Elite Simple Template

Simple monster templates are an often overlooked weapon in the Pathfinder GMs toolbox. Unlike their more complex cousins they can be added to monsters and NPCs on-the-fly. If you use published adventures you may not realise how often templates are used by professional designers to fine tune and add flavour to an encounter.

Incidentally, if you want a good source of advanced templates get a copy of the Advanced Bestiary from Green Ronin Publishing.

Presented below is the first of a series of new simple templates. They are under play-test at the moment so check back regularly because they are likely to change. Likewise if you have any feedback please post your thoughts.

 

Elite Template (CR +1)

Creatures and NPCs with the elite template are luckier, hardier, more determined, or have stronger resolve than their ordinary cousins.
Quick Rules: Receives full hit points per Hit Die (rather than the average for an ordinary creature). Receives the following ability:
Dangerous Foe (Ex) Once per day as a free action, the creature gains an additional standard or move action this turn. This ability can only be taken on the creatures turn.

 

The elite simple template is my attempt to resolving the 1-round boss kill problem prevalent in some Pathfinder groups – It’s the end of the adventure and the party nova all of their abilities in the first round to kill the big bad boss guy before he has a chance to do anything meaningful. The template also adds a hero point like mechanic to address early battle action economy issues and boasts the creatures hit points.

Of course there are numerous ways in Pathfinder to stop a party overpowering a single foe: additional monsters, resistances, immunities, spell resistance, crazy high armor class, additional levels or hit dice, pre-cast spells, terrain, lighting, and environmental effects. But in most cases simply increasing the monsters hit points and giving him an extra action may buy him enough time to do something threatening, or at the very least something memorable. I’m sure I’m not the only GM out there who has fudged a monsters hit points to keep him on the table for an extra round. After all anti-climactic battles can be a real let down on both sides of the GM’s screen. However, be careful adding this template to monsters or NPCs with high resistances or immunities as this could lead to long combats.