Does the Giant Template Stack With Itself?


Rules Questions


The "Giant Creature" template, that is. Will this end up skewing CRs? Specifically, I am looking at advancing the Iron Cobra to Large or Huge size.

I'm assuming that no template is really meant to 'stack' with itself (no double-fiendish creatures, no double-young creatures, etc.). Should I 'advance' the creature, then apply Giant? Wat do?


You should probably just advance the creature by enough HD to become Huge, omitting the Giant template altogether.

Liberty's Edge

Seeing as how the simple templates are meant for quick changes to monsters that are only really around for one encounter, I doubt that using them more than one at a time will be balanced. (Think about multiple applications of the "advanced" template for example).

In short: +1 @ Are

Dark Archive

from http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-advancer
Iron Cobra (Giantx3) CR 5
XP 1600
N Huge construct
Init -1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0
DEFENSEAC 19, touch 7, flat-footed 20 (-1 Dex, +12 natural, -2 size)
hp 21 (1d10+16)
Fort +5, Ref -1, Will +0;
DR 5/-; Immune construct traits; SR 13;
OFFENSESpeed 40 ft.
Melee bite +10 (2d8+11 plus poison)
Space 15 ft.Reach 15 ft.
STATISTICSStr 32, Dex 9, Con -, Int -, Wis 11, Cha 1;
Base Atk +1; CMB 10; CMD 19
Skills Stealth -3; Racial Modifiers +6 Stealth
SQ find target
ECOLOGYEnvironment any
Organization solitary, pair, or nest (3-10)
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIESFind Target (Su) Once per day, an iron cobra's creator can order it to find and kill a specific creature within 1 mile, which it does as if guided by discern location. The creator must have seen or be holding an item from the specified creature for this order to function. Poison (Ex) An iron cobra's bite injects poison from a hidden reservoir within its body. Because it is a construct, the cobra does not naturally produce this poison, and its creator must refill this reservoir manually. The reservoir holds enough poison for 3 successful bite attacks, after which the creature merely deals bite damage. Refilling the reservoir takes 5 rounds and provokes attacks of opportunity. The creator can fill the reservoir with any injury poison (typically black adder venom), though acid, alchemical substances, and even stranger liquids have been used. Black Adder Venom: Bite-injury; save Fort DC 11; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Con damage; cure 1 save.


I don't think it makes any sense to have multiples of any of those templates added on top of eachother. They are all essentially meant to be quick ways to add or reduce power from a monster without needing to do any actual work, while the actual advancement rules should be used for further increasing/decreasing of the creature's power.

By the way, that example above just illustrates why it's not a good idea to stack those templates. That is a CR 5 creature with only 21 hit points from just a single HD.. It's pretty far from most CR 5 creatures.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Rake wrote:

The "Giant Creature" template, that is. Will this end up skewing CRs? Specifically, I am looking at advancing the Iron Cobra to Large or Huge size.

I'm assuming that no template is really meant to 'stack' with itself (no double-fiendish creatures, no double-young creatures, etc.). Should I 'advance' the creature, then apply Giant? Wat do?

If you're in a rush in the middle of a game and, say, need stats for a Gargantuan wolf, you can absolutely stack the giant template to get a quick and dirty stat block for a Gargantuan wolf out of a normal wolf.

But if you're actually building the stats beforehand, you should just rebuild that wolf (or whatever) from scratch, using the more detailed rules for advancing a creature by size or HD.

The simple templates are, frankly TOO simple to really hold up when you're really getting into the stat block and rebuilding. You can certainly use them to get started, I suppose, but in the end if you have time and have the interest in building a stat block up before the game, you really should follow the more detailed rules for creating and balancing monsters in Appendix I.

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