So, Apparently NPCs Suck


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
wombatkidd wrote:

I've got one. I always thought the expert class would be a viable (even if completely sub-optimal) combat threat. Prove me right. ;)

I'm thinking 1h weapon and buckler focusing on one or more combat manoeuvres would probably be best. Character level range 10-13.

They're as viable as any other NPC class...which isn't very at high levels.

I can absolutely make, say, a level 8 Expert who's a CR 6 threat. By 10-13, though? As a CR 8-11 threat? That's gonna be really iffy. I'll certainly try, but it's gonna take some serious doing on a couple of different levels.

And I disagree completely on build, that's a Feat intensive build best suported with high stats and BAB...all things the Expert simply does not have. I'll try and whip something up, though.

If you use the bestiary rules of +2 NPC class levels = +1 CR, then they can be viable, but in a different way. For example, 3 HD = CR 1, so a CR 8 expert would be about 17 HD; which might seem excessive but with only 3 point buy and no special abilities, base stats is all they're packing; but at 17 HD, that leaves them with a solid chunk of HP (76.5 average before Con), +12/+7/+2 BAB, +5 Fort, +5 Ref, +10 Will, a large chunk of skill points, fair proficiencies, and around 8-9 feats. Given some decent skills (Stealth, Perception, Use Magic Device, Acrobatics, etc), and an expert can be just as legitimate a threat as any other high HD creature with mediocre stats (such as animals, giants, etc).

Liberty's Edge

Ashiel wrote:
If you use the bestiary rules of +2 NPC class levels = +1 CR, then they can be viable, but in a different way. For example, 3 HD = CR 1, so a CR 8 expert would be about 17 HD; which might seem excessive but with only 3 point buy and no special abilities, base stats is all they're packing; but at 17 HD, that leaves them with a solid chunk of HP (76.5 average before Con), +12/+7/+2 BAB, +5 Fort, +5 Ref, +10 Will, a large chunk of skill points, fair proficiencies, and around 8-9 feats. Given some decent skills (Stealth, Perception, Use Magic Device, Acrobatics, etc), and an expert can be just as legitimate a threat as any other high HD creature with mediocre stats (such as animals, giants, etc).

Not a bad solution (and, for the record, the one I personally use in my games)...but it goes against the rule I set myself in the thread of going by the official rules as much as possible (I know I've violated that a couple times, but only to enable a conceptual thing like the plant-druid, not to change the fundamental system assumptions).


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
If you use the bestiary rules of +2 NPC class levels = +1 CR, then they can be viable, but in a different way. For example, 3 HD = CR 1, so a CR 8 expert would be about 17 HD; which might seem excessive but with only 3 point buy and no special abilities, base stats is all they're packing; but at 17 HD, that leaves them with a solid chunk of HP (76.5 average before Con), +12/+7/+2 BAB, +5 Fort, +5 Ref, +10 Will, a large chunk of skill points, fair proficiencies, and around 8-9 feats. Given some decent skills (Stealth, Perception, Use Magic Device, Acrobatics, etc), and an expert can be just as legitimate a threat as any other high HD creature with mediocre stats (such as animals, giants, etc).
Not a bad solution (and, for the record, the one I personally use in my games)...but it goes against the rule I set myself in the thread of going by the official rules as much as possible (I know I've violated that a couple times, but only to enable a conceptual thing like the plant-druid, not to change the fundamental system assumptions).

I don't really see how using the Bestiary stats are going against the official rules. When you have a conflict between two rules, you generally go with the one that is more specific (the classic "specific trumps general"). In the Bestiary, we learn how to calculate CR for creatures in a section about determining CR for creatures; and it details how adding class levels works. The CRB has literally no rules or mechanics concerning CR beyond simply noting in the gamemastering section that the CR of NPCs (it doesn't say what kind of NPCs) is equal to level-1 or level-2, with +1 CR if they have PC-WBL; and it doesn't give any information for multiclassed characters. Literally, Fighter 1 / adept 2 breaks the calculations for the CRB, because it's presented as "either/or".

The bestiary is not only more specific for determining CRs, but it is governed in a section devoted entirely to this sort of calculation, and produces usable results that are comparative to other creatures of similar CRs. What may surprise some folks is that 20 levels of warrior actually does only amount to about a CR 9 encounter when capabilities are compared between them and other CR 9 enemies (in many cases, the standard bestiary CR 9s are way more frightening).

So I'm not exactly sure what you mean by the official rules. I suppose technically the Bestiary is a splat book (it admittedly isn't a "Core Rulebook" in Pathfinder as it was in 3.0 and 3.5, which is bizarre but y'know); but it seems that if you're going to generate actual accurate information, then you should probably use the Bestiary rules for CR. It's obvious that you're using non-core rulebook material for your NPCs; so I'm forced to wonder why you'd default to the one paragraph in the CRB that just spits out relatively unusable and incomplete guidelines for CR as opposed to the rules that work and have existed longer and for this very purpose.

However, if you're going by only the CRB level-2, treasure-1, CR note, then it's no wonder people think NPCs suck. You will not, ever, generate an NPC-classed character that will function at the level that it suggests; and the result is spoon feeding PCs XP and treasure with some sort of super robo-spoon that shovels it in at rapid pace. Likewise, your ability to multiclass NPCs accurately, or generate CRs for unusual multiclasses diminishes to almost nothing (the CRB assumes no multiclassing for NPCs; and it does nothing to demonstrate the difference in difficulty between a 10th level wizard, a 10th level cleric, or a 10th level wizard 2 / cleric 2 / rogue 3 / fighter 3, even though the bestiary would suggest counting at least a portion of those levels as non-key levels).

Hm, I'm just babbling on at this point. I need to go to bed. ^.^"


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Ashiel wrote:
+2 NPC class levels = +1 CR

Why does every post you make on these boards make me want to hop back into the GM chair?

Confound it, I'm too busy, damn you! :P


Twigs wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
+2 NPC class levels = +1 CR

Why does every post you make on these boards make me want to hop back into the GM chair?

Confound it, I'm too busy, damn you! :P

Aw, that is just the sweetest thing. ^.^

Liberty's Edge

Ashiel wrote:
I don't really see how using the Bestiary stats are going against the official rules. When you have a conflict between two rules, you generally go with the one that is more specific (the classic "specific trumps general"). In the Bestiary, we learn how to calculate CR for creatures in a section about determining CR for creatures; and it details how adding class levels works.

Okay, there are three real, major. issues with this assertion:

1. Those are in the 'Monster Advancement' section and thus designed and predicated on having an existing creature with racial HD and abilities to advance. This makes their applicability shaky right off the bat.

2. Following that rules-logic, all 20th level Paladins would also be CR 9 (since adding them to monsters is another 'always use level/2 situation). This...is a really big problem, and an indication that doing as you suggest is neither the RAW nor RAI.

3. As outlined in the Gamemastery Guide and several other works, that is not how it works when the Paizo people create NPC-classed NPCs, which is, I think, pretty compelling evidence of how it's supposed to work officially.

Ashiel wrote:
The bestiary is not only more specific for determining CRs, but it is governed in a section devoted entirely to this sort of calculation, and produces usable results that are comparative to other creatures of similar CRs. What may surprise some folks is that 20 levels of warrior actually does only amount to about a CR 9 encounter when capabilities are compared between them and other CR 9 enemies (in many cases, the standard bestiary CR 9s are way more frightening).

I do not necessarily disagree with you on the effective CR created (at least with high levels), or at least with it being better than Level-2, however those are not the official rules. It's a House Rule. A good one that often I use myself, but if I start using House Rules of any sort in this thread it's utility diminishes significantly, so I'm not doing that.

EDIT: And slightly OT, but (looking it over and calculating what I can do with 123K of gear) I'm coming up with at least a CR 12-15 for a Warrior 20. Though he does have fewer options than most such critters. Actually, I'm now curious how high an 'effective CR' I can build this too. I think I'm gonna do that.

Sorry for the delay on builds already requested, but this goes back to the heart of the thread's purpose. And, frankly, shouldn't take that long.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


Okay, there are three real, major. issues with this assertion:

1. Those are in the 'Monster Advancement' section and thus designed and predicated on having an existing creature with racial HD and abilities to advance. This makes their applicability shaky right off the bat.

You may wish to pause here. There is factually no difference between NPC and Monster. There are plenty of humanoids scattered throughout the Bestiary and they use the exact same rules. In fact, there is no mention of a racial hit die requirement anywhere in the section detailing adding levels to creatures. In addition, in Monster Introduction, it actually notes that many "monsters" are defined by their class levels instead of racial HD (these "monsters" being things like orcs, goblins, aasimar, etc).

My answer for #1.

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2. Following that rules-logic, all 20th level Paladins would also be CR 9 (since adding them to monsters is another 'always use level/2 situation). This...is a really big problem, and an indication that doing as you suggest is neither the RAW nor RAI.

You may wish to go re-read the rules for advancement. Particularly the part that discusses what class levels actually do for challenge rating. It addresses your Paladin concern. Specifically: "Classes that are marked “key” generally add 1 to a creature's CR for each level added. Classes marked with a “—” increase a creature's CR by 1 for every 2 class levels added until the number of levels added are equal to (or exceed) the creature's original CR, at which point they are treated as “key” levels (adding 1 to the creature's CR for each level added)".

Now as it turns out, for creatures that only advance in class levels, that means the moment you've added 1 level of Paladin, BAM, it's a key level. Ho-ho, it seems like it works! So a 20th level drow antipaladin isn't CR 10, they are quite clearly closer to the 19 mark.

Hence, proof that this is not only RAW, but RAI; and my answer for #2.

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3. As outlined in the Gamemastery Guide and several other works, that is not how it works when the Paizo people create NPC-classed NPCs, which is, I think, pretty compelling evidence of how it's supposed to work officially.

Again, specifics vs general. They were working on all three at roughly the same time. The Bestiary rules are older and more specific, and more accurate. Unless you actually believe that a mayor of a town with virtually no real combat ability whatsoever for his level should be around CR 10. But if you would source the Gamemastery (just as non-core as the Bestiary), why not source the Bestiary which as full comprehensive and accurate methods for determining CR; instead of the dart-board method?

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I do not necessarily disagree with you on the effective CR created (at least with high levels), or at least with it being better than Level-2, however those are not the official rules.

Except for the fact that they are. At least, they are at least as official as the Gamemastery guide, and just as official to anyone who uses the Bestiary in their games. Since I'm pretty sure the Bestiary is an almost default non-core book in Pathfinder (what with the CRB actually referencing it and requiring its use); I'm failing to see the problem here.

Liberty's Edge

Okay, this guy, sans-buffs is...CR 14 or so defensively, but a full CR 16 or so offensively. With even a round or two to buff he goes up to a full CR 16 (+7 AC over two rounds will do that). Not quite the 18 he's advertised as, but a lot better than CR 9. Interesting.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with that info, but it is interesting.

I also do suspect that the other NPC classes would all do a lot worse, effective CR-wise.

CR 18 (theoretically)
Human Warrior 20
N Medium Humanoid
Init +5; Senses Perception +24

DEFENSE
AC 28, touch 14, flat-footed 27 (+12 Armor, +1 Dex, +2 Deflection, +2 Natural Armor, +1 Insight)
HP 190 (20d10+80)
Fort +18, Ref +13, Will +13

OFFENSE
Spd 20 ft.
Melee no-dachi +31/+20/+15/+11 (1d10+31+1d6/15-20) (w/Power Attack)
Ranged composite longbow +21/+16/+11/+6 (1d8+6/x3)

STATISTICS
Str 22*, Dex 12, Con 14*, Int 12*, Wis 12*, Cha 8
BAB +20; CMB +26; CMD 39
Feats Enforcer, Furious Focus, Improved Critical (No-dachi), Improved Initiatitive, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Intimidate), Toughness, Weapon Focus (No-dachi),
Skills: Craft (Weapons) +14, Climb +5, Intimidate +28, Perception +21, Profession (Soldier) +12, Swim +5, Use Magic Device +19*,
Languages Common, Hallit,
Special None, really.
Combat Gear potion of cure serious wounds (1), potion of barkskin (CL 12) (1), wand of cure light wounds (22 charges), wand of shield (19 charges), wand of enlarge person (16 charges), wand of heroism (12 charges), wand of mirror image (17 charges), wand of bear's endurance (6 charges), wand of invisibility (6 charges), wand of flight (5 charges,)
Gear Cloak of Resistance +4, Belt of Strength +4, Headband of Int and Wis +2 (Use Magic Device), Full Plate +3, Merciful No-Dachi +2, Composite Longbow (+6 Str) w/20 arrow, Ring of Protection +2, Amulet of Natural Armor +2, +2 Con Ioun stone, +1 AC Ioun stone, Ioun torch, Gloves of Dueling,


Deadmanwalking, here's a new project for you. A companion for a wizard on a diplomatic mission. Should look like a non-combatant servant but be able to pull bodyguard duty if his wizard is attacked. Say -- level 6.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
I can absolutely make, say, a level 8 Expert who's a CR 6 threat. By 10-13, though? As a CR 8-11 threat? That's gonna be really iffy. I'll certainly try, but it's gonna take some serious doing on a couple of different levels.

Traps and Poison. :)

Ashiel wrote:
If you use the bestiary rules of +2 NPC class levels = +1 CR, then they can be viable, but in a different way.

The rule I remember reading also said the CR was 2 for 1 until the hit dice from the class equaled the hit dice from the creature, at which point each level was counted as 1 for the purposes of determining CR.

Liberty's Edge

Ashiel wrote:


You may wish to pause here. There is factually no difference between NPC and Monster. There are plenty of humanoids scattered throughout the Bestiary and they use the exact same rules. In fact, there is no mention of a racial hit die requirement anywhere in the section detailing adding levels to creatures. In addition, in Monster Introduction, it actually notes that many "monsters" are defined by their class levels instead of racial HD (these "monsters" being things like orcs, goblins, aasimar, etc).

My answer for #1.

True enough, but that's, IMO, more due to a lack of clarity in the rules than anything else. I mean, most monsters are not 0 HD, and they already specifically call out treating those that are as NPCs, calling it out again would be weird, even if (as I believe) that is their intent.

Ashiel wrote:

You may wish to go re-read the rules for advancement. Particularly the part that discusses what class levels actually do for challenge rating. It addresses your Paladin concern. Specifically: "Classes that are marked “key” generally add 1 to a creature's CR for each level added. Classes marked with a “—” increase a creature's CR by 1 for every 2 class levels added until the number of levels added are equal to (or exceed) the creature's original CR, at which point they are treated as “key” levels (adding 1 to the creature's CR for each level added)".

Now as it turns out, for creatures that only advance in class levels, that means the moment you've added 1 level of Paladin, BAM, it's a key level. Ho-ho, it seems like it works! So a 20th level drow antipaladin isn't CR 10, they are quite clearly closer to the 19 mark.

Hence, proof that this is not only RAW, but RAI; and my answer for #2.

You're quite correct on the first point (sorry I missed it)...except that it can be equally applied to NPC classes. Nowhere are they called out as a special exception, they are just 'never considered key' and so a non-key class they would add one level per after exceeding HD as well. This is admittedly an arguable interpretation, but one that seems valid, going by your rulings.

Looking at it, this would also result in CR being equal to level on 0 HD creatures...which isn't true even of those in the Bestiary, and thus seems unlikely to be what was intended. It would certainly result in a 1st level Paladin being either CR 1 or the same CR as a Warrior 1 (depending on exactly how you're doing that).

I think you're seeing what you want to see, here.

Ashiel wrote:
Again, specifics vs general. They were working on all three at roughly the same time. The Bestiary rules are older and more specific, and more accurate. Unless you actually believe that a mayor of a town with virtually no real combat ability whatsoever for his level should be around CR 10. But if you would source the Gamemastery (just as non-core as the Bestiary), why not source the Bestiary which as full comprehensive and accurate methods for determining CR; instead of the dart-board method?

I'm not sourcing the GMG for rules, I'm sourcing it for intent. If all NPC class characters Paizo's ever made use the core book's rules, not the section of the Bestiary you're referencing, that's a pretty clear indicator of what the folks at Paizo meant, don't you think?

And, as stated, I'm not necessarily advocating this system as accurate. Indeed, I've specified repeatedly that I do not find it to be so, I'm just saying them's the rules. *shrugs*

Ashiel wrote:
Except for the fact that they are. At least, they are at least as official as the Gamemastery guide, and just as official to anyone who uses the Bestiary in their games. Since I'm pretty sure the Bestiary is an almost default non-core book in Pathfinder (what with the CRB actually referencing it and requiring its use); I'm failing to see the problem here.

To be clear, I'm not arguing not to use the Bestiary, I'm saying that not even the Bestiary (taken as a whole) agrees with your interpretation, and you're thus not using the actual rules, but a misinterpretation of them.

That's cool (and, again, something I'm inclined to do myself), but not the point of this particular thread.

Liberty's Edge

therealthom wrote:
Deadmanwalking, here's a new project for you. A companion for a wizard on a diplomatic mission. Should look like a non-combatant servant but be able to pull bodyguard duty if his wizard is attacked. Say -- level 6.

Added to the list. Probably a Monk since, y'know, lack of weapons. Also, I haven't built one of those yet. :)

Azten wrote:
Traps and Poison. :)

Oh, absolutely a possibility. Though traps have their own CR separate from his...

Azten wrote:
The rule I remember reading also said the CR was 2 for 1 until the hit dice from the class equaled the hit dice from the creature, at which point each level was counted as 1 for the purposes of determining CR.

We've actually both cited that one, now. :)


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Okay, this guy, sans-buffs is...CR 14 or so defensively, but a full CR 16 or so offensively. With even a round or two to buff he goes up to a full CR 16 (+7 AC over two rounds will do that).

No it won't. :(

Quote:
Not quite the 18 he's advertised as, but a lot better than CR 9. Interesting.

Only because of gear, and even then it's iffy since monsters get treasure too. Incidentally, this demonstrates the problem. You're using CR 19 treasure on a creature that is supposedly CR 18, with stats that are around CR 9 in difficulty to kill and/or avoid.

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I'm not sure what I'm going to do with that info, but it is interesting.

Let's use it mathematically. 20 levels = CR 9 stats + CR 19 treasure - CR 18 estimate = all screwed up.

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I also do suspect that the other NPC classes would all do a lot worse, effective CR-wise.

*groans*

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CR 18 (theoretically)

Horned Devils are more dangerous and they are CR 16. Planetar Angels makes 20th level warriors look like wussies and is CR 16. Heck, their unbuffed AC is comparable to the Warrior's after the warrior has had rounds to chug CL 12 consumables (32 naked vs 35 fully buffed). If the same planetar drank the same potion, then their AC would push 40 (and they can too, given they have 76,000 gp worth of treasure, minus a 50,000 gp greatsword). A CR 11 adult black dragon has stats more comparable to the warrior's (even 28 AC before it buffs its way to 32+ with its own abilities), and is arguably more dangerous even with the warrior's buffs. A Storm Giant even makes this warrior look like a puss and they're only CR 13. Same AC (even after size penalties) way more reach, much faster, benefits from the same buffs and potions, possesses special attacks, better saves, energy immunities, continual freedom of movement and some spell-like abilities, and a dangerous combat routine for both ranged and melee, and has barely touched his 17,500 gp worth of treasure, as his weapons cost less than 3,000 gp.

Quote:
You're quite correct on the first point (sorry I missed it)...except that it can be equally applied to NPC classes. Nowhere are they called out as a special exception, they are just 'never considered key' and so a non-key class they would add one level per after exceeding HD as well. This is admittedly an arguable interpretation, but one that seems valid, going by your rulings.

Actually, no, I'm not. It's in the same paragraph. Let me quote the full part, so that you can see it.

PRD wrote:
Monsters with Class Levels gives general guidelines regarding which core classes add directly to a monster's abilities based on its role. Classes that are marked “key” generally add 1 to a creature's CR for each level added. Classes marked with a “—” increase a creature's CR by 1 for every 2 class levels added until the number of levels added are equal to (or exceed) the creature's original CR, at which point they are treated as “key” levels (adding 1 to the creature's CR for each level added). Creatures that fall into multiple roles treat a class as key if either of its roles treat the class as key. Note that levels in NPC classes are never considered key.

Never means never. It points out that NPC class levels are never considered key, even in the same paragraph that explains that class levels normally become key levels once they exceed a certain point. NPC levels do not do that, because NPC levels are only roughly equivalent to racial HD in terms of benefits.

Quote:
I'm not sourcing the GMG for rules, I'm sourcing it for intent.

You believe it was their intent to give us rules that do not work?

Liberty's Edge

I'm not gonna argue with you that he's vastly under his supposed CR. I agree with you...more or less entirely. Though he is certainly above CR 9 even sans most of his items. We're talking at least CR 11 or so even if he's only got a masterwork weapon and +1 armor.

I will also note that complaining 'His CR is based on his gear!' is a bit unfair, as that is in large part true of any high level martial NPC, somewhat inevitably.

As to the 'never considered a Key class' there are two interpretations there. And mine is just as valid as yours, quite frankly. It's an unclear passage.

As for whether the rules work? I don't think NPCs are ever intended to get above level 14 or so at most, and even that as a non-combat threat (the only NPCs I've seen of that level tend to be Aristocrats) at which point the problem is by no means as severe as it is at higher levels. Indeed, at 8 or less, the -2 seems to work fine. Heck, it might work fine at up to 12 or 14, I suppose I'd need to check.

And you never responded to my several rules problems with your theory as to the way the rules work (CR = Level, Paladins and Warriors having the same CR at 1st level, etc.) and those implications argue strongly against your theory being correct.
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But really, this should be a thread in the rules forum if you wish to continue this discussion. We're cluttering up this one on a somewhat tangential issue.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
We've actually both cited that one, now. :)

Admittedly, those were rather long posts and I had other things to attend too.

Liberty's Edge

Azten wrote:
Admittedly, those were rather long posts and I had other things to attend too.

Mine was actually after your post, too (though posted before I read yours). I was just amused by the parallel evolution. :)

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And for my own benefit and clarity, a list of requested builds I have yet to make:

Level 11 Halfling Jinx specialist.

Level 11-16 Tiefling ray-specialist/Assassin (I'm assuming the actual class here. Should be workable).

Level 12 Dwarf Ninja.

Level 10-13 Expert.

Level 9 Wizard using his Familiar.

Level 6 Bodyguard (probably a Monk).


Deadmanwalking wrote:
I'm not gonna argue with you that he's vastly under his supposed CR. I agree with you...more or less entirely. Though he is certainly above CR 9 even sans most of his items. We're talking at least CR 11 or so even if he's only got a masterwork weapon and +1 armor.

Nah, if you assume he has gear appropriate for his actual CR (about 9) then he's actually not stronger than CR 9 stuff. Hell, I'd probably rather face him than Succubi (CR 7), Erinyes (CR 8). He's roughly on par - even with his gear - to a CR 9 bone devil, CR 9 Vrock, CR 9 Tyrannosaurus, etc. In many cases, they are more dangerous, but a 20th level warrior at least has pure HP and BAB on his side, which he can convert into a respectable melee brute (albeit a slow moving one that is excessively vulnerable to touch attacks, spells, and crowd controls).

Quote:
I will also note that complaining 'His CR is based on his gear!' is a bit unfair, as that is in large part true of any high level martial NPC, somewhat inevitably.

I was talking about how any difficulty generated beyond a CR 9 encounter may be a result of his gear, and for goodness sakes it should make him at least a bit stronger, since he's packing enough treasure to be a CR 19 encounter. >:(

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As to the 'never considered a Key class' there are two interpretations there. And mine is just as valid as yours, quite frankly. It's an unclear passage.

Fair enough, but I don't know how you can actually take it like that. It seems clear enough. It explains class levels, how you determine if they are key or not, and then goes on to say that NPC class levels are never considered key. That sets them apart from normal class levels pretty empirically; I'd think.

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As for whether the rules work? I don't think NPCs are ever intended to get above level 14 or so at most, and even that as a non-combat threat (the only NPCs I've seen of that level tend to be Aristocrats)

I don't understand how you could by any means draw this conclusion. The classes themselves go to 20 levels. There are many examples in the 3.x system that display NPCs that are above 12th level. What class they are is irrelevant.

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at which point the problem is by no means as severe as it is at higher levels. Indeed, at 8 or less, the -2 seems to work fine. Heck, it might work fine at up to 12 or 14, I suppose I'd need to check.

Hardly. An 8th level warrior is by no means a CR 6 encounter. To suggest it is laughable. The difference in capability of an 8th level warrior NPC to even a CR 5 creature is gross.

Quote:
And you never responded to my several rules problems with your theory as to the way the rules work (CR = Level, Paladins and Warriors having the same CR at 1st level, etc.) and those implications argue strongly against your theory being correct.

The bestiary clearly shows that 1st level PC classed creatures are CR 1/2. NPC classed creatures are CR 1/3 (kobolds are CR 1/4, lil' rascals). Advancement rules don't detail what NPCs begin at, it details how their CR is determined as you progress them.

Fun fact, if you add 1 PC class level to a monster with 1 PC class level (CR 1/2) you get...tada, a CR 1 creature. If you add 2 NPC class levels to either an NPC or PC-classed character, you get...tada, a CR 1 creature. Like I said, the core rulebook paragraph seems to have been written by someone who glanced at the Bestiary rules and just threw down a number, and saw it worked from 1st-3rd level and ignored the fact it doesn't work well at all post 3rd level and gets progressively worse from there.

Quote:
But really, this should be a thread in the rules forum if you wish to continue this discussion. We're cluttering up this one on a somewhat tangential issue.

Fair enough, but this will be my last post on the matter. I was not intending to derail your otherwise wonderful thread; but it was my intention to aid you in producing NPCs that were viable and usable. You have had good success with PC classed NPCs, but as demonstrated with the warrior-classed NPC, you shall have no success with NPC-classed characters; because they will indeed be essentially unusable.

That being said, can you point out to me the correct CR for a fighter 3 / warrior 5? I'm pretty positive that the core rulebook doesn't cover the CRs for multiclassed NPCs (at least not NPC/PC classed NPCs); because not only is it unusable but also incomplete; and I feel that you will end up limiting yourself and your thread unnecessarily if you do not address this problem. This is simply because NPC classes are one of a GM's best mechanics for making various types of NPCs and keeping them relatively well to do.

For example, a generic mage-knight might be a warrior 6 / sorcerer 4. The Bestiary would call this creature CR 6. What would your thread call it?

Liberty's Edge

Ashiel wrote:
Fair enough, but this will be my last post on the matter. I was not intending to derail your otherwise wonderful thread; but it was my intention to aid you in producing NPCs that were viable and usable. You have had good success with PC classed NPCs, but as demonstrated with the warrior-classed NPC, you shall have no success with NPC-classed characters; because they will indeed be essentially unusable.

My CR 6, level 8, Adept is quite usable at his listed CR (if a bit direct). The Commoner is not...but Commoner's a different order of capability lower than even the other NPC classes.

And in my first post I requested no NPC class characters of too high a level for this very reason. :)

At heart, I agree with your basic position on NPC Classes. I don't think it's quite as severe a problem as you do, but that's a matter of degree, not kind. I mostly agree with you on how the rules should work, I disagree on how they do.

And that's pretty much what I've got to say on that in this thread. :)

Ashiel wrote:

That being said, can you point out to me the correct CR for a fighter 3 / warrior 5? I'm pretty positive that the core rulebook doesn't cover the CRs for multiclassed NPCs (at least not NPC/PC classed NPCs); because not only is it unusable but also incomplete; and I feel that you will end up limiting yourself and your thread unnecessarily if you do not address this problem. This is simply because NPC classes are one of a GM's best mechanics for making various types of NPCs and keeping them relatively well to do.

For example, a generic mage-knight might be a warrior 6 / sorcerer 4. The Bestiary would call this creature CR 6. What would your thread call it?

By the official rules, as per this passage:

Quote:
Adding NPCs: Creatures whose Hit Dice are solely a factor of their class levels and not a feature of their race, such as all of the PC races detailed in Races, are factored into combats a little differently than normal monsters or monsters with class levels. A creature that possesses class levels, but does not have any racial Hit Dice, is factored in as a creature with a CR equal to its class levels –1. A creature that only possesses non-player class levels (such as a warrior or adept) is factored in as a creature with a CR equal to its class levels –2. If this reduction would reduce a creature's CR to below 1, its CR drops one step on the following progression for each step below 1 this reduction would make: 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8.

Due to the phrasing 'A creature that only possesses NPC class levels' being the condition for CR -2, he'd be CR 9, same as a Fighter 6/Sorcerer 4. Presumably the CR bump is mainly because of the improved stats and gear of a PC class character (which they get regardless of NPC class levels). I don't necessarily agree with that completely, but it seems to be the way it works.

I should also probably note that the fact that these rules precisely result in the CRs of 0 HD critters in the Bestiary is a large part of my basic argument that they are the RAI.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
I should also probably note that the fact that these rules precisely result in the CRs of 0 HD critters in the Bestiary is a large part of my basic argument that they are the RAI.

I don't put much stock in RAI, because it's a nebulous as trying to prove gods exist in reality. We might have various thinks hinting towards it, but you can't prove it. I also have my doubts that it was intentional to provide people who play Pathfinder with a messed up system.


Deadman. Just wanted to say again I LOVE this thread!


It's true, this is a great thread. I like it when little gems like this show up.

Liberty's Edge

Vuvu wrote:
Deadman. Just wanted to say again I LOVE this thread!
Azten wrote:
It's true, this is a great thread. I like it when little gems like this show up.

Thank you both for the knd words, they are much appreciated. :)

Sorry about the Jinxer (and thus everything else) taking so long. I'm really tired today (late night last night), but it will be up eventually. As will the rest.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Azten wrote:
Admittedly, those were rather long posts and I had other things to attend too.

Mine was actually after your post, too (though posted before I read yours). I was just amused by the parallel evolution. :)

.
.
.
And for my own benefit and clarity, a list of requested builds I have yet to make:

Level 11 Halfling Jinx specialist.

Level 11-16 Tiefling ray-specialist/Assassin (I'm assuming the actual class here. Should be workable).

Level 12 Dwarf Ninja.

Level 10-13 Expert.

Level 9 Wizard using his Familiar.

Level 6 Bodyguard (probably a Monk).

And A level 13 Vampire Witch and a 8th level Monk mummy lol. I have actually finished both but I didnt go with NPC stats so I will refrain from posting them because they "break the rules". Both are pretty awsome though if I can toot my own horn lol. Im worried my 9th level party might have issues with the witch... though originally the module had him as a Wizard which is even worse.

Liberty's Edge

Dragonamedrake wrote:
And A level 13 Vampire Witch and a 8th level Monk mummy lol. I have actually finished both but I didnt go with NPC stats so I will refrain from posting them because they "break the rules". Both are pretty awsome though if I can toot my own horn lol. Im worried my 9th level party might have issues with the witch... though originally the module had him as a Wizard which is even worse.

I was, in fact, under the impression you'd already done them, making me doing so unnecessary.

But if you still want 'em, I'll happily re-add them to the list. :)


I use Hero Lab for my NPC's so they are usually pretty balanced and decent. I do grab from the books every once in a while (like the NPC guide). Yeah I agree at low levels the NPC's suck against players but they are supposed to. You are talking low level PC's and a single robber against a group of 5 going to go squish pretty quick. But take that same robber and team him up with a lvl 5 leader type (add in a few more robbers) and the fight goes from being 5 on 1 to fair. And at the higher levels the numbers actually start going against the players. Yes, they have more of everything at that point but then it becomes tactical. Does the wizard blow the fireball on the two guys approaching him or the 5 going after the fighter or rogue? Does the rogue flank the two guys going after the wizard or feint the guys charging him and hopes he can stealth away for better positioning? You also got to remember that your players shouldn't metagame the fact they know the five or however many guys charging them are only lvl. 1 or 2.

A good example was one where my players almost killed me because they thought I made an encounter too challenging. I had them come in contact with a level 7 Summoner Synthesist (CR6). At that point they were a mixture of 4th, 5th , and 6th level characters. Their CL came out to be 6th lvl so fair fight (though it was 7 against one). However the way I designed the summoner for melee combat he had potions and spells at hand to increase both his fighting potential and AC. Now the math seems wrong but this guy came out with a 36 ac (Touch 12 Flat 33). However that AC was only for a short amount of time and it dropped rapidly during combat. His normal AC came out to around 24 after all the short term spells expired. But it was those first rounds that had my players freaked.

I always recommend unless you don't have the time to prepare making your own NPC's just so you know their story. That way you can make them less faceless fodder (like in my opinion lots of the beasts from bestiary) but more in depth. Did the summoner my players killed have a family? Will they come seeking revenge? Will they have the resources to resurrect the summoner to go after them again? My players will just have to wait and see.


So I got bored and made some cultists of Lamashtu. I made the first one using a format for play-by-post, and decided that it wasn't worth it. :/

Anyway, here are the Cultists!

Deiros, Cultist of Lamashtu
CR 2

Male Tiefling Magus (Kensai Archtype) 1
NE Medium Outsider(Native)

Init +3

--------------------
DEFENSE
--------------------
AC 16, touch 15, flat-footed 11
hp 27 (3d8+6+3)
Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +3

--------------------
OFFENSE
--------------------
Spd 30 ft.
Melee
Ceremonial(Masterwork) Short Sword +7 (1d6+1/19-20x2) P
Melee Spell +6 (Spell damage/20x2)
Wand of Shocking Grasp +6 (1d6 electricity, x2) 26 charges
Ranged
3 Daggers +6 (1d4+1/19-20x2) P or S Range: 10'

--------------------
STATISTICS
--------------------
13 Str, 17 Dex, 14 Con, 14 Int, 10 Wis, 6 Cha
Base Atk +2; CMB +3; CMD 16

Feats
Lv1: Weapon Finesse(use Dex for attack rolls with certain weapons)
Lv3: Piranha Strike(-1 Attack with Light weapons, +2 Damage)

Skills
Knowledge (planes) +8 (3 + 2 Int + 3 CS)
Knowledge (religion) +8 (3 + 2 Int + 3 CS)
Spellcraft +8 (3 + 2 Int + 3 CS)
Use Magic Device +4 (3 - 2 Cha + 3 CS)

Languages Common, Abyssal, Infernal, Goblin

---------------------------
SPECIAL ABILITIES
---------------------------

Arcane Pool (Su):
3 arcane points. A single point may be spent to grant any weapon being wielded a +1 enhancement bonus for 1 minute. Multiple uses of this ability do no stack.

Cantrips:
The 0 level spells a Magus can cast.

Spell Combat (Ex):
To use this ability, the Magus must have one hand free while wielding a light or one-handed weapon As a full-round action, he can take a -2 to all his attack rolls and cast a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action. He may cast this spell defensively, and may take an extra penalty to all his attack rolls(equal to his Int modifier) and gain a circumstance bonus equal to the penalty on the roll to cast defensively.

Spellstrike (Su):
When Deiros casts a spell with a range of touch, he may make one free melee attack, instead of the usual touch attack, and channel the weapon through his weapon. If used with Spell Combat, all penalties to attack rolls apply to this attack. If the attack hits, the weapon deals it's normal damage plus the effects of the spell. The spell uses the weapon's critical hit range, but the spell's critical hit modifier is x2. The weapon uses it's own critical hit modifier.

Canny Defense (Ex):
When wielding a short sword, not using a shield and wearing only light or no armor, Dieros adds his Intelligence modifier to his Dexterity modifier to determine his Armor Class. If he is flat-footed or otherwise denied his Dexterity modifier, he loses this bonus.

Weapon Focus (Ex):
Deiros gains Weapon Focus(Short Sword) at 1st level as a bonus feat.

Magus Arcana, Level 2: Wand Wielder (EX):
Deiros can choose to activate a wand or staff in place of a spell when using Spell Combat.

Spell Book:

Lv0(DC12): All
Lv1(DC 13): Burning Hands, Color Spray, Expeditious Retreat, Grease, Frostbite, Ray of Enfeeblement, Shocking Grasp, Mirror Strike(Ultimate Combat), Shield

Spells Prepared:

Lv0: 3 Acid Splash, Spark, Daze
Lv1: 2 Frostbite, Shield

---------------------------
RACIAL QUAILITIES
---------------------------

Spoiler:

  • +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Cha
  • Darkvision 60ft
  • Skilled(+2 racial bonus to Bluff and Stealth checks)
  • Spell-Like Ability: Can use Darkness 1/day. Caster level 3
  • Fiendish Resistance: Cold resistance 5, electricity resistance 5, fire resistance 5
  • Fiendish Sorcery(Ex): Tiefling Sorcerers of the Infernal or Abyssal bloodlines treat their Charisma as two points higher for all sorcerer class features.

--------------
GEAR
--------------

Items Worn:

Head:
Neck: Silver Holy Symbol of Lamashtu
Body: Masterwork Silken Ceremonial Armor (Ultimate Combat) decorated in symbols of Lamashtu
Shoulders: Catching Cape(Advanced Player's Guide)
Arms:
Ring 1:
Ring 2:
Waist:
Feet:

Gear:

2 Ioun Torches shaped like howling jackals, Silver Holy Symbol, Signet Ring with the signet slashed, Spell Component Pouch, 160 gp in reagents to write new spells into his spellbook, cleric vestments

Potions/Wands/etc/:
Wand of Shocking Grasp(see above), Potion of Mage Armor(Caster Level 1), Potion of Shield of Faith(Caster Level 1), 4 potions of Cure Light Wounds(Caster Level 1),

Wealth:

24 GP in gems and coins

Shara Mooncrazed:

Cultist of Lamashtu
CR 1/3

Adept 1
Hit Dice: 1d8+1+3+1
Hit Points: 10

Languages: Common

Fort: +1 Ref: +0 Will: +3
BaB: +0
CMB: -1
CMD: 9

Armor Class: 10 =10(Base)+0(Armor)+0(Dex)
Flat-Footed: 10
Touch: 10
Speed: 30ft

Str 8
Dex 10
Con 12
Int 9
Wis 15
Cha 11

Heavy Mace (1d8-1, x2, 8 lbs, B) -1 melee
Heavy Crossbow (1d8, 19-20/x2, 120ft, 8 lbs, P) +0 range
Spell -1 melee or +0 ranged

Skills
Knowledge(Religion): +3 =-1(Int)+1(Rank)+3(Class Skill)
Spellcraft: +3 =-1(Int)+1(Rank)+3(Class Skill)

Feats
Lv1: Improved Initiative
Human: Toughness

Human Racial Features: +2 Wisdom, Bonus Feat(see above), +1 Skill Point per level
Favored Class: Adept(+1 Hit Point)

Gear: Potion of Shield of Faith, 2 Scrolls of Sleep, Wooden Holy Symbol, Cleric's Vestments, 10 Crossbow Bolts, Spell Component Pouch, Scroll of Bless, Scroll of Cause Fear
11 gold

Spells Prepared
Lv0(DC 12): Stabilize, Bleed, Touch of Fatigue
Lv1(DC 13): Protection from Good, Command

My Thoughts: Shara isn't that capable in hand-to-hand, and her ranged abilities aren't much better, but I think her scrolls make up for it a bit. If she has the time, she casts Protection from Good on herself before a fight, and opens with a scroll of Sleep. She has a lot of hit points for a first level caster too, so she has a tiny bit of staying power.

Deiros has the potential to have a very high AC for his CR, and can spike damage a bit using his prepared Frostbite spell. He should be a dangerous adversary without being a party-killer.


^ Why is Deiros, a 1st level magus of a 0 racial hd race a CR 2? Shouldn't he be CR 1/2 by RAW?

(My guess, based on his BAB and saves, is that he's actually a 3rd level magus and you typed the wrong number by mistake, but just figured I'd make sure.)


Gah! Yeah, he is supposed to be level 3. I was sure I had everything right too! XD


How about some CR 2 dwarven infantry -- I want a squad of them with a 2nd level bard and a 2nd level cleric to be an actual threat to a 9th level party.

Liberty's Edge

tonyz wrote:
How about some CR 2 dwarven infantry -- I want a squad of them with a 2nd level bard and a 2nd level cleric to be an actual threat to a 9th level party.

Added to the list. Though do you mean level 2 or CR 2? CR 2 would be Fighter 3 or (more likely) Warrior 4. For a CR 10 encounter (about what you'rte asking for) I'd actually go 12 Warrior 4 soldiers, a Fighter 4 lieutenant, a Bard 4 sergeant and a Cleric 4 chaplain. That should serve as vaguely threatening if built properly.

Sound good?

And sorry again for the delays everyone, yesterday was a much-needed breather (not from this thread specifically, just in general). Stuff should be going up shortly. In the meantime, much as I like getting requests, ther list's growing a bit long. Hold off for a bit until I've completed some of the existing requests, alright folks?


Everyone needs rest. Anyways, this is a for-fun thread. I doubt anyone needs to see a statblock up quickly, so there's no rush, right? ^_^

Liberty's Edge

Best used as a support character, or a one-on-one opponent. Her basic tactic is to Evil Eye someone (-5 to saves, Worst Case Jinx applies), Misfortune them, then either use a spell or use Slumber on them. All while Cackling from high in the air. It's nasty, but she needs somebody to distract the party from all focusing on killing her while she does it.

As a single foe, she's best starting out in a stolen body (with her own hidden and safe), then using Misfortune, followed immediately by Magic Jar on a PC. Rinse and repeat as necessary and amusing.

Her defenses are a bit weak for her level (though Mirror Image helps a little), but her offense is well-nigh unstoppable if she plans it right.

She always has Threefold Aspect, False Life, and Mage Armor active.

CR 10
Halfling Witch (Trickery Patron) 11
CN Small Humanoid
Init +10; Senses Perception +16

DEFENSE
AC 22, touch 15, flat-footed 16 (+4 Armor, +2 Dex, +1 Size, +1 Deflection, +1 Natural Armor, +3 Shield)
HP 85 (11d6+44) + False Life
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +12

OFFENSE
Spd 20 ft.
Melee spear +4 (1d6-2/x3)
Ranged light crossbow +8 (1d6/19-20)

SPELLS
6th: Summon Monster VI,
5th: Baleful Polymorph (DC 20), Magic Jar (DC 20),
4th: Black Tentacles, Confusion (DC 19), Threefold Aspect,
3rd: Bestow Curse, Dispel Magic, Lightning Bolt (DC 18), Stinking Clud (DC 18),
2nd: Blindness/Deafness (DC 17), Mirror Image, False Life, Glitterdust (DC 17), Web (DC 17),
1st: Animate Rope, Charm Person, Enlarge Person, Mage Armor, Reduce Person,
0th: Detect Magic, Light, Message, Stabilize,

STATISTICS
Str 8/6, Dex 16/14, Con 14, Int 16/20, Wis 12/16, Cha 10
BAB +5; CMB +3; CMD 15
Feats Accursed Hex, Improved Intitiative, Malicious Eye, Split Hex, Toughness, Worst Case Jinx,
Skills: Fly +10, Heal +7, Knowledge (Arcana) +19, Knowledge (History) +10, Knowledge (Nature) +10, Knowledge (Planes) +10, Perception +16, Spellcraft +19, Stealth +16,
Languages Common, Halfling, Draconic, Abyssal, Varisian,
Special Familiar (Greensting Scorpion), Hexes (Evil Eye, Cackle, Slumber, Misfortune, Fortune, Flight, Retribution, DC 20), Halfling Jinx Racial Trait,
Combat Gear potion of cure moderate wounds (1), scroll of heroism (2), wand of cure light wounds (16 charges), various other scrolls and wands as necessary,
Gear Cloak of Resistance +2, Ring of Protection +1, Amulet of Natural Armor +1, Mithral Buckler +2, Spear, Light Crossbow w/20 bolts,

Liberty's Edge

Okay, here's that Assassin. He's really a nasty little bastard. Using the Alternate Tiefling stuff to replace his Darkness ability with Small Size.

His basic tactic is to sneak up on his target (possibly under Invisibility), use his Silent Greater Invisibility, and then go to town with Silent Scorching Ray spells and Tricky Spelled Quickened Scorching Rays.

That's 6 attacks each at +16 to hit touch AC each for 9d6 damage of whatever element he likes. The vast majority of foes will take around 189 damage. That's really awful.

His tactics will continue in this vein as necessary to kill his target or targets (though he's more than smart enough to know he lacks the spells to take a whole PC group).

Defensively, he's a bit weak for his CR, but he can use spells to bolster it, and I think his offense makes up for it, don't you?

He is always under the effects of Mage Armor, and Contingency. Just in case. He'll flee with the latter if things aren't going his way starting on around the end of the third round (the first two rounds his Swift Actions are used with Scorching Ray).

He has whatever spells in his spellbook for use with his Bonded Object that the GM decides he has.

CR 15
Tiefling Wizard (Evoker-Admixture) Wizard 5/Assassin 4/Arcane Trickster 7
NE Small Humanoid
Init +8; Senses Perception +20, Darkvision 60 ft.

DEFENSE
AC 30, touch 20, flat-footed 25 (+4 Armor, +4 Dex, +3 Deflection, +2 Natural Armor, +4 Shield, +1 Size, +1 Insight, +1 Dodge)
HP 115 (12d6+4d8+53) + False Life
Fort +11, Ref +14, Will +13 (+2 vs. poison)
Resist cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5,

OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee dagger +14/+9 (1d3/19-20)
Ranged longbow +14/+9 (1d6/x3) or touch attack +14
Special sneak attack +5d6

SPELLS (CL 12)
6th: Quickened Scorching Ray, Quickened Scorching Ray, Getaway,
5th: Silent Greater Invisibility, Magic Jar (DC 22), Polymorph, Teleport, Wall of Force,
4th: Greater Invisibility, Greater Invisibility, Dimension Door, Silent Haste, Resilient Sphere,
3rd: Displacement, Flight, Silent Scorching Ray, Silent Scorching Ray, Silent Scorching Ray, Silent Scorching Ray, Silent Scorching Ray,
2nd: Resist Energy, Scorching Ray, Scorching Ray, Scorching Ray, Mirror Image, False Life,
1st: Mage Armor, Shield, Chill Touch, Vanish, Magic Missile, Illusion of Calm,
0th: Detect Magic, Mage Hand, Prestidigitation, Ghost Sound,

STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 18*, Con 14, Int 24*, Wis 12, Cha 6
BAB +8; CMB +7/11; CMD 26
Feats Dodge, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Quicken Spell, Scribe Scrolls, Silent Spell, Skill Focus (Stealth), Toughness, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (Rays),
Skills: Acrobatics +28*, Bluff +15, Climb +4, Disable Device +25, Disguise +4, Escape Artist +11, Knowledge (Arcana) +26, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +11, Knowledege (Local) +20, Knowledge (Nature) +11, Knowledge (Nobility) +11, Knowledge (The Planes) +9/26, Knowledge (Religion) +11 Perception +20, Sense Motive +11, Sleight of Hand +11, Spellcraft +18, Stealth +35, Swim +4, Use Magic Device +2/17*
Languages Common, Halfling, Draconic, Abyssal, Infernal, Varisian,
Special Bonded Item (Ring), Opposition Schools (Enchantment, Abjuration) Intense Spells (+2), Tricky Spell 4/day, Impromptu Sneak Attack 2/day, Ranged Legerdemain, Poison Use, Death Attack (DC 21), Uncanny Dodge, Hidden Weapons (+4), True Death (DC 31, DC 26 for Remove Curse), Versatile Evocation 10/day,
Combat Gear potion of cure moderate wounds (1), potion of heroism (2), scroll of heroism (2), scroll of bear's endurance (2), scroll of see invisibility (2), wand of cure light wounds (16 charges), wand of invisibility (12 charges), various other scrolls and wands as necessary, (total of around 4500 gp worth, including existing items)
Gear Cloak of Resistance +3, Ring of Protection +3, Amulet of Natural Armor +2, Headband of Intelligence +4 (Knowledge-Religion, Use Magic Device), Belt of Dexterity +2, Masterwork Dagger, +1 AC Ioun Stone, Masterwork Longbow w/20 arrows, Masterwork Thieve's Tools,


Getting closer to the wizard w/familiar... I can hardly wait, like a kid on Christmas!

FYI Azten I'm swiping the adept and DMdub as always; Se Magnifique!

Dwarf Ninja... epic expert...counting down...

Liberty's Edge

And here we have another user of Greater Invisibility (this one via Invisible Blade). He'll use a few buffs, followed by, well, that. Added to a Full Atack he can do quite a bit of damage.

Simple, straightforward, effective. He's assumed to be hidden and at least activate Shield before entering combat. Heroism's next, then Bear's Endurance (assuming he has time).

CR 11
Dwarf Ninja 12
LN Medium Humanoid
Init +5; Senses Perception +17, Darkvision 60 ft.

DEFENSE
AC 28, touch 17, flat-footed 22 (+7 Armor, +5 Dex, +1 Deflection, +1 Dodge, +4 Shield)
HP 105 (12d8+48)
Fort +8, Ref +15, Will +8 (+2 vs. poisons, +4 vs. spells, and spell-like abilities)

OFFENSE
Spd 20 ft.
Melee +14/+14/+9/+9 (1d6/18-20)
Ranged longbow +15/+10 (1d8-1/x3)
Special sneak attack +6d6

STATISTICS
Str 8, Dex 20*, Con 15, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 12
BAB +9; CMB +8/14; CMD 25
Feats Dodge, Extra Rogue Talent, Improved Two Weapon Fighting, Steel Soul, Toughness, Two Weapon Fighting, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (Wakizashi),
Skills:Acrobatics +19, Bluff +10, Climb +5, Diplomacy +7, Disable Device +21*, Escape Artist +9, Knowledge (Nobility) +5, Knowledge (Local) +5, Linguistics +5, Perception +17, Sense Motive +8, Sleight of Hand +19, Stealth +19, Swim +3, Use Magic Device +16,
Languages Common, Dwarven, Tien, Minkai,
Special Ki Pool (7 points), Poison Use, No Trace +4, Light Steps, Improved Uncanny Dodge, Ninja Tricks (Finesse Rogue, Pressure Points, Vanishing Trick, Weapon Training (Wakizashi), Invisible Blade, Evasion, Improved Evasion),
Combat Gear potion of cure moderate wounds (1), scroll of see invisibility (2), potion of heroism (2), potion of bear's endurance (1), wand of shield (16 charges), wand of invisibility (6 charges),
Gear Cloak of Resistance +2, Ring of Protection +1, Belt of Dexterity +2, Mithral Breastplate +1, Two Wakizashis +1, Masterwork Longbow w/20 arrows, Masterwork Thieve's Tools,


Mark Hoover wrote:
FYI Azten I'm swiping the adept and DMdub as always; Se Magnifique!

Why thank you! ^-^

Originally, she was going to be a Dark Tapestry Oracle with either the Blind or Tongues Curse, to tie in with the old myth that sleeping under a moon drove you crazy and the fact I think Lamashtu would make you go crazy if she caught you on a moonlit night... hence the name "Mooncrazed."

But then I made her an Adept and liked it a lot more. Much easier to NPC her that way!

Liberty's Edge

Here we have our Expert. A Half-Orc Blacksmith. He's...okay, honestly, he'd be better in every way as a Warrior. Or a Rogue. Or anything. I tried...but Expert is not the class for combatants.

That said, he's technically within the possible stat basics for a CR 10...barely. And well within them if he has a few rounds to buff (Shield alone does a lot. Shield + Heroism does most of what's needed.)

He's also quite good at social stuff and a reasonable threat at his level for such purposes.

CR 10
Half Orc Expert 12
LN Medium Humanoid
Init +1; Senses Perception +15, Darkvision 60 ft.

DEFENSE
AC 24, touch 11, flat-footed 23 (+10 Armor, +1 Dex, +1 Deflection, +2 Natural Armor)
HP 90 (12d8+36)
Fort +9, Ref +9, Will +11

OFFENSE
Spd 20 ft.
Melee +14/+6 (2d4+15/18-20)
Ranged sling +10 (1d4+4)

STATISTICS
Str 18*, Dex 12, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 8
BAB +9; CMB +13; CMD 25
Feats: Furious Focus, Iron Hide, Medium Armor Proficiency, Heavy Armor Proficiency, Power Attack, Toughess,
Skills: Craft (Weapons) +16, Craft (Armor) +14, Climb +3, Diplomacy +14, Intimidate +16, Perception +15, Sense Motive +15, Swim +3, Use Magic Device +14,
Languages Common, Orc,
Special Sacred Tattoo Racial Trait,
Combat Gear potion of cure moderate wounds (1), potion of heroism (1), potion of bear's endurance (1), wand of shield (8 charges), wand of cure light wounds (9 charges), wand of enlarge person (12 charges),
Gear Cloak of Resistance +2, Full Plate +1, Belt of Strength +2, Ring of Protection +1, Amulet of Natural Armor +1, Masterwork Falchion, Sling w/20 bullets,


Actually...MOONCRAZED is why I'm stealing her. I'm running a game starting at 1st level that kicks off in a week. The theme is evil fey with lycanthropes and monstrous beasts/humanoids peppered in as well. I'm thinking of re-imagining Shara as a witch-type that's working with some mischevious and wicked little fey to spread a curse of lycanthropy in a small town. Initially she's a good little girl until she figures out why the party's in town. Then she gets the order from her coven; it's time for them to go. Command Spell!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:

Okay, here's that Assassin. He's really a nasty little bastard. Using the Alternate Tiefling stuff to replace his Darkness ability with Small Size.

His basic tactic is to sneak up on his target (possibly under Invisibility), use his Silent Greater Invisibility, and then go to town with Silent Scorching Ray spells and Tricky Spelled Quickened Scorching Rays.

That's 6 attacks each at +16 to hit touch AC each for 9d6 damage of whatever element he likes. The vast majority of foes will take around 189 damage. That's really awful.

His tactics will continue in this vein as necessary to kill his target or targets (though he's more than smart enough to know he lacks the spells to take a whole PC group).

Defensively, he's a bit weak for his CR, but he can use spells to bolster it, and I think his offense makes up for it, don't you?

He is always under the effects of Mage Armor, and Contingency. Just in case. He'll flee with the latter if things aren't going his way starting on around the end of the third round (the first two rounds his Swift Actions are used with Scorching Ray).

He has whatever spells in his spellbook for use with his Bonded Object that the GM decides he has.

CR 15
Tiefling Wizard (Evoker-Admixture) Wizard 5/Assassin 4/Arcane Trickster 7
NE Small Humanoid
Init +8; Senses Perception +20, Darkvision 60 ft.

DEFENSE
AC 30, touch 20, flat-footed 25 (+4 Armor, +4 Dex, +3 Deflection, +2 Natural Armor, +4 Shield, +1 Size, +1 Insight, +1 Dodge)
HP 115 (12d6+4d8+53) + False Life
Fort +11, Ref +14, Will +13 (+2 vs. poison)
Resist cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5,

OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee dagger +14/+9 (1d3/19-20)
Ranged longbow +14/+9 (1d6/x3) or touch attack +14
Special sneak attack +5d6

SPELLS (CL 12)
6th: Quickened Scorching Ray, Quickened Scorching Ray, Getaway,
5th: Silent Greater Invisibility, Magic Jar (DC 22), Polymorph, Teleport, Wall of Force,
4th: Greater Invisibility, Greater Invisibility, Dimension Door, Silent Haste, Resilient Sphere,
3rd:...

Great !!! thank you !!!

I wish to use it for my home campaign, the PC's group has made some recurring enemies, powerfull enough to pay for the services of the tiefling. PC's average level 14 and they are smart enough to be a challenge the tiefling can't refuse if given the right payment


Mark Hoover wrote:
Actually...MOONCRAZED is why I'm stealing her. I'm running a game starting at 1st level that kicks off in a week. The theme is evil fey with lycanthropes and monstrous beasts/humanoids peppered in as well. I'm thinking of re-imagining Shara as a witch-type that's working with some mischevious and wicked little fey to spread a curse of lycanthropy in a small town. Initially she's a good little girl until she figures out why the party's in town. Then she gets the order from her coven; it's time for them to go. Command Spell!

Lycanthropy is a disease spread through a bite, which means it's either a venom like a snake would have or it's in the saliva. Either way, just coat arrows, bolts, and daggers with it for tricky ways to spread it!

I've got a bit of a soft spot for lycans, so I'm glad I could help.


Wait...adding lycanthropy is +1cr right? What if lady Mooncrazed is just that?

You said her origin had something to do w/lying under the moon makes someone crazy right? Well there could be some truth to that, especially when the moonlight is illuminating a faerie ring currently corrupted by the unseelie who wickedly whisper all night long about how one bite from the next apple you see and bam; all those haughty villagers who laugh at you will be nothing but ants to your power.

So it goes like this; Shara is an adept, but her weird magical talent has to do with spirits seemingly only she can hear and see. Everyone in town called her mad and when she got peeved and burned down the stables in a fit of rage they exiled her. Then she started living closer to those spirits of hers, and they gave her the idea to go sleep in a mushroom patch on the night of the full moon...

So now she's a were-creature. She still fears the townsfolk a little, so she isn't going to go Crinos and rage all over the town. Instead, some of her little spirit friends (mites) have made it over to the other side, but they only come out at night. They help her get the were-venom out of her mouth in a ritual, and after every full moon she has a fresh new batch of apples to sell. Sometimes the apples kill; other times they just sicken or drive home temporary insanity. But A couple of folks have bitten into fully potent apples and in turn failed their saves... and a pandemic ensues!

Edit: Take THAT everyone who said NPC's suck! Go get 'em Azten, Deadman and Shara Mooncrazed!

Liberty's Edge

ORRUN wrote:

Great !!! thank you !!!

I wish to use it for my home campaign, the PC's group has made some recurring enemies, powerfull enough to pay for the services of the tiefling. PC's average level 14 and they are smart enough to be a challenge the tiefling can't refuse if given the right payment

He'd target the weak links in that case (ie: lowest HP characters), or biggest threats (ie: anyone who can counteract invisibility), followed by whoever was attacking him. He'd still run via Contingency if things looked grim, hoping to come back and finish the job later.

Mark Hoover wrote:
Wait...adding lycanthropy is +1cr right? What if lady Mooncrazed is just that?

It's actually +1 to either the NPC or the base anaimal, whichever is higher, so she needs to be a Wererat specifically if you don't want to raise her CR by more than that (being a werewolf would make her CR 2 for example), but that should certainly be workable.

It also has some nice thematic connections to the mites and the whole 'vermin' thing, even though rats aren't vermin mechanically.

Mark Hoover wrote:
Edit: Take THAT everyone who said NPC's suck! Go get 'em Azten, Deadman and Shara Mooncrazed!

Your enthusiasm is most appreciated. :)


tonyz wrote:
How about some CR 2 dwarven infantry -- I want a squad of them with a 2nd level bard and a 2nd level cleric to be an actual threat to a 9th level party.

Ooh, I like the sound of this. I was gonna request something similar but I dont actually have anywhere to use it. I'd personally vote for warrior levels, here, but I can understand if you need to jack them up to make a CR 9 encounter, but I'm much more interested in seeing NPC classes put to good use.

I'd be willing to post my own take on this myself, too. I've been priding myself lately in building balanced, low-power NPCs. I wouldn't mind seeing if I'm up to the task.

Liberty's Edge

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Okay, I got inspired, so these got done early.

A proper CR 10 encounter with these guys is 12 Warriors and one each of the other three.

You have to bear in mind on these guys that after Bless and Bardic Performance on round one, +2 to hit and +1 damage on all attacks, and can make use of Aid Another when necessary or useful.

15 attacks at +10 per round, even only doing fairly weak damage (and if they all slug back their potions of Enlarge it gets a lot less weak), are pretty good, and the lieutenat is a lot less weak, especially if he gets Bull's Strength on him.

In terms of gear, the Warriors are a little under and the officers a little over, so I think that works out.

Dwarven Soldier CR 2
Dwarven Warrior 4,
LN Medium Humanoid
Init +0; Senses Perception +1, Darkvision 60 ft.

DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 10, flat-footed 20 (+8 Armor, +2 Shield)
HP 34 (4d10+12)
Fort +5, Ref +1, Will +2 (+2 vs. poisons, spells, and spell like abilities)

OFFENSE
Spd 20 ft.
Melee masterwork battle axe +8 (1d8+2/×3) (not including Power Atack)
Ranged light crossbow +4 (1d8/19-20)

STATISTICS
Str 14, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 9, Wis 12, Cha 6
BAB +4; CMB +6; CMD 16
Feats Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Batle Axe)
Skills: Craft (Weapons) +3, Climb -1, Profession (Soldier) +5, Swim -1,
Languages Common, Dwarven,
Combat Gear potion of cure light wounds (2), potion of enlarge person (2), potion of resist energy (2),
Gear Masterwork Half Plate Armor, Masterwork Heavy Steel Shield, Masterwork Battle Axe, Dagger, Light Crossbow w/20 bolts, Pathfinder's Kit, Dungeoneering Kit, 6 GP

Dwarven Lieutenant CR 3
Dwarven Fighter 4,
LN Medium Humanoid
Init +1; Senses Perception +1, Darkvision 60 ft.

DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 11, flat-footed 19 (+9 Armor, +1 Dex)
HP 42 (4d10+16)
Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +2 (+2 vs. poisons, spells, and spell like abilities, +1 vs. fear)

OFFENSE
Spd 20 ft.
Melee masterwork earthbreaker +9 (2d6+12/×3)
Ranged light crossbow +5 (1d8/19-20)

STATISTICS
Str 16, Dex 13, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 6
BAB +4; CMB +7; CMD 18
Feats Furious Focus, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Earthbreaker), Weapon Specialization (Earthbreaker),
Skills: Craft (Weapons) +5, Climb +2, Intimidate +5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +5, Knowledge (Engineering) +5, Profession (Soldier) +6, Survival +5, Swim +2,
Languages Common, Dwarven, Undercommon,
Combat Gear potion of cure light wounds (2), potion of enlarge person (2), potion of resist energy (2),
Gear Masterwork Full Plate Armor, Masterwork Earthbreaker, Dagger, Light Crossbow w/20 bolts, Pathfinder's Kit, Dungeoneering Kit,

Dwarven Sergeant CR 3
Dwarven Bard 4,
LN Medium Humanoid
Init +0; Senses Perception +7, Darkvision 60 ft.

DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 16 (+5 Armor, +1 Shield, +1 Dex, +1 Dodge)
HP 33 (4d8+12)
Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +5 (+2 vs. poisons, spells, and spell like abilities, +4 vs. sonic and language dependent effects)

OFFENSE
Spd 20 ft.
Melee masterwork longsword +8 (1d8+3/19-20)
Ranged light crossbow +5 (1d8/19-20)

SPELLS

2nd: 1/day: Heroism, Mirror Image,
1st: 4/day: Alarm, Detect Secret Doors, Cure Light Wounds, Remove Fear,
0th: Detect Magic, Know Direction, Light, Mage Hand, Mending, Prestidigitation,

STATISTICS
Str 16, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 12
BAB +3; CMB +6; CMD 17
Feats Dodge, Weapon Focus (Longsword),
Skills: Apraise +5, Climb +5, Bluff +5, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (Arcana) +5, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +5, Knowledge (Engineering) +5, Knowledge (History) +5, Knowledge (Local) +5, Perception +7, Profession (Soldier) +7, Perform (Oratory) +8,
Languages Common, Dwarven,
Special: Bardic Performance - 11 rds/day (Inspire Courage +1, Inspire Competence +2, Countersong, Distraction, Fascinate), Bardic Knowledge (+2), Versatile Performance (Perform - Oratory for Diplomacy and Sense Motive),
Combat Gear potion of cure light wounds (1), potion of enlarge person (1), potion of resist energy (1),
Gear Chain Shirt +1, Masterwork Light Steel Shield, Masterwork Longsword, Dagger, Light Crossbow w/20 bolts, Pathfinder's Kit, Dungeoneering Kit, 6 GP

Dwarven Chaplain CR 3
Dwarven Cleric (Torag) 4,
LN Medium Humanoid
Init +0; Senses Perception +3

DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 10, flat-footed 20 (+9 Armor, +1 Shield)
HP 33 (4d8+12)
Fort +7, Ref +2, Will +8 (+2 vs. poisons, spells, and spell like abilities)

OFFENSE
Spd 20 ft.
Melee masterwork warhammer +8 (1d8+3/×3)
Ranged light crossbow +4 (1d8/19-20)

SPELLS

2nd: Bull's Strength, Bull's Strength, Spiritual Weapon, Shield Other* (has tokens for lieutenant and sergeant)
1st: Bless, Remove Fear, Shield of Faith, Shield of Faith, Protection from Chaos,
0th: Create Water, Detect Magic, Purify Food and Drink, Stabilize,

STATISTICS
Str 16, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 16, Cha 11
BAB +3; CMB +6; CMD 16
Feats Combat Casting, Weapon Focus (Warhammer)
Skills: Diplomacy +4, Knowledge (Religion) +3, Profession (Soldier) +7, Sense Motive +7,
Languages Common, Dwarven,
Combat Gear potion of cure light wounds (1), potion of enlarge person (1), potion of resist energy (1),
Special: Domains (Protection, Law), Channel Positive Energy 2d6 3/day (DC 12), Resistant Touch 6/day, Touch of Law 6/day,
Gear Full Plate Armor, Masterwork Light Steel Shield, Masterwork Warhammer, Dagger, Light Crossbow w/20 bolts, Pathfinder's Kit, Dungeoneering Kit, Silver Holy Symbol of Torag, 6 GP


Well look at that, you beat me to it. (And what a beauty they are!) Its a shame the Lord's Banner in the APG is so bloody expensive (though a calavier's banner ability on top of inspire courage would make for some fairly unshakable troops). Are there any other good bonuses to hit chance you could bestow on an entire team of mooks? I suppose there's always higher ground...

One more thing. Do you think there's any merit to a group of tower shield weilding NPCs in formation (utilizing their cover ability to its fullest in avoiding spells and the like? I'm trying to get a grip on what it's applications would be in a straight up melee, as well. Using your dwarves a base (really any race would be pretty similar), it seems the penalty to attack rolls would be far too much to make them an offensive threat in a straight up encounter, in the scheme of things. What can you come up with for making a tower shield toting menace? (You needn't make a whole build, I'm just looking for some insight).

I'd actually never considered the aid another action when it comes to phalanx fighting, either. It almost similates a real phalanx, with the back ranks pushing forward on the front lines.

(Also now that I'm actually making a request I think this is the part where I shower you with praise, Deadmanwalking. Great thread! Great ideas and great execution. I like your style!)


Here's one for ya, And If I like it I will use it in my campaign.

A CR 10 Richman Man (at least 4 level expert) who sells jewelry and his fond of it.

To help you :

- He knows he will get it by an electric specialised Magus
- The player group of pc he will fight have very high melee touch and damage.

Thanks in advance if you can make it.

Liberty's Edge

@Twigs:

I can't think of many. Not at that low a level anyway. Two 7th level Bards instead of two of the three commanders is CR 11 and can give them all better Inspire Courage (+1 to hit and damage) Haste and Good Hope (+3 to hit, +2 damage, +1 AC), and, if one's a court Bard -2 on all the opposition's stuff, jacking the group of them up a lot...but that sorta violates the guidelines I was given. It's a good way to really improve their capabilities, though.

Tower Shields aren't something I've ever done a lot with. The Phalanx Fighter Fighter Archetype eventually removes absolutely all penalties from fighting with one...but only at 11th level. Low-level? It might be worth it on something like an NPC Antipaladin, who can be expected to get bonuses to more than compensate for it.

And Aid Another with Reach Weapons is indeed basically how a Phalanx works. These guys are a litle more skirmish-y and flexible than that, but there are some similarities.

And the praise is appreciated as always. :)
.
.
.
Familiar Wizard and Bodyguard still to go (sometime tomorrow, since it's late). And I think that's a low enough number that I'll be welcoming additional requests again. :)

EDIT:

And there one is!

@malhagor:

Any reason he really needs Expert levels? There's nothing Expert does that Bard or Rogue don't also do, and they both make better combatants.

And, as a rich guy, should I go with full PC level wealth? The PCs will get it, but it'll also make him a lot more daangerous.


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@twigs: build your phalanx at low levels around the teamwork feats. Shield wall (obvious) but also Shake it off. Drop a mid level cleric in their midst with Channeled Sheild Wall. Now their rocking the total cover of the sheilds for everyone and when moving or attacking granting the entire group is at +4 to ac and +4 to all saves.

Add that to, say, Power Attack and cleric buffs, now everyone's attacking with longspears and shortswords, doing decent damage on either and turtling when they need to. Hey look, I just suggested the build of either the real Roman or the fictional Icatian phalanx!


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Mark Hoover wrote:
Edit: Take THAT everyone who said NPC's suck! Go get 'em Azten, Deadman and Shara Mooncrazed!
Your enthusiasm is most appreciated. :)

Quite appreciated indeed. :)


Much appreciated, though I think if I were a dwarven shield wall I'd have some teamwork feats to start with. Maybe a cavalier sergeant handing one or two of them out... Ooh, I have ideas.

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