Dwarf Agaric


Round 3: Create a Bestiary entry

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6

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This dwarf-like creature glows with a pale blue radiance and appears to be wearing a large, dome-like, cobalt-speckled hat.

Dwarf Agaric CR 6XP 2,400
N Medium plant
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +15

----- Defense -----
AC 19, touch 10, flat-footed 19 (+9 natural)
hp 68 (8d8+32)
Fort +10, Ref +4, Will +5
Immune plant traits; Resist cold 5

----- Offense -----
Speed 20 ft.
Melee 2 slams +11 (1d8+5 plus disease and poison)
Special Attacks disease, spore swarm

----- Statistics -----
Str 20, Dex 10, Con 19, Int 5, Wis 12, Cha 7
Base Atk +6; CMB +11; CMD 21
Feats Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Perception +15, Stealth –20
Languages Undercommon
SQ hive mind, phosphorescence

----- Ecology -----
Environment any underground (Nar-Voth)
Organization solitary or colony (2–6)
Treasure incidental

----- Special Abilities -----
Disease (Ex) Fungal rot: Slam—injury; save Fort DC 18; onset 1d3 days; frequency 1/day; effect 1d3 Dex damage and 1d3 Con damage; cure 2 consecutive saves. A dwarf agaric’s spores can cause a potentially-fatal fungal infection. Affected areas develop moldy-looking rashes that itch, burn, and eventually cause the underlying flesh to slough away. If a Medium or larger creature dies from this infection, a new dwarf agaric grows from the resulting mass of fungal matter in 1d6 days. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Hive Mind (Su) A colony of dwarf agarics forms a rudimentary telepathic hive mind within a 100 foot radius. If one is aware of a particular danger, they all are aware. If one in the colony of dwarf agarics is not flat-footed, none of them are. No dwarf agaric in a colony is considered flanked unless all dwarf agarics in the colony are flanked.

Spore Swarm (Ex) Once per day as a standard action, a dwarf agaric can release a swarm of glowing spores, which it can control using its hive mind ability. The spore swarm has the same statistics as a cockroach swarm (Bestiary 2, p. 58) with the dwarf agaric’s hive mind and phosphorescence abilities and the plant type instead of the vermin type. Its swarm attack delivers the dwarf agaric’s disease and poison and limns affected creatures with its phosphorescence for 1d6 minutes.

Phosphorescence (Ex) A dwarf agaric glows with a pale blue phosphorescence equivalent to faerie fire.

Poison (Ex) Slam—injury; save Fort DC 18, frequency 1/round for 4 rounds, effect 1d4 Wis damage plus confused for 1 round, cure 1 save. Creatures that hit the dwarf agaric with natural attacks or unarmed strikes are exposed to its poison, a hallucinogenic mycotoxin. The confusion is a mind-affecting effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.

So called because of its appearance, a dwarf agaric resembles a crude dwarf-like creature with pallid flesh, dark spots for eyes, and beard-like tendrils under a bulbous nose. The blue-speckled appendage atop its head, often mistaken for a hat, is actually a mushroom cap, complete with gills. A dwarf agaric stands about four feet tall and weighs roughly 150 pounds.

Dwarf agarics are a rare, highly-evolved, and semi-sentient variety of cytillesh fungus found only in remote reaches of Nar-Voth. Like cytillesh, dwarf agarics glow with a pale blue bioluminescence and possess hallucinogenic and latent psychic properties. They lack any civilization or sophistication and do not use tools. Derro consider them a delicacy when properly cooked, but find them nearly impossible to cultivate due to their relative intelligence and the fungal infection their spores carry.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Congratulations on making the Top 16 in RPG Superstar! I'm Mikko Kallio, an RPG design blogger, freelancer, and former RPG Superstar finalist. Some of my freelance work involves designing monsters for Paizo's Adventure Path bestiaries. I'll review your monster much like I do when a fellow freelancer asks me to have a look at an assignment they're going to turn in.

Name and concept

The name is ok if not terribly evocative.

I think the concept is certainly appropriate for Nar-Voth. Dwarf-like fungi as a concept didn't sound very exciting initially, but it grew on me.

Descriptive line

A glowing dwarf with a big hat... alright, I'm curious to read more, but not necessarily in a good way. I'd avoid using ”appears to be”. I'd also argue that ”cobalt-speckled” isn't a detail you'd be able to notice just like that – how does one know if its cobalt or some other gray metal? How many people even know what cobalt looks like?

Stat block

I didn't notice any stat block errors, impressive!

The stats look ok for its CR. Its damage output is low, but it mostly relies on dropping its opponents with Wis damage, using the cockroach swarm (i.e. the spores) and making the opponents attack each other with their poison. So, no problem there.

Special abilities

They have a lot of new special abilities (which should be listed alphabetically, by the way!), and many of them involve some extra bookkeeping (keeping track of poison, disease, spore/swarm hit points and stats, who's limned with phosphorescence, and checking whether they're all flanked). Yes, in fact all of these abilities require some checking and counting, which could potentially slow down the combat to a crawl.

The disease is thematically appropriate and also explains how they reproduce. Sounds nasty, eww. Very flavorful. Hive mind is mechanically interesting and also a thematically appropriate ability. The swarm is a nasty, additional complication. They have a nice array of mechanically different but thematically consistent abilities.

The confusion effect might not work quite as well as you intended – if a confused PC is already fighting one of these creatures, it'll probably continue attacking the nearest creature, i.e. the dwarf agaric.

Description

The description is a bit sparse on details that could be useful for the GM, and what little is told about them only reinforces the idea that they're mostly only a combat threat.

Verdict

I didn't like this monster initially, but it grew on me. I weakly recommend it for advancement.

Scarab Sages Modules Overlord

NOTE TO VOTERS: There was a template error for some contestants that placed name, CR, and XP all on one line. That is not a contestant error, and they should not be penalized for sticking to the template we told them to use.

I'm not a fan of the name. The description seems to assume the viewer is going to mistake a plant for some kind of dwarf, but the creature has no ability that makes it particularly difficult to identify as a plant. If the " large, dome-like, cobalt-speckled hat" (and I assume you mean the color of cobalt blue) is like a mushroom cap, there are much better ways to describe that.

There's very little here to tell me what I, as a GM, am supposed to do with this. The idea of fungus-men isn't new, and while I like doing the roach swarm/spore attack, there isn't enough new stuff either conceptually or mechanically to excite me.

I weakly do not recommend this monster for advancement to the next round.

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!

My Judging Process:

I’m treating these like a pre-development pass.

When I develop a monster for the Adventure Path bestiaries (or anything really), one of the first phases is where I print out the monster entry, and look it over, 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-making 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 figured the best way to judge this round is to treat it like my normal day-to-day work and do what I mentioned above. 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. Some of the things I comment on might seem nitpicky or overly critical of a small element, but I blame that on my job. I’ll probably even use terms that aren’t that familiar outside of publishing. :)

One thing to keep in mind is that nothing in my review here is 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 all of these comments scribbled in purple ink on a sheet of paper containing your monster.

I start by googling the name to make sure that it isn’t something already existing, a weird term that could mean more than one thing, or isn’t secretly offensive or illegal.

Then I read the flavor line under the monster’s name.

Then I work my way down the statblock looking for anything that stands out or is in the wrong place or is formatted wrong. Most of these comments are just things that jumped out at me from a glance and are super easy to fix while I’m developing a monster. (I don’t get annoyed at my freelancers for these little typos and oversights unless it gets really sloppy or persistant.) During this I also look at how much the stats match up to Table 1–1 and how different elements of the design account for numbers that are off the average. During this part I often have questions about why a decision was made or why the creature has this element. I jot these down. Many times I figure out the decision once I read the flavor text and go back and scratch those notes out.

This leads me to the flavor text. This is the part of the monster where I get to see how well the designer can write. (One of the reasons I often test new contributors with monsters is that it pairs up design and writing in a nice compact package.) I also look at how the designer used the tight wordcount. This round’s rules used pretty much the same wordcount that we’d use for one of those monsters, and it can be difficult finding the right balance of flavor text and statblock. Too much flavor can sometimes result in a boring creature mechanically, but when 90% of the turnover is statblock, the GM doesn’t have much to go on for how to run the critter.

In judging, I also go back and evaluate some of my critiques and revise after looking at the monster again with fresher eyes.

I notice that I say “probably” a lot in my reviews. When I use that word I pretty much mean that I’d either really think it over and research a few things more than I normally would before making a particular change. This would certainly include me turning around in my chair and getting feedback from other developers (including any editors that heard me in the next cube over).

Even though most of my comments are very “stream of consciousness,” I spent a good amount of time with each of these monsters, typically an average of 30 minutes on each submission. Some more than others. I also did all of my reviews blind without seeing the other judge’s comments. I didn’t want what they had to say influence me. I apologize ahead of time if we end up being repetitive.

And now onto the monster!

• I’m really surprised we didn’t get many fungal creatures. This was a welcome submission. I’m not a huge fan of the name, and would probably change it in development.

• The description is good and really gives me enough visuals to order its art.

• All of its numbers are in line with a creature of this CR. The damage is a bit low, but the disease and poison rider effects make up for this.

• The Stealth penalty shocked me for a bit, until I got to the phosphorescense special ability. Well done.

• Good use of hyphens, em dashes, and en dashes.

• You didn’t italicize cure in the disease special ability. I liked that you gave a good description of how the disease manifests.

• I don’t like how you designed the spore swarm ability. I would have just made it a burst that it can do once per day, maybe have it linger for a number of rounds and move with the creature instead of reskinning an existing monster and then layering on new abilities. That leaves things up for confusion in certain corner cases.

• I like that the phosphorescence ability is kind of a weakness in a couple of ways. Not only can these things not hide, but they actually provide favorable conditions to adventurers that might want to fight them.

• Poison special ability: use “confusion” instead of “confused.” Also, I’d add “successfully” right before “hit” in the special effects part of the ability. Actually, considering that ability, I’d try to break that into a separate ability so that I could put that in special qualities or defensive abilities, since it might get lost in a special attack.

• The flavor text is clear and further helps visualize the creature. I really like that they are sort of sentient cytillesh. The connections you made were good, but I think they are going to resonate with people more tuned into the setting (and derro) than others that don’t know about cytillesh. That’s the thing that keeps this from being just another myconid or whatever.

Although I don’t like the name, I like this creature and most of its execution. I do recommend this monster to advance.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6

Thanks to the judges for your feedback. I'm looking forward to seeing what the voters think as well!

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

Second monster that I have seen.

Good: You taught me a new word, so bonus points for that.
Bad: Monster is not very evocative, doesn't wow me and it really should be doing that!
Ugly: The double whammy of disease and poison, maybe you should have mixed up the DC's a little bit?

Thinking about it a little more, I think the monster just doesn't excite me enough, there isn't enough 'meat' to this mushroom.

Your current rank is 2 of 2.

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

Psychic mold --- sentient derro fungus stuff... all pretty much "fitting" but not necessarily "original". That said, I would likely have the PCs find a hive of them, just to see how they deal with it. Maybe even have them be "saved" from derro hunter-gatherers.

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

Thanks for using my favorite creature type!

Now, let's get down to the nitty gritty stuff:

Quote:
Feats Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Perception)

Power attack seems off. This monster seems like something which primarily fights through its disease and poison. Lowering its accuracy to do more hit-point damage doesn't seem appropriate.

Quote:
Disease (Ex) Fungal rot: Slam—injury; save Fort DC 18; onset 1d3 days; frequency 1/day; effect 1d3 Dex damage and 1d3 Con damage; cure 2 consecutive saves. A dwarf agaric’s spores can cause a potentially-fatal fungal infection. Affected areas develop moldy-looking rashes that itch, burn, and eventually cause the underlying flesh to slough away. If a Medium or larger creature dies from this infection, a new dwarf agaric grows from the resulting mass of fungal matter in 1d6 days. The save DC is Constitution-based.

1d3 constitution damage is rarely if ever going to kill a PC, so I doubt that effect will come into play. It does, however, explain how the fungus reproduces. I'm also glad you included the clause that it has to be at least medium--it avoids the "bag of rats" phenomenon, where lots and lots of low-constitution creatures can be rapidly transformed. No complaints here.

Quote:
Hive Mind (Su)

Why is this supernatural? It seems like this should be (Ex). In fact...

Quote:
Spore Swarm (Ex) Once per day as a standard action, a dwarf agaric can release a swarm of glowing spores, which it can control using its hive mind ability. The spore swarm has the same statistics as a cockroach swarm (Bestiary 2, p. 58) with the dwarf agaric’s hive mind and phosphorescence abilities and the plant type instead of the vermin type. Its swarm attack delivers the dwarf agaric’s disease and poison and limns affected creatures with its phosphorescence for 1d6 minutes.

It releases spores as an (Ex) ability, but controls it as a (Su)? What happens if it releases them in an AMF? Do the spores not move? Move randomly? Something else?

Otherwise, I mostly agree with Mikko Kallio's comment on this monster.

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

I like fungus creatures; particularly appropriate for Nar-Voth. I also really like the idea of making a sentient (or semi-sentient) Cytillesh fungus creature.

I'm not sure the execution really brought those concepts together very well for me, though. It almost has too many different abilities going on- or too few, maybe, for its Intelligence level. If it had a higher Intelligence (and its a brain mold, so its easily justified), I think the hive mind and spore swarm abilities would make more sense- they could direct them and make strategic use of them and one another. At its current Int score, though, it almost seems like the abilities don't really benefit them quite that well.

Definitely a strong tie to Nar-Voth, which is a good thing, and it is a good creative start. I just wish there had been a little more development given to its niche.

Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Clouds Without Water

Name- Dwarf Agaric. First thought is it's an ingredient in dwarven cuisine. I do expect a mushroom. I don't expect a mushroom shaped like a dwarf!

Description- "Dwarf-like" seems confusing in this context. It seems it just means 'vaguely dwarf shaped'. I get an image from it, though it seems sort of comical.

Special Abilities- Mostly logical, if not exciting. Spore Swarm is a neat visual.

Nar-Voth appropriate- Sure. Fits the underground and the wilderness vibes of Nar-Voth.

Mojo- Just not exciting me much. I wonder if there's something to do with Spore Swarm that could make it more panic-inducing for the players. Harder to escape it, somehow. Imagining a player desperate to get out of a cloud of spores, there's an inherent unease of such things to tap into. Maybe a cloud/swarm hybrid, or something.

Will players remember in 6 months- Probably not. As is, it would be the usual sort of undergroundy thing.

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

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

Congratulations on making the Top 16! :D

I have an affinity for plant monsters so I like the idea of something that may be mistaken for a derro actually being an animate fungus. Very cool concept, though the imagery didn’t do much for me.

The connection to the derro in Nar-Voth is obvious and solid, though how a fungus evolved into a derro like creature could have been detailed out for an even better connection. It definitely fits into the Darklands of Golarion.

All that said, that is one pretty tough monster that is all but impossible to flank—effectively reducing rogues and the like to observers in the battle more than participants. That fungal rot disease is particularly nasty and poison with every slam? You also get a swarm attack on top of everything else. That is a lot of long term damage and destruction that can be heaped by these creatures. No weaknesses that I can see either.

As a result I will not be voting for this entry.

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

Charlie Bell wrote:

This dwarf-like creature glows with a pale blue radiance and appears to be wearing a large, dome-like, cobalt-speckled hat.

Dwarf Agaric CR 6XP 2,400

Welcome back to Top 16 Charlie!

Yeah for more plant creatures. I loved the Myconids from the A module series back in the day and this lives up to them. The visuals are strong too, playing off the beard and cap and the slight glow. Mechanically no surprises. The abilities are easy to interpret and well written. I find them a little uninspiring though. Disease, poison, swarm, even hive mind have all been done before. This is not a deal breaker, I just wanted to see new stuff especially the hallucinogenic and psychic properties mentioned.

Overall a keeper. Good luck!

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

OK description. I can picture the creature, but it’s not particularly exciting. That said, when I glanced down and saw it’s actually a plant, I was a little thrown.

I’m afraid I’m not a fan of the write-up. I think you give some decent information, but not enough for me to know how to use these creatures. They’re a delicacy for derro, but will they fight if someone tries to eat them? Also, while a relatively non-antagonistic monster certainly has its place, for Superstar you want something that’s going to prove a combat challenge for PCs, and based on the write-up, I’m not sure this manages that. They just sort of seem to sit there.

HP =
AC =
Atk =
Dmg =
Abilities +
Saves =

Stats seem in line with where they should be.

I have mixed feelings on the special abilities.

The disease is nothing super exciting, but I think the writing’s really evocative: “Affected areas develop moldy-looking rashes that itch, burn, and eventually cause the underlying flesh to slough away” is a colorful image and not one I’d want to subject my character to. This might be my favorite part. Hive mind also seems like a nice power that’s not going to be game-breaking, though will mess up some combat tactics. Phosphorescence feels like it works for the creatures, but almost seems like it should go under weaknesses as there are no benefits to it.

Unfortunately, spore swarm seems to not fit in as well, and I think it feels odd to have both a poison and a disease. I think I’d probably sick with one or the other, if only to cut down on bookkeeping.

Unfortunately, while there are some bright spots in this monster, I don’t think I’ll be voting for it.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The name is a an obscure, terrible pun, so I give you some points for creativity as well as cruelty. What we're left with, though, is yellow musk creeper in myconid drag. It's a very old school creature, with all that entails, both good and bad.

Star Voter Season 8

The Good: Tightly themed, close to target on HP, AC, attack and damage and a good toolbox of themed abilities.
The Bad: Both the poison and disease abilities are rocking a DC18 saving through, which is significantly above the target number. The ability for each Agaric to also be a CR2 cockroach swarm is excessive when considering their disease and poison.
The Ugly: Intentionally or no, they're specifically designed to single out sneak attack and make it redundant, without giving serious justification as to why.

I'll be honest, this comes across as a good workhorse style creature I could see using with some modification (removing the flanking immunity if not alone). There's some good stuff here, but for me, the dwarf theme hindered more than it helped.

I will not be voting for this one, sadly.

Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

I wasn't too thrilled with the name or the feats this monster had. A plant fungus having Lightning Reflexes and Power Attack seemed off, as did it's "lethal" 1d3 poison at CR6.

Then I re-read the description and wondered if people were supposed to mistake it for dwarves, or it was just humorously joked about as such.

Anyways, as a DM I can do things with it, setting up a colony of them as a "you must pass through here" scenario. The last sentence made me picture a whole bunch of fungoid fugu fish.

Creativity and Theme: 2/5

Running this monster as a DM: 3/5

Encountering this monster as a complex/story encounter: 4/5

Encountering this monster as a random encounter: 1/5

10 / 20 pts.

Dedicated Voter Season 8

mushroom shaped head, spewing spores. ..
there is no way I could have this within 100ft of my players and expect to have a serious game.
they would rip it apart.

there is a cool creature in there, but in the words of Sterling Archer....Phrasing.

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

Feels like a myconid with an supervillain identity crisis and some ... interesting headgear. That can spew forth a swarmier version of itself to plague you.

Would like to have seen the hive mind subject colony members to sharing any mental fatigue or associated conditions...

Semi-sentient feels a little unclear - they are "highly evolved" (physiologically i guess?) but have no civilisation or tool use wth some obviously directed /not response to stimuli or reflexive abilities.

Running into more than one of these delicious-to-derro critters will be ...swarmy.

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

Criteria:

The Monster round is my favorite in the competition as it generally exposes the designers in a way previous rounds do not. 300 words is enough to make an impression but does not tell me much about you as a designer.

The monster round tells me about your gaming ascetic, your attention to detail, and if you have the creative chops to be different. Anyone can make a boring monster it takes a special kind of mind to make a Chimney Troll or a Yellow Tongued Hulk. IS it fair to compare you to my favorites from prior years? Probably not but I'm going to do so anyway.

Format you'll find familiar but shorter than my item reviews. I'm combining bad and ugly and I'm going to be harsh even on the things I like, this is because compliments don't make you better.

Good I love fungi and you added in an element of the bio-luminescent which I have a weak spot for.
Bad and Ugly You started to lose me with them resembling dwarves as I questioned that immediately, the spore roach swarm threw me the rest of the way.
Overall Possibly very useful but needs some edits. Its a B- for em and maybe on the bubble of my 4th 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

The name should probably be Agaric, Dwarf...to avoid the reader thinking this is a type of actual dwarf (the race).

Hmmm...why is its hat more interesting than the actual description of the creature?

Disease, spores, and poison on a plant. Not that its necessarily bad...just...uninspired?

Ooo a healthy penalty to Stealth! Interesting!

Any underground? As in, in an underground lake of magma? :)

Ok, cool disease, but why not just call it fungal rot instead of Disease?

Love the hive mind.

Hmm...an interesting take on spores. I like it more now that I've read the ability.

Bioluminescence is natural!

Ok, Now I FINALLY see that it is usually mistaken for a mushroom. I would have made that clearer in your initial description.

Overall, I enjoy this little plant creature even with some of the issues above. I particularly like how you found ways to describe tertiary things about them (like how Derro consider them a delicacy) which sets up encounter and story possibilities.


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Mikko Kallio wrote:
I didn't like this monster initially, but it grew on me.

Yeah, it grew on him...like a fungus! See? Right? High five!

"Jacob W. Michaels wrote:
...while there are some bright spots in this monster...

Yeah, big, blue, phosphorescent ones all over its cap! Right? Right? High five!

Okay, enough with the puns. We now return you to your regularly scheduled monster critique.

This is the 12th monster entry I've read. Initial impression is mixed. Name is kinda punny, but it seems like a cool sentient fungus, and I like those. Let's dig in and see what's here.

Name: Not sold on it. Kinda punny. Fits the monster though.

Description: Sounds slightly silly looking. Not necessarily a bad thing, as adventurers may underestimate it, to their dismay.

hp: Slightly less than normal for its CR. Oddly, it has one less HD than is typical for a plant of this CR.

AC: On target for its CR.

Attack: Within range for its CR, on the high end.

Damage: Within range for its CR, on the low end.

Primary Ability DC: High for its CR, equal to a CR 8.

Saves: Fort slightly high, Ref slightly low, Will on the money. Here's where that missing Hit Die would have come in handy. Base for poor saves would have gone up to +3, evening out the Ref save and you would have had an extra feat to play with.

Feats: Not sure Power Attack fits here. The others are mainly bumping saves, which would have been helped by that extra Hit Die, and there would have been another feat here to work with.

Skills: Looks good. I like that the phosphorescence works against them.

Special Abilities:

Disease: Good writing, and a sensible ability for the creature.

Hive Mind: Pretty powerful ability that makes these things significantly dangerous in larger numbers. Speaking of numbers, under Organization it should probably read: single, pair, or colony (3-6). I also have to agree with 137ben; I don't see why this is a supernatural rather than extraordinary ability.

Spore Swarm: Excellent idea, and I like how you execute it mechanically.

Phosphorescence: Again, I like that it has a light-based weakness that isn't light blindness.

Poison: Appropriate, but perhaps a bit of overkill at 1d4 Wis damage. Especially with the high DC.

Background: It fits thematically in Nar-Voth, and I like the derro tie-in.

Overall, I rather like this monster. It works rather well as an addition to the Darklands. Is it creative enough to be Superstar? Intelligent mushroom folk have been done before. Does this have enough of a creative spin to it to get past being old hat? Best of luck to you in the voting!

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

theheadkase wrote:
Any underground? As in, in an underground lake of magma? :)

For the voters: as mentioned in another monster thread, "any underground" is not a mistake.

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

You lost me at dwarf plant, I didn't really investigate much more after that.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

It's sort of weird that a Dwarf Agaric is a giant agaric.

Star Voter Season 6

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Mikko Kallio wrote:
Dwarf-like fungi as a concept didn't sound very exciting initially, but it grew on me.

I see what you did there. Better roll a fortitude save, Mikko! :)

Star Voter Season 6

This was the fifth monster I read.
I'll just be giving my initial impressions:
What the heck??? ...This is a plant?
*Google the word agaric*
This is a mushroom that looks like a dwarf? A giant dwarf mushroom?
*Keep reading, weirdly fascinated at the seemingly gonzo concept*
Darkvision and low-light vision? Do plant creatures have eyes?
Fungal rot.... Yuck.... Nasty monster thing.... in a good way.
Hive mind and spore swarm seem neat....
This thing glows? A glowing giant mushroom? Like, psychedelic?
...and hallucinogenic poison!
What kind of latent psychic properties?
... Is it just me, or does this seem like kind of a groovy 60s monster?
Dark spots instead of eyes... but still vision?
Huh. Overall, I think this is actually pretty cool. Weird, but cool.
Nice job!

Star Voter Season 6

*Too late to edit above post, but this was actually the sixth monster I read. Oops.*

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, while it's a solidly designed monster, there's not a lot here that's new or impressive. Not sure how it really stands out from other fungus monsters with hallucinogenic poison.

Also, the name made me think it was a small version of something else, and while I eventually understood that you meant it was a mushroom man that looked like a dwarf, I didn't think it was a good fit.

Finally, while semi-intelligent, it doesn't seem to have a lot of motivation for a monster - it pretty much goes around, infects people to reproduce, and avoids being eaten by derro. Not a lot to use as a hook for use in play.

Marathon Voter Season 8

How I Judge/Disclaimer:
I'm probably not your "typical" judge of monsters. When I GM, I tend not to use pre-generated creatures and statblocks, preferring instead to build custom foes for the PCs (this is because my houserules remove, most significantly, magic items, excessive wealth, and instant, permanent debilitating effects, like instant death, ability drain, energy drain, permanent curses, etc.). However, I do, occasionally mine extant creatures for ideas, and adapt them to suit my needs.

I would say that at least 75% of the foes my PCs face are intelligent, social creatures with class levels, as I always prefer it when, 1) there is a logical reason for an encounter (I dislike illogical filler encounters when 1d4 darkmantles drop on you just for the hell of it) 2) there are multiple ways to overcome a challenge (such as parley, escape, manipulating the environment, etc.). So, for an actual, legitimate monster to interest me, it needs to have logical reasons to interact with the party beyond "they're close by and it attacks for reasons," and ideally, it needs to create a memorable interaction thanks to a strange ability or behavior pattern.

From the PC side of the table, meanwhile, I'll be judging on how fun it would to encounter this creature. Now, I don't mean "how easy it would be to defeat," I mean how dynamic and exciting facing it would be. There are tons of filler creatures already that you just beat on until someone falls over. I want something involving unusual tactics, but that wouldn't just be frustrating.
Now, on to the monster!

I think I like this creature. It's creepy and cool. I am a big fan of disease, poison, and spore type creatures, though, admittedly, having all three at once might make this slow to run at the table. I probably would have done the Spore Swarm as a movable AoE effect, rather than an actual swarm, especially one I have to reference elsewhere. But this stuff is pretty minor.

What I especially appreciate is that these things have a clear and obvious reason to attack PCs: reproduction. They actually fit into a realistic ecosystem because they are also edible (and apparently delicious).

I still have two more to read, but I'm thinking this will probably get one of my votes.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 8

Brief critiques as I prep for the possibility of advancing, focusing on feedback that is hopefully new and constructive to future designs.
Disease and poison? Lots of long term ability damage, not great for short-term play. Too many similarities to the myceloid for my tastes. The strongest part for me is the Golarion tie: I love the connection to the derro and their favorite fungus!
Hope to see some more originality and pizzazz if you advance. Good luck!

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