View Full Version : Downgrading Monsters

2011-05-31, 12:41 AM
I am having trouble finding rules pertaining to reducing stats on monsters for various situations.

For example, I am planning out a 3.5 edition game for when my group's inevitably ends (hopefully not for quite some time as we are having fun but better to be prepared in case our current GM doesn't fudge dice rolls in the unlikely scenario that he would in order to save our hapless heroes from doing something stupid).

While fleshing out the first starting town (making it about level 6-8, depends on if I add or cut certain things to it in the final draft), I wanted to have one of the several local farmsteads holding slaves as the majority of its workforce. Humans, halflings, lizardfolk, kenku, etc.

However, the boss has a servant (not technically a slave but really, he may as well be) which has a slaver contact and their crew has been the main supplier for a number of years now.

However, the only slave they have yet to get rid of is something everybody else is aware of but nobody has the guts (or otherwise courtesy) to actually tell this clueless bunch: it's a fomorian child.

Sure, they don't know what it is but they figure it was easy enough to capture and manipulate into being more or less a pack mule and otherwise grunt worker until they got a buyer for him (which is *not* happening since nobody wants to have to deal with it as it gets bigger, older, and more confident).

My idea is that since fomorians are huge-sized creatures, I'd have it large but that's where it really ends. I have no clue how to downgrade it effectively without hurting its potential *too* much and it being a cake-walk or not enough and finding out it's the one loose end that literally destroys my entire starting area plotline.

Anyone have to deal with this sort of thing before and able to provide me with pointers, a link, or even just a rough draft of something they did for their own campaigns (heck, even a human child is something to work with and better than nothing).

I can only find rules on advancing monsters (easily done since the book(s) require little else beyond the obvious) but absolutely nothing on reducing them.

I greatly apologize if it should be obvious and I've simply not seen it somewhere all this time but I would appreciate any input on the matter.

2011-05-31, 01:07 AM
Well, if you want it weaker...

I recommend using the SRD Hill Giant. If it's a slave, it's probably using a slam attack, but it might pick up a giant stick or rock to smack people with (that's detailed in the description). It's also 1 size smaller, so that works out nicely too.

Get rid of Weapon Focus (Greatclub) and replace it with whatever the baby's weapon is going to be. Then drop the hide armor (drop the base speed to 30-35') and decrease the natural armor by 2-4. Remove Rock Throwing from Special Attacks (give trample in its place. Make sure to recalculate the damage), and drop Rock Catching (give DR 5/- or Fast Healing 5 in its place, or both at 2-3, depending how tough you want the monster. Oh, add Scent too).

If you want, you can give it a +5 to Move Silently checks too. That should work just for this monster in particular, and it's what I do when I want weak monsters and there isn't a GitP Monster Class available for it.

Morph Bark
2011-05-31, 04:03 AM
On the WotC forums a few years ago someone made templates for monsters to downgrade them, including child and juvenile versions, crippled ones and lost limbs. You could try look for that. I sadly haven't got it saved in my favourites.

2011-05-31, 04:15 AM
A quick and dirty method might be to apply negative levels and see where that takes ye. Its probably not the best solution by any means, but its the first that came to mind.

Morph Bark
2011-05-31, 07:20 AM
A quick and dirty method might be to apply negative levels and see where that takes ye. Its probably not the best solution by any means, but its the first that came to mind.

It might be easier to use a method I've used before: reverse advancing. Usually a creature with 1.5 or 2 times the original creature's HD becomes a size larger. Make the creature have .5 or .66 times the original creature's HD and be a size smaller, remove some abilities that are based on size or decrease their effectiveness and decrease the uses of their SLAs by one (at will -> 3/day -> 1/day -> none). Decrease all their mental ability scores by 2. Halve movement speed (rounded up to the nearest 10, minimum 20). Fly maneuverability becomes one step less.

2011-05-31, 07:22 AM
Apply the Dungeonbred template without the bonuses it gives the creature; now its smaller and weaker without taking HD losses.

2011-05-31, 08:35 AM
Young Creature template from Pathfinder (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/templates/simple-template-young-cr-1) use repeatedly.