Buffing AP Creatures


The group I'm DMing currently consists of an Antipaladin, Barbarian, Witch and Archer Fighter. They're level 4 and the Archer Fighter with Deadly Aim, Rapid Shot and a Composite Longbow +4 can do max damage of 32 by herself. She's able to just about one shot most of these creatures with their default HP in the AP book.

Should I be buffing the HP, AC or both of the creatures and by how much? It just seems crazy how fast they're killing everything. Even most of the important fights end in a couple rounds and seem kinda anticlimatic. Is this a issue a lot of groups have?

For optimized groups (the people I normally play with when I GM) I usually apply the advanced simple template to all creatures and give maximum HP per HD.


Creatures with the advanced template are fiercer and more powerful than their ordinary cousins.

Quick Rules: +2 on all rolls (including damage rolls) and special ability DCs; +4 to AC and CMD; +2 hp/HD.

Rebuild Rules: AC increase natural armor by +2; Ability Scores +4 to all ability scores (except Int scores of 2 or less)

Do some environmental anti-arrow things -- even a simple smokestick, by creating a 20% miss chance due to concealment, can materially affect an archer's damage.

An occasional foe with Deflect Arrow or gloves of arrow snaring can be a rude surprise, too.

Having a couple of mooks get in the archer's face and threaten them can be an option.

Consider having a brave foe run up to the archer and sunder her bow.

All that said, most mooks could be one-shotted pretty easily by a dedicated melee type (a 4th level fighter has no trouble dishing out 22 damage with a two-handed power attack and some feat support). Add more mooks if this is a concern. One-shotting or three-shotting the BBEG might be more of a problem.

Yeah, I'll try some slight buffs. It's just the balance that I'm worried about. I don't want all the fights taking forever either. Thanks.

Religiously track arrows as without them the archer is often a lot less effective.

Draw the party into a trap in which the group surges forward and then hidden enemies jump out and attack the archer at melee range.

But having said that I would try and not single out the PC for negative attention as they might begin to feel picked on.

If it is a continuing problem talk to the player and ask them to change their PC or adjust how the feats work so they are no so powerful vs the other party members.


If it helps I am running Iron Gods, my party is:

Boundaries Patron Witch

Reach weapon Fighter

Vital strike (eventually) Bard

Hound master Cavalier

Gun wielding Cleric of Brigh

All of them just leveled from 4 to 5. Stat gen we use is 25 pb but no points back for lowering attributes.

During last session while at level four

Iron gods spoilers:

They fought the smiler/steel hawk boss Birdfood and while he was able to deal a huge amount of damage to the party, our reach fighter was simply one shotting all of the mooks as AoO's. This meant he did over 100 damage in a round.

I have been running the AP straight and have had several conversations with my players. They all have felt that this was a "Hard" AP. They said some fights were easy but overall much more difficult than our last AP Carrion Crown.

Basically I would say talk to your players and see how they feel about the game's difficulty. If they are saying "Yeah we steamroll everything and this is way too easy." then tell them "Ok I am going to tweak the monsters a little" and adjust. If they say "This is hard and fun." leave well enough alone.

If it is a mix or if some players are not having fun then adjust as required for all to have fun. Player perception of difficulty can be extremely different from GM perception of difficulty.

Just my .02 cents and I hope it helps. Good luck and happy gaming!

It's not just the archer fighter that's the issue, I just used her as an example of how much damage one PC was doing. Talking to all them and seeing how they feel and adjusting accordingly seems like the right call.

Silver Crusade

Be wary of adjusting saves and DCs too much, OP.

If a monster has more HP he'll last longer and tke more resources, fine. if he has more mooks to fill the battlefield, same result.

But make his saves too high and he can't be hit and make his spell DCs too high and he cannot miss.

It has happened to me. The GM started introducing monsters so far above CR my Wizard could no longer get past their saves, and summoned monsters could do nothing but stand there ineffectually.

You'll be sensible though, just get a feel for it. power up the next enemy encounter and see how the PCs cope.

Dark Archive

Have a fight take place in the rain. Boom, -4 to ranged attacks and perception checks. Plus, it's raining. That's a totally normal thing to have happen, that rarely actually happens in RPGs.
I would not do this often, becaues it just ends up feeling punishing to ranged characters, but it lets someone else shine brighter by comparison in that fight.

As for making fights tougher, I personally prefer to add more monster instead of making existing ones stronger. Basically for the reasons 0o0o0 O 0o0o0 mentioned. It's more challenging because there are more enemies to fight, but the existing ones are still in the right level to still be affected by the PCs ability.
Just don't have all the enemies standing in fireball formation at the start of every fight ^_~

Definitely add more monsters.

And keep in mind: mooks die fast. Stuff 2-3 CR below the party's level is very hard to be anything but speedbumps. (Sometimes they roll nat 20s.)

In addition to the rest of the advice, one other thing to look at is the amount of magic items the party has.

You have said that the archer has a +4 bow: that is listed at 32,000gp. The suggested wealth that a level 4 character should have is 6,000gp - for all their items.

If the rest of the party isn't similarly equiped, then they might be justifiably feeling inadequate; if they also have such high-level items, then they will all slaughter your encounter with ease.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm betting the +4 bow actually means Mighty Composite (+4 Str). Ends up being the same for damage so works out the same in the conversation unless we're talking about to-hit and the like.

Berinor wrote:
I'm betting the +4 bow actually means Mighty Composite (+4 Str). Ends up being the same for damage so works out the same in the conversation unless we're talking about to-hit and the like.

I hope that you are right!

It's just a normal composite bow with +4 so she can use her strength to damage. It's only 500g. It's only to damage not hit.

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