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Favored enemy question


Rise of the Runelords


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

So what you think would be best candidate for a ranger to max out his favored enemy bonuses?
Giant or undead?

I am going to be the DM for this game so don't worry about spoilers.

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Giants. By a long shot. Pretty much every module from the third one on has giants in it somewhere (if not everywhere).

1st level choice:
Goblins

5th level choice:
Giants +4, Goblins +2

10th level choice:
Giants +6, Humans +2, Goblins (sadly) +2

15th level choice:
Giants +8, Aberrations +2, Humans +2, and that stupid Goblin bonus is still hanging around...

Giants really are that big a deal.

I suppose you could do do undead as a first choice and have it be effective throughout the AP, but you'd be severely hampered in the first module.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

Thank you very much.
Is humans a good choice for 10th level?
As you said you can put undead instead of goblins in the first level but you are losing a lot of bonuses (from what i have seen you would get your bonus on 4/5 of the battles in the first book).

How about that order?:
1st level: Undead +2
5th level: Undead +4, Giants +2
10th level: Undead +4, Giants +4, something +2
15th level: Undead +4, Giants +6, something +2, something else +2

Too much gimping?

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Humans at 10th because of all the spellcasters that start coming out of the woodwork in the last two modules.

Aberrations at 15th because nearly everything in the sixth book that isn't a giant or a human is an aberration of some sort.

Undead are as big a part of book two as goblins are in book one. After that, undead are relegated to "every now and then" at best (and even serve as mere speed bumps at some points, making any bonus against them overkill). Sure, there are several spots where the "big bad" is an undead of some sort, but even there they may be skipped (one wing in the fifth book) or handled in a different way more effectively (end of third book and beginning of sixth book).

Knowing what I know (we're almost through the sixth book, and I'm running this again for a second group that just started book one) if I made anything +4, it'd be humans. Keeping giants +6 wouldn't hurt too much, but it would slow you down.

On a side note, I think the title of the thread should say "Spoilers." Can you fix it? Or flag it to be fixed?


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

Can't edit it now but i flagged it for spoiler.
Are there that many human spellcasters? Good to know.
Thank you for your help.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

They probably meet more Giants than any other subtype and they are super-mean with lots of HP. Picking types that will be useful throughout, I'd take:
1: Undead+2 (wanted for early book 2; useful for 5,6; so/so for 1,3,4)
5: Giants+4, Undead+2 (book 3,4,5,6)
10: Giants+6, Undead+2, Humans+2 (book 5, late book 6)
15: Giants+8, Undead+2, Humans+2, Evil Outsider? (summons and a couple natives in book 6).

Alternatively, you switch Undead and Humans. This way you have humans for the Book 1 bosses but miss the undead-arama in early book 2. I don't know how Mr. Ranger guesses at 5th level to take giants like that but that's another topic.

If the player was responding to existing threats, an organic progression would be:

1: Humans +2 (fine for Book 1 bosses, useful later on)
5: Undead +4, Humans +2 (helpful for some of book 2 and beyond)
10: Giants +4, Undead +4, Humans +2 (why didn't I take giants last time?)
15: Giants +6, Undead +4, Humans +2, Whatever (or Humans +4 because at this point the PCs know the BBEG is human)


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
Greycloak of Bowness wrote:

They probably meet more Giants than any other subtype and they are super-mean with lots of HP. Picking types that will be useful throughout, I'd take:

1: Undead+2 (wanted for early book 2; useful for 5,6; so/so for 1,3,4)
5: Giants+4, Undead+2 (book 3,4,5,6)
10: Giants+6, Undead+2, Humans+2 (book 5, late book 6)
15: Giants+8, Undead+2, Humans+2, Evil Outsider? (summons and a couple natives in book 6).

Alternatively, you switch Undead and Humans. This way you have humans for the Book 1 bosses but miss the undead-arama in early book 2. I don't know how Mr. Ranger guesses at 5th level to take giants like that but that's another topic.

If the player was responding to existing threats, an organic progression would be:

1: Humans +2 (fine for Book 1 bosses, useful later on)
5: Undead +4, Humans +2 (helpful for some of book 2 and beyond)
10: Giants +4, Undead +4, Humans +2 (why didn't I take giants last time?)
15: Giants +6, Undead +4, Humans +2, Whatever (or Humans +4 because at this point the PCs know the BBEG is human)

Thank you very much.

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Greycloak of Bowness wrote:
I don't know how Mr. Ranger guesses at 5th level to take giants like that but that's another topic.

My ranger player lucked into it because she thought it was a natural extension to her hatred for goblins: "They're like goblins only bigger. They should be dead, too." She's been the bane of my existence ever since.

For the record: I still say aberrations for 15th level. Lamia, lamia kin, ropers, dodecapods, and others I can't think of all share that sub-type. All that's in the 6th book.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Drogon wrote:
For the record: I still say aberrations for 15th level. Lamia, lamia kin, ropers, dodecapods, and others I can't think of all share that sub-type. All that's in the 6th book.

Lamia are monstrous humanoids and the lamia harridans are magical beasts, no?

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

The Ranger in my party had "dragons" as one of his "+4"s. It worked our really well. There aren't many dragons in RotRL, but there's one significant one in each of books 4, 5, and 6. And each of them are very powerful. And in my opinion Favored Enemy is more useful against "rare/strong" enemies than against "frequent/weak" enemies.

But more to the point: the dragons fly. It makes it so melee-ers can't contribute. If it weren't for the Ranger making up the lost ground, it would have been a very different game for us. (Our Ranger was an archery-Ranger, and I'm assuming yours is too. Otherwise, this advice does not apply.)

---

But yea, max out Giants. And for Terrain: definately "mountains."


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
Erik Freund wrote:


(Our Ranger was an archery-Ranger, and I'm assuming yours is too. Otherwise, this advice does not apply.)

Characters aren't set on stone yet so info on favored enemies is useful in general.

The most probable character who would want to use the favored enemy list(s) i will provide to his player is a weird multiclass character (lion shaman/ranger) making use of the new UC feat (shapeshifting hunter i think was the name).

Just for the sake of discussion:
You all have said that during the 5th book humans start showing up, now by this time a ranger has access to 3rd level spells, specifically i am thinking about instant enemy, would it be more useful to a full ranger to not take humans as favored enemy but to rely on instant enemy? (it really would help against Karzoug during the final battle)
What do you think?

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

leo1925 wrote:

Just for the sake of discussion:

You all have said that during the 5th book humans start showing up, now by this time a ranger has access to 3rd level spells, specifically i am thinking about instant enemy, would it be more useful to a full ranger to not take humans as favored enemy but to rely on instant enemy? (it really would help against Karzoug during the final battle)
What do you think?

Instant Enemy has a range of "Close". Many of the hairest enemies (be they dragons, or Karzoug himself) start off at a considerable distance and work hard to maintain that distance. And most of the humans are spellcasters. And you want to be able to act on the first round against spellcasters, and not waste time closing the distance.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
Erik Freund wrote:
leo1925 wrote:

Just for the sake of discussion:

You all have said that during the 5th book humans start showing up, now by this time a ranger has access to 3rd level spells, specifically i am thinking about instant enemy, would it be more useful to a full ranger to not take humans as favored enemy but to rely on instant enemy? (it really would help against Karzoug during the final battle)
What do you think?
Instant Enemy has a range of "Close". Many of the hairest enemies (be they dragons, or Karzoug himself) start off at a considerable distance and work hard to maintain that distance. And most of the humans are spellcasters. And you want to be able to act on the first round against spellcasters, and not waste time closing the distance.

A lesser rod of reach (preferably from a glove of storing) can take care of that.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

leo1925 wrote:
Erik Freund wrote:
leo1925 wrote:

Just for the sake of discussion:

You all have said that during the 5th book humans start showing up, now by this time a ranger has access to 3rd level spells, specifically i am thinking about instant enemy, would it be more useful to a full ranger to not take humans as favored enemy but to rely on instant enemy? (it really would help against Karzoug during the final battle)
What do you think?
Instant Enemy has a range of "Close". Many of the hairest enemies (be they dragons, or Karzoug himself) start off at a considerable distance and work hard to maintain that distance. And most of the humans are spellcasters. And you want to be able to act on the first round against spellcasters, and not waste time closing the distance.
A lesser rod of reach (preferably from a glove of storing) can take care of that.

"Can"? Yes, in theory. However, I doubt any Ranger would choose to spend 13k GP on that trick. And if there was a loot-drop that included those two items, chances are neither item would go to the Ranger, but rather the Rod to a dedicated caster and the Glove to a golf-bagger.

Basically, unless you're forcing pregens with pregen loot, I just don't see it coming to fruition. :-(


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

@Erik Freund
You might be right, it has worked differently for my ranger, which was a switch hitter and had quick draw, and with a glove of storing and a lesser rod of reach means instant enemy+full attack on his first turn, from distance.

Anyway good choices for favored terrains?
I guess mountains, underground and urban are top choices.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

leo1925 wrote:

Anyway good choices for favored terrains?

I guess mountains, underground and urban are top choices.

Sounds about right. Don't pick mountain first (doesn't really help until book 3), but once you get it at level 8, keep stacking mountain's bonus the highest.

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds

Greycloak of Bowness wrote:
Drogon wrote:
For the record: I still say aberrations for 15th level. Lamia, lamia kin, ropers, dodecapods, and others I can't think of all share that sub-type. All that's in the 6th book.
Lamia are monstrous humanoids and the lamia harridans are magical beasts, no?

*checks Bestiary...*

Huh. Guess so. That'll teach me to shoot from the hip like that and base everything on looks...

Change all instances of "aberrations" in my previous posts to "monstrous humanoids."

@ Leo - I'm curious: What's the purpose of this exercise, if you're the one GMing the campaign? Are you designing your players' characters? That seems a little weird...


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
Drogon wrote:
Greycloak of Bowness wrote:
Drogon wrote:
For the record: I still say aberrations for 15th level. Lamia, lamia kin, ropers, dodecapods, and others I can't think of all share that sub-type. All that's in the 6th book.
Lamia are monstrous humanoids and the lamia harridans are magical beasts, no?

*checks Bestiary...*

Huh. Guess so. That'll teach me to shoot from the hip like that and base everything on looks...

Change all instances of "aberrations" in my previous posts to "monstrous humanoids."

@ Leo - I'm curious: What's the purpose of this exercise, if you're the one GMing the campaign? Are you designing your players' characters? That seems a little weird...

Thank you.

Yes i will be GMing this campaign and i simply want info in order to offer any ranger player some lists in order to help help them pick favored enemies. (i got sidetracked on the glove of storing + lesser rod of reach thing, remembering a character of mine in another game).

Sovereign Court Owner - Enchanted Grounds

leo1925 wrote:
Yes i will be GMing this campaign and i simply want info in order to offer any ranger player some lists in order to help help them pick favored enemies. (i got sidetracked on the glove of storing + lesser rod of reach thing, remembering a character of mine in another game).

Makes sense.

One important suggestion that I see get ignored a lot (to the detriment of both the players and the GM): read the entire AP, first. I can't stress that enough. Read through it completely so you know everything that lies ahead.

I have seen GMs over and over again buy book 1 of an AP, run it, buy book 2 when they're almost finished, then lament what they wish they had known about. And the farther you go, the more you wish you had known.

Trust me - read it all, first. You'll be quicker on your feet and able to make adjustments well in advance of when you may need them.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Arguably, Urban and underground would be the best choice for terrains. There are a lot more buildings and dungeons than wilderness in this one.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
Drogon wrote:
leo1925 wrote:
Yes i will be GMing this campaign and i simply want info in order to offer any ranger player some lists in order to help help them pick favored enemies. (i got sidetracked on the glove of storing + lesser rod of reach thing, remembering a character of mine in another game).

Makes sense.

One important suggestion that I see get ignored a lot (to the detriment of both the players and the GM): read the entire AP, first. I can't stress that enough. Read through it completely so you know everything that lies ahead.

I have seen GMs over and over again buy book 1 of an AP, run it, buy book 2 when they're almost finished, then lament what they wish they had known about. And the farther you go, the more you wish you had known.

Trust me - read it all, first. You'll be quicker on your feet and able to make adjustments well in advance of when you may need them.

Oh i will, i will definetely read it all before i start running, i have only read the half of the 1st book and had to stop because i had to start reading for my exams. That's why i asked that here on the forums, it takes a lot less time.

Again thank you all for helping me.


I've been compiling a list because I am in a similar situation as Leo. I have a first time D20 player on my team playing a ranger, I'm not going to hold their hand or anything, but if they pick Favored Enemy Plant I might subtly suggest that it's a bad choice.

So I've gone through and made a tally of everything that appears in all books and decided to present the total here. I imagine GM's with similar questions will find their way here as I did. Or, it's going to let players cheat.... oh well.

Keep in mind this is a list of how many Encounters these types appear in, not the total quantity of each monster. In other words, it is a measure of how many battles a favored enemy will be used in. One encounter with 1 human and 3 giants will list human and giant only once for example.

Total Tally:

Giant 54, Undead 26, Animal 22, Human 16, Goblin 15, Outsider(Evil) 14, Monstrous Humanoid 11, Construct 8, Aberration 6, Dragon 6, Fae 3, Outsider(Aqua) 3, Outsider(cold) 3, Outsider(Earth) 2, Magical Beast 1, Plant 1, Skulk 1, Humanoid(Reptilian) 1, Outsider(Good) 1

Book by Book Breakdown:

-Burnt Offerings-
Golblin 15, Animal 9, Evil 4, Human 3, Aberration 3, Undead 1, M.Humanoid

1, Good 1.

-Skinsaw Murders-
Undead 7, Human 6, Aberration 2, Construct 1, Animal 1, M.Humanoid 1.

-Hook Mountain-
Giant 25, Animal 6, Undead 4, M.Humanoid 2, Fae 1, Plant 1, Aquan 1.

-Fortress of the Stone Giants-
Giant 21, Animal 6, Dragon 4, Undead 3, Construct 2, Evil 2, M.Humanoid 2,

Earth 1, Fae 1, Reptilian 1.

-Sins of the Saviors-
Human 7, Undead 6, Evil 5, Construct 4, Aberration 1, Giant 1, Dragon 1,

Earth 1, Aqua 1.

-Spires of Xin'Shalast-
Giant 7, Undead 5, M.Humanoid 4, Human 3, Cold 3, Evil 2, Construct 1,

Dragon 1, Fae 1, Aquan 1, M. Beast 1, Skulk 1.

Summary:

Undead appear in every book but Giants are by far the most numerous. Animals are more numerous than Humans but animals stop appearing later on and the last boss is a human. Monstrous Humanoids are only absent from 1 book and plenty of them are nasty but Evil Outsiders do appear in more encounters, especially during sins of the saviors. Over all if your looking for an organic set of choices, Animals, Humans, and Undead are all valid choices for a hunter and are general enough that they don't require that much foresight to have picked. Neither does a Demon hunter so Evil Outsider is a good one. Clearly Giant is the best option to keep the highest but they don't appear until book 3 and how would the ranger know to study up on them?
My Player picked Human first, not a bad choice as their are just as many humans in book 2 as undead. Undead would be a good lvl 5 pick, and lvl 10 would be just at the end of hook mountain so giant's a good choice to get ready for book 4. Finally lvl 15 is going to be super late into the final book so it really doesn't matter where that one goes but i would bring up human by 2 to get ready for karzoug. I am going to attempt to throw in a few giants as random encounters here and there and make them tough enough to give them a nudge to choose giant earlier.

Best progression IMO:
1: Undead +2
5: Undead +2 Giant +4
10: Undead +2 Giant +6 Human +2
15: Undead +2 Giant +6 Human +4 and the last choice depends on where they are when they level, shouldn't be too much trouble to sort through the last half of the last book. Probably dragon or m.humanoid for the lamia's.


I tried to pick Humans but was shot down by both my fellow players and DM and main reason because if I took humans it meant I hated all Humans. One that would not bother me as I am playing a dwarf and 2 only human in party is a mage. I cannot see why I hate them if I am just good at hunting them.

Grand Lodge

It's not so much hating them, as learning about them. Why you studied how to take them down is all up to the individual. I still firmly believe that Batman would have at least a few levels of ranger. He has spent much of his life studying the ins and outs, motivations, psychology, and weaknesses of his targets. Of course, that tends to make him VERY suspicious and distrustful of them... as I would expect the same for your character and his targets...

At least that is how I view it, as a GM and as a player.


In 3.0, it was all about the hate
They changed it in 3.5, carried over to pathfinder

Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I remember that in 3.0 only evil rangers were allowed to pick their own race as a favored enemy.

3.0 SRD Ranger.

This restriction was removed in 3.5, and by extension PFRPG.

The way I play favored enemy, you have extensively studied the anatomy, psychology, and behavior of that type of creature. There is no reason you can't take your own race as a favored enemy-- ranger bounty hunters do this all the time.

How you play it depends on the character's story and motivation on why the character has chosen his or her own race as a favored enemy. If I were the GM, I'd want to know the PC's backstory.


Giants is a big important one. Definitely the most useful favored enemy in the AP.

Humanoid (Goblinoids) is okay, but only as a 1st level choice. You'll get little to no use out of it beyond that.

Undead is decent. They start to lessen in number later in the adventure, but they're still around, so you can still get some use out of it.

Outsiders (Evil) is a pretty darn good choice.

Humanoids (Human) is good in the late-game, once the spellcasters start coming out in full force.

Monstrous Humanoids is also decent in the late-game.


Human is not my char race that is Dwarf

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