Onuyaka, the All-Seeing Eye


Round 3: Design a villain

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Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder aka Robert G. McCreary

Whether among the highest nobles of the Royal Court or the lowliest members of the Dungsweepers' Guild, no one's secrets are safe, for agents of the All-Seeing Eye prowl in darkened alleyways, glittering ballrooms, and everywhere in between. Always watching, always listening, they employ espionage, blackmail, bribery, intimidation, and even murder to acquire information and influence. And above them all lurks the mysterious All-Seeing Eye himself, gathering intelligence from a hundred different sources and manipulating events for his own inscrutable purpose.

ONUYAKA, THE ALL-SEEING EYE CR 13 [CR 8 ogre mage, +2 non-associated rogue levels, +3.5 non-associated sorcerer levels]

Male ogre mage rogue 4/sorcerer 6
LE Large giant
Init +6 [+2 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative]; Senses darkvision 120 ft., low-light vision, see in all directions, see invisible or ethereal things within 120 ft.; Listen +11, Spot +21

DEFENSE

AC 23, touch 14, flat-footed 23
(+4 armor, +2 deflection, +2 Dex, +1 dodge, +5 natural, -1 size) [+2 Dex, +1 haste, +4 mage armor, +5 natural, +2 ring of protection, -1 size]
hp 110 (5d8+4d6+6d4+45); regeneration 5 (acid or fire)
Fort +12 [+4 ogre mage, +1 rogue, +2 sorcerer, +2 cloak of resistance, +3 Con], Ref +12 [+1 ogre mage, +4 rogue, +2 sorcerer, +2 cloak of resistance, +2 Dex, +1 haste], Will +12 [+1 ogre mage, +1 rogue, +5 sorcerer, +2 cloak of resistance, +3 Wis]
Defensive Abilities cannot be flanked, evasion, uncanny dodge; Resist fire 10; SR 19

OFFENSE

Spd 70 ft., fly 70 ft. (good) [40 ft. base +30 ft. haste]
Melee Large +1 keen icy burst greatsword +16/+16/+11 [+9 base, +4 Str, +1 haste, +2 invisible, +1 magic, -1 size/-5 secondary attack] (3d6+7+1d6 cold, 17-20/x2+1d10 cold)
Ranged Large masterwork composite longbow +15/+15/+10 [+9 base, +2 Dex, +1 bracers of archery, +1 haste, +2 invisible, +1 masterwork, -1 size/-5 secondary attack] (2d6+4, x3)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks sneak attack (+2d6)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th):
At will—darkness, invisibility
1/day—charm person (DC 17 [base 10, +1 spell level, +6 Cha]), cone of cold (DC 21 [base 10, +5 spell level, +6 Cha]), gaseous form, sleep (DC 17 [base 10, +1 spell level, +6 Cha] )
Spells Known (CL 6th, ranged touch +13 [+9 base, +2 Dex, +1 haste, +2 invisible, -1 size] ):
3rd (4/day [3+1 bonus Cha])—clairaudience/clairvoyance
2nd (7/day [5+2 bonus Cha])—detect thoughts (DC 18 [base 10, +2 spell level, +6 Cha]), scorching ray
1st (8/day [6+2 bonus Cha])—comprehend languages, hypnotism (DC 17 [base 10, +1 spell level, +6 Cha]), mage armor, true strike
0 (6/day)—arcane mark, daze (DC 16 [base 10, +0 spell level, +6 Cha]), detect magic, flare (DC 16 [base 10, +0 spell level, +6 Cha]), message, ray of frost, read magic

TACTICS

Before Combat When he is alerted to approaching foes, Onuyaka casts mage armor and invisibility, and flies into the air to better surprise attackers. He drinks his potion of haste at the last possible moment before combat starts.
During Combat Onuyaka prefers to let his minions fight his battles. If cornered, however, he avoids physical confrontation whenever possible. He begins by casting darkness on his opponents and follows it with his cone of cold. He then casts invisibility again, followed by true strike, and attacks with his longbow or scorching ray, alternating attacks with more invisibility, true strike, and darkness as needed. If forced into melee combat, Onuyaka follows a similar strategy of invisibility and true strike between attacks. He then flies into the midst of his foes, making hasted sneak attacks and using Combat Reflexes to make attacks of opportunity before flying away and turning invisible again. If any of his opponents have the ability to see invisible, Onuyaka tries to neutralize them first, and if faced with acid attacks, he uses his scroll of resist energy (acid) to protect himself. The statistics above reflect Onuyaka attacking while hasted and invisible.
Morale Onuyaka is a schemer, not a warrior. If reduced to 70 hit points or less, or if he exhausts his offensive spells and abilities, Onuyaka retreats using gaseous form. If somehow prevented from escaping in gaseous form, Onuyaka uses his scroll of dimension door to flee the scene of battle, flying at full speed to another of his hideouts to heal and plot his revenge.
Base Statistics When not hasted or invisible, Onuyaka's stats change as follows:
AC 22, touch 13, flat-footed 22 [+2 Dex, +4 mage armor, +5 natural, +2 ring of protection, -1 size]
Ref +11 [+1 ogre mage, +4 rogue, +2 sorcerer, +2 cloak of resistance, +2 Dex]
Spd 40 ft., fly 40 ft. (good)
Melee Large +1 keen icy burst greatsword +13/+8 [+9 base, +4 Str, +1 magic, -1 size/-5 secondary attack] (3d6+7+1d6 cold, 17-20/x2+1d10 cold)
Ranged Large masterwork composite longbow +12/+7 [+9 base, +2 Dex, +1 bracers of archery, +1 masterwork, -1 size/-5 secondary attack] (2d6+4, x3)
Ranged touch +10 [+9 base, +2 Dex, -1 size]

STATISTICS

Str 18 [base 8, +10 racial], Dex 14 [base 14], Con 16 [base 10, +6 racial], Int 19 [base 13, +4 racial, +2 ability increase], Wis 16 [base 12, +4 racial], Cha 22 [base 15, +6 racial, +1 ability increase]
Base Atk +9 [+3 ogre mage, +3 rogue, +3 sorcerer]; Grp +17 [+9 base, +4 Str, +4 size]
Feats Alertness (when Chishiki is in arm's reach), Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Investigator, Leadership (cohort: Jade Monkey, female half-elf bard 7/shadowdancer 1), Negotiator, Persuasive
Skills Bluff +26 [12 ranks, +6 Cha, +3 circlet of persuasion, +3 familiar, +2 Persuasive feat], Concentration +9 [6 ranks, +3 Con], Decipher Script +6 [2 ranks, +4 Int], Diplomacy +24 [7 ranks, +6 Cha, +3 circlet of persuasion, +2 Negotiator feat, +2 synergy from Bluff, +2 synergy from Knowledge (nobility and royalty), +2 synergy from Sense Motive], Disable Device +8 [2 ranks, +4 Int, +2 masterwork thieves' tools], Disguise +15 [4 ranks, +6 Cha, +3 circlet of persuasion, +2 synergy from Bluff], Forgery +6 [2 ranks, +4 Int], Gather Information +25 [12 ranks, +6 Cha, +3 circlet of persuasion, +2 Investigator feat, +2 synergy from Knowledge (local)], Hide +0 [2 ranks, +2 Dex, -4 size], Intimidate +15 [2 ranks, +6 Cha, +3 circlet of persuasion, +2 Persuasive feat, +2 synergy from Bluff], Knowledge (arcana) +10 [6 ranks, +4 Int], Knowledge (local) +11 [7 ranks, +4 Int], Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +9 [5 ranks, +4 Int], Listen +11 [6 ranks, +2 Alertness feat, +3 Wis], Move Silently +4 [2 ranks, +2 Dex], Open Lock +6 [2 ranks, +2 Dex, +2 masterwork thieves' tools], Search +16 [0 ranks, +4 Int, +2 Investigator feat, +10 robe of eyes], Sense Motive +16 [11 ranks, +2 Negotiator feat, +3 Wis], Sleight of Hand +5 [1 rank, +2 Dex, +2 synergy from Bluff], Spellcraft +12 [6 ranks, +4 Int, +2 synergy from Knowledge (arcana)], Spot +21 [6 ranks, +2 Alertness feat, +10 robe of eyes, +3 Wis]
Languages common, dwarven, elven, giant, goblin, orc
SQ change shape, flight, summon familiar (tiny viper named Chishiki), trapfinding, trap sense +1
Combat Gear potion of haste (CL 10th), scroll of dimension door, scroll of resist energy (acid); Other Gear Large +1 keen icy burst greatsword, Large masterwork composite longbow (+4), 20 arrows, cloak of resistance +2, ring of protection +2, robe of eyes, amulet of proof against detection and location, candle of truth, circlet of persuasion, crystal ball with telepathy, figurine of wondrous power (silver raven), lesser bracers of archery, minor ring of energy resistance (fire), staff of divination (27 charges), elixir of hiding (x2), elixir of sneaking (x2), masterwork thieves' tools, spell component pouch

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Change Shape (Su) Onuyaka can assume the form of any Small, Medium, or Large humanoid or giant.
Flight (Su) Onuyaka can cease or resume flight as a free action. While using gaseous form he can fly at his normal speed and has perfect maneuverability.
Regeneration (Ex) Fire and acid deal normal damage to Onuyaka.

The secretive ogre mage Onuyaka directs a highly sophisticated network of spies and informants that have infiltrated all levels of civilized society. He uses the intelligence gathered by these operatives to mastermind elaborate and far-reaching schemes of coercion and manipulation. Onuyaka knows that knowledge, not strength, is the path to true power. Therefore, he constantly pursues new sources of knowledge and information that he can use to his own advantage. He does not seek to conquer or rule, but to guide, influence, and manipulate legitimate authority from far behind the scenes.

Onuyaka's agents come from all walks of life: urban and rural, noble and peasant, civilian and military, "civilized" and savage, humanoid and monstrous. None of these informers know whom they are working for, or any other members of the organization, and even those at the highest levels know their employer only as the enigmatic "All-Seeing Eye." When he appears in person, Onuyaka uses his change shape ability to assume one of several personas: the beautiful elf maid Shilandra, the irreverent human minstrel Alamar Grayson, or the stout dwarven baker Jandor Feldspar, to name a few. Only one person is aware of Onuyaka's real identity: his fanatically loyal cohort, the half-elf provocateur known as Jade Monkey.

In his true form, Onuyaka is smaller than other ogre mages, standing only 9 feet tall and weighing about 600 pounds. His purple skin and dark blue-black hair also mark him as atypical for his race. A pair of small ivory horns juts from his forehead above dark eyes with stark white pupils, and his teeth and nails are jet black. Onuyaka wears an elaborate black and gold-patterned robe of eyes over steel gray hakama, and goes barefoot.

Plot Hooks
The PCs come into possession of a valuable map after killing a courier who, unbeknownst to them, was carrying the map to Onuyaka. The All-Seeing Eye discovers that the PCs have the map and sends increasingly more powerful operatives against them to recover it, perhaps even Jade Monkey herself. If the PCs defeat her, they gain Onuyaka’s personal enmity.

As famous heroes, recently entitled nobles, or otherwise participants in the upper echelons of society, the PCs inevitably attract Onuyaka's attention. Seeking a diversion from his more intricate and wide-ranging plans, he begins involving them unwittingly in his intrigues, perhaps framing them for some crime. To clear their names or find their mysterious manipulator, the PCs must work their way through the labyrinthine levels of his organization, eventually confronting the All-Seeing Eye himself.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Initial Impression: Nice. The "all seeing eye" is a bit cliche, but it fits. And I like the ogre mage. This is a villain. Still formulating my reivew criteria. But this one has caught MY all seeing eye.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Word count: 499.

The Exchange Kobold Press

Rob, I really like the use of an Oriental villain (OA doesn't get enough love), and I further like the fact that he's totally portable to a Western setting. I think you've straddled the fine line between exotic enough to be interesting and too weird to be useful. Nice.

Onuyaka's goal is the classic power grab, and he's got a lot of pawns: ok, I see where that's going. As a DM, I can build up a few informers and minions based on your examples, and it's easy to fit Onuyaka into any homebrew setting, angling for power. I wish I knew what he was going to do with the power once he has it, but ... eh, he'll never get there, since the PCs will inevitably hear about him.

I'm not sure I buy the existence of a "map to Onuyaka" (doesn't seem like something he'd allow his minions to draw!), but framing the PCs is a fine hook for his type of scheming villain. Oh, and note to all contestants: "unbeknownst" is a pet peeve, and it's just a cheeseball way of saying "unknown". Give it a rest.

I think you hit all the criteria I have, in a tight wordcount, with a creature that works well for the master villain role. Keep it up.

Recommended for Top 8.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Villain Concept (name, title, is it actually a villain?, design choices, playability?): A
The Good: I’ll admit it, I was hoping for an ogre mage in this round and you gave me one. As Wolfie said, this is a good, classic power hungry villain. This is definitely a villain that DMs can design campaigns around. In fact, deserving of mention is that your villain isn’t that crazy—just a monster with a few rogue and sorcerer levels. You didn’t have to go to the shadowy recesses of the SRD to build this guy. Because in the end, it isn’t the rules and the stat block that makes him a villain—it is the story possibilities and his motivations that make him a villain. Plus, playability his huge—find me a campaign where this guy doesn’t work? You can’t.
The Bad: That “all seeing eye” is a bit cliché, but at least he wasn’t a beholder. I’m not marking off for that, just saying.

Stat Block Execution (proper content, proper format, good math, generally mistake free?, not abusing word count?): A+
The Good: Very nice. Good use of the math and I, frankly, love the use of the color for the math. That is thinking. That is what Superstars do—they think about the little things that can help with presentation. You spotted one of the problems—that the math clogs up the beauty of a normal stat block—and you found a way around that. That, my friend, is Superstar thinking. Oh, and no passive voice in the tactics section. Very good!
The Bad: If there was bad, I didn’t see it.

Description (quality of writing, hook?, theme?, organization, contains all mandatory content—physical description, motivation/goal, scheme/plot?): B
The Good: Oh, you teased me with that intro quote. OK, it was a bit indulgent, but it set the tone. I snickered at the Dungsweepers Guild.
The Bad: The map gag just didn’t work for me. I wanted better hooks. Granted, the villain himself generates them but you had the chance to shine here and I thought didn’t maximize that chance.

Tilt (did it grab me?, is it unique and cool?, do I like it?, flavor and setting?): A
The Good: All of it.
The Bad: Needs better hooks, but that is a small mistake for an otherwise great entry.

Overall: A
Great execution of a very, very good and classic villain.

Rob, you are really brining it. I was a HUGE fan of Iskandria. I thought it was the best country. And, while I was a late convert to your coin belt, it also was a heavy hitter. You continue here with a near flawless entry. You are building quite a resume for Superstardom.

Strongly RECOMMENDED for Top 8

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

I love the idea of a purple-skinned ogre mage hefting an icy burst greatsword, so this submission instantly passes the "imagery" test for me. You've provided a villain I'm willing to use in my campaign, so kudos for that.

That said, the "master manipulator/information gatherer dude" concept isn't exactly groundbreaking, and it doesn't help that you called him the All-Seeing Eye, a name that's fairly cliché. Although it did make me think of the band "All-Seeing I" and their brilliant song "Walk Like a Panther," which I am now listening to on iTunes. So thanks!

I dunno. This is competently executed, and it's good for what it is--the old master manipulator hands-in-every-pot villain. The inherent, rather common background you've given him ensures that he has many entry points into the campaign, but there doesn't seem to be much "wow factor" with this submission.

You definitely didn't hurt yourself this round, but I think Onuyaka is going to have real difficulty standing out from the pack. Voters get to choose only their four favorite submissions in this round, and I think you're going to have some trouble breaking into very many Top 4s. A bit more unique flourish or vivid details would have probably done the job, but since they weren't really there I have some doubts that this one is going to make it.

If the task was to create a competent villain with no real conceptual flaws I'd give this one my unqualified endorsement. However, I am ready to really be wowed by submissions at this stage in the contest, and this one did not wow me.

TENTATIVELY RECOMMENDED FOR TOP 8, BUT TRY HARDER TO PUSH THE ENVELOPE NEXT ROUND.


Wolfgang Baur wrote:


I'm not sure I buy the existence of a "map to Onuyaka"

I think that the courier was carrying a map (of some undisclosed location) so that he could deliver it to Onuyaka, not literally a map to Onuyaka. (Although I would really hate to be the guy who drew that map if I'm wrong...)

In any case, I really liked this entry. A master manipulator may be a little cliche, but I like how the ogre mage's change shape ability is used to take on multiple personas. I haven't picked my top 4 yet, but this is currently my favorite of the first ones that I've read.


I like this one. I've been through all the entries now, and this is the only one I can see as being a 'mastermind behind the scenes' villain in the traditional sense. I'm not sure on where the other three votes will go, but you get one of mine for this round.
Plus, from a flavour sense, I always like to see a villain with the Leadership Feat and a favoured sidekick (cohort).

Edit:
Wow! You did Iskandria as well. You must be tuning in to my play preferences. I hope that this appeals to ther people as well.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

This is the first entry I've read that screams Villain! to me. Good job Rob. Not many comments here so far. I may come back and scrutinize the mechanics if there are too many candidates for those precious 4 votes, but with your last entry and this one, very strong in my book.


Ok, I've finally read through them all, and this one definitely deserves my vote. Of all the villains, he seems like the one I could best use for a long-term campaign. The only reservation that I have is that Onuyaka has a pretty generic goal, and it would have been nice for something a little meatier.

Aside from that, great villain.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Spar

Quite decent and rather pleasant. I like it. This has a lot of potential in my own campaign with a few tweaks. Cool.

WC

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

Mactaka wrote:
This is the first entry I've read that screams Villain! to me. Good job Rob. Not many comments here so far. I may come back and scrutinize the mechanics if there are too many candidates for those precious 4 votes, but with your last entry and this one, very strong in my book.

I think I've read about half the entries, and this is the first one that really seems to have hit the marks for 'villain' that the contest was asking for to a T. Without going gonzo, he's still cool and interesting, and eminently playable. We don't know his ultimate goal (other than keep getting more information and power), but we know all we need to know to drop him in the campaign... any campaign.

Thumbs up, Rob.


You're the only guy that on a second (more thorough) read-through on my part that I've noticed to include a spell-component pouch in the gear of a spell-caster villain. This kind of attention to detail is what I hope that Erik and the other judges will particularly note.

Dark Archive Dedicated Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well it seems Pathfinder likes to use Asian theme names and such. This "felt" like a Pathfinder villian and as WB said, it seems to relate to eastern and western theme cultures.


Quick Thoughts:
-1 for being kinda generic. Don't all ogre mages act like this?
+1 for alternate identities

Except for the distinctive fake identities and the fact that he's gotten so connected, he seems kinda like every other ogre mage in the world. Stay invisible, manipulate people, etc.

Scarab Sages Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Great Villain! I love Ogre Magi! Welcome to my personal top 4!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

Now this is the guy I am playing in our evil campaign, except I'm a ghoul. See what ghouls can do?

Oh. Erm...I wanted toplay the fingers in every pie guy for a long time before someone besides me sacked up to run the evil campaign. Having a year of being this dude under my belt, I find he is well written and goes about business the way I have been: false identities, bringing the status quo down, compartmentalizing his various guilds and lackeys so no one can be traced back to him.

This is only important in that I understand him pretty well, and I think I can make a really memorable and tough villain out of him. Tougher than his CR merits even, since you can't really find him.

And if you do find him, you're gonna wish he was a ghoul chameleon, cause the ogre mage swings a bigass sword. Hard.

I am not sure Onuyaka breaks into my top four, but maybe. While I loved loved loved Iskandria, I am bound by belief to vote for the four best villains, and not the four best writers.

I will give you huge kudos for using color to separate your math from your stat block. Why that didn't occur to anyone else in proofreading is a mystery to me. If you end up in a tiebreaker, that'll likely get you carried.

Good villain. Bad name, and a little cliche, but a true villain unlike many entries so far.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Sheyd

Love Ogre Magi, This is a Villain, the color change on the math in your stat block, genius it made reading it all the easier.

Other then the sobriquet which sounds like a villain from the Green Hornet show and the less then stellar hook this is a well crafted entry.

It's in my short list.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
ancientsensei wrote:


but a true villain unlike many entries so far.

Yup.


Here was my concern: great encounter and interesting concept, but the concept had no foundation in details. It's one thing to talk about spy networks and being a master manipulator, but it's too open-ended beyond that.

I think the master manipulator is such a fantasy cliche that you have to provide details of the method and agenda to make the villain standout. For me this didn't happen. I'd use the stat block, but I'd be creating everything else to make the NPC work.

That's fine, but others gave a superior sense of purpose and method. Basically, I think this is a true outline of a villain, but it's smoke and mirrors beyond the stat block.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6 aka TerraNova

Just too plain and done for my taste, competent but just not "stinging"... so it wasn't shortlisted. Its good, but nothing i doubt most of us can easily come up with if they need an adversary by 3 o'clock.


I love the Spy Master / political spider-sitting-in-a-web-of-deceits-and-lies concept, which drew me to this character.

I, personally, really like spies and "information-gathering secret societies" in my games, so this entry appealed to me strongly right from the get-go.

Is it an out-of-the-park home run in regards to originality? Meh. That's it's downfall--it's not "edgy". It's solid but somewhat conservative.

Onuyaka is also really skating on the fine line between villain and NPC.

I'm on the fence about this one currently, but please accept my compliments in the form of *yoink*-ing the hell outta this NPC.

Good luck!


Solid if a tad underwhelming entry. Considering this for my vote, but admittedly partialy because of past entry...


SargonX wrote:
Whether among the highest nobles of the Royal Court or the lowliest members of the Dungsweepers' Guild, no one's secrets are safe, for agents of the All-Seeing Eye prowl in darkened alleyways, glittering ballrooms, and everywhere in between. Always watching, always listening, they employ espionage, blackmail, bribery, intimidation, and even murder to acquire information and influence. And above them all lurks the mysterious All-Seeing Eye himself, gathering intelligence from a hundred different sources and manipulating events for his own inscrutable purpose.

My first impression upon seeing the title was that this was a beholder. However, the name works okay for an Ogre Mage.

The initial paragraph has sentence fragments and a weak opening "whether" that mars some good prose and concepts. Had this started "No one's secrets are safe...." it would have been a stronger start.

Nice formatting in the stat block. I like the color use to differentiate. Made reading it easier.

The different identities tie in well to his shapeshift/disguise. I also like the cohort. This villain is the fifth I've read, and the first one that seems cohesive to me. It's too soon to tell if it will get one of my votes only because the writing could have been stronger, but it definitely has potential.


This one gets my vote for the round! As others have said, the all-seeing bit is common enough in fantasy games, but I really dig manipulator villains. And this is a great one, IMHO.


Okay, since people are digging the manipulator angle, how does the form and function of this Villain make him a better mainpulator than any of the other entries? For me the use of network and spies here is so underdeveloped that the entry might as well have said it's Ninjas(!).

Couldn't you just tack that on to any concept and have it just as developed as it is here?


propeliea wrote:
Okay, since people are digging the manipulator angle, how does the form and function of this Villain make him a better mainpulator than any of the other entries?

Your point is well taken. It's interesting to me, but the majority of others who have commented seem to have marked this guy as one of the few "real villians" in this round, yet the "Behind the Scenes Spy Master" is certainly as "unoriginal" a concept as, say, Mwana's ""Lizard Queen bent on bringing down civilization in favour of swampy wilderness"". Even so, Bob has obviously pulled his concept together in a way that is particularly compelling.

What else can I say...?

I believe Onutaka would make a wonderful campaign spanning villian - not only can he be dropped into almost any campaign, he can be used as a foil for both low and high level characters, with the lower level PC's running afoul of some of his minor plans, becoming more an more involved/entwined in them as their levels rise.

Also, I was so glad to see he wasn't a beholder, which was what I was expecting based on his (very clichéd) title.

Now, in the interests of full disclosure and fairness to Rob, I must say that, in the end, I've decided to NOT vote for Onuyaka even though it was one of my top two. This is because I'm pretty sure this submission is going to make it into the top 8, with or without my vote, and by not applying my vote here it opens one more slot for me to give someone else a bit of a boost. (Hopefully I am not reading the general trend the wrong way.)

:-j(enni)

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder aka Robert G. McCreary

Thanks to the judges and to everyone else for reading Onuyaka and for your comments. I really want to respond, but of course I can't until the round is over. I'll be away on holiday at that time, so I won't be able to respond immediately, but rest assured I'll address questions and comments when I have regular internet access again.

Oh, and I should point out that Onuyaka will know if you don't vote for him, so in the interest of your own personal safety and well-being, I strongly urge you to cast a vote his way. You don't want him to send Jade Monkey after you, do you? ;)

Happy Holidays, everyone! :)


The PostMonster General wrote:
Now, in the interests of full disclosure and fairness to Rob, I must say that, in the end, I've decided to NOT vote for Onuyaka even though it was one of my top two. This is because I'm pretty sure this submission is going to make it into the top 8, with or without my vote, and by not applying my vote here it opens one more slot for me to give someone else a bit of a boost.

I agree with previous posts that the "All-Seeing Eye" is rather tired and cliché, but in my book this entry, along with his previous efforts, really stand out in the crowd.

The cutoff for the Top 16 came down to 1 vote...you're not doing anyone any favors by voting for less qualified entries.

ROB GETS MY TOP FOUR!


Now this is a villain. An easy plug and play.


ChickieChick wrote:
The cutoff for the Top 16 came down to 1 vote...you're not doing anyone any favors by voting for less qualified entries.

I beg to disagree. If the one entry that came in 17th (well, 18th actually) had been the top of my "honourable mentions" then if I had dropped a vote from one of my top four that was an obvious slam dunk winner and then placed that one vote on the honourable mention my vote could have been the one that pushed the entry into, at least, a tie for last place. (As it turns out this is a moot point as all eight of my favourites - top three, two "second string" and three "honourable mentions" ended up in the top 16.)

Since Onuyaka is so obviously at the top of this particular heap of villians I feel quite comfortable assuming that he will easily pull off a position in the top three and that losing one vote from me isn't going to irrepairably harm his chances. At worst, I could see the loss of my one vote causing this villian to slide down one run of the ladder but even if he was at 3rd place that still leaves him in the top four. And, as a result, it allows me to give a helping hand to one more submission that I'd personally prefer to see get through more than the others.

:-j(enni)

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Well hopefully, MtE is correct. Rob has had two other very strong entries, and it would be a shame to see him get knocked out of the competition because other pass on the precious vote because of this.

...should the judges give out a free pass/ golden ticket to the winner of the round? ala Next Iron Chef...?


Matrissa the Enchantress wrote:

I beg to disagree. If the one entry that came in 17th (well, 18th actually) had been the top of my "honourable mentions" then if I had dropped a vote from one of my top four that was an obvious slam dunk winner and then placed that one vote on the honourable mention my vote could have been the one that pushed the entry into, at least, a tie for last place. (As it turns out this is a moot point as all eight of my favourites - top three, two "second string" and three "honourable mentions" ended up in the top 16.)

Since Onuyaka is so obviously at the top of this particular heap of villians I feel quite comfortable assuming that he will easily pull off a position in the top three and that losing one vote from me isn't going to irrepairably harm his chances. At worst, I could see the loss of my one vote causing this villian to slide down one run of the ladder but even if he was at 3rd place that still leaves him in the top four. And, as a result, it allows me to give a helping hand to one more submission that I'd personally prefer to see get through more than the others.

:-j(enni)

My point is simply that you (and everyone) should vote for what you feel to be the best entries and not dole out pity votes for your #5 or #6 choices.

You say your 1 vote won't matter, but what if others follow your example and assume that people are "safe"-- and then those "safe" contenders don't advance to the next round?

I'd hate to be the 1 vote that made the difference between quality and crap.

I'm not attacking you, I just don't think a random sampling of opinions on a message board is statistically reliable enough to predict voting patterns. I personally want to vote for the best, and not rely that the ones I like will pull through without my support.


ChickieChick wrote:

My point is simply that you (and everyone) should vote for what you feel to be the best entries and not dole out pity votes for your #5 or #6 choices.

You say your 1 vote won't matter, but what if others follow your example and assume that people are "safe"-- and then those "safe" contenders don't advance to the next round?

I'd hate to be the 1 vote that made the difference between quality and crap.

I'm not attacking you, I just don't think a random sampling of opinions on a message board is statistically reliable enough to predict voting patterns. I personally want to vote for the best, and not rely that the ones I like will pull through without my support.

You do make some good points CC.

For me, in the end, it comes down to the fact that, while the difference between a country sneaking in at 16th and missing out at 17th was one vote, the top two or three countries recived a huge share of the votes and there was a large gap between their numbers and the number of votes earned by the highest of the remaining countries. So even if a few others also decide to drop a vote for Onuyaka and choose to push a 5th choice forward a bit, if the vibe I get off the entry and the existing message board comments is so wrong that Onuyaka fails to make it into the top 8 because he can't handle the loss of a few votes, perhaps, he isn't really "all that" anyhow.

He is, after all, just another spy-master ogre mage and my other vote might be just what, for example, a manipulative Nightmare or a demon-spawn-fey - both of which are far more original if less well executed -need to move on.

:-j(enni)

PS: If Rob does fail to make the top 8 I invite him to verbally lash me 40 times with a wet noodle. After all, if this disastrous state of affairs occurs it will obviously be all my fault.
;-)
-j


propeliea wrote:
Okay, since people are digging the manipulator angle, how does the form and function of this Villain make him a better mainpulator than any of the other entries?

It's more that the other entries are so underwhelming that this, despite being a wee tad pedestrian, sticks out as being a "clear" villain.


Only four votes allowed per voter hurts this round. I think that was an excellent choice by Paizo, because it does not allow many "defensive actions" to be fought. Only those with clarity of vision who touch the voters will advance. Sadly, I think this was a "safe" entry, but may find itself out in the cold on the four vote policy.


Actually, early poll returns suggest that this entry will make the top 8 based on a willingnes to reward the outlined concept here. Not a bad thing based on the author's past worked, even if I'm not fond of this one.


It's a villain, but one I've seen countless times before. The only things that separate it from a pack of typical Bond villains is that it's an ogre mage and that it doesn't seem to have any actual plan... and both these traits are negatives in my book.

nope.

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

I guess I don't have to say anything here...

=)


This one I really love, sure part of that is from my weakness for Ogre Mages! However, I do like that at least someone took a more iconic big bad monster (haven't seen any liches, dragons and such this round, not even with an original twist).
I also really love the kind of Anime style the imagery forms (heck, I'd probably twist him a little more and give him something to wield oversized weapons, the bigger that icy burst greatsword gets, the better!)
As for conflict, the PC's will easily run into him once he gets information on them and that information warrants his interest, which shouldn't be too hard. From then on, he can use them as pawns in his parlor. I like it!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Aotrscommander

After a very hard amount of thought, this got my fifth vote - up until I remembered we only got four votes this round! So close (like Iskandria last round, which was my sixth choice), yet so far...Sorry!

I think what put me off was the Ogre Mage thing; I'm not a huge fan of them. Otherwise, this was pretty solid. Your tactics section was excellent, I think about the best I've seen; Onuyaka would provide a threat to a wide range of opposition. The only thing I might have added myself was a Dispel Magic scroll or two.

Onuyaka's motives were a bit vague, I think, and not necessarily in a useful vague way as possible. Vague motive are okay if you can link them into a larger plot (like I thought Hal's Durgar Maldar did.) Onuyaka, thought seems more over-villain than minion-villain, and I think to make him his evil best, he'd need to background of a sufficiently convoluted campaign plot; which sadly I think you would have struggled to do in the provided word count.

Nice job, overall, though!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I really like the way he uses change shape to mask his identity and manage his network of spies. One change I might make would be to make him a cyclops so that you could play up the image of the all-seeing eye and then link all of his false identities through their one-eyed appearance (thought that might be too obvious a tell).


Notes: Ogre Magi - Sorcerer Rogue. What does "non-associated" mean next to the class levels? Just one line about what is unique about the cohort would have been nice. Both names kind of bad. But definitely a villain and usable. I like the multiple personalities he assumes to mask his true identity.


I'd say he's a good all-around villain. Only place he hurts is in combat. Let's face it. Ogre-magi can't fight. Their already over-inflated CR means that no matter what class levels you add, the guy is going to be underpowered. The only thing they can do competently is run away (thanks to invisibility and flight), though that's useful for a villain. At least you were able to use the non-associated class levels to get more hit points. Classed ogre-magi simply have no damage potential outside their cone of cold. Look at the above tactics. Cone, invisibility, true strike, scorching ray. That's three rounds between dealing damage. In that time, the party's healed to full, summoned a greater elemental, and tossed out a couple area of effect spells (at least one of which hit our villain). He'll obviously need the Practiced Spellcaster feat (+4 to CL) to make his scorching rays do an average of 28 damage per round, rather than 14 (though you couldn't have written that into the stat block with the SRD limitation). Good thing a villain has minions.

This isn't a mark against you. It's a mark against Ogre-Magi.

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8

Espionage, blackmail, bribery and intimidation! That must be why they're called secret agents.

All those non-associated levels look very iffy, especially the sorcerer levels.

Good use of messageboard tags makes the annotated stat block easy to read.

Sorcerer spells are well chosen. I don't think his melee tactics are very smart, given that, if "forced into melee", his invisibility and spells have clearly already failed him. If it works, it sounds like a recipe for frustrating and drawn-out play.

I like the listing of personas for his change shape ability.

In the end, it seems to me that the author fell in love with the idea of a supreme spymaster, spent a lot of words on it and forgot to put in anything that Onuyaka wants to do with all this control or anything that he's connected to. This may just be the least ambitious villain in the contest. It leaves me cold and I'm not prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to some of my questions about the stat block.

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

I'm sorry to say that Onuyaka won't be getting my vote. Iskandria was excellent, but the ogre-mage seems very vanilla - both in his goals (just get more knowledge? So most of the time, the PCs interact with him, he or an agent listens in on them and leaves, with them none the wiser.) He could just as easily be a hermit mage in a tower doing research and scrying on people and meet his goals.

I thought his tactics were poor also, taking 2 rounds of every three to 'reload' invisibility and true strike before attacking. Especially, what are his reasons for fighting, he's almost impossible to corner, and can just cone of cold, scortching ray, then flee, repeat to infinity.

Marathon Voter Season 9

Great! Reminds me of the keepers!

Grand Lodge

Erik Mona wrote:
You definitely didn't hurt yourself this round, but I think Onuyaka is going to have real difficulty standing out from the pack. Voters get to choose only their four favorite submissions in this round, and I think you're going to have some trouble breaking into very many Top 4s.

I don't think you'll have any trouble at all in getting into my top 4!

Well done! Love the colors used in the statblock and I can actually use this one. It's well written and the map is obviously brought to Onuyaka and is not a map to him. The only flaw... the name. Really need to change that.


Rob Onuyaka made my top half but I only had 4 votes. I hope to see your work in round 4. Good luck.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Rob-

Congrats!!! I really have my eye on you for this round. I can't wait to see what you do. And there are only a small handful of contestants who are on that list, even out of the top 8.

I think you have perhaps been the most consistently excellent of the remaining contestants.

Keep it up and best of luck in the next round!

Clark

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