Templates, how do DMs feel about them?


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So ever since I bought the Divine Anthology I've wanted to use Desna's Shooting Star as a Skeletal Champion LG Paladin of Desna. The whole concept was essentially to be a master of all things charisma, and the character despite his "condition" was a chipper, goofy knight named Fortescue (nod to MediEvil if anyone's played it) who in my head sounds a lot like John Cleese. He lost most of his memories and was "adopted" by an order of paladins. All he knew was that they found him with a symbol of desna and has taken desna as his goddess, since he feels lucky to have been given a second chance, despite having to constantly struggle with the dark urges of his undead nature.

I've found it rather difficult however to get my DM to consider the character due to the template. I can understand why, undead have a lot of really powerful immunities, and the Everything Charisma route while heavy on multiclassing leads to being serviceable to powerful at almost everything.

On the other hand, my current character is a big dumb brick of a barbarian that has one-shot pretty much everything it hits. So far I dislike the character because it has no RP value at all and exists purely because I'm not fond of starting at level 1 and couldn't make up my mind on a character.

To the question at hand though, do any other DMs allow or have allowed in the past characters to take templates? If so which ones? have any of them added to your games instead of detracting from them? Have they been a good source of roleplaying fodder?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Frogsplosion wrote:

I've found it rather difficult however to get my DM to consider the character due to the template. I can understand why, undead have a lot of really powerful immunities, and the Everything Charisma route while heavy on multiclassing leads to being serviceable to powerful at almost everything.

The answer to your question, right there!

Frogsplosion wrote:
On the other hand, my current character is a big dumb brick of a barbarian that has one-shot pretty much everything it hits. So far I dislike the character because it has no RP value at all and exists purely because I'm not fond of starting at level 1 and couldn't make up my mind on a character.

And what's stopping you creating a new character without the undead template and "mastery of all things charisma" also having "RP value"?

Btw even a big dumb brute can have RP value as long as it's played as a character and not as a bunch of numbers...


I only allow templates if, for some reason, I am applying them to everyone. For instance if I was going to run a game where all the PCs were half-dragons or half fiends.

Templates vary in power from one to another, and from build to build. It is a lot of hassle to try and gauge the relative power of a template with a build, especially since once you allow one player to have a template then other people will want one too. This may not seem like an issue when you grant the template to your group's RPer but when the munchkin gets his template things can rapidly go down hill. Especially since getting people to agree on just one template is rough.

It is similar to why I do not allow players to play as Monsters unless everyone is playing as the same monster, and we decide this ahead of time. A mixed party of monsters and normal PC races will always end in someone feeling bad, while a mixed party of monsters is horrifying to design encounters around.

Or, you know, if the game is Mythic or Gestalt in which case ignore the above. When you are playing a high power game, the delicate balance matters less since your players are already breaking the game over their knee.


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For monsters I love 'em. Oh! you meant for players - that, not so much. I've only ever seen them taken for the power boost (and I include myself in that respect), and it's a pain to balance.

You see, a template adds nothing to RP value, that exists separately from the numbers.


The problem with templates is that they aren't designed to be balanced... And having characters with wildly varying power-levels is a problem.

If a player finds a way to make a template balanced and fitting to the campaign, I don't mind allowing it.


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As a player, I have a character with the lich template. That isn't as bad as it sounds - I voluntarily took out some of the abilities, and weakened the effects of others. The end result is actually pretty minor, all things considered. (The scaling DR doesn't matter much because they're rarely in melee, et cetera.)

I've also allowed players to take templates in certain games I'm running.

The key thing to understand about templates is that not all of them are appropriate for player characters to take. For the most part, templates that are CR +1 or less and don't have significant ability score modifiers are probably okay for characters to take in place of a class level. Anything else should probably be toned down - immunities changed into limited resistances, et cetera, even if that's normally not something you'd get for a character's type. You should also be willing to outright remove any particular powers that are inappropriate for a player character to have.

To demonstrate its appropriateness, try to get your numbers somewhere around green and ideally less than blue on this chart. That's an appropriate level for a normal character to have. Your GM may be more willing to accept the character if you can prove it's actually within the game's expectations.


GM Rednal wrote:
To demonstrate its appropriateness, try to get your numbers somewhere around green and ideally less than blue on this chart. That's an appropriate level for a normal character to have. Your GM may be more willing to accept the character if you can prove it's actually within the game's expectations.

Out of curiosity... What are these numbers based on?


You made two topics, I'm moving this over to the one everyone else picked.

I only allow templates if, for some reason, I am applying them to everyone. For instance if I was going to run a game where all the PCs were half-dragons or half fiends.

Templates vary in power from one to another, and from build to build. It is a lot of hassle to try and gauge the relative power of a template with a build, especially since once you allow one player to have a template then other people will want one too. This may not seem like an issue when you grant the template to your group's RPer but when the munchkin gets his template things can rapidly go down hill. Especially since getting people to agree on just one template is rough.

It is similar to why I do not allow players to play as Monsters unless everyone is playing as the same monster, and we decide this ahead of time. A mixed party of monsters and normal PC races will always end in someone feeling bad, while a mixed party of monsters is horrifying to design encounters around.

Or, you know, if the game is Mythic or Gestalt in which case ignore the above. When you are playing a high power game, the delicate balance matters less since your players are already breaking the game over their knee.


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Tabernero wrote:
GM Rednal wrote:
To demonstrate its appropriateness, try to get your numbers somewhere around green and ideally less than blue on this chart. That's an appropriate level for a normal character to have. Your GM may be more willing to accept the character if you can prove it's actually within the game's expectations.
Out of curiosity... What are these numbers based on?

The creators explanation can be found here (the link is also in the sheet)


it depends how applying the template is done if you either par for each cr increase with character levels or you have to bust your butt to get it via an in game quest line templates are good if handed out all willy nilly templates can effect the balance of the game


Played 2 evil campaigns with a fellow GM. We all by level 15 have the Half Fiend Templates representing becoming half devils. We in the second campaign made about five character allowing only one to be template. One player took GraveKnight. He was unstoppable compared to most of us. The abilities they get are scary powerful and he's not even added a class yet. So unless everyone is a template I'd say no to it. Your GM has every right and should say no.
As far as RP I have had players play basic core fighters who were more entertaining then a character designed just for RP. Granted he lacked some skills the other character had but he did just as much or more RP then the other guy. So to me it's about the player not the character being boring.


For monster I love them as a GM.

For players, no. It's a non-starter. Not ever gonna happen.

As to the other problems I have with your post, Rogar gets to the point quite well.

Rogar Valertis wrote:

And what's stopping you creating a new character without the undead template and "mastery of all things charisma" also having "RP value"?

Btw even a big dumb brute can have RP value as long as it's played as a character and not as a bunch of numbers...

You can make an interesting character full of RP opportunities if you try, without needing a template. You might not be able to do this exact idea you've had, but not all ideas have an equal right to be used at the gaming table.

Role playing has no dependency on mechanics, so get back out there and think up some great new concepts and flex that RP muscle. You might also try coming up with a good backstory and such for your current character and see if you can make them fun to RP. You're problem sounds more like a lack of effort on your part than anything else.


I like 'em. They can really throw a group of players off when the creature they're fighting suddenly tosses out some new ability or defensive mechanism.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Game mechically templates are incredibly hard to balance both with each other and with pc's without templates.
Any undead template for a charisma based character is very far from balanced.
1) You are immune to a huge range of effects
2) You only need 5 stats, if you push this to its ultimate conclusion (Vampire/Oracle/Sorceror) you effectively need only 1 stat it is an incredibly powerful combination.

I have allowed it for an evil campaign and the effect on encounters is huge , I need to boost everything by about 4 levels to make it competetive or introduce npc's specially set up as undead slayers.

So if you let 1 player add a template , you have to let all of them do it and trying to balance those templates is not practical.
(I have Grave Knight, Vampire, Half Fiend and Weretiger and some are much stronger than others). The effect would be even more extreme at low levels, I only allowed these templates at high level, at first level I have no clue how I would balance it. Templates are less disruptive than mythic but are very disruptive particularly if your GM is running a published adventure he would have to rewrite every encounter


I've let people use templates before, but it was all the way back in 3.5, and I was running a game that started at 21st level, since I was trying to test the epic rules. That game ran for 2 1/2 years, and was insane, but taught me a lot. I also played a character with an ECL, but that was simply a fey-ri from Forgotten Realms, and I was playing a rogue.

Having done so, I've come to the determination that some templates are fine for players, but it takes work to find which ones they are. Any template? Nope. Some templates are alright, but it's... hard. What you're asking for would be a non-starter in any game I've run or been in. Too many immunities, too much stacking around a single attribute, and too much... well, I call it special snowflake syndrome. No history? Fine. Found by order of Paladins? Typical, don't care. With an unusual deity-specific feat? Eh, not too bad, since you were found with the symbol. I can understand it. Skeleton? Umm... okay... you're following an evil god, right? Good? What? No. Just... no. I've been down this path before, but the person playing that wasn't min-maxing to be single-attribute-dependent. Just no.


Have you considered pointing your GM towards the Corruption Rules?

Because I would totally allow a player to take on a corruption as a GM if they were willing to abide by the consequences of that corruption. For instance, your paladin could have started down the Lich corruption path and that is why he is a skeletonesque.


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Really, if you just want to be undead, the Race Builder suggests the type is worth 16 RP. Tack on a weakness or two, and a custom undead race can be more comparable to an aasimar in strength.


Claxon wrote:

For monster I love them as a GM.

For players, no. It's a non-starter. Not ever gonna happen.

As to the other problems I have with your post, Rogar gets to the point quite well.

Rogar Valertis wrote:

And what's stopping you creating a new character without the undead template and "mastery of all things charisma" also having "RP value"?

Btw even a big dumb brute can have RP value as long as it's played as a character and not as a bunch of numbers...

You can make an interesting character full of RP opportunities if you try, without needing a template. You might not be able to do this exact idea you've had, but not all ideas have an equal right to be used at the gaming table.

Role playing has no dependency on mechanics, so get back out there and think up some great new concepts and flex that RP muscle. You might also try coming up with a good backstory and such for your current character and see if you can make them fun to RP. You're problem sounds more like a lack of effort on your part than anything else.

except that's not the case rp is hugely dependent on mechanics, you cant rp certain things if you don't have access to the mechanics that would allow you to do said thing in the 1st place


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Lady-J wrote:
Claxon wrote:

For monster I love them as a GM.

For players, no. It's a non-starter. Not ever gonna happen.

As to the other problems I have with your post, Rogar gets to the point quite well.

Rogar Valertis wrote:

And what's stopping you creating a new character without the undead template and "mastery of all things charisma" also having "RP value"?

Btw even a big dumb brute can have RP value as long as it's played as a character and not as a bunch of numbers...

You can make an interesting character full of RP opportunities if you try, without needing a template. You might not be able to do this exact idea you've had, but not all ideas have an equal right to be used at the gaming table.

Role playing has no dependency on mechanics, so get back out there and think up some great new concepts and flex that RP muscle. You might also try coming up with a good backstory and such for your current character and see if you can make them fun to RP. You're problem sounds more like a lack of effort on your part than anything else.

except that's not the case rp is hugely dependent on mechanics, you cant rp certain things if you don't have access to the mechanics that would allow you to do said thing in the 1st place

I disagree. You roleplay a character, you don't roleplay numbers. Sure you can't roleplay a successful check in, say diplomacy if you fail the check but you can still roleplay the failure. In short roleplay is not really related to mechanics. You roleplay a character with his own personality and how he (or she) interacts with what's happening in the game.

Also your character might be limited, sure, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be entertaining.
Think Drax the Destroyer from the Guardian of the Galaxy movies. Is him a "big dumb brute"? For sure. Is him not entertaining or "RP worthy"? Like hell he is, he's GREAT!
Bottom line: try to build characters like Drax instead of "big dumb brute barbarian #2567892"...


Lady J I think that is part of the problem. He is attempting to use game mechanics to RP a character. He shouldn't need to. I have had players play fighters lethal in combat even more so out of combat because of how they are RPed. I have had players playing full casters more boring then watching paint dry. None of which had anything to do with game mechanics. He complains his Barbarian is boring. He has another character equally a boring. Both also without the template are lower in power. Not saying he wants to power game but seeing signs that way. I have played Clerics in First Ed that had oodles of RP opportunity because of who they worshipped.
Some game mechanics Traits, Feats, Class abilities and racial abilities all offer ways to role play a character. There are two books which talk about how to RP certain races and classes. While both suggest traits and classes none say you need this to play this character concept.
Case in point I played a Wizard in Wrath of the Righteous. I took an adventure trait which stated my parents were missing believed dead. I played with that saying a friend of the family a Dwarf had adopted me. In combat I was deadly able to blast through most Demons spell resistance. But out of combat my character was a trip he was an elf acting very, very dwarf like. Later when I received leadership feat my cohort was actually a half elf related to me elven family. My GM loved it thought it was great. All of this from a single trait. One trait!


Templates are GREAT...for monsters. Don't ask to play monsters unless everyone is doing the same in some weird gimmick campaign.


I feel like in order for a game with PC templates to really work, it has to be an "everybody is on board" kind of thing. I was in a 3.0 game where the GM drew templates out of a hat for each of us after chargen, since the premise of the campaign was "we're agents of a church of an ostensibly LG deity that is obsessed with purity and each of the PCs have a secret".

If it's just "3 people are making normal characters, and 1 person wants to use a template" then it's a hard no, no absolutely not, and under no condition. From experience: here be dragons.

The whole "I am a skeleton" character concept may work better in some other ruleset than Pathfinder, since PF is arranged around "there are mechanics for everything" and this is a strength and a weakness- a strength because have mechanics to underline the meaning of the character concept you're playing, and a weakness because this makes some concepts unreasonable or unworkable. Other rulesets that are looser might work better for this; I had a 13th Age character who was a necromancer that was a ghost who had congealed into solid ectoplasm in the same form he had in life, who subsequently animated his own bones to serve as a skeletal minion. How did I accomplish this? I spent 2 of my 3 class talents on "Sorta Dead" and "Skeletal Minion" and then described it.


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I really wish there were more ways to play monsters in non-monster campains, even if they were slightly underpowered.

Roleplaying trying to fit in and all of the wierd quirks of the race is the best.

Sadly, most of the races you're allowed to play are far too human like.

Blech. Humans.


Rogar Valertis wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
Claxon wrote:

For monster I love them as a GM.

For players, no. It's a non-starter. Not ever gonna happen.

As to the other problems I have with your post, Rogar gets to the point quite well.

Rogar Valertis wrote:

And what's stopping you creating a new character without the undead template and "mastery of all things charisma" also having "RP value"?

Btw even a big dumb brute can have RP value as long as it's played as a character and not as a bunch of numbers...

You can make an interesting character full of RP opportunities if you try, without needing a template. You might not be able to do this exact idea you've had, but not all ideas have an equal right to be used at the gaming table.

Role playing has no dependency on mechanics, so get back out there and think up some great new concepts and flex that RP muscle. You might also try coming up with a good backstory and such for your current character and see if you can make them fun to RP. You're problem sounds more like a lack of effort on your part than anything else.

except that's not the case rp is hugely dependent on mechanics, you cant rp certain things if you don't have access to the mechanics that would allow you to do said thing in the 1st place

I disagree. You roleplay a character, you don't roleplay numbers. Sure you can't roleplay a successful check in, say diplomacy if you fail the check but you can still roleplay the failure. In short roleplay is not really related to mechanics. You roleplay a character with his own personality and how he (or she) interacts with what's happening in the game.

Also your character might be limited, sure, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be entertaining.
Think Drax the Destroyer from the Guardian of the Galaxy movies. Is him a "big dumb brute"? For sure. Is him not entertaining or "RP worthy"? Like hell he is, he's GREAT!
Bottom line: try to build characters like Drax instead of "big dumb brute barbarian #2567892"...

i dare you to try and roll play a character that takes lava baths with out any fire resist or fire immunity or a super strong character with a str of 5 i could go on but my point still stands you need to have the mechanics to back up your rollplay


icehawk333 wrote:

I really wish there were more ways to play monsters in non-monster campains, even if they were slightly underpowered.

Roleplaying trying to fit in and all of the wierd quirks of the race is the best.

Sadly, most of the races you're allowed to play are far too human like.

Blech. Humans.

just ask your dm you can play a monstrous race with their permission just some class levels with the creatures cr.

example in a level 10 party with dm permission you could play a level 4 class x succubus while every one else is level 10 in their respective classes it balances out cuz you get bonuses from your race but they also get goodies for having 6 more class levels than you same thing with templates so long as you take a level adjustment equal to the cr of the template it usually balances out.


Lady-J wrote:
icehawk333 wrote:

I really wish there were more ways to play monsters in non-monster campains, even if they were slightly underpowered.

Roleplaying trying to fit in and all of the wierd quirks of the race is the best.

Sadly, most of the races you're allowed to play are far too human like.

Blech. Humans.

just ask your dm you can play a monstrous race with their permission just some class levels with the creatures cr.

example in a level 10 party with dm permission you could play a level 4 class x succubus while every one else is level 10 in their respective classes it balances out cuz you get bonuses from your race but they also get goodies for having 6 more class levels than you same thing with templates so long as you take a level adjustment equal to the cr of the template it usually balances out.

Most DM's aren't going to allow something with such shaky rules.

Beyond that, having to ask means you could very well show up to a table with an invalid charecter. Having to ask is usually bad.
Doesn't matter, as i never get to play normal games, only GM, but even still, I want monsterous races to be an option for my players, but I'm not willing to just let them take the race, as CR is far from equal to level, and it would open up way too many overpowered synergies.

If I ever do play, I'm more or less shooting for transmutation items/powers right off the bat.


icehawk333 wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
icehawk333 wrote:

I really wish there were more ways to play monsters in non-monster campains, even if they were slightly underpowered.

Roleplaying trying to fit in and all of the wierd quirks of the race is the best.

Sadly, most of the races you're allowed to play are far too human like.

Blech. Humans.

just ask your dm you can play a monstrous race with their permission just some class levels with the creatures cr.

example in a level 10 party with dm permission you could play a level 4 class x succubus while every one else is level 10 in their respective classes it balances out cuz you get bonuses from your race but they also get goodies for having 6 more class levels than you same thing with templates so long as you take a level adjustment equal to the cr of the template it usually balances out.

Most DM's aren't going to allow something with such shaky rules.

Beyond that, having to ask means you could very well show up to a table with an invalid charecter. Having to ask is usually bad.
Doesn't matter, as i never get to play normal games, only GM, but even still, I want monsterous races to be an option for my players, but I'm not willing to just let them take the race, as CR is far from equal to level, and it would open up way too many overpowered synergies.

If I ever do play, I'm more or less shooting for transmutation items/powers right off the bat.

1 level in a pc class with pc wealth is 1 cr as for having to ask no its not bad its no different than asking if you can use unchained instead of normal or if you can use an advanced class or if this certain book is allowed


I know this isn't what you asked, but there is a third party race called "obitu" and they are living skeletons, I allow them in my games I think they are balanced so it may work for your idea


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Templates generally aren't for PCs to take, and require GM approval in all circumstances. The Corruptions from Horror Adventures offer a decent substitute for many templates without unbalancing the party as much. In your specific case, the RAW even forbids it as Skeletal Champion requires alignment any Evil, and paladins must be LG.


You are taking role playing far too literally. While yes, I can't take lava baths without fire immunity (or you know, a scroll energy resistance), that doesn't mean your character can't talk about it.

Let's take a paladin. The same normal human LG paladin with the same stats and feats can be played a number of different ways.

-the obvious lawful stupid that everyone hates

-a more trained almost buddist monk that walks the path but doesn't nag his allies, instead offering morale support when needed. He hopes his shining example is enough to compel his comrades to do good.

-a paladin that accepts everything at face value. He isn't stupid, but he will never roll a sense motive check ever. He believes in the good in others.

-a more 'out of line' paladin that drinks and causes a commotion at the bar, only to repent the next day, making the bar better than it was before.


skizzerz wrote:
Templates generally aren't for PCs to take, and require GM approval in all circumstances. The Corruptions from Horror Adventures offer a decent substitute for many templates without unbalancing the party as much. In your specific case, the RAW even forbids it as Skeletal Champion requires alignment any Evil, and paladins must be LG.

templates with alignement restrictions are easily bypassed

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Templates are meant to be a GM tool for creating variant monsters. Not a player option for powering up PCs.

3rd Edition propagated a bad mindset where anything that gets published is fair game for a player to use and abuse with complete disregard for how a GM wishes to run his campaign.


Cyrad wrote:
3rd Edition propagated a bad mindset where anything that gets published is fair game for a player to use and abuse with complete disregard for how a GM wishes to run his campaign.

if it was any other way hardly any books would be sold as there would be no point in players buying any of them because they cant use any of the content, i know if the games i played in didn't allow non basic things in the game i wouldn't be buying any products from paizo or other publishers.


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Depends on the template. Most templates are just power boosts that can potentially be abused by players if given the opportunity. Others offer fun RP opportunity like vampires and werefolk. Lichdom for example I am totally cool with because you have to pay a boatload of money for it. I did one monster campaign recently where several players did indeed use templates to boost stats. Was only ok because everyone had the option to do it and nobody went too crazy(in character creation anyway). Most of the time if a player wants to do something like half elemental or vampire, in a normal party, it is just much easier to make a new base race to keep things balanced.


Lady-J wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
3rd Edition propagated a bad mindset where anything that gets published is fair game for a player to use and abuse with complete disregard for how a GM wishes to run his campaign.
if it was any other way hardly any books would be sold as there would be no point in players buying any of them because they cant use any of the content, i know if the games i played in didn't allow non basic things in the game i wouldn't be buying any products from paizo or other publishers.

I have bought so many books that I've never used...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Lady-J wrote:
i dare you to try and roll play a character that takes lava baths with out any fire resist or fire immunity or a super strong character with a str of 5 i could go on but my point still stands you need to have the mechanics to back up your rollplay

If I wanted to roleplay a suicidal character, or a delusional character, I would I guess.

It's obvious you can't do some things effectively without the proper mechanics, but just acting in game is not really roleplaying.
For some reason you want your character to take a "lava bath" without the proper resistances/immunities? You explain what you are going to do and then play the act. It might very well kill your character but as long as it's your choice (and it's not done to spite the GM or other players) that's fine and if well roleplayed could even be entertaining and give other players something to think about (or not... it depends on you, your motivation and your acting skills).

Liberty's Edge

I'm considering for Hell's Vengeance to allow my players to take the Devil bound templete and be behind on levels. It makes sense for some Thrune loyalist to have been devil bound to defend the empire.

Grand Lodge

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dragonhunterq wrote:

For monsters I love 'em. Oh! you meant for players - that, not so much. I've only ever seen them taken for the power boost (and I include myself in that respect), and it's a pain to balance.

You see, a template adds nothing to RP value, that exists separately from the numbers.

Just quoting this because I have nothing new to add.


Dastis wrote:
Depends on the template. Most templates are just power boosts that can potentially be abused by players if given the opportunity. Others offer fun RP opportunity like vampires and werefolk. Lichdom for example I am totally cool with because you have to pay a boatload of money for it. I did one monster campaign recently where several players did indeed use templates to boost stats. Was only ok because everyone had the option to do it and nobody went too crazy(in character creation anyway). Most of the time if a player wants to do something like half elemental or vampire, in a normal party, it is just much easier to make a new base race to keep things balanced.

Yeah, I more or less agree on this. I find Lichdom one of the more interesting templates for players and if a player actually has "become a lich" as a goal, spend 11 levels working towards that goal, and pay a ton of money for that goal... I'm going to let them have it.

Likewise, if something happens naturally due to RP, like becoming a vampire, or catching lycanthropy, I'm not adverse to slapping a template on that character to reflect that, provided that it would still make sense to play that character within the party.

In other words, if it's a goal for the character or happens as a consequence of story events, I'm ok with it. If it's arbitrarily taken for stats, I'm not going to allow it. If it's a legitimately vital part of a character concept, then I *may* be okay with it depending on the reasoning, but I'll probably want to find a way to avoid needing to take the template if there is one, and there usually is one.


I've said it before I say it again. You can make any character exciting and interesting without any mechanics. I gave an example with a wizard I played. Nothing about him involved any game mechanics as far as how I played him. He mentioned his Barbarian was a spur of the moment character. He wasn't thrilled with him. I have had characters start that way and become surprisingly fun to play. I don't think he's trying to make him fun.
Now I'm getting the impression this isn't about role playing but power playing. He's asking how many GMs approve of adding templates to character. Willing to bet he uses it to buffalo his GM into allowing him to have the template. He claims he isn't after the power increase yet his character is all Chr based.


PK the Dragon wrote:
Dastis wrote:
Depends on the template. Most templates are just power boosts that can potentially be abused by players if given the opportunity. Others offer fun RP opportunity like vampires and werefolk. Lichdom for example I am totally cool with because you have to pay a boatload of money for it. I did one monster campaign recently where several players did indeed use templates to boost stats. Was only ok because everyone had the option to do it and nobody went too crazy(in character creation anyway). Most of the time if a player wants to do something like half elemental or vampire, in a normal party, it is just much easier to make a new base race to keep things balanced.
Likewise, if something happens naturally due to RP, like becoming a vampire, or catching lycanthropy,

eeewwwwwww inflicted lycanthropy being born with lycanthropy is one thing but if i had a character that contracted lycanthropy a different way i would retire the character as they basically become unplayable


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Lady-J wrote:
PK the Dragon wrote:
Dastis wrote:
Depends on the template. Most templates are just power boosts that can potentially be abused by players if given the opportunity. Others offer fun RP opportunity like vampires and werefolk. Lichdom for example I am totally cool with because you have to pay a boatload of money for it. I did one monster campaign recently where several players did indeed use templates to boost stats. Was only ok because everyone had the option to do it and nobody went too crazy(in character creation anyway). Most of the time if a player wants to do something like half elemental or vampire, in a normal party, it is just much easier to make a new base race to keep things balanced.
Likewise, if something happens naturally due to RP, like becoming a vampire, or catching lycanthropy,
eeewwwwwww inflicted lycanthropy being born with lycanthropy is one thing but if i had a character that contracted lycanthropy a different way i would retire the character as they basically become unplayable

See, that's the thing.

If you're not willing to deal with the problems that come with powers, then it's Probobly powergaming.

Afflicted is manageable. Hard to manage, but manageable.

But if you go natural, yiu get a bunch of power for nothing at all.


icehawk333 wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
PK the Dragon wrote:
Dastis wrote:
Depends on the template. Most templates are just power boosts that can potentially be abused by players if given the opportunity. Others offer fun RP opportunity like vampires and werefolk. Lichdom for example I am totally cool with because you have to pay a boatload of money for it. I did one monster campaign recently where several players did indeed use templates to boost stats. Was only ok because everyone had the option to do it and nobody went too crazy(in character creation anyway). Most of the time if a player wants to do something like half elemental or vampire, in a normal party, it is just much easier to make a new base race to keep things balanced.
Likewise, if something happens naturally due to RP, like becoming a vampire, or catching lycanthropy,
eeewwwwwww inflicted lycanthropy being born with lycanthropy is one thing but if i had a character that contracted lycanthropy a different way i would retire the character as they basically become unplayable

See, that's the thing.

If you're not willing to deal with the problems that come with powers, then it's Probobly powergaming.

Afflicted is manageable. Hard to manage, but manageable.

But if you go natural, yiu get a bunch of power for nothing at all.

your already paying the level adjustment for the templates cr increase there's no need for the added penalty of not being able to play your own character


Lady-J wrote:
icehawk333 wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
PK the Dragon wrote:
Dastis wrote:
Depends on the template. Most templates are just power boosts that can potentially be abused by players if given the opportunity. Others offer fun RP opportunity like vampires and werefolk. Lichdom for example I am totally cool with because you have to pay a boatload of money for it. I did one monster campaign recently where several players did indeed use templates to boost stats. Was only ok because everyone had the option to do it and nobody went too crazy(in character creation anyway). Most of the time if a player wants to do something like half elemental or vampire, in a normal party, it is just much easier to make a new base race to keep things balanced.
Likewise, if something happens naturally due to RP, like becoming a vampire, or catching lycanthropy,
eeewwwwwww inflicted lycanthropy being born with lycanthropy is one thing but if i had a character that contracted lycanthropy a different way i would retire the character as they basically become unplayable

See, that's the thing.

If you're not willing to deal with the problems that come with powers, then it's Probobly powergaming.

Afflicted is manageable. Hard to manage, but manageable.

But if you go natural, yiu get a bunch of power for nothing at all.

your already paying the level adjustment for the templates cr increase there's no need for the added penalty of not being able to play your own character

Level adustment doesn't even exist in pathfinder.


icehawk333 wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
icehawk333 wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
PK the Dragon wrote:
Dastis wrote:
Depends on the template. Most templates are just power boosts that can potentially be abused by players if given the opportunity. Others offer fun RP opportunity like vampires and werefolk. Lichdom for example I am totally cool with because you have to pay a boatload of money for it. I did one monster campaign recently where several players did indeed use templates to boost stats. Was only ok because everyone had the option to do it and nobody went too crazy(in character creation anyway). Most of the time if a player wants to do something like half elemental or vampire, in a normal party, it is just much easier to make a new base race to keep things balanced.
Likewise, if something happens naturally due to RP, like becoming a vampire, or catching lycanthropy,
eeewwwwwww inflicted lycanthropy being born with lycanthropy is one thing but if i had a character that contracted lycanthropy a different way i would retire the character as they basically become unplayable

See, that's the thing.

If you're not willing to deal with the problems that come with powers, then it's Probobly powergaming.

Afflicted is manageable. Hard to manage, but manageable.

But if you go natural, yiu get a bunch of power for nothing at all.

your already paying the level adjustment for the templates cr increase there's no need for the added penalty of not being able to play your own character
Level adustment doesn't even exist in pathfinder.

when creating a pc with a race or template of cr 1 or higher you take a level adjustment equal to the cr so a level 6 minator fighter would have 2 levels in fighter and a level 6 lycanthrope fighter would have 5 levels in fighter


That's not an option that exists in the rules, making it wholly homebrew.

Asking your dm for such things puts them on the spot, because if they say yes, and it's overpowered, it'll seem like it's on them for allowing it in the first place.

Only way to get a template is either homebrew or getting it during a game.

Afflicted lycanthrope is the second option, along with possibly lich, but im not sure if there are rules for that.

Also a feat chain for vampirism.


There are a number of monsters in this book that do not possess racial Hit Dice. Such creatures are the best options for player characters, but a few of them are so powerful that they count as having 1 class level, even without a racial Hit Die. Such characters should only be allowed in a group that is 2nd-level or higher.

For monsters with racial Hit Dice, the best way to allow monster PCs is to pick a CR and allow all of the players to make characters using monsters of that CR. Treat the monster's CR as its total class levels and allow the characters to multiclass into the core classes. Do not advance such monsters by adding Hit Dice. Monster PCs should only advance through classes.

If you are including a single monster character in a group of standard characters, make sure the group is of a level that is at least as high as the monster's CR. Treat the monster's CR as class levels when determining the monster PC's overall levels. For example, in a group of 6th-level characters, a minotaur (CR 4) would possess 2 levels of a core class, such as barbarian.

Note that in a mixed group, the value of racial Hit Dice and abilities diminish as a character gains levels. It is recommended that for every 3 levels gained by the group, the monster character should gain an extra level, received halfway between the 2nd and 3rd levels. Repeat this process a number of times equal to half the monster's CR, rounded down. Using the minotaur example, when the group is at a point between 6th and 7th level, the minotaur gains a level, and then again at 7th, making him a minotaur barbarian 4. This process repeats at 10th level, making him a minotaur barbarian 8 when the group reaches 10th level. From that point onward, he gains levels normally.

paizo rules on monsters as pcs no homebrew required


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

CR adjustment was not in 3.5 equivlant to ECL adhustment and pathfinder ditched the hole ECL System as it did not work.
Using CR as a level adustment is fantasy.

CR does not measure the same thing as the increase in effectivness a PC will gain. Let us take vampire, the Vampire has an at will dominate effect in an NPC combat encounter (which is what CR is for) this is about the same as being able to cast it one or 2 times a day and really not all that powerful. As a PC ability it is a potential gamebreaker , your pc can now cast dominate person on every single npc they meet.

So what is a fairly minor bump in terms of CR , does not equate to the PC power gain, for the same bump the pc also gains 3 or 4 feats bonus to nearly every stat, energy drain and a natural armour bonus. In no way is this equivlant to a level 1 or 2 gain and if you try to sell your gm on this he should tell you were to stuff your character idea.

(Note I am running a game with 2 Vampires, a graveknight, a were tiger and a devil bound, apart from devil bound they are roughly equivlant in CR gain, however the power boost from Grave knight is a lot better than for the vampire, and the were tiger is much weaker than the vampires. Players are having fun but all agree they are vastly more powerful than any none template based characters. I estimate that for the purpose of combat I have to treat them as being about 4 levels higher than they are to create a balanced encounter)


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I hand out templates occasionally when it makes sense in may game. Earned for RP awards and great acts of heroism or cleverness. But I also give out feats rewards occasionally too.

I am of the school that likes to help players actualize the characters they want. If someone wanted to play a skeletal champion, I might permit a tempered version of it; or one with the downsides of being a skeletal knight. Depends on the game. Maintaining balance is always tricky, so the template is just another variable.

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