The Unfettered


Round 2: Create a new organization

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

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The Unfettered
Alignment: CE
Headquarters: Western Ravage, Mana Wastes
Leader: Sidrena
Structure: Semi-autonomous cells
Scope: Regional
Resources: A trove of spellbooks, magic items and other riches taken from slain victims

Made up of unfettered eidolons, the Unfettered strive to end what they see as the tyranny of those who summon others to do their bidding.

Founded by the rogue eidolon Sidrena, who was driven insane when the bond with her own master was severed during an expedition to the Mana Wastes, the Unfettered target all arcane and divine casters who use summoning spells, but hold a special loathing for summoners.

Cells of up to a half-dozen eidolons lurk around centers of arcane or divine power, ambushing casters when the opportunity presents itself and moving on when the risk of discovery grows too great. (While the Unfettered only care about those who use summoning spells, members rarely worry about that distinction when they spot a potential target.)
Structure and Leadership
Sidrena -- a massive, winged, four-armed serpentine eidolon with sickly white, and in places transparent, scales -- directs the Unfettered cells from her lair in the Western Ravage. Small winged eidolons serve as her couriers and scouts, traveling the Inner Sea region to bring directions to far-flung cells and return with news and treasure. Sidrena's closest lieutenants, an elite squad of advanced eidolons, operate out of her lair, from where they strike out when scouts bring back information or even rumors of powerful potential targets.
Goals
The Unfettered wish to slay all casters who use summoning spells, but reserve their greatest hatred for those with bonded eidolons. While members will slay an eidolon if they must to kill its summoner, their true desire is to create more unfettered eidolons, who they then hope to recruit. Sidrena longs to find a spell that will sever the eidolon-summoner bond and has begun having cells kidnap casters and force them to research a way to do so.
Public Perception
Few people have ever heard of the Unfettered and even fewer believe that they are more than the paranoid fears of disturbed casters. Those who know the truth, however, keep a wary eye out for eidolons with blackened scars where their master's rune used to glow.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Welcome to RPG Superstar, Jacob #2 (going in alphabetical order, of course). The contest takes on an entirely different look at this level. As judges we're here to comment on your work, both in the hopes of guiding you in honing your game design skills, and also to help the voting public assess how you measure up. With that in mind, I'm going to hopefully talk a bit about what you did well and where I think you still need to demonstrate growth. So, let's get started...

The Unfettered is an interesting way to define a group of rogue eidolons. And, having them actively seek out summoners to liberate their eidolons in the hope of having them join their ranks is intriguing as well. It certainly sets up a unique membership for your organization and an unusual way for joining it. I actually would have liked to see you do more here. Aside from just having their membership swelled by additional eidolons, it would be interesting if they had the ability to also summon additional extraplanar allies to their cause...i.e., creatures from beyond the Veil which want to avoid becoming shackled to a summoner in the first place. It sets up an interesting dynamic of what constitutes magical slavery. And, aside from just having them go after summoners, it'd be nice to see that widened out to include any kind of magically-induced servitude, including the spirits infused in the familiars of witches and wizards as well as the elementals used to bind various constructs or souls drawn via the taint of necromancy. I think that'd set you up for a more compelling organization with a lot of more opportunities for cooperation and conflict with a group of PCs. Benevolent one moment, and then they turn on the party wizard because they want to separate him from his familiar. That'd be loads of fun. :-D

But looking beyond that, I think you took a huge risk here. Your design is so eidolon-specific that I think it hinders your work a bit. It's a niche design. Sometimes those kind of risks can pay off. I'm not sure if this one will or not. I do, however, like that you're finding ways to implement the rules for unfettered eidolons from Bestiary 3. I think that shows initiative on your part. You're finding one of those unexplored design niches again and you're giving us something unique with it. So, I think it's a risk worth rewarding.

You also stray dangerously close to defining more of an NPC writeup here than an organization. You spend a lot of time telling us about Sidrena...her backstory, her physical appearance, and her magical research. But, I think it's just enough to set the proper frame of reference from which to understand the Unfettered, their reason for being, and their ultimate end-goal.

One other element that caught me off-guard, however...or, that I'm left pondering...is the notion that she has all these winged eidolons that serve as couriers, scouts, and spies. All eidolons pretty much have some really weird physiology to them. They're aberrations with a capital "A." So, having them travel about the Inner Sea with such ease in order to check up on her far-flung cells feels like too much of a stretch for me. Yes, they've got wings, so they can likely fly as far and for as long as they wish. But I would have preferred to see you localize this organization a bit more. Have them just getting started in this looming war against summoners across Golarion. And put them in a magic rich location or somewhere their unusual physiology could more easily fit in. I think Katapesh might make for a better spot rather than the Mana Wastes...or even Kaer Maga where you build off the past of Ancient Thassilon and the abuses the Runelords may have once imposed. Unfettered eidolons aren't necessarily anti-magic or even wild magic oriented. And I think those other locations have enough "weird" creatures coming and going for them that it'd help the Unfettered blend into society a bit better, while giving them access to marketplaces which see frequent visits from people all over the world.

That'd be my recommendation, at least. And speaking of such, I DO RECOMMEND this organization to advance you to the next round.

We'll have to see if the voters agree, however. Eidolons and summoners have been pretty popular, I think. Not with everyone. But maybe with enough people that they'll rally around the risk you took with taking on this kind of challenge with such an unusual choice. I think a lot of people also enjoyed your haunting glass. It too found one of those unexplored design niches to target with an item based on the haunt mechanics. So, you seem to understand (and feel comfortable with) the edge you sometimes have to live on in order to stand out in the competition. I wish you luck in the exit polls. And, hopefully, I'll see you on the other side.

Contributor

Okay, my big beef with this concept is that breaking the eidolon-summoner bond is supposed to be incredibly rare and difficult. Kill a summoner, its eidolon vanishes, but the bond isn't broken (otherwise the summoner class would say something about killing the summoner breaks the bond).

I can understand it happening once for the founder under unusual circumstances... but this organization talks about multiple cells of up to 6 eidolons each. As you're not going to find (bonded) eidolons running around uncommanded by a summoner, and if the summoner is dead they're going to be banished to their mysterious plane of origin, so the other members of the Unfettered must be other unfettered eidolons. And the writeup talks about Sidrena trying to find a spell to sever the bond (presumably to create more unfettered), but she's already running around with unfettered eidolons, presumably because she's killing summoners and somehow severing the bond, perhaps because of some unique quality of the mana wastes. And it talks about "slaying" an eidolon if they have to do so to kill the summoner, but "killing" an eidolon doesn't really kill it, it just sends it back to its home realm.

Basically, there are a bunch of errors here based on misunderstandings or incorrect assumptions about the eidolon rules, and that ruins the organization concept for me--as much as an organization that uses sleep magic to subdue elves would do so.

I do not recommend this organization for advancement.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Jacob, welcome to Round 2! Let’s see how this Jacob does…

What you are getting from me in this critique: This round is all about conflict and story. I think the best organizations create interesting and compelling groups that will come into conflict with the PCs. My comments, and my recommendation, will focus on how well you do that. My comments will also focus on writing and use of your allotted content in achieving your goals. What you won't get from me: I don't have the total Golarion-fu that Neil and Sean do, so I will leave to them whether you got the nitty gritty details of some of the setting stuff to them (though apparently I did have enough Golarion-fu to know its Pharasmin not Pharasmian, you know who you are).

So here we go!

Initial Impression: A really interesting group of unfettered eidolons, what a creative idea! How does it play out?

Concept (name, title, is it an organization?, overall design choices, is the organization and antagonist and does it create direct conflict for the PCs?, playability): A
This is a “Big Idea” and I am a big fan of the big idea. This is a cool and interesting extrapolation from the new rules. Listen, I concede that there is something to Sean’s concerns, because how can you not. But that said, there have to be some broken eidolon-summoner bonds. Maybe they have discovered a way to do it and we just don’t know what or how that is yet. So I guess I have less of a "rules wall" with this idea than Sean—but that probably has more to do with the differences between how he and I see this kind of content. I see this as a chance to do something fun. Plus, I don’t subscribe to the "if the DM can do it, I can do it" theory. Just because there may be unfettered eidolons doesn’t mean there has to be a rule for it for PCs or in the core books. So their existence doesn’t bother me as much. To me, the existence of unfettered eidolons is about as cool as the original reference to drow was in the “elf” entry in the old AD&D Monster Manual—no, it wasn’t a playable race and no one knew who or what they were aside from their reference in the early Giant modules. Plus, I think the idea is bold and cool. This is a swing for the fences idea and that is great. Great conflict, great main NPC. I wish there was more evocative info re the lair and perhaps other key eidolon servants. That is the only thing keeping you from an A+. The name is simple and perfect, too.

Execution (quality of writing, hook, theme, organization, use of proper format, quality of mandatory content, did you milk your idea for all it was worth? did you use your allotted space well?): B
OK, you had a big idea. I felt the execution was a bit weaker than it could have been. The “slay summoners” is good, but a bit obvious. I thought there was another level you could have taken this to—turn it up to 11, so to speak. That said, this is at least on 9. Well written. Good specifics, but lacking an evocative lair.

Tilt (did it grab me?, is it unique and cool?, do I like it?, flavor, are you showing Superstar mojo?): A
Hell yeah! This is one of my top entries this round, no doubt.

Overall: A-
The Unfettered bring the heat this round!

Recommendation: I DO recommend this organization submission for advancement.

I LOVED the haunting glass and you have definitely delivered a creative and interesting organization here in round 2. You are off to a real strong start in my book. I hope the voters agree. Good luck this round!


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I loved this entry. In practice some system would have to be developed to explain how eidolons get severed but that's not really material for judging this on its (non-mechanical) merits.

I wish the founder wasn't "insane". Too much "insanity" gets thrown around as a villain motivation. Why isn't it sane to snap out of a state of (dangerous!) summoned bondage, realize that not only have you been subjected to this but so have legions of others just like you, and then set out to take revenge and put down the oppressors? Isn't this the plot of the Matrix?

A secret network of unbonded eidolons on the warpath makes a great and compelling organization against which the PCs may find themselves tested. It opens up deep questions of the meaning of the Summoner's power which aren't often asked in games like this. And its a classy way of bringing in some earthly allegories without trampling on people's real histories and feelings.

I recommend that you vote for this designer.

This is my favorite entry of all the organizational submissions. It shows great creativity and is incredibly well integrated into Pathfinder.

EDIT FROM SEAN: Competitors, remember this item from the Round 2 FAQ, which reminds competitors about the rule against commenting about their own submissions. We're pasting this reminder into the last judge comment for every organization just to make sure all competitors see it and remember.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

Thank you so much for the comments, everyone. They're much appreciated, compliments and criticisms alike.

I'd be honored if you vote for my organization.

And since I can't answer any questions until voting for this round is closed, I'm off to read everyone else's submissions. I can't wait to see what they've all done and then come back at the appropriate time to talk about this more here.

Thanks again in advance for any votes.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6 aka Evil Paul

I'm voting for this one ... I think it's quite cool.

Not sure if you've read them, but this is very similar to the His Dark Material trilogy, (the first part released in the US as "The Golden Compass"), where humans have a special daemon spirit attached to them and in rare cases this can be severed.

I'm not sure I like the fact that they hate all summoners. Presumably they hate only summoners who summon against the will of the creature. For example many summoners have a pleasant relationship with their eidolon, kit them out with magic weapons, take advice and discuss things with them, etc, more partnership than master and slave... can the Unfettered see the difference or have they become fanatics?

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

I love it! Ryan's feedback is the closest to my own thoughts after reading it.

I want to see these guys ally with the subjugated geniekind over in Jalmeray and that part of the world, which is geographically not very far. From there, THE WORLD!

I will definitely be voting for this submission on its merits. I will definitely be voting for you based on your previous work.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka moon glum

Sean makes a good point that the rules for eidolon's don't really allow this organization to exist, as written. But the group is very cool, and as a DM, I would use it despite the rules (I would give the eidolons some sort of minor magic item that let them create an unfettered eidolon when they kill the eidolon's master).

I am voting for this one!

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

I don't allow eidolons in my game as PCs. I like the how The Unfettered seek revenge. I am impressed by the niche you are filling here and can see this group as antagonists in my game. What need do they have for treasure except to reward PCs?

Your Golarion knowledge is a bit weak:
The fact they exist in the Mana Wastes, a land that is often magic free zone, is a conundrum. I would think if the link was broken due to the dead magic areas, they would dissolve and return their homes.


If the backstory replaced unfettered eidolons with outsiders being victim to unjust and forceful planar binding one time too many (instead of taking non-standard assumption about number of unfettered eidolons running around and general working of eidolons and summonings) it would be very ineteresting.

Silver Crusade

Ah the Mana Wastes..

This could work, if you have a better revision as to how eidolons can survive in a land where magic is incredibly scarce and dangerous to wield, I'd buy into it. As is, not sold.

Status: No vote-needs more development

Grand Lodge Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8

THIS IS AWESOME!
I was going to sleep with all the dead horse groups involving mercenaries (yawn), trade (double yawn), doomsday cults (this is 2012! Come on!) and unions (snooze).
Suddenly I read about The Unfettered and my eyes jump out of my head!

In my opinion, this really is the strongest idea presented in this round. I really, really, really hope Paizo makes this organisation canon for Golarion. It would add so much to the setting!

You have my vote, motteditor, a hundred times over!


The flaws with this organization have been pointed out, but the core idea behind this group is utterly compelling to me to the point where I can look past the little things. This is the sort of group that can big up interesting questions around the table, and Good aligned characters may well have a bout of introspection after encountering this sort of group.

So with a bit more work, this could be practically perfect, but the flaws aren't enough to ruin the value of this diamond for me. You get one of my votes.

Liberty's Edge

Welcome to Round 2 Jacob.

I think this is a really unique and interesting idea. I think there are a few issues on how the organisation actually operates and recruits new members, but those are details that don’t really detract from the core idea.

My problem with this one is that it seems really niche. The organisation consists entirely of a monster that appears in Bestiary 3, a book that many people may not have or want to get (though they should – it’s a good book). The Unfettered’s existence and motivation revolves around summoners, a non-Core class that many people have very strong opinions on one way or another – for a group that doesn’t or won’t use summoners, this organisation is virtually pointless. Further, the organisation is based in the Mana Wastes, a perhaps somewhat out of the way part of Golarion that probably won’t appeal to the ‘guns are not fantasy’ crowd.

Finding a niche and exploiting it is probably the mark of a good designer; finding a niche of a niche of a niche probably limits your appeal – I hope it doesn’t do you a disservice in this case.

A strong idea, but given that I’m on the fence about summoners and eidolons I’m not sure that it will get my vote at this stage.

Good luck Jacob.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka burrahobbit

This is a really strong and interesting concept. As Clark said, it's a Big Idea, and a good one. I acknowledge that it may be a little niche, but I could see the hostility toward any magic being turned up to make this group an opponent to any PC party, even without a dedicated summoner.

Great work, and best of luck!


You had me at "unfettered eidolons" I've been waiting and desiring summoners to come into the world of golarion properly and here it is. :D

Ultimately I don't mind that it apparently makes unfettered eidolons more common then they are implied in the bestiary as the idea is too good to really pass up. It's on that merit that it skirts by.

EDIT: I just had a thought that would fix the idea of rarity in unfettered eidolons. Rather than have them be the only members in the organization simply make them more of the higher ranking members. Then fill out the rest with elementals, genies, and other outsiders commonly summoned that have escaped the bonds of their summoner but haven't returned home. And there you have it, you keep the name, the leader, and allow the gm to play with many different varieties of monsters working on a common goal. :D

Star Voter Season 6

Interesting idea. For me, the rules-specified difficulty in breaking the bond between a summoner and their eidolon isn't a big deal. It's easy enough to imagine that the organization has found a (secret) way to break that bond (if made public, maybe it could be countered, so they keep it close within the upper ranks).


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Sean pretty much covers what I have to say.
As a newcomer to the game I didn't know much about eidolons, so after reading the description I had to look them up on the PRD. After doing that I couldn't figure out how there would be enough (or even any) "Unfettered" around to make an organisation.


I don't like Eidolons (or summoners for that matter) but I like what you've done here. This is a Probable vote for me because you actually made me interested in having Eidolons in my game world.

The one thing I'm not fond of is something one of the judges mentioned: Like Ryan, I think it'd be a lot cooler if the leader was sane. A creature such as that is far more threatening if it's acting with cool, vicious sanity.


I'm a summoner fanboy, and rogue eidolons swearing revenge on their captors sounds like an idea that is rife for GM exploitation. This is a great entry, and one that I voted for.


What others see as flaws, I actually consider benefits.

Why would there be so many Unfettered Eidolons? Hell, that's one of the main hooks. This entry oozes raw mystery and it practically begs players to investigate. To me that's the sign of a great concept.

Scarab Sages Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

Indeed, from what I have read until now, this is the most interesting. The uncertainty of the true bond between summoner and eidolon and the rarity of unfettered eidolons makes it even more interesting to bring it to the table.
Voted for it.


I see eidolons as less independent and intellegent than presented here. Interesting idea, but will not get my vote. Best of luck in the competition.

Dedicated Voter Season 8

Congratulations again!

Now, my usual overly wordy look at things. First of, though, an admission. I'm going to start in the places I like, because it is more essential to me to give people whose work I consistently like a chance to improve. That said, I'll get around to everyone eventually, but being this wordy takes time (for people who aren't Neil Spicer, anyway).

Now, you submitted one of my favorite top 32 items. And you look to be having an organization in my personal top 5 of those as well, so I think you have stolen one of eight votes. Congratulations. You should be ashamed. Now there's only seven left for the others. I kid, of course. Really, I rather like your work here. And, you have 3 out of 4 judges recommending you to advance. Good work!

The Good things about "The Unfettered":
The name... Reason: It's creative, it tells me something about what I'm getting, and it doesn't tell me too much. I'm still curious to read. Catching my flighty curiousity is at least one step in the right direction.
The alignment... Reason: Seems appropriate for a broken bonds themed organization. Their murderous tendencies definitely certifies the Evil part, and the lack of overall structure makes good sense for the Chaotic part. I do not sense any inconsistencies, and inconsistencies is one thing I hate, so that is good.
The leader... Reason: You gave me a detailed NPC, I can smoothly attach a (chaoticly) consistent and meaningful personality to. I like that. I also approve that she named herself, but chose only one name. Makes plenty of sense to me. Also, I like the name.
The structure... Reason: Seems appropriate, and somewhat innovative.
The monster choice... Reason: First, using a monster from Bestiary 3 is a good way to keep reminding people that you're comfortable with adjusting to the newest material and using it. Also, good job making me like anything related to eidolons, normally a relatively disapproved thing on my part (nobody plays summoners in my games, since one of my players has an overly powerful build for them, and I don't want to see even shadows of that). I'm actually thinking about how make summoners available because I like this idea. I may just transfer it to more, different summoned creatures though.
The goal... makes sense, easily gets into conflict with my PCs, easily used in most campaigns and won't take a decade to make my players understand.
Public Perception... I really like what you did here. That makes perfect sense. If too many knew of them, a bunch of the most powerful spellcasters around would probably have decimated the organization long ago. I also like that they're kind of mysterious/superstition to the common people.
Additionally... you're writing looks good. I rather strongly agree with all of the judges - that includes Sean's dislikes. But. like Ryan, I really approve that you put the question to one of the more dubious things about. I my campaigns, it always has consequences to mess with binding devils (and sometimes demons and other powerful outsiders). But expanding this consideration is a good, and creative design choice. I want to see more. Go all the way! I'd like to know what kind of adventure you'd write!

The bad: I agree with Sean. You do need to be more careful that you have thought what you're heading into 100% through. That's not easy though, and a lot of it comes with training, I believe. I still think you can make it here.
I also agree that you could have done better for area choice. Additionally, I think your scope should have been global. There's no real reason why summoning casters in one part of the world should be exempt from their attentions, and they're not really bound to any particular location as such.
Some advice for what to work with: Now you've shown me niche-design, and really well-done niche design, two times. You'll probably have to go somewhat unconventional with monsters too. But that said, I think you need to show me that you can work with things just a little less niche.

Overall: You had a good chance at my vote from your item alone. I like your organization too, and those things added together makes me give vote. You're probably in my personal top 3 for who'd prefer to go all the way.

Best of luck with your monstosity! Get back to work! I strongly expect to see you in the next round.

Liberty's Edge

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Revenge of the Cheese!

Oh, hell yes!

<smack the x into that box>


I did not like your item, I must say.
You'll get my vote for your organization.
It's evocative and original, I like it.

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

Jacob,

The Unfettered is one of my favorites from this Round of RPG Superstar. In my Kingmaker group, we have a summoner and I think he'd be one sad adventurer if his eidolon ever became separated from him (willingly or otherwise).

I'm not bothered by having the organization based in the Mana Wastes. I look at it as more a vehicle as to how such a think could happen to a summoner/eidolon team. Surely there are many ways for eidolons to become "unfettered".

I think this has quite a bit of potential, and because of that, I am giving you my vote.

I'd really like to see what you have in mind for Round 3, and I'm hoping you have a chance to show us.

~Dean

Star Voter Season 6

I liked the Unfettered organization and I’ll be sure to vote for it.

I’m not sure I agree with Sean in his dislike for the group because there aren’t supposed to be a lot of Unfettered; of course if they are supposed to be so rare why bother to give them write-up in the newest Bestiary?
If you encountered one it would have to be a wholly unique creature crafted for that particular encounter.

Even if they are rare they could have been around for a thousand years, or even longer. So if only one was created accidently every year, and only half of them joined the group you could easily have 200 running, crawling, flying, and burrowing around.

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

Oh I LIKE this one! Small points like the Mana Wastes improbability don't concern me enough to disregard what is easily one of my favorites for this round. The name says it all - there I was (on seeing the name) imagining a ho-hum anti-slavery league. And they are anti-slavery, but so much more interesting! I'd keep them in the Mana Wastes - perfect place to avoid nasty castys and their eidolon eidolon-hunters... Great work Jacob.

Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka OwlbearRepublic

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This organization just doesn't grab me. In the face of such universal approbation, I have to concede that you're onto something, but for me this feels like a mere piggy-back on the unfettered eidolon concept. It's a novel design space for an organization, I guess, but in practice, I don't get anything from this organization that I don't get from the eidolon bestiary entry. In fact, by increasing their numbers and making them work together, you lose a bit of the mystery and strangeness in the unfettered eidolon concept.

I think that I'm just the wrong audience on this one. Could you have hooked me despite the fact that I'm not into eidolons and summoners? Maybe. James Jacobs piqued my interest in summoners here by suggesting something new and interesting about them (namely, that their eidolons are composite spiritual reflections of many disparate creatures, glued together by the summoner's personal energy). Generally speaking, if you want your entry to appeal to somebody who isn't already in love with your subject matter, you've got to add something new and different to "broaden the ticket." If these eidolons were on an existential journey to figure out what manner of being they are, for example, I'd be interested, because I'm a sucker for the philosophical stuff.

In short, you could have interested me in eidolons by scratching some other itch of mine, but this was a straight adaptation of material that didn't grab me when Paizo published it. There's a small missed opportunity there.

Just a bit of (hopefully helpful) feedback from somebody you didn't quite wow. It looks like I'm in a decided minority on that, so congratulations and good luck.

Shadow Lodge Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

Idea was the only one that got me nodding and thinking this is the only organization that had the creative chops that I was hoping to see. I would have made it more universal, not concentrating on unfettered Eidolans but also Jinn and other summoned creatures.
Overall, it made my top 4.

Dedicated Voter Season 8

Okay, vote given, no surprises here.

I hope you manage to go a little bit less niche in the future... but that said you're among the strongest contestants this year, in my opinion.

Best of luck


I don't care for summoners but i really, really like this entry. I'm a big fan of stuff that "those who know better" dismiss as nonsense and paranoia so the "Public Perception" section sold this to me alone, but the other parts are really well thought out as well. I can't comment on the rules/golarion stuff so that could be an issue but it seems easily fixed. I wouldn't mind at all of the organization was scaled down alittle and got some "grunts" serving under the unfettered eidolons.

Although i have to echo what some others have said. Sidrena doesn't have to be insane, that villian angle is used abit to often. I would much more prefer that shes as sane as shes ever been. Evil for the sake of evil often wins my favor over villians who became evil because of madness/depression/betrayal/darth vaderism, etc.

I would also have liked if the bond between her and her summoner wasn't severed by accident, but that she managed to free herself and now strives to perfect the method.

Needless to say this one got my vote.

Contributor

ArcanaDark wrote:
I’m not sure I agree with Sean in his dislike for the group because there aren’t supposed to be a lot of Unfettered; of course if they are supposed to be so rare why bother to give them write-up in the newest Bestiary?

The purpose of the setting-neutral Bestiary is not the same purpose as the setting-specific R2 (Golarion organization) challenge. (And by the way, if we eliminated rare and unique monsters from the Bestiary, we wouldn't have stats for the older dragons, the tarrasque, and so on.)

I don't normally respond to comments about my judge comments, but I want to make sure people understand where I'm coming from.

I like the idea of a crazed group of unfettered eidolons hunting summoners. If I had a summoner in my home campaign, I might use this group as antagonists because in my home campaign, I can break all sorts of rules, including "summoners are far less common than wizards or sorcerers," and "it is hard to break the bond between a summoner and eidolon." I objected to this organization because the R2 challenge is to create a Golarion organization, and in Golarion, (1) summoners are much less common than wizards and sorcerers, (2) we follow the rule that the summoner-eidolon bond is very difficult to break, therefore this group doesn't fit the official Golarion setting--which, as developer, is my main concern, because if it ends up in a published book and it doesn't fit the setting, the fans are gonna freak out.

That said, based on all the positive posts in this thread, it's obvious that people like this group, and that's cool. :)

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka DankeSean

This won a vote from me, and while I had a few reservations, they weren't too big.
Basically, I'm in the 'really? how common are rogue eidolons supposed to be, anyhow?' camp. I can honestly say that was running through my head while reading the entry, before I ever hit any similar comments to that effect.
But leaving that aside, I love that you really thought outside the box on this one and gave us what is, hands down, probably the most unique organization this round, without going overboard and turning the voters off. If I ever adapted this group for my own purposes I'd probably adjust their goals and membership to be less summoner-specific, but the fact that I'm considering how I'd adapt it at all says a lot for how much this entry gets my creative juices flowing.
And all other questions aside, I knew I had to give you a vote because, like myself, you're a Pats fan and we need a little bit of extra loving to get through the next couple days.
Kidding! You earned this, it ain't a sympathy vote. (Though your promised giant-slaying monster might be equally well received by me next round should you make it...)
Good luck.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

First of all, thank you for all the comments and hopefully your votes. They were truly appreciated, praise and criticism alike. I'm glad the Unfettered seemed to spark some of your imagination.

Now that I can respond, let's see if we can address some criticisms/concerns.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?:
First of all, the biggest concern absolutely seemed to be the number of unfettered eidolons. I think I could have largely headed this one off at the pass by saying that I did NOT see this as a big organization (an earlier draft called it a small group but that got edited out along the way).

I see it having maybe a dozen cells (which would be 72 eidolons max), plus a core of scouts (maybe a dozen or two) and then Sidrena and her closest confederates, which would put it at a little over 100. I didn't feel that was too many, considering it is a monster in the Bestiary 3. (Yes, SKR points out that there are some unique and very rare monsters as well in the Bestiaries, but obviously I felt that the eidolons didn't have to be quite THAT uncommon.)

I didn't put a time frame on how long the Unfettered have been around (an early draft had it dating back to the formation of the mana wastes, but I thought that was *too* long) but I envisioned it spanning at least a few hundred years, so even if they get only one new member a year, that wouldn't be out of the realm of impossibility.

I absolutely understand that 99 percent of the time, if not more, the eidolon simply returns to its home plane when the summoner dies. However, based on the Bestiary 3 monster, it's *not* 100 percent. The Bestiary doesn't define how it happens, but it definitely can, if only rarely. The Bestiary 3 actually uses the word "occasionally."

I *should* have made clearer that Sidrena eventually gathered/recruited other unfettered eidolons she learned about and formed them into the Unfettered. She does not (at least in my vision) currently have a way to intentionally sever the bond, as I thought that would break a class and could just completely nerf a summoner character.

Location, location, location:

Several people didn't care for the Mana Wastes location. My understanding of the monster is that they've been severed from their plane, so they shouldn't be dispelled by entering a magic-free zone -- looking at the spell antimagic field, outsiders are unaffected unless summoned.

I thought the location gave a nice method for the original eidolon to become unfettered, as well as being somewhere they could be protected from somehow being refettered (again, not that there's an in-game way to do that anymore than than there is to sever the bond, but I figure if one can happen, somehow the other could).

I also thought the mutants of the Mana Wastes would be odd enough to help mask the unfettered, but I guess they're more aberrations with a lowercase "a."

Truthfully, if I'd had the choice, I would have made their scope just Avistan (and obviously then moved their headquarters). I don't know if giving "continental" as a scope (or even "city," for a hypothetical other organization) would have been kosher when we were told to just use global, regional and national, but I'd definitely recommend allowing those choices if/when this challenge is used in future years.

I don't like/use summoners:

Then it seems clear to me that the Unfettered are already active in your campaign world. After all, who do you think is keeping the number of summoners down? : )

Seriously, I knew it was a bit risky playing with so specific a monster and the strong focus on the class, but I was hoping that even those who don't care for the class might still see it as a viable monster. I did include the parenthetical about them not being very discriminating about who they go after to try to broaden the appeal a bit -- it makes basically all spellcasters viable targets in their worldview, and thus could give a GM a stable of aberrations that they could throw at a party.

Insanity:

This only came up a few times, but I'm pulling it out because it was by far my biggest regret once I hit the submit button. I think I resorted to "insanity" because it's in the unfettered eidolon description, but it's absolutely not what I wanted it to mean. The word I should have used was "obsessed," a la Magneto (in early Claremont villain mode). Sidrena (and by extension the rest of the Unfettered) are single-minded in their pursuit. A PC's eidolon could inform them that it's perfectly happy with its master and doesn't consider itself a slave, but they wouldn't listen and still would do whatever they could to sever that bond and/or kill the summoner.

As to your individual criticisms/comments:

Neil: All I can really say is I wish I'd thought of the expansion for the Unfettered that you suggested. Absolutely, including familiars and other summoned creatures (such as genies and other common outsiders, as Isaac, Drejk and Tark suggested) would make it even better. I think it might have been tougher with the word count though I certainly could have cut some of the details about Sidrena.

I mentioned that I knew I was taking a risk before, but I wanted to show I could play around with some of the newer classes and monsters that Pathfinder's given us. I tend to play a little more "down to earth" in my own games, but in this case I definitely wanted to try to go big.

Sean: I discussed your initial comments earlier, but I really appreciate the second ones, since that helps clarify your concerns for me. I definitely think part of the risk I took was to go for something with a little more WOW, hoping voters would be more forgiving of a smaller Golarion connection. I had a couple other ideas, ones rooted much more firmly in the campaign setting, but to be completely honest, I thought this one would be more of a crowd-pleaser.

I have to admit I still think the group could fit in with the setting (especially if expanded per Neil's suggestion) and could be a way to make one of the APG classes a little more "even" with the core classes (though based on your comments, maybe that's not a goal). Regardless, I definitely hope to show off my Knowledge (Golarion) if I get the chance in later rounds.

Clark: Thank you; much appreciated. Design trivia: The early draft name was the Severed, but I definitely liked Unfettered more.

Ryan: I talked about the insanity line above. It was definitely a bad word usage on my part.

Penne: Thanks for your vote, first of all. While I didn't mind the first book, I have to admit I wasn't actually a fan of that series. I really had to force myself to finish. I thought Pullman just got off track a bit and it devolved into a bit of an anti-religion screed. (But that could just be me.) That said, he definitely brought a ton of cool imagery (kick-butt polar bears, for the win).

In my mind, the Unfettered are indeed fanatical and don't acknowledge that for most eidolons, the summoner bond is a happy one. But that could obviously be changed for use in a personal campaign; and if you really wanted to play with it, you could certainly develop factions in the group, with some being more hardline than others.

Isaac, Kestler, Mike S.: Thanks so much for the enthusiasm. It's truly appreciated.

Mothman: I hope you came around; otherwise there may be some Unfettered lurking outside your house! : ) Seriously, I envisioned the group's first interaction with the Unfettered being some type of murder mystery that could be set anywhere in the Inner Sea. Presumably they would track down the eidolons, perhaps learn about the group's existence, and could eventually decide they need to go out of their way to the Mana Wastes to solve the problem. I also tried to give the kidnapping angle as a possible plot hook that could have someone racing south to rescue a summoner friend.

Patrick: Thanks; sorry I didn't get your vote. I think it's still a little unclear just how independent/intelligent eidolons are and probably varies from table to table/player to player. I had one PBP in which another PC (a synethesist summoner) actually played with his "eidolon" being an independent angel that would possess him when called. I thought it was a really neat concept for personalizing the class.

Luthia: Thanks (especially for being in your overall top 3! I'm very honored and appreciative). I went back and forth on the alsignment, since in the Bestiary they're chaotic neutral, but I think they're definitely evil here. I'm also glad you liked Sidrena's name -- I think names are such a key part of gaming and I can sometimes spend ages trying to find one perfect ones. I'm very picky about them.

Interesting point about not being niche in Round 3. I tend to like to play in areas others haven't covered as much, but I'll definitely try to show you a little more mainstream if I get the chance.

Crysknife: Sorry you didn't like the haunting glass, but thanks for voting for me in this round.

Owlbear: Sorry the Unfettered weren't quite to your tastes. Thanks for the link to James Jacobs' post, though. Definitely interesting and some food for though.

Patrik: One area I cut had eidolons hiring laborers to bring treasure (and eventually captured casters) back down to the Mana Wastes. My thought was the scouts can't carry everything, so they'd have to hire out; those people of course would never get the chance to leave once they learned of the Unfettered's lair. (Also Thomas asked why they'd take the treasure: To further their research in case of spellbooks and whatnot, but also because they could use a good chunk of it. Some of the eidolons certainly have the Weapon Training evolution, for instance.)

Sean M.: I'll take even a sympathy vote. Thank goodness I've got this contest to keep me from curling up and crying over the Super Bowl. One Giant-killer coming up.

Again, thanks to everyone (even if I didn't mention you by name above) who commented. Not to sound like a broken record, but I do truly appreciate it.

Scarab Sages

I like this a lot. Probably my favorite for this round.

An amusing anecdote I thought I'd add is that in one of my games, one of the players plays a summoner who is subservient to his eidolon; he worships Hastur (yes, he's a little insane) and believes his eidolon is an emissary of Hastur and that his role is to bring his eidolon into this plane and support him. I wonder what the Unfettered would think about a summoner who considers himself to be the servant?

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

minneyar -- thanks for the compliments, first of all.

That's definitely an interesting question you pose. I think a lot of them would be intrigued, and might try to recruit him; I could see them trying to get him to convince others that his beliefs are the natural way of things.

I think they'd have to probably hide him from Sidrena (and her elite, who are likely similarly fanatical), who wouldn't be willing to accept that he's truly considering himself subservient.

Of course, this also gets into a bit of a meta situation, since the game rules make it so the summoner half is in charge. If it were common for summoners to be subservient to the eidolon -- or even perhaps a homebrewed version of the class that gives the eidolon more freedom to come and go -- the Unfettered concept probably wouldn't work as well. Though expanding it to familiars and other summoned creatures/beings could restore the concept with just a few tweaks.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

When I first read The Unfettered, I didn't know there was an entry in the Bestiary 3 for those. But I love it as a concept for an organization, and you did a great job, Jacob. I like how you took something VERY specific to Pathfinder and made it into one of the most original entries for this round of the contest. Well done!


Jacob W. Michaels wrote:

The Unfettered

Alignment: CE
Headquarters: Western Ravage, Mana Wastes
Leader: Sidrena
Structure: Semi-autonomous cells
Scope: Regional

Disclaimer:

You should know the drill by now, but in case you missed it the first time round, Ask A RPGSupersuccubus is posting from the point of view of a CE aligned succubus:
Spoiler:
Fairness is an adjective applicable to hair coloration, balance is what a couple of mortals rapidly losing it on opposite ends of a plank pivoted on a rocky spire a couple of hundred feet above a slowly rising pool of molten basalt try to do, and logic is one of those things which you could swear is there when you rattle the piggybank but if anyone other than a demon opens it the contents turn out to be a couple of dead wasps and a six week old ‘to do (in)’ list.
;)

Important Note:
There’s a difference between late and fashionably late. The former is what most other beings manage. The latter is what sophisticated, (very advanced) succubi manage.

First impressions always being important, do members of this organization wear nifty robes or uniforms when out on formal business?
Unclear but unlikely.

Does membership of this organisation seem likely to involve regular tea or dinner parties or other appropriate social occasions?
Again, unclear but unlikely.

Is the cost of being a member of this organisation likely to be acceptable to a succubus?
This organization is for a particular type of creature. Let's not go into the indignities, here, which a succubus might have to subject herself to, to gain even an associate membership.

Other comments?
Alright, I can at least empathize with the 'kill summoners' aspect of the goals of this group. The fewer summoners around to distract Highly Important Personages in the middle of their weekend shopping, the better.

Rating:
Organizations are not being rated except under special circumstances.

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