Savagery, Sorrow and Shame


Round 4: Design thematically linked monsters

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 8 aka Iourn

Savagery, Sorrow and Shame

At your Eminence's request I was present for the final negotiations with this Bloodbound Decrier. The creature has accepted your contract and agreed to the task. I am confident your enemies will not survive its pursuit. This monster could look an ogre in the eye, yet tempers its might with military discipline. It is the master of a pack of ravening horrors that can empty a man of his lifeblood in seconds. And yet, it takes no joy from its work. Its eyes are dead. It stood, gazing at the horizon, and when I enquired what it was looking for it fixed its stare on me. "Only death," it said. "Only death."

Thematic Link

Imagine the soldier equal parts honour and shame and you have the Bloodbound Decrier. Amoral mercenaries who sold their prowess to any bidder, their greatest weapons were the packs of ravenous haemogoblins that strained at their leash, impatient to tear and consume. The Bloodbound cared nothing for cause, until the day they were commissioned to destroy their own homeland.

But a contract is a contract, and the Bloodbound valued their integrity more than their home, their families or their future. After all was laid to ruin, the Bloodbound were sundered. Their ancient orders broken, the Bloodbound Decriers dispersed across the world, the sycophantic haemogoblin packs at their masters' heals.

Their guilt and shame was terrible. Even as they continued to sell their swords, they plotted to end their torment Using fell rituals, the Bloodbound conjured forth spirits within the withered husks of their victims. Thus were born The Bloodless, the great avengers empowered to hunt down the hunters. The Bloodbound will not go quietly, it is not their way, but this is nonetheless a fight they hope they lose.

BLOODBOUND DECRIER CR 9
LE Large Monstrous Humanoid
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +9, Spot +9

DEFENCE

AC 24 (+8 masterwork full plate armour, +7 natural, -1 size)
hp 76 (9d8+36)
Fort +10, Ref[/b] +9, Will[/b] +12
Defensive Abilities Aura of Fearlessness, Dark Blessing; DR 5/silver

OFFENCE

[b]Spd 40 ft. (30 ft. in plate armour)
Melee +2 greatsword +16/+11 (3d6+8/17-20) or
+2 greatsword with 5-point power attack +11/+6 (3d6+18/17-20)
Ranged masterwork composite longbow, +6 Str bonus (2d6+6/×3)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks Tears for the Bloodless, spell-like abilities
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th):
At will – status (DC 15)
3/day – bless (DC 14), cure serious wounds (DC 17), shield other (DC 15)

TACTICS

Before Combat Bloodbound Decriers almost exclusively attack through their haemogoblins. Before combat they will cast status on each of their charges.

During Combat The Bloodbound Decrier will attempt to remain hidden while his haemogoblins fight. He will cast bless in the first round of combat, and then watch the condition of the haemogoblins by way of the status spell. If any are in immediate danger of death, he will used shield other to save them.

The Bloodbound Decrier will only enter combat if it looks as though his haemogoblins are faring badly. He will charge into combat using his Improved Bull Rush feat to get to badly wounded haemogoblins or powerful enemies without provoking attacks of opportunity. He prefers to engage in melee than to fight from range.

If fighting without his haemogoblin pack, then the Bloodbound Decrier will cast bless on himself and try to attack from surprise, putting down any opposing spellcasters as quickly as possible. He will use his Power Attack feat only if he is sure of his enemy's defences. This is often a tactic for round two of a combat, once the Bloodbound has had the chance to assess his enemies' strengths.

Morale Bloodbound Decriers are fearless. They do not go out of their way to avoid death: they embrace it. In battle, their tactics will serve the best interests of their current contract. Although they would prefer to save the haemogoblins from harm, they will fight to the end if they must.

STATISTICS

Str 22; Dex 10; Con 18; Int 14; Wis 16; Cha 17
Base Atk +9; Grp[/b] +19
Feats Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (greatsword), Power Attack
Skills Climb +12 (+7 in armour), Hide +12 (+7 in armour), Jump +12 (+7 in armour), Knowledge (Nature) +6; Knowledge (The Planes) +4; Knowledge (Religion) +8, Listen +9, Spot +9
Languages Common, Giant, Infernal, Undercommon; Bloodbound Decriers can communicate simple commands to their haemogoblins.
SQ Aura of Fearlessness, Dark Blessing, Enduring Rapport
Combat Gear +2 greatsword, masterwork composite longbow and arrows, masterwork full plate armour; Other Gear as a nomad, the Bloodbound carries all his belonging with him. This includes the mundane – changes of clothes, religious tomes – as well as any treasure.

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Aura of Fearlessness (Su) A Bloodbound Decrier is immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Haemogoblins within 10 ft. of the Decrier also share this immunity. Haemogoblins beyond this area, that still have line of sight to the Bloodbound Decrier, enjoy a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear effects. This ability is dependent upon the Decrier's personal aura and presence. It only functions when he is conscious.

Dark Blessing (Su) The Bloodbound Decrier gains a bonus equal to his Charisma bonus on all saving throws.

Enduring Rapport (Ex) The Bloodbound Decriers have forged a close, almost symbiotic, relationship with the haemogoblins. Bloodbound train the otherwise untrainable, and have been accepted into the packs in return. Haemogoblins will always seek to aid a Bloodbound Decrier in distress.

Tears for the Bloodless (Su) Once per week, a Bloodbound Decrier may weep genuine tears over the body of a thinking humanoid sucked dry by the haemogoblins. This corpse embodies the Bloodbound's loss, and the need for vengeance of those that were killed. Within seven days the corpse will rise again as one of The Bloodless and begin to hunt down the Bloodbound Decrier that created it.

ECOLOGY

Environment any land
Organisation solitary, plus 6-12 haemogoblins
Treasure standard, but the Bloodbound must carry all his treasure with him. Large sums of money, or art objects are likely to be converted into gems.
Alignment LE
Advancement by character class; Favoured Class fighter
Level Adjustment: +5

There are legends that they were once human. A cadre of warriors humbled by more powerful opponents, who knew just enough to treat with alien intelligences from beyond the void. They bargained for power and sealed the agreement in blood. They were human no longer. They were the Bloodbound.

They grew in size and power. Their faces becoming a distorted mockery of a human countenance. Now standing almost ten feet in height, and weighing more than 700 lbs they became the force they always aspired to be. But the bargain had changed them more than physically. They had some of the resistances and the magic of their diabolic patrons. Their lifespan was greatly increased. The payment for this power was high.

The Haemogoblins

The numbers of Bloodbound increased in the years that followed, and they made a lucrative living as mercenaries. On a contract to an area of vast grassland, some of the Bloodbound discovered a cache of haemogoblin eggs. Having witnessed the ferocity and the power of the haemogoblins first hand, they desired to add these rank creatures to their arsenal. They took the eggs and raised the young, and they did what no-one could anticipate: they tamed them.

As the constant killings took their toll on the Bloodbound's psyche and their soul, they retained their perverse affection for the haemogoblins. Treating the deadly killers as favoured pets, doting on them and even naming them. The Bloodbound were accepted into the packs, and they became packhandlers bending their innate magic to protect the haemogoblins and direct them to the choicest prey.

The Dispossessed

The price for the Bloodbound's power was their home. So rigid and unbending was the set of rubrics and laws that the Bloodbound lived by, they could back out of an agreed contract even when they were turned against their own people. After the destruction of the Bloodbound's nation of Caenaern, the Bloodbound turned their back on their pact. They became Bloodbound Decriers, and no more would they treat with these foul entities.

But these entities had made the Bloodbound Decriers virtually immortal, and too powerful to expect death on the end of a sword. Stricken by what they done to their people, nursing a death wish but forbidden form suicide by their rigid believes, the Bloodbound made one last foray into the black arts to get a measure of justice for their people.

Using their knowledge of the waking dead, they were able to impart a little of themselves into the dead husks of their victims. A little of their righteous rage was given spirit and ambulation. These were the Bloodless. The Bloodbound Decriers created their own killers and, as they set off into the wider world, they wished them well.

The Bloodbound Decriers seldom work together in these days. One Decrier and a pack of haemogoblins sell their services to warlords and emperors. They are happy to take on the most dangerous assignments in the hope they are killed. The Bloodbound always has one eye to the sky, waiting for justice to find them.

For the PCs

The Bloodbound cares nothing for causes, but sometimes it finds itself fighting on the right side. Perhaps a desperate lord of questionable moral fibre has employed a Bloodbound Decrier and its pack as part of its defences against an even greater menace. The party may find itself expected to work with the fatalistic Bloodbound, and be forced to consider whether the ends justify its brutal means.

HAEMOGOBLIN CR 6
CE Medium Magical Beast
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Listen +7, Spot +8

DEFENCE

AC 17, touch 12, flat-footed 15 (+2 Dex, +5 natural)
hp 45 (6d10+12)
Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +5

OFFENCE

Spd 40 ft.
Melee bite +8 (1d8+1) and 2 claws +5 (1d4+1)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
[b]Special Attacks
Blood Drain, Improved Grab, Pounce

TACTICS

Before Combat Haemogoblins use stealth to place themselves within charging distance of a victim.

During Combat Haemogoblins break from cover and charge their opponents, using their pounce ability to make full attacks in the first combat round. They will mob opponents if possible; four haemogoblins can attack a single medium-sized target.

In the wild the hunt is a free-for-all with few tactics after the initial charge. Haemogoblins will attack the nearest available foe. Although they may gain flanking bonuses from their fellows, they do not work together or seek these bonuses out. Once a haemogoblin has established a grapple and begins to drain blood, it will remain attached to its target until all the blood is drained, or until it is satiated. Satiated haemogoblins withdraw from combat, those that are still hungry will attack the next nearest victim.

A trained pack shows more discipline and tactics. Bloodbound Decriers intelligently direct the haemogoblins to attack specific foes; spellcasters are attacked first. If multiple haemogoblins are attacking a single foe with high defences, all bar one of the haemogoblins will use the aid another action to give their fellow a bonus to attack and grapple rolls. Handlers compel satiated haemogoblins to continue to fight, although they can no longer use their blood drain ability once they have had their fill.

Morale In the wild, haemogoblins will retreat from combat if they have lost more than 75% of their hit-points; or if over half their pack is either dead, or has fled. A haemogoblin under a bloodfrenzy (see below) will not retreat until it has restored its Con to its normal level. A haemogoblin within the range of a Bloodbound Decriers's aura of fearlessness will fight to the death

STATISTICS

Str 12, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 3, Wis 16, Cha 10
Base Atk +6; [b]Grp +8
[b]Feats
Multiattack, Track, Weapon Finesse (bite)
Skills Hide +8, Listen +7, Move Silently +8, Spot +8, Survival +8 (+12 if tracking by scent, or +20 if tracking a blood trail)
Languages Haemogoblins can communicate with each through growls, facial expressions and scent marking, but they have no true language. They can understand simple commands given in the Bloodbound Decrier's tongue (usually Infernal).
SQ Bloodfed, Bloodfrenzy, Scent
Combat Gear None

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Blood Drain (Ex) A haemogoblin that pins a target drains blood from its victim, inflicting 1d4 points of Constitution damage each round the victim remains pinned. This damage is added directly to the haemogoblin's own Constitution score, so a haemogoblin that drains 4 points of Con from a victim sees its Con increase to 16. This increase in Constitution improves hit points, saving throws and other statistics accordingly.

A haemogoblin can drain constitution points equal to its normal Constitution score before becoming satiated. An average haemogoblin has a Con of 12, so once it has drained 12 points of Con it is satiated. Satiated haemogoblins cannot drain any more blood, and become docile unless spurred to action by their handlers.

A victim completely drained of Constitution is little more than a collection of bones and dessicated organs in a flesh bag. Nothing more sinister happens to the body unless a Bloodbound Decrier directly intervenes to create one of The Bloodless.

Bloodfed (Ex) Haemogoblins exist solely on blood. Their dun and translucent bodies swell with blood until they are a deep red. As that blood is absorbed into their system, so the red begins to fade. A haemogoblin loses one point of Constituion per day without feeding, and it will continue to lose Con until it dies. A satiated haemogoblin is therefore forced to feed once every twelve days.

Bloodfrenzy (Ex) A haemogoblin whose Con falls to less than its normal level due to lack of blood enters a state known as Bloodfrenzy. Such haemogoblins are crazed for blood, and may feed on one another if there is no handler to control them. Once a bloodfrenzied haemogoblin has drained sufficient blood to restore its Con to its normal level, then it reverts to its normal behaviour.

Improved Grab (Ex) If a haemogoblin hits with its bite attack it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. No initial touch attack is required.

The haemogoblin may attempt an improved grab against opponents of medium size or smaller. It then has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use its mouth to hold its victim. If it chooses to do the latter, it takes a -20 penalty on grapple checks, but is not considered grappled itself; the haemogoblin does not lose its Dexterity bonus to AC, still threatens an area, and can use its remaining attacks against other opponents.

Each successful grapple check made by the haemogoblin in successive rounds automatically deals bite damage. If the haemogoblin pins its foe, it drains blood from the victim, inflicting 1d4 points of Constitution damage each round the foe is pinned.

When a haemogoblin gains a hold after an improved grab attack, it pulls the opponent into its space. This act does not provoke attacks of opportunity. It can even move (possibly carrying away the opponent), provided it can drag the opponent’s weight.

Pounce (Ex) When a haemogoblin makes a charge, it can follow with a full attack.

Scent (Ex) Haemogoblins can detect opponents by sense of smell, generally within 30 feet. If the opponent is upwind, the range is 60 feet. If the opponent is downwind, the range is 15 feet. Strong scents, such as smoke or rotting garbage, can be detected at twice the ranges notes above. Overpowering scents such as skunk musk or troglodyte stench, can be detected at three times these ranges. Haemogoblins can also detect the scent of blood at three times the base range.

The haemogoblin detects another creature's presence, but not its specific location. Noting the direction of the scent is a move action. If it moves within 5 feet of the scent's source, the haemogoblin can pinpoint that source.

Because the haemogoblin also has the Track feat, it can follow tracks by smell, making a Survival check to find or follow a track. The typical DC for a fresh trail is 10. The DC increases or decreases depending on how strong the quarry's odour is, the number of creatures and the age of the trail. For each hour that the trail is cold, the DC increases by 2. The ability otherwise follows the rules for the Track feat. Creatures tracking by Scent ignore the effects of surface conditions and poor visibility.

Skills (Ex) Haemogoblins have a +4 racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks. Haemogoblins have a +4 racial bonus on Survival checks when tracking by scent. If the target is bleeding, the Survival bonus improves to +12.

ECOLOGY

Environment Temperate or Warm Plains, although packs handled by Bloodbound Decriers could be found in any land.
Organisation Pack (6-24); packs handled by Bloodbound Decriers tend to be twelve strong.
Treasure None
Alignment CE
Advancement 7-18 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment --

They are the most despised and feared pack hunters of the plains. Haemogoblins are not of true goblin stock. They are humanoid ticks about the size of a man. Their bodies are bloated sacks, that sag over their four chitinous limbs. The flesh is translucent, tinted an unwholesome shade of brown; the misshapen organs are plainly visible beating within.

Haemogoblins live to feed, and they feed exclusively on blood. They possess a maw filled with hundreds of tiny teeth that they use to burrow into their victims, take firm hold and then suck the lifeblood from them. As a haemogoblin feeds, blood fills its bulbous body, concealing its innards in a wash of scarlet.

Although animalistic, there is enough intelligence in a haemogoblin to delight in sadism. They prefer to hunt and consume prey that is aware of its fate. The screams of horror as a victim watches its blood decanted into this loathsome creature is the closest the haemogoblin comes to joy. If they cannot get sentient food the haemogoblin will eat anything, but it must eat. Without a steady supply of blood it will quickly wither and die. A haemogoblin can go from satiated to starving in minutes.

Society

Haemogoblins live in packs of up to twenty-four in number. They cooperate in the hunt to bring down larger prey, but beyond that their hunt is chaos as each haemogoblin attempts to drink its fill.

Haemogoblins are hermaphroditic. All members of the pack will lay their eggs in a secluded spot in early Spring, and then abandon the young to fate. Although haemogoblins have no need to find a mate, their wild packs are still gripped with unending battles for dominance. The most powerful can intimidate its fellows into allowing it to eat first, and that is a prize worth fighting, dying and being eaten for.

The Bloodbound Masters

No description of the haemogoblins is complete without mentioning the Bloodbound, who long discovered a strange affinity for these creatures, and began to domesticate them and use them for their own ends.

For their part, the haemogoblins thrived under the care of the Decriers, whose lifestyle was always able to offer them a steady supply of blood. It was the haemogoblins that helped the Bloodbound to destroy their own people, although these rabid creatures were incapable of feeling the remorse that haunts their masters still.

When the Bloodbound left the plains in search of employment, the haemogoblins went with them. The Bloodbound is their packleader, who has imposed order on to the pack where none existed before. They are a hideous and terrifying resource, that only a Bloodbound Decrier could love.

For the PCs

While in a market the party wizard discovers a barrel of haemogoblin eggs for sale. He cannot buy them because they are promised to another, and the shopkeeper will not reveal the identity of the customer. The buyer is a Bloodbound Decrier seeking to replace fallen members of its haemogoblin pack. An attempt to deny him the eggs will not be tolerated.

THE BLOODLESS CR 10
NE Medium-sized Undead
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +17, Spot +17

DEFENCE

AC 24, touch 14, flat-footed 20 (+4 dex, +10 natural)
hp 78 (12d12); fast healing 3
Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +10
DR 10/good; Immune Undead Immunities

OFFENCE

Spd 20 ft., Fly 30 ft. (clumsy)
Melee 2 claws +8 (1d4+2 plus energy drain)
Space 5 ft.; Reach[/b] 5 ft
Special Attacks energy drain, spell-like abilities
Spell-like Abilities (CL 12th):
3/day – charm person (DC 13), invisibility (DC 14), major image (DC 15)

TACTICS

Before Combat The Bloodless applies its dodge bonus against attacks by its target, or most powerful target. It attempts to attack from above using darkness, the weather or its illusion magic as cover. It will always cast invisibility on itself before combat to ensure its first attack comes from surprise.

During Combat The Bloodless attacks from the air, seeking to avoid devastating melee attacks. This is a tactic that serves the creature well against the Bloodbound and its haemogoblins. Using its Hover and Improved Flyby Attack feats, the Bloodless can swoop down upon its target, make a single attack, and then get out of reach of any reprisals, all without provoking an attack of opportunity.

If battling foes with powerful range attacks, then the bloodless quickly closes to melee with spellcasters or archers, counting on its invisibility damage reduction to protect it long enough for its energy drain to deny its enemy access to its most powerful magic.

If badly wounded in combat, the Bloodless will retreat and allow its fast healing ability to restore its lost hit points, before returning at full health.

Morale The goal of the Bloodless is to destroy the Bloodbound Decrier. In a battle against a Decrier it will fight until it is destroyed. In a fight against anything else, the Bloodless considers will flee if it believes there is little chance of victory, or it it likely to perish in the fight.

STATISTICS

Str 14, Dex 19, Con --, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 14
Base Atk +6; Grp +8
Feats Dodge, Flyby Attack, Hover, Improved Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative, Mobility
Skills Diplomacy +17, Intimidate +17, Listen +17, Search +17, Sense Motive +17, Spot +17
Languages Common, Giant, Infernal, Undercommon
SQ undead traits
Combat Gear None

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Energy Drain (Su) On a successful melee attack roll, the Bloodless bestows two negative levels. It gains 5 temporary hit points for each negative level it bestows.

ECOLOGY

Environment any
Organisation solitary, gang (1-4) or pack (5-11)
Treasure none
Alignment NE
Advancement 13-18 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment --

The bloodless are the desiccated husks of haemogoblin victims, given unlife and purpose by the Bloodbound Decriers. With nothing but dry flesh and crumbling bone to support them, they can only move on the ground by crawling. The curse that animates them also grants them the power to fly, but it is not a smooth and graceful slight. They jerk forward in a sudden and unsettling manner. When still, they hang unnaturally, resembling a marionette with its strings cut.

During their creation, the person the Bloodless once was, is completely overwritten. The Bloodless magically learns of the destruction of the Bloodbound's nation of Caenaern. They feel the loss as if they lived through the fires and the deaths, and they place the blame firmly at the door of the Bloodbound themselves. They are instruments of vengeance fuelled by sorrow, conscience given form, and they are determined to destroy the 'their' nation's destroyers. The Bloodless have given them the perfect tools for the job.

The Bloodless are intelligent, and are quite capable of planning and executing complicated schemes to locate and destroy the Bloodbound Decriers. They have no qualms with working with their own kind, and sometimes several Bloodless might team together to oppose a particularly powerful Bloodbound. Scholars believe that in creating the Bloodless, the Bloodbound imprinted a little something of the being it was before it embarked upon its fell pact centuries ago. And so the Bloodless recognises something of itself in the Bloodbound, and this only heightens its desire to see the thing dead.

The death of the Bloodbound Decrier that gave the bloodless unlife is a glorious moment. The Bloodless momentarily returns to living flesh, remembering both its own life and the glories of Caenaern past.

For the PCs

The Bloodless uses its powers of charm and illusion to get close to the PCs and find out what they know about a Bloodbound in the area. It may offer aid to the party in exchange for this information, and even steer the activities of the PCs, using them as hapless pawns to wear the Bloodbound down. When the nature of The Bloodless is revealed, it will be hard for the party to pick a side.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Well, the message boards just ate a post I spent more than an hour composing, so I apologize that I'm going to truncate this significantly.

In summary:

The bloodbound decrier has some interesting cultural details, but is disappointing in execution. He doesn't do anything interesting in combat, really, except buff other creatures that are vastly more interesting than him. He's probably under-CRed, as well. As the "brood leader" he should represent a significant portion of the Encounter Level calculation, but at CR 9 he doesn't even affect the Encounter Level of the EL 13 haemogoblin pack.

Also, the way you described this creature makes it indistinguishable from an ogre. You'd better hope that an artist's idea of a "mockery of a human countenance" looks really cool. It probably won't, though, so a bit more guidance on the look of the creature would have been helpful.

I did like the "For the PC" bit. The idea of fighting alongside one of these is more interesting to me than setting up my PCs against one.

The haemogoblins are cool and creepy and I will probably add them to my campaign. I keep thinking of cool ways to use them. It's too bad their boss is such a loser. I really like these guys. Blood-sucking monsters are really fun, and making these guys humanoid in form is great and gross. I love the way you describe their color changing. This is a great monster. Excellent "For the PC" section, too.

The bloodless is interesting (I like the way it clumsily flies or crawls), but if I don't want to use the admittedly intriguing hook you suggest and bringing a bloodless in as an NPC as a way to introduce the bloodbound decrier and his haemogoblin buddies the monster is pretty much useless to me. I appreciate that you decided not to make all three of the monsters "bad guys," but too much of this one's motivation and backstory is tied specifically to the bloodbound decriers.

So I think there is one home run monster in here in the form of the haemogoblins and I found some things to like in the other two, even if I can't give either my full endorsement.

MY RATING: 1.5 out of 3.

The Exchange Kobold Press

I really like the intro paragraph, which gives me a sense of who these monsters are, even if it veers into purple prose at the end.

But the names! Haemogoblins? I'm sitting around waiting for the bad haemoglobin pun from a joke book of monsters. And bloodbound decriers? Sounds like a super-cheesy Magic card. Not winning any points on naming here.

The whole theme of mercenaries and contract reminds me of the best elements of the Black Company series. So, going into the monster section, that's what I want you to deliver.

Bloodbound Decrier
There's little things about the stats that bother me, like the fact that Aura isn't given it's own line as usual in this format. I do like the use of Improved Bull Rush (which seems appropriate to the monster) and the use of a fighting pack strategy. However, Tears for the Bloodless seems out of place in the Special Qualities section; it's an Ecology entry or a backstory element.

There's a crucial "not" missing in the second sentence of the "Dispossessed" section. Worse, there's a logic problem: Why were the Bloodbound able to turn their backs on the pact AFTER they destroyed Caenaern? Why not before? "For story reasons" is not a good answers here.

I love the part about about the Bloodbound befriending the vicious little haemogoblins. Everyone loves a puppy, even if it's a bloodsucking fiend.

Haemogoblins
Despite my dislike for the name, I really rather like the nasty buggers. They have character; they're disgusting and foul and villainous. They're insectoid magical beasts, and I like that.

Lots of little elements keep me from calling them a slam-dunk win, though: there's the overlong Tactics section and three abilities that are named "blood-something", plus all that fiddling with the Track feat.

Even so, I'm pretty sure they'll run well at the table. And I really, really want them at my table, terrifying the PCs. These rock.

The Bloodless
I think you made a good move adding an antagonist to the set of three, rather than a symbiont as several other entries do. It helps this trio stand out, and it gives the party two sides to choose from. The beauty of it is that both sides are evil in their own way.

Rating: 2/3, a good entry that won me over despite initial reservations.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Initial Comments (name, title, thematic link, design choices, playability, quality of writing, hook, theme, organization): B-
Ugh—heamogoblins. I actually talked to Erik on the phone about these. He didn’t mind them as much as I do (and apparently Wolf too). Again, when I smack that mini down on the game table I want it to be dramatic, not a punchline. I didn’t like the title of your submission or the intro quote, either. Luckily, your submission became much cooler as I read further. You are the only one that included an adversary as part of a thematic link, and I think that deserves some points. Passive voice issues.

Monsters (proper format, good build, abilities and tactics, quality of mechanics, interesting new mechanics): B-
Let’s see…I take it blood is involved.

Bloodbound Decrier: C+
Name blows. Format issues. Your tags are bad. Some missing info. Passive voice. They remain hidden but are fearless? Not getting that. Not digging these monsters. The guys have made good prior comments.

Haemogoblin: A-
Ick! Tick-goblins! I love them! They remind me of our spider eye goblins from the original Creature Collection, which I used a ton. I just wish I could use these alone without the Decrier. All the abilities are great. Aside from the name, this critter is a keeper.

Bloodless: B-
I’m giving you credit for an adversary as one of your three monsters, but this is a bit funky. The problem is that I find the Bloodbound Decrier and the Bloodless, which are linked, to both be pretty boring.

Tilt (did it grab me, is it unique and cool, do I like it, flavor): B
I like those little goblins! You may squeak by in this round because the gobos are just that fun.

Overall: B-
One hit and two big misses, with some serious writing issues as well.

Neil, I loved the shroud, had some issues with Vramaire, and some reservations about Hetty. I don’t think you have stepped up with this one. I’m sorry about that. That said, I am nabbing those gobos for my game table. The voters will decide.

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR TOP 6

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Since I didn't like Hetty very much, I'll chime in here and say that I did think this submission was a step up from the last, but it does not deliver on the promise of your first two submissions, particularly the fantastic shroud.

Scarab Sages Marathon Voter Season 7

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

I think this would be a real solid entry with a rewrite and a bit of a revisioning, stat wise, of the decrier. I agree with the judges that the blood sucking haemogoblins are the best part (excepting the name) but I really like the overall backstory.

One niggling detail though - It seems like the decriers should be LN not LE. They have done evil in the past but now they just don't care enough to take sides, except against themselves.

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

Would I use this in a game - Maybe.

Is it well written - Moderate.

Does the theme hold up - Yes.

2/3

Comments - I had a difficult time judging this entry since it is right on the border of brilliance and junk. I know that sounds a bit odd but if it was given a total rewrite with some renaming I think it would have been a stand out entry. As it is now, the theme is bit muddled and the presentation seems over-thought.

The theme would make a better adventure narrative than simply as some fluff to hold together three critters. The atmosphere is great, just perhaps not for this particular Round where you really need to be clear and obvious. I think this entry will be right on the border to make it through or not, I am guessing it will however. I look forward to your future work.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh the bad pun. As a DM I would get booted out of the room if my players learned the blood-related creature they were facing was called a haemogoblin. Interesting creature, but I would rename it.


It seems that almost every entry has at least one monster in it that I like, even if I don't like either of the others. This time round, that's the Haemogoblin (name notwithstanding). I can really envisage what they'd look like, and the basic idea is a really neat one. Unfortunately, it's rather let down by the other two creatures, which really don't seem all that impressive, or, indeed, to make a whole heap of sense.

So this one, I fear, does not get my vote.


I'm missing the good descriptions of these creatures. I don't know what they look like. I can only picture the horribly-named haemogoblins as bright red gollums. Ticks creep me out bigtime in real life. These things will keep me up all night. The Bloodhound Decriers DO sound like a magic card, and though I like the Bloodless as a foil to the Decriers, they just don't stand alone. I guess you get points for taking 'thematically linked' to heart, but these guys are almost thematically bound.
Still, those ticks! Where did you get those wonderful ticks??

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

I actually liked the Bloodless the best of the three monsters, the visual of this shattered and broken creature dragging itself along the ground or hanging limply in the air, but still possessed of necrotic power, cleverness, and a thirst for vengeance. I liked the bloodbound backstory, but I'm not sure the namesake monster quite lived up to it.

By the way, "Hemogoblin" was used as a joke in a long-ago "What's New with Phil & Dixie" strip when they're at a game convention. Someone asks why it's the most realistic new vampire game on the market. The salesman says, "Because when you lose the game, you have to go donate a pint of blood." [rim shot] As humanoid ticks, they are plenty icky, though I wonder if they always run on 2 legs or if they drop to all fours to run after prey.

The Exchange

I guess I'm the only one, but I thought the name for the Haemogoblin was GREAT. I'm always a sucker (!) for puns, though. :)

I love the concept, and as others have said, it's a great monster. But others like them DESPITE the name, and I love the name too. It's a good thing I didn't enter this contest, I never would have made it past the "no-humor squad".

To each their own, I guess. :)


The absolute best part of the haemogoblins was the name. Rather than some random fantasy name, it's a name that gets to the heart of the creature. That said, I was a bit disappointed to learn that the creature wasn't actually a goblin. I may have to adapt some of its abilities (and of course the name) for a species of goblins in my game. I thought the worst part about them was the PC hook:

DM: "Next to the table of mystic amulets is a barrel full of large, oddly colored eggs."
Party Wizard: "What's in that barrel, sir merchant man?"
SMM: "Haemogoblin eggs."
Party Wizard: "I have no idea what that is. Ummm, can you point me in the direction of someone with a wand of fireballs?"
DM: *Throws away adventure hinging off that plot hook*

And I have to agree with the others that the Bloodless doesn't have much use as a monster unless you have the PCs working side by side with a Decrier. Lastly, I must say that you struck a chord with the Decrier. I'm a sucker for shades of gray, and a monster that does evil things and hates himself for it, even goes out of his way to seek his own demise, wins points for me.


OK, so I really like the concept here, and the backstory. But it falls apart a little with some things that don’t make sense about the builds. The Bloodbound hide and sic the haemogoblins on things? Hide, being Large armored guys? That’s gonna go a little tough, some relevant ability would be nice. Beyond the concept, they’re kinda vanilla. I like the haemogoblins. The Bloodless – like the concept, execution’s a bit weak.

I’ll go B-.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Jason Nelson 20 wrote:
By the way, "Hemogoblin" was used as a joke in a long-ago "What's New with Phil & Dixie" strip when they're at a game convention. Someone asks why it's the most realistic new vampire game on the market. The salesman says, "Because when you lose the game, you have to go donate a pint of blood." [rim shot]

I remember that one. I could probably go dig it out right now, but I don't feel like wading through my old Dragons at the moment.


More than any of the other entries, so much of this one dances between spot on distinctive and plain ole bad that I'm genuinely at a loss. I cringe one moment and am transfixed the next. Given the lateness of the round, I don't think it's good for me to cringe at all.

That said, I bet with some revision and work with an editor this could become the most distinctive and memorable entry. Perhaps. There's something here that makes me want to believe that.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy

I like it, even though there were some errors in the text concerning the contract breaching that they could or couldn't do I still liked it.

This sucked me in more than some other entries. This is good stuff!

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6

Trying not to make it a 'me too' post.

The Haemogoblins are the neatest thing to me about the entry. my players hate blood sucking monsters.

The other two? meh. They're all linked, but I myself just don't go for them. Seems the niche is filled by Hobgoblins with levels for the first, and revenants for the last.

sorry, one out of three critters for me.


Very creative. Solid concept that reminds me of the Wheel of Time novels. I have enjoyed reading all of your entries although Henrietta in round 3 was my favorite of the four. Wishing you the best. Good luck.


I think Kevin hit the nail on the head when he said:

"I guess you get points for taking 'thematically linked' to heart, but these guys are almost thematically bound."

It seems of the four entries I've read so far I'm seeing more of the thematically bound monsters. I don't see how I can use Bloodbound Decriers without heamogoblins, and The Bloodless are only useful if you've got plans for a Decrier in there somewhere. Perhaps you could spring the heamogoblins out of the pack, but I want to feel like all three monsters are unique enough to stand alone, but even more spectacular when combined to form the basis of an adventure.

I also second the thought of the Decrier being weaker than his own pack of haemogoblins. Technically the little goblin ticks could turn on him and he wouldn't have much of a chance against them.

I'm still reading through the entries before casting my votes, but I'm not so sure this one will make it for me.


Pro: The thematic idea was a very nice one. Probably one of the strongest "links" this round. But...

Con: The execution fell flat. The problems with the stat blocks and monster strenghts have already been pointed out above, so I'll not repeat them. Also, the fluff section felt as if it could have used some more streamlining.


Rhothaerill wrote:
Jason Nelson 20 wrote:
By the way, "Hemogoblin" was used as a joke in a long-ago "What's New with Phil & Dixie" strip when they're at a game convention. Someone asks why it's the most realistic new vampire game on the market. The salesman says, "Because when you lose the game, you have to go donate a pint of blood." [rim shot]
I remember that one. I could probably go dig it out right now, but I don't feel like wading through my old Dragons at the moment.

I want to see a Foglio-drawn comic of Rhothaerill wading through a bunch of old Dragons.

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

Kevin Olmstead wrote:
Rhothaerill wrote:
Jason Nelson 20 wrote:
By the way, "Hemogoblin" was used as a joke in a long-ago "What's New with Phil & Dixie" strip when they're at a game convention. Someone asks why it's the most realistic new vampire game on the market. The salesman says, "Because when you lose the game, you have to go donate a pint of blood." [rim shot]
I remember that one. I could probably go dig it out right now, but I don't feel like wading through my old Dragons at the moment.
I want to see a Foglio-drawn comic of Rhothaerill wading through a bunch of old Dragons.

That's the gag I was looking for! My "bad joke generator" was tingling when he talked about wading through Dragons but I tried not to listen and come up with a joke myself.


I like the idea presented here. The haemogobolins are AWESOME. I'm definently going to see if I can spring a pack of these on my PCs at some stage. I also like the bloodless. Soulless undead creatures out for (deserved) revenge. Nice twist on the stereotype.

I also like the idea behind the Bloodbound, but as a monster, without the great backstory they are just bland. Really, what have that got the distinguishing them from any other humanoid (monstrous or otherwise)? The only distinctive ability they have is the ability to create bloodless to hunt them down, otherwise they could just be ogres, or any other humanoid with class levels.

I really wanted to like these guys, because the backstory is cool. But while the haemogoblins are awesome, and will be used in my campaign somewhere, I really don't get the bloodbound, and without them the bloodless don't fit either. It's a shame, because I really like the story you have started to tell here.


Umm... me too?

Goblin/stirge hybrid thingies are awesome. The rest, not so much.


I like your style. I liked Hetty and I like two out of three of your monsters.
I like both the Hemogoblin (it does need a new name though) and the Bloodless. Both are interesting monsters with many uses and the Bloodless are also interestingm fairly original undead with an interesting backstory that I can see myself easily using.
The Bloodsworn Decriers are okay; I don't care for the name and the concept is only meh. The description isn't great and I'm having a hard time picturing.
Other than that this a great entry and I'll probably vote for it.
My only real complaint is one that I have with most of the entries so far: WHY CAN'T THE DESCRIPTION COME BEFORE THE STATS?! I like to know what the creature looks like before I read it's stats.

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

Arctaris wrote:

I like your style. I liked Hetty and I like two out of three of your monsters.

I like both the Hemogoblin (it does need a new name though) and the Bloodless. Both are interesting monsters with many uses and the Bloodless are also interestingm fairly original undead with an interesting backstory that I can see myself easily using.
The Bloodsworn Decriers are okay; I don't care for the name and the concept is only meh. The description isn't great and I'm having a hard time picturing.
Other than that this a great entry and I'll probably vote for it.
My only real complaint is one that I have with most of the entries so far: WHY CAN'T THE DESCRIPTION COME BEFORE THE STATS?! I like to know what the creature looks like before I read it's stats.

As far as the format, Neil was just following the instructions for the round. I expect this might be amended in future contests where monster design is the task.


Jason Nelson 20 wrote:
Arctaris wrote:

I like your style. I liked Hetty and I like two out of three of your monsters.

I like both the Hemogoblin (it does need a new name though) and the Bloodless. Both are interesting monsters with many uses and the Bloodless are also interestingm fairly original undead with an interesting backstory that I can see myself easily using.
The Bloodsworn Decriers are okay; I don't care for the name and the concept is only meh. The description isn't great and I'm having a hard time picturing.
Other than that this a great entry and I'll probably vote for it.
My only real complaint is one that I have with most of the entries so far: WHY CAN'T THE DESCRIPTION COME BEFORE THE STATS?! I like to know what the creature looks like before I read it's stats.
As far as the format, Neil was just following the instructions for the round. I expect this might be amended in future contests where monster design is the task.

Oh, well, it would be nice to see the format rules change if Paizo does this again.

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

Arctaris wrote:
Jason Nelson 20 wrote:
Arctaris wrote:
My only real complaint is one that I have with most of the entries so far: WHY CAN'T THE DESCRIPTION COME BEFORE THE STATS?! I like to know what the creature looks like before I read it's stats.
As far as the format, Neil was just following the instructions for the round. I expect this might be amended in future contests where monster design is the task.
Oh, well, it would be nice to see the format rules change if Paizo does this again.

Yeah.

See my post in the general forum.

Basically, this was the defined format. Most of them followed it, a couple didn't. Sucks to penalize the people who did follow the rules, but in some cases rules were meant to be broken.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

Your thematic link is good, and I like the variations on the theme, as played out in the title and intro.

I really like our haemogoblin friends as well. I can see them being used in many different sorts of campaigns. Well, once someone changed that awful name. :-)

But they're the only real standout of the three, so this is another 1/3 of an entry for me. The others are appropriate creatures, they just don't excite me as much.


I read this first as I was impressed by the Hetty Miller entry and I must say "Wow!" to the shroud which I've only just looked at.
I didn't like this one at first but it has really grown on me the more I read of it. I can see lots of hooks and strategies for using this in game - including adding some bloodless to the fray should the PCs be taking a drubbing in a conflict. Rumours of an undead creatures flying about will also get some attention and maybe an encounter with disorganised pun-goblins could be set up first.

Some of the spelling bugged me and "could not" makes the world of difference to one of your statements. However a good editor will pick those up before anything gets out on paper so I'll spare you for now.

The goblins (I shan't use your name for them) are brilliant and the transition from seeing them as chaotic rogue creatures to that of a disciplined military group could be extremely effective: Idiot thieves intercept the wrong wagon and have no idea what they're stealing, their bodies are found sucked dry a few days later... there are indeterminate vampiric creatures to investigate even before the rightful owner comes to find out where his property is.

There are so many variations to run with this group that I'm drawn to it instantly and though I haven't read the other entries yet I'm surprised that this is the only one with an adversary. The "they hate themselves and make their own killers" disappointed me to start with but it has grown on me. This allows an introduction to your creatures from alternate angles, plus there are a limited, though unspecified number of decriers - did any not rebel? - and somewhere is a decimated homeland to explore. Presumably the PCs could even hire them, or arrange the details on someone else's behalf.

Your entries require me to put on my thinking hat, which I really like (it's stylish and suits me). Keep up the good work - I do hope you'll be in the next round because I desperately want to read what you'll make of the monsters.

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

Whiteflight wrote:
Your entries require me to put on my thinking hat, which I really like (it's stylish and suits me). Keep up the good work - I do hope you'll be in the next round because I desperately want to read what you'll make of the monsters.

After reading Whiteflight's post, I decided this entry deserved another read, since so many people like it so much.

Kevin Olmstead wrote:

I'm missing the good descriptions of these creatures. I don't know what they look like. I can only picture the horribly-named haemogoblins as bright red gollums. Ticks creep me out bigtime in real life. These things will keep me up all night. The Bloodhound Decriers DO sound like a magic card, and though I like the Bloodless as a foil to the Decriers, they just don't stand alone. I guess you get points for taking 'thematically linked' to heart, but these guys are almost thematically bound.

Still, those ticks! Where did you get those wonderful ticks??

Ah, that's why everyone (including me now) likes them so much. I had never actually made it through to the description (I'd based my mental picture on that horrible, horrible name), and man, they are creepy. I'm pretty sure I can creep out MY party with those, and they're pretty jaded.

But I'm with a lot of the others who say the blood mercenary and the dead blood guy don't do much for them. I understand how I'd use them, it's just not all that interesting for me.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32 aka Aotrscommander

I thought the name haemogoblins was marvellous, though I appear to be in the minority.

Apart from that, though, I was not struck by the rest of the entry, including the haemogoblins themselves. I just got an image of tiny, blood-crazy humanoids in my head and giant ticks were a bit of a let-down.

Apart from the aforementioned name, nothing really stood out to me, sorry.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka amusingsn

I really really like the flavor.

But I'm not sure the flavor and the actual monsters are integrated solidly enough.

The Bloodbound Decriers could be Hobgoblin Warlords, replace the haemogoblins with Barghests, and the Bloodless with Wraiths. Keep pretty much all the rest of the flavor. I think it would work just fine, and also give Hobgoblins, Barghests, and Wraiths (monsters that already exist) a solid role in one's D&D campaign.

I guess, in my mind, this submission, while good, doesn't deliver me new monsters that I want when the old ones will do just fine.

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 don't think I have much to add about this one, I liked the Haemogoblins (except the name), and the others fell flat. I actually like the idea of a buffer monster linked to the rest, but he felt like he doesn't really know his role, to borrow a 4E term. Is he a healer/buffer, or is he a badass fighter who leads the pack? If he could somehow leech the stolen blood from his pack to share in the Con boosting, that would be cool also.

The biggest problem I had with the Haemogoblin name wasn't the pun (which I generally like), but that it was a pun based on modern science, not fantasy mideaval magic.

I hope to see you in the next round, since I really liked your first two entries, and while I didn't love Hettie, she was well done and interesting, but I'm afraid you didn't earn my vote this round.


Two points I didn't like as to the mechanics.
1) With that strength score, and a +2 weapon, used two-handed I'm pretty sure that the Decrier should do more damage than that with the greatsword. (I think it should be one and a half times the base strength bonus, instead of one times the strength bonus of normal damage.) Well done on remembering to increase the base damage with the weapon size though!

2) I do not understand how the Bloodless are supposed to fly. Do they sprout wings as part of the transformation process? Is it a spell-like or supernatural ability?

I will appreciate clarification, once the voting is over and you are free to comment. It has become increasingly obvious that three monsters are a lot of work, and that stat-block errors are likely to creep in under the workload, and I salute all the contestants on what they have achieved in getting this far.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

Aotrscommander wrote:

I just got an image of tiny, blood-crazy humanoids in my head and giant ticks were a bit of a let-down.

I was similarly disappointed until I read the entry a couple of times. I think that the haemogoblins are both blood-crazy humanoids _and_ giant ticks. I think the idea is kind of cool, and it remains my favorite part of this entry.


As my Kor Kammor campaign has a lot of goblin crossbreeds, I can see adding a vampiric, tick-like goblin. None of the rest of this is useful to me as monsters, though the idea of a mercenary company that agrees to a contract to destroy its own homeland is neat, in a sad way.

There are good ideas in here. The fact that it sparks ideas I can use, even through I can't use the ones presented, may be enough to get my vote. I'll have to consider carefully...


You have a good theme here: blood. This always seems to work somehow. Haemogoblins is a great name. Just when you think all the good ones are taken. The writing needs a bit of polish. I detected more than a bit of passive voice and awkward construction in it. That said, your opening paragraph finished strong, which I think is more important than starting strong but finishing weak.

Bloodhound Decrier – Okay. Try saying “decrier” out loud several times fast. It could use a slightly easier name. (You have some messed up formatting in your block. One point off for that.) Tears for the Bloodless? What’s up with that? Now I have to read another entry? This monster has a hint of 4E inspired design in it with its hiding and battlefield control. I do like the fact that it wears and uses its treasure.

Haemogoblins I thought were going to be…upright. They aren’t. I like their During Combat section and the description – even though I find living ticks disturbing. It shows good writing. They seem to hit the CR mark about right. They are an interesting variant on vampires in that they’re living and they depend upon blood.

Bloodless seemed like they would hit their CR about right – except for their movement speed and their low-grade spell-like abilties. I don’t see a reason why they should be gimped. The only creatures that lose movement speed in the game are those which have a size problem or that have odd abilities (such as oozes). (Your entry has some formatting issues.) Giving them charm person and major image at low DCs is not giving them a lot, truth to tell. They make up for some of this with the “invisible swoop and attack”, but as a player I find this an annoying tactic these days. Why do they speak Giant too?

In summary, I think that you didn’t go quite far enough with the theme. Ironically, if you had started with the Bloodless somehow, and then finished with the Bloodhound Decrier that it might have been in a better order. I don’t see anything here that I absolutely would want to steal though. The Haemogoblins I might steal since they appear to be a cool threat for the PCs.

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

I sense two big disconnects n the text. First, Bloodbound Decriers relish combat and wade in to di with glee, but hide from their foes and let the hemoglobins (that's what they'll be called at the gaming table) fight for them, even taking some of their damage wihout getting into combat. Don't get the super mercenary hiding from combat.

Second, the Int 3 hemoglobins are not cooperative enough to arrange flanking bonuses with one another, but will suspend an attack for an aid another action? This kind of inherent contradiction makes me want to sell the MM back to the dealer and spend it on more Dew. Your entry is compelling - a race of evil murderers who 'cannot self-terminate', so they populate their hunting grounds with revenge seeking spirits hoping to catch hell later. But I think compared to the cometition, you have thematic and design flaws that hold you back.

Finally, I think the Bloodless isn't much for CR 10. Except, you know, living up to its name.

Also, mechanical flaws:

Spoiler:

Greatsword damage should be 3d6+11, or 3d6+21 with power attack. *1.5 strength bonus with two-handed weapon.

Longbow attack doesn't list an attack bonus. It's +9+4.

Enduring rapport is a relationship built by the decriers over time. It isn't really a supernatural ability.

There's no such feat as Weapon Finesse (bite). Also, the hemoglobin is pretty weak for a CR 6. I know it gets the damage shift from its (hiding) boss, but on its own, it is kind of wasting a feat for +1 to hit and dying early. Improved Natural Attack would increase its damage potential, and get you a bigger bang before it gets canned. Your way, the claw attacks should also be at +6.

Hemoglobin saves should be: fort +6 ref +7 will +5. Their grapple bonus is only +7.

Your bloodless dude has an extra feat (1, 3, 6, 9, 12), with nothing listed as a bonus feat.

Congrats on making the top 8.


Looking at Neil's entries from the vary beginning, i like Neil's shround of old souls, and that stood out with a bang from all the other entries
The enlightened Kingdom Of Vraimaire was sinister, though not my favourite, just won my liking.
The murderous midwife, well the first thought was OMG, perfect horror scenario, ideal for a low level city campaign. It would have been perfect for a pilot campaign and i loved it.

and then came The Thematically Link Monsters. Honestly, I had to read the entry a number of times, to try and comprehend what monster Neil was trying to potray. Suffice to say, i love the Haemogoblins, the name Haemogoblin and the blood Haemoglobin is nice blend for one. Campaign names should be catchy and at time with a tint of humours. As for the creatures itself, bloodlusting creatures are always welcome in any campaign, but instead of having a random monster encounter with such creatures, an addition of the Blood Decrier (i.e. the captain) and the Hameglobins (i.e. the soldiers) goes nicely.
So here's my evil thought, if i want to "write-off" my party members, hire a mercenary, well i think i know who to hire. "Yes, please dont just kill them, i want them to taste the horror of messing with me"

PS: I hope to see Neil in the next round. The way Neil narate his text is like reading a storybook, holding your attention, and am surely hoping to read your encounter. Good luck Neil!!


ancientsensei wrote:
There's no such feat as Weapon Finesse (bite).

However, I have seen numerous designers use this in a variety of products, so I wouldn't ding him over that. I do agree with your other points.

Sovereign Court

I actually had no problem with the haemogoblins. My problem is with the horrid Hettie from last round, a villain with no real basis on real-world midwifery.
So the Decrier is fearless, yet keeps his well armored, power attacking self out of combat? Not hat my players are using fear against a CR 9 monster. Nope, he’s catching rays, cones, etc. that would render his abilities more or less useless.
I like the goblins, don’t see much use for the Bloodless – is it a deus ex machine for PCs in trouble? Is it a temporary ally in the hunt for a pack?
I see one useful creature out of 3, so I vote No.


I loved Hettie so I saved this one for last. This trio sounds like great material for a novel, not as sure about D&D though. And I just kept calling them Hemoglobins while I was reading it. So this was a step down for me. Needed more originality in the appearance of the Bloodbound.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

Sorry to see this didn't make the cut, but I wanted to say again that in every round you either had my vote or *almost* had it. You were consistently at a good, interesting level, if it's any consolation.

I look forward to seeing more from you in some forum/format!

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16 aka Sir_Wulf

I had hoped to see you move on. Your entries show consistent promise, each with the potential to be part of a great game.


I was pulling for ya but I guess it just wasn't meant to be.

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