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Templates and PCs

Rules Questions

Hey, first time posting on the board here. I didn't see this through a quick glance, but I did notice some confusion on similar topics with the bestiary.

What I'm looking for, is clarification on how this stuff works. I don't really understand how applying a template to a pc or their cohort would work. As far the as the bestiary details the templates will raise the CR of whatever gets the template. But I'm not sure how to calculate a PC's CR. I'm also unsure as to how that would affect things like their level and similar things.

The same goes to cohorts. Heck part of the cohorts thing is what's making it more confusing. The bestiary has a section listed as "monsters as cohorts" where it lists a few monsters. A hound archon has a cr 4, and is listed as the equivalent of a lvl 7 cohort. The hell hound is also listed as a lvl 7, but has a cr of 3. The satyr is a 3rd monsters listed as lvl 3 equivalent but with a cr of 4 again. It's rather confusing at times...

But I'm getting somewhat side tracked. The key points that I'm looking for is.

a) How do you apply a template to a PC.
b) How do you calculate the difference in strength so that you can balance the party after.
c) Are these same rules applicable to a cohort.
d) Should templates really be used on the pc at all.

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Don't try to make any sense of the monstrous cohort chart.

I noticed a small typo at the start. The satyr is listed as lvl 7, not lvl 3...sorry about that. And I agree, the cohort chart should probably just be ignored since it makes little sense as far as I'm concerned... which is one of the things I'm hoping to get help with I suppose...

Very difficult question because it is "case by case".
Try to use the rules p313/314 appendix 4 from Bestiary: Note that when a monster has no section in the Bestiary labelled "Name Characters" (as for goblin for instance) -i.e. monster without racial Hit Die-, there is no "good method".

The more a monster has "special powers", the more it's difficult to balance it as a cohort or as a PC.
The cohort chart p316 may be considered as "guidelines" perhaps...

Even the CR method is the "less bad", but it is not enough: As a GM & player, you "should carefully consider any monster PCs in the groups", and so consider each of "its powers": should you keep them as writed or change them? Should you modify the rule "CR=Level +bonus level" for a particular monster?

Ex: from rules from appendix 4, the Drider should begin as a Level 7
But with ability adjustements Str +4, Dex +4, Con +8, Int +4, Wis +4, Cha +4
9 HD, SR, Spell-like abilities, and spell-casting class 6 which you can combine with Core/base class level, and more...

Do you think that a PC/cohort drider is balanced with a core class level 7?
I don't think so.
So, you can "reduce the powers" of the drider or increase its core class level's equivalence (as in p316 appendix 6: monster cohorts).

That makes sense, and I agree it should be a sort of case-by-case. But the problem is that the DM is new, very unfamiliar with the rules, and is also very loose with them. Enough to keep the game structured, but not enough of a rules monger that it becomes difficult.

The main purpose of the game is for everyone to have fun and enjoy ourselves. That being said, it would become difficult for everyone to enjoy themselves if their character has been rendered moot by something like that.

The game has already started. It was started at lvl 5, and we're currently lvl 9. We've got a monk, a sorc, a rogue, and an oracle. We've also got a drop in/out summoner for the group. There's alt. class features from the advanced book, and similar stuff. What I was talking to with the DM, would be potentially the half-celestial template on the oracle (who is actually a 2nd character being played by myself for sake of party survivability).

It would be partially background fluff, and story progression. The way it would come about would probably be through the cohort, as it is a viable conduit for this stuff...however I'm getting side tracked.

Is there anything anyone can offer for solid word on what to do here? I really don't want a party unbalancing, and me and the DM aren't quite experienced enough to make a proper call on this ourselves. So anything solid I can get would REALLY be appreciated.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Half-celestial packs a lot of bonuses into that CR. If the intent is to reflect celestial heirtage noticable enough to be "more than human", I suggest aasimar as the race instead of the half-celestial template. This keeps the Oracle at full level with the rest of the group without outshining the other player characters.

If you *have* to use half-celestial, a conservative "level cost" would be 3. Which means the Oracle is 7th when the rest of you are 10th. Alternatively, the Oracle advances 1 XP track slower at 1 level lower from the start of the Oracle's play. EXAMPLE: 10th level start for a group advancing on Medium XP results in a 9th level half-celestial Oracle advancing on the Slow chart. The level gap will not show much as immediately - until the group is 12th or 13th while the Orcale is maybe 11th.

Scarab Sages

Having played a half-celestial paladin before (my favorite character ever), I think 3.5 had it right, when they said, a half-celestial without wings has a (outdated term ahead) Level Adjustment of 3, while one with wings (as was my paladin's case) had an LA or 4. So, if your party is level 9, you'd be level 5 (wings) or 6 (sans wings).

Turin the Mad wrote:
Half-celestial packs a lot of bonuses into that CR. If the intent is to reflect celestial heirtage noticable enough to be "more than human", I suggest aasimar as the race instead of the half-celestial template. This keeps the Oracle at full level with the rest of the group without outshining the other player characters.


If you really want half celestial, you may try to "use" the rules of "creating a PC-monster" with a template which has a fickle CR...
You take the bigger CR:
HD 11 and more.........CR +3

It could "mean" the half celestial begins with a template which counts for 3 class levels and after will gain 1 bonus level.
Level 1-10: the half-celestial will have 3HD less than other member of group
ex: half celestial Oracle 6 is equivalent to a level 9

Level 11+: the strong template of half celestial is less decisive, so you may give him a bonus level
i.e rule p313/314: (CR/2)rounded down =bonus level
CR of template is about 3 so (3/2)rounded down= +1 bonus level
ex: when group is level 11+, you may give a bonus level to half celestial Oracle, so the gap will be 2 levels
half celestial Oracle 9 is equivalent to a level 11.

More easy to give a bonus level than to remove one...

Ok thanks for the input guys. Not quite what I was hoping for, but better then I thought I'd get. I'll figure out what I'm doing with it....

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