Couple round 3 questions


RPG Superstar™ 2008 General Discussion

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6 aka Core

Forgive my ignorance, I have a couple questions for round 3.

1) Anyone know if Myconids are public domain? These guys have been around for 20 years, I was surprised they were not in the SRD. Not even Vegepygmys, sheesh.

2) One of the lines in the stat block is as follows:
'Aura info'
Have no idea what this is, first I've come across it. SRD was of no help. Evil, holy or magic aura or something?

3) There is a rule that states:
Can we create new abilities, feats, spells, powers, items, etc., for our villain? No. This stage of the contest is about creating an awesome villain, not about creature, spell or item design. Resist the urge.

I planned on tacking on some abilities for my villain. Lets say something as follows
Hallucinator Spores(ex): 3/Day as Confusion Spell (DC 17).

Nothing really new per say, just a different delivery rather than spell casting. This legit? Or better yet can I be more liberal in my descriptions and add in some descriptive text in the Special Abilities area?

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Core wrote:

Forgive my ignorance, I have a couple questions for round 3.

1) Anyone know if Myconids are public domain? These guys have been around for 20 years, I was surprised they were not in the SRD. Not even Vegepygmys, sheesh.

2) One of the lines in the stat block is as follows:
'Aura info'
Have no idea what this is, first I've come across it. SRD was of no help. Evil, holy or magic aura or something?

3) There is a rule that states:
Can we create new abilities, feats, spells, powers, items, etc., for our villain? No. This stage of the contest is about creating an awesome villain, not about creature, spell or item design. Resist the urge.

I planned on tacking on some abilities for my villain. Lets say something as follows
Hallucinator Spores(ex): 3/Day as Confusion Spell (DC 17).

Nothing really new per say, just a different delivery rather than spell casting. This legit? Or better yet can I be more liberal in my descriptions and add in some descriptive text in the Special Abilities area?

Everything we are building has to come 'off the shelf.' Monsters the way they are. Character classes the way they are. Magic items they way they are. Spells the way they are. Skills, feats, everything. SRD or nothing (though we can use names of things outside SRD, like Nosferatu and Chupacabra and Asmodeus and Baphomet), plus items and countries in the contest thus far.

I think you're boned as far as being able to work with a myconid if you don't see em in the SRD. I doubt being in an almost 30-year-old adventure (A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords!) is enough to make them public domain.

Lastly, if you were to make 'hallucinatory spores' an Exceptional ability, that is radically more powerful than a spell-like ability that does the same thing, because it does not provoke AoOs when you use it, is not subject to SR, and ignores anti-magic, so it is not "the same as" a spell, even if it creates the same effect in the end.

That's my two bits. Now I gotta stop readin' and get writin'!

Liberty's Edge

I’m not a superstar or a judge, but I concur with Jason. Myconids would not be public domain, and I think you would be looking at a DQ if your villain was a new monster (or new take on an old monster) … and you’d probably be skirting pretty close to the line (if not over) if you gave he/she/it such an ability.

Save if for the monster round!

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Actually, I didn't address one of your questions, which was what the aura line means on the stat block.

I have never seen this form of stat block before so I actually don't know either. My assumption is that it refers to the strength of the creature's alignment aura (as per the detect evil spell), but it's really not clear what is to go on that line.

Dark Archive

Samuel Kisko wrote:

2) One of the lines in the stat block is as follows:

'Aura info'
Have no idea what this is, first I've come across it. SRD was of no help. Evil, holy or magic aura or something?

This perhaps refers to the line in the Cleric / Paladin descriptions about them having 'auras' related to their particular alignment?

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32 aka Orange Toque

I've seen it used in Dungeon magazine to denote things like a dragon's Frightful Presence or an archon's Aura of Menace. Basically any ongoing effect that a character can walk into and be affected by.

Now back to lurking.

OT

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Orange Toque wrote:

I've seen it used in Dungeon magazine to denote things like a dragon's Frightful Presence or an archon's Aura of Menace. Basically any ongoing effect that a character can walk into and be affected by.

Now back to lurking.

OT

Thanks

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6 aka Core

After thinking about it I am opting away from Myconids and using more mysterious/generic references. (if I even use the Villain I am thinking of)

As for Aura, I guess I will leave it blank until I know what it is for sure.

mothman wrote:
and you�d probably be skirting pretty close to the line (if not over) if you gave he/she/it such an ability.

That is why I am posting here after all. I am curious this since I would just be applying a known ability (that I can link to in the SRD) and simply calling it a non-spell. The villains rules say 'Your villain can be monstrous or humanoid or whatever' and it should be 'unique'.

The SRD says that unique monsters can be created using a typical creature as the foundation and adding spell-like, supernatural, or extraordinary ability to a creature.

Sure I can understand avoiding entirely new effects (I cast Power Word: Flirt!), but I just want to apply existing effects in a non-spell manner for flavors sake. I mean its not a big deal, I just don't want to water down the gravy if you know what I mean.

What say you judges.


Ah! I think I catch the misunderstanding here. By unique they're not saying it should be unlike any other creature. They are saying it should be an original representative of some existing kind of thing.

For example 8th level hobgoblin ranger isn't a villain.

Horgbar the 8th level hobgoblin ranger who is blah-blah-blah would be.

An 8th level hobgoblin with mirror image as an innate special ability is a DQ.

So yeah, normal stuff but with fresh original personalities and who are major enough that they could be the antagonists of an entire adventure path or mid-level adventure or whatever.

Nualia would work.

Korzoug would work.

Sauron would work.

Ming the Merciless would work.

Jabba the Hutt would work.

That sort of thing.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6 aka Core

Grimcleaver wrote:
An 8th level hobgoblin with mirror image as an innate special ability is a DQ.

Guess that would sum it up - though I suppose the examples threw me off somewhat.

Spoiler:
Citing some recent adventures, Vhalantru from the Shackled City Adventure Path is a good example of a monstrous villain. Balabar Smenk and Lashonna from the Age of Worms Adventure Path and Vanthus Vanderboren from the Savage Tide Adventure Path are good examples of villains, as are Nualia from Burnt Offerings and Aldern Foxglove and Xanesha from The Skinsaw Murders from the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path—they are also good examples of relatively low level villains to boot. Eclavdra, the drow priestess from the classic G- and D-series modules could be considered an example of a villain.

Seems odd to cite several villains that would be break the rules if they were entered into this contest. I mean I have plenty of ideas using stock-SRD all the way around, just a bit confusing for my meager mind.

I did actually come across this rule which clears up the minion thing quite a bit, not sure how I missed it the first time!

Spoiler:
Can we use minions or refer to creatures that are not necessarily in the SRD, either by name or short description? I mean not stating them out at all, just referring to the names?

Nope. SRD content only.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder aka Robert G. McCreary

Core wrote:

That is why I am posting here after all. I am curious this since I would just be applying a known ability (that I can link to in the SRD) and simply calling it a non-spell. The villains rules say 'Your villain can be monstrous or humanoid or whatever' and it should be 'unique'.

The SRD says that unique monsters can be created using a typical creature as the foundation and adding spell-like, supernatural, or extraordinary ability to a creature.

Sure I can understand avoiding entirely new effects (I cast Power Word: Flirt!), but I just want to apply existing effects in a non-spell manner for flavors sake. I mean its not a big deal, I just don't want to water down the gravy if you know what I mean.

What say you judges.

I would like an official answer (or more accurately, clarification) on this too.

While I have found it funny that the rules for this round and the last included "What is a country?" and "What is a villain?", I now fond myself asking "What is a special ability?"

Because like the esteemed Mr. Migrus/Yithnai, I think adding an SRD spell or ability to a creature is different from creating a completely new ability whole cloth.

For example, if we look at Hook Mountain:

Spoiler:
The totenmaske's fleshdrinking ability is a completely new ability, and would be grounds for DQ in this round.

But the ogrekin's deformities, such as Enhanced Senses, is not necessarily a "new" ability, to my mind.

(Then again, this may be apples and oranges since I'm comparing a monster with a template.)

In any case, an official ruling would be appreciated.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka SmiloDan

I have a question about alignments. If a monster entry states the critter is "Always Chaotic Evil" but the definition of "Always" is 99.99% of the time, could a Superstar make a LE or CG version of that monster and not be DQed?

(I once made a half-celestial black dragon with huge raven wings as an opponent for some PCs that were walking WAY to far on the dark side. BTW, they didn't learn their lesson. Not even when blink dog riding halfling rangers attacked them, or a ghostly paladin lance charge attacked them.)


Cool, the stat block format for this round is basically the new WoTC-style block with a couple of extras. I use this format for all the products under Blackdirge Publishing, so I can field your aura question.

The aura entry is for any special ability that takes effect anytime another creature comes within a certain distance of it. Examples would be a blackguard’s aura of despair or a devil's fear aura. Usually the range of the aura and the DC of any applicable saving throw is listed in parentheses next to the aura type.

So, if your villain is a pit fiend, you would list his fear aura entry like this:

Aura fear (20 ft., DC 27)

Let me know if you have any other questions about the format (if that's okay with the judges).

BD

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

If a contestant posts a question, you answer it, and it is a part of their entry--thats a DQ.

Sovereign Court Contributor

What if I post random advice and they follow it?

Don't forget to show your math!

Ha! I have eliminated all contestants from round 3!

;-)


Clark Peterson wrote:
If a contestant posts a question, you answer it, and it is a part of their entry--thats a DQ.

Got it, I won't answer any more questions. I certainly don't want anyone to get disqualified on my account.

BD

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Blackdirge wrote:
Clark Peterson wrote:
If a contestant posts a question, you answer it, and it is a part of their entry--thats a DQ.

Got it, I won't answer any more questions. I certainly don't want anyone to get disqualified on my account.

BD

Advice and discussion in general is one thing. But helping with specific questions is another. I dont see anything here yet that is a problem. But please be careful. Answering questions about auras and such is fine (though frankly I dont know how a supposed superstar doesnt know what that is).

Blackdirge, you dont have to stop posting. Your comments are really helpful. But just make sure people dont post questions and answers for things that appear in their villain. I understand that you cant control what people post, and no one is getting DQ'd if someone else asks a question related to something you might be considering and it gets answered. That isnt your fault. But maybe in light of that we should cool our jets with specific stat block stuff for a bit.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

All that's very good, but what I'd really like to see is an answer to the earlier question about special abilities.

Since the SRD talks about creating unique creatures by adding abilities, wouldn't doing such a thing be covered by the SRD?

It seems to me you'd be covered, you'd just have to justify the CR in some manner based on that.

Can we get one of the judges to rule on this?


Clark Peterson wrote:


Advice and discussion in general is one thing. But helping with specific questions is another. I dont see anything here yet that is a problem. But please be careful. Answering questions about auras and such is fine (though frankly I dont know how a supposed superstar doesnt know what that is).

Blackdirge, you dont have to stop posting. Your comments are really helpful. But just make sure people dont post questions and answers for things that appear in their villain. I understand that you cant control what people post, and no one is getting DQ'd if someone else asks a question related to something you might be considering and it gets answered. That isnt your fault. But maybe in light of that we should cool our jets with specific stat block stuff for a bit.

Undestood. With the warnings you've posted, I don't think any of the top 16 would make the mistake of asking questions specific to their villian.

In Samuel's defense, I can understand how a game designer might not be familiar with some of the entries in the new stat block format. It's technically not SRD, and there are a lot of publishers (even big ones) that don't use it. The publishers and game designers that do use it, like myself, have had to cobble together how it works by example or from non-SRD sources. But that said, I see your point, an RPG Superstar should have the research skills to find the information he needs.

BD


Blackdirge wrote:

But that said, I see your point, an RPG Superstar should have the research skills to find the information he needs.

BD

Right...and my first instinct if I had any questions about an assignment would be to ask the editor/publisher/developer. Or in this case...judge. :)

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