Author Topic: Masterwork Monsters for Pathfinder  (Read 15788 times)

The Good Reverend Roger

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Masterwork Monsters for Pathfinder
« on: February 09, 2011, 07:29:34 pm »
Want to stick it to your players, or just provide them with a challenge that will have them pissing blood?  This thread is for you.

How many times have you tossed a monster at the party, and watched them use player knowledge to kick its ass?  It’s not unreasonable for them to do so...It’s a game, not an acting class.  If your stock monsters just aren’t cutting it, then you need to go all terrorist on their asses.

Templates and class levels are your best friend, here, but simply adding 3 levels of fighter to an ogre just means they have to hit it a few more times.  No, you have to get nasty.

One trick I use, and the one I’m going to talk about today, is “the stealth brute”.  Like most of what I do, this isn’t what it sounds like.  Making a monster sneaky is always fun, but making a monster in a sneaky way is even MORE fun.  Today’s example is a high CR mummy.

Now, everyone knows that a mummy is just a vehicle for mummy rot, right?  Wrong.  What we’re going to do here is take the mummy rot away, and then use the rest of the creature’s capabilities to make something truly ugly, then put the mummy rot back.

Step one:  Take the mummy, and put 5 levels of rogue on it.  Base creature is a halfling, with the racial ability substitution from the advanced players guide that reduces the “snipe” stealth penalty.

Step two:  Put 10 levels of shadow dancer on it.  

Step three:  Make all of the creature’s feats run towards archery, HEAVY skill points on stealth, skill focus stealth (total score should be a +35)

We are now at a CR 17 creature, suitable for a 14th-16th level party of four, or 13th-15th party of six.  But here’s where it gets ugly:  The terrain.

Take a 40X40 foot room, and put a couple of rows of columns in it.  There’s a hallway entering on the East side, and exiting on the West side.  The North wall has a statue holding a torch with continual flame cast on it.  This will cast shadows from the pillars.  The South wall has a peephole (Perception DC 30 to spot it, and don’t forget the distance penalties) leading to an alcove that has no entrances leading to it other than the peephole.  The light from the torch will also cast a (very tiny) shadow into the alcove.  That’s where the mummy is.  His shadow companion (from the shadow dancer class) is next to one of the pillars, and is at first doing nothing but watching for intruders.

When the party enters the room, the shadow informs the mummy via empathic link.  The mummy shadow steps (class ability from the shadow dancer class) out of his alcove, landing in the shadow of a pillar.  He then shoots the divine spellcaster for 1d8+3d6 sneak attack per attack (he should have three), plus probably poison (if you’re me) that does wisdom damage.  He then rolls a snipe check to remain stealthed, with the penalty leaving him at a glorious +25 stealth.

If the party doesn’t see him, he’ll sneak attack next round, and then attempt snipe again.  If they DO see him, they have to make a will save vs despair or be paralyzed with fright (more sneak attack) and if they all save, he’ll use the class feature “hide in plain sight”, and then sneak attack the next round.

If the party charges his last location, he’ll slam one for mummy rot, and then shadow-step back into his alcove, while his shadow attacks the beefiest fighter.  The following round, he’ll start all over again.  When he runs out of shadow step, one of two things happens:

1.  If he’s outside of his alcove when he runs out of shadow step, he’ll attack, trying to get the maximum number of players affected by mummy rot, or

2.  If he’s inside of his alcove, he’ll knock the wall over and attack (or, alternately, he’ll wait until the party leaves the room, knock down the wall, and follow them, hoping for an ambush.

Try to keep the shadow alive.  Hit and run, and distract with the main beastie.  If the party kills the mummy, the shadow dies.  Remember that the shadow isn’t worth any XP, just as a druid’s animal companion isn’t.  Notice that the mummy is scary as hell, and none of his abilities are geared to his mummy rot.  It's nothing but back up.

If anyone wants the write up for this, let me know.

Next up:  Fun with animals and templates.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 07:38:03 pm by The Good Reverend Roger »
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Icey

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Re: Masterwork Monsters for Pathfinder
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2011, 07:35:26 pm »
Sweet god. I'm not sure if I've ever seen such a horrifyingly creatively horrible encounter before.

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Masterwork Monsters for Pathfinder
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2011, 07:36:36 pm »
Sweet god. I'm not sure if I've ever seen such a horrifyingly creatively horrible encounter before.

Wait til I post the writeups for the Fabulous Undead Medusa Sisters.   :lulz:
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

Luna

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Re: Masterwork Monsters for Pathfinder
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2011, 07:37:00 pm »
Fuck me sideways, that's brilliant.
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Sister Fracture

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Re: Masterwork Monsters for Pathfinder
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2011, 07:37:27 pm »
Would my Super Huge Advanced Fiendish Dire Rats fit in here?
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A Tucsonite is like a Christian in several important ways.  For one thing, they believe what they say about their god in the most literal, straightfaced way possible.  For another, they both know their god can hear them.  The difference between the two, however, is quite vast in terms of their relationship with their god; Christians believe in His benevolence, but Tucsonites KNOW of The City's spite and hate.

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Masterwork Monsters for Pathfinder
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2011, 07:38:47 pm »
Would my Super Huge Advanced Fiendish Dire Rats fit in here?

Yep.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Masterwork Monsters for Pathfinder
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2011, 07:41:55 pm »
Fuck me sideways, that's brilliant.

Incidentally, you'll notice that I didn't give the mummy any fire resistance.  That's predictable and cheap...But also easily added with a ring.

 :lulz:

It's DR makes it laugh at missile attacks, and it's completely immune to any insta-kill or mind affecting spells.  The party can't even use detect thoughts on it, and who the hell memorizes detect undead at 13th level.

It's glass jaws are:  Fire, positive energy channeling (though it's protected while it's in its alcove, as that is a burst effect, not a spread.  Also note that the party should have no reason to suspect a mummy unless they spot it clearly (forcing the will save vs despair).
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

The Invisible Man

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Re: Masterwork Monsters for Pathfinder
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2011, 07:44:44 pm »
...holy shit.

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Masterwork Monsters for Pathfinder
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2011, 07:45:58 pm »
...holy shit.

Another fun one:  A minotaur with 6 levels of monk and the mummy template.

Yes, that's right, kids:  A mummy that can outrun you, and attack 4 different players with slam (read: mummy rot) attacks each round.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

Sister Fracture

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Re: Masterwork Monsters for Pathfinder
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2011, 07:52:23 pm »
Are you tired of giant lizards and horses and goblin dogs being mounts for your monstrous NPCs? There is an answer!

THE SUPER HUGE ADVANCED FIENDISH DIRE RAT IS HERE TO HELP YOU!

First things first. What size creature does the dire rat need to be in order for it to be a mount? Well, Medium for Small creatures, Large for Medium creatures and so on. Slap on the Giant Creature template a few times, until you get the size you need.  Don't forget to adjust natural armor, Hit Die, base attack, Con, Str, Dex, CMB and CMD!

Next, you want a slightly stronger than average huge goddamn rat? Well, put the advanced template on! This adds to the natural armor, and all ability scores go up by four.

Next, you need a little something extra to give it that special flavor. Try fiendish on for size! Now, your rat only has about 3 HD, so he doesn't get the DR, but he DOES get fire and Cold resist 5.

Be sure to recalculate the Disease DC, since it's Con based, and your basic dire rat has (by this time) gotten an extra 8 Con points.
Roaring Berserkery Bunny of the North End™

A Tucsonite is like a Christian in several important ways.  For one thing, they believe what they say about their god in the most literal, straightfaced way possible.  For another, they both know their god can hear them.  The difference between the two, however, is quite vast in terms of their relationship with their god; Christians believe in His benevolence, but Tucsonites KNOW of The City's spite and hate.

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Masterwork Monsters for Pathfinder
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2011, 08:08:21 pm »
Legends speak of a White Stag that lives in the fens near Castle Goblinthrottle.

The stories go that if you can catch up to the Stag and lay a hand on it, it will grant you a wish.

HAW HAW!  Yeah, like any DM is gonna let THAT happen.  It's a great hook, though, and not every village tavern-keeper knows the whole story about anything, right?

The truth is, the White Stag will be more than happy to let you catch up to it:

White Stag, CR7 --->  Fiendish Vampiric Moose.  Sleeps under the waters of the fens (stagnant water doesn't hurt vampires, only running water).  Raise INT to 3.

Every campaign needs a fiendish vampiric moose.  Take Moose (or elk), add fiendish template and vampire template.

Since the vampire template is only supposed to go on humanoids, this should be a true "oner", a creature of legend that the party hears about at 1st level, and runs into at 6th level (5th level for groups with more than 5 members).
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

Cramulus

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Re: Masterwork Monsters for Pathfinder
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2011, 08:50:33 pm »
Here's a lesser trick, for lower level parties.

One of my favorite monsters is the Witchknife from the 3.5 Monster Manual 3. They are a fairly low level monster (CR 4). Their special thing is nearly unlimited uses of the 1st level cleric spell command. Every witchknife has one greater command which allows them to hit multiple targets with a single command. Higher ranking witchknives have more greater commands.




By hitting the party with commands in the right order, you can really put them on their asses.


Witchknife #1: Greater Command: "Drop" - everybody affected has to drop whatever's in their hands
Witchknife #2: Greater Command: "Flee" - character runs at top speed away from his weapons, and into dangerous terrain such as lava pits, spikes, and traps
Witchknife #3: Greater Command: "Lie down" - character lies prone. They have now missed a turn and are unarmed and lying on the floor 60 feet away from their weapons.

at this point the witchknives grab their gear. Maybe they toss it into the damaging terrain.

A well placed Gust of Wind spell can also be set up so that the dropped gear immediately flies across the room.

Cain

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Re: Masterwork Monsters for Pathfinder
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2011, 08:54:09 pm »
Although I haven't thought it through entirely, I'm pretty sure a creature with Pale Master/Monk levels would make a terrifying opponent.  Perhaps if it was a Mind-Flayer base creature?  All the benefits of being undead, none of the downsides, an insanely high armour class and stunning fist + brain extraction....

Cramulus

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Re: Masterwork Monsters for Pathfinder
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2011, 09:01:01 pm »
the monster manual 3 (or 4?) had some variant mind flayers with really obnoxious combos. There were pairs of mindflayer rogues who could mind blast you from stealth, and then land disgusting sneak attacks because you were stunned. If they didn't just chow down on your brains. If you caught them while they were in the grapple, they could shadow-step away very easily. Grosssssss.

Another thing that really takes parties off guard is when you take a big ass monster and magically reduce its size. A T-Rex isn't nearly as intimidating when you reduce it to a small creature, but you're being misled.. it still has most of its strength and a better AC to boot. A good distraction is to take a small, easier creature and magically inflate it until people think it's the tough thing in the room. But no, the gargantuan kobold is just there to keep you from noticing the pack of tiny velociraptors, so small they can all fit in a single square.

Luna

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Re: Masterwork Monsters for Pathfinder
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2011, 09:03:16 pm »
I'm not allowed to play a psionc any more.
Death-dealing hormone freak of deliciousness
Pagan-Stomping Valkyrie of the Interbutts™
Rampaging Slayer of Shit-Fountain Habitues

"My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know, everybody you see, everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake, and they live in a state of constant, total amazement."

If Luna was a furry, she'd sex humans and scream "BEASTIALITY!" at the top of her lungs at inopportune times.

I like the Luna one. She is a good one.

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"Stop talking to yourself.  You don't like you any better than anyone else who knows you."