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Monster Advancement

Source Pathfinder RPG Bestiary pg. 294
The following rules allow you to adjust monsters, increasing (or even decreasing) their statistics and abilities while still creating a balanced and fun encounter.


Source Pathfinder RPG Bestiary pg. 294
A template is a set of rules that you apply to a monster to transform it into a different monster. All templates give precise directions on how to change a monster’s statistics to transform it into the new monster.

Acquired Templates: Some templates, like the lich, are the results of a creature’s choice and desire to transform. Others, like the ghost template, are the result of an external force acting upon a creature (for example, when a tormented person dies and becomes a ghost). Yet in both cases, the template changed a creature well after its birth or creation—these types are called “acquired templates,” and can be added to a creature at any time during its existance.

Inherited Templates: Some templates, such as the half-dragon and half-fiend templates, are part of a creature from the beginning of its existence. Creatures are born or created with these templates already in place, and have never known life without them. These types of templates are called “inherited templates.”

Adding Racial Hit Dice

Source Pathfinder RPG Bestiary pg. 295
Adding racial Hit Dice to a monster is a similar process to building a monster from scratch. As additional Hit Dice are added, other abilities increase in power as well. Additional Hit Dice usually results in better attack bonuses, saves, hit points, and skills, as well as more feats. It can also include additional spellcasting capability and other powers.

Adding Class Levels

Source Pathfinder RPG Bestiary pg. 296
Of all the methods of advancing a monster, adding class levels requires the most adjudication and careful comparison. Some classes truly add to the power and abilities of some monster types, while others do not. For example, adding levels of barbarian to a hill giant can be a great addition, whereas adding levels of sorcerer is less useful. When adding class levels to a creature, take the following three steps.