Building Monsters

Monday, May 14, 2018

We've talked in depth about many of the systematic changes and PC options in the blogs so far, but what about monsters? From animated objects to zombies, from the lowliest kobold to the mighty jabberwock, the Pathfinder Playtest Bestiary includes over 250 different monsters and other adversaries built specifically for the playtest. But what makes these monsters tick? We've worked to bring you many of your favorite Pathfinder monsters with their familiar feel and niche in the world, but with updated mechanics to make your encounters even more memorable!

Signature Abilities

One of the monster innovations I—a computer science student at the time—appreciated most in Pathfinder First Edition was the idea of the Universal Monster Rule. It follows one of the most important principles of programming: modularity, which is to say, don't reinvent the wheel. One side effect of Universal Monster Rules having been a new concept in Pathfinder First Edition, however, is that many less fantastic creatures, especially animals, had a similar suite of Universal Monster Rules. For example, owlbears are iconic and memorable creatures, but as far as their statistics, if you look at the CR 4 owlbear and the CR 4 tiger side by side, the owlbear doesn't really have anything different to use during the encounter that the tiger doesn't.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

In the playtest version, those two monsters have some significantly different abilities. The tiger still has grab, allowing it to grapple a creature it hits with its jaws or claw attack, and the pounce action, allowing it to Stride and then Strike. Based on its real-world fighting style, it now also has wrestle, allowing it to claw a creature it's grabbed and knock it prone, and sneak attack, granting it extra damage against flat-footed creatures (typically ambushed via Stealth or those prone from its wrestle). Meanwhile, the owlbear also still has grab, but once it has you grabbed, it can gnaw on you, hoping to disembowel you so it can devour your guts and later regurgitate them to feed its young—and potentially making you sick from the disgusting sight. It can also unleash a blood-curdling screech as it advances into the fight to frighten you.

In general, giving interesting new abilities to real-world animals like the tiger allowed us to do some fun research into the animals' habits and design from there. Animals that hunt in packs sometimes have abilities to deal extra damage in groups, ambush predators use sneak attack and various sneaky tactics, and so on.

Dynamic Defenses

In Pathfinder First Edition, damage reduction (DR) and energy resistance both reduce damage by a set amount, the rarer vulnerability multiplies damage by 1.5, and immunity flat-out prevents certain abilities from functioning. Taken as a whole, monster defenses generally penalize you for using the wrong thing; you can deal your normal damage only by correctly bypassing DR, resistance, and immunities, and monsters rarely have a vulnerability. But in stories, we often imagine fey as being burned by cold iron or werewolves being poisoned by silver, and the reality of DR is that they just take the same damage from those as they do from cold, electricity, or fire. To fit those stories and to vary things up, we've combined DR and energy resistance into resistance, which reduces damage by a set amount, and we've changed vulnerability into a more common element called weakness, which increases damage by a set amount.

Two great examples of how this can dramatically change the feel of monsters are skeletons and zombies. A level 0 skeleton has 14 AC, 6 HP, and since it's made of bone, resistance 5 to slashing and piercing damage. A level 0 zombie, on the other hand, has 11 AC, 20 HP, and weakness 5 to slashing damage. The zombie takes 5 extra damage every time it's hit by a slashing weapon—that's an extremely high weakness! This means the fights feel very different, even though the creatures both take about the same number of swings to bring down. You can test this out for yourself in Pathfinder First Edition right now: consider giving zombies some extra HP and changing their DR into a weakness instead and see how the feel of the fight shifts!

Sweet Suites

Some monsters in Pathfinder First Edition have a large suite of abilities (typically from long lists of spell-like abilities), which vary between key iconic abilities, story abilities that influence what the monster can do in the narrative, and other abilities that are niche, redundant, or sometimes much weaker than their other attacks. For instance, it's pretty unlikely a nalfeshnee's call lightning is a good idea for a CR 14 monster to use in combat, and it doesn't have much of a noncombat application, either. In Pathfinder Second Edition, we tried to keep a monster's iconic abilities and story abilities while removing redundant or niche abilities, and then adding something new that fits the monster's ecology. For instance, barbed devils don't have the equivalent of order's wrath or unholy blight, but they have a special power called Warden of Erebus that lets them create extremely versatile glyphs of warding, cementing their role as, well, wardens of Erebus. For all such monsters, the goal is to make the monster's suite of abilities much easier to use and more memorable without oversimplifying the monsters, following our overall goal of adding as much depth to the game as possible while minimizing the cost in complexity.

I Have Multiattack

To close off, many people have been wondering how in the world we handle creatures with many heads, like the hydra, or arms, like the marilith or hekatonkheires, in the 3-action system. Such creatures have unique abilities to use their attacks in tandem in different ways. For instance, a marilith has three options for her six blades. She can make a focused assault on one enemy, which can deal a massive amount of damage on a hit, and deals damage for a single longsword even on a failure (but not a critical failure). Alternatively, she can spin about like a whirlwind of blades, attacking up to six different creatures with her swords. Finally, she can just attack twice and use the other blades to parry, giving her a killer AC for 1 round.

That's it for monsters for today; tune in on Friday as Logan goes through an example monster in detail and shows how we made the statblock easier to reference!

Mark Seifter
Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
101 to 150 of 697 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Voss wrote:

To some with a decent weapon and damage bonus, skeletons and zombies are going to feel exactly the same: about two hits and done.

I'm unclear how the fights would 'feel different,' when even your post flat out says they'll take roughly the same amount of hits. Fewer hp but resistance and more hp but weakness is mathematically the same thing, unless one or more of those numbers are wildly out of scale.

For comparisons sake is a 'level 0' bandit about 10-12 hp and no resistance?

It would be a big difference in PF1. Skeletons would be easier to deal with a big 2h while zombies get more damage from TWF small blades, for example.

Paizo Employee Designer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Wild Spirit wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
This looks great. The fusion of DR and energy resistance feels like something so evident that it should have been done 10 years ago!
In fact, it actually almost happened 1 year ago. Starfinder had this combined resistance, for a time, until compatibility with PF1 monsters (which used the DR and energy resistance format) forced the slide backwards to DR and energy resistance later on.

I wonder if you are kicking yourself over that decision now. I would ;P

Not sure I follow this? PF2 had the combined resistance first, before we even started on Starfinder.

Paizo Employee Designer

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:


Multiattack: We essentially don't have multiattack. The whole "physical attack form that's flavoured as being many arrows/sword swings/heads but is mechanically identical to a cone spell" is not going to be well received at all.
This raises some concerns for me as well because special attacks tied to assumptions that a monster will always be armed with all of its weapons and makes it difficult to handle situations where my players might choose to start disarming a creature with 4 or 6 scimitars. I get that that monster needs all the weapons to do some of its attacks, but do I want my party to know that they can disarm one of the weapons and suddenly the creature is reduced to only making three standard attacks in a round?

The activities will typically tell you what changes will happen from removing weapons/arms (from the marilith), heads (from a hydra), etc. So for instance, a marilith who lost two of her arms would only be able to hit up to four different creatures with her distributed attack, not six.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Very nice! Specially the unique name to DR and energy resistance. Finally!

Also, I'm wondering curious about the weakness fixed damage... We really need to see more higher-level monsters to say if it's functional or not...

Paizo Employee Designer

18 people marked this as a favorite.
Symar wrote:
Immunity is briefly mentioned but not elaborated on. I hope its replaced by resistance instead. A mage with paragon control over fire should still be able to fireball that elemental, even if its at a reduced rate.

In many cases, we replaced an immunity with a hefty resistance instead. But not fire elementals; a fire elemental is still immune to fire. It is composed of pure fire.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Is the bonus damage from a weakness multiplied on a crit?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I love how Mark cassually debunk the Blaster Thread with a passing commentary about how this mechanic, unknown to us until today, make the whole thread obsolete.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Wild Spirit wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
This looks great. The fusion of DR and energy resistance feels like something so evident that it should have been done 10 years ago!
In fact, it actually almost happened 1 year ago. Starfinder had this combined resistance, for a time, until compatibility with PF1 monsters (which used the DR and energy resistance format) forced the slide backwards to DR and energy resistance later on.

I wonder if you are kicking yourself over that decision now. I would ;P

Not sure I follow this? PF2 had the combined resistance first, before we even started on Starfinder.

He means Starfinder could REALLY use resistance instead of DR and energy resistance. It's a pity that backwards compatibility with a system that no longer will exist got it cut out.


The new, different attacks are cool, as well as the resistances/weaknesses ideas.

But what about killing/hampering monsters in special/specific ways, like sundering hydras' heads, blinding a creature with gaze attack, cutting the hand of a spellcaster, and so on?


14 people marked this as a favorite.
Symar wrote:
Immunity is briefly mentioned but not elaborated on. I hope its replaced by resistance instead. A mage with paragon control over fire should still be able to fireball that elemental, even if its at a reduced rate.

I feel like we can represent a wizard's mastery of fire by being able to make the fire elemental dance like a puppet, not by being able to harm a thing made of fire through the application of even more fire.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Symar wrote:
Immunity is briefly mentioned but not elaborated on. I hope its replaced by resistance instead. A mage with paragon control over fire should still be able to fireball that elemental, even if its at a reduced rate.
In many cases, we replaced an immunity with a hefty resistance instead. But not fire elementals; a fire elemental is still immune to fire. It is composed of pure fire.

I was wondering about this as well, and thinking about the possible options. I'm glad to see this is the answer! For some cases, dealing elemental damage to a creature just wouldn't make sense (such as the fire elemental), but removing immunities from creatures is something that will make blasters more viable. It also makes sense with the emphasis of the new monster rules on rewarding players instead of denying them.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Symar wrote:
Immunity is briefly mentioned but not elaborated on. I hope its replaced by resistance instead. A mage with paragon control over fire should still be able to fireball that elemental, even if its at a reduced rate.
In many cases, we replaced an immunity with a hefty resistance instead. But not fire elementals; a fire elemental is still immune to fire. It is composed of pure fire.

I'll take what I can get. Thanks for replying!


Mark Seifter wrote:
Wild Spirit wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
This looks great. The fusion of DR and energy resistance feels like something so evident that it should have been done 10 years ago!
In fact, it actually almost happened 1 year ago. Starfinder had this combined resistance, for a time, until compatibility with PF1 monsters (which used the DR and energy resistance format) forced the slide backwards to DR and energy resistance later on.

I wonder if you are kicking yourself over that decision now. I would ;P

Not sure I follow this? PF2 had the combined resistance first, before we even started on Starfinder.

Yes, and that's exactly my point. Starfinder is, pardon me saying, worse because of PF1 backward compatibility and while PF1 is pretty much over, SF is going to continue living alongside PF2 for the next couple of years.

It makes one wonder what great games you could design if you ditched the past completely. (Heresy, I know.)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

As long as the NPC versions of character classes aren't grossly insulting to the PCs, we're good.

Paizo Employee Designer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Wild Spirit wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
This looks great. The fusion of DR and energy resistance feels like something so evident that it should have been done 10 years ago!
In fact, it actually almost happened 1 year ago. Starfinder had this combined resistance, for a time, until compatibility with PF1 monsters (which used the DR and energy resistance format) forced the slide backwards to DR and energy resistance later on.

I wonder if you are kicking yourself over that decision now. I would ;P

Not sure I follow this? PF2 had the combined resistance first, before we even started on Starfinder.
He means Starfinder could REALLY use resistance instead of DR and energy resistance. It's a pity that backwards compatibility with a system that no longer will exist got it cut out.

I also thought it would be nice to have it, and stuck it in there, but they had to remove it because PF1 monsters are fully balanced for a Starfinder game with in most cases few or no changes, so adding another pair of changes makes those hundreds of extra Starfinder-compatible monsters from Pathfinder much harder to use.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Symar wrote:
Immunity is briefly mentioned but not elaborated on. I hope its replaced by resistance instead. A mage with paragon control over fire should still be able to fireball that elemental, even if its at a reduced rate.
I feel like we can represent a wizard's mastery of fire by being able to make the fire elemental dance like a puppet, not by being able to harm a thing made of fire through the application of even more fire.

"Quench" should be a fire spell too.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
As long as the NPC versions of character classes aren't grossly insulting to the PCs, we're good.

If NPC Bards can’t use gross insults at the PCs, I walk!

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
As long as the NPC versions of character classes aren't grossly insulting to the PCs, we're good.

Um...you can explicitly just use the PC version if you want. There might well be some quick build rules or a template (ala the Monster Codex), but a level 10 Fighter built exactly like a PC is also a valid foe, so if you don't like the simplified rules (whatever they are) you can avoid them fairly readily.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Signature Abilities wrote:
One of the monster innovations I—a computer science student at the time—appreciated most in Pathfinder First Edition was the idea of the Universal Monster Rule. It follows one of the most important principles of programming: modularity, which is to say, don't reinvent the wheel.

I like that Universal Monster Rules are still there, but that we'll be getting more customized/tweaked abilities to fit different more mundane monsters. I like the continued theme of making different things actually feel different. I'm looking forward to reading how the details change between monsters with similar abilities.

Dynamic Defenses wrote:
To fit those stories and to vary things up, we've combined DR and energy resistance into resistance, which reduces damage by a set amount, and we've changed vulnerability into a more common element called weakness, which increases damage by a set amount.

This is some nice streamlining. As mentioned by some people above, I imagine the feel for dealing damage feels more engaging, even though mechanically it hasn't really changed from the current edition.

Sweet Suites wrote:
Some monsters in Pathfinder First Edition have a large suite of abilities (typically from long lists of spell-like abilities), which vary between key iconic abilities, story abilities that influence what the monster can do in the narrative, and other abilities that are niche, redundant, or sometimes much weaker than their other attacks.

I wish we had more examples and details on what this entails, but at the very least, entering a new edition does give us a chance to remake monster to have a better set of abilities that better fit their flavor.

I Have Multiattack wrote:
To close off, many people have been wondering how in the world we handle creatures with many heads, like the hydra, or arms, like the marilith or hekatonkheires, in the 3-action system. Such creatures have unique abilities to use their attacks in tandem in different ways.

I think this has me the most excited out of this blog! With monsters stuck in the same 3-action economy as PCs, I expect that we'll be seeing a lo of exciting and creative attacks that uses multiple limbs and fit in 3 actions. The marilith examples in the blog are the kind of things I'm looking for. Those types of special attacks will certainly make each monster exciting to fight!


Question:
does EVERY monster get a signature attack? That would be cool as hell, but not sure if it's too ambitious


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So weaknesses now give a flat bonus damage? That seems... abusable. If you could find a way to repeatedly hit a monster for 1 point of damage, and they take 5 points of bonus damage, that could add up very quickly. I guess it depends on what options are available to ping monsters for small amounts of damage.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Lynch 106 wrote:

If they're facing a hydra they're going to want the hydra to have 6 proper attacks per round and if that can't be better balanced at the hydra's current CR, then just give it a higher CR.

But of course thanks to the universal scaling +level to both AC and attack rolls Paizo can't do that. Because if they increase the CR then that also increases the monster's attack bonus and AC bonus. This is just another demonstration on how PF2e's "one size fits all" approach is not going to work in recreating a new edition that feels like the last edition. To those who don't enjoy Pathfinder 1e that's a good thing....

In Pathfinder 1 you grow in a similar rate of +(1-2)/level with BAB and expected AC bonus (Armor, natural, dodge, deflect) as well ability score and feats, we are still using a d20, so the growth rate and range are largely unaffected, all they did was streamline/guarantee it as opposed to making it based largely on proper use of multiple magic items. A CR bump for /just/ damage would have very similar effects in pathfinder 1e.

As far as feel is concerned you would be surprised how many players can just rolls with descriptions and outcomes, reducing the number of dice rolls for the same DPR and similar mechanical triggers is purely a win for easily 80-90% of the audience.

On the other hand I sit somewhere in the middle on this, speeding up is nice, but various expressions of the same outcomes matter a little more to be (but not really any of my players). However I also recognize myself as an outlier accept it and adjust mechanics as i see fit, if 3 attacks work, you could just cut the damage roughly in half and make it make 6 attacks... then apply the -5 after 2, and the -10 after 4 attacks. Or various other math appropriate methods (assuming a 60%/35%/10% hit chance on 3 atack actions, calculate the DPR and rework form there) a 3 action ability to "stride" and "strike" 6 times at any point along the way with no penalty to the attack works just fine if the scale the base damage to match the expected DPR. You often don't even need to be precise in this manner, even the most balanced version of dnd (4e) can suffer a lot of flexibility in damage and effects as long at attack/defense are in the right ball park. Character build, strengths/weaknesses, party composition, strategy in the encounter, and any story/RP factors that come up in fight have a much bigger impact on party effective level vs monster CR than a few reasonable monster mechanic tweaks ever will.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dasrak wrote:
So weaknesses now give a flat bonus damage? That seems... abusable. If you could find a way to repeatedly hit a monster for 1 point of damage, and they take 5 points of bonus damage, that could add up very quickly. I guess it depends on what options are available to ping monsters for small amounts of damage.

I have the same concern here...

Liberty's Edge

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Dasrak wrote:
So weaknesses now give a flat bonus damage? That seems... abusable. If you could find a way to repeatedly hit a monster for 1 point of damage, and they take 5 points of bonus damage, that could add up very quickly. I guess it depends on what options are available to ping monsters for small amounts of damage.

This is more of a feature than a bug. In the previous edition having one big attack had an advantage (getting through DR) while lots of small attacks that totaled the same damage was a pure disadvantage. Giving lots of small attacks an advantage (if targeting a Weakness) to balance their own down side (if running into Resistance) is a very good way to make different combat styles feel different and be better against different foes without making one the 'best' combat style.

For example, Harsk TWF with axes (assuming this gives an extra attack) is now in a better position vs. zombies than Amiri (even though she too has a slashing weapon). Amiri is in a better situation when they wind up fighting skeletons, though.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My Opinion

The good:

1) Signature Abilities are cool, no complaints here at all.
2) DR/ER is now the same thing, but....

The bad:

1) I was hoping that for a blog called "Building Monsters" we would get some mechanics for custom monster creation.

2) As has been pointed out, the new resistance system makes weak attacks virtually harmless while the new weakness system makes strong attacks not much better.

Wouldn't a flat x2 (or x1.5) for weakness and x0.5 for resistance system be better? I get that it is more complex math(multiplication/division vs addition/subtraction), but this makes the damage type more important while not completely shafting players that have weak attack statistics.

I'd much prefer the player that hits a skeleton for 5 slashing damage do 2 damage due to resistance than zero and that the fighter that deals 15 slashing damage to the zombie deals 22 instead of 20.

It would also be a lot less to remember.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't think multiplying by 1.5 or dividing by 2 are super hard, but I would argue that adding a flat number is basically the easiest math operation that exists for most people.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
This is more of a feature than a bug. In the previous edition having one big attack had an advantage (getting through DR) while lots of small attacks that totaled the same damage was a pure disadvantage. Giving lots of small attacks an advantage (if targeting a Weakness) to balance their own down side (if running into Resistance) is a very good way to make different combat styles feel different and be better against different foes without making one the 'best' combat style.

I'm less concerned with comparing 10th level two-hander PC to 10th level two-weapon PC, and more comparing that 10th level PC to ten 1st level NPC's. If proper equipment allows anyone with a decent numerical advantage to beat Frost Giants, they aren't exactly credible threats in-universe. I'm not sure how I feel about that. On the other hand it can be very thematic to have Frost Giants retreating in fear from much weaker foes because they wield fire.

Not sure how I feel about this one yet.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Dasrak wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
This is more of a feature than a bug. In the previous edition having one big attack had an advantage (getting through DR) while lots of small attacks that totaled the same damage was a pure disadvantage. Giving lots of small attacks an advantage (if targeting a Weakness) to balance their own down side (if running into Resistance) is a very good way to make different combat styles feel different and be better against different foes without making one the 'best' combat style.
I'm less concerned with comparing 10th level two-hander PC to 10th level two-weapon PC, and more comparing 10th level PC to 10 1st level NPC's. If proper equipment allows anyone to beat a Frost Giant, they aren't exactly credible threats in-universe.

The 10 lvl 1 NPCs won't hit at all because the lvl 10 foe will have +9 to its AC more because of their lvl.


I really like this direction with monsters in PF2.


Mark, I have a question. In the First Edition, the highest CR a creature can have was 30. Even the most powerful demigods cannot have a CR higher than 30. What about in the Second Edition? I really wish there would be CR 40 creatures in the Second Edition. Demigods and kaiju should be more powerful, I must say.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I like a lot of this. More monster abilities is always a good thing, and I can get behind combining energy resistance with damage reduction.

While I like the idea of weakness, I do think a single static number on all attacks of the appropriate type is a little too simplified. An attack that deals 1 point of damage with a dagger should not get the same boost as the attack with a greatsword that deals 15.

A simple solution would be to add a rule that bonus damage from weaknesses cannot exceed the normal damage of the attack. That way the 1 point of slashing damage remains proportional, but there's still a diminishing return which favors multiple attacks over a single gigantic attack.

Paizo Employee

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Dasrak wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
This is more of a feature than a bug. In the previous edition having one big attack had an advantage (getting through DR) while lots of small attacks that totaled the same damage was a pure disadvantage. Giving lots of small attacks an advantage (if targeting a Weakness) to balance their own down side (if running into Resistance) is a very good way to make different combat styles feel different and be better against different foes without making one the 'best' combat style.
I'm less concerned with comparing 10th level two-hander PC to 10th level two-weapon PC, and more comparing 10th level PC to 10 1st level NPC's. If proper equipment allows anyone to beat a Frost Giant, they aren't exactly credible threats in-universe.

Given that there is a 9 level difference between the PCs and the NPCs there, it's entirely possible that those NPCs aren't even capable of effectively dealing any damage to the hypothetical frost giant except by pure luck, before even looking at the likelihood of the frost giant being able to drop one or more of them with a single swing. If you want to drill down to that level of granularity, the frost giant's high weakness to fire could be one of the only plausible reasons in-game that frost giants haven't obliterated any human settlement remotely close to their territories. While they could probably murder an entire town pretty easily, there's always the off-chance that one of the little humans could get lucky and set the frost giant's boots on fire, which is enough of a concern that the giants wouldn't go out of their way to harass a human settlement without a valid reason.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Dasrak wrote:
I'm less concerned with comparing 10th level two-hander PC to 10th level two-weapon PC, and more comparing 10th level PC to 10 1st level NPC's. If proper equipment allows anyone to beat a Frost Giant, they aren't exactly credible threats in-universe.

Well, remember, Level now adds to all AC and armor often adds to Touch AC as well (as does natural armor in all likelihood), so the days of high level creatures with low Touch AC are over.

A Frost Giant, assuming Level 9, thus probably has around a Touch AC of 23-24. First level NPCs probably need a 19 on the die to even hit it with, say, Alchemist Fire (they'd have even more trouble with non-touch weapons). So, of your 10, one hits it in the first round. Then it kills three of them a turn (no, really, think about likely 9th level damage). Those 10 people probably hit it twice before all dying.

Add in that a Frost Giant, in fact, is not supposed to be a threat to whole village by themselves (they often come in groups, which are such a threat, but alone? Not so much), and I think that works out fine.

EDIT: Ninja'd a couple of times, but I think the point stands.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Good, good! And please dear designer, make rules for a Horde or a Squad or Minions. Anyway something to make the tribe of Goblins relevant, easy to use, and elegantl at higher level.

Just lie you did in PF1 with Reign of Winter and Ironfang.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Elfteiroh wrote:
The 10 lvl 1 NPCs won't hit at all because the lvl 10 foe will have +9 to its AC more because of their lvl.

I obviously don't have PF2 numbers, but in PF1 it is really easy to raise your attack bonus a few points to hit something with good AC.

Paizo Employee Designer

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Elfteiroh wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
This is more of a feature than a bug. In the previous edition having one big attack had an advantage (getting through DR) while lots of small attacks that totaled the same damage was a pure disadvantage. Giving lots of small attacks an advantage (if targeting a Weakness) to balance their own down side (if running into Resistance) is a very good way to make different combat styles feel different and be better against different foes without making one the 'best' combat style.
I'm less concerned with comparing 10th level two-hander PC to 10th level two-weapon PC, and more comparing 10th level PC to 10 1st level NPC's. If proper equipment allows anyone to beat a Frost Giant, they aren't exactly credible threats in-universe.
The 10 lvl 1 NPCs won't hit at all because the lvl 10 foe will have +9 to its AC more because of their lvl.

It would be pretty surprising if 10 level 1 NPCs beat a level 10 creature by exploiting its weakness, but then again, when Linda was playtesting our 1st level Council of Thieves group (Core + APG beta only, nothing particularly crazy) in PF1 against various foes, we actually beat the frost giant but lost to the mastodon and its trample at the same CR, so it's possible in PF1 for four level 1 characters to beat a CR 9. But it's likely the giant would mow those 10 NPCs down.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

From reading this, I have two concerns.

Firstly, I'm concerned that the removal of universal monster rules will make it harder for a GM to prepare and run a monster, especially several different monsters in the same combat.

Secondly, the handling of the Marilith (and other multilimbed creatures) seems to be a shoehorning of greater proportions than the "Come up with a CR-appropriate natural armor bonus" that designers have been complaining about.

Paizo Employee Designer

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Ecidon wrote:

I'm concerned that the removal of universal monster rules will make it harder for a GM to prepare and run a monster, especially several different monsters in the same combat.

We absolutely are keeping Universal Monster Rules. We're not going to reinvent the wheel when we can use modularity to our and your advantage.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ssalarn wrote:
Dasrak wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
This is more of a feature than a bug. In the previous edition having one big attack had an advantage (getting through DR) while lots of small attacks that totaled the same damage was a pure disadvantage. Giving lots of small attacks an advantage (if targeting a Weakness) to balance their own down side (if running into Resistance) is a very good way to make different combat styles feel different and be better against different foes without making one the 'best' combat style.
I'm less concerned with comparing 10th level two-hander PC to 10th level two-weapon PC, and more comparing 10th level PC to 10 1st level NPC's. If proper equipment allows anyone to beat a Frost Giant, they aren't exactly credible threats in-universe.
Given that there is a 9 level difference between the PCs and the NPCs there, it's entirely possible that those NPCs aren't even capable of effectively dealing any damage to the hypothetical frost giant except by pure luck, before even looking at the likelihood of the frost giant being able to drop one or more of them with a single swing. If you want to drill down to that level of granularity, the frost giant's high weakness to fire could be one of the only plausible reasons in-game that frost giants haven't obliterated any human settlement remotely close to their territories. While they could probably murder an entire town pretty easily, there's always the off-chance that one of the little humans could get lucky and set the frost giant's boots on fire, which is enough of a concern that the giants wouldn't go out of their way to harass a human settlement without a valid reason.

What if there is enough humans to make a swarm (troop)? How will weakness interact with all them torches? Will swarms do hyper-damage (x10!) to creatures with weakness?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Unicore wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:


Multiattack: We essentially don't have multiattack. The whole "physical attack form that's flavoured as being many arrows/sword swings/heads but is mechanically identical to a cone spell" is not going to be well received at all.
This raises some concerns for me as well because special attacks tied to assumptions that a monster will always be armed with all of its weapons and makes it difficult to handle situations where my players might choose to start disarming a creature with 4 or 6 scimitars. I get that that monster needs all the weapons to do some of its attacks, but do I want my party to know that they can disarm one of the weapons and suddenly the creature is reduced to only making three standard attacks in a round?
The activities will typically tell you what changes will happen from removing weapons/arms (from the marilith), heads (from a hydra), etc. So for instance, a marilith who lost two of her arms would only be able to hit up to four different creatures with her distributed attack, not six.

So literal disarming will now be a thing? If so, the temples are going to be busy.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dasrak wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:
The 10 lvl 1 NPCs won't hit at all because the lvl 10 foe will have +9 to its AC more because of their lvl.
I obviously don't have PF2 numbers, but in PF1 it is really easy to raise your attack bonus a few points to hit something with good AC.

Very possible. Of course, hitting +7 (probably as much as 1st level characters can manage, and +3 above what most random 1st level characters seem likely to have) only doubles the chances to hit the Frost Giant. So they hit it maybe 5 times before all dying.

Whether 5 hits with fire will kill a Frost Giant is something we don't know, but I'm a tad skeptical. Also see above about Frost Giants coming in groups.


Diego Rossi wrote:

1) Weakness: it all depend on the creature, but for a 2 HD zombie, getting hit for an extra point of damage by a common kind of weapon seem excessive.

In AD&D 1st ed. the Juju Zombies halved all damage unless it was dealt by a cleaving weapon, i.e. a large or at least largish slashing weapons.
That included the bastard sword, 2 handed sword, axes, bardiche and a other few polearm. It would be a a more appropriate weakness. A kitchen knife shouldn't add 5 points of damage against a zombie, while a cleaver should do that. With the new weapon abilities adding an appropriate trait to some slashing weapon but not all that allow them to deal more damage against creatures with the appropriate weakness seem a good solution.

I'm attracted to this, that basic damage type could have small vulnerability bonus damage, but 'full' weapon quality could express maximal vulnerability. But I worry it ends up reducing weapon choice, since it seems so hugely compelling to use weapons with the given quality. If it's implemented I don't think the damage differential would necessarily be so huge. Maybe making a Crit-only bonus damage is more balance-able?

Diego Rossi wrote:

Skills: in PF1 the animals have very few skills and make up for that with racial bonuses. But those don't scale up when the HD increase, so higher HD animals often are weaker in the key abilities of the specie.

It is possible to avoid limiting the number of skills animals have and instead giving them different level of mastery in them?

I kind of disagree here. Fundamentally, there isn't reason high HD animals need better skills. Bears don't need better skills than foxes. Taking more of a pounding in combat need not correlate to skill rating.

Overall I like what I hear from the Blog.


Mostly good changes, I think; even when HD is gone for good, at least the new and improved Level seems to be serving the same purpose as an universal power gauge...


Quandary wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

1) Weakness: it all depend on the creature, but for a 2 HD zombie, getting hit for an extra point of damage by a common kind of weapon seem excessive.

In AD&D 1st ed. the Juju Zombies halved all damage unless it was dealt by a cleaving weapon, i.e. a large or at least largish slashing weapons.
That included the bastard sword, 2 handed sword, axes, bardiche and a other few polearm. It would be a a more appropriate weakness. A kitchen knife shouldn't add 5 points of damage against a zombie, while a cleaver should do that. With the new weapon abilities adding an appropriate trait to some slashing weapon but not all that allow them to deal more damage against creatures with the appropriate weakness seem a good solution.
Agreed, although something like +50% weapon damage (excluding STR, Sneak, etc) would similarly distinguish bastard sword and bardiche from kitchen knife.

I don't like this idea, in part because it encourages the 'golf bag' mentality too much for me.

Personally, I don't mind an extra 5 damage for the mundane dagger. Sure, that's a lot at level 1... but if you've got a +5 greatclub that deals (guessing) 6d12+whatever, should I be looking at completely changing my usual strategy because hitting the weakness does 50% extra? In my view, this lines up with the math they're using by making hitting the weakness good without making people feel that hitting it is absolutely vital.

101 to 150 of 697 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Paizo / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Paizo Blog: Building Monsters All Messageboards