Something Wicked This Way Comes

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I have stared into the Abyss, and found it blinking back at me (it was a qlippoth). It is time to share the results of our design challenge contest, in which I tasked you, our fans, to take our iconics to the darker side of the alignment chart!

First of all, I would like to thank everybody for participating. There was a lot of really excellent entries, encompassing 29 different iconics, and all of them different enough from each other that I had a hard time choosing our finalists! Kyra the Cleric was the top favorite, with six different variations, followed by Jirelle the Swashbuckler, and all of the entries avoided the moustache-twirling evil that we try and avoid in our own antagonists. Well done, everyone! Let's get our runners-up out of the way, who will each earn $10 in store credit for their entries!

But, as one of my cult favorite shows (and movie) says, there can be only one, and the winner is meloriel with a version of Lini the Druid. With a pretty universal reaction of " D: " among the staff that read the entry, this Lini embraces the darker, crueler aspects of nature.

Lini the Cruel—CR 3

After being viciously mauled by a snow leopard and left for dead by her Enclave, Lini managed to escape the beast with her life—barely. Horribly scarred and angry at both her kin and the beast, Lini treated her wounds as well as she could and bided her time, stalking the snow leopard over the course of days and learning its habits while using stealth and her magic to hide from its senses. Eventually Lini struck, sneaking into the snow leopard’s lair while it was out, killing all of its cubs and then beating the beast into submission (with heavy use of poisons). She turned the cubs pelts into a cloak, their teeth and claws into jewelry and spent the next two years breaking the snow leopard, viciously training it into her loyal defender. Now, she and Droogami stalk the lands as bandits and mercenaries, inflicting violence for coin and the sheer joy of it.

Stat Block:

XP 1,200

Female gnome druid (nature fangACG) 4

NE Small humanoid (gnome)

Init +3; Senses low-light vision; Perception +8


AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 15 (+4 armor, +2 Dex, +1 size)

hp 33 (4d8+12)

Fort +7 (+5 circumstance bonus vs. cold weather), Ref +3, Will +6; +2 vs. illusions

Defensive Abilities defensive training; Resist cold 4


Speed 20 ft.

Melee +1 sickle +7 (1d4+1) or dagger +6 (1d3/19-20)

Ranged dart +6 (1d3)

Special Attacks hatred, sneak attack +1d6, studied target +1 (1st, move action)

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th; concentration +5)
1/day—dancing lights, ghost sound (DC 12), prestidigitation, speak with animals

Druid Spells Prepared (CL 4th; concentration +6)
2nd—barkskin, bull's strength, stone discusACG
1st—call animalAPG, charm animal (DC 13), cure light wounds, produce flame
0 (at will)—detect magic, detect poison, light, stabilize


Before Combat Lini applies poison to her weapons daily or before engaging enemies (using blue whinnis only when she intends to take someone alive). If she knows she will be fighting in a building or facing multiple enemies she casts call animal and handles or charms the animal as necessary at least an hour before approaching. Once prepared, Lini stalks her prey from afar studying them (with studied target) and her surroundings before approaching. She uses stealth and the terrain to her advantage, hiding behind or atop of buildings, trees and other obstacles. Before fighting she casts barkskin and bull’s strength on herself.

During Combat If Lini has called an animal to her side she directs the animal first, typically pushing it to enter the building and attack everyone inside or to attack a large group of enemies. She does not expect the animal to survive such tactics and does not make any effort to save or assist it. After the animal is unleashed or, if there is no called animal, Lini and Droogami stalk as near to their targets as they can without being spotted, from opposite directions. Lini studies her target and attacks from hiding with one of her poisoned weapons or stone discus while Droogami fights in melee combat. Once enemies are aware of her presence Lini prefers to fight in close ranged combat with her darts or produce flame using Acrobatics to remain mobile. If the terrain provides potential cover she utilizes skirmishing tactics, breaking line of sight with her enemies, stealthing to a different location and attacking again from hiding to gain her sneak attack damage. Once personally engaged in melee combat Lini fights with her sickle, flanking with Droogami at all times. If wounded, Lini temporarily retreats from combat leaving Droogami to continue the fight, heals herself with her wand of cure light wounds and then returns to combat (preferably unnoticed). Lini takes the time to cure Droogami if he is below half of his hit points, but only if doing so won’t cause her any harm. She will not put herself in danger for Droogami.

Morale Lini values her life above all others and will happily sacrifice anyone, including Droogami, to protect herself. Unless Lini orders otherwise, Droogami fights to the death to protect her. If Lini is reduced to half of her hit points she retreats to heal herself while Droogami continues fighting. Once she is healed, if Droogami still lives, Lini reenters combat, otherwise she flees using acrobatics and stealth to her advantage and hiding if necessary.


Str 10, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 13

Base Atk +3; CMB +2; CMD 14

Feats Skill Focus (Handle Animal), Weapon Finesse

Traits ambush training, local tough

Skills Acrobatics +4 (+0 to jump), Craft (alchemy) +7, Handle Animal +11, Heal +2 (+5 to treat poison), Intimidate +9, Knowledge (nature) +6, Perception +8, Ride +7, Spellcraft +5, Stealth +8, Survival +6; Racial Modifiers +2 Craft (alchemy), +2 Perception

Languages Common, Druidic, Gnome, Goblin, Sylvan

SQ gnome magic, nature bond (leopard named droogami), slayer talent (poison useACG), trackless step

Combat Gear wand of cure light wounds (25 charges), acid (4), alchemist's fire (2), black adder venom, blue whinnis, giant wasp poison, medium spider venom (2); Other Gear +1 wooden armorAPG, +1 sickle, dagger, dart (6), muleback cordsAPG, antidote kitUE, bedroll, belt pouch, belt pouch, cold weather outfit with cloak made from snow leopard cub fur, explorer's outfit, flint and steel, masterwork backpackAPG, mess kitUE, snow leopard teeth and claw necklace, silent whistleAPG, silk rope (50 ft.), spell component pouch, training harnessARG, training whip, waterskin, whet bone, wild dog (currently being trained as an attack dog; tricks: heel, stay), 5 pp, 64 gp, 16 sp, 10 cp

Droogami, snow leopard

N Medium animal

Init +5; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +5


AC 18, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+5 Dex, +3 natural)

hp 26 (4d8+8)

Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +2

Defensive Abilities evasion


Speed 50 ft.; sprint

Melee bite +8 (1d6+3), 2 claws +8 (1d3+3)


Str 17, Dex 21, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6

Base Atk +3; CMB +6; CMD 21 (25 vs. trip)

Feats Skill Focus (Stealth), Weapon Finesse

Tricks Attack, Come, Defend, Down, Flank, Heel, Stay, Track

Skills Acrobatics +9 (+17 to jump), Climb +7, Perception +5, Stealth +12 (+16 in Undergrowth); Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth in Undergrowth

SQ attack, come, defend, down, flank, heel, stay, track

Once again, thank you to everybody who participated, and congratulations to meloriel for their winning entry—not only did they win $25 in store credit, they also win a custom avatar!

In search of a restoration spell,

Liz Courts
Community Manager

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Community Design Challenge Druids Gnomes Hell's Vengeance Lini Pathfinder Adventure Path
Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sol-lid :) That's an excellent creative effort by meloriel. I've never seen Lini's stat block that I can recall. I have seen the comments she's made in chapter introductions in my Pathfinder book collection. Congrats, meloriel!

1 person marked this as a favorite.

love the evil Lini

Congratulations to the winner and runners-up! Some really good EEEVIL takes on the iconics. There were a lot that I went through myself before finally deciding on one (and I notice a later entry took a similar route to one of the concepts that I ultimately didn't go with). Cool to see that others had a lot of different possible takes on the characters!

Silver Crusade Contributor

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Congratulations, Meloriel! ^_^

I should actually enter one of these, one of these days...

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

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Congratulations! Evil Lini is one nasty customer...

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations Meloriel. I felt like you had a good shot at this, and I was worried about posting my Lini after yours. Oh well, maybe next time!

Congratulations to meloriel and the other runner ups! I had a blast making evil Quinn, and thanks to Liz for adding 'Eyes of the House of Thrune' to my title, which makes it sound way cooler.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Poor snep cubs.

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Congratulations, Meloriel.

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+1 the congrats, Meloriel. Your Lini was my favorite too, and really flavorfully done.

And congrats too to all the runner-ups; I particularly liked MechaPoet's Sharda and Duncan7291's Kyra Clone #666. :)

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Congrats Meloriel!
I am happy to have lost to someone properly demonstrating the evil that lurks within gnomes :)

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Also, belated thanks to Liz for her extra time and effort herding all the cats into the barn for shearing.*

* Or some better metaphor which eludes me right now.

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Congrats Meloriel! Nicely done.

oh well

Paizo Employee Organized Play Line Developer

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Thank you so much for the kind words, everyone, I'm honoured.
Congratulations to all the runner-ups and a hearty 'Good job!' to everyone who entered. I had a blast reading all of the entries.
Thanks to Liz and the whole Paizo team for giving us the chance to participate in such a fun design challenge! I know I'm not the only one who hopes there's plenty more in the future.

Also, nice timing on the gift certificate. I used mine to get Ultimate Intrigue (PFRPG) PDF. What to do with that extra $0.01 :)

Community Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Duncan7291 wrote:
Also, nice timing on the gift certificate. I used mine to get Ultimate Intrigue (PFRPG) PDF.

It's like I planned it that way or something. ;)

Liz Courts....super genius (In best Wile E. Coyote voice)

Dark Archive

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Congratulations to everyone who entered! There were tons of great entries, so well done! Meloriel's take was definitely the creepiest, most evil one I read, and well deserving of the win :)

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8

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But if anything was gonna beat Valeros out, I'm glad it was that Lini. Reading meloriel's entry made me work 100 times harder on mine--which is the sign of some top notch creative design. Way to go!!

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