Expert Dungeon Master Competition 20: Design an Aberrant Creature!

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XDMC 20: Design an Aberrant Creature!
Welcome to the twentienth Expert Dungeon Master Competition! The primary purpose of the Expert Dungeon Master Competitions is threefold:
  • To create a resource for new Dungeon Masters drawing on the vast talent pool of the experienced Dungeon Masters of this forum.

  • To create a fun and vibrant competition that is sportsmanlike and friendly.

  • To showcase the creativity and talent of Dungeon Masters like you.


The best way to keep informed about the competition is to join the Expert Dungeon Master Competition group. There you can review the rules, archives, and future contest ideas, and get broadcasts telling you when new competitions begin and when results are released!

Required Elements


The topic for this competition is "Aberrant Creature".  The contest asks entrants to create a creature with the aberrant origin.  In order to enter this competition, your entry must fulfill the following required elements:
  • Name: Name the creature.  The creature may not be a variation of a creature already existing in an official release for the game, aberrant or otherwise.  (I.e., no aberrant minotaurs or iceborn illithid)

  • Variations: Present three, four, or five variations of the creature.  For example, the Monster Manual presents three variations of the aboleth: the aboleth lasher, the aboleth overlord, and the aboleth slime mage.  No variation of the creature can be unique; there must be multiple individuals of each variation in existence.  (I.e., the Tarrasque or Orcus would be considered unique creatures.)

  • Stat Blocks: Present a stat block for each variation.  You may use any format, as long as it contains all the information of a stat block found in the Compendium or Monster Manuals.  Each variation of the creature must possess the aberrant origin.  Although you are not required to do so, you might want to use Qube's Stat Block Generator to generate stat blocks in the HTML code these forums use.

  • Appearance: Describe each variation's appearance.

  • Motivation: Describe the typical creature's personality or motivations.

  • Tactics: Describe each variation's typical tactics in combat.

Optional Elements


In addition, the entry must include at least three of the following optional elements:
  1. Compulsive: The creature has an irresistible compulsion that drives it to engage in bizarre behavior.

  2. Gaze: The most potent attack possessed by two or more of the variations has the Gaze keyword.

  3. Genesis: The entry describes the means by which the creature reproduces or is created.

  4. Hive Mind: The creatures possess a hive mind.

  5. Multiple Auras: Each variation of the creature has multiple auras, though only one can be active at a time.

  6. Mute: The creature can only communicate by controlling another creature to speak for it.

  7. Natural Appearance: The creature appears to have a natural origin, but acts aberrant.

  8. Ontogeny: The variations represent different stages of the creature's development, with distinct appearances.

  9. Polymorphous: Each variation of the creature has the ability to change its shape and/or size.

  10. Reach: Each variation of the creature has reach atypical for the creature's size.

  11. Ritual-Prone: The creature is adversely affected by a ritual described in the entry.

  12. Solo: All but one of the variations are solo creatures.

Please list the optional elements you are trying to meet in your entry.

General Rules


Following are some general rules of the Expert DM Competition.  The complete list of rules is in the Expert Dungeon Master Competition Group Wiki.
  • Code of Conduct. All entries must comply with the forum's Code of Conduct.

  • Contest Duration. Contests usually run for two weeks, beginning with the post announcing the competition. The Coordinator may extend the duration of the contest at his discretion after consulting the other judges for that competition. However, such extensions should be done very rarely.

  • Edits Made at Entrants' Own Risk. A judge may download your entry any time after it is submitted. So any edits you make might not be considered by a judge. For this reason, you should submit your entry in as complete a form as possible. Use the preview function liberally.  Once winners have been announced, entrants may edit their entries.

  • Images Allowed. If you want to use an image in your entry, you must first post it to your profile gallery.

  • Multiple Entries Prohibited. Each applicant may only submit one entry during the period in which entries may be submitted.  Submitting multiple entries disqualifies all entries. Additional entries may be submitted after the competition closes, but they will not be judged.

  • Multi-Post Entries Prohibited. Each entry must be contained within a single post. The judges must ignore any subsequent posts.

  • Outside Links Prohibited. Entries may not include material hosted on a website other than the post on which the entry appears.

  • Plagiarism and Peer Reviewing Prohibited. All entries must be the original, exclusive work of the applicant. Entries found to be copying the work of another, or that have been posted for review prior to the close of the competition, will be disqualified.

Judges and Schedule


The contest will run from today through Friday, July 16, 2010. All entries must be submitted no later than 12:00 midnight on that day (Eastern Standard Time). The judges of this contest are Furion Thamior, Pluisjen, and Qube, and the coordinator of this contest is wrecan. Good luck and have fun!!
Questions and Answers
Q. What makes a creature aberrant (and not of some other origin)?

A. An aberrant creature must originate in or be shaped by the Far Realm, a plane of incomprehensible horrors that drive mere mortals mad.


Q. For purposes of the "Stat Blocks" required element, should the creature be designed using the standards found in the Monster Manual and Dungeon Masters Guide, or the new standards set forth in Monster Manual 3?

A. Either may be used.  It is helpful, though not necessary, for the entry to specify which is used.


Q. For purposes of the "compulsive" optional element, must all the variations share the same compulsion?

A. Yes.


Q. For purposes of the "hive mind" optional element, must the hive mind be with other creatures of its own variation?

A. No, although it can.  Each variation must have a hive mind, thgouh it can be with other creatures of its variation, other creatures of its type, or even completely different types of creatures.


Q. For purposes of the "multiple auras" optional element, must each variation have the same multiple auras as the other variations?

A. No.  Each variation must have multiple auras, nut not necessarily the same auras as each other.


Q. For purposes of the "natual appearance" optional element, what constitutes a "natural appearance"?

A. The creature must appear to have the "natural" origin, meaning the creature appears to be native to the material plane, rather than the Far Realm (or any other plane).


Q. For purposes of the "ontogeny" optional element, must the development be a result of biological growth, like age?

A. No.


Q. For purposes of the "solo" optional element, how many variations cannot be a Solo creature?

A. Exactly one.
Medals and Scores
Behold the medalists and tremble in fear at the entries that can drive mere mortal minds mad.  MAD!

The bronze medal goes to

Veok


with


Psychokinetic Ooze!


The silver medal goes to

ankiyavon


with


Recondites!!


The gold medal goes to
Monstro
with
Cessapazai!!!
Monstro wins bragging rights, is entitled to be called a Heroic Dungeon Master, and is now eligible to begin judging future XDMCs!  Congratulations to Monstro!!

Thanks to Furion Thamior, Pluisjen, and Qube for risking their very souls to judge this contest.  This was one of the more creative contests we've ever run and everybody did a great job!  Stay tuned because in a few weeks, when my sanity returns, we will be announcing Expert Dungeon Master Competition 21!  In the meantime, enjoy the carefully tabulated scores below:  

































































































No.CreativityUsabilityThemesClarityBonusTotalEntrant's Entry
18 1/31276 1/333 2/3TV_Casualty's Shoggoth
213 1/35 2/37 1/3531 1/3Johnathan_Vagabond's Disenchanted
31110 1/37 1/37 1/336Whitman's Zzyrvzz
410 2/396 2/3632 1/3Jurph's Broodax
510 2/39 2/37 2/37 2/335 2/3ClanBattlerage's Vermin Lords
61410 2/38 2/37242 1/3Monstro's Cessapazai
710 2/333 2/3623 1/3Falstyr's Amoecleya
810 1/311 2/36 2/3634 2/3Goldomark's Alienated Ones
912 2/310 1/397 2/339 2/3ankiyavon's Recondites
10135 1/37631 1/3Fuka's Afflicted of Seh'Kanwin-Doh
111311 2/376 1/338Veok's Psychokinetic Ooze
If I want the creature to be mute, can it communicate by other ways, like by smells?

Mute: The creature can only communicate by controlling  another creature to speak for it.

No.
Looks difficult. Currently I'll focus on finished the House of Glass from the previous competition. In my current campaign it is used with abberant creatures instead of devils. So that would be a nice follow up if it works. Think of 3.5 with the Drow. In that DnD edition the Drow used to do loads of experiments creating the weirdest combination of creatures. That would be a nice source to start looking for ideas.
If I want the creature to be mute, can it communicate by other ways, like by smells?

"What's that smell? And why do I suddenly get the feeling Timmy is stuck in a well?"
That's Someone, with a capital S. "Cat's out of the bag on that one, isn't it? Who puts cats in bags, anyway? Cats hate bags." -Sheogorath, Oblivion
Awesome, I should be able to actually get an entry together for this one.


And I love designing aberrant creatures
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
If I want the creature to be mute, can it communicate by other ways, like by smells?


Mute: The creature can only communicate by controlling  another creature to speak for it.


No.


I'm still confused. I figured that the entry meant the aberrant could only communicate with other types of creatures through the mind-control thing; wouldn't it be rather cumbersome and impractical for it to need an intermediary to communicate with others of it's own kind? Also, what about creatures of animal-level intelligence? They obviously can't speak any language, but they do typically communicate with body language, making noises, leaving scents, etc.
If I want the creature to be mute, can it communicate by other ways, like by smells?

Mute: The creature can only communicate by controlling  another creature to speak for it.

No.

I'm still confused. I figured that the entry meant the aberrant could only communicate with other types of creatures through the mind-control thing; wouldn't it be rather cumbersome and impractical for it to need an intermediary to communicate with others of it's own kind? Also, what about creatures of animal-level intelligence? They obviously can't speak any language, but they do typically communicate with body language, making noises, leaving scents, etc.

The element is written as it's written.  If you find it too difficult to meet, I suggest your entry seek to meet different optional elements.
Hi all,

First I want to cover my behind (I'm slightly paranoid, so most likely it won't hapen; but you never now) concerning the Blockbuilder.
  1. Note that my tool is only an aid. The result is your responsability, and as such I retain the right to give you less points if the entry is unclear.
    With other words, if you post a screwed up monster block, you shoudn't expect me to give more points because you used my tool and blame me the tool not being clear.

  2. I will not give additional points if you use my tool, and I will not reduce points if you don't. So don't feel forced to do so.

  3. If you have trouble with the tool, you can ask me by posting here, posting in the sticky of the homebrew, posting in the thread designed for it (the link is in the tool), or PM me. However, you ask this question at qube -the designer of the tool-, not qube -the judge-. Being lawful good aligned, I probably will try to help you with trouble concerning the tool, but I won't stay up at night so last minute questions will be answered, nor will I be making the entry for you, ...

wouldn't it be rather cumbersome and impractical for it to need an intermediary to communicate with others of it's own kind?

yes. Though it could be a tad difficult, it is far from impossible.
Also, what about creatures of animal-level intelligence? They obviously can't speak any language, but they do typically communicate with body language, making noises, leaving scents, etc.


It usually works like this: the optional element is:
  • "The creature can only communicate by controlling another creature to speak for it"


('Mute' is only a flavor word, with no realy meaning)

If you use it , we, the judges, will judge how good you incorporated this element in your entry. If you have a idea, that is slightly off, its likely (though I can only speak for myself), that it compensates (having less points for not being 100% the idea; having more points for being a good idea) If its a super idea, its possible you get more points. if its a bad idea, you'll end up with less points.

Qube's block builder: if you want to create blocks for powers, items and monsters for this forum, but don't know html
Signature in a box
For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job - I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi-polloi. But at night, I live a life of exhilaration, of missed heartbeats and adrenalin. And, if the truth be known a life of dubious virtue. I won't deny it - I've been engaged in violence, even indulged in it. I've maimed and killed adversaries, and not merely in self-defence. I've exhibited disregard for life, limb and property, and savoured every moment. You may not think it, to look of me but I have commanded armies, and conquered worlds. And though in achieving these things I've set morality aside, I have no regrets. For though I've led a double life, at least I can say - I've lived.

3.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - Stone Gaint

Scipio: And Chihuahuas have definitely improved in the "attacking ankles, yapping, and being generally annoying" environment. Me: OK, am I the only who sees an analogy between forum trolls & Chihuahuas?
Some of my work:
XDMC 19 (silver): A full fledged assassins guild (with stats, skill challenges, ...)link XDMC 14 (Bronze): a one shot campaign for beginning DMs/players. link XDMC 16: Paragon path: the Epitome: being better then all then any one else. link (note: this is balanced) XDMC 25: The Gelatinous Cube mount Guide To Disreality: a collection of houserules - Introduction & table of content
My ego in a box
who am I kidding? my ego would never fit in a box
I've always found the description "Abberant" to be vague. What describes such a freaky creature. What makes a creature an Abberant? Just when you figure it out the description changes hehe.
I've always found the description "Abberant" to be vague. What describes such a freaky creature. What makes a creature an Abberant? Just when you figure it out the description changes hehe.

According to the Compendium, "Aberrant" is a monster origin: "Aberrant creatures are native to or shaped by the Far Realm."

I'm not a judge this time around, but I presume whatever you put together should fit into that description.
Can we include Templates?...in addition to the other stuff.
I update my campaign through http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/aversill Monstro is the difference between Frankenstein and Pinnochio.
Can we include Templates?...in addition to the other stuff.

If you feel it improves your entry, I don't see why not.

Qube's block builder: if you want to create blocks for powers, items and monsters for this forum, but don't know html
Signature in a box
For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job - I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi-polloi. But at night, I live a life of exhilaration, of missed heartbeats and adrenalin. And, if the truth be known a life of dubious virtue. I won't deny it - I've been engaged in violence, even indulged in it. I've maimed and killed adversaries, and not merely in self-defence. I've exhibited disregard for life, limb and property, and savoured every moment. You may not think it, to look of me but I have commanded armies, and conquered worlds. And though in achieving these things I've set morality aside, I have no regrets. For though I've led a double life, at least I can say - I've lived.

3.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - Stone Gaint

Scipio: And Chihuahuas have definitely improved in the "attacking ankles, yapping, and being generally annoying" environment. Me: OK, am I the only who sees an analogy between forum trolls & Chihuahuas?
Some of my work:
XDMC 19 (silver): A full fledged assassins guild (with stats, skill challenges, ...)link XDMC 14 (Bronze): a one shot campaign for beginning DMs/players. link XDMC 16: Paragon path: the Epitome: being better then all then any one else. link (note: this is balanced) XDMC 25: The Gelatinous Cube mount Guide To Disreality: a collection of houserules - Introduction & table of content
My ego in a box
who am I kidding? my ego would never fit in a box
Interesting contest.  I'm burbling with ideas that bwoop and gibble with wigsiliwigsmal!

Yes judges, I am my entry!
Resident Shakespeare
mccowen is right.  An aberrant creature originates in or is shaped by the Far Realm.
To monstro: the requirements only include the minimum.  You can always add to the entry if you think it will improve the overall quality of it.
I've always found the description "Abberant" to be vague. What describes such a freaky creature. What makes a creature an Abberant? Just when you figure it out the description changes hehe.



I hope my advice is not an intrusion, it is a bit long.  Also let me know if you disagree with my ending definition of aberrant creatures judges! 

If you're looking for some helpful examples of the type of strangeness that emanates from the Far Realm, looking at some of the classic Abberant creatures like the Beholder, Mind Flayer, Gibbering Mouther, and Foulspawn would be a good place to start.  All are nightmarish creatures that would might feature in horrible dreams or insane concatenations. 

The pre-4th edition book "Worlds and Monsters" describes the Far Realm with words like "Lovecraftian" and "Sanity dissolving".  It is said that "Those who only lightly value the cohesion of their own minds sometimes seek to gaze  Outside in stained locations where the Far Realm has touched (or currently touches) the world."  It talks about the influence of the Far Realm into the world as either breaching its barriers, which leaves a number of immigrant denizens in its wake, or as corrupting or polluting reality and distorting whatever creatures that happened to be there. 

I was going to post an amusing internet meme here, but instead of potentially ruining someones humorous entry I'll make up an example. 

A goldfish, corrupted by the proximity of its bowl to the world shattering rituals preformed by it's cultist owner in the basement of their two story family dwelling, leers out at you with several of it's dorsal eyes.  It's golden flesh shimmers through the cloudy haze of it's watery home, like a shiny coin in the muddy streets. 
"What a pretty fish" you think to yourself, "He should be moved to the bathtub where he has some room to swim". 
Gently you take its slimy body out of the tank, its gaping, toothy jaw sucking gasps of air into the proto-lungs beneath its gills while it's largest red eye stares into you. 
"Of course I'll bring you some meat, will you be ok in the sink while I get it?" you ask the beautiful creature - "yes, of course.  Not to worry!".  Somewhere in the back of your mind you feel this conversation somewhat odd, but you push that thought into the box at the back of your mind and shut the door on it. 
"Meat, meat...  Oh, will this do?" you ask, noticing the former owner in the corner - face curled in disfigured scream and eyes gouged out of his head. 
You put down your small baton and constables hat, draw the small blade you carry from your hip scabbard and slice the hand off the body.  You drop it into the sink for the starving creature, and add a little water to the bottom from a clay pitcher on the counter. 
"Anything else master?" you ask as you wipe away the blood from your hands and blade with a shirt hanging in the kitchen.  "Always eager to please, master"...



In short, goldfish are natural.  Many eyed, toothy lung-goldfish who mentally enslave those around them are aberrant.  Creatures of the natural world can be corrupted into aberrant creatures, but for the purposes of the competition you'll need a bunch of creatures so my horrible goldfish wouldn't work.  Maybe if you corrupted his dog and hamster too, in different and interesting ways, and described the ritual-gone-wrong that created them and is now spreading beyond the house to threaten the town it would work.  :P  I'm not a judge, so that's not my place to decide.
I think you're overthinking it.  In 4e, aberrant is just creatures that are either from, or totally corrupted by, the Far Realm (so much so that they are an entirely new kind of creature).  It's pretty much as simple as that.  Go to monster builder, look up monsters under the heading of aberrant and it will give you all the creatures that have an origin in the far realm.  The contest isn't mutants; it's Cthulhian weirdness.  If the goldfish were from the far realm, it would be abberant, but of course, the far realm is a place of madness and is unlikely to just create goldfish...maybe that spookyfish from South Park, though.  Hey, I just got an idea for an entry!
I update my campaign through http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/aversill Monstro is the difference between Frankenstein and Pinnochio.
I might join this competition. I am soon to start my first 4th edition campaign.

I assume the 3 variations can have different names?
I might join this competition. I am soon to start my first 4th edition campaign.

I assume the 3 variations can have different names?



(Not a judge)

I believe the intent was to create three different monsters of the same race.  For example, Mind Flayer Infiltrator, Mind Flayer Mastermind, and Mind Flayer Tormentor are all mind flayers, but they are three different monsters.

So if I'm right, they'd have to have different names.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
I might join this competition. I am soon to start my first 4th edition campaign.

I assume the 3 variations can have different names?


As long as they are variations of the same creature, yes.
Oooo...this one could be fun.  Time to get stinking drunk and watch In the Mouth of Madness and the Alien Trilogy back-to-back-to-back-to-back.  That should get me in the right frame of mind for this...

...or nudge me the rest of the way into drooling oblivion.
Sorceror: "I'll attack the [solo monster] with Chaos Bolt." Warden: "Don't you ever use encounter powers?!?!?" Sorceror: (casually) "I don't need to." ----------- "Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live." - Martin Golding
To get people in the mood ... (link to other stories)
I do not recall distinctly when it began, but it was months ago. The general tension was horrible. To a season of political and social upheaval was added a strange and brooding apprehension of hideous physical danger; a danger widespread and all-embracing, such a danger as may be imagined only in the most terrible phantasms of the night. I recall that the people went about with pale and worried faces, and whispered warnings and prophecies which no one dared consciously repeat or acknowledge to himself that he had heard. A sense of monstrous guilt was upon the land, and out of the abysses between the stars swept chill currents that made men shiver in dark and lonely places. There was a demoniac alteration in the sequence of the seasons the autumn heat lingered fearsomely, and everyone felt that the world and perhaps the universe had passed from the control of known gods or forces to that of gods or forces which were unknown.

And it was then that Nyarlathotep came out of Egypt. Who he was, none could tell, but he was of the old native blood and looked like a Pharaoh. The fellahin knelt when they saw him, yet could not say why. He said he had risen up out of the blackness of twenty-seven centuries, and that he had heard messages from places not on this planet. Into the lands of civilisation came Nyarlathotep, swarthy, slender, and sinister, always buying strange instruments of glass and metal and combining them into instruments yet stranger. He spoke much of the sciences of electricity and psychology and gave exhibitions of power which sent his spectators away speechless, yet which swelled his fame to exceeding magnitude. Men advised one another to see Nyarlathotep, and shuddered. And where Nyarlathotep went, rest vanished, for the small hours were rent with the screams of nightmare. Never before had the screams of nightmare been such a public problem; now the wise men almost wished they could forbid sleep in the small hours, that the shrieks of cities might less horribly disturb the pale, pitying moon as it glimmered on green waters gliding under bridges, and old steeples crumbling against a sickly sky.

I remember when Nyarlathotep came to my city the great, the old, the terrible city of unnumbered crimes. My friend had told me of him, and of the impelling fascination and allurement of his revelations, and I burned with eagerness to explore his uttermost mysteries. My friend said they were horrible and impressive beyond my most fevered imaginings; and what was thrown on a screen in the darkened room prophesied things none but Nyarlathotep dared prophesy, and in the sputter of his sparks there was taken from men that which had never been taken before yet which showed only in the eyes. And I heard it hinted abroad that those who knew Nyarlathotep looked on sights which others saw not.

It was in the hot autumn that I went through the night with the restless crowds to see Nyarlathotep; through the stifling night and up the endless stairs into the choking room. And shadowed on a screen, I saw hooded forms amidst ruins, and yellow evil faces peering from behind fallen monuments. And I saw the world battling against blackness; against the waves of destruction from ultimate space; whirling, churning, struggling around the dimming, cooling sun. Then the sparks played amazingly around the heads of the spectators, and hair stood up on end whilst shadows more grotesque than I can tell came out and squatted on the heads. And when I, who was colder and more scientific than the rest, mumbled a trembling protest about imposture and static electricity, Nyarlathotep drove us all out, down the dizzy stairs into the damp, hot, deserted midnight streets. I screamed aloud that I was not afraid; that I never could be afraid; and others screamed with me for solace. We swore to one another that the city was exactly the same, and still alive; and when the electric lights began to fade we cursed the company over and over again, and laughed at the **** faces we made.

I believe we felt something coming down from the greenish moon, for when we began to depend on its light we drifted into curious involuntary marching formations and seemed to know our destinations though we dared not think of them. Once we looked at the pavement and found the blocks loose and displaced by grass, with scarce a line of rusted metal to show where the tramways had run. And again we saw a tram-car, lone, windowless, dilapidated, and almost on its side. When we gazed around the horizon, we could not find the third tower by the river, and noticed that the silhouette of the second tower was ragged at the top. Then we split up into narrow columns, each of which seemed drawn in a different direction. One disappeared in a narrow alley to the left, leaving only the echo of a shocking moan. Another filed down a weed-choked subway entrance, howling with a laughter that was mad. My own column was sucked toward the open country, and presently I felt a chill which was not of the hot autumn; for as we stalked out on the dark moor, we beheld around us the hellish moon-glitter of evil snows. Trackless, inexplicable snows, swept asunder in one direction only, where lay a gulf all the blacker for its glittering walls. The column seemed very thin indeed as it plodded dreamily into the gulf. I lingered behind, for the black rift in the green-litten snow was frightful, and I thought I had heard the reverberations of a disquieting wail as my companions vanished; but my power to linger was slight. As if beckoned by those who had gone before, I half-floated between the titanic snowdrifts, quivering and afraid, into the sightless vortex of the unimaginable.

Screamingly sentient, dumbly delirious, only the gods that were can tell. A sickened, sensitive shadow writhing in hands that are not hands, and whirled blindly past ghastly midnights of rotting creation, corpses of dead worlds with sores that were cities, charnel winds that brush the pallid stars and make them flicker low. Beyond the worlds vague ghosts of monstrous things; half-seen columns of unsanctifled temples that rest on nameless rocks beneath space and reach up to dizzy vacua above the spheres of light and darkness. And through this revolting graveyard of the universe the muffled, maddening beating of drums, and thin, monotonous whine of blasphemous flutes from inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond Time; the detestable pounding and piping whereunto dance slowly, awkwardly, and absurdly the gigantic, tenebrous ultimate gods the blind, voiceless, mindless gargoyles whose soul is Nyarlathotep.

qube fhtagn!
Qube's block builder: if you want to create blocks for powers, items and monsters for this forum, but don't know html
Signature in a box
For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job - I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi-polloi. But at night, I live a life of exhilaration, of missed heartbeats and adrenalin. And, if the truth be known a life of dubious virtue. I won't deny it - I've been engaged in violence, even indulged in it. I've maimed and killed adversaries, and not merely in self-defence. I've exhibited disregard for life, limb and property, and savoured every moment. You may not think it, to look of me but I have commanded armies, and conquered worlds. And though in achieving these things I've set morality aside, I have no regrets. For though I've led a double life, at least I can say - I've lived.

3.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - Stone Gaint

Scipio: And Chihuahuas have definitely improved in the "attacking ankles, yapping, and being generally annoying" environment. Me: OK, am I the only who sees an analogy between forum trolls & Chihuahuas?
Some of my work:
XDMC 19 (silver): A full fledged assassins guild (with stats, skill challenges, ...)link XDMC 14 (Bronze): a one shot campaign for beginning DMs/players. link XDMC 16: Paragon path: the Epitome: being better then all then any one else. link (note: this is balanced) XDMC 25: The Gelatinous Cube mount Guide To Disreality: a collection of houserules - Introduction & table of content
My ego in a box
who am I kidding? my ego would never fit in a box

I had a character for a brief time with the Phantasmal Assailant at-will.  Whenever he used it, he would shout 'ph'nglui mglw'nafh [name or creature type] fhtagn' to expose his enemy's mind to the elder gods.  Being paragon, my first feat was psychic lock, which meant they were really terrible visions.

Resident Shakespeare

I had a character for a brief time with the Phantasmal Assailant at-will.  Whenever he used it, he would shout 'ph'nglui mglw'nafh [name or creature type] fhtagn' to expose his enemy's mind to the elder gods.  Being paragon, my first feat was psychic lock, which meant they were really terrible visions.


Oh, great, now you've just exposed name or creature type's mind to the elder gods. Name or creature type was already a bit flaky, now they're going to be flippin' bonkers.
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i've had an idea. What if you make a horror setting. Inanimate objects...with Far Realm influences. A seemingly harmless carpet who mentally influences those who stay too long in the house. Some tendrils and other scary stuff. Then some other "harmless" objects as alternate monsters...

Or am I thinking in the wrong direction of what is abberant?
I can't tell if you're making a pop culture reference, Falstyr, but you could totally have an aberrant construct.  In fact, five aberrant constructs have been seen in various Dungeon Magazine adventures: the Shard Golem, the Aberrant Flinger, the Far Eidolon, the Ritual Born Sentinel, and the Ritual Born Killer!
i've had an idea. What if you make a horror setting. Inanimate objects...with Far Realm influences. A seemingly harmless carpet who mentally influences those who stay too long in the house. Some tendrils and other scary stuff. Then some other "harmless" objects as alternate monsters...

You can do whatever you want . However, to score points you need to have the required element and 3 or more optional elements. (I don't immedately spot those in the part I quoted - but I'm not trained in perception ...)

Anything else you write around the entry can also influence your score - the creativity, usability, the clarity, etc ... (here's a link with some pointers on what we're looking at), but the important part is the creature.

Or am I thinking in the wrong direction of what is abberant?

for 'what is abberant', I think you get the drift. Horror + tentacles is definately text book abberant. But note that abarant monsters come from an other dimention - you'dd need a good reason for them to be in the house. A enchanted carpet woudn't be an abarant monster. A pseudonatural living carpet would, but usually isn't found in a normal house ...
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Scipio: And Chihuahuas have definitely improved in the "attacking ankles, yapping, and being generally annoying" environment. Me: OK, am I the only who sees an analogy between forum trolls & Chihuahuas?
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Can you do more than 3 variations?
@dawnbringer:
Variations: Present three, four, or five variations of the creature.


oh the dillema's when choosing a theme. finally found one that might be fun, but the I realised it was a lot similar to a movie trilogy which a lot of people probably know. bleh there goes the creativity score...time to keep looking further hehe.
oh the dillema's when choosing a theme. finally found one that might be fun, but the I realised it was a lot similar to a movie trilogy which a lot of people probably know. bleh there goes the creativity score...time to keep looking further hehe.

I can't speak for this crop of judges, but when I score stuff, I decide how creatively a given concept is presented, regardless of its source.

If you wanted to stat out a Krait Dragon from Star Wars (I know, not the trilogy in question), I wouldn't harshly judge your creativity.  You wouldn't get a perfect score, as the idea was already out there.  But if you implemented it well and meshed the D&D flavor with the inherent flavor of the Krait Dragon, I'd give a pretty high score, as it takes a good amount of creativity to "translate" something not D&D to something that is.

Just my $0.02 USD.
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If I post them on this thread, will it be impossible to submit it for a DDI article?

The only submission requirements I found were on a page that isn't properly connected to the current site, though it mentions 4th edition. It reads:
We do not accept any submissions previously published by or simultaneously submitted to another magazine, website, or d20 publisher. Likewise, we don’t accept plagiarized materials.

Forum and blog posts are usually considered a form of publishing, though I can't speak for Wizards on the matter.
Since WotC retains the right to publish anything posted on these boards, I'd say you can still submit it for a DDI article without difficulty.

Also, I just got a great idea for an entry.  The rest of you probably ought to give up now. Cool
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oh the dillema's when choosing a theme. finally found one that might be fun, but the I realised it was a lot similar to a movie trilogy which a lot of people probably know. bleh there goes the creativity score...time to keep looking further hehe.


I can't speak for this crop of judges, but when I score stuff, I decide how creatively a given concept is presented, regardless of its source.

If you wanted to stat out a Krait Dragon from Star Wars (I know, not the trilogy in question), I wouldn't harshly judge your creativity.  You wouldn't get a perfect score, as the idea was already out there.  But if you implemented it well and meshed the D&D flavor with the inherent flavor of the Krait Dragon, I'd give a pretty high score, as it takes a good amount of creativity to "translate" something not D&D to something that is.

Just my $0.02 USD.



As a judge for this one, I'd like to say I agree with ClanBattlerage here. If you take something from a known source, and adapt it to D&D so that it is a fun, fitting element it won't hurt your creativity.

It does help, however, to be upfront with it and give a link to the source material you used, especially if your entry assumes knowledge of said creatures. 

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Given that this topic really does lend itself to horror - If the entry sickens, disturbs, and/or traumatizes the judges, is that likely to increase or decrease score?
Given that this topic really does lend itself to horror - If the entry sickens, disturbs, and/or traumatizes the judges, is that likely to increase or decrease score?

For me, it will descrease usability:
  • if you traumatize the DM that reads it, he's not going to want to use it on its players.
    (nearly per definition of traumatize ...)

  • an adult-only entry is not usable by non-adult gaming groups ...
    (side note, what if one of the judges isn't an adult ...? (I'm >18 btw, so no problem for me ...) )


However, if it increases the flavor you might get additional points in that department.
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For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job - I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi-polloi. But at night, I live a life of exhilaration, of missed heartbeats and adrenalin. And, if the truth be known a life of dubious virtue. I won't deny it - I've been engaged in violence, even indulged in it. I've maimed and killed adversaries, and not merely in self-defence. I've exhibited disregard for life, limb and property, and savoured every moment. You may not think it, to look of me but I have commanded armies, and conquered worlds. And though in achieving these things I've set morality aside, I have no regrets. For though I've led a double life, at least I can say - I've lived.

3.jpg
D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - Stone Gaint

Scipio: And Chihuahuas have definitely improved in the "attacking ankles, yapping, and being generally annoying" environment. Me: OK, am I the only who sees an analogy between forum trolls & Chihuahuas?
Some of my work:
XDMC 19 (silver): A full fledged assassins guild (with stats, skill challenges, ...)link XDMC 14 (Bronze): a one shot campaign for beginning DMs/players. link XDMC 16: Paragon path: the Epitome: being better then all then any one else. link (note: this is balanced) XDMC 25: The Gelatinous Cube mount Guide To Disreality: a collection of houserules - Introduction & table of content
My ego in a box
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Given that this topic really does lend itself to horror - If the entry sickens, disturbs, and/or traumatizes the judges, is that likely to increase or decrease score?


This is not a fiction-writing contest.  The goal is not to traumatize the reader, but to give DMs who rea your entry good fodder to traumatize their players.  If your reader is unable to stomach the entry, it won't be used, and that, unsurprisingly, will affect its Usability score.  (It could also arguably affect its Clarity score.)
Does the compulsion element need to be shared by all variations of the creature? Alternatively, can each variation have a different compulsion?

Does the natural appearance element no longer apply if the creature is larger than its non-aberrant counterpart even if it is otherwise recognizable as that natural creature?