Boemundo, Brenno's Shadow Protector


Round 3: Create a villain stat block

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 aka jmberaldo

Boemundo, Brenno's Shadow Protector
male wraith fighter 10
“Boemundo's vow to defend this city was stronger than death. And the people rejoiced.”
Description:
Brenno would not fall to the spell-enhanced armies of the Twisted Nail tribe. With Boemundo diForenzzo in charge of the garrison, it didn't matter if others denied help or if the siege lasted for years. He would lead a suicide raid into the enemy's heart, a life-draining magical stone in his hands. The siege ended that night, and Boemundo's unlife began.
The dark essence that is Boemundo takes the shape of a translucent black armored skeleton whose face is eternally hidden inside a helmet. His prized longsword hangs on his belt, now an extension of his hands. When he walks, his legs dissolve into smoke. A black stone can be seen inside his chest, pulsating with greenish energy where his heart should be. Unnatural cold seems to follow Boemundo and magic appears to fail in his presence.

Motivations/Goals:
While most wraiths exist only to destroy life, the cursed stone that took his life and others seem to have allowed unliving Boemundo to remain true to his former self. Boemundo still vows to protect the city of Brenno, no matter what. His anger for life focuses on what he considers responsible for Brenno's long siege and the death of his men: magic.

Schemes/Plots:
Boemundo devised a plan to keep Brenno constantly safe. Retaining a tactician's mind that knows every hidden spot in the city, he began eliminating anyone he considered a threat to the community, be it a common criminal, an outspoken personality or an apprentice wizard. Those who fall become part of his increasing shadow army.
While rumors of the truth behind these disappearances already spread across the streets of Brenno, little has been done about the matter. It's not that the mayor is afraid of dealing with the wraith, but the fact that many see Boemundo's cleansing of the city a blessing. What few know is that some of the city soldiers, including Ellis Andandi, former second-in-command of the city garrison, have pledged their loyalty to the undead Boemundo and intend to help him make Brenno safe, even if it means hunting down all spellcasters in the region.

Adventure Hooks
The party delves into a dungeon/castle/cave to recover a much needed artifact just to discover another party with the same objetive. There are two differences: first, the party is composed of living and undead; second, they want the artifact destroyed.
The PCs are hired/incited to investigate several cases of missing persons. What they don't know is that some of the city's soldiers as well as many of its citizens prefer things as they are.
Boemundo sends an army of living and unliving to the Gallowspire, where he intends to destroy the greatest source of magic in Golarion: the Whispering Tyrant. Breaking the seal is the first step of the plan.

BEOMUNDO CR 15 [+5 wraith, +10 fighter]
Male wraith fighter 10
LE Medium undead (incorporeal)
Init +8 [+4 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative]; Senses darkvision 60ft.; Perception +10
Aura unnatural aura
===== Defense =====
AC 19, touch 19, flat-footed 15; (+5 deflection, +4 Dex)
hp 120 (5d12 wraith + 10d10 fighter);
Fort +8 [+1 wraith, +7 fighter], Ref +8 [+4 Dex, +1 wraith, +3 fighter], Will +9 [+2 Wis, +4 wraith, +3 fighter]
Defensive Abilities +9 turn resistance [+2 wraith, +2 bravery, +5 Anchored Soul], incorporeal; Immune undead immunities
Weaknesses Daylight powerlessness
===== Offense =====
Spd Fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee Incorporeal touch +20/+15/+10 [+2 wraith, +10/+5 fighter, +4 Dex, +1 Weapon Focus, +1 Greater Weapon Focus, +2 weapon training] (1d4+2 plus 1d6 Constitution drain) [+2 fighter] (19-20) [Improved Critical]
Special Attacks Constitution drain, create spawn
===== Tactics =====
Before Combat Master of defensive tactics, Boemundo will hardly ever be caught off-guard. Boemundo may sacrifice one or more of his living soldiers to cast spell turning on him while he orders his living archers to prepare at higher ground and his wraiths to hide inside solid walls and floors.
During Combat Boemundo quickly advances towards spellcasters, intended on quickly eliminating an enemy and creating a new wraith. He take full advantage of his great cleave by staying right in the middle of an enemy party. He orders wraiths to use hit-and-run tactics while his living warriors use ranged attacks that cannot hurt Boemundo and his incorporeal minions as they slash and drain the enemy dry.
Morale Boemundo will fight to a second death, unless he is somehow made to believe surrender is best for Brenno (which is not an easy task).
===== Statistics =====
Str -, Dex 19, Con -, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 21
Base Atk +12/+7/+2 [+2 wraith, +10/+5 fighter]; CMB +12 [+2 wraith, +10 fighter]
Feats Anchored Soul, Blindfight, Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Great Cleave, Greater Weapon Focus (Unarmed), Improved Critical (Unarmed), Improved Initiative, Leadership (Ellis Andani, LN Human 13th-Level Fighter Cohort), Power Attack*, Weapon Focus (Unarmed)
Skills Diplomacy+5 [+5 Cha, +8 wraith], Fly+12 [+4 Dex, +8 wraith], Intimidate+10 [+5 Cha, +5 fighter], Knowledge (arcana)+9 [+3 Int, +6 fighter], Knowledge (engineering)+12 [+3 Int, +9 fighter], Knowledge (geography)+9 [+3 Int, +6 fighter], Knowledge (history)+8 [+3 Int, +5 fighter], Knowledge (local)+13 [+3 Int, +10 fighter], Knowledge (nobility)+7 [+3 Int, +4 fighter], Perception+10 [+2 Wis, +8 fighter], Profession(soldier)+7 [+2 Wis, +5 fighter], Survival+7 [+2 Wis, +5 fighter], Stealth+10 [+4 Dex, +6 fighter]
Languages Common, Varisian, Orc, Skald
SQ Armor trainingx2*, Bravery, For Brenno!, Magic bane, Weapon trainingx2 (Unarmed)
*no longer useful
===== Ecology =====
Environment Urban (city of Brenno and outskirts)
Organization Solitary plus 3-6 wraith
Treasure none
===== Special Abilities =====
Bravery (Ex) Boemundo's acquired bravery as a fighter works as a +2 turn resistance.
For Brenno! (Ex) While in Brenno, Boemundo's daylight powerlessness is replaced by a -2 penalty to attack rolls, saves and checks.
Constitution Drain (Su) Living creatures hit by a wraith’s incorporeal touch attack must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save [10 + 2 HD + 5 Charisma] or take 1d6 points of Constitution drain. The save DC is Charisma-based. On each such successful attack, the wraith gains 5 temporary hit points.
Create Spawn (Su) Any humanoid slain by a wraith becomes a wraith in 1d4 rounds. Its body remains intact and inanimate, but its spirit is torn free from its corpse and transformed. Spawn are under the command of Boemundo and remain enslaved until its death. They do not possess any of the abilities they had in life. Spawn created by Boemundo's wraith are under Boemundo's command.
Magic bane (Su) Instead of gaining 5 hp from Constitution drain, Boemundo may use drained Constitution to power spell-like powers as an immediate action. If Boemundo has drained up to 3 Constitution in his previous attack, he may cast dispel magic. If the drain caused up to 6 Constitution damage, he may cast spell turning. This power may be used only once per turn and only during the same turn he drained Constitution.

Anchored Soul
Your immortal soul is connected to a region in such a way that it strenghtens you.
Prerequisite Undead, Cha 12
Benefit You select a region (city, valley, dungeon, etc). Whenever you are in this area, you get a turn resistance bonus equal to your Charisma bonus.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Joao, you came into this round with a huge handicap. Most of us didnt think this was a sufficient submission. So I was really looking for you to change and focus and reconcept your villain. Lets see what we got...

OK, first off, now your villain is a "shadow protector"? This is a villain, not an NPC.

I like the "hates magic" angle. Your last entry had that. Hate magic, destroy arcane school, go on witch hunt. That part wasnt bad. But what do we get this round? Now he isnt a wraith of magic vengeance, now he is the city's protector (though with a means of protecting that some might find objectionable)? I really think you missed the mark. Yes, you refined and reconcepted your villain. But you went the wrong direction. You made him less of a back story for a magic item, which is good, but you also made him less of a villain in my view.

I'll let the true experts critique the stat block, but I do see some pervasive grammatical issues and some significant mechanical flaws.

Also, while I think the idea behind tje new rules bit and it is thematically proper for your "villain," it highlights his issue--he isnt really a villain! Hmmm. Plus, this is Superstar and the depth and complexity of your new rules bit is a bit on the real, real thin side.

I still think this submission is not sufficient and I do not recommend it advance.

Contributor

Description: It's been updated since R2, but now I don't really know WHY this guy does what he does. He hates magic, sure, and I assume it's because of the "spell-enhanced armies of the Twisted Nail tribe" ... but that's it. I knew more about his motivation from the R2 backstory; I think I actually know less about him now. :(

Stat block:
The sacrifice/spell turning reference in his tactics wasn't clear to me until I read his Magic Bane special ability.
There are some grammatical errors, I think because English isn't your first language (not that I'm knocking your English in general, I don't even have a second language!).

Rule Element:
Here's the problem. The rules specificy "One (and only one) new Rule Element associated with this villain" and Boemundo has four (Anchored Soul, Bravery, For Brenno!, Magic Bane). And Anchored Soul isn't really very exciting as a new rule--it's just a bonus to turn resistance.

Nice try, room for improvement, but not quite there yet.

Rec: do not advance

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

Like my other judges here, I think that the concept behind this NPC is a bit light. Although it is interesting that a city my have a wraith protecting it, this does not make him much of a villain, especially since many in the city like to have him around. That said, I can see some hints at addressing that along the lines of the "fanatical protector" angle, but it is still a little tough to swallow.

On to the stats, where I am seeing some issues. The hit points are wrong and do not take into account the fact that undead receive bonus hit points based on their Constitution. The turn resistance is artificially inflated through altering Bravery, which is probably not acceptable. His attack bonuses are incorrect, due to the application of feats and abilities that apply to "unarmed". These, unfortunately, would not apply to incorporeal touch attacks, since they are not considered to be unarmed attacks. He is short on feats (he should have roughly 15) and I think that a wraith with the leadership feat should probably have an undead cohort instead of another fighter. Although you spent the right number of skill points (roughly, and I will explain this later), Boemundo here does not have any class skill bonuses, meaning that a number of his skills are wrong. Finally, I have to agree with the other judges here that you have a number of new rules elements. I think that most of these are small adjustments, that could be counted as tweaking to fit a theme, but it is very tight here.

I think the real problem with the stat block here is that the application of the fighter levels is not really consistent with the back story of this character. The character is a fighter that was turned into a wraith, but the stat block is built like fighter levels put on top of a wraith (in essence, using the wraith as Boemundo's race). The difference here is subtle... but noticeable. He should have all the bonuses of being a human, such as an extra feat, bonus skill points, and favored class bonuses. Unfortunately, these are lacking.

If I were adapting this for use in a product, I would probably need to alter a large portion of this stat block.

My Grade (on a 1-10 scale) is a 3.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

The Exchange Kobold Press

In this corner, weighing at 1200 words of wraith/fighter, the mighty Boemundo! This one's short (as most pure-melee villains are), and yet I hope to see some new twists here...

And I'm mostly disappointed. The Tactics section (where I expect this stat block to completely shine with great DM material and clever tactical combos), is a letdown. Attackers within walls, Boemundo should use his Great Cleave: that's it? I just don't see that as leveraging his mechanical strengths all that much.

And those mechanics... Turning Con into spell effects is a good premise, but the rules are flubbed. Any roll on a d6 is "up to 6", so spell turning is always available, while only half the time is dispel magic available (since only rolls "up to 3" qualify). I don't think that's what's intended, and for a major new power like Magic Bane that is supposed to be central to the character, it's just sloppy.

Recommendation A wraith/fighter seems like he should have more tricks than this, and the numbers don't quite add up. Not recommmended.


Clark Peterson wrote:

OK, first off, now your villain is a "shadow protector"? This is a villain, not an NPC.

In many respects, an undead Batman...

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 aka jmberaldo

(edited since it seems I was saying too much... sorry...)

I loved your feedback, especially because it guides me to a better concept and design. So I hope I have the opportunity to present Boemundo's lair and put on pen and paper what tactics and assets a garrison commander may put up to defend his town ;)

PS1: Batman IS cool... (even if that never was my intention...) so... ;)

PS2: Since its my birthday today (10th), the rules' fine print says each of you must give me one vote. Sorry! I don't make the rules here!


A wraith fighter that protects the city of Brenno, especially from magic. His appellation changed to the lamer - "Unliving Oblivion" was kinda catchy, now he sounds like some kind of athletic supporter. He's been substantially changed, which is fine because I felt he was a little flat in the previous round, but now he falls into the "where's the conflict" trap. I can see a bit of the "Hot Fuzz" factor here about some of the locals not minding a protector wraith, but it seems like a party would really have to hang around a lot in this "Brenno" to care much about all this. Interesting NPC, weak villain. 4/10

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Is there ever going to be a point when, after NUMEROUS WARNINGS, we actually see a contestant get DQ'd for discussing his submission?

I cant even count how many times its happened this year and this is one of the most egregious...

It's not my call, but if it was I would hit the DQ button on you right now and not even think twice.

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

There's still just not enough here, and the backstory is actually thinner here than it was in round 2. Beomundo is an interesting tragic figure, but is he actually a villain?

I agree that it's too bad wraiths don't seem to get the love that template undead do, so thumbs up for trying to bring the love with a classic undead type that we don't see enough, but this just isn't Superstar material.

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

Jason Bulmahn wrote:


On to the stats, where I am seeing some issues. The hit points are wrong and do not take into account the fact that undead receive bonus hit points based on their Constitution.

Wait... the undead get a Con score in Pathfinder now? Have I not been paying enough attention?

Scarab Sages

Demiurge 1138 wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:


On to the stats, where I am seeing some issues. The hit points are wrong and do not take into account the fact that undead receive bonus hit points based on their Constitution.
Wait... the undead get a Con score in Pathfinder now? Have I not been paying enough attention?

He meant Charisma.

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

William Senn wrote:
Demiurge 1138 wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:


On to the stats, where I am seeing some issues. The hit points are wrong and do not take into account the fact that undead receive bonus hit points based on their Constitution.
Wait... the undead get a Con score in Pathfinder now? Have I not been paying enough attention?
He meant Charisma.

Whew. The rightful order has been restored.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 aka Gamer Girrl

Last round this one felt as an expanded story for the magic item. That has been fixed, but somehow the whole intro seems flatter to me, and less villainous than before.

There are some minor language bobbles, but those are easy catches and fixes for an editor, so no dings there.

I see missing Math (stats section for instance) so I don't know how it was figured out without rebuilding myself ... for a finalized product, fine, but I wanted to see this so I know you're doing it right.

Jason says the skills are right, though the format confused me no end, and I count 69 ranks in fighter shown, with no mention if that includes or not the +3 ranks on Intimidate, Knowledge (engineering), Profession and Survivial ... he should have 50 ranks, plus 10 for being human and another potential 10 for being favored class, unless those were put into hit points. I just can't tell, and that's what the show your math was about, so I could see how you did it.

Sorry.


The story seems tighter, I like the inclusion of the Leadership feat, but I'm not sure about that stat block; two steps forward, one step back... :)

I may post further thoughts at some point before the voting closes for this round.

Liberty's Edge

round 2 we got more an item than a villain, this time weget more the person than the villain... where the villain is somewhere in between...

about mechanics I feel the experts have talked... I would like to see an adventure where the heroes try to stop the demented Wraith from unwittingly he would free the mayor menace over the world... if they fal I see breno daying horribly at Tar-Baphons hands just to get the Hearth of Oblivion for himself...

nasty...

Star Voter Season 6

For the vast majority of parties, this guy's a villain, no matter what Brenno thinks of him. If they've got an arcanist, he's a villain.

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

Congratulations on Superstar '09 Top 16!

Growth
So....his name is still Boemundo. You kept the worse part of your entry for round 2, and you took away a lot of his spooky hate to make him defender of the people. You unvillained him. Your rewrite doesn't do you any favors - it's choppy and rushed. It's less like a rewrite, and more like you deleted sentences to have less back story. You could have done what you were trying for better than you did.

Uh...there's a part of me that thinks names should play an important role in development of NPC stories. Kind of like good names in L5R marking a character for greatness. In this case, I recommend a guy name Beomundo not go anywhere near a place called Gallowspire, in order to take on someone called the Whispering Tyrant. The naming conventions alone have more hit dice and higher AC than Boemundo. I hope you learn from that. A great name makes a villain fearsome, or gets made fun of for an entire minicampaign.

"It isn't that the mayor is afraid of the wraith" Really? I think the mayor of Tulsa would be pretty terrified of a CR 13 (not 15) wraith. You could get this point across better. The fact that no one is afraid of it underscores the point that it isn't a villain. It's like batman. Sure he can break you and make you cry, but he's there for the people, man!

Mechanics
-A monster does not get reiterative attacks with its natural weapons. Bo would only have one high attack due to his BAB. Also, the feats should be called Weapon Focus: Touch. Finally, did Bo have those feats when he became a wraith? I suppose he could have retrained them, but then does his weapon training assume touch attacks, too?
-As an unarmed, incorporeal creature, Boemundo has essentially no combat maneuver bonus, right? He can't trip/disarm/bull rush or be tripped/disarmed/bull rushed.
-Turn resistance of +9 is prety munchkinny. I hate it when an undead villain just gets nuked by a lucky roll as much as the next guy. And now I'm wondering how turn resistance applies in the Pathfinder game. Maybe ablates 9 points of damage and gives Bo +9 to his save?
-So....magic bane may only be used to cast a spell during the same turn he has already taken a standard action. If you want to make the spell turning ability a swift action or something,you shuld say so. But first, pretend you're DMing a party. You permanently drain 6 points of Con and send the next spell cast on you back onto the caster. No way to make friends, eh?
-So, the guy who hates all magic, sacrifices one of his living companions, in order to cast a spell.
-"For Brenno" should be written better, but then it shouldn't exist at all. When you become undead, you have to give some things up. Bravery and a day job should have been among them. Turn two or four disadvantages into advantages, and you risk making his CR a poor representation of the challenge he poses.

New Hotness
I kind of dig the feat, as it foresee its use on benevolent spirits and cursed haunts alike. It might not be all the way up to Superstar level, but that's not the real failing of your entry.

Overall
You unveiled an unvillain, and I am still unimpressed. I still don't buy that someone relies on magic going into a fight, and then comes out hating and distrusting all magic just because he lost. At Int 16 and Wis 14, he doesn't get that the stone did this to him? Does he not think of himself as a magical being? I know what Clark says about your new feat, but I really think this is the most shallow part of your villain.

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

Clark Peterson wrote:

Is there ever going to be a point when, after NUMEROUS WARNINGS, we actually see a contestant get DQ'd for discussing his submission?

I cant even count how many times its happened this year and this is one of the most egregious...

It's not my call, but if it was I would hit the DQ button on you right now and not even think twice.

I've been wondering that myself. TO be sure, the first contestant thrown out will have no one to blame but himself!


This may go a little far afield from the Superstar discussion, but as a campaign element I really like this submission. I'll admit I never thought of a wraith as the primary, intelligent foe for the party. In particular, the mental image of a mixed party of wraiths and human soldiers is striking to me and I think at least one city of my campaign world is going to gain a "wraith protector". Good job.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 aka jmberaldo

Thank you all for your comments. It has done a lot to help me think of villain presentation and development. I hope I get more feedback out of this submission so I can keep improving my work. Thanks!


With regard to Boemundo as a 'Batman' of Brenno, I'm not seeing the comparison myself, since as far as I know Batman doesn't kill living humans in defence of Gotham - not even madmen like the Joker.

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

Well, I wasn't a big fan of Boemundo last round, but I've taken a fresh look. Unfortunately, I don't see a big improvement here. One of the things I actually liked about him last round was that he had the Heart of Oblivion. Yes, he was too much backstory for the item, but for the stat block round, I would have wanted to see it used effectively by him. Now it seems like it's just a bit of random description for him. Also, using it would have saved you from needing to add too many new rules bits. You wouldn't have needed the magic bane quality, for instance.

Also, the description had a line that really didn't work for me. "His prized longsword hangs on his belt, now an extension of his hands." So, is his sword hanging on his belt, or is it permanently in his hands as an extension of them? Also, this guy is a small time thinker, going after individual sources of magic. At the level he's at, he needs some master plan that would drain all magic from the world (ironically destroying himself in the process, since wraiths are magical.) This would also go a long way from making him a local bad guy that isn't really that villainous in the first place, to a threat that would draw the PCs and other do-gooders to him.

As for the stat block itself? Well, as a mainly fighter type, there's not as much extra stuff to include, so what you've got should be near perfect. Unfortunately, that's not the case. As already mentioned by others, the missing feats, the feats that should have been picked as a human before becoming a wraith, the skills not including the +3 class skill bonus (also your diplomacy skill includes an incorrect +8 wraith modifier).

The new feat is fine, I guess, but not very exciting. Certainly nothing that's grabbing my attention for a vote.

My biggest gripe about the entry though is that this is supposed to be a tactical genius, and has a 16 Int. Why then is he stupid enough to want to break the seals on the Whispering Tyrant and let loose the worse magical threat he possibly can on the world? He should know that this guy killed the handmaiden of a GOD, and is way out of Boemundo's league.

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

Charles Evans 25 wrote:
With regard to Boemundo as a 'Batman' of Brenno, I'm not seeing the comparison myself, since as far as I know Batman doesn't kill living humans in defence of Gotham - not even madmen like the Joker.

We all know the analogy only goes so far, big guy.

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

Hey - to clarify: I get that he is a magical being in the sense that he is a wraith, he is undead, etc. I know that means he can't be dispelled, and that the magical prohibition does not create some implosive dichotomy. So the idea of destroying all magic doesn't necessarily mean himself or undead at all.

I still don't buy him, but I didn't want to be equivocated if that become part of the conversation.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka Lord Fyre

Clark Peterson wrote:

Is there ever going to be a point when, after NUMEROUS WARNINGS, we actually see a contestant get DQ'd for discussing his submission?

I cant even count how many times its happened this year and this is one of the most egregious...

It's not my call, but if it was I would hit the DQ button on you right now and not even think twice.

I believe that I said elsewhere that I am a big fan of "Rules Compliance."

That, and that alone is enough to keep me from voting for you. - And, no I had not actually checked through all of your statistics. :(

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

He just doesn't seem like a villain to me, and that is why I did not vote for him... although I think that he would be a cool concept as an NPC. You also introduced several new rule elements most of which were pretty cool, and then chose to list probably the least cool one as your new rule element, which left me scratching my head.

Sorry and Good Luck.


I like the modified description and background; it is an intriguing story.... BUT, as much as by improvements in the background, I am judging this round on execution of the stat block, and all those absent feats and the failure to apply Boemundo's Charisma bonus to the hit points hurt the stat block presentation.

Boemundo goes into the pile of villans who have to wait for the priority ones to be awarded my votes before they get their chance at any of my Round 3 votes left; and at this late stage in my read through, I think that that means that Boemundo will not get one of my votes in this round.

I would have liked to see you in the final - you seem to me to have imagination and originality - but handling the mechanics of the game does not appear to be your strong point.
I hope that this is because it is a new rules set to you, and once you are familiar enough with it, you will be up there with the best of them.

Best wishes for the future.

Charles Evans.

Marathon Voter Season 9

This is pretty cool, I really like how you did this. The backstory's a bit too short, I would have enjoyed some more details, though. Like, who was Boemundo before he became a wraith? How did he change? Did he have family?
Just general feedback.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 aka jmberaldo

Good or bad, keep posting your comments! As long as it is as constructive as the ones posted so far, it will be greatly appreciated!


I don't recommend this submission for advancement.

I like the concept of a wraith-fighter. I don't feel you did a very good job of presenting the character.

I'm not as down on the back story as others appear to be. The PCs would most likely have to be in town to be affected by this character, but that's true of many villains. However, the story should pack more of a punch. The tactics seem lame.

You do not have a new rules element, or at least it isn't properly identified as such. But you have four new rules elements (see previous comments), which is against the rules.

The stats for incorporeal touch are incorrect, as you added unarmed attack bonuses. Another new rules element?

Hit points appear to be off. CR should be level -2.

You are not allowed to post comments re your submission. You lost my vote right there.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka Lord Fyre

David Lowery wrote:

The stats for incorporeal touch are incorrect, as you added unarmed attack bonuses. Another new rules element?

Hit points appear to be off. CR should be level -2.

Incorrect.

He added the Wraith's "racial" hit dice, so Boemundo does not get the -2 CR discount. :)

So, this would not be a rules problem.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka Lord Fyre

William Senn wrote:
Demiurge 1138 wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:


On to the stats, where I am seeing some issues. The hit points are wrong and do not take into account the fact that undead receive bonus hit points based on their Constitution.
Wait... the undead get a Con score in Pathfinder now? Have I not been paying enough attention?
He meant Charisma.

They do? Where? (Can someone point me to a page reference?)


Lord Fyre wrote:
William Senn wrote:
Demiurge 1138 wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:


On to the stats, where I am seeing some issues. The hit points are wrong and do not take into account the fact that undead receive bonus hit points based on their Constitution.
Wait... the undead get a Con score in Pathfinder now? Have I not been paying enough attention?
He meant Charisma.
They do? Where? (Can someone point me to a page reference?)

Beta Playtest, Page 296, 'Step 6: Other Statistics'

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka Lord Fyre

Charles Evans 25 wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
William Senn wrote:
Demiurge 1138 wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:


On to the stats, where I am seeing some issues. The hit points are wrong and do not take into account the fact that undead receive bonus hit points based on their Constitution.
Wait... the undead get a Con score in Pathfinder now? Have I not been paying enough attention?
He meant Charisma.
They do? Where? (Can someone point me to a page reference?)

Beta Playtest, Page 296, 'Step 6: Other Statistics'

You're right! :D

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32 aka Lord Fyre

jmberaldo wrote:
PS1: Batman IS cool... (even if that never was my intention...) so... ;)

Yes, it is true.

The Batman is very cool.
Batman is a very cool HERO.

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

The comments have mainly covered the problems with this guy. I think there's room in the game for a fighter wraith, and this foe might even have a place in my game, but as a villain and a contest entry, he's not a winner.

I suspect this was one of the squeakers into round 3, and unfortunately that called for really upping the game to make it into round 4. I do think it's a step up from round 2, but not a big enough step to go on.


Commiserations. The stat block was what really let you down, I suspect.
Maybe you have the basis of a novella here, if Paizo would agree to let you use the character? (After all I think he's their property now.) Even beyond commercial writing, there are always the fan fiction threads here on the boards....

Star Voter Season 6

Congratulations on your success! Sad that you can't advance farther this year, but you've still come a long way.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 aka jmberaldo

I guess its time to start talking ;)

First, thanks everyone for the comments and Paizo for the opportunity. I hope next year I'm not so neck deep in creative work so that I can actually put more of my mind into the competition. ;)

(Ask me someday what Ive been working on in the last few months during the contest to have an idea of what is a workaholic with a fiction/games job ;))

Now, I confess I wasn't so excited about this round. My submissions (especially after Round 1) were pretty much bashed, even if there were those who like it. Now, Im not complaining. If anyone is to blame, its myself.

On a self-analysis of the situation in the last few days, I came to the following conclusions that I hope will help improve my work:

- Presentation: Im used to writing a lot. I mean, A LOT. What that means is that I few it is a bit harder to put a great villain in few words. On Round 2, I expected that, since Boemundo is an undead, much of his origin and how he became a wraith, would explain who he was. Thats how undead works, after all. But I had a big mistake: I included the sentence "much of his memory was corrupted" or something like that. What I ment from the start was that his mind was corrupted and not that he forgot things. My big mistake, as many said I created a background, then threw it in the trash. What makes it clear is that, in fact, Round 2 and Round 3 Boemundo were EXACTLY the same. I didn't recreate the character. I just recreate his presentation form. In the end, both were lacking. I've written a new version at home, which I'll post later in this thread.

- Knowing the rules: My biggest mistake on Round 3 was taking for granted things on 3.5 that were not the same on Pathfinder. The big issue being Turning. When I realized a wraith had only +2 Turn resistance, I figured it would be necessary to add something extra or any low-level cleric would turn the advanture's villain in seconds. I ignored that turn resistance gave DR or that the undead's HD was added as difficulty. Also, I completelly missed the Charisma bonus to HP for undead. On this, I actually suggest Paizo to check on how that information is presented on the rules book. I had to do a search on the pdf to locate it, since its mentioned on a single line in the middle of a long text and no where else. I believe proof of it is that many people who commented here didn't know of it.

- Basic rules wraith: As I designed Boemundo for the first time, just as I read comments on the Heart of Oblivion, what I had in mind was Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary wraith template. In that way, I create Boemundo's stats as a human fighter 10th, then added the template. It was a good CR 11 villain and working just like Jason mentioned it should. Then, came the Round rules: no outside sources. Damn! How was I supposed to do it? In the end, I had to go the other way around and make a Wraith Fighter 10th, which ended up CR 15, but too weak to be CR 15. After all, he didnt have the equipment 13-15th fighter should have. My too many rules ended up coming out of this.

- Game Master freedom: I'm a storyteller by heart. So, if something needs to be changed to work properly, I expect context to work. For example, why would Boemundo use his fighter feats with unarmed attacks if he was a fighter BEFORE he was a wraith? Because his sword is part of himself, as mentioned on his description. For him, he still IS attacking with his sword. On thinking of it later, I should have used this as a new rule. But it would still lack more, like his relation with hating magic.

- Rules interpretation: Touch attacks are described as an 'unarmed attack'. So, I concluded that a a feat or ability that was described as, say, weapon focus (unarmed) included touch. Especially because, as mentioned above, Boemundo see's himself using his sword and not simply touching people with his bare hands.

Well, thats it for now. Enough comments already! Ill post the new version of the presentation and, later, the version of the character I first envisioned, later tonight.

Again thanks everyone.

PS: Charles idea of writing something about Boemundo really gave me ideas... while it would be insane to fit it in my current writing schedule, I'm THAT workaholic... SO, could I write some Boemundo fiction and post it here (and only here) just like some fan fiction?

Star Voter Season 6

I agree that one of the things Jason and the Paizo gang should be taking away from this round is a raft of clarifications and presentation changes to make high level play clearer. DnD is finicky as a rules set, but clarity in their presentation is going to be key.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 aka jmberaldo

Well, the round is over, but would you guys and girls give me a hand in improving my skills? I did a rewriting of Boemundo's presentation, still within Round 2/3 rules. Id love to get some feedback. Thanks in advance!

------------------------
------------------------
Boemundo, Shadow Commander
male wraith fighter 10th
“Boemundo's vow to defend this city is stronger than death. And the people rejoiced.”
Description:
For many years, nobleman Boemundo diForenzzi kept the city of Brenno free of the raids that plagued other cities at northern Lastwall. It could not be different when the Twisted Nail orc tribe arrived at Brenno's gates, bringing siege engines and spell-enhanced warriors. Boemundo could hold until help from nearby cities arrived. But it never came.
Making true his vow of keeping Brenno forever free, Boemundo search his library for a solution. It came in the words of a Pathfinder: Heart of Oblivion. Brenno's arcanists crafted the stone and, while they warned Boemundo of the it's dangers, the garrison commander lead a raid at the enemy camp. The Heart gave them their victory, but greedly took their lives.
The dark essence that is Boemundo takes the shape of a translucent black armored emaciated man whose face is eternally hidden inside a helmet. His prized sword, now part of himself, hangs on his belt. As he walks, his body dissolve in smoke. Through his chest a black stone can be seen, pulsing with greenish energy where his heart should have been. Unnatural cold seems to follow Boemundo and magic appears to fail at his presence.

Motivations/Goals:
While most wraiths exist only to destroy life and light, the cursed stone that took his life and others seem to have allowed unliving Boemundo to remain true to his former self. Boemundo still vows to protect his city, no matter what. It did, though, confuse him. Boemundo became obsessed with what he considers the most dangerous threat to Brenno: magic.

Schemes/Plots:
Boemundo vowed to defend the city, no matter what. Retaining an tactician's mind that knows each hidden spot in the city, the wraith devised a plan to retake command of the city garrison. Boemundo began to eliminate those he considers damaging to the city, no matter if it is a common criminal, an outspoken personality or apprentice wizard. Those who fall become part of his increasing shadow army.
While rumors of the truth behind these disappearances already run the streets of Brenno, little has been done about it. That because many see Boemundo's cleansing of the city a blessing. What few know is that Ellis Andandi, former second-in-command of the city garrison, has pledged her loyalty to the undead Boemundo and intends to help him make Brenno safe, even if it means hunting down all spellcasters in the country.

Adventure Hooks
- Someone has been assassinating powerful wizards all over Lastwall. The assassins seem to be somehow impervious to their victim's magic.
- Members of a merchant house recently assigned to Brenno have disapeared without notice.
- An army marches out of Brenno. Composed of living soldiers and wraiths, it heads to the Gallowspire, where Boemundo intends to destroy the greatest source of magic in Golarion: the Whispering Tyrant. Break the seal is the first step of the plan.

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