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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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We all know that players love to min-max, and we all know that many GMs have a bit of that in them too. Normally, we think that GMs should hold back, or we hear the tired crap that a GM can always outgun the players so it's a pointless game. I call b#!$@#!# on that.

The CR system is set up with ways to make monsters for an appropriate challenge. Some say it's not well-balanced enough to use, but I say it's as well-balanced as the various PC classes are when compared to one another.

So, with that in mind, what are some of the nasty combos that can be made using the CR system. Use the various methods of advancing monsters as seen in the Bestiary appendix, and come up with something nasty.


My first entry begins with taking the Satyr (Bestiary, page 241) and adding levels of Antipaladin to it. 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. This means that the Satyr Antipaladin 8 is CR 8. What does this give?

First, the ability scores. Including the ability modifiers for having PC class levels (+4, +4, +2, +2, 0, -2) gives Strength 18, Dex 17, Con 17, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 23. With eight class levels, add two ability increases which will give Str 20. Not too shabby.

Saves will be insane for a Cr 8 creature. Without taking into account feats and items, saves are Fort +17, Ref +17, Will +19.

Hit points will be 120 (8d6+8d10+48) or higher if favored class bonus is used here. Toughness might be worth it since it's 16 hp, which is a great deal for the CR. Whatever armor is selected is going to backed up by a hefty +5 natural armor bonus. Additionally, it has DR 5/cold iron, and that substance (or a +3 weapon) may not be very common at the low-to-mid levels where this creature is set to appear.

BAB will be +12, allowing for a nasty +17/+12/+7 full attack with whatever big weapon is selected. This will certainly go up with whatever magic weapon is selected as per NPC gear for 8th level) and/or if certain feats are taken. Power Attack is going to be nasty here too.

Beyond what the Antipaladin abilities do for the creature, realize that the Pipes ability of the Satyr is still going to be quite strong. I'm not sure if class HD add in for calculating the save DC, but even if they do not, the +4 Charisma and a selection of Ability Focus (pipes) will put the DC for this ability at 22.

In all, this monster is a nasty - but not impossible - challenge for CR 8. It is certainly more threatening than a Human Antipaladin 9 (also CR 8), and is more likely to be able to stand as a BBEG for more than a round or two against optimized players. The one area that is probably too good is going to be the saves, and it's going to force players to use non-Save effects to deal with it.


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.


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.

Care to add a little more detail on why it was so nasty?


I think a lot of it was that it simply was hard to hit with an AC of 18 for a bunch of level one people. I did bump the scorpion up to 6HD (instead of 5) so that when the template was applied to it, it would still be a CR 3. But man, that apparently made all the difference.


Did the DR come into play?
I find that that one will nerf some parties at level 1.

Scorpion venom can put the brakes on a low level group as well.


zagnabbit wrote:

Did the DR come into play?

I find that that one will nerf some parties at level 1.

Scorpion venom can put the brakes on a low level group as well.

Yeah the DR did come into effect. Luckily, the scorpion didn't have poison since the template makes him lose all special attacks. But yeah, it hit hard and took down four people before going down, since the fourth person was a half-orc barbarian that kept going thanks to Ferocity.


Degenerate serpentfolk (CR 4) + advanced simple template (+1) +10 levels Zen Archer Monk (+5) = CR 10 nastiness. This can go as low as a CR 6 with "only" 2 levels of zen archer monk. This critter's CR after this point is +1 per monk level after 10th.

+8 STR, +6 DEX, +8 CON, +2 INT, +6 WIS, +4 CHA on top of the base stats for degenerate serpentfolk. Add +2 from level advancement as suits the final CR. Without this +2, and without a lick of gear, these bad boys are sporting:

28 STR, 19 DEX, 27 CON, 6 INT, 19 WIS, 10 CHA; Base Attack +12 = flurry of arrows base attack sequence +13/+13/+8/+8; initiative +8 (4 DEX +4 improved initiative) The +2 level advancement points could, for example, put both DEX and WIS at 20. (+2 touch AC, among other benefits)

Their only skill of worth is Perception, at a +26 (15 ranks +3 class skill +4 WIS +4 racial bonus). They may have another skill, but I don't care about it as a general rule, play with the extra few ranks as you see fit.

An innate "switch hitter" build: unarmed strikes (1d10+9 or better) + bite (1d6+4 or better) in melee; gear is basically bow + arrows + whatever suits your fancy; 15 total HD = SR 25; bite's poison DC 25 (10 +7 +8); telepathy; +9 natural armor bonus (7+2); Fort +17, Reflex +19, Will +16; swap Weapon Finesse for Toughness from the racial feats.

They're immune to mind-affecting effects, paralysis and poisons.

They have feats from monk levels (1st, 2nd, 6th and 10th) as well as from increased HD (7th, 9th, 11th, 13th and 15th) for a total of 8 additional feats to tailor the encounter with.

Hit Points = 211 (27.5 from 5d10 racial HD; 48.5 from 10d8 monk HD; +120 {from +8 CON bonus x15 HD}; +15 toughness)

Without any gear, these fellas have Touch AC 20 (10 +2 monk +4 WIS +4 DEX) and AC 29 (touch +9 natural armor). CMD is 41 (10 +12 base attack +9 STR +4 DEX +2 monk +4 WIS), again without a lick of gear nor accounting for assigning the +2 level advancement points.

They're lighting fast at a 60 ft speed, permitting them to regularly maintain shooting distance until they run out of arrows before they close and melee the survivors into snake kibble. (Unless I misremember Zen Archers of course, as far as the increased speed thing goes.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Odraude wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:

Did the DR come into play?

I find that that one will nerf some parties at level 1.

Scorpion venom can put the brakes on a low level group as well.

Yeah the DR did come into effect. Luckily, the scorpion didn't have poison since the template makes him lose all special attacks.

Poison isn't usually listed under special attacks, but in the attack lines. Therefore, it shouldn't be removed. Right?


Ravingdork wrote:
Odraude wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:

Did the DR come into play?

I find that that one will nerf some parties at level 1.

Scorpion venom can put the brakes on a low level group as well.

Yeah the DR did come into effect. Luckily, the scorpion didn't have poison since the template makes him lose all special attacks.
Poison isn't usually listed under special attacks, but in the attack lines. Therefore, it shouldn't be removed. Right?

Hmm good point. Though I'm sure my players are happy to not have had to have dealt with that :)


Ravingdork wrote:
Odraude wrote:
zagnabbit wrote:

Did the DR come into play?

I find that that one will nerf some parties at level 1.

Scorpion venom can put the brakes on a low level group as well.

Yeah the DR did come into effect. Luckily, the scorpion didn't have poison since the template makes him lose all special attacks.
Poison isn't usually listed under special attacks, but in the attack lines. Therefore, it shouldn't be removed. Right?

Nah, I'd say it should be removed. If nothing else, because becoming a skeleton removes the ability score that poison is derived from (CON) entirely.

No CON, no poison - if it has any, it's only enough for 1 or 2 stings at best, and it's weaksauce to boot (10 +1/2 HD, no CON bump)...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Looks like I was wrong. :(

The universal monster rules for poison make it clear that it should be listed in both the attack lines AND under special attacks.

I got some purple worm zombies I need to fix. :(

EDIT: Turin, the Constitution reasoning doesn't follow, as everything Constitution-based, including DCs, becomes Charisma-based.


Ravingdork wrote:

Looks like I was wrong. :(

The universal monster rules for poison make it clear that it should be listed in both the attack lines AND under special attacks.

I got some purple worm zombies I need to fix. :(

EDIT: Turin, the Constitution reasoning doesn't follow, as everything Constitution-based, including DCs, becomes Charisma-based.

Yep, I'd forgotten that part since I've not statted up mundane skellies and zombies from vermin or the like. I usually make my home-brewed undead from mummies or spectres/wraiths or what have you.

Thanks for the refresh!

Now, it is entirely possible that the reasoning behind the removal of specials when becoming a skeleton is along the lines of "animate dead is 3rd level, you're only getting so much for your mini-onions this way"...


I made an error on the Satyr Antipaladin. CR should have gone up by 1 per 2 levels until the levels added equal the original CR, not the original HD. This means that at Antipaladin 8, it would be CR 10, which is still pretty nasty.


You might want to bump the CR up 1 more point since you gave it elite ability scores equivalent to a 12 point buy. It might not seem like much but its ability scores are already very good, effectively making it a lot stronger than all of the “regular” satyr anti-paladins.

Also some monsters have very good natural armor bonuses and special abilities that get exponentially better when adding class levels, magic items and armor. As a general rule I’d tend to error on the side making the CR higher, since monsters like this are genuinely tough and I don’t want my PC’s feeling cheated out of XP when they do bring them down.


Wriggle Wyrm wrote:

You might want to bump the CR up 1 more point since you gave it elite ability scores equivalent to a 12 point buy. It might not seem like much but its ability scores are already very good, effectively making it a lot stronger than all of the “regular” satyr anti-paladins.

Also some monsters have very good natural armor bonuses and special abilities that get exponentially better when adding class levels, magic items and armor. As a general rule I’d tend to error on the side making the CR higher, since monsters like this are genuinely tough and I don’t want my PC’s feeling cheated out of XP when they do bring them down.

The CR increase for adding class levels (excluding NPC classes) specifically includes granting the ability score modifiers I mentioned (+4, +4, +2, +2, 0, -2). They are included with the first class level added at no further adjustment to CR.

As for erring on the side of raising the CR, I feel the exact opposite. PCs in this game are already so optimized that the CR sometimes seems weaker than it should, so I have no problem with being stingy on the CR - that's what this thread is all about.


Can you add the skeleton template to a scorpion, as they don't really have a skeletal system.

prd wrote wrote:
“Skeleton” is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal creature (other than an undead) that has a skeletal system (referred to hereafter as the base creature).


I'M INCREDIBLE! wrote:

Can you add the skeleton template to a scorpion, as they don't really have a skeletal system.

prd wrote wrote:
“Skeleton” is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal creature (other than an undead) that has a skeletal system (referred to hereafter as the base creature).

I guess that depends on if an exoskeleton qualifies as a skeletal system in the way that an endoskeleton does.


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Non-associated classes is such a cheap trick. I'm sure you guys can do better.


HappyDaze wrote:
Wriggle Wyrm wrote:

You might want to bump the CR up 1 more point since you gave it elite ability scores equivalent to a 12 point buy. It might not seem like much but its ability scores are already very good, effectively making it a lot stronger than all of the “regular” satyr anti-paladins.

Also some monsters have very good natural armor bonuses and special abilities that get exponentially better when adding class levels, magic items and armor. As a general rule I’d tend to error on the side making the CR higher, since monsters like this are genuinely tough and I don’t want my PC’s feeling cheated out of XP when they do bring them down.

The CR increase for adding class levels (excluding NPC classes) specifically includes granting the ability score modifiers I mentioned (+4, +4, +2, +2, 0, -2). They are included with the first class level added at no further adjustment to CR.

As for erring on the side of raising the CR, I feel the exact opposite. PCs in this game are already so optimized that the CR sometimes seems weaker than it should, so I have no problem with being stingy on the CR - that's what this thread is all about.

Oops, it looks like I should have read the bestiary a little more carefully.

With the matter of erring on the side of low CR, I feel very uncomfortable when it comes to using the fine print just to be stingy with XP. This isn’t to say I wouldn’t throw a powerful monster against them, just that I’d want to give them full XP for a tough fight. This of course can get tricky, while things like anti-paladins don’t qualify as key classes and wouldn’t be too bad against a neutral party, they can be pretty rough against a good aligned party.


Rasmus Wagner wrote:
Non-associated classes is such a cheap trick. I'm sure you guys can do better.

Cheap tricks work for players, and I see no reason they can't be used to add extra challenge to the game too.


Wriggle Wyrm wrote:
With the matter of erring on the side of low CR, I feel very uncomfortable when it comes to using the fine print just to be stingy with XP.

There's a lot of fine print in this game. Some players love to use it to boost their characters to operate above what is typical for their character level. I feel it's only fair that some monsters can be similarly optimized to operate above what is typical their CR. The overall effect will not be that dramatic since an optimized PC is going to strut his 110% efficiency in every fight while it's unlikely that the GM is going to take the time to optimize every monster in a similar manner.


Remember to also work in Leadership for any monster with 7 or more class levels. The Cohort and the followers are simply part of the challenge of the leader, not added monsters. This also applies to summoned creatures, eidolons, and animal companions. A monster with Summoner levels, especially if the Master Summoner archetype is used, and taking Leadership provides an awful lot of bang for the CR.


The Leaders followers are pretty weak though, and the Cohort wont be worth much either - effectively Cr-5 for the Cohort pretty much.


Shifty wrote:
The Leaders followers are pretty weak though, and the Cohort wont be worth much either - effectively Cr-5 for the Cohort pretty much.

Use them to set up for and to guard against flanking. If the cohort has sneak attack, he can hit, but otherwise have him provide buffs, healing and/or summons.


HappyDaze wrote:
Rasmus Wagner wrote:
Non-associated classes is such a cheap trick. I'm sure you guys can do better.
Cheap tricks work for players, and I see no reason they can't be used to add extra challenge to the game too.

I would define "cheap tricks" according to my opinion to the players. I would also tell them the bad guys can do anything they can do if the first idea does not work.

Once I explain the spirit of the rules vs the letter of the rules cheese-like builds normally stop coming in.


HappyDaze wrote:
I'M INCREDIBLE! wrote:

Can you add the skeleton template to a scorpion, as they don't really have a skeletal system.

prd wrote wrote:
“Skeleton” is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal creature (other than an undead) that has a skeletal system (referred to hereafter as the base creature).
I guess that depends on if an exoskeleton qualifies as a skeletal system in the way that an endoskeleton does.

Exoskeleton made sense to me at the time. It's not like, say, a slug that has no system whatsoever.


Half-ogres, some levels in old scout, harpoons, javelin back ups, great club for melee, facing them in difficult terrain, a lot of difficult terrain, a long trek.

They can hit, they can move off, they can stealth. Harpoons wedged in players. Cr was actually quite modest. They aren't the best in a face to face fight, but they don't fight like that.

Good thread!


HappyDaze wrote:
Rasmus Wagner wrote:
Non-associated classes is such a cheap trick. I'm sure you guys can do better.
Cheap tricks work for players, and I see no reason they can't be used to add extra challenge to the game too.

The trick is not to make the game a steady diet of non-associated classed foes.

If every / most of the foes are antipaladins and monks, then it becomes justifiably "cheap trick" territory. An entire monastary of advanced degenerate serpentfolk monk 10 for a 12th level party would be cheap. (At 15th+, these are merely tough mooks.)

However, given the absolutely pathetic gear allowances for NPCs, at higher levels the disparity is absolutely nightmarish. NPCs lag severely in any ability to have decent gear, so they need hitting power to come from somewhere.

Now, where did that awakened velociraptor wizard go off to ...


I have to say, I'm not sure that the concept of "optimizing for a CR" makes any sense. CR is supposed to be descriptive. It seems to me that if your monster is exceedingly powerful for its CR, then by definition, it actually has a higher CR.

Bestiary, Appendix 2 (Monster Advancement) wrote:

Determining the final CR for a creature with class levels requires careful consideration. While adding a class level to a monster that stacks with its existing abilities and role generally adds 1 to its CR for each level taken, adding classes that do not stack is more complicated.

Table 2–4 gives general guidelines regarding which core classes add directly to a monster’s abilities based on its role.

That said, I've been guilty of this myself as a DM (in 3.5, as I've yet to run a PF game). The aforementioned non-associated class levels are a classic trick, as is plain old HD advancement, which scaled CR more rigidly in 3.5 and did a lot more for some monsters than others.

One trick that works in 3.5 or PF is proper feat selection for advanced monsters. Giving the Vital Strike line to a big monster (that doesn't already have it) can make it rather more threatening.

Shifty wrote:
The Leaders followers are pretty weak though, and the Cohort wont be worth much either - effectively Cr-5 for the Cohort pretty much.

Give your cohort and followers some wands of enervation, or perhaps just one wand that they pass around. (This requires them to have at least a caster level, or some UMD ranks.) Touch ACs are easy to hit even for mooks, and while 1d4 neglevs isn't anything to worry about, 5d4 neglevs can take a PC out in one round. (This also works for commanded undead, if you can get your hands on e.g. vampires with a PC class level or two.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Do any PF DM's just do the time-honored "trick" of having groups of monsters which have synergies with their surroundings and which have clear tactics and goals?

i.e. my favorite dungeon I ever created as a DM (back many many many editions ago) had a classic "BBEG" of a dragon. Okay so far so typical.

But I put the dragon in a chamber of his own devising - one that was a massive cavern with ceiling heights over 100' and with a massive maze of walls which were 30' high and very thick and wide. The players entered into the cavern, realized that they were in a maze, that the ceiling was higher than the range of their lights and then heard (but couldn't see) the dragon in the distance.

When the dragon finally arrived and perched on top of the wall and looked down at them even the Paladin in the party decided that his oaths weren't worth his life and he turned and ran - he had nothing he could do at range while the dragon could stay on his perch and toy with the party as he wished (this was after all the point of the dragon's cavern design - to let him play with his food)

In that same dungeon complex I had two other major threats to the party - including a group of surprisingly intelligent Orges that served the dragon (but if the party didn't immediately attack were open to negotiating with the party and would then aid the party against the dragon). In modern terms this would have been a group of Orges with class levels - but importantly they didn't just randomly have high class levels for no reason - rather they were an entire community with leaders as well as young. i.e. with in game justification for their exceptional abilities for their race.

My point is that appropriate level threats can be made far more deadly and threatening if they use smart tactics and terrain advantages to make it hard for the party to directly confront them (see also the infamous example of "Tucker's Kobolds" - traps, tactics and terrain can definitely harry a party of any level)


mad classes to add to creatures with high ability scores, they get alot out off a 1 or 2 level dip and they might not be associated still, monk boosts saves and AC quite alot, as well as grating evasion and some useful bonus feats in addition to elite ability scores and a nice boost in treasure, outsiders make good monk dippers, non-lawful ones can still become martial artists, the advanced template adds in nicely with a monk leveled character, granting it an additional +6 to AC.

Simple tricks include giving non-armor wearing foes mw studded leather armor, which gives no penalties at all if you are not proficient, minotaurs are obvious targets but many animals, outsiders and the like get a 'free' (or at least very cheap) +3 bonus to AC.

Some sneaky gear helps alot as well, tanglefoot bags, nets and alchemist fire might make creatures with 'too low BAB' suddenly threatening.


Ghoull rogues are MEAN. Once someone gets paralyzed, the claw claw bite with triple sneak attack takes them down fast.

Also, immune to poison, if you want to add injury to insult.

Like all rogues, deploy in groups of 4+


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a trio of Kobold thug rogue/fighters with the team feat that grants extra damage for SA's. As the party approached they intimidated. Once the fight began they got one round where they actually got to pull off what they were made for; a 3-on-1 beating of the barbarian. Between all of them they dealt 4d6, sickened him, and caused him to become Frightened. It was awesome.

Each was Fighter 1 Thug Rogue 3 for a total CR of 3 ea. Between them and the pit they had before them the figh was a CR6 for 5 CR 5 characters, but when the big huge barbarian crawled away cupping his jewels in pain and fear it was worth the sound trouncing of the beasties that followed.

On a personal level I LOVE mean weenies! Tack on a level of barbarian on a giant scorpion mount for a Mite Druid 2 and this simple combo suddenly becomes the TOTAL FOCUS of the entire adventure. I took a Forlarren and slapped on a few levels of Magus making her doomed to guard a tomb complex. She was cursed after slaying her dryad mother but the mom's spirit remained tied to the glade, unable to rest until her daughter was released from her torment. The party made it through the dungeon, took her out w/out killing her, clawed their way BACK out through a young green dragon's lair and the spirit, in an act of surpreme love for her child offered herself in her daughter's place, at which point the forlarren's "evil side" was split off and she was freed.

And in all of that the Forlarren Magus was still only CR6.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Pit a party of 6th-level characters against a single polearm-wielding clockwork soldier in a small space. TPK will occur in short order.

Even at higher levels (~8) a small group of clockwork soldiers will wreak havoc in small spaces. Melee monsters they are!


Makhno wrote:

I have to say, I'm not sure that the concept of "optimizing for a CR" makes any sense. CR is supposed to be descriptive. It seems to me that if your monster is exceedingly powerful for its CR, then by definition, it actually has a higher CR.

I disagree with this. To me it's the same as saying that if a PC is exceedingly powerful for his level, then he actually has a higher level. Since level adjustment is not used and we just accept that not every character of level X is equal, then not every monster of CR X need be equal either. This thread is intended to pull out ways to min-max the monsters and make the greatest threat for any particular CR just as players often strive to make the most effective character of any given level.


HappyDaze wrote:
Makhno wrote:

I have to say, I'm not sure that the concept of "optimizing for a CR" makes any sense. CR is supposed to be descriptive. It seems to me that if your monster is exceedingly powerful for its CR, then by definition, it actually has a higher CR.

I disagree with this. To me it's the same as saying that if a PC is exceedingly powerful for his level, then he actually has a higher level. Since level adjustment is not used and we just accept that not every character of level X is equal, then not every monster of CR X need be equal either. This thread is intended to pull out ways to min-max the monsters and make the greatest threat for any particular CR just as players often strive to make the most effective character of any given level.

I disagree as your premise is that powerful PCs do not warrent a higher CR but it is generally accepted that some PCs require more challenge than others. Now i like the thread about monsters that are under CR as we have all GMd for parties of strong PCs who need a challenge.

However bearding your monsters smacks of GM vs PC, i would consider it better form to play an NPC to its fullest potential and use a fairly balanced CR monster to its fullest (similar to the dragon in the post a few above thus) in order to create a challenging situation which would have been easier as just a straight encounter.

As a GM if any of my players tried to pull any bull like the non associated class NPCs you suggest i would have no problems not inviting them to games again, and i suspect my players would feel the same way about such a GM.


Therein lies the trick - balancing the critter against the PCs in a given campaign.

If your PCs are balanced in build, gear and number, the nonassociated class levels for multiple baddies can be cheese.

A solo NA-classed baddy is going to suffer badly from action economy as a general rule of thumb, how badly depends on the PCs they're going up against.


If that is the case then a more challenging encounter would be a simply written multiple NPC fight without the na class cheese as action economy rules the game. I agree with your premise but not the execution, your example of a 15hd cr10 NPC is not terrible but compared to big red has 4 more HD and loads of special abilities as well as extra feats, the HD alone make it +1CR and the abilities probably make it +2. I'd happily throw it at my players APL 7 characters but i would draw the line at calling it CR10, i don't think they would complain but it would be a dirty trick which a GM should be above in fear of starting a tit for tat escellation.

I run for light optimisers, they don't go over the top but they are effective and i run a 5 person group. Other than actions i find a apl+3 dragon a reasonable challenge as long as i put some thought into it, no need for creaming nac levels in the same way my players don't expect to play punpun.


Makhno wrote:

I have to say, I'm not sure that the concept of "optimizing for a CR" makes any sense. CR is supposed to be descriptive. It seems to me that if your monster is exceedingly powerful for its CR, then by definition, it actually has a higher CR.

Bestiary, Appendix 2 (Monster Advancement) wrote:

Determining the final CR for a creature with class levels requires careful consideration. While adding a class level to a monster that stacks with its existing abilities and role generally adds 1 to its CR for each level taken, adding classes that do not stack is more complicated.

Table 2–4 gives general guidelines regarding which core classes add directly to a monster’s abilities based on its role.

That said, I've been guilty of this myself as a DM (in 3.5, as I've yet to run a PF game). The aforementioned non-associated class levels are a classic trick, as is plain old HD advancement, which scaled CR more rigidly in 3.5 and did a lot more for some monsters than others.

One trick that works in 3.5 or PF is proper feat selection for advanced monsters. Giving the Vital Strike line to a big monster (that doesn't already have it) can make it rather more threatening.

Shifty wrote:
The Leaders followers are pretty weak though, and the Cohort wont be worth much either - effectively Cr-5 for the Cohort pretty much.
Give your cohort and followers some wands of enervation, or perhaps just one wand that they pass around. (This requires them to have at least a caster level, or some UMD ranks.) Touch ACs are easy to hit even for mooks, and while 1d4 neglevs isn't anything to worry about, 5d4 neglevs can take a PC out in one round. (This also works for commanded undead, if you can get your hands on e.g. vampires with a PC class level or two.)

Mmm, yes I was talking to a new dm, and he was frustrated how weak fey are. This guy had a real hard on for fey. So I simply suggested, give them sorcerer levels with unusual spells from less common sources. If he wants to beef up the fey, but I get the feeling he doesn't want them to have many weaknesses. If they had levels of sorcerers, their capabilities would be higher, but they are still fragile.

Cheliax

I thought "unassociated class levels" didn't make it into PF. That was the cheepo-disaster of 3.5, especially when caster classes and things like Monk are rarely "unassociated".


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Werewolf and his pet rust monster.


They call them "key classes" now, and it is possible to have more than one key class even though monsters usually only have one.


anyone brought up that baby baby mini balor that can meteor shower for ridiculous damage while being CR of 4 or something like that.

in short just add templates that lower CR while making the monster stronger (or just not weaker).

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Not my idea, but adding Vital Strike to a monster with a deadly touch attack is nasty. I ran a PF module recently where a ghost had this feat and used it with his corrupting touch attack. It made a dangerous encounter far more lethal. Swap a few feats for Improved and Greater Vital Strike and you're looking at one-shot kills.

Also works well with a shining child's searing light attack.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Luz wrote:
Also works well with a shining child's searing light attack.

I don't think you can do this per RAI. I once pointed out using Vital Stike on a Jabberwock's eye ray attack (it actually has the feat), and the developers said absolutely not (intended). They considered it a supernatural ability/special attack rather than a natural attack.

I personally believe it is both, but whatever.


Ravingdork wrote:
Luz wrote:
Also works well with a shining child's searing light attack.
I don't think you can do this per RAI. I once pointed out using Vital Stike on a Jabberwock's eye ray attack (it actually has the feat), and the developers said absolutely not (intended).

Probably because it mentions increasing the weapon damage, which while weapons and natural attacks would fit the bill, I don't think eye lasers and other special abilities would.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Odraude wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Luz wrote:
Also works well with a shining child's searing light attack.
I don't think you can do this per RAI. I once pointed out using Vital Stike on a Jabberwock's eye ray attack (it actually has the feat), and the developers said absolutely not (intended).
Probably because it mentions increasing the weapon damage, which while weapons and natural attacks would fit the bill, I don't think eye lasers and other special abilities would.

Ah, I had wondered about this as well but when I saw a ghost with Vital Strike in a published module I figured it was fair game. I suppose it could be reasoned that the creature took Vital Strike before it became a ghost.


You can make some hilarious creatures with the Monster Builder on the SRD. So for a 5th or 6th level party you can have them fight a Gargantuan Centipede rampaging around the countryside. Not sure how hard it would be... but fighting a Gargantuan anything at that level has to be epic.

The Monster Builder is pretty fun to mess around with if your a DM lol.

Giant Centipede(+3HD Giantx3 Fiendish advancedx3) CR 9
XP 6400
N Gargantuan vermin
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +10
DEFENSEAC 32, touch 12, flat-footed 26 (+6 Dex, +20 natural, -4 size)
hp 103 (4d8+62)
Fort +15, Ref +6, Will +6;
Immune mind-affecting effects; Resist cold 5, fire 5; SR 11;
OFFENSESpeed 40 ft., climb 40 ft.
Melee bite +19 (2d8+17 plus poison)
Space 20 ft.Reach 20 ft.
Special Attacks poison; Smite Good 1/day (swift action, +Cha bonus to attack, +HD bonus to damage; persists until target dead or creature rests).
STATISTICSStr 45, Dex 23, Con 36, Int 12, Wis 22, Cha 14;
Base Atk 3; CMB 18; CMD 33
Feats Weapon FinesseB
Skills Climb +22, Perception +10, Stealth +1; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception, +8 Stealth
ECOLOGYEnvironment temperate or warm forest or underground
Organization solitary, pair, or colony (3-6)
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIESPoison (Ex) Bite-injury; save Fort DC 19; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d3 Dex damage; cure 1 save. The save DC 6 Constitution-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragonamedrake wrote:

You can make some hilarious creatures with the Monster Builder on the SRD. So for a 5th or 6th level party you can have them fight a Gargantuan Centipede rampaging around the countryside. Not sure how hard it would be... but fighting a Gargantuan anything at that level has to be epic.

The Monster Builder is pretty fun to mess around with if your a DM lol.

I really do not believe you can apply the same template more than once unless said template specifically allows for it.

This is why I do not like 3rd-party sites like the PSRD. They make far too many assumptions that mislead a great many roleplayers and GMs.

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