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Dear Paizo: Monsters as PCs


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Yeah i think In company of dragons the base paragon class is the way to go.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Yeah i think In company of dragons the base paragon class is the way to go.

I commented on that too, it just turns into a monk with no flurry(though sure it has full BAB I guess.)

It doesn't have any main ways to deal damage other than full rounding either,no smite, no challenge, nothing good. I'm like this to writing my own version.

I THINK how the paragon should have been done, is kept everything it has now, and then add on 2/3's casting, sure that might seem strong, but it doesn't have spellstrike or anything like the magus.


But it feels very dragon like and it does have the breath attack. plus don't dragons tend to full attack to be effective anyways? Still since hes so big and full bab couldn't you crank some damage out with vital strike? Plus its defenses seems solid. Isn't there something to be said about tough and versatile or is DPR all there is?


Idk man.... dragons with class levels are pretty scary.

I often use sorcerer levels to pump the CR of dragons to whatever I want on a 1 level by 1 CR basis. (Sorcerer CL stacks with dragon CL like a prestige class, so for instance a 15 HD Dragon with 1 level in sorcerer would gain the 1st level bloodline power, class skill, and bloodline arcana, but would still have the spellcasting of a [x+1]th level sorcerer based on their HD progression).

The best part of 3.x/PF is that monster stat blocks can actually be broken down. This was one of my big problems with 5e, since making enemies doesn't really have any hard rules to it, you kinda have to hodge podge some numbers together and hope that it's balanced.

Dragons are probably the absolute worst example to use to explain how monsters as PCs don't work.

But for real, the corruptions in Horror Adventures give you something new to play with, and there are a few of them. I would consider mirroring those for a 'Monsters as PCs' baseline.


master_marshmallow wrote:

Idk man.... dragons with class levels are pretty scary.

I often use sorcerer levels to pump the CR of dragons to whatever I want on a 1 level by 1 CR basis. (Sorcerer CL stacks with dragon CL like a prestige class, so for instance a 15 HD Dragon with 1 level in sorcerer would gain the 1st level bloodline power, class skill, and bloodline arcana, but would still have the spellcasting of a [x+1]th level sorcerer based on their HD progression).

The best part of 3.x/PF is that monster stat blocks can actually be broken down. This was one of my big problems with 5e, since making enemies doesn't really have any hard rules to it, you kinda have to hodge podge some numbers together and hope that it's balanced.

Dragons are probably the absolute worst example to use to explain how monsters as PCs don't work.

But for real, the corruptions in Horror Adventures give you something new to play with, and there are a few of them. I would consider mirroring those for a 'Monsters as PCs' baseline.

i'm talking about the stigma that monster PCs are OP and so when content is designed around them people go through extra lengths making sure they're not powerful.

In company of dragons makes a player dragon race, with archetypes for a ton of classes that allow them to get bigger, but these archetypes usually take out the main thing from the class, such as barbarians getting a weaker rage, with less rage powers. They tend to fare better without the archetype than with it.

I like dragons, like a lot. But I have yet to play one where I felt that I was at least as capable as an unoptimized human fighter I could make. Unless I go full magic anyway, but I tend to want to bite people as a dragon, not stick in the back forever casting sleep and what not. a sorcerer that happens to be a dragon isn't any more fun to play than a normal sorcerer.


Bandw2 wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

Idk man.... dragons with class levels are pretty scary.

I often use sorcerer levels to pump the CR of dragons to whatever I want on a 1 level by 1 CR basis. (Sorcerer CL stacks with dragon CL like a prestige class, so for instance a 15 HD Dragon with 1 level in sorcerer would gain the 1st level bloodline power, class skill, and bloodline arcana, but would still have the spellcasting of a [x+1]th level sorcerer based on their HD progression).

The best part of 3.x/PF is that monster stat blocks can actually be broken down. This was one of my big problems with 5e, since making enemies doesn't really have any hard rules to it, you kinda have to hodge podge some numbers together and hope that it's balanced.

Dragons are probably the absolute worst example to use to explain how monsters as PCs don't work.

But for real, the corruptions in Horror Adventures give you something new to play with, and there are a few of them. I would consider mirroring those for a 'Monsters as PCs' baseline.

My favorite combo is the spell Frostbite combined with a full natural attack.

i'm talking about the stigma that monster PCs are OP and so when content is designed around them people go through extra lengths making sure they're not powerful.

In company of dragons makes a player dragon race, with archetypes for a ton of classes that allow them to get bigger, but these archetypes usually take out the main thing from the class, such as barbarians getting a weaker rage, with less rage powers. They tend to fare better without the archetype than with it.

I like dragons, like a lot. But I have yet to play one where I felt that I was at least as capable as an unoptimized human fighter I could make. Unless I go full magic anyway, but I tend to want to bite people as a dragon, not stick in the back forever casting sleep and what not.


Now I will agree the Player class archetype for it are a little weak. I think they make it a little weak like how your talking so the dm won't be like.. "playable dragon race? your crazy no way"

Now you got me wanting to see if I can make a dragon with an effective bite attack. They do get str 1/2 (with a high str mind you) and like 4d6 with vital strike that could be up to 16d6 at least 12 anyways and power attack. I assume you could wear the amulet of might fist too? so lets see 12d6 avrg around 42 + power atk 18 + str 1/2 (30 to 36 score depending on items and how you prioritize) so another + 24 ish is 82 for one bite with no other feats added I have a chart from another thread that has perspective damage for different levels and that is right in the mid range of a class thats job is to do damage and there is prolly a lot more you could do with feats.
One thing I will say is you have to put a lot into dex otherwise at some point it gets real bad I think at one point its like -10 to dex from size makes me feel like you might be battling that the whole time your leveling.


Vidmaster7 wrote:

Now I will agree the Player class archetype for it are a little weak. I think they make it a little weak like how your talking so the dm won't be like.. "playable dragon race? your crazy no way"

Now you got me wanting to see if I can make a dragon with an effective bite attack. They do get str 1/2 (with a high str mind you) and like 4d6 with vital strike that could be up to 16d6 at least 12 anyways and power attack. I assume you could wear the amulet of might fist too? so lets see 12d6 avrg around 42 + power atk 18 + str 1/2 (30 to 36 score depending on items and how you prioritize) so another + 24 ish is 82 for one bite with no other feats added I have a chart from another thread that has perspective damage for different levels and that is right in the mid range of a class thats job is to do damage and there is prolly a lot more you could do with feats.
One thing I will say is you have to put a lot into dex otherwise at some point it gets real bad I think at one point its like -10 to dex from size makes me feel like you might be battling that the whole time your leveling.

this is what i was sayign earlier you take -1 AC for every size increase and THEN you also take -2 dex for about half the size increases... you're AC never gets really high because you'll never have that +30 natural armor like a real dragon... you do get like 11 free though at gargantuan, so it's not all bad. still it's like -3 from size and -3 from dex...

anyway level 20, the bite damage on a dragon is 2d8, at 15 it's 2d6, going down to 1d8 and then 1d6. all natural attacks can get 1.5 strength as well, so long as they're the only natural attack you have. dragon's bite lets you ignore this though.

the paragon class gets those a bit earlier and can get a 4d6 bite attack at level 20.

>here's< a level 12 vital strike bite build for comparison. at level 12 they already have a 4d6, technically they get it at level 8...

to be clear, a full caster(druid) can be better at being a dragon than an actual dragon could, by 8th level.


whew to be fair though that build is quite good well above average dps for the level. The dragon also has better saves and hp as well as natural flight and probably a few supernatural abilities but ill try a build so I can get a clearer comparison. Then ill get back to you.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
whew to be fair though that build is quite good well above average dps for the level. The dragon also has better saves and hp as well as natural flight and probably a few supernatural abilities but ill try a build so I can get a clearer comparison. Then ill get back to you.

that's what I said, earlier, the thing is basically a core monk in combat ability, which is a low point, it's really hard to make work, specially since the ability to breathe fire and what not aren't great ways to deal damage.


But if the dragon had better ac/hp/saves and did more damage then the other melee's it would probably be op. Although the more I read up I think the biggest problems is low pull buy just doesn't work for some classes. I personally use 25. Apparently 15 is the standard and I think that makes a bunch of classes problematic. Hmm anyways i feel we are monopolizing the thread ill post another one I kind of want to see some talk about point buy.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
But if the dragon had better ac/hp/saves and did more damage then the other melee's it would probably be op. Although the more I read up I think the biggest problems is low pull buy just doesn't work for some classes. I personally use 25. Apparently 15 is the standard and I think that makes a bunch of classes problematic. Hmm anyways i feel we are monopolizing the thread ill post another one I kind of want to see some talk about point buy.

you're not getting it, it's probably like 50%-66% of the DPR when i try really hard compared to an equal level fighter when i just cobble it together and forget a few feats.

the things you get and can do as a dragon are just too restricting.


Can you explain what causes such a drastic difference then? I mean the dragon is full BAB its str increases as it levels Its main attack is Str and a half and about 2d6 or so? so where does it loss about 34% of dpr?


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Can you explain what causes such a drastic difference then? I mean the dragon is full BAB its str increases as it levels Its main attack is Str and a half and about 2d6 or so? so where does it loss about 34% of dpr?

almost all the extra natural attacks they get are secondary, they're also spending extra money and slots to make sure they have armor. Since most of their abilities are defensive, they don't have rage, weapon training, etc, to improve their damage. This all starts to stack against them.

If you stay small and go straight fighter and even float the cash for heavy barding, then I get decent DPR again, but the archetypes and the racial class just ruin it.

also, i don't want to play small sized as a dragon whole game.

I've been thinking about multiclassing with the racial class and a normal class to get MAYBE to large sized by very late level... quickly get 4 levels of the paragon class thn 6 of fighter or something, but i haven't put the thing together yet to see if it works out good enough. also if you do this draconic weaponry becomes useless (even though it basically already was).


Interestingly, among the Outsiders, most of the most dangerous monsters are either Medium or Large, usually outclassing the Huge or larger ones in CR. So I wonder if Outsider design has skewed the design of the most dangerous monsters more generally.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

Interestingly, among the Outsiders, most of the most dangerous monsters are either Medium or Large, usually outclassing the Huge or larger ones in CR. So I wonder if Outsider design has skewed the design of the most dangerous monsters more generally.

Most outsiders are fairly humanoid, so it makes sense from a practicality perspective.

If the Demon Lord is Colossal he can't use his true form in a lot of areas. And his keep also has to be built entirely with his colossal size in mind.

Thats okay occasionally, but it gets old.

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