Monster abilities and stacking debuffs


Monsters and Hazards

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I had a question about some of the abilities monsters have that seem to be sometimes stackable and sometimes not.

Most creatures have an entry if their ability is supposed to stack but I found 2 problems with this. first, vampires, I like vampires. They make really good villains and I want them to be interesting, but as they are written they cannot actually drink someone dry. The rules state a condition can never go higher than 4. so no matter how much they drink, they really won't kill anyone doing it ever.

The second problem with this is Wights and other level draining creatures. Enervatios can't go above a penalty of 4, ok I'm alright with that the penalty is really steep so that probably works out ok. It no longer kills, ok that is fine for penalizing spells I suppose but the ideathat a creature is actually stealing my life force does not really compute with this. Enervation from mulyiple wights doen not stack, it has no rule saying it does andd conditions specifically state they do not stak.

This means a ight will never drain you more than a little bit and even the beefiest of creatures seem to do no more than 2a value of 2. which means barring truly horrendous reeated failures at most day to recover.

THis doesn't tell the stories of these creatures it boils them down to math numbers with no meaning. No threat other than inconvenience and inneptitude (time to run away and try again later. and the fact that none of these conditions stack with each other means that once you are enervated, most other conditions don't effect you at all.


Christopher Van Horn wrote:
The rules state a condition can never go higher than 4.

I can't find this rule. Pointer?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I *think* he's refering to page 291,

Conditional penalties wrote:
Conditional penalties are caused by negative conditions. Being sick 2, for example, imposes a –2 conditional penalty to all your checks and DCs. Conditional penalties range from –1 to –4. Some standardized conditions appear in the list of basic conditions on page 320.


Franz Lunzer wrote:
I *think* he's refering to page 291,
Conditional penalties wrote:
Conditional penalties are caused by negative conditions. Being sick 2, for example, imposes a –2 conditional penalty to all your checks and DCs. Conditional penalties range from –1 to –4. Some standardized conditions appear in the list of basic conditions on page 320.

Yeah, I'm not sure this is actually correct for monster abilities. The succubus can definitely inflict Enervated at an unlimited level.


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I'm also curious about this as I prep for the Affair at Sombrefell Hall.

Specifically, level drain (Enervated x) does seem to be non cumulative just by a straight reading of the players handbook p319.

But this runs counter to all past iterations from 3rd edition and pf1. Also, it does seem a little weak and limiting for the monster as a previous poster noted.

I'm curious if this is the correct reading or it IS in fact supposed to stack cumulatively.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Reading p 319 Condition Values again, it doesn't actually say that conditional values top out at 4.

A strict reading would mean that you can get to enervated 6, but only take a -4 conditional penalty even though you are at enervated 6.

Looking at the Succubus, it has the following action:

Passionate Kiss wrote:

(divine, emotion, enchantment, mental)

Frequency Once per round
Effect The lust demon engages a creature she has grabbed in a kiss or other act of passion in order to drain its energy. The kiss makes the creature enervated 1 for 1 day. The creature must also succeed at a DC 21 Will save or become affected by a suggestion to submit to more acts of passion rather than trying to escape. Further Passionate Kisses increase the amount of the enervated condition by 1. A creature whose enervated condition becomes equal to its level is slain by the Passionate Kiss.

That very much seems to indicate that a conditional value can be greater than 4, but the associated penalty can't.

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