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Monster Advancement

The following rules allow you to adjust monsters, increasing (or even decreasing) their statistics and abilities while still creating a balanced and fun encounter.

Templates

A template is a set of rules that you apply to a monster to transform it into a different monster. It gives precise directions on how to change the original monster's statistics to transform it into the new monster.

Acquired Templates: This kind of template is added to a creature well after its birth or creation.

Inherited Templates: This kind of template is part of a creature from the beginning of its existence. Creatures are born or created with these templates already in place, and have never known life without them.

Simple Templates

Simple templates can be applied during the game with minimal effort. All simple templates have two categories of changes. The “quick rules” present a fast way to modify die rolls made in play to simulate the template's effects without actually rebuilding the stat block—this method works well for summoned creatures. The “rebuild rules” list the exact changes you make to the base stat block if you have the time to completely rebuild it—this method works best when you have time during game preparation to build full stat blocks. The two methods result in creatures of similar, if not identical, abilities.

Advanced Creature (CR +1)

Creatures with the advanced template are fiercer and more powerful than their ordinary cousins.

Quick Rules: +2 on all rolls (including damage rolls) and special ability DCs; +4 to AC and CMD; +2 hp/HD.

Rebuild Rules: AC increase natural armor by +2; Ability Scores +4 to all ability scores.

Celestial Creature (CR +0 or +1)

Celestial creatures dwell in the higher planes, but can be summoned using spells such as summon monster and planar ally. A celestial creature's CR increases by +1 only if the base creature has 5 or more HD. A celestial creature's quick and rebuild rules are the same.

Rebuild Rules: Senses gains darkvision 60 ft.; Defensive Abilities gains DR and energy resistance as noted on the table; SR gains SR equal to new CR +5; Special Attacks smite evil 1/day as a swift action (adds Cha bonus to attack rolls and damage bonus equal to HD against evil foes; smite persists until the target is dead or the celestial creature rests).

Celestial Creature Defenses
Hit DiceResist Cold, Acid, and ElectricityDR
1–45
5–10105/evil
11+1510/evil

Entropic Creature (CR +0 or +1)

Creatures with the entropic template live in planes where chaos is paramount. They can be summoned using spells such as summon monster and planar ally. An entropic creature's CR increases by +1 only if the base creature has 5 or more HD. An entropic creature's quick and rebuild rules are the same.

Rebuild Rules: Senses gains darkvision 60 ft.; Defensive Abilities gains DR and energy resistance as noted on the table; SR gains SR equal to new CR +5; Special Attacks smite law 1/day as a swift action (adds Cha bonus to attack rolls and damage bonus equal to HD against lawful foes; smite persists until the target is dead or the entropic creature rests).

Entropic Creature Defenses
Hit DiceResist Acid and FireDR
1–45
5–10105/lawful
11+1510/lawful

Fiendish Creature (CR +0 or +1)

Creatures with the fiendish template live in the Lower Planes, such as the Abyss and Hell, but can be summoned using spells such as summon monster and planar ally. A fiendish creature's CR increases by +1 only if the base creature has 5 or more HD. A fiendish creature's quick and rebuild rules are the same.

Rebuild Rules: Senses gains darkvision 60 ft.; Defensive Abilities gains DR and energy resistance as noted on the table; SR gains SR equal to new CR +5; Special Attacks smite good 1/day as a swift action (adds Cha bonus to attack rolls and damage bonus equal to HD against good foes; smite persists until target is dead or the fiendish creature rests).

Fiendish Creature Defenses
Hit DiceResist Cold and FireDR
1–45
5–10105/good
11+1510/good

Giant Creature (+1)

Creatures with the giant template are larger and stronger than their normal-sized kin. This template cannot be applied to creatures that are Colossal.

Quick Rules: +2 on all rolls based on Str or Con, +2 hp/HD, –1 penalty on all rolls based on Dex.

Rebuild Rules: Size increase by one category; AC increase natural armor by +3; Attacks increase dice rolled by 1 step; Ability Scores +4 size bonus to Str and Con, –2 Dex.

Resolute Creature (CR +0 or +1)

Creatures with the resolute template live in planes where law is paramount. They can be summoned using spells such as summon monster and planar ally. A resolute creature's CR increases by +1 only if the base creature has 5 or more HD. A resolute creature's quick and rebuild rules are the same.

Rebuild Rules: Senses gains darkvision 60 ft.; Defensive Abilities gains DR and energy resistance as noted on the table; SR gains SR equal to new CR +5; Special Attacks smite chaos 1/day as a swift action (adds Cha bonus to attack rolls and damage bonus equal to HD against chaotic foes; smite persists until target is dead or the resolute creature rests).

Resolute Creature Defenses
Hit DiceResist Acid, Cold and FireDR
1–45
5–10105/chaotic
11+1510/chaotic

Young Creature (CR –1)

Creatures with the young template are immature specimens of the base creature. You can also use this simple template to easily create a smaller variant of a monster. This template cannot be applied to creatures that increase in power through aging or feeding (such as dragons or barghests) or creatures that are Fine-sized.

Quick Rules: +2 on all Dex-based rolls, –2 on all other rolls, –2 hp/HD.

Rebuild Rules: Size decrease by one category; AC reduce natural armor by –2 (minimum +0); Attacks decrease damage dice by 1 step; Ability Scores –4 Strength, –4 Con, +4 size bonus to Dex.