Hi everyone, and welcome to the third instalment of making a critter for Starfinder, and the MONSTER GARAGE! :P
STATTING UP THE CREATURE (part 2)
This time around we’re going to start statting up the creature. We start by opening up the Alien Archive on page 129 at the Combatant Array. This is obviously different to each system, but the thoughts behind each will be explained as we go along.
For Starfinder, statting up a creature is thankfully remarkably easy, and you don’t have to worry much about balancing the creature, as the books provide you with their stats.
First, we start with the EAC (Energy Armor Class) and KAC (Kinetic Armor Class). From the tables, we can see that these are 23 and 25, so we put these into the creature’s stats. Thinking back on our creature, it makes sense that energy weapons would have an easier time getting to it than a normal kinetic weapon (or bullet) as it looks to be fairly well-armored.
Next is the saving throws. These are Fortitude, Reflex, and Will. These are listed as +12, +12, and +9. Again, this seems reasonable for our spider-critter, as it looks tough, but as it is a spider, chances are good that it’s pretty nimble, even for something of its size. And most fighting creatures would tend to have lower Will saves, as they’re not as mentally strong. I’m going to make a note of that one though, as I might come back to adjust it later. For now, we’ll put them in, and add an asterisk at the Will save.
Hit Points are next – these are set for a CR 10 combatant as 165 hp, so that’s easy. There’s no need to worry about how your Constitution affects it (unlike, for example, D&D or PF1, where the math has to line up), as the modifiers here only really apply for skill checks – with the exception of Strength.
Next is Ability DC – this is the Difficulty Class (DC) of any special abilities that we give the creature. A little further in the line, we can see that a CR 10 Combatant should have 2 of these. I’m going to assign special abilities last though, so for now, I’m just going to add in what the DC is, so that I can remember it for later. The Ability DC is set for 16 for a CR 10 creature.
Next is Spell DC. This is the DC if the creature has any spells that it uses. I’m not planning for this creature to have any spells, so I’m going to ignore this. If I hadn’t, for a CR 10 creature, it would be DC 13. At the same time, I’m going to remove the “Spell-Like Abilities” lines, as they won’t be needed.
Next, we have the Ability Score Modifier. Here are 3 stats, listed as +8, +5, and +3. These are the three main stats of the creature, and they should be placed accordingly. A strong creature should have a high Strength, a nimble one should have a high Dexterity, and so on. You can still assign more stats apart from these, but they generally should not be higher than 3. So you could have +1 for all the other ability score modifiers if you’d like, but that is up to you. For this creature though, I’ve already described it as strong and nimble, so I’m going to put the +8 in Strength, and the +5 in Dexterity. However, I don’t think it’s necessarily as tough as other creatures of its size, as it’s got those giant “vial” things, exposed, and that could affect its toughness, so I don’t want the +3 in Constitution. Neither do I necessarily think of it as intelligent, more like some sort of destructive killing machine – not necessarily stupid, but it doesn’t feel like it should be one of its strengths. And looking at the thing, it doesn’t look like something you’d really want to talk to, so let’s not put it into Charisma either. That leaves us with Wisdom, and that seems to fit the bill, as it is also how perceptive a creature is, how quick-witted. And a creature with that many eyes feels like it should be. So we end up going with +8 for Strength, +5 for Dexterity, and +3 Wisdom. That leaves us with the other stats – now I’m going to cheat a little here, and reveal that since we’ve already talked about it being some sort of “undead robot thingie” in a previous installment, two of those creature types have a — for their Constitution, and I think we’re going to use that for it. So we’ll put that in there too, and change it later if we want. As before, I don’t think the creature is necessarily stupid, but it’s probably not super intelligent either, so we’re going to give it a +1 as it’s Intelligence modifier, to reflect its technological nature (otherwise I’d have given a +0), and since the creature feels horrific, I’m going to give it a -3 to Charisma. It’s important to note here, that while most characters who want to be intimidating should not do that, monsters in Starfinder (and Pathfinder 2) do not suffer penalties to their skills from their ability score modifiers – but they do not gain any bonuses either. So our little creature here can still be intimidating (a building-sized spider-robot should be!).
So our final Ability Score modifier line looks like this: Str +8; Dex +5; Con —; Int +1; Wis +3; Cha -3.
Finally, are the Skills. You get 1 Master Skill (i.e. +24) as a CR 10 Combatant and 2 Good Skills (+19). Your Perception as well is also always equal to a Good skill (for a monster), unless you up it to their Master skill. So we’ll put +19 into Perception, and then we’ll look at some skills.
We’ve already decided that the creature should be intimidating, so I think that one of the skills should be Intimidate, and I think we’ll make it our Master skill. We’ve created a spider-robot that’s essentially a terror weapon, so this feels appropriate.
Next, we’ll give it Athletics at +19 – it’s a spider, so it should be good at climbing, which comes under that skill, and finally I WAS going to give it Computers, also at +19. Most technological creatures like robots have it, so it makes sense for it to have it – but since our creature is unlikely to ever use Computers (it is a terror weapon) that doesn’t make sense. Instead, I’ll give it Engineering – making it good at disassembling buildings and vehicles.)
So now our creature looks like this:
#NAME# CR 10 Combatant AL Huge Creature type Init +X; Senses X; Perception +19 Aura X (X ft, DC X)
DEFENSE HP 165 RP X EAC 23; KAC 25 Fort +12; Ref +12; Will +9 Defensive Abilities
Offensive Abilities STATISTICS Str +8; Dex +5; Con —; Int +1; Wis +3; Cha -3 Skills Athletics +19, Engineering +19, Intimidate +24, Languages Other Abilities
ECOLOGY Environment Organization
SPECIAL ABILITIES (DC 16 – 2 abilities) #Insert Description of Special abilities here, in alphabetical order#
With that, we’ll continue next week, and see if we can flesh out our creature a bit more. 😊