So, You're Designing a Pathfinder Monster...


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

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

Where can I find this Golarion place? I guess I need a city to grace with a new problem.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8

First draft written and statted. Now some refining and a lot of polishing.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8

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Got several strong ideas to pick from. Fortunately, at least one is suited for the next issue of Wayfinder if I don't make it or decide on another monster for Round 2.

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

Nevermind, found the link to the archives. Using the new phone caused some new challenges.

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

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Mark, you're allowed to create a monster that's only found in one particular city.

Good to know! I reckon this will be helpful in figuring out how to make these beasties uniquely Golarion-esque, as opposed to urban but world-neutral.

There're a lot of amazing Golarion cities out there...

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka GM_Solspiral

Thought about using those floating cities but they are essentially ruins


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Mark, you're allowed to create a monster that's only found in one particular city.

Quantium thaumaturgic sparrow?

Kaer Magan disemboweled prophet?

Huh... I should make note about the later for keeping it for Wayfinder, probably...

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

Anybody have any suggestions/advice on how to set up a good test combat, to put new monsters through their paces and make sure the CR isn't way off, or the abilities aren't too cumbersome at the table, etc.?


I think that assembling a stereotypical classical party of warrior type (fighter, barbarian, paladin or ranger), cleric (or druid or oracle), rogue (or bard or inquisitor) and arcanist arcane caster such as wizard or sorcerer with items worth suggested wealth by level should do the trick. Note that differences in composition can give the party advantage or disadvantage against monsters that focus on different tactics.

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

Thank you for the post Adam. I was able to take your advise when gearing up for my work.

Now what would you recommend for someone that is trying to use a two, three or four part name?

I ask this because we are limited on word count. Example, if I name my creature: Jung Ti Reaper it will of course cause me to sink 3 words an appearance into where ever I have to reiterate the name. Would it be ok to instead refer to it as Jung or Reaper in the text with the assumption the creatures name is already applied or understood?

Thank you again for taking the time to review the post.

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

Paizo tends to use the full name when they reference the monster in the description, at least the first time (see great white shark).

That said, three-word names seem pretty uncommon and it's not an absolute rule: Star-spawn of Cthulhu, for example, refers to the monster as just star-spawn in later references in the description. (They've also got an unusually long word count, since it's a two-page spread, so they reference the monster more often.)

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

I was afraid of that. Humm.. I have a real task on my hands then in trimming. I'll skim through the throngs of mobs again and see what style seems the most evident and go from there. I am set on the name.. so its about reduction of something else at this point cause I'm maxed.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Boxhead

I'd say it depends- you should generally use the creature's entire name. However, I could see referring to the Absolom Horror (as an example) as just the Horror after the first use. Everyone in Absolom would probably know what you are talking about, or they would call it the Night Horror or whatever. The same way I refer to back bacon, while Americans tend to call it Canadian bacon.

However, if it was the Red Horror, it should probably be referred to as such at all times.

Grand Lodge

Thank you so much, Adam! I can't wait to put all this good feedback into practice in my home games!

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

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Garrett Guillotte wrote:

Is there a preferred phrasing for saves?

Spot-checking Bestiary 3, I see

  • "must succeed at a DC 20 Will save"
  • "must succeed on a DC 20 Will save"
  • "must make a DC 20 Will save"
  • "requires a DC 20 Will save"
  • "must attempt a DC 20 Will save"

Paizo normally uses "succeed at a DC 20 Will save."

Paizo has steered away from using "make" in the context of saves, as we want it to be clear that there's a difference between *attempting* the save, and *succeeding at* the save, and *make* the save could be interpreted as either.


Make a save could be a sound construction if the following sentences described effect of success and effect or failure - then "make save" would refer just to the fact that saving throw roll is attempted. But that eats words.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Phloid

Adam Daigle wrote:
(I) only like cute monsters if they are really solid. (Says the guy with a flumph avatar.)

This sounds like a dare! Who is brave enough to take him up on this challenge?

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

Nickolas Floyd wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
(I) only like cute monsters if they are really solid. (Says the guy with a flumph avatar.)
This sounds like a dare! Who is brave enough to take him up on this challenge?

Hello Kitty Lich of Doom coming right up...

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 Subscriber
Zi'on Darkbane wrote:
Nickolas Floyd wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
(I) only like cute monsters if they are really solid. (Says the guy with a flumph avatar.)
This sounds like a dare! Who is brave enough to take him up on this challenge?
Hello Kitty Lich of Doom coming right up...

Or the Daigle-ite

A tiny six inch tall Daigle, carrying a half inch Bestiary tome stamped with bright red letters reading "under development".

The creature runs into empty dungeon rooms, opens the book to a random page spawning a host of nasties that are tested by any PC's unfortunate enough to stumble into that room. He remains invisible during the encounter, noting how the beasties can be "improved".

p.s. It is rumored that he wait's until the PC's are in the corridor leading to that room ;)

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Mark D Griffin

The Pipe Fox from beastiary 4 is about as cute as they come. He's tough to top.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka michaeljpatrick

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Since Beholder's are Wizard's property I am going to make a totally original monster called the "Inhaler". It has one giant nose as well as ten others on stalks. Each nose has a different snot-related power.

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

6 people marked this as a favorite.
michaeljpatrick wrote:
Since Beholder's are Wizard's property I am going to make a totally original monster called the "Inhaler". It has one giant nose as well as ten others on stalks. Each nose has a different snot-related power.

You might want to reconsider. That idea kind of blows.

Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

Sean McGowan wrote:
michaeljpatrick wrote:
Since Beholder's are Wizard's property I am going to make a totally original monster called the "Inhaler". It has one giant nose as well as ten others on stalks. Each nose has a different snot-related power.
You might want to reconsider. That idea kind of blows.

(ROFLMBO) Excellent!

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

Sean McGowan wrote:
michaeljpatrick wrote:
Since Beholder's are Wizard's property I am going to make a totally original monster called the "Inhaler". It has one giant nose as well as ten others on stalks. Each nose has a different snot-related power.
You might want to reconsider. That idea kind of blows.

Awesome humor is Awesome.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

Sean McGowan wrote:
michaeljpatrick wrote:
Since Beholder's are Wizard's property I am going to make a totally original monster called the "Inhaler". It has one giant nose as well as ten others on stalks. Each nose has a different snot-related power.
You might want to reconsider. That idea kind of blows.

An "Inhaler?" It kinda sucks, in all fairness...

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

Papasteve08 wrote:
Sean McGowan wrote:
michaeljpatrick wrote:
Since Beholder's are Wizard's property I am going to make a totally original monster called the "Inhaler". It has one giant nose as well as ten others on stalks. Each nose has a different snot-related power.
You might want to reconsider. That idea kind of blows.
Awesome humor is Awesome.

Especially when it sucks...

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

Drejk wrote:
Make a save could be a sound construction if the following sentences described effect of success and effect or failure - then "make save" would refer just to the fact that saving throw roll is attempted. But that eats words.

True, which is why we'd say "the target must attempt a save; if it succeeds, blah, if it fails, blah" in that context, just so there's no ambiguity.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

When making outsiders with the Summon ability is their any specific math in how the % of success is made or simply put what feels right?

Liberty's Edge Marathon Voter Season 7

Nickolas Floyd wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
(I) only like cute monsters if they are really solid. (Says the guy with a flumph avatar.)
This sounds like a dare! Who is brave enough to take him up on this challenge?

Mine sort of is a "cute" idea. If I make the top 32 you'll see it there. If not, I'll happily post it to the forums for the fun of it. =)

It will make encounters very interesting.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

It's whatever is appropriate for the monster. Keep in mind that a monster with a 100% summon chance means that monster is probably going to use that ability whenever possible, so the PCs will have to face the main monster and its summoned ally.

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

Well, I was tossing around some ideas today, and I think I happened upon something solid. It might need one more shiny, unique ability though...

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka michaeljpatrick

I just came up with a cool idea. Now if only I can make it work.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

michaeljpatrick wrote:
I just came up with a cool idea. Now if only I can make it work.

I came up with a cool idea. I can make it work.

Anyone with a golden ticket to the Top 32 out there? I'll give you a dollar for it...

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

Erick Wilson wrote:
Ok, one thing I'm a little confused about: A lot of people are discussing how to integrate their monsters smoothly into a given Golarion city/region, which makes sense if the submission is assumed to be written for, say, an adventure path. Bestiary entries, on the other hand, seem to specifically avoid mentioning specific Golarion locations. So maybe I missed a clarification somewhere, but I'm wondering now which I'm supposed to do. I assumed it was the latter (Bestiary style), but so much of the chatter here seems to assume its the former (adventure path style) that I'm starting to get concerned about looking lazy if my entry doesn't mention specific Golarion environs.

It is my understanding that both ways are acceptable. My question is which way will be better received by the voters?

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

It's whatever is appropriate for the monster. Keep in mind that a monster with a 100% summon chance means that monster is probably going to use that ability whenever possible, so the PCs will have to face the main monster and its summoned ally.

Gotcha, thankies.

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

Don Hastily wrote:
Erick Wilson wrote:
Ok, one thing I'm a little confused about: A lot of people are discussing how to integrate their monsters smoothly into a given Golarion city/region, which makes sense if the submission is assumed to be written for, say, an adventure path. Bestiary entries, on the other hand, seem to specifically avoid mentioning specific Golarion locations. So maybe I missed a clarification somewhere, but I'm wondering now which I'm supposed to do. I assumed it was the latter (Bestiary style), but so much of the chatter here seems to assume its the former (adventure path style) that I'm starting to get concerned about looking lazy if my entry doesn't mention specific Golarion environs.
It is my understanding that both ways are acceptable. My question is which way will be better received by the voters?

As I voter, I can honestly say it doesn't matter to me which way they go about tying it to the setting (so long as the attempts to tie the monster to the setting do not take up so much of the word count that the monster suffers in other areas).

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

Anything can be urban!

I've though of a few urban variations of a Pathfinder favorite:

City Goblin
Goblin of the Streets
West End Goblin
Traffic Jam Goblin
Parking Garage Goblin
East Side Goblin
Slums Goblin
Goblin of the 7 Lattes
Time Square Goblin
Goblins of 5th Avenue
Central Park Goblin
Subway Goblin
Condo Goblin
Crackhouse Goblin
Goblin of the Taxicab

See... it's easy...!

And so much flavor...


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Drejk wrote:
Make a save could be a sound construction if the following sentences described effect of success and effect or failure - then "make save" would refer just to the fact that saving throw roll is attempted. But that eats words.
True, which is why we'd say "the target must attempt a save; if it succeeds, blah, if it fails, blah" in that context, just so there's no ambiguity.

Ok... *makes notes for the future*

*sigh* I got accustomed to writing this that way... I'll need to overcome what I got used to.

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

Zi'on Darkbane wrote:
Crackhouse Goblin

Dibs!

And you left out Brothel... err, "Dance Hall" Goblin.

Paizo Employee Developer , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

...and the silly "no vote" goblin. :)


Adam Daigle wrote:
...and the silly "no vote" goblin. :)

Goblin no vote! Goblin no politico-politici-polito-cocroach!

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Adam Daigle wrote:
...and the silly "no vote" goblin. :)

You mean Comrade Anklebiter?

Silver Crusade Star Voter Season 7

Thanks for all the advice, I hope I make it to the top 32 and can share a monster with everyone.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

The Rules wrote:
Entry must be a new Golarion monster (not world-neutral or set in a world other than Golarion).

I'm a little confused about what this means exactly. Since the creature type doesn't appear to be restricted, does this rule effectively eliminate outsiders, since they come from somewhere other than Golarion? Or is "Golarion" used here as a reference to the campaign setting, which encapsulates the inner and outer planes as well?

Given the rule above, would the Witchwyrd, one of the few published monsters that can qualify as urban, be disqualified because it's technically an alien that comes from a different plane?

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

A few more easy urban monsters:

Occupy Wall Street Goblin
Panhandler Goblin
Pretzel Vendor Goblin
Goblin-Actors-That-Waitress-Part-Time
Doorman Goblin
Goblin Dog-Walkers (Mythic)
Firehouse Goblin
Welfare Queen Goblin
Art-For-Art's-Sake-Goblins
Chinatown Goblin
Fish Monger Goblin
Pandering Goblin (Political Subtype)
Undocumented Goblin
Soup Kitchen Goblin
Iron Worker Goblin
Goblin Bee-aatch (Night Club Subtype)
Crazy-Goblin-Directing-Traffic
SWAT Goblin
Gobl-In-Da-Hood

When I make it to the Top 32* there doesn't seem like there will be much of a competition.
Paizo may as well send me my crown now and save everyone a lot of trouble and heartache.
Everyone please e-mail Paizo and tell them as much.
Oddly enough, I'm not getting much of a response from them so far...

*mythic myth of much myth-making

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Brian, I think this post by me from 2012 should answer your question. :)

Grand Lodge Marathon Voter Season 7

How does the environment interact with Outsiders? Phrased differently, if a given Outsider such as an Imp is commonly seen in urban settings (indeed, many Imps are familiars and would be relatively common in areas such as Cheliax), can it be used for round two, or would its environment simply be Hell?

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Samuel Stone wrote:
How does the environment interact with Outsiders? Phrased differently, if a given Outsider such as an Imp is commonly seen in urban settings (indeed, many Imps are familiars and would be relatively common in areas such as Cheliax), can it be used for round two, or would its environment simply be Hell?

Hell would be the proper environment only if the Imp was stuck behind a computer screen voting in a contest where his submitted item was promised to show up but he had to constantly choose between dental bling and and wispy cloaks for all eternity and all he had was a "Both" button.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Brian, I think this post by me from 2012 should answer your question. :)

It does indeed. Thank you.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

Zi'on Darkbane wrote:
Samuel Stone wrote:
How does the environment interact with Outsiders? Phrased differently, if a given Outsider such as an Imp is commonly seen in urban settings (indeed, many Imps are familiars and would be relatively common in areas such as Cheliax), can it be used for round two, or would its environment simply be Hell?

Hell would be the proper environment only if the Imp was stuck behind a computer screen voting in a contest where his submitted item was promised to show up but he had to constantly choose between dental bling and and wispy cloaks for all eternity and all he had was a "Both" button.

I take it all back. No one nor nothing could conceive of such an infernal punishment, or ever carry such a punishment out even if they could...

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