Create a Leader (submission)

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Fixxxer's picture
Create a Leader (submission)

Welcome back! After a very, very long period with no competitions, enthusiastic interest to get something going again has resurrected them.

We wanted to use a topic that was a reflection of current events. That said, the pandemic is a depressing enough topic without having to put more thought into it, so that's right out. Instead, we're taking inspiration from the recent US presidential election. For this competition, you will create a civic leader. This person can be the mayor of a town, an emperor, the head of a guild... any level of leadership is appropriate, so long as it meets these criteria:

1: It must be a recognized and public position. Thus, a senator would be appropriate, but the Illuminati puppeteer controlling him from the shadows would not.
2: The leader must have some level of actual authority. No infant emperors, though the regent holding his place until he comes of age would be appropriate.

For the crunchy part of this competition, you will need to create a full NPC stat block for your leader. For the fluffy part, you'll need to give a description of the constituency over which the leader has authority and what manner of governorship the leader uses, as well as a personal history for the leader, including what events lead to their stepping into the leadership role. Finally, you'll need to present appropriate Knowledge check results about the leader and their tenure that a DM could use to help flesh the leader out.

Also worth pointing out, as it's not something that has been commonly done in past competitions, the judges are offering extra credit should your entry include a full stat block and description of an item (mundane, magical or psionic), feat, PrC, spell or power that acts as a prerequisite for them attaining and holding the position (example: the leader is king by virtue of owning a specific magic sword), with a boost to the final score being commensurate with the effort to create the prerequisite and how well it's incorporated into the leader's story.

*"Core Rules" for the purposes of this competition is defined as material from Player's Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, Monster Manual, Expanded Psionics Handbook, The SRD and non-setting material (unless you are the author of said setting or have the permission of the author to use their work) from The Dungeons and Dragons Archive.

As per usual, the rules used in this competition are to be D&D 3.5 compatible and should be drawn from the core rulebooks (Player's Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide and Monster Manual), Expanded Psionics Handbook, Unearthed Arcana, The SRD and material from The Dungeons and Dragons Archive.

Submitting Your Entry
Please submit your entry directly to this thread. Questions and comments posted in this thread will be deleted. Submissions posted in the Questions thread will not be judged. Participants are encouraged to enter their submission well before the deadline. While a subsequent entry may be inspired by an earlier entry, the scoring takes into account originality, and the earlier entry may well score better simply as a result of being submitted first.

Final Details
The judge for this competition will be Fixxxer and MinusInnocence. Questions about the competition can be asked and will be answered in the Questions thread. The judges will provide such answer as they deem appropriate. Anything not prohibited in the above instructions is permissible.

The competition will run from now through the entire month of February and will end at 11:59pm (PST) on February 28, 2021. Entries will be scored and feedback (if any) will be provided whenever the hell we get around to it... probably within a week The winners will be announced in this thread.

Good luck!


History and Rise to Power

Sallow Anguish was unusual for a gnoll. Not in the classic, cliche trope that would make her into an anti-hero or have her overcoming her differences or difficulties kind of way. But rather, in the way that ended up having her suffering, pain, and agony aid in her transform her into a paragon of her kind -- that is to be the evilest, most vicious, scheming, violent, and terrifying gnoll known to gnoll-kind. You see, Sallow Anguish was born as a white gnoll. She had pale skin, snow-white fur, and ivory claws. It was as if the artist whose duty it was to color the world just skipped her over. All the color that one would expect to see in a typical gnoll was drained away, leaving nothing but pale white. Well, nothing other than the one spot of color she did possess -- the hate-filled, bloody crimson that dominated her eyes.


Sallow Anguish's unusual pigment -- or really lack thereof -- earned her immediate social exile as a child. Her parents, though leaders of the Bloodskin tribe, were typical gnolls when it came to parenting. Gnolls are not really widely known for their parenting skills and maternal instincts to start with, and though she avoided being consumed at birth (her mother saw her strange coloring as quite repugnant and unappetizing), they more or less abandoned her as soon as it was feasibility convenient. She was seen as a bad omen, unable to stalk or hide from prey with hunting and raiding, and was often beaten or raped for sport by her peers. She spent as much time as possible away from her tribe, disappearing into the deep woods or dark, underground cave systems for weeks before hunger drove her to crawl back to the Bloodskins to beg for scraps of food.


On one of these extended periods of isolation, she was discovered by Ozymadius, a quasit servant of the glabrezu Or'Nok. Ozymadius was one of many agents of the great demon who traveled the prime material plane to seek out souls to sacrifice and mortals to tempt into committing great acts of evil. Ozymadius immediately sensed the seething hatred that Sallow Anguish held for the rest of her kind, and Or'Nok saw within her great potential for unrivaled violence and evil. Sallow Angishes loathing and hate was a great opportunity to reap a bounty of souls while granting her vengeance against her tribe. Using Ozymadius as a proxy, Or'Nok granted Sallow Anglish a bit of his fiendish power and taught her to use spells and enchantments that would enable her to take revenge on those that had beaten and wronged her. Ozymadius also gifted her a few items and magic trinkets he had collected from other victims while traveling the prime.


Together, Ozymadius and Sallow Anguish schemed, and soon, a plan for her vengeance began to take form. Sallow Anguish began stalking the outskirts of her other gnoll tribe's territories, tempting some of the more weak-minded gnolls to follow her with displays of her newfound powers. She presented herself as a priestess of Or'Nok, telling the not-so-untrue tale of how the demon lord had come to her in the deep woods, told her of her great destiny to rule gnoll-kind, and granted her untold powers to achieve her goals. One of her first successful converts was a bloodthirsty warrior and hunter of great skill, who readily accepted her as the agent of a great demon and joined her in the worship of Or'Nok. The warrior, named Remmar, quickly became one of Sallow Anguish's most fanatical and ruthless followers. 


Tempting away the ones that were willing to learn more and killing those unwilling, Sallow Anguish, Ozymadius, and Remmar began building a small cult of followers who saw Sallow Anguish's pallor not as a foul portent but rather as a sign of the great demon's favor. Each was promised great power and the chance to perform great acts of violence and savagery in the name of their demon lord. 


Once she and Ozymadius had tempted every gnoll they found willing into joining them, Sallow Anguish communed with her new master and begged for the means by which her small group of fanatic cultists could overcome her former tribe's warriors. Or'Nok granted her wish, bestowing her with a minor artifact promised to confer unimaginable strength and rage to her followers. Once Or'Nok fulfilled her request, Sallow Anguish wasted no time in assaulting her enemies. 


The artifact, named the Rod of Or'Nok by Sallow Anguish, functioned as promised. As she touched each one of her warriors with the rod, their bodies twisted as they were infused with demonic strength, and the fiendish artifact filled them with unquenchable bloodlust. As her engaged cultists performed a frontal assault on the Bloodskin's encampment in a savage frenzy, Sallow Anguish and Remmer stealthily struck from the rear and assassinated the tribal leadership during the chaos.


Though many of her warriors died in the assault, the cultists easily defeated three times their numbers and kept the Bloodskin's distracted while Sallow Anguish ended the lives of the tribe's chief and his lieutenants. Sallow Anguish's greatest victory during the attack was beating her father to death with the Rod of Or'Nok. Terrified by their relentless attackers and discouraged by the death of their leaders, the survivors of the Bloodskin tribe surrendered and swore loyalty to Sallow Anguish. Though she had intended to slaughter every member of the Bloodskin tribe, Ozymadius convinced her that she could use the remnants of the tribe to gain even greater power while still returning the cruelty and torture to those individuals who had hurt her the most. After all, death was a mercy compared to the prolonged pain and suffering Sallow Anguish and her demonic master were capable of delivering.


The Present

After Sallow Anguish's bloody coup, the Bloodskins had been cut down from over 200 adult gnolls to just 60, and almost all of the tribe's leaders were slaughtered. Four of the surviving gnolls, those who wronged Sallow Anguish in the past (including Sallow Anguish's own mother), are kept in cages in the center of the Bloodskin's encampment and are insulted and tortured often by the priestess her followers. She rules the remaining Bloodskins with an iron fist, using them to carry out raids to capture other intelligent humanoids so that she can perform ritual sacrifices to Or'Nok.  


Though only six of her original cultist and Remmar had survived, the priestess raised many fallen Bloodskins as zombies and skeletons -- both to serve as a reminder of her power and to add to the number of absolutely loyal combatants within her new tribe. Sallow Anguish's ever-present personal guard is made from the rotting, undead corpses of the former Bloodskin chief and five of his most loyal warriors and hunters. Ozymadius remains with Sallow Anguish, serving as her conduit to Or'Nok and as her familiar. He typically hides his demonic form and takes on the alternate form of a bat familiar. Shallow Anguish also has allowed one of the former Bloodskin lieutenants, named Ragar, to live and maintain his position in the tribe. Ragar foresaw the outcome of the coup and turned on his tribe during the fighting. Having been too young to have been particularly cruel to Sallow Anguish, Ragar was allowed to swear loyalty to his new mistress and her demonic master. 


Using Sallow Anguish

Sallow Anguish's control of the Bloodskin tribe creates several plot hooks and opportunities to use her and the Bloodskins in a campaign. Below are a few ideas.


Once a traitor

Though he has no issue with Sallow Anguish's cruelty or pension for violence, Ragar secretly dislikes her use of undead and worship of the demon Or'Nok. And Ragar is not alone, as several other gnolls have also quietly voiced their discontent with the shift in the Bloodskin's leadership. After seeing the savagery that Sallow Anguish's followers fought with and her undeniable powers, Ragar nor any of the handful of decenters have gathered the courage to do anything about it directly. However, they did come up with a plan -- they will pool their meager resources together and hire a group of adventurers to fix the problem for them. If the pittance isn't enough to convince someone to help, perhaps they can appeal to someone who hates the devil-worshipping, humanoid sacrificing, undead raising, witch as much as they do.


The Cliché

The Bloodskins haven't been too picky about who they raid and kidnap. Recently, they've found that attacking human lead caravans is easier than raiding settlements or other gnoll tribes. After all, all they have to do is set up an ambush and wait! Not only have they severely disrupted trade in the area, but they've also recently kidnapped the daughter of an important and wealthy local merchant. Of course, he's willing to pay quite a group of hapless adventures a large sum to get her back, but they'll be unknowingly getting involved in something much more dangerous than flushing out a simple group of bandits. 


The Crunchy Stuff


Sallow Anguish, gnoll female adept 9: CR 9; Medium humanoid (gnoll); HD 2d8+9d6+22; hp 66; Init +2; Spd 30 ft. (6 squares); AC 16 (13 touch, 14 flat-footed); BAB/Grapple +5/+7; Atk +8 melee touch (1d4 Str + 1d4 Con, Rod of Or’Nok) or +8 melee (1d4+3, dagger +1) or +8 ranged (1d6+2/x3, mwk composite shortbow); Full atk +8 melee touch (1d4 str + 1d4 con, Rod of Or’Nok) or +8 melee (1d4+3, dagger +1) or +8 ranged (1d6+2/x3, mwk composite shortbow); SA spellcasting; SQ Darkvision 60 ft, familiar; AL CE; SV Fort +8, Ref +5, Will +9; Str 14, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 18, Cha 10.

Skills and Feats: Concentration +11, Heal +9, Knowledge (planes) +6, Listen +6, Spellcraft +6, Spot +7, Survival +11; Power Attack, Improved Familiar, Brew Potion, Self-Sufficient.

Adept Spells Prepared (3/4/3/2; save DC 14 + spell level): 0-detect magic, ghost sound, touch of fatigue; 1st-burning hands, cause fear, command, obscuring mist; 2nd-invisibility, web, scorching ray; 3rd-bestow curse, contagion.

Possessions:Bracers of armor +2, ring of protection +1, dagger +1, mwk composite shortbow [+2 Str bonus], periapt of wisdom +2, ring of sustenance, potion of cure serious wounds, Rod of Or’Nok (rod of withering).


Ozymadius, quasit Familiar: CR -; Tiny outsider (chaotic, evil, extraplanar); HD 7; hp 33; Init +7; Spd 20 ft., fly 50 ft. (perfect); AC 23 (15 touch, 20 flat-footed); Atk +8 melee (1d3-1 plus posion, claw); Full atk +8 melee (1d3-1 plus posion, 2 claws) and +3 melee (1d4-1, bite); SA posion, spell-like abilities; SQ alternate form, darkvision 60 ft., deliver touch spells, damage reduction 5/cold iron or good, fast healing 2, immunity to posion, improved evasion, resistance to fire 10, speak with master, granted abilities; AL CE; SV fort +3, Ref +6, Will +4; Str 8, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10.

Skills and Feats: Bluff +6, Diplomacy +2, Disguise +0 (+2 acting), Hide +17, Intimidate +2, Knowledge (arcane) +6, Listen +7, Move Silently +9, Search +6, Spellcraft +6, Spot +6; Improved Initative, Weapon Finesse. 


The Rod of Or'Nok

The rod of Or'Nok is a rod of solid onyx, carved to appear as a severed, withering forearm of a glabrezu. The rod of Or'Nok has two primary abilities. The first becomes apparent in combat. If used in melee, the rod functions as a rod of withering, except that it requires a DC 19 Fortitude save to negate the effects rather than DC 17. The second ability of the rod is to imbue a willing target with the blessing of Or'Nok. This blessing grants the mighty rage ability of a 17th level barbarian. This rage works just like the barbarian's rage ability, with a few exceptions:

  1. The blessed may not prematurely end their own rage; it either must run its course or be cut short by the will of the rod holder.
  2. The blessed are also granted the Diehard feat and continue to act and attack after being reduced to between -1 and -9 hit points.
  3. Those blessed by the rod are compelled to fight, continuing to attack the rod holder's enemies regardless of their own injuries or impeding defeat; they will not retreat or run away willingly.


Remmar, gnoll male ranger 5: CR 6; Medium humanoid (gnoll); HD 7d8+14; hp 49; Init +3; Spd 30 ft. (6 squares); AC 20 (13 touch, 17 flat-footed); BAB/Grapple +6/+10; Atk +11 melee (1d12+6/x3, mwk greataxe) +11 ranged (1d6+4/x3, mwk composite longbow); Full atk +11/+6 melee (1d12+6/x3, mwk greataxe) or +11/+6 ranged (1d6+4/x3, mwk composite longbow) or +9/+9/+4 ranged (1d6+4/x3, mwk composite longbow); SA spellcasting; SQ Darkvision 60 ft, animal companion, combat style (archery), favored enemy humans +4, favored enemy gnolls +2, link with companion, share spells, wild empathy +3; AL CE; SV Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +2; Str 18, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 6.

Skills and Feats: Hide +10, Listen +5, Move Silently +10, Spot +11, Survival +8; Endurance, Power Attack, Quick Draw, Rapid Shot, Track, Weapon Focus (composite longbow).

Ranger Spells Prepared (1: save DC 12): 1st-entangle.

Possessions: +1 studded leather, mwk greataxe, mwk composite longbow [+4 Str bonus], 20 normal arrows, 10 cold iron arrows, 10 silver arrows, eyes of the eagle, 3 potions of cure light wounds.


Thragg, male hyena animal companion: CR -, Medium magical beast; HD 2d8+4, hp 13; Init +2; Spd 50 ft.; AC 14 (12 touch 12, 12 flat-footed); BAB/Grapple +1/+2; Atk +3 melee (1d6+3, bite); Full atk +3 melee (1d6+3, bite); SA -; SQ bonus trick, evasion, low-light vision, scent; AL N; SV +5, Ref +5, Will +1; Str 14, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6.

Skills and Feats: Hide +3, Listen +6, Spot +4; Alertness.

Tricks: Attack (DC 20), Defend (DC 20), Down (DC 15), Guard (DC 20), Stay (DC 15).


The Bloodskin Encampment (Thorp, 69) (100% gnoll)

GP Limit: 40 gp.

Cash on Hand (Total): 138 gp.

Community Authorities

Sallow Anguish (CE female gnoll adept 9), Chieftess of the Bloodkins; Remmar (CE male gnoll ranger 5), right hand of the chieftess; Ragar (CE male gnoll warrior 3), Bloodskin lieutenant.  

Military Formations

Like many races of evil humanoids, all of the adult members of the Bloodskin tribe are considered to be combatants; however, Sallow Anguish relies most heavily on her loyal cultists and undead creations to fight for her. Currently, this force is made up of Remmar, six gnoll cultists, six gnoll zombies, and six gnoll skeletons.  

Other NPCs

56 gnolls; 4 gnolls (prisoners).

deadDMwalking's picture


In the wild lands exist scattered settlements - hamlets and thorps that don’t even warrant a dot on a map. Some small number of them are protected by a powerful druid. In most cases, the protector seeks to balance the needs of the wilderness with the needs of the population, seeking to create balance. It doesn’t usually work out - the town grows and while well-meaning, the townsfolk pillage and desecrate the surrounding wilderness. After observing this countless times in countless places, one sect of druids broke with their fellows. As tiny hamlets grow into thorps, and thorps to villages, they observed a seeming paradox - the largest cities can no longer afford to pick up and move as resources are depleted. Rather than relying on slaking their thirst for timber, metals, and cropland, cities begin to provide services. City-dwellers seldom venture into the wilderness a stone’s throw from their walls. Dense urbanization leads to an enhanced respect for nature.

Decatur is a member of this sect, and in collaboration with his mentor, he has grown the hamlet that bore his name into a small city. While the city now has a Lord Mayor who has executive authority, he is beholden to the council of aldermen who elect the mayor from among their number. A majority of the aldermen can remove the mayor at any time (the mayor cannot vote in this election). While there are dozens of trades practiced in the city, the council of twelve is elected from five defined groups (each electing two members): the aristocracy, clergy, military, skilled trades people, and unskilled workers. Finally, two members are elected ‘at large’ and typically represent the broadest coalition of workers. Elections are held every four years; any number of people can stand for election, with the five from each group with the most votes proceeding to run-off. The two with the highest vote totals are elected - this typically means that within each group the two most bitter-rivals represent their trade. Decatur is not the mayor (but he has served two-terms in the past 15 years), but he has the respect of the council and would likely be able to unseat a mayor that turned too far against his wishes.

What sets Decatur (the city) apart from other cities is that the town has grown with a plan. At the heart of the city is a park of several hundred acres. The city surrounds it, walling off the wilderness outside from a park safe from marauding beasts or dangerous monsters. This allows the citizens of the city to enjoy the wild spaces - there are areas set aside for public performances, vast stretches of grassy plain that children use for ball sports, and shaded walking paths that attract all manner of bird. Decatur is a city where the residents frequently engage with nature in a carefully curated manner - safely.

Burgermeister Decatur, The Green Space Crusader
Human male variant druid 9: CR 9; Medium humanoid (human); HD 9d8; hp 44; Init +0; Spd 30 ft. (6 squares); AC 10 (10 touch, 10 flat-footed); BAB/Grapple +6/+6; Atk +7 melee (1d6+1, sickle of venom) or +7 ranged (by spell); Full atk +7/+2 melee (1d6-2, sickle of venom), or +6/+1 ranged (by spell); SA spellcasting, wildshape (Large) 3/day; SQ animal companion, nature sense, resist nature's lure, trackless step, venom immunity, wild empathy +15, woodland stride; AL NG; SV Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +8; Str 10, Dex 10, Con 10, Int 16, Wis 15, Cha 22; Age 44 years; Weight 148 lbs., Height 5 ft., 8 in.
Skills and Feats: Concentration +11, Diplomacy +20, Handle Animal +10, Heal +10, Knowledge (nature) +13*, Listen +10, Speak Language (Common, Druidic), Spellcraft +12, Spot +10, Survival +12*; Augment Summoning, Charismatic Spellcasting, Natural Spell, Spell Focus (Conjuration), Summoning Focus.
Druid Spells per Day: 7/6/6/5/4/2
Druid Spells Known (save DC 16 + spell level, or 17 + spell level if the spell is a conjuration effect):
0th- catfall, create water, cure minor wounds, detect magic, guidance, light, mending, purify food and drink, summon nature’s ally 0
1st-cure light wounds, endure elements, entangle, obscuring mist, speak with animals, summon nature’s ally I;
2nd-animal messenger, barkskin, bear’s endurance, lesser restoration, summon nature’s ally II;
3rd-cure moderate wounds, remove disease, plant growth, summon nature’s ally III;
4th- dispel magic, freedom of movement, summon nature’s ally IV;
5th-summon nature’s ally V;
Possessions: sickle of venom (8,306) circlet of persuasion (4500), cloak of charisma +4 (16,000) water whistle of summoning
Personality Throughout the realms, druids have attained a stern reputation, more concerned with the well-being of trees and animals than with the people that live in proximity to them. Even adventurers expect a stern lecture about the sanctity of life before they’re instructed to slay a monster laying waste to the countryside. Decatur does not believe that appeals to better nature are likely to work - people are short-sighted, selfish and have real needs. Rather than hold it against people, he accepts that and believes that the best way to save nature from those who would destroy it is to make sure that everyone has an interest in maintaining it. He is friendly, outgoing - gregarious - and he makes a special point to help others discover the joys of nature. He’ll lead hikes through the Central Park or the surrounding countryside, teaching anyone who has an interest about the herbs and medicinal plants that can be found. On clear nights he may teach a class on astronomy - recognizing the constellations and how they mark the directions and seasons.
Description Decatur always wears a wide-brimmed hat, hung with holly (a sacred plant within his order). As he spends countless hours in the sun, even with the hat he is tanned and his hair has lightened to the color of hay. His bright blue eyes dance with a natural curiosity. When describing him, most people point out his constant observations - that’s a red-throated warbler - did you see that sandhill crane? - but they always come away with the feeling that they were seen, heard, and their concerns taken to heart.

Hollyhoof (Heavy Horse Animal Companion); Large animal (horse); HD 9d8+18; hp 58; Init +1; Spd 50 ft. (10 squares); AC 19 (10 touch, 18 flat-footed); BAB/Grapple +2/+9; Atk +6 melee (1d6+4, hoof); Full atk +6 melee (1d6+4, 2 hooves); SA -; SQ evasion, devotion, link, low-light vision, multi-attackscent, share spells; AL N; SV Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +4; Str 19, Dex 13, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6; brown with white socks and a white star.

New Feats

Charismatic Spellcasting
Prerequisite Spontaneous Casting Ability
Benefit Charisma is your primary casting attribute. You may learn or cast a spell if you have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against your spell is 10 + the spell’s level + your Charisma modifier. Determine bonus spells/bonus spells known based on your Charisma attribute.

(Un)Hallowed Summoning
Prerequisite Caster Level 1st
Benefit When you cast a conjuration (summoning) spell, the summoned creature gains the (Fiendish) Celestial template. You may choose to summon a single creature from a list two levels lower, in which case it gains the (half-fiend) half-celestial template instead.

Summoning Focus
Prerequisite Spell Focus (Conjuration)
Benefit When you cast a conjuration (summoning) spell that has a duration, the duration is replaced with: Concentration plus the original duration. For example, summon monster I has a duration of 1 round/level. For a caster with this feat, the duration is Concentration plus 1 round/level (D).

New Magic Items
Water Whistle of Hallowed Summoning
This simple whistle is carved from clay shaped like a songbird. The feathered tail is designed to allow the user to blow, creating a sharp tone from the open beak. When half-filled with water, the sound resembles the chirping of birds. When an ounce of (un)holy water is added, the user can act as if he had the (Un)Hallowed Summoning feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites for it.
Faint abjuration; CL 3rd; Craft Wondrous Item, [i]summon monster I; Price 4,000 gp.

New Spells

Level Brd 0, Clr 0, Drd 0, Sor/Wiz 0
Component V
Casting Time 1 immediate action
Range Close (25 ft. +5 ft./2 levels)
Targets One Medium of smaller free-falling object or creature/level, no two of which may be more than 20 ft. apart
Duration Until landing or 1 round/level
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless) or Will negates (object)
Spell Resistance Yes (object)
Reduce the falling damage for affected creatures or objects by 20 feet. Affected creatures land on their feet (ie, they are not prone).

Summon Nature’s Ally 0
Conjuration (Summoning)
Level Drd 0
Component V, S, DF
Casting Time 1 round
Range Close (25 ft. +5 ft./2 levels)
Effect One summoned creature
Duration 1 round/level (D)
Saving Throw None
Spell Resistance No
This spell functions like summon nature’s ally i except you can summon one creature from the Summon Monster 0 list (badger, bat, cat, dog, hawk, lizard, rat, raven, toad, weasel). If casting summon nature’s ally i, you may substitute 1d3 of the same creature from the summon nature’s ally 0 list.

Using Decatur in Your Campaign
Decatur is built using 32-point-buy and equipment for a PC of his level. While defeating (and looting) multiple enemies that have PC level-equipment can result in more powerful than anticipated PCs, some NPCs have access to vast wealth because of their position and background. His physical stats are adjusted for having attained middle-age. Decatur uses the optional spontaneous casting rules in Unearthed Arcana

Decatur has two new feats, and a magical item that duplicates a third new feat. Even if Decatur (the town, or the NPC) are not used in the campaign, the feats could be useful for a summoning-focused spell-caster, or someone else that is interested in spontaneous casting divine spells and wants to avoid a high-Wisdom character (we all know some people can’t pretend to be wise when they’re not). Many campaigns have experimented with additional feats (such as one per level) which works surprisingly well in my opinion - in that case, having more available feats is even more worthwhile, and a summoning-focused character could really benefit from including these.

The new item allows a druid to summon celestial (or fiendish) creatures. Since good and evil are such a part of D&D cosmology, I thought it would be interesting to give access to those templates to Druids and Rangers - while all druids have a neutral element to their alignment, they can be good or evil, too.

Catfall could be a useful spell for characters that find themselves jumping from rooftops.

A druid’s animal companion is not bound to their presence. Mounts frequently end up killed or maimed. PCs that win Decatur’s trust might be rewarded with the service of his animal companion, especially if they are on an errand he considers worthwhile.

The town has a distinguishing feature that can make it a helpful starting point for developing a town.

Decatur (small city): Conventional; AL NG; 15,000 gp limit: Assets 66,907,500; Population 8,921; Integrated (human 37, halfling 20, elf 18, dwarf 10, gnome 7, half-elf 5, half-orc 3).
Authority Figures Lord Mayor Arti d’Lange (Ari 6), Burgomeister Decatur (Drd 8)

Fixxxer's picture

Alright, the judges have read and scored the entries. I must admit that I found our old scoring process to be a little bit convoluted after all this time. I'm sure we had reasons for designing it the way we did, but I can think of easier ways to come to the same conclusion, and will probably institute those easier ways if we continue moving forward with this.

A note about my methodology. Over the years we’ve had more content creators that are good than those who are less so. So in terms of scoring, I usually start each score at 7.5 and add or remove points for good or poor uses rather than starting at 0 and adding points like I used to on the WotC forums. I also remove the author's name from my local copy of the entry, just to avoid any sort of unintentional favoritism.

With that said, here are the final scores, as reported and averaged by the judges. Individual judge comments to follow.

Sallow Anguish
Versatility: 6.5
Coherence: 6.75
Proficiency: 3.75
Total Score: 5.89

Versatility: 6.0
Coherence: 6.75
Proficiency: 3.5
Total Score: 5.82

Fixxxer's picture

Sallow Anguish
I love gnolls. They seem to be underutilized, and sometimes underrepresented in many sourcebooks, so I do appreciate the attempt to increase their visibility.
Innovation scored as it did because the idea of gnolls engaging in demon worship is pretty consistent with existing sources. It’s not a new idea, but it was executed well enough.

Versatility gets a score slightly above average. There were a couple of potential hooks for a DM to use in dropping Sallow Anguish into their own game. The entry rules asked for Knowledge check DCs a DM could expect from PCs, but that wasn’t included in the entry.

Coherence was fine. The entry made itself pretty well understood.

Proficiency took at a few hits. As mentioned, Knowledge check DCs were left out. The rod of Or’nok didn’t have any creation notes or a cost. I understand that it was based on an existing item from the DMG, but it seemed to be so much more than a simple rod of withering that I feel it should have been designed on its own from the ground up. Because of this, extra credit wasn’t awarded for the item’s inclusion.

Innovation saw an uptick. The use of druids as urban planners is new. I like it. That said, aside from the park in the city, what difference does Decatur (the city) have from any other organically-grown city? I would like to have had some information on how the administration goes about assuring the citizens’ balance with nature, and what might happen if that balance were to crumble.

The Versatility score suffered a bit here. The competition asked for Knowledge check DCs, but the entry lacked them. Because of some of the new concepts (addressed below) I feel like the entry would be more difficult to drop easily into a game without the DM having to do some extra work. There was quite a bit offered that might pique a DM’s interest in adding the entry to his game, but nothing in the way of suggestions for how he might hook PCs.

Coherence was generally okay.

Proficiency took a big hit for a couple of reasons. The first is that the NPC was built using a 32 point-buy, but the Questions thread established a 28 point-buy. The (Un)Hallowed Summoning feat is a little bit of a mess, which is unfortunate, because I like what I think the author’s intention is. I suspect it was worded how it is to avoid making it two separate feats, but it almost certainly should be two feats. Also, I’m guessing it was also worded the way it is to incorporate the Unearthed Arcana spontaneous casting that the NPC uses, but the way it’s written, it would seem to allow any rando sorcerer to apply the fiendish (or half-fiend) template to creatures summoned with Summon Monster spells. This is not a problem, but since those spells already include templated creatures, it seems to allow for the summoning of half-fiend celestial eagles, for example, which I don’t think was the author’s intention. Finally, the Summon Nature’s Ally 0 spell is based on the Summon Monster 0 summoning list, but I wasn’t able to find a Summon Monster 0 spell in the core rules or the SRD.

MinusInnocence's picture

My notes are mostly the same here. I will try to find my own scoring rubric I used two or three versions of the message boards ago, but the bare bones of what we see in the general competition rules thread are probably OK to build upon.

Congratulations to both entrants on a very close match-up.

"Men are the only animals that devote themselves, day in and day out, to making one another unhappy. It is an art like any other. Its virtuosi are called altruists." - H.L. Mencken