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RPG Superstar: Monster Stat Block Preview

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Voting for RPG Superstar Round 2 continues, and the competitors are getting anxious. To give them something to do, here’s a sample boards-friendly monster stat block. Competitors, feel free to practice your Round 3 monster challenge using this format—you’ll be able to copy and paste this into your entry and maintain proper formatting.

[b]zzMonstername CR ##[/b]
[b]XP ##[/b]
zzAlignment zzSize zzType
[b]Init[/b] +##; [b]Senses[/b] zz, zz,; Perception +##
[b]Aura[/b] zz (## ft., DC ##)

[b]----- Defense -----[/b]
[b]AC[/b] ##, touch ##, flat-footed # (+## zzModifier, +##zzModifier)
[b]hp[/b] ## (##d##+##); fast healing ##
[b]Fort[/b] +##, [b]Ref[/b] +##, [b]Will[/b] +##
[b]DR[/b] ##/zzMaterial; [b]Immune[/b] zz; [b]Resist[/b] zz ##, zz ##; [b]SR[/b] ##
[b]Weaknesses[/b] zz, zz

[b]----- Offense -----[/b]
[b]Speed[/b] ## ft., fly ## ft. (zzManeuverability)
[b]Melee[/b] zzAttacktype +## (zzDamage plus zzOthereffect), zzAttacktype +## (zzDamage)
[b]Ranged[/b] zzAttacktype +## (zzDamage)
[b]Space[/b] ## ft.; [b]Reach[/b] ## ft.
[b]Special Attacks[/b] zz, zz
[b]Spell-Like Abilities[/b] (CL ##zz; concentration +##)
At will—[i]zz[/i], [i]zz[/i]
1/day—[i]zz[/i], [i]zz[/i]

[b]----- Statistics -----[/b]
[b]Str[/b] ##, [b]Dex[/b] ##, [b]Con[/b] ##, [b]Int[/b] ##, [b]Wis[/b] ##, [b]Cha[/b] ##
[b]Base Atk[/b] +##; [b]CMB[/b] +## (+## zzConditionalmaneuverbonus); [b]CMD[/b] ## (## vs. zzManeuvername)
[b]Feats[/b] zzFeatname, zzFeatname
[b]Skills[/b] zzSkillname +##, zzSkillname +## (+## zzCondition); [b]Racial Modifiers[/b] +## zzSkillname, +## zzSkillname in zzCondition
[b]Languages[/b] zzLanguage
[b]SQ[/b] zz

[b]----- Ecology -----[/b]
[b]Environment[/b] zzClimate zzTerrain
[b]Organization[/b] zz, zz, or zz
[b]Treasure[/b] zzCategory

[b]----- Special Abilities -----[/b]
[b]zzName (Ex/Sp/Su)[/b] zzDescription

Notes for the Competitors

Here are some tips for using the above stat block, and building stat blocks in general.

  • ## is a placeholder for a number, so an entry like "Init +##" should be something like "Init +2" or "Init -2" in your monster stat block.
  • zz is a placeholder for anything other than a number (obviously, "zzSize" means you should replace it with a game term for size, such as "Medium," not "zzMedium").
  • When you are finished, your monster stat block should not have ## or zz in it at all.
  • If your monster doesn't have an ability mentioned in the sample stat block format (such as DR, SR, Immune, an "plus" effect for a melee or ranged attack, a conditional skill bonuses, or racial skill modifiers), delete that ability and its placeholders. For example, if your monster doesn't have damage reduction, delete the "DR ##/zzMaterial" and the semicolon after it so the line starts with "Immune."
  • If your monster has an ability that isn't presented in the sample stat block format (such as Spells Known), add it to the stat block, making sure to put it in the correct section of the stat block (for example, Spells Known goes in the Offense section) and match the bold and/or italic format for that ability as shown in a printed stat block.
  • If the monster doesn't have Feats, Skills, or Languages, delete the entire Feats, Skills, or Languages line.
  • If your monster has Space 5 ft. and Reach 5 ft., delete that entire line (the default is a monster with that size and reach).
  • When you are finished, your stat block shouldn't have any "blank" entries like "DR —."
  • The Defense, Offense, Statistics, and Ecology lines have "-----" at the beginning and end to visually offset those section headers. This is because the messageboard code doesn't allow you to underline text, and this is an easy and clear way to duplicate the printed stat block format for this purpose. Do not tamper with those lines.
  • In a printed stat block, the individual listings for the spell-like abilities are indented, but it's difficult to make that work in the messageboards, so if your monster has spell-like abilities, just use the non-indented format as presented in the above sample stat block.
  • If your monster has a new ability (such as "Arcane Vengeance" or "Eyeball Eater"), you must explain it in the Special Abilities part of the stat block.
  • If your monster has a common ability from the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook (such as sneak attack) or a universal monster rule from the Bestiary or Bestiary 2 (such as grab or stench), you do not need to provide the description of that ability in the Special Abilities part of the stat block (we assume the reader knows how sneak attack, grab, and stench work, or can look them up in the appropriate book).
  • When in doubt as to how to format part of your stat block, check the monsters in the Bestiary and universal monster rules.

Voting closes on Monday, February 6th and the Top 16 winners are announced on Tuesday, February 7th. At that time we’ll reveal the “twist” for Round 3!

Sean K Reynolds
Developer and RPG Superstar Judge

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: RPG Superstar
Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wish I could have gotten this far because this is what I was most interested in on this contest.


This format is really good, both for those in the contest and those of us that just want to post monsters in the Conversion threads.

Good luck to everyone!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Standback

Twist isn't revealed until the Top 16 are? ULP!

Good luck, guys...

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

I'm hoping it's a bunch of "mystery ingredients" all the contestants have to incorporate into their monster idea. :->

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka Jiggy

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Blog wrote:
When you are finished, your monster stat block should not have ## or zz in it at all.

Then I guess our monsters aren't allowed to be fuzzy!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Maps Subscriber

Iron Designer?

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Hodge Podge

Rarrr! I'm gonna tear into this next round! Teeth a-gnashin'! Eyes a-gazin'! Appendages... a-pendagin'!

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka motteditor

RedXian -- I think "Chopped" might be more appropriate...

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Neil Spicer wrote:
I'm hoping it's a bunch of "mystery ingredients" all the contestants have to incorporate into their monster idea. :->

Monster chef! Your ingredients are: mustard greens, beef bouillon, and coriander. BEGIN!

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter 2013, Champion Voter 2014

Tom Phillips wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:
I'm hoping it's a bunch of "mystery ingredients" all the contestants have to incorporate into their monster idea. :->
Monster chef! Your ingredients are: mustard greens, beef bouillon, and coriander. BEGIN!

Sounds more like Chopped. Wouldn't Monster Chef be: Elf ears, Dwarf beard, and Orc gut?

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Hodge Podge

Thomas LeBlanc wrote:
Tom Phillips wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:
I'm hoping it's a bunch of "mystery ingredients" all the contestants have to incorporate into their monster idea. :->
Monster chef! Your ingredients are: mustard greens, beef bouillon, and coriander. BEGIN!
Sounds more like Chopped. Wouldn't Monster Chef be: Elf ears, Dwarf beard, and Orc gut?

Halfling feet? Gnome nose?

Andoran Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Maybe the round 3 monsters will have to demonstrate how they can do "The Twist"?

Taldor RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka primemover003

I think Mystery Ingrediants are things like...

  • has to incorporate an Affliction
  • must include variant (using any simple template)
  • can't be higher than CR 13

--Vrock Au Vin

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Champion Voter 2013, Champion Voter 2014

Scott Fernandez wrote:

I think Mystery Ingrediants are things like...

  • Vrock of Seagulls
  • vrock candy
  • vrock salmon

--Vrock Au Vin

edited a little

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32, 2011 Top 4 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka DankeSean

Tom Phillips wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:
I'm hoping it's a bunch of "mystery ingredients" all the contestants have to incorporate into their monster idea. :->
Monster chef! Your ingredients are: mustard greens, beef bouillon, and coriander. BEGIN!

Pff. Easy round. Just use basil. Basil makes everything better.

Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Tom Phillips wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:
I'm hoping it's a bunch of "mystery ingredients" all the contestants have to incorporate into their monster idea. :->
Monster chef! Your ingredients are: mustard greens, beef bouillon, and coriander. BEGIN!

Actually, I think it should be deciduously decided that you take a leaf out of Neil and make a forest of voteable monsters that sprouted from his leaves item.

Sorry for the puns, I just wooden resist them :P

Andoran Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012 , Star Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Anthony Adam wrote:
Tom Phillips wrote:
Neil Spicer wrote:
I'm hoping it's a bunch of "mystery ingredients" all the contestants have to incorporate into their monster idea. :->
Monster chef! Your ingredients are: mustard greens, beef bouillon, and coriander. BEGIN!

Actually, I think it should be deciduously decided that you take a leaf out of Neil and make a forest of voteable monsters that sprouted from his leaves item.

Sorry for the puns, I just wooden resist them :P

I grown at your shaky attempts at humor. You are truly sapping my willow.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
If your monster has a new ability (such as "Arcane Vengeance" or "Eyeball Eater"), you must explain it in the Special Abilities part of the stat block.

Arh geesh, thanks a lot Sean. Now everybody are going to think my Eyeball Eater of Arcane Vengence is just a rip-off from the blog post. Back to the drawing board, I guess.

Cheliax Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

the template is missing the "Defensive Abilities" section, before DR and on the same line

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I can't wait to see everyone's monster creations.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Marathon Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka Jiggy

Dragon78 wrote:
I can't wait to see everyone's monster creations.

I've got something pretty cool in mind. :D I just wonder how much the "twist" will affect it. :P

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Your making a monster Jacob not an M Night Shyamalan movie;)

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014 aka Hodge Podge

I've taken every monster in Pathfinder and placed them all in a complex cladogram. I, uh, don't know of this helped me make a monster, per se, but at least I know what's out there.

(Edit: A lot of it's based on the whole "Sages say that creature X is probably related to creature Y" sorts of statements in the Bestiaries, and the rest is all morphologically based. Magic, alternate planes of existence, extraterrestrial life, and extreme genetic mutability really mucks things like this up. :p)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Heck with the contest. This is very useful for anybody posting a monster. :P

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014 aka motteditor

The question has been brought up in the "Guildhall" about the italicized descriptor phrase that leads off every monster in the Bestiaries. Obviously it's not in the template here, but should we include it in our submissions (if we advance)? Thanks.

Contributor

chopswil wrote:
the template is missing the "Defensive Abilities" section, before DR and on the same line

Chopswil is correct, see the lich in the Bestiary for an example of this. For clarity, I'll make sure this ends up in the final monster template provided for R3.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 4 , Star Voter 2014 aka MillerHero

Ok, ready for the twist.

RPG Superstar 2012 round 2 FAQ wrote:

In previous competitions, there has been a "secret twist" revealed when the round starts. Is that happening this year?

Yes, although we're revealing the "twist" when voting closes for a round, rather than waiting until the next round begins, to give the contestants more time to prepare. There is no "twist" to the Round Two (organization) design task.

Cheliax RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014 aka FaxCelestis

Chris Shaeffer wrote:
I've taken every monster in Pathfinder and placed them all in a complex cladogram. I, uh, don't know of this helped me make a monster, per se, but at least I know what's out there.

o_o can I see?

Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I thought there would be more post on this subject by now:(

Still can't wait to see people's monster creations.

Star Voter 2013

Neil Spicer wrote:
I'm hoping it's a bunch of "mystery ingredients" all the contestants have to incorporate into their monster idea. :->

Not for monsters, but I've done that for adventure design. Makes for some interesting twists.

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