Request to Paizo:


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

Scarab Sages

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I'm sure this is in the wrong thread and everyone will tell me to change it around but . . .

I'd like to put out there for Paizo that it would be cool if you maybe put out some expanded rules for making NPCs. I realize there is the free download 'Game Mastery Guide, Monster and Hazard Creation' which is fine, but there have been several books out there since and I'd love a more robust NPC creation system. Sure, from the NPC guide you can do some extrapolations for some classes. For a gunslinger, build them as a fighter with less HP and better will. An Investigator is basically a rogue but replace sneak attack with studied strike. Witch is just a Wizard only with a familiar and choice of spell list. But what about a Magus? What about a SUMMONER? How do you build villain NPC companion inventors?

It'd also be nice to have a few choices for each class. What if I want to do a warrior bard who focuses on attacks more than spells? Or a weapons druid? Or an outwit, high INT ranger?

Putting that out would really help people who are trying to spice up their home campaigns with fun and inventive characters without having to do a huge amount of guesswork on what would make an enemy challenging, but not overpowering. Like, if you wanted your big bad evil emperor to be a summoner who summons a dark, demonic dragon, that's cool! But how do you stat the summoner up so that the stats are fair? Challenging but not overpowering? I don't know, I don't have the ability to playtest that five or six times to find the sweet spot.

Anyway, just a request from a fan who loves making NPC and has been hitting a brick wall recently. Thank you for listening out there.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I am not sure any of this is necessary. The baseline for what stats should be for what level are all there. If you want them to have a class ability give them that ability. NPC's aren't PC and we don't need that level of detail.

I would much rather get more clarifications on ambiguous rules and new content instead of adding to a pretty cut and dry system.

Just my opinion anyway

Liberty's Edge

You can build your NPC the PC way, or use the guide to building monsters with all its guidelines. Either way you will end up with a NPC who is in line with their level.


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There have been Magus NPCs (Strength of Thousands book 5, for example) and I think I saw a Summoner NPC somewhere as well. For Magus NPC, all you need to do to make them special is to give the Spellstrike. For Summoner, look how Druid-like NPCs with minions are made. Or you can build them like PCs, but that's a lot of work for little gain since you end up with a bunch of feats and abilities that will never come into play.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'd actually really enjoy an NPC centric bestiary-style product, where we get a bunch of monster statblocks, but based off 'people' style villains. Another GM in my group and I were talking about it, it would really help for campaigns where the primary antagonists are other humanoids with similar power sets to the PCs (but not built as PCs)-- right now, its a lot of work to pull off, since the GMG has a (very appreciated) few, and others the GM has to balance by hand with the help of the GMG and I think there's just a lot of room to delve those kinds of foes. I don't think we need more guidelines per say, just more statblocks, and with more flavor packed into them.

Liberty's Edge

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PF1's NPC Codex was exactly this IIRC. And the Monster Codex for NPCs of more unusual types.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

A 2E NPC or Villan codex would be cool. But as I said earlier the rules to make your own are robust enough. Not to mention over all the bestiaries and ap's we have gotten there are plenty of npc's and monsters you can just change the name of and get what you want.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Nicolas Paradise wrote:
A 2E NPC or Villan codex would be cool. But as I said earlier the rules to make your own are robust enough. Not to mention over all the bestiaries and ap's we have gotten there are plenty of npc's and monsters you can just change the name of and get what you want.

Agreed. That said, a codex would be especially nice since AP NPCs generally don't wind up on Archive of Nethys, which limits their usefulness as a "how to" lesson.

But I don't think we especially need guides to building magus or summoners.

Scarab Sages

Captain Morgan wrote:
Nicolas Paradise wrote:
A 2E NPC or Villan codex would be cool. But as I said earlier the rules to make your own are robust enough. Not to mention over all the bestiaries and ap's we have gotten there are plenty of npc's and monsters you can just change the name of and get what you want.

Agreed. That said, a codex would be especially nice since AP NPCs generally don't wind up on Archive of Nethys, which limits their usefulness as a "how to" lesson.

But I don't think we especially need guides to building magus or summoners.

I’m not saying Something with ONLY those rules, just something with those rules included.


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This sounds like great fodder for the "Next 3 Rulebooks - You Choose" thread.

https://paizo.com/threads/rzs43l72?Next-3-Rulebooks-You-Choose


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Nicolas Paradise wrote:
A 2E NPC or Villan codex would be cool. But as I said earlier the rules to make your own are robust enough. Not to mention over all the bestiaries and ap's we have gotten there are plenty of npc's and monsters you can just change the name of and get what you want.

Agreed. That said, a codex would be especially nice since AP NPCs generally don't wind up on Archive of Nethys, which limits their usefulness as a "how to" lesson.

But I don't think we especially need guides to building magus or summoners.

It's more confusing because some of the NPCs are up on AoN, but they aren't listed in the source they're from, so you have to go hunting for them, which means you have to basically have the product already to know what to look for.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

AoN is actually working on including not only NPC's from APs, but some of the extra creatures found outside of the Toolbox sections. It's a slow process from my understanding. I'm sure once they get the current ones done, they'll likely make an easier to navigate subsection somewhere on the site. Easiest way to find them, atm, is to look for then on the "All Creatures" table.


I believe Pathfinder Infinite may be a good place to look.


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I think you're approaching this the wrong way. The point of the Summoner, or any pet class/build for PCs, is to provide a way to play two creatures in a manner reasonably balanced with players playing just one creature.

That's not a problem for NPCs! When you make the BBEG a summoner, you can just stat that as two creatures. The game provides the rules and guidelines for throwing two creatures at the players. The eidolon or otherwise summoned creature shouldn't be a discounted martial, it should be an interesting and challenging fight. The summoner shouldn't need to resort to cantrips halfway through the fight- either they're working behind the scenes, or you just stat them as a caster in a two-creature fight.

There's no reason to filter this through the players' restricted version. Think of it as an encounter, not a build.


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In fact, as shown in Quest for Frozen Flame, summoner NPCs do in fact just work as two different statblocks.


VampByDay wrote:

I'm sure this is in the wrong thread and everyone will tell me to change it around but . . .

I'd like to put out there for Paizo that it would be cool if you maybe put out some expanded rules for making NPCs. I realize there is the free download 'Game Mastery Guide, Monster and Hazard Creation' which is fine, but there have been several books out there since and I'd love a more robust NPC creation system. Sure, from the NPC guide you can do some extrapolations for some classes. For a gunslinger, build them as a fighter with less HP and better will. An Investigator is basically a rogue but replace sneak attack with studied strike. Witch is just a Wizard only with a familiar and choice of spell list. But what about a Magus? What about a SUMMONER? How do you build villain NPC companion inventors?

This is something I've wanted as well, though I think it might be better served as a web-supplement at this point and maybe it can fit into a book later on.

This is mainly because, as interesting as new classes are, some are definitely more complex than the base classes. That's fine for a PC that is just running their character but can be a pain for the GM trying to juggle multiple things. Some simplified options for basic class mechanics would be nice (much in the same way that not every "ranger" NPC gets Hunt Prey action and just include the Edge benefit).

I know in some more recent adventures, there have been characters that use these new class mechanics (a cyclops oracle I think, and svartalfar basically have a spellstrike ability), but they are spread out among APs. Perhaps posting some NPCs using the newer classes in blog posts would be useful?


VampByDay wrote:
I’m not saying Something with ONLY those rules, just something with those rules included.

Yeah, but the point is more that the gmg rules already cover everything necessary and it would just make more sense to just print a book of npcs that gm's can use for inspiration and stealing abilities from rather than having guidelines for specific classes to be adapted to npcs, as that isn't how the system works in the first place.

Scarab Sages

The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
VampByDay wrote:
I’m not saying Something with ONLY those rules, just something with those rules included.
Yeah, but the point is more that the gmg rules already cover everything necessary and it would just make more sense to just print a book of npcs that gm's can use for inspiration and stealing abilities from rather than having guidelines for specific classes to be adapted to npcs, as that isn't how the system works in the first place.

But. . . They already DID that with the web supplement for the core classes. I’m just asking them to do it for the other classes


VampByDay wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
VampByDay wrote:
I’m not saying Something with ONLY those rules, just something with those rules included.
Yeah, but the point is more that the gmg rules already cover everything necessary and it would just make more sense to just print a book of npcs that gm's can use for inspiration and stealing abilities from rather than having guidelines for specific classes to be adapted to npcs, as that isn't how the system works in the first place.
But. . . They already DID that with the web supplement for the core classes. I’m just asking them to do it for the other classes

What web supplement?


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

Yea. NPC rules are already pretty easy in GMG. I just don't have tons of free time. I'd love an NPC Codex just chock full of mugs, pugs, thugs, half-wits, dimwits, and Methodists.


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I think I kinda get what VampByDay is saying. I use the class roadmaps in the GMG as a basis for creating NPCs with "class levels", and while it could be used for some of the new classes pretty easily to have a basic idea of if the NPC should have low AC or medium AC, or high strike and extreme damage or medium strike and low damage etc, it might not be as clear for some newer classes. Sure for a Witch, you can easily use the Wizard, for an oracle you could use the cleric as a basis and replace Wisdom with Charisma etc, but I'm not familiar enough with the mechanics of Inventor, Summoner or Magus to know what abilities should be in what range generally so a quick reference could be useful (this will probably be true when the thaumaturge is released as well). After all, not every GM is at the same level and some of us prefer a bit more guidance when tinkering around beneath the hood.

Tangentially, this was kind of an irritating point for me in 1e where monsters had "key classes", but only the classes in the CRB were ever listed and while some classes very clearly fit into "martial" or "spell-casting", there were some classes that were broad or different enough that I had no idea how to classify them.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Inventor is easy. Just make a striker with moderate accuracy, extreme damage, and a few custom actions to use. High to extreme crafting.

Summoners are too complicated to run as NPCs. Act together isn't worth the headache when you could make two separate creatures. You could give them a huge shared HP pool and your players will basically have the vibe. If you really want to do it though, just use the sorcerer roadmap for the summoner and monk for the eidolon.

Magus, I'd use the magical striker roadmap but maybe drop the base damage to moderate to offset the extra damage from spell strike.

Liberty's Edge

I honestly don't think Paizo as a company is in any position to do anything more than the bare minimum of keeping up with their existing announced products that they've already invested time and staff efforts into at this point... they've been hemorrhaging staff, physical books cost more than ever to produce/ship/sell, and they're already behind on their ideal previous plans for product releases by weeks in some cases on the low end all the way to 1+ years and counting on other things such as Kickstarter projects.

The concept being requested is a fair one, and would be useful to boot but... I just do not see it happening at all unless something truly miraculous happens that injects a couple dozen+ million USD into the company without actually expecting a return on that investment.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As far as I can tell, Paizo is doing well financially (as well as any company in this industry that doesn't also sell cardboard crack is doing anyway) I don't think its a matter of them doing badly, just whether they think its a good product for the lineup, they have like five years worth of product charted in brush strokes. They're almost certainly still announcing more books at Paizocon as well. Pathfinder 2e's playerbase has only been expanding lately, we were trending on twitter like a month ago and the subreddit just hit 40k subs.

The only real hurdle I can think of, is where this would fit in versus other products, in theory it would be a bestiary style release, but unlike Book of the Dead and the implied future of thematic bestiaries we're getting (whatever the next one actually ends up being), the only cohesive theme is 'fighting other people.' I'm not sure it would be popular enough for a full rulebook release.

Actually, all things considered, it would make a really fun Lost Omens product. Talking about people and organizations, with statblocks for fighting them-- essentially to answer the question of "If I go to X and pick a Fight with Y, what statblock am I fighting?" then use that as a platform to offer more GMG style NPCs, or you could reverse it and put the thematics of the statblock first and then talk about examples of where you would use each around Golarion-- so something like the Summoner NPC could talk about Godcallers, along with other examples.

Liberty's Edge

It's less about being profitable and more about them having staff to actually create, edit, organize, layout, and generally wind the gears that make the whole mechanism work.

This coupled with a fair number of staff being out on personal, health, or mental time off and the increasing rate at which staff is leaving the company in favor of their direct competitors... sure the bottom line is almost certainly healthy but my main point was that I feel it's pretty presumptive to assume they're even able to keep up the pace they have put themselves up to or slot in additional products (let alone free supplemental mechanical rules that require strict testing and vetting) when they have fewer hands to hold the pens that create the products and content.

My point in regard to the injection of investment was that at current it would seem that they'd need to dramatically increase hiring, training, and compensation across the board to shore up the losses and brain drain that has occurred. I want nothing more than to see Paizo succeed and even redouble in terms of the materials they put out but at current, the only way that can happen is by increasing the amount of work that their slowly dwindling staff has to do in any given workday.

I may very well be blowing the pattern and issues out of scope and the company is simply going through a kind of transitory period where the talent is being refreshed/replaced rather more silently than we've seen in the past (given that previously most hires and even promotions were accompanied by fanfare, blog posts, and big formal announcements).

I'd love to be wrong about this.


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Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber

I've been working on an NPC form-fillable PDF and I've made an encounter generator in Google docs based off of two other community projects; the latter of the two being more relevant, it shows you what stats are common versus uncommon or even not present based upon level to help you evaluate your encounters properly— lining the data up for you so you know at that moment what the average is per level, just as the GMG does but handles the heavy lifting and querying.

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