Tranquility Ooze – 534 Words


Round 3: Create a Bestiary entry

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Petty Alchemy

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This transparent floating sphere’s surface shimmers iridescently as it exudes a sweet, woody aroma. It thins and elongates to flow lazily through the air, before reforming into a perfect orb.

Tranquility Ooze CR 8
XP 4,800
N Large ooze
Init +0; Senses blindsight 60 ft.; Perception –5
Aura tranquility (60ft., DC 16)

----- Defense -----
AC 17, touch 17, flat-footed 17 (+8 deflection, –1 size)
hp 138 (12d8+84)
Fort +11, Ref +4, Will –1
Immune ooze traits;
Weaknesses vulnerability to emotion magic

----- Offense -----
Speed 20 ft., fly 30 ft. (perfect)
Melee slam +9 (2d10 plus 1d6 Cha drain)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks center of emotions, engulf (DC 16, 2d10 bludgeoning damage plus 1d6 Cha drain)

----- Statistics -----
Str 10, Dex 10, Con 25, Int -, Wis 1, Cha 1
Base Atk +9; CMB +10; CMD 28 (can't be tripped)

----- Ecology -----
Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or order (3-5)
Treasure none

----- Special Abilities -----
Aura of Tranquility (Su) A tranquility ooze’s aura acts like a calm emotions spell with a radius of 60 feet. Any creature entering this area must make a Will save (DC 16) to resist the effect. A creature that makes its save is immune to that tranquility ooze’s aura for 24 hours. A creature that fails its save gains a fly speed of 10 ft. (perfect) while within the ooze’s aura of tranquility. The save DC is Strength-based.

Center of Emotions (Su) A tranquility ooze can make itself the center of gravity for creatures that are not calmed as a full-round action. Creatures within 30 feet that are not calmed must make a Will save (DC 16) or be pulled into the ooze’s space and engulfed. The save DC is Strength-based.

Charisma Drain (Su) A tranquility ooze feeds off the personality and emotions of other creatures. A creature hit by an ooze’s melee or engulf attack must succeed on a DC 16 Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of Charisma drain. The save DC is Strength-based.

Engulf (Ex) Creatures that do not have a fly speed do not get a Reflex save to avoid being engulfed by a tranquility ooze. A tranquility ooze’s movement ends after engulfing a creature.

Vulnerable to Emotion Magic (Ex) When a tranquility ooze is targeted by a spell with the emotion descriptor it releases all engulfed creatures as a free action to gorge on the spell, and cannot engulf creatures until after the end of its next turn.

These oozes passively feed on the emotions of nearby creatures, muting their intensity. If resisted they advance to feed directly by enveloping their quarry, preferring creatures which are feeling stronger emotions.

Their hunting grounds are often densely populated areas, such as watering holes where they can eat away fear from prey and hunger from predators. Sometimes these oozes are captured and put to use facilities such as prisons, pacifying the population.

The tranquility ooze’s name comes from Jalmeray, where it has become a distinguishing mark for monasteries to house and form a symbiotic relationship with the ooze. There are legends of Vudrani monks that are able to transcend the self through meditation while engulfed, mastering the tranquility ooze.

RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut, Contributor

Isaac! Welcome back for Round 3! This is the round where we temporarily set aside your earlier tests--i.e., a magic item "calling card" to showcase your potential, and a map to literally draw in the viewer so they can connect with your vision for an inspired gaming experience at the table. Instead, this go-around, we're testing your skill with monster design--one of the most important skills a freelancer can have--and, it'll be measured from the ground up rather than relying on class levels or special templates to make it stand out. This is absolutely vital to a great designer, because new monsters are always needed, and always in demand. Even if you don't necessarily go on to win the entire RPG Superstar competition, you can still make a significant enough impression in this round to serve you well in securing future freelancing opportunities, whether with Paizo or Pathfinder-compatible third-party publishers.

So, with that in mind, I'm going into these monster evaluations looking for a handful of insights into what your design choices and overall execution tell me about you. Aside from just a useful, compelling monster, I want to see how creative you are in selecting a particular concept and bringing it to life with your words. I also want to see how you match that with an accurate stat-block, and I want to ascertain how well you understand the mechanics which distinguish one monster creation from another, both as a combination for incorporating existing rules into your design, as well as being innovative enough to invent all-new material which others may eventually reference for their future designs, as well. Essentially, it's one thing to create a competent monster for the game table, but it's quite another to transcend that, and create something truly iconic and ground-breaking. You do the latter and you'll definitely be on your way to the next round.

First up, let's evaluate your monster's name: the Tranquility Ooze. Sounds intriguing. I'm imagining a slow-moving ooze somehow mesmerizing those it approaches before eventually flowing over them and eating them alive. I like it.

Now, let's examine your creativity in describing and explaining what your monster is all about. "This transparent floating sphere’s surface shimmers iridescently as it exudes a sweet, woody aroma. It thins and elongates to flow lazily through the air, before reforming into a perfect orb." So...it's an ooze...that flies? That's kind of unusual. Not sure how I feel about that yet, but it clashes with what I'd imagine an ooze creature to be like. Climb? Swim? Sure. Fly? Hmmm. Moving on, it feeds on emotions, but calms the emotions of those who enter its aura? That sounds at odds with what it would want to do (i.e., magnify emotions so it can feed more strongly on them...like a will-o'-wisp feeding on fear by luring victims into quagmires or deep water where they'll drown). Of course, I assume you simply meant that the tranquility ooze leaves someone in a calmer state as a result of soaking up their emotions, but the way its worded kind of confuses a bit as you read along. Regardless, it's even more unusual that anyone failing their save against the aura gains a fly speed. Why? The creature can already draw them to it using the center of gravity effect to engulf them, right? And, if they don't have a fly speed, they get no save versus the engulf...so, why have its aura grant them a fly speed if they fail their save? Creatively, some of these abilities feel at odds with one another. I think I get the sense of what you're after...i.e., the tranquility ooze draws people close so it can feed on their emotions...and, if that means granting them a fly speed, that's what it does...but it just feels more contrived than thought through, and it feels like it creates a lot of subjective interpretation for the gaming table on what qualifies as an intense enough emotion to draw it to a PC. Barbarian rage is obvious, but if the entire party is under the effect of a bard's performance or an emotion spell, who does it target? If as part of my roleplay, I have my PC manufacture an emotion on the spot, can I lure the ooze away from my friends? There's not really an in-game mechanic for tracking the intensity of emotions. In addition, I keep coming back to the notion that this tranquility ooze is a mindless creature, so why would it even care about emotions and feeding on them? How does it even sense them, much less their intensity? I think creatively you've got this interesting concept, but haven't really found the right vehicle to define it. There were really two paths you could have gone here...1) treat it as an ooze with an Intelligence score, or 2) build it as an aberration or magical beast with a couple of ooze-like qualities. I think that would have better matched what you're trying to describe with this concept.

So, what about the mechanics? In the interests of time, I didn't try to number-crunch everything, but a few things gave me pause. As a CR 8 creature, your ooze is trailing behind on average AC but ahead on hit points. That's probably okay, but most mindless oozes have a much lower AC anyway, and I'm not sure why the tranquility ooze is getting a +8 deflection bonus. Again, it seems like this creature needs a different creature type to really do it justice, but you could have probably raised its Dex score to make it more nimble (with its fly speed) and reflect that as a Dex bonus to AC instead. The slam attack bonuses are a little underpowered, but the damage is potent, especially considering the Cha drain. In a single round, two slam attacks as a full-round action can drop a victim by 7 points of Cha damage on average. Considering that's a dump stat for a lot of PCs, it may put a few into catatonia pretty quickly. So, this is probably overpowered on the damage side of things, and even moreso if someone (or multiple someones) gets engulfed. Other than that, I'm still at odds with the ooze's vulnerability to emotion magic when it's still a mindless creature. I don't think this is really a weakness anyway. Yes, it causes it to release any engulfed victims in order to feed on such spells, but it doesn't really “weaken” the ooze. If it also slowed it, then I might reconsider. Bottom line, though, I've got a handful of mechanical concerns that feel out of line with your creative direction.

Next up, the presentation. Nothing too bad here. You bolded, italicized, and alphabetized the right things, and got them in the right order. You did have some spacing issues in your Aura line with “60ft.” and left an orphaned semicolon on the Immune line. Also, your Int score needs to be an em-dash rather than a simple hyphen. You also underwrote the assignment by greater than 10% of the words allotted to you. I think that was a mistake, as you could have benefited from another sentence or two to round out your submission.

Bottom Line: This was an interesting creature concept, but I think it falls short in fulfilling its vision and the mechanical choices and representation you chose for it. So, I'm going to have to say I DO NOT RECOMMEND this designer advance to the next round. If the voters put you through, however, you need to sharpen your game so you can better execute your ideas.

Paizo Employee Developer , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Congratulations for making it to Round 3! Your item worked for enough people to make Top and you mapping skills got you through Round 2, and now folks get to see your monster. Like previous years that I’ve judged this round, I’m approaching judging the same way I would do a pre-development pass on a turnover one of my freelancers sent me. I start at the descriptive text at the top and then work my way through the statblock looking for errors or weak spots that need to be addressed in development. Then I read the flavor text and see how it is all integrated. My final judgment is not only based on errors or lack thereof. Some of my comments are just personal preference, so please don’t take anything personally. We just have different tastes.

Now on to your monster!

• I like that you used smell in addition to the visuals in your descriptive text.

• The monster’s hit points are way high for its CR, which might be somewhat fine for many oozes that are super easy to hit, but this one has a good AC (which is unexpected for most oozes). You also don’t explain where it gets the deflection bonus from. Its attack bonus and damage output is low for a CR 8 creature, but that’s not uncommon for oozes and beating people up isn’t really this thing’s main gig.

I guess what I’m saying is that oozes really mess with Table 1–1. :)

• You properly use en-dashes for minus signs, but then use a hyphen for a separator between a range of numbers in the organization line! Madness! :) Also, a non-score (Intelligence in the ability score line) should be an em-dash.

• The aura of tranquility ability is super cool (and certainly would frustrate the hell out of a few classes). You do a decent job with the proper wording, but you use “60 feet” and then in the next sentence “10 ft.” For the record, in the actual statblock part of the statblock, use abbreviations. In running text use the whole word.

• The Strength-based DCs are weird to me. I’d develop that to be a Charisma-based effect that has a +XX racial bonus.

• The center of emotions ability is weird, but cool.

• You don’t need to have Charisma drain in special abilities, because the effect is unmodified from the universal monster rule. I also kinda think that drain is a bit much, both the value and that it is drain instead of damage. This thing could drop quite a few PCs in one round.

• This is a weird (in a good way) monster. I like the focus on emotions, and I like the bit in the flavor text about them being used in prisons. I also like the bit about monks meditating within the aura of the ooze.

This is a unique design in a small design space, though it has some problems. I’m on the fence about whether this designer should advance to the next round.

Paizo Employee Editor

Welcome to the top 16! Great job getting this far! Now let’s take a look at your monster.

First off, I like the concept; it feels sufficiently interesting and weird for a good monster. There is a bit too much movement in the descriptive text, which is something we try to avoid as much as possible. You never know how and where GMs might introduce the monster to their players. The tie-in to Golarion lore works great, but I would have liked to see more about how these oozes came into being. Was it magic? Did Irori create them?

I also have some issue with mechanics of the monster’s abilities. It is interesting that succumbing to the aura gives a target a fly speed as well as calming its emotions. But I would have either made it work as per hostile levitation or, at least, remove the target’s other speeds, so that they can ONLY fly while within the aura. Then, the center of emotions ability engulfs those without the fly speed? I would think it would be the other way around. It also seems a bit counter-intuitive that creatures without a fly speed don’t get a saving throw to avoid being engulfed. Why can’t a target just dive out of the way on the ground? Perhaps I’m picturing the concept differently than you.

In the end, the concept is enough for me to weakly recommend that this designer move on to the next round.


Quote:


Creatures that do not have a fly speed do not get a Reflex save to avoid being engulfed by a tranquility ooze.

... So, you hate fighters, too, eh?

Ha! I'm kidding. I'm just kidding.

... Or am I?

:)

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

Tranquility Ooze
How I’m rating monsters:
Creativity: does this seem innovative and original or does this seem contrived? How is the description?
This is either super creative or what happens when you cross an ooze with a will-o-wisp. Description is on point but I’m going to ding you because overall this might go over the creative/gonzo line. 8/10
Marketability: are the choices you made smart and marketable to a voting public? Does the name pop?
It’s weakness is super niche and it doesn’t feel like an ooze should which is going to damage it’s marketability… Name doesn’t do it for me 6/10
Trade craft: did you format correctly and scale correct to Paizo standards?
Formatting and balance seem fine 7/10
Encounter worthy: as a GM is this easy to use and reuse?
It’s a love hate thing, either this will get one use or someone’s going to love it and try and use it often. The problem is that it is a puzzle monster and once soemone solves it it is hard to unlearn that the next time. 4/10
6.25 out of 10: Might make it anyway but I’m not banking on the voters disagreeing with the judges here.
Good luck.

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

I could see this as a unique and static object/creature in an encounter, and thus adding all sorts of interesting strategies for the PCs to deal with (and possibly use) while fighting another adversary, but I'm not sure it is a great concept for a monster as it is.

I guess I'm saying I like it, but I don't lavalamp it. :D

Keeping it as an alternate, though, as I continue to read the others.

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

Interesting name -- tranquility is not what I expect with a monster, so I'm curious to see what we'll have. This will also be only the fifth ooze to appear in Superstar.

Description's solid -- doesn't particularly strike fear into me, but I know what it looks like. Write-up's solid enough -- the first graf is a little awkward, as Neil notes -- that I know how to use these and I think I like the connection to Jalmeray. I would've liked to know where/how these things originated, but obviously word count is at a premium. Of course, you did have 60 more you could have used for that.

I'm not sure I buy "order" as a communal group name. I get the feeling it's going for a monk-like concept, but these feel a little more random, considering they appear as big bubbles. I guess I can see a group of Jalmeri monks calling them that, though.

Looking at the stats...
The combination of emotions and fly strikes me as odd/kind of random. I guess it's kind of a Peter Pan effect, though. I don't know, it's not clicking with me.

Center of emotions also kind of seems odd to me. Why is the DC Strength-based? It's not actually pulling them. (It's also Strength based for the aura? That makes no sense to me, I'm afraid.) The power also conflicts a bit with the write-up, I think, in which you say "they advance" to feed. Instead, it seems like they bring their food to them.

I think vulnerable to emotion magic is probably the wrong name for that -- vulnerable to me indicates some sort of damage or negative effect, but it's not looking at gorging on the spell as a bad thing -- it probably doesn't even consider releasing engulfed creatures as bad, since they're only engulfed so it can feed. It does make me wonder is there an amount of emotions at which they're considered sated? Are they just going to fight to the death any creatures they come across because they never fill up? It seems like the best way to deal with this thing would just be willingly fail the save against the tranquility aura: Unless something else is going on in the area (fighting with the Jalmeri monks, maybe?) where you need to rage or do something else that involves a stronger emotion, there's no real negative effect for letting this creature feed (you don't get a Reflex save vs. the engulf ability but the write-up says they're going to go after creatures that are feeling stronger emotions).

I like the core idea here but I think the mechanics just don't hold together, unfortunately.


These things would be great as a hazard -- imagine a roomful of them, in which you're fighting a bunch of other mindless monsters. The barbarian's rage would probably get shut off, and anyone not affected gets yanked all over the board. That's good stuff.

That said, I don't feel as if they work well enough by themselves, as monsters.

As a more minor nitpick, I also have some issues with the clarity of some of the abilities text, as "calmed" is not a recognized condition in PF (if you mean "under any calm emotions effect," or "under the effect of the ooze's aura of tranquility," then say so directly).

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

In the interest of sharpening my skills I'll finally be chiming in on entries! I do a stream-of-consciousness style of review (just like my other critiques) and I will do my best not to read other folks' comments so as to not be influenced one way or the other. I believe creatures serve more than just a combat capacity, and removing choices from players (such as forcing them only into combat with a specific creature) is not Superstar design. Plus, who doesn't like outwitting/outsmarting/etc. a creature?

Tranquility Ooze

Ok the name is making me think of a day spa. I don't mean to be mean...that's just how I react to it. It's not a bad name but it doesn't thrill.

Intro is ok, but still makes me think of a day spa with the first sentence. Then you presume action which is typically not great.

Init + 0 and Perception - 5...good to see a creature who bucks the trend of the other super init and super perceptive creatures I've seen so far. I get this is a pretty typical ooze thing...just nice to see.

Blindsight, yep.

Tranquility is called just that in the aura line, but is actually called Aura of Tranquility below. You definitely had the wordcount to make them the same. I like that it is a calm emotions effect....but what's with the fly speed?

Defense looks fine.

I'm not sold on flight for this thing, it doesn't have a fly skill either to give it perfect flight...

Offense looks good, cha drain on slam is interesting.

Hmm..Center of emotions is a neat idea...but it just doesn't make sense in execution.

Stats and ecology look good.

How were these oozes created? What drives them to feed on emotions? Your description is actually kind of lacking in general. And the creature just isn't presented as a creature encounter but more of an environment hazard.

Overall I'm not too into this creature. It's mellowed out-ness doesn't translate that well to a creature encounter. Its not intelligent enough to be reasoned with, and it kind of is more of an environmental hazard. You've got a theme and stuck with it but it falls pretty short here both in fluff and mechanics. Unfortunately this is not going to get a vote from me.

***EDIT***

Emotion magic DOES exist! Sorry for the confusion and I've omitted the line about that.

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

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Kiel Howell wrote:
Tranquility is called just that in the aura line, but is actually called Aura of Tranquility below.

Paizo's a touch inconsistent on this.

Looking at a few example:
* The attic whisperer has "sobs" listed on its aura line and then "aura of sobs" listed in the special abilities.
* Leukodaemon has "infectious aura" listed under both the aura and special abilities.
* The astradaemon lists just "soul siphon" in both the aura line and the special abilities.

I'm not quite sure how Paizo decides which to use, though I suspect part of it has to do with how it sounds with the name ("infectious" for example reads a little odd on its own after aura, IMO). Adam, any insight you can give us?

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

Good finds Jacob, I'd like to hear from Adam too!

Paizo Employee Developer , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

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We have been somewhat inconsistent on this in the past (and heck we might be going forward too, but not if I can help it). Ideally, you'd use the name of the aura in the aura line, which is why when I develop a monster with an aura special ability I do my absolute best to change the name of the ability so that it doesn't start with the word "aura", because having the line look like this:
Aura aura of cotton candy (30 ft., DC 21)

...looks weird.

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

... but delicious!

(Thanks, Adam.)

RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut, Contributor

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Adam Daigle wrote:
Aura aura of cotton candy (30 ft., DC 21)

So...to reach the creature generating this "aura" you have to eat your way through 30 feet of cotton candy, right? By doing so, I can only assume you have to make a DC 21 Fortitude save or collapse in a sugar coma at its feet. ;)

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

Sounds like we've been challenged to design this creature...

Silver Crusade Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

I got a completely different view of this beastie, seeing it as more of an enormous soap bubble (which might have even been Isaac's source of inspiration). This isn't the first monster that has a fly speed but does not seem to actively "fly" - almost everything from the elemental plane of air does likewise. I like the unusual nature presented here. It is a unique entry against the other competing designs.

No offense intended to the other candidates, who have put forth their own great efforts, but we don't really need another iteration of an undead something-or-other. We do need to make examples like this that go a long way to keeping the sense of wonder alive in this game.

Dark Archive

I, too, envisioned a bubble when I read the introductory descriptive text. After reading the full entry, I'm not sure this should be an ooze, as opposed to something from the elemental plane of air (since outsiders were not allowed, the latter would have been grounds for DQ). It does have the engulf ability, which makes perfect sense given its description, but other than that, this doesn't seem like it should be an ooze. However, I can see the argument that it is, indeed, an ooze, so maybe it's just me.
Some of the abilities sound contradictory, as giving in to the tranquil aura appears to help the victim (and prevent the Tranquility Ooze from a 'flavorful' meal), and making the save means more trouble for those nearby. In the end, this didn't come across as completely thought out, and so unfortunately it did not get one of my votes. All the same, I wish you good luck!

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

Just a quick preface - the point of commenting for me is to force myself into coherent thoughts about the design choices. That might make it feel like I'm being super-critical of a given monster, but that's not my intent.

The name is fine. It creates certain expectations, and the monster plays off those. It's not a knock-'em-dead name, but it works.

I thought this might be like the Egelsee Cocktail from RPGSS 2013, but it's not. That one created an outright addiction. This one could have gone that way, but happily didn't. I think the dynamic you're aiming at is actually more interesting.

The description is cool. "Shimmers irredescently", "sweet, woody aroma", and "flow lazily" are all excellent phrases in service of your central concept.

The Special Ability names are fine, mostly functional. I like Aura Of Tranquilty. I'm assuming the fly effect is to indicate the state of tranquil bliss, much like meditating monks of legend. In that sense, it may have been better to use hostile levitation as was suggested elsewhere.

Center of Emotions is also very cool. Potentially extremely dangerous as well. Targeting Charisma to drain makes sense, but yeah, it's a dump stat for most and so very dangerous.

I don't buy Vulnerable To Emotion Magic as a weakness. It's not, really. It stops engulfing a creature, but it wasn't gaining anything from the engulf anyway.

I think where this goes wrong is that the ooze doesn't benefit from all this feeding, not mechanically. If the aura helped it gain something mechanically, it would make more sense. Same with the Charisma Drain for that matter.

This feels like a good idea that just needed a few more drafts of execution. I do like the concept, though.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Boxhead

Tranquility Ooze
Name It’s a cool enough name, though I have to wonder if it’s going to do more than be tranquil…
Gimmick It eats emotions. That’s cool. And it calms emotions, maybe because mechanically it’s already eaten the strongest parts?
Description It’s a flying blob, though I like that it has a scent.
Usefulness I have no idea when I’d use this monster, so I guess it’s random encounter fodder. Maybe thrown in to annoy the bard and barbarian.
New abilities Center of Emotions is really cool, if a bit weird. The aura is also incredibly weird, and sort of seems to play on old Looney Toons characters drifting in love through the air.
The rest Hit points are high, but not horrendously so with no DR and low-average AC. Oozes have pretty boring stat-blocks all around, so I worry about it as a choice for Superstar.


The monster round is always my favorite, so I'm going to give some feedback on all the entries. Basic run-through using the monster creation rules to see if the numbers line up, then general thoughts and critique. I'm running down the list as I find them. This is the fifteenth and final monster entry I've read.

Spoiler:
Basic Stats [+: high for CR; =: within CR range; -: low for CR]
hp +
AC -
Atk -
Dmg -
DC -
Saves =/-/-

Stats are really low across the board. Hit points are high, which is fine because typically oozes are ridiculously easy to hit. However, while AC is low, it's not as low as you'd expect from an ooze. Why does it have a deflection bonus? This isn't explained. If you're going to make a big deviation from the established monster type, it should be addressed. Attack and damage are also low, though the Cha drain offsets the low damage, assuming it can hit in the first place. Ability DCs are also low for its CR. I'm puzzled over the decision to make them Strength-based. If they'd been Con-based, they'd be high, but they'd also balance out a lot of the other deficiencies in this build.

Name is interesting. When I think "ooze," the word "tranquility" isn't what I'd normally associate with that word. The descriptive text is good, as it evokes the sense of smell as well as giving a description of movement.

Aura of tranquility is a decent effect, though I'd expect that the creature would gain some sort of mechanical benefit from feeding on emotions, but it isn't here. I also don't understand why failing the save grants a fly speed. It should probably just provide immunity to the center of emotions ability.

Center of emotions. Okay, so those that the creature successfully feeds from have their emotions "calmed" and gain the ability to fly for some reason. The rest get pulled towards the ooze. How fast? Do they "fall" toward it and get engulfed the same round? This ability needs more clarification.

Engulf should have a line stating that other than what is listed in the description, the ability functions as the universal monster ability of the same name, to provide reference to the other features of the engulf ability that are not listed here.

Vulnerability to emotion magic is an interesting feature, and a good way to release engulfed companions.

The background text does its job, giving some idea on how to establish these creatures as encounters. I particularly like the idea of using them as a pacification system in prisons. The Jalmeray mention ties them to Golarion, and adds a little extra bit of weird with monks meditating while engulfed within the ooze. Presumably this means they can calm their minds enough to keep the ooze from trying to eat them, though I still don't know how they can breathe in the middle of an ooze.

All in all, this is a wildly creative idea that I don't think reached full fruition. The choice of ooze as creature type seems to have been the wrench in the machinery here. Making Will save abilities Strength-based is unprecedented, and the creature type really isn't suited to do what is being attempted here. I'm afraid this entry won't be getting a vote from me. Good luck to you.


I'm just some random guy on the Internet. Not a judge. Not even particularly important. So I hope I'm not stepping out of place here.

I see this round (for all that my opinion is worth) as about creativity of design; formatting and tweaking is secondary. (Everything will receive adjustments and edits depending on reviewers.)

What I love about this entry—what really captures my fancy—is how different it is. Many of the other entries are actively evil or aggressive. This "monster" just is. But more than that, it is unique enough to challenge players with "system mastery". (At least until the see it a few times, but such is the way of things. Many of the undead submissions (for example) present a challenge too, but in a way that's always bothered me (growing power creep of undead, e.g., resistance to anti-undead-specific abilities; what's the point of having cleric abilities then?), but this is novel and unexpected, similar to nothing I can recall. On its own it creates a sense of wonder.

Further, by nullifying rage and bard skills, it has the potential to cause parties to re-evaluate their composition. Bards and barbarians are common for their utility, but would be at a disadvantage with a scenario built around these. I like it.

As an aside: what sort of havoc would be wreaked if a "herd" of these accidentally floated over a village? What if it were paired with some other emotionless monster in a symbiosis?

So, sure, a couple of things need to be tweaked, but this was easily one of my preferences, because the concept is original.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka mechaPoet

I'm not sure how I feel about the concept here. Certainly an ooze that feeds on emotions is something I haven't seen before, so it's novel, but I don't know if that's enough for me to like it.

So the way the players interact with this creature goes two ways (to simplify): they are affected by its aura or not. If they are (failed save), they gain a fly speed which isn't good enough to run away from this ooze, but it doesn't get rid of their other speeds so it's just kind of nifty. Alternatively they save and are not calmed, and are susceptible to Center of Emotions. I'm not sure what happens if they fall their save against that ability; I know that the ooze becomes their "center of gravity" but how does it work? Are they pulled in immediately? Do they "fall" toward it (and how does falling in turn order work anyway?) and do they take falling damage if they collide with other people engulfed by the ooze? This ability is the cool thing it gets to do in a fight before either it dies or the PCs do (but I guess they'd be pretty chill with it), so it needs to be clear. And it is pretty cool, and an ambitious creature concept to tackle, so you've really got to make it as tight as possible. There's also some other mechanical weirdness, like how failing to save against it's aura is actually a good thing because it protects you from the nasty ability (which is a Strength based will save?). Where is that deflection bonus coming from? Where is that CMD coming from (maybe it's just an ooze thing)?

The description is good (it smells nice! That's a welcome change), and I like the tie to Jalmeray. I think you could have pushed that a little further, and I think this could have been even stronger if it more closely or explicitly related to monks and meditation. That's just an example, though; it doesn't have to be monks, I just want to see something that ties in into the setting or a narrative of some kind.

You show some real creativity here with both concept and abilities, but I'm not sure it's mechanically sound enough for me. It is cool, but votes are scarce. Good luck!

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

Isaac Volynskiy wrote:

This transparent floating sphere’s surface shimmers iridescently as it exudes a sweet, woody aroma. It thins and elongates to flow lazily through the air, before reforming into a perfect orb.

Tranquility Ooze CR 8

Hi Isaac,

An ooze in a perfect sphere? I am always willing to drop more oozes on my PCs. Carry on.
Creative: +- The description is new, but not much in the special abilities.
Useable: -+ its abilities seem out of kilter with each other. making people calm makes sense with the vulnerability. I can kind of see it tied to the charisma drain (wisdom is the defense against most emote spells) but personality can be tied to emotions. Gravity seems to come from left field though even if engulf + pull is a nice combo.
Memorable: -+ Its spherical nature will stick out to my PCs, but they are going to remember the Vudrani monastery more.
Voting: weak keep.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka DeathQuaker

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congrats on getting into the top 16, Isaac!

What I like: It's an OOZE that is INTERESTING. Accomplishing that alone is a challenge. I also like "hazard monsters" -- things that aren't necessarily outright vicious or menacing, but their presence can nonetheless cause trouble for PCs depending on when and where they show up--especially as moral PCs may struggle with how to contend with a creature that is draining their resources by their nature but not actively causing harm. These creatures could also be used to the advantage of PCs, and I can see creative PCs capturing and using tranquility oozes to halt evil barbarian charges, etc. Your background suggests their use in monasteries but I can see other origins and uses for them as well. I'd love to see a paracletus have one for a pet, except that it is higher CR than the paracletus. ;)

The abilities work well together and are tightly thematic.

What I struggle with: There's some mechanical issues others have pointed out, and some awkward phrasing, such as the first clause of center of emotions. Unlike another monster I just looked over where the numbers were too high, your ability saving throw DCs are a little too low -- should be 18 rather than 16. While the target numbers for a monster of a given CR are suggestions and not hard rules, the creature's special abilities are the focus of the monster so they need to be on par with other creatures of its CR.

Minor niggle: treasure should probably be "incidental" since it engulfs creatures and, as with many oozes, might contain some random stuff from the creatures they engulf.

Is it one of the three monster types I've been totally sick of since, oh, about the Bestiary 3 (dragon, fey, or undead)? No! And an ooze, no less--not often seen, and this one is really unique.

Final Thoughts: I love this creature. You need to work a bit more on mechanical and writing polish, but you excel at establishing and working within a theme.

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 like the weirdness, but don't like an explanation for the weirdness. There's got to be some background on why/how these things came to be. Otherwise it's simply weird for weridness sake. An origin would be much more useful than a fluff description of how some characters can do something the rules don't support - I think even a monk who makes all his will saves would still get pummeled pretty bad while engulfed by this thing.

As for the abilities, I like the floating ooze that calms and drains emotions/Cha, but this thing is too fast. Especially when many characters will have a hard time dealing with it, and it has a 30 foot aura of pulling victims in close to get sucked dry, it should be slow like an ooze normally is. "fast ooze" is a different trick to play on the typical ooze default from "emotion ooze", which is what you're giving It's pretty impossible to escape this thing without haste if it has speed 30 flying and a 30 foot grab essentially.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Congratulations on earning the votes to see you through to Round 3! Here’s what I’m looking for in a monster.

Does it make sense as something that could really exist? It feeds on something besides flesh or life, which is a welcome change from the usual.

Are the abilities exciting to run? The tranquility aura is something that facilitates defense and offence at the same time, which is clever. Do people falling toward the ooze take damage when reaching it? I appreciate the charisma drain. While punishing, it’s going to punish people that thought they could get away with dumping it, which in PFS is pretty much every melee fighter around. Something like this might remind them to think twice the next time they decide to roll up an ill-mannered beat stick.

Does it spark ideas for use in an adventure? Where would one of these things come from? I want to design an adventure for PCs to find out.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9 aka Petty Alchemy

Wow, blown away by the amount of feedback I got here. Thank you all so much for taking the time to review my monster and share your thoughts.

I can see how I didn't portray my vision in the clearest way, so it clicked for some people and not for others. That's on me, and I hope improve on this front.

I'm going to break my review into three parts.

Things I would have done differently:

Hostile Levitation: I had no idea this spell was a thing! If I was aware of it, I definitely would've used it. I was trying to invent some version of it, but just opted for simplicity in the end.

Clarification: I'd make it absolutely clear that it eats emotions by "calming" them. If it's already eating emotions in that passive way, it has no interest in a full on assault. If people form shells around their emotions, then it may need to crack them open.

At least 250 words: Definitely. Initially I had the full text of Engulf there which took a lot of words. Then I saw the wording of the Shoggoth's engulf and changed it. At the time I was unsure if I had another night before deadline (AM/PM confusion) so I submitted what I had, better safe than sorry.

Things I would have done the same (and why):

Ooze Type: Some feedback about how this could have been another creature type. But being mindless was core to my concept. There are some malicious creatures like the mentioned will-o'-wisp that cause the emotion they want to eat, but the Tranquility Ooze just grazes. If you don't resist, you can just walk/float right past it. It's unlikely to chase as long as it still has some food source in its aura

Things I'm still unsure about:

Strength-based Save DCs: I knew this was weird for some of the abilities, but it got the DCs into the proper range (16, a little lower than the high DC for its CR). Using Cha then adding a big racial bonus (+5) seemed clunky. In the future I would do it that way since it's Adam's suggestion, but it still feels weird.

Origin: A lot of people wanted to know how the ooze is formed. Most oozes are mysterious in origin, so I intentionally did not write it up. However, sticking with tradition here may have been a mistake. When a tranquility ooze brushes against an organic surface (such as a tree), it leaves behind a minuscule portion of itself. If regularly in the presence of emotions, this residue develops into droplets, which grow steadily until they are roughly palm sized, at which point they converge on each other and form a new tranquility ooze.

Deflection bonus to AC: It seemed like a good idea at the time. The AC is still pretty low for the CR (though it does have ooze-like HP), and it contributes to its high CMD. I was hoping the mysticism would carry it through, but I think I lost some people with it.

Vulnerable to Emotion Magic: Apparently vulnerability wasn't the right word here, based on feedback. Not sure what I'd rename it to though. The drawback made sense, but it's very swingy. Either you have emotion spells, or you don't. Being unable to engulf is a pretty significant penalty to this ooze though. The slam attack is pretty weak for its CR.

@Randuril & Alanya: Yes, it's supposed to look like a soap bubble! Glad that came through to you.

Edit: Regarding saying "calmed" even though that's not a condition proper, I did so because the spell has "Any aggressive action against or damage dealt to a calmed creature immediately breaks the spell on all calmed creatures." as precedent.

I got a whopping 28 posts (not counting this one) here, which is a fantastic improvement on the 11 (not counting my closing post) I got on my Round 2 map. Again, thank you all for taking the time to share your deliberations with me. It was a pleasure to compete. If I can answer any other questions, please PM me.

Dark Archive

Issac Volynskiy wrote:
If you don't resist, you can just walk/float right past it.

I misunderstood this. I thought if you failed your save, you were stuck there floating, and had no desire to move on.

What made me think this was more tactical than mindless was that it specifically went after creatures who had made their save, even if there were others within feeding range who had failed (working on the assumption that their dinner was just sitting/floating there, waiting to be devoured). This is an important clarification!

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

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Sorry for posting this after the voting ended on this round. Life was more than hectic these last few days.

I did not read IV's answers as I wish to give my feedback in the same way I did for other monsters, undiluted by clarifications.

It is a floating ooze that likes quiet. THIS IS AN AMAZING CONCEPT. Most regrettably, the crunch is disjointed and falls all over the place.

- The name is intriguing. The visuals fit it well, though I kept thinking it golden for no specific reason.

- No specific point about the stat block. "emotion magic" seems a bit strange as in unusual : I was wondering if it existed per se in PFRPG, but the description of the ability explains it.

- Aura of Tranquility is very nice and I like the image of calmed beings floating around. However, it would need some crunch so that it does not become immediately useful to its "victims" (say a successful Will save to actually use it as Fly for a round).

- Center of emotion is good too, in the "I will make you calm by force if need be" way.

Just an idea : since its save DCs are based on its Strength, maybe it could become enraged (which would increase its Strength and thus the DCs) if someone keeps on resisting its calming influence.

- Charisma Drain is hard. I like it. It will be rightly feared by those who focus on it and those that dump it :-)

- Engulf is ok, but here the synergy between the different abilities becomes more obvious and in all honesty this synergy is not that easy for a GM to master and use to its full potential unless he actually shares your vision for this creature.

- I understand why you called it "Vulnerable to emotion magic", since such "hurts" the creature's abilities, but it sounds too close to Vulnerability, which has people expecting that it hurts the creature itself ;-)

- The descriptive text seems somewhat at odds with the stat block. Is it a predator ? How does it detect those who have "strong emotions" ? What can a PC do to "transcend the self" ?

All in all, I think you had this awesome concept stuck in your mind and tried to depict it while staying within the word count, but this was just too different to get cleanly in the crunch.

EDIT : since you asked for it :

"Disrupted by emotion magic" or "Unbalanced by emotion magic" or "Glutton for emotion"

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