The end of RPG Superstar 2012 is getting closer, as the third round of the competition is finished yesterday. For this round the participants had to create CR 7 monsters with some limitations : they couldn’t create a construct, dragon, ooze or outsider, and the monster have to be tied to Golarion in some way. Also, the entry couldn’t have class levels or templates (like fiendish).

  But how is it turned out ? Well, it seems that several submissions were completely out of range by presenting monsters with much more power than a CR 7 creature should, while others seems to be from the forbidden creature types with some other type just tacked on to qualify. Some of the other submissions just didn’t touched my inner geek and left me cold.

  On the other hand several monsters looks like very interesting and innovative. The strange thing is : these are mostly plant monsters! A strange thing I guess, as they are not the most popular monster group in any way. Regardless, the guys in the top 16 showed what could be achieved by dangerous fauna all over Golarion, so plant monsters rule !

My favorites for this round include :

 Pyrebloom (Adam Donald) – A giant intelligent plant, with an alchemical origin, throwing explosive bombs and interesting abilities at players. While some of it’s powers seems a bit overpowered (Volatile Demise, fire immunity), overall maybe this is the best submission in this round. It’s a great improvement from the author, as I think his turn 2 submission (The Red Bastards) was really uninspired.

Necrotic Reef (Steve Miller) – While maybe it’s not really fitting for a reef monster I really like this undead monstrosity. However it’s really not feeling like an undead reef, so I would change it to be an Aberration or something else.

 Ravenous Gorgewort (Sam Polak) – Another great plant monster, with the ability to swallow and disgorge opponents. Oh, and it’s also feeding on magical auras, stealing spells from those whom it is already swallowed. It’s covered in adhesive sap, so weapons my stuck to this monster during a fight. Depending on the last 2 rounds I think Sam Polak is one of the top contenders for winning this year’s RPG Superstar, as both his monster and the Riders of the Black Steppe in round 2 showed a lots of innovation from his part.

Witchbole Willow (Russell Vaneekhoven) – Again, one of my favorite designers form round 2, Russel provides yet another great plant monster to use in our campaigns. I really like the Golarion-history tie-in to these monsters, as well as the nice collection of plant abilities, and the twist with Dimension Door.

With the above four, only six submissions receive my vote for this round. I’m really interested, what encounters the participants will be able to envision for Round 4.

If you are interested you may check out the submissions yourself here : RPG Superstar 2012

Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros