GULGA CENCH, Scion of Cyth-V’sug


Round 2: Create a villain concept

1 to 50 of 104 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

GULGA CENCH, Scion of Cyth-V’sug
Male half-fiend otyugh wizard 7 / cleric 3

A devious sewer dweller labors in darkness to deliver an army capable of conquering the world in his demon lord’s name.

Description:
The unholy birth of self-named Gulga Cench arose from demonic parasites infecting his otyugh mother during her pregnancy. When apprenticed conjurers hastily flushed the remains of an errant summoning ritual into the sewers, Gulga’s expectant mother unknowingly dined on the fungal spores of a fiend devoted to the demon lord, Cyth-V’sug. Although Gulga’s mother died giving birth, her infection passed on an abyssal heritage that serves her son well.

Gulga appears distinctly different from typical otyughs due to his chalk-white, moldering hide imparted by Cyth-V’sug’s parasites. His size reaches 9 feet in diameter and he weighs over 700 pounds. Ragged bat wings stretch along his primary tentacles, coated in musty spores choked with the stench of decay. Smaller tentacles with demonic claws extrude from his lower body to feed his massive maw. And multiple horns line the back of his sensory-stalk, bathed in the hellish glow of his unblinking red eyes.

Motivations/Goals:
Far more intelligent than his own kind, Gulga yearns for two primary things – the elevation of otyugh culture to unrivaled prominence; and the day his demon lord arrives to subjugate the Material Plane and reward his faith. Dwelling among underground denizens of wererats, derro, drow and otyughs, Gulga also seeks to amass enough arcane knowledge and illusion-driven guile to grow his Azurescent Consortium of sleeper agents and informers into world-spanning power.

Schemes/Plots:
Gulga works to accomplish his goals by conducting experiments on his own kind. Sometimes he consults with the deviant derro and drow, collecting arcane knowledge of transmutation to enhance the average intelligence of the otyugh species. Other times, he takes a direct hand in siring sporebound otyughs, striving to produce an entirely new breed. Any resistant otyughs become candidates for demonic possession instead.

Gulga has also established relations with followers of Urgathoa to spread disease and weaken those who might resist the armies of Cyth-V’sug. Occasionally, he trades them samples of filth fever and other contagions in exchange for arcane lore to further his studies. He also sends envoys to other parts of the world to find more minions and raise new cells among the sewers of faraway lands. These enterprises are well-funded by the information brokerage and fungus-grown drug-trafficking he conducts with his wererat cohort, Brimback, and fiendish stirge familiar, Memorymaker. Few suspect the mastermind behind these activities or their ultimate purpose, as Gulga frequently masks himself with illusions when he visits.

Adventure Hooks:

  • After unleashing a terrible plague, followers of Urgathoa come under attack by PCs and turn to Gulga for assistance.

  • While investigating a sewer infestation, PCs vanquish several advanced otyughs, earning Gulga’s wrath.

  • Gulga learns the PCs have acquired arcane knowledge or items that could further his research and offers to broker a deal with them through Brimback, while preparing “alternatives” if they refuse.

Contributor

Initial Impression: Ah, the fetid Dweller In The Sewers. A useful urban prime mover, and although the idea is such a cliché that urban-adventuring PCs sometimes assume the existence of such a foe before they even have clear evidence of same, this one at least is different in nature than the usual subterranean crime boss. I’ve used intelligent otyugh before, with other misfit-in-a-human-city monsters working with them, but I had more formidable villains “above” the otyugh (who, let’s face it, usually can’t easily sidle undetected away from fights).

Concept: A deployable, versatile behind-the-scenes, long-term villain. Everything seems “thought through” here, giving me a clear sense of our unhandsome villain and his (“his”? ooh, is he seeking a mate? or planning on “building” one? [delicious shudder]) associates.

Execution: A strong collection of motivations and goals is provided to guide the DM in spinning adventure after encounter after scheme involving Gulga, in an ongoing city campaign. We get enough here to visualize how to use this villain for a long time.

Tilt: Gotta love a “trader in diseases.” The adventure hooks provided are fairly pedestrian/obvious, but the “Schemes/Plots” wording more than makes up for that. I could run this guy for years without having to extrapolate much from what’s given.

Overall: Nice, new packaging of a villain to fill an old, familiar slot. Thorough work.

Recommendation: Recommended for advancement.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Initial Impression: Warped otyugh wizard cleric. OK. You had me at otyugh. But I have to admit, the name smacks a bit of Boomer from last year. So while I am excited to read on, I have a raised eyebrow…

Word Count: 500

Concept (name, title, is it actually a villain?, overall design choices, playability): A-
The Good: Now this is a villain. Actively scheming. A network of minions. Unique. A better sewer bad guy than the generic wererat choice. Surprising, which a villain should be. And, once again, subjugating the Material Plane. That is what excellent bad guys do.
The Bad: Not much, other than the funny Boomer-like naming. I’m gonna mark you down for that.

Execution (quality of writing, hook, theme, organization, use of proper format, quality of mandatory content-physical description, motivation/goal, scheme/plot, presence of any disqualification criteria): B+
The Good: I love that you get right to the real motivation—here is what this nasty villain wants to do. Great organization. Well-written. This is a very solid entry.
The Bad: Your plot and adventure hooks are surprisingly weak.

Tilt (did it grab me?, is it unique and cool?, do I like it?, flavor and setting): A
Yeah, this one got me. Unique and special. This one is good out of the box with little tweaking and tailoring.

Overall: A-
A clever villain that is well-detailed, that stinks of nasty evil villain-ness! This is a hit.

Recommendation: I DO recommend this villain submission for advancement.

We all loved the last leaves of the autumn dryad. I’m glad to see you are living up to the high expectations your item set for you. This is a very professional set of submissions so far. You are 2 for 2 in my book. Good luck this round and I hope for your sake that voters agree!

Contributor

Otyugh-as-mastermind is innovative. People forget they are intelligent, can talk, and (in 1e) were sometimes telepathic!

Nice use of minions. Nice interplay between demonic stuff, Urgathoa, and Darklands races.

I like the dual aspect of fungal disease and fungal drugs. And otyugh breeding experiments... ick!

Rec: advance to next round!

The Exchange Kobold Press

You had me at "chalk-white, moldering hide"! An albino hellbound otyugh? Hell yes!

True, the otyugh has been overdone lately, but what the hell, you're putting all kinds of spin on this old concept with the fiendishness, new demon lord, the disease/spore angle, not to mention connections to useful minions.

You've given him simple but useful motivation and solid hooks. I can USE this guy in my campaign, no problem. I can hint at his activities, drop him in the underdark or the sewers or even a dungeon, and he works. It's robust design, with solid writing to back up the concepts throughout. Well done!

Recommendation Recommended to advance.

Sovereign Court

Neil - I jumped to your entry first, because I so enjoyed your wondrous item. You didn't disappoint - I love this villain. Reading this entry makes me want to run an urban campaign, with this nasty guy doing his thing in the background. Trading diseases??? YES!


Sorry Neil. I couldn't get around the fact that he's an otyugh. Cool description, but I just kept thinking "It's an otyugh". I did like the way he became a "special" otyugh.

The judges loved it just like everyone loved your wondrous item last round so I'm sure I'll see you around next round. Good luck.

Star Voter Season 6

Well, the first sentence resolves the inevitable question when "half-fiend" and "otyugh" are in the base character description line. At least there's no Logue-ish nastiness... not that you ever need to tell your players that!

I like the eugenics/genetic modification/mad scientist angle. Setting up a mystic theurge?

Wizard 7 just gets him to Dimension Door, which solves the Greenwood objection.

These adventure hooks work as a side quest to Curse of the Crimson Throne, actually, which is a plus. I'd love for the party to recruit this guy as an ally... in exchange for some really icky things. Alternatively, he's got an obvious

Spoiler:
plague
hook as well.

This one's a contender.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Neil I must say I like Gulga Cench, Scion of Cyth-V'Sug and I agree he has lots of potential, even in existing campaigns, and I could sure use him as a related side-quest in my Curse of the Crimson Throne (and I am now running "Seven Days to the Grave" for my players.) :)

Gulga Cench gets my vote.


I found this entry to be engaging and fun. I voted for Gulga Cench.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Demiurge 1138

Awesome! Demon-otyugh mastermind! I can get behind that.

This is the first villain that's really jumped out at me. Gulga Cench is the kind of villain I wanted to see from this contest. You've definitely got my vote.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Demonic Otyugh Spellcaster Mastermind ? Color this "WINNER !".

However, rules lawyer that I tend to be, I have a gripe with class choice. Cleric/Wizard isn't really good, since mixing caster levels usually means the NPC is behind any single-class caster. So I'm hoping for a really GOOD statblock here.


Hmm. If this entry goes to the next round that stat block is going to be something ugly to have to come up with, not least because the wizard spells known/memorised will have to be nailed down...

The intelligent otyugh mastermind is interesting, but I'm not a big fan of Cyth-v'sug. On the Cyth v'sug note though, I am wondering if this villain maintains contacts with Treerazor.

Will this villain cause the PCs grief?
Not directly I'm thinking. Masterminds lurk in the background and leave their minions to do that. Nonetheless some thought has been given to minions/contacts.

Dark Archive

When I was pondering villianous concepts, I made a big list of intelligent SRD beasties that don't get enough love and would make for cool villains (and, qu'elle surprise, I see none of them in the top 32), but the Otyugh certainly wasn't on my list!

This is a great entry, evocatively written and with a fun fantasy twist on the old 'critter flushed into the sewers turned menace' urban legend.

You've pretty much caught me off guard with this one. I tend to knee-jerk react against spellcasters these days, as there is, IMO, a shortage of non-spellcaster Big Bads, and I also reactively dislike half-fiends and half-dragons, due to their ubiquity, and here you've managed to make a half-fiendish spellcaster that is my abolute favorite of the current batch of villains.

I'm impressed!

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Simply wonderful! I love the connections to Golarion and the concept in general. Here's a villain that I suspected would be a templated monster mess, but it's quite the opposite! I was always so sad that I'd never see a beholder masterminding a city's underworld in Golarion but now I no longer feel the loss of the icon with this piece of work. Count one vote from me.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

This is some sweet stuff, right here. Otyughs have always been one of my favorite monsters, and the idea of using one as a villain is absolutely wonderful. Plus, this is an awesome backstory, and the description is perfect, I had a great mental picture of this guy. I haven't finished reading all the entries yet, but you've made my shortlist.


Wow! And I thought WotC's monster tourney a few years ago came up with some weird concepts and templates one would not ordinarily put together and the fact the he/it wants a mate. Giving personality to such a creature is next to rings of wishes in rarity. Speaking as a player, I'd love to see this guy as a recurring villain. Speaking as a character, I never want to have to encounter this thing. Definitely got my vote.


Ohhh the abyssal ones seem to be tugging at my heartstrings tonight. Especially since I'm currently running with a plot that involves an experiment-gone-wrong right now (except it's one of my PCs instead of a villain, which is crazy). Congrats, you have just stolen a vote from someone else. Good luck!

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Reckless Ratings

Concept4
(Is this villain villainous?)
Content4
(Grammar, Format,Spelling, Etc.)
Coolness5
(Would my players be impressed by this? Am I?)
Credibility4
(Does the villain’s motives make sense?)
Clarity4
(How good a sense of how to stat this villain do we get?)

Scores out of 5 and completely based on my opinion only.
Total Score21

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

YES! I love this one. Evil and icky. Well done.

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

The origin story is terrific, and yet concise enough that you still have plenty of room to talk about what his activities and goals, his minions and motivations. The hooks are serviceable enough, but even someone who didn't care for them has plenty of meat to work with about what this guy is all about and trying to do. It's a good trick to make a backstory that is not backwards-looking, but instead simply fleshes out his character.

The leaves were one of my favorites last round, and this one is looking like it'll be a favorite this round. I've only read 3 so far, but this one has all the things we should look for in a good villain entry.

That stat block, though? It's gonna be messy... Trust me, I had a horribulous templated multiclassed intelligent nonhumanoid monster last year! :)

But, you've shown well so far, so full steam ahead and show us what you've got in the next round!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Jason Nelson wrote:
But, you've shown well so far, so full steam ahead and show us what you've got in the next round!

Thanks, Jason. You were one of my favorites throughout the entire competition last year. I watched very closely and learned a lot from every idea you executed. So, reading your feedback on anything I've done is much appreciated...because in some ways I feel like I'm patterning myself a lot after what you accomplished.

Jason Nelson wrote:
That stat block, though? It's gonna be messy... Trust me, I had a horribulous templated multiclassed intelligent nonhumanoid monster last year! :)

Where others see difficulty in managing a multiclass, templated monster...I see opportunity. Basically, if I can pull off this stat-block, I'll hopefully demonstrate that I'm truly Superstar material. So goes the plan, at least. I refuse to shy away from it. But, I've got to make it through to the next round, first. So, for everyone who's voiced their support here for my villain, please make sure to vote for him. I'd welcome the chance to stat him up for everybody.

--Neil

Liberty's Edge

This is truly awesome.


Gorbacz wrote:

Demonic Otyugh Spellcaster Mastermind ? Color this "WINNER !".

However, rules lawyer that I tend to be, I have a gripe with class choice. Cleric/Wizard isn't really good, since mixing caster levels usually means the NPC is behind any single-class caster. So I'm hoping for a really GOOD statblock here.

That's technically not rules-lawyering, but power-gaming instead.

I believe that this creature is quite creative and interesting... Nobody ever suspects the otyughs these days. Think of the chaos that would occur if he was posing as one of Korvosa's trash disposing otyughs! >:)

EDIT: Though, the disguise might be compromised a bit by his hellish visage...

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Gamer Girrl

Wow ... icky, nasty and just plain BLEACH on the grossness factor, I love him :) Way to go! Only one, minor quibble -- I first read Cench as Stench (silly human brain) and had to get past the pun :)

Contributor

My initialy impression was to giggle and dismiss this one outright. Then I started reading it and my opinion changed - quickly. The origin, the description, the methods, all win over my innate notion of the "I like to eat poop" otyugh cliche. You've got my vote on this one.

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

NSpicer wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
But, you've shown well so far, so full steam ahead and show us what you've got in the next round!
Thanks, Jason. You were one of my favorites throughout the entire competition last year. I watched very closely and learned a lot from every idea you executed. So, reading your feedback on anything I've done is much appreciated...because in some ways I feel like I'm patterning myself a lot after what you accomplished.

Aw shucks... Well, if you looked that hard at the stuff I did I hope you looked double-close at the reflective comments after voting was over for each of my entries - hopefully you can see missteps I made even after thinking that I had thought about things pretty carefully, but even small things, the lack of a word of phrase or an unfortunate turn of phrase ("Avinash has no GRAND plans... " comes to mind - he has plans, LOTS of plans... just not "grand" Dr. Doom/Sauron/Iuz-level plans... groan) can come back to bite you hard.

But if anything I did last year helps you do as well or better this year, then I thank you for the compliment and am only too glad to be of assistance. More power to ya.

Jason Nelson wrote:
That stat block, though? It's gonna be messy... Trust me, I had a horribulous templated multiclassed intelligent nonhumanoid monster last year! :)

Where others see difficulty in managing a multiclass, templated monster...I see opportunity. Basically, if I can pull off this stat-block, I'll hopefully demonstrate that I'm truly Superstar material. So goes the plan, at least. I refuse to shy away from it. But, I've got to make it through to the next round, first. So, for everyone who's voiced their support here for my villain, please make sure to vote for him. I'd welcome the chance to stat him up for everybody.

--Neil

Oh, I had a lot of fun statblocking Avinash. I'm just saying it's gonna be complicated, so sharpen your pencil, attend to detail, and don't try to be subtle, because people will miss things and then talk about how you left stuff out and you have to sit there unable to respond in detail and hope that a helpful soul on the messageboards can answer other people's questions for you (as any number of folks did for me last year).

Still, the hope is to be as clear as you can on the front end so there are as few issues as possible to clarify on the back end. Use your BB tags - bold, underline, OOC - and white space to visually set off small but important details. Some of my stuff got kinda lost in the wash at times, and that's a big risk with what will be a very complex stat block.

Above all, though, have fun! Win or lose, that's what it's all about.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6 , Dedicated Voter Season 6

Let me point out a gentle reminder that competitors aren't to discuss in their threads.

Now that I'm done playing unjustified cop :)

This critter almost lost me with the awful name and the half-fiend template (overdone), plus some akward writing in the origin. It won me back with the phrase "elevating otyugh culture", which is one of the best plot ideas I've seen in months.

The stinking sewer dweller is a bit trite, but I'm getting oundertones of the Ultrahumanite as potrayed on the Justice League cartoon, and I like it.

A likely vote from me.

Grand Lodge

This is absolutely beautiful. Albino devilish otyugh mastermind? I'm in! This villain got my number one vote in this round.

The Exchange

Got my vote and you are my front runner (alongside Doyle). Keep it up and well done.

Cheers


There's not a lot to add here -- your concept is great, it's well written, and it's absolutely a villain. What I really enjoyed seeing is that with only a few lines, you were able to provide a lot of information as to this villain's stable of lackeys and henchmen. Although it's not unreasonable to expect a GM to come up with some of this by themselves, information as to who a villain chooses as their allies goes a long way to telling us more about the villain as an individual. Well done!

CR


Sweet. I would love to hear the first paragraph read aloud though :)


I think this is incredible. It's easily one of my favorites this round.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Ezekiel Shanoax, the Stormchild

This is hands-down one of my favorite entries. I think the description presents great imagery, and provides a great twist on a cool monster. I like his positioning to be a mastermind and controller of minions, with motivations simple yet powerful enough to be really playable - and drive him into a lot of potential plots.

The only problem I have is wanting to know more, which is the word-count at work, not you - I think you explained a heck of a lot with what was allowed. Kudos.

This has my one of my votes, for sure.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 aka NChance

Ok, maybe it's just from one half-fiend to another, maybe it's my remembering Pewtrid, the otyugh mount for my fiendish goblin cleric of Talona, but I really like Gulga Cench. This villain has the means to harass PCs from level 1 on. I would love to use this guy in my game. Good work Neil.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Neil, you win this round in my opinion. The only way I could POSSIBLY see this not advancing is if everybody assumes that everyone ELSE will vote for you. Great work!

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8

This is the level of BAM I was expecting to see 18+ entries ago. It's already been said why this is a good villain, so I think this one gets a vote from me.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

I really don't like an otyugh as a villain - especially a wizard/cleric otyugh. However, the Gulga was extremely well written with clear goals and uses. I think Neil has some talent so he got one of my votes despite my dislike of an otyugh as a villain.

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

Russ Taylor wrote:

Let me point out a gentle reminder that competitors aren't to discuss in their threads.

Sorry, I'll try not to be an enabler of over-discussion. The last thing I'd want would be to incite a technicality DQ for someone. That would be el sucko.

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8

Vote cast, you made the list.

Star Voter Season 6

Silly thought: what's this guy's arcane penmanship going to be like? I can't imagine anything other than all caps block letters when writing with a tentacle wrapped around a quill.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka Lord Fyre

Russ Taylor wrote:

Let me point out a gentle reminder that competitors aren't to discuss in their threads.

Now that I'm done playing unjustified cop :)

This critter almost lost me with the awful name and the half-fiend template (overdone), plus some akward writing in the origin. It won me back with the phrase "elevating otyugh culture", which is one of the best plot ideas I've seen in months.

The stinking sewer dweller is a bit trite, but I'm getting oundertones of the Ultrahumanite as potrayed on the Justice League cartoon, and I like it.

A likely vote from me.

This is the "winner" as far as I can see. :)

While the Half-Fiend may seem overdone, it is needed for the Int Boost and to provide the drive to elevate the 3.5 Otyugh "out of the sewer" so to speak.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Demiurge 1138

roguerouge wrote:
Silly thought: what's this guy's arcane penmanship going to be like? I can't imagine anything other than all caps block letters when writing with a tentacle wrapped around a quill.

He uses stamps.

Star Voter Season 6

Demiurge 1138 wrote:
roguerouge wrote:
Silly thought: what's this guy's arcane penmanship going to be like? I can't imagine anything other than all caps block letters when writing with a tentacle wrapped around a quill.
He uses stamps.

That's a BIG stamp for his fourth level spells!


Unseen Servant is a 'must' I take it for letter writing purposes. Maybe he's even burnt a feat on spell mastery, so that he can always prepare unseen servant whether he has spell books or not. And on the subject of spellbooks, I'm wondering just what they look like? Enormous ones with leaves of slate, and symbols painstakingly chiseled onto the pages to avoid spoilage from the damp and mould?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 aka NChance

Universal school with hand of the apprentice I take it...

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6 , Dedicated Voter Season 6

roguerouge wrote:
Silly thought: what's this guy's arcane penmanship going to be like? I can't imagine anything other than all caps block letters when writing with a tentacle wrapped around a quill.

I'm guessing he writes on the walls in...urm. Yeah.

Liberty's Edge

whoa
what can I say that haven't said before... excluding of course:

This has my vote!

Weird enemy, weirdest experiments and allies, with a common plan... but not because its common is bad... superbly developed.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Gamer Girrl

[DOUBLE ARGH!!! Crashed AGAIN ... luckily I'd copied the test, take THREE]
[ARGH! Crash bug ate first try, here's take two ;p]

In another thread, Jason Nelson wrote the following:

If there is one thing the judges hammered home in the comments on last year's entries in the villain around, it was the nature of a villain:

1. Not be one-dimensional
2. Not be a one-shot antagonist
3. Be proactive - the villain is DOING something, and ideally something of consequence
4. Have plans and goals, and methods for achieving them.

I see this villain, and the other three I voted for, as fulfilling most of these points.

One-dimensional ... Otyugh half-fiend ... if you see this as one dimentional, I think you need new glasses :)

One-shot ... definitely not. With all his goals and plots, he's going to be around for some time, working to make his will done.

Proactive ... definitely! He's making deals with other groups, spreading disease, learning, changing, ad naseum (no pun intended).

Plans and goals and methods to do 'em ... definitely.

Four out of four with a good idea of how to play this character. This is why Gulga Cench has my vote.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Demiurge 1138

roguerouge wrote:
Demiurge 1138 wrote:
roguerouge wrote:
Silly thought: what's this guy's arcane penmanship going to be like? I can't imagine anything other than all caps block letters when writing with a tentacle wrapped around a quill.
He uses stamps.
That's a BIG stamp for his fourth level spells!

Multiple stamps, one for each letter (or possibly commonly used words). He's gotten his wererat minions to carve them and build a primitive movable type press for him.

1 to 50 of 104 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Paizo / RPG Superstar™ / Previous Contests / RPG Superstar™ 2009 / Round 2: Create a villain concept / GULGA CENCH, Scion of Cyth-V’sug All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.