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Thread: Pathfinder Bestiary Preview II
Thursday, 17th September, 2009, 07:24 PM #11
Gallant (Lvl 3)
I love the options, especially the quick one. I advance monsters constantly and often do a quick mental calculation to try and get it done, but having consistent rules that I can follow is a HUGE time saver.
Thanks for all of your work, Paizo!
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Thursday, 17th September, 2009, 07:56 PM #12
Novice (Lvl 1)
Thursday, 17th September, 2009, 08:29 PM #13
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
You are doing awesome work, J. I can't wait to see the finished product.
Friday, 18th September, 2009, 02:49 AM #14
Superhero (Lvl 15)
I'm curious to see if monsters overall will be stronger in the Bestiary.
Overall, I think the Pathfinder classes appear stronger than their 3.5 counterparts. Will monsters be scaled up to match?
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Friday, 18th September, 2009, 03:46 AM #15
Friday, 18th September, 2009, 06:44 PM #16
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
One of the big things we did when building the monsters for the Bestiary was to create lists of a lot of benchmakrs. "How many hp should a CR X monster have? How much average damage should it do in a round (and thus how many hits does it take to ruin an average fighter of the appropriate CR). What's the average saving throw, and how should it match what an expected PC save will be? What AC should it be for each CR to make it so that the average high BAB class like a fighter can hit it often enough to make sense?"
Lots of different numbers. We figured these numbers out for every CR, from 1 to 20, and then made sure that each monster falls into these ranges depending on its CR. Most monsters will have one category that they stand out in; a tyrannosaurus, for example, might do more damage than it should for its CR, while an ankylosaurus would have an extra high AC or maybe more hit points. But overall, the charts were a GREAT service to us in making sure that all monsters of a specific CR are roughly in the same ballpark as far as hp, AC, attacks, damage, saves, and ability DCs are concerned, and these values were determined by what the average PC would be able to deal with for that level/CR matchup.
In the end, since we made a conscious effort to make sure that no CRs changed so that adventures in 3.5 won't need to have lots of monster substitutions if you play them with PRPG, this DOES mean that some creatures got nerfed. Apes are a great example, since they already did a lot of damage for their CR and on top of that had a rend attack, which is basically free damage if they hit with their claws. We ramped back their damage so that they're still a bit high for their CR, but not so high that they'd look more at home on a creature that's 4 or 5 CRs higher than this (girallion, I'm looking at you!). In other cases, like the rakshasa or the ogre mage, they were far too wimpy for their CR scores and we gave them a significant boost to their abilities so that their stats would make sense for a CR 10 or CR 8 monster. And in a rare few cases, a monster in the SRD simply didn't work at its 3.5 CR and we simply had to bite the bullet and change its CR.
In any case, all of the guidelines and rules and benchmarks we used to build the monsters in the Bestiary are included in the Bestiary's Appendix 1, so GMs can use the same information to create new monsters of their own using this same method.
Friday, 18th September, 2009, 07:01 PM #17
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
I remember, when I first started by 3.5 campaign, I had the PCs at first level be part of a group of dwarves attacked by goblins on worgs. I planned to have the NPC's mostly rough up the PCs a bit and take some casualties leaving the PCs to fight a few goblins. Well, they cornered a worg. There were no actual PC deaths, but I remember almost creating a TPK during the "intro movie" for that campaign.
I looked over the stats, and I discovered that not only were AD&D animals, beasts, and other critters tougher than Basic D&D ones, often by a lot in the case of creatures with rend attacks, but 3.0/3.5 took it even further with fairly generous Constitution modifiers on multiple hit dice and special attacks, like the worg's trip. In many cases, a large wolf was far more dangerous than a mid-level warrior or even a 2nd level fighter. They had really low AC, but since they could take a hit and their offense was killer, it took fairly careful tactics to take them down. Although it took longer, the same group recently took on a CR 26 dragon at level 17 and had fewer near-death-experiences compared to the same party at level 1 versus a worg and two goblins...
My general feel is that awarding multiple hit dice to fairly normal creatures and then giving them above average stats leads not only to deadly housecats but to Anti-Tank Wolves. Generally speaking, I think an animal should have 1 HD at Small or Medium size, 2 HD for large, and 4 HD for Huge, adding one extra hit die for solitary predators and powerful social herd animals (like elephants or rams). Then you give them decent ability scores and the result should be a credible threat... but no match for the Roman legions. In AD&D it made sense to give wolves 2 HD because they were fairly dangerous, but you didn't have bonus hit points for Constitution. All monsters basically had was hit dice, AC, natural attacks, senses, and a few special attacks.
I haven't looked over the PF critters in complete detail, but so far my impression is that they are both more logical and more balanced.
Friday, 18th September, 2009, 07:32 PM #18
The sheer ammount of thought and tweaking that apparantly has gone into the PRPG Beastiary makes me think that about half of the "analysis" (re: criticisms) that has been done over the new rules is baseless. We've been looking at the shadows on the wall and are about to finally be able to turn 'round and see the light....
Friday, 18th September, 2009, 09:09 PM #19
Magsman (Lvl 14)
Last edited by Sqn Cdr Flashheart; Friday, 18th September, 2009 at 09:18 PM.
Friday, 18th September, 2009, 10:25 PM #20
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
The monster creation rules are detailed, and we show you everything under the hood so that folks can create monsters using the same guidelines we used, but we made no attempt to make the process super simple or fast. Logical and detailed were our goals. :-)