GOP: Grand Ol' Predators by Libertad!
Single PostOriginal SA post
Hey guys, I promise I'll finish Dragonlance Setting soon, but after seeing how some of my previously-written reviews were enjoyed I decided to port another one over here.
Click the image to be taken to the Drive-Thru RPG page.
*Clockwise from top left: the Mitt, the Ron'Pol Courtier Devil, the Santorum, and the Gingrich Newt. This image was taken from Drive-Thru RPG's product information page, so I assume that it's okay to post here. If something comes up I'll take it down.
For those who didn't keep up with the 2012 US Presidential elections, it was a crazy time. The election of Obama resulted in a new rash of political extremism among the Republican Party. Over 8 candidates joined the fray, adopting various GOP talking points. However, most of their policies were similar to each other's with some exception. Long story short, the candidates competed to see who could be more right-wing than the other.
The author of this book set out to create monstrous caricatures of 4 of these figureheads. Gamers sometimes feel angry at real-world problems, so the GOP Bestiary would serve as an outlet for player frustration.
"This is the reason for the creatures presented in The Bestiary of GOP, Grand Ol Predators. The monsters herein are evil, pure and simple. They want power over others, to enforce their beliefs onto the masses, or to kill, rob, and steal from others to make themselves rich. They are just plain ol evil predators and need to be dealt with for the betterment of civilization."
Naturally, Paizo Publishing smelled a controversy a mile away and told Misfit Studios to drop the Pathfinder logo from their product cover.
I'll come out by saying that this book is rather user-friendly. Certain words have hyperlinks built into them to take you to the relevant Pathfinder SRD page. For example, clicking on 'Will' in the saving throw stat block takes you here. It is overdone in places, such as linking the frightened condition in the word of the same name in the flavor text. Too few Pathfinder products do this, and others could learn a thing or two from the Misfits.
Although the stat blocks and game descriptions are Open Content, if I posted them all here all I'd be leaving out is the artwork and brief flavor text. I don't want to discourage interested people from checking out the product, so I'll paraphrase relevant information instead. It's normally 2 bucks on Drive-Thru, so it won't eat into your pocketbook.
Without further ado, onto the monsters!
Ron'Pol Courtier Devil
Stat Block posted:
Courtier Devil CR 4
LE medium outsider (devil, evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., see in darkness;
AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 15 (+2 Dex, +3 natural, +2
hp 32 (5d10+5)
Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +9
DR 10/good or 5/silver; Immune fire, poison;
Resist acid 10, cold 10; SR 15
Melee +1 longsword +8 (1d8+4/19-20), +1 dagger +8
Ranged +1 dagger +8 (1d4+3/19-20)
Special Attacks draining debate (1/minute, 1d4 Int or
Wis damage, DC varies)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th)
Constantdetect good, fly, true seeing
At Willalter self, charm monster (DC 19),
mass suggestion (DC 21)
1/daysummon (level 3, 1 courtier devil or 6
Str 14, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 23, Wis 21, Cha 21
Base Atk +5; CMB +7; CMD 19
Feats Deceitful, Detect Expertise *, Improved Initiative
* See the magical sourcebook
Skills Bluff +13, Diplomacy +13, Disguise +13, Knowledge
(history) +11, Knowledge (nobility) +14,
Knowledge (planes) +14, Linguistics +11, Perception
+13, Profession (diplomat) +13, Sense Motive
+13, Spellcraft +11, Stealth +10
Languages Celestial, Draconic, and Infernal, plus 5
SQ hellish boon, telepathy
Environment any (Hell)
Treasure triple (+1 longsword, ring of protection +2, several
Draining Debate (Su): A RonPols words have the ability to reduce a subjects ability and desire to think and reason for themselves. The courtier demon may make a Diplomacy check once per minute to convince a subject of the validity of his point of view, no matter how unreasonable or impractical it may sound. If the check succeeds, the subject must attempt a Will saving throw against the skill checks result as the DC. Failing this save results in 1d4 Intelligence or Wisdom damage, as the RonPol chooses. This heals the RonPol of 5 hit points or it gains 5 temporary hit points for 10 minutes (up to a maximum number of temporary hit points equal to its full normal hit points) per draining.
Hellish Boon (Su): Once a mortal has agreed to a deal with a RonPol regarding the exchange of its soul for what it desires, it gets one wish. This wish cannot affect the RonPol in any way, nor can it be bestowed on someone who has not willingly given their soul over to the courtier devil.
Out-Foxed: Obtaining two consecutive, successful Diplomacy checks that defeat the DC by 5 or more against a RonPol (and/or Bluff checks, if appropriate) made during a debate or negotiation confuses the courtier demon. Its stream of thought―its lies and false rationale― gets tumbled about and twisted in its own mind. This subjects the RonPol to a banishment effect with a save DC equal to the DC of the successful Diplomacy (or Bluff) check made against it. If the banishment fails, the RonPol remains but is confused for 1 round.
In the real world, Ron Paul is a Libertarian Republican Congressman from Texas with strong anarcho-capitalist leanings. Basically, he believes that private property and the free market are necessary for societal prosperity, and that the government is a corrupt force which will make things worse almost all the time even with the best of intentions. Deregulation of businesses, cuts on taxes and government spending applied to everything across the board, and a non-interventionist foreign policy are some of his more prominent viewpoints. He also got in trouble for a racist newsletter back in 2006 written under his name for 20 years.
The Ron'Pol Devil is a CR 4 trickster-based monster. They are experts in convincing others the rightness or their position on any subject, regardless of its morality or practicality. Their role in the Infernal hierarchy is to get as many mortals as possible to sign over their souls in binding contracts to get what they want.
Ron'Pols are relatively fragile physically, but they have a good damage reduction and spell resistance, great social and knowledge skills, and a versatile set of spell-like abilities. Given the high save DC and flight, I'm inclined to view his Challenge Rating as a little low. Given that resurrection magic is hard to come by at low levels, and this has the possibility of granting the party a super-powerful magic item, I'd be cautious about deploying this monster in a campaign. It also has incredibly high treasure values for its CR.
Thoughts so far: I was expecting the Misfits to draw upon a more personalized accounts to construct a monster. I don't really picture Paul as a sharkey lawyer type; his unbending Libertarian ethos and "Mr. No" reputation in Congress strike him as too committed to his ideals. To me he's more like a pseudo-revolutionary whose policies will ultimately benefit the upper class at the expense of the poor. I would've made him into a false rebel type of Devil secretly fighting for the benefit of moneyed interests.
Next time: the Mitt, a greedy race of merchants who seek wealth at all costs.
Stat Block posted:
Mitt CR 1/3
Mitt aristocrat 1
CE Medium humanoid
Init +0; Senses gold sense 120 ft.; Perception +6
AC 12, touch 10, flat-footed 12 (+2 armor)
hp 4 (1d8)
Fort +0, Ref +0, Will +4
Weaknesses wealth obsessed
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 rapier +0 (1d6/18-20)
Ranged +1 light crossbow +1 (1d8+1/19-20)
Str 8, Dex 11, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 16
Base Atk +0; CMB -1; CMD 9
Feats Skill Focus (Profession: merchant)
Skills Bluff +11, Diplomacy +11, Knowledge (nobility)
+6, Perception +6, Profession (merchant) +6, Sense
Motive +6; Racial Modifiers +4 Bluff, +4 Diplomacy
Languages Common, Mittian
SQ social chameleon
Environment wherever money is to be had. They will
frequently claim different areas as their home in
order to better ingratiate themselves to the communities
they will bleed of all wealth.
Treasure NPC Gear (leather armor, +1 rapier, +1 light
crossbow with 20 bolts, 1d4x100 gp, other treasure
Gold Sense (Ex): A mitt is allowed an automatic DC 15 Perception check as a free action to sense the presence of gold within 120 feet.
Social Chameleon (Ex): No matter the circumstances, no matter how badly the evidence, facts, or odds may be stacked against a mitt, their innate ability to turn a situation on its head, deny the reality of the moment, and make everyone accept their version of reality is nothing short of astounding. Any time they fail a Bluff or Diplomacy check, mitt are able to make an immediate re-roll as a free action. This re-roll is only modified by their Charisma modifier, however. Do not add any skill modifiers.
Wealth Obsessed: Mitts are so obsessed with obtaining wealth that they must make a DC 15 Will save to pursue any objectives they do not see as leading to the acquisition of more financial worth. That is not to say they need to make a saving throw to eat, sleep, carry on a conversation or the like― matters of daily life and basic interaction may be carried out normally. Going to a party that offers no chance of making new trade contacts, helping a village of refugees out of a sense of charity, or funding mercenaries to defend a town a mitt has already evacuated its possessions from, on the other hand, would all require a saving throw.
This saving throw must be made every day such an objective is pursued. Even if the save is successful, every consecutive day the mitt is pursuing a goal that is not self-servingly financial in nature it will suffer a cumulative -1 penalty to Intelligence and Wisdom-based skill checks.
In the real world, Mitt Romney was the Republican Party's nominee for the 2012 elections. Dubbed "The Luckiest Motherfudger on Earth" by Jon Stewart, his opponents' frequent public gaffes and unpalatable far-right policies turned many voters towards him as the sanest and most moderate candidate.
In Pathfinder, Mitt are a humanoid race of beings who seek to acquire wealth at all costs. Once they gain enough capital, they seek to dominate economic policies and trade. They're more than willing to bleed entire cities dry of resources, sending many into abject poverty. Their facial features shift subtly and constantly, increasing in frequency when they become agitated and nervous.
The sample stat block for a 1st-level Aristocrat is grossly over-equipped: about 4,000 gp worth of treasure for a CR 1/3rd creature.
As a race, Mitt have no racial hit die. They're an awesome choice for spellcasters, with +2 Intelligence and Wisdom, +4 Charisma, and -2 Strength and Constitution (a net +4 bonus).
They have a +4 racial bonus on Bluff and Diplomacy checks. Other racial traits include the stuff repeated in the stat block.
Thoughts so far: Mitt's overall shtick and Social Chameleon ability is to close to Ron'Pol (silver-tongued trickster whose words can get others to accept their point of view). It's slightly overpowered as a PC race. On the bright side, I find this monstrous caricature closer to the real Mitt Romney than I did with the Ron Paul counterpart.
Next time: the Gingrich Newt, a pestilent monster which fouls everything it touches.
Stat Block posted:
Gingrich Newt CR 3
LE small magical beast (aquatic)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision,
scent; Perception +5
AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, +3 natural,
hp 26 (4d10+4)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +3
Speed 40 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +4 (1d4), slam +0 (1d4)
Special Attacks poisoned tongue (15 feet, 1d6 plus
1d4 Con, DC 13), toxic presence (40 ft. radius, 1d4
damage and -2 to attack and skills, DC 13)
Str 10, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 16
Base Atk +4; CMB +3; CMD 15
Feats Iron Will, Persuasive
Skills Bluff +5, Climb +4, Diplomacy +7, Perception
+5, Stealth +6, Swim +7; Racial Modifiers uses Dex
Languages Aquan, Common
SQ amphibious, veil of appeasement (DC 15)
Environment temperate or warm marshes and
Organization solitary or mated pair
Poisoned Tongue (Ex): Using a ranged touch attack, a gingrich can lash a target with its tongue. The tongue is barbed―so it will tear flesh and inflict 1d6 damage―and filled with poison. A gingrich cannot bite or use a slam attack in the same round it attacks with its tongue.
Injury; save Fort DC 13; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d4 Con damage; cure 1 save
Toxic Presence (Ex): A gingrich is constantly surrounded by an invisible, toxic cloud with a 10 ft. radius per HD, requiring a Fortitude save by anyone getting close enough to breathe it in. Make a saving throw every round so long as the creature remains in the cloud. Failing the saving throw induces a coughing and nausea fit that imposes a -2 penalty to attack and skill checks (and may break concentration) and inflicts 1d4 damage.
An environment exposed to a gingrich long enough will become similarly poisoned by its toxins. Small bodies of water, such as ponds, streams, and springs the gingrich regulalry frequent will pass the toxin on to anyone who drinks of them and plants, fungus, etc. will become withered and sickly, emitting spores or the like that are as harmful as the gingrichs own toxins in a 10 foot radius. Weeks must pass in the gingrichs absence before water will be clear of the toxins, but plants may take months or even years to shake off this poison. The female gingrich newt does not possess this ability, nor is she immune to it. Male gingrichs, however, are immune to their own toxins, the toxins that result in the environment due to their presence, and that of other gingrich newts.
Veil of Appeasement (Sp): How other creatures may perceive these creatures, regardless of their actions, is constantly being influenced by a mind-affecting aura that makes others view a gingrich more favorably. Anyone with line of sight to a gingrich or hearing its words must make a Will save or become charmed, as per charm person (without the +5 save bonus if the creature is being threatened or attacked.) The save DC is Charisma-based.
Newt Gingrich served as the Minority Whip in the Congressional House of Representatives 1989-1995. He played a major role in the Republican Revolution of 1994, which ended the 40-year long Democratic majority in the House with the election by gaining 54 new seats for newly elected Republican officials. Several House Republicans in 1997 attempted to oust him from his role of Speaker in a failed political coup. He resigned in 1998 when his own party became willing to openly defy him.
Newt's 2012 campaign was marked with blunder after blunder, from weeks-long vacations in Europe, a campaign over $1 million in debt from buying expensive jewelry for his wife, and plans to establish a moon base in 2020.
Gingrich Newts were created by foul sorcery, and now they're spread across the land. They constantly exude an invisible cloud of toxins which contaminate nearby ecosystems and foul up waters. Once it chooses a lair, it cows and bullies weaker creatures (preferably reptilians) to do its bidding and act as intermediaries for evil plots. The population of Gingrich Newts are limited in that the female of the species are susceptible to the males' toxic presence, and become sicker over time until the male moves on to find younger, healthier mates.
The monster is a CR 3 small magical beast. They otherwise unremarkable features except for their special attacks.
This monster is quite an effective long-range monster. It has a nice AoE which can screw up spellcasters, and long-range archers or opponents who might catch it by surprise can get charmed before they attack it. It won't last long in a straight-up melee, though, and the several-round-long tongue poison gears it towards more "war of attrition" tactics.
By itself this monster could either get flattened by low-level parties or quickly drop them (at least the non-fighter types). I'd recommend giving it minions for more optimized/higher level parties.
Thoughts: For a man who made his cancer-stricken wife sign the divorce papers in a hospital bed to pursue a younger woman, a noisome swamp-lurker is an apt characterization.
Next time: The Santorum, a regressive undead zealot who seeks to further what it believes is its God's will, whether or not said God actually approves.
Stat Block posted:
Santorum CR 5
NE medium undead
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception -2
AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 45 (7d8+14)
Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +5
Defensive Abilities aura of anachronism
(120 ft. radius, DC 15),
channel resistance +4; DR 10/women; Immune undead
traits; Resist cold 10, electricity 10
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Bite +9 (1d8+4 plus drain female), 2 claws +4
Space 5 ft. Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks drain female (1d4 Constitution and
Strength, DC 15), frothy foulness (30-foot cone, DC
15, 4d6 acid)
Str 19, Dex 15, Con ―, Int 5, Wis 7, Cha 14
Base Atk +5; CMB +9; CMD 21
Feats Combat Reflexes, Iron Will, Persuasive,
Skills Disguise +6, Intimidate +6, Knowledge
(religion) +4, Stealth +6
Languages any spoken in life; typically Common
Organization solitary, some may be accompanied by
a fanatical offshoot cult of their faith consisting of
10-100 commoners and experts, 2-4 priests (1st level
clerics) and 1 high priest (3rd level cleric)
Aura of Anachronism (Su): A santorums utter refusal to believe in the workings of science actually interferes with the proper functioning of such devices within a 120 foot radius of this monster. Anyone within this range who is wielding or operating a technological or alchemical item must succeed at a Will save or it will stop functioning until such time as it is removed from range and reactivated. Such an item within this range that is activated but has no wielder or operator automatically shuts off. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Drain Female (Su): A female of any species that is bitten by a santorum is sapped of its vitality, suffering 1d4 points of Constitution and Strength damage if it fails a Fortitude saving throw. This heals the santorum of 5 hit points or it gains 5 temporary hit points for 10 minutes (up to a maximum number of temporary hit points equal to its full normal hit points) per draining. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Fanaticism (Ex): Whenever a santorum is directly acting in what it believes to be beneficial to its gods cause, it gains a +2 to all dice rolls. It can also reroll any one die roll per round under such circumstances. This must be done directly after the initial dice are rolled. The santorum must abide by the second result even if the original roll was better.
Frothy Foulness (Ex): All of a santorums rage and foulness mixes in its bowels with whatever it has eaten to produce a foul, chunky and frothy mixture that can be expelled once every other round behind it, from its rectum. This deals 4d6 acid damage to a 30-foot cone. Those caught in the area can attempt Reflex saves to take half damage. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Rick Santorum is a former Pennsylvania Senator infamous for his socially conservative positions. After comparing homosexual intercourse to bestiality in a 2003 interview, gay rights activist Dan Savage convinced followers to google bomb his name and turn it into a sexual neologism.
During the 2012 campaign, Santorum easily bypassed most of the candidates in outrageous statements (no small feat), including but not limited to: blaming feminism for bringing more women into college and the workforce, claiming that easy access to condoms and birth control would encourage no-holds barred sexual promiscuity, and nearly called President Obama the n-word.
The Pathfinder Santorum is a form of undead created when a woman-hating, anti-science religious fanatic dies. Usually worshiping a good-aligned deity in life, the Santorum is guided by a misguided and misinterpreted view of their divine values. Caught in a limbo between planes, the soul's anger grows until it is brought back into the Material Plane when a devout follower of their god calls for divine aid (usually summoning spell). And then the Santorum seeks to pursue its sacred mission, driven by destructive rage.
The most physically imposing monster in the Bestiary. It has poor saves and low mental scores, but its natural reach and multiple natural attacks are pretty good. Depending upon your DM's definition of a technological item, the Santorum can potentially ruin a lot of equipment (although I assume the author's erring towards gadgeteer and clockwork-style items).
Unlike all the other monsters, the Santorum has no treasure value.
Thoughts: Yup, fits good ol' Rick to a T (or an S, in this case).
Concluding Thoughts: It's quite short, and I expected more monster versions of GOP candidates (there were 9 major candidates and 3 who where in very briefly). The humor was hit or miss, the monsters were primarily suited to low-level games and have pretty high treasure values, but overall it was well worth the price.