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Munchkin Monsters - How I squeezed out a death-dealer for a low CR.


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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The builders of the site did not make the monster builder. They just took code that someone else wrote, and they never advocate the monster builder as holding perfectly to the rules. It is just a tool to get quick monster builds. It even has(had) templates that don't exist.
In short they are making no assumptions, and mistakes can be pointed out to the collaborators which are normally typos, and not actual rules misunderstandings most of the time.

monster builder page wrote:
Some or all of the content on this page is hosted off-site by parties other than the d20pfsrd.com team. The d20pfsrd.com is not responsible for the content therein.


I made a pretty decent encounter by adding 3 levels of Ninja to an Intellect devourer.

Used pressure points and quicken SLA x2 with invisibility and reduce size.

The party tank(ish) was a Kensai, and quite upset by being caught flat-footed more than once, heh.


How did the ninja make him flat-footed?


I misspoke, not flat footed but the lose of Dex and int to AC with quickened invisibility worked a couple times, with a nice boost to stealth and AC with reduce size.


I was just making sure I was not missing something. Quickened invis or any equivalent can be annoying though.


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Well here's one for the upper end: The Elysian Titan is a CR 21 tough guy. Reading further down in the entry we find that one in every twelve has the spellcasting ability of a 20th level Cleric and is CR 22. Twenty levels of Cleric for only +1 to the CR. Nice.

Dark Archive

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My DM has a penchant for kobold adepts - 7th level casters firing two scorching rays a round but are only something like CR 4.

He also likes skeletal warriors and other templated undead that were previously drow nobles - effectively replacing the drow's Con penalty with a Cha bonus.

Sovereign Court

HappyDaze wrote:
Well here's one for the upper end: The Elysian Titan is a CR 21 tough guy. Reading further down in the entry we find that one in every twelve has the spellcasting ability of a 20th level Cleric and is CR 22. Twenty levels of Cleric for only +1 to the CR. Nice.

To clarify, that is only the spellcasting ability of a cleric. No additional HD, skillpoints or feats. I don't even think that would include domain powers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber
HappyDaze wrote:
The Satyr is CR 4 and has 8 HD and Paladin (of which Antipaladin is a variant) is non-key, so the first 8 levels only add +4 CR.

Pardon if I'm being daft, but can you explain this? What do you mean non-key?

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Nephelim wrote:
HappyDaze wrote:
The Satyr is CR 4 and has 8 HD and Paladin (of which Antipaladin is a variant) is non-key, so the first 8 levels only add +4 CR.
Pardon if I'm being daft, but can you explain this? What do you mean non-key?

Monster Advancement

See table towards the end called "Monsters with Class Levels" and the following paragraphs.


While not particularly low level I would like to note several interesting builds I am working on for my Kingmaker game.

Troll Titan Mauler 3 (CR 8). Has a huge greatsword which with rage has an attack line of +17/12 (4D6+13, 19-20/x2)

Advanced Troll Cleric X. Has enough stat boosts to make actual casting a thing.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber
psionichamster wrote:
See table towards the end called "Monsters with Class Levels" and the following paragraphs.

Ahhhhh, thank you. that makes much more sense now.

EDIT: Do the Base classes get any official categorization per role? Not counting the variant classes, clearly... it shouldn't be too hard to suss out where an Oracle or Inquisitor would fall, but "official" is always preferred.


“Rocks fall, everyone dies”. Now wasn’t that fun?

Dedicated Voter 2013

Nephelim wrote:
psionichamster wrote:
See table towards the end called "Monsters with Class Levels" and the following paragraphs.

Ahhhhh, thank you. that makes much more sense now.

EDIT: Do the Base classes get any official categorization per role? Not counting the variant classes, clearly... it shouldn't be too hard to suss out where an Oracle or Inquisitor would fall, but "official" is always preferred.

Nothing official, but they're easy enough to plug in.

Full BAB falls under "Barbarian, Fighter, Ranger", for example.


Lance cavalry, hill and gully terrain. Yari cav if you are into shogun.

If around level 6-8, a wedge of level 3 fighters with lances (shields, medium armour, war horses) and the relevant feats can cause serious havoc and damage.

Allow me to explain. :)
Terrain is key, they are out looking for foes, or tracking pcs. You know the pcs did something wrong. The players are in a bit of a gully, hear them coming, when one side sees the other, it is on. Quite nasty if the crest the hill and come down with a charge. Reach on the lance can be important, a polearm melee party counters them but how often do you see those? Wizards can blat them, but they might take a fireball, and then will opt to lance wizard and those near them. They move at a fair speed.

I've seen it at low level, and threw one at a party of 9s, where the cavalry were about level 5. Had to fudge not to kill off two players. They took the charge hard and deep.

For low level parties, goblin worg cav, few levels.


HappyDaze wrote:
Well here's one for the upper end: The Elysian Titan is a CR 21 tough guy. Reading further down in the entry we find that one in every twelve has the spellcasting ability of a 20th level Cleric and is CR 22. Twenty levels of Cleric for only +1 to the CR. Nice.

A friend and I had a long-running game, we would each week bring out examples of paizo monsters with ridiculous crs. Mostly it was done to help a young dm appreciate the need for accurate crs.

My best one? The sandpoint devil, page 94 burnt offerings, which is CR 8, 12 hit die +48 hp, three attacks that will go straight through full plate, which do at least 6 damage, two which go much much higher. It has spells, spell resistance, special abilities, a fire breath that also curses, scent, move 40 or 60 flying, it has reach, spring attack, +20 to perception/stealth, a fantastic grapple for something which doesn't have hands, 5 stats of 16 or above and my favourite part, if I ran it as written, its trample would do (2d6+126) damage. I get the feeling that is an error lol. CR 8. B+@%!%%s.

Ran it, players just beat it, I gave them the xp of defeating a CR 10.


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Pugwampi Cleric 3; CR 2? (CR 1/2 gets eaten by roundoff with +3 for class levels and -1 for not having gear): Hold Person, roll your save twice and take the worse. Use to reinforce a low level boss fight.

Pugwampi witch coven at appropriate level: Int isn't great, but with the class levels it won't be so bad that the unluck aura won't make up for it when it comes to hex DCs. Three of them can have the PCs save and save and save and save and save and save and save and save or die (one save x2 for unluck x2 for ill omen x2 for misfortune) which is going to be really demoralizing.

Actually, Pugwampi Inquisitors would be pretty obnoxious too with most of the damage coming from bane and static bonuses the small size and pitiful strength will matter a lot less, and wisdom is their best stat.

Just use them before level 5 or use two such encounters to use up the Cleric's casting of Prayer, and don't use them at all against an Oracle with that spell.


http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz4idb?Balors-fall-you-die-Or-how-to-break-the-CR

Cr5 more powerful pit fiend that opens with dc 25 blasphemy or meteor shower and quickened 10d6 fireball


Gahh, I've never found generating accurate CRs to be very hard. Amazing that it just get so out of hand. Balor is ridiculous!


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1st lvl orc barbarians, they will roughly have 16 hp and wont drop dead till they hit -18 when raging, also will have an AB of +9 or so counting a MW weapon and hits for 1d12+9 damage, you can also make them fiendish at no additional CR cost. 1/2 CR

Shadow Lodge

Leech swarms, maybe with the fiendish template. Have the encounter in a flooded, murky dungeon, and your PCs will hate you for Dex drain.

Dark Archive

Orb barbarians have about 10 hp while raging (full 1st hp is a PC advantage). They have Str 20 while raging (they don't get PC stats either unless you raise them) and are +6 to hit. They also fall down the next round; they are nasty damage-dealers for CR 1/2 though; of course, barbarians are one of the most diffiuclt 1-3 opponents in the game.


Thalin wrote:
Orb barbarians have about 10 hp while raging (full 1st hp is a PC advantage). They have Str 20 while raging (they don't get PC stats either unless you raise them) and are +6 to hit. They also fall down the next round; they are nasty damage-dealers for CR 1/2 though; of course, barbarians are one of the most diffiuclt 1-3 opponents in the game.

Full hit points at first level is standard for anything that has a PC class as its first HD. Adding a PC level also gives the creature +4, +4, +2, +2, 0, -2 mods to apply to its ability scores. This is all in the Bestiary.


An oldie but a goodie:

1. Start with a Lich. Appearance-wise, all of his flesh has rotted away with nothing left but bones(doesn't make any mechanical differences).

2. Place said Lich in a group of regular, weak-sauce skeletons. Remove gear if necessary, or dress skeletons up in ragged, mundane gear. Just make sure the Lich blends in.

3. Add adventuring party expecting to beat down some plain old skelies..

4. Enjoy.


The problem with the lich surrounded by skeles is that unless your using mega skeles then any party for which a lich is an appropriate challenge will destroy all the skeles with an aoe or a channel or by looking at the mean.

The only good way to do it is either with a monsterous lich and monsterous skeles, giants or trolls or ogres. Another option would be a bandage wrapped lich and some mummy monks, a truely horrible combination.

Templated skeles would work but if i were playing a character who rolled 30+ on knowledge religion i'd be pretty annoyed i thought a lich was a skelton when i am clearly an expert on the subject, would probably require the lich have bluff vs sense motive to see if he gets away with it.

Dedicated Voter 2013

Egoish wrote:

The problem with the lich surrounded by skeles is that unless your using mega skeles then any party for which a lich is an appropriate challenge will destroy all the skeles with an aoe or a channel or by looking at the mean.

The only good way to do it is either with a monsterous lich and monsterous skeles, giants or trolls or ogres. Another option would be a bandage wrapped lich and some mummy monks, a truely horrible combination.

Templated skeles would work but if i were playing a character who rolled 30+ on knowledge religion i'd be pretty annoyed i thought a lich was a skelton when i am clearly an expert on the subject, would probably require the lich have bluff vs sense motive to see if he gets away with it.

Rolling 30+ Knowledge (religion) probably means you're facing down a lich that has mind blank up and any number of illusions in place to exactly match the appearance of his mummified mini-onions.

Such a check cannot discern the lich from the mummies until something gives away that there is a lich in the midst of them, something that is lich only... at which point, you can make another check.


Egoish wrote:

The problem with the lich surrounded by skeles is that unless your using mega skeles then any party for which a lich is an appropriate challenge will destroy all the skeles with an aoe or a channel or by looking at the mean.

The only good way to do it is either with a monsterous lich and monsterous skeles, giants or trolls or ogres. Another option would be a bandage wrapped lich and some mummy monks, a truely horrible combination.

Templated skeles would work but if i were playing a character who rolled 30+ on knowledge religion i'd be pretty annoyed i thought a lich was a skelton when i am clearly an expert on the subject, would probably require the lich have bluff vs sense motive to see if he gets away with it.

Not necessarily. I mean, really, how do you know that the party is automatically going to use an AoE spell? Even if they would, there's an easy fix; don't put all the skeletons right next to each other...

Part of the appeal of this trick is that most parties won't bother with a knowledge religion check; they see a room full of cannon-fodder skeletons... A bluff might work if there was some indicator that one of the skeletons might happen to move or act differently. Maybe a Disguise check?

Maybe your players are much more paranoid than mine. Of course, after this, mine would definitely be a LOT more paranoid, lol.


In the case that turin put up i would have no problem with my undead expert not noticing the lich. But then again why is he not just mindblankgreaterinvisibileoverlandflyingprojectimaging himself into the middle of the mummy/skeletons? it seems a lot of effort for a very powerful spellcaster to go through when he is just going to reveal himself the first time he casts a spell.

Any party with an AOE ability will relish the opportunity to use it on a bunch of minions for giggles in my experience, knowing that medium skeletons of any type (not skeletal champions which are a distinct form of undead and would not suit your plan unless they also had monk or spell caster levels) have very few HD since not many medium base creatures have more than 1 racial HD anyway using a simple fireball or channel energy is the most efficient way of dealing with them most medium humanoid skeletons die from the average roll of a 3rd level clerics channel even if they pass the save so by the time your hitting lich territory the ~5d6 channel is going to end the fight, your group may just like slogging through skeletons however.

Also in my experience my players ALWAYS roll knowledge skill checks if they have them even on simple monsters incase i changed something to freak them out. I'd definately write in some kind of skill check if you want your lich to blend in just so your players do not feel cheated by the simple nature of the disguise as even a master of disguise lich has a chance to make a mistake and walk or move different to a mindless undead.

Another option would be a lich wizard conjurer teleportation sub school of a certain level lets say 15 and his apprentices who are skeleton champion wizard conjurer teleportation sub school lets say level 7. Now at the end of their turn (using telepathic bond and syncing their initiative, or even the lich using battlemind link) they all teleport as a swift action, they are all wearing matching robes, rings and headbands, carrying matching wands (of an annoying spell, acid arrow or something similar) and they all move at once to deliver a touch spell or cast a spell from their current square, they all have overland flight (cast by the lich) the all have mage armour, non detection, resist energy etc (self cast), they all have a vanish or invisiility in memory as well as some aoe spells and some melee touch spells. The area they are in is a series of eight (like a cube so three dimensional) 20ft square rooms seperated by 1 foot thick walls with no doors in them and each seperate room has a reseting mass inflict critical wounds trap targetting everything in the room 1 full round after the magical sensor (invisible in the exact centre of the room) detects any form of movement, the entire area is covered by a covered by a dimensional anchor spell effecting everyone but the lich and his apprentices, oh and the entire area has permanent deeper darkness spells cast throughout. If an apprentice gets too damaged they teleport through a wall and the lich can repair his minions with his touch attack while the party try to work out where they went, the lich has two dimension doors in memory so he can teleport himself and all of his minions 200 feet straight down into their actual lair and back again once they have healed up, he saves his dimensional steps school ability to escape if the fight goes horribly wrong.

I would probably open with a black tenticles or something similar and pound the room with acid spells from the lich (caustic erruption?) then let the apprentices use acid arrow or some such to wear down the PC's and distrupt spell casting, strip the parties defenses with dispel magic and hammer them with negative levels and ability damage/drain as well as all of the normal annoying conjuration control spells while the acid does its work, perhaps make the lich cast a dazing acid fog spell before he leaves the room to heal his minions? If you want to be really horrible you could have them placed in this horrible situation via a teleport trap when they are attempting to break into what they think is the liches lair via some form of teleportation magic and the lich has his mental alarm go off so he and his minions can spend 10 rounds or so buffing up and scrying the location before they greater teleport in and open up with the spells.

That would be if i wanted to make a killer confusing lich encounter.


Honestly, I'm kind of sorry I brought it up. That's way too much effort for a silly "Gotcha!" gag encounter.


Josh M. wrote:
Honestly, I'm kind of sorry I brought it up. That's way too much effort for a silly "Gotcha!" gag encounter.

The fact that a lich has to be a decent level of spellcaster means that even a silly "Gotcha!" gag encounter has the potention to kill the entire PC party if they do not take steps to deal with the lich in the first turn or so of the fight. Any way you swing the NPC build to make the Gotcha! encounter actually work will make it a very challenging fight, but then this is a thread about death dealing so...


Remco Sommeling wrote:

1st lvl orc barbarians, they will roughly have 16 hp and wont drop dead till they hit -18 when raging, also will have an AB of +9 or so counting a MW weapon and hits for 1d12+9 damage, you can also make them fiendish at no additional CR cost. 1/2 CR

Give them Amplified Rage & a shaman/cleric with Moment of Greatness. Yeah they are all close together/flankng but ouch!


I've got one, couple of low level goblin/kobold clerics of Rovagug, level 3 is all that is needed, with warhammers and picks, and a rank or two in engineering.

Inside a ruin. Plenty of stone, not much space to flee. Tower, tomb, old castle. They de-stabilise the ruin prior to the encounter. Damage the walls, the ceiling etc. Comes to the encounter, they cast rovagug's fury, trip attack the party and brings down the very fragile stone work on where the pcs enter. Go and find the rules on weight and how much damage the slabs of stone and collapsing bricks cause. I used to be an adventurer like you, then some clerics killed all my friends in a cave-in.

Rocks fall everyone dies!

Dedicated Voter 2013

Egoish wrote:

In the case that turin put up i would have no problem with my undead expert not noticing the lich. But then again why is he not just mindblankgreaterinvisibileoverlandflyingprojectimaging himself into the middle of the mummy/skeletons? it seems a lot of effort for a very powerful spellcaster to go through when he is just going to reveal himself the first time he casts a spell.

Maybe the lich doesn't know many illusion spells, or the flying/project image combination. Variety is the spice of encounter design, and having a ground-bound lich that doesn't rely on the "standard" invisible flying project image combination makes for a different encounter than "the usual".

Who knows, maybe the lich in question thinks that his phylactery's hidey hole (with attendant primary spell books and actual gear) is more than sufficient for dealing with the typical adventurous intruders into its lair. Instead of relying upon the standard defenses of concealment and flight it uses transmutation and abjuration.

elemental body, form of the dragon, stoneskin and an assortment of resist energy, defensive shock and offensive transmutations can vary things from the 'usual' evocations and necromancy...


Mite Ranger 4
Animal Companion: Giant Centipede
Mounted Combat Style
Feats: Mounted Combat, Mounted Archery, Ride by attack
Gear: magic crossbow, buffing potions

Imagine; no matter what the terrain the thing criss-crosses the battlefield making charge attacks then flying to the outer edges of the area so that the PC's are constantly chasing it. One of the buffing potions might be spider climb. Add to the centipede and have it racing across the ceiling for added shenanigans.

Now this is all considering just a vast, open cave. If you wanted to up the CR of the fight scene, add a few covered pits, arrow traps or perhaps some poison on the mite's bolts.

Another Mite build:
Mite Cleric 3/Druid (packlord) 2
Animal companions: 2 level 1 giant scorpions
Feats: Dodge, Combat Casting, Scribe Scroll
Gear: lots of scrolls

Think about it; clerics are the masters of buffs and druids can buff animals. With spells/scrolls and some well timed readied actions the fight could go on for hours. The scorpions are the cleric's "weapons" and he just hangs back and buffs them with enhanced defenses, heals and anything else needed to keep them going.

The key to this fight is timing. He needs time to get the creatures buffed ahead of time, then he needs readied actions uninterrupted by ranged attacks to keep his pets alive while they go about their grisly task. Perhaps the distraction of a summoned swarm or a fog cloud will keep him alive while he acts as support.


I had a standby BBEG in a 3.5 game that was pretty much absurd.

take your standard 11th level rogue assassin.

Add the gravetouched ghoul template (from the big undead splatbook)

Lastly throw in the spellstitched template.

wound up with an assassin with absurdly high stats and the ability to throw up things like cloudkill/improved invisibility.

3 natural attacks with sneak attack dice made that improved invisibility horrifying.

Lantern Lodge Dedicated Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Odraude wrote:
I was surprised how crazy adding the Skeleton template to a Giant Scorpion was against my level 1 party. Almost TPK'd against five people.

Anyone question how a scorpion have bones? :P Althought that would be a darn creepy thing to see otherwise!

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