Arcadian Interceptors


Round 2: Create a new organization

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

Arcadian Interceptors
Alignment: LN
Headquarters: Avashtana, Arcadian Ocean; mobile zaratan base
Leader: Commander Tieradel
Structure: Military hierarchy
Scope: Regional
Resources: Numerous sea caves and submerged fortresses in the Arcadian Ocean, hippocampus schools, dolphin pods, and other cetaceans

Sailors consider it a sign of good luck to see dolphins swimming with their ship, yet the wisest among them are wary when humanoid forms are seen amid the pod. If the Arcadian Interceptors board your ship, you must have something to hide.

The Interceptors patrol the Arcadian Ocean searching for anyone disguising their true identity. Typically comprised of merfolk, aquatic elves, and gillmen, these squads quickly resort to violence when they detect any deception, whether magical or mundane. It is easier to ascertain the truth once a deceiver is glued to the deck, entangled in nets, or magically incapacitated.

Structure and Leadership
The Interceptors operate dozens of squads throughout the Arcadian Ocean. The lieutenant of each squad answers only to Commander Tieradel, an aquatic elf inquisitor of Gozreh. Tieradel's rise to power is intentionally unclear, for it is decreed that whoever discovers Tieradel's secret shall be the successor.

Though their official headquarters is in the undersea city of Avashtana, the Interceptors rarely travel there fearing that enemies might follow. Instead they frequent a sleeping zaratan adrift in the ocean. This enormous sea turtle, the size of a small island, serves as a mobile base where the Interceptors can rest, regroup, and resupply.

Goals
According to the official Avashtana decree, this organization’s sole purpose is to intercept sahuagin malenti before they reach the undersea cities they are sent to infiltrate under their guises as aquatic elves. Unfortunately for all ocean travelers, this goal manifests as hindering any outsider attempting to hide their identity. Moreover, the Interceptors are particularly apt to stop and question anyone with the slightest elven features.

Of all the detection methods deployed by a squad of Interceptors, their favorite tactic is to cast speak with animals to corroborate a story with the crews’ own pets, cargo animals, or even ship rats.

Public Perception
Though respected in aquatic communities, the Interceptors are viewed as a nuisance to most ocean travelers, being notably disliked by surface vessel crews who lack experience negotiating with the interlopers.

How many know Tieradel's secret (that the commander is, in fact, a malenti) and choose to ignore it is unknown.

Legendary Games, Necromancer Games

Steve, welcome to Round 2!

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: Mermen against Deception! (but, unfortunately, not against the PCs)

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): C
Steve, wow, I really think you outsmarted yourself on this. Are you a person who tends to overthink things? Seems like you might have done that here. Seriously, the only conflict here is if the PCs are sailing the ocean and disguising their identities. I love the oceanic vibe, but somehow you took a left turn with this idea and never got back on track. The goal here is an antagonist group for the PCs. I don’t think you found one.

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
I’ll give you this, I like your writing. You provided good detail and it is well written. The problem, though, is that just can’t save you from the failure of the initial concept. A freelancer has to deliver the requested content, not just whatever he or she thinks is cool. Here, the rules clearly required an antagonist group (even if not villainous).

Tilt (did it grab me?, is it unique and cool?, do I like it?, flavor, are you showing Superstar mojo?): C
There is a lot to like and I can tell you are really creative, but this didn’t grab me because of the failure to deliver on the core idea.

Overall: C+
A designer with some talent seems to have just gotten off track here.

Recommendation: I DO NOT recommend this organization submission for advancement.

Steve, your night monarch vardo has led to a good deal of fun discussion. I see a lot of talent in you. Sorry that for whatever reason this one just seemed to get off track. Maybe the voters will see it differently. Good luck to you!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Welcome to RPG Superstar, Steve. At this point in the game, the contest takes on a whole new dimension. The judges are 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 highlight some of the things I think you did well and a few others where I think you still have room for improvement. So, let's "dive" in...

Okay, apologies for the pun.

There's a lot to like here. An organization based out of the ocean is actually very intriguing. And a mobile base involving a zaratan even moreso. The fact that your leader has a secret and he's the very thing the organization exists to "intercept" is a sometimes useful bit of irony to layer into a design. In this case, it feels a little misplaced, though. If there's such a focus on these Arcadian Interceptors detecting those trying to hide their identities, they must not be very good at their jobs if they've already been compromised by Tieradel. Additionally, if Tieradel is in charge, why would he continue to guide the group in searching for malenti rather than misdirect their resources and/or eliminate the best hunters among them? As the villain of this organization, he pretty much gets to set their goal. And, if it's a goal that ultimately leads to his own unmasking and demise, that's usually not something that assists the reader in willingly suspending their disbelief as they read your stuff.

Personally, I think you were headed towards a homerun with this assignment, but then you took a wrong turn. If, instead, you'd given these ocean-bound interceptors an entirely different goal...something more threatening to other areas of the campaign setting (and hence, more than just ship traveling PCs), I think this would have sailed through to the next round in a heartbeat. As it is, I think the malenti-hunting angle and nuisance factor of Interceptors trying to board ships and interrogate the crew just to see if there's any deceivers among them kind of falls flat in terms of a compelling, antagonistic organization.

It seems clear to me that you've got some really awesome creativity. You also write really well. Your prose moves along and paints a vivid picture from sentence to sentence. Many of the elements you touch upon inspire the GM in me. But when you go off in a direction I neither anticipate nor enjoy, you lose me. So, if I've got any advice for you, I'd recommend that you harness that inherent creativity and writing talent you've obviously got in spades. Then, direct it at an idea with the widest possible appeal to the gaming market. You need to step back from your creations and ask yourself, "Are people going to get really excited to use what I've written here?"..."Is there enough to what I've designed that it'll inspire those who read it?"..."Do I have enough conflict and enough reasons for what I've written to come into play so GM's can use it effectively for their games?" If you'd done that here, I think you'd have said "No" to enough of those questions that you'd have realized it needed more work.

So, despite some really interesting elements in your design, I DO NOT RECOMMEND this organizaton to carry you through to the next round.

However, I wouldn't be at all disappointed if you make the Top 16. I think you've got the talent to keep going if you can properly harness it and direct it so that it better serves the assigned goal. Maybe the other judges and voters will champion your designs and push you through? Your night monarch vardo had a load of creativity to it, as well. But it too fell into a certain design niche where it might not see active play all that often. I kind of feel the same way about the Arcadian Interceptors and I'll need to see you move beyond these limiting creations if I'm going to start viewing you as an absolute Superstar. So, good luck in the exit polls. I wish you all the best.

Contributor

Okay, the group supposedly is searching for malenti, and they do this by interrogating all elves. I could see how that would be an annoyance for the PCs... but once they establish their non-malenti identities, the conflict is over, right?

If in practice this goal is "hinder anyone who hides their identity," that's a weird focus for this group. Does that mean they're annoyed at half-orcs trying to pass as human? Halflings with the feat that makes them look like a human child? What do they do when they "catch" someone in a disguise? Kill them?

Another weird element is the secretly-malenti captain. Why is he doing this? To draw attention away from real malenti? Isn't there something more productive they could be doing with their resources? If you have a giant turtle-ship, that would be a pretty handy thing if you wanted to support a sahuagin raid.

Finally, malenti are sahuagin who look like aquatic elves, they're not sahuagin who shapechange into aquatic elves. Inspecting elves to see if they're malenti isn't going to do much good because they always look like elves--there's no disguise involved, magic or mundane. And with the leader concealing his nature and his true goals (whatever they are), it feels like his minions are on a wild goose chase.

The writing is good, the gaming elements are neat (zaratan, malenti), but I don't feel that it's focused enough to provide a good hook for GMs; this feels more like an encounter idea than an organization the PCs will interact with multiple times as antagonists.

I do not recommend this to advance.


This entire organization is devoted to trying to suss out folks traveling in disguise? In a fantasy world where such enchantment is commonplace? Like in Hats of Disguise common?

Wow that seems like massive overkill. Plus the amount of work involved would be astonishing - since virtually everyone they manage to detain and question would turn out to not be a sahuagin.

They have a headquarters but they don't use it. Instead they use a giant sea turtle, which apparently never moves, since they can always find it. Why have a base you don't need when you have a floating island to use as a base?

Their leader has a "secret". But we don't know what that is, because learning it is the route to succession. Is the GM supposed to have a character take over this organization? If not, then letting us know the "secret" would be harmless. A truism of hobby gaming: Secrets don't sell.

This entry feels like a stew to me. A bit of this, a bit of that, but nothing really coherent, or frankly, valuable.

I do not recommend that you vote for this designer.

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.

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

I like the idea behind what this org is trying to do. But why not spy directly upon their enemy, would be much simpler. When I started reading this org, I was looking forward to a unique form of banditry.

The Exchange Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I want to know why they are working with TieradeL, I don't like hypocrites or fanatics, this seems like both.The succession part seems odd though, why encourage people to dig into the leaders past if it really is a lie. Their goal seems to narrow to use on its own, what else do they want or are all of the lieutenants in on the secret? Is their goal real?

Most games I play have someone hiding their identity and any ship could have an NPC crewman who is. I don't agree with most of the above, it would be easy to use this organization to bring conflict to the party, the best part is it might not be a combat!

Liberty's Edge

Another really cool idea with this submission that kind of loses its way. I like the concept of an organisation of dolphin riding sea elves that raid passing ships, that the leader has this big secret that would almost certainly lead to conflict is cool, but the goals of this group ... I can’t see ever using them with those stated goals. I’m also not a fan of the organisation name, it sounds like a group of superheroes!

There is a really fun idea here, but it would need a lot of work to make it usable in a typical game.

Good luck with this round Steve.

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

To have a group of merfolk, that travel with dolphins, intercept particular ships would be cool. But it doesn't work for them to intercept ships disguising their identity, at least not in my pirate campaign. I will have them be LG, and they will intercept pirates: ships that have been seen by merfolks, whales, and dolphins to sail under a black flag.

They will be LG pirates that prey on pirates-- submerged privateers.

So, I will vote for this one, just because I can use the idea (if not the details) in my current campaign.

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

Adding this note to say that my following comment is wrong. I didn't want to delete it completely since there are follow-up comments and I thought it would be more confusing if I did that. My apologies, all.

Since Steve can't comment on this:
Without talking any further about the organization, I think Neil and Sean are misreading something about the leader. He has a secret but it's not (that I can see) that he's secretly malenti.

From my reading of the second sentence of the structure and leadership section, Commander Tieradel is "an aquatic elf inquisitor of Gozreh."

Silver Crusade

Merfolk pirates...

I would bite if they did something more interesting than just annoy all Eleven boats.. As is. Boring..

Status: No vote-boring.. But could see this happening in a PFS module all day.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Without talking any further about the organization, I think Neil and Sean are misreading something about the leader. He has a secret but it's not (that I can see) that he's secretly malenti....From my reading of the second sentence of the structure and leadership section, Commander Tieradel is "an aquatic elf inquisitor of Gozreh."

I'm assuming your powers-of-observation didn't make it down to the last sentence under public perception: "How many know Tieradel's secret (that the commander is, in fact, a malenti) and choose to ignore it is unknown."

Liberty's Edge

Neil Spicer wrote:
Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
Without talking any further about the organization, I think Neil and Sean are misreading something about the leader. He has a secret but it's not (that I can see) that he's secretly malenti....From my reading of the second sentence of the structure and leadership section, Commander Tieradel is "an aquatic elf inquisitor of Gozreh."
I'm assuming your powers-of-observation didn't make it down to the last sentence under public perception: "How many know Tieradel's secret (that the commander is, in fact, a malenti) and choose to ignore it is unknown."

Yep, last line of the entry, there in black and white.

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

Whoops, my bad. I apparently failed my Perception check and read over that last line. At least twice. (Sorry about that.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

They're actually more then boring. They're hilariously annoying.

Merfolk board ship.

Merfolk: YOU! ARE YOU IN DISGUISE!?!

Group:... no.

Merfolk: ARE YOU MALENTI!

Group:...no.

Merfolk: ARE YOU SURE! I'LL KNOW IF YOU'RE LYING!

Group:...Pretty sure.

Merfolk: VERY WELL!

Merfolk leap off ship.

Yeah, no thanks.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Standback

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I liked this one. There's some very creative ideas here, and I think the feedback so far has shown a certain failure of imagination in understanding how this organization could be used in-game.

The search for malenti is the justification given - but yes, this group is deliberately designed to be carrying out a massive, ridiculous overkill, in the name of that more-reasonable search. This might be the consequence of being led astray by their leader; it's also a natural reaction that can be teased out of typical fear and apprehension in the face of an insidious threat. That's the core conflict which this organization represents - it's what happens when you give paranoia free reign.

How do you use this in-game? You've got oh-so-many options.

  • The PCs are travelling. But somebody on the ship is in disguise. BAM, the Interceptors are on the job, and just like that, the PCs need to fight them off while trying to figure out who on the ship is duping them - and if they can afford to let that person be exposed.
  • The PCs want to travel, but people are so afraid of the Interceptors, everybody starts worrying about potential travellers in disguise. The harbor becomes a frenzy of suspicion, interrogation, and accusations - long before the Interceptors are anywhere in sight.
  • Somebody in disguise (a spy, a wrongly-accused man, a drag queen) needs the PCs help to get past the Interceptors undetected.
  • The PCs are tracking somebody on the run. Somebody who's disguised himself well. Hey, you know who might have run into him, and be able to tell the PCs where to look next? Do you know they probably know about pretty much every traveller in the area ever? Do you know that they probably know their most hidden secrets?
  • The PCs have discovered that something is awry among the Interceptors... but they can't figure out what without infiltrating them. Oh, wait a minute, that's not going to be so easy, is it?

Yeah, this isn't a rock-'em-sock-'em villainous organization. But it's an original concept, and it stirs up conflict relating to something most PCs touch upon quite frequently - lies, disguise, deceit. This organization lets a game spotlight that type of element - bring it out into the open and do interesting things with it. And they're plenty problematic enough to be antagonists when called upon (and yeah, the malenti leader in charge helps in that regard...)

Steve, you've got me in your corner with this. It looks like most of the criticism is saying people have trouble seeing how to use your work in-game. Now, that's a valid criticism, and you could have done more to highlight just how this group might come into conflict with adventurers. But I also think some people missed what, to me, look like potential for awesome hooks and scenes - and as long as I'm here to help, I'll be happy to provide some refreshing examples.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

Thank you for your support and please vote for my organization!

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

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Here's my tuppence for this round.

I've never written an organisation, so take as much or as little as you deem worthy of note.

My category of scoring this round will be:

Template fu: A small number of points (max 5) - my template fu isnt so strong, and due to reviewing time constraints, I'm only likely to dock points for obvious errors here.

Adverserial Potential: (max 5) How they can get in the way of the PC's, cause them issues, direct conflicts, potential for becoming that campaign within the campaign.

Questions Arising: (max 10) Did I have any questions unanswered? This is the area where I will most likely gaff and occasionaly make an incisive query.

Overall Impression: (max 5) This is an esoteric measurement that simply reflects how you have wow'd this reader taking into acccount any other observations not covered in the prior sections.

---

Template fu: 5/5

Nothing immediately obvious sprang out, well done.

Adverserial Potential: 3/5

I could see them being an issue on any travel along coastlines, especially if the PC's went the cheap ticket route when choosing their boat, but apart from that, any adversarial action is likely to be a few encounters in an overall campaign. For ocean based campaigns, these could be used throughout. Swings and roundabouts. This one was hard to score, I admit.

Questions Arising: 7/10

How strongly do the pursue those who manage to escape their attacks?
Can they be found in tidal, salt water stretches of large rivers?
Do they have dealings in trade with large seaports or smaller fishing villages, or both?

Overall impression: 3/5

I struggled occasionally with the wording, that may purely be me, but as an example, I had to read this line twice - "The Interceptors patrol the Arcadian Ocean searching for anyone disguising their true identity" - are they disguising the identity of the interceptors or the sailors?? On second read, I got that it was the latter.

"This enormous sea turtle, the size of a small island"... shades of Discworld came to mind here - I cant help it, I read all the geek, watch all the geek, listen to all the geek, am a geek.

---

Final score: 18/25 - 72%

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

I'm with Standback on the plot hooks. Ways to use this organization spring instantly to mind. Say what you will about this group's motivations - they are strange - but they give the GM a reason to throw the Arcadian Interceptors at just about any ship in the Arcadian. These are flexible antagonists in that sense.

Unfortunately, this group's MO doesn't make sense to me, and its goals don't intersect in any grand way with those of the PCs. You can easily get one fight out of this group, since PCs are notorious for drawing steel on anybody who dares to check their papers, but beyond that? If you're not a sahuagin, you probably don't care about this group, and vice versa.

Most gallingly, this entry doesn't let the reader in on the truth. We don't get to know what's up with Tieradel. We don't even get to know who does know what's up with Tieradel. The only interesting dramatic element of this group is a secret that the writer won't tell the GM. To me, that's inexcusable in an organization write-up.

In the future, don't be afraid to show your hand to the reader. A peek at Tieradel's true motivations and goals could have turned this entry into a winner by broadening the group's appeal and better equipping the GM to use your idea.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As am I i think Sandback made a very interesting observation about how through fear and paranoia, there is an over kill reaction in the name of security.

Now perhaps i am getting this wrong, and i have even forgotten from where this quote comes from

" make a people believe they are threatened, and offer them salvation from said threat, and they will give up any and all of their freedoms in the name of security"

Anyways I like the organization and Steve you have my vote, i just have to figure out where to vote....

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

Leonardo di'Caprio would have been totally busted if these guys had shown up in Titantic.

MERFOLK: You sir are in disguise! Prepare to be busted!
Leonardo: Shucks, you got me. What now?
MERFOLK: Now you must die!

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

Some more about the fact that a Milanti is running an anti Milanti group and probably using it as a smokescreen to let real Milanti infiltrate could have been really cool if you concentrated on that part of this.

Somewhat limited because of it's oceanacentic setting, at least for me. On the other hand I like your writing.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

Thank you to the voters who like my organization.
I admit that I should have done a better job eliminating mysteries in the original submission, but I did the best I could with the limited word count.
That being said, allow me to address some things.

Round 2 Rules wrote:
Your organization should be something heroic PCs would normally oppose or come into conflict with, not an organization a typical heroic PC would join. The organization doesn't necessarily have to be villainous, but it should definitely be a potential antagonist.

I read this and challenged myself to create potential antagonism which was specifically not villainous.  I knew that an evil organization would be simpler, but I wanted to attempt the challenge.

I am pleased that Standback saw this organization’s potential for PC conflict and was able to imagine a number of ways this could occur.  Thank you Standback.
And now, onto addressing specific comments:

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

Clark Peterson wrote:
Steve, wow, I really think you outsmarted yourself on this. Are you a person who tends to overthink things? Seems like you might have done that here.

I've been told that I overthink things.

Clark Peterson wrote:
Seriously, the only conflict here is if the PCs are sailing the ocean and disguising their identities.

Or if the PCs lie, or have elves on board, yes. (or are swimming the ocean)

Clark Peterson wrote:
I love the oceanic vibe

Thanks, me too; that's what I was going for.

Clark Peterson wrote:
I’ll give you this, I like your writing. You provided good detail and it is well written ... There is a lot to like and I can tell you are really creative

Thank you very much.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

Neil Spicer wrote:

So, let's "dive" in...

There's a lot to like here. An organization based out of the ocean is actually very intriguing. And a mobile base involving a zaratan even moreso. The fact that your leader has a secret and he's the very thing the organization exists to "intercept" is a sometimes useful bit of irony to layer into a design.

Thanks!  I struggled whether to reveal Tieradel’s secret or not.  Obviously in the end I decided to tell the reader, mostly because I was aware of Ryan Dancey’s truism of hobby gaming: Secrets don't sell.

Neil Spicer wrote:
If there's such a focus on these Arcadian Interceptors detecting those trying to hide their identities, they must not be very good at their jobs if they've already been compromised by Tieradel.  Additionally, if Tieradel is in charge, why would he continue to guide the group in searching for malenti rather than misdirect their resources and/or eliminate the best hunters among them? As the villain of this organization...

Two things that I had in my 550 word draft before I cut it down to size: 1) Hierarchy in the organization is determined by who can detect falsehoods the best. They test themselves against each other frequently. 2) Tieradel is not a villain, Tieradel is a NG malenti of the LN organization.

Neil Spicer wrote:
Personally, I think you were headed towards a homerun with this assignment,
Sweet!
Neil Spicer wrote:
but

awww

Neil Spicer wrote:
It seems clear to me that you've got some really awesome creativity. You also write really well. Your prose moves along and paints a vivid picture from sentence to sentence. Many of the elements you touch upon inspire the GM in me.

Thank you very much.

Neil Spicer wrote:
I wouldn't be at all disappointed if you make the Top 16. I think you've got the talent to keep going...

Thanks again, Neil, for all the great feedback.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Okay, the group supposedly is searching for malenti, and they do this by interrogating all elves. I could see how that would be an annoyance for the PCs... but once they establish their non-malenti identities, the conflict is over, right?

Absolutely!  Don't lie, don't use illusionary magic auras, don't have elves on deck, and be sure to succeed at your Knowlegde (local) rolls to know all of this information.  I designed this organization to give role-playing opportunities to the players that want that, and to combat PCs that want fights.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Does that mean they're annoyed at half-orcs trying to pass as human? Halflings with the feat that makes them look like a human child?

Yep!  They certainly start the encounter as suspicious and hostile when you are hiding something.  You have to be very personable to end the encounter peacefully when one of these deceptions is discovered.  Moreover, once the sahuagin at large learn of the effectiveness of the Interceptors, they start trying different tactics - like perhaps disguising as or hiring half-orcs trying to pass as human or halflings that look like human children.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Finally, malenti are sahuagin who look like aquatic elves, they're not sahuagin who shapechange into aquatic elves. Inspecting elves to see if they're malenti isn't going to do much good because they always look like elves--there's no disguise involved, magic or mundane.

Agreed.  However, malenti share their kin's bloodlusts and cruel natures.  This is why the Interceptors are so aggressive - they are trying to provoke malenti to fight.  Also, it is my understanding that malenti have the same stats as true sahuagin, which means blindsense, darkvision, natural armor, light blindness, blood frenzy, and speak with sharks are malenti traits that are not aquatic elf traits.  These are the abilities that the Interceptors look for in elven travelers they encounter.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
The writing is good, the gaming elements are neat (zaratan, malenti)

Thank you very much.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

I really appreciate Ryan’s comments on all the submissions.  They are succinct and to the point.  If I don’ t have the time to read through all of another competitor’s feedback, frequently Ryan can sum it up in a paragraph.  And when I do read through all the feedback, he and I frequently share the same opinion.  However, I think Ryan and I differ greatly on our understanding of life on Golarian.

Ryan Dancey wrote:
This entire organization is devoted to trying to suss out folks traveling in disguise?  In a fantasy world where such enchantment is commonplace?  Like in Hats of Disguise common?

 Yes Golarian is a fantasy world, but no I don’t think a hat of disguise is common.  Nor do I think such enchantments are commonplace.  PCs commonly have a hat of disquise or similar enchantments, but I don’t feel that the vast majority of NPC ships would have such enchantments on board.

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Wow that seems like massive overkill.  Plus the amount of work involved would be astonishing - since virtually everyone they manage to detain and question would turn out to not be a sahuagin.

 Again, it is my shortcoming that I cut important parts of my submission in order to meet the 400 word count.  What I initially included is that the Interceptors employ four main detection methods: 1) detect magic, specifically looking for illusion or transmutation, 2) speak with animals, 3) Perception checks vs disguise checks, and 4) racial profiling against elves and half-elves.

Of the ocean going vessels they manage to intercept, I imagine the vast majority of NPC ships would provide no reason for the Interceptors to be suspicious.  I also imagine that the ships they would be suspicious of (ships containing elves, half-elves, disguises, illusion or transmutation auras) frequently would have PCs on board.
Ryan Dancey wrote:
They have a headquarters but they don't use it.  Instead they use a giant sea turtle, which apparently never moves, since they can always find it.  Why have a base you don't need when you have a floating island to use as a base?

 The Headquarters was something I wrestled with.  I wanted to extrapolate on the aquatic communities of Golarion hinted at in the published material, yet I was under the impression that creating new cities was frowned upon.  I decided to play it down the middle and create a name for an aquatic city, but not pin it down to any specific location.  I chose a mobile base rather than focus on the city.  In case the judges cried foul, I had built in some severability from the violation.  Being able to find a moving base in fantasy aquatic world? - that, I believe, would be commonplace for the Interceptors.

Ryan Dancey wrote:
This entry feels like a stew to me.

 Again, I have to agree with you.  I feared that the entry appeared disjointed once I cut it down to size.  In retrospect, I should have dropped a few elements in favor of better explaining a few.  I also should have used more flexibility in word counts for each section rather than trying to hit the 100 / 100 / 100 / 50 on the nose.  Thank you for your feedback.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

GeneticDrift wrote:
I want to know why they are working with TieradeL, I don't like hypocrites or fanatics, this seems like both.The succession part seems odd though, why encourage people to dig into the leaders past if it really is a lie.  Their goal seems to narrow to use on its own, what else do they want or are all of the lieutenants in on the secret? Is their goal real?

I did want to write that Tierdel admits the hypocrisy.  The story in my mind is that Tierdel is one of only a few or perhaps the only good-aligned malenti in the Arcadian Ocean and that the culture is not ready to accept any malenti into their civilization.  Therefore Tierdel is hiding in plain sight as a hunter of malenti, which provides two opportunities. 1) destroy the evil malenti who try to infiltrate the communities and who might uncover Tieradel’s own identity and 2) find and protect any good malenti that are discovered.  Tieradel prays that any in the Interceptors who the know the secret also recognize the good in the commander.

GeneticDrift wrote:
Most games I play have someone hiding their identity and any ship could have an NPC crewman who is. I don't  agree with most of the above, it would be easy to use this organization to bring conflict to the party, the best part is it might not be a combat!

 Yes!, yes!, yes!, and yes!  Thank you for seeing this.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

Mothman wrote:

Another really cool idea with this submission... I like the concept of an organisation of dolphin riding sea elves that raid passing ships, that the leader has this big secret that would almost certainly lead to conflict is cool...

There is a really fun idea here...
Good luck with this round Steve.

Thank you very much.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

moon glum wrote:

To have a group of merfolk, that travel with dolphins, intercept particular ships would be cool. But it doesn't work for them to intercept ships disguising their identity, at least not in my pirate campaign. I will have them be LG, and they will intercept pirates: ships that have been seen by merfolks, whales, and dolphins to sail under a black flag.

They will be LG pirates that prey on pirates-- submerged privateers.
So, I will vote for this one, just because I can use the idea (if not the details) in my current campaign.  

 Thanks a lot, moon glum.  This is essentially what got me in trouble with the judges this round:  I took what I initially imagined as a good organization and turned them  into xenophobic fanatics in order to give them the potential to be antagonists.  I’m glad to see it works for you.

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

Steve, I just wanted to apologize if my comments were misconstrued or misled anyone. I somehow read over the final sentence (twice!) and wanted to clarify what I mistakenly thought were misimpressions (based on the second sentence of your structure and leadership section) about the group's leader. I'm so sorry about that.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

Standback wrote:
I liked this one. There's some very creative ideas here, and I think the feedback so far has shown a certain failure of imagination in understanding how this organization could be used in-game.

Thank you

Standback wrote:
The search for malenti is the justification given - but yes, this group is deliberately designed to be carrying out a massive, ridiculous overkill, in the name of that more-reasonable search. This might be the consequence of being led astray by their leader; it's also a natural reaction that can be teased out of typical fear and apprehension in the face of an insidious threat. That's the core conflict which this organization represents - it's what happens when you give paranoia free reign.

Amen, brother.  Preach on!

Standback wrote:
How do you use this in-game? You've got oh-so-many options.

All the ideas you listed are great.

Standback wrote:
Yeah, this isn't a rock-'em-sock-'em villainous organization. But it's an original concept, and it stirs up conflict relating to something most PCs touch upon quite frequently - lies, disguise, deceit.

 Sounds like antagonism to me.

Standback wrote:

Steve, you've got me in your corner with this. It looks like most of the criticism is saying people have trouble seeing how to use your work in-game. Now, that's a valid criticism, and you could have done more to highlight just how this group might come into conflict with adventurers. But I also think some people missed what, to me, look like potential for awesome hooks and scenes - and as long as I'm here to help, I'll be happy to provide some refreshing examples.

I was so thrilled when I saw your post come up.  It is so close to the mark that I was worried one of my friends was sticking up for me.  I had to check your profile to make sure that was not the case.  I’m pretty sure I don’t know any gamers in Israel - until now that is.

Thank you very much for being in my corner.
Shalom aleichem

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero

OwlbearRepublic wrote:
I'm with Standback on the plot hooks. Ways to use this organization spring instantly to mind. Say what you will about this group's motivations - they are strange - but they give the GM a reason to throw the Arcadian Interceptors at just about any ship in the Arcadian. These are flexible antagonists in that sense.

That is one of the best compliments I could receive when I set out to write this organization.  Thank you.

Dark Archive

Steve,

Congratz on making it to the Top 16.

4 from NC - local[ish] guys done good.

Now, on to the next Round.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Standback

Steve Miller wrote:

I was so thrilled when I saw your post come up. (...)

Thank you very much for being in my corner.
Shalom aleichem

Yay! I'm really glad to hear. It's good to feel I helped out a bit :)

I'm very very pleased you pulled through to Round 3. I hugely appreciate your effort for Round 2; I really like that you chose an ambiguous organization that can be used as an antagonist rather than an organization which is all-out evil. I also really like the roleplaying opportunities this group sets up and encourages, and I think your entry is extremely strong in that (A) it's very, very clear how to bring the organization into interaction with the PCs, and (B) it'd be very, very difficult to run a similar encounter using some other group instead of your organization.

That means you brought something new and cool into the game - something that wasn't there until you came and built it up.

More power to you. And keep it up :D

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Steve,
Congrads I wonder what the next round holds


Steve Miller wrote:

Arcadian Interceptors

Alignment: LN
Headquarters: Avashtana, Arcadian Ocean; mobile zaratan base
Leader: Commander Tieradel
Structure: Military hierarchy
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?
No uniforms or nifty robes are indicated. Probably because most such things would look silly when wet.

Does membership of this organisation seem likely to involve regular tea or dinner parties or other appropriate social occasions?
No. Given the borderline military nature of the organisation and the 'constantly on patrol' thing, I doubt they stop to engage in such civilised activities, assuming they actually have any location on their zaratan capable of hosting such an event.

Is the cost of being a member of this organisation likely to be acceptable to a succubus?
No membership fees or dues are indicated, although it seems likely to involve swimming and getting wet quite a lot. I'll leave it to the tastes of individual succubi to judge whether such athletic aquatic activities are acceptable, although keep in mind that water is a nuisance for most hair styles.

Other comments?
My scribe is raving something about 'Boomeresque gonzo', whatever that may mean. All I know is that this lot are a bunch of interfering (l)awful busybodies, who are a probable nuisance to most succubi who encounter them since succubi like to hide their lights under bushels much of the time on material worlds on account it saves unnecessary bother and vulgar brawling.

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

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