Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pathfinder Creatures “Done Dirty Cheap” - Part II

As I said in the previous post, I want to use the Table 1-1 (Monster Statistics by CR) of the Pathfinder Bestiary to generate, quickly and without much fuss, creatures for my 10th level campaign.
 
I want to create stats for lesser monsters, of the kind you face on random encounters or just by exploring a region (like in a “sandbox” scenario). High-CR monsters have too much stats. If you know exactly what you are looking for (ex: a behir, an adult green dragon etc), that’s not a problem – just open the Bestiary. But sometimes you want something more generic (ex: a stupid draconic beast, some ogre raiders to put against high-level PCs etc.).
 
For the last case I’ll try to use just the Table 1-1.
 
In that table, you have 11 stats: CR, Hit Points, Armor Class, High/Low Attack, Average Damage (also High/Low), Primary and Secondary Ability DC, Good and Poor Saves.
 
Let’s say I want some Ogre Raiders to put against my players. I want ogres more stronger than the CR 3 critter of the Bestiary. Actually, I want a more savage and dangerous breed , ogres from a desert and arid region of my campaign world called “The Desolation”. These ogres are CR 8. Looking at Table 1-1 we have the following:


"Desolation Ogre Raiders"
Hit Points



100
AC



21
Attack
(Low-High)


+11-15
Average Damage
(Low-High)

26-35
Ability DC
(Pri/Sec)


18/13
Save
(G/P)


+11/+7


We can changes the values above, if a creature is particulary strong, weak, tougher etc.
 
For Touch AC and Flat-Footed AC I want something simple. Removing any math. This creature is supposed to by a quick encounter or a lesser foe in a fight with the bigger boss. Let’s use half the AC number for both values.
 
For Avarage Damage I’m thinking about having 2 values for each monster attack. If I roll even on the dice, I pick the lower number; I if roll odd, I pick the higher. Simple.
 
The Ability DC I can use for any special attack or ability: gaze, breath-weapons etc.
 
The Saves are the easiest. For example: if it is a slow or big creature, I’ll probably use the Poor modifier for Reflexes.
 
Let’s organize the numbers:


"Desolation Ogre Raiders"
Hit Points



100
AC



21
Attack
(Spiked Mace)


+11
Damage
(Even/Odds)


17-35
Ability DC
(Pri/Sec)


18/13
Save
(G/P)


+11/+7


Ok, now we have a lot less numbers to deal with, but we’re still missing a couple stats. In particular, I want Ability Score Bonus, Skill bonus, CMD and CMB.
 
Ability Score Bonus: I believe I could use half the CR of the creature as their “good” Ability Score modifier, and ¼ for the other modifiers. This is not something accurate, but I can change this number for special strong, dumb or slow monster “on the fly” (yes, I like “DM’s call” a lot).
 
Skill Bonus: First we divide the creature’s skills: Relevant Skills for important abilities likely to possessed by the monster (like Climb and Survival for our desert ogres); and Lesser Skills for other checks.
Relevant Skills uses the creature’s CR + 3 + Good Ability Score bonus.
Lesser Skills uses half the creature’s CR. No ability score bonus.
 
CMB: I’ll use the creature’s High Attack stat.
CMD: The creature’s High Attack + 10.


"Desolation Ogre Raiders"
Hit Points



100
AC



21 (10)
Attack



+11
Damage
(Even/Odds)


17-35
Ability DC
(Pri/Sec)


18/13
Save
(G/P)


+11/+7
Ability Score
(G/P)


+4/+2
Skills
(Rel/Les)


+15/+4
CMB/CMD



+11/ 21



Looking at the numbers above, I seek balance a few things.
 
I’ll give my ogres 2 attacks at +11, to better distribute their damage values (too high for me, because these monsters are minor opponents of the party).
 
I also want to increase the ogres’ CMB and CMD. After all, they’re supposed to be big and dangerous creatures in close fight. So I’ll add the Good Ability Score bonus to both values.
 
I don’t want to look for feats and other things, but I’ll like to add some special ability to make the monster more fun or challenging to face:
- First I give them Reach (10 ft.) and the ability to execute the Grapple maneuver without provoking AoO (let’s call just Grapple ability).
- I’ll give them a Stun ability. If they deal more damage than the target’s Constitution, he must succeed at a Fort save or be stunned for 1 round.
 
Here’s the final stat block:
 
Desolation Ogre Raiders
Hit Points



100
AC



21 (10)
Attack



2x +11
Damage
(Even/Odds)


9-18
Ability DC
(Pri/Sec)


18/13
Save
(G/P)


+11/+7
Ability Score
(G/P)


+4/+2
Skills
(Rel/Les)


+15/+4
CMB/CMD



+15/ 26
Special
-       Reach (10 ft.)
-       Can grapple without provoking an AoO.
-       Stun: if 1 attack deals more than the target’s Con ability score. Fort Save or stunned for 1 round.


I know these ideas are far from perfect (very far), but I hope they can help other DMs in some way.