|Tripp Elliott RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan|
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The mottled gray skin of this small humanoid contrasts with its bright yellow eyes as it hovers on coal black vestigial wings
Grymp CR 4
NG Small fey
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +10
----- Defense -----
AC 17, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 natural, +1 size))
hp 33 (6d6+12); fast healing 2
Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +6
Defensive Abilities invisibility to undead; DR 5/cold iron; Immune negative energy; SR 15
----- Offense -----
Speed 20 ft., fly 30 ft. (poor)
Melee ghost touch light hammer +7 (1d4-1)
Ranged ghost touch short bow +7 (1d4-1)
Special Attacks sneak attack (+1d6)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th)
Constant – detect undead
At will— meld into stone
1/day— dispel magic
3/day- mending, prestidigitation, vanish
----- Statistics -----
Str 8, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 15
Base Atk +3; CMB +1; CMD 14
Feats Dodge, Hover, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +12, Escape Artist +12, Fly +10, Knowledge (religion) +7, Perception +10, Sense Motive +10, Stealth +16
Languages Common, Sylvan
SQ ghost touch
----- Ecology -----
Environment any urban
Organization solitary or pair
----- Special Abilities -----
Ghost Touch (Su) Any weapon a grymp wields (including its standard light hammer and short bow) gains the ghost touch weapon quality. Weapons retain this quality for one hour after the grymp releases the weapon, but after this the weapon reverts to its standard magical qualities, if any.
Invisibility to Undead (Su) A grymp remains invisible to undead even when it attacks. This ability is constant, but the grymp can suppress or resume it as a free action.
Commonly called “grave imps” and improperly assumed to be devils due to their looks and frequency with which they are encountered in Chelish graveyards, grymps are a distant relative of the pixie. Unlike their forest dwelling cousins, grymps prefer to reside in municipal graveyards, family mausoleums, and crypts.
Grymps commonly adopt a mausoleum or section of a graveyard for themselves and tend to not interfere with mourners and caretakers but will fight undead, grave robbers, and necromancers who threaten their home. Many noble families actively encourage grymps to reside in their family mausoleums by providing tithes of food, gems, and other items. On rare occasions, a grymp can be convinced to allow adventurers to remove some item or artifact from its protected domain, provided it is for the greater good, or if the grymp is convinced that the now departed owner would have approved.
Grymps abhor undeath and are relentless in their attempts to keep their homes free from the taint of it. Grymps are not concerned with matters of honor and fairness, and will regularly use tactics such as remaining invisible to undead, and flying outside their reach while damaging them with their bows. When overmatched, grymps are willing to retreat into their stony surroundings to heal or wait out their foes.
Grymps tend to be asocial, except with those they have determined to be foes of the undead, and will never befriend a necromancer.
Grymps are commonly 3 feet tall, and can weigh up to 40 pounds.
|Liz Courts Webstore Gninja Minion , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8|
Hi Zahir! I'll be one of the judges for this round, and I'll be looking at a couple of key points for your creature: flavor, GM usability, and how well it fits into the world of Golarion. For some background, I helped found the Wayfinder fanzine before I started working for Paizo, and these are all points that I took into consideration when selecting articles for the magazine. In addition, I oversee every third-party Pathfinder Roleplaying Game product that makes its way onto Paizo.com.
It's kind of like a fey undead hunter...a combination that for some reason never occurred to me. The abilities are all in tune with the creature's focus, and still remains true to way fey are depicted in our materials.
Very focused design--all of its abilities support the core concept, and this would be a nasty foe to the wrong group. To the right group, a valuable ally and source of information, points which you covered in your description. A racial bonus to Stealth in graveyards probably could have been added, but I don't think the creature suffers for the lack of it.
I'm surprised that you didn't include a link to Pharasma (or psychopomps)--that seemed like it would have been an obvious choice to include. I'm actually pleased that you didn't go that route, as this leads to questions as to *why* it appears in Chelish graveyards with more frequency than other locales. I would have liked to known more about this snippet of backstory (and you had a few words to spare). I can see Pharasmin clergy beseeching grymps to move into a newly consecrated graveyard (or one recently purged of infestation), and this would be an excellent alternate summon for those that fight the undead.
Excellent concept, broad selection of abilities without feeling overpowered, fills a niche in creature type and environment. I do recommend this monster for advancement.
|Lee Hammock Goblinworks Lead Game Designer|
Hi Zahir, I'm Lee Hammock, the lead game designer on Pathfinder Online. Before that I did lots of d20 freelance work, but I'm probably going to be leaving mechanics to the more up to date judges and concentrating on story, overall balance, and how I could see using them in a game.
I love guardian spirit types, so this is right up my alley. The grymp has clear goals and motivations, making it a ready ally of many PCs but not being so powerful that it would make a huge difference. This is a great monster for the occasional informational ally, or the creature you have to convince to let you into some ancient crypt to get some necessary widget. Alternately it could be something players seek out if they have to fight incorporeal creatures but don't have the means to do so, getting the grymp to hold their weapons so they gain ghost-touch. I like that it is a multi-use ally, but none of the uses are overwhelming.
Between the invisibility to undead at will, immunity to negative energy, and spell resistance, it does seem to have a pretty good advantage over undead for it's CR. It can't really do a lot of damage to them, but is probably pretty tough to kill, especially with stone meld at will and the fact it lives in a graveyard. Still, it's mainly good for harrying other NPCs (I haven't seen many Pathfinder campaigns where the PCs are undead), so it doesn't worry me much.
I would rate this as a Should Vote For.
|Adam Daigle Developer , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9|
Congrats on making it to this round! May you have the luck and talent to push all the way through to the end!
When I develop a monster for the Adventure Path bestiaries, I print out the monster entry, and then go through it in a quick pass, marking up the page with notes and highlighting any problems that I need to address later when I really dig into it. Much of the time I’m circling things in the stat block or flavor text and leaving a quick note. Most often, this quick note pass is performed while I’m writing out art orders for the monsters so I can make sure that the description I give to the artist is what the final monster will be. This is where I make note of any changes I plan to make (some of which I’m sure frustrate some of my freelancers from time to time).
I’m going to judge this round in a similar manner to how I’d treat a monster I ordered from a freelancer if I asked one of my freelancers to just send me something within the same parameters that you’ve been given. My review isn’t anything personal, and since tone is difficult to communicate online sometimes, imagine my comments and critiques read in a friendly and nudging way. To heighten the experience, imagine my comments on your monster written in purple ink. :)
The blue italicized first line in my review was my gut reaction from reading the name with no context whatsoever. It was a fun guessing game I was playing while reviewing the monsters, so I included that note for everyone’s enjoyment. (Spoiler Alert: I was wrong a lot.)
And now to the monster!
I like the name, but don’t know what to expect from it.
Vestigial is probably a poor word choice to mix with hovering, because they’re obviously functioning pretty well.
Sloppy spots in the statblock (double parenthesis).
I probably would have put the ghost touch special ability in special attacks. I do not like that the weapon retains the ghost touch quality for an hour after it leaves its hand. Pretty much anytime we have a creature that can make its weapons more badass, the effect ends either one round after leaving the creature’s hand or immediately. One hour is ripe for abuse, especially at this low a level.
Invisibility to undead being constant AND working like greater invisibility is overly strong, but that affects monsters and NPCs more than PCs (who are rarely undead).
And... my like of the name is squashed when I realize that it’s a smash of grave and imp. Sad.
BUT dark fey linked to graveyards are always fun. I’m a big fan of the tombstone fairy from Tome of Horrors (and a creature we used in a volume of Reign of Winter).
Good creatures are harder to pull off and have folks get behind, but I like seeing good monsters. They are an additional challenge and I applaud you taking that route.
Its SLAs are weird in that it can use its strongest spell-like ability at will and the 0-level ones only 3/day. Seems backwards, but I see why you have it set up that way (so it can merge with tombstones, something you don’t actually mention, and with having 75 words left over, you easily could have.)
This has some cool ideas and it’s in a flavor space that I’m fond of, but it needs some work. I’m interested in seeing what else you have up your sleeve.
The monster is urban and has a tie to Golarion. This would take some work to develop for print.
I do recommend grymp for advancement.
|Dieben Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9|
|Monica Marlowe RPG Superstar 2015 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka mamaursula|
|Kiel Howell RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka theheadkase|
|2 people marked this as a favorite.|
My first notion was 'graveyard fey?' and then I remembered that these are fey, and attempting to limit them to a specific niche is like trying to bathe a cat or teach a pig to swim. :)
I had the same quibble mentioned above about ghost touch being able to linger after leaving the fey's grasp (or at the end of the round, to make missile weapons useful) or be usable by others, but, it actually makes them more useful from a story perspective. Instead of just eliminating that idea, it might be cool to have the fey able to make a single weapon ghost touch as a swift action, so that it's bow could be ghost touch, or it's hammer, *or* a weapon that it touches belonging to a PC ally, allowing it to serve as a plot device by giving away a single ghost touch property (and not dozens of them) at the cost of not being able to use the property for it's own weapons during that time.
That retains that story option, of seeking out a grymp at low level and bartering for the temporary ghost touch property, to deal with a specific incorporeal threat at low level, without it getting out of hand.
There's a fair number of fey going on, and this is one of the best, IMO.
|The Fox Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9|
|Maurice de Mare RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka Darkjoy|
|RonarsCorruption Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9|
|Sean McGowan 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|
I like these guys. I agree with some of the criticisms above, especially the ghost touch ability needing to be toned down a bit, (unless the intent is for a friendly grymp to arm an entire party with an hours worth of ghost touch weapons, which might not be a bad thing, but still feels a bit strong.)
I respect that you've made the choice to enter a 'friendly' monster, and I think that risk paid off here; you've created a nicely themed monster that fits its ecological niche perfectly. I particularly like the notion of grymps being bribed to take up residence in a family plot with food and the like; a nice parallel to helpful house-based fey.
|Holybushman Star Voter Season 7|
First off, I’d like to say congratulations on making it past the first round.
This critter is my favorite bestiary entry. The rules and mechanics of your fey are tight; I feel I could drop this creature into my campaign right now.
I LOVE the concept of graveyard fey and believe the fey would create the name from "graveyard imp" to giggle as mortal developers rolled their eyes. Seriously, if we have to live with the name "flumph" for a creature, we can live with "grymp" as well.
Man, I am salivating at the thought of roleplaying one of these in a game in the near future. Good luck!
|Steve Miller RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9 aka MillerHero|
I like this entry and I will be voting for it.
My only gripe is the use of the term necromancer. I understand that these creatures would highly disapprove of someone animating dead, but in Pathfinder RPG necromancer is also the term for a wizard who specializes in necromancy magic. The necromancy school includes spells the grymp might approve of, such as disrupt undead, false life, halt undead, and undeath to death to name a few.
|DJEternalDarkness Star Voter Season 7|
I didn't have a lot of time for item reviewing this weekend, so I'm doing monsters instead. First I'll look at how the monster's basic rundown fits the monster creation table, then general theme and abilities.
= Monster meets the target statistics for its CR
+ Monster exceeds the target stats for its CR
++ Monster greatly exceeds target stats for its CR
- Monster's stats do not meet target stats for its CR
-- Monster's stats are greatly below target stats for its CR
Primary Ability DC: n/a
Secondary Ability DC: n/a
Good save: -/+
Poor save: +
DR makes up for lack of hit points, and the negative energy immunity certainly helps if there are evil clerics in the vicinity. Damage output is a bit low, but the sneak attack ability buoys that a bit.
Ghost Touch Weapon: I'd adjust this and say that it can maybe grant the ghost touch ability to one weapon it does not wield, once per day, rather than doing the one hour duration. That prevents abuse and still allows it to aid PCs fighting a common enemy.
Invisibility to Undead: Hmm. Improved Invisibility to Undead. Interesting. Possibly over the top, but unless the PCs are undead it won't matter much.
There's some great flavor here and an undead-fighting, graveyard-lurking fey is something I haven't seen before. Definite Golarion tie, but I'm likewise wondering why the obvious link to Pharasma was overlooked. Placing them mainly in Cheliax is a bit of a swerve for me. Still, solid creature and presented with panache. This one gets my vote.
|Curaigh Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9|
I am trying to keep reviews simple to get through them quickly.
Creative: Aye, this graveyard fey, Combine the first world with the 'next'! ghost touch to weapons clever too. Many creatures impart their fire or electricity to their weapons, so this works for me.
Fun to GM: Definately an NPC instead of a monster, but a good number of party's will find themselves involved with them as well.
Golarion Tie: still looking...
Good luck! :)
|frank gori 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|
The Good: I like that these are good creatures that could be an ally.
The Bad: 1 hour is too long for the ghost touch thing, I get its a buff but 1 minute would be more balanced.
The Ugly: You just had to ruin the name...
Overall: 8/10 for me this is one of the stronger entries. The flavor is interesting and the abilities are balanced into a nice niche.
|Nicholas Herold RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Demiurge 1138|
I've given this round a lot of thought. I've read over all of the monsters, done some deliberation, and come to my conclusions. That said:
I like the idea of a fey guardian of cemeteries very much. The interaction of the fey and mortal worlds is a big part of why fey are interesting (and not just monstrous humanoids), so putting a fey creature into a semi-urban area with a hook is a neat idea. It reminds me quite a bit of a church grim. Not sure if this was intentional (although putting the names "grymp" and "church grim" together makes me suspect that it is), but anything that takes a folkloric idea and puts a twist on it gets kudos in my book.
Mechanically, the grymp is pretty solid. Although its abilities are powerful, they're mostly focused on opposing the undead, rather than the PCs (see: invisibility to undead). I agree with the comments that the ghost touch property lasts a little too long for my tastes, but I can absolutely see the rationale behind it--recruit the reluctant help of the grymp in order to defeat some incorporeal menace that punches a bit above the PCs' weight class. Perhaps if they could only invest a certain number of weapons at a time?
To sum up, the grymp is flavorful and the mechanics support that flavor. It might be a touch too powerful for its CR, but considering that it's designed as an ally and not an enemy makes this a bit less of a concern. I will be voting for this entry. Best of luck!
|Joel Flank RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847|
Great job with your monster, I agree with most of what others have said. I especially like that it can be used in multiple ways, as an ally to fight undead, as an NPC to give PCs a ghost touch boon, and as a good aligned foe you need to somehow circumvent (and you give ways to do so other than fighting it) to get some needed McGuffin from a tomb it's guarding.
Only mechanical thoughts are that the greater invisibility to undead combined with immune to negative energy makes it very hard for undead to actually hurt it, which makes it a bit one sided. I also prefer monsters for a superstar competition to have at least one brand new ability, which you don't provide.
Still, I'm voting for this, looking forward to seeing you in the next round.
|Mike Welham Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9|
A graveyard imp seems like a perfectly reasonable urban concept, and I have a soft spot for monsters that can act as allies to the PCs (however, there is plenty of room for misunderstanding that might lead to a "heroes fight, before realizing they're on the same side" scenario). I don't know if you intended the grymp to become a free source of ghost touch weapons, but I think it's an interesting aspect that could be toned down some (by allowing only one weapon to retain the ghost touch property after the grymp releases it or reducing the duration).
While you name-checked Cheliax, I'm not really seeing a Golarion connection. They could quite easily have ties to Pharasma, and I don't think it would take much work to fit that concept in your description.
I'm leaning towards voting for this one, and I wish you luck in this round.
|Tripp Elliott RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Zahir ibn Mahmoud ibn Jothan|
|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
I didn’t expect it to be so difficult to wait a week, and read critiques of the Grymp without having the opportunity to defend or explain the poor guy, but let me tell you it was! It was tough. So with voting having just ended for Round 2, and as we patiently await the announcement of who survives into Round 3, I did want to take a moment and answer/explain some of my decisions above.
First of all, I appreciate all of the comments, both positive and negative. It seems many people liked the flavor of the grymp, and could see a fey filling this role in the ecology of a city, and that makes me happy.
The writeup doesn’t show it, and I apologize for that, but in my mind, I viewed the grymp as a “lower” form of fey akin to the pixie, but not as refined and beautiful. Not as light and fluffy, not as quick, a bit more bestial, gruff, more in your face. His abilities somehow hampered by genetics (his invisibility is less functional, he flies more poorly, etc.), but made up for by more STR and CON. Having assigned himself (or been assigned by a higher power) the guardianship of graveyards, he will use his abilities to that end. Pixies play games and tricks, but against undead that isn’t a great tactic. Most undead don’t get annoyed, or think their way through problems etc., so the grymp needed abilities to allow him to survive in his environment, and so I gave him some. Also, I always viewed the grymp as being mistaken as a devil, and imp specifically. Having some impish physical features and size, and yet one of the grymps hallmark abilities is actual similar to one possessed by the princes of devilkind, which I’m surprised no one mentioned, but I’ll get to that below.
Several people stated a like of the name, but a dislike of how grave imp was “smashed” into the name grymp. For a long while I had actually planned to name the monster as the “crypt imp,” and when I decided to switch to grymp, I think a simple change to the first paragraph would have made a world of difference, had a I stated “Commonly called ‘crypt imps’” the whole name subject would have been avoided. Anyways, Paizo, if you ever take him to print, that’s my suggestion.
Liz suggested a possible stealth bonus in graveyards. For a creature that considers undead it’s chief enemy, stealth is unnecessary as he is invisible to them, and of course he can meld into stone to avoid anyone else. So I guess stealth felt “built in” to the monster as it was to me.
Several people mentioned the possibility of a link to Pharasma. I originally intended the grymp to be somewhat universal to graveyards, but for some reason more frequent in Cheliax. Cheliax and Asmodeus go hand in hand, and while I didn’t want to tie the poor guys to Asmodeus (they are good, and he is evil), I didn’t want to tie them with Pharasma either. YMMV I suppose.
This is obviously a recurring theme with the grymp. Lee commented on the lack of damage. While d4-1 is unimpressive to a creature that may have DR, d4-1+d6 works out a bit better, consider the grymp will almost always be able to take advantage of his sneak attack damage against undead. The addition of Hover as a feat, makes him particularly adept at this for those that will take piercing damage. If forced to come in and melee a skeleton, then the hammer overcomes DR, and he’ll still get his sneak attack damage. Ghost touching obviously helps against specific undead, and the immunity to negative energy as well. Defining CR is a difficult thing, and clearly situational. If you show up with a 4th level party of Dhampir to fight the grymp, you may have problems, but a 2nd level party of humans and elves can probably tear right through him. Similarly, while CR4, I’m not convinced a grymp couldn’t handle a CR 7 or 8 undead.
”Improved” Invisibility to Undead
Seems overly powerful? A CR 4 pixie has this same ability (worded almost exactly the same), along with lots of “interesting” arrows and bow abilities, except the pixie gets it against everyone. So, in this I took Adam’s advice and worded the ability I wanted “almost” exactly like a similar ability, by just adding "to undead" in the ability description.
A recurring theme and question from people was the ghost touch ability, and the 1 hour duration. I don’t think people had a problem with the grymp himself being able to use it, but the problem was with the 1 hour duration (and Adam questioned the placement of the ability in the writeup). Let me answer Adam first, this is the ability I referenced above that is “devilish” by design. And when I mean devilish, I modelled it after the Balor’s “Vorpal Strike” ability and I placed it in exactly the same sections as is done for the Balor, and included the same 1 hour cool down period on the ability. Similarly, I copied and pasted the full text of the Balor’s ability replacing “vorpal” everywhere for “ghost touch.” So, is it overpowered? I don’t think so, this is a CR 4 creature, and a Balor is CR 20. Ghost touch is a +1 ability and vorpal is a +5 ability, and Vorpal is usable against all enemies, whereas ghost touch is usable against a much smaller subset of enemies. I doubt there is any chance someone will start spamming out Vorpal weapons by allying with or entrapping a Balor to that intent, but there is the very real chance someone could do so with the grymp. More likely for the average party of neutral to good adventurers they might be faced with a ghost or something that’s a bit above their weight class, but they had previously run across a grymp and befriended it, so it agrees to buff up their weapons. Is that overpowering? I don’t think so, but ask me in 61 minutes and I’ll tell you.
At least one person didn’t like the term “necromancer” as I used it. I can respect that, like “level” the term can mean a host of things in the Pathfinder gaming space. The grymp himself doesn’t have any ability such as “detect necromancer,” so for the most part I don’t see a problem with a necromancer just walking in to drop some flowers off at his dead sister’s grave. Now, should he then dig up the next plot over and animate it, well that would be a problem. Just because spells fall into the necromancy school, wouldn’t for me kick off a dislike from the grymp either. Disrupt undead is a necromancy spell, and I can’t imagine a grymp being upset at an Inquisitor blasting away at a zombie with it. So, what do I mean by necromancer? How about one who cavorts with and does real wrath of god necromancy stuff? Clerics or Wizards of the appropriate gods, hauling around a rabble of skeletons, etc? But your GM may want a broader definition, or a narrower one. The grymps motivations seem clear to me, and the term necromancer is fuzzy, so apologies if I missed the mark on this. As an aside, in early drafts of the grymp I included “and dhampir” after “necromancer” in a couple instances, but I decided to leave that open to GM interpretation. Personally, I think a grymp would abhor a dhampir, but if a GM plays dhampir as being human with a taint, instead of a human-undead hybrid, then maybe YMMV. If I was a dhampir, I’d avoid the grymp myself.
While I note the grymp is relatively abundant in Cheliax, he is found elsewhere in the world. It is the overabundance within the devil cursed realm of Cheliax, and his physical appearance that leads many to improperly believe he is an imp of sorts, and not a fey. I suppose there may be some Royal Academy out there doing taxonomic nomenclature, and they will eventually dissect a grymp and find out what he really is. Until then, I say he’s fey, although some mistake him for a devil. Which is particularly funny, because he’s not even Lawful!
I think I hit at most of the questions or gripes people had about the grymp. I may have discussed them in an odd order, although mostly I started at the top of the thread and worked down. If I move on to Round 3, I’ll be getting my encounter ready, but will try and answer any additional questions people might have about the grymp.
Ohhhh, one final thing. PCs often want a pixie, faerie dragon, or other similar cutesie monster as a cohort of familiar (imps and homunculi too obviously), so why not a grymp for the undead hunter? I think he’d be an awesome sidekick, but that’s just me thinking out loud.
|James Casey RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8 aka Jrcmarine|