thinking of undead and forests, I pictured a vampire-like plant. From that, it was a small step to making this a bunch of roots - that's how plants absorb fluids! If I was to go with roots, then it had to have some cool ways of doing underground stuff, and I wanted dead roots drowned in blood - I skimmed over every single forest entry in the Inner Sea World Guide hoping somewhere I'd find a large battle in the woods.

I actually had a friend come up and say "Well, why isn't this just a regular plant"? That seemed counter-intuitive to me: plants feeding on blood. That, to me, was clearly undead territory. So even if the mechanics didn't showcase that strong a connection (I think bloody sap actually does the job), to me undead are much more a question of origins and "feel" than mechanics. I don't know. I can't picture the leechroot as a plant creature. It would make no sense to me. I didn't come up with a plant, wrote it up and then thought "hmm, doesn't look cool enough, I'll tack on some undead traits and be done with it". So, no, I wasn't doing something to garner votes, I was pursuing what felt right based on my initial idea.

Oh, and I'm crushed no one said anything about the bloody sap creating other leechroots, I thought it was so undead-y!

End of rant. :)

Sean's comments on mechanics:
What can I say, they are all spot on. Though I'd like to say two things: I included the "blood scent" ability more because of the concept than because of the mechanics - the creature slashes at a moving prey and immediately knows if it is a meal worth pursuing or just somehing that has no blood. About the purpose of the drag under ability, Seans put it this way:

Sean K. Reynolds wrote:
So... neat ability, but I'm not sure what the purpose is other than to make the monster weirder.

I admit I wanted something different, if not weird. Being buried alive is prety cool cinematically, but I did want it to impact on the battle by screwing up action economy - i.e., even if you escape the grapple, you still spend at least one round to get back to the combat. The option to remove tha bloody sap also went in that direction: you can keep bleeding or lose an action (though that's pretty much what bleeding does anyways).

Suffocation:

Wolfgang Baur wrote:
That said, this really ought to address suffocation at least tangentially. I don't know that the rules on being dragged under the earth exist in the Core Rules.

I actually used the rules for cave-in and collapses as a frame of reference for that situation, since it has mechanics for a buried character. By RAW, a buried character takes 1d6 nonlethal damage per minute (which I believe is the way the mechanics deal with slow suffocation in this case). Maybe I should have referenced that, but I thought no one would stay buried long enough for it to make any difference (that's why I set a much lower DC to get out of the ground). Considering a character could be left buried while unconsious, I can see how this rule reference coul be useful. So while I did consider the implications of being buried, it was an oversight not to mention the existing rules to deal with this case.

Move Speed:

I see a lot of people had problems with its move speed. I didn't expect that, since a slow speed is pretty much staple for plant creatures (and this has the anatomy of a plant creature). Many have a 10 ft. speed, with the Assassin Vine and Yellowmusk Creeper having a 5 ft. speed. Maybe the leechroot could be a bit faster, though I'm ok with how it is. Bobson talked about increasing its reach and that is something I though I should've done after I submitted. I think it's better than increasing its speed. Now, saying this is a trap because it is slow is going a bit far, in my opinion, since it's not like there's no precedent in the bestiary.

Necrotic Reef:
When I read Ziv's comment, my first thoughs were "Hey, corals are animals, not plants. What is he talking about?" Then I clicked the link and re-read Steve Miller's monster, and did some research about reefs. Though a reef is mainly composed of corals, there are definitely algae there, and Steve specifically described his monster as a "plant-like mass" (though I still think the plants should be the lesser part of it). Anyway, my point is, I didn't remember it clearly enough to make the connection undead plant/Necrotic Reef. But, to be honest, I think everyone got so hung up on the fact that this was an undead plant as if that's all there was to it, when the part I was more excited about wasn't even that it was a combination of undead and plant, but that it was a horrific, bloodsucking mass of razor-sharp tentacles that just happened to have been a plant one day. Or, like Clark so eloquently put it:

Clark Peterson wrote:
Somehow it had a Dracula meets Day of the Triffids kind of vibe.

This made me happy: it captures the leechroot's core.

So once more, thanks everyone for the comments, and thanks to the judges for the recommendation and for thinking this could be made into something interesting.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Standback

Hey Pedro, I totally didn't mean the reference to the Necrotic Reef as a knock. Parallel design happens, and I don't even think this is parallel design, since the two actual creatuees are enormously different.

The thing is, you were going for "horrific and bloodsucking." But being horrific and bloodsucking is pretty standard for monsters. The reason I called the Reef out was because I thought it provided a really great example of flavor, and particularly mixing the "undead" flavor with an atypical element. A reef collects coral and algea; so an undead reef collects victims; it's a strong image and also a very unusual one. I didn't feel that strong chord here, and I think that's what would have made the difference for me. That's a lot of what I was trying to say there :)

Best of luck!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Ziv Wities wrote:
A reef collects coral and algea; so an undead reef collects victims;

... a living root absorbs water from the ground, an undead root absorbs blood from living creatures! :)

But I understand your point. Don't worry, I wasn't offended by your comment. ;)

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Phloid

Pedro Coelho Mendes Bueno Barbosa wrote:
I thought this was unfair. It's an assumption that does not make justice to the creative process here. Though the opinion that this maybe shouldn't have been an undead is echoed in other comments, this one said to me "nah, you are just trying to garner some votes with your cheap trick". That was not the case, and here is how it really went.

I just want to say, that your monster was really very well done. In fact the majority of he entries this round were strong, though not jaw dropping awesome. This made picking my votes very difficult and I had to find things I didn't like about them to eliminate them. Although I said that the undead/plant seemed tacked on, I didn't think that is the way you designed it. I was sure that you didn't make a plant creature and then decide to make it undead at the end to make it cooler. I'm sure that you thought "what about an undead plant monster" and went from there, but unless you really sell something like this it will seem like a gimmick in the end. And I apologize if my critique above was too blunt. I wasn't trying to be. Here are more details on what my thoughts were and what I think could have helped your Leechroot really sell the undead plant thing to me and a few others.

I mentioned in my critique that I had thought up an undead plant monster too in awaiting the possibility of playing this round, but I was aware that it might be seen as a gimmick it I wasn't careful. I was worried that it might appear that I was doing something that had never been done before (at least in Paizo books) in order to stand out. One thought I had to mitigate this possibility was to start with a plant monster and figure out what that monster would become it if died and became undead. Its abilities could change as befitting an undead, but I would have started with one of the well known plant monsters such as an assassin vine, shambling mound, or treant. It could have similar abilities, but with an undead twist.

The other thing I thought of that might really sell an undead plant is to make it really creepy and very undead with abilities reminiscent of other undead. You have blood sucking something like a vampire, but I could also see a carnivorous plant sucking blood like it was water. The Bloody Sap ability says it is infused with negative energy, but to me bleed damage could really just be a bad cut. The Drag Under ability could have been written to be more of a "put you in your grave" thing than the "put you in the ground to provide sustenance for plants" vibe it gives me now. It could have gone further with ability damage, or energy drain of some kind, a fear aura, or a paralyzing touch like a ghoul, or something similar. The abilities really needed to scream "undead" and I don't think they did.

Anyway, I think you are a solid designer and if you make the cut I expect that we will see another solid entry from you next round. Good luck.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Hi Nickolas,

Now I see what you mean. I know the abilities you mention (energy drain, fear aura, paralyzing touch) are common features of undead, and in a way I tried to steer from that to try to come up with new mechanics. But you are right in the sense that the abilities rely more on the creature's anatomy then on its undead nature. When you put it this way, I can see why people would want more of an "undead vibe" regarding the abilities. I guess I could also have leaned more heavily on the semantic field that relates to undead horror fiction (your example of "puts you in your grave" was great, that would really fit the concept better).

I just needed to respond to that comment to get it off my chest, and I see that I took it more seriously than it was meant to be. ;)

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wow. I... didn't expect that.

Thanks for the votes, guys!!! I hope you enjoy the encounter I'm preparing!

Star Voter Season 6

Pedro Coelho Mendes Bueno Barbosa wrote:
I see a lot of people had problems with its move speed. I didn't expect that, since a slow speed is pretty much staple for plant creatures (and this has the anatomy of a plant creature). Many have a 10 ft. speed, with the Assassin Vine and Yellowmusk Creeper having a 5 ft. speed. Maybe the leechroot could be a bit faster, though I'm ok with how it is. Bobson talked about increasing its reach and that is something I though I should've done after I submitted. I think it's better than increasing its speed. Now, saying this is a trap because it is slow is going a bit far, in my opinion, since it's not like there's no precedent in the bestiary.

To be fair, I consider the Assassin Vine to be a trap more than a creature as well. You design the encounter arround them that way. I feel a lot of plant monsters could be better served by not treating them as monsters.

Edit: I would like to add that despite that complaint, you still had my vote.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Fair enough. :)

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Congratulations Pedro,

I found this entry a little hodge-podge as has been said, but I like the strategy involved with drag under. I would hate to run this as a GM. Oddly I think a lot going on in an encounter could work in your favor. Overall this is the silver, good luck.

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