Round 2: Create a Bestiary entry

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

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Through cracked, sickly blue lips, this pallid humanoid figure emits deep gasps as if struggling to breathe.

Immured CR 3
XP 800
NE Medium Undead
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +20
Aura snuff (10 ft.)

----- Defense -----
AC 15, touch 10, flat-footed 15 (+5 natural)
hp 26 (4d8+8)
Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +5
Immune undead traits
Weaknesses bound

----- Offense -----
Speed 30 ft.
Melee slam +6 (1d6+4)
Special Attacks seize

----- Statistics -----
Str 16, Dex 10, Con —, Int 5, Wis 13, Cha 14
Base Atk +3; CMB +6 (+8 drag); CMD 16 (18 vs. drag)
Feats Improved Drag, Power Attack
Skills Perception +20; Racial Modifiers +12 Perception
Languages Common (cannot speak)
SQ breach

----- Ecology -----
Environment any urban
Organization solitary or gang (2–5)
Treasure standard

----- Special Abilities -----
Bound (Su) If an immured cannot return to the tomb or building it died in, it loses 1d6 hit points per hour, which cannot be healed until it returns.

Breach (Su) As a swift action, an immured can touch a non-magical wall to open a spatial rift that spreads like spilled ink to form a vaguely human-like shape. The touched 5-foot section of the wall, which may be up to two feet thick, effectively ceases to exist for two rounds. However, a dark, semi-solid membrane covers the rift, blocking line of sight through it. Because of the poor visibility, moving through the rift counts as two squares of movement. The immured can see, move, attack or even drag a target through the rift without penalties. Upon closing, the rift shunts anything still inside into the nearest open space.

Seize (Ex) When using its slam attack, an immured may choose to deal nonlethal damage with no penalty on the attack roll. If the immured attacks in this way and hits, it can attempt a drag maneuver against the target as a free action.

Snuff (Su) The agonized gasping of an immured displaces oxygen within 10 feet, which automatically extinguishes non-magical fires. Living, breathing creatures within the aura must hold their breath or risk suffocation. Speaking or casting spells with verbal components within the aura reduces the remaining duration a creature can hold its breath by 1d6 rounds, as do any successful attacks by the immured that deal nonlethal damage. The gasps of the immured are loud enough to be heard with a DC 10 Perception check, and it cannot voluntarily dismiss the aura.

The immured are undead remains of people who died of slow suffocation in a confined, lightless space. Their feelings of abject terror and isolation before death manifest as an ability to open temporary rifts in reality. Although they loathe the bright lights and open spaces of the world outside, they emerge to violently hush any sounds that disturb their repose. Some of them find the last gasps of a dying person so intoxicating that they seek out victims night after night. They discard their playthings in places that normal people cannot easily access, for which reason most victims are never found.

While an accidental live burial or the collapse of a building may trigger the birth of an immured, most of these unfortunate souls were walled in as a form of torture or execution. In cultures obsessed with undeath or the afterlife, however, living servants are sometimes bestowed with the honor of being entombed with their master. In Osirion, hollow limestone columns and statues created expressly for this purpose are called whispering pillars for the muted echoes heard from within.

Goblinworks Lead Game Designer

Hi Mikko, 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.

Interesting background for this monster, though I wish the ceremonial/punishment aspect had been played up a bit more. Until I got to the last few sentences I thought these were people buried in collapsed buildings or something similar; the ceremonial angle is much more interesting and makes more sense for them to rise up as undead. A gang of these things, all buried together as part of some noble's funeral, would be an awesomely creepy encounter and create an extra interesting tactical challenge as their Snuff fields overlap. I can totally see using these in tombs or old buildings.

Mechanically I'm not sure bound is really necessary unless you really expect the players to kill one of these by somehow keeping him away from his home and somehow disabling his Breach ability. I really like Snuff and Seize, especially how doing nonlethal damage with Seize cuts the time a character can hold their breath. This creates lots of interesting complications for PCs.

I would say this is a Should 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!

Not sure what to expect from the name.

Nice descriptive line.
Whoa, this is dark. Undead from trapped suffocation. That’s a terror. Elements of it remind me of Absentia. I wasn’t big on the name from just reading it, but I think it’s a good fit.
The breach ability has some problems with clarity.
Overall, this is a really cool idea with nice doses of terror. Your rules and writing could be a bit better, but the ideas are solid. I don’t like the rift in reality bit. The ability can stay, but I’d probably reflavor and restructure it a bit.
The monster is urban but has no real tie to Golarion, but I'm interested to see what else you have up your sleeve. This would take a little time to develop for print.

I do recommend immured for advancement.

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

Hi Mikko! 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

Whoa. That's a creepy undead, but "immured" might not be the right name for it. Maybe "breathless?" All of its abilities fit the concept very well, with the exception of breach. A targeted suffocation effect might be closer to the creature's abilities, or the ability to walk through the walls of its bound location.

GM Usability
This would be incredibly effective in the right setup, and terrifying if you encountered multiples of them, all gasping and choking in the darkness just beyond the range of flickering torchlight. Also, that's a crazy good Perception check, and I'm not sure where all the bonuses are coming from. A Stealth bonus would have been good to work in, too.

While an urban creature, nothing Golarion-specific about it. Would be a good fit in regions that suffer from regular earthquakes, or a post-Shattered Star Adventure Path Magnimar. Or the Darklands. Or or or.

Final Thoughts
Very flavorful creature, but some mechanical complications—I want to see what else you can do. I do recommend this monster for advancement.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7

Very creepy monster, great in the right setting. I like that I learned a new word as part of the name. Great job!

Dark Archive Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

'Grats on the trifecta!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka John Benbo

My immediate thought was something right out of Korean style horror movies (The Ring, The Grudge, or their etc.). Very cool (dark, horrific) monster. I'd like to see a couple of these guys going after the PCs with hit and run tactics to keep them on their feet.

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

This is some very good workable stuff, great monster, not so great name, but still very, very good.

Voting for this!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Well done, Mikko! Your description is very evocative, and you gave us a great, creepy undead creature. I love the last line about Osirion.

Dark Archive

Love the Breach, Seize and Snuff abilities, as they marry the theme of the beastie with solid mechanics and have a good 'horror movie' vibe of something dragging someone right through a wall to trap them somewhere else and 'split the party.'

The description of Snuff (and the name...) could use a little tweaking, IMO, but that's just a taste thing, not a mechanics thing.

A version of Breach / Seize that allowed a higher level version of this creature to trap someone within a solid surface, or drag someone halfway in and leave them 'stuck' half in and out of a solid wall or floor (or one that allowed the creature to two-handed smash someone on the noggin and slam them down waist-deep into a stone floor, to remain trapped there), could be extra fun.

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

Poe's Cask of Amontillado gets a sequel, and it's one that doesn't bode well for Montresor.
Nice idea, with the specific kind of undead represented here; it's one of those things that when you see presented you wonder how nobody ever invented it before now.
Their powers work really well, given what they're supposed to be; I love the idea of oneof these guys dragging a PC who's already gasping for breath through a solid wall into some sad little space to watch him die. I do like that you also specified that Breach lasts two rounds, giving other PCs a chance to follow through if they're on their toes; makes it much less frustrating than trying to chase an incorporeal undead.
Overall, super-strong entry, very high contender for my vote.

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

Congratulations Mikko,
I am trying to keep reviews simple to get through them quickly.
Creative: Yes, suffocated undead who can drag victims into their own tombs. Nice. :)
Fun to GM: Yes, 3rd level PCs have little chance against an incorporeal undead so throw one of these at them instead. Since it's not straight damage even seasoned players will be very focused on their near mortality.
Golarion Tie: OK, but could have been better. Lots of burial dungeons could have these and an execution hall of nothing but hollow columns. But this part of the submission started 'however...'

Good luck! :)

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

I've got high expectations from you Mikko! :) is interesting and the initial description has me.

Oh. Em. Gee.

This is awesome. Creepy. And I'm keeping it.

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

I seem to be one of the few who wasn't a fan of your item, but this monster is an easy Keep. Could probably use a name change, but I love everything else. Not sure why the judges dinged you on your Golarion tie in when they've let flimsier stuff slide. While just tossing out Osirion at the last second isn't super strong, I like the visual of several of these guys emerging from breached columns in a desert tomb.

I like this monster. From a GM's point of view, it's great for adding a bit of story to an encounter. I'm not wild about the name, but that's a minor point.

Well done!

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

Though I like the rest of the monster, I was really worried about the snuff ability until I brushed up on my suffocation rules. Now, I think it makes better use of them than a lot of similar suffocation-monsters I've seen. Good work!

Star Voter Season 7

This entry has such a vivid sense of dark and spine chilling dread that I think even H.P. Lovecraft would smile at its concept. The thought of an undead whooping for air is going to help me build an uncomfortable atmosphere for my game. Undoubtedly, my parties reaction will be, "RUN AWAY!"

You got my vote.

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

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

For a monster whose primary attack is slamming opponents and dragging them into its enclosure to suffocate, it's a bit on the weak side. I'd have given it higher strength and perhaps a flat racial bonus to the drag maneuver without resorting to a feat. Why does it have such a high bonus to Perception? Is it so they can hear potential victims passing outside of their tombs? Why not just give them life sense?

Bound: Not sure this should even be here. Other undead are bound to certain areas, but they just don't leave. They don't take damage if forcibly removed.

Breach: Not sold on this mechanic. I see why you did it this way, but it could just as easily have been done without the whole membrane thing (ghostly figure jumps out of wall, grabs the rogue, and drags her into the wall with it).

Seize: Good stuff.

Snuff: I like this power. Creepy and effective.

This thing has atmosphere to spare (no pun intended). Creepy, evocative, and original (hard to do with undead). Minimal ties to Golarion. Otherwise, it has a great vibe and sounds like something I'd want to use in an encounter.

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: The origin story of these sell the heck out of this. This has an almost Heccuva feel to it and that's a good thing.
The Bad: Breach feels a little off to me, I feel like there's a less complex way to get the effect.
The Ugly: The bound weakness needs a loophole... most cities don;t leave collapsed buildings around for long.
Overall: 9/10- I really like this and its a no brainer vote for me.

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

Overall, a great creepy monster. I love that this is a creature best described by the sound it makes from the darkness. Players who encounter these won't even need to see it or know what it looks like to start to be terrified by gasping sounds in the dark.

Bound doesn't seem to fit very well, since why would these undead really leave their tomb or buildings?

My only quibble is that while these can be urban monsters, especially in cities that have ruined quarters, etc. they're mostly a tomb/collapsed mine encounter, neither of which are commonly found inside of cities. (Yes, tombs could be, but often aren't).

Despite that, it CAN be found in cities, and has a decent Golarion tie in, so on top of the great monster overall, this is an easy vote.

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

Whoah! Creep city here we come!!! Absolutely moody, dread and fearful. Not really my cup of tea, but fantastic nonetheless - I love the suite of names you chose for the abilities!!!

Reminds me of original/Japanese The Ring… or Japanese horror generally.

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

And GM_Solspiral's post about cities not leaving collapsed buildings around for long just made me think of a ruined city that is infested with these...

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

As a mild claustrophobe, this monster scared me. I immediately thought of collapsed buildings in a city where someone would have been trapped under the rubble and slowly died of suffocation. Yikes.

The Osirion mention saved this from being Golarion-free, but I feel like it was tacked on. Also, the breach ability leaves a lot of open questions.

Overall though, I'm leaning strongly towards voting for the immured. Good luck in this round.

My favorite of the round, though I'm possibly a bit biased as I've been looking for good lower CR undead for a campaign I'm starting up. This will be seeing use soon! :D

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

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I'm sorry it took me this long to come back to thank you all! I'm overwhelmed by the amount of positive feedback my monster got. :)

To thank you, here's a drawing I made a little while ago.


I'll try to write a longer reply and comment on some of the monster's abilities, etc. before round 3 begins (whereafter I'll be in stealth mode again). :)

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