Dread Glutton

Round 3: Create a Bestiary entry

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8

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This maliciously grinning being has a translucent grublike lower half that pulsates intermittently in shifting hues. Fungous lamellae cover its clawed hands.

Dread Glutton CR 5
XP 1,600
NE Medium fey
Init +8; Senses low-light vision; Perception +12

----- Defense -----
AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 13 (+4 Dex, +3 natural)
hp 52 (8d6+24)
Fort +5, Ref +10, Will +7
DR 5/cold iron; Immune disease, fear

----- Offense -----
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +8 (1d6+2 plus spores)
Special Attacks dread burst, fungous snare, spores
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +7)
At will—cause fear (DC 13), dancing lights
3/day—faerie fire
1/day—feather fall

----- Statistics -----
Str 14, Dex 18, Con 17, Int 11, Wis 12, Cha 15
Base Atk +4; CMB +6; CMD 20 (cannot be tripped)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +15, Climb +21, Intimidate +10, Perception +12, Sense Motive +12, Stealth +15; Racial Modifiers +8 Climb
Languages Aklo, Undercommon
SQ spider climb

----- Ecology -----
Environment any underground (Nar-Voth)
Organization solitary, pair, or band (3–6)
Treasure standard

----- Special Abilities -----
Dread Burst (Su) A dread glutton can make glowing mushrooms grow out of a creature within 30 feet that is infected with its spores (Will DC 16 negates). An affected creature takes 1d6 points of Charisma damage as the fungi burst and release drained emotions. This is a mind-affecting effect. If the affected creature is currently shaken, frightened or panicked—any creature within 10 feet of it also gains that condition for 1d4 rounds (Will DC 14 negates). This is a mind-affecting fear effect. The save DCs are Charisma-based.

Fungous Snare (Ex) Once every 1d4 rounds, a dread glutton can throw a fungal mass that explodes in a 10-foot-radius spread, coating creatures in the area with mycelium and spores (Reflex DC 16 avoids). Creatures other than dread gluttons are entangled. An entangled creature can attempt to break free with a successful DC 14 Strength or Escape Artist check as a move action. On the following round, the entangled creature becomes anchored to its current position. This attack has a range of 30 feet. The save DCs are Strength-based.

Spider Climb (Ex) A dread glutton can climb sheer surfaces as though under the effects of a spider climb spell.

Spores (Ex) Any creature exposed to the spores of a dread glutton becomes infected with them, taking a –1 penalty on saves against mind-affecting fear effects. The spores can be neutralized by effects that remove or provide immunity to disease.

A cavern blanketed with glowing fungi is a warning that one has stumbled within the territory of dread gluttons, evil fey that consume dark emotions drawn from their victims. They were exiled from the First World an age ago and thereafter these fey have wriggled on cave surfaces of Nar-Voth in search of captives for their morbid fungal gardens—though they are not beyond bartering at a slave market on occasion. Dread gluttons fill their gardens with luminescent mushrooms that drain emotions out of the creatures they grow upon. Many of the gardens reside in the stalactite-city known as the Court of Ether for its dark fey inhabitants crave the blend of misery contained within the mushrooms. The most expansive garden enjoys patronage from the ruler of the city, a sadistic nymph named Queen Frilogarma. Creatures provided by the queen allow her favored dread gluttons to concentrate solely on perfecting their craft. After an emotionless husk is discarded from the garden, it sustains those with more physical appetites, such as the stirges kept by the Court.

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

I'll admit, I don't like the name. While it describes one aspect of the creature, I think a name that suggests feyness and its relation to mushrooms would have been much better. Dread glutton sounds like an undead creature to me.

The concept, however, is great. I think the creature would feel very much at home in Nar-Voth, where there are both local humanoid creatures and the occasional surface dweller it can torment with its strange fey powers.

Descriptive line

The descriptive line is sufficiently evocative and quite dynamic, and it doesn't describe specific actions. I'd probably recommend using fewer fancy-sounding words. When you read it aloud, the meaning of ”fungous lamellae”, for example, will be lost on some listeners.

Stat block

I didn't notice any formatting mistakes; well done!

The numbers are slightly off the target values for the CR, but not badly so. Its damage output is very low, but considering that these creatures mainly focus on dealing Charisma damage, I think it isn't much of an issue.

Special abilities

The special abilities are fantastically evocative; mushrooms growing out of the victims, exploding fungal mass, and so on. I also like it that it has different kinds of combat options: battlefield control (entangle), debuff (cause fear), and Charisma damage. What makes these creatures scary is that they target an ability that some PCs only have as a dump stat, while other PCs use it for spellcasting. I like pushing the PCs out of their comfort zone, and this creature does just that.

There's also a great deal of synergy between the various abilities. That's Superstar thinking and makes the creature thematically coherent even though the abilities are mechanically very different from one another.

A few quibbles, though. Cause fear is effective against only against creatures with 6 HD or fewer, so the usefulness of this creature rapidly decreases once the PCs hit level 7.

The spores mostly seem to be a trigger effect, with only a minor penalty involved. It's mentioned that anything that cures disease gets rid of them, but I think there should be a duration. Or are the targets intended to be infected for the rest of their lives if they survive the encounter but are not cured? That's not how diseases usually behave in Pathfinder.


There are some language issues that make the description somewhat laborious to read. For example: ”Many of the gardens reside in the stalactite-city known as the Court of Ether for its dark fey inhabitants crave the blend of misery contained within the mushrooms.” I've read it a few times and still can't make any sense of it.

There is some interesting information in the description, but I'm not sure if it's all really useful for the GM. There's a lot of talk about the gardens, which could be used as an idea for encounter building, but I guess some more information about social interactions with them would be interesting; now there's only an offhand mention of bartering at slave markets.


Despite the lackluster name and other minor flaws, I think the concept is great and for the most part, well executed. I do recommend this entry for advancement.

Scarab Sages Modules Overlord

Unlike Mikko I actually do like the name - I'm okay with evocative names (specially for things like fey) even if they only touch on one aspect of a creature.

Try not to send players to a thesaurus during gameplay. It's one thing to use technical terms in something a reader can absorb at their leisure, but the description of a monster is there for the GM to read aloud to the players. if a player doesn't know what "Fungous lamellae" are, and the GM hasn't prepped an answer, a creepy reveal can turn into a search for meaning that slows the game.

Even in general rules, don't use a specialized word like mycelium unless there's a good reason to. Fungus snare is just as clear if the area is covered in spores and branch-like fungi.

If something is contracted like a disease, and cured like a disease, best to write it up like a disease.

That said the problems with this aren't deep, and would be easy to fix, and it's a fantastic idea. It's a fungus creature with a suite of interesting powers and enough background for a GM to know how to use it.

I do 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 really like the description (even though “fungous lamellae is more technical than flavorful the grub part is nice).

• Just low-light vision? Even though they have many ways of creating light, it seems like a poor thing to rely on, especially since those spell-like abilities don’t last very long.

• Damage output is low for a monster of this CR.

• We use can’t be tripped.

• We use serial commas.

• The dread burst ability is pretty cool ability, but needs some rewording. I like that it turns people into boosters.

• I like the fungous snare ability too, but I would have changed how you did spider climb. For that one I would have just made it a constant spell-like ability and then added it to the speed line. That saves words and linespace.

• The spores really need an entry like other afflictions. The way it reads is that you are permanently affected by the spores unless you use magic or have a special ability that makes you immune. This one needs some more information.

• I really like this creature and the flavor text was good. The connections you made were solid, and the flavor sparked ideas and made me want to know more. I like the idea of a creepy grublike fungus fey. I do recommend this monster to advance.

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

Fungus Fey. Neat.

You are able to both tie this in very well with Nar-Voth, but also dance a line that lets me imagine how this creature could just be anywhere in Nar-Voth, seeking the foolish to feed upon.

I generally don't dig on the fungus stuff, but I like the design here. Its fitting if strange. And I can't imagine a similar creature in a different way that I like better.

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

11th Monster I have seen.

Good: I like it (dread burst etc.) Cool stuff all around.
Bad: as noted elsewhere, didn't expect a fey.
Ugly: ...

Your current rank is 1st.

Scarab Sages Star Voter Season 8

Very cool monster. Blegh, mushrooms! Fungus! I deal with enough of that in my shower, now I gotta deal with it in Pathfinder too?!

(I kid, I kid... that's gross)

A mushroom fey... very neat. Only quibble I'd have is that the description seems a bit lacking. I get the bottom half is grub-like, and the thing has hands, but... what else? What's their top half like? Are they like grub-centaurs with a humanoid-looking top half and gross bug butt? I have to envision this... *shudder*

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

The monster is very strongly tied in with Nar-Voth (and the Darklands in general), which is cool. I like fungus creatures and think there is certainly room for more of them, particularly underground ones, and this one is not only a fungus creature, but a fungus fey.

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

Name- Dread Glutton. Not a big fan of the name, makes me think of something more demonic, or perhaps undead.

Description- Grublike lower half, what's the top half? I dunno what "lamellae" is/are. Still, grublike is the key thing here, and works for a glutton. Looked up lamellae, they work too!

Special Abilities- Dread Burst is awesome. Gets the idea fungus growing out of trapped creatures and fear-spreading spores together. The Snare is a logical synergy for creating their special little gardens. Tight theme.

Nar-Voth appropriate- Yes. Not only fungus oriented, with a specific fey tie, but they can also use the ever-present cave roof for their schemes given their spider climb. This is a cave creature through and through.

Mojo- Yes. Exploding mushrooms of fear spores growing out of your head.

Will players remember in 6 months- Yes. Just the right amount of ick factor to stick around.

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

The use of fungous lamellae threw me a bit. Obscure words in the descriptive text is rarely a good idea. I looked it up and it definitely conveys a bizarre and unique appearance. But that I had to look it up is not a good thing.

This creature is called a glutton, so I expected it to be devouring something. Yet none of its powers involve consumption. The descriptive text explains the emotion devouring nature of the glowing mushrooms it grows on its victims, but when you look at dread burst in the special abilities section it really doesn’t convey that at all. The imagery isn’t a slam dunk for me; it is more fitting for an aberration than a fey creature.

The tie in to Nar-Voth is tight and well executed. It gives these creatures a definite place within one of the societies of that cavern realm and adds cultural points to a Golarion location. That was very well done. This produces the overall effect of the monster: glowing mushroom garden on victims of the creature. Very cool and interesting imagery, though the fey angle still rubs me wrong. It really seems to be half-fey/half-aberration.

On the whole this creature impressed me with the tie to the Court of Ether and the imagery involved with that. Unfortunately I liked four other entries better. I won’t be voting for this entry, but I won’t be sad if it advances.

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

You know, I don't like it. We know about its fungous lamellae, but not what kind of face it has.

Dread burst doesn't present any limitations on stacking, and it should; the transmitted condition should never cause a worse condition. Otherwise, this ability can very, very quickly send fear conditions into the stratosphere.

Why feather fall, 1/day? I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just wondering, why?

The ability should be called mycelium and the description should state it's a fungus snare, not the other way around. This isn't a vocabulary quiz.

Spores should be written up in an affliction format.

If they feed on emotions, these creatures should have some ability to detect them.

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

Appropriately creepy description. I get an image of the monster and think it looks interesting.

I’m not loving the name – most fey don’t have names that are a pair of English words tacked together.

Write-up’s a little confusing. I had to go look back to make sure the monster was the fey and not the mushrooms. Technically, they are feeding on the dark emotions, but it’s just odd IMO that they’re basically growing the mushrooms that draw out the emotions and that they then feed on the mushrooms.

Also, try to avoid “to be,” which appears early and often in the write-up (“is a warning,” “they were exiled”) before you move away from that. Using more exciting verbs makes for more compelling reading. Mikko also points out a really awkward sentence, though I think a simple comma clears up some of the problem (it technically still has the gardens, not the fey creature itself, residing in the city, though).

Complaints aside, I think I can see how I could use these creatures and they’re more than just a random encounter, so I appreciate that.

hp =
AC -
Atk =
Dmg -
Abilities +
Saves +/+

Dread burst is nicely descriptive, though mechanically seems odd. I feel like the mushrooms should be draining emotion based on the write-up – as calm emotions – not exploding fear emotions all over the place.

Fungous snare seems like it’s missing some information – how long does the creature become anchored (it also sort of reads that the creature is anchored even if it breaks free, though I’m assuming that’s not what you mean)?

Spider climb seems like a bit of a waste. I feel like it could just be a constant spell-like ability. Yes, then it could be suppressed, but I don’t know if avoiding that is worth giving it its own special ability.

All in all, I’m torn on this one. There are parts of it I really like, but I also feel like it’s a bit torn between being the fey and the emotion-draining mushrooms. I like the part-grub-like look of these monsters and the description of the dread burst, but I’m not sure that’s enough for me to overcome the parts that bother me. I’m on the fence on this one.

Marathon Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

I don't like the name, feather falling, its descriptions lack of actually describing the monster, and the fact that the "all about me!" part of the monsters stat block spends half its text describing some queens fey court, which my players likely will never visit.

Weapon Finesse and Power Attack are a strange pairing, as a monsters feats usually help describe its tendencies.

Looking at its spider climb, I'm assuming groups of them want to climb to the ceiling, hide, feathfall down, and start dropping spore blasts on things?

Creativity and Theme: 3/5

Running this monster as a DM: 3/5

Encountering this monster as a complex/story encounter: 1/5

Encountering this monster as a random encounter: 2/5

09 / 20 pts.

This is the 9th entry I've read thus far. Initial impressions are positive. Evil fungal-themed subterranean fey? Sounds good. Let's dig in and see what's here.

Name: Meh. Could be better.

Description: I'm with Owen on this one. More common language for descriptive passages means less time running to the dictionary and slowing down the game. Also, I'm pretty sure Paizo publishes in standard U.S. English, so you'd drop the "o" from words like "fungous."

Speed: For something that's half grub, basically inching along the ground, they sure move awfully fast. I would have thought they'd be slower due to the wormy bottom half.

hp: Slightly lower than average for the CR, but not as low as I'd expect for something of the fey type.

AC: Also slightly low for the CR.

Attack: Toward the low end of the CR range, again typical of fey.

Damage: Well below the low end of the CR range. We'll see if its other abilities compensate.

Primary Ability DC: High for its CR.

Saves: Fort slightly high, Reflex high, Will slightly low.

Spell-Like Abilities: I would have liked to have seen something a bit more related to the theme here. Cause fear works, but how about entangle since they fight in areas overgrown with fungus?

Feats: This seems like a hodge-podge assortment. Weapon Finesse and Power Attack? Combat Reflexes? Are these things really going to want to wade in and tear things apart with their claws? Seems like the tactic would be to ambush, immobilize, and infect. Better choices could have been made here. Hit and run tactics seem like they might be more useful.

Skills: Good selection, and the points add up.

Special Abilities:

Dread Burst: Not sure about the ability name. I like the overall flavor and effect of the ability, especially "infecting" others nearby with their fear. Very creative. Seems like it could be worded better. I'm assuming it's a Will save to avoid having the sprouting mushrooms absorb emotions, thus avoiding the Cha damage, rather than resisting the actual growth of the mushrooms themselves.

Fungus Snare: Good ability. These things would need relatively immobile targets, because they'd get stomped in a fight on equal footing.

Spider Climb: What you're looking for is the expert climber ability, which giant geckos and morlocks possess.

Spores: These things really do need to be treated like a disease, along with some mention on how to get rid of them once someone is infected.

Background: It's well suited to Nar-Voth, and has some solid tie-ins to the region.

All in all, I'm favorably inclined toward this entry. I like the overall flavor, and the mechanics are good, they just need a few tweaks. Well done, and good luck to you in this round.

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 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 You wandered into one of my favorite design spaces, intelligent fungi. I love the ones from forgotten realms and I love leshies.
Bad and Ugly The spore power is weak, the glue bomb is just ok and the name is terrible. I agree Dread Glutton sets an expectation of a fat zombie that pukes acid on everything.
Overall It's a C+ for me compared to prior years. This for me this isn't bad but not going to get one of my 4 votes...

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 description and name scream demon or devil as opposed to a fey.


You really liked the word fungous this time eh?

The spells...kind of tie in?

Any underground...in a lake of magma? :)

Ooo...dread burst is evocatively nasty.

Anchored isn't really a game term...does that mean they can't move at all? Can move slowly?

The spores are a special attack but I only see spores being released in dread burst and fungous snare. It just seems weird to have a special attack that is only triggered on the use of other abilities.

Overall, I still think this would be better suited to a demon or devil. I get what you are doing and a dark, evil fey does work, but only the fungous connection makes sense to keep it a fey. I like this...but it is not especially ambitious and doesn't give me that many different story ideas. It does give some encounter ideas though.

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...in a lake of magma? :)

As mentioned in another monster thread, "any underground" is not a mistake.

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

I really like this creature, though I'm not clear on what "grub like" actually is nor what the upper half of the creature looks like beyond it is a far with weird fungal growths on its hands.

Loving the individual special abilities and their on theme synergies, and also the soft phosphorescent imaginings of these haunting creatures I get from the entire submission.

I'm now guessing the Frilogarma mentioned in the Coryphae is an actual thing, so nice tie in to the lore.

Nice spells and skills to match, Power Attack is ok I guess given they might need to pack a power punch when confronted.

I would have liked a different name, but this is serviceable given what the creature does and its alliance with dark gloomy fae.

Nice work Kalervo!!!

Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Unfortunately I only have 4 votes and this is just outside that magic number for me. I simply liked the others a little bit better. I do hope you make it to the next round though.

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 can see how this monster works--you climb up a wall out of reach, throw funguous snares to cover people in spores, then sap their Charisma by growing mushrooms, hoping you can drain them of Charisma before they ranged attack you to death. That's just not especially dynamic or interesting. I mean, this thing's melee damage is a joke, so its only chance is the Charisma damage--it has no other way to win.

I do like the little touch in the Dread Burst that fear effects spread to nearby targets, but, I wish three things:
1) it spread all emotion effects, not just fear (rage, for example)
2) it had a way to reliably infict a fear and/or emotion effect to spread (no, cause fear is not sufficient)
3) there was some mechanical backing for the idea of these things feeding from the mushrooming emotions--a heal, a morale buff, something that suggest the dread glutton wants to be in the radius of the burst to feed

Without #3, their placement in the world just makes so little sense to me. They could maybe be the villains in a story about the PCs trying to bust up a slave trade (like, they bought some slaves and the PCs found a "garden" of the slave corpses), but this bizarre city and fey queen are just totally uninteresting to me.

I'm not a fan, but it's not exactly bad--just more of a taste issue, I think, and disappointment that the idea was not carried out to its logical conclusion, rather than wasting words on some disconnected nymph queen.

Star Voter Season 6

Last monster to read...
A creepy spore-spreading fungal fey.
Interesting concept. Well-written. Nice Nar-Voth ties.
Well done. :)

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.
Really dig this monster concept. I, too, considered a fungus fey for this round when I saw the twist, but I’m glad I didn’t go forward with it for both our sakes. The mechanics didn’t wow me (partially for the same reason as Monica’s narrick—my personal distaste for the fear rules), but the thematic connections and overall flavor did.
Like Gabriel and Monica, you’ve been one of this year’s ringers, so hats off to you. I hope to see an equally juicy encounter from you next round if you advance. Good luck!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8

Thank you for all the comments and to everyone who voted for my monster.

I'll post some thoughts on it at a later point. If I make it to R4, I'll be busy with that, so that later point might be after the Friday deadline.

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

Kalervo Oikarinen wrote:

This maliciously grinning being has a translucent grublike lower half that pulsates intermittently in shifting hues. Fungous lamellae cover its clawed hands.

Dread Glutton CR 5

Congratulations Kalervo & welcome back to Top 16!

This grublike description is one of the best descriptions of the round, lost me on lamellae, though only because I had to think hard back to AP bio to remember the word. The sprig has its cricket roots, so a grub seems appropriate for fey. I wasn't enamored with its abilities. I was unclear if it had to be infected before dread burst could be applied. The splash effect of dread burst is steep, I thought it should also scale through the various conditions. I like the targeting of charisma, it doesn't get used often enough and having toadstools growing out of your face is definitely the right image for it.

Top 8 or better! Good luck :)

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