Reading stat blocks?


Advice

Shadow Lodge

I am running ROTRL and I have a question on reading their creatures stat blocks. On top it says something like Thistletop Commandos (Goblin Ranger 1) (2) and to the left it says CR 1. Now does that mean their both together worth a CR 1 encounter or is it two CR 1 encounters. The only reason i ask is because they reference a page previous where a Goblin Commando (Goblin Ranger 1) was a CR 1 encounter. Im confused because i thought adding a PC glass brings a cr 1/3 to cr 1/2. Now i understand that having pc equivalent gear can raise the CR which is probably how the first Goblin Commando was a CR 1 by himself. But if it is two Goblin Commandos and they are together considered one Cr 1 encounter meaning cr 1/2 each. Do i need to lower their gear that is referenced in the printed adventure. Thanks for the help.


Let me break it down for you. ^^

Thistletop Commandos: This is the name of the creature(s) in the encounter.
(Goblin Ranger 1): This is the race and class levels of the creature(s) in question.
(2): This is the number of them in the encounter.

In this case, there's two Thistletop Commandos, both of whom are goblins with one level in Ranger. Together, they are a CR 1 encounter. The individuals are 1/2 a CR each. You don't need to lower their gear or anything like that - just run it as written. ^^ What's in the book is generally going to be correct. The CR note at the beginning of the area the encounter they're in is the full CR for all the monsters there, occasionally modified by the environment (if you're in a particularly dangerous room, for example, the CR might be higher than usual).


The CR in a stat block refers to the individual creature. The CR for the encounter is listed in the chapters sub-heading ie 'Initial Assault (CR1)' and 'Goblin Pyros (CR2)' etc.

Note that this is one of those rare cases where numbers are rounded up instead of down. So a CR2.5 would actualy be CR3 etc.


GM Rednal thats what i thought at first but at many points inthe Adventure they fight goblins. and it shows like Goblins (4) or (8) CR 1/3. does that mean all four goblins are only worth one cr 1/. exp? I've been doing it as each goblin is worth cr 1/3.


Paizo's design philosophy for encounters is spelled out in the Core Rulebook (Chapter 12, p.397), and for humanoid creatures with class levels (Chapter 14, Creating NPCs).

As Craglansun mentioned, the encounter's CR is listed in its title. That specifies a "pool" of XP to be used for that encounter; a CR 2 encounter has a "pool" of up to 600 XP. Not every encounter will use up all of the pool, and some may be a little over.

Goblin Warriors are CR 1/3. and they are built using the notes in the Goblin entry in the Bestiary .. specifically, their racial bonuses to skills, and such.

Other Goblins in the AP are built the same way... by applying the "Creating NPCs" rules (because Goblins do not have racial Hit Dice, only class levels).

The basic CR for such a creature is Level - 1; if the creature has NPC classes instead of PC classes (as a Goblin Warrior 1 does), an additional -1 factor is applied. The negative factors do not reduce 1 to 0, but rather begin the fractional listings. So a Goblin Warrior 1 is CR 1 reduced 2 "steps" (or CR 1 -> 1/2 -> 1/3).

The Thistleop Rangers have PC classes.. they are only reduced 1 step, not two, from 1 to 1/2.

Fractional CRs indicate it takes "that many" creatures to equal a CR 1 (so 3 Goblin Warriors or 2 Goblin Rangers are a CR 1)

To figure out the CR of the entire encounter, add the XP values of the creatures in it together, and compare the total to the table in Chapter 12 to find the closest "Total XP". That's the CR of the encounter.

All of this is already done in the AP. 3.5 used the term "Encounter Level" (EL) to differentiate the combined CR of the creatures in the encounter. However, 3.5 CR was less exact than Pathfinder, and the method for determining the CR of encounters with multiple creatures was different, so the version of the AP (original 3.5 or the Anniversary edition that is Pathfinder) can make the reading a little harder.


Yes all that makessince but where my confusion is coming fromis that at the beginning of ROTRL Burnt Offerings they went against a Goblin commando which was labeled a CR 1 encounter. Now there fighting two Goblin commandos (Thistletop) but their only worth CR 1/2 a piece. So what makes the difference? Is it because the first Commando in Burnt offerings was on a mount? or could it be because of the gear? I'm just trying to understand this to be a better DM. Thanks again.Sorry if im aggravating people.


A mount would make the commando tougher to deal with, and is a separate creature that could keep fighting after the commando got off or was killed, for example.

First, what edition are you looking at? The original uses D&D 3.5 rules, while the Anniversary Edition has been updated to Pathfinder rules. Everything I said previously applies to the Pathfinder version, but would be different with the original version.

If the early encounter is titled "Die, Dog, Die! (EL 3)", then that is the original edition.

If the early encounter is titled "Die, Dog, Die!" with no parentheses, it is the Anniversary edition.

It would probably help us understand what you are comparing if you cited page numbers for us to look at with you.


Sorry it is the original version. And the goblin commando is in Die Dog die. and he is considered a CR 1 encounter. It just seems weird that in Thistle top they would have two more Commando's but only have them at cr 1 for both of them. Especially when the book gives a reference page to use the same stats that the first goblin commando used in Die Dog Die. As far as i can see nothings changed to make the two in thistletop cost less xp than the first one.


"Die, Dog, Die!" has a goblin dog and four more normal goblins, for a total Encounter Level of 3.

Later, I see two commandos together in C15. Note that while they're CR 1 each, the total rating of that encounter is "EL 2". There is no problem here. ^^ You're just getting the individual creatures' rating and the total rating of the encounter a little mixed up.

As a general rule, the EL or CR (after the switch to Pathfinder) tends to be contained in the room's header, along with the name of the room. That's the real challenge rating of the area, taking into account the creatures, the room, and any unique factors that might affect the difficulty of the fight.


Okay thanks. I new i wasn't understanding something


No problem. ^^/ Feel free to drop by again if you have any more questions! As you may have noticed, this community is generally happy to help out. XD


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Lixeon wrote:
I am running ROTRL and I have a question on reading their creatures stat blocks. On top it says something like Thistletop Commandos (Goblin Ranger 1) (2) and to the left it says CR 1. Now does that mean their both together worth a CR 1 encounter or is it two CR 1 encounters. The only reason i ask is because they reference a page previous where a Goblin Commando (Goblin Ranger 1) was a CR 1 encounter. Im confused because i thought adding a PC glass brings a cr 1/3 to cr 1/2. Now i understand that having pc equivalent gear can raise the CR which is probably how the first Goblin Commando was a CR 1 by himself. But if it is two Goblin Commandos and they are together considered one Cr 1 encounter meaning cr 1/2 each. Do i need to lower their gear that is referenced in the printed adventure. Thanks for the help.

A piece of advice that will save you a TON of work. Run the AP as written, ignore XP, and just tell the PCs they level up when the AP says to level up. It'll make for WAY less paperwork.


MeanMutton wrote:
ignore XP, and just tell the PCs they level up when the AP says to level up.

the original version doesn't say when to level up, though

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