Round 2: Create a Bestiary entry

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Tamago

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This indistinct, translucent humanoid seems to be dressed as a sailor, but its facial features are impossible to make out. It is eerily silent as it goes about its task.

Nafligo CR 2
XP 600
CG Medium outsider (incorporeal)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 feet; Perception +5

----- Defense -----
AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 12 (+1 deflection, +2 Dex)
hp 20 (3d10+3)
Fort +1, Ref +5, Will +4
Defensive Abilities incorporeal

----- Offense -----
Speed 30 ft., fly 20 ft. (average)
Melee incorporeal touch +3 (1d6 plus ominous premonition)
Special Attacks ominous premonition
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 3rd; concentration +4)
At will—animate rope (DC 12), mage hand, open/close, prestidigitation
1/day—putrefy food and drink (DC 11), telekinesis (DC 16)

----- Statistics -----
Str —, Dex 15, Con —, Int 8, Wis 8, Cha 13
Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 16
Feats Ability Focus (ominous premonition), Iron Will
Skills Craft (ships) +5, Craft (carpentry) +5, Fly +2, Profession (sailor) +2, Perception +5, Stealth +8
Languages Common (can’t speak)
SQ dire tidings

----- Ecology -----
Environment any coastal or urban
Organization solitary
Treasure none

----- Special Abilities -----
Dire Tidings (Su) Once per week, a nafligo can focus on a ship and determine if it is likely to experience significant danger during its next voyage. This functions as a divination spell, with a base chance for a correct answer of 73%. However, if the die roll fails, the nafligo always believes that someone on the ship will die.

Ominous Premonition (Su) With a touch, the nafligo can project a false premonition of a terrible future in which the target will die horribly at sea. An affected creature is shaken for 1d4 rounds by the vision of her own demise. A successful DC 13 Will save reduces the duration to one round. This is a fear effect. The save DC is Charisma based.

Almost always found in the harbor districts of coastal cities such as Absalom or Magnimar, nafligos are incorporeal creatures that attempt to save the lives of sailors by preventing them from leaving port. This makes them the bane of ship owners and captains who are willing to risk danger at sea in order to stay on schedule. Nafligos usually attempt to prevent ships from casting off by misplacing or breaking essential equipment or tangling ropes and rigging. In extreme cases, they might poison the ship’s food supply in an attempt to delay departure as long as possible while the crew finds additional supplies. However, nafligos always make any damage obvious, as their goal is to stop the ship from leaving, not to endanger the crew once they are at sea.

Nafligos take great care to avoid being seen, lest they be driven away and prevented from saving the lives of crew members. Therefore, sailors sometimes blame coincidental or innocuous problems on these creatures. In fact, some unscrupulous sailors have been known to deliberately sabotage their ships in order to claim that a nafligo is responsible and thereby delay an impending voyage.

Nafligos communicate only through their tireless acts of sabotage; therefore, little is actually known of their origin. Some sages believe they are the ghosts of sailors who died on prior voyages. Others believe they are divine creatures sent by the celestial powers to protect travelers. Whatever their origin, the appearance of a nafligo is seen as both a disruption and an ill omen by those about to set sail.

Goblinworks Lead Game Designer

Hi Tamago, 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'm not sure what I would do with this monster. It's interesting from a folklore sort of angle, but I'm not sure how I would use it in a campaign. It seems like it's mainly a nuisance monster that you ultimately feel terrible about killing, if you take things that far (and since the description gives no reason to suspect they can be reasoned with or bought off, I assume you would have to kill it). I would expect my players to just get annoyed at these creatures and resent their presence rather than be engaged about dealing with them, especially since we're given no guidance in the writeup about how they can be dealt with aside from the implied option of violence.

I would rate this 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!

Made up word mystery monster! I have no idea what to expect.

Good ghost sailor outsider, interesting combo. Let’s see how it shakes out.
You don’t have to link to things! Sure it makes things easier for folks following the contest, but you would never do that when writing for us, so it’s unnecessary.
Even though it fits the rules, the 73% chance looks weird at a glance. I like the idea of these outsiders looking out for sailors.
Then that’s followed up by a mean ability (that ends up being helpful!)
Oh no! They can’t speak. They can tell when a ship is in future danger but can’t tell anyone so it has to break stuff. Sad!
This is a tight monster and the writing is pretty good. I like that it is a good creature that is still a pain in the ass for some folks. It’s disruptive, tragic, and helpful all at the same time, and can provide a good story encounter. This is especially timely for me to read today, because just last night we were playing in Rob’s Skull & Shackles game and our water supply was tainted and we had to get more water. Maybe it was a nafligo?
The monster is urban and has a tie to Golarion. This wouldn’t take much time to develop for print.

I do recommend nafligo 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

Chaotic good ghostly sailor? What a great combo, and I'm happy that the abilities fit the concept so well. Sailors have a lot of superstitions, and this really calls that out.

GM Usability
This could be used easily as an NPC (or foe, depending on the situation). I can see nafligos originating from crew that went down with their ship, but I would want to see how to drive off nafligos. I don't get the impression that brandishing my holy symbol would do much good, and something unique to these guys would fit well with the flavor you've got going on.

The nafligo has both ties to urban settings and to the world setting, but I'm curious to why you didn't use the Shackles or the Sodden Lands in your example.

Final Thoughts
A "good intentions undead" trying to warn people from sailing into danger that calls upon a lot of mariner lore and superstition. 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! This creature would make me sad if I had to kill one. Spooky abilities and backstory. Tragedy will abound and a good time will be had by all.


Interesting idea, but I would like to see them being actual Undeads.

Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 9

I was worrying 'this doesn't seem like a good monster' until the judges comments reminded me it's a good creature. With that in mind, I think this guy is a really good monster.

Shadow Lodge Star Voter Season 6

This reminds me of Desmond Hume and Charlie from Lost in season 3.

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: -
Atk: =
Dmg: --
Primary Ability DC: =
Good save: =/-
Poor save: =

Well-balanced, with a weakness in attack, but then that's not the monster's main forte anyway.

Dire Tidings: Interesting ability.

Ominous Premonition: A good ability for a monster that doesn't really want to bring anyone to harm.

Overall, it's a very interesting creature. The Golarion tie-in is there as is the urban fit. I'm a little put off by yet another "the origins of this creature are mysterious" bit again. As a GM I'm going to know that they're outsiders because it says so in the stat block. Just tell me where they come from and then give me the superstitious nonsense NPCs will tell the players. This is a solid entry but I'm not feeling the mojo as much as some others. It will take a place firmly at the front of the fence until I'm done reviewing the rest.

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: Creepy and comes with an outline for a story arch which seems to be a strength of yours.
The Bad: Name and type seem out of place to me
The Ugly: CG means I'm unlikely to ever use the monster. I get the portent angle but even then unless the player knows the beastiary this is in it's more likely they'll go on a gremlin run and sail into danger anyway. Then theres the fact that this hangs out on ships, which is to me a technicality urban qualifier at best.
Overall: 6/10 This should be a 9 there's good story in there somewhere but I'm missing that evil spark that makes my inner GM cackle with glee. I might vote for this but if I do it will be "on the bubble."

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well-intentioned but potentially very annoying nautical spirits.
I like these, in both concept and execution. I really like a good aligned creature that actually has a reason in its background for why it would come into conflict with PCs.
"No, look, we HAVE to get to Death's Head Island to find the lost orb of the hierophants so we can destroy the dark lord!"
"But you'll drooooowwwwwwnn!"
Another one that would definitely be in my top 16; not quite sure it'll make my top 8, but there's some leeway among my latter votes, so we'll see.

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

While I liked the ghostly sailor angle, I was confused by it not actually being undead. What really cripples this monster is that you're reduced it to an omen. You could fight it and feel crappy about it, or just delay your voyage, which is either boring (GM: okay, you delay your voyage, and you leave the next morning) or hurts you time sensitive quest you need to go on. Because you cant communicate with it, there's really not a reason to have this be a monster rather than a hazard.

Also, what does it do with it's time when it's not checking if its ship is about to hit danger. Does it mend the sailor's socks? Help in a storm? Create pranks?

Since it can only use dire tidings once a week, does it just assume that the other 6 days a week everything's okay and wait until it can check again? I'd make the ability once a day so, no matter how often a ship puts into port, it can check if the day it's going to leave is fortuitous or not.

While somewhat interesting, this doesn't feel like a good monster to use in a game, despite being a good monster.

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

Congratulations Emmanuel,
I am trying to keep reviews simple to get through them quickly.
Creative: a poltergeist using mischief to prevent disaster. I can buy it though a little weak. Ominous premonition is interesting even if there are lots divine visions limited to the targets death in fantasy.
Fun to GM: not sure where to go with this one. It will be an annoyance for some players, but not an actual encounter. Shipping is dangerous, a single sailor dying would be a good sign and not a 'significant danger', but GMs can adjust accordlingly, not a deal-breaker. I can use this as an NPC to some degree (except it 'only communicates...' )
Golarion Tie: not bad, I might have gone the next step in Abasalom to mention the Flotsam Graveyard's greatest contributor... sinking ship in the harbor before sailors get out to sea.

Good luck! :)

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

This is a difficult monster to use... but I love it. It is actually one of my favorites this round, and I'm voting for it.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Ability Focus is a wasted feat. The base DC should just be higher.

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

Very dread, very moody, and I could definitely see using a whole crew of these guys to make a crowd shiver and run. But I'm not really sold on this one.

Love the 73%. Roll on grognardia!!!

Lots of roleplaying potential, especially the belief that someone will die - but there you have it - this feels more like a plot point or a haunt than a creature.

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

This is an interesting plot-driving creature, and I could see a situation where the PCs are hired to rid a ship of a pesky and mischievous creature that they then discover is attempting to warn someone of their impending death. Their alignment and abilities seem appropriate to their stated aims.

The urban and Golarion ties are somewhat tenuous for me.

I'm considering a vote for the nafligo. Good luck this round.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Tamago

Thanks for the comments, everyone! I really appreciate it and look forward to wowing you with my encounter next round. There is one thing I would like to address:

Drejk wrote:
Interesting idea, but I would like to see them being actual Undeads.

If this were a home game, I probably would have made it an undead. However, good-aligned undead are a touchy proposition, and the world of Golarion has no precedent for good undead (at least not that I could find). Rather than break that unwritten rule or change the alignment of my monster, I decided to make it an outsider instead.

I think the concept still works as an outsider. If it helps, think of it as a spirit or soul, rather than a ghost.

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

I really loved this - wonderfully flavorful; a unique creation.

I feel compelled to ask - where's the name from? (It would be just too far-fetched if it were from the Hebrew נפליג, "we shall sail", wouldn't it? Right? Right?)

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka Tamago

Ziv Wities wrote:
I feel compelled to ask - where's the name from? (It would be just too far-fetched if it were from the Hebrew נפליג, "we shall sail", wouldn't it? Right? Right?)

It's kind of a Latin portmanteau: Navis (meaning "ship") and Affligo (meaning "break/damage").

Sorry to disappoint the Hebrew-speakers out there ;-)

Community / Forums / Archive / Paizo / RPG Superstar™ / Previous Contests / RPG Superstar™ 2014 / Round 2: Create a Bestiary entry / Nafligo All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Round 2: Create a Bestiary entry
Chimney Troll