Monsters save the world

Game Master caster4life

Battle maps
Monsters sheets
Large maps (dungeon, region)


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You like your job well enough. The pay is small and sporadic. A silver piece here. A well-chewed shoe there. The work isn't hard and food and lodging are included. Sure the hours are long. The boss doesn't even know your name. Yeah you don't see the sun very often. The lodging might be a dank cave. And the food often comes in sharp metal packaging that can make it hurt to chew on. But all in all, being a monster guarding an evil wizard's lair is a pretty good gig! It sure beats being a lone monster that adventurers just stumble onto and gang up on in the woods…

Game description:
This will be a monster campaign! You start as monsters guarding the lair of an evil wizard. But soon things go wrong and the wizard is out of the picture and you're left with the dungeon on your hands. Adventurers still come looking for trouble from time to time and it's the only home you have! As you defend your home and explore the surrounding area, you slowly piece together what happened to your late boss. You learn of a threat to the very existence of the world itself. Which is a bummer because you're rather attached to the world. So you'll just have to go and save it!

Character creation mechanics:

For the most part, your stats will be the same as those of the monsters you chose from the bestiary (HP and background skills being the main differences as explained below). Whatever skill ranks, racial bonuses, feats, etc that monster has it what you have. Those stats can then be modified as you take templates, class levels, or grow into a more powerful but very similar monster (e.g. a ghoul becoming a draugr) such that you still have continuity of the same character.

You will start off as CR 2 monsters. You may apply non-mythic templates as long as you keep a net CR of no more than 2 and as long as you have no more than a total of three zero or negative CR templates. No humanoid (or monstrous humanoid) creature types!

You may play any non-humanoid monster that could reasonably work for an evil wizard in her lair in the woods and then go adventuring. So poltergeist is out, for example, because it is bound to a specific site. But whatever you play must be capable of communicating with the other party members. So you have to be capable of speaking some language or telepathy. And the party will need to have some language in common.

To help with that, you get two background skills ranks for every CR you have. Max ranks in a skill will be based on your CR or HD, whichever is higher.

You will want to consider level-up possibilities when you choose your monster. Monsters may take class levels (with each level counting as one CR) but class levels may never be more than half your CR. You might want to play a monster that has a power progression already, such as most elementals, dragons, etc. You can take and re-spec as we level to make things work out. For example, your young blue dragon monk 2 (CR 11) can become a young (-1) adult blue dragon (CR 12). There will be a lot of options for how to do your progression. But your character shouldn't change so much as to disrupt the concept. E.g. your advanced dryad warpriest 4 shouldn't become a vampire. In addition, there should be a match between what your monster is RPing, learning, practicing, how its changing, etc that matches the mechanical change upon leveling up to a higher CR.

Players should be ready for the mechanical work of building and playing a monster. It will be significantly different than our classic PCs and will require some level of attention to detail. Players who aren’t ready to keep track of their monsters’ abilities won’t be well-suited for this game. Players who like mechanical challenges and building well will do well. A certain amount of power gaming will be fine as long as the RP does not suffer for it. Occasionally, an overpowered combo or element may arise which I will ban as necessary, e.g. the blood money spell is banned. When this comes up, I will just discuss it with the player(s) involved and we will find a solution that is as satisfactory as possible.

Banned templates: Class templates (e.g. wizard creature), mythic templates, anything that comes up as game-breaking
Allowed templates: All paizo and some 3rd party upon request and GM review.

No starting equipment except for what the bestiary says you would have.

When you take your first class level, you may take traits.

The first hit die that you gain you get full hp. After that, you get the avg rounded up (d8->5, d10-> 6, etc) at each hit die. Monsters don't get favored class bonuses.

Party roles:

Some party roles will be a lot easier to fill than others as monsters. Here are some important roles to think about how your party will fill them.

Face (very important and very difficult, would probably require disguise or some sort of polymorph effect)
Healer (important and difficult)
Utility caster (somewhat important and difficult)
Controller
Tank
Striker
Scout
Blaster

If everyone is a tank, striker, or scout, things will be very difficult indeed. If yours is the only submission capable of disguising yourself as a human and asking about the legend of the purple sorcerer in town, your chances of being selected go up. That said, if four other people have selected party faces, maybe you should fill another role.

Setting:

The entire game will take place in a homebrew setting of large river valley about 100 miles across and 150 miles long surrounded by mountains. The terrains here are mountains, plains, forest, swamp, underground, underwater, and urban. There are a number of small farming villages, a few larger towns, and two large cities. The cities tend to have more law and order but there is very little presence of a single legal authority over the entire region, so it's a little like the Wild West in that sense.

The standard Golarion pantheon will be in play but you are welcome to develop a homebrew deity as long as you run things by me first.

Character description/backstory:

This game will have very weird PCs, both mechanically and descriptively. There will be many weird, odd, cool, and funny moments. But like any game, it will need interesting characters who are motivated both in and out of character.

So your backstory should explain 1. how you came to be in the employ of an evil wizard guarding her lair, 2. what your motivations are, 3. what the personality, quirks, habits, etc of your character are, 4. what your character looks like, and 5. a way that you could see your character developing over the course of the game. Hint: Eating everything, acquiring power, and murder are all pretty uninteresting motivations to this GM. Having those are fine but there should be other, more interesting elements as well.. Second hint: Becoming more powerful is not interesting as a potential character development arc.

A few examples of potentially interesting motivations:
To make a safe place for outcasts
To find a group with which one can feel at home
To be well-liked and popular

A few examples of character developments:
Learning to trust
Becoming less willing to trust
Overcoming an extreme lack of self-confidence
Overcoming an extreme excess of self-confidence

Alignment:

All alignments allowed. That said, good alignments will have some trouble fitting in with monsters that might eat a significant portion of the creatures they encounter. On the flip side, being excessively evil will also be a problem.

Just like any game, party conflict has to be kept tightly under control. Any action antagonistic toward another player needs to be run by me via PM first. You want to steal their sandwich? I'll probably ok it, depending on the situation, since that could be fun for everyone. You want to steal and sell their most important possession? No way.

Additionally, the game would get old very fast if you alienated every creature you came across. Loot alone would be a big problem. Places that are easy enough for you to raid probably don't have much to loot but places with great loot will probably kill you if you try to raid them. And the game just won't work if you can't have alliances/conversations/business transactions/friendships with some npcs, including humanoids.

Your alignment doesn't necessarily have to match what is listed for you in the bestiary but you would have to have a good backstory to explain and make up for the fact that your young lantern archon is CE.

Evilish acts that aren’t going too far: Animating dead, casting evil descriptor spells, killing an objectionable individual who is causing problems for you, killing something in a fair fight and eating it, etc.

Evil acts that are going too far: Any sexual violence (not in my game, maybe someone else’s), violence toward humanoid children, completely senseless murder of intelligent, non-threatening creatures.

Good alignment constraints that would be going too far: Objecting to ever fighting anything, objecting to ever eating a foe that was already dead, objecting anyone in the party ever lying, stealing, or sneaking.

Game expectations:

I will post at least once a weekday and occasionally on the weekends unless something comes up that prevents it, in which case I will communicate that, almost always ahead of time. If you look at my track record on the boards, I’m pretty committed to keeping games moving forward. I expect the same from my players.

I'm a fairly relaxed GM who mostly plays things by the rulebook but doesn't mind some rule of cool here and there. When I mess up, I'm happy to have it pointed out to me and I'll do my best to fix it.

Posts should be descriptive, respond to what other players do, and push the action forward.

Players will manage their own loot. As GM, I will provide a spreadsheet in which you can do this and occasional reminders but that is all.

Players will get to deck out the dungeon they live in and use it as a permanent base, inviting other monsters to come live there, placing traps, etc. I will not introduce Yet Another Subsystem(TM) but instead will allow players to buy traps, materials to build traps, beds, etc for gp. Where I’m already aware of prices for something, I will use that. Where I’m not, players can either let me know where to find the price or I will rule something I deem reasonable. There may occasionally be challenges such as “there’s not enough food for this many monsters living together” but we’ll solve such problems with RP decisions, skills, etc, not a subsytem for managing kingdom resources. I’ve gone that route (e.g. in Kingmaker) and it can be fun but it’s not what I’m looking for in a monsters game.

Leveling will be done according to XP earned and as if the party were equivalent to the same level PCs. This means leveling up will be fairly frequent since the party will probably be more powerful than PCs of level = CR.

Maps will be on google slides.

How to make a complete submission:

Create an alias.

Provide a detailed statblock in the same style as the bestiary. If I can’t undestand why your stats are the way they are, then we’ll have to fix that.

Put a tagline into alias that includes AC T FF, HP, Saves, Init, Senses, Limited Use Abilities, and Botted Attack.

Include an interesting background as discussed in the background portion.

Statblock format, copy paste:

Dagon (Demon Prince of the Sea) CR 27

CE Large outsider (aquatic, chaotic, demon, evil, extraplanar)
Init +12; Senses darkvision 60 ft., true seeing; Perception +60; Auraunholy aura (DC 27)

DEFENSE
AC 50, touch 35, flat-footed 42 (+8 Dex, +15 natural, –1 size, +9 insight, +9 profane)
hp 594 (36d10+396)
Fort +33, Ref +20, Will +29
DR 25/cold iron and good; Immune electricity, poison, water-based-spells and effects; Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10; SR 38

OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft., swim 60 ft.
Melee +5 unholy mighty cleaving trident +54/+49/+44/+39 (2d6+18/19–20) or 2 slams +48 (1d8+13)
Ranged +5 unholy mighty cleaving trident +49 (2d6+18/19–20)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks water mastery

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 27th)
Constant—speak with animals (aquatic only), true seeing, unholy aura(DC 27)
At will—blasphemy (DC 26), charm monster (DC 23), control water, create water, deeper darkness, desecrate, detect good, detect law, detect thoughts (DC 21), fear (DC 23), greater dispel magic, greater teleport (self plus 50 pounds of objects only), telekinesis (DC 24), tongues (self only), unhallow, unholy blight (DC 23), water breathing
3/day—summon (level 9, 1d6 shrroths, 1d4 nalfeshnees, 1d2 mariliths, or 1 balor 100%)
1/day—enervation, feeblemind (DC 24), summon (level 9, 72 HD of aquatic creatures 100%)

Spells Prepared (CL 20th)
9th—mage’s disjunction (DC 27), soul bind (DC 27), teleportation circle, time stop
8th—antipathy (DC 26), dimensional lock, horrid wilting (DC 26, x2), prismatic wall (DC 26)
7th—control weather, finger of death (DC 25), limited wish, mass hold person (DC 25), prismatic spray (DC 25)
6th—geas/quest (DC 24), flesh to stone (DC 24), mage’s lucubration, mass suggestion (DC 24), repulsion (DC 24)
5th—dominate person (DC 23), mind fog (DC 23), magic jar (DC 23), wall of force, waves of fatigue
4th—bestow curse (DC 22), confusion (DC 22), contagion (DC 22), lesser globe of invulnerability, stoneskin, wall of ice (DC 22)
3rd—blink, lightning bolt (DC 21), lightning bolt (DC 21), ray of exhaustion (DC 21), sleet storm, tongues
2nd—blur (DC 20), bull’s strength, fog cloud, shatter (DC 20), summon swarm, web (DC 20)
1st—magic missile, obscuring mist, ray of enfeeblement (x2), true strike (x2)
0 (at will)—detect magic, flare (DC 18), light, resistance

STATISTICS
Str 37, Dex 27, Con 33, Int 26, Wis 29, Cha 28
Base Atk +36; CMB +50; CMD 86 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Alertness, Cleave, Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Critical Focus, Enlarge Spell, Extend Spell, Great Cleave, Great Fortitude, Heighten Spell, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (trident), Improved Initiative, Maximize Spell, Power Attack, Quick Draw, Sickening Critical, Weapon Focus (trident)
Skills Acrobatics +47, Bluff +48, Diplomacy +48, Escape Artist +47, Knowledge (arcana) +47, Knowledge (geography) +44, Knowledge (local) +44, Knowledge (nature) +44, Knowledge (planes) +47, Knowledge(religion) +44, Perception +60, Sense Motive +52, Stealth +43, Swim +60; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
Languages Abyssal, Aquan, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Giant, Goblin, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ amphibious, planar omniscience
Gear Embrace of the Uncaring Sea

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Water Mastery (Ex)
Dagon gains a +2 competence bonus on attack and damage rolls and a +2 competence bonus to AC if both he and his opponent are touching water

GEAR
Unique Item: Embrace of the Uncaring Sea
Dagon’s unique weapon is a +5 unholy mighty cleaving trident.
On a successful critical hit, the target must make a DC 39 Fortitudesave or begin to drown. This affects even creatures that can ordinarily breathe underwater or are under the effects of a water breathingspell.
The target is allowed a new saving throw each round. The drowning continues until either the target is dead, a successful save is made, or the effect is successfully dispelled (CL 30th). Even if the effect is successfully removed, another critical hit starts it once again. The save DC is Constitution-based and includes a +10 racial bonus when used by Dagon.

I'll edit the profile of this GM alias to reflect clarifications arising from player's questions/comments.

Recruitment will be open until at least July 2nd at 5:00 pm EDT. I may or may not choose to extend it depending on circumstances. When recruitment closes, the campaign will begin immediately.


Could you expand a bit on your rationale for the "no monstrous humanoid" types? What about a monstrous humanoid doesn't fit with this campaign? That rules out a lot of possibilities that would fit the flavor you seem to be going for. For example, a gargoyle is a classic guard-an-evil-place sort of creature, but it's a monstrous humanoid creature type.

Also, you implied that you're looking for five players, but can you confirm that?

Thanks!


On a similar line of thinking, ruling out the Monstrous Humanoids leaves primarily animals, yet most of them lack the intelligence to really be usable, and unless I'm mistaken, Pathfinder doesn't have an Awakened template. Is there something there that I'm missing offhand?


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I think it is clear. A party of CR2 dragon wyrmlings. All baby dragons!


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Hi Andostre/Kaalul! Good to see you here.

The reason I banned "monstrous humanoids" is that would lead to a less unique experience, in my opinion. Monstrous humanoids, generally speaking, are fairly similar to races that are already playable. I'm looking for something more unique here in that everyone gets a chance (and capitalizes on that chance) to play something very different from what is normally playable.

Ah I think I see the portion you're interpreting as meaning a five-man party. The party size will be 4-6 players, depending on the quantity and quality of applications. In extreme circumstances, it could be 3 or 7 players.

YoricksRequiem wrote:
On a similar line of thinking, ruling out the Monstrous Humanoids leaves primarily animals, yet most of them lack the intelligence to really be usable, and unless I'm mistaken, Pathfinder doesn't have an Awakened template. Is there something there that I'm missing offhand?

There are many, many playable monsters left, even without considering taking CR 3 monsters and applying negative templates to them. A friend/consultant made a list for me but there are fey, fiends, constructs, undead, etc.

List of possible options, not guaranteed to be exhaustive:

Raven
Mite
Sprite
Thrush
Biloko
Pugwampi Gremlin (aura of unluck would have to be played VERY carefully)
Grindylow
Leaf Leshy
Sagari
Zoog
Atomie
Brownie
Carbuncle (dicey on the communication side)
Small elemental
Faun
Festrog
Flumph
Fuath Gremlin
Ghoul
Jinkin Gremlin
Vexgit Gremlin
Grig
Gourd Leshy
Nixie
Pseudodragon
Agathion, Silvanshee
Angel, Cassissian
Arbiter
Archon, Harbinger
Archon, Lantern
Asura, Tripurasura
Azer
Blink Dog
Choker
Daemon, Cacodaemon
Demon, Dretch (limited communication)
Div, Doru
Doll, Soulbound (great backstory potential, hugely creepy)
Dragon, Faerie
Dragon, Chromatic (white wyrmling)
Dragon, primal (crystal, wyrmling)
Draugr
Food dog
Forlarren (great RP potential due to remorse special quality)
Imp
Incutilis
Jackalwere
Kami, shikigami
Leprechaun
Leshy, Fungus
Lycanthrope (boar, rat, wolf)
Gremling, Nuglub
Oni, Spiri oni
Protean, voidworm
Psychopomp, nosoi
Qlippoth, Cythnigot
Demon, quasit
Rakshasa, raktavarna
Ratling
Sinspawn (7 variants)
Skin stealer
Tatzlwyrm
Triton
Vargouille (very creepy)
Worg
Juju zombie

Edit: Hello, Grumbaki/Kazador! Good to see you as well.


Grumbaki wrote:
I think it is clear. A party of CR2 dragon wyrmlings. All baby dragons!

That’s what I was thinking. Some of the stronger dragons would require negative templates to get the CR low enough even as hatchlings, but it’s pot doable.

To the GM: could I be the wizard’s pet instead of a hired guardian? With a Young templates Wyrmling, I could have almost literally been born yesterday, and it seems unlikely I’d yet have taken up the mercenary trade. But if I started as an egg the Wizard was hoping to one day train as a guardian, and I’ve only just hatched, only to find my ‘owner’ missing...


Ouachitonian wrote:
Grumbaki wrote:
I think it is clear. A party of CR2 dragon wyrmlings. All baby dragons!

That’s what I was thinking. Some of the stronger dragons would require negative templates to get the CR low enough even as hatchlings, but it’s pot doable.

To the GM: could I be the wizard’s pet instead of a hired guardian? With a Young templates Wyrmling, I could have almost literally been born yesterday, and it seems unlikely I’d yet have taken up the mercenary trade. But if I started as an egg the Wizard was hoping to one day train as a guardian, and I’ve only just hatched, only to find my ‘owner’ missing...

Interesting idea! Yes that would be allowed but you guys spend a little time working in the dungeon and getting to know each other before something happens to your boss so the timing would be that you got to know the wizard a little and help the party defend the dungeon against at least a few ill-fated adventurers.


Hello! Let it be known that as you are a proven GM of excellent quality, I’ll be making a character. :)


So, right now we are CR2. If I choose a Draugr, then when we level up, can my PC become a CR3 Draugr Captain?

That is...unless everyone seriously wants to be a party of baby dragons. In which case:

The Race:
https://www.d20pfsrd.com/races/3rd-party-races/rite-publishing/dragon-tanin im/

The Class:
https://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/3rd-party-classes/rite-publishing/draconic -exemplar/

Several ways to build them. Especially as they level up.


Absolutely love the idea! I’ll be cooking up something tonight.


Thanks, Grumbaki!

Do you mean this monster? Because that's CR 4. Or are you talking about something else?

It does raise a possible point, though, that we will calculate a CR X monster with Y class levels as CR X+Y even if the bestiary calculates it as having a lower CR.


I would love to join you. I am going on vacation starting Friday for two weeks. I don't know whether I can finish a build by then, but I will have some internet of course.
I would like to play a monster that worships Lamashtu, the mother of all monsters. My char would be a healer/summoner, if you're OK with summons.
Edit: probably Half-Fiend Brownie, I love the little house elf


https://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/undead/draugr

This one. It gets the advanced template at CR3 and adds PC levels thereafter.

The story behind him would be that he was a “servant” of the wizard in life. He came as an adventurer to destroy the tower, and for his trouble was given a geas to deliver an item and return with payment. Unfortunately for him, dying on the journey didn’t release his soul, which clung to his body. Seeing the use of the creature that he had become, the wizard made him into a permanent guardian.

The draugr has stood for many years, his body rotting away until nothing remained but a skeleton, still wearing the remnants of his leather armor. His mind utterly broken by the experience, he drifts in and out of sanity.

Getting the advanced template and then the class levels would not represent him learning anything, but rather remembering who he was. And perhaps ultimately finding out how to earn a final rest.

As for who he was in life? Given the greataxe and leather armor...well, I’m not sure. Either an Ulfen Raider or an Orc. Not quite sure yet. Would depend on party composition


Grumbaki wrote:

So, right now we are CR2. If I choose a Draugr, then when we level up, can my PC become a CR3 Draugr Captain?

That is...unless everyone seriously wants to be a party of baby dragons. In which case:

The Race:
https://www.d20pfsrd.com/races/3rd-party-races/rite-publishing/dragon-tanin im/

The Class:
https://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/3rd-party-classes/rite-publishing/draconic -exemplar/

Several ways to build them. Especially as they level up.

I’d be totally down.


GM Monster wrote:
Hi Andostre/Kaalul! Good to see you here.

Yo.

GM Monster wrote:
The reason I banned "monstrous humanoids" is that would lead to a less unique experience, in my opinion. Monstrous humanoids, generally speaking, are fairly similar to races that are already playable. I'm looking for something more unique here in that everyone gets a chance (and capitalizes on that chance) to play something very different from what is normally playable.

Makes sense. I've just had a jones to play a gargoyle for a long time. It's a personal issue and I'll work through it with the support system I have in place.

I'll look into some other ideas I have.


Ellioti: I'm ok with summons as long as the summoner does a good job of tracking their duration, hp, etc.

Grumbaki: Yes certainly you could make a draugr at CR 2 and give it the advanced template at CR 3. You wouldn't get free class levels associated with that bump from CR 2 to CR 3, that would require 1 CR to be spent on one class level. But I would allow the obscuring mist sla and negative energy to come with the advanced template since that's specific to the bestiary and doesn't explicitly violate our rules.

Andostre: Thanks for understanding. Curious to see what else you think up.

All: An interested friend pointed out the mutant creature template can grant telepathy. That is fine with me as a means to gain communication but note that a monster would still need some degree of mental faculties in order to have anything to communicate. Having no mind at all would make for some pretty boring RP long-term.


Many years ago:

The orcs feasted, for the next night they would assault the tower. They had marched for many a mile to come to it. It was said that a cowardly mage lived within, hoarding his treasure and living alone. They boasted, that night. Of battles won and even more so of victories yet to come. Gorthug raised his axe as he spoke of the great battles he would win. They laughed. He laughed. All drank. What point was it to hold back when they would leave wealthy and glorious? Gorthug smiled. It was an easy going smile that spoke of supreme confidence. He was not ugly, even by the standards of men. Unlike many of his kind, he had a certain savage grace about him. He was charismatic, and was destined for greatness. The oracle of his tribe had told him that he would look at death and that even if would not stop him from walking this world. So what was there to fear? He was Gorthug the Fearless! Thus was he called, thus he would be.

The Tower:

Gorthug was breathing heavily, his body covered in wounds. Very few of his tribe were left. The animated suits of armor had seen to that. Many of the tribe had fled. Even Knugg was gone, the chieftain’s son. Knugg has found a ruby scepter and had run with it, taking it as proof of his victory to show his father. He said that any who stayed would die. But Gorthug knew no fear. He would return with true victory, and then the tribe would know who was truly destined to lead them!

Home:

Knugg watched a figure grudge through the snow. The orc squinted his eyes, wondering who would be dumb enough to be outside on a night like that. Ever since he had returned victorious, he had been hailed as a hero. Nobody doubted him anymore. Not even his father. So many of the raiding party had died, but what mattered was that he survived and there was nobody to dispute his claims. Nobody but...Gorthug? The orc warrior looked frozen. Ice hung from every inch of his body. Gaping wounds were untreated. He dragged his axe behind him.

”...the...scepter...” Gorthug moaned, despair filling his voice. He couldn’t die. The wizard wouldn’t allow it. ”...give it...back!”

Knugg took off running, back to the main hall. He slammed the door behind him, fear written on his face. The orcs inside looked at him quizzically. ”G-g-guh-Ghost!” He stammered. Gorthug’s axe collided with the door.”[/b]

A month ago:

Gorthug stood at the door. He hadn’t moved in...how long? He didn’t know. He didn’t know much anymore. He had spent...how long? He didn’t know how long. He had spent time under water when the room flooded and the master had forgotten about him. Had the master forgotten again? He couldn’t go against the master’s will. At some point he had died, but he didn’t know when. Time had no meaning. There were times when he thought that he was alive, back at the Great Hall. That his kin surrounded him. But the illusions faded, coming less and less. As time rolled on he was losing himself. Forgetting even his name. He had forgotten his parents, his rivals, even the name of his tribe. But his own name? He held onto it like a drowning man held onto a raft. Once he forgot that he would be gone, gone forever.

His skin had long since rotted away, and his leather armor would soon follow. His old axe, the same axe that had killed Knugg, rested on his shoulder. Flickers of red flame glowed where his eyes once more, and a raspy wind had replaced his once booming voice. Soon he would be no more. Unless the wizard died, or at least vanished, he would never be free. If he remembered any of his old gods, he would have prayed for death.

Silver Crusade

Interested and have a couple of questions.

1) how low an intelligence do you consider a viable PC? GMs differ a lot on what int 2 or 3 mean.

2) is a young greater witchcrow acceptable? Seems under CR'ed to me which is why I'm asking


Gorthug/Grumbaki: Cool! I like the backstory. What motivations/character development do you see for Gorthug?

paulJathome:
1. I'd say int 3 would typically be a minimum as int 2 can't understand speech.
2. A young greater witchcrow seems fine to me. I might be missing something but it seems fine in power level.


HP: We are starting at max, but the CR2 thing is confusing to me.

My monster stat block says (3d8+15) for this CR monster.

So how would you compute that?


8+5 for HD 1 then 5+5 each for the two subsequent HD. So 33 hp. That must mean you have +5 con or +4 and toughness or something.

Point of clarification: One does get FCB for one class that you take levels in, just like normal. But the monsters racial HD don't come with FCB.

Silver Crusade

Excellent :-).

Ok, I'm calling dibs on Greater Witchcrow :-) :-). Details to follow (likely tomorrow or Thursday).


Man so many typos. Wrote that in car before driving home from work and autocorrect really did me under.

Motivations? Rediscovering himself. Then proving to himself that he is still himself and has value. And maybe eventually finding peace and moving on, far down the road. He’s an orc, but the long years have worn away his culture and upbringing. So I’m not quite sure what is left. I tend to play characters by just writing and seeing what happens. So I look forward to playing this one...especially as I’ve long wanted to play an undead character!

——

For crunch I just added Background Skills (linguistics for Orcish and Lore Undead seemed appropriate). Is there anything else I need to do?


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I love the idea!

I was just talking about this idea in another "interest" thread. The DM wanted to do something similar to the "In the company of..." books.

Have you seen those books? It seems to handle a number of things that you'd want, progressive levels, powers, etc.

Either way, I'm thinking possibly a sprite. How do the "levels" for a less than 1 HD base creature? A sprite is 1/3, does that mean I can have 2 "levels" of advancement? A regular PC race is generally around that CR.

Maybe I'll do one of the outsiders. Although the idea of being an actual dragon is pretty cool. Off to go play with ideas.

Grand Lodge

1. how you came to be in the employ of an evil wizard guarding her lair,

Spoiler:
"Bob's Yer Uncle!" The sound in my head rang out as the world came into awareness around me. I was in a glass jar, and master was above me. He was happy. I made him happy. "You, my ooze, will be one of my most pernicious traps." I could not hear him, of course, but I sensed his brain. Master was happy so I was happy.

Master put me above a door. It was a lovely door, made of wood and banded with iron. "Kindly fall on the head of any adventurer who makes it this far, will you? My most precious artifact lies beyond." I was happy to listen to master.

Something small tried to creep under me. Is this an adventurer, I thought? So I dropped on his head. His body sizzled in acid and he screamed and yelled. He tasted yummy and I sucked his juices to be my own. Adventurers taste good. Then I crawled back above my door. Later, Master walked by and I heard him laugh. "I forgot to tell the goblins about my new trap!" It was nice to hear Master happy. I love the Master.

Today I am a little bigger. Maybe I can find more adventurers and make Master much, much happier.

2. what your motivations are, 3. what the personality, quirks, habits, etc of your character are,

Spoiler:
The Master is good, the Master is great. I surrender my will, as of this date. Initially, Bob's Yer Uncle has full devotion to the Master and most of his thoughts are of pleasing him, and growing to a more interesting size in order to please him more. If Master goes away, Bob will be very sad and have to find some meaning in life, which I am open to adlibbing as we go, but one possibility is learning how to care for others. His role is tanky so I can see him wanting to protect his friends. He will be easily betrayed and hurt but might accidently do the same thing to another.

He is an innocent, who has a hard time distinguishing between friend and foe. Initial growth for Bob will just be to avoid killing other monsters in the dungeon; and learn how to care and feel for others. He will need to learn about being part of a team and how a social system works.

4. what your character looks like, and

Spoiler:
Bob is just a small drop of clear oozy liquid. You can't even see him unless you look really hard.

5. a way that you could see your character developing over the course of the game.

Spoiler:
Bob will continue to grow in size and morph into a gelatinous cube, and beyond that, perhaps an even more powerful ooze, or a barbarian, or a gelatinous cube with crazy templates. I am starting the game as a newborn and innocent, true neutral. blank slate. I do not imagine he will stay that way, and depending on what happens in the game could develop into a paladin or a blood thirsty villain. I am open to either possibility. His mechanistic development will also depend entirely on the story.

Silver Crusade

For those who may be interested, I just noticed the man eating animal template. Amongst other things it gives a +2 boost to intelligence.

That opens up a LOT of possibilities which is why I'm mentioning it


I love the writing style Bob. But...why the name?

Also for added CR:

https://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/shifter/archetypes/oozemorph- shifter-archetype/

Seems to me to be a nice fit. Especially as you gain CR the ooze can imitate others by taking their General shapes. Couple open up some fun scenes

Grand Lodge

good tip! Though my stats are so terrible I don't know if I can ever take a PC level. As for Bob, I wanted something very bland and suitable for a blank slate. It can change when he finds himself a bit. And also, the Master's first words were "Bob's Yer Uncle" when he had success on his alchemical experiments to create the ooze.


*pokes head in*

Did somebody mention the possibility of playing as a dragon? Because I've been trying to do that for years.

Would you be amicable to taking a regular dragon Wyrmling and then 'scaling it back' some, to allow for dragon species other than White to work? If not, that's totally okay, it'll just mean I'll need to get really creative with template use.

And, you know, getting creative with flavor reasons, to explain why the dragon is literally weaker than a newborn of its kind. But hopefully inspiration will strike.

(One of the ways I'm considering that might work for scaling back is to take essentially a white dragon chassis, except with the appropriate subtypes, and then improving it over time until reaching the 'actual' wyrmling level for that particular species of dragon)

Liberty's Edge

I've got a couple interesting concepts for this. However, I also have a couple questions that are part of them.

Concept 1:
This concept involves making a Skeletal Champion Blink Dog. This would be fairly easy to 'level-up' by making them into a bloody and/or burning skeleton, and by simple templates such as Advanced. However, taken as written, this would eventually require a large number of templates to balance out class levels.

The question for this concept is whether this character could be 'leveled up' by increasing his amount of racial HD?

Concept 2 & 3:
These concepts are simpler, with one being one of a number of dragon types and the other being a lightning elemental.

The question for these concepts is whether this character can have an alignment separate from the default ones from their race? Also, would 'treasure' count as starting equipment, or must it be specifically spelled out in the monster entry for us to start with it?


darn, being the wizard's pet/experiment was mostly ninja'd xD

@Dαedαlus: The only good negative template from paizo I can find is Degenerate (Young is specifically called out as not applying to things that gain power with age, like dragons)
Still, CR-1 is enough to make black dragon wyrmlings an option (that I'll probably be taking if I can get off the fence about throwing my hat in the ring...)


There's also the Crystal Dragon and Nightmare Dragon, both slightly farther afield, but they work.


I am totally down for non humanoid because all I really want to be right now is a big ass wolf.


I'm intrigued by this, so I want to voice interest while things are still sort of in that stage. Not sure on what I'd play--looking at options at the moment--but I'll try and whip something up!


Here is a link to my submitted character (I like to not post with aliases unless they are selected, so I can reuse them and not fill my profile with dead weight.)

Buggles the Half-fiend Brownie is open for discussion.
His party role can be Healer, Controller and Face.


Interested. I'll post something more substantial after I've narrowed down my options—probably in a few days' time.


Level Plan:

Lvl 3: Becomes Draugr Captain
Lvl 4: Nightmare Creature Template
Lvl 5: Simple Fighter Template
Lvl 6: Nightmare Lord Template
Lvls 7-9: Ghost Rider Cavalier
Lvl 10: Simple Fighter increases to +2 CR
Lvls 11-14: Ghost Rider Cavalier (7/14 CR from class levels)

And that is more than enough planning for now. The character stays an undead melee beat-stick, but picks up some fear-based powers. The PC class of choice lets him summon a ghostly mount and have a spooky stare.

Not sure where he’d go from 15-20. It becomes harder to find good templates at that point. But it’s far in future and we can burn that bridge when we get there.


Not spoilered because many of these are useful reminders/clarifications for everyone.

Gorthuk:
I think you've finished the draugr crunch. I do like having some idea of where characters might go, even if that ends up being altered by what happens in the adventuring, just so that players are always thinking about how their character might change/develop. I'd also be interested to know what kind of values, preferences, etc Gorthuk might hold at the beginning or learn to hold soon after.

Regarding level plan, remember that you have to actually take class levels instead of the simple templates that grant class powers.

Tiessa:
Interesting! I've heard of those books but not read them.

CR will be rounded up so a sprite would count as a full CR 1 creature so then it could have another level of class or a template added to it.

Bob:
I like it! But remember the evil wizard boss is a she. Human to be specific. About 45 years old.

Daedalus:
Yeah I think I'm fine with using the white dragon chassis but the distinguishing stats of a red dragon or what not in that chassis. Sounds sufficiently balanced.

Art Burd:
I haven't wanted to do the traditional HD leveling system for monsters since it will add even more complexity but I'll look into it again and let you know what I think.

Alignment isn't constrained to bestiary alignment as long as the backstory/character description makes it all make sense. And you only start with treasure spelled out by the bestiary.

Scegfod:
Nice to see you here. It's been a while since that PvP tournament.

Ms. Evil Wizard has a lot of experiments, pets, etc in her dungeon so you don't need to feel ninja'd. Also, 3PP templates may be approved upon review and there are some negative templates there.

Ellioti:
Buggles looks fun. I'll give a more thorough review when I get a chance, some time later today hopefully.


Huh.... Actually.... The Umbral dragon has some... very nice abilities (looking at you, shadow army). And is the right CR. And I think I know how I'll develop this out story-wise.

To confirm: when adding class levels to a dragon, we treat it just the same as regularly adding class levels to any monster, right? So, ability score adjustments included, and CR added as appropriate? Because it would be nice to mess with the ability scores a little.


To be honest I don’t understand how leveling is supposed to work, given how class levels are so limited. :p


Shadow army: Yes that would be cool. But note that an unlimited quantity of shadows wouldn't be allowed. Monsters have lots of ways to break the normal balancing that PCs are constrained within. So anything that allows infinite power will have some breaks put on it. So if you start making a shadow army, we’ll work out some reasonable limit to how many shadows you could have, perhaps 4 HD per your HD or CR (whichever is higher) so it’s in line with animate dead. That’s still a lot of shadows, which are pretty scary minions.

Adding class levels: Ok there’s some understandable confusion about this. I have a system for adding class levels to monsters. If it turns out to be broken, we’ll tweak it. But it’s intended to keep monster PCs from getting too out of hand. It is not the same system as that listed in the pfsrd’s Monster Advancement section. IMO, that section exists for GM’s to make interesting monsters, where there’s less of an issue of GM’s making overpowered monsters that break the campaign. For PCs, there needs to be a more careful balance. Here’s the system:
1. Adding a class level grants you the additional powers, hp, bab, saves, etc of the class. So your first class level grants you an extra feat as does your third. Your fourth grants you +1 to one ability score, etc.
2. Adding class levels will not grant the big +4, +4, etc bonuses to ability scores. This is a major difference from the “Monster Advancement” section of the pfsrd.
3. You do get to pick a favored class and you get a favored class bonus whenever you take a level in that class. If you’re interested in a race-specific favored class bonus for your monster, we can discuss options.

So the only way to get class levels is by adding them in the way described above and they only grant the powers that PC levels in a class would grant (fcb, feats at odd levels, etc).
This, plus the limit of only enough class levels up to half your CR, might seem like I’m disincentivizing class levels. Yep. That’s right. I want it to be a cool option for combos but I want to keep the PCs as more monster than class. Same reasoning as why I banned monstrous humanoids.
How to advance when class levels are limited: Well you can still take a few class levels to add nifty abilities that synergize really well with your monster. Also, you can add tons of templates and get real crazy. In addition, you should probably consider monsters that could reasonably advance into stronger versions that will still feel like they would be the same character. For example, Bob is considering turning into stronger and stronger oozes, which, if done well, could definitely feel like a reasonable progression of one, continuous character.


Alright, I'm a tad torn between two concepts, and I'd love some input on which one might work better for this campaign.

Concept 1--A Devil with the Deal:
Wizards like summoning things, right? They've got familiars, usually, and then there's the whole conjuration school, and if you don't have those pesky morals getting in the way, there's a lot of advantages to be gained from slaving outsiders to do your bidding, or even making deals with them! Devils in particular offer some advantages, if you're willing to risk your soul for it. And what better to have floating around as a spy, messenger, and backup plan minion than an imp? "Not much, I'll tell you that much!"

So meet Xenophones Skev, Underclerk of Temptations (Fourth Circle), Simmering Ember of the Unblinking Eye, Most Benevolent and Infallible Friend of the Sidling-to-Wickedry, and Office Trivia Champion (Seven Times Running!). Right now he might just be a lowly sycophant in the ineffable hierarchy of Hell, but he's got big dreams! You can move up a lot in the world if you play your cards right, game the system, and file the right forms with the right people. Selling out to a powerful human wizard seemed like a good way to stack the deck in his favor, but now the old bat's gone and kicked it, Xenophones (Skevi to his friends) finds himself with what might just be a winning hand.

He'll start out as your bog-standard CR 2 imp, with some templates and maybe a few class levels to round him out as things move on--right now Devilbound and Hellbound stick out as particularly interesting, and Advanced is always a good call. After a certain point, though, my thinking is that ol' Skev will put in a word with his higher-ups about all the wicked work he's been up to here with the mortals, and once he's filled his paperwork he can get transferred to a more powerful form--ideally aiming for the lucrative and time-honored position of a contract devil, and maybe even more after that, should he get there.

Obviously this needs your approval for devils being able to advance in such a manner, but I've always loved the idea of Hell as a festering pit of bureaucracy barely held together with immense amounts of red tape. Office politics and power plays are just the thing for that vision, and maybe Xenophones will one day be Overclerk of Temptations (nobody wants to be Archclerk, because everyone knows the Overclerks do the real work).

Concept 2--One Man's Trash:
Wizards like constructs, right? They're tough, they do what they're told, and the really good ones are immune to magic, which makes them great for showing up other wizards and defending your lair against magical intruders. Of course, the best ones are expensive, and sometimes you want to start small, or just experiment a bit. Junk golems manage some of the abilities that the more impressive fellows have, at a fraction of the time, effort, and cost to make. And if you make them out of actual recycled junk you have lying around without a care for really making them powerful? So much the better!

So meet Sal (short for Salvage), a small but plucky sentient pile of scrap. Compared to even your average junk golem--already not known for being particularly impressive--he's small, a tad clumsy, and rather lacking in the important areas like intimidation or general capability. He's not even particularly durable or resistant to magic. Really the only special thing about Sal, at least at the moment, is that a bit of his creator's psychic energy was infused in him, giving him intelligence and, perhaps in his biggest failing as a golem, personality.

Sal, of course, doesn't mind his faults. He's never met another junk golem (the master gave up on that sort after witnessing this creation), and he's happy to help drudge up refuse and store it away. He does yearn to become bigger and stronger, but that's really just the way anyone feels when they're surrounded by much more dangerous things than themselves. And if the wizard who runs this place should meet a terrible fate, he'd be a bit sad, but life moves on! He wants to keep having a nice home with nice friends and he doesn't mind doing what it takes to make that happen.

Mechanically, he's a junk golem (CR 4) with the following templates: Young (CR -1, representing his small size), Degenerate (CR -1, representing his poor qualities), Recycled Construct (CR -1, representing his poor craftsmanship), and Enlightened Construct (CR +1, giving him intelligence, a touch of charisma, and personality), for a total of CR 2 at the moment. For advancement, the first thing is to get rid of those pesky templates dragging him down, as he grows bigger and stronger and generally more capable. After that, the phrenic stone at the core of his form could be transferred to other construct forms, allowing him to inhabit more powerful bodies as time goes on.

Ideally, I'd love for the ability score downgrades from Degenerate to not apply to his Intelligence and Charisma from being Enlightened, but it's your call! In any case, I need to roll for those...

Intelligence: 2d6 + 4 ⇒ (2, 4) + 4 = 10
Charisma: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (1, 2) + 1 = 4

Ah, poor Sal. Not the brightest nor the most appealing. Oh well.

Let me know any thoughts! These are both a lot of fun to come up with and dwell on.

Grand Lodge

Thanks for the feedback and I will adjust the Master's sex in my alias where I have copied the background.

Also, I have learned that many of the kineticist's abilities scale off of constitution, which is the primary stat of an ooze.

I will plan on Bob becoming a telekineticist at level 2 or 3. Since he doesn't have hands it will be nice to be able to move things with his mind, and since he starts with telepathy it is a nice progression.


Helix: Sorry I won't be very helpful because both of those sound fun and interesting. Off the top of my head, the imp's advancement makes more sense and sounds a little more fun than Sal's advancement but both could work nicely.

Bob: Sounds good!


After playing around with a few ideas I found one that looked really interesting. I’m thinking doing a worg then advancing to make him either a caster for shenanigans and better controlling ability with picking up some Druid levels amid templates and such. I’ll put up more when I get a chance but that’s the gist of the crunch right now.


Here is my (pauljathome)s submission.

I decided that a Greater Witchcrow was really too powerful as a starting character (it was way more powerful than most others) so I'm starting as a Witchcrow and will grow into a Greater Witchcrow with class levels and various templates.

A lot of the answers to your questions can be found in my profile but I'll also answer them explicitly here.

Party Role He is primarily a scout out of combat and a skirmisher sort in combat. He CAN play the role of the face if nobody else does but he won't be great at it. Eventually he will become a little bit of a utility caster and healer

How did I come to be in the employ of a Wizard He was raised by the Witches of Irrisen and was sold to the wizard as a scout/messenger

Motivations In character, he wants to be in charge of a larger and larger "flock" and acquire as many magic items as he possibly can. Out of character, he is desperately lonely (he certainly doesn't admit this) and wants to find a "flock" that he can be a part of and rely on (ie, he is ACTUALLY looking for a family far more than for a group of lackeys)

Personality, etc He is cocksure and full of himself and somewhat sarcastic and condescending when dealing with others. He greatly respects intellect and loves to spar intellectually with others.

Although he IS a team player he is a bit of a coward and a bit selfish.

He very definitely likes "shineys", especially magic ones, and thinks that they should all belong to him.

He likes his creature comforts, be they eyes, a good grooming, or just riding on somebody elses shoulder so he doesn't have to exert himself

Appearance At first glance he appears to be a normal crow, albeit one a little bit larger than the norm. It is only when one looks closely that one sees the glint of intelligence in his eyes.

Development It will depend a LOT on what the group is and how adventures go. Mechanically, he'll definitely become a Greater Witchcrow with templates and class levels for at least a very long time (L9 at least). If the game actually goes past that level I'm not sure how he'll change to stay relevant.

From a character perspective, I expect him to come to a far more realistic assessment of his actual abilities and capabilities and I hope that he'll come to have actual respect and friendship with at least some of his companions.


Question, since this idea is intriguing.

Is the vampire template available (since its often deemed to be quite OP for +2CR)? If so could be applied to a. a level in an NPC class (since they have -1CR effectively) or b. a normal PC level with the young characters rules?

Equally, could I use a CR1 monster and apply the 'young' monster template?

I love vampires so I had to ask! :D

Also, would the variant vampire abilities be available (maybe as a swap for some of the other vampire abilities)? Sunlight Resistance helps a lot for example!


Helix Missionary wrote:

Alright, I'm a tad torn between two concepts, and I'd love some input on which one might work better for this campaign.

** spoiler omitted **...

Oh, I had been thinking about some sort of clockwork construct that as he “levels” he tinkers with himself and makes modifications.


DM Ithe wrote:
Helix Missionary wrote:

Alright, I'm a tad torn between two concepts, and I'd love some input on which one might work better for this campaign.

** spoiler omitted **...

Oh, I had been thinking about some sort of clockwork construct that as he “levels” he tinkers with himself and makes modifications.

I'm going to go with my imp concept, since I think I have more fun ideas for that and at the GM's suggestion, so go for that!

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