Attack the Stat Block

Friday, May 18, 2018

In Monday's monster blog, Mark told you about some of the changes we made to monsters to make them more engaging and easy to run. So how did we turn all that into something you can use? Well, we put a lot of thought into making a new monster stat block that would be more concise, while remaining flexible enough that we can still keep a similar level of complexity for some of our most powerful and iconic monsters.

But let's start small. Well... big, but also small. You'll see.

So Now There's Ogres, Okay?

Oh no... what's that smell? It's like a gym bag ate roadkill!

Ogre Creature 3

Chaotic, Evil, Giant, Humanoid, Large

Perception +5, darkvision

Languages Giant

Skills +1; Acrobatics +4, Athletics +9

Str +5, Dex -1, Con +2, Int -2, Wis +0, Cha -2

Items hide armor, 6 javelins, ogre hook


AC 16, TAC 14; Fort +8, Ref +3, Will +5

HP 60


Speed 25 feet

[[A]] Melee ogre hook +10 (deadly 1d10, reach 10 feet, trip), Damage 1d10+7 piercing

[[A]] Ranged javelin +8 (thrown 30 feet), Damage 1d6+7

Ah, of course. It's an ogre! This is an example of one of the simplest stat blocks in the playtest. Ogres are big bruisers, and they don't have a whole lot of special actions to use. They play a role as big challenges for low-level groups and in groups as minions for higher-level threats, so having them be simple makes plenty of sense for how they're used in the game. You might notice that this stat block is shorter than a Pathfinder First Edition stat block. We think this will give us more room for other text in our bestiaries and adventures. Some elements went away because of rules simplifications, while other pieces of information, like organization and environment, will appear in the monster's text instead of in the stat block.

We don’t have art of ogres or redcaps yet, but check out this illustration by Wayne Reynolds of a bugbear!

Quick reminder: the [[A]] symbol is code for "action," and it will have a special icon in the actual Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook and other products. You'll also see an [[R]] later to represent a reaction.

You can see how a stat block leads off with the creature's name and level, followed by its traits. These traits include its alignment and size. The top section of the stat block continues with the first stats you'll typically use, since you'll be determining whether the PCs and monsters can see one another (requiring you to use Perception), or the party might start out with an interaction (meaning you'll use the monster's languages and skills). The skills entry first lists a number you can use (in addition to the relevant ability modifier) for any skills the monster doesn't have listed, followed by a list of all the skills the monster has a different modifier for. So if you needed to roll an Acrobatics check for the ogre, you'll roll 1d20 and add 4, which is much better than its base modifier plus its Dex modifier (a total of +0).

You'll also notice the monster gives just its ability score modifiers instead of scores. This lets you make calculations more quickly, and since monsters don't increase their scores the same way PCs do, listing those is unnecessary. Monsters with items also list those up top.

There's a line to show where the monster's defenses start. Our ogre's pretty straightforward, with just ACs, saves, and Hit Points.

The next line separates the statistics and actions the monster can use on its turn. Here, that's Speed and the ogre's Strikes: an ogre hook and javelins! Even though the ogre doesn't have any special actions, it does have some special options due to its ogre hook. In parentheses, you can see the ogre hook's traits: deadly 1d10 (making it deal 1d10 more damage on a critical hit—ow!), a reach of 10 feet (letting the ogre attack past the first space), and trip (which lets the ogre trip using its hook instead of its body). Just as in Pathfinder First Edition, the reach comes from the ogre's size—the hook itself isn't long enough to increase reach.

So you can see the stat block is organized so that you're looking at the middle section when it's not the monster's turn, and at the bottom section on its turn. We think that will make it easier to use at the table, but we'd love to hear your feedback as you run these monsters during the playtest!

Blood and Boots

So how about a stat block that has a bit more going on? Here's a redcap: the nasty, brutal little fey with oversized scythes. This is a moderately complex monster. We won't be showing you any liches or pit fiends today, but the redcap will demonstrate how we present a few special abilities.

Redcap Creature 5

Evil, Fey, Small

Perception +10, low-light vision

Languages Aklo, Common, Giant, Sylvan

Skills +5; Acrobatics +13, Athletics +13, Deception +13, Intimidation +11, Nature +11, Stealth +13

Str +4, Dex +4, Con +4, Int +3, Wis +1, Cha +2

Items red cap, expert Medium scythe, iron boots

Red Cap (arcane, necromancy) A redcap's shapeless woolen hat is dyed with the blood of its victims. If the redcap loses its cap, it no longer benefits from fast healing and takes a -4 conditional penalty to its damage rolls. It can create a new cap in 10 minutes, but that cap doesn't grant its powers until the redcap has turned it red with Blood Soak. A cap has no benefit for creatures other than redcaps.


AC 20, TAC 19; Fort +8, Ref +11, Will +9

HP 55, fast healing 10; Weaknesses cold iron 5, irreligious

Irreligious (emotion, fear, mental) If a redcap sees a creature brandish a holy symbol of a good deity or use one for the Material Casting of a divine spell, the redcap must attempt a DC 17 Will save. On a failure, the redcap is frightened 4 and fleeing for 1 round; on a success, it's frightened 2; on a critical success, it's unaffected. To brandish a holy symbol, a creature must Interact to brandish it for 1 round (similar to Raising a Shield). Once a redcap has to attempt a save against a brandished holy symbol, it is bolstered against brandished holy symbols for the next 10 minutes.


Speed 50 feet

[[A]] Melee scythe +13 (deadly 1d10, trip), Damage 2d10+4 slashing
boot +13 (agile, versatile B), Damage 2d4+8 piercing

[[A]] Blood Soak (manipulate) The redcap dips its cap in the blood of a slain foe. The foe must have died in the last minute, and the redcap must have helped kill it. The redcap gains a +4 conditional bonus on damage rolls for 1 minute.

[[R]] Deadly Cleave

Trigger The redcap drops a creature to 0 Hit Points with a scythe Strike.

Effect The redcap makes another scythe Strike against a different creature, using the same multiple attack penalty as the scythe Strike that triggered this reaction. This counts toward its multiple attack penalty.

[[A]] Stomp The redcap Strides up to half its Speed and makes a boot Strike at any point during that movement. If the boot Strike hits a prone creature, it deals an extra 2d6 persistent bleed damage.

You can see here that the redcap has an ability to represent its blood-soaked hat, and that appears in the top section because it affects all of its statistics. You'll also notice the weakness to cold iron that comes from being a fey creature. One of the nice things about the new system of building monsters is that we can just give monsters the statistics we want them to have instead of sometimes building them in strange ways to get their statistics to be good. For instance, in Pathfinder First Edition, a fey might have had far more Hit Dice than expected to get its statistics high enough, which led to odd results from abilities that counted Hit Dice. Now, the redcap gets statistics that are suitable for its level and how it's used.

You can see the Irreligious ability is an example of a special ability that will come up when it's not the monster's turn. A redcap can be scared off by symbols of divinity!

In the bottom section, you see two special actions and a reaction. The reaction appears down here because the trigger is most likely to occur during the recap's own turn. You'll also see how some of the basic actions of the game end up being used in other actions. For instance, Stomp tells you that the redcap uses Stride and Strike. An ability like this lets you know any ways in which these actions operate differently than using them normally.

Spell It Out

How about just one more example for today? Let's look at how innate spells work. These are much like spell-like abilities from Pathfinder First Edition, but they function more like spells than they used to. The only difference between these and other spells is that the number of times the monster can cast them is based on the monster itself rather than on a spellcasting class. Innate spell entries look much like prepared spells, with a couple extra categories of usability. Here are some we stole from the efreeti:

Innate Arcane Spells DC 22, attack +17; Constant detect magic; 5th illusory object; 4th gaseous form, invisibility (×2); At Will plane shift (7th, to Elemental Planes, Astral Plane, or Material Plane only); Cantrips produce flame (4th)

The spell DC is listed right there, along with the attack bonus for touch attacks since the efreeti has produce flame. Illusory object is presented the same way a prepared 5th-level spell would be, as are gaseous form and the two spell slots of invisibility. Anything that doesn't come in a level entry is cast at its lowest level unless a level appears in parentheses. You can see that happening with the produce flame cantrip, which the efreeti casts as a 4th-level spell. Its detect magic is level 1, but that's a constant ability that functions all the time for the efreeti. The other special way a creature can use innate spells is with at-will spells. These are spells the monster can cast as many times as it wants even though they aren't normally cantrips. The efreeti can cast plane shift any number of times, but the parentheses tell you that it's the 7th-level version and that it can go only to certain planes.

What do you think of this take on monster presentation? Do you think it'll be easy to use these stat blocks in your game?

Logan Bonner
Designer

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Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cyouni wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I can understand the objection when a monster is given some ability that players can’t learn.

Even that seems ridiculous to me.

Player: Why can't I summon the flames of hell to enshroud my being?

GM: Well he is a Devil Prince formed from a multitude of rended souls reforged through the black flames of the Pit.

Player: Wait, are monsters built by different rules?

Monster? Doesn’t bother me. A NPC though?

GM: Well the enemy Rogue’s Strike was a Success so with Sneak Attack and Debilitating Strike this is gonna hurt-

Player: Wait, how are they getting SA? I don’t think I’m flat footed?

GM: Oh, they have an ability that treats anyone not wearing Heavy armor as flat footed.

Player: Oh wow, what level do I have to be before I can get something like that?

GM: Never, it’s a NPC only ability.

Player: ...

1. Not like that didn't happen before. Do I really need to point out all the past examples?

2. You'd hope they were built with class levels.

1) Yes.

2) If the opponent is a playable race and the GM announces them as [Class] I’m gonna assume they are [Class].


I noticed that the ogre has darkvision but the range is not listed, did they make it where darkvision has a set range for all or the same range as regular vision?


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Rysky wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I can understand the objection when a monster is given some ability that players can’t learn.

Even that seems ridiculous to me.

Player: Why can't I summon the flames of hell to enshroud my being?

GM: Well he is a Devil Prince formed from a multitude of rended souls reforged through the black flames of the Pit.

Player: Wait, are monsters built by different rules?

Monster? Doesn’t bother me. A NPC though?

GM: Well the enemy Rogue’s Strike was a Success so with Sneak Attack and Debilitating Strike this is gonna hurt-

Player: Wait, how are they getting SA? I don’t think I’m flat footed?

GM: Oh, they have an ability that treats anyone not wearing Heavy armor as flat footed.

Player: Oh wow, what level do I have to be before I can get something like that?

GM: Never, it’s a NPC only ability.

Player: ...

1. Not like that didn't happen before. Do I really need to point out all the past examples?

2. You'd hope they were built with class levels.

1) Yes.

2) If the opponent is a playable race and the GM announces them as [Class] I’m gonna summer they’re are [Class].

Okay, then to start with off the top of my head:

- Tree Stride as a move action.
- Heartless through a story ritual, and getting a set of free immunities as a result.
- Karzoug's magical immunities.
- Turning into a Daughter of Urgathoa on death.
- Baba Yaga's Forceful Presence.

I can throw out others when I have access to my books.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
You don't have a creature ostensibly at the same CR as a PC's level but with twice as many HD as the PC has levels (which then led to double the skill ranks, double the feats, and so on).

These are powerful truths. The longest and most bothersome part of any high-level monster statblock I've ever created is trying to find ten or more suitable feats, trying to keep things to the CRB where possible, without throwing off too many of the monster's other statistics in the process, and still allowing for easy customization by GMs. And then trying to find enough appropriate skills for them to pour their skill ranks into, especially with outsiders and dragons. (Or, in some cases, just having their extreme Perception modifier.)


With 1600+ feats from Paizo alone, finding feats is easy. When all else fails passive feats abound.

Liberty's Edge

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Enderrin wrote:
What would the important Ogre chieftain (you know, the one with 5 levels of Barbarian) stat-block look like?
Almost certainly like any other 5th level barbarian.

They've explicitly said you can tack on levels of PC Classes to monsters and that works fine.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
Enderrin wrote:
Or the Adventure Path VIP NPC which is fully stated out in the section between the adventure and the back matter.
I hold out some hope we might get a proper NPC statblock in that case.

Seems very plausible, yeah.

Rysky wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I can understand the objection when a monster is given some ability that players can’t learn.

Even that seems ridiculous to me.

Player: Why can't I summon the flames of hell to enshroud my being?

GM: Well he is a Devil Prince formed from a multitude of rended souls reforged through the black flames of the Pit.

Player: Wait, are monsters built by different rules?

Monster? Doesn’t bother me. A NPC though?

GM: Well the enemy Rogue’s Strike was a Success so with Sneak Attack and Debilitating Strike this is gonna hurt-

Player: Wait, how are they getting SA? I don’t think I’m flat footed?

GM: Oh, they have an ability that treats anyone not wearing Heavy armor as flat footed.

Player: Oh wow, what level do I have to be before I can get something like that?

GM: Never, it’s a NPC only ability.

Player: ...

1. Not like that didn't happen before. Do I really need to point out all the past examples?

2. You'd hope they were built with class levels.

1) Yes.

2) If the opponent is a playable race and the GM announces them as [Class] I’m gonna assume they are [Class].

We have no evidence that there will be such abilities commonly available. Avoiding giving your NPCs (even those built with the monster system) abilities unavailable to PCs seems very doable if that's a goal.

1. As Cyouni mentioned, there's all the examples listed. I could probably come up with more given a bit of time. There are also a lot of templates like Vampire or Devil Bound that add abilities generally inaccessible to PCs.

2. Why would you announce this? Especially with a character not built with the PC rules? Classes are sometimes distinct in-world entities but they aren't stamped on your forehead and someone built on different rules (ie: the monster rules) is clearly a very weird variant as compared to an actual NPC built with the PC rules even if they do appear to be a Wizard or the like.


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Rysky wrote:

Monster? Doesn’t bother me. A NPC though?

GM: Well the enemy Rogue’s Strike was a Success so with Sneak Attack and Debilitating Strike this is gonna hurt-

Player: Wait, how are they getting SA? I don’t think I’m flat footed?

GM: Oh, they have an ability that treats anyone not wearing Heavy armor as flat footed.

Player: Oh wow, what level do I have to be before I can get something like that?

GM: Never, it’s a NPC only ability.

Player: ...

This is my biggest area of interest on this problem, especially when said rac...er, ancestry is readily available to players.

Starfinder, and post-core 5E rubbed me the wrong way with this "different NPC racial traits" shenanigans.

Edit: As Rysky, I don't care about the other monsters having arbitrary looking numbers.
Especially since it's confirmed that they use the same general proficiency rules.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cyouni wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I can understand the objection when a monster is given some ability that players can’t learn.

Even that seems ridiculous to me.

Player: Why can't I summon the flames of hell to enshroud my being?

GM: Well he is a Devil Prince formed from a multitude of rended souls reforged through the black flames of the Pit.

Player: Wait, are monsters built by different rules?

Monster? Doesn’t bother me. A NPC though?

GM: Well the enemy Rogue’s Strike was a Success so with Sneak Attack and Debilitating Strike this is gonna hurt-

Player: Wait, how are they getting SA? I don’t think I’m flat footed?

GM: Oh, they have an ability that treats anyone not wearing Heavy armor as flat footed.

Player: Oh wow, what level do I have to be before I can get something like that?

GM: Never, it’s a NPC only ability.

Player: ...

1. Not like that didn't happen before. Do I really need to point out all the past examples?

2. You'd hope they were built with class levels.

1) Yes.

2) If the opponent is a playable race and the GM announces them as [Class] I’m gonna summer they’re are [Class].

Okay, then to start with off the top of my head:

- Tree Stride as a move action.
- Heartless through a story ritual, and getting a set of free immunities as a result.
- Karzoug's magical immunities.
- Turning into a Daughter of Urgathoa on death.
- Baba Yaga's Forceful Presence.

I can throw out others when I have access to my books.

Whats the Tree Stride one from?

Heartless from a Story ritual, not an NPC class ability.

The only immunites I notice on Karzoug come from his Mind Blank spell and Talons of Leng item.

Turning into a Dughter of Urgathoa is a not a class ability, it’s a story event that character’s Goddess decides to do.

Same with Baba Yaga (a level 20 Witch with 10 Mythic Ranks, so not really the best example), Forceful Presence is a story/monster ability, and is purely numerical to boot.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So whats the difference between an acceptable ability that exists to serve the story and one that isn't acceptable?

Silver Crusade

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To go off the above, my concerns are to NPC Class abilities since it’s reasoned that PCs can get those, not any abitlies NPCs can get. (I love Templates for starters).

A NPC Barbarian that has a Trait called “Super Strong: you’re stronger than an average person, get +4 Strength” doesn’t bother me. Having an ability that lets them switch out all their rage powers every round to new ones would (goes from AoEing with Spirit Totem line to growing wings with the Dragon Totem line).

I don’t mind if there’s a story reason for the ability, I don’t like when it’s NPC Barbarians have completely different abilities than PC Barbarians just because they’re NPCs.


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The Mad Comrade wrote:
With 1600+ feats from Paizo alone, finding feats is easy. When all else fails passive feats abound.

Damn I'd hate to have to pour through 1600+ feats every time I wanted to make a monster for my game.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

But the NPC Barbarian with the trait does have different abilities. If the PC cannot choose that trait then its different. I might be missing something but I can't see what is inherently unequal about the various arbitrary differences being shown (I use arbitrary here to indicate an ability/trait whatever created for the purpose of endowing a specific creature with certain capabilities, not that the desire to have unique creatures with unique capabilities is arbitrary.) I also want to make it clear I am pro the side of NPCs getting what they need to serve the story as building them by the exact same rules leads to weird problems (like the best surgeon in the land being better at combat than the guard because he needed to be level 12 in order to have the Medicine skill we waned.)

Liberty's Edge

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Rysky wrote:
I don’t mind if there’s a story reason for the ability, I don’t like when it’s NPC Barbarians have completely different abilities than PC Barbarians just because they’re NPCs.

I'd agree with this. I just don't think it's probably gonna be a big thing in PF2. In terms of abilities NPCs/Monsters are intentionally a lot simpler so I'd be really surprised if there are too many non-magical/non-unique ones a PC can't duplicate somehow.

Like, I bet you can't duplicate Red Cap, but I'd be shocked is Deadly Cleave isn't PC available.


Quandary wrote:

Because they're Evil and they assume Good gods to be their mortal enemies.

Although I would agree the ability name could be tweaked...
Holy Fright? might be better starting place, being more specific re: Good Divinity.

Except nothing forces redcaps to be evil? Non-Evil Redcaps likely exist, so why would they fear only Good gods


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The Mad Comrade wrote:
With 1600+ feats from Paizo alone, finding feats is easy. When all else fails passive feats abound.

Creating monsters for publication is, admittedly, a tighter process than something for a home game. A monster from something like Planar Adventures simply can't reference a feat from a random Player Companion, or it creates a significant barrier to usability. The PRD exists in part to serve as an available reference document for this sort of thing, and even then, CRB feats (and Bestiary feats) are considered most appropriate for the majority of monsters.


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Milo v3 wrote:
Quandary wrote:

Because they're Evil and they assume Good gods to be their mortal enemies.

Although I would agree the ability name could be tweaked...
Holy Fright? might be better starting place, being more specific re: Good Divinity.
Except nothing forces redcaps to be evil? Non-Evil Redcaps likely exist, so why would they fear only Good gods

Save for the fact that becoming a redcap turns the fey into a homical sadist?


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MerlinCross wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Quandary wrote:

Because they're Evil and they assume Good gods to be their mortal enemies.

Although I would agree the ability name could be tweaked...
Holy Fright? might be better starting place, being more specific re: Good Divinity.
Except nothing forces redcaps to be evil? Non-Evil Redcaps likely exist, so why would they fear only Good gods
Save for the fact that becoming a redcap turns the fey into a homical sadist?

There are fey that aren't homicidal sadists?


4 people marked this as a favorite.

What I don't get is why it took so long for developers to put the ability modifier (the actual number you need to add to dice rolls) in npc stat blocks.

I also don't get why people want npcs to work the same way as PCS. That has never been the case in any d&d/pathfinder system. Npcs spend far less time in the limelight and are played by the person who is responsible for adjudicating all actions anyway so they don't need every little detail spelled out, because the GM should usually be trustworthy enough to play fair, because the party having fun and feeling heroic is literally the goal of GMING.

Additionally, what are these "monster" and "npc" categories people keep comparing? Aren't they the same thing? I feel like this weird distinction people make is why people think that the combat stats should be before the skill and language stats.

Literally the first bits of information I need are;
What is it? (Type/size/name)
Does it see the PCs? (Perception/senses)
Can the PCS see it? (Stealth)
Does what it wants conflict with what the PCS want? (Alignment/up to the GM)
Can the PCS communicate with it? (languages)
Can the PCs and the NPC get what they want by means other than combat? (Up to GM/step 4)
Is the PCs attempt (if any) to resolve the conflict successful? (Intimidate/persuasion/stealth/assorted other skills)
Can the PCs defeat it in combat? (Combat stats)

This matches pretty well with how paizo have laid out the example stats.

If you treat all beings in your world as npcs with things they want and need rather than just existing to be a one-dimensional combat obstacle arbitrarily placed in an empty dungeon room the stat blocks layout makes perfect sense.

P.S. I love the new stat blocks. The removal of confusing and unnecessary information is great, and leaves more space for important stuff like fun abilities and attacks and more fluff to guide us on how the monster exists and interacts in the world.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:

Instead of using a fancy icon, can you just use a circled 1, 2 or 3 for things that take 1, 2 or 3 actions, and a circled R for things that use a reaction? It'd be more intuitive than a glyph, and it should be visible to a screen-reader for the visually impaired.

EDIT: Unicode even already did the work for you. Just print them at a larger size than will be displayed here in the forum: ① ② ③ Ⓡ

Alas, those don't work with text-to-speech. (Results may vary - I just tested one app.)


Rysky wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

Okay, then to start with off the top of my head:

- Tree Stride as a move action.
- Heartless through a story ritual, and getting a set of free immunities as a result.
- Karzoug's magical immunities.
- Turning into a Daughter of Urgathoa on death.
- Baba Yaga's Forceful Presence.

I can throw out others when I have access to my books.

Whats the Tree Stride one from?

Heartless from a Story ritual, not an NPC class ability.

The only immunites I notice on Karzoug come from his Mind Blank spell and Talons of Leng item.

Turning into a Dughter of Urgathoa is a not a class ability, it’s a story event that character’s Goddess decides to do.

Same with Baba Yaga (a level 20 Witch with 10 Mythic Ranks, so not really the best example), Forceful...

Variant Dryad in Hell's Vengeance.

Karzoug has some extra hidden immunities in his Immortal trait - specifically to disease and any form of madness (including feeblemind).

Really, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a NPC eventually in PF2 that

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cyouni wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

Okay, then to start with off the top of my head:

- Tree Stride as a move action.
- Heartless through a story ritual, and getting a set of free immunities as a result.
- Karzoug's magical immunities.
- Turning into a Daughter of Urgathoa on death.
- Baba Yaga's Forceful Presence.

I can throw out others when I have access to my books.

Whats the Tree Stride one from?

Heartless from a Story ritual, not an NPC class ability.

The only immunites I notice on Karzoug come from his Mind Blank spell and Talons of Leng item.

Turning into a Dughter of Urgathoa is a not a class ability, it’s a story event that character’s Goddess decides to do.

Same with Baba Yaga (a level 20 Witch with 10 Mythic Ranks, so not really the best example), Forceful...

Variant Dryad in Hell's Vengeance.

Karzoug has some extra hidden immunities in his Immortal trait - specifically to disease and any form of madness (including feeblemind).

Really, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a NPC eventually in PF2 that

Pretty sure that has to do with her being a Dryad instead of whatever Class levels she might have.

And Karzoug’s immortality is a story ability, granted by the Runewell I’m assuming.

Edit: Yep, double checked, his Immortality is a story ability and had nothing to do with him having levels in Wizard.


The Sideromancer wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Quandary wrote:

Because they're Evil and they assume Good gods to be their mortal enemies.

Although I would agree the ability name could be tweaked...
Holy Fright? might be better starting place, being more specific re: Good Divinity.
Except nothing forces redcaps to be evil? Non-Evil Redcaps likely exist, so why would they fear only Good gods
Save for the fact that becoming a redcap turns the fey into a homical sadist?
There are fey that aren't homicidal sadists?

I'd assume yes, I mean Brownies seem more than willing to be helpful if treated well and at worst they usually do pranks or hamper the house/farm without resorting to out right murder.

Brownies that do cross that line usually turn into Redcaps actually.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I have not read the whole thread so these may have been mentioned before

I mostly like the new statblock because it makes relevant information rather easy to find. I especially like listing the modifier rather than the ability score. Getting rid of the list of feats is good too

However, I think all the descriptions of special abilities should appear at the end of the stat block so that I do not need to take into account the description of the equipment (red cap for ecample) when looking for the combat info. Just use a specific style for the name of the special abilities and I will know where I can find the description (le at the end of the statblock)

Listing the total Reach within the attack stats can be confusing. I propose something like Reach x+y ft where x is the creatures reach and y the weapon's additional reach if any

We now have types for penalties too. That's new I think


So the stat block definitely looks improved and I am liking everything I have seen so far. Does the creature 3 entry on the Ogre take the place of monster CR's I am assuming and having said that there must be a new encounter building system I am guessing when it comes to the GM making encounters for the players. A last but important question is will there be additional monsters for the same creatures? For instance a goblin, goblin shaman, goblin warrior, goblin trapper ect. since the monsters stat blocks have decreased or will this be something that the GM will have to create? I would love to have additional monsters of the same type in case the players stumble upon the lair of said monsters.


MerlinCross wrote:
Save for the fact that becoming a redcap turns the fey into a homical sadist?

What do you mean "becoming a redcap"? There is nothing like that at all in Bestiary 2.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

It might be in Fey Revisited... I don't remember if they got a section. They might have also gotten a bit of development in an Adventure Path somewhere...


Kalindlara wrote:
It might be in Fey Revisited... I don't remember if they got a section. They might have also gotten a bit of development in an Adventure Path somewhere...

That's odd golarion flavour.

But regardless. There's nothing which would prevent the redcap from not being evil, or being chaotic evil, they're sentient creatures without any ties to aligned planes.

Silver Crusade

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Didn’t see anything about Brownies in Fey Revisted but it does call out Redcaps as being innately murderous and sadistic, representing nature’s cruelty.


Rysky wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

Okay, then to start with off the top of my head:

- Tree Stride as a move action.
- Heartless through a story ritual, and getting a set of free immunities as a result.
- Karzoug's magical immunities.
- Turning into a Daughter of Urgathoa on death.
- Baba Yaga's Forceful Presence.

I can throw out others when I have access to my books.

Whats the Tree Stride one from?

Heartless from a Story ritual, not an NPC class ability.

The only immunites I notice on Karzoug come from his Mind Blank spell and Talons of Leng item.

Turning into a Dughter of Urgathoa is a not a class ability, it’s a story event that character’s Goddess decides to do.

Same with Baba Yaga (a level 20 Witch with 10 Mythic Ranks, so not really the best example), Forceful...

Variant Dryad in Hell's Vengeance.

Karzoug has some extra hidden immunities in his Immortal trait - specifically to disease and any form of madness (including feeblemind).

Really, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a NPC eventually in PF2 that

Pretty sure that has to do with her being a Dryad instead of whatever Class levels she might have.

And Karzoug’s immortality is a story ability, granted by the Runewell I’m assuming.

Edit: Yep, double checked, his Immortality is a story ability and had nothing to do with him having levels in Wizard.

Yeah, but the thing is that's the exact same as a particular enemy having a special ability that they treat heavy armoured opponents as flat-footed. Nothing to do with them having X levels in Rogue, it's just a story ability. If it was based off their class, it'd be a class ability available to everyone.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Enderrin wrote:
What would the important Ogre chieftain (you know, the one with 5 levels of Barbarian) stat-block look like?
Almost certainly like any other 5th level barbarian.
They've explicitly said you can tack on levels of PC Classes to monsters and that works fine.

Yeah I messed up and meant to say "any 5th level monster". While yes, you can tack on class levels onto monsters as you would a PC, this doesn't sound it's done as default. Instead I'd expect to see a special level 5 ogre that gets abilities that are perhaps evoke the feel of a barbarian.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
We have no evidence that there will be such abilities commonly available. Avoiding giving your NPCs (even those built with the monster system) abilities unavailable to PCs seems very doable if that's a goal.

I don't want to have to rewrite every statblock in a pre-published module just because Paizo wanted to use the simple monster creation rules for all non-epic NPCs. I've committed to doing that for 1 Starfinder AP. I'm not going to do it for every future Paizo game that I run.


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Looking at PF1 redcaps, they're the same:

Quote:
Irreligious (Ex) Bitter and blasphemous, redcaps cannot stand the symbols of good-aligned religions. If a foe spends a standard action presenting such a holy symbol, any redcap that can see the creature must make a DC 15 Will save or become frightened for 1 minute and attempt to flee. A redcap who successfully saves is shaken for 1 minute.

Silver Crusade

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Cyouni wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

Okay, then to start with off the top of my head:

- Tree Stride as a move action.
- Heartless through a story ritual, and getting a set of free immunities as a result.
- Karzoug's magical immunities.
- Turning into a Daughter of Urgathoa on death.
- Baba Yaga's Forceful Presence.

I can throw out others when I have access to my books.

Whats the Tree Stride one from?

Heartless from a Story ritual, not an NPC class ability.

The only immunites I notice on Karzoug come from his Mind Blank spell and Talons of Leng item.

Turning into a Dughter of Urgathoa is a not a class ability, it’s a story event that character’s Goddess decides to do.

Same with Baba Yaga (a level 20 Witch with 10 Mythic Ranks, so not really the best example), Forceful...

Variant Dryad in Hell's Vengeance.

Karzoug has some extra hidden immunities in his Immortal trait - specifically to disease and any form of madness (including feeblemind).

Really, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a NPC eventually in PF2 that

Pretty sure that has to do with her being a Dryad instead of whatever Class levels she might have.

And Karzoug’s immortality is a story ability, granted by the Runewell I’m assuming.

Edit: Yep, double checked, his Immortality is a story ability and had nothing to do with him having levels in Wizard.

Yeah, but the thing is that's the exact same as a particular enemy having a special ability that they treat heavy armoured opponents as flat-footed. Nothing to do with them having X levels in Rogue, it's just a story ability. If it was based off their class, it'd be a class ability available to everyone.

Except it’s not, a monster having a special ability is one thing. An NPC made using a playable Race and a Playable Class is a whole other story (pun not intended). That’s what I’ve been saying, if you give the Rogue a Rogue Class Feat or somehow else without it being a story ability* that lets them treat people not wearing Heavy Armor as flat footed (which is obscenely beneficial to a Rogue) and only NPCs can take it that’s not cool, which is what Starfinder does, it gives NPCs with Class Grafts Class based abilities that PCs cannot get.

*and I’m using Story Abiltiy to mean there’s an actual reason in the story for them to have this ability and said reason is detailed (such as the Heartless ritual), if there’s no reason other than simply because they’re an NPC with Class Levels then no.


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'When Brownies go bad, tonight at 11!'


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Having slept on it, I'm still rather positive on the stat blocks as shown. With a few caveats:

1) as has been mentioned several times, and now has its own thread, be very very careful with iconography due to the wide range of vision impairments.

2) I think we need to know the proficiency of skills, since that will influence options in and out of combat. Someone upthread suggested superscripts for U/T/E/M/L, that might work, but superscripts start to fall into some of the problems with small fonts/visual issues, and can "clutter" up a stat block in ways that make it look more complex than it is. I don't think we can even assume a listed skill is trained, so I think every skill needs to be annotated. We can probably assume a non-listed skill is untrained. Same likely applies to weapon/armor/spell proficiency if there's any capabilities that aren't just pure baked in numbers.

3) Withholding some judgment, but I do think we'll need some amount of greater breakdown of stats for attacks/ac. I can understand "make the creature right, detailed math be ignored", but at the same time, as long as people have stuff like sundering, or run stealthy missions and steal stuff, etc, we need to be able to correctly adjust stats.


I think a big gap in the statblock is that the skill system requires us to know how proficient a creature is in a skill, not just the number. It's reported that there are many unlocks involved, as well as auto-successes, and we'll need to know what Ogres & Redcaps have unlocked.

It also sounds like we'll need to know that for saves, since Evasion is now tied to a level of Reflex save proficiency.
So maybe Acrobatics +13/T and Reflex +11/E

These seem like a must, but I'd prefer it be across the board too so that we see the same things with weapons. Scythe +13/E, if they are an expert with it. This both relates to future-proofing and to making it easier to make adjustments on the fly. Say I want to add Fighter levels to the Ogre: does the Ogre already have Expert proficiency with its hook? Is Expert Armor Proficiency going to aid its AC? And so forth.

Liberty's Edge

NielsenE wrote:
2) I think we need to know the proficiency of skills, since that will influence options in and out of combat.

We actually don't know this. There are definitely Trained Only skill uses, but I think we can safely assume that listed skills are at least Trained and unlisted ones are not (that's probably made explicit in the actual Bestiary).

Beyond that, it's very possible all the advantages to high Skill Proficiency beyond the numerical bonus are Skill Feats rather than inherent to the Proficiency level. And that neither of the listed creatures have any relevant Skill Feats (which is possible even if Monsters get Skill Feats, since getting additional skills trained is an available Skill Feat).

All that said, if there are benefits to high Skill Proficiency alone, yes, we need that info. We also need that info on Saves desperately (at least for Master and above), though that might simply be in the list of special abilities (and neither the Ogre nor Redcap have any).

Paizo Employee Designer

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Castilliano wrote:

I think a big gap in the statblock is that the skill system requires us to know how proficient a creature is in a skill, not just the number. It's reported that there are many unlocks involved, as well as auto-successes, and we'll need to know what Ogres & Redcaps have unlocked.

It also sounds like we'll need to know that for saves, since Evasion is now tied to a level of Reflex save proficiency.
So maybe Acrobatics +13/T and Reflex +11/E

Monsters don't have super large numbers of unlocks and feats like the PCs do; they tend to have fewer but very thematic (and sometimes very powerful) abilities. There are a few cases where you will need to know a monster's rank regardless, and the Bestiary rules tell you how to figure that out.

Also, there are indeed rules for what to do if the monster is disarmed or finds another weapon.

Liberty's Edge

Mark Seifter wrote:

Monsters don't have super large numbers of unlocks and feats like the PCs do; they tend to have fewer but very thematic (and sometimes very powerful) abilities. There are a few cases where you will need to know a monster's rank regardless, and the Bestiary rules tell you how to figure that out.

Also, there are indeed rules for what to do if the monster is disarmed or finds another weapon.

Cool. Given this I'll assume Save Proficiencies are similarly covered.


whew wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:

Instead of using a fancy icon, can you just use a circled 1, 2 or 3 for things that take 1, 2 or 3 actions, and a circled R for things that use a reaction? It'd be more intuitive than a glyph, and it should be visible to a screen-reader for the visually impaired.

EDIT: Unicode even already did the work for you. Just print them at a larger size than will be displayed here in the forum: ① ② ③ Ⓡ

Alas, those don't work with text-to-speech. (Results may vary - I just tested one app.)

How about adding either a A, AA, AAA at the end of the ability to signify how many actions it takes to pull off or putting in 1A,2A,3A. Or A1, A1, A3? I think I like the last two approaches better as you can easily describe some crazy ability that takes even longer. A charge up attack taking 5 actions would be A5 for example. Maybe something could be A0 also if it doesn't take up the monsters other actions. Think the format might pass accessibility tests too!


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I am not keen on number of actions first, it will bleed reading down, much prefer if the first word on the line is the name of the ability/weapon,etc, so:

Mace (1 action)
Summon Demon (2 actions)
Diddle Sphinc (3 actions)

Not:

1 Action: Mace.
2 Actions: Summon Demon.
3 Actions: Diddle Sphinc.


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Weather Report wrote:

I am not keen on number of actions first, it will bleed reading down, much prefer if the first word on the line is the name of the ability/weapon,etc, so:

Mace (1 action)
Summon Demon (2 actions)
Diddle Sphinc (3 actions)

Not:

1 Action: Mace.
2 Actions: Summon Demon.
3 Actions: Diddle Sphinc.

Umm...

What does "Diddle Sphinc" do?
Did you mean 'Riddle Sphinx' perhaps?

Was just wondering... ^^'

--C.


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Psiphyre wrote:
Weather Report wrote:

I am not keen on number of actions first, it will bleed reading down, much prefer if the first word on the line is the name of the ability/weapon,etc, so:

Mace (1 action)
Summon Demon (2 actions)
Diddle Sphinc (3 actions)

Not:

1 Action: Mace.
2 Actions: Summon Demon.
3 Actions: Diddle Sphinc.

Umm...

What does "Diddle Sphinc" do?
Did you mean 'Riddle Sphinx' perhaps?

Was just wondering... ^^'

--C.

Well, thanks to you, "Riddling the Sphinx" is a new sly phrase for an act not repeatable when around polite company. ;)


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What I like:
I love the new organization and format of the statblocks. Putting the abilities where they are actually located instead of just at the bottom makes things easier. I like how it gives you the important details and highlights what you need with easy.

What I dislike:
Quite a bit....
• Y'all went overboard with the simplification. BAB, Ability Scores, AC breakdown, HP breakdown (including HD) are all majorly important things that you just completely left blank.
• HD is used in so many abilities and whatnot and can be critical for a lot of things.
• Ability Scores are important. Taking 3 con dmg is much different at a 12 con, and a 13 con (both would be listed as +2). Same with adding new things that would give a +1 on stats.
• AC. From flavour of wording, to non-stacking abilities, understanding where your AC is coming from (Natural, Dodge, Deflection) is so important.
• BAB. If you add in a new weapon, or the monster has to pick one up off the ground we need to know where we are starting at for adding its modifiers to attack!
• Type/subtype! Favored enemy, bane, etc. This info is needed.

The important critique:
Changing monsters: In PF1 it is easy to alter, add a template, change, upgrade or nerf monsters, or even add in custom house-rules. Everything has enough detail to easily break down the PF1 statblocks to figure out why everything the way it is, and to alter anything and everything needed.

With PF2, that is now no longer possible. Without information such as AC breakdowns, HP breakdowns (including HD), BAB, Type/subtype, and exact Ability Scores you are unable to break down the statblock to understand it enough to do what is said above.

When it comes to adding class levels or homebrewed rules you need all of this to work properly. It would add maybe an extra 30 characters in total to a statblock. It wouldn't look overly complex and it wouldn't add anything completely useless or distracting from the important info. But we need this information!

Liberty's Edge

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Regarding Paizo considering replacing some common stat words (such as 'Attack', 'Reaction', etc. with icons or symbols (seemingly something like 4th Edition D&D did, or Starfinder does), I created a poll:

Please check them out if you are interested (click link below)

[POLL] Symbols / Icons Instead of Words in New Stat Blocks - Yes or No?


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
XreaperDK wrote:

What I like:

What I dislike:
Quite a bit....
• Y'all went overboard with the simplification. BAB, Ability Scores, AC breakdown, HP breakdown (including HD) are all majorly important things that you just completely left blank.
• HD is used in so many abilities and whatnot and can be critical for a lot of things.
• Ability Scores are important. Taking 3 con dmg is much different at a 12 con, and a 13 con (both would be listed as +2). Same with adding new things that would give a +1 on stats.
• AC. From flavour of wording, to non-stacking abilities, understanding where your AC is coming from (Natural, Dodge, Deflection) is so important.
• BAB. If you add in a new weapon, or the monster has to pick one up off the ground we need to know where we are starting at for adding its modifiers to attack!
• Type/subtype! Favored enemy, bane, etc. This info is needed.

Thing is, a lot of the things you list don't exist any more. There is no BAB, there is no ability damage (just stacking conditions). There does seem to be some over-simplification even for the new system, but a lot of things just don't exist.


NielsenE wrote:
XreaperDK wrote:

What I like:

What I dislike:
Quite a bit....
• Y'all went overboard with the simplification. BAB, Ability Scores, AC breakdown, HP breakdown (including HD) are all majorly important things that you just completely left blank.
• HD is used in so many abilities and whatnot and can be critical for a lot of things.
• Ability Scores are important. Taking 3 con dmg is much different at a 12 con, and a 13 con (both would be listed as +2). Same with adding new things that would give a +1 on stats.
• AC. From flavour of wording, to non-stacking abilities, understanding where your AC is coming from (Natural, Dodge, Deflection) is so important.
• BAB. If you add in a new weapon, or the monster has to pick one up off the ground we need to know where we are starting at for adding its modifiers to attack!
• Type/subtype! Favored enemy, bane, etc. This info is needed.

Thing is, a lot of the things you list don't exist any more. There is no BAB, there is no ability damage (just stacking conditions). There does seem to be some over-simplification even for the new system, but a lot of things just don't exist.

Which is both good and bad. Good for running the as-is critter. Bad if one has to modify a critter by scrubbing it down to the "bare metal".

The latter we can do in PF1. We don't know that we can do that in PF2. If we cannot, then what will quickly happen is "all [insert critter here] have X" sets in.


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Surely it'll be even easier to modify a creature in PF2 - without needing to justify everything (mystery bonus feats etc...) you just give it the abilities you need it to have, check it against the expected values for its CR (level?) and tweak as needed.

The only thing I can see materially needing is a breakdown of AC, because their is a narrative difference between natural armour/armour and a deflection/dodge bonus.


In my campaigns I like to differentiate different goblin tribes by swapping out some of their basic feats. Instead of Improved initiative one tribe will have a feat that lets them move better on difficult terrain, and then they fill their lair with all kinds of bones and rubble, another tribe will have a swarm attack feat because they love ganging up on a single opponent. Maybe a small goup of Elite Goblins will have Mounted Combat instead

just a tiny change to create some distinctions, but one that is possible because I can see how the monster breaks down.

I can't do that here, because I don't get to see how the monster breaks down, all I get is end use stats without seeing where the numbers come from.


Nothing has really changed: THACO, BAB, + 1/2 level, + proficiency bonus, + level (proficiency).

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