Mugrog Gremlin

Round 2: Create a Bestiary entry

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

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Beady red eyes stare out from a rat-like head covered with mangy gray fur. The grinning maw of this small creature is lined with sharp barbed teeth.

Mugrog Gremlin CR 2
XP 600
CE Small fey
Init +2; Senses darkvision 120 ft., low-light vision; Perception +7

----- Defense -----
AC 14, touch 13, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +1 natural, +1 size)
hp 18 (4d6+4)
Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +3
DR 5/cold iron; SR 13

----- Offense -----
Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +5 (1d4+1 plus barbs), 2 claws +4 (1d3+1)
Special Attacks swarming, taint liquor
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th; concentration +6)
At will—prestidigitation
1/hour—silent image (DC 13), ventriloquism (DC 13)

----- Statistics -----
Str 12, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 11, Wis 9, Cha 14
Base Atk +2; CMB +2 (+6 dirty trick); CMD 14
Feats Precise Strike, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Acrobatics +9, Bluff +13, Escape Artist +9, Perception +7, Sense Motive +6, Sleight of Hand +9, Stealth +12; Racial Modifiers +4 Bluff, +4 Perception
Languages Common, Undercommon
SQ dirty trickster

----- Ecology -----
Environment any underground or urban
Organization solitary, pair, or mob (3-6)
Treasure standard

----- Special Abilities -----
Barbs (Ex) A creature bitten by a mugrog must succeed on a DC 13 Reflex save or suffer an additional 1d4 points of damage. The save DC is Strength-based.
Dirty Trickster (Ex) A mugrog has a +4 racial bonus and does not provoke attacks of opportunity when using the dirty trick combat maneuver. Additionally, a mugrog may attempt a dirty trick in place of a claw attack.
Swarming (Ex) Mugrogs are used to living and fighting communally, and are adept at swarming foes for their own gain and their foes' detriment. Up to two mugrogs can share the same square at the same time. If two mugrogs in the same square attack the same foe, they are considered to be flanking that foe as if they were in two opposite squares.
Taint Liquor (Su) Mugrogs are capable of transforming small amounts of their blood into a minor toxin over the course of an hour. The toxin is potent for 24 hours and when added to alcohol produces two effects. First, the potency of the alcohol is increased. Second, anyone who drinks liquor laced with the toxin must succeed on a DC 13 Fortitude save or suffer a -2 penalty to saving throws against illusion effects for 1 hour. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Ferocious and clever, mugrog gremlins work together to spread their own brand of mischief and violence. Standing nearly 3 feet tall and weighing around 25 pounds, mugrogs have furry rat-like heads, while the rest of their skin is pallid and smooth. Mugrogs are often found harassing inns and taverns of bustling coastal cities from Absalom to Riddleport. They happily spend their days laired in sewers, extracting their toxin and plotting chaos for the night to come.

While most gremlins prefer to craft physical traps, mugrogs prefer to set mental traps. Starting with stealthily tainting kegs with their toxin, then moving on to clever uses of their spell-like abilities, mugrogs find no shortage of unsuspecting targets to lure away and make quick work of.

Those who have faced mugrogs in combat can confirm that mugrogs prefer to fight in numbers, making use of their swarming ability. Mugrogs derive as much pleasure from humiliating their opponents with illusions or dirty tricks as they do from sinking their barbed teeth into their foes’ flesh.

Goblinworks Lead Game Designer

Hi Grumpus, 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.

This monster feels like another trickster sort of goblin-esque thing, of which there are many and I don't really feel the need for another. The poisoning of liquor to make people susceptible to illusions is interesting, but seems a bit far to go for little pay off. The most interesting aspect of the mugrog gremlin to me is the ability to flank without flanking, as it fits well into the swarm feel the description lays out. They do seem like critters that would be more dangerous in packs, but that alone isn't really enough to sell me on the monster as a whole.

I would say it is a Should Not Vote For.

Paizo Employee 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!

”How I Judged These Monsters”:

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 gremlins, so I’ve got high hopes for this one.

The description could almost work for the grimple gremlin.
Your target numbers are in a great place, but some of your rules language could use some improvement.
I’d probably move dirty trickster ability to the special attacks line instead of SQ. The first part of the ability is fine, but I don’t like that it can use dirty trick in place of a claw attack. So, in a full attack the thing can bite, claw, and then throw on a free standard action? It’s a bit much.
I like that you picked up the swarming ability from morlocks. I love that ability.
Glad you included dimensions, and the flavor text was fun and gives ideas on ways to use the creatures.
The taint liquor ability needs a name change. I like that it works well with their SLAs.
I like gremlins and this is a good gremlin. Needs some work, but good.
The monster is urban and has a tie to Golarion. This wouldn’t take much time to develop for print.

I do recommend mugrog gremlin for advancement.

Webstore Gninja Minion , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Hi there! 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

Another rat-like urban creature? Meh. Barbed teeth reminds me of fishhooks ripping through flesh, which certainly makes for an interesting mental picture.

GM Usability
I really like the swarming tactic, and has potential for a lot of fun as a GM. Using the dirty tricks combat maneuver is a nice change from grappling monsters as well. I would like some more information on how they extract toxins from themselves (as it implies they need to deal some point of HP damage), and what effects it has when not added to alcohol.

Gremlins have certainly carved out a niche for themselves in our setting, pugwampis being the most notorious of them. This one attempts to do the same, and I can see them infesting taverns worse than rats or roaches.

Final Thoughts
With some polishing, this creature could be a nice addition to the ranks of gremlins. I do recommend this monster for advancement.

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

Congrats Andrew!

Cool name. Odd and quirky just like this creature.

I can't add more to what the judges have said except one thing.

Dirty Trickster...the only functional difference of this ability to the Improved Dirty Trick feat is a +2 extra. I would have just given this thing the IDF feat (especially as that gives a bonus to your CMD against Dirty Tricks as well).

Other than that I like it but it's a weak keep for me at the moment.

After reading Taint Liquid I thought that there should be drunkeness gremlin.

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

Yay! A gremlin! If I'd have made it to this round, I had an urban gremlin in the works myself, and I'm always a sucker for those little guys.

This is a cool idea for one, and while it may not hit all the marks, I like the concept, and am voting for it. Good luck!

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

I think you made the keep folder..

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

I put gremlins and other monster types in the same category as figurines of wondrous power or ioun stones for the Wondrous Item round. I think the Bestiary entry should be something brand new and not connected to a familiar reference that makes the designer's job easier.

Now, that's just my opinion of the direction you took. The mechanical execution is decent, the actual gremlin concept fits well with the other gremlins. You might get a vote, but I can't shake the impression some other designers paved the way for a decent gremlin or dryad entry.

As far as the stat block is concerned: the dirty trickster ability should be listed under Special Attacks, and both feats have a +1 BAB requirement, so as a fey he can't have one of them.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

I quite like the mugroc. I would have to say - taint liquor is okay plot wise, but will virtually never see use in game, unless the party is attacked in the bar. How many PCs go out and do things *after* drinking?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Steven T. Helt

I usually don't make them roll initiative until at least one of them is passed out.

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

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Taint liquor is just a poorly chosen ability name. I can no longer pronounce it without hearing it the bad way.

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 find myself approving of any monster that involves messing with the party's booze.
Okay, yeah, it's a very fringe ability, but certainly fun to bring into play, and what good is being the GM if you can't put together a scenario that plays to a fun fringe ability?
I think these guys make a neat addition to the current gremlin 'family'. Good contender for one of my votes.

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

This is remarkably similar to the Rum Gremlins that appeared in Kobold Press Journeys to the West. I didn't like those particularly, and my bias has stayed.

Apart from the liquor related flavor/abilities, I don't get anything from this - and I don't even like liquor related anything.

I don't see that these creatures are clever (Int 11 - though perhaps cleverer than other gremlins?) but I do like that they deviate from their kin by utilizing mental traps, which I guess would be particularly effective against drunk characters/those affected by tainted liquor.

I think this is a fine monster, it just doesn't excite me at all and jars by being similar to an already published creatureI don't like. Such are the vagaries of popular opinion.

One last thing - the name annoys me only because I can't work out if it should be mug-rog or moo-grog. I think I prefer the latter as it sounds like grog.

Very cool and mischievous gremlins. I'd like to see a tavern or whole inn infested with them, and the PCs have to rescue the patrons.

I didn't have a lot of time for item reviewing 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

hp: -
AC: =
High Atk =
High Dmg =
Primary Ability DC: =
Secondary Ability DC: n/a
Good save: +/-
Poor save: +

Mechanically balanced, but the DR and SR tip things towards the high end here. These things could provide a surprising challenge on their own without any magical abilities, as they dish out more damage than one would expect from a small creature. Once you add in the spell-like abilities and special abilities, they're downright nasty, but still within the CR range I think.

Barbs: I would have preferred a point of bleed damage rather than just the extra 1d4.

Dirty Trickster: In keeping with the flavor of the monster. Good.

Swarming: Also good. I'm a fan of this particular special ability.

Taint Liquor: I'd definitely need a name change here. "Foul liquor," "corrupt liquor," anything but this. My inner child snickers every time I read this ability name, and I hate that. That said, this ability is a bit niche, but it works. I could see it more as a plot hook to get PCs involved in an adventure to roust these things out rather than something they would use against PCs directly, though in an urban setting things don't often progress like a standard dungeon crawl, so who knows?

All in all, I like this little guy. It has a lot of potential for fun. I think it shines enough to be worth a vote.

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

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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:

Gremlins are one of the home-grown stars of Pathfinder, so making another one of them could either be a very good idea or a very bad one. Me, I think it works. There's nothing mechanical that unites gremlins--they're just small fey who like to screw with people. Calling it a "gremlin" pulls in certain mental associations with a minimum of word count, and that's fine. The idea of a gremlin that likes to play mind games and drug people has some room to work with, but I think you could have gone farther with it. Do they infest breweries and vineyards? Hold distillers' families hostage in order to force them to distribute their tainted brew?

Speaking of "taint"... it's a perfectly fine word that has unfortunately been derailed by modern slang. That said, considering the possible associations with that particular word could have saved some trouble.

Mechanically, there's nothing wrong with the mugrog, but there's nothing particularly innovative about it either. It sits pretty solidly at the middle of the pack, mechanics-wise. And that's my problem with this entry. It's competent, but not stellar. A little more oomph, in either the mechanics or flavor, could have done it a world of good. I was on the fence for voting for this creature for a long time, but I've slid down to the "will not vote for" camp. Best of luck!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka JoelF847

I felt this was a solid monster overall, but didn't really bring any specific new "Wow" ability to the party. I was looking forward to seeing a new gremlin, but felt that this one could easily be replaced with several others, or non-gremlin monsters. The SLAs are about as normal as any trickster gremlin, fey, etc. type monster, and I'm not sure there needs to be yet another monster with silent image and ventriloquism out there as it's only abilities.

As for what is does differently, I felt the mechanics for barbs were clumsy with a save or extra damage, why not just have the bite do more damage? Also, the effect doesn't match the description well - I was expecting the barbs to cause bleed damage, and possibly increase the critical threat range as well.

Swarming is a fun ability, which probably should be used for more existing monsters to better represent their tactics, so good use of that.

I'm just starting to read the entries, but don't expect to vote for this.

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

Mugrog Gremlin
The Good: Love the name, that's a good start. The swarming bit makes me happy.
The Bad: wording on barbs is a little off. strength based DC is the culprit.
The Ugly: I'd like this to be a CR 3 or 4 and see it given some more trouble based SLAs
Overall: 7.5/10 there's anough here to vote for.

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 9

A gremlin makes perfect sense for an urban environment, and I like the idea of these creatures making a mess of things at a tavern. Swarming is a fun ability, and I appreciate seeing it applied to the mugrog gremlin.

The tie to Golarion is tenuous, but you made the attempt. I think the dirty trickster ability should replace both claw attacks.

I'm considering a vote for this gremlin, and I wish you luck this round.

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

Congratulations Andrew,
Though voting is over, I still have a couple to comment on & trying to keep it simple to get through them quickly.
Creative: I expected a lot of gremlins this round and the Mugrog did not disappoint. Taint liquor is an original idea, but not enough oomph in general.
Fun to GM: swarm will be fun, but the barbs are just damage. Taint liquor will almost be a plot device, either a bunch of NPCs will be drunk or someone will be trying to drug the PCs. Drunken Master of course will fear this little guy.
Golarion Tie: better than most, creating a gremlin seems to have done it all on its own.

Good luck! :)

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

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Thanks for all the comments.

I think the biggest problem, which a couple of you noted, is the lack of a wow factor. I think it is a very solid monster, just not superstar enough. Despite 2 of 3 judges liking it, it didn't resonate enough with the voters.
If I am lucky enough to get to this point again, I will try my best to make a monster truly worthy of the top-16.

As far as 'taint liquor' goes, I had read my entire entry aloud, and also had other eyes read it and NEVER did our minds wander into the vulgar slang reading that unfortunately someone had to point out.

Anyhow, even though this guy didn't have the superstar wow factor, I think that if you insert a gang of four of these guys along with maybe a cr4 'boss' into any of your adventures, GMs will find the mugrog gremlin fun and easy to adjudicate and run, and they will be quite a challenge for a party of PCs.

until next year,

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