New DM looking for help to Balance Custom Monster


Advice


Hi there, everyone.

I'm fairly new at DMing and recently tried my hand at making a custom monster. Let it be known that I did this without having read through the monster creation rules written down in the Bestairy, I just sort of wrote what I felt would be a good creation. Now that I'm done with it, I would like some feedback about it (it is a highly specialized creature, by the way, made for a specific campaign I am running) and maybe also some help on balancing it if it is too unbalanced to see play. Thank you for your time, everyone.

The Monster:

Twilight Initiate - Blackscale Skulk
CE Medium Undead
Init +8, Darkvision 60 ft, Perception +6

Defenses
AC 16, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+4 dex, +2 natural)
Hp 16 (3d8+3)
Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +3
DR 5/good, Immunities (undead traits)

Offenses
Speed 40 ft.
Melee Twilight Dagger +6 (1d4+2 plus *poison), Twilight Chains +6 (1d6+2, reach, trip)
Special Attacks: Black Bolt, Poison, Twilight Pool (4 pts)

Statistics
Str 15, Dex 18, Con --, Int 3, Wis 11, Cha 12
Base Atk: +2, CMB: +4, CMD: 16
Feats: Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills: Acrobatics +7, Climb +8, Intimidate +7, Perception +6, Stealth +10
Languages: Understands all spoken langauges, but cannot speak itself.

Special Abilities
Black Bolt: The Black Bolt is a ranged, supernatural attack that targets two creatures that can be no more than 30 ft. from each other. It has a range of 60 ft. and inflicts 2d6 points of damage to both targets. Each target is entitled a Reflex saving throw (DC 12, cha based) to halve the damage.
Poison: The Blackscale Skulk uses a very potent type of poison known as the Twilight Poison. It enters the victim through external injury and permits no saving throw. The twilight poison has an immediate but non-permanent effect that reduces the victims intelligence and wisdom scores by 1d4. This ability score damage returns at the speed of one point per ability score per hour.
Twilight Pool: This is a pool of dark energies permits the Blackscale Skulk to perform special abilities. The points in the pool is calculated by HD+Cha Mod (minimum 1) and can be used in the following ways; Black Bolt (2 pts), Poison (1 pts, last for 1 minute), Twilight Step (1 pts, teleports the Blackscale Skulk back to the Twilight Isles).

All in all, there are seven types of these monsters, whom I group together as Twilight Soldiers, and each type has four different difficulty levels, all of which I plan on constructing. But before I move on with my project, I'd like some constructive critizism and feedback on this monster. I also need help determining the CR of this one (it's supposed to be fairly low, I imagine 1 or 2). Once again, thanks for taking the time to read this far, I really appreciate it.

Dark Archive

Nice job !
anyway here are my critics.
well, on the top of my head, there is this DR5/good that is pretty high in fact for a 3HD monster (remember that only paladin can produce good weapon, or the weapon needs to be +4 to bypass it) I would say DR5/bludgeoning.
the int of 3 on the other hand, is pretty low. I don't expect a monster to trip its ennemies with such an int. BTW how did it get so many skill points ? you might exchange int and wis.

I would say CR2 or 3.

my 0.02€


The poison seem too powerful. A 3 hd that deal 1d4 to 2 stat, one of which will be arguably low for most characters, seems a shut down. Wiz tend to shut down on wisdom side, and sorcerers in both. Rogues as well. No save is too much, imho.


Blackstorm stated: The poison seem too powerful. A 3 hd that deal 1d4 to 2 stat
I do not agree as the damage isn't permanent and even recovers in a matter of hours. I actually think that this would refer to the same rules as tempory damage of hit points. You could be reduced to 0 int or wis but would not die of that, although you would go unconscious.

My challenge rating would be 2 because it's a 3hd monster, that has a relatively average armor class and does not get extremely powerfull abilities. I really like that poison damage thing actually.
I agree with the intelligence observation and would either not let them have intelligence or make it 10.
The poison isn't overkill in my opinion as the 'saving throw' is basically your armor class. There are more poisons that are delivered in this way and do not allow the saving throw on the contamination. Maybe you could allow a save for half damage????

Now that I think of it: Wouldn't the poison be better decribed as marihuana????

But I must compliment you Eiliya for creating a very potent monster. Respect


Snowleopard wrote:

Blackstorm stated: The poison seem too powerful. A 3 hd that deal 1d4 to 2 stat

I do not agree as the damage isn't permanent and even recovers in a matter of hours. I actually think that this would refer to the same rules as tempory damage of hit points. You could be reduced to 0 int or wis but would not die of that, although you would go unconscious.

If you go unconscious, there's the coup de grace. These monsters doesn't seem so smart, so the flavor seems to imply that they go to kill them. Again, the poison last 1 min, that mean 10 round, 10 hit. Just use 3 of them, and with a bit of lucky you get rid of anyone, it the pcs are in that level range. My problem is not that's a permanent or temporary damage, normally poisons deal tmeporary damage anyway, but that poison has no save. If they hit, you can't resist in any way. Thast's not something I see like a poison.

Quote:
There are more poisons that are delivered in this way and do not allow the saving throw on the contamination.

Here's the list. Find one single poison that doesn't allow save.


r-Kelleg said wrote:
DR5/good is too powerful for the HD.

Yeah, I got that feeling as well, actually. The monster is supposed to be encased in an exo-skeleton that trongly resembels a scalemail, so I guess bludgeoning works wonders there, right? Thanks for that tip.

r-Kelleg said wrote:
The int of 3 on the other hand, is pretty low.

The low intelligence is supposed to represent that the creature is being remote-controlled by something akin to a hivemind. Should I increase it to represent the collective consciousness instead?

r-Kelleg said wrote:
BTW, how did you get so many skill points?

I thought undead got 4+Int Mod (min 1) per level. Doesn't this mean that they get, at the very least, 5 points per level? Or does it mean that the result of 4+Int Mod cannot go below 1? If it is the second alternative, the skills will have to be changed, of course.

Blackstorm said wrote:
The poison is too powerful.

I made the poison so strong to represent the fact that it is a cocktail of drugs and hypnogenes that the world has not seen in nearly a thousand years. The beings that live today have no resistance against it, so I figured a saving throw would be strange. Why would your anti-bodies resist something they don't understand is dangerous? Should I lower the actual effect of the poison to compensate for the lack of a save?

Blackstorm said wrote:
If you go unconscious, there's the coup de grace.

A Coup is an automatic critical hit, right..? If you look at the weapons these creatures wield, you'll note that there are no critical values written there. This is not a miss from my side, the Blackscale Skulkers are incapable of scoring critical hits. As such, the fear of a Coup should be unneccessary. This, of course, does not change the fact that falling unconscious would still be horribly bad.

Blackstorm said wrote:
Just use 3 of them-

I wasn't sure if it was important or not, so I didn't mention it in my previous post, but these creatures are designed to either go solo or come in a Twilight Assault Team made up of one Blackscale, one Bluescale, one Redscale and one Whitescale. The other three I haven't constructed yet, but it's basically meant to be one assassin, one brute, one defender and one controller.

Snowleopard said wrote:
Compliment you for creating a very potent monster.

Thank you for the kind words, I will take them to heart.

So, all in all, what people would like to see changed here is the functions of the poison and the Blackscales intelligence value? Once I recieve feedback on this new post, I'll get about remaking the monster and we'll see how it goes. Thanks for your comments and critics, everyone.


Eiliya wrote:
I made the poison so strong to represent the fact that it is a cocktail of drugs and hypnogenes that the world has not seen in nearly a thousand years. The beings that live today have no resistance against it, so I figured a saving throw would be strange. Why would your anti-bodies resist something they don't understand is dangerous? Should I lower the actual effect of the poison to compensate for the lack of a save?

If you put it this way, it's even more strange the lack of save. A toxic substance is still attacked from your body the moment it recognizes as toxic, and that happen really fast. What means that beings live now don't have resistance? If it's a poison, they can resist? Why my body should know about it? A 1 hd commoner would have their save vs Black Lotus Extract, and his body has never "known" (whatever you mean) the black lotus, so why should he get save? For the same reason because in real world a person can fight illness: your body is capable to recognize a substance as toxic and fight it. More or less efficiently, yes, but still is capable to do. If you want to stick with an idea like this, bind that to the ancient knowledge of the "world energy" or something like that, instead of poison. Anyway, you need to define what tipe are the abilities: Ex, Sp, Su?

At first glance, they seems Su.

Quote:
A Coup is an automatic critical hit, right..? If you look at the weapons these creatures wield, you'll note that there are no critical values written there. This is not a miss from my side, the Blackscale Skulkers are incapable of scoring critical hits. As such, the fear of a Coup should be unneccessary. This, of course, does not change the fact that falling unconscious would still be horribly bad.

Two thoughts:

1) What do you mean with "they incapable of scoring critical hit"? A crit is not something you made your own will: a crit is a well placed hit, or a lucky one. Nobody has a critical range: weapons have a critical range, not people. So, at the very least, the daggers should crit 20/x2. It has nothing to do with your will (even if some can argue that you can not roll for confirm if you desire, but Int 3 seems a bit too low to achieve that), and if you deal a coup de grace you crit. Then you can argue that these monster are incapable of making coup de grace, and this is another question. I suggest you to stick with the latter.
2) Even in that case, 1 hour is more than enough to slice the party in thin strips of meat. So, if you get a bit more luky, you could tpk anyway.

Quote:


I wasn't sure if it was important or not, so I didn't mention it in my previous post, but these creatures are designed to either go solo or come in a Twilight Assault Team made up of one Blackscale, one Bluescale, one Redscale and one Whitescale. The other three I haven't constructed yet, but it's basically meant to be one assassin, one brute, one defender and one controller.

No, you didn't said.


One thing, A Coup de Grace is not just an automatical Crit, but on top of that crit forces the victim to make a Fortitude Save with a DC of 10 + damage dealt. Even if the monster is unable to score crits (which I find quite strange, what reason for that would there be, fluff-wise?) it would inflict a maximum of 6 damage with its dagger (ignoring the chain, since a reach weapon can't attack adjacent targets and you need to be adjacent to a creature you want to CdG), meaning a dc 16 save against death. That's still pretty harsh against low level characters.


Kalridian wrote:
One thing, A Coup de Grace is not just an automatical Crit, but on top of that crit forces the victim to make a Fortitude Save with a DC of 10 + damage dealt. Even if the monster is unable to score crits (which I find quite strange, what reason for that would there be, fluff-wise?) it would inflict a maximum of 6 damage with its dagger (ignoring the chain, since a reach weapon can't attack adjacent targets and you need to be adjacent to a creature you want to CdG), meaning a dc 16 save against death. That's still pretty harsh against low level characters.

1) IIRC, if you want to do a cdg, you must do a crit: creatures immune to crits are immune to cdg too.

2) chains don't have a reach in PF ;)


Blackstorm wrote:
If it is a poison, they can resist it.

Let me try to rephrase my explanation, since I obviously was not clear enough. All living things have something called an immune system that helps the living being protect iself against harmful, foreign objects (usually bacteria or viruses). This immune system is partially born within us, inherited from our parents, but also built up as we live our lives. If generations upon generations are never exposed to a specific subject, then the immune system builds up no resistance against that subject, leaving us utterly helpless incase we do encounter it. In Pathfinder, I have understood that the save against diseases and poison represents the characters immune system. As such, since the twilight poison has not been around for roughly a millenia, any resistance that might have existed against it during the early ages have long since vanished from the normal, playable races, thus resulting in a completely defenseless immune system (which means no save).

Kalridian wrote:
What reason for that would there be, fluff-wise?

Fluff-wise, all twilight weapons strike at the forces that hold reality together. If we think of it in real terms, then I guess they'd be damaging the bonds that make atoms form into moecules. In game terms, these forces lack any vital areas that can be targeted and as such are immune to critical hits. As such, weapons that target them have no stats for critical factors. This is at least how it works in the campaign where the Twilight Soldiers are used.

Kalridian wrote:
A DC 16 save against death is still pretty hard for low lever characters.

I forgot about that part of the CdG. That should still not be an issue, however, since the weapons do not actually hit the character. Any Fortitude save should be made by the force of reality, which like constructs should be immune to effects that require a fortitude save.

Once again, thanks for the comments and critique. I would like to see some actual suggestions on how to solve the unbalanced aspects though, not just people pointing them out, even if that is helpful as well :-)


Eiliya wrote:


Let me try to rephrase my explanation, since I obviously was not clear enough. All living things have something called an immune system that helps the living being protect iself against harmful, foreign objects (usually bacteria or viruses). This immune system is partially born within us, inherited from our parents, but also built up as we live our lives. If generations upon generations are never exposed to a specific subject, then the immune system builds up no resistance against that subject, leaving us utterly helpless incase we do encounter it. In Pathfinder, I have understood that the save against diseases and poison represents the characters immune system. As such, since the twilight poison has not been around for roughly a millenia, any resistance that might have existed against it during the early ages have long since vanished from the normal, playable races, thus resulting in a completely defenseless immune system (which means no save).

Not only, but in that case close enough. I understand what you mean, but, simply, that's not coherent.

Realism point (altough Pf is not realistic):

Even if generation passes, you can find someone capable of resist to disease. And the poison is, as well, more easy: if you ingest a substance, any substance, or if you injured an get this substance throught your veins, the body will try to fight it, no matter if this substance is forgotten from eons or newly create (wich is the same thing): your body recognize it as poisonous, so it will fight it. It could fail, true, but it still fight. The diseases are fighted as well, unless you have immunitary deficiency. The real world works like that.

Game Point:
PCs are, basically, heroes that has chance to succeed where normal people don't even has the chance to try.

That said,, if you say so, stick with it, simply a poison doesn't work this way, but it's your world. Still, it seems too strong.

Quote:
Fluff-wise, all twilight weapons strike at the forces that hold reality together. If we think of it in real terms, then I guess they'd be damaging the bonds that make atoms form into moecules. In game terms, these forces lack any vital areas that can be targeted and as such are immune to critical hits. As such, weapons that target them have no stats for critical factors. This is at least how it works in the campaign where the Twilight Soldiers are used.

Sorry, but I'm confused: you mean that people are immune to criticals? Or you're saying that the wepons don't have vital areas so they are immune to crit so they cannot crit? Or what else?

Quote:


I forgot about that part of the CdG. That should still not be an issue, however, since the weapons do not actually hit the character. Any Fortitude save should be made by the force of reality, which like constructs should be immune to effects that require a fortitude save.

Hmmm. As such they shouldn't even do damage to players.

Quote:
I would like to see some actual suggestions on how to solve the unbalanced aspects though, not just people pointing them out, even if that is helpful as well :-)

Pointed and suggested, you didn't like it. What else?


I get what you are going for with the twilight weapons. I think you need to add an EX ability to your monsters explaining what a twilight weapon is and how it functions.

As to the poison, i think it is to strong for this level of play. I would simply have each hit when they are using poision do 1 int and 1 wis damage as well as HP.

I would turn black bolt into a ranged touch instead of a reflex save.

The twilight step ability will frustrate players.

How do they refill the pool? Does it start full or at 0?

It might be interesting to grant them 1 pool for every 2 point of ability damage they do.


Blackstorm wrote:
Your body recognize it as poisonous.

The point here is that your body actually, in fact, does not recognise the twilight poison as something that is harmful to you and as such does not resist the subject. Although it is true that you might manage to find a few individuals who still have a lingering resistance to ancient diseases, this is by no means the common standard. If the Black Plague from the Dark Ages were to somehow resurface in modern days, the vast majority of the world would still have no means to resist it.

Blackstorm wrote:
I'm confused. + They shouldn't even do damage to players.

I thought I was clear enough with that, but I suppose not. No, the weapons do not actually deal damage to the players, they deal damage to the divine powers the gods used when they created the multiverse and everything within it. Since there are no actual rules for these powers, much less for how to damage them, I simply used the already existing rules of hit points in the game. The only way this actually influences the game is through the fact that critical hits cannot be scored with these weapons. I also considdered making it so that creatures killed by a twilight weapon vanished from the soul flow, thus becomming impossible to revive or ressurect, but scrapped that idea since it felt somewhat unbalanced.

Blackstorm wrote:
Pointed and suggested, you didn't like it.

As far as I can remember, you only pointed out that you didn't like the poison because it permitted no save. You didn't actually suggest what to save against, nor what the DC value should be at. You also didn't even considder the possibility of an alternate solution, such as lowering the effect of the poison, except that you suggested me to change the type of effect, which I could, sure, but it would still work in the same way and anyone who reads the lore would go What? Why isn't this a poison?. Well, no matter. I'm altering the weight of the effect and allowing a save to reduce (but not ignore) the effect.


Eiliya wrote:


Blackstorm wrote:
Pointed and suggested, you didn't like it.
As far as I can remember, you only pointed out that you didn't like the poison because it permitted no save. You didn't actually suggest what to save against, nor what the DC value should be at.

I didn't suggest anything else that add a cd, but you didn't like the suggestion, so why I should bother to suggest a value? you want your poison had no save, guge ability damage, with the fluff "your body doesn't know". So, stick with it, I don't see why I should suggest a DC that would be ignored anyway since you don't want a DC for your poisonlike. Your first answer was "I made it this way because it alter the reality and the bodies don't know, so they can't resist". What number should I suggest? You clearly don't want a DC, so I just give up, and tried to understand what you mean for "poison" in your world. Your answer was "I made it strong because [fluff]". What did you expect I say? It's fluff, so take the poisonlike ability of this mosters as you want. That's the only thing I pointed, aside the RD that could or could not be an issue, and you seemed to don't even consider to add a DC or reduce effect.


Mathius wrote:
Lots of useful, constructive comments.

Wow, someone who understands what I'm after and actually suggests how to solve it. Thanks for that, I'm grateful :-)

I never actually considdered adding an explanation of the weapon-type, but now that I think on it, alot of other creatures with special gear have noted concerning it, so I guess I should do that.

I was actually considdering doing that myself, and adding the ability damage as a property to the weapon instead. Would that make more sense, maybe? If I did, however, it would stop being a poison and the damage would stop self-healing. It would go from ability damage to ability loss, I guess?

The purpose of the dark bolt is that creatures targeted by it can't completely evade it (unless they have evasion or similar stuff), which is why I wanted to use a save rather than an attack roll. A successful save still deals half damage, but a failed touch attack deals no damage.

Well, the Skulks are of the Blackscales, which are created as scouts and assassins, so a swift and easy escape/return to HQ is a natural part of their basic construction. Fluff-wise, all blackscales except the commander of the hivemind always fight to the death, so if the Step frustates players, that's in the hands of their DMs, I think.

I intended to have them start with the Pool full, but it would be cool if they had to fill it through combat. I think I'll go with that. Sure, the creature gets a bit weaker in the start, since it can't use it's powers right from the get-go, but in exchange, they can recharge through out the combat.


Blackstorm wrote:
why I should bother to suggest a value?

Half-hearted comments like those make me feel somewhat sad, to be honest. You clearly want there to be a save for the ability, but you can't even think up a suggestion and blame your inability on my fluff? That's hardcore, man. If you don't want to bother suggesting a value, why should I bother considdering it?

Well, anyways Blackstorm, thank you for at least giving it a try. Luckily for me, someone just showed up with some actual alternate suggestions that could fulfill what I was after without compromising the concept, so I'm good and ready now :-)


Re: poison

Your body fights diseases and poisons differently. A disease is a micro-organizm that attempts to trick your body into ignoring it. If you your body was bad at fighting off things it had never seen, we would all be dead the next time the common cold mutated (thats every year :)) The human body is really really good at adapting to new pathogens.

A poison is a molecule that physically destroys some subsystem of your body. Your liver fights this by filtering every foreign element from your blood stream and then putting back the things you need. Its a "deny all" system that is not tricked by foreign bodies. You could drink anti-freeze (please don't) and your body will *try* to filter it.

A Fort. save represents how strong your immune system / liver is, and how well it adapts to new dangers.

Re: no crits

If twilight blades disrupt matter, would it not be worse to have your heart atoms disrupted than your arm attoms disrupted? Hence, crit.


Blackstorm wrote:
Snowleopard wrote:

Blackstorm stated:

Quote:
There are more poisons that are delivered in this way and do not allow the saving throw on the contamination.
Here's the list. Find one single poison that doesn't allow save.

I thought all the injury poisons didn't allow a save against contamination as this was handled by your armor class. But now that I read it again I am not sure. It seems that you get a save against being contaminated even though you are wounded with a poisonous weapon. But that's the reason I suggested a saving throw against the damage for half damage or something like that.

Dark Archive

Eiliya wrote:


r-Kelleg said wrote:
The int of 3 on the other hand, is pretty low.

The low intelligence is supposed to represent that the creature is being remote-controlled by something akin to a hivemind. Should I increase it to represent the collective consciousness instead?

r-Kelleg said wrote:
BTW, how did you get so many skill points?

I thought undead got 4+Int Mod (min 1) per level. Doesn't this mean that they get, at the very least, 5 points per level? Or does it mean that the result of 4+Int Mod cannot go below 1? If it is the second alternative, the skills will have to be changed, of course.

About Int: Yes, I would give it the hive's Int (and wis and cha btw) unless there is a way to put it off remote control.

and you are right for the skills.


Snowleopard wrote:


I thought all the injury poisons didn't allow a save against contamination as this was handled by your armor class. But now that I read it again I am not sure. It seems that you get a save against being contaminated even though you are wounded with a poisonous weapon. But that's the reason I suggested a saving throw against the damage for half damage or something like that.

Poisons always requires a save. The fact that you must hit AC doesn't matter: you must hit AC because if you don't hit, you miss, so you cannot inject the poison in the wound you make (porrly speaking, as hp are so abstract and doesn't alway mean "wound" :)). Once you hit, and thus overcome AC, then you inject the poison in the body of your opponent. Then, your opponent must deal with damage itself, and with the poison. The damage just subtract DR and stuff, then calculate remaining hp, simple and plain, but the poison is another thing. The poison itself has nothing to do with the damage of your weapon, the saves is vs the poison effect. Let's say you have a syringe, fill it with poison, and bluff someone into take a healt treatment. He give up his AC, letting you "to hit" with the syringe, and even if you don't deal damage, he still do his save, and you didn't need to overcome AC. The intial save is to fight back witout ocnsequences the poison, the successive saves are needed to cure. The poison of these monster deal some ability damage, no save, no frequency, no cures. It really wonder me how it can be considered poison, as well as fluff text say a lot of things, all of which are useless when a character get poison immunity - unless the OP states that poison immunity doesn't work, in which case, just to quote above answer, if I read it, I'd ask myself why it should be considered a poison: no save, no frequency, and possibily poison immunity not working... Seems it not a poison anymore.

Maybe it's the World of Twilight?
(nostalgic moment :P)

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Looking over your creature as a DM I would have a few concerns, especially if it needs to be a CR 1 or 2. The DR/good is a bit too strong as other people have stated. Someone suggested DR/bludgeoning, but maybe something like cold iron or wooden weapon would work better.

Black bolt works for me, reflex save is fine, although I'd probably have it work more like a scaled down chain lightning that does 2d6 damage with one additional target.

Chain Lightning:
This spell creates an electrical discharge that begins as a single stroke commencing from your fingertips. Unlike lightning bolt, chain lightning strikes one object or creature initially, then arcs to other targets.

The bolt deals 1d6 points of electricity damage per caster level (maximum 20d6) to the primary target. After it strikes, lightning can arc to a number of secondary targets equal to your caster level (maximum 20). The secondary bolts each strike one target and deal as much damage as the primary bolt.

Each target can attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage. The Reflex DC to halve the damage of the secondary bolts is 2 lower than the DC to halve the damage of the primary bolt. You choose secondary targets as you like, but they must all be within 30 feet of the primary target, and no target can be struck more than once. You can choose to affect fewer secondary targets than the maximum.

From your description and the poison use, I assume that the Black Skulk is the assassin in the group of 4? But it can't crit? Weird, theme breaking, and generally just defies explanation. Magic...I get it, but I can critical hit someone with a paper clip to the eye or the ear, you're telling me (and your players) that your magical, entropy-riffic dagger is less dangerous to the the soft spots on a body than a paper clip. I understand what your attempting, but breaking theme and general game mechanics just makes me ask 'why.'

On the intelligence, which score would you use if it got hit with int ability damage? Use that score.

And lastly the poison. Again, I see what you're attempting to do. Dangerous drug cocktail and all, but here's the thing. As a player, when I hear a new ability and it doesn't have a save it gets my hackles up. Especially when there's ability damage attached to it. Few things are as aggravating to me as a player as ability damage. If you want it to be deadly poison, make the save a high DC or give it a moderate dc, and apply a penalty for some reason (you can handwave that). If these are recurring villains then the saves will get easier as they level and the characters can appreciate that their bodies are learning to adapt to it or whatever. As you have it now, a first level character fails, and a 20th level character fails, as a 20th level character if I failed anything that a 1st level character would for most reasons other than rolling a 1, I'd be fairly annoyed.

As it stands I'd call it a low CR 3 or a High CR 2.


r-Kelleg wrote:
Eiliya wrote:


I thought undead got 4+Int Mod (min 1) per level. Doesn't this mean that they get, at the very least, 5 points per level? Or does it mean that the result of 4+Int Mod cannot go below 1? If it is the second alternative, the skills will have to be changed, of course.

and you are right for the skills.

No, he's wrong. PCs and monsters get X+ Int Mod, it this would result in a 0 or lower, still get at least 1 skill point per HD.

It's not X+(Mod Int, min. 1), it's more like (X+Mod Int), min. 1.

Dark Archive

oops
you are right !
not enough sleep this night :)


Let me try to make this clear one more time, then. Please feel free to skip this if you do not care about the lore and reasoning behind why things work as they do.

Here we go:
The Twilight Weapons, henceforth refered to as the Blackscale Weapons, are weapons that were designed to undo that which the divine powers of the gods created way-back-when. Small strands of divine power connect everything in the known realms of reality, much like atoms make up the matter in the real world. The blackscale weapons deal damage to these strands, negating the divine power that keeps reality tied together. Since the weapons do not actually deal any damage to the creature it is striking, but rather to the divine powers that keep it existing, it does not matter if the weapon pierces an eye or a thigh. The strands of divine power are equally strong in both locations and thus the weapon cannot be used to score a critical hit. If anyone has any working, by-the-rules way to represent an ability like this, then I am all ears :-)

The Monster:

Twilight Initiate - Blackscale Skulk
CE Medium Undead
Init +8, Darkvision 60 ft, Perception +6

Defenses
AC 16, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+4 dex, +2 natural)
Hp 16 (3d8+3)
Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +3
DR 5/bludgeoning, Immunities (undead traits)

Offenses
Speed 40 ft.
Melee Blackscale Dagger +6 (1d4), Blackscale Chain +6 (1d6, reach)
Ranged Ability Drain +6 (1 int)
Special Attacks Blackscale Weapons, Twilight Abilities, Twilight Pool

Statistics
Str 15, Dex 18, Con --, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 12
Base Atk: +2, CMB: +4, CMD: 16
Feats: Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills: Acrobatics +7, Climb +8, Intimidate +7, Perception +6, Stealth +10
Languages: Understands all spoken langauges, but cannot speak itself.

Special Abilities
Blackscale Weapons: All Blackscales are equipped with special weapons with reality-rending properties that attack the ties between their targets and reality. In rule terms, this means that the weapons cannot be used to score critical hits. Creatures killed by one of these weapons vanish from the weaves of reality and can neither be revived nor resurrected, except by miracle or wish (there is lore for the hows and whys, but since people don't seem to care I won't bother explaining).
Twilight Ability - Ability Drain(0 pt): This is the base ability of the twilight abilities, the one used to fuel all other abilities. The skulk makes a ranged touch attack against a single creature within 60 feet. If successful, that creature loses 1 point of intelligence and the Skulk gets one point to its twilight pool. Ability scores lost in this way return to the creature at one point per hour.
Twilight Ability - Black Bolt(2 pts): This ability releases a bolt of dark energies from the Skulks fingertips. The black bolt strikes one creature within 60 feet initially, then arcs to a secondary creature within 30 feet of the first one. The bolt deals 2d6 points of negative energy damage to any creature struck by it. Each target can attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage (DC 12). The Reflex DC to halve the damage of the secondary bolts is 2 lower than the DC for the primary bolt.
Twilight Ability - Twilight Step(1 pt): This ability instantly teleports the Blackscale Skulk back to the Twilight Isles. The Skulks never use this ability in combat, it exists merely for the Skulks to be able to escape after having successfully assassinated someone without having been discovered.
Twilight Pool: This is a pool of dark energies permits the Blackscale Skulk to perform special abilities. The maximum amount of points that can be stored in the pool is equal to the Skulks HD+Cha Mod. The Skulk always begins combat with an empty pool and must fill it through damaging its prey. Each point of ability damage the Skulk deals to a target fills the pool with one point.


I like this much better then your first pretty good offering.

A few nit picks

Change the ability drain to damage. Drain requires restoration while damage requires only lessor restoration. Also drain can make you lose access to feats, spells and effects class abilities. Damage that heals in an hour will make for better table play.

Define how the save for Black Bolts is calculated to make advancing or buffing these guys easier.

Define type of action for ability drain and black bolts. Bolts might be good as a move action because it you have to fill the pool first. Ability damage might be good as a move useable once a round or as a standard. Make it ranged touch.

Can the regain pool from int 1 or 2 creatures?

Make the twilight step ability simply take from 1 to 10 min to use and cost no pool.

I would add something to twilight weapons to make them more different then simply no crits. Make them touch attacks is to powerful. Maybe on hit you have to make a will save or be shaken for 1 round. Change it to panicked on a nat 20. You could also go with staggered and dazed/stunned with a fort save. That would be harsh.

Define how the hive mind works and give it some mechanical benifits like +4 on mind effecting will saves. That would help with attempts by necromancers to control them. If they have LOS to another in the hive mind they can not be flanked.

Define all abilities as EX SU or SP.


I'll get to fixing those details once I get back home, Mathius. Thanks for pointing it out.


No problem glad i could help.

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