Request for Rule Book to supplement / augment monsters


Homebrew and House Rules

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Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

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Inspired by James Jacobs (though this is something I sincerely would be cool, so I am not just doing lip service).

I'd like to see a book that adds feats, maneuvers, tricks, and rule mechanic support to existing monsters.

Monster Prestige Classes!

Monster Archetypes!

This could include new templates, advanced templates, and so on, but the book wouldn't need to exclusively templates.

Another idea is some discussion to adding classes to monsters (good and bad design), and maybe a clear guide to advancing or lowering a monster's HD. There is such an article now, but one that walks through the process with an example.

And overall.. just a MONSTER mechanics rule book!

Others are free to expand on this idea.


I'd buy it if they published one.

Scarab Sages

Sounds interesting.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

The more I think about it, the cooler it sounds.

The Advanced Race Guide offered some cool options for 0 level monster races, but there are a host of races that could benefit from some special treatment in the form of archetypes..

For instance: gnolls (slavers, trackers, depraved demon-goddess worshipers)

Or Serpentfolk...
Giants...

Heck, even some of the zero level races could use more material, like the Drow.

A specialized Lich Prestige Class!

There is some cool design space waiting there. Plus you could have some simple material to add to almost any monster.


I'd get this book if you published it.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

More options for GMs to create unique encounters?

Sign me up.


I'm in!

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

No, thank you. I like the way how D&D 3E builds monsters and NPCs out of the same Lego brick set. The more we go into 4E's direction of PC human ranger =/= NPC human ranger the worse.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
No, thank you. I like the way how D&D 3E builds monsters and NPCs out of the same Lego brick set. The more we go into 4E's direction of PC human ranger =/= NPC human ranger the worse.

Okay, but that example doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. An NPC human ranger is a creature, but not exactly a "monster".

I think there is some real validity to your point. Your example should not ever happen.

But rather than say, "No, we shouldn't do that", how about we limit the scope such that the proposed mechanics are only for non-playable creatures. Draw a dark and stark line separating what is intended for players and what is intended for monsters. So the responsibility of the Designers would be balancing to CR and not balancing to Class.

Wasn't Green Ronin's 3E Advanced Template book not a celebrated piece of work for it's time?

Could your concern be a note of caution rather than a forbiddance?

As a side note, I will not quarrel about this—but I have trouble putting any stock in the "Once upon a time WOTC did something bad" position. That is a "sins of the father" argument. Paizo rises and falls on its own merits, and not on what a different company did, elsewhere, some time ago.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Monster books are my crack rock.

Sign me up.


I would definitely like to see such a book. I'm really interested in designing monsters, and more options and advice for doing so would definitely be welcome!


I don't see what Gorbacz is saying. I think such a book could be great if it could stat out some monster NPC's. Yeah I can add sorceror levels to a Kraken or stat up some Gnoll rangers myself, but I am lazy and would like it done for me :P. And new templates would also be great. Not sure how monster archetypes would really work however.


I love this idea.

I'm going to dot this while I think of something to contribute to the conversation :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jim Groves wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
No, thank you. I like the way how D&D 3E builds monsters and NPCs out of the same Lego brick set. The more we go into 4E's direction of PC human ranger =/= NPC human ranger the worse.

Okay, but that example doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. An NPC human ranger is a creature, but not exactly a "monster".

I think there is some real validity to your point. Your example should not ever happen.

But rather than say, "No, we shouldn't do that", how about we limit the scope such that the proposed mechanics are only for non-playable creatures. Draw a dark and stark line separating what is intended for players and what is intended for monsters. So the responsibility of the Designers would be balancing to CR and not balancing to Class.

Wasn't Green Ronin's 3E Advanced Template book not a celebrated piece of work for it's time?

Could your concern be a note of caution rather than a forbiddance?

As a side note, I will not quarrel about this—but I have trouble putting any stock in the "Once upon a time WOTC did something bad" position. That is a "sins of the father" argument. Paizo rises and falls on its own merits, and not on what a different company did, elsewhere, some time ago.

What I want not to happen is another Improved Natural Attack with the "Monks can't take that" clause. Or weird stuff that happens because a Synthesist/Druid takes a monster feat that was not tested against possibility of a PC taking it. Or a monster PrC where a designer thought "no way a PC will ever be able to qualify" only to have Ravingdork build a char that can qualify the next day.


I'm down with this.

Bring it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
No, thank you. I like the way how D&D 3E builds monsters and NPCs out of the same Lego brick set. The more we go into 4E's direction of PC human ranger =/= NPC human ranger the worse.

This is absolutely NOT what I'd want the book to be.

It would embrace the fact that monsters are built using the same "Legos" that PCs are built out of. The problem is, there's several books of Lego expansions for PCs, but very very few Lego expansions for monsters. THAT'S what this book would be about.

The trickiest hurdle to clear for a book like this is the fact that it's not really a book for players, and that tends to make folks nervous since the perception is that the book would sell much less. I'm not sure that's the case, since Bestiaries aren't player books and they seem to be selling just fine.

It'd pretty much be a crunch-heavy book for GMs, and NOT for players.

As a GM, and as someone who writes and develops lot of adventures... I've always felt these books for other systems are worth their weight in gold. And almost as rare.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Gorbacz wrote:
What I want not to happen is another Improved Natural Attack with the "Monks can't take that" clause. Or weird stuff that happens because a Synthesist/Druid takes a monster feat that was not tested against possibility of a PC taking it. Or a monster PrC where a designer thought "no way a PC will ever be able to qualify" only to have Ravingdork build a char that can qualify the next day.

These are valid concerns. I respect this caution. I think there are ways to avoid this from happening, but I don't want you to think that your concern isn't noteworthy.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
No, thank you. I like the way how D&D 3E builds monsters and NPCs out of the same Lego brick set. The more we go into 4E's direction of PC human ranger =/= NPC human ranger the worse.

This is absolutely NOT what I'd want the book to be.

It would embrace the fact that monsters are built using the same "Legos" that PCs are built out of. The problem is, there's several books of Lego expansions for PCs, but very very few Lego expansions for monsters. THAT'S what this book would be about.

The trickiest hurdle to clear for a book like this is the fact that it's not really a book for players, and that tends to make folks nervous since the perception is that the book would sell much less. I'm not sure that's the case, since Bestiaries aren't player books and they seem to be selling just fine.

Yes, but players will use it anyway. Unless you write a big "VERBOTEN" sign on the cover (which will raise a hellfire of "Paizo hates players, we knew it all along") you will have people combing the book for crazy combos in a jiffy. And unless the book takes into account PCs using stuff in there, you'll have "look I broke the game lulz Paizo fails at design again" threads. And that's kind of damaging :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
No, thank you. I like the way how D&D 3E builds monsters and NPCs out of the same Lego brick set. The more we go into 4E's direction of PC human ranger =/= NPC human ranger the worse.

This is absolutely NOT what I'd want the book to be.

It would embrace the fact that monsters are built using the same "Legos" that PCs are built out of. The problem is, there's several books of Lego expansions for PCs, but very very few Lego expansions for monsters. THAT'S what this book would be about.

The trickiest hurdle to clear for a book like this is the fact that it's not really a book for players, and that tends to make folks nervous since the perception is that the book would sell much less. I'm not sure that's the case, since Bestiaries aren't player books and they seem to be selling just fine.

Yes, but players will use it anyway. Unless you write a big "VERBOTEN" sign on the cover (which will raise a hellfire of "Paizo hates players, we knew it all along") you will have people combing the book for crazy combos in a jiffy. And unless the book takes into account PCs using stuff in there, you'll have "look I broke the game lulz Paizo fails at design again" threads. And that's kind of damaging :)

I absolutely don't mind at all if players use a book like this anyway. In fact, that's cool.

What I do mind is the design philosophy that it's a book FOR players.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'd like to add my voice to a request for this, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.


This book sounds like an awesome idea.

Some new templates and monster feats are needed.

Monster prestige classe is a great idea. It is a nice way to scale monsters, specialize them and add texture to them.

Monster archetype!? I'm listening.


Heck yes. Two knives up!


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

If you allow your players to play "characters" that qualify for options that are designed explicitly for "monsters", such as, what, maybe devil archetypes, dragon feats, or alternate swarm abilities, then you have lost anyway (in my eyes). :)

Having racial archetypes that are only available to non-player races doesn't break the paradigm that PCs and NPCs are built from the same blocks at all.

What James describes sounds very much like a book I'd love to get. Much more than a potential "NPC Codex 2", and very much more than yet another "Freak Races Options for PCs" type book.

Liberty's Edge

James Jacobs wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
No, thank you. I like the way how D&D 3E builds monsters and NPCs out of the same Lego brick set. The more we go into 4E's direction of PC human ranger =/= NPC human ranger the worse.

This is absolutely NOT what I'd want the book to be.

It would embrace the fact that monsters are built using the same "Legos" that PCs are built out of. The problem is, there's several books of Lego expansions for PCs, but very very few Lego expansions for monsters. THAT'S what this book would be about.

The trickiest hurdle to clear for a book like this is the fact that it's not really a book for players, and that tends to make folks nervous since the perception is that the book would sell much less. I'm not sure that's the case, since Bestiaries aren't player books and they seem to be selling just fine.

It'd pretty much be a crunch-heavy book for GMs, and NOT for players.

As a GM, and as someone who writes and develops lot of adventures... I've always felt these books for other systems are worth their weight in gold. And almost as rare.

With a batch of templates? :D


I'm going to have to say nay to this one. It wouldn't be a bad thing if they made it (I'm not hurt by optional content I choose to not use), but I don't see a point.

I feel like this could only ever be so minimal changes that they're easily done by the GM (It only takes a few seconds to swap out a monster's feats, and any other adjustments to abilities, vulnerabilities, etc. don't take very long either) or they would be so different that they warrant simply making new monsters from scratch.

I would much prefer just another bestiary, preferably one that has more Outsiders in the CR2-4 range. I'm running a campaign centered on fighting devils and my players are in an awkward spot where the only actual outsiders are either too small and weak to pose a fight or too powerful to not qualify for being a BBEG. I've had to fiat and finesse other monsters into form.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Basically, this is the book I wanted instead of the NPC Codex.


Sounds great, would buy such a book!


It sure sounds better than the NPC codex to me.

I would not buy it myself as I don't care for hundreds of goblins, gnolls, hobgoblins, orcs and other such overused humanoids clad in different armor and wielding different weapons, but I support it anyway over the NPC Codex.

Liberty's Edge

It's tools to help you build your own monsters. Even though I have a stupid amount of experience in doing that, I'm anxious to see this...a little too anxious...but if it did coincide with Christmas, it would somehow seem appropriate. Can I get mine gift-wrapped, and labeled: from Santa? :D

It's like a mechanic with a small toolbox of tools can do just about anything...but it's so much easier with one of those giant chest boxes stuffed with the right tool for every occasion... :)

Dark Archive

Id be up for this kind of book, but Paizo if you do do it, have a little on the story elements of increasing monsters, a page or 2, to bring home what X ad Y mechanics represent in the setting


Hmm ... something along the lines of "Savage Species" for GMs to enhance/modify and or customize monsters or monstrous opponents?

Yes, yes I'd certainly enjoy such a book.

***And perhaps "Savage Species" was a bad parallel to make.***

In either case however, the above hypothetical book would be a welcome one to my ever-expanding Paizo Publishing library. :)

~Dean


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

I would also like this book


A book like this would be awesome


My interest would be dependent on the size of the book – the bigger the better. I would pass if it were a 32 page and buy if it were a 256 page hardback.

Both the desire to see options that wouldn’t be taken by players as “haha, I broke PF” and the very real need to market to more than just game masters are both valid concerns. Scaling in RPGs is definitely more art than a science.

I would definitely like to see sidebars on design intents in something like this as well, if possible (ex: notes on thematic choices vs. mechanically optimal choices).

-TimD


Yes please.

Grand Lodge

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I know I'm a little biased as I'm typically a GM and not a player, but I yearn for Advanced Monster Guide.

Liberty's Edge

TimD wrote:

My interest would be dependent on the size of the book – the bigger the better. I would pass if it were a 32 page and buy if it were a 256 page hardback.

Both the desire to see options that wouldn’t be taken by players as “haha, I broke PF” and the very real need to market to more than just game masters are both valid concerns. Scaling in RPGs is definitely more art than a science.

I would definitely like to see sidebars on design intents in something like this as well, if possible (ex: notes on thematic choices vs. mechanically optimal choices).

-TimD

I vote for 400 pages +...or multiple volumes. ;)


Looks like I'm "that guy".


Ya know, this really does sound like a more efficient use of space. Why write seven oozes when you can write two oozes and swap around some of the abilities amongst them?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'd be down for it, especially with new feats and new templates. I would also be okay with it having a gallery of monstrous NPCs with certain class levels. Like ogre barbarians or intellect devourer wizards. I think making NPCs focused on the non-0HD races would be more useful to me than something like the NPC Codex.


Great idea. Absolutely fantastic. I don't see a problem with this at all. I don't see how it shouldn't offer ideas and concepts; give GMs some background logic and theory on when/how/if to apply; use the same components as PCs; be ostensibly for GMs but available to players (love me some gnoll demon worshipping slaver PC action); be deliciously illustrated inside with a spankin' WAR cover; give some templates, archetypes and a bunch (100+) of "dynamic statblocks" - each easily modified with a few small feat, weapon or armor options for example...

GMs do a lot of this kinda stuff all the time. Giving them a resource with which to make such endeavours easy and streamlined with advice, or by merely providing "dynamic statblocks" is a no-brainer.

I don't buy into a GM/PC sourcebook disparity or perceived focus - ideally any source/rule book can enhance any person's appreciation, enjoyment and understanding of Pathfinder. A lot of folk swing both ways.

I vote "Advanced Monster Guide", with "Ultimate Monsters" a close second and "Advanced Bestiary" a very, very distant third...


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Well Green Ronin might take issue with the name Advanced Bestiary... ;)

But I can definitely stand behind Advanced Monster Guide. Had a better ring to it than Ultimate Monsters. :)


Here's another vote for "Advanced Monster Guide"

I'd also argue that this isn't entirely for GM's. There are many ways this could be useful to players. Summoning creatures, binding outsiders, polymorphing, or animating the undead all benefit from having a wider breadth of options. Crafted Constructs and leadership-friendly cohort monsters are great material to have, and a staple of smaller groups. PC's may still, on occasion, qualify for monster-specific feats. Finally, there's the obvious case of monsters as PC's.

Though this would primarily be a tool for GM's, I think it's unfounded to say it's something that a player wouldn'th ave a use for it.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, another "Fighters, Rogues and Monks can't have nice things" book? ;-)


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Gorbacz wrote:
So, another "Fighters, Rogues and Monks can't have nice things" book? ;-)

Point humorously taken Gorbacz! ;) I would counter with "Nope - let's see plenty of Martial support for monster Archetypes, (martial) monsters as PCs, monstrous thieves' guilds, spy networks, mercenary companies and warrior societies. Acapella Atropal Bards, Ninja Nymphs, Raging Barbarian Berbalangs, Shy yet Inquisitive Shae Inquisitors etc etc etc..."

Liberty's Edge

Gorbacz wrote:
So, another "Fighters, Rogues and Monks can't have nice things" book? ;-)

Noooo...these are nice things for my fighter to play with, when he's done with the goblins, the manticores, the giants, and the dragons. :D


Sounds like an awesome idea for a book. I'm in.


So to me it sound like a hard back version of this stuff put together: Classic Monster, Giant, Orc, Dungeon Denizes, Miss Fit Toy, Book of the Dammed I, Book of the Dammed II, & Book of the Dammed III. Haven't you guy been doing that all along? I mean what would you be putting in to this new book that that you have not put allready to this stuff?


I would buy it ASAP lol.

Infact if you make an peice of software that will apply these templates, classes, and archetypes to the monsters and spit out stat blocks for me I'll buy that as well...yes i realize that this would probally happen anyway just wanted to say I'd be willing to pay for it.


Ruick wrote:

I would buy it ASAP lol.

Infact if you make an peice of software that will apply these templates, classes, and archetypes to the monsters and spit out stat blocks for me I'll buy that as well...yes i realize that this would probally happen anyway just wanted to say I'd be willing to pay for it.

herolab dude

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