Creating Custom NPCs

Monsters and Hazards

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

I could not find rules related to creating custom NPCs to use as antagonists, so I'm going to do a bit of guesswork based on the NPCs provided in the bestiary.

Cleric of Rovagug (CR3) vs level 3 cleric:
-Both have spellcasting ability of a level 3 cleric
-NPC has 41 HP vs a PCs 38, or a PCs 42 (W/ Toughness)
-NPC has one higher ability boost, but also an ability flaw
-NPC has no obvious class feats
-Reflex and Fortitude are higher than you'd expect vs PC

Demonologist (CR5) vs level 5 sorcerer:
-Spontaneous Heightening Summon Monster & Darkness
-Identical spells known/per day as PC sorcerer
-Identical ability boosts vs PC
-NPC has 58 hit points vs a PCs 53, or a PCs 58 (W/ Toughness)
-Class Feats Reach Spell, Steady Spellcasting, missing one vs PC
-Saves are each 2 higher than you would expect vs PC
-NPC Potentially has Great Fortitude and/or Lightning Reflexes

Mercenary Scout (CR3) vs level 3 ranger:
-NPC has 45 HP vs a PCs 41, or a PCs 45 (W/ Toughness)
-Perfect Aim doesn't require being hunted, but doesn't grant a bonus to hit as per ranger's Favored Aim
-Identical ability boosts vs PC
-Saves are each 1 higher than you would expect vs PC

In conclusion, although I did not do an in-depth analysis of their proficiencies and various other scores, it seems that NPC classes can now be considered an equivalent challenge for their level. Feat decisions seem to favor simple choices such as toughness, and many class/ancestry feats seem to be canned in favor of simpler presentation and artificially boosted defenses. Does anyone have anything to add?

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have a feeling they are using a starfinder method of npc creation. Some of the numbers just don't line up to what a character build may have. Look at attack bonuses. Most NPCs have their melee and ranged attack bonuses the same even though their strength and dex modifiers are different. If you take the Strength/dex + level + (1 expert/ 2master) they do not add up to where they should be if it was a character unless a CR5 is really a Level 6-7 enemy built by player rules.

They are close but I just cant seem to figure out the hidden math behind the numbers. I may be looking at it wrong or but it doesnt seem to be pulled out of the same character creation rules.

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Relooking at the level 3 creatures it kinda works out but is still a little off. Unless there are hidden feats coming into play or hidden items maybe? With the agile weapons they are doing dex to attack so the scout gets +4 for dex +(1 expert) and +4 for level. So a CR 3 NPC would have to be a level 4 enemy. I cannot figure out how it gets the +10 to perception. +4 level +2 wisdom +1 expert comes up short. Even if they are master.

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