Guttersnipe


Round 2: Create a Bestiary entry

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

11 people marked this as a favorite.

The mottled yellow and grey scales of this little dragon glisten wetly. Its snout, filled with wicked fangs, ends in a beak-like hook, and two pairs of wings extend from its back.
Guttersnipe CR 3
XP 800
CE Small dragon
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +9
----- Defense -----
AC 15, touch 13, flat-footed 13 (+2 Dex, +2 natural, +1 size)
hp 30 (4d12+4)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +6
Immune paralysis, sleep
----- Offense -----
Speed 20 ft., fly 20 ft. (poor), swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +7 (1d4+2 plus flensing bite), 2 claws +7 (1d3+2)
Special Attacks rotting wind breath, wing trick
----- Statistics -----
Str 14, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 11, Wis 15, Cha 7
Base Atk +4; CMB +3 (+5 to dirty trick); CMD 15 (17 vs. dirty trick)
Feats Improved Dirty Trick (B), Improved Initiative, Intimidating Prowess
Skills Fly +7, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (engineering) +4, Knowledge (local) +4, Perception +9, Stealth +13 (+17 in water), Survival +8, Swim +14; Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth in water
Languages Common, Draconic
SQ hold breath
----- Ecology -----
Environment warm or temperate urban or coastline
Organization single, pair, or crew (3-6)
Treasure standard
----- Special Abilities -----
Flensing Bite (Ex) A creature that takes bite damage from a guttersnipe must succeed at a DC 14 Fortitude save or suffer 1 point of Con damage as its skin is ripped off. The pain of the injury is excruciating, causing the victim to be sickened until the Con damage is healed. This is a pain effect. The save DC is Strength-based.
Rotting Wind Breath (Su) As a standard action once every 1d4 rounds, the guttersnipe can exhale a rotting wind as a breath weapon in a 30-foot line. Any area of non-living organic material, such as leather or wood, caught in the rotting wind permanently loses 5 hp of hardness. If the item has no hardness, it gains the broken condition. If the item is already broken, it is destroyed. In addition, the breath weapon affects targets as a gust of wind spell. The rotting wind can be negated by succeeding at a DC 13 Reflex save. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Wing Trick (Ex) A guttersnipe can use its wings to perform a dirty trick as part of a full-round action.

Spiteful, petty creatures, guttersnipes are the scourge of sailors and sea merchants across the Inner Sea region, from Port Peril to Katheer. Lairing in sewers or under docks in coastal nests, they prey on seafolk, collecting tributes of food and treasure to keep them soothed. If denied, they become more aggressive, plundering fishing nets; extorting shipmakers with the threat of their rotting wind; and even holing hulls to loot the resulting wreck from the bottom of the sea.

The size of a large dog, guttersnipes are equally at home in water as on land, their extra wings working like flippers to cut quickly through the surf. Their scales provide effective underwater camouflage, mirroring reflected sunlight, and their cruel beak-like snout lets them easily rip open hard shells or strip the flesh from their meals.

Vicious, dirty fighters, guttersnipes hold no concept of fairness. A favorite tactic is to lure heavily armored foes to a prepared section of wooden pier and use rotting wind to dump them into the water. Guttersnipes sometimes partner with pirates or unscrupulous merchants but such alliances typically come to a quick end as the dragon's greed gets the better of it.

Goblinworks Lead Game Designer

Hi Jacob, 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 like how this monster has a niche in society beyond “horrible thing that needs killing.” Granted it's niche is as the operator of an extortion racket, but that's interesting and I like monsters player characters can talk to. I could totally see having one of these in an urban game that demands payouts from merchants using the local port and staging all sorts of interesting combat scenes where the guttersnipe uses terrain and his breath weapon to his advantage (possibly working in cahoots with the filth dragon entry). I like that it is not a high damage threat, but you definitely have to pay attention to the guttersnipe because it can really hurt you with its flensing bite and can make your life difficult in the right situation with its breath weapon.

I would rate this as 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!

Is this going to be a street urchin statblock?

Oh, another dragon!
Flensing bite is rough for low-level PCs. They could go al day sickened.
Rotting wind breath sounds gross. Weird that this breath weapon decreases hardness too. This breath weapon needs a bit more clarity. I think restricting its rotting to an object’s size is needed, otherwise in a few round this thing could completely destroy a boat or a house or cart or door. It’s a fun ability, but I think it needs to be reigned in a bit.
I’m not convinced about the wing trick ability. It seems tacked on.
The flavor text is fun and presents a good idea of the kind of things these mean critters do, which provides good ideas for GMs building encounters with them.
The monster is urban and has a tie to Golarion. This wouldn’t take much time to develop for print.

I do recommend guttersnipe for advancement.

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

Hi Jacob! 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.

Flavor
Another dragon! There do seem to be a lack of dragons in urban areas, and I like how you turned an insulting phrase into the name of the creature. The abilities for the guttersnipe emphasize its mean nature, and you took some time to explain its ecology.

GM Usability
An all-day sickened condition is really rough at this level, as most PCs aren't going to have an easy means to heal ability damage at low levels. I would restrict the flensing bite to a set number of rounds. Having two relatively powerful abilities (flensing bite *and* rotting wind breath) seems too much--I would dial back one of the abilities to focus on the other. The wing trick seems like an afterthought in light of its other abilities and focus.

Setting
You manage to give an idea of the scope of the creature without specifying any one particular region, which manages to capture the feel of how things can move from city to city. Not too specific, but specific enough.

Final Thoughts
An urban dragon whose abilities fits its name and described nature. I do recommend this monster for advancement.

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka mamaursula

Congratulations Jacob on a trifecta!

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

Disclosure: I helped provide feedback on this entry, so I'm strongly biased.

I think this is a VERY cool monster. I really like how Jacob managed to present it as a mean an vicious critter, and gave it both the abilities and backstory to make it come into that role. I like how he makes it fit in the campaign setting, and it definitely has an urban feel.

I'm almost guaranteed to vote for this monster.


I like that monster. I feel that rotting breath could use some reworking, though and in wind trick you meant that the wings can be used to make a dirty trick as a part of full attack? Unless it can make a dirty trick while running (which is full-round action after all).

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 very well done, the guttersnipe doesn't need a wing trick, but I think you added that to stress its rogue nature and that is clear.

I concur with Jacob, very vote worthy

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 also was part of the feedback for this so am quite enamored with it :)

But...I do find it interesting that the one of the judges picked up on the flensing bite ability and reigning it in a bit with rotting wind...just saying I may or may not have had the same feedback in :-P

I will upvote this...strong keep.


I also helped Jacob with feedback, so I'll spare rehashing my critique here. Congratulations again, Jacob. Hope to see you in round 3.

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

Wow. You imbued these with some massive personality. Good work, it's sometimes hard to really give a monster a solid 'feel' in the space you have here. The powers they have don't thrill me, so much; I'm agreed that they're a bit strong. Though I love the feel of wing trick; I'd love to have seen that play out a bit more as far as tactics go. Am I right in reading they can perform a dirty trick in addition to making a full attack?
Very cool little monster. Still early in reading, but a strong vote contender for me.

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

Jacob, this is a fun dragon creature; I love its rotten breath weapon. The description and powers fit nicely... what more can I say? Tight design, cool concept, probably got my vote.


This is a fun monster and I really like it. I like the potential for using it both as part of a combat encounter, and a role-playing encounter. I'm not entirely persuaded that it's an urban creature in the strictest sense of the word but it's close enough for me.

Well done!

Grand Lodge Marathon Voter Season 7

So far, this little dragon is my favorite monster entry. I also love it when monsters are intelligent (well, relatively), and have motivations beyond simply killing anything and everything in sight.

Really hope you make it to the next round. Good luck, Jacob!

Shadow Lodge Star Voter Season 6

I have to admit, I initially groaned at the thought of a dragon entry. Everyone likes a dragon, so it felt a bit cheap.

But this is pretty well written, so well done.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7

Jacob, you did not disappoint me! Tis' a great entry indeed. Very flavorful and seems like a kind of monster that would be fun to weave into a story and not just drop onto the party.

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

Waaaaaooooouw! I like this. Fantastic visuals to start, and the tactic description use of rotting wind breath is awesome.

This submission feels very tight, as can be seen from the pain effect descriptor and Strength-based DC for the save on Flensing Bite and the dirty trick wing schtick.

Improved Initiative is a nice touch to provide that essential predatory first strike.

I'm not so enamored of the 40 ft. swim speed, sure, I love that they can swim, but that they are fastest in the water for some reason doesn't feel right regardless of their general habits.

As I'm currently working on a hybrid creature by this very name I'm obviously a fan. I also like the notes on alliances and their usual outcomes.

One thing - it's snout ends in a beak like hook. Is it a snout or is it a beak? I like to think of it as a beak given it kinda seems like a seabird niche and the whole stripping shells and adventurers gig.

Nice, strong entry. Well done.

Star Voter Season 7

Starfinder Superscriber

Nicely done! Vote for!

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:

The name threw me off of this entry, first thing. Monsters named a word in English, even obscure-ish ones, can be confusing (see Sean K. Reynold's rant about the "effigy" from MMII). The concept, however, is tight. Urban extortionist dragons? Pretty cool. The link to shady seaports and pirates is one that not many monsters have, and one that gives the guttersnipe a clear role in Pathfinder (what with the Riddleports and Shackles and all).

Mechanically, the guttersnipe is pretty solid, but I do have a single niggle. Is there any way to repair the loss of hardness from rotting wind? A mending? Make whole? It seems to me that a guttersnipe could destroy entire buildings pretty handily, which seems a touch strong for a CR 3.

The more I come back to this entry, the more I like it. "Urban dragon" was a concept many of the contestants clearly favored, but this particular entry accomplishes that concept with the most panache. I will be voting for this entry, and I suspect that many others will be as well. 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 agree with others that this is a strong entry. Nothing new to add about the stat block or text, it's a lot of fun and needs only minor balancing fixes.

However, I didn't like the name at all, and would want to figure something else out before seeing this in a product. Guttersnipe can mean a street kid, which this isn't, nor does it have anything to do with gutters or sniping (it doesn't even have a ranged attack other than it's breath weapon, which really isn't a sniping attack at all.) Rot Wyrm or something along that line of thinking would be a much better fit.

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

Guttersnipe
The Good: The background is on point, the abilities are all unique, and the flavor is pleasing.
The Bad: Strong dislike on the use of real world insult for a name. Breaks the wall.
The Ugly: For me the stat lines do not match the description. I guess I'm just not feeling these little guys having a 14 strength and an 11 int, seems incongruous with this clever little beast's trickery oriented tactics.
Overall: 8.5/10 different enough from the the other dragons, has more of a niche.

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

Cool! Another little, fairly intelligent dragon. This one has some good Golarion flavor, and I like its array of abilities. The dirty trick with its wings is a nice touch.

My only complaint is that this is not really an urban creature, since it seems more at home following ships around like particularly nasty seagulls.

I'm strongly considering a vote for this dragon, and I wish you luck in the voting.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Locke1520

Well with voting closed I think it's pretty safe to say this was one of my three favorite monsters this round possibly number 1.

I really look forward to your encounter because I'm sure we'll be seeing one from you.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

Wow. Thank you all so much. I was hopeful people would like the guttersnipe but I certainly didn't expect it to get quite as much support as it seems to have.

After my last Superstar monster, this was easily the round I was most nervous about -- I don't think I've made any secret of the fact that of all the typical game design tasks, monster making is the one that comes least naturally to me. I've really worked on it over the last year so I'm thrilled that it looks like it's paid off. Let me also take a moment to give a shout out to my critique circle, who gave me invaluable feedback.

For everyone else, thanks for all the comments and critiques -- that's only going to help me get better (and if anyone else wants to leave comments, I'm certainly open to anything else you've all got to say).

To respond to a few things:
The name: This seems to be pretty much the most controversial aspect. I can definitely see where Nicholas and Joel are coming from -- there's a risk using real words (Adam noted he wondered if he was getting a street urchin statblock, for example) -- but I felt guttersnipe is used infrequently enough that I could get away with it (a la slive as a monster in Jim Butcher's "Furies of Calderon" series). I got really great responses to the name when I was kicking around my ideas with my critique circle. In all honestly, the name was the first thing that I came up with for this monster, and I thought it was just such a great word and just painted a fantastic image for me. Everything else for my design was trying to live up to that name and make something that fit with it. I could see sailors cursing about "this little guttersnipe" that's causing so much trouble, which is where the creature would have gotten its title.

Breath weapon: I realized that I went right into the mechanics of the rotting wind breath and never actually really said what it did. My idea, which I think was conveyed despite that error, was it would rot the wood/leather. Thus, the hardness is lost permanently as the process begins until it's finally destroyed. Still, I think mending or make whole is probably strong enough to counter that effect and I can definitely see that as being one way to fix a damaged object (otherwise, it would need to be patched if it's possible to fix at all).

The wind is meant to be limited to the five-foot section it touches (which I did try to convey, but perhaps didn't do a good job), though it could still sink a boat pretty quickly. Against the PCs, though, it's really sort of a rust monster for leather/wooden goods.

Wing trick: This should indeed be limited to full-round attacks, not actions (thanks, Drejk). I mostly wanted to use it to add to the flavor of them as dirty, underhanded combatants, as Maurice suggested. They're the kind of critter that rips your skin off and then splashes salt/gutter water into the wounds.

Swim speed: Oceanshieldwolf, bumping up the swim speed was a late addition that I agree probably wasn't really necessary. I decided early on to give the beastie two wings -- we've got dragons with four legs, two legs in the front and two legs in the rear, so I figured going with an extra set of wings would be one way to distinguish the guttersnipe. In part because of Adam's advice thread, this became something I really fretted over -- it had to have a reason. It ended up being to use as a boost for its swimming, which gave it the increased speed in the water. Function following form, as it were. (I also went back and forth over whether the creature should be aquatic and amphibious, but decided hold breath worked better.)

Beak or snout: Which one? Sort of both, I guess. It has a typical dragon's snout but then the very tip of it is like a raptor's beak. I see its snout looking a bit like the blue dragon's in the Bestiary, but more pronounced.

Urban: Mike, the rules did say it didn't have to be exclusively urban. This could definitely be found outside of cities too, I think, though the fact that they can't actually breath water would keep them close to shore.

Again, thank you all for any votes and comments. If I advance, I hope I can impress as many people next round.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

Thanks, Andrew. I really appreciate it! Hope to see you in the next round too.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 7 aka devilfluff

I seriously considered guttersnipe as a name. A few times... I'm glad I didn't use it. :)

I really liked what you did. It's interesting to see the differences between the dragon concepts.

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

Jacob, I really saw this as more of a coastal creature than an urban creature. I'm aware it didn't need to be exclusively urban, but I felt it had to be more urban-focused. I admit that is my bias, and it *didn't* stop me from voting for it. :)

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

Jesse, completely forgot to mention: I can't believe I again had parallel design with someone in terms of the name! Seriously, what are the odds of that happening twice?!

Mike, fair enough. Thanks for voting for me/it in spite of that. It's very much appreciated. :)

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

It feels like I have been dotting monster threads for a week...
but this is the last, and saving the best for last.

Congratulations Jacob,
Though voting is over, I still have a couple to comment on & trying to keep it simple to get through them quickly.
Creative: rotting breath dealing hardness reduction is cool.
Fun to GM: Aye, especially if I get to play up on the extortion bit, and setting combat in an abandoned warehouse with weak beams weak floors. :)
Golarion Tie: Useless! How many cities on the Inner Sea have docks? or craftsman? or boats? or pirates? :)

Good luck! :)

Champion Voter Season 6, Champion Voter Season 7, Champion Voter Season 8, Champion Voter Season 9

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Curaigh wrote:
Golarion Tie: Useless! How many cities on the Inner Sea have docks? or craftsman? or boats? or pirates? :)

I'm sure there is at least one...you know...in the back somewhere...

;)

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Just stopping by to say "thanks" for the great monster. I hope I did it justice with Stavrisi in The Floating Bazaar.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9 aka motteditor

I sent you a PM at about the same time you posted this, Mike, but thanks for using the guttersnipe. I was thrilled to see it in two encounters. I thought you and Andrew both did a great job with them; I loved how they were as much NPC as monster.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Locke1520

Jacob it was a fun beast to play with and I can assure you that Gnar and Boll will be getting a permanent home in my next campaign.

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