Adventure Toolkit Part Two: Class Templates

While reskinning a monster to represent a member of a particular class is a great time saver, sometimes the feel is off, there may be an iconic ability that the monster you picked just doesn’t possess. That is where class templates come in. For each core pathfinder class, I’ll present three templates that can be applied to help emulate the feel of that class.

Today we will start with a fighter. Given that almost their entire ability set is based on feats, you can just give the monster you use an additional feat chosen from the combat feats list for every 2 points of BAB it possesses, but that can get as complicated as building a new fighter.

Low Level Fighter Template (bab 4):
The monster may wear Medium Armor without losing any movement speed.
The monster gains the following attacks:
Power Attack: The character may take a -2 penalty on attack rolls to gain a +4 bonus on damage.
Cleave: The character may make an additional attack against a second adjacent opponent after striking a first opponent. If it chooses to do so, it takes a -2 penalty to AC until its next turn.

Medium Level Fighter Template (Bab 8):
The monster may wear heavy armor without reducing its move speed.
The monster recieves an additional +2 damage and +2 to hit with one weapon category.
Power Attack: The character may take a -4 penalty on attack rolls to gain a +8 bonus on damage.
Great Cleave: The character may make an additional attack against a second adjacent opponent after striking a first opponent. If it chooses to do so, it takes a -2 penalty to AC until its next turn. After each successful attack, it may attempt a cleacve against an additional opponent who hasn’t been struck yet by this round’s cleave.
Improved Bull Rush: The character gains a +2 bonus on bull rush attempts and does not trigger attacks of opportunity

High Level Fighter Template (Bab 12)

The monster may wear heavy armor without reducing its move speed.
The monster recieves an additional +2 damage and +2 to hit with one weapon category.
Power Attack: The character may take a -6 penalty on attack rolls to gain a +12 bonus on damage.
Great Cleave: The character may make an additional attack against a second adjacent opponent after striking a first opponent. If it chooses to do so, it takes a -2 penalty to AC until its next turn. After each successful attack, it may attempt a cleacve against an additional opponent who hasn’t been struck yet by this round’s cleave.
Improved Bull Rush: The character gains a +2 bonus on bull rush attempts and does not trigger attacks of opportunity .

Critical Focus: The creature’s main attack doubles its critical range, it gains a +4 attack bonus to confirm criticals and its criticals cause 2d6 points of bleed.

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Adventure Toolkit: Reskinning Part One.

One of the most time consuming parts of building an adventure for 3.x is using non-monsterous opponents. I can grab a monster straight out of the monster manual and run it off of a very short card. To do the same with a creature with class levels, I’ve got to build the damned thing, either from scratch or from a series of charts. Happily that is where one of the DM’s best tools comes in. Reskin creatures. You need a low level evil ranger? Look at the Ettercap. In Pathfinder, you get 3 attacks, poison, a web attack, and wild empathy that focuses on spiders. If you drop the third attack, it becomes a poisoned short sword and dagger melee focused ranger who also uses nets and raises giant spiders. It is probably wearing studded leather armor or leather +1 and carrying a 50 ft silk rope with grappling hook.

Give her Laughing touch, drop the DR and the tree dependency, and replace tree stride with a 1st level sorceror’s spell and a dryad becomes a reasonable 5th or 6th level elven fey pact sorcerer.

Make it medium and a Rhinoserous makes a decent 5th level raging barbarian. Add a single rage ability and you have a great sword weilding charge focused barbarian.

A medium sized manticore makes a great low mid level archery specialist if you ignore the flight.

Next time I’ll present a few fast templates that add a little more of the feeling of a class to a reskinned monster.