Rules Index | GM Screen | Player's Guide

Chapter 2: Tools / Building Creatures

Understanding and Choosing Statistics

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 57
Most of the statistics in this section use a scale of extreme, high, moderate, and low—some use terrible values as well.

Extreme: The creature is world class in this statistic and can challenge almost any character. Most creatures have no extreme statistics or only one extreme statistic, although some creatures might have additional extreme statistics and weaker related statistics elsewhere (a common example being a creature trading accuracy for extreme damage). Examples from the Bestiary include the succubus’s Diplomacy and the lich’s spell DC.

High: Extremely capable but not world class, the creature presents a challenge for most characters. Just about all creatures have at least one high value. Most combat-focused creatures have high AC and either a high attack bonus and high damage, or a merely moderate attack bonus but extreme damage. An ogre warrior’s attack bonus and a kobold scout’s Stealth are high values.

Moderate: A middle-of-the road statistic can cover anything unremarkable about the creature. Use this one often.

Low: The creature is actively bad at this. Choose these intentionally to represent the creature’s weak points. Most creatures should have at least one low statistic; an example is the goblin pyro’s Will save.

Terrible: Some statistics can dip even lower than low, to terrible. This indicates a truly awful statistic that still isn’t game-breakingly bad. A spider’s Intelligence is terrible, as is a dero stalker’s Will save.

Push and Pull

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 57
When it comes to statistics, a creature should be balanced overall. That means if you’re giving a creature an extreme statistic, it should have some low or terrible statistics to compensate. For example, if you were making a creature extremely hard to hit by giving it an extreme AC, you’d likely give it lower saving throws or low HP. If a creature is great at spellcasting, it might need several low statistics to be a balanced challenge. There’s no perfect system for making these decisions. If you’ve made a creature that has four high stats and nothing low, or vice-versa, take another look. A creature’s strengths and weaknesses change the PCs’ strategies for dealing with it, and that’s what makes playing the game fun!

Extreme Increases

Source Gamemastery Guide pg. 58
At the higher levels of the game, PCs have more tools at their disposal, so the creatures they face need to hit back harder! At higher levels, give each creature more extreme statistics. Having one extreme statistic becomes typical around 11th level. A creature of 15th level or higher typically has two extreme statistics, and one of 20th level or higher should have three or four. Keep in mind that these should be relevant to the encounters you expect them to have—extreme social skills aren’t much use to a combat-focused creature. Be careful about giving multiple extreme statistics that are closely linked: a creature with extreme damage and Fortitude saves is one thing, but having an extreme attack bonus and extreme damage allows the creature to apply both extreme statistics to each attack.