[GMG] Leveling up a NPC / Monster


Rules Discussion


What steps are you to take in order to level up a NPC?

I'm aware of the Elite modifications of the Bestiary; not talking about that. Talking about the analog to a PC leveling up. But not talking of NPCs-created-as-PCs; talking about GMG NPCs that are created as "monsters".

I also understand that one answer could be to compare the creation advice of a level N and a level N+1 monster, and use the diff as your advice. But that's not "true" leveling up advice as a PC would get. Not to mention inconveniently indirect.

For instance, how do you know which special abilities you (the GM) can choose to add for your NPC at any given level-up?


Zapp wrote:

What steps are you to take in order to level up a NPC?

I'm aware of the Elite modifications of the Bestiary; not talking about that. Talking about the analog to a PC leveling up. But not talking of NPCs-created-as-PCs; talking about GMG NPCs that are created as "monsters".

I also understand that one answer could be to compare the creation advice of a level N and a level N+1 monster, and use the diff as your advice. But that's not "true" leveling up advice as a PC would get. Not to mention inconveniently indirect.

For instance, how do you know which special abilities you (the GM) can choose to add for your NPC at any given level-up?

All of these answers are already out there and have already been told to you. There's no true level up process. You just move your numbers up the charts.


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I mean there are creatures in the APs with Class levels, so there is obviously some method of giving creatures Class levels. I have not been able to find those rules though.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

From the GMG:

Sometimes you’ll need an NPC that fills a particular role—say an angry drunk—but the level in the stat block presented isn’t the right fit for your group. You can start by applying the elite or weak adjustments on page 6 of the Bestiary to adjust the NPC’s level by 1 in either direction.If you need to change the NPC’s level beyond that, use the values from the tables in Building Creatures in Chapter 2, and add or remove special abilities as necessary to suit the NPC’s new level.

NPCs dont have class levels, only abilities that closely mimic level appropriate class abilities and feats.


Well that just makes things even more confusing, since creatures in the offical APs do in fact have class levels.

Spoiler:

Hellknight Hill Pg. 51 wrote:

DMIRI YOLTOSHA CREATURE 4

UNIQUE
LE
MEDIUM
GOBLIN
HUMANOID
Female hobgoblin ranger 4
Perception +14, darkvision
Languages Common, Goblin
Skills Acrobatics +10, Athletics +9, Deception +5, Nature +7, Stealth +10, Survival +7, Thievery +10
Str +3, Dex +4, Con +1, Int +0, Wis +1, Cha –1
AC 22; Fort +10, Ref +12, Will +9
HP 52
Items composite shortbow (20 arrows), dagger, key to chest (see Treasure), +1 leather armor, +1 striking rapier
Speed 25 feet
Melee [one-action] rapier +13 (deadly 1d8, disarm, finesse), Damage 2d6+3 piercing
Melee [one-action] dagger +12 (agile, finesse, versatile S), Damage 1d4+3 piercing
Ranged [one-action] composite shortbow +12 (deadly 1d10, range increment 60 feet, reload 0), Damage 1d6+1 piercing
Ranged [one-action] dagger +12 (agile, thrown 10 feet, versatile S), Damage 1d4+3 piercing
Flurry Dmira’s multiple attack penalty against her hunted prey is –3 (–2 with an agile weapon) on her second attack and –6 (–4 with an agile weapon) on her third or subsequent attacks.
Hunt Prey [one-action]
Hunter’s Aim [two-actions] (Pathfinder Core Rulebook 172)
Twin Parry [one-action] (Pathfinder Core Rulebook 172)
Twin Takedown [one-action] (Pathfinder Core Rulebook 171)


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Insofar as I can tell that number means literally nothing and is just a product of bad editing. At best, it serves as a guide for determining what kinds of abilities the GM should give it (no 20th-level fighter feats on a 1st-level monster) or at what power level those abilities should function. Normally such a thing wouldn't be neccessary, but perhaps they threw it in as a kind of short hand.

Also, your quote box should probably because spoiler box.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

You can build a NPC with the PC creation rules. If the writer has access to the hobgoblin Ancestry, they can produce the statblock easily. If you want to level up a NPC built like a PC, just use the rules for PCs ;-)

We might even be able to retroengineer the hobgoblin Ancestry from the statblock.


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The monster building rules also have ways to build NPCs as if they were PC classes without actually building them as PCs. That hobgoblin is an example. If it actually used PC rules it couldn't have an attack bonus that high. You just use suggested benchmarks for stats and add some abilities and actions classes have.


Captain Morgan wrote:
All of these answers are already out there and have already been told to you.

???

I haven't discussed this ever before. With you or with anyone else.

Take your hostile tone elsewhere, thanks.


Aratorin wrote:
I mean there are creatures in the APs with Class levels, so there is obviously some method of giving creatures Class levels. I have not been able to find those rules though.

Thank you for being a welcoming voice of reason.

I should say I realize the difference between a PC and a NPC (a monster).

I was asking what guidance there is on at which levels certain special abilities are considered appropriate for NPC-like "monsters".

Even the answer "at the same level a PC of the 'real' class gets 'em" would be appreciated. I don't see why this question must be met with hostility.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Zapp wrote:
Even the answer "at the same level a PC of the 'real' class gets 'em" would be appreciated.

I believe this is the simplest (and most likely correct) answer. Although I don't think NPCs would get all the appropriate feats and abilities of a class equal to their level, just the most relevant ones. An NPC meant for combat, for example, likely wouldn't have any non-combat abilities listed.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The "class with levels" statblocks in Age of Ashes were pretty much there to show that:

1. Yes, you can build NPCs the PF1 way!
2. Why would you, if you end doing a lot of work and a statblock a whole bunch of abilities that will never be used during the 1d6 rounds the NPC exists in combat?

I don't really expect them recurring in further products, given how quicker and easier the second route is.

And also .... aaaaaah crap, it's a Zapp thread, I'll excuse myself out *drops smoke bombs, plants a bomb, evacuates Cpt. Morgan and Ravingdork*


Gorbacz wrote:
And also .... aaaaaah crap, it's a Zapp thread, I'll excuse myself out *drops smoke bombs, plants a bomb, evacuates Cpt. Morgan and Ravingdork*

Reported.


Zapp wrote:


Even the answer "at the same level a PC of the 'real' class gets 'em" would be appreciated. I don't see why this question must be met with hostility.

Doesn't the GMG extract on Monster Building cover this? There's a page or two on recommended stats for different classes, and suggested signature abilities by level. The suggested abilities and feats are focused on active abilities, rather than number boosters

Liberty's Edge

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The stat blocks in Age of Ashes are formatted improperly. It was literally made while they were still working on the rules, and the creators have specified that having the 'Ranger' in there is in error.

You can use the PC rules to make NPCs, but none in Age of Ashes have had that done, and it cannot be combined with the 'NPC Creation Rules' in the Gamemastery Guide, you just use one or the other not some mix of the two.


As stated above, the GMG excerpt sent out last year is clear: you just find the appropriate row on the table for the new level and adjust accordingly.

For the example stat block from Hellknight Hill, that was the first issue of the first AP for P2, meaning it was written concurrently with the CRB. You would expect some "preliminary-ness" to the that book. Is it obvious in any other books? A quick glance through my copy of Fall of Plaguestone has no mention of the NPC's "class." The closest it gets is for the "Orc Alchemist" but that is the name of the monster not in the stat block.


Ravingdork wrote:
Also, your quote box should probably because spoiler box.

I'd be happy to, but for some reason I am unable to edit that post.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Aratorin wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Also, your quote box should probably because spoiler box.
I'd be happy to, but for some reason I am unable to edit that post.

This forum has a 1 hour time limit on edits.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Aratorin wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Also, your quote box should probably because spoiler box.
I'd be happy to, but for some reason I am unable to edit that post.

After the 1h RD mentions, you can still flag the post and select Needs spoiler tag as your reason for flagging ;-)

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