Orc Brute question


Rules Discussion

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Trying to build some NPCs, is the Orc Brute from the Bestiary the baseline orc? It doesn't seem to have class features, so I guess it's basically as if they still had just a basic warrior class.

And second, more of a pointed question for Paizp, why didn't y'all release the monster building rules in the Bestiary, considering you SPECIFICALLY called out these rules in, at least, the Vqmpire monster entry? I seem to remember a post saying that a preview of the rules will be released before the Gamemastery Guide, but I haven't seen it yet


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It has net +8 modifier to stats, which is what people have before their class bonus. It's also level 0, so it would have no class levels to start.

Going by bonuses, it appears to be Expert in melee, but Trained in thrown. Its saves indicate it gets Fort halfway between Trained and Expert, Ref at Expert, and Will between Untrained and Trained. Going by the other two orcs, it looks like Ancestry HP of 10 and the Brute gets 5 hp from level (and 0 from con b/c that's per level, and level is 0).

Those modifiers appear to be a nerfed Fighter (due to being 0th level instead of 1), penalizing a couple things. Possibly they have racial modifiers for the saves? I doubt that, though.


Val'bryn2 wrote:

Trying to build some NPCs, is the Orc Brute from the Bestiary the baseline orc? It doesn't seem to have class features, so I guess it's basically as if they still had just a basic warrior class.

And second, more of a pointed question for Paizp, why didn't y'all release the monster building rules in the Bestiary, considering you SPECIFICALLY called out these rules in, at least, the Vqmpire monster entry? I seem to remember a post saying that a preview of the rules will be released before the Gamemastery Guide, but I haven't seen it yet

Because page counts and the gmg is a better place to put it.

In addition to this they are able to demo and test the rules in a live environment this way.

The preview came out last wednesday.

https://paizo.com/products/btq021ct?Gamemastery-Guide-Monster-and-Hazard-Cr eation


In the Wednesday Paizo blog Logan Bonner offered a preview of the monster creation rules that will be in the Gamemastery Guide: Building Monsters for Fun and Profit.

I tink the 1st-level Orc Warrior is more the baseline orc. The 0th-level Orc Brute appears to be a stripped-down version for encountering lots of orcs in an orc tribe.

I am adapting Ironfang Invasion to PF2. For a 1st-level hobgoblin soldier, I used the Hobgoblin Soldier from the PF2 Bestiary. However, the module also has a 2nd-level Hobgoblin Heavy Trooper. To create that, I treated the Hobgoblin Soldier as if it were a 1st-level fighter, leveled it up to 2nd level, and gave it heavier armor. The result looks plausible, but the PCs have not fought the Hobgoblin Heavy Trooper yet.

Liberty's Edge

Val'bryn2 wrote:
Trying to build some NPCs, is the Orc Brute from the Bestiary the baseline orc?

I don’t think there is a baseline Orc in 2E like there was in 1E, because the monster system in 2E is so much more freeform. That said, the Orc Brute might be a decent starting point for an NPC Orc, adding whatever you want your NPC to have onto those stats. An easier route, though, might be to look at the various Orc stat blocks to identify what makes them Orcs, then finding a stat block that already approximates what you want to build and paste on the Orc characteristics you identified.

I assume the decision to put the monster building rules in the GMG was space related. The Bestiary is already “oversized,” while the expected contents of the GMG is a little more nebulous anyway. I wouldn’t have a problem with that decision if the GMG hadn’t been pushed back to next year. As it is, though, until the monster rules are released we are in a bit of a lurch.

In the meantime you might check out the Pathfinder Second Edition Conversion Guide for a little help converting stat blocks or even building new ones.

Edited to Add:Looking at the three Orcs in the Bestiary, it seems to me that in game terms what makes them Orcs is Darkvision, the Orc language, and the Ferocity reaction. I think you could put those three features in just about any NPC stat block without bumping the level at all, and you’d have an Orc. If you want to go a little farther, reduce Int by one step and boost Str by one step, but I doubt that is worth the extra work. Since we’re talking NPCs, consider whether to keep any language other than Orc, because in the Bestiary only the Warchief has a second language, Common.


Monster rules have been released and are linked above.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thank you, everyone, for your replies. I disagree with the view they should be in the GMG, from 3rd edition to Starfinder, they've always been in the bestiary, monster manual or alien archive, but that would have been a minor issue if they had released the GMG in a timely manner. It's bad game design to directly reference rules you won't be publishing for half a year.

I suppose I was thinking of baseline orc as just racial modifications, like how goblins have a race write-up in the Core Rulebook, and example monsters in the Bestiary. At any rate, it'll be fun to make some NPCs now.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Just checked the blog, and I am enjoying it so far, got some fun ideas brewing, so time to get to work on building some.


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Val'bryn2 wrote:

Thank you, everyone, for your replies. I disagree with the view they should be in the GMG, from 3rd edition to Starfinder, they've always been in the bestiary, monster manual or alien archive, but that would have been a minor issue if they had released the GMG in a timely manner. It's bad game design to directly reference rules you won't be publishing for half a year.

I suppose I was thinking of baseline orc as just racial modifications, like how goblins have a race write-up in the Core Rulebook, and example monsters in the Bestiary. At any rate, it'll be fun to make some NPCs now.

Where are they directly referenced?

Liberty's Edge

Val'bryn2 wrote:
I suppose I was thinking of baseline orc as just racial modifications, like how goblins have a race write-up in the Core Rulebook, and example monsters in the Bestiary.

I believe that the Orc ancestry writeup will be in the Advanced Players Guide next year.

Quote:
At any rate, it'll be fun to make some NPCs now.

Yeah. I’m excited to check out those new rules folks are linking. I failed my Perception check to see their release.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Vampire stat block, it says that they created two of the variant vampires as entirely new monsters using guidelines for new monsters, rather than applying a template, before giving basic adjustments for a vampire template

And I had been checking, I just gave up a little too soon


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Val'bryn2 wrote:

Thank you, everyone, for your replies. I disagree with the view they should be in the GMG, from 3rd edition to Starfinder, they've always been in the bestiary, monster manual or alien archive, but that would have been a minor issue if they had released the GMG in a timely manner. It's bad game design to directly reference rules you won't be publishing for half a year.

I suppose I was thinking of baseline orc as just racial modifications, like how goblins have a race write-up in the Core Rulebook, and example monsters in the Bestiary. At any rate, it'll be fun to make some NPCs now.

They were published 2.5 months after the bestiary. That's not exactly half a year.

IIRC, whether to include monster building rules or cram in more monsters was something they directly polled people on, and people preferred more monsters.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

But instead of more monsters, we had multiple variations that basically amount to added class levels. We have 3 orcs, 3 drow, 2 goblins, 3 vampires, etc. That eats up page count,

Pathfinder 2e was released on August 1st 2019, the Gamemastery Guide where we were promised the guide for making NPCs has a release date of January 2020. While they have given us the basics early, they did, in fact, ask us to wait 6 months for official rules. And as for needing time to hammer out kinks, to test it in live waters, that's why they had a playtest, that they asked people to pay for, going by the copy of the playtest rulebook on my shelf.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Val'bryn2 wrote:

But instead of more monsters, we had multiple variations that basically amount to added class levels. We have 3 orcs, 3 drow, 2 goblins, 3 vampires, etc. That eats up page count,

Pathfinder 2e was released on August 1st 2019, the Gamemastery Guide where we were promised the guide for making NPCs has a release date of January 2020. While they have given us the basics early, they did, in fact, ask us to wait 6 months for official rules. And as for needing time to hammer out kinks, to test it in live waters, that's why they had a playtest, that they asked people to pay for, going by the copy of the playtest rulebook on my shelf.

I think you can make a solid court case out of the fact that merchandise which was promised to you in 6 months was delivered after two an a half. Actually, I can see you winning this. Here's my card, give me a call, I'll take just 5%, half up front. You won't get a better rate, everybody else will take at least 10%.


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Val'bryn2 wrote:

But instead of more monsters, we had multiple variations that basically amount to added class levels. We have 3 orcs, 3 drow, 2 goblins, 3 vampires, etc. That eats up page count,

And? You can't really run an interesting encounter with the same orc over and over. Most adventures are structured with a boss and/or lieutenants in mind, which sort of requires having multiple versions of the same species.

Quote:
Pathfinder 2e was released on August 1st 2019, the Gamemastery Guide where we were promised the guide for making NPCs has a release date of January 2020. While they have given us the basics early, they did, in fact, ask us to wait 6 months for official rules.

These rules are taken straight from the gamemastery guide. They may get tweaked, but that's only if they discover problems or figure out things they can do better in the intervening time. Would you rather they commit now for no reason?

The current rules are more than good enough for whatever purposes you could possibly have in the meantime.

Quote:
And as for needing time to hammer out kinks, to test it in live waters, that's why they had a playtest,

Customer facing monster creation rules were not part of the playtest, and for pretty good reason.

Quote:
that they asked people to pay for, going by the copy of the playtest rulebook on my shelf.

They did not. They provided the PDFs for free. They also provided a print option for those who would prefer it, but printing costs money that digital distribution doesn't. You chose to pay for something you could have gotten for free. Unless you expected Paizo to print and ship you a 400 page full color book for free?


Val'bryn2 wrote:
And as for needing time to hammer out kinks, to test it in live waters, that's why they had a playtest, that they asked people to pay for, going by the copy of the playtest rulebook on my shelf.

Judging by the empty space on my shelf where a playtest book might go, I reckon you did that to yourself!

To answer your question though, it was to differentiate the books in terms of how they are used:

If you want a "quick" monster, you have the Bestiary. Instant drow/orc/goblin/vampire party. Or, a different "type" of drow/orc/goblin/vampire for an encounter. All standard fantasy tropes.

If you want a "unique" monster - and you have some time on your hands - you have the Game Mastery guide. Either to create a special monster you intend to use later, or, to memorize the algorithm of monster creation so as to have the best of both worlds.


The playtest is not the place to release monster creation rules imo, nothing else was finalised there and things changed quite dramatically mathematically.

A live environment was the best answer and stops people who have no interest in buying the bestiaries from having to buy the bestiaries. The GMG is the logical place for such rules barring them being in the core book itself (and justifying making that book larger would be hard).

Tradition or historical precedent is a poor argument for why something should be done.

Regardless, the rules are here now. It took 2.5 months but it is no longer an issue.


That they released the monster creation rules for free (despite what posters have said, the bestiary referencing monster creation is not an implicit promise of immediate rules for monster creation) 2 and some change months before the product it was written for releases I think is something we should be greatful for.

Only among gamers is it somehow considered reasonable to be angry at someone for not giving you something for free quickly enough.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

People seem to believe that I'm being unreasonably angry. I am glad to have the rules now, my main issue was before the preview was released, where I had to wait 6 months for rules on how to build an npc or monster.

I stand by my belief that not putting something as basic as npc creation in the core rulebook is bad game design, because it is something a GM needs if they are to write their own stories. It may not have been promised as such, but you can't really argue that they wanted to playtest the rules before putting them live when they clearly state they used the rules for making the bestiary.

Grognard, who do you expect would need NPC and monster creation rules, but not want the Bestiary?

Paizo had gotten away from its predecessor's assumption of 3 core rulebooks, I'm sorry to see them heading back in that direction.


It's not like 1E didn't have a GM Guide or anything. I think it's completely reasonable to have something that literally only GMs will ever need to care about be in the GM book.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

All the rules you need to GM were in the Core Rulebook and Bestiary, the 1e Gamemastery Guide was more akin to D&D's Unearthed Arcana, new subsystems that while they did, in many ways, improve the game, they weren't essential to running it.

The Bestiary is a GM book the PCs shouldn't be memorizing it.


Val'bryn2 wrote:

People seem to believe that I'm being unreasonably angry. I am glad to have the rules now, my main issue was before the preview was released, where I had to wait 6 months for rules on how to build an npc or monster.

I stand by my belief that not putting something as basic as npc creation in the core rulebook is bad game design, because it is something a GM needs if they are to write their own stories. It may not have been promised as such, but you can't really argue that they wanted to playtest the rules before putting them live when they clearly state they used the rules for making the bestiary.

Grognard, who do you expect would need NPC and monster creation rules, but not want the Bestiary?

Paizo had gotten away from its predecessor's assumption of 3 core rulebooks, I'm sorry to see them heading back in that direction.

You were never going to wait six months. The Paizo staff had said multiple times that they were going to release the monster creation rules early, as soon as they were ready.

Plus, plenty of people managed to make monsters just fine without the rules being released. It simply isn't that hard to figure out where numbers should be based on other creatures and add or remove appropriate abilities. The guide certainly makes it easier and let's you feel more confident in the decisions you make, but the end results aren't especially different than what I was already putting together.

Also, you could have always made NPCs using PC rules if they needed combat stats. Even an unreleased ancestry isn't hard to approximate. I've been building orcs and Hobgoblins using half orc stats, plane touched heritages are basically just fancy humans, tengu abilities are easy to extract from the tengu rogue, etc.

And if they didn't get used for fighting you could just come up with a few stat modifiers for whatever they were doing based on the DC by level chart. It was never as dire as you make it out to be.

Grand Lodge

I’ve been making NPCs and monsters over the past few months before the rules were released

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