I'm Dreaming of Thematically-Linked Monsters...


RPG Superstar™ 2008 General Discussion

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SmiloDan wrote:
I've houseruled they get to re-Save every round, if only so the player can do SOMETHING. Kind of like Hold Person.

Good house rule. I think I'll steal it, but maybe tweak: if on a subsequent round a PC makes his save he is no longer stunned, but he remains fatigued for the remainder of the duration of the effect. I love fatiguing characters.

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

James Hunnicutt wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
I've houseruled they get to re-Save every round, if only so the player can do SOMETHING. Kind of like Hold Person.
Good house rule. I think I'll steal it, but maybe tweak: if on a subsequent round a PC makes his save he is no longer stunned, but he remains fatigued for the remainder of the duration of the effect. I love fatiguing characters.

Fatiguing is, in my mind, better design than stunning - consider me a fan of your style and your new-mod houserule added to my arsenal.

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thatboomerkid wrote:
Fatiguing is, in my mind, better design than stunning - consider me a fan of your style and your new-mod houserule added to my arsenal.

You could even make the attack feel more 'psi-like' by having the Mind Blast turn into a Fear Blast. Save or Panicked. Save again, but still be Shaken for the remainder of the encounter, if the creature is still in sight.

Or it could Confuse / Disorient the target (disoriented counting as Shaken for mechanical effects, but being more of a sensory distortion / off-balance sort of effect, so resistance to fear might not be much use).

A mental 'Pain Blast' could function similarly, with Nauseated / Sickened as the conditions.

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

Set wrote:
thatboomerkid wrote:
Fatiguing is, in my mind, better design than stunning - consider me a fan of your style and your new-mod houserule added to my arsenal.

You could even make the attack feel more 'psi-like' by having the Mind Blast turn into a Fear Blast. Save or Panicked. Save again, but still be Shaken for the remainder of the encounter, if the creature is still in sight.

Or it could Confuse / Disorient the target (disoriented counting as Shaken for mechanical effects, but being more of a sensory distortion / off-balance sort of effect, so resistance to fear might not be much use).

A mental 'Pain Blast' could function similarly, with Nauseated / Sickened as the conditions.

Nice. I like the varieties. Good concept; simple and usable.

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I like the pain and confuse blasts, but tend to think fear is less fun for the DM: fear is easy to remove, and those stinkin' paladins are immune.

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

James Hunnicutt wrote:
I like the pain and confuse blasts, but tend to think fear is less fun for the DM: fear is easy to remove, and those stinkin' paladins are immune.

Yeah, but if a PC has an immunity, you want it to occasionally shine.

I once DMed for a PC druid that constantly prepared a bunch of Create Waters but never got a chance to use them. So I put the party against a pack of Salt Mummies (MM3), and they were able to wipe out some CR 8 (?) critters with some 0 level spells. Shiny.

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SmiloDan wrote:
Yeah, but if a PC has an immunity, you want it to occasionally shine.

Couldn't agree more. I just feel like plenty of critters have fear attacks, so the paladin gets to shine with that ability pretty often. This house rule we're discussing is diluting the mind flayer's key attack, so I'd rather not dilute it further by making it a fear effect.

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

James Hunnicutt wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
Yeah, but if a PC has an immunity, you want it to occasionally shine.
Couldn't agree more. I just feel like plenty of critters have fear attacks, so the paladin gets to shine with that ability pretty often. This house rule we're discussing is diluting the mind flayer's key attack, so I'd rather not dilute it further by making it a fear effect.

Yeah, mind flayers are scary enough WITHOUT being mechanically fearsome also. I like the Confusion idea, too.

I used to play in a group with a couple veterans and a newbie; he never really understood why we panicked when we saw a beholder or mind flayer. The "newbie" knew all the prestige classes and alternate magic systems and stuff, was capable of building really neat combos for his PCs, but never cracked open a Monster Manual, so he didn't know a lot about the monsters' abilities. He was also swallowed whole a lot.

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Sir_Wulf wrote:
Curaigh wrote:
For what it's worth, undead, construct, and aquatic are not themes: They are subtypes. If all the undead became so because they drowned then you have a theme. If all the constructs are of precious metals you have a theme (and a wizard with way too much money). (OK, lame themes, but themes nonetheless)... (snip...)
I hope that the people evaluating the monsters keep an open mind about what constitutes a "theme". While I don't expect to see any truly lame themes, it's very disheartening for the contestants to read dismissive criticism while they're unable to respond and discuss the isues involved. If someone's theme revolves around a particular subtype, that's still a theme.

I too do not expect any truly lame themes and promise to keep an open mind. :) I was merely offering what will get my attention (and hence vote :). Key to your statement is 'revolves around', if you make critters that revolve around something* I will be more impressed then if you just say 'subtype X'. I just want a superstar to create the theme and not steal something done by the game designers. Maybe the line I am drawing is too thin, but considering the monster/villain debates, maybe not. :)

*(subtype, Mona's avatar, climate, Norse mythos, ability, tauric, rhymes with egg, etc.)

Dark Archive

SmiloDan wrote:

Yeah, mind flayers are scary enough WITHOUT being mechanically fearsome also. I like the Confusion idea, too.

I used to play in a group with a couple veterans and a newbie; he never really understood why we panicked when we saw a beholder or mind flayer. The "newbie" knew all the prestige classes and alternate magic systems and stuff, was capable of building really neat combos for his PCs, but never cracked open a Monster Manual, so he didn't know a lot about the monsters' abilities. He was also swallowed whole a lot.

We had a DM who toyed with the fact that we *did* know all sorts of meta stuff. Our first level group stumbled into a cult under the city that had been kidnapping and decapitating people, to have them flip back their hoods and reveal a half-dozen Mind Flayers!

Panic ensued, although we seemed to be lucking out and not being wiped out immediately by their 'psychic attacks.' After killing them in a harsh climactic battle, we discovered that they were missing people from the city, who had been taken over by a form of executioner's hood that looked like a levitating squid. It would plotz itself over the head of it's victim and take control of it. It's fearsome psychic attacks included at will Daze Monster, Feather Fall & Spider Climb (it's levitation wasn't quite strong enough to affect it's host's body!) and Dominate Person (only usable on it's host).

"Your sword slices into it's body and the creature falls to the ground! Suddenly, it's head seems to peel off and fly towards your face! What's your touch AC?"


I'm new to the site and saw these contests going on. Here's what I'm thinking: variant monsters. Take pre-existing monsters and add a twist to them. Check this out:

Hasidic kobold.

Good, right? Or maybe a new take on aasimars.

Gaysimar.

Yes? No? Maybe?

Dark Archive Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4

David Davidson wrote:

I'm new to the site and saw these contests going on. Here's what I'm thinking: variant monsters. Take pre-existing monsters and add a twist to them. Check this out:

Hasidic kobold.

Good, right? Or maybe a new take on aasimars.

Gaysimar.

Yes? No? Maybe?

Well, I don't know if either of those are quite Superstar material, but I DO know that they were both just yoinked for the PSAs.

YOINK!

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

Set wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:

Yeah, mind flayers are scary enough WITHOUT being mechanically fearsome also. I like the Confusion idea, too.

I used to play in a group with a couple veterans and a newbie; he never really understood why we panicked when we saw a beholder or mind flayer. The "newbie" knew all the prestige classes and alternate magic systems and stuff, was capable of building really neat combos for his PCs, but never cracked open a Monster Manual, so he didn't know a lot about the monsters' abilities. He was also swallowed whole a lot.

We had a DM who toyed with the fact that we *did* know all sorts of meta stuff. Our first level group stumbled into a cult under the city that had been kidnapping and decapitating people, to have them flip back their hoods and reveal a half-dozen Mind Flayers!

Panic ensued, although we seemed to be lucking out and not being wiped out immediately by their 'psychic attacks.' After killing them in a harsh climactic battle, we discovered that they were missing people from the city, who had been taken over by a form of executioner's hood that looked like a levitating squid. It would plotz itself over the head of it's victim and take control of it. It's fearsome psychic attacks included at will Daze Monster, Feather Fall & Spider Climb (it's levitation wasn't quite strong enough to affect it's host's body!) and Dominate Person (only usable on it's host).

"Your sword slices into it's body and the creature falls to the ground! Suddenly, it's head seems to peel off and fly towards your face! What's your touch AC?"

I heartily approve of said product or service. Well played by your DM!


Curaigh wrote:

I too do not expect any truly lame themes and promise to keep an open mind. :) I was merely offering what will get my attention (and hence vote :). Key to your statement is 'revolves around', if you make critters that revolve around something* I will be more impressed then if you just say 'subtype X'. I just want a superstar to create the theme and not steal something done by the game designers. Maybe the line I am drawing is too thin, but considering the monster/villain debates, maybe not. :)

Because I assume it is too late for any of the contestants to start from scratch, I'd say picking an environment as a theme would be, while not wildly innovative, rather cool and useful...three monsters frequenting, say, tropical swamps (to fit into that Iskandria-Beria-whatelse campaign suggested by second round).

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

magdalena thiriet wrote:
Because I assume it is too late for any of the contestants to start from scratch, I'd say picking an environment as a theme would be, while not wildly innovative, rather cool and useful...

I think the one thing the villains round should have taught the contestants is that they had better be clear on what their theme is - as in hit your reader over the head with it (repeatedly until you crit). I mean that is essentially the only rule of the round and if the judges pan you for not making it strongly 'thematically linked' the entry will likely be cooked. It is exactly what happened in the previous two rounds.

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

Jason Nelson 20 wrote:
Set wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:

Yeah, mind flayers are scary enough WITHOUT being mechanically fearsome also. I like the Confusion idea, too.

I used to play in a group with a couple veterans and a newbie; he never really understood why we panicked when we saw a beholder or mind flayer. The "newbie" knew all the prestige classes and alternate magic systems and stuff, was capable of building really neat combos for his PCs, but never cracked open a Monster Manual, so he didn't know a lot about the monsters' abilities. He was also swallowed whole a lot.

We had a DM who toyed with the fact that we *did* know all sorts of meta stuff. Our first level group stumbled into a cult under the city that had been kidnapping and decapitating people, to have them flip back their hoods and reveal a half-dozen Mind Flayers!

Panic ensued, although we seemed to be lucking out and not being wiped out immediately by their 'psychic attacks.' After killing them in a harsh climactic battle, we discovered that they were missing people from the city, who had been taken over by a form of executioner's hood that looked like a levitating squid. It would plotz itself over the head of it's victim and take control of it. It's fearsome psychic attacks included at will Daze Monster, Feather Fall & Spider Climb (it's levitation wasn't quite strong enough to affect it's host's body!) and Dominate Person (only usable on it's host).

"Your sword slices into it's body and the creature falls to the ground! Suddenly, it's head seems to peel off and fly towards your face! What's your touch AC?"

I heartily approve of said product or service. Well played by your DM!

I might have to steal this as well. The PCs are taking on a Thieves Guild called the Black Krakens, and they were supposed to be run by a triumphvirate of mindflayers, but maybe just 1 mindflayer and couple "krakenspawn puppeteers?"

They already fought an advanced kraken with the rock throwing feats from Races of Stone.

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