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Simple Monster Creation

Monsters can be truly memorable and entertaining, but they can also be a lot of work if the GM needs to customize them or create new ones. The standard methods for creating monsters and NPCs are similar to those for creating player characters, but striking the right power balance can be challenging.

The simple monster creation system presented here lets you create a monster and have it ready for your table quickly. This means bending the normal rules to cut out time-consuming steps, such as picking a ton of 1st-level spells a monster is unlikely to cast, selecting magic items according to an NPC’s budget, or recalculating statistics based on spell effects. Rather than making you build a monster from scratch, this system uses baselines derived from Table: Monster Statistics by CR. This gives you the flexibility to start off with almost-final statistics and make a few adjustments as needed to create a formidable unchained monster.

Overview

Sidebar: The Golden Rule

This system lets you quickly design a monster that’s ready for use at the table, so it cuts some corners so that creating the monster doesn’t require as many steps or calculations. This means you won’t always get exactly what you want, and you’ll need to eyeball the monster as it comes along to make sure it fits your concept. The golden rule of creating monsters is that you can change whatever you need to if it helps make the monster work the way you want.

If a monster needs more combat options than the grafts suggest, give it more. Give the monster extra spells if it’s meant to have a more versatile selection. The natural attacks columns of the array tables go up to only three attacks, so if you have a creature with six tentacles, give it six attacks and use the average damage value from Table: Monster Statistics by CR) to calculate the damage for each. All of these changes are fair game! Just keep an eye out for balance when you deviate from the baseline, and compensate elsewhere if necessary. The standard monster creation guidelines still apply for monsters created using this system.

This system uses 9 steps, most of which won’t take much time. The most detailed are Step 1: Array and Step 7: Monster Options. Each step is briefly outlined below and detailed further in its section. The custom-built monsters at the end of this section provide examples of this system at work.

Before You Begin: Monster Concept

Before you start designing your monster, you should have a clear idea of what you want your monster to be like and how it should function in the game. Think primarily about its CR and its main role in your story, and consider what creature type it should be. This should guide your decisions.

Step 1: Array

The first and most important step in making a monster is choosing its “array”—the broad role the creature serves in your game. This step takes the place of most calculations you make for a monster, including choosing HD. The three array types are combatant, expert, and spellcaster. Combatants have powerful attacks and defenses, experts possess strong skills and versatile options, and spellcasters use magic and are weaker at physical combat. Creatures can dabble in the other areas—a demon might use a combatant array but still have a few spells (gained from monster options in Step 7).

Each array includes tables to generate the monster’s baseline statistics. Choosing the array is the most number-intensive part of this system, though most calculations are already done for you. For example, instead of choosing a Dexterity score and adding armor and magic items to calculate AC, you simply use the AC value listed on the array for the monster’s total AC.

The monster’s array sets its baseline values, while grafts added in later steps will adjust those values. Each graft (see below) adjusts only the specific values mentioned in its description, and the normal formulas for recalculating statistics based on those adjustments don’t apply. For instance, the attack values listed on the arrays are the monster’s total bonuses on attack rolls—they won’t be further changed by ability modifiers. A CR 4 combatant using a manufactured weapon would have a +8 attack bonus. If it then gained the benefit from the strength spell list, the increase would apply only to the monster’s Strength modifier—its attack bonus would remain the same.

Step 2: Creature Type or Class Graft

You apply a “graft”—a set of adjustments—to the monster based on either its creature type or a character class, whichever is most important to the monster’s concept. If you would normally create the monster as a demon with 10 HD and 2 levels in rogue, its demonic nature is more important than its class. Therefore, you would choose the outsider graft and just add sneak attack damage later, using one of the options in Step 7. Conversely, if you wanted to build a pixie with 8 levels in wizard, you would use the wizard graft, since the creature’s high number of levels is more important than its fey type. If you plan to use a class graft, check the graft’s description before you select your array; many class grafts require a specific array.

Some of the adjustments mentioned in the graft (such as choosing “one additional master skill”) won’t be decided until later steps; note them and make the selections later.

Step 3: Subtype Graft (Optional)

This quick step adds traits based on the monster’s subtype. It includes all major monster subtypes and PC races. When you’re making an NPC-type creature, the subtype will give it the proper racial traits.

Step 4: Template Graft (Optional)

If the monster you’re creating is supposed to mimic a common creature template—such as ghost, half-dragon, lich, lycanthrope, or skeleton—you can choose one of these grafts to quickly add the associated template’s most prominent abilities. If you plan to use one of these grafts, look ahead to this section. The graft might require you to choose a particular creature type or subtype graft, and might suggest the best monster array to use.

Step 5: Size Graft (Optional)

The base statistics in this system assume the monster is Medium. If the monster is smaller or larger, adjust its statistics by applying the appropriate size graft.

Step 6: Spells (Optional)

Do this step only if you chose a spellcaster array in Step 1 (or come back to this if you pick an option in the next step that adds some amount of spellcasting ability). This step covers making a monster that casts spells or uses spell-like abilities. It offers themed spell lists and details how to pick spells based on the monster’s CR.

Step 7: Monster Options

Monster options provide your creatures with a variety of custom abilities that help them fill exactly the role you need. This step takes the place of choosing feats, universal monster rules, and other special attacks and qualities. The options are categorized as combat, magic, social, or universal. Your chosen arrays and grafts detail how many options to pick and of which types. You can always pick a universal choice for any option the monster gains.

This system makes it possible to either make a monster complex or keep it relatively simple. For instance, if you want more flexibility, you could give a creature with the combatant array a breath weapon, or add spells to its repertoire with the secondary magic universal option. Alternatively, you could just give it Power Attack and extra hit points, both of which are calculations you need make only once.

Step 8: Skills

This step takes the place of assigning skill ranks. Each skill in which a monster has additional prowess is designated as either good or master, representing ranks in the skill, racial modifiers, and other bonuses. Your chosen arrays and grafts tell you how many skills to give the monster, and the array shows which bonuses to use for good and master skills. Unlisted skills default to the monster’s ability modifiers, as normal.

Step 9: Damage

The arrays from Step 1 show the average amount of damage each attack deals, but don’t say which dice or bonuses to use. The damage table provides a quick calculation for converting the average damage value into damage dice.

When You’re Done: Reality Check

Compare your final monster to your initial concept. Its statistics should be close to those on Table 1–1 in the Bestiary. However, if you made a large number of adjustments to the monster’s statistics, go over the results and make sure the monster matches your expectations before unleashing your creation!

Details

Sidebar: Other Calculations

The monster statistics below aren’t defined in the individual steps. Calculate them at the end of the process.

CMB: A monster’s CMB is equal to its high attack bonus.

Concentration: For monsters that can cast spells, calculate the concentration bonus by adding the monster’s CR and the most applicable ability modifier. For monsters with spell-like abilities, this is typically Charisma.

Hit Dice: A monster created using this system uses its CR as its Hit Dice for any calculations that involve HD. Treat a monster with a CR lower than 1 as having 1 Hit Die.

Initiative: Unless it’s modified by the improved initiative options, a graft, or an ad hoc adjustment, a monster’s initiative bonus is equal to its Dexterity modifier.

Perception: Monsters automatically use the good skill modifier for Perception.

Speed: Give the monster whatever speed and movement modes are appropriate. These don’t cost monster options.

Step 1: Array

The arrays presented in this section allow you to quickly derive the statistics for three broad types of monsters. Each one allows for a fair amount of customization—especially through monster Options—but the monster’s statistics stay close to the baselines set by standard PC progressions. The options roughly correspond to the combat, skill, and spell roles used for monster advancement in the normal monster creation system. Therefore, if you were to recreate a monster with the combat role (such as an ogre or vrock), you would start with the combatant array. You can choose whichever array you prefer, unless the monster is meant to mimic an NPC created with a character class from Step 2 (as described below) or a template from Step 4. The three arrays are as follows.

Combatant: Any monster that focuses primarily on its physical power uses the combatant array. High attack bonuses, hit points, and defenses are the defining traits of this array. A combatant’s skills are weak, and the majority of its options are in the combat category. Most creatures of low or no Intelligence should be combatants, as should intelligent monsters with combat training.

Expert: A monster uses the expert array if it’s focused on skills, interaction, or cunning tactics. This array provides moderate statistics in most areas, but strong skills and extensive monster options. The expert array is the ideal way to replicate skill-based NPCs such as rogues or bards. In many cases, expert monsters are more likely to attempt tricking or befriending the PCs than fight.

Spellcaster: If a monster relies primarily on spells, it uses the spellcaster array. Though the monster’s statistics are typically weak overall, it gains access to a sizable number of spells from the lists in Step 6. Because this system uses benchmark numbers instead of calculating individual statistics, a monster that uses its spells primarily to increase its own abilities (so that it can become a strong melee combatant, for instance) should use the array that best matches the way it will be used in the game rather than using the spellcaster array just because it can cast magic.

Character Classes

You might create a monster that should use the statistics for a character class, either because the monster would normally be created by adding class levels to the monster or because you think the monster’s abilities are similar enough to those of a character class that it would be quicker to start with the class. In this case, look ahead to the class grafts and use the array required by the class you desire. Keep in mind that a monster with class levels typically has a CR equal to its class level – 1, so if you want your monster to have particular level-dependent class abilities, you’ll want to use the statistics for a CR that’s 1 lower than the target class level.

As mentioned before, a monster that primarily relies on its racial or innate abilities with only a small number of class levels might be built differently. You can create the monster using its creature type graft, then refer to the related class graft for ideas of which monster options to select.

Sidebar: Reading Array Entries

Each section on the following pages briefly explains the concept of a particular array, then provides the following tools.

Themes: These examples detail some common types of monsters this array can be used to create. The theme entry suggests the main ability scores, skills, and monster options the monster might take. Spellcaster entries also include suggested spell lists. All these listings are simply suggestions, and are provided to point you toward the best monster options quickly.

Main Statistics: Most statistics for the monster array appear on the large table at the bottom of the left-hand page, organized by CR.

Attack Statistics: The array continues with attack options and damage values by CR.

Using An Array

In the simple monster creation system, you don’t use the normal calculations to generate your monster’s final statistics. Instead, you take the numbers directly from the array, then make a few adjustments based on grafts and monster options later along in the process. In other words, if the array says the monster’s Fortitude saving throw bonus is +11, that number is its total bonus—it’s assumed to already include all bonuses from Hit Dice, classes, Constitution modifier, and magic items, regardless of later adjustments.

Each array consists of two tables: the first contains most of the monster’s statistics and choices, and the second contains the array’s options for attacks and damage values. To start creating your monster’s statistics, find the table with the appropriate array and go to the row for your monster’s desired CR. Record the statistics from that row according to the following guidelines.

CR, AC, Saving Throws, CMD, hp, and DCs: Record these numbers as they appear on the table. A few of these might change in later stages, but there aren’t any additional choices to make for these numbers during this step of the process. Note that for AC, the first number is the normal AC, the second is touch AC, and the third is flat-footed AC. For saving throws, you can swap one save with another to better suits your monster. The two DC columns are used for all the monster’s abilities and spells. For any ability that isn’t a spell, use the ability DC listed. For any spell the monster can cast, add the spell’s level to the number from the spell DC column. Use the spell’s cleric or sorcerer/wizard level if multiple classes can cast it. If neither of those classes has the spell, use the highest spell level listed in the spell’s description.

Ability Modifiers: For this step, you’ll assign the modifiers for the monster’s three most important ability scores. You can use whatever criteria you like to assign the ability modifiers; each array’s section gives suggestions for typical choices. All other abilities have a modifier of +0, though you can give the monster a penalty if thematically appropriate. Note that these entries are the ability modifiers, not the ability scores, since you’ll primarily use them as the default modifiers for skill checks and ability checks. Write down the ability modifier assignments you’ve chosen.

Skills: All skills are divided into two categories, representing those the monster has mastered and ones it’s merely good at. The number with the plus before it is the skill’s bonus, and the number in parentheses indicates how many skills the monster gets at that level of expertise. For instance, a master entry of “+11 (2)” means that the monster gets two skills at +11, and any other “master skills” that grafts provide will also be at +11. These bonuses are assumed to include the monster’s ability score bonuses, ranks, feats, and racial modifiers as appropriate to get the value given here. Write down the monster’s good and master bonuses, and note how many skills it has with each bonus. Because grafts can alter a monster’s number of skills or bestow or deny specific skills, you’ll decide on specific skills in Step 8.

Options: Most of a monster’s abilities beyond its base statistics come from monster options. There are four categories of options: combat, magic, social, and universal. Each entry lists how many options of a given category that monster can take, with “any” meaning that there’s no category restriction for those options. Make a note of how many options of each type the monster gets. You define the options in Step 7.

Attacks and Damage: The second table shows four options for a monster’s attacks. Two columns show weapon-based attacks, one with a high bonus and one with a low bonus. Use the higher attack and damage values for the monster’s main attack. If the monster has additional attacks that are less powerful, use the lower attack and damage values for those attacks—a creature that’s primarily a ranged attacker would use high values for its longbow attacks and low values for its longsword attacks. You can mix and match these values. For example, since ranged attacks typically deal less damage, you might have a longbow attack use the high attack value but the low damage value.

The remaining two columns are for natural attacks—either two attacks (two slam or claw attacks, for example) or one powerful primary attack and two weaker secondary attacks (such as a bite and two claws). At some levels, a monster might have a negative number for an attack bonus; this means that number of attacks is probably too strong for a monster of that CR. These entries are included for completeness.

The number in parentheses indicates the amount of damage each attack deals. For example, an entry that reads “+10/+5 (10)” means that when the monster makes a full attack, it makes one attack at +10 and one at +5, and that each attack deals an average of 10 points of damage. An entry reading “1 at +10 (10), 2 at +5 (5)” indicates that the monster would make one attack at +10 that deals 10 points of damage and two at +5 that deal 5 points of damage each.

Write down the attack bonuses and the damage for the monster’s attacks. In Step 9, you’ll assign dice to the damage values. If your monster should have a number of attacks different from what you see here (four tentacle attacks, for example), that section includes advice for how to alter the monster’s attacks.

Combatant Array

The most common type of monster in most regions, a combatant is at its best on the battlefield. A combatant monster typically has high physical statistics and powerful attacks. Strong defenses, hit points, and attacks take precedence over skills and options. This array covers a wide variety of creatures, from brutish beasts to experienced generals.

Some common combatants include most animals and vermin, most demons, chokers, most giants, ghouls, golems, ogres, trolls, and worgs.

Table: Combatant Main Statistics
CR AC Saving Throws CMD hp Ability
DC
Spell
DC
Ability
Modifiers
Skills Options
Fort Ref Will Master Good
1/2 13, t 12, f 12 +1 +1 +0 13 11 9 9 +3, +2, +1 +8 (1) +5 (2) 1 combat
1 14, t 12, f 12 +2 +2 +1 14 16 10 10 +3, +2, +1 +9 (1) +6 (2) 1 combat
2 16, t 12, f 12 +3 +3 +1 16 22 11 11 +3, +2, +1 +10 (1) +7 (2) 1 combat
3 17, t 12, f 12 +4 +4 +2 18 33 12 11 +4, +2, +1 +11 (1) +8 (2) 1 combat, 1 any
4 19, t 12, f 14 +5 +5 +3 20 44 13 12 +4, +3, +1 +12 (1) +9 (2) 1 combat, 1 any
5 20, t 12, f 15 +6 +6 +4 21 60 13 12 +5, +3, +2 +13 (1) +10 (2) 1 combat, 1 any
6 21, t 12, f 15 +7 +7 +5 23 77 14 12 +5, +3, +2 +14 (1) +11 (2) 1 combat, 1 any
7 22, t 13, f 16 +8 +8 +6 24 93 15 12 +6, +4, +2 +15 (1) +12 (2) 1 combat, 1 any
8 23, t 13, f 17 +9 +9 +7 26 110 16 13 +6, +4, +2 +16 (1) +13 (2) 1 combat, 1 any
9 25, t 15, f 18 +10 +10 +8 28 126 16 13 +7, +4, +3 +17 (1) +14 (2) 1 combat, 1 any
10 26, t 15, f 19 +11 +11 +9 29 143 17 13 +7, +5, +3 +18 (1) +14 (2) 1 combat, 1 any
11 27, t 16, f 20 +12 +12 +10 30 159 18 13 +8, +5, +3 +19 (1) +15 (2) 1 combat, 1 any
12 29, t 17, f 21 +13 +13 +11 32 176 19 14 +8, +5, +4 +20 (1) +16 (2) 2 combat, 1 any
13 30, t 18, f 22 +14 +14 +12 33 198 19 14 +9, +6, +4 +21 (1) +17 (2) 2 combat, 1 any
14 31, t 18, f 23 +15 +15 +12 34 220 20 14 +9, +6, +4 +23 (1) +18 (2) 2 combat, 1 any
15 32, t 19, f 24 +16 +16 +13 36 242 21 14 +10, +7, +5 +25 (1) +20 (2) 2 combat, 1 any
16 33, t 19, f 24 +17 +17 +14 37 264 22 15 +11, +7, +5 +27 (1) +22 (2) 2 combat, 1 any
17 34, t 20, f 25 +18 +18 +15 38 297 22 15 +11, +8, +5 +29 (1) +23 (2) 2 combat, 1 any
18 35, t 21, f 26 +18 +18 +16 39 330 23 15 +12, +8, +6 +31 (1) +25 (2) 3 combat, 1 any
19 36, t 21, f 27 +19 +19 +16 40 363 24 16 +13, +9, +6 +33 (1) +27 (2) 3 combat, 1 any
20 38, t 22, f 28 +20 +20 +17 42 407 25 17 +13, +9, +6 +35 (1) +28 (2) 3 combat, 1 any
21 39, t 23, f 29 +21 +21 +18 43 440 25 17 +14, +10, +7 +37 (1) +30 (2) 3 combat, 1 any
22 41, t 24, f 30 +21 +21 +18 45 484 26 18 +14, +10, +7 +39 (1) +32 (2) 3 combat, 1 any
23 42, t 25, f 31 +22 +22 +19 46 528 27 19 +15, +11, +7 +41 (1) +33 (2) 3 combat, 1 any
24 44, t 26, f 33 +23 +23 +20 48 572 28 20 +15, +11, +8 +43 (1) +35 (2) 3 combat, 1 any
25 45, t 27, f 33 +24 +24 +21 50 616 28 20 +16, +12, +8 +45 (1) +37 (2) 3 combat, 1 any
26 46, t 27, f 34 +25 +25 +22 51 660 29 21 +16, +12, +8 +47 (1) +38 (2) 3 combat, 1 any
27 47, t 28, f 35 +26 +26 +23 52 704 30 22 +17, +13, +9 +49 (1) +40 (2) 3 combat, 1 any
28 48, t 28, f 36 +27 +27 +24 53 748 31 23 +17, +13, +9 +51 (1) +42 (2) 3 combat, 1 any
29 49, t 29, f 36 +28 +28 +25 54 792 32 24 +18, +14, +10 +53 (1) +43 (2) 3 combat, 1 any
30 50, t 30, f 37 +29 +29 +26 55 836 33 25 +18, +15, +10 +55 (1) +45 (2) 3 combat, 1 any

Combatant Themes

The following themes reflect many of the styles combatants might use to fight.

Beater: Big and rugged, the beater is all about hitting things hard and soaking up a ton of punishment. Ability modifiersStrength and Constitution; SkillsClimb, Intimidate, Swim; Combat Options—damage reduction, diehard, extra hit points, power attack, rend.

Commander: Leading by example, the commander fights while inspiring allies to greater success. Ability modifiersStrength and Charisma; SkillsAcrobatics, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Ride; Combat Options—challenge, combatant’s touch, improved initiative; Social Options—bolstering presence, heroic recovery.

Hunter: Trained to fight by stalking its foes, the hunter thrives on the element of surprise. Ability modifiersStrength or Dexterity and Wisdom; SkillsClimb, Handle Animal, Perception, Survival, Swim; Combat Options—bleed, critical striker, favored enemy, trap squares; Social options—alertness.

Rider: Mounted on another creature, the rider attacks using its advantageous position. Ability modifiersDexterity and Strength; SkillsHandle Animal, Intimidate, Ride; Combat Options—improved initiative, mounted master, powerful charge.

Sharpshooter: This monster attacks from a distance, typically using a bow, crossbow, or firearm. Ability modifiersDexterity and Wisdom; SkillsAcrobatics, Perception, Stealth; Combat Options—extra attack, far shot, fast reload, firearm savvy, precise shot; Universal options—magic weapon.

Skirmisher: Dancing in and out of battle, the skirmisher uses speed and trickery. Ability modifiersDexterity and Charisma; SkillsAcrobatics, Climb, Escape Artist, Stealth; Combat Options—dodge expert, extra attack, mobile attack, repositioning attack; Universal options—terrain stride.

Tactician: With an vast bag of tricks, the tactician uses its savvy mind more than its brawn. Ability modifiersIntelligence and Dexterity; SkillsBluff, Escape Artist, Perception; Combat Options—defense breaker, deflect projectiles, improved combat maneuver, mage-killer, sneak attack.

Untouchable: Protected by exhaustive defenses, the untouchable can’t be phased by most attacks. Ability modifiersConstitution and Dexterity; SkillsAcrobatics, Perception, Survival; Combat Options—damage reduction, dodge expert or extra armor, immunity, spell resistance, uncanny dodge.

Weakener: Rather than dealing massive amounts of damage, the weakener undermines its opponents’ combat abilities. This theme offers several potential options, but avoid giving the monster more than two. Ability modifiersStrength and Constitution; SkillsIntimidate, Perception, Stealth; Combat Options—ability damage, blood drain, defense breaker, energy drain, fear attack, paralysis, stun attack.

Table: Combatant Attack Statistics
CR Weapon Attacks Natural Attacks
High
(Damage)
Low
(Damage)
Two
(Damage)
Three
(Damage)
1/2 +1 (5) +0 (4) 2 at –1 (4) 1 at –1 (6), 2 at –6 (4)
1 +2 (8) +1 (6) 2 at +0 (4) 1 at +0 (6), 2 at –5 (4)
2 +4 (11) +3 (8) 2 at +2 (6) 1 at +2 (6), 2 at –3 (4)
3 +6 (14) +4 (10) 2 at +6 (8) 1 at +6 (10), 2 at +1 (5)
4 +8 (17) +6 (13) 2 at +8 (9) 1 at +8 (12), 2 at +3 (6)
5 +10/+5 (15) +7/+2 (11) 2 at +10 (11) 1 at +10 (15), 2 at +5 (8)
6 +12/+7 (18) +8/+3 (13) 2 at +12 (14) 1 at +12 (19), 2 at +7 (10)
7 +13/+8 (22) +10/+5 (16) 2 at +13 (17) 1 at +13 (22), 2 at +8 (11)
8 +15/+10 (26) +11/+6 (19) 2 at +15 (20) 1 at +15 (26), 2 at +10 (13)
9 +17/+12 (29) +12/+7 (22) 2 at +17 (22) 1 at +17 (30), 2 at +12 (15)
10 +18/+13/+8 (28) +13/+8/+3 (21) 2 at +18 (25) 1 at +18 (33), 2 at +13 (17)
11 +19/+14/+9 (32) +14/+9/+4 (23) 2 at +19 (28) 1 at +19 (37), 2 at +14 (19)
12 +21/+16/+11 (35) +15/+10/+5 (26) 2 at +21 (31) 1 at +21 (41), 2 at +16 (21)
13 +22/+17/+12 (38) +16/+11/+6 (28) 2 at +22 (33) 1 at +22 (44), 2 at +17 (22)
14 +23/+18/+13 (41) +17/+12/+7 (30) 2 at +23 (36) 1 at +23 (48), 2 at +18 (24)
15 +24/+19/+14/+9 (41) +18/+13/+8/+3 (31) 2 at +24 (39) 1 at +24 (52), 2 at +19 (26)
16 +26/+21/+16/+11 (47) +19/+14/+9/+4 (35) 2 at +26 (44) 1 at +26 (59), 2 at +21 (30)
17 +27/+22/+17/+12 (53) +20/+15/+10/+5 (40) 2 at +27 (50) 1 at +27 (66), 2 at +22 (33)
18 +28/+23/+18/+13 (59) +21/+16/+11/+6 (44) 2 at +28 (55) 1 at +28 (74), 2 at +23 (37)
19 +29/+24/+19/+14 (65) +22/+17/+12/+7 (48) 2 at +29 (61) 1 at +29 (81), 2 at +24 (41)
20 +30/+25/+20/+15 (70) +23/+18/+13/+8 (53) 2 at +30 (66) 1 at +30 (88), 2 at +25 (44)
21 +31/+26/+21/+16 (76) +24/+19/+14/+9 (58) 2 at +31 (72) 1 at +31 (96), 2 at +26 (48)
22 +32/+27/+22/+17 (82) +25/+20/+15/+10 (62) 2 at +32 (77) 1 at +32 (103), 2 at +27 (52)
23 +33/+28/+23/+18 (88) +26/+21/+16/+11 (66) 2 at +33 (83) 1 at +33 (110), 2 at +28 (55)
24 +35/+30/+25/+20 (97) +27/+22/+17/+12 (73) 2 at +35 (91) 1 at +35 (121), 2 at +30 (61)
25 +36/+31/+26/+21 (105) +28/+23/+18/+13 (79) 2 at +36 (99) 1 at +36 (132), 2 at +31 (66)
26 +37/+32/+27/+22 (114) +29/+24/+19/+14 (85) 2 at +37 (108) 1 at +37 (143), 2 at +32 (72)
27 +38/+33/+28/+23 (123) +30/+25/+20/+15 (91) 2 at +38 (116) 1 at +38 (154), 2 at +33 (77)
28 +39/+34/+29/+24 (132) +31/+26/+21/+16 (97) 2 at +39 (124) 1 at +39 (165), 2 at +34 (83)
29 +40/+35/+30/+25 (140) +32/+27/+22/+17 (103) 2 at +40 (132) 1 at +40 (176), 2 at +35 (88)
30 +41/+36/+31/+26 (149) +33/+28/+23/+18 (108) 2 at +41 (141) 1 at +41 (187), 2 at +36 (94)

Combatant Classes

If your monster is meant to act as though it has a character class, it gains a class graft. The following class grafts require the monster to use the combatant array: barbarian, cavalier, fighter, gunslinger, monk, paladin, and ranger. For animal companions and mounts see Animal Companions and Mounts sidebar.

Expert Array

Possessing in-depth knowledge, experts often appear as leaders, trusted advisors, or elite operatives. An expert monster typically has a high Intelligence modifier, but its other statistics vary depending on its role. Strong skills and interaction options are an expert’s most important traits, but as the expert array is more versatile than the other arrays, many experts also pick up the secondary magic option or tactical combat options.

Common expert monsters include doppelgangers, imps, intellect devourers, invisible stalkers, and pixies.

Table: Expert Main Statistics
CR AC Saving Throws CMD hp Ability
DC
Spell
DC
Ability
Modifiers
Skills Options
Fort Ref Will Master Good
1/2 11, t 10, f 10 +0 +0 +3 11 10 11 11 +3, +2, +1 +8 (3) +5 (2) 1 any
1 12, t 10, f 10 +1 +1 +4 12 15 12 12 +3, +2, +1 +9 (3) +6 (2) 1 any
2 14, t 10, f 10 +1 +1 +5 14 20 13 13 +3, +2, +1 +10 (3) +7 (2) 1 any
3 15, t 10, f 11 +2 +2 +6 16 30 14 13 +4, +2, +1 +11 (3) +8 (2) 1 any, 1 social
4 17, t 10, f 12 +3 +3 +7 18 40 15 14 +4, +3, +1 +12 (3) +9 (2) 1 any, 1 social
5 18, t 10, f 13 +4 +4 +8 19 55 15 14 +5, +3, +2 +13 (3) +10 (2) 1 any, 1 social
6 19, t 11, f 14 +5 +5 +9 21 70 16 14 +5, +3, +2 +14 (3) +11 (2) 1 any, 1 social
7 20, t 12, f 15 +6 +6 +10 22 85 17 14 +6, +4, +2 +15 (3) +12 (2) 1 any, 1 social
8 21, t 12, f 15 +7 +7 +11 24 100 18 15 +6, +4, +2 +16 (3) +13 (2) 1 any, 1 social
9 23, t 13, f 17 +8 +8 +12 26 115 18 15 +7, +4, +3 +17 (3) +14 (2) 1 any, 1 social
10 24, t 14, f 18 +9 +9 +13 27 130 19 15 +7, +5, +3 +18 (3) +14 (2) 1 any, 1 social
11 25, t 15, f 18 +10 +10 +14 28 145 20 15 +8, +5, +3 +19 (3) +15 (2) 1 any, 1 social
12 27, t 16, f 20 +11 +11 +15 30 160 21 16 +8, +5, +4 +20 (3) +16 (2) 2 any, 1 social
13 28, t 16, f 21 +12 +12 +16 31 180 21 16 +9, +6, +4 +21 (3) +17 (2) 2 any, 1 social
14 29, t 17, f 21 +12 +12 +17 32 200 22 16 +9, +6, +4 +23 (3) +18 (2) 2 any, 1 social
15 30, t 18, f 22 +13 +13 +18 34 220 23 16 +10, +7, +5 +25 (3) +20 (2) 2 any, 1 social
16 31, t 18, f 23 +14 +14 +19 35 240 24 17 +11, +7, +5 +27 (3) +22 (2) 2 any, 1 social
17 32, t 19, f 24 +15 +15 +20 36 270 24 17 +11, +8, +5 +29 (3) +23 (2) 2 any, 1 social
18 33, t 19, f 24 +16 +16 +20 37 300 25 17 +12, +8, +6 +31 (3) +25 (2) 3 any, 1 social
19 34, t 20, f 25 +16 +16 +21 38 330 26 18 +13, +9, +6 +33 (3) +27 (2) 3 any, 1 social
20 36, t 21, f 27 +17 +17 +22 40 370 27 19 +13, +9, +6 +35 (3) +28 (2) 3 any, 1 social
21 37, t 22, f 27 +18 +18 +23 41 400 27 19 +14, +10, +7 +37 (3) +30 (2) 3 any, 1 social
22 39, t 23, f 29 +18 +18 +23 43 440 28 20 +14, +10, +7 +39 (3) +32 (2) 3 any, 1 social
23 40, t 24, f 30 +19 +19 +24 44 480 29 21 +15, +11, +7 +41 (3) +33 (2) 3 any, 1 social
24 42, t 25, f 31 +20 +20 +25 46 520 30 22 +15, +11, +8 +43 (3) +35 (2) 3 any, 1 social
25 43, t 25, f 32 +21 +21 +26 48 560 30 22 +16, +12, +8 +45 (3) +37 (2) 3 any, 1 social
26 44, t 26, f 33 +22 +22 +27 49 600 31 23 +16, +12, +8 +47 (3) +38 (2) 3 any, 1 social
27 45, t 27, f 33 +23 +23 +28 50 640 32 24 +17, +13, +9 +49 (3) +40 (2) 3 any, 1 social
28 46, t 27, f 34 +24 +24 +29 51 680 33 25 +17, +13, +9 +51 (3) +42 (2) 3 any, 1 social
29 47, t 28, f 35 +25 +25 +30 52 720 34 26 +18, +14, +10 +53 (3) +43 (2) 3 any, 1 social
30 48, t 28, f 36 +26 +26 +31 53 760 35 27 +18, +15, +10 +55 (3) +45 (2) 3 any, 1 social
Table: Expert Attack Statistics
CR Weapon Attacks Natural Attacks
High
(Damage)
Low
(Damage)
Two
(Damage)
Three
(Damage)
1/2 +1 (4) +0 (3) 2 at –2 (4) 1 at –2 (6), 2 at –7 (4)
1 +2 (7) +1 (5) 2 at –1 (4) 1 at –1 (6), 2 at –6 (4)
2 +4 (10) +3 (7) 2 at +1 (6) 1 at +1 (6), 2 at –4 (4)
3 +6 (13) +4 (9) 2 at +4 (7) 1 at +4 (9), 2 at –1 (5)
4 +8 (16) +6 (12) 2 at +6 (8) 1 at +6 (11), 2 at +1 (6)
5 +10 (19) +7 (15) 2 at +7 (10) 1 at +7 (14), 2 at +2 (7)
6 +12 (24) +8 (18) 2 at +8 (13) 1 at +8 (17), 2 at +3 (9)
7 +13/+8 (20) +10/+5 (15) 2 at +10 (15) 1 at +10 (20), 2 at +5 (10)
8 +15/+10 (23) +11/+6 (17) 2 at +11 (18) 1 at +11 (24), 2 at +6 (12)
9 +17/+12 (26) +12/+7 (20) 2 at +12 (20) 1 at +12 (27), 2 at +7 (14)
10 +18/+13 (30) +13/+8 (22) 2 at +13 (23) 1 at +13 (30), 2 at +8 (15)
11 +19/+14 (33) +14/+9 (25) 2 at +14 (25) 1 at +14 (34), 2 at +9 (17)
12 +21/+16 (36) +15/+10 (27) 2 at +15 (28) 1 at +15 (37), 2 at +10 (19)
13 +22/+17 (39) +16/+11 (30) 2 at +16 (30) 1 at +16 (40), 2 at +11 (20)
14 +23/+18/+13 (37) +17/+12/+7 (28) 2 at +17 (33) 1 at +17 (44), 2 at +12 (22)
15 +24/+19/+14 (40) +18/+13/+8 (30) 2 at +18 (35) 1 at +18 (47), 2 at +13 (24)
16 +26/+21/+16 (46) +19/+14/+9 (34) 2 at +19 (40) 1 at +19 (54), 2 at +14 (27)
17 +27/+22/+17 (51) +20/+15/+10 (38) 2 at +20 (45) 1 at +20 (60), 2 at +15 (30)
18 +28/+23/+18 (57) +21/+16/+11 (43) 2 at +21 (50) 1 at +21 (67), 2 at +16 (34)
19 +29/+24/+19 (63) +22/+17/+12 (47) 2 at +22 (55) 1 at +22 (74), 2 at +17 (37)
20 +30/+25/+20 (68) +23/+18/+13 (51) 2 at +23 (60) 1 at +23 (80), 2 at +18 (40)
21 +31/+26/+21/+16 (69) +24/+19/+14/+9 (52) 2 at +24 (65) 1 at +24 (87), 2 at +19 (44)
22 +32/+27/+22/+17 (75) +25/+20/+15/+10 (56) 2 at +25 (70) 1 at +25 (94), 2 at +20 (47)
23 +33/+28/+23/+18 (80) +26/+21/+16/+11 (60) 2 at +26 (75) 1 at +26 (100), 2 at +21 (50)
24 +35/+30/+25/+20 (88) +27/+22/+17/+12 (66) 2 at +27 (83) 1 at +27 (110), 2 at +22 (55)
25 +36/+31/+26/+21 (96) +28/+23/+18/+13 (72) 2 at +28 (90) 1 at +28 (120), 2 at +23 (60)
26 +37/+32/+27/+22 (104) +29/+24/+19/+14 (77) 2 at +29 (98) 1 at +29 (130), 2 at +24 (65)
27 +38/+33/+28/+23(112) +30/+25/+20/+15 (83) 2 at +30 (105) 1 at +30 (140), 2 at +25 (70)
28 +39/+34/+29/+24 (120) +31/+26/+21/+16 (88) 2 at +31 (113) 1 at +31 (150), 2 at +26 (75)
29 +40/+35/+30/+25 (128) +32/+27/+22/+17 (93) 2 at +32 (120) 1 at +32 (160), 2 at +27 (80)
30 +41/+36/+31/+26 (136) +33/+28/+23/+18 (99) 2 at +33 (128) 1 at +33 (170), 2 at +28 (85)

Expert Themes

The following themes represent skill sets and areas of knowledge an expert might embrace.

Advisor: Usually serving as an assistant to a more powerful creature, the advisor fills a support role. Ability modifiersCharisma and Wisdom; SkillsBluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nobility), Sense Motive; Combat Options—improved initiative; Social options—alertness, inspire competence, persuasive, slippery mind.

Apothecary: With extensive practice in creating alchemical concoctions, the apothecary might be an alchemist or a village healer. Ability modifiersIntelligence and Constitution; SkillsAppraise, Craft (alchemy), Heal, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (nature), Spellcraft; Combat Options—bombs; magic options —mutagen, potent healing, potions, remove minor condition, remove moderate condition, secondary magic (alchemy or healing spell list).

Artificer: Well acquainted with items and their creation, the artificer could be a crafter, a merchant, or an expert on magical devices. Ability modifiersIntelligence and Charisma or Strength; SkillsAppraise, Craft (any), Disable Device, Knowledge (engineering), Use Magic Device; Combat Options—firearm savvy; magic options: magical aptitude; Social options—mercantile savvy; Universal options—magic weapon.

Deceiver: A master of chicanery blessed with a silver tongue, the deceiver knows how to get its way. Ability modifiersCharisma and Intelligence; SkillsBluff, Disguise, Knowledge (local), Perform (oratory), Sense Motive; Combat Options—sneak attack; Social Options—alertness, inspire fear, persuasive, slippery mind.

Guide: Familiar with a particular area or skilled at getting along in the wild, a guide can get people where they need to go. Ability modifiersWisdom and Constitution; SkillsClimb, Handle Animal, Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nature), Perception, Survival, Swim; Combat Options—extra hit points; Social Options—alertness, animal friend, sound mimicry; Universal options—terrain stride (undergrowth).

Performer: Born to the stage, the performer puts on an elaborate show. Ability modifiersCharisma and Dexterity; SkillsAcrobatics, Disguise, Escape Artist, Perform (any), Sleight of Hand; Combat Options—dodge expert, mobility; Social Options—bolstering presence, fascinate, persuasive.

Scholar: Through extensive study, the scholar picks up detailed information about a variety of subjects, becoming an invaluable resource. Ability modifiersIntelligence and Wisdom; SkillsAppraise, Knowledge (any), Spellcraft, Use Magic Device; Magic Options—magical aptitude, protective ward; Social options—knowledgeable; Universal options—secondary magic (knowledge or magic spell list).

Spy: A well-rounded expert, the spy needs to be prepared for any situation. Ability modifiersCharisma and Dexterity; SkillsBluff, Disable Device, Disguise, Sleight of Hand, Stealth; Combat Options—constant invisibility, poison, sneak attack; Social Options—alertness, persuasive, slippery mind.

Expert Classes

If your monster is meant to act as though it has a character class, it gains a class graft. The following class grafts require the monster to use the expert array: alchemist, bard, inquisitor, magus, and rogue.

Spellcaster Array

With a large selection of spells, a spellcaster might be weak in combat, or could focus on powerful offensive spells. A spellcaster monster typically has a high spellcasting ability modifier: Intelligence, Wisdom, or (often for monstrous creatures) Charisma. Spells make up for the spellcaster’s weak combat abilities, modest skills, and small number of monster options.

Well-known spellcasters include couatls, liches, nymphs, and rakshasas.

Special Rules: Every monster with the spellcaster array automatically gains spells, as described under Step 6: Spells. A spellcaster can treat its spell choices as either spells or spell-like abilities, depending on its theme.

Table: Spellcaster Main Statistics
CR AC Saving Throws CMD hp Ability
DC
Spell
DC
Ability
Modifiers
Skills Options
Fort Ref Will Master Good
1/2 9, t 8, f 8 +0 +0 +3 9 9 11 13 +3, +2, +1 +8 (2) +5 (1) 1 magic
1 10, t 8, f 8 +1 +1 +4 10 13 12 14 +3, +2, +1 +9 (2) +6 (1) 1 magic
2 12, t 8, f 8 +1 +1 +5 12 18 13 15 +3, +2, +1 +10 (2) +7 (1) 1 magic
3 13, t 8, f 8 +2 +2 +6 14 27 14 15 +4, +2, +1 +11 (2) +8 (1) 1 magic, 1 any
4 15, t 8, f 11 +3 +3 +7 16 36 15 16 +4, +3, +1 +12 (2) +9 (1) 1 magic, 1 any
5 16, t 8, f 12 +4 +4 +8 17 49 15 16 +5, +3, +2 +13 (2) +10 (1) 1 magic, 1 any
6 17, t 8, f 12 +5 +5 +9 19 63 16 16 +5, +3, +2 +14 (2) +11 (1) 1 magic, 1 any
7 18, t 8, f 13 +6 +6 +10 20 76 17 16 +6, +4, +2 +15 (2) +12 (1) 1 magic, 1 any
8 19, t 11, f 14 +7 +7 +11 22 90 18 17 +6, +4, +2 +16 (2) +13 (1) 1 magic, 1 any
9 21, t 12, f 15 +8 +8 +12 24 103 18 17 +7, +4, +3 +17 (2) +14 (1) 1 magic, 1 any
10 22, t 13, f 16 +9 +9 +13 25 117 19 17 +7, +5, +3 +18 (2) +14 (1) 1 magic, 1 any
11 23, t 13, f 17 +10 +10 +14 26 130 20 17 +8, +5, +3 +19 (2) +15 (1) 1 magic, 1 any
12 25, t 15, f 18 +11 +11 +15 28 144 21 18 +8, +5, +4 +20 (2) +16 (1) 2 magic, 1 any
13 26, t 15, f 19 +12 +12 +16 29 162 21 18 +9, +6, +4 +21 (2) +17 (1) 2 magic, 1 any
14 27, t 16, f 20 +12 +12 +17 30 180 22 18 +9, +6, +4 +23 (2) +18 (1) 2 magic, 1 any
15 28, t 16, f 21 +13 +13 +18 32 198 23 18 +10, +7, +5 +25 (2) +20 (1) 2 magic, 1 any
16 29, t 17, f 21 +14 +14 +19 33 216 24 19 +11, +7, +5 +27 (2) +22 (1) 2 magic, 1 any
17 30, t 18, f 22 +15 +15 +20 34 243 24 19 +11, +8, +5 +29 (2) +23 (1) 2 magic, 1 any
18 31, t 18, f 23 +16 +16 +20 35 270 25 19 +12, +8, +6 +31 (2) +25 (1) 3 magic, 1 any
19 32, t 19, f 24 +16 +16 +21 36 297 26 20 +13, +9, +6 +33 (2) +27 (1) 3 magic, 1 any
20 34, t 20, f 25 +17 +17 +22 38 333 27 21 +13, +9, +6 +35 (2) +28 (1) 3 magic, 1 any
21 35, t 21, f 26 +18 +18 +23 39 360 27 21 +14, +10, +7 +37 (2) +30 (1) 3 magic, 1 any
22 37, t 22, f 27 +18 +18 +23 41 396 28 22 +14, +10, +7 +39 (2) +32 (1) 3 magic, 1 any
23 38, t 22, f 28 +19 +19 +24 42 432 29 23 +15, +11, +7 +41 (2) +33 (1) 3 magic, 1 any
24 40, t 24, f 30 +20 +20 +25 44 468 30 24 +15, +11, +8 +43 (2) +35 (1) 3 magic, 1 any
25 41, t 24, f 30 +21 +21 +26 46 504 30 24 +16, +12, +8 +45 (2) +37 (1) 3 magic, 1 any
26 42, t 25, f 31 +22 +22 +27 47 540 31 25 +16, +12, +8 +47 (2) +38 (1) 3 magic, 1 any
27 43, t 25, f 32 +23 +23 +28 48 576 32 26 +17, +13, +9 +49 (2) +40 (1) 3 magic, 1 any
28 44, t 26, f 33 +24 +24 +29 49 612 33 27 +17, +13, +9 +51 (2) +42 (1) 3 magic, 1 any
29 45, t 27, f 33 +25 +25 +30 50 648 34 28 +18, +14, +10 +53 (2) +43 (1) 3 magic, 1 any
30 46, t 27, f 34 +26 +26 +31 51 684 35 29 +18, +15, +10 +55 (2) +45 (1) 3 magic, 1 any
Table: Spellcaster Attack Statistics
CR Weapon Attacks Natural Attacks
High (Damage) Low (Damage) Two (Damage) Three (Damage)
1/2 +1 (4) +0 (3) 2 at –2 (4) 1 at –2 (6), 2 at –7 (4)
1 +2 (6) +1 (5) 2 at –1 (4) 1 at –1 (6), 2 at –6 (4)
2 +4 (9) +3 (6) 2 at +1 (6) 1 at +1 (6), 2 at –4 (4)
3 +6 (12) +4 (8) 2 at +2 (6) 1 at +2 (8), 2 at –3 (4)
4 +8 (14) +6 (11) 2 at +6 (8) 1 at +6 (10), 2 at +1 (5)
5 +10 (18) +7 (13) 2 at +7 (9) 1 at +7 (12), 2 at +2 (6)
6 +12 (22) +8 (16) 2 at +8 (12) 1 at +8 (15), 2 at +3 (8)
7 +13/+8 (18) +10/+5 (13) 2 at +10 (14) 1 at +10 (18), 2 at +5 (9)
8 +15/+10 (21) +11/+6 (16) 2 at +11 (16) 1 at +11 (21), 2 at +6 (11)
9 +17/+12 (24) +12/+7 (18) 2 at +12 (18) 1 at +12 (24), 2 at +7 (12)
10 +18/+13 (27) +13/+8 (20) 2 at +13 (21) 1 at +13 (27), 2 at +8 (14)
11 +19/+14 (30) +14/+9 (22) 2 at +14 (23) 1 at +14 (30), 2 at +9 (15)
12 +21/+16 (33) +15/+10 (24) 2 at +15 (25) 1 at +15 (33), 2 at +10 (17)
13 +22/+17 (36) +16/+11 (27) 2 at +16 (27) 1 at +16 (36), 2 at +11 (18)
14 +23/+18/+13 (34) +17/+12/+7 (25) 2 at +17 (30) 1 at +17 (39), 2 at +12 (20)
15 +24/+19/+14 (36) +18/+13/+8 (27) 2 at +18 (32) 1 at +18 (42), 2 at +13 (21)
16 +26/+21/+16 (41) +19/+14/+9 (31) 2 at +19 (36) 1 at +19 (48), 2 at +14 (24)
17 +27/+22/+17 (46) +20/+15/+10 (35) 2 at +20 (41) 1 at +20 (54), 2 at +15 (27)
18 +28/+23/+18 (51) +21/+16/+11 (39) 2 at +21 (45) 1 at +21 (60), 2 at +16 (30)
19 +29/+24/+19 (56) +22/+17/+12 (42) 2 at +22 (50) 1 at +22 (66), 2 at +17 (33)
20 +30/+25/+20 (61) +23/+18/+13 (46) 2 at +23 (54) 1 at +23 (72), 2 at +18 (36)
21 +31/+26/+21/+16 (63) +24/+19/+14/+9 (47) 2 at +24 (59) 1 at +24 (78), 2 at +19 (39)
22 +32/+27/+22/+17 (67) +25/+20/+15/+10 (51) 2 at +25 (63) 1 at +25 (84), 2 at +20 (42)
23 +33/+28/+23/+18 (72) +26/+21/+16/+11 (54) 2 at +26 (68) 1 at +26 (90), 2 at +21 (45)
24 +35/+30/+25/+20 (79) +27/+22/+17/+12 (60) 2 at +27 (75) 1 at +27 (99), 2 at +22 (50)
25 +36/+31/+26/+21 (86) +28/+23/+18/+13 (65) 2 at +28 (81) 1 at +28 (108), 2 at +23 (54)
26 +37/+32/+27/+22 (94) +29/+24/+19/+14 (70) 2 at +29 (88) 1 at +29 (117), 2 at +24 (59)
27 +38/+33/+28/+23 (101) +30/+25/+20/+15 (74) 2 at +30 (95) 1 at +30 (126), 2 at +25 (63)
28 +39/+34/+29/+24 (108) +31/+26/+21/+16 (79) 2 at +31 (102) 1 at +31 (135), 2 at +26 (68)
29 +40/+35/+30/+25 (115) +32/+27/+22/+17 (84) 2 at +32 (108) 1 at +32 (144), 2 at +27 (72)
30 +41/+36/+31/+26 (122) +33/+28/+23/+18 (89) 2 at +33 (115) 1 at +33 (153), 2 at +28 (77)

Spellcaster Themes

The following themes include recommended spell lists for common spellcaster paths.

Cultist: A worshiper of dark forces, the cultist is a true fanatic. Ability modifiersWisdom and Charisma; SkillsKnowledge (arcana), Knowledge (planes), Knowledge (religion), Spellcraft; Combat Options—poison, rage; Magic Options—bestow major condition, bestow minor condition, bestow moderate condition, misfortune; Social options—weakening presence; Spell lists—aberrant, abyssal, chaos, death, destruction, evil, infernal, madness, necromancy.

Lorekeeper: Through study of ancient texts, the lorekeeper wields the fundamental principles of magic. Ability modifiersIntelligence; SkillsKnowledge (arcana), Knowledge (history), Knowledge (planes), Spellcraft, Use Magic Device; Magic Options—at-will magic, energy explosion, magical aptitude, metamagic spell, spell penetration; Social options—knowledgeable; Spell lists—abjuration, arcane, divination, knowledge, magic, transmutation.

Naturalist: In awe of the majesty of the wilderness, the naturalist calls on powers of the plant and animal world. Ability modifiersWisdom and Charisma; SkillsHandle Animal, Knowledge (nature), Spellcraft, Survival; Combat Options—mounted master, poison; Magic Options—bestow major condition, bestow minor condition, bestow moderate condition; Social options—animal talker; Universal options—terrain stride (undergrowth); Spell lists—animal, earth, nature, plant, weather.

Righteous One: Fighting for the cause of good or order, the righteous one can’t be swayed from its purpose. Ability modifiersWisdom and Charisma; SkillsHeal, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion), Spellcraft; Combat Options—extra armor; Magic Options—fortune, protective ward, turn undead; Social options—weakening presence; Spell lists—celestial, community, glory, healing, law, protection.

Trickster: Never to be trusted, the trickster casts spells to warp the senses and fool the mind. Ability modifiersIntelligence and Charisma; SkillsBluff, Knowledge (arcana), Sleight of Hand, Spellcraft; Combat Options—sneak attack; Magic Options—evil eye, misfortune; Social Options—persuasive, slippery mind; Spell lists—chaos, charm, enchantment, illusion, stealth, trickery.

War Mage: Armed to the teeth with offensive spells, the war mage never met a problem it couldn’t blow up. Ability modifiersIntelligence and Charisma; SkillsKnowledge (arcana), Spellcraft; Combat Options—energy resistance, improved initiative; Magic Options—combat casting, magic attack, spell penetration; Spell lists—battle, evocation, strength, war.

Spellcaster Classes

If your monster is meant to act as though it has a character class, it gains a class graft. The following class grafts require the monster to use the spellcaster array: cleric, druid, oracle, sorcerer, summoner, witch, and wizard. A summoner’s eidolon is a separate monster, typically created using the combatant array.

Step 2: Creature Type or Class Graft

With the normal monster creation system, foundational statistics such as base attack bonus, saving throw bonuses, and hit points are calculated from a monster’s creature type and class levels. In this system, a monster’s array sets its main statistics based on the broad role and CR it fits into. Creature types and classes then adjust those statistics to better resemble a particular monster concept.

Creature types and character classes are represented by “grafts”—groups of adjustments applied to an array’s statistics. A monster made with this system is primarily defined either by its creature type or a character class. For example, a ghoul that is a powerful cleric would most likely use the cleric class graft rather than being defined primarily as undead. A fire giant with 3 levels in bard, on the other hand, should use the humanoid creature type graft and later choose some monster options that grant bardlike abilities.

If the focus is on a creature type, choose the appropriate creature type graft and apply the adjustments in that graft as described in the next section. If the focus is on a class, still choose a creature type graft but only apply its “automatic traits” entry, then apply the class graft. Even if a dragon has 20 levels in rogue (thus using the rogue class graft), for example, it still gets a dragon’s normal vision types and immunities.

Creature Type Grafts

Altering an array by creature type is a simple process that typically adds or changes some of the monster’s statistics. Each creature type includes at least the first two entries.

Automatic Traits: All creatures of this type get these abilities, which typically include senses, immunities, and more detailed sets of traits that are defined in the creature type’s full description. This doesn’t include forms of movement; see Speed in the sidebar.

Statistic Adjustments: These modifications change the base numbers from the monster’s array. These are adjustments, not replacements; increase or decrease the statistics you recorded from the array by the amount indicated. Apply these adjustments to your monster only if it doesn’t have a class graft.

Elective Adjustments: These are optional changes that can better evoke the monster’s type, frequently including changes to the array’s list of skills, monster options typical for this creature type (see Step 7), suggested spell lists, or even suggested restrictions. These should point you toward abilities that typically appear among creatures of the listed type, but aren’t an exhaustive list of possibilities for monsters of that type.

Aberration

An aberration has a bizarre anatomy, strange abilities, an alien mindset, or any combination of the three.

Automatic Traits: Darkvision 60 ft.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Will save bonus by 2.

Elective Adjustments: Spells from the aberrant list.

Animal

An animal is a living, nonhuman creature, usually with no magical abilities and no innate capacity for language.

Automatic Traits: Low-light vision; set Intelligence modifier to –4 or –5.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Fortitude and Reflex saving throw bonuses by 2.

Construct

A construct is an animated object or artificially created creature. Most constructs have little willpower of their own, but are exceptionally hardy.

Automatic Traits: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; construct immunities; set Constitution modifier to —.

Statistic Adjustments: Decrease Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saving throw bonuses by 2; increase attack bonus by 2.

Elective Adjustments: Mindless; set Intelligence modifier to — for mindless constructs; no master or good skills.

Dragon

A dragon is a reptile-like creature, usually winged, with magical or unusual abilities.

Automatic Traits: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; immune to paralysis and sleep.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase low saving throw bonuses by 2; increase attack bonus by 2.

Elective Adjustments: Breath weapon combat option (monstrous); secondary magic universal option; one additional master skill.

Fey

A fey is a supernatural creature that typically derives its power from its relationship to or guardianship of an area or natural feature. Fey usually resemble humans or gnomes, though fey animals exist.

Automatic Traits: Low-light vision.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Reflex and Will saving throw bonuses by 2; decrease attack bonus by 2.

Elective Adjustments: Spells from the fey list; one additional master skill.

Humanoid

A humanoid usually has two arms, two legs, and one head, or a humanlike torso, arms, and a head. Humanoids have few or no supernatural or extraordinary abilities, but most can speak and usually have well-developed societies. They are usually Small or Medium (with the exception of giants). Every humanoid creature also has a specific subtype to match its race, such as human, giant, goblinoid, reptilian, or tengu.

Automatic Traits: None.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase any one saving throw bonus by 2.

Magical Beast

Magical beasts are similar to animals, but can have Intelligence scores higher than 2 (in which case the magical beast knows at least one language, but can’t necessarily speak). In addition, magical beasts usually have supernatural or extraordinary abilities.

Automatic Traits: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Fortitude and Reflex saving throw bonuses by 2; increase attack bonus by 2.

Monstrous Humanoid

Monstrous humanoids are similar to humanoids, but with distorted or animalistic features. They often have magical abilities as well.

Automatic Traits: Darkvision 60 ft.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Reflex and Will saving throw bonuses by 2; increase attack bonus by 2.

Elective Adjustments: One additional good skill.

Ooze

An ooze is an amorphous or mutable creature, usually without a mind of its own. Options for oozes typically reflect their diverse physical compositions and innate abilities.

Automatic Traits: Blind, blindsight; mindless, ooze immunities, not subject to critical hits or flanking; set Intelligence modifier to —.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Fortitude saving throw bonus by 2, decrease Reflex and Will saving throw bonuses by 2.

Elective Adjustments: No master or good skills.

Outsider

Most outsiders are beings native to a plane other than the Material Plane, or mortal descendants of such creatures. All outsiders are at least partially composed of the essence of their home planes. Some creatures become outsiders when they attain a higher (or lower) state of spiritual existence.

Automatic Traits: Darkvision 60 ft.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase one saving throw bonus by 2; increase attack bonus by 2.

Elective Adjustments: Spells from the abyssal, celestial, or infernal list; one additional master skill.

Plant

This type comprises vegetable creatures. Note that regular plants, such those found growing in gardens and fields, lack Wisdom and Charisma scores and aren’t creatures, but objects, even though they are alive.

Automatic Traits: Low-light vision; plant immunities.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Fortitude saving throw bonus by 2.

Elective Adjustments: No master or good skills.

Undead

Undead are once-living creatures that have been reanimated by spiritual or supernatural forces.

Automatic Traits: Darkvision 60 ft.; undead immunities, set Constitution modifier to —.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Will saving throw bonus by 2.

Elective Adjustments: Mindless; no master or good skills; set Intelligence modifier to — for mindless undead.

Vermin

Concerned only with survival, vermin are common in nearly all environments. This type includes insects, arachnids, other arthropods, worms, and similar invertebrates.

Automatic Traits: Darkvision 60 ft.; mindless; set Intelligence modifier to —.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Fortitude saving throw bonus by 2.

Elective Adjustments: No master or good skills.

Class Grafts

Base Class Grafts

To create a monster that mimics a base class, use one of the core class grafts, but replace some of the options with those from a secondary class graft. In some cases, it’s easiest to just use an existing class graft whole cloth and make it feel more like the existing base class by choosing appropriate monster options. Use the table below to determine which to use for each.

Table: Base Class Grafts
Class Primary Graft Secondary Graft Spellcasting
Arcanist Wizard Wizard
Bloodrager Barbarian Sorcerer Secondary magic option
Brawler Fighter Monk
Hunter Ranger Druid Bard
Investigator Alchemist Rogue Alchemist
Shaman Witch Oracle Witch
Skald Bard Barbarian Bard
Slayer Rogue Ranger
Swashbuckler Fighter
Warpriest Fighter Cleric Inquisitor

Class grafts are more detailed than creature type grafts, ensuring that they more closely represent a PC class of the appropriate level. Each class graft is divided into the following sections.

Special Rules: This section appears in only some entries, and describes the class’s significant requirements or features.

Required Array: You should use a specific array when you create a monster of this class. This is one instance in which a graft has a prerequisite, meant to match the feel of the class.

If you want to replicate a class without using the indicated array, do so without using the class graft. For example, if you wanted to create a cleric monster with the combatant array, you could still achieve a cleric’s flavor by choosing the secondary magic option in Step 7. This essentially replicates a cleric built under the standard creation system that took combat feats and pre-casts many of its spells to give itself combat bonuses.

Statistic Adjustments: These change or replace some of the baseline numbers, skills, and options given by the monster’s array. Apply the adjustments as written. Any skill listed replaces one of the choices of skills the monster gets from its array (with either a master or good bonus, as specified). If a monster gains additional skills above the normal allotment, this entry lists “one additional master skill” or “one additional good skill.” The adjustments might also specify options, which replace the allotted options the monster gets from its array.

CR Entries: These adjustments replicate advancement by level. Apply only the highest entry to your monster: a CR 3 rogue would get the CR 3 line, but not the CR 1 line. Options gained from these entries replace options granted by the monster’s array. It’s possible the class graft will add more options than the monster’s array allows; that’s fine, and as usual you can selectively add or remove bonus options if you need to do so to make the monster function in a thematically appropriate way. See Step 7 for descriptions of these options.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: This section lists the recommended assignments for the monster’s ability score bonuses, in order from highest to lowest. For instance, the barbarian lists “Strength, Constitution, Dexterity,” meaning that when making a CR 1/2 barbarian, you would give it a +3 Strength modifier, a +2 Constitution modifier, and a +1 Dexterity modifier.

Suggested Options: These entries offer suggestions for cases in which the monster’s array grants additional monster options beyond those determined by the class graft. They typically mimic flexible character class options, such as barbarian rage powers or rogue talents (see Step 7).

Suggested Spell Lists: Found only in class grafts for spellcaster monsters, these entries point you toward the spell lists that best replicate that class’s typical spells.

Sidebar: Domain Options

The suggested options for a cleric vary based on the cleric’s domains. Consider the following options if a specific domain ability is particularly important to the cleric. Other monsters that gain domains, such as druids, or any creature with a theme or feature similar to a cleric’s domain might also draw from the appropriate domain’s list of options. See Step 7 for descriptions of monster options.

Air: Energy resistance (electricity), magic attack (electricity).

Animal: Animal talker.

Artifice: Magic weapon.

Chaos: Bypass DR (chaotic), misfortune (requires a melee touch attack).

Charm: Bestow moderate condition (dazed).

Community: Remove minor condition.

Darkness: See in darkness.

Death: Bleed, negative healing.

Destruction: Power attack.

Earth: Energy resistance (acid), magic attack (acid).

Evil: Bestow minor condition (sickened, and the sickened creature counts as good for the purposes of spells with the evil descriptor), bypass DR (evil).

Fire: Energy resistance (fire), magic attack (fire).

Glory: Inspire competence (typically for Charisma-based skills).

Good: Bolstering touch, bypass DR (good).

Healing: Potent healing.

Knowledge: Knowledgeable.

Law: Bypass DR (lawful).

Liberation: Immunity (grappled, paralyzed).

Luck: Fortune (requires touching the subject).

Madness: Confusion aura.

Magic: Magic attack (bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing).

Nobility: Inspire courage (affects only one creature).

Plant: Damaging body (piercing).

Protection: Protective ward, save boost.

Repose: Bestow moderate condition (staggered, lasts only 1 round), immunity (death effects).

Rune: Trap squares (magical trap only).

Strength: Combatant’s touch (Strength only).

Sun: Potent magic damage (healing).

Travel: Dimensional steps, terrain stride.

Trickery: Constant invisibility.

War: Replace a magic option from the cleric graft with a combat option.

Water: Energy resistance (cold), magic attack (cold).

Weather: Magic attack (electricity).

Alchemist Class Graft

Alchemists stand at the crossroads of magic and science. They blend exotic chemicals and infuse them with magical power in order to create unusual and sometimes unpredictable effects.

Special Rules: The spellcasting ability granted by this graft simulates the extracts an alchemist makes. The alchemist must use the alchemy spell list. Furthermore, “spells” the alchemist casts count as supernatural effects rather than spells.

Required Array: Expert.

Statistic Adjustments: Use the combatant array’s saving throws; skill—master Craft (alchemy); Options—bombs, mutagen, secondary magic.

CR 1: Options—energy infusion.

CR 3: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 2); Options—energy infusion, one any.

CR 6: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 4); Options—energy infusion, one any.

CR 9: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 6); Options—energy infusion, immunity (poison), one any.

CR 12: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 8); Options—energy infusion, immunity (poison), one magic, one any.

CR 15: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 10); Options—energy infusion, immunity (poison), one magic, one any.

CR 18: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 12); Options—energy infusion, immunity (poison), one magic, two any.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Intelligence, Constitution, Dexterity.

Suggested Options: Extra attack (the alchemist can use this ability with bombs), knowledgeable, poison, spontaneous casting (cure), trap squares.

Suggested Spell List: Alchemy.

Barbarian Class Graft

Fueled by wrath, driven by fury, barbarians unleash their rage to become powerful killing machines. They revel in the carnage they create and pay no heed to danger.

Required Array: Combatant.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase speed by 10 feet; increase Fortitude saving throw bonus by 2; skill—master Intimidate; Options—extra hit points, rage.

CR 1: Options—uncanny dodge, one combat.

CR 5: Options—uncanny dodge, unflankable, one combat.

CR 7: Optionsdamage reduction as if 5 CR lower, uncanny dodge, unflankable, one combat.

CR 15: Optionsdamage reduction as if 5 CR lower, uncanny dodge, unflankable, two combat.

CR 19: Optionsdamage reduction as if 5 CR lower, uncanny dodge, unflankable, three combat.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Strength, Constitution, Dexterity.

Suggested Options: Combat reflexes, critical striker, diehard, improved combat maneuver (bull rush or grapple), mobile attack, power attack.

Bard Class Graft

Bards infuse their performances with magic to bolster their allies. Bards supplement their music with spells, typically favoring those that enchant, beguile, and befuddle.

Required Array: Expert.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Reflex saving throw bonuses by 2; Skills—master Perform, one additional master; Options—inspire courage, knowledgeable, secondary magic, one social.

CR 3: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 2); option—one any.

CR 6: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 4); option—one any.

CR 9: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 6); option—one any.

CR 12: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 8); Options—one social, one any.

CR 15: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 10); Options—one social, one any.

CR 18: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 12); Options—one social, two any.

CR 19: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 14); Options—slaying attack (requires performing for 1 full round instead of hitting with an attack), one social, two any.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Charisma, Intelligence, Dexterity.

Suggested Options: Combat casting, countersong, fascinate, inspire competence, linguist, persuasive.

Suggested Spell Lists: Charm, enchantment, fey, liberation, trickery.

Cavalier Class Graft

When mounted on a warhorse or some other steed trained for battle, the cavalier dominates the battlefield. He might serve as a battle leader, rallying allies to his banner.

Special Rules: The cavalier works well with a mount. See the Animal Companions and Mounts sidebar.

Required Array: Combatant.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Fortitude and Reflex saving throw bonuses by 1; skill—master Ride; Options—challenge, one any.

CR 3: Options—mounted mastery.

CR 4: Options—inspire courage, mounted mastery.

CR 13: Options—aura of resistance (charm, compulsion), heroic recovery, inspire courage, mounted mastery, one combat.

CR 17: Options—aura of resistance (charm, compulsion), heroic recovery, inspire courage, mounted mastery, two combat.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution.

Suggested Options: Critical striker, extra armor, improved combat maneuver, mounted master, powerful charge.

Cleric Class Graft

Clerics draw power from the gods they serve to advance their interests in the world. As varied as the gods, clerics possess a wide array of spells and abilities with which they fight the enemies of their faith. Many clerics focus on battle and choose various combat options.

Required Array: Spellcaster.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Fortitude saving throw bonus by 2; skill—master Knowledge (religion); Options—channel energy, spontaneous casting (cure or inflict), one any.

CR 12: Options—one magic, one any.

CR 18: Options—one magic, two any.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Wisdom, Strength, Charisma.

Suggested Options: Combat casting, extra armor, protective ward, turn undead; see the Domain Options sidebar.

Suggested Spell Lists: Chaos, evil, good, law, by domain.

Druid Class Graft

Guardians of balance, protectors of nature, druids wield power drawn from the world around them. Equipped with magic that allows them to manipulate nature and assume different forms, druids have a bevy of methods in their arsenals to defeat their enemies. Change shape (marked in entries with an asterisk [*]) functions as the universal monster rule, allowing the druid to change into the listed creature types. A druid changed in this way can still cast spells.

Special Rules: Druids often have animal companions. See the Animal Companions and Mounts sidebar.

Required Array: Spellcaster.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Fortitude saving throw bonuses by 2; Skills—master Knowledge (nature) and Survival; Options—spontaneous casting (summon nature’s ally), one any.

CR 1: Options—terrain stride (undergrowth).

CR 3: Optionschange shape* (Small or Medium animal), terrain stride (undergrowth).

CR 5: Optionschange shape* (Tiny, Small, Medium, or Large animal or Small elemental), terrain stride (undergrowth), one magic.

CR 7: Optionschange shape* (any size animal, Medium or smaller elemental, or Small or Medium plant), terrain stride (undergrowth), one magic.

CR 9: Options—change shape* (any size animal, Large or smaller elemental, or Large or smaller plant), immunity (poison), terrain stride (undergrowth), one magic.

CR 11: Options—change shape* (any size animal, Huge or smaller elemental, or Huge or smaller plant), immunity (poison), terrain stride (undergrowth), one magic, one any.

CR 18: Options—change shape* (any size animal, Huge or smaller elemental, or Huge or smaller plant), immunity (poison), terrain stride (undergrowth), two magic, one any.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Wisdom, Constitution, Charisma.

Suggested Options: Animal talker, combat casting, magic attack, powerful summons; see the Domain Options sidebar.

Suggested Spell Lists: Air, animal, earth, fire, healing, nature, plant, water, weather.

Fighter Class Graft

Fighters excel in battle. Their training makes them the undisputed masters of arms and armor, and their grit and determination see them through almost any conflict.

Required Array: Combatant.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Fortitude and Reflex saving throw bonuses by 1; option—one combat.

CR 1: Options—one combat.

CR 3: Options—two combat.

CR 5: Options—three combat.

CR 7: Options—four combat.

CR 11: Options—five combat.

CR 15: Options—six combat.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution.

Suggested Options: Accuracy, combat reflexes, extra armor, extra attack, improved combat maneuver, extra armor, power attack.

Gunslinger Class Graft

Gunslingers focus their training on handling firearms, coaxing every advantage they can from the weapons they have mastered. Guns blazing, they tend to fearlessly lead the way in battle.

Required Array: Combatant.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Fortitude and Reflex saving throw bonuses by 1; Optionsfirearm savvy, one combat.

CR 3: Options—one any.

CR 10: Options—fast reload, one combat, one any.

CR 14: Options—evasion, fast reload, uncanny dodge, two combat, one any.

CR 18: Options—evasion, fast reload, uncanny dodge, three combat, one any.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Dexterity, Constitution, Wisdom.

Suggested Options: Bleed, fear attack (burst), improved initiative, magic weapon, stun attack.

Inquisitor Class Graft

The gods grant inquisitors the power to root out the enemies of their faith and destroy them. Implacable in their focus and driven by their devotion, inquisitors undertake their divine missions with the grim determination required to deal with those who oppose their deities.

Required Array: Expert.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Fortitude and Reflex saving throw bonuses by 1, increase Will saving throw bonus by 2; Skills—master Intimidate and Sense Motive; Options—secondary magic, one any.

CR 3: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 2); Options—improved initiative, one combat.

CR 4: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 2); Options—improved initiative, magic weapon (bane), one combat.

CR 6: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 4); Options—improved initiative, magic weapon (bane), one combat.

CR 9: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 6); Options—improved initiative, magic weapon (bane), stalwart, one combat.

CR 12: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 8); Options—improved initiative, magic weapon (bane), stalwart, one combat, one social.

CR 15: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 10); Options—improved initiative, magic weapon (bane), stalwart, one combat, one social.

CR 18: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 12); Options—improved initiative, magic weapon (bane), stalwart, two combat, one social.

CR 19: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 14); Options—improved initiative, magic weapon (bane), slaying attack, stalwart, two combat, one social.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Wisdom, Strength or Dexterity, Charisma.

Suggested Options: Accuracy, bypass DR (magic, plus one alignment type if CR 5 or higher, plus adamantine if CR 9 or higher), damage reduction (magic, or by alignment if CR 9 or higher), energy resistance, extra armor, fast healing, power attack, save boost, spell penetration.

Suggested Spell List: By domain.

Animal Companions and Mounts Sidebar

If you decide a monster should have an animal companion or mount, choose an animal from the list of a summon nature’s ally spell. The spell must have a level no higher than 1/2 the monster’s CR. Treat the companion as an additional creature in the encounter, awarding XP for defeating it as if it were an independent creature rather than an animal companion.

Alternatively, you can create an animal from scratch using simple monster creation. This monster should have a CR no higher than 1 + 1/2 the primary monster’s CR. Award XP for defeating it as if it were not an animal companion.

Magus Class Graft

The magus blends weapon training and magic to become an effective master of both.

Required Array: Expert.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Fortitude saving throw bonus by 2; Optionsmagic weapon, secondary magic, spell combat, one magic.

CR 1: Options—spellstrike.

CR 3: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 2); Options—spellstrike, one combat.

CR 6: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 4); Options—combat casting, spellstrike, one combat.

CR 9: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 6); Options—combat casting, spellstrike, one combat.

CR 12: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 8); Options—combat casting, spellstrike, one combat, one magic.

CR 15: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 10); Options—combat casting, mage punisher, spellstrike, one combat, one magic.

CR 18: Replace secondary magic with spellcasting (as if CR 12); Options—combat casting, mage punisher, spellstrike, two combat, one magic.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Intelligence, Strength, Dexterity.

Suggested Options: Dodge expert, improved combat maneuver, magic attack (melee), metamagic spell, mobile attack (melee).

Monk Class Graft

Masters of complex fighting techniques, monks supplement their physical training with mystical powers that help them push past mortal limits.

Special Rules: The monk’s unarmed attacks use a specified die progression for damage, beginning at 1d6 and increasing based on CR. This alters only the damage calculation from Step 9: Damage; the total amount of damage is still based on the combatant array.

Required Array: Combatant.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Fortitude and Reflex saving throw bonuses by 1, increase Will saving throw bonus by 2; skill—master Acrobatics; Options—extra attack, stun attack, one combat; monk unarmed damage 1d6.

CR 1: Options—evasion, one combat.

CR 3: Increase speed by 10 feet; Options—bypass DR (magic), evasion, one combat.

CR 5: Increase speed by 20 feet; Options—bypass DR (magic), evasion, immunity (disease), unarmed damage 1d8, one combat.

CR 7: Increase speed by 20 feet; Options—bypass DR (magic), evasion, immunity (disease), unarmed damage 1d10, one combat.

CR 9: Increase speed by 30 feet; Options—bypass DR (lawful, magic), evasion, immunity (disease), unarmed damage 1d10, one combat.

CR 11: Increase speed by 40 feet; Options—bypass DR (lawful, magic), evasion, immunity (disease, poison), unarmed damage 2d6, one combat.

CR 13: Increase speed by 40 feet; Options—bypass DR (lawful, magic), evasion, immunity (disease, poison), spell resistance, unarmed damage 2d6, two combat.

CR 15: Increase speed by 50 feet; Options—bypass DR (adamantine, lawful, magic), evasion, immunity (disease, poison), spell resistance, unarmed damage 2d8, two combat.

CR 17: Increase speed by 60 feet; Options—bypass DR (adamantine, lawful, magic), evasion, immunity (disease, poison), spell resistance, unarmed damage 2d8, three combat.

CR 19: Increase speed by 60 feet; Options—bypass DR (adamantine, lawful, magic), damage reduction (chaotic), evasion, immunity (disease, falling damage, poison), spell resistance, unarmed damage 2d10, three combat.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Wisdom, Dexterity, Strength.

Suggested Options: Deflect projectiles, improved combat maneuver, improved initiative, mobile attack (melee), quivering palm, secondary magic (dimension door and etherealness), whirlwind attack.

Sidebar: Mystery Options

The mystery an oracle possesses can alter her abilities significantly. Consider the following options if a mystery ability is particularly important to the oracle. Any creature with a theme similar to a given oracle mystery might also draw from that mystery’s list of options.

Battle: Damage Reduction (adamantine), inspire courage.

Bones: At-will magic (animate dead), constant invisibility, incorporeal.

Flame: Breath weapon (cone of fire), metamagic spell (fire spells only).

Heavens: Energy explosion (5-ft. burst).

Life: Blindsight 30 ft. (detects living creatures only), channel energy.

Lore: Knowledgeable.

Nature: Animal talker, vampiric attack (ranged).

Stone: Earth glide, magic attack (bludgeoning), metamagic spell (earth spells only).

Waves: Magic attack (cold, melee touch attack), magic weapon (cold energy), metamagic spell (cold or water spell).

Wind: Extra armor, fly 90 ft. (good), metamagic spell (air or electricity spells only).

Oracle Class Graft

Rather than devote themselves to a single god, oracles serve diverse forces. In return for their devotion, oracles gain access to strange and mysterious mystical power.

Special Rules: The oracle has a unique curse that doesn’t appear with the other monster options. The traits gained at each CR are cumulative. Choose one of the following.

  • Clouded Vision: The monster has darkvision to 30 feet, but can’t see anything beyond that range. At CR 4, this increases to 60 feet. At CR 9, the monster also gains blindsense to 30 feet. At CR 14, the monster also gains blindsight to 15 feet.
  • Deaf: The monster is permanently deafened. It ignores the verbal component of any spell it casts. At CR 4, the monster gains a master bonus on Perception checks that do not rely on hearing. At CR 9, the monster gains scent. At CR 14, the monster gains tremorsense to 30 feet.
  • Haunted: The monster must use a standard action to retrieve a stored item unless doing so would normally take more time. Any item the monster drops lands 10 feet away from it in a random direction. The monster gains the at-will magic option (mage hand and ghost sound).
  • Lame: Reduce the monster’s speed by 10 feet. At CR 4, the monster is immune to the fatigued condition. At CR 14, the monster is immune to the exhausted condition.
  • Tongues: Add one of the following languages to the list of languages the monster knows: Abyssal, Aklo, Aquan, Auran, Celestial, Ignan, Infernal, or Terran. In combat, the monster can speak and understand only this language. At CR 4, add another language from the list to the languages the monster can speak during combat. At CR 9, the monster can understand any spoken language, as if under the effects of tongues, even in combat. At CR 14, the monster can speak any language outside combat.
  • Wasting: Decrease the monster’s Charisma modifier by 4. At CR 4, the monster becomes immune to the sickened condition. At CR 9, the monster becomes immune to disease. At CR 14, the monster becomes immune to the nauseated condition.

Required Array: Spellcaster.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Reflex and Will saving throw bonuses by 1; Options—mystery (any), one any.

CR 3: Options—one magic.

CR 12: Options—one magic, one any.

CR 18: Options—two magic, one any.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Charisma, Wisdom, Dexterity.

Suggested Options: Combat casting, dodge expert, extra armor, spontaneous casting (cure); see the Mystery Options sidebar.

Suggested Spell Lists: Chaos, evil, good, law, by mystery.

Paladin Class Graft

Paladins champion law and good and bring divine power to bear against the agents of chaos and evil.

Special Rules: Some paladins have mounts. See the Animal Companions and Mounts sidebar.

Required Array: Combatant.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Fortitude saving throw bonus by 2, increase Will saving throw bonus by 3; detect evil at will; Options—smite (evil), one any.

CR 1: Optionshealing touch.

CR 3: Options—aura of resistance (fear), channel energy, immunity (disease, fear), healing touch, secondary magic (as if CR 1).

CR 7: Options—aura of resistance (charm, fear), channel energy, immunity (charm, disease, fear), healing touch, save boost, secondary magic (as if CR 2).

CR 9: Options—aura of resistance (charm, fear), channel energy, immunity (charm, disease, fear), healing touch, save boost, secondary magic (as if CR 4).

CR 13: Options—aura of resistance (charm, fear), bypass DR (good), channel energy, immunity (charm, disease, fear), healing touch, save boost, secondary magic (as if CR 6), one combat.

CR 15: Options—aura of resistance (charm, compulsion, fear), bypass DR (good), channel energy, damage reduction (evil), immunity (charm, compulsion, disease, fear), healing touch, save boost, secondary magic (as if CR 6), one combat.

CR 19: Options—aura of resistance (charm, compulsion, fear), bypass DR (good), channel energy, damage reduction (evil), immunity (charm, compulsion, disease, fear), healing touch, save boost, secondary magic (as if CR 6), one combat, one any.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Strength, Charisma, Constitution.

Suggested Options: Extra armor, inspire courage, magic weapon, mounted master, powerful charge.

Suggested Spell Lists: Good, glory, war.

Ranger Class Graft

The guardians of the wild, blazers of trails, and destroyers of monsters, rangers are the first line of defense against the dangers of the wilderness. They have strong combat abilities and limited spellcasting.

Special Rules: Some rangers have an animal companion. See the Animal Companions and Mounts sidebar.

Required Array: Combatant.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Fortitude and Reflex saving throw bonuses by 1; Skills—master Perception, one additional master (typically Stealth or Survival); Optionsfavored enemy, one any.

CR 3: Options—secondary magic (as if CR 1), one combat.

CR 7: Options—secondary magic (as if CR 2), terrain stride (undergrowth), one combat.

CR 9: Options—secondary magic (as if CR 4), terrain stride (undergrowth), one combat.

CR 11: Options—evasion (as if CR 4), secondary magic (as if CR 4), terrain stride (undergrowth), two combat.

CR 15: Options—evasion, secondary magic (as if CR 6), terrain stride (undergrowth), two combat.

CR 17: Options—evasion, secondary magic (as if CR 6), terrain stride (undergrowth), two combat, one any.

CR 19: Options—evasion, secondary magic (as if CR 6), slaying attack (Fortitude), terrain stride (undergrowth), two combat, one any.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Strength or Dexterity, Constitution, Wisdom.

Suggested Options: Animal talker, critical striker, extra attack, far shot, rend, trap squares.

Suggested Spell Lists: Animal, nature, plant.

Rogue Class Graft

Rogues always have a trick up their sleeves. Armed with numerous skills and tricks to confound their adversaries, rogues can always stay one step ahead of the foe.

Required Array: Expert.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Reflex saving throw bonus by 3; Skills—master Perception and Stealth; Options—improved initiative, sneak attack.

CR 1: Options—evasion, one any.

CR 3: Options—evasion, uncanny dodge, one combat, one social.

CR 9: Options—evasion, uncanny dodge, unflankable, one combat, one social.

CR 11: Options—evasion, uncanny dodge, unflankable, one combat, one social, one any.

CR 19: Options—evasion, slaying attack (Fortitude), uncanny dodge, unflankable, two combat, one social, one any.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Dexterity, Charisma, Intelligence.

Suggested Options: Constant invisibility, mobility, persuasive, poison, slippery mind, trap squares.

Sorcerer Class Graft

Sorcerers draw magical power from a quirk in their heritage, the remnant of a past, powerful ancestor whose magic traveled through the generations until it woke within the sorcerer.

Required Array: Spellcaster.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase either Fortitude or Reflex saving throw bonus by 1; skill—master Knowledge (arcana); option—one magic.

CR 3: Options—one any.

CR 12: Options—one magic, one any.

CR 18: Options—two magic, one any.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Charisma, Constitution, Dexterity.

Suggested Options: Combat casting, extra hit points, magic attack, metamagic spell, potent magic damage.

Suggested Spell Lists: Arcane, magic, by bloodline.

Sidebar: Bloodline Options

A sorcerer’s bloodline provides several additional powers. Consider the following options if a bloodline ability is particularly important to the sorcerer. Any creature with a theme similar to a sorcerer bloodline might also draw from the appropriate bloodline’s list of options. See Step 7 for descriptions of monster options.

Aberrant: Fortification (as the universal monster rule), magic attack (acid).

Abyssal: Use two natural attacks instead of weapon attacks, resistance (electricity).

Arcane: At-will magic, metamagic spell.

Celestial: Energy resistance (acid, cold), fly 60 ft. (good) for a number of minutes per day equal to CR, magic attack (divine).

Destined: Bolstering touch.

Draconic: Use two natural attacks instead of weapon attacks, breath weapon, energy resistance, fly 60 ft. (average).

Elemental (Air): Energy explosion (electricity), energy resistance (electricity), fly 60 ft. (average).

Elemental (Earth): Burrow 30 ft., energy explosion (acid), energy resistance (acid).

Elemental (Fire): Energy explosion (fire), energy resistance (fire), increase base speed by 30 ft.

Elemental (Water): Energy explosion (cold), energy resistance (cold), swim 60 ft.

Fey: Damage Reduction (cold iron), spell penetration, terrain stride (undergrowth).

Infernal: Bestow minor condition (shaken), energy resistance (fire), fly 60 ft. (average).

Undead: Bestow minor condition (shaken), energy resistance (cold), incorporeal (1/day).

Summoner Class Graft

Already endowed with considerable arcane might, a summoner can also call forth an eidolon, a powerful otherworldly entity, for aid and protection.

Special Rules: A summoner needs an eidolon. Decide the CR you want the summoner and eidolon to be together, and create the summoner and eidolon each at that CR – 2. Create an outsider with the same CR as the summoner using the combatant array, or use an existing outsider of the same CR. Treat the companion as an additional creature in the encounter, awarding XP for defeating it as if it were an independent creature.

Required Array: Spellcaster.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Fortitude and Reflex saving throw bonuses by 1; skill—master Knowledge (planes); Options—spontaneous casting (summon monster), one magic.

CR 3: Options—one any.

CR 12: Options—one magic, one any.

CR 18: Options—two magic, one any.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Charisma, Constitution, Dexterity.

Suggested Options: Combat casting, improved initiative, magical aptitude, powerful summons, transfer hit points (self to ally).

Suggested Spell List: Conjuration.

Witch Class Graft

Witches commune with unknown forces to grow their magical power. These spellcasters forge pacts with otherworldly beings and draw magic from their mysterious patrons.

Required Array: Spellcaster.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase Fortitude and Reflex saving throw bonuses by 1; skill—Knowledge (arcana); option—one magic.

CR 1: Options—one any.

CR 3: Options—one magic, one any.

CR 12: Options—two magic, one any.

CR 18: Options—two magic, two any.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Intelligence, Charisma, Dexterity.

Suggested Options: Bestow major condition, bestow minor condition, bestow moderate condition, evil eye, fortune, healing touch, linguist, misfortune.

Suggested Spell List: Choose a thematically appropriate list based on the witch’s patron.

Wizard Class Graft

Wizards spend their lives delving into the mysteries of arcane magic, poring over scrolls and tomes to tease out true magical power. This academic approach allows wizards to learn some of the most varied and useful spells in existence.

Required Array: Spellcaster.

Statistic Adjustments: Increase either Fortitude or Reflex saving throw bonus by 1; skill—master Knowledge (arcana); option—one magic.

CR 3: Options—one any.

CR 12: Options—one magic, one any.

CR 18: Options—two magic, one any.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Intelligence, Dexterity, Constitution.

Suggested Options: Combat casting, magic attack, magical aptitude, knowledgeable, spell penetration; see Arcane School Options sidebar above.

Suggested Spell Lists: Arcane, magic, by arcane school.

Sidebar: Arcane School Options

Specialist wizards in particular are defined by the schools in which they focus. Consider the following monster options if an arcane school is particularly important to the wizard. Any creature that predominantly uses spells from a single school might also draw from the school’s list of options. See Step 7 for descriptions of monster options.

Abjuration: Energy resistance (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic), protective ward.

Conjuration: Dimensional steps, magic attack (acid), powerful summons.

Divination: Bolstering touch, improved initiative.

Enchantment: Bestow major condition (dazed, 1 round), persuasive.

Evocation: Magic attack (force), potent magic damage.

Illusion: Bestow moderate condition (blinded, ranged touch attack, 1 round).

Necromancy: Bestow minor condition (shaken), turn undead.

Transmutation: Dodge expert, extra hit points, magic attack (bludgeoning), power attack.

Universalist: Magic attack (bludgeoning or piercing), metamagic spell.

Step 3: Subtype Graft

Find the monster’s subtype (if any) in the list below and apply all abilities listed there. For monsters that replicate common PC races (such as humans or elves), the subtype includes the equivalent of their important racial traits as well. These entries don’t always include all the abilities a creature gains from the subtypes as they appear in the standard rules; they omit rules that are only relevant for creating the creature, those that cover the monster’s noncombat abilities (such as whether it eats or sleeps), and abilities that aren’t as useful for NPCs as they would be for PCs (such as a dwarf’s stonecunning ability).

Subtype graft entries use a short format. After the name, each subtype entry has one to three sections listing its abilities, separated by category. Some grafts grant a monster additional senses, movement types, bonuses, or other statistic adjustments. Abilities listed under the options and skills sections are found on Step 7 and 8, respectively. Finally, some abilities directly refer to a universal monster rule in a Bestiary.

All subtype abilities are added automatically; none are optional. They’re meant to be included in addition to all the skills and options you can choose for the monster based on its CR and array. Likewise, subtype entries might tell you to add particular monster options or skills. These don’t count against the monster’s normal number of options or skills.

Subtype Entries

Aeon: Gain a deflection bonus to AC equal to 1/4 CR; Optionsenergy resistance 10 (electricity and fire), immunity (cold, poison, and critical hits).

Agathion: +4 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, truespeech; Optionsenergy resistance 10 (cold and sonic), healing touch, immunity (electricity and poison).

Air: Fly 60 ft. (perfect); Skills—gain Fly as an additional master skill.

Angel: +4 racial bonus on saving throws against poison; protective aura; truespeech; Optionsenergy resistance 10 (electricity and fire), immunity (acid, cold, and petrification).

Aquatic: Swim 30 ft.; Skills—gain Swim as an additional master skill.

Archon: +4 racial bonus on saving throws against poison; aura of menace, teleport; Optionsimmunity (electricity and petrification).

Asura: +2 racial bonus on saving throws against enchantment spells; elusive aura; Optionsenergy resistance 10 (acid and electricity), immunity (curses, disease, and poison), regeneration (overcome by good), spell resistance, summon allies, telepathy; Skills—gain Escape Artist and Perception as additional master skills.

Azata: Optionsenergy resistance 10 (cold and fire), immunity (electricity and petrification).

Clockwork: Increase AC and touch AC by 2, increase Reflex saving throw bonus by 2, vulnerable to electricity; Options—improved initiative.

Cold: Vulnerable to fire; Optionsimmunity (cold).

Daemon: Optionsenergy resistance 10 (cold, electricity, and fire), immunity (acid, death effects, disease, and poison), summon allies, telepathy.

Demodand: Faith-stealing strike; heretical soul; Optionsenergy resistance 10 (cold and fire), immunity (acid and poison), summon allies.

Demon: Optionsenergy resistance 10 (acid, cold, and fire), immunity (electricity and poison), summon allies, telepathy.

Devil: See in darkness; Optionsenergy resistance 10 (acid and cold), immunity (f ire and poison), summon allies, telepathy.

Div: See in darkness; Optionsenergy resistance 10 (acid and electricity), immunity (f ire and poison), summon allies, telepathy.

Dwarf: Darkvision 60 ft.; +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, spells, and spell-like abilities.

Earth: Burrow 20 ft., tremorsense (range varies).

Elemental: Optionsimmunity (bleed, critical hits, flanking, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, and stunning).

Elf: Low-light vision; Skills—gain Perception or Spellcraft as an additional master skill; Optionsimmunity (sleep).

Fire: Vulnerable to cold; Optionsimmunity (f ire).

Giant: Low-light vision; Skills—gain Intimidate as additional good skill.

Gnome: Gain the Small graft, low-light vision, gain one CR-appropriate spell from the illusion spell list.

Goblinoid: Skills—gain Stealth as an additional good skill.

Half-Elf: Low-light vision; Optionsimmunity (sleep); Skills—gain one additional master skill.

Half-orc: Darkvision 60 ft.; skill—gain Intimidate as an additional good skill.

Halfling: Gain the Small graft, +2 racial bonus on saving throws against fear.

Human: Options—gain one additional combat or social option.

Incorporeal: Set touch AC to same value as AC; Optionsimmunity (critical hits and precision-based damage from weapons without ghost touch), incorporeal.

Inevitable: Low-light vision; Optionsregeneration (overcome by chaotic).

Kami: Merge with ward, ward; Options—energy resistance 10 (acid, electricity, and fire), fast healing, immunity (bleed, mind-affecting effects, petrification, and polymorph effects), telepathy.

Leshy: Constant pass without trace; plantspeech; verdant burst; Optionschange shape, immunity (electricity and sonic).

Nightshade: Desecrating aura, darksense, low-light vision, light aversion; Options—channel energy (negative energy).

Oni: Optionschange shape; regeneration (typically overcome by acid or fire).

Orc: Darkvision 60 ft., light sensitivity.

Protean: Blindsense (range varies), amorphous anatomy, constant freedom of movement; Optionschange shape, constrict, energy resistance 10 (electricity and sonic), immunity (acid), improved combat maneuver (grab).

Psychopomp: Spiritsense, spirit touch; Optionsdamage reduction (5/adamantine), energy resistance 10 (cold and electricity), immunity (death effects, disease, and poison).

Qlippoth: Horrific appearance; Optionsenergy resistance 10 (acid, electricity, and fire), immunity (cold, mind-affecting effects, and poison), telepathy.

Rakshasa: Detect thoughts, enhanced defenses; Optionschange shape.

Shapechanger: Optionschange shape.

Swarm: Takes an additional 50% damage from spells or effects that affect an area; swarm attack; if made of Tiny creatures, the monster takes half damage from slashing and piercing weapons; if made of Fine or Diminutive creatures, the monster is immune to weapon damage; Optionsdistraction, immunity (critical hits, flanking, trip, grapple, bull rush, and spells that target a specific number of creatures).

Water: Swim 30 ft.; Skills—gain Swim as an additional master skill.

Other Subtypes

A number of subtypes don’t have full entries. Most of these don’t grant additional abilities to monsters, and are listed below. A monster gains all subtypes appropriate to it, even those without rules in this section, such as the following.

Complex Subtypes

The subtypes listed below don’t appear because they’re so complex that adding a subtype graft isn’t enough. Creatures of these subtypes need to be created carefully, and have detailed rules associated with them that go beyond the scope of simple monster creation.

Adlet, Augmented, Catfolk, Chaotic, Changeling, Dark Folk, Evil, Extraplanar, Good, Kasatha, Kitsune, Lawful, Native, Ratfolk, Reptilian, Samsaran, Sasquatch, Udaeus, Vanara, Vishkanya, Wayang, Behemoth, Colossus, Great Old One, Kaiju, Mythic

Step 4: Template Graft

These optional grafts replicate popular monster templates, and are applied on top of the creature type or class graft chosen for the monster. Template graft entries follow a format similar to creature type grafts.

Minimum or Maximum CR: This entry indicates what the lowest or highest possible CR for the monster can be. A header that says “CR 2+” indicates the monster’s CR must be 2 or higher, and “CR 9–” means its CR can’t be higher than 9.

Required Creature Type or Subtype: For templates that change a creature’s type or subtype in the normal monster creation system, this entry shows which creature type or subtype the monster must be in order to apply the template graft.

Suggested Array: This indicates the monster array the template is most closely associated with, if any. Liches, for example, are almost always spellcasters.

Automatic Traits: All creatures with this graft gain these abilities. The automatic traits might tell you to add particular monster options or skills. These count against the monster’s normal number of options, skills, and so forth, replacing them (unlike subtype grafts, which grant options and skills for free). However, even if the automatic traits would cause a monster to exceed its maximum number of options or skills, the monster still gains all of them. If the monster has a class graft, use your best judgment when replacing options to maintain the feeling of both the class and template.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: This section lists the recommended assignments for the monster’s high ability scores, in order from highest to lowest. For instance, the graveknight lists “Strength, Charisma, Wisdom,” meaning that when making a CR 10 graveknight, you would give it a +7 Strength modifier, a +5 Charisma modifier, and a +3 Wisdom modifier. Not all entries list modifiers for all abilities. A ghost, for example, lists only Charisma since the remaining statistics can vary, and a half-dragon doesn’t have an entry at all as half-dragons are so varied.

Ghost (CR 2+) Template Graft

A soul unable to rest becomes a spectral undead creature.

Required Creature Type: Undead.

Required Subtype: Incorporeal.

Automatic Traits: Fly 30 ft. (perfect); Ability modifiers—set Strength modifier to —, increase Charisma modifier by 2; Optionschannel resistance, corrupting touch, rejuvenation (2d4 days); one of the following at CR 6 plus one for every 3 CR above 6: at-will magic (telekinesis), corrupting gaze, draining touch, frightful presence, malevolence; Skills—gain Perception and Stealth as master skills.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Charisma.

Graveknight (CR 5+) Template Graft

This undead creature is heavily armed and armored, and can be rejuvenated if destroyed.

Required Creature Type: Undead.

Suggested Array: Combatant.

Automatic Traits: Increase AC by 2 and touch AC by 4, decrease flat-footed AC by 6; Options—channel destruction, channel resistance, devastating blast (as the breath weapon option in a 30-foot cone dealing acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage), DR 10/magic, immunity (cold and electricity), phantom mount, rejuvenation (1d10 days), sacrilegious aura, spell resistance, undead mastery, one additional combat option; Skills—gain Intimidate, Perception, and Ride as master skills.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Strength, Charisma.

Half-Celestial (CR 1+) Template Graft

This creature was born of a good outsider and a mortal, or created by a major infusion of holy energy.

Required Creature Type: Outsider.

Automatic Traits: +4 bonus on saving throws against poison; gain a fly speed equal to twice base speed (good maneuverability); OptionsDR 5/magic (increases to DR 10/magic at CR 12), energy resistance 10 (acid, cold, and electricity), immunity (disease), secondary magic (good), smite (evil); skill—gain one additional master skill.

Half-Dragon (CR 3+) Template Graft

This creature is born of a dragon and some other form of creature. It exhibits traits of both its parents.

Required Creature Type: Dragon.

Automatic Traits: Optionsbreath weapon (usable 1/day), immunity (sleep, paralysis, and one of acid, cold, electricity, or fire); skill—gain one additional master skill.

Half-Fiend (CR 1+) Template Graft

This creature is heavily tainted with evil power, most likely demonic or infernal.

Required Creature Type: Outsider.

Automatic Traits: Gain a fly speed equal to twice the base speed (good maneuverability); OptionsDR 5/magic (increases to DR 10/magic at CR 12), energy resistance 10 (acid, cold, electricity, and fire), immunity (poison), secondary magic (evil), smite (good); skill—gain one additional master skill.

Lich (CR 2+) Template Graft

This spellcaster retained its magical powers after it died and rose again in undeath.

Required Creature Type: Undead.

Suggested Array: Spellcaster.

Automatic Traits: Increase AC by 2; Optionschannel resistance, DR 15/bludgeoning and magic, fear aura, immunity (cold and electricity), paralyzing touch, rejuvenation (1d10); Skills—gain Perception, Sense Motive, and Stealth as master skills.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma should be highest ability modifier, depending on which of these the lich uses to cast its spells.

Lycanthrope (CR 1+) Template Graft

This humanoid can turn into an animal or assume a hybrid form between its humanoid and animal natures.

Required Creature Type: Humanoid.

Required Subtype: Shapechanger.

Automatic Traits: Optionscurse of lycanthropy.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Constitution.

Skeleton (CR 8–) Template Graft

The animated bones of the dead attack as a skeleton—a mindless soldier in an army of the dead.

Required Creature Type: Undead.

Suggested Array: Combatant.

Automatic Traits: Ability modifiers—set Intelligence modifier to —; OptionsDR 5/bludgeoning, immunity (cold), improved initiative.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Strength, Dexterity.

Vampire (CR 5+) Template Graft

This charismatic undead monster feasts on blood and has impressive supernatural powers.

Required Creature Type: Undead.

Suggested Array: Any —a vampire could fill any role and be built using any array. It is capable in combat even if it’s an expert or spellcaster.

Automatic Traits: Increase AC by 2 and flat-footed AC by 2, spider climb (constant), vampire weaknesses; Options—at-will magic (dominate person), blood drain, change shape (dire bat or wolf, as beast shape II), channel resistance, children of the night, create spawn, DR 10/magic and silver, energy drain, energy resistance 10 (cold and electricity), fast healing 5, gaseous form; Skills—gain Bluff, Perception, Sense Motive, and Stealth as master skills.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Strength, Dexterity, Charisma.

Zombie (CR 9–) Template Graft

A reanimated corpse can become a sluggish and unthinking zombie.

Required Creature Type: Undead.

Suggested Array: Combatant.

Automatic Traits: staggered (can perform only a single move action or standard action each round); ability modifiers—set Intelligence modifier to —; OptionsDR 5/slashing, extra hit points; Skills—no master or good skills.

Suggested Ability Modifiers: Strength.

Step 5: Size Graft

If your monster isn’t Medium, apply a size graft. Because there are many other ways to alter a creature’s AC, hit points, attack bonuses, and damage, these grafts don’t adjust those values like size changes do in the core rules. Most headers list a minimum CR or maximum CR, as described in the previous step. Use caution if your monster is outside the minimum or maximum CR range. Touch and flat-footed AC never increase above the monster’s total AC, and never decrease below 1.

Fine (CR 2–) Size Graft

Automatic Traits: Increase touch AC and flat-footed AC by 8; decrease CMB by 16; decrease CMD by 8; gain Fly and Stealth as additional master skills.

Diminutive (CR 4–) Size Graft

Automatic Traits: Increase touch AC and flat-footed AC by 4; decrease CMB by 8; decrease CMD by 4; gain Fly and Stealth as additional master skills.

Tiny (CR 6–) Size Graft

Automatic Traits: Increase touch AC and flat-footed AC by 2; decrease CMB by 4; decrease CMD by 2; gain Fly as an additional good skill (or increase good to master) and Stealth as an additional master skill.

Small Size Graft

Automatic Traits: Increase touch AC and flat-footed AC by 1; decrease CMB by 2; decrease CMD by 1; gain Stealth as an additional good skill.

Large (CR 2+) Size Graft

Automatic Traits: Decrease touch AC by 1, increase flat-footed AC by 1; increase CMB by 2; increase CMD by 1.

Huge (CR 4+) Size Graft

Automatic Traits: Decrease touch AC by 2, increase flat-footed AC by 3; increase CMB by 4; increase CMD by 2; can’t have Stealth as a master skill.

Gargantuan (CR 6+) Size Graft

Automatic Traits: Decrease touch AC by 4, increase flat-footed AC by 5; increase CMB by 8; increase CMD by 4; can’t have Fly as a master skill, can’t have Stealth as a good or master skill.

Colossal (CR 8+) Size Graft

Automatic Traits: Decrease touch AC by 8, increase flat-footed AC by 6; increase CMB by 16; increase CMD by 8; can’t have Fly or Stealth as good or master skills.

Step 6: Spells

This step is only for monsters that use the spellcaster array. For monsters that know only a few spells (rather than being focused primarily on spellcasting), choose an array other than spellcaster and give the monster the secondary spellcasting universal option in Step 7.

The spell choices for a spellcaster monster are intentionally limited compared to those of a full NPC, since a monster created using the simple monster creation system is designed to have enough spells to last though a single battle or session. If a monster created this way ends up appearing in multiple sessions, you can swap out the spells each time, assuming that doing so fits the nature and theme of the monster.

The spells you choose for the monster during this step represent its total spellcasting arsenal for an encounter. If you want to treat some of the spells as being cast from scrolls, wands, or staves, implement them as such during play. Regardless of the source, additional spells still count against the total number the monster can cast.

You’ll also notice that some types of spells don’t appear on these lists—especially spells that solely increase statistics, such as bull’s strength, false life, and mage armor. That’s because such spells are often cast before combat, and the simple monster creation system assumes the effects of those spells are already in the monster’s base numbers.

Spell DCs: To determine the DC of a spell cast by a monster, add the spell’s level to the number listed in the spell DC column of the monster’s array. Use the spell’s cleric or sorcerer/wizard level if multiple classes can cast it. If neither of those classes has the spell, use the highest spell level listed in the spell’s description.

Choosing Spells

The easiest way to choose spells for a monster is to select a spell list from among those on the following pages that best matches its theme, using the options in this section. A fey with powerful spell-like abilities might choose the enchantment, fey, nature, or trickery spell list. A wizard dedicated to flame might choose the fire spell list, a dedicated transmuter would likely pick the transmutation list, and a generalist might take the arcane or magic list.

When you choose a spell list, the monster gains the following sets of spells according to its CR band—the spellcasting range its CR falls into.

  • The primary spells of its CR band, usable once per day. These are the monster’s highest-level spells.
  • Both the primary and secondary spells of the CR band one step lower than its own CR band, usable three times per day. These account for the monster’s less potent spells.
  • The primary spells of the CR band two steps below its own, usable at will. These are the monster’s lowest-level spells.

This setup produces a spellcaster with a small number of powerful spells that it can use rarely, a larger number of weaker but still useful spells that it can use often, and spells so weak that it hardly ever uses them in battle but can use them frequently.

Note that a CR 0–3 monster doesn’t gain any at-will spells or any spells usable three times per day, and a CR 4–7 monster doesn’t gain any at-will spells.

Write down the spells and the number of times they can be used. For the sample monsters later in this section, the spells are separated into attack spells, defensive spells, and utility spells, but this step is optional.

When you pick a spell list, the monster automatically gains the benefit listed at the bottom of that spell list. If you choose to create your own spell list, choose the benefit that matches your monster best, or create your own benefit for that monster instead.

For example, a CR 9 monster using the aberrant spell list would gain feeblemind and spell resistance once per day each (from the 8–11 CR band); beast shape I, major image, acid arrow, and see invisibility three times per day each (from the 4–7 CR band); and cause fear and long arm usable at will (from the 0–3 CR band). It would also gain the spell list’s benefit: the fortification universal monster rule.

In-Depth Spell Choice

These lists are arranged to facilitate maximum speed in choosing spells, but you can choose spells individually, give the monster secondary spells in place of primary spells (which is why the CR 16+ band lists secondary spells), or mix and match at your discretion. To keep your monster balanced, don’t deviate too far from the number of spells listed for its power level, though you can decrease or increase the number of spells within reason.

If you want to pick spells one by one, use the following spell levels for each CR band.

CR Band Spell Level
0–3 0 or 1st
4–7 2nd or 3rd
8–11 4th or 5th
12–15 6th or 7th
16+ 8th or 9th

Spell Lists

The following lists are themed to different uses of magic, and also correspond to bloodlines, domains, and other prominent spell themes. For a monster with a class graft, use the graft’s suggested spell lists to help you choose the monster’s spells.

Aberrant Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Cause fear, long arm Daze, silent image
4–7 Beast shape I, major image Acid arrow, see invisibility
8–11 Feeblemind, spell resistance Beast shape II, black tentacles
12–15 Plane shift, project image Beast shape IV, veil
16+ Foresight, shapechange Mind blank, polymorph any object

Benefit(s): The monster gains the benefit of the fortification universal monster rule.

Abjuration Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Endure elements, protection from chaos/evil/good/law Alarm, hold portal
4–7 Nondetection, protection from energy Dispel magic, resist energy
8–11 Dismissal, stoneskin Dimensional anchor, lesser globe of invulnerability
12–15 Antimagic field, banishment Globe of invulnerability, greater dispel magic
16+ Mage’s disjunction, prismatic sphere Prismatic wall, protection from spells

Benefit(s): Choose one energy type. The monster gains resistance 5 to that type of damage. At CR 12, increase the resistance to 10. At CR 16, increase the resistance to 20.

Abyssal Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Burning hands, summon monster I Cause fear, protection from good or law
4–7 Rage, summon monster III Alter self, scare
8–11 Dismissal, summon monster V Chaos hammer, dimension door
12–15 Summon monster VI, Greater dispel magic, word of chaos greater teleport
16+ Energy drain, summon monster IX Cloak of chaos, unholy aura

Benefit(s): Increase the monster’s Strength modifier by 1. At CR 13, increase it by 2 instead. At CR 17, increase it by 3 instead.

Acid Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Corrosive touch, obscuring mist Acid splash, cause fear
4–7 Empowered corrosive touch, protection from energy (acid only) Acid arrow, resist energy (acid only)
8–11 Acidic spray, corrosive consumption Rusting grasp, transmute rock to mud
12–15 Widened acid fog, caustic eruption Quickened acid arrow, acid fog
16+ Empowered caustic eruption, form of the dragon III (black only) Maximized acidic spray, storm of vengeance

Benefit(s): The monster gains acid resistance 5. At CR 12, increase the resistance to 10. At CR 16, the monster gains acid immunity.

Air Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Jump, obscuring mist Feather fall, open/close
4–7 Gaseous form, wind wall Fly, gust of wind
8–11 Control winds, overland flight Air walk, extended wind wall
12–15 Control weather, elemental body IV (air only) Chain lightning, reverse gravity
16+ Elemental swarm (air only), winds of vengeance Empowered chain lightning, whirlwind

Benefit(s): Increase the monster’s movement speed by 10 feet.

Alchemy Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Expeditious retreat, true strike Ant haul, jump
4–7 Displacement, fly Invisibility, vomit swarm
8–11 Magic jar, overland flight Dragon’s breath, stoneskin
12–15 Eyebite, twin form Heal, true seeing
16+ Fiery body, shapechange Clone, simulacrum

Benefit(s): The monster gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against disease and poison.

Animal Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Hold animal, summon nature’s ally I
Charm animal, hide from animals
4–7 Dominate animal, greater magic fang Beast shape I (animal only), speak with animals
8–11 Animal growth, insect plague Giant vermin, locate creature
12–15 Antilife shell, summon nature’s ally VII Beast shape IV (animal only), mass cure light wounds
16+ Quickened insect plague, shapechange Animal shapes, summon nature’s ally VII (animals only)

Benefit(s): Animal allies within 20 feet of the monster gain a +1 luck bonus on attack rolls.

Arcane Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Expeditious retreat, magic missile Light, prestidigitation
4–7 Dispel magic, levitate Invisibility, scorching ray
8–11 Empowered lightning bolt, overland flight Dimension door, lesser globe of invulnerability
12–15 Quickened dispel magic, greater teleport Maximized fireball, true seeing
16+ Power word kill, quickened wall of force Maximized cone of cold, power word stun

Benefit(s): Increase the saving throw DCs of any of the monster’s spells to which a metamagic feat has been applied by 1.

Artifice Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Animate rope, magic stone Floating disk, mending
4–7 Stone shape, tiny hut Make whole, wood shape
8–11 Major creation, wall of stone Fabricate, minor creation
12–15 Limited wish, wall of iron Animate objects, flesh to stone
16+ Crushing hand, prismatic sphere Iron body, polymorph any object

Benefit(s): When the monster casts a spell from this list, it gains a deflection bonus to AC equal to the spell’s level for 1 round.

Battle Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Bless, expeditious retreat Bleed, flare
4–7 Fly, haste Invisibility, protection from arrows
8–11 Interposing hand, teleport Dimension door, greater invisibility
12–15 Giant form I, transformation Greater teleport, true seeing
16+ Mass hold monster, time stop Mislead, power word stun

Benefit(s): Increase the monster’s attack bonus for all attacks by 1.

Celestial Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Bless, divine favor Guidance, light
4–7 Magic circle against evil, prayer Cure moderate wounds, resist energy
8–11 Flame strike, greater command Blessing of fervor, holy smite
12–15 Banishment, holy word Empowered flame strike, greater dispel magic
16+ Quickened flame strike, gate Holy aura, sunburst

Benefit(s): The monster gains resistance 5 to acid and cold. At CR 12, these resistances increase to 10.

Chaos Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Lesser confusion, protection from law Daze, entropic shield
4–7 Magic circle against law, rage Alter self, daze monster
8–11 Dispel law, mind fog Chaos hammer, confusion
12–15 Insanity, word of chaos Animate objects, repulsion
16+ Prismatic sphere, summon monster IX (chaotic only) Cloak of chaos, scintillating pattern

Benefit(s): The monster’s attacks count as chaotic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Charm Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Charm person, hypnotism Daze, message
4–7 Hold person, suggestion Calm emotions, daze monster
8–11 Charm monster, dominate person Confusion, lesser geas
12–15 Insanity, mass hold person Geas/quest, mass suggestion
16+ Dominate monster, mass hold monster Demand, mass charm monster

Benefit(s): The monster gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against charm effects.

Cold Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Frostbite, obscuring mist Endure elements, ray of frost
4–7 Protection from energy, sleet storm Chill metal, resist energy
8–11 Cone of cold, enlarged ice storm Ice storm, wall of ice
12–15 Control weather, form of the dragon II (white only) Empowered cone of cold, freezing sphere
16+ Quickened cone of cold, form of the dragon III (white only) Polar ray, simulacrum

Benefit(s): The monster gains cold resistance 5. At CR 12, increase the resistance to 10. At CR 16, the monster gains cold immunity.

Community Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Bless, sanctuary Cure light wounds, virtue
4–7 Dispel magic, prayer Aid, shield other
8–11 Telepathic bond, wall of stone Cure critical wounds, status
12–15 Heal, repulsion Banishment, blade barrier
16+ Foresight, miracle Dimensional lock, mass cure critical wounds

Benefit(s): The monster gains Diplomacy as an additional master skill.

Conjuration Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Grease, summon monster I Acid splash, guidance
4–7 Stinking cloud, summon monster III Acid arrow, summon monster II
8–11 Summon monster V, teleport Dimension door, summon monster IV
12–15 Greater teleport, summon monster VII Acid fog, summon monster VI
16+ Gate, summon monster IX Incendiary cloud, summon monster VIII

Benefit(s): The monster doubles the duration of all conjuration (summoning) spells it casts.

Darkness Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Cause fear, obscuring mist Daze, silent image
4–7 Deeper darkness, displacement Blindness/deafness (only to cause blindness), darkness
8–11 Shadow evocation, summon monster V (1d3 shadows) Black tentacles, shadow conjuration
12–15 Greater shadow conjuration, power word blind Quickened darkness, shadow walk
16+ Energy drain, shades Greater shadow evocation, maximized shadow evocation

Benefit(s): The monster’s spells with the darkness descriptor count as 1 spell level higher.

Death Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Chill touch, ray of enfeeblement Bleed, touch of fatigue
4–7 Stricken heart, vampiric touch Death knell, ghoul touch
8–11 Slay living, waves of fatigue Death ward, enervation
12–15 Destruction, finger of death Circle of death, undeath to death
16+ Energy drain, wail of the banshee Horrid wilting, symbol of death

Benefit(s): Increase the saving throw DC of any death spell the monster casts by 1.

Destined Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Alarm, protection from chaos/evil/good/law Expeditious retreat, true strike
4–7 Displacement, protection from energy Blur, good hope
8–11 Break enchantment, debilitating portent Divination, freedom of movement
12–15 Quickened displacement, jolting portent Mislead, spell turning
16+ Foresight, quickened freedom of movement Mind blank, moment of prescience

Benefit(s): Increase all the monster’s saving throw bonuses by 1.

Destruction Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Burning hands, true strike Acid splash, ray of frost
4–7 Fireball, rage Acid arrow, shatter
8–11 Maximized acid arrow, shout Ice storm, inflict critical wounds
12–15 Disintegrate, quickened lightning bolt Maximized fireball, harm
16+ Empowered disintegrate, implosion Earthquake, fire storm

Benefit(s): Increase the saving throw DCs of any spells the monster casts that deal damage by 1.

Divination Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Anticipate peril, unprepared combatant Guidance, true strike
4–7 Clairaudience/clairvoyance, see invisibility Arcane sight, detect thoughts
8–11 Scrying, telepathic bond Discern lies, locate creature
12–15 Greater arcane sight, greater scrying Find the path, true seeing
16+ Foresight, prediction of failure Discern location, moment of prescience

Benefit(s): The monster cannot be surprised while it is conscious and able to take actions.

Draconic Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Burning hands, cause fear Jump, true strike
4–7 Fly, haste Draconic reservoir, scare
8–11 Overland flight, spell resistance Dragon’s breath, fear
12–15 Form of the dragon II, spell turning Form of the dragon I, symbol of fear
16+ Form of the dragon III, wish Foresight, power word stun

Benefit(s): The monster’s AC and flat-footed AC increase by 2. In addition, the monster gains resistance 5 to your choice of acid, cold, electricity, or fire.

Earth Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Expeditious excavation, magic stone Acid splash, resistance
4–7 Meld into stone, stone shape Acid arrow, soften earth and stone
8–11 Transmute mud to rock, transmute rock to mud Spike stones, wall of stone
12–15 Elemental body IV (earth only), wall of iron Major creation, move earth
16+ Elemental swarm (earth only), imprisonment Earthquake, iron body

Benefit(s): The monster gains acid resistance 5. At CR 12, increase the resistance to 10. At CR 16, the monster gains acid immunity.

Electricity Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Expeditious retreat, shocking grasp Flare, obscuring mist
4–7 Call lightning, lightning bolt Elemental touch (electricity only), elemental aura (electricity only)
8–11 Call lightning storm, empowered lightning bolt Ball lightning, dragon’s breath (electricity only)
12–15 Chain lightning, quickened lightning bolt Control weather, form of the dragon II (blue or bronze only)
16+ Empowered chain lightning, empowered quickened lightning bolt Form of the dragon III (blue or bronze only), power word stun

Benefit(s): The monster gains electricity resistance 5. At CR 12, increase the resistance to 10. At CR 16, the monster gains electricity immunity.

Elemental Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Burning hands, produce flame Ray of frost, resistance
4–7 Fireball, lightning bolt Scorching ray, sleet storm
8–11 Control winds, elemental body II Elemental body I, ice storm
12–15 Elemental body IV, fire storm Elemental body III, freezing sphere
16+ Elemental swarm, meteor swarm Empowered chain lightning, summon monster VIII (elementals only)

Benefit(s): The monster gains one of the following: a fly speed of 60 feet with average maneuverability, a burrow speed of 30 feet, a 30-foot increase to its base speed, or a swim speed of 60 feet.

Enchantment Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Charm person, sleep Daze, hypnotism
4–7 Hideous laughter, hold person Suggestion, touch of idiocy
8–11 Dominate person, feeblemind Charm monster, confusion
12–15 Insanity, mass suggestion Mass hold person, power word blind
16+ Irresistible dance, power word kill Binding, power word stun

Benefit(s): The monster gains either Bluff or Diplomacy as an additional master skill.

Evil Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Bane, inflict light wounds Bleed, protection from good
4–7 Bestow curse, Magic circle against good Darkness, ghoul touch
8–11 Dispel good, slay living Inflict critical wounds, unholy blight
12–15 Blasphemy, destruction Harm, mass inflict moderate wounds
16+ Power word kill, summon monster IX (evil only) Power word stun, unholy aura

Benefit(s): The monster’s attacks count as evil for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Evocation Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Burning hands, magic missile Light, ray of frost
4–7 Fireball, lightning bolt Scorching ray, shatter
8–11 Cone of cold, empowered fireball Ice storm, wall of fire
12–15 Delayed blast fireball, , quickened fireball Chain lightning, maximized lightning bolt
16+ Quickened ice storm, meteor swarm Polar ray, sunburst

Benefit(s): The monster adds 1/2 its CR to the damage dealt with evocation spells it casts.

Fey Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Charm person, entangle Dancing lights, faerie fire
4–7 Deep slumber, suggestion Glitterdust, hideous laughter
8–11 Baleful polymorph, tree stride Dimension door, poison
12–15 Insanity, phase door Mislead, transport via plants
16+ Shambler, shapechange Irresistible dance, scintillating pattern

Benefit(s): Increase the saving throw DCs of any compulsion spell the monster casts by 2.

Fire Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Burning hands, heat metal Flare, produce flame
4–7 Empowered burning hands, fireball Flame blade, flaming sphere
8–11 Empowered fireball, flame strike Fire shield, wall of fire
12–15 Elemental body IV (fire only), quickened fireball Fire seeds, fire storm
16+ Elemental swarm (fire only), meteor swarm Empowered fire storm, incendiary cloud

Benefit(s): The monster gains fire resistance 5. At CR 12, increase the resistance to 10. At CR 16, the monster gains fire immunity.

Glory Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Bless, sanctuary Guidance, resistance
4–7 Daylight, searing light Aid, bless weapon
8–11 Dispel evil, flame strike Dismissal, holy smite
12–15 Holy sword, holy word Blade barrier, undeath to death
16+ Gate, overwhelming presence Earthquake, holy aura

Benefit(s): The monster gains a +4 bonus on saves against fear.

Good Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Bless, protection from evil Guidance, virtue
4–7 Magic circle against evil, prayer Cure moderate wounds, hold person
8–11 Dispel evil, plane shift Cure critical wounds, holy smite
12–15 Holy word, summon monster VII* Blade barrier, heal
16+ Storm of vengeance, summon monster IX (good creatures only) Holy aura, summon monster VIII*

Benefit(s): The monster’s attacks count as good for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Healing Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Cure light wounds, sanctuary Stabilize, virtue
4–7 Cure serious wounds, remove disease Cure moderate wounds, shield other
8–11 Breath of life, mass cure light wounds Cure critical wounds, neutralize poison
12–15 Mass cure serious wounds, regenerate Heal, mass cure moderate wounds
16+ Quickened breath of life, mass heal Quickened cure critical wounds, mass cure critical wounds

Benefit(s): The monster gains Diplomacy or Heal as an additional master skill.

Illusion Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Color spray, silent image Disguise self, ghost sound
4–7 Displacement, major image Invisibility, minor image
8–11 Mirage arcana, persistent image Greater invisibility, phantasmal killer
12–15 Quickened displacement, mass invisibility Shadow walk, veil
16+ Shades, weird Greater shadow evocation, scintillating pattern

Benefit(s): Increase the saving throw DCs of any illusion spells the monster casts by 1.

Infernal Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Burning hands, protection from good Charm person, flare
4–7 Fireball, suggestion Daze monster, scorching ray
8–11 Dominate person, empowered fireball Charm monster, wall of fire
12–15 Blasphemy, greater teleport Quickened fireball, mass suggestion
16+ Dominate monster, meteor swarm Empowered maximized fireball, power word stun

Benefit(s): The monster gains fire resistance 5 and a +2 bonus on saving throws against poison. At CR 9, the fire resistance increases to 10 and the bonus on saving throws against poison increases to +4.

Knowledge Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Anticipate peril, true strike Alarm, comprehend languages
4–7 Arcane sight, clairaudience/clairvoyance Detect thoughts, locate object
8–11 Commune, true seeing Divination, locate creature
12–15 Contact other plane, vision Find the path, legend lore
16+ Foresight, prediction of failure Discern location, moment of prescience

Benefit(s): The monster gains two Knowledge skills of your choice as additional master skills.

Law Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Command, protection from chaos Cause fear, stabilize
4–7 Dispel magic, Magic circle against chaos Calm emotions, enthrall
8–11 Dispel chaos, greater command Dimensional anchor, order’s wrath
12–15 Dictum, power word blind Banishment, hold monster
16+ Power word kill, summon monster IX (law only) Shield of law, power word stun

Benefit(s): The monster’s attacks count as lawful for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Liberation Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Expeditious retreat, remove fear Feather fall, open/close
4–7 Fly, remove curse Knock, remove paralysis
8–11 Break enchantment, overland flight Freedom of movement, extended haste
12–15 Ethereal jaunt, refuge Quickened fly, greater dispel magic
16+ Freedom, wish Quickened freedom of movement, mind blank

Benefit(s): The monster gains Escape Artist as an additional master skill.

Luck Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Entropic shield, true strike Daze, feather fall
4–7 Dispel magic, prayer Aid, protection from energy
8–11 Bestow curse, break enchantment Freedom of movement, serenity
12–15 Quickened dispel magic, spell turning Dismissal, mislead
16+ Foresight, miracle Antimagic field, moment of prescience

Benefit(s): Increase all the monster’s saving throw bonuses by 1.

Madness Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Cause fear, lesser confusion Daze, touch of fatigue
4–7 Major image, rage Hideous laughter, touch of idiocy
8–11 Nightmare, phantasmal killer Confusion, crushing despair
12–15 Insanity, mass suggestion Feeblemind, mind fog
16+ Dominate monster, weird Irresistible dance, scintillating pattern

Benefit(s): The monster gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against mind-affecting effects.

Magic Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Magic missile, silent image Detect magic, read magic
4–7 Dispel magic, hold person Invisibility, scorching ray
8–11 Spell resistance, teleport Imbue with spell ability, lesser globe of invulnerability
12–15 Mage’s sword, spell turning Antimagic field, forceful hand
16+ Mage’s disjunction, time stop Clenched fist, protection from spells

Benefit(s): The monster gains a +2 bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance.

Metal Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Lead blades, shocking grasp Disguise weapon, magic weapon
4–7 Heat metal, molten orb Chill metal, pellet blast
8–11 Rusting grasp, major creation Heart of the metal, wreath of blades
12–15 Transmute metal to wood, wall of iron Chain lightning, instant summons
16+ Iron body, repel metal or stone Mage’s disjunction, polymorph any object

Benefit(s): The monster increases one of its speeds by 10 feet.

Nature Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Entangle, shillelagh Charm animal, obscuring mist
4–7 Call lightning, sleet storm Flame blade, heat metal
8–11 Call lightning storm, wall of thorns Flame strike, ice storm
12–15 Antilife shell, control weather Fire seeds, wall of stone
16+ Shambler, summon nature’s ally IX Earthquake, finger of death

Benefit(s): The monster ignores difficult terrain caused by non-magical natural terrain.

Necromancy Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Chill touch, ray of enfeeblement Bleed, touch of fatigue
4–7 Ray of exhaustion, vampiric touch Blindness/deafness, scare
8–11 Animate dead, bestow curse Contagion, enervation
12–15 Finger of death, waves of exhaustion Circle of death, eyebite
16+ Energy drain, wail of the banshee Quickened enervation, horrid wilting

Benefit(s): The monster gains the channel energy option (negative energy only).

Nobility Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Bless, command Bane, sanctuary
4–7 Bestow curse, summon monster III Enthrall, shield other
8–11 Greater command, summon monster V Discern lies, freedom of movement
12–15 Repulsion, summon monster VII Geas/quest, word of recall
16+ Overwhelming presence, storm of vengeance Demand, mass cure critical wounds

Benefit(s): The monster gains Diplomacy or Sense Motive as an additional master skill.

Plant Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Entangle, summon nature’s ally I (plant only) Goodberry, pass without trace
4–7 Plant growth, spike growth Tree shape, warp wood
8–11 Tree stride, wall of thorns Command plants, summon nature’s ally IV
12–15 Animate plants, changestaff Fire seeds, repel wood
16+ Maximized fire seeds, shambler Control plants, summon nature’s ally VIII

Benefit(s): The monster ignores difficult terrain caused by non-magical natural terrain.

Protection Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Hold portal, sanctuary Alarm, resistance
4–7 Dispel magic, protection from energy Resist energy, shield other
8–11 Dismissal, spell resistance Dimensional anchor, spell immunity
12–15 Globe of invulnerability, repulsion Antimagic field, greater dispel magic
16+ Prismatic sphere, wall of suppression Mind blank, prismatic wall

Benefit(s): Increase all the monster’s saving throw bonuses by 1.

Repose Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Deathwatch, ray of enfeeblement Cause fear, chill touch
4–7 False life, scare Gentle repose, speak with dead
8–11 Death ward, slay living Enervation, fear
12–15 Circle of death, destruction Undeath to death, waves of fatigue
16+ Power word kill, wail of the banshee Finger of death, waves of exhaustion

Benefit(s): The monster gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against death spells and effects.

Rune Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Alarm, erase Arcane mark, protection from chaos/evil/good/law
4–7 Arcane lock, glyph of warding Dispel magic, symbol of mirroring
8–11 Lesser planar binding, symbol of pain Explosive runes, symbol of slowing
12–15 Symbol of stunning, symbol of weakness Greater glyph of warding, symbol of fear
16+ Symbol of strife, symbol of vulnerability Symbol of death, symbol of insanity

Benefit(s): Choose one energy type. The monster gains resistance 5 to that type of damage. At CR 12, increase the resistance to 10. At CR 16, increase the resistance to 20.

Sonic Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Command, ear-piercing scream Ghost sound, message
4–7 Enthrall, silence Shatter, sound burst
8–11 Song of discord, zone of silence Shout, empowered sound burst
12–15 Maximized shout, quickened silence Greater shout, sympathetic vibration
16+ Maximized greater shout, power word kill Power word stun, quickened shout

Benefit(s): The monster gains sonic resistance 5. At CR 12, increase the resistance to 10. At CR 16, the monster gains sonic immunity.

Stealth Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Disguise self, obscuring mist Flare, silent image
4–7 Displacement, nondetection Darkness, invisibility
8–11 Mage’s private sanctum, seeming Dimension door, greater invisibility
12–15 Sequester, shadow walk Greater teleport, mislead
16+ Screen, time stop Extended widened deeper darkness, quickened greater invisibility

Benefit(s): The monster gains Stealth as an additional master skill.

Strength Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Enlarge person, gust of wind Cure light wounds, resistance
4–7 Haste, hold person Rage, weapon of awe
8–11 Interposing hand, telekinesis Blessing of fervor, spell immunity
12–15 Destruction, grasping hand Forceful hand, stoneskin
16+ Crushing hand, implosion Clenched fist, earthquake

Benefit(s): Increase the monster’s Strength modifier by 1. At CR 12, increase it by 2 instead. At CR 16, increase it by 3 instead.

Sun Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Burning hands, endure elements Flare, light
4–7 Daylight, searing light Heat metal, scorching ray
8–11 Flame strike, empowered searing light Fire shield, flame arrow
12–15 Empowered flame strike, sunbeam Fire seeds, maximized fireball
16+ Meteor swarm, prismatic sphere Fire storm, sunburst

Benefit(s): Increase the saving throw DC of any spell the monster casts from this spell list by 1.

Transmutation Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Enlarge person, expeditious retreat Animate rope, reduce person
4–7 Haste, slow Alter self, levitate
8–11 Baleful polymorph, polymorph Beast shape II, mass reduce person
12–15 Giant form I, greater polymorph Disintegrate, flesh to stone
16+ Form of the dragon III, shapechange Iron body, polymorph any object

Benefit(s): Increase any one of the monster’s physical ability score modifiers by 1. At CR 12, increase that modifier by 2 instead.

Travel Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Jump, longstrider Expeditious retreat, open/close
4–7 Fly, gaseous form Knock, levitate
8–11 Overland flight, teleport Dimension door, freedom of movement
12–15 Greater teleport, plane shift Find the path, shadow walk
16+ Astral projection, gate Ethereal jaunt, phase door

Benefit(s): Increase the monster’s movement speed by 10 feet.

Trickery Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Disguise self, lesser confusion Ghost sound, mage hand
4–7 Gaseous form, nondetection Invisibility, minor image
8–11 Greater invisibility, mind fog Confusion, dimension door
12–15 Mass hold person, veil Mass suggestion, mislead
16+ Foresight, time stop Mass charm monster, mass invisibility

Benefit(s): The monster gains Bluff or Stealth as an additional master skill.

Undead Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Chill touch, ray of enfeeblement Bleed, touch of fatigue
4–7 Animate dead, vampiric touch Command undead, ghoul touch
8–11 Magic jar, quickened ray of enfeeblement Enervation, waves of fatigue
12–15 Control undead, create undead Circle of death, maximized vampiric touch
16+ Create greater undead, energy drain Horrid wilting, wail of the banshee

Benefit(s): The monster gains DR 5/— against nonlethal damage. At CR 8, the DR increases to 10/—.

War Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Cause fear, true strike Magic weapon, resistance
4–7 Prayer, searing light Grace, spiritual weapon
8–11 Flame strike, slay living Blessing of fervor, spiritual ally
12–15 Destruction, power word blind Blade barrier, harm
16+ Implosion, power word kill Earthquake, power word stun

Benefit(s): Increase the monster’s attack bonus for all attacks by 1.

Water Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Hydraulic push, obscuring mist Ray of frost, touch of the sea
4–7 Gaseous form, stinking cloud Chill metal, fog cloud
8–11 Cone of cold, wall of ice Ice storm, solid fog
12–15 Control water, elemental body IV (water only) Fluid form, freezing sphere
16+ Elemental swarm (water only), storm of vengeance Horrid wilting, summon nature’s ally VIII

Benefit(s): The monster gains cold resistance 5. At CR 12, increase the resistance to 10. At CR 16, the monster gains cold immunity.

Weather Spell List

CR Band Primary Spells Secondary Spells
0–3 Obscuring mist, summon nature’s ally I Faerie fire, shocking grasp
4–7 Call lightning, wind wall Gust of wind, sound burst
8–11 Call lightning storm, ice storm Air walk, sleet storm
12–15 Control weather, wind walk Control winds, quickened lightning bolt
16+ Storm of vengeance, summon nature’s ally IX Fire storm, whirlwind

Benefit(s): The monster gains electricity resistance 5. At CR 12, increase the resistance to 10. At CR 16, the monster gains electricity immunity.

Step 7: Monster Options

Options are the main way to specialize your monster. They represent feats, universal monster rules, magic items, and all the other abilities a monster has at its disposal beyond its statistics. There are a large number of monster options to choose from, especially compared to the number of choices you make during the other steps of the simple monster creation process. Some are active abilities (such as those that give the monster a special attack), others adjust statistics (such as the power attack option, which has the same purpose as the Power Attack feat), and still others grant conditional modifiers (such as combat casting’s bonus to concentration checks). Unless specified otherwise, saving throw DCs in this section use the Ability DC from the monster’s array, modified by the monster’s grafts.

Sidebar: Universal Monster Abilities

Some options listed in this section grant a monster the use of a universal monster ability. Often these refer to the entry in the standard rules, sometimes with notes on how to simplify the ability. When a universal monster rule is gained through this system, use the ability DC from the monster’s array instead of calculating the DC by the formula listed in the rule’s entry in the Bestiary.

If you want to give a particular universal monster rule to a monster, look for it in the lists below. Most universal monster rules that aren’t appropriate for player races appear in the section of monstrous combat rules.

Simplified Rules

The following universal monster rules have been recreated as options in this system, typically to simplify them or give concrete values for numbers that aren’t defined in the original universal monster rule.

These rules are: bleed, blood drain, breath weapon, channel resistance, constrict, damage reduction, disease, distraction, energy drain, engulf, fast healing, frightful presence, immunity, incorporeal, natural attacks, poison, poisonous blood, powerful charge, rake, regeneration, rend, rock Throwing, sound mimicry, spell resistance, stench, telepathy, trample.

Substitutions

Some universal monster rules are very similar to other combat options, but the combat options use a different name because they’re meant to be easier to understand with a quick look. The following list describes these, and shows in parentheses the name of the monster option to use instead: ability drain (ability damage), all-around vision (unflankable), blood rage (rage), fear (fear aura/fear attack), grab (improved combat maneuver), natural invisibility (constant invisibility), powerful blows (power attack), pull (repositioning attack), push (repositioning attack), resistance (energy resistance), rock catching (rock throwing), spell-like abilities (either the spellcaster array or the secondary magic universal option), summon (summon allies).

Unmodified Rules

Most universal monster rules not mentioned elsewhere in this sidebar can be used as written. Unless they have a major effect on the monster’s combat abilities, it’s not worth counting them against the suggested number of options the monster can take. Senses, for example, are not covered in this section, and can be used as-is without costing the monster any options. Assume that weaknesses (such as light blindness or vulnerabilities) also fall into this category and can be used unmodified.

Other universal rules that can be used without modification, but which should be counted against the monster’s number of options are attach, burn, capsize, change shape, curse of lycanthropy, fast swallow, ferocity, fortification, gaze, pounce, web (using the monster’s CR as its Hit Dice to determine the web’s hit points), whirlwind.

Table: Monster Options
Name Type
Ability damage Combat
Accuracy Combat
Alertness Social
Animal talker Social
At-will magic Magic
Athletic Universal
Aura of resistance Social
Awesome blow Combat
Bestow major condition Magic
Bestow minor condition Magic
Bestow moderate condition Magic
Bleed Combat
Blind-fight Combat
Blood drain Combat
Bolstering presence Social
Bolstering touch Magic
Bombs Combat
Breath weapon Combat
Burn Combat
Bypass DR Magic
Challenge Combat
Channel destruction Magic
Channel energy Magic
Channel resistance Combat
Children of the night Magic
Combat casting Magic
Combat reflexes Combat
Combatant’s touch Combat
Confusion aura Combat
Constrict Combat
Constant invisibility Combat
Contingent spell Magic
Corrupting gaze Combat
Corrupting touch Combat
Countersong Magic
Create spawn Combat
Critical striker Combat
Curse of lycanthropy Combat
Damage Reduction Combat
Damaging body Combat
Defense breaker Combat
Deflect projectiles Combat
Demoralize foes Social
Diehard Combat
Dimensional steps Magic
Disease Combat
Distraction Combat
Dodge expert Combat
Draining touch Combat
Dread Social
Energy drain Combat
Energy explosion Magic
Energy infusion Magic
Energy resistance Combat
Engulf Combat
Evasion Combat
Evil eye Magic
Extra armor Combat
Extra attack Combat
Extra hit points Combat
Far shot Combat
Fascinate Social
Fast feint Combat
Fast healing Combat
Fast reload Combat
Favored enemy Combat
Fear attack Combat
Fear aura Combat
Firearm savvy Combat
Fling Combat
Flying acumen Universal
Fortune Magic
Frightful presence Combat
Gaseous form Combat
Healing touch Magic
Heroic recovery Social
Immunity Combat
Improved combat maneuver Combat
Improved initiative Combat
Incorporeal Combat
Incorporeal form Magic
Inspire competence Social
Inspire courage Social
Inspire fear Social
Inspire heroics Social
Knowledgeable Social
Liar Social
Linguist Social
Mage killer Combat
Mage punisher Combat
Magic attack Magic
Magic weapon Universal
Magical aptitude Magic
Malevolence Combat
Mercantile savvy Social
Metamagic spell Magic
Misfortune Magic
Mobile attack Combat
Mobility Combat
Mounted master Combat
Mutagen Magic
Negative healing Combat
Paralysis Combat
Paralyzing touch Combat
Persuasive Social
Phantom mount Magic
Poison Combat
Poisonous blood Combat
Potent healing Magic
Potent magic damage Magic
Potions Universal
Power attack Combat
Powerful charge Combat
Powerful summons Magic
Precise shot Combat
Protective ward Magic
Quivering palm Combat
Rage Combat
Rake Combat
Regeneration Combat
Rejuvenation Combat
Remove major condition Magic
Remove minor condition Magic
Remove moderate condition Magic
Rend Combat
Repositioning attack Combat
Rock throwing Combat
Sacrilegious aura Magic
Save boost Universal
Secondary magic Universal
Slaying attack Combat
Slippery mind Social
Smite Magic
Snatch Combat
Sneak attack Combat
Sound mimicry Social
Spell combat Magic
Spell penetration Magic
Spell resistance Combat
Spellstrike Magic
Spontaneous casting Magic
Stalwart Combat
Stench Combat
Stun attack Combat
Summon allies Universal
Swap places Combat
Team fighter Combat
Telepathy Social
Terrain stride Universal
Trample Combat
Transfer hit points Magic
Trap squares Combat
Turn undead Magic
Uncanny dodge Combat
Undead mastery Magic
Unflankable Combat
Vampiric attack Combat
Weakening presence Social
Whirlwind attack Combat

Choosing Monster Options

Look at the number of monster options you’re supposed to choose based on the monster’s array and grafts. You should have a list saying how many to pick of each category. When you pick an option, write down the option’s name and effects. Adjust any statistics the option’s entry tells you to. After you’ve selected all the monster options you’re supposed to, look at the list carefully. Does the monster do everything it needs to do? Does it seem like it has too few or too many options? Using your best judgment, add or remove options as necessary.

Categories: Monster options are divided into four categories: combat, magic, social, and universal.

Combat options are the most numerous, and most monsters the PCs are meant to face in battle should have at least one combat option. These options are subdivided to make them easier to choose based on the monster’s theme, though you can choose from any combat option subcategory. Decide whether the monster is primarily cunning, powerful, quick, or tough, and look in that subcategory first. These subcategories correspond roughly to physical ability scores—Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution, respectively. One additional category, monstrous, lists options that are rarely appropriate for monsters of PC races, such as energy drain or regeneration.

Magic options benefit monsters that cast spells, and are typically useful only to those with the spellcaster array or the secondary magic universal monster option. They also include some options that mimic PC class features of a magical nature. These options are divided into the creature, offensive, support, and versatile subcategories.

Social options give a monster advantages in interactions with other creatures. These are divided into the inspiration and miscellaneous subcategories. The inspiration subcategory includes mostly effects that bolster morale or cause fear.

Universal options can be chosen as though they were listed in any category. This means you can use a combat, magic, social, or “any” option to take a universal option.

“Any” Options: When a graft or array tells you to choose “any” option, you can take an option from the combat, magic, social, or universal category.

Feats: If you’re looking to replicate a certain feat, look for its name in Table: Monster Options. Note that many monster options use the same names as feats but have different mechanical effects. This is intentional. The power attack option adjusts the monster’s statistics once, applying an effect similar to the Power Attack feat, but making it simpler to use rather than having you choose each time the monster attacks. In a case like this, if you prefer to have the added complexity and flexibility, you can use the feat’s rules instead.

Universal Monster Abilities: As with feats, many of these options mimic but simplify universal monster rules. Other monster rules, such as senses, can be used as-is and aren’t repeated in this section. See the sidebar if you’re looking for a specific universal monster rule.

Duplicate Options: Generally speaking, you can choose an ability more than once when it makes sense and is useful. For example, you might give a monster the extra attack option twice because it fights with two weapons, one of which is a speed weapon. Use your best judgement to determine whether it’s a good idea to do so.

Damage: Many options say to use the high or low attack or damage value from the monster’s array. Use the values from the high or low weapon attack and damage columns, not the natural attack values (even if the option is more like a natural attack thematically). You can choose to use a lower value if the ability would deal too much damage otherwise.

Combat Options

Though these options are geared primarily toward combatants, consider giving every monster at least one combat option, unless you intend the monster to never fight in any battle.

Cunning

Thematically, monsters with higher mental ability modifiers are the most likely to have cunning combat options.

Ability Damage: Attacks by this monster deal 1d2 points of damage to one ability score. This can apply to all the monster’s attacks, apply only to its weapons, or function as a melee touch attack. This damage increases to 1d4 at CR 5, 1d6 at CR 10, 1d8 at CR 15, and 2d6 at CR 20. Alternatively, the attack can deal damage to two ability scores, but uses the damage value for a creature 5 CR lower. The attack could instead deal ability drain (rather than ability damage), but uses the damage value for a creature 5 CR lower.

Blind-Fight: The monster rolls miss chances due to concealment twice and takes the higher result.

Bombs: As a standard action, the monster creates a bomb and throws it with a range of 20 feet. Use the throw splash weapon special attack. On a direct hit, the bomb deals fire damage equal to the monster’s low weapon damage, using 3d6 damage dice. Splash damage is 6 + 1/2 the monster’s CR.

Challenge: Once per day as a swift action, the monster can challenge one target within sight. The monster gains a bonus on melee damage rolls equal to its CR (minimum 1) against that creature, but takes a –2 penalty to AC against attacks made by creatures other than the target. The target remains challenged until it is killed, falls unconscious, or the combat ends. The monster can use this ability three times per day at CR 5, and at will at CR 14.

Combatant’s Touch: As a standard action, the monster can touch a creature to grant that creature a bonus equal to 1 + 1/2 the monster’s CR on melee attack rolls. Additionally, choose one physical ability modifier. This bonus applies on combat maneuver checks, skill checks, and ability checks that use that ability modifier.

Constant Invisibility: Because of its natural appearance or an exterior effect, such as a cloak of invisibility, this monster is invisible at all times. If this ability is used below CR 10, it should be for monsters that aren’t focused on combat.

Fast Feint: The monster can attempt a Bluff check to feint as a move action.

Favored Enemy: Choose a creature type, or a single subtype of humanoid or outsider. The monster gains a +2 bonus on attack and damage rolls against creatures of that type. Increase the bonus and number of creature types chosen based on the monster’s CR: +4 and two types at CR 4, +6 and three types at CR 9, +8 and four types at CR 14, and +10 and five types at CR 19.

Improved Combat Maneuver: Choose a type of combat maneuver. The monster doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity when using that maneuver, its CMB for that type of maneuver increases by 4, and its CMD increases by 4 against that type of maneuver. You can choose one of the monster’s attack types. If you do, whenever the monster hits with an attack of that type, it can automatically attempt a combat maneuver of the type chosen with this option.

Mage Killer: The DC to cast defensively when threatened by this monster increases by 4. Casters that fail attempts to cast defensively provoke attacks of opportunity from this monster.

Mage Punisher: Whenever an enemy within the monster’s reach successfully casts a spell defensively, that enemy provokes an attack of opportunity from the monster after the spell is complete.

Poison: The monster uses poison with its attacks, either through a natural weapon or by applying the poison to a particular manufactured weapon. The target of a successful attack with the chosen weapon must attempt a Fortitude save to resist the poison. The basic poison is type injury, onset 1 minute, frequency 1/minute for 6 minutes, effect 1d2 points of damage to any one ability score (chosen when the monster gains this option), cure 1 save. Choose two of the following additional advantages, plus one advantage for every 3 CR the monster possesses: decrease onset to —, change the frequency to 1/round for 6 rounds, increase the ability damage to 1d3 points of damage (this option can be chosen multiple times to increase the damage to 1d4, 1d6, and 1d8), damage an additional ability score (using the same damage die as the primary ability damage effect), increase the cure to 2 consecutive saves.

Repositioning Attack: When it hits a creature of its size or smaller with a certain type of attack, the monster can immediately attempt a reposition combat maneuver check to push or pull that creature. Its CMB for this check increases by 4. The distance the monster pushes or pulls the creature can increase under certain conditions, such as if the monster has special appendages.

Sneak Attack: When flanking or attacking a foe denied its Dexterity bonus to AC, this monster deals an additional 1d6 points of damage. This damage increases by 1d6 for every 2 CR the monster possesses. Decrease the base damage of the monster’s attacks by 2 points for every 1d6 of sneak attack it has.

Team Fighter: The monster gains a +2 bonus on attack and damage rolls against targets that are threatened by one of the monster’s allies (other than itself ). This bonus increases by 1 for every 4 CR the monster possesses.

Trap Squares: The monster can trap any square adjacent to it as a standard action. Any creature that enters the trapped square takes an amount of damage equal to 1d6 + 1/2 the monster’s CR of a damage type chosen by the monster while setting the trap. The trap is invisible and lasts for a number a rounds equal to the monster’s CR. It can be found with a successful DC 25 Perception check and disarmed with a successful DC 25 Disable Device check. The monster can create three traps per day; at CR 10, this increases to five traps per day. This ability can be used for mundane or magical traps. For mundane traps, choose bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage; for magical traps, choose acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage.

Unflankable: The monster can’t be flanked.

Monstrous Abilities

These abilities are typically supernatural or inhuman in nature. If a monster is meant to be more like an NPC—and especially if it uses a PC race—avoid choosing monstrous combat options.

Blood Drain: This monster deals Constitution damage as the ability damage option, but does so automatically at the end of the monster’s turn to any creature it’s grappling.

Breath Weapon: The monster gains a breath weapon that deals 1d6 points of damage + 1d6 per CR. A target can attempt a Reflex saving throw to take half damage. If the breath weapon is a cone, it’s 30 feet long, increasing by 10 feet for each size category above Medium, and decreasing by 5 feet for every size category below Medium. If the breath weapon is a line, its area of effect is twice as long as a cone would be.

Channel Resistance: The monster gains channel resistance +4.

Confusion Aura: Any creature that comes within 30 feet of the monster must attempt a Will save (DC = the monster’s ability DC – 5). If it fails, it is confused for a number of rounds equal to the monster’s CR. If it succeeds, it can’t be affected again by this aura for 24 hours. The range increases to 60 feet at CR 10 and to 120 feet at CR 20.

Corrupting Gaze: The monster has a gaze attack (as the universal monster rule) with a range of 30 feet. The attack deals 2d10 points of damage and 1d4 points of Charisma damage. A successful Fortitude save negates the Charisma damage.

Corrupting Touch: A monster must be incorporeal to have this ability. The monster can make a touch attack. If it hits, the target supernaturally ages and takes 1d6 points of damage per CR the monster possesses (Fortitude half ). Targets immune to magical aging are immune to this damage.

Create Spawn: The monster can create spawn out of those it slays. The victim rises from death as the kind of monster that created it in 1d4 days and is under the command of the monster that created it, remaining enslaved until its master’s destruction. The monster can have enslaved spawn whose HD total no more than 2 × the monster’s CR; any spawn it creates that would exceed this limit become free-willed. The monster can free an enslaved spawn in order to create a new enslaved spawn, but once freed, a creature cannot be enslaved again.

Curse of Lycanthropy: The monster bears the curse of lycanthropy. When the monster is in animal or hybrid form and hits a humanoid target with a bite attack, the target must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC = the monster’s ability DC – 5) or become infected by the curse. If the target’s size category is not within one size category of the lycanthrope’s, this ability has no effect.

Damaging Body: When the monster is hit with an unarmed strike or melee weapon without reach, the attacker takes an amount of damage equal to 1d6 + 1/2 the monster’s CR. Choose an appropriate damage type for this option, such as fire if the monster’s body is burning or piercing if it’s covered in spines.

Disease: One of the monster’s attacks causes disease unless the target succeeds at a Fortitude save. The basic disease has onset 1d3 days, frequency 1/day, effect 1 point of damage to any one ability score (chosen when the monster gains this option), cure 2 consecutive saves. Choose two of the following additional advantages, plus one advantage for every 5 CR the monster has: decrease the onset to 1 day (can be chosen multiple times to reduce the onset to 1 hour, then to —), change the frequency to 1 hour, increase the effect to 1d3 points of damage (this option can be chosen multiple times to further increase the damage to 1d4, then to 1d6), damage an additional ability score (using the same amount of damage as the primary ability damage effect), or change the cure to —.

Distraction: A creature damaged by this monster is nauseated for 1 round (Fort negates).

Draining Touch: The monster can make a melee touch attack as though it had the ability damage option dealing ability drain. Each time the monster drains an ability score in this way, it heals 5 points of damage to itself.

Energy Drain: This monster bestows 1 negative level with its attacks (or attacks of a particular type) and gains 5 temporary hit points for each negative level bestowed. The number of negative levels bestowed increases to 2 at CR 10 and 3 at CR 20.

Engulf: This functions as the universal monster rule, but uses the monster’s ability DC from its array. The monster can either deal its high weapon damage to engulfed creatures, or deal its low weapon damage and inflict one of the following conditions: bleed (as the option), blinded (Fort negates), deafened, energy drain (as the option; see above), frightened (Will negates), nauseated (Fort negates), or paralyzed (Fort negates).

Fast Healing: This monster regains 2 hit points per round. This healing increases to 5 hit points per round at CR 4, 10 at CR 11, 15 at CR 16, and 20 at CR 21.

Fear Attack: This ability functions as the fear aura option, but requires a standard action to activate, uses the monster’s full ability DC, and affects creatures in a cone, burst, or ray. If used as a ray, it affects only one creature and requires a ranged touch attack to affect the creature. The size of the effect appears on the table below.

CR Cone Burst Ray
0–9 60 ft. 30 ft. 120 ft.
10–19 120 ft. 60 ft. 240 ft.
20+ 240 ft. 120 ft. 480 ft.

Fear Aura: Any creature that comes within 30 feet of the monster must attempt a Will save (DC = the monster’s ability DC – 5). If it fails, it is panicked for a number of rounds equal to the monster’s CR; if it succeeds, it is shaken for 1 round. The range increases to 60 feet at CR 10 and 120 feet at CR 20.

Fling: When the monster has a creature grappled, it can fling that creature as a standard action. The flung creature travels 1d6 × 10 feet and takes 1d6 points of damage per 10 feet traveled. If the monster can fly, it can instead fling the creature as a free action while airborne. If it does, the flung creature takes damage as specified above or the appropriate falling damage, whichever is greater.

Frightful Presence: This ability functions as fear aura (see above), but affected creatures are shaken for 15 rounds (or panicked if they have 4 or fewer HD). This ability doesn’t affect creatures of a level equal to or higher than the monster’s CR + 4, and a creature that succeeds at its save can’t be affected by the monster’s frightful presence for 24 hours.

Gaseous Form: As a standard action, the monster can use gaseous form at will, and it can remain in this form indefinitely. While it does, it has a fly speed of 20 feet with perfect maneuverability.

Incorporeal: This functions as the universal monster rule, without adjusting AC, attack bonuses, or CMB.

Malevolence: Once per round, the monster can attempt to merge its body with a creature within its reach. The target can resist the attack with a successful Will save. A target that succeeds at its save becomes immune to the monster’s malevolence for 24 hours. This ability is similar to magic jar, except that it doesn’t require a receptacle.

Negative Healing: The monster heals damage instead of taking damage from negative energy.

Paralysis: The monster’s attacks paralyze a target for 1d2 rounds unless it succeeds at a Fortitude save. For every 3 CR, improve this ability by increasing the number of rounds (to 1d3, 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, and finally 2d6). At CR 18, targets are paralyzed for 1 round even on a success.

Paralyzing Touch: The monster gains a touch attack. A living creature hit by this attack must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC = the monster’s ability DC – 5) or be permanently paralyzed. Remove paralysis or any spell that can remove a curse can free the victim. The effect cannot be dispelled. Anyone paralyzed by this attack seems dead, though a successful DC 20 Perception check or a successful DC 15 Heal check reveals that the creature is still alive.

Poisonous Blood: This functions as the poison option, but affects any creature that confirms a critical hit against the monster using a piercing or slashing melee weapon (unless the weapon has reach).

Rake: If the monster begins its turn grappling a creature, it can make two free claw attacks on its turn against that creature, dealing its low weapon damage. If it has pounce, it also gains these rake attacks when it pounces.

Regeneration: This functions as the fast healing option, but the monster can’t die while its regeneration still functions. Choose two or more damage types (typically acid and fire damage); these types suppress the regeneration for 1 round.

Rejuvenation: Once destroyed or killed, the monster restores itself after a set period of time (typically 1d10 days). The specific means for permanently destroying the monster and the time it takes before reforming vary between monsters.

Rock Throwing: The monster can throw and catch rocks. The thrown rock is a ranged attack with a range increment of 120 feet, and deals the monster’s low weapon damage. Once per round as a free action, the monster can catch a rock that would hit it, taking no damage.

Snatch: When the monster is grappling a creature three or more size categories smaller than itself that it grabbed after hitting with a bite or claw attack, it deals damage as though it had hit with the attack again each time it successfully rolls to maintain the grapple. If the monster’s holding a creature in its mouth, that creature can’t save against the monster’s breath weapon (if any). The monster can fling a creature it has snatched as though it had the fling option (see above). A monster must have the improved combat maneuver (grab) option to select this option.

Stench: Any living creature within 30 feet of the monster must succeed at a Fortitude save or be sickened for 10 rounds. Creatures that succeed can’t be affected by the monster’s stench for 24 hours. Stench counts as a poison for effects that resist or remove poisons.

Vampiric Attack: Once per day, the monster can leech health from one target as a melee touch attack or as a ranged touch attack with a range of 30 feet. This deals 1d6 points of damage per CR the monster possesses (Fortitude half ). The monster gains temporary hit points equal to the amount of damage dealt.

Powerful

These options are most appropriate for monsters with high Strength or that rely on overwhelming physical attacks.

Awesome Blow: As a standard action, the monster can attempt an awesome blow combat maneuver. If it succeeds, the target takes damage as if it had been hit by one of the monster’s attacks, is knocked 10 feet in a direction of the monster’s choice, and falls prone. The target must be moved in a straight line; if it hits an obstacle, both it and the obstacle take 1d6 points of damage.

Bleed: The monster’s attacks deal 1d6 points of bleed damage. This increases to 1d8 at CR 6, 1d10 at CR 11, 2d6 at CR 16, and 3d6 at CR 21. Bleeding can be stopped by a successful DC 15 Heal check or with any magical healing.

Burn: This uses the same damage values as the bleed option (see above), but deals fire damage and requires the target to succeed at a Reflex save or catch fire.

Constrict: Whenever this monster succeeds at a grapple combat maneuver, it deals its high weapon damage.

Critical Striker: The monster gains a +4 bonus on rolls to confirm critical hits. This monster also doubles its critical threat range with one of its attacks.

Defense Breaker: When this monster hits an opponent, that opponent is flat-footed for the next attack made against it. If the monster makes a full-round attack, this takes effect after all its attacks and affects all targets hit.

Power Attack: The monster’s main attack uses the low attack value, but deals 50% more damage.

Powerful Charge: The monster’s charge attacks deal 50% more damage.

Quivering Palm: Once per day, the monster can use this option when it makes an attack against a target that is not immune to critical hits. On a hit, the target is affected by the monster’s quivering palm. At any point within a number of days equal to the monster’s CR, the monster can force the target to attempt a Fortitude save (DC = the monster’s ability DC – 5). The target dies on a failure, and ends the quivering palm effect on a successful one.

Rage: This monster can fly into a rage as a free action, either at its choice (as the barbarian class feature) or on the turn after it takes damage in combat (as the blood rage universal monster rule). While raging, the monster gains additional hit points equal to double its CR, and deals 3 extra points of damage on Strength-based attacks. The monster also gains a +2 bonus on Will saves and takes a –2 penalty to AC. The rage lasts until the end of the battle or for 1 minute, whichever comes first.

CR 10: The monster instead gains hp equal to triple its CR, deals 4 extra points of damage on Strength-based attacks, and gains a +3 bonus on Will saves.

CR 19: The monster instead gains hp equal to quadruple its CR, deals 6 extra points of damage on Strength-based attacks, and gains a +4 bonus on Will saves.

Rend: If the monster hits the same target with two or more attacks in 1 round, it rends—dealing its high weapon damage. It can do this once per round.

Slaying Attack: Once per day as a standard action, the monster can make a single attack that can kill a creature outright. On a hit, the attack deals normal damage and the target must succeed at a save or die. The type of save is either Fortitude or Will, chosen when the monster gains this option. This option typically appears only on monsters of CR 19 or higher.

Stun Attack: The monster can make one of its attacks a stun attack once per round. On a hit, the target takes damage normally and must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC = the monster’s ability DC – 5) or become stunned for 1 round. A creature is immune to this ability if it is a construct, ooze, plant, or undead, or if it is incorporeal or immune to critical hits. The monster can use this option a number of times per day equal to its CR.

Trample: The monster can automatically overrun creatures smaller than itself as a full-round action. It automatically deals its high weapon damage to each creature it runs over in this way (dealing damage only once per round to any given creature). A creature being trampled can either attempt an attack of opportunity at a –4 penalty or attempt a Reflex save (DC = 2 × the monster’s ability DC – 10) to take half damage.

Quick

Monsters with high Dexterity tend to take quick combat options, many of which increase mobility.

Accuracy: Increase the monster’s attack bonuses by 2.

Combat Reflexes: The monster can make up to five attacks of opportunity each round, and can make attacks of opportunity while flat-footed.

Deflect Projectiles: When not flat-footed, the monster deflects one ranged attack per round.

Dodge Expert: Increase the monster’s AC by 2 and its touch AC by 4. Decrease its flat-footed AC by 6.

Evasion: When the monster succeeds on a Reflex saving throw against an effect that normally deals half damage on a successful save, the monster instead takes no damage. At CR 8, it also takes only half damage if it fails its save.

Extra Attack: The monster gains one additional melee or ranged attack at its highest bonus, but reduces its attack bonus by 2 with all attacks of that type. Use this option for monsters that use two-weapon fighting.

Far Shot: Double all the monster’s range increments and reduce the monster’s penalties on ranged attacks from range increments by half.

Fast Reload: The monster can reload a ranged weapon that normally takes a move or standard action to reload as a free action. When it reloads a ranged weapon, it doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity.

Firearm Savvy: The monster’s firearm attacks target touch AC when firing beyond the first range increment. As a move action, the monster can remove the broken condition from a firearm caused by a misfire.

Improved Initiative: Increase the monster’s initiative bonus by 4.

Mobile Attack: The monster can move its speed and make an attack (either melee or ranged, chosen when the monster gains this option) at any point during its movement as a full-round action. The monster can use this ability with any of its movement modes.

Mobility: The monster gains a +4 bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity.

Mounted Master: The monster deals double damage on a mounted charge, halves its penalties on ranged attacks for being mounted, and grants its mount a +4 bonus to AC.

Precise Shot: When making a ranged attack, the monster ignores the –4 penalty for attacking an opponent engaged in melee as well as the target’s AC bonuses from cover and concealment (except total cover or total concealment).

Swap Places: The monster can swap positions with an adjacent ally as a move action without provoking attacks of opportunity.

Uncanny Dodge: The monster can’t be caught flat-footed.

Whirlwind Attack: The monster can make an attack against each creature within reach at its highest attack bonus as a full attack.

Tough

High-Constitution monsters beef up their resistance to being hurt with tough combat options.

Damage Reduction: The monster gains damage reduction. Cross-reference the monster’s CR band and the type of damage that bypasses the reduction to find the value of the monster’s DR on the table below. For DR that requires more than one damage type to bypass, the DR equals the lower value – 5. (If this reduces it to 0, this type of DR is probably too strong.)

CR Type* Material Magic Alignment None
0–5 5 5 5 5 1
6–10 10 10 10 5 3
11–15 15 15 10 10 5
16–20 20 20 20 15 10
21+ 30 30 30 20 15

* A bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing weapon.

Diehard: When reduced to below 0 hit points, this monster automatically stabilizes and can remain conscious.

Energy Resistance: The monster gains resistance 10 against two energy types. For every 5 CR the monster has, increase the amount of energy resistance by 5, or increase the number of resistances by one. For example, a CR 17 monster might have three resistances at 10 or two resistances at 15.

Extra Armor: Increase the monster’s AC by 2 and its flat-footed AC by 4. Decrease its touch AC by 6. Reduce the monster’s speed by 10 feet if this change comes from manufactured armor.

Extra Hit Points: Increase the monster’s hit point total by 20%.

Immunity: The monster gains immunity from one energy type, affliction, condition, or spell of your choice, plus one additional immunity for every 5 CR it has.

Spell Resistance: The monster gains spell resistance equal to its CR + 11.

Stalwart: When the monster succeeds at a Fortitude or Reflex saving throw against an effect that normally has a reduced effect on a successful save, the monster instead avoids the effect entirely. At CR 8, it also takes only the reduced effect if it fails its save.

Magic Options

These options are primarily useful to spellcasters, though combatants and experts blessed with magic can take them.

Creature

These options improve a monster’s ability to bring minion creatures into the fight.

Children of the Night: Once per day as a standard action, the monster can call forth 1d6+1 rat swarms, 1d4+1 bat swarms, or 2d6 wolves. (If the monster is not terrestrial, it might summon other creatures of similar power.) These creatures arrive in 2d6 rounds and serve the monster for 1 hour.

Phantom Mount: Once per hour, the monster can summon a horse similar to a phantom steed. This mount is more substantial than a typical phantom steed, and can carry one additional rider. The mount’s powers are based on the monster’s total CR rather than caster level.

Powerful Summons: Increase the duration of the monster’s conjuration (summoning) spells by a number of rounds equal to the monster’s CR. Any creature summoned by such a spell also gains temporary hit points equal to 1/2 the monster’s CR and a +2 bonus on damage rolls.

Undead Mastery: As a standard action, the monster can choose one undead creature within 50 feet. That creature must succeed at a Will save or fall under the monster’s control. This control is permanent for unintelligent undead; an undead creature with an Intelligence score can attempt an additional saving throw each day to break free. A creature that succeeds at its saving throw cannot be affected again by the same monster’s undead mastery for 24 hours. A monster can control a number of undead creatures with a combined CR equal to its own CR. If this limit is exceeded, the excess undead become uncontrolled in order from longest-controlled to most recently controlled.

Offensive

These magic options are most useful for aggressive monsters that use their spells to deal damage.

Bestow Major Condition: As a standard action, the monster makes a melee touch attack against one creature it can reach. On a hit, the target gains the condition (dazed, paralyzed, or stunned) that was chosen when the monster gained this option. Each round, the target can attempt a Will save (DC = the monster’s ability DC – 5) to end the condition.

Bestow Minor Condition: As a standard action, the monster makes a melee touch attack against one creature it can reach. On a hit, the target gains the condition (dazzled, deafened, fatigued, shaken, or sickened) that was chosen when the monster gained this option. Each round, the target can attempt a Will save (DC = the monster’s ability DC – 5) to end the condition.

Bestow Moderate Condition: As a standard action, the monster makes a melee touch attack against one creature it can reach. On a hit, the target gains the condition (blinded, exhausted, frightened, or nauseated) that was chosen when the monster gained this option. Each round, the target can attempt a Will save (DC = the monster’s ability DC – 5) to end the condition.

Bypass DR (Damage Reduction): The monster’s attacks count as being magic, of a particular alignment, or of a particular material for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Each time the monster gains this option, choose two from the following: adamantine, chaotic, cold iron, evil, good, lawful, magic, or silver.

Channel Destruction: Choose one energy type: acid, cold, electricity, or fire. The monster’s weapon attacks deal an additional 1d6 points of damage of the chosen type for every 4 CR the monster has.

Energy Explosion: Choose one of the following: acid, cold, electricity, fire, force, or sonic. Once per day as a standard action, the monster can create a 20-foot-radius burst of energy within 60 feet. This deals an amount of damage equal to 1d6 + the monster’s CR of the chosen type to all creatures in the burst. A successful Reflex save halves the damage.

Energy Infusion: Choose one of the following: acid, cold, electricity, fire, force, or sonic. Each time the monster uses a spell, spell-like ability, or supernatural ability that deals energy damage, it can choose to change the energy damage type dealt by that ability to the chosen type instead.

Evil Eye: As a standard action, the monster chooses one creature within 30 feet that it can see. The target takes a –2 penalty on either ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, or to AC for 1 minute. If the target succeeds at a Will save, the effect lasts for 1 round instead.

Magic Attack: As a standard action, the monster makes a ranged touch attack against one creature within 30 feet of it. On a hit, the attack inflicts the monster’s high weapon damage of one of the following types (chosen when the monster gains this option): bludgeoning, cold, electricity, fire, force, piercing, slashing, or sonic. For force damage, use the low damage value instead of high damage value.

Misfortune: As a standard action, the monster targets one creature within 30 feet. The next time the target attempts an ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check before the end of the monster’s next turn, the target must roll twice and use the lower result.

Potent Magic Damage: Choose a spell subschool or descriptor, such as fire or phantasm). The monster’s spells and spell-like abilities of the chosen type deal an additional 1 point of damage per damage die.

Sacrilegious Aura: The monster emits an aura of intense evil and negative energy in a 30-foot radius. The aura functions as the desecrate spell cast on an altar. In addition, any creature that attempts to use a positive energy effect in this area must succeed at a concentration check or the positive energy has no effect.

Smite: Choose chaotic, evil, good, or lawful. With one attack per day, the monster can deal additional damage equal to its CR against a creature of the chosen type. The number of uses per day increases by one for every 3 CR the monster has.

Spell Combat: The monster’s attacks use the low attack value, but when it makes a full attack the monster can also cast any spell it knows that has a casting time of 1 standard action.

Spell Penetration: The monster gains a +2 bonus on caster level checks to overcome a creature’s spell resistance. At CR 11, the bonus increases to +4.

Spellstrike: Whenever the monster casts a spell with a range of touch, it can deliver the spell as part of a melee attack. The monster makes the melee attack in place of the spell’s touch attack. On a hit, the attack deals normal damage and the spell takes effect.

Turn Undead: As a standard action, this monster forces each undead creature within 30 feet of it to attempt a Will save (DC = the monster’s ability DC – 5). On a failed saving throw, the target flees from the monster for 1 minute as if panicked. Intelligent undead receive a new saving throw each round to end the effect.

Support

These magical benefits protect, heal, or improve the abilities of the monster or its allies.

Bolstering Touch: As a standard action, the monster can touch a creature to grant it a bonus equal to 1 + 1/2 the monster’s CR on attack rolls, skill checks, ability checks, and saving throws for 1 round.

Channel Energy: As a standard action, the monster releases a burst of energy that affects either all living creatures or all undead creatures in a 30-foot radius. The burst either deals 1d6 points of damage (from negative energy) or heals 1d6 points of damage (from positive energy). A creature that would take damage from this effect can attempt a Will save (DC = the monster’s ability DC – 5) to halve the damage. A monster can use this option 8 times per day. Increase the damage or healing by 1d6 per 2 CR.

Combat Casting: The monster gains a +6 bonus on concentration checks.

Countersong: The monster can attempt a Perform skill check. It and each ally within 30 feet of it can use the result of this check in place of saving throws to resist sonic, language-dependent, illusion (pattern), and illusion (figment) effects.

Fortune: As a standard action, the monster grants good luck to one creature within 30 feet of it. The next time the target attempts an ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check before the end of the monster’s next turn, the target can reroll and must use the second result.

Healing Touch: As a standard action (or a swift action if it targets itself ), the monster touches itself or one living creature it can reach. The target heals 1d6 hit points of damage for every 2 CR the monster has (minimum 1d6) and removes one condition of the monster’s choice. If the monster targets an undead creature, it must make a melee touch attack. On a hit, the target takes damage instead of being healed. The monster can use this option 5 times per day.

Potent Healing: Whenever the monster heals hit point damage using a spell, spell-like ability, or supernatural ability, it heals a number of additional hit points equal to its CR. This doesn’t apply to dealing damage to undead using positive energy, but does apply to using negative energy to heal undead.

Protective Ward: As a standard action, the monster emits a field of protective magic that extends from it in a 10-foot radius. The monster and each allied creature in the area gains a +2 bonus to AC until the end of the monster’s next turn.

Remove Major Condition: As a standard action, the monster can touch a creature to remove the blinded, paralyzed, or stunned condition. It can use this ability on itself as a swift action.

Remove Minor Condition: As a standard action, the monster can touch a creature to remove the dazzled, deafened, fatigued, shaken, or sickened condition. It can use this ability on itself as a swift action.

Remove Moderate Condition: As a standard action, the monster can touch a creature to remove the dazed, exhausted, frightened, or nauseated condition. It can use this ability on itself as a swift action.

Transfer Hit Points: As an immediate action, the monster can transfer hit points from either itself to an ally or an ally to itself; choose one when taking this option. The number of hit points it can transfer in this way is equal to its CR + 5.

Versatile

Most of these abilities grant more spellcasting abilities or reflect the monster’s deep understanding or clever manipulation of magical forces.

At-Will Magic: Choose one spell of 0 or 1st level that does not heal damage. The monster can cast this spell at will.

Contingent Spell: Choose one spell of the monster’s CR band or lower. This spell comes into effect on the monster under a particular condition you specify (such as “when an enemy attempts to attack the monster” or “when the monster is targeted by an enchantment spell”). This ability can trigger once per day. The spell chosen is in addition to any spells the monster gains from being a spellcaster or having the secondary magic option.

Dimensional Steps: As a standard action, the monster teleports to an open space it can see within 150 feet of it.

Incorporeal Form: Once per day, this monster gains the incorporeal option for 1 minute.

Magical Aptitude: When attempting a Spellcraft or Use Magic Device check, the monster rolls twice and takes the higher result.

Metamagic Spell: Choose one metamagic feat and one spell the monster knows. That spell gains the benefit of the chosen metamagic feat once per day.

Mutagen: Choose one of the following benefits:

Spontaneous Casting: The monster can spontaneously replace its normal spells with spells of the same level of a particular type. Choose cure spells, inflict spells, summon nature’s ally spells, or any type of spell that has one spell per level in a similar fashion. Spontaneously casting a spell in this way uses up the daily use of a spell. A monster must have the spellcaster array to gain this option.

Social Options

Monsters with the expert array are the most adept with social options, though a charming swashbuckler (combatant) or an inspiring priest (spellcaster) could also benefit from one.

Inspiration

These abilities manipulate mental states to either hinder enemies or boost allies. Many of them are more applicable in combat than other social options.

Aura of Resistance: Choose two effect descriptors (such as fear or charm). Allies within 10 feet of the monster gain a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against effects with those descriptors.

Bolstering Presence: As a standard action, the monster emits an aura that extends from it in a 30-foot radius and lasts for 1 minute. Any allied creature in the aura gains a +2 bonus on ability checks, attack rolls, damage rolls, and skill checks.

Demoralize Foes: As a full-round action, the monster can attempt an Intimidate check to demoralize all enemies within 30 feet of it. When the monster reduces a creature to 0 or fewer hit points, it can use this ability as a free action.

Dread: As a standard action, the monster causes each creature it chooses within 30 feet of it to become shaken for 1 minute. This option doesn’t cause a shaken creature to become frightened or frightened creature to become panicked.

Fascinate: As a standard action, the monster forces any number of creatures within 90 feet of it that can see, hear, and pay attention to it to make a Will save (DC = the monster’s ability DC – 5). On a failure, a target becomes fascinated for 1 minute or until it sees someone make a hostile move such as drawing a sword or casting a spell. If successful, the target is immune to this ability for 24 hours.

Heroic Recovery: Once per day, the monster can grant itself and every ally within 60 feet an additional saving throw against one effect affecting it.

Inspire Competence: As a standard action, the monster grants a +5 competence bonus on skill checks using a particular skill to one ally within 30 feet of it that can hear it. The effect ends if the monster is killed, knocked unconscious, paralyzed, or otherwise unable to use a free action to continue the inspiration each round.

Inspire Courage: As a standard action, the monster grants a +1 competence bonus on attack rolls and weapon damage rolls and a +1 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects to every ally that can hear it. The bonuses increase to +2 at CR 4, +3 at CR 10, and +4 at CR 16. At CR 6, the monster can start this effect as a free action. The effect ends if the monster is killed, knocked unconscious, paralyzed, or otherwise unable to use a free action to continue the inspiration each round. Inspire Fear: As a standard action, the monster forces each enemy creature within 30 feet of it that can hear it to attempt a Will saving throw. On a failure, the target becomes frightened and must flee from the monster’s presence for 1 minute or until it can no longer hear the monster. If successful, the target becomes immune to this effect for 24 hours.

Inspire Heroics: As a standard action, the monster and one willing ally within 30 feet of it gain a +4 morale bonus on saving throws and a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 minute. The effect ends if the monster is killed, knocked unconscious, paralyzed, or otherwise unable to use a free action to continue the inspiration each round.

Weakening Presence: The monster emits an aura that extends from it in a 30-foot radius. Any enemy creature in the aura takes a –2 penalty on ability checks, attack rolls, damage rolls, and skill checks. A target can attempt a Will save (DC = the monster’s ability DC – 5) when it starts its turn in the aura. If successful, the target is immune to this aura’s effect for 24 hours.

Miscellaneous

These options primarily factor into interactions other than combat. Most of them are good for creating adversaries who present a noncombat challenge or for quickly generating NPC allies with useful abilities.

Alertness: When attempting a Perception or Sense Motive check, the monster rolls twice and takes the higher result.

Animal Talker: The monster can speak with animals, and gains Handle Animal as an additional master skill.

Knowledgeable: When attempting any Knowledge check, the monster rolls twice and takes the higher result.

Liar: When attempting a Bluff, Disguise, or Stealth skill check, the monster rolls twice and takes the higher result. The monster’s lies can’t be detected by magic unless the one attempting to detect them succeeds at a caster level check (DC = 15 + the monster’s CR).

Linguist: The monster speaks, reads, and understands all languages.

Mercantile Savvy: When attempting an Appraise check, the monster rolls twice and takes the higher result. In addition, the monster can attempt to identify magic items without casting detect magic, using Appraise instead of Spellcraft. If the monster fails, it can’t attempt to identify the same item again.

Persuasive: When attempting a Charisma-based skill check, the monster rolls twice and takes the higher result.

Slippery Mind: If the monster would be affected by an enchantment spell or effect and fails its saving throw, it can repeat the saving throw attempt 1 round later.

Sound Mimicry: The monster can perfectly mimic sounds, and possibly voices. It gains Bluff as an additional master skill, and can attempt a Bluff check opposed by its targets’ Sense Motive checks to mimic a sound convincingly. The target takes a –8 penalty if it’s unfamiliar with the type of sound or creature being imitated.

Telepathy: The monster can mentally communicate with any creature within 100 feet that has a language.

Universal Options

A universal option can be taken in place of any option granted by an array or graft, regardless of the intended option type. These abilities are suitable for multiple arrays and roles.

Athletic: When attempting an Acrobatics, Climb, or Swim check, the monster rolls twice and takes the higher result.

Flying Acumen: This monster gains hover (as the monster feat) and gains Fly as an additional master skill.

Magic Weapon: The monster uses a magic weapon. Choose one of the following benefits to apply to its attacks with that weapon.

Bane: +2d6 points of damage against creatures of a specified type.

Energy: +1d6 points of energy damage (choose one type).

Keen: Double critical threat range.

Returning: Weapon returns if thrown (thrown only).

Seeking: Negates miss chances (ranged only).

Vicious: +2d6 points of damage, and also deals 1d6 points of damage to the monster on a hit (melee only). If the monster is CR 10 or higher, you can also choose from the following.

Aligned: +2d6 points of damage against creatures of a specified alignment (choose chaotic, evil, good, or lawful).

Energy Burst: +1d6 points of energy damage and an additional 1d10 points of damage on a critical hit (choose one type). To imitate a speed or wounding weapon, use extra attack or bleed, respectively, and apply them only to attacks with the weapon.

Potions: The monster has two potions of cure light wounds, which cure 1d8+1 hit points each. At CR 5, these are potions of cure moderate wounds healing 2d8+3 hit points, and at CR 10 they’re potions of cure serious wounds healing 3d8+5 hit points.

Save Boost: Increase the monster’s saving throw bonuses by 1, or increase any one of its saving throw bonuses by 3.

Secondary Magic: Though this monster isn’t primarily a spellcaster, it does have several spells or spell-like abilities. Choose any spell list. The monster can use each of that list’s primary spells of its CR band once per day. This ability can also be used to give a spellcaster extra spell-like abilities to fit its monster type.

Summon Allies: This monster can attempt to summon monsters of the same creature type as itself as a full-round action. Choose either a creature of the same CR as the monster (with a 35% chance of success) or a creature with a CR no greater than the monster’s – 5 (with a 60% chance of success). The summoned ally returns to the place from which it came after 1 hour.

Terrain Stride: Choose a type of terrain, such as undergrowth, ice, or rubble. The monster can move through non-magical terrain of that type without impairing its movement or taking damage.

Step 8: Skills

Skill bonuses in simple monster creation are divided into two categories: good and master. A good skill is one the monster has a significant bonus in, representing what would normally come from a moderate ability modifier and a decent number of skill ranks. A master skill is one the monster is incredibly talented with, representing a high ability modifier, full skill ranks, and possibly a significant racial bonus.

Any skills that don’t have a good or master rating default to the monster’s appropriate ability modifier. Monsters automatically use the good modifier for Perception without needing to spend a good skill slot on it, though they can still increase this by taking Perception as a master skill.

Assigning Skills

Your monster’s array—and potentially its grafts, spell list boons, and Options—will tell you how many good and master skills to assign that monster. You should assign whatever feels right during this step. You might decide that an especially scholarly spellcaster monster should have more master skills than normal, or that you want to follow the construct array’s guidelines and forgo giving your construct any good or master skills at all. In any case, the total number of skills you choose should be within one or two of the suggested numbers.

Mark down all the skills the monster has and indicate their bonuses. Use the bonus as written—don’t add the monster’s ability modifier on top of it. For instance, a CR 9 combatant has a +7 for its highest ability modifier and a +17 for its master skill bonus. If you assigned the monster’s highest ability modifier to Strength and picked Climb as a master skill, the monster would still get only a +17 bonus on Climb checks, not a +24.

Choosing Skills

Picking a monster’s skills should be simple. Typically, a monster should have master skills that match its highest ability modifiers. For example, if you have a monster with a high Dexterity modifier, consider Acrobatics, Escape Artist, and Stealth when choosing its master skills. If you find yourself unsure of which skills to give a monster, or if you draw a blank after selecting a few especially important ones, you can skip the rest of the skills step.

A table listing the skills appears below for easy reference. To make it faster to select a monster’s spells, the table is divided into the most useful combat skills in the left-hand column and all other skills in the right-hand column. Combatants typically choose only combat skills.

Combat Skills

Acrobatics
Climb
Escape Artist
Fly
Heal
Intimidate
Perception*
Ride
Sleight of Hand
Stealth
Stealth
Swim
Use Magic Device

Noncombat Skills

Appraise
Bluff
Craft
Diplomacy
Disable Device
Disguise
Handle Animal
Knowledge (arcana)
Knowledge (dungeoneering)
Knowledge (engineering)
Knowledge (geography)
Knowledge (history)
Knowledge (local)
Knowledge (nature)
Knowledge (nobility)
Knowledge (planes)
Knowledge (religion)
Linguistics
Perform
Profession
Sense Motive
Survival

* Perception defaults to the good modifier for all monsters.

Step 9: Damage

Each weapon and type of natural attack has a damage dice value associated with it. The values in the monster arrays from Step 1 give only the total amount of damage each attack deals. Assigning the right damage dice to each of a monster’s attacks helps make it fit more naturally with the rest of the game’s rules. For damage dice for natural attacks, reference Table 3–1: Natural Attacks by Size.

Assigning Damage

For each of the monster’s attacks, cross-reference the total amount of damage dealt with its appropriate die size on the table below. This will assign a value of damage dice to roll plus a flat modifier to the damage. Use these dice and modifiers to roll the attack’s damage.

For example, if you have a CR 5 combatant using a weapon, its high damage value for a single attack is 11. If you give it a short sword (which deals 1d6 points of damage), you’d check the 9–11 row against the 1d6 column to get 1d6+7.

Giving A Monster More Attacks

If a monster needs more attacks than the array allows, calculate the damage yourself. Start by combining the damage values in the monster’s array: a monster that deals 20 points of damage with two natural attacks should deal 40 points of damage total. If the monster has a large number of secondary attacks (which are less likely to hit), increase the total damage value by 25% or 50%. Finally, divide the total among all attacks before using the table. You don’t have to distribute it evenly if some attacks should deal less damage.

If you want to increase both the number of attacks and damage output, use the extra attack option instead.

Table: Damage Dice Values
Damage 1d4 1d6 1d8 1d10 1d12 2d6 3d6
4–5 1d4+2 1d6+1 1d8+0 1d10–1 1d12–2 2d6–3 3d6–5
6–8 1d4+5 1d6+4 1d8+3 1d10+2 1d12+1 2d6+0 3d6–2
9–11 1d4+8 1d6+7 1d8+6 1d10+5 1d12+4 2d6+3 3d6+1
12–14 1d4+11 1d6+10 1d8+9 1d10+8 1d12+7 2d6+6 3d6+4
15–17 1d4+14 1d6+13 1d8+12 1d10+11 1d12+10 2d6+9 3d6+7
18–20 1d4+17 1d6+16 1d8+15 1d10+14 1d12+13 2d6+12 3d6+10
21–23 1d4+20 1d6+19 1d8+18 1d10+17 1d12+16 2d6+15 3d6+13
24–26 1d4+23 1d6+22 1d8+21 1d10+20 1d12+19 2d6+18 3d6+16
27–29 1d4+26 1d6+25 1d8+24 1d10+23 1d12+22 2d6+21 3d6+19
30–32 1d4+29 1d6+28 1d8+27 1d10+26 1d12+25 2d6+24 3d6+22
33–35 1d4+32 1d6+31 1d8+30 1d10+29 1d12+28 2d6+27 3d6+25
36–38 1d4+35 1d6+34 1d8+33 1d10+32 1d12+31 2d6+30 3d6+28
39–41 1d4+38 1d6+37 1d8+36 1d10+35 1d12+34 2d6+33 3d6+31
42–44 1d4+41 1d6+40 1d8+39 1d10+38 1d12+37 2d6+36 3d6+34
45–47 1d4+44 1d6+43 1d8+42 1d10+41 1d12+40 2d6+39 3d6+37
48–50 1d4+47 1d6+46 1d8+45 1d10+44 1d12+43 2d6+42 3d6+40
51–53 1d4+50 1d6+49 1d8+48 1d10+47 1d12+46 2d6+45 3d6+43
54–56 1d4+53 1d6+52 1d8+51 1d10+50 1d12+49 2d6+48 3d6+46
57–59 1d4+56 1d6+55 1d8+54 1d10+53 1d12+52 2d6+51 3d6+49
60–62 1d4+59 1d6+58 1d8+57 1d10+56 1d12+55 2d6+54 3d6+52
63–65 1d4+62 1d6+61 1d8+60 1d10+59 1d12+58 2d6+57 3d6+55
66–68 1d4+65 1d6+64 1d8+63 1d10+62 1d12+61 2d6+60 3d6+58
69–71 1d4+68 1d6+67 1d8+66 1d10+65 1d12+64 2d6+63 3d6+61
72–74 1d4+71 1d6+70 1d8+69 1d10+68 1d12+67 2d6+66 3d6+64
75–77 1d4+74 1d6+73 1d8+72 1d10+71 1d12+70 2d6+69 3d6+67
78–80 1d4+77 1d6+76 1d8+75 1d10+74 1d12+73 2d6+72 3d6+70
81–83 1d4+80 1d6+79 1d8+78 1d10+77 1d12+76 2d6+75 3d6+73
84–86 1d4+83 1d6+82 1d8+81 1d10+80 1d12+79 2d6+78 3d6+76
87–89 1d4+86 1d6+85 1d8+84 1d10+83 1d12+82 2d6+81 3d6+79
90–92 1d4+89 1d6+88 1d8+87 1d10+86 1d12+85 2d6+84 3d6+82
93–95 1d4+92 1d6+91 1d8+90 1d10+89 1d12+88 2d6+87 3d6+85
96–98 1d4+95 1d6+94 1d8+93 1d10+92 1d12+91 2d6+90 3d6+88
99–101 1d4+98 1d6+97 1d8+96 1d10+95 1d12+94 2d6+93 3d6+91

Monster Creation Examples

To show the end result of the simple monster creation process described in this section, this section shows existing monsters recreated using this system.

Extended Example: Medusa

This long-form example gives a detailed breakdown of monster creation from start to finish, resulting in a new medusa archer. This illustrates the steps of the process, and shows how to think about creating a monster using this variant system. Throughout, it compares the new medusa to the standard version.

Monster Concept

The GM wants to create a monster much like the traditional medusa: a humanlike creature with serpents for hair and the ability to turn her enemies to stone. He also wants to make her a skilled archer and focus on that set of abilities. He wants to use the medusa at the same level that she’d normally appear, so he chooses CR 7 (and the medusa’s Hit Dice are treated as 7 as well). He knows some other basic details: the medusa is a lawful evil monstrous humanoid, her size is Medium, and she has a base speed of 30 feet.

Step 1: Array

This medusa should be a formidable enemy, so the GM chooses the combatant array. He fills out her statistics from the CR 7 entry on Table: Combatant Main Statistics. She has AC 22, touch 13, flat-footed 16. Her saving throw bonuses are: Fortitude +8, Reflex +8, and Will +6. Her CMD is 24, and she has 93 hit points. The GM makes a note of all these statistics, and won’t need to change any of them unless a later graft or option alters them.

Next, the GM makes a note of the remaining values he’ll be deciding on later. The monster’s special abilities will have a DC of 15. He doesn’t plan to give her spells, so he skips the spell DC column. Since he’s already pretty sure how he wants the medusa’s ability modifiers to shake out, he gives her a +6 Dexterity modifier, a +4 Constitution modifier, and a +2 Charisma modifier. Her initiative ends up being +6, matching her Dexterity modifier. He marks down that he’ll later pick one master skill with a +15 modifier and two good skills with +12 modifiers. In Step 7, he’ll also pick one combat option and one option from any category.

The last things to record from the arrays are the medusa’s attacks. He wants her to be best at ranged attacks, so he uses the high weapon attack column for a longbow attack, marking down attack bonuses of +13/+8 and noting that he’ll later pick a value adding up to 22 points of damage. For her melee attacks, she uses the snakes that make up her hair, and the GM decides that she uses the low weapon attacks table since she’s primarily focused on ranged attacks. He marks down a +10/+5 attack bonus that deals 16 points of damage.

Her attacks and damage are significantly stronger than those of the monster in the Bestiary. The GM decides to leave them this way for now, planning to compensate by weakening some of her other abilities in later steps.

Step 2: Creature Type or Class Graft

Since the medusa is a monstrous humanoid, the GM applies the automatic traits for that creature type graft, giving her darkvision 60 feet. After toying with using the ranger class graft, he decides that doesn’t really fit with his concept for the monster. Instead, he uses the monstrous humanoid graft, increasing the medusa’s Reflex to +10 and Will to +8, and increasing her attack bonuses to +12/+7 for her snake hair attack and +15/+10 for the longbow. He looks at the elective adjustment of one additional good skill and decides not to give her the extra good skill.

Steps 3–6: Skipped Steps

The medusa doesn’t need a subtype, isn’t based on a template, is size Medium, and doesn’t have spells, so the GM skips steps 3 through 6. Most monsters created using this system will skip at least one or two steps of the monster creation process.

Step 7: Monster Options

The GM is sure that he wants the medusa to have a petrifying gaze attack. Because the gaze option uses the same rules as the preexisting universal monster rule, the GM writes down a gaze with a 30-foot range that turns targets to stone permanently. He uses the ability DC from the combatant array: 15. This ability uses up the medusa’s one combat option, leaving her with one option from any category.

The GM adds poison to the snake bite attack, and decides that the medusa can apply it to her arrows too. Choosing the poison option gives him the base statistics of the poison plus two advantages, plus an additional two advantages since the medusa is CR 7. He ends up with a poison that is: type injury, frequency 1/round for 6 rounds, effect 1d3 Str, cure 2 consecutive saves. This is pretty close to the poison in the Bestiary, though with a lower DC, which is what the GM wants. Though an ability such as all-around vision could be replicated by giving the medusa unflankable as a bonus monster option, the GM decides against that to help compensate for the medusa’s stronger attacks.

Step 8: Skills

The medusa will have one master skill and two good skills. The GM picks Perception as the master skill instead of leaving it at its default of good, since that fits an archer. The medusa now has Perception +15. For the good skills, he wants one social skill and one physical skill that uses the medusa’s Dexterity, so he gives her Intimidate +12 and Stealth +12.

Step 9: Damage

The longbow attack will deal a total of 22 points of damage, using a d8 damage die (since it’s a longbow). The GM finds the 21–23 row and 1d8 column on Table: Damage Dice Values, learning that the attack should deal 1d8+18 points of damage. Thinking about it further, the GM wants to roll more damage dice, just to make the monster’s damage a little more variable and sort of like the Manyshot feat. So instead, he uses 2d8+12. The melee attack will deal 16 points of damage using a d4, which turns out to be 1d4+14.

Reality Check

Looking back over the monster, the GM thinks that the petrifying gaze plus the powerful attacks make the medusa too powerful. He decides that the part that seems strangest is the damage, particularly since the medusa uses a longbow and gets to deal poison with all her attacks. He decides to trim the damage down as though the medusa were 2 CR lower. The longbow attack now deals 2d8+6 points of damage, and the snake bite deals 1d4+8 points of damage.

Example Medusa CR/HD 7

XP 3,200; LE monstrous humanoid
Init
+6; Senses Perception +15 (darkvision 60 ft.)
Size
Medium; Speed 30 ft.

DEFENSES

AC 22 (touch 13, flat-footed 16)
Fort +8, Ref +10, Will +10; CMD 24
hp 93

OFFENSE

Melee snake bite +12/+7 (1d4+8 plus poison)
Ranged longbow (range 100 ft.) +15/+10 (2d8+6/×3 plus poison)
Attack Options (DC 15) petrifying gaze (turn to stone permanently, 30 ft., Fort negates), poison (type injury, frequency 1/round for 6 rounds, effect 1d3 Str, cure 2 consecutive saves); CMB +13

STATISTICS

Dex +6, Con +4, Cha +2; Intimidate +12, Stealth +12

Other Monster Examples

The following sections re-create monsters found in the Bestiary. Many of them are variants on the initial creatures, meant to mimic creatures with class levels or alternate ability sets. Each entry includes a breakdown of the significant choices made for the monster, discounting simple procedures such as selecting the attacks and damage for a monster that don’t deviate from its array numbers. After each breakdown, the monster’s statistics appear in a new format unique to this book, as described in the sidebar above.

The monsters are presented in order from simplest to most complex. Some of the monsters that appear early on—particularly combatants—have a high CR but simple abilities, so they’re still easy to create.

The monster statistics presented in this section use an alternate format meant to make important monster abilities easier to find. It removes the listings of any monster options or abilities that only increase existing values. For example, the extra armor option wouldn’t be listed because the new AC values are already implemented.

In addition, each statistic block is divided into defenses, attacks, and statistics, with options and spells that fit into those categories appearing in the appropriate section. For example, instead of all a monster’s spells appearing in one list, its offensive spells appear under attacks, and its defensive spells appear under defenses.

Worg Design Notes

The worg is easy to create since it’s a simple monster.

Array: The worg is a combatant. As a feral, vicious creature, it has a high Strength. The GM also decides that the worg should have an Intelligence modifier lower than 0.

Creature Type: As a magical beast, the worg gains darkvision and low-light vision as automatic traits. Because it doesn’t have a class graft, it also gains the statistics adjustments, increasing its Fortitude from +3 to +5, its Reflex from +3 to +5, and its attack bonus from +4 to +6.

Options: The worg gets one combat option, and gains improved combat maneuver (trip).

Skills: Because it’s not a very smart creature, the worg’s two good skills are both physical, but it gains Perception as its master skill.

Worg CR/HD 2

XP 600; NE magical beast
Init +2; Senses Perception +10 (darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision)
Size Medium; Speed 50 ft.

DEFENSES

AC 16 (touch 12, flat-footed 12)
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +1; CMD 16 (20 vs. trip)
hp 22

OFFENSE

Melee bite +6 (1d6+7 plus improved combat maneuver [trip]); CMB +4 (+8 trip)

STATISTICS

Str +3, Dex +2, Con +1, Int –2; Stealth +7, Survival +7

Mastodon Design Notes

As a big, dumb creature, the mastodon requires only a few adjustments despite its high CR.

Array: The mastodon uses the combatant array. The GM adjusts its ability modifiers to +9, +4, and –1 instead of +7, +4, and +3 to reflect its major emphasis on Strength and its poor Dexterity.

Creature Type: As an animal, the mastodon gains low-light vision and a –4 Intelligence modifier. It increases its Fortitude and Will saves from +10 to +12.

Size: Since it’s Huge, the mastodon reduces its touch AC to 13 and increases its flat-footed AC to 21. It also increases its CMB to 21 and its CMD to 30.

Options: The mastodon uses its combat option to gain improved combat maneuver (bull rush), which also adjusts its CMB to bull rush and its CMD against bull rush. It uses its any option for extra hit points, increasing its hp from 126 to 151.

Skills: Since it’s not very intelligent, the mastodon has master Perception but no other skills.

Damage: The mastodon uses the two natural attacks column for its attacks and damage. The two attacks have the same average damage value, but use different damage dice.

Mastodon CR/HD 9

XP 6,400; N animal
Init –1; Senses Perception +17 (low-light vision)
Size Huge (15 ft.); Speed 40 ft.

DEFENSES

AC 25 (touch 13, flat-footed 21)
Fort +12, Ref +12, Will +8; CMD 30 (33 vs. bull rush)
hp 151

OFFENSE

Melee gore (reach 15 ft.) +17 (2d8+12), slam (reach 15 ft.) +17 (2d6+15)
Attack Options improved combat maneuver (bull rush); CMB +21 (+25 bull rush)

STATISTICS

Str +9, Dex –1, Con +4, Int –4

Griffon Design Notes

A majestic aerial hunter, the griffon’s only significant adjustments come from its type and size.

Array: The griffon uses the combatant array. To reflect its balance between speed and toughness, the griffon has ability modifiers of +4, +2, and +2 instead of +4, +3, and +1.

Creature Type: As a magical beast, the griffon gains darkvision 60 feet and low-light vision. Its Fortitude and Reflex bonuses both increase from +5 to +7, and its attack bonuses increase from +8 to +10 for its bite and from +3 to +5 for its talons.

Size: Since it’s Large, the griffon changes its touch AC from 12 to 11 and its flat-footed AC from 14 to 15. Its CMB increases from +10 to +12, and its CMD rises from 20 to 21.

Options: The griffon spends both its options on combat options to gain pounce and rake.

Skills: The griffon’s master skill is Perception to reflect its keen vision, and its good skills in Acrobatics and Fly give it agility in the air.

Griffon CR/HD 4

XP 1,200; N magical beast
Init +2; Senses Perception +12 (darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent)
Size Large (10 ft.); Speed 30 ft., fly 80 ft. (average)

DEFENSES

AC 19 (touch 11, flat-footed 15)
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +3; CMD 21
hp 44

OFFENSE

Melee bite +10 (1d6+10), 2 talons +5 (1d6+4)
Attack Options (DC 13) pounce, rake; CMB +12

STATISTICS

Str +4, Dex +2, Con +2, Int –3; Acrobatics +9, Fly +9

Goblin Fighter Design Notes

The goblin fighter is a suitable minion for any overlord, provided it doesn’t burn the fortress down.

Array: The goblin fighter is a combatant, as required by the fighter class graft.

Creature Type: Because of the fighter class graft, the goblin does not gain anything from the humanoid type.

Class: As a fighter, the goblin increases both its Fortitude and Reflex bonuses from +1 to +2. It also receives one combat option from its fighter graft.

Subtype: The goblin fighter gains Stealth as a good skill from the goblinoid subtype.

Size: The goblin’s Small size increases its touch AC and flat-footed AC by 1, reduces its CMB by 2, and reduces its CMD by 1. It gains Stealth as a good skill (again; see below).

Options: A fighter of this CR typically gets one combat option, but this goblin has two additional options to reflect its quick combat style. The accuracy, dodge expert, and improved initiative options are all calculated in the goblin fighter’s statistics. The adjustment to flat-footed AC from dodge expert would have made the goblin’s flat-footed AC too low for a monster at this CR, so the goblin gains only a +1 bonus to touch AC and no penalty to its flat-footed AC. Goblins are able to see in the dark, so the goblin gains the darkvision option. As usual, adding a sense didn’t count against the goblin’s number of options.

Skills: The goblin already gets Stealth as a good skill from both the goblinoid and Small grafts, so instead it was given Stealth as a second master skill.

Goblin Fighter CR/HD 1/2

XP 200; CE humanoid (goblinoid) fighter 1
Init +7; Senses Perception +5 (darkvision 60 ft.)
Size Small; Speed 30 ft.

DEFENSES

AC 15 (touch 14, flat-footed 13)
Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +0; CMD 12
hp 11

OFFENSE

Melee short sword +3 (1d4+2/19–20) Ranged shortbow (range 60 ft.) +3 (1d4+2/×3); CMB +1

STATISTICS

Str +2, Dex +3, Con +1, Cha –2; Ride +8, Stealth +8, Swim +5

Zombie Minotaur Design Notes

Some templates have complicated alterations, but the zombie template is fairly easy to apply.

Array: The zombie uses the combatant array, as suggested in the zombie template.

Creature Type: The undead graft gives the creature darkvision 60 feet and undead immunities, and sets its Constitution to —. It also increases the minotaur’s Will save from +1 to +3. The elective adjustments for mindless undead will be covered by the template graft.

Template: The zombie template makes the minotaur staggered, changes its Intelligence to —, gives it DR 5/slashing, and gives it the extra hit points option to represent a zombie’s resilience.

Size: As a Large creature, the minotaur changes its touch AC from 12 to 11 and its flat-footed AC from 12 to 13. Its CMB increases from +2 to +4, and its CMD goes from 14 to 15.

Options: The extra hit points option from the zombie template increases the zombie’s hp from 16 to 19. Although the zombie template adds more options than the monster would normally have, the zombie still gains the powerful charge option to keep the minotaur feel.

Zombie Minotaur CR/HD 1

XP 400; NE undead
Init +0; Senses Perception +6 (darkvision 60 ft.)
Size Large (10 ft.); Speed 30 ft.

DEFENSES

AC 14 (touch 11, flat-footed 13)
Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +3; CMD 15
hp 19; DR 5/slashing; Immune undead immunities
Weakness staggered

OFFENSE

Melee gore (reach 10 ft.) +2 (1d6+4) or slam (reach 10 ft.) +2 (1d8+3)
Attack Options powerful charge; CMB +4

STATISTICS

Str +3, Con —, Int —, Wis +1, Cha +2

Bat Swarm Design Notes

The bat swarm is straightforward to create, but its swarm subtype is complicated and grants it additional features that make it unlike other monsters.

Array: Since a bat swarm is made up of creatures with only animal intelligence, the combatant array is the only choice for it that makes sense.

Creature Type: The animal type increases the bat swarm’s Fortitude and Reflex bonuses each from +3 to +5 and grants low-light vision, but it mandates an Intelligence modifier of either –4 or –5. Bats are slightly more intelligent than some other animals, so they have a –4 modifier.

Subtype: The swarm subtype grants the bat swarm its various immunities, vulnerability to area effects, swarm traits, swarm attack, and distraction.

Size: The bat swarm is made up of many Diminutive creatures, so it gains a +4 bonus to touch and flat-footed AC. As a swarm, it doesn’t have CMB or CMD, so the size adjustments to those numbers are ignored. It also gains Fly and Stealth as master skills.

Options: The bat swarm’s option is a weaker variant of the bleed attack option.

Skills: Other than the master skills from size, the bat swarm’s echolocation enhances its ability to notice things, so it gets Perception as a master skill. That’s already plenty of skills for an animal, so the bat swarm doesn’t have any good skills.

Bat Swarm CR/HD 2

XP 600; N animal (swarm)
Init +3; Senses Perception +10 (blindsense 20 ft., low-light vision)
Size Diminutive (10 ft.); Speed 5 ft., fly 40 ft. (good)

DEFENSES

AC 16 (touch 16, flat-footed 16)
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +1
hp 22; Immune bull rush, critical hits, flanking, grapple, spells that target a specific number of creatures, trip, weapon damage
Weakness +50% damage from area effects
Defense Options
swarm traits

OFFENSE

Melee swarm (all targets in the swarm’s space) always hits (1d6 plus 1 bleed) Attack Options (DC 11) distraction

STATISTICS

Str –4, Dex +3, Con +1, Int –4, Wis +2; Fly +10, Stealth +10

Imp Design Notes

A vexing adversary, this imp has a variety of extra options to confound its enemies.

Array: The imp uses the expert array, with the Reflex and Will saves swapped. The imp has a Strength modifier of –4 because its size and build make it so physically weak.

Creature Type: The outsider graft gives the imp darkvision 60 feet, increases its Will saving throw from +1 to +3, and increases its attack bonus from +4 to +6. It gains the additional master skill mentioned under elective adjustments.

Subtype: The devil subtype gives the imp the see in darkness sense, energy resistance 10 to acid and cold, immunity to fire and poison, the summon allies option, and telepathy to a range of 100 feet.

Size: Because the imp is Tiny, its touch and flat-footed AC increased from 10 to 12.

Spells: The secondary magic option gives the imp some spell-like abilities.

Options: Instead of the single monster option that would be normal for an expert of its CR, the imp has a total of five options: change shape, dodge expert, poison, and modified versions of constant invisibility and secondary magic. Dodge expert changes the imp’s AC from 14 (touch 12, flat-footed 12) to 16 (touch 16, flat-footed 10). By the numbers, the imp’s flat-footed AC would drop to 6, but the GM sets it as 10 as part of the reality checking process. For its poison, the imp gets two advantages, which were used to remove the onset time and change the frequency to 1/round for 6 rounds. Instead of the normal effect of constant invisibility, the imp gains invisibility at will, affecting only itself. The modified secondary magic option gives the imp one once-per-day spell and two constant spells instead of two once-per-day spells.

Skills: The imp has an extra master skill from the outsider graft, and gains Fly and Stealth from its size graft. The +10 bonus from change shape is included in the Disguise skill.

Damage: The imp uses the low damage value on its sting to compensate for being a low-CR creature with poison.

Imp CR/HD 2

XP 600; LE outsider (devil, evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +3; Senses Perception +7 (darkvision 60 ft., see in darkness)
Size Tiny (2-1/2 ft.); Speed 20 ft., fly 50 ft. (perfect)

DEFENSES

AC 16 (touch 16, flat-footed 6)
Fort +1, Ref +5, Will +3; CMD 14; Concentration +4
hp 20; Immune fire, poison; Resist acid 10, cold 10

OFFENSE

Melee sting (reach 0 ft.) +6 (1d4+5 plus poison)
Attack Spell-Like Abilities (DC 13 + spell’s level) 1/daysuggestion
Attack Options (DC 13) poison (type injury, frequency 1/round for 6 rounds, effect 1d2 Dex damage, cure 1 save); CMB +2

STATISTICS

Utility Spell-Like Abilities constantdetect good, detect magic; at willinvisibility (self only)
Utility Options change shape (boar, giant spider, rat, or raven, beast shape I), summon allies (imp, 35%)
Str –4, Dex +3, Int +1, Cha +2; Acrobatics +10, Bluff +10, Disguise +12, Fly +10, Knowledge (arcana) +7, Knowledge (planes) +7, Stealth +10; telepathy 100 ft.

Fire Giant Design Notes

This monster uses different gear than the standard version, but has the same CR.

Array: The fire giant uses the combatant array.

Creature Type: As a humanoid, the giant increases its Fort save from +11 to +13.

Subtype: The giant graft gives the giant low-light vision and adds Intimidate as a good skill.

Size: Being Large changes the giant’s touch AC from 15 to 14 and its flat-footed AC from 19 to 20. The giant’s CMB increases from +18 to +20.

Options: The monster has one combat option and one of any type. The extra armor option alters the giant’s AC to 28 (touch 8, flat-footed 24) and makes its speed 30 feet instead of 40 feet. The magic weapon (bane) option causes the giant’s greataxe to deal additional damage to dwarves. The monster has rock throwing as a bonus option, and 3 points of that attack’s bludgeoning damage have been replaced with 1d6 points of fire damage since the giant heats the rocks.

Skills: This giant is primarily a brute, so its master skill in Climb and the good skill from the giant subtype are sufficient to cover its skills. The GM ignores the remaining two good skills from the combatant array.

Damage: The giant is less adept at ranged attacks, so its rock throw attack uses low attack and damage values.

Fire Giant CR/HD 10

XP 9,600; LE humanoid (fire, giant)
Init +0; Senses Perception +14 (low-light vision)
Size Large (10 ft.); Speed 30 ft.

DEFENSES

AC 28 (touch 8, flat-footed 24)
Fort +13, Ref +11, Will +9; CMD 30
hp 143; Immune fire
Weakness vulnerability to cold
Defensive Options rock throwing

OFFENSE

Melee dwarfbane greataxe (reach 10 ft.) +18/+13/+8 (3d6+19/×3 [+2d6 against dwarves]) or 2 slams (reach 10 ft.) +18 (1d8+21)
Ranged rock (range 120 ft.) +13 (1d8+15 plus 1d6 fire); CMB +20

STATISTICS

Str +7, Con +5, Wis +3; Climb +18, Intimidate +14

Satyr Design Notes

With its unique pipes, the satyr requires a custom ability not included in the monster options.

Array: As a skillful social creature with a magical bent, the satyr uses the expert array with options to cover its magical abilities.

Creature Type: Because of the fey graft, the satyr gains low-light vision. It increases its Reflex from +3 to +5 and its Will from +7 to +9. Its attack bonuses drop from +8 to +6. It has the elective adjustment that grants one additional master skill.

Spells: The satyr can channel magical effects through his pipes, so he gains his spells as spell-like abilities. These are chosen on a case-by-case basis instead of using a spell list.

Options: The satyr uses its one social option for persuasive, uses its any option for damage reduction, and has a bonus pipes ability. Pipes doesn’t have a corresponding monster option because it’s so specific to satyrs. It’s a custom ability based on the standard satyr’s pipes, but simplified and using the standard ability DC for the satyr’s CR.

Skills: Due to being a fey with the expert array, the satyr has four master skills and two good skills.

Damage: Instead of having a dagger attack like the standard satyr, this one uses only its horn attack in melee. The satyr’s ranged attacks use the low damage value (but the high attack value).

Satyr CR/HD 4

XP 1,200; CN fey
Init +3; Senses Perception +12 (low-light vision)
Size Medium; Speed 40 ft.

DEFENSES

AC 17 (touch 10, flat-footed 12)
Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +9; CMD 18
hp 40; DR 5/cold iron

OFFENSE

Melee horns +6 (1d6+13)
Ranged shortbow (range 60 ft.) +6 (1d6+10/×3)
Attack Spell-Like Abilities (DC 14 + spell’s level) 1/dayfear; at willcharm person, sleep, suggestion
Attack Options (DC 15) pipes; CMB +6

STATISTICS

Utility Options persuasive
Dex +3, Wis +1, Cha +4; Bluff +12, Diplomacy +9, Intimidate +9, Perform (wind) +12, Stealth +12

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Pipes (Su)

A satyr can play haunting melodies on his panpipes to affect all creatures within a 60-foot radius with a spell (Will DC 15 negates). Each time it uses this ability, the satyr chooses charm person, fear, sleep, or suggestion. A creature that succeeds at its save can’t be affected by the same set of pipes for 24 hours.

Frost Giant Explorer Design Notes

This creature has access to nature magic, much like a druid would. However, turning it into a spellcaster would make it feel unlike a burly frost giant. Instead, this stat block starts with the combatant array and draws inspiration from the options of the druid class graft. This monster is meant to fight alongside a mastodon as a CR 13 encounter.

Array: The frost giant uses the combatant array and gains its spellcasting from its magic options. Its Reflex and Will save bonuses are swapped.

Creature Type: Because the monster’s saving throws are uniformly high, it has a –2 penalty to Reflex instead of increasing any save from the humanoid graft.

Class: Though the giant doesn’t use the druid graft, many of its options are drawn from there.

Subtype: The giant subtype grants low-light vision and gives Intimidate as a good skill.

Size: Because it’s Large, the giant decreases its touch AC from 17 to 16 and raises its flat-footed AC from 21 to 22. Its CMB changes from +21 to +23, and its CMD goes from 32 to 33.

Spells: The giant gains a few spells from the Animal spell list due to the secondary magic option. Even though that option says to take the primary spells from the spell lists, it’s reasonable to pick and choose from among both the primary and secondary spells of the monster’s CR band, as was done here.

Options: Instead of one of its combat options, the giant gains the powerful summons magic option. It spends its other combat option on rock throwing and its any option on secondary magic.

Skills: With its good skill from the giant subtype, the explorer has only one master skill, but a well-rounded set of good skills.

Damage: The giant’s thrown rock attack uses the low attack and damage values.

Frost Giant Explorer CR/HD 12

XP 19,200; CE humanoid (cold, giant)
Init +0; Senses Perception +16 (low-light vision)
Size Large (10 ft.); Speed 40 ft.; Special Movement terrain stride (ice)

DEFENSES

AC 29 (touch 16, flat-footed 22)
Fort +13, Ref +9, Will +13; CMD 33; Concentration +17
hp 176; Immune cold
Weakness vulnerability to fire
Defensive Options
rock throwing

OFFENSE

Melee spear (reach 10 ft.) +21/+16/+11 (2d6+27/×3) or 2 slams (reach 10 ft.) +21 (1d8+27)
Ranged rock (range 120 ft.) +15 (1d8+21); CMB +23

STATISTICS

Utility Spells 1/daybeast shape IV (animal only), summon nature’s ally VII
Utility Options powerful summons
Str +8, Con +4, Wis +5; Climb +16, Intimidate +16, Knowledge (nature) +20, Survival +16

Vampire Cleric Design Notes

For an alternative to the vampire sorcerer, this vampire is a cleric of a slightly higher CR.

Array: This creature uses the spellcaster array so it can take the cleric class graft.

Creature Type: As indicated in the vampire template graft, the vampire must have the undead type. Because it will have the cleric class graft, the vampire gains only the automatic traits from the undead type: darkvision 60 feet, undead immunities, and a Constitution of —.

Class: The cleric class graft increases the vampire’s Fortitude save from +10 to +12 and gives it Knowledge (religion) as a master skill. It automatically gains the channel energy and spontaneous casting options.

Subtype: The vampire has the augmented humanoid subtype, though this doesn’t alter its abilities.

Template: The vampire template graft increases the vampire’s AC from 23 to 25 and flat-footed AC from 17 to 19. The vampire also gains spider climb as a constant spell-like ability and gets vampire weaknesses. The template gives a large number of options: at-will magic (dominate person), blood drain, change shape, channel resistance, children of the night, create spawn, damage reduction, energy drain, energy resistance 10 (cold and electricity), fast healing 5, and gaseous form. Because the vampire has DR and so many healing abilities, its hit points are calculated as though its CR were 2 lower, giving it 103 hp.

Spells: Because of its violent and cruel nature, this cleric mixes the Evil and War domain spell lists instead of taking spells from one list exclusively. The monster has the special ability from only the War spell list, which increases its attack bonuses by 1.

Options: As a cleric, the monster would normally have one additional option (of any type) beyond what it has here. However, because the monster gains so many abilities from being a vampire, adding yet another option is unnecessary.

Skills: Because of the vampire template, this creature has Bluff, Perception, Sense Motive, and Stealth as master skills. The +10 bonus from change shape is included in the Disguise skill.

Damage: The slam attack uses the low damage value since it can also bestow negative levels and heal the vampire. The vampire’s ranged attack uses the low attack and damage values.

Vampire Cleric CR/HD 11

XP 12,800; CE undead (augmented humanoid) cleric 10
Init +2; Senses Perception +19 (darkvision 60 ft.)
Size Medium; Speed 30 ft.; Special Movement spider climb (constant)

DEFENSES

AC 25 (touch 13, flat-footed 19)
Fort +12, Ref +10, Will +14; CMD 26; Concentration +20
hp 103; fast healing 5; DR 10/magic and silver; Immune undead immunities; Resist cold 10, electricity 10
Weakness vampire weaknesses
Defensive Options
channel resistance +4

OFFENSE

Melee scythe +20/+15 (2d4+25/×4) or slam +20 (1d4+20 plus energy drain [2 negative levels])
Ranged light crossbow (range 80 ft.) +15 (1d8+22/19–20)
Attack Spells (DC 17 + spell’s level) 1/daydispel good, slay living; 3/daybestow curse, spiritual weapon; at will—bane, dominate person, inflict light wounds
Attack Options blood drain, channel energy (negative energy), spontaneous casting (inflict); CMB +20

STATISTICS

Utility Spells 3/daydarkness, prayer; at willchange shape (dire bat or wolf, beast shape II)
Utility Options children of the night, create spawn, gaseous form
Str +8, Con —, Dex +2, Int +1, Wis +9, Cha +5; Bluff +19, Disguise +15, Knowledge (religion) +19, Sense Motive +19, Stealth +19

Ogre Mage Design Notes

The ogre mage oni are devious shapeshifters who combine martial prowess with magical threats.

Array: The ogre mage’s consistent fallback strategy is its mighty greatsword, so it uses the combatant array. Since oni take many roles depending on the situation, the ogre mage has more high ability modifiers than usual. Since the ogre mage’s mind is stronger than its reflexes, it switches its Will and Reflex save bonuses.

Creature Type: As an outsider, the ogre mage gains darkvision and +2 on attack rolls and Fortitude saves.

Subtype: The ogre mage has two subtype grafts, and gains options from both of them. The oni subtype grants the change shape and regeneration options. The giant subtype grants low-light vision as well as Intimidate as a good skill.

Size: The ogre mage’s Large size gives it –1 to touch AC, +1 to flat-footed AC, +2 to CMB, and +1 to CMD.

Spells: The ogre mage took the secondary magic option twice, gaining a set of custom spells that assist with infiltration and combat. It receives darkness and invisibility at will as an additional bonus.

Options: The improved initiative option is included in the ogre mage’s statistics.

Skills: The ogre mage is more of a generalist than a specialist, able to handle a variety of situations equally well. Instead of one master skill and two good skills, the versatile ogre mage has five good skills beyond the two it receives from the giant subtype.

Damage: The ogre mage uses the low attack and damage values for its composite longbow.

Ogre Mage CR/HD 8

XP 4,800; LE outsider (giant, native, oni, shapechanger)
Init +6; Senses Perception +13 (darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision)
Size Large (10 ft.); Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)

DEFENSES

AC 23 (touch 12, flat-footed 18)
Fort +11, Ref +7, Will +9; CMD 27; SR 19; Concentration +12
hp 110; regeneration 5 (acid, fire)

OFFENSE

Melee greatsword (reach 10 ft.) +17/+12 (3d6+15/19–20) Ranged composite longbow (range 110 ft.) +13/+8 (2d6+12/×3)
Attack Spell-Like Abilities (DC 13 + spell’s level) 1/day— charm monster, cone of cold, deep slumber CMB +19

STATISTICS

Utility Spell-Like Abilities 1/daygaseous form; at willdarkness, invisibility; constantfly
Utility Options change shape (Small, Medium, or Large humanoid; alter self or giant form I)
Str +6, Dex +2, Con +6, Int +2, Wis +2, Cha +4; Bluff +13, Disguise +23, Intimidate +13, Sense Motive +13, Spellcraft +13, Use Magic Device +13

Night Hag Soul Collector Design Notes

The night hag soul collector is not only a dangerous opponent; she is also dangerously well connected. She can force her captured souls to do her bidding to augment her own combat effectiveness, granting her powers from the summoner class graft.

Array: This night hag is a summoner for all practical purposes, so she uses the spellcaster array, albeit with increased ability modifiers to reflect the fact that she is physically imposing for a spellcaster.

Creature Type: Since her type is outsider, the night hag gains darkvision and a +2 bonus on attack rolls. She trades the outsider saving throw adjustments for the summoner adjustments.

Class: The night hag soul collector’s summoner class graft increases her Fortitude and Reflex by 1 and grants Knowledge (planes) as a master skill. The lost soul acts as her eidolon. The night hag is thematically similar to a summoner, but isn’t treated as actually having class levels in summoner.

Spells: The night hag uses a modified version of the conjuration spell list, to stay in theme with her spontaneous summoning from the summoner class graft. As a soul broker, she needs constant detection spells to inspect her merchandise, as well as the soul bind spell at will.

Options: From the summoner graft, the night hag gains spontaneous magic (summon monster), as well as one magic option and one any option. She chooses change shape and a custom dream haunting option to allow her to torment her foes from safety. To represent the defenses necessary to ply her trade among evil outsiders, the night hag also has particularly potent spell resistance and damage reduction options for her CR.

Skills: A night hag encounter might be social and deceptive, so the monster has additional master and good skills, and her +10 bonus from change shape is reflected in her Disguise skill.

Damage: For damage with three primary attacks, the night hag doubles the damage for two primary attacks (18) to get a total of 36, then divides by three (her total number of attacks). Each attack deals roughly 12 points of damage

Night Hag Soul Collector CR/HD 9

XP 6,400; NE outsider (evil, extraplanar)
Init +4; Senses Perception +14 (darkvision 60 ft.)
Size Medium; Speed 30 ft.; Special Movement etherealness (at will)

DEFENSES

AC 21 (touch 12, flat-footed 15)
Fort +9, Ref +9, Will +12; CMD 24; SR 24; Concentration +12
hp 103; DR 10/cold iron and magic; Immune charm, cold, fear, fire, sleep attacks
Melee 2 claws +14 (1d4+9), bite +14 (1d6+9)
Attack Spell-Like Abilities (DC 16 + spell’s level) 1/daydeep slumber; at willmagic missile, ray of enfeeblement, soul bind
Attack Options dream haunting, spontaneous casting (summon monster); CMB +14

STATISTICS

Utility Spell-Like Abilities 1/daydimension door; 3/daydarkness, dispel magic, haste, invisibility; constantdetect chaos, detect evil, detect good, detect law, detect magic; double the duration of all conjuration (summoning) spells
Utility Options change shape, soul broker
Str +6, Dex +4, Con +6, Int +4, Wis +3, Cha +3; Bluff +17, Diplomacy +14, Disguise +27, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (planes) +17, Perception +14, Sense Motive +14, Spellcraft +14

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Dream Haunting (Su)

The night hag can haunt a creature’s dreams from her home on the Ethereal Plane. A creature she haunts takes 1 point of Constitution damage when it awakes.

Soul Broker (Su)

As a standard action, the night hag can release one of her captured souls to fight at her side; see the night hag’s lost soul statistics, below.

Night Hag’s Lost Soul Design Notes

Lost Soul: This represents the twisted form of a lost soul that the night hag can call forth to defend her—effectively her eidolon, since she is using the summoner graft. The soul’s twisted form has screaming mouths on long tendrils that bite as it moves, allowing it to pounce.

Array: As an eidolon, the lost soul uses the combatant array.

Creature Type: The outsider type graft grants the lost soul a +2 bonus on attack rolls and Reflex saving throws.

Size: The lost soul’s Large size grants it –1 to touch AC, +1 to flat-footed AC, +2 to CMB, and +1 to CMD.

Options: As a combatant, the lost soul gains one combat option and one any option. For these options, it gains pounce and damage reduction.

Skills: While a combatant normally has one master skill and two good skills, the lost soul is simple, so the GM gives it only Intimidate as a master skill and Fly as a good skill.

Damage: To determine its damage with four primary attacks, the lost soul doubles the damage value for two primary attacks (22) to get 44 points of damage, then divides by 4. Each attack deals 11 points of damage, or 1d8+6 on Table 5–9.

Night Hag’s Lost Soul CR/HD 9

XP 6,400; NE outsider (extraplanar)
Init +4; Senses Perception +14 (darkvision 60 ft.)
Size Large (10 ft.); Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)

DEFENSES

AC 25 (touch 15, flat-footed 18)
Fort +10, Ref +12, Will +8; CMD 28
hp 126; DR 10/cold iron and magic

OFFENSE

Melee 4 bites (reach 15 ft.) +19 (1d8+6) Attack Options pounce; CMB +19

STATISTICS

Str +7, Dex +4, Con +3; Fly +14, Intimidate +17

Marilith General Design Notes

A six-armed general of the abyssal hordes, the marilith is iconic for its overwhelming number of attacks. This marilith uses custom options to better reflect her skills as a general.

Array: As an abyssal general, the marilith uses the combatant array and has additional strong ability modifiers.

Creature Type: The marilith is an outsider, so she gains darkvision and a +2 bonus on attack rolls and Fortitude saves. She also gains the elective adjustment of spells, with a modified list.

Subtype: From the demon subtype, the marilith gains her immunities, resistances, summon ability, and telepathy. Her tactical nature gives her a wider-than-normal variety of allies she can call forth with her summon ability.

Size: The marilith’s Large size grants her –1 to touch AC, +1 to flat-footed AC, +2 to CMB, and +1 to CMD.

Spells: The marilith prefers to meet her enemies directly with her numerous blades, so her modified spell list is more about trickery, mobility, and battlefield control than about directly attacking her foes with magic.

Options: Normally, a CR 17 combatant has two combat options and one any option, but the marilith general is cunning and tactical. To better lead her forces in battle, in addition to critical striker and damage reduction, she gets the heroic recovery and inspire courage social options.

Skills: In order to keep her command post, a marilith general needs guile and social skills. Therefore, she has more master skills than normal, but trades away one good skill in the bargain.

Damage: The marilith’s multi-armed attacks make her damage complex to calculate. Doubling the damage for two natural attacks (50) gives her 100 points of damage. This is then increased by 50%—since her iterative attacks and tail are less likely to hit—for a total of 150. Dividing 150 by 10 attacks gets 15, which is 2d6+9 on Table 5–9. The tail slap is weaker, so it uses the low attack and damage values for secondary attacks in the three natural attacks column in the array. This reduces the marilith’s overall damage, but not enough to necessitate increasing the rest of her damage.

Marilith General CR/HD 17

XP 102,400; CE outsider (chaotic, demon, evil, extraplanar)
Init +5; Senses Perception +29 (darkvision 60 ft., true seeing)
Size Large (10 ft.); Speed 40 ft.; Special Movement greater teleport (at will, self plus 50 lbs. of objects only)

DEFENSES

AC 34 (touch 20, flat-footed 25)
Fort +20, Ref +18, Will +15; CMD 39 (43 vs. grapple, can’t be tripped); SR 28; Concentration +25
hp 297; DR 10/cold iron and good; Immune electricity, poison; Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10; unholy aura
Defensive Spell-Like Abilities at willproject image

OFFENSE

Melee +1 longsword (reach 10 ft.) +29/+24/+19/+14 (2d6+9/17–20), 5 +1 longswords (reach 10 ft.) +29 (2d6+9/17–20), tail slap +24 (2d6+3 plus improved combat maneuver [grapple])
Attack Spell-Like Abilities (DC 18 + spell’s level) 3/dayblade barrier; at willtelekinesis
Attack Options critical striker; CMB +31 (+35 grapple)

STATISTICS

Utility Spell-Like Abilities 3/dayfly
Utility Options heroic recovery, inspire courage, summon allies (marilith 20%, nalfeshnee 35%, or 1d4 hezrous 60%)
Str +8, Dex +5, Con +11, Int +5, Wis +5, Cha +8; Bluff +29, Diplomacy +29, Intimidate +29, Sense Motive +21, Use Magic Device +29; telepathy 100 ft.

Ancient Blue Dragon Design Notes

This ancient blue dragon has additional attacks, with damage extrapolated from the natural attacks column for CR 18. Despite being a combatant, it has a reduced spellcasting ability (as if it were a CR 12–15 spellcaster) with a DC halfway between combatant and spellcaster to represent a dragon’s natural spellcasting prowess. The spells are customized for this dragon, and it doesn’t receive an additional boon from selecting one of the preset lists.

The dragon has seven options instead of four to reflect its many talents, including several built into its statistics: damage reduction, extra armor, and spell resistance. It adds +4 to the DC of its breath weapon to reflect at ability’s raw power. The dragon gains additional Wisdom and Charisma modifiers of +5. It uses the expert array’s number of skills, and has the flying acumen option built into its statistics.

Array: The dragon is a mighty and iconic beast. It uses the combatant array, but it also possesses reduced spellcasting abilities, and its advanced age grants it superior mental ability scores.

Creature Type: The dragon type grants the ancient blue dragon darkvision, low-light vision, immunity to paralysis and sleep, and a +2 bonus on attack rolls and Will saves. To emphasize its sheer size, the ancient blue dragon also gains an additional +2 bonus on Fortitude saves.

Size: The dragon’s Gargantuan size graft grants it –4 to touch AC, +5 to flat-footed AC, +8 to CMB, and +4 to CMD.

Spells: To reflect its nature as a slightly lesser spellcaster than a true spellcaster of its CR, the dragon gains the spells of a CR 12–15 spellcaster instead, with DCs halfway between those of the combatant and spellcaster arrays. Since it has its own customized spell list, the dragon doesn’t receive an additional boon from selecting one of the preset lists.

Options: Normally, a CR 18 combatant would have three combat options and one any option, but the ancient blue dragon not only has damage reduction, extra armor, and spell resistance, but also critical striker and defense breaker to reflect its ferocious power.

Skills: As it has collected untold knowledge over its many years, the ancient blue dragon uses the expert’s number of skills, and its flying acumen option negates the Gargantuan size graft’s prohibition on Fly as a master skill.

Damage: The dragon has three primary attacks and three secondary attacks. The damage for two natural attacks (55) is doubled to 110. This is multiplied by 125% (137 total) since many attacks use a lower bonus. The damage is divided unevenly to emphasize certain attacks: 32 points for the bite and tail slap, 22 per claw, and 13 per wing.

Ancient Blue Dragon CR/HD 18

XP 153,600; LE dragon (earth)
Init +4; Senses Perception +31 (blindsense 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision)
Aura electricity (10 ft., 2d6 electricity), frightful presence (300 ft., DC 25)
Size Gargantuan (20 ft.); Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., fly 250 ft. (clumsy, hover)

DEFENSES

AC 37 (touch 11, flat-footed 35)
Fort +20, Ref +18, Will +18; CMD 43; SR 29; Concentration +23
hp 330; DR 15/magic; Immune electricity, paralysis, sleep
Defensive Spells 1/daymislead

OFFENSE

Melee bite (reach 20 ft.) +30 (4d6+18/19–20), 2 claws (reach 15 ft.) +30 (3d6+12), 2 wings (reach 15 ft.) +25 (2d6+6), tail slap (reach 15 ft.) +25 (3d8+18)
Attack Spells (DC 17 + spell’s level) 1/dayforceful hand; 3/dayenervation, hold monster; at willhaste
Attack Options (DC 27) breath weapon (120-ft. line, 19d6 electricity), critical striker, defense breaker; CMB +36

STATISTICS

Utility Spells 3/daydimension door, hallucinatory terrain; at willinvisibility
Str +12, Dex –2, Con +8, Int +6, Wis +5, Cha +5; Bluff +25, Fly +31, Intimidate +31, Knowledge (arcana) +31, Spellcraft +25

Pit Fiend Design Notes

With a diverse spread of abilities useful for both combat and spellcasting, a pit fiend remains fairly complex to create even in the simple monster creation system. It’s not really 100% a combatant, so it requires special statistical adjustments.

Array: This monster mostly uses the numbers from the combatant array, but gains a large number of spells, and therefore has the hit points of a spellcaster. As a powerful ruler in Hell, the pit fiend’s starting ability modifiers are +13, +13, +9, +9, +6, and +6.

Creature Type: As an outsider, the pit fiend gains darkvision 60 feet, increases its Fortitude from +20 to +22, and increases its attack bonuses from +30 to +32. It also gets the elective adjustment for one additional master skill.

Subtype: The devil subtype graft grants the see in darkness sense, energy resistance 10 to acid and cold, and immunity to fire and poison. It also gives the pit fiend the summon allies option and telepathy 100 feet.

Size: Since it’s Large, the pit fiend decreases its touch AC from 22 to 21 and increases its flat-footed AC from 28 to 29. Its CMB goes up from +32 to +34, and its CMD goes from 42 to 43.

Spells: The monster gains spells as though it were a spellcaster. In addition, it can use mass hold monster and greater teleport at will.

Options: For the three combat options given by its array, the pit fiend has constrict, damage reduction, and improved combat maneuver (grapple), which also gives it bonuses on CMB checks made to grapple and to CMD against grapple checks. For its one any option, it has poison with eight advantages (two + 1/3 of the pit fiend’s CR of 20). These advantages are removing the onset, changing the frequency to 1/round for 6 rounds, increasing the ability damage three times, increasing the cure to 2 consecutive saves, and two advantages invented specifically for this monster: increasing the frequency to 1/round for 10 rounds, and increasing the cure to 3 consecutive saves. As a nod to classic pit fiends, the monster can regenerate from wounds, but the regeneration amount is so low for its level that it doesn’t cost an option. Its diseased bite is also free, since it won’t matter much in high-level combat. The devil has a bonus option for its fear aura, and doesn’t spend any options for its spells, but these additions are reasonable for a high-level villain such as the pit fiend. The standard pit fiend’s devil shaping ability won’t come up in combat, so it has been omitted.

Skills: Because of its creature type graft, the pit fiend has two master skills instead of one.

Damage: The number of attacks the pit fiend gains has been reduced from the number in the Bestiary; in particular, its wing attacks have been removed to allow its remaining attacks to have more impact. The array’s two natural attacks‘ damage (66) is doubled to 132, then increased by 25% to get 165, which is then divvied up between four attacks. This sets the damage value at 48 points for each claw, 42 for the bite, and 27 for the tail slap.

Pit Fiend CR/HD 20

XP 307,200; LE outsider (devil, evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +9; Senses Perception +35 (darkvision 60 ft., see in darkness)
Aura fear (30 ft., DC 20)
Size Large (10 ft.); Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft. (average); Special Movement greater teleport (at will, self plus 50 lbs. of objects only)

DEFENSES

AC 38 (touch 21, flat-footed 29)
Fort +22, Ref +20, Will +17; CMD 43 (47 vs. grapple); SR 31; Concentration +26
hp 333; regeneration 5 (good weapons, good spells); DR 10/good and silver; Immune fire, poison; Resist acid 10, cold 10

OFFENSE

Melee 2 claws (reach 10 ft.) +32 (2d8+42), bite (reach 10 ft.) +32 (4d6+30 plus disease and poison), tail slap (reach 10 ft.) +32 (2d8+18 plus improved combat maneuver [grapple])
Attack Spell-Like Abilities (DC 17 + spell’s level) 1/dayquickened fireball, meteor swarm; at willmass hold monster, wall of fire
Attack Options (DC 25) constrict (2d8+60), disease (onset immediate, frequency 1/day, effect 1d4 Str damage, cure 2 consecutive saves), poison (type injury, frequency 1/round for 10 rounds, effect 1d6 Con damage, cure 3 consecutive saves); CMB +34 (+38 grapple)

STATISTICS

Utility Options summon allies (typically barbed devil or ice devil, 60%)
Str +13, Dex +9, Con +13, Int +6, Wis +9, Cha +6; Bluff +28, Intimidate +35, Sense Motive +28; telepathy 100 ft.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Unchained © 2015, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Ross Beyers, Logan Bonner, Jason Bulmahn, Robert Emerson, Tim Hitchcock, Jason Nelson, Tom Phillips, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Thomas M. Reid, Robert Schwalb, Mark Seifter, and Russ Taylor.