So, You're Designing a Pathfinder Monster...


RPG Superstar™ General Discussion

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Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

Zi'on Darkbane wrote:
Zi'on Darkbane wrote:
Samuel Stone wrote:
How does the environment interact with Outsiders? Phrased differently, if a given Outsider such as an Imp is commonly seen in urban settings (indeed, many Imps are familiars and would be relatively common in areas such as Cheliax), can it be used for round two, or would its environment simply be Hell?

Hell would be the proper environment only if the Imp was stuck behind a computer screen voting in a contest where his submitted item was promised to show up but he had to constantly choose between dental bling and and wispy cloaks for all eternity and all he had was a "Both" button.

I take it all back. No one nor nothing could conceive of such an infernal punishment, or ever carry such a punishment out even if they could...

Unless of course they were FREAKS!

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

Zi'on Darkbane wrote:

A few more easy urban monsters:

Occupy Wall Street Goblin
Panhandler Goblin
Pretzel Vendor Goblin
Goblin-Actors-That-Waitress-Part-Time
Doorman Goblin
Goblin Dog-Walkers (Mythic)
Firehouse Goblin
Welfare Queen Goblin
Art-For-Art's-Sake-Goblins
Chinatown Goblin
Fish Monger Goblin
Pandering Goblin (Political Subtype)
Undocumented Goblin
Soup Kitchen Goblin
Iron Worker Goblin
Goblin Bee-aatch (Night Club Subtype)
Crazy-Goblin-Directing-Traffic
SWAT Goblin
Gobl-In-Da-Hood

When I make it to the Top 32* there doesn't seem like there will be much of a competition.
Paizo may as well send me my crown now and save everyone a lot of trouble and heartache.
Everyone please e-mail Paizo and tell them as much.
Oddly enough, I'm not getting much of a response from them so far...

*mythic myth of much myth-making

A few more just to round out the evening:

Electric Slide Goblin (Night Club Subtype)
Tree Goblin (Mythic)
Elevator Goblin
Pimp Goblin
Ho Goblin
Jaywalk Goblin
Parking Space Goblin (Mythic)
Penthouse Goblin
Thong Goblin
Mime Goblin

Keep sending Paizo those e-mails. I'm sure they get the point sooner or later...

Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

And Stage 1 is done. The stat block is virtually complete. Gave to wife to PM it back to me so I can check all my bold are bold, all my italic are italic, etc.

Stage 2 - getting creative with descriptions begins.

Stage 3 - Consolidation of abilities/powers to start.

After base stat block completion, I have about 400 words for the wordy parts :)

My aim is to get Stage 2 complete at minimum before reveal day.

Weirdly, the stat block which I thought might be the hardest to do, was much easier than I suspected it would be.

Scarab Sages Marathon Voter Season 7

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Brian, I think this post by me from 2012 should answer your question. :)

That helps quite a bit. When I read Golarion Monster, I interpreted that to mean Golarion Exclusive as opposed to Golarion Appropriate.

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka DLandonCole

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quote:

A few more just to round out the evening:

Electric Slide Goblin (Night Club Subtype)
Tree Goblin (Mythic)
Elevator Goblin
Pimp Goblin
Ho Goblin
Jaywalk Goblin
Parking Space Goblin (Mythic)
Penthouse Goblin
Thong Goblin
Mime Goblin

Keep sending Paizo those e-mails. I'm sure they get the point sooner or later...

What about the ever-hungry goblin who hangs around hot dog stands? You know, the gobblin' goblin...

Scarab Sages

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Okay, so it's a goblin competition?
Step aside for the one you've missed.

Uptown Gob
'Bully' Jewels

Uptown Gob,
She's been shimmying for uptown jobs.
I bet she never had a hack'n'slash guy,
I bet her mother never told her why.
(I'm gonna try, for an)

Uptown Gob
She loves to slum it with her dirty slob
As only anyone with green blood can.
And so she's looking for a minotaur man.
(That's what I am)

Whoah-ohoh, oh oh oh oh oh oh owoahoah ohoh oh.

And when she knows what she wants from her cri-i-ime.
And when she says that 'Those jewels are mi-i-ine',
She'll see I'm not so tough,
Despite her daily bardic buffs.
(From my)

Uptown Gob.
She loves to come with me to case a job.
And when the faeces really hit the fa-an,
She'll be grateful to her strongarm man.
(That's what I am)

Whoah-ohoh, oh oh oh oh oh oh owoahoah ohoh oh.

Uptown Gob, she's my uptown go-o-ob.
Uptown Gob, she's my uptown go-o-ob.

(repeat & fade)

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:)

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

My oversight entirely... Will add it to the Urban Bestiary immediately...

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Someone has entirely too much time on his hands...

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

Rabbitball wrote:
Someone has entirely too much time on his hands...

Now that that voting is over, we all have entirely too much time on our hands...

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Star Voter Season 7 aka primemover003

I love the theme for monsters this year! So many great niches for Golarion appropriate urban monsters; sewer dwellers of Kaer Maga, creepy toy soldier constructs in Corentyn, shapeshifters in Absalom, Galtan topiary plant monsters, vermin of all stripes, oozes, slimes, fungi... oh my! CR 1-4 is such a great range for tiny and small terrors as well!

I can't wait to see what the Top 32 come up with!

--Monsters of Vrock!


Almost done...

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Ezekiel Shanoax, the Stormchild

Formatting question - how to manage the break between the last special ability sentence/paragraph and the beginning of the zzMonsterDescriptionParagraph?

Since the special abilities are not italicized and the zzMonsterDescriptionParagraph is not italicized or otherwise emphasized, I'm wondering how or if there's a way that the two are supposed to be visually distinguished.

If the last special ability listed is only one sentence and leads off from the bold ability name, I figure this is not an issue. However, if the last special ability listed is (heaven forbid) long enough to require a line break of its own...

Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Matt Banach wrote:
If the last special ability listed is only one sentence and leads off from the bold ability name, I figure this is not an issue. However, if the last special ability listed is (heaven forbid) long enough to require a line break of its own...

I'd just make a new paragraph without a line break. I'm not sure if the bbcode format here will allow for [indent] tags or not (a quick attempt with the preview button doesn't appear so).

Also, in such a case, you might want to consider whether or not you might actually have two (or more) special abilities there, rather than one. If it's at all possible to split it up into two abilities that are related (if a, then b) that might be a better way to go.

I can't think offhand of many cases where there were multiple paragraphs in one special ability (though a flip through Bestiary 4 tells me that there are a couple, such as the Colour Out of Space's Feed ability).

Scarab Sages

It could be appropriate for an ability with more than option, all purchased from the same x/day pool, like the Inquisitor judgements.
Or an ability with rider effects, which differ depending on the main creature's sub-type, such as one main statblock for an elemental-based creature, and all their abilities are subdivided into four effects, based on their initial affinity for air, earth, fire or water).

The Blarglepfutzter can expel a cloud of noxious gas, that nauseates targets on a failed Fort save, and may also add one of the following extra effects, which require a second Fort save:

  • halucinogenic delirium: d3 Wis damage,
  • crippling headaches: d3 Int damage,
  • existential ennui: d3 Cha damage

There isn't an indent tag, but indents can be forced using the [list] tag. Whether that's acceptable formatting, you'd have to ask the judges.

Star Voter Season 7

Snorter wrote:

  • existential ennui: d3 Cha damage

Stolen.

Meaning...I'm stolen it for use in some later project/comment.

Star Voter Season 7

Scott Fernandez wrote:

I love the theme for monsters this year! So many great niches for Golarion appropriate urban monsters;

... omitted: List of said niches. ...

I'm glad that the idea I'm nursing is not much like any of the ones you listed, although I did bounce quite close to a couple of them on the way.

I have to agree. The fact that it is restrictive, in a design environment that doesn't have a lot of obvious Bestiary examples initially seemed really difficult but as I ruminated on it, some really exciting ideas started to present themselves.

The creative mind can often work better under limitations.

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka WalterGM

Quote:
There are a few feats that are pretty worthless for monster design: Improved Natural Armor, Improved Natural Attack, and to a lesser extent Toughness. (There are probably others, but these are the key ones.) When you are designing a monster you can break a few rules. (Though I laud it, Table 1–1 and some elements of the Monster Creation chapter of the Bestiary are guidelines.) If a Medium creature normally has a claw attack that deals 1d4 points of damage, but your creature has gigantic hands or razor sharp claws, you, as the designer, can just decide to make those claw attacks deal 1d6 points of damage without having to choose a feat for it. (It took me a few monster creation tries before I learned that.) You also can set natural armor for whatever you want (as long as it makes sense), so Improved Natural armor is a complete waste. Toughness is a waste because 9 times out of 10 you can just adjust the creature’s Constitution (or Charisma) score to get the hit points to where they need to be according to Table 1–1.

Does this apply to Improved Initiative as well? I know quite a few monsters have it, but that may just be the older ones.

Paizo Employee RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

WalterGM wrote:
Does this apply to Improved Initiative as well? I know quite a few monsters have it, but that may just be the older ones.

My guess is that Improved Initiative is somewhat of an exception to SKR's guidelines above, because raising a creature's Dex just to raise its initiative score would also change some other significant stats (ranged attacks, Reflex saves, and most notably AC/CMD).

But, I am not Sean!

Paizo Employee Developer , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

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Mike Kimmel wrote:
WalterGM wrote:
Does this apply to Improved Initiative as well? I know quite a few monsters have it, but that may just be the older ones.

My guess is that Improved Initiative is somewhat of an exception to SKR's guidelines above, because raising a creature's Dex just to raise its initiative score would also change some other significant stats (ranged attacks, Reflex saves, and most notably AC/CMD).

But, I am not Sean!

Mike is correct. Initiative isn't something you set in design, it is instead indicated by other things, in this case Dex, which touches a lot of other moving mechanics. Raising the Dex to make the initiative go up by four would throw a bunch of the other numbers off.

Mike is incorrect in calling me Sean, though. ;)

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8 , Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8 aka WalterGM

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Awesome -- thanks Adam! I'm loving my monster so much that I'll probably share it here even if I don't make it into round 1.

Paizo Employee RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Adam Daigle wrote:
Mike is incorrect in calling me Sean, though. ;)

Haha, whoops. Old habits? :-/

So used to talking about items...

The monsters get a turn now!

Sorry Adam.

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Mike Kimmel wrote:
Sorry Adam.

No worries, man. I was just having fun with ya. Thanks for helping out with solid answers.

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Adam Daigle wrote:
Mike Kimmel wrote:
But, I am not Sean!
Mike is incorrect in calling me Sean, though. ;)

Mike didn't say you were Sean, only the he was not Sean. ;)7

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WalterGM wrote:
Awesome -- thanks Adam! I'm loving my monster so much that I'll probably share it here even if I don't make it into round 1.

If you don't make Top 32, you could always submit your wee beastie to Wayfinder #11 (a PaizoCon issue to boot).

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka burrahobbit

Scott Fernandez wrote:

I love the theme for monsters this year! So many great niches for Golarion appropriate urban monsters; sewer dwellers of Kaer Maga, creepy toy soldier constructs in Corentyn, shapeshifters in Absalom, Galtan topiary plant monsters, vermin of all stripes, oozes, slimes, fungi... oh my! CR 1-4 is such a great range for tiny and small terrors as well!

I can't wait to see what the Top 32 come up with!

--Monsters of Vrock!

Agreed! I'm really excited to see the entries. I feel like there are just so many cool ideas to explore.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

If a monster has the power to see in darkness, do you also have to list low-light vision and darkvision if it automatically gains them from its type or subtype? These weaker abilities don't really add anything a creature with see in darkness doesn't already have, so it's odd that many creatures in the srd (e.g. devils) have both darkvision and see in darkness.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32 , Star Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Marathon Voter Season 9

Mikko Kallio wrote:
If a monster has the power to see in darkness, do you also have to list low-light vision and darkvision if it automatically gains them from its type or subtype? These weaker abilities don't really add anything a creature with see in darkness doesn't already have, so it's odd that many creatures in the srd (e.g. devils) have both darkvision and see in darkness.

The reason that darkvision and see in darkness are both listed is because see in darkness is a supernatural ability; darkvision is not. This is important, because see in darkness can be suppressed.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Phloid

Adam Daigle wrote:
There are a few feats that are pretty worthless for monster design: Improved Natural Armor, Improved Natural Attack, and to a lesser extent Toughness. (There are probably others, but these are the key ones.) When you are designing a monster you can break a few rules.

Does this also apply to Skills and the skill bonus feats? If I want my monster to be better in Escape Artist than his skill points allow, should I look to give him Skill Focus, or can I just give him a +4 racial modifier to Escape Artist? Looking at published creatures, some have both, but usually for different skills, and most often there is a condition attached to their racial modifier (but not always). A tyrannosaurus has both Skill Focus (Perception) and a non-conditional +8 Racial Modifier to the same skill. Are there any unwritten rules that bar this from certain creature types, certain skills, or any other oddities?

Thanks!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka RainyDayNinja

Nickolas Floyd wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
There are a few feats that are pretty worthless for monster design: Improved Natural Armor, Improved Natural Attack, and to a lesser extent Toughness. (There are probably others, but these are the key ones.) When you are designing a monster you can break a few rules.

Does this also apply to Skills and the skill bonus feats? If I want my monster to be better in Escape Artist than his skill points allow, should I look to give him Skill Focus, or can I just give him a +4 racial modifier to Escape Artist? Looking at published creatures, some have both, but usually for different skills, and most often there is a condition attached to their racial modifier (but not always). A tyrannosaurus has both Skill Focus (Perception) and a non-conditional +8 Racial Modifier to the same skill. Are there any unwritten rules that bar this from certain creature types, certain skills, or any other oddities?

Thanks!

I think that's going to come down to what you would use that other feat for. Maybe the T-Rex has Skill Focus because using that feat to give it more combat ability would make it too powerful, so it was burned on something that wasn't strictly necessary.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Phloid

Joseph Kellogg wrote:
I think that's going to come down to what you would use that other feat for. Maybe the T-Rex has Skill Focus because using that feat to give it more combat ability would make it too powerful, so it was burned on something that wasn't strictly necessary.

Maybe, especially in the T-rex's case. But, I don't think that's going to be a much of a problem with the two feats that a CR 4 monster would normally get. I want my low Intelligence creature to have some stand out skills. Racial Modifier or feat? My guess is that it has to do with learned skills and natural ability. Skill points and feat bonuses to skills represents the creature's abilities it learned while living in its environment, while a racial modifier has more to do with the way its species has adapted to environment prior to an individual creature's birth. It essentially has racial modifiers at birth (or as soon as it is able to see and walk). An individual might lean Dodge in place of the Skill Focus that most of his species learn.

But I'm hoping that Adam will pop in here and give us his take on the subject.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8

Nickolas Floyd wrote:
Maybe, especially in the T-rex's case. But, I don't think that's going to be a much of a problem with the two feats that a CR 4 monster would normally get.

They actually get 3 feats, since that particular table is based on HD and CR 4 creatures have typically 5-6 HD.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Phloid

Kalervo Oikarinen wrote:
They actually get 3 feats, since that particular table is based on HD and CR 4 creatures have typically 5-6 HD.

You're right. I just glanced quickly and the monster I'm actually working on only has 4 HD, is CR 3, and has 2 feats. My point still stands though.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8

Nickolas Floyd wrote:
Kalervo Oikarinen wrote:
They actually get 3 feats, since that particular table is based on HD and CR 4 creatures have typically 5-6 HD.
You're right. I just glanced quickly and the monster I'm actually working on only has 4 HD, is CR 3, and has 2 feats. My point still stands though.

Yeah, though I think it's possible to make a low CR creature's average damage a bit too high for their CR with certain feats. Then you might need to compensate in some other aspect. Like taking both weapon focus and power attack; the average damage jumps quite a bit for just -1 to the original attack, especially for attacks with 1½ Strength modifier.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Phloid

Kalervo Oikarinen wrote:
Yeah, though I think it's possible to make a low CR creature's average damage a bit too high for their CR with certain feats. Then you might need to compensate in some other aspect. Like taking both weapon focus and power attack; the average damage jumps quite a bit for just -1 to the original attack, especially for attacks with 1½ Strength modifier.

Ok. Accepted. But again, I'm more concerned about the proper way to increase my monster's skill bonuses to the levels I want and not with the feats making the monster too powerful.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8

Nickolas Floyd wrote:
Kalervo Oikarinen wrote:
Yeah, though I think it's possible to make a low CR creature's average damage a bit too high for their CR with certain feats. Then you might need to compensate in some other aspect. Like taking both weapon focus and power attack; the average damage jumps quite a bit for just -1 to the original attack, especially for attacks with 1½ Strength modifier.
Ok. Accepted. But again, I'm more concerned about the proper way to increase my monster's skill bonuses to the levels I want and not with the feats making the monster too powerful.

I suppose it would depend on the monster.

Does it make sense for it to have it as a racial bonus? Are there any other feats that would nicely complement the monster's function but Skill Focus takes their spot?

So there are at least those factors to consider.

Paizo Employee Developer , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Nickolas Floyd wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
There are a few feats that are pretty worthless for monster design: Improved Natural Armor, Improved Natural Attack, and to a lesser extent Toughness. (There are probably others, but these are the key ones.) When you are designing a monster you can break a few rules.

Does this also apply to Skills and the skill bonus feats? If I want my monster to be better in Escape Artist than his skill points allow, should I look to give him Skill Focus, or can I just give him a +4 racial modifier to Escape Artist? Looking at published creatures, some have both, but usually for different skills, and most often there is a condition attached to their racial modifier (but not always). A tyrannosaurus has both Skill Focus (Perception) and a non-conditional +8 Racial Modifier to the same skill. Are there any unwritten rules that bar this from certain creature types, certain skills, or any other oddities?

Thanks!

There’s no hard and fast answer or rule here. I know it’s been said time and time again about particular elements of design that it’s more an art than a science, and monsters are certainly in that category. Monster design involves a bunch of moving parts, and part of the design process is shaping the numbers to get them where you want them to be (or where they need to be), and you have a bunch of tools that you can use to shape them in that direction. However, all of the tools are connected to one another, so when you move one, it moves the others and might stretch some numbers beyond where you want them to be.

Feats and racial bonuses are two of the tools you can use to get a skill bonus where you want it to be, but at the core is the associated ability score. You need to look at all the pieces and compare the mechanics against the concept. (I talk about this in my advice in the first post regarding Intelligence, but all ability scores and mechanics need this scrutiny.) Sometimes a racial bonus makes perfect sense for a creature, and when it doesn’t I use a feat to get the skill bonus where I want it to be (or at least closer to where I want it to be). You’ll often notice Skill Focus (perception) used for attentive creatures with a low Intelligence. Some people give Alertness to a creature when they want it to have a higher Perception bonus, but since Alertness also provides a bonus to Sense Motive it feels out of place for an unintelligent or low Intelligence creature.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Phloid

Thanks, Adam. I figured that was the answer but I was hoping for something more solid. Actually the Perception point you made was especially useful as the monster I'm comparing mine to has this "attentive" low intelligence thing you were talking about and I almost just changed its Skill Focus (Perception) to a skill more relevant to my monster. I don't think I will now. Racial Modifier it is. Thanks. Now I gotta find another feat.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8

Adam, any pointers on how to up the average damage a monster deals, especially if increasing it's Strength score does not fit the concept.

I have considered giving it an at-will SLA, but that may be pushing it a bit too far. I see that another option is to add poison or disease to the attack. Any other ways to adjust this?

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

Ok, I don't have a lot of room to talk being relatively new to the forum, but it doesn't seem right to me that we are asking specific questions on how to design a monster from the very judge tasked with eventually ascertaining its quality...

Or is it just me?

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Zi'on Darkbane wrote:
Ok, I don't have a lot of room to talk being relatively new to the forum, but it doesn't seem right to me that we are asking specific questions on how to design a monster from the very judge tasked with eventually ascertaining its quality...

He's going to be one of the ones doing assessments and making recommendations, but it's ultimately up to the voters to push them through.

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Dedicated Voter Season 9

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Jacob Trier wrote:

Adam, any pointers on how to up the average damage a monster deals, especially if increasing it's Strength score does not fit the concept.

I have considered giving it an at-will SLA, but that may be pushing it a bit too far. I see that another option is to add poison or disease to the attack. Any other ways to adjust this?

Sneak Attack, if that fits.

Paizo Employee Developer , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

Jacob Trier wrote:

Adam, any pointers on how to up the average damage a monster deals, especially if increasing it's Strength score does not fit the concept.

I have considered giving it an at-will SLA, but that may be pushing it a bit too far. I see that another option is to add poison or disease to the attack. Any other ways to adjust this?

You can adjust the damage dice. Just because most Huge creatures have a gore attack that deals 2d6 points of damage, not all of them do. Also, not every creature has to be good at damage.

Paizo Employee Developer , Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9

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Zi'on Darkbane wrote:

Ok, I don't have a lot of room to talk being relatively new to the forum, but it doesn't seem right to me that we are asking specific questions on how to design a monster from the very judge tasked with eventually ascertaining its quality...

Or is it just me?

I don't really mind. After all, I want to read 32 awesome entries. That would make the decision part more difficult, but it would make the whole experience—for me and the voters—much better at the end of it all.

If there are questions that I don't want to answer, I won't answer them. After all, most of the time other posters have popped in and given great answers to folks' questions.

I'll answer when I can until Sean or someone else advises me not to. I don't want to shake things up too much, but I like helping people.


Actually I would say that Toughness is decent feat for some monsters - it allows pushing their hit points closer to number expected of monster of their CR without adding HD or increasing Constitution score.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16 , Star Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8 aka Cyrad

Jacob Trier wrote:
Adam, any pointers on how to up the average damage a monster deals, especially if increasing it's Strength score does not fit the concept.

What about some kind of elemental damage? Poison? An aura effect? A summoned creature? A bleed effect?

Zi'on Darkbane wrote:

Ok, I don't have a lot of room to talk being relatively new to the forum, but it doesn't seem right to me that we are asking specific questions on how to design a monster from the very judge tasked with eventually ascertaining its quality...

Or is it just me?

This is a contest where everyone wants to see good entries. Everyone wants to each other create awesome work.

Paizo Employee RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter Season 6, Marathon Voter Season 7, Star Voter Season 8

Jacob Trier wrote:
Adam, any pointers on how to up the average damage a monster deals, especially if increasing it's Strength score does not fit the concept.

More attacks, if appropriate. Garrick's suggestions also seem good. Maybe an ability that allows it to add something other than its Str to damage, such as Dex or Int, if it fits thematically.

Silver Crusade Dedicated Voter Season 7

Garrick Williams wrote:
Jacob Trier wrote:
Adam, any pointers on how to up the average damage a monster deals, especially if increasing it's Strength score does not fit the concept.

What about some kind of elemental damage? Poison? An aura effect? A summoned creature? A bleed effect?

Zi'on Darkbane wrote:

Ok, I don't have a lot of room to talk being relatively new to the forum, but it doesn't seem right to me that we are asking specific questions on how to design a monster from the very judge tasked with eventually ascertaining its quality...

Or is it just me?

This is a contest where everyone wants to see good entries. Everyone wants to each other create awesome work.

I get that and we should all lean on each other's advice and experience (this comes from someone who will be doing most of the leaning himself). A forum is a great place to do just that, even among contestants, but it just seems weird to ask a very specific design question to a judge. Adam obviously knows how to do the things he's being questioned about, but I think it's up to us to show our mettle and creativity. His general advice at the start of this thread is priceless and it would be wise for all of us to take that advice to heart, but I would be surprised if he added a post about "How to balance AC vs. Immunities in CR2 monsters." It's the specificity of the question and who it is directed at that doesn't sit well with me. But this is not my show, so nuff said...

BTW I meant no disrespect to Jacob, who has proven his talent and capability as a previous finalist. I always take note of his posts and commentary in particular and think he is a great asset to the forum.

And many thanks to Adam for his willingness to be a resource and a mentor.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32 , Marathon Voter Season 6, Dedicated Voter Season 7, Dedicated Voter Season 8, Star Voter Season 9 aka Phloid

Its not like people are asking Adam if he feels that we should create an undead creature over a monstrous humanoid or if he thinks a dragon with bladed wings would be a good monster idea. The questions have been pretty generic about how to balance a creature and the best way to approach increasing a creature's abilities in certain areas. And Adam's advice has been pretty vague too, adequately answering the question, but not saying exactly what to do. A person who creates, reviews, and edits these things professionally has a lot of knowledge to impart and I appreciate his active part in this. Other judges have been forthcoming with advice in the past (looking at you Neil). These guys want to see everyone succeed and make the contest better in the long run. Every year we see a better quality crop of magic items (on average) and this will be no different with monsters thanks to the advice found here.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies , Marathon Voter Season 7, Marathon Voter Season 8

I've looked through ARG and not all the monster abilities in B1-B4 are given Racial Point values in ARG. So some abilities you can't judge the balance.

Short of looking for another monster with very nearly the same defenses and offenses, is there a hint at how to balance the power to make sure we are hitting the CR we are trying to hit and not creating a monster like Mummy (under CR) or something that is a pushover (over CR)?

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