Friday, November 23, 2018

Monsters: Breaking Down a Stat Block (Polar Bears)

In today's post I'm going to do a blow by blow rundown of a monsters stat block.  For this exercise we are going to use a Polar Bear.

Impromptu Polar Bears
These bears are completely out of their place in green jungles.  While the weather is altogether too warm for them they are willing to broker safe passage to the party with an offering of a sugary drink.  Failing to meet that requirement the bear will bathe in the blood of the party.

[Water] Overheated Polar Bear (Dire) LVL 7  HP 7d6+17  Wounds: 4  DEF 15 / AC 5 / ARM 2  Mv: M
  • Ferocious 1  Relentless 1  Rage 2
  • Claw/Claw/Bite  R: 1  SPD: 4  To-Hit: +6  DMG: 1d6+3
  • Weak to Fire Damage [Edge]
  • QTY: 1  Tactics: Seek & Destroy (Fire User)

Alright, let's start Left from Right.

  1. [Water] this denotes the creatures element.  It has Resist: 3 for any Water Damage, and is weak to any [Wind] attacks including Lightning.  
  2. Next up is the creatures Name.
  3. After that is (Dire) this denotes the archetype of the creature.  Monsters all have an archetype that corresponds to the player characters.  As a Dire creature the Polar Bear gains +3 To-Hit and DMG.
    1. Dire = Fighter / Loathsome = Adventurer / Dreaded = Seeker. 
  4. Next up we have Level which determines your Hit Points, and Terror dice if you have them.  
  5. Hit Points = Xd6 + X  where X is your Level. 
  6. Wounds are an alternate way of defeating a Monster in lieu of Hit Points.  Damage that is 10+ strikes a Wound.  Most Monsters have between 1-3 Wounds, which is modified by Relentless or Giant attribute.
  7. DEF = 10 + AC.  Roll this number of higher to hit the bear.  AC is noted here because some monsters will have lower defense due to being Giant sized.
  8. ARM is how much damage you will reduce by.  For the Bear his thick hide reduces is all DMG by 2.  This game uses modified OD&D rules where all damage is abstracted as a d6, (One-handed = 1d6, Two-handed = 2d6 DMG) so -2 to everything is quite good. 
  9. Lastly we have Move (Mv) which specifies how far you can go.  Short, Medium or Long.  This is dictated by one's AC.  AC 3 = Short.  AC 5 = Mid.  AC 7 = Long.

Okay moving past the one liner stat block we'll start going down the list.
  1.  The first line is used to describe those universal parameters detailed in this post.  Ferocious 1 gives the Polar Bear +3 To-Hit, Relentless gives him +10 HP and +1 Wound, Rage 2 gives him +20 HP every time it receives a Wound. 
  2. The second line is used for weaponry.  The Polar Bear has two claws and a bite.  They have Reach 1 (Standard)  Speed 4  To-Hit +6  (+3 from Dire, +3 from Ferocious) and Damage of 1d6+3 (Dire).
    1. For simplicity sake monsters with multiple attacks all have the same profile to keep it easier on the GM.  The standard profile for a monster is R: 1  SPD: 4  DMG: 1d6. 
    2. If a monster only has a single powerful attack, like a Shark Bite then it follows R: 1  SPD: 6  DMG: 2d6
  3. Below the second line will be any special effects.  Since this polar bear is pretty ordinary, aside from the fact he's far from his wintry home he doesn't have much.  He is however weak to Fire given this arctic bear has been teleported into a jungle.  Weakness is denoted as having the [Edge].
    1. [Edge]  Whenever you have the Edge gain +1d6 To-Hit and DMG. 
  4. The last line is used for Quantity, Tactics and Stealth.  Just a simple one liner to give the GM an idea on how to play the monster without them resorting to reading a paragraph.  Our overheated bear will single out any Pyromancy and eat them given the chance. 

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