Scarecrow Golem

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RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16. RPG Superstar 6 Season Star Voter. 236 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

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What I always find helpful when designing a dungeon is working out some kind of history to help guide/justify your choices. How old is this ruin, how recently has it been opened? Why was it empty? Was it abandoned or intentionally left behind? Was everyone inside slain? Why was it sealed? Is it a prison, or did some calamity or collapse close it's doors. What was the ruin used for when it was new? Did people live here? or worship here? Is it still in good repair, or are the tunnels starting to crumble? Is collapse and issue the players should be worried about? What about this artifact, what is it and why is it significant? Was it lost or left behind? Is something guarding it, like a monster or construct or something. Or maybe a Last Crusade style ghost-knight hanging out in there with a bunch of tests and what all waiting to determine the worthiness of whoever comes for it. Have others come for this artifact before? What happened to them? These are all things that can help define what would make sense to be in here

Anything that is unoccupied for a time invariably attracts vermin. Vermin is a nice category of monsters since they cover a good CR range even before you start tweaking them with templates. Depending on how powerful your group is you might be talking about a few small spiders, or gigantic centipedes who fill entire corridors.

Oozes are also great for lost dungeons, since they'll just sit in there, eating bugs until something softer/tastier wanders in.

Naturally the undead also belong in forgotten dungeons, but you can go with a fun dwarfy theme here, like skeletal arms swinging floating axes, or skeletons with flaming beards.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

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This is Fun!!!

I would structure this as an organized competition with a round-robin or double-elimination style advancement bracket. A single encounter about wrestling a muddy hog is going to result in the players simply attempting grapples until they succeed because that what they'll think they need to do. If there are multiple rounds they will have an opportunity to see how other competitors attempt the task.

Naturally you won't want to run a session where you are just narrating a bunch of NPC's grabbing dirty pigs, but having a few other competitors who are using different tactics might inspire your players to try new things.

Consider using intimidate to frighten the pig into suffering a CMD penalty, or driving the pig into some deeper mud where it'll have a harder time trying to get away. Maybe trying to grab the pig a certain way allows for better leverage. Grabbing the pig by the ears might cause the pig to struggle less because having some drunken farmer grab your ears hurts. Grabbing his tail might let you get dragged around by the pig and tire the thing out. Grabbing his leg and letting him struggle to get away and then tactically letting him go and trying again might result in a pig whose legs are worn out and is now slower. Players should be encouraged to use their skills in clever ways for small bonuses, maybe slight of hand or bluff allows you to jump the pig by surprise. Knowledge (nature) or handle animal will probably provide insight into how to approach the pig or what part of it to try and grab. Sense motive to determine which direction the pig will try and run.

If there are enough competitors it will behoove the organizers to have several pigs as well. Different pigs may have slightly different stats, weaknesses or habits.
-This pig will charge you and deal 1D3 non-lethal
-This pig has a hairy butt and is easier to grab from behind
-This pig has stumpy legs and will get stuck in deep mud
-This pig is timid and will run when you get within 15 feet
-This pig is blessed, literally
Different pigs will succumb to different tactics and the players will be rewarded by leaning them

Since this is essentially a mini-game, try changing up other aspects of the game to make things seem more significant or interesting. Change the scale of the "combat area" to 3' squares rather than 5', and require DEX or acrobatics checks to move more than half your speed. Change the combat order so its more than "my turn", "your turn" style combat. The more different skills you can bring into the process the more you can expect your players to try different things.

Try this:
3' squares, players move half speed (typically 15'/5 squares). Movement is spent 1 square at a time, if more than 5 squares are covered the player sacrifices his (standard) action and makes a double move, or attempts dex/acro checks to move faster/farther. Unlike typical combat, the facing of "combatants" is important

A turn might look like this:
-Player starts by using any amount of this available movement to approach/circle the pig.
-During this move he/she may attempt a single skill check to gain an advantage over the pig, or to force the pig to move.
-The player makes a sense motive check to determine what the pig will do when attacked
ROLL INITIATIVE (if sense motive was very high maybe there's a bonus)
-any remaining movement is spent to lunge at the pig (dex/acro for extra movement), if the player won initiative their movement occurs before the pig has a chance to react and they may attack/grapple normally. If the pig won initiative it readies an action to run away if approached and thus its movement is simultaneous with the lunge from the player. This is where the sense motive really comes in, if it was successful the player has lunged in the correct direction and still has a change to grab the pig (though probably at a penalty), otherwise the pig squirms out of the way and the player gets a face full of mud (or more likely manure).
-if an attack is not made the player may move again/make a skill check as above. Some checks like determining a weakness or habit won't need to be renewed, while others like bluff/stealth for an advantageous position, or intimidate to make the pig run must be attempted again if their bonuses are to be kept
-repeat every round
-anyone who takes a full round action in the mud must make checks vs fatigue (players with endurance get a bonus), but since the pig will generally only take a single move to get away players must force the pig to double move or escape grapple for the pig to tire. Deeper areas of mud might increase this check, or even force escape checks. Fatigue here might mean lesser penalties (like -1 on str based checks, or -1 move) so that a single failure doesn't knock the player out of contention, but rather the fatigue will stack up until the penalties become to much. Making skill checks do not count as taking action for this purpose unless those checks require movement, so a player may move two squares, intimidate, move two more squares (for a total of only 4 out of 5 square single move), and intimidate again without getting tired out by the mud.
-you may also consider saves vs sickened for a mouth full of pig poop.

You can make this process even more interesting by adding some racially significant options, dwarves aren't slowed by the mud, halflings and gnomes may attempt ride checks, elves get a bonus to try and move faster in the mud etc.

Furthermore, if each round is against not only the pig, but also another competitor rather than a timed event there can be even more complication. Competitors can take action against each other, or lay in wait for their opponent to scare the pig to them. Randomly determined brackets can see players facing off against each other, or against a local NPC rival.

There is also the behind the scenes actions to consider. Judges can be bribed, competitors can get drugged, spells can be secretly cast, someone went and put a rage potion into the slop trough of pig #3!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

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This seems to be an issue of demon vs devil.

A devil is concerned with the collection of souls,
A devil would see fit to mark the recipient of the wish with horns or evil looking features
A devil wants him to get what he deserves

A Glabrezu is a demon
the demon does not care about punishment
the demon exists to consume, to destroy

To a devil a wish is a means of securing a soul, and thereby status, power

To a demon a wish is simply permission to ruin stuff, as much stuff as possible.

This is an opportunity to spread the pain not just punish the character. There is a dying curse on this thing, shape the world dude, shape the world.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

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I like the idea that this CON bonus comes from somewhere sinister. To my understanding a Glabrezu's wish usually comes about in the most destructive way possible, destructive not only to the PC, but to those around/close to them. This is a great opportunity to derail the story a little bit. Maybe the seemingly slain Glabrezu is somehow attached to its killer (possessing even, and providing a boon to CON).

Or try this on for size (provided it fits or course). Even being CN, the character can easily still have strong ties to family. This CON bonus is drawn from the health of his entire bloodline, sort of a focusing of his being if you will. With the grantor of this wish now slain this focusing is becoming uninhibited. Make his wish progressively, lots better. Every time he successfully saves against disease he gains temporary hit points, when he resists drain he gets a profane CON bonus, etc. All the while he is unknowingly drawing this resilience from his family (or obviously drawing it from nearby living things). Perhaps a new disease crops up in people he doesn't even know he is distantly related to. Every time he thrives, every time his fortitude saves him, whenever he succeeds at "being healthy" others suffer, many others. And its all. His. Fault.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6

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Champion of Philosophy (Cavalier)
By devoting himself to a philosophical ideal rather than a knightly order, a cavalier gains great power to enforce his beliefs.
Alignment:Champion of philosophy must be neutral good, neutral evil, lawful neutral or chaotic neutral.
Moral Devotion: A champion of philosophy devotes his life to the teachings of his alignment (law, chaos, good or evil). Many of his class abilities affect opponents he would consider heretics. For the purpose of these abilities any foe whose alignment opposes his on either axis is considered a heretic. For example a lawful neutral champion would consider all chaotic opponents to be heretics. A champion must act in accordance with his alignment, failing to do so results in the loss of all abilities concerning heretics for a period of 24 hours. This ability replaces order.
Defy Heretic (Ex): Whenever a champion of philosophy issues a challenge to a heretic, he gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC as long as he is threatening the target of the challenge. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels the champion possesses.
Detect Heretic (Sp): At 1st level, a champion of philosophy can use Detect Evil, Law, Good, or Chaos as appropriate for his alignment. He may do this at will. This ability replaces tactician.
Protection from Heretics (Sp):At 2nd level, a champion of philosophy gains the constant effect of a Protection from spell of a type opposite to his moral devotion.
Banner (Ex): This ability functions much the same as the cavalier ability, except that the bonus applies to saves against effects with an alignment type opposite to the champion's moral devotion.
Philosophical Discourse (Ex): At 4th level, a champion of philosophy adds ½ his class level to Intimidate checks against heretics. This ability replaces expert trainer.
Magic Circle Against Heretics (Sp):At 8th level a champion of philosophy's protection from heretics becomes a Magic Circle Against effect instead.
Battle Heretic (Su) At 9th level, a champion of philosophy's natural weapons as well as any weapon he wields are considered to have his alignment type for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction. This ability replaces greater tactician.
Denounce Heretic (Sp): At 15th level, once per day a champion of philosophy can use Holy Word, Dictum, Blasphemy, or Word of Chaos as appropriate for his alignment.
Slaughter Heretic (Su): At 17th level, any magic weapon (+1 enhancement bonus or greater) is treated as either Holy, Axiomatic, Unholy or Anarchic when held by a champion of philosophy, as appropriate for this alignment. This quality may not cause the weapon's effective enhancement bonus to exceed +10. This quality disappears when the weapon leaves the champion's possession. This ability replaces master tactician.