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Starfinder – Here Be Monsters edition

here be monsters

This will be my last year to enter the Here Be Monsters contest, generously run and officiated by the Sword for Hire crew in past years, and Sword for Hire veterans Jacob Michaels and Mike Welham along with guest judge Lyz Liddell this year (voting is still open – ). To mark the occasion, I thought I’d convert my First World creature from last year into a Starfinder alien and provide a bit of an encounter. That creature is the Gorviel –


CR 4

XP 1,200

N Large magical beast

Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +7


HP 50

EAC 16; KAC 18

Fort +6; Ref +6; Will +3

Immunities mind-affecting effects


Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

Melee claw +12 (1d6+9)

Space 10ft.; Reach 5ft.

Offensive Abilities chittering roar, heart of the swarm


Str +5; Dex +0; Con +3; Int -3; Wis +1; Cha -1

Skills Acrobatics +15, Athletics +10, Survival +10


Environment warm forests

Organization solitary


Heart of the Swarm (Su) As an immediate action the gorviel can fill the air around it with a swarm of its beetlish brood, which expands into all adjacent squares. This cloud moves with the gorviel, and the ever-shifting swarm provides the gorviel with partial concealment from ranged attacks. Creatures other than the gorviel and its swarm within the cloud at the beginning of their turns take 1d6 points of damage. Any creature damaged by the swarm must succeed at a DC 13 Fortitude save or be nauseated for one round. Area-effect attacks that deal 10 or more points of damage to the gorviel destroy its swarm cloud for 3 rounds, after which a new brood matures in the hump and the gorviel can unleash its cloud again. When a gorviel dies, its swarm disperses and the individuals soon perish on their own.

Chittering Roar (Ex) As a standard action, a gorviel can unleash a terrible chittering roar, affecting all creatures in a 15-foot cone. Creatures in the area of the cone must succeed at a DC 13 Will save or be dazed for 1 round and deafened for 1 minute by the cacophony. A gorviel can use this ability once every 1d4 rounds. This is a a mind-affecting, sense dependent effect.

This shaggy beast has a mix of simian and insectile features. Hunched forward, a massive hump of bone and chitin rests between its shoulder blades. A furious buzzing accompanies the creature, as well as a sickly-sweet musk.

Possible encounter:

The players have been contacted about some data important to their goals by an unidentified informant. The informant offers to exchange the information at a private menagerie or public zoo after hours. When the players arrive they can see a dead body in the gorviel’s enclosure, and the door to the cage has been broken open. The body is the informant, perhaps with the promised info. With a successful life sciences check (DC20) the players can figure out that certain frequencies of noise might drive the alien beast away, or that it can be pacified by at least 2 bulk of fresh meat. With a subsequent engineering check (DC15) they can jury rig some kind of device that will broadcast the necessary sound. The meat might take more work. Regardless, the players only have a limited number of rounds (GM’s discretion) before the private security of the menagerie’s owner arrives. Should they be deafened when that happens for some reason, they will be flat-footed to the arriving new combatants.

Categories: Article Writing

Jeremy Corff

Artist and Writer