Strikes - Rules - Archives of Nethys: Pathfinder 2nd Edition Database (2024)

Chapter 2: Building Games / Building Creatures
Source GM Core pg. 119
When building your creature's selection of Strikes, use the following sections to set the Strike's attack bonus and damage. Give the attack all the normal traits if it's a weapon; for unarmed attacks or weapons you invent, give whatever traits you feel are appropriate. Note that these traits might influence the damage you give the Strike.

You might want to make sure a creature has an unarmed attack if you think it's likely to get disarmed. At 7th level and higher, PCs might have the ability to fly, which makes it more important for creatures to have decent ranged Strikes to ensure they aren't totally hopeless against flying PCs (though they could instead have fast fly Speeds or something similar).

Source GM Core pg. 120
Use a high attack bonus for physically combative creatures—fighter types—that also usually have high damage. A creature could have a higher attack bonus and lower damage, or vice versa (for instance, a moderate attack bonus and extreme damage might fit a creature that's more like a barbarian), instead of having a poor statistic in another category. Spellcasters typically have poor attack bonuses, potentially in exchange for extreme spell DCs.

Table 2–9: Strike Attack Bonus

LevelExtremeHighModerateLow
–1+10+8+6+4
0+10+8+6+4
1+11+9+7+5
2+13+11+9+7
3+14+12+10+8
4+16+14+12+9
5+17+15+13+11
6+19+17+15+12
7+20+18+16+13
8+22+20+18+15
9+23+21+19+16
10+25+23+21+17
11+27+24+22+19
12+28+26+24+20
13+29+27+25+21
14+31+29+27+23
15+32+30+28+24
16+34+32+30+25
17+35+33+31+27
18+37+35+33+28
19+38+36+34+29
20+40+38+36+31
21+41+39+37+32
22+43+41+39+33
23+44+42+40+35
24+46+44+42+36

Source GM Core pg. 120
The Strike Damage table gives the damage a creature should deal with a single Strike. You might use a lower category if the creature has better accuracy, or a higher category if its accuracy is lower.

A creature that's meant to be primarily a melee threat uses high damage for its melee Strikes, or moderate for melee Strikes that have the agile trait. Ranged attacks more typically use the moderate value, or even low. A creature that's meant to be highly damaging uses the extreme damage values, but might then have a moderate attack bonus. As with most statistics, extreme damage is more likely at higher levels. You can also use the extreme value for special attacks that the creature can use only a limited number of times or under circ*mstances that aren't likely to happen every round.

More versatile creatures, such as ones that can cast some spells and aren't meant to primarily get their damage through Strikes, go one category lower: moderate for their main melee Strikes, low for agile and ranged Strikes. Spellcasters and other creatures that aren't meant to be competent in a direct fight might use the low damage value, or even less if they completely don't care about their Strikes.

The Strike Damage table entries include a damage expression (a die roll or rolls plus a flat modifier) you can use as is, or you can take the damage in parentheses and build your own damage expression to hit that number. If you do the latter, remember that a d4 counts as 2.5 damage, a d6 as 3.5, a d8 as 4.5, a d10 as 5.5, and a d12 as 6.5. Usually, a damage expression works best when roughly half the damage is from dice and half is from the flat modifier. If your creature deals special damage, like 1d6 fire from flaming attacks, that counts toward its total damage per Strike. Keep in mind that a creature using a weapon should have a damage value that feels right for that weapon. Extreme damage works well for two-handed weapons that use d10s or d12s for damage. On the other hand, a dagger uses only d4s, so a dagger wielder would need something like sneak attack to deal extreme damage, or you might compensate for the dagger's lower damage per Strike by giving the creature the ability to attack more efficiently or use other tricks.

Table 2–10: Strike Damage

LevelExtremeHighModerateLow
–11d6+1 (4)1d4+1 (3)1d4 (3)1d4 (2)
01d6+3 (6)1d6+2 (5)1d4+2 (4)1d4+1 (3)
11d8+4 (8)1d6+3 (6)1d6+2 (5)1d4+2 (4)
21d12+4 (11)1d10+4 (9)1d8+4 (8)1d6+3 (6)
31d12+8 (15)1d10+6 (12)1d8+6 (10)1d6+5 (8)
42d10+7 (18)2d8+5 (14)2d6+5 (12)2d4+4 (9)
52d12+7 (20)2d8+7 (16)2d6+6 (13)2d4+6 (11)
62d12+10 (23)2d8+9 (18)2d6+8 (15)2d4+7 (12)
72d12+12 (25)2d10+9 (20)2d8+8 (17)2d6+6 (13)
82d12+15 (28)2d10+11 (22)2d8+9 (18)2d6+8 (15)
92d12+17 (30)2d10+13 (24)2d8+11 (20)2d6+9 (16)
102d12+20 (33)2d12+13 (26)2d10+11 (22)2d6+10 (17)
112d12+22 (35)2d12+15 (28)2d10+12 (23)2d8+10 (19)
123d12+19 (38)3d10+14 (30)3d8+12 (25)3d6+10 (20)
133d12+21 (40)3d10+16 (32)3d8+14 (27)3d6+11 (21)
143d12+24 (43)3d10+18 (34)3d8+15 (28)3d6+13 (23)
153d12+26 (45)3d12+17 (36)3d10+14 (30)3d6+14 (24)
163d12+29 (48)3d12+18 (37)3d10+15 (31)3d6+15 (25)
173d12+31 (50)3d12+19 (38)3d10+16 (32)3d6+16 (26)
183d12+34 (53)3d12+20 (40)3d10+17 (33)3d6+17 (27)
194d12+29 (55)4d10+20 (42)4d8+17 (35)4d6+14 (28)
204d12+32 (58)4d10+22 (44)4d8+19 (37)4d6+15 (29)
214d12+34 (60)4d10+24 (46)4d8+20 (38)4d6+17 (31)
224d12+37 (63)4d10+26 (48)4d8+22 (40)4d6+18 (32)
234d12+39 (65)4d12+24 (50)4d10+20 (42)4d6+19 (33)
244d12+42 (68)4d12+26 (52)4d10+22 (44)4d6+21 (35)

Manufactured Weapons

As noted in Items, most creatures have less treasure than PCs, so those that rely on manufactured weapons are significantly weaker if you don't adjust the weapons' damage to compensate. The method for determining Strike damage abstracts the sources of damage, so you don't have to worry about adjusting the weapon's damage. If you do decide to calculate the weapon's damage, give your creature weapon specialization or greater weapon specialization much earlier than a PC would get it. You might also need to add sneak attack or similar abilities to make the creature deal more damage.

On the flip side, you might want to use a one-off creature as a source of a particularly high-level piece of treasure, such as a magic weapon. In these cases, you might want to make the attack bonus higher for the potency rune or the damage higher for a potent striking rune so the PCs feel the weapon's effect before they obtain it. This will make the treasure feel more powerful since they've already been on the receiving end.

Strikes - Rules - Archives of Nethys: Pathfinder 2nd Edition Database (2024)
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