Let's Look At Some Monster Stat Blocks For Pathfinder 2
  • Let's Look At Some Monster Stat Blocks For Pathfinder 2


    The Monday update to the Pathfinder 2 development blog took a look at building monsters under the new rules. Today, with the Friday update we're getting a look at a couple of stat blocks. They look at an ogre and a redcap (pictured below).


    You can see the details of the two monsters at the Paizo website. The stat blocks do look to be more streamlined than the equivalent in Pathfinder first edition, but what is interesting is the differences between a Pathfinder 2 and Starfinder stat block.


    Obviously there is a good chance that there will be changes between this sample, the playtest edition of Pathfinder 2 and the final version of the game. What do people think...too much detail, or not enough?
    Comments 55 Comments
    1. dave2008's Avatar
      dave2008 -
      The detail seems fine to me, but I really dislike the organization / layout. The information is not where my eyes expect it to be.
    1. mellored's Avatar
      mellored -
      Quote Originally Posted by dave2008 View Post
      The detail seems fine to me, but I really dislike the organization / layout. The information is not where my eyes expect it to be.
      I agree.

      I would put the combat stuff on top.
      Actions in the middle.
      Skills on the bottom.
    1. Sunseeker's Avatar
      Sunseeker -
      Things I like:
      Stats written with only their bonuses.
      Things I don't like:
      The formatting.
      The phrasing of the trigger "Deadly Cleave". Is the scythe required for the Deadly Cleave to work? It's unclear. If it is it would make more sense to say: "Tigger: The redcap drops a creature to 0 HP with a Strike while wielding a scythe." Otherwise it looks like a "scythe Strike" is a thing all on its own. This should apply to all uses of "scythe Strike" and frankly, any use of weapon attack. Because it's either a proper noun "Scythe Strike" or it's a Strike while using a scythe. Or a Strike with a boot.
    1. dvvega's Avatar
      dvvega -
      The stat block looks bloated as all stat blocks tend to be.

      Why have all these similar abilities printed and reprinted even with different names taking up space!

      Irreligious should be in some kind of glossary, and simply listed as Irreligious (DC 17 Will) or something similar. One could argue that the results will vary for different monsters and might require a (DC 17 Will, Frightened 4 and Flee 1 round, Frightened 2).

      The rest of the text is cookie cutter.

      Of course it can go further and Irreligious could be a standard concept of a fear condition so it could be listed in a glossary as Fear Trigger, but listed in the stat block as Irreligious: Fear Trigger - brandished Holy Symbol (DC 17 ... etc)

      This would reduce the bloat overall on stat blocks in general.

      I know this would require a lot of work on the designer(s) parts to sort all those abilities out and generalise them a bit more, however it would shrink stat blocks, especially in their verbose wording.

      Most likely there will be heavy disagreements here citing the sheer number of monster abilities that exist in the Pathfinder system, however if you look really closely at most of your stat-blocks, a lot of them use retitled abilities for flavour with adjusted crunch.

      D
    1. cmad1977's Avatar
      cmad1977 -
      Yikes.
    1. Eltab's Avatar
      Eltab -
      At the top I want to see the combat abilities (because this is what I use most at-table):
      - Armor Class
      - Speed and movement modes (fly, tunnel, &c)
      - Hit Points
      - Resistances and/or Vulnerabilities
      - "race" (humanoid, beast, elemental, fiend, whatever - ties into spells like Hold Person vs. Hold Monster, and Magic Circle)
      thought of in no particular order
    1. Erdric Dragin's Avatar
      Erdric Dragin -
      Great, looks identical to D&D 5e...and Paizo lied saying they didn't really look at 5e when designing this. You work on RPGs, no possible way they didn't study the biggest TTRPG of all time.
    1. Xavian Starsider's Avatar
      Xavian Starsider -
      Redcap pictured? I sincerely hope that's a mistake of else the art director needs to be fired since that gremlin on steroids has no cap, no boots, and no scythe. Probably the ogre?
    1. Xavian Starsider's Avatar
      Xavian Starsider -
      Never mind. I see from the website that that is the bugbear.
    1. Saelorn's Avatar
      Saelorn -
      It reminds me a lot of how monsters worked in Fourth Edition, in that they have several different actions which don't relate to player actions in any way, such that the person running the game has to take in a lot of additional information in order to run every combat.

      At least with PF1E, half of what the monsters were doing was just a variation on player mechanics, so the GM should already be familiar with it all.
    1. The White Sorcerer's Avatar
      The White Sorcerer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
      At least with PF1E, half of what the monsters were doing was just a variation on player mechanics, so the GM should already be familiar with it all.
      Except that was (and still is) a huge problem for me in 3e and Pathfinder, since I don't play as much as I DM: Monsters having feats that I would forget existed, and if I did remember them I would have to flip through the Player's Handbook to see what they did. Pathfinder made it worse by having even more feats and giving more of them to everyone. The 4e style was a blessing.
    1. Oathstone's Avatar
      Oathstone -
      Looks like D&D 4e.
    1. Saelorn's Avatar
      Saelorn -
      Quote Originally Posted by The White Sorcerer View Post
      Except that was (and still is) a huge problem for me in 3e and Pathfinder, since I don't play as much as I DM: Monsters having feats that I would forget existed, and if I did remember them I would have to flip through the Player's Handbook to see what they did. Pathfinder made it worse by having even more feats and giving more of them to everyone. The 4e style was a blessing.
      I guess it works if you're a full-time GM and don't already know how the player stuff works, because it means you only need to learn the monster stuff. For anyone who goes back and forth between playing and GMing, and who already knows all of the player stuff, it's an additional barrier to actually running the game.

      The absolute barrier from nothing to GMing is smaller, but the relative barrier going from being a player to being the GM, is much larger.

      Although to be fair, it probably would have been prohibitive to try and make monsters as PCs, given the over-all increase in PC complexity between PF1E and PF2E. The monsters-as-characters paradigm really works best when PCs themselves have fewer decision points involved.
    1. Koloth's Avatar
      Koloth -
      In the Irreligious entry, part way in they define brandish. IMO, the stat block is the wrong place to be defining game mechanic terms. At most include a * and a footnote with the book/page number for the term.

      Also, the [[A]] and [[R]] need a better way of being highlighted. My eyes are drawn to the bold Deadly Cleave and have to backtrack to find the [[R]]. And Trigger and Effect need to be visually different from Deadly Cleave to note they are part of the description of Deadly Cleave and not equal items.
    1. EthanSental's Avatar
      EthanSental -
      Interesting difference in forum crowds...the paizo comments as expected tend to be more pro - I like it - responses. Me - it's too much reading to quickly glance and use a creature for a random encounter.
    1. JohnnyZemo's Avatar
      JohnnyZemo -
      I'm not crazy about this use of the word "Irreligious" which means "indifferent or hostile to religion." A creature that is indifferent to religion should not be affected by a holy symbol. Being hostile to religion doesn't give someone else's religion power over you (other than perhaps to annoy you); it's exactly the opposite.

      I hope they will find a different term for this.
    1. JohnnyZemo's Avatar
      JohnnyZemo -
      And this is a bit of a nitpick, but if the title of the article is "let's look at some stat blocks," shouldn't the article include more than one stat block? :-)
    1. Xavian Starsider's Avatar
      Xavian Starsider -
      Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyZemo View Post
      And this is a bit of a nitpick, but if the title of the article is "let's look at some stat blocks," shouldn't the article include more than one stat block? :-)
      Your eyes are being tricked. It's like the laurel/yanny thing. Half the people on this page see stats for the ogre and the other half see the redcap.
    1. Charlaquin's Avatar
      Charlaquin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oathstone View Post
      Looks like D&D 4e.
      I find it hilarious that the things I’ve thought have resembled 4e have been widely compared to 5e. Now I see a stat block that looks straight out of 5e, and people are comparing it to 4e. The irony.
    1. unknowable's Avatar
      unknowable -
      Quote Originally Posted by Saelorn View Post
      I guess it works if you're a full-time GM and don't already know how the player stuff works, because it means you only need to learn the monster stuff. For anyone who goes back and forth between playing and GMing, and who already knows all of the player stuff, it's an additional barrier to actually running the game.

      The absolute barrier from nothing to GMing is smaller, but the relative barrier going from being a player to being the GM, is much larger.

      Although to be fair, it probably would have been prohibitive to try and make monsters as PCs, given the over-all increase in PC complexity between PF1E and PF2E. The monsters-as-characters paradigm really works best when PCs themselves have fewer decision points involved.
      I disagree entirely, the core mechanics are the same and everything else is tied to the stat block and allows for more design freedom.

      Everything I have seen so far suggests that this edition will be easier to run than 3.x
      I have been running it since near 3.0's release and I still find it to be a bloated mess to run properly.
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