Round 2: Create a Bestiary entry

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 7

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A peculiar, lupine grin is fixed on the face of this dashingly attractive elven figure.

Agoravore CR 3
XP 800
CE Medium fey
Init +6; Senses low-light vision, see through the scrum; Perception +7

----- Defense -----
AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 13 (+2 Dex, +3 natural)
hp 27 (6d6+6)
Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +6
DR 5/cold iron

----- Offense -----
Speed 30 ft.
Melee rapier +5 (1d6+1/18-20), touch +5 (1d2 Wisdom drain)
Special Attacks pressing throng, Wisdom drain
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +10)
3/day – chameleon stride

----- Statistics -----
Str 12, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 19
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 16
Feats Deceitful, Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +5, Bluff +12, Diplomacy +10, Disguise+12, Knowledge (local) +4, Perception +7, Sense Motive +7, Stealth +8
Languages Aklo, Common, Sylvan
SQ change shape (any humanoid, alter self), one with the crowd

----- Ecology -----
Environment any urban
Organization solitary, pair, or troupe (3-6)
Treasure standard (rapier, other treasure)

----- Special Abilities -----
One With the Crowd (Ex) Agoravores move through crowd squares without impediment.

Pressing Throng (Su) Three times per day the agoravore can cause a humanoid creature within 30 ft. to experience a phantasmal hallucination of a crushing crowd of tightly-packed, pushing, shoving people. The target is allowed a DC 17 Will save to avoid the effect. If he saves, the target is shaken for one round and the hallucination fades. If he fails, the target cowers for 1d4+2 rounds. This is a mind-affecting fear effect and the save is Charisma-based.

See Through the Scrum (Ex) Crowds within 60 ft. of an agoravore grant no penalty to its vision and never provide cover or concealment against it.

Wisdom Drain (Su) With a touch attack the agoravore can drain 1d2 points of Wisdom from a target who is currently suffering from agoraphobia (at the GM's discretion), or is shaken or cowed by Pressing Throng.

Agoravores are shapechanging fey creatures who long ago refused to move from their homelands even while cities grew up around them. They are urban predators that feed off the mental distress of people who are afraid of large, busy public spaces by draining their Wisdom. They live in almost every city in Golarion, but feed just carefully enough to avoid raising suspicion.

In their natural forms, agoravores look like caricatures of elves: their ears are longer and more pointed, their mouths and eyes larger, and their skin slightly luminous. While they spend most of their time shapechanged into other forms to either throw off pursuit or build a victim's trust, they always have trouble repressing a predatory grin.

Agoravores mill about at the edges of crowded marketplaces or near the walls of large taverns, looking for signs of anxiety. When one spots a suitable victim, it approaches in the guise of a friendly guide, an elderly woman, or a child. Capricious, unpredictable, and often brazen, an agoravore is just as likely to feed upon its victim in the middle of a bustling bazaar—where it disguises its actions as comfort for the terrified—as it is to escort the victim to one of its many dens scattered throughout the city or town.

Agoravores hunt at any time of day or night. Some prefer crowded marketplaces during daylight, while others enjoy large, busy taverns. They particularly favor festivals and major religious holidays, since many people who are usually nervous around crowds are willing to come outside and celebrate.

Goblinworks Lead Game Designer

Hi Brian, 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, the vampire of the crowded street. Neat idea, particularly the idea that this is what happens to fey who don't move when their land is turned into a city. It's rare to see monsters that are designed to be fought in the middle of crowded areas, so the extra complications of crowds, innocent bystanders, collateral damage, etc, are intriguing. I could totally see using one of these as a long running villain in an urban campaign since they are so readily able to get away in the hustle and bustle of the city. I'm a bit sad the agoravore does not have a ranged attack to take advantage of the fact that crowds do not provide cover against it.

I'd say this is a Should Vote For.

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

Hi Brian! 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

An interesting play on the "psychic vampire" idea, and a nice addition to the urban predator repertoire--and fey, too. I would have like a bit more descriptive information on why Wisdom is just so darn tasty to these guys, though.

GM Usability
One of the things that's a potential sticky widget is "what's a crowd?" How are you going to define that, as the agoravore's abilities pretty much rely on getting that point cleared up post-haste. And Wisdom drain at a touch...clarifying that it is a melee touch in your Special Abilities section would also be a good idea. A problem that I see is that there is no saving throw lead up if the character has agoraphobia, but there is one for those that failed against pressing throng. This seems like a built-in way to screw with one particular kind of character, as the agoravore is naturally going to target said character over and over again with its Wisdom drain (as there's no limit on how many times it can do it, and as long as they keep hitting them with a melee touch, you're looking at maybe five rounds on average before somebody goes comatose). Aklo doesn't quite seem like a good language choice, and given its spread, "additional language of choice" suitable to the locale that it's in would be a better choice for an intelligent predator.

Definitely works with the urban environment--but it could be any city on any fantasy (or even science fiction) world.

Final Thoughts
A good creature concept, but has some potential mechanical issues. I do recommend this monster for advancement, but stronger ties to the setting would help it very much.

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 it something that eats wide open spaces?

We have another fey, folks! Interesting focus on this urban fey, it might be a bit too narrow.
The special abilities certainly match the theme and support one another.
I’m certain that this monster would resonate strongly with some people, but for me the focus is too narrow. It does what it’s supposed to do, but it’s not wowing me.
The monster is urban but has only a vague tie to Golarion. This would take some time to develop.

I don’t recommend agoravore 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

Yep I wondered if it ate open spaces at the name too!

I feel like I can work to understand what your concept is...but it's just not coming across that clearly in the execution. It's a cool concept (what I think it is) and I love the idea of a creature whose encounters would normally be in crowded places but it just gets hampered in the mechanical problems.

Overall a weak reject but I'm putting it on my short list for voting.

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

I don't like the name, and that put me into a negative frame of mind when coming into this, but I have to say, your descriptive text and mechanics changed my mind. I really enjoy this one, and I particularly like the concept behind these fey.

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

At first the name jarred, but now I totally get it, as I have had plenty of friends diagnosed with agoraphobia-as-meaning-large-crowds, so a creature that dissembles and strikes in the throng is madness incarnate. If one of these guys got a hold of Elias Cannetti's Crowds and Power it might mean the end of Golarion.

I like that the Agoravore is an elvish-looking fey, reminds me of Kobold Press' Courts of the Shadowfey dark and gothic shadowfey…

What I like most about this creature is the lore, not the Golarion tie in lore, but the generic lore. Wild creatures of the wild, that have been built over and civilization'd, but who have adapted and morphed to prey on the major extant resource - the inhabitants. Beautiful concept.

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

Like the concept, I do feel that Wisdom drain requires a more nifty (urban) name like the other powers do.

weak keep for now.

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

Congratulations Brian,
I am trying to keep reviews simple to get through them quickly.
Creative: Not something I have seen before, well chosen.
Fun to GM: wisdom drain is something my PCs don't experience often. Scrum power seems a little pointless with none of its attacks SLA having that range. Likewise someone afraid of crowds is not likely to cower into a crowd, they're more likely to flee.
Golarion Tie: any city, but nothing specific to the world.

Good luck! :)

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

In a lot of ways, this is similar to the Face in the Crowd entry; a creature that actually uses the presence of a crowd to protect and/or hide itself while hunting & preying.
This seems to be a more solid entry overall, though I still love the image of the FitC's appearance and M.O.; if I were ever inclined to adapt one or the other of these monsters for a home game, they might get melded into one.
Pressing Throng is a pretty neat ability, and the kind of thing that makes me wonder why we've never seen it before.
Overall, I like these. Probably in the top half of the entries I've seen to date; not sure if they quite make the top quarter, though.

Star Voter Season 7

Starfinder Superscriber

Another vote for!

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

Mechanically sound, with the monster's DR tipping the scales for its low hp. The DC for its special ability is rather high for its CR. That combined with its wisdom drain ability might be a bit much for this CR. The allip--also CR3--only does wisdom damage, and that allows a Will save to negate, which this doesn't.

In case anyone was wondering what the Pathfinder rules say about crowds:

The PRD wrote:
Crowds: Urban streets are often full of people going about their daily lives. In most cases, it isn't necessary to put every 1st-level commoner on the map when a fight breaks out on the city's main thoroughfare. Instead, just indicate which squares on the map contain crowds. If crowds see something obviously dangerous, they'll move away at 30 feet per round at initiative count 0. It takes 2 squares of movement to enter a square with crowds. The crowds provide cover for anyone who does so, enabling a Stealth check and providing a bonus to Armor Class and on Reflex saves.

So it is a viable and codified situation for the monster to utilize. Let's see how the abilities play out here.

One with the Crowd: Solid and viable power for this creature.

Pressing Throng: DC is high. Again, coupled with a follow-up of Wisdom drain, this is tough. I don't think cowering works here. I'd use it more as a battlefield control technique: rather than cower, have the affected creatures flee away from the crowds. That way the monster could use strategy to get is victims where it wants them, possibly right towards others of its kind if fought in a group.

See Through the Scrum: Again, useful power for its idiom.

Wisdom Drain: Still not sure drain is right for this, but it still should allow for a save. Also, missing an urban twist here, to fit the theme.

I like the theme and the backstory for these nasty fey. Not sold on the name. They feed on fear, not on wide open areas. No Golarion connection that I can see, though it wouldn't be hard to fit them in. Mechanical concerns give me reservations about voting for this, so it goes on the fence until I sort through the rest.

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:

This monster threw me from the start with the name. Does it eat open spaces? Reading the entry got me to see what was going on there, but it still rubs me the wrong way. That said, the actual concept, of a terror-fey with a penchant for anxiety, is killer. The description of them as elf-caricatures is delightful and creepy in an uncanny valley sort of way. The prose is very strong throughout, and clear thought has been given to how to build an encounter around one.

Mechanically, the agoravore is strong, but doable. Wisdom drain, as opposed to damage, is nasty at this level, but like the similarly CRed vampire spawn, it needs a bit to set up--it needs to find someone suffering from agoraphobia before it can snack on them.

When the biggest complaint I have about a creature is its name, that's a good sign. I am a big fan of the agoravore, and it has one of my votes. Best of luck!

Sovereign Court

I'm not sure why there is all this confusion about the name. Agoraphobia is a panic disorder where one is afraid of the environment, often due to its openness or crowdedness. I think it fits.

As for the monster itself, it's a neat play on a very common emotion in urban life, naming feeling alone and abandoned while surrounded by people. I like how its very nature stops it from being a standard "roll initiative, attack" encounter, instead requiring investigation and caution. Simply knowing this thing could be hidden in a crowd would make me a bit agoraphobic. Stylistically, it reminds me of something from the X-Files or Supernatural, a monster that continually feeds on the populace, yet it is not difficult for the populace to deny that it really exists.

Definitely one of my favorites and a vote.

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

It is not confusion per se...we are pointing out that a literal translation would be open space eater. Phobiavore would be more apropos if it is going to be eating fear. I think we are all just trying to make sure the author gets that if they progress to the next round.

Liberty's Edge

Actually, the Agora in ancient Greece was a gathering or assembly place in the city center, sometimes becoming an open market square. So I think a more literal translation of "agoravore" would be "crowd eater," which seems to fit pretty well with the author's intention for the creature. I think it's an interesting monster with great potential for city encounters, or even as a recurring villain.

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: Fey are cool. Doesn't strike me as OP, like the thought into a face in the crowd that is essentially a predator I'm guessing.
The Bad: None of the mechanics make me go WOW between that and the voidspun lenses this is the frontrunner, which is a shame I love the voidspun lenses. Hate the name.
The Ugly: Feels like you were going for horror but it fell flat. I have no sense of why this monster is coming into conflict with my PCs. I see this has the makings of a great assassin type character but I have no clear or even strongly implied motive.
Overall: 7/10 - I might spice it up with a couple rogue levels and consider using it but it screams I need a good ecology or backstory. This is perhaps an unfair assessment but without a bite attack I cannot assume predator and its CE. LE and I'd assume it was a functional but dark secret of the city. CN and I'd be like it needs a motive? This just feels incomplete to me... If it gets my vote it will be more about the competition this is not a no-brainer in.

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

Findolwyn wrote:
Actually, the Agora in ancient Greece was a gathering or assembly place in the city center, sometimes becoming an open market square. So I think a more literal translation of "agoravore" would be "crowd eater," which seems to fit pretty well with the author's intention for the creature. I think it's an interesting monster with great potential for city encounters, or even as a recurring villain.

Great point for the designer...if there IS an ancient language basis AND a today language basis...people are going to judge against the today basis. In this case I think the designer was being clever (thanks for pointing out the greek translation) but most everyone knows the term agoraphobia in today's parlance.

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 don't like the name at all. Fey don't have names assigned to them by human researchers. They are older than such conventions and should have an appropriate fey name.

Now, having said that, I like the raw concept of the item a lot. Revenge-minded fey who feed from the distress created when mortal upstarts move into their home.

I really struggle to like weak connections to the setting. To me it's a major requirement of the round and a tacked on single sentence or "hangs out in the cities of Golarion" is lazy. How long would it take to find a few human cities struggling with fey incursions, or who need more background or turmoil?

I like this dude, and might vote on it based on the cool concept. But if you advance, I really want your Golarion location and encounter to be firmly attached to the setting and your encounter to be new and unique.

Good 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 love it, this is a great new monster, and you did a great job carving out a niche for it by playing with the crowd mechanics.

Since it's so crowd dependent though, I don't think this fits any urban, but cities and metropolises only. I can't imagine it being able to thrive in a small village that wouldn't have crowds.

You have my vote.

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

The agoravore, while its name sets up expectations that your monster doesn't quite satisfy, has a lot of cool crowd-specific abilities that firmly cement it as an urban monster. I really like the concept of a fey creature seeking revenge for civilization taking over its habitat and adapting to the habitat to get its revenge.

I'm not a fan of "GM's discretion," and I think you could have just left the Wisdom drain as effective on a victim suffering from the agoravore's pressing thong ability. This entry is the first one that didn't even name-check something in Golarion—you'll want to be careful to tie your submissions for the following rounds to Golarion.

Overall, I like this one, and I am considering a vote for it. Good luck in this round.

Silver Crusade

Frankly if we are reading a new creature in a bestiary (especially one like an urban fey that really doesn't exist otherwise) I would want a name which in some manner describes the creature itself. So the argument that it's name isn't some obscure pretty sounding fey one I think is a very weak one against. Personally I like the name itself. It's certainly one of the more clever ones of the entries not only in its description, but also in its meter and rhyme. If I look at an index as a GM and see "agora" I instantly know it would be appropriate for some sort of crowded setting.

I agree that given the ability to prevent crowds as cover, this creature should probably have a ranged attack. I do like the idea of the creature in disguise (as per change shape) brushing by a PC with a flat footed melee touch attack that renders the PC highly unsettled (works great in a crowd where they couldn't immediately pick out the culprit or know the exact cause). DC is a bit high for its level, and will saves tend to be the worst on PCs as it is. The descriptor lends me to NE as cautious as they sound.

I think this works perfect in the Golarion setting as an urban creature, and I really like the idea of Fey who have refused to move on over the course of the city development (it's something I never really thought too much about until I read this entry). Makes sense they would speak the languages listed. Golarion is a pretty diverse world so it's hard to tie it to the world in any real sense (outside of residing on another plane or in the future), so I don't weigh to heavily on that point.

Overall I judge these as "would I use this in a campaign" and the answer for this entry is a definite yes.

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