PF2e: Redesigning Monsters with Skeletal Minions

For a recent session of my home Kingmaker game, I took the basic skeleton and upped it’s stats from -1 to 2. All I did was look in the GMG, and changed all the numbers from their -1 equivalent to the higher level. It didn’t turn out well. What I didn’t realize is that the role that the basic skeleton fills at -1 is not what I wanted it for that combat. As such, I’ve redesigned the monster to fill the role I wanted.

First off, what role should this monster fill? Well, to use the 4e term, I wanted a minion. For those of you unfamiliar with that game, a minion is a creature you can put a lot of in, letting the players kill them in large numbers, while still being a threat for attacks. You see if I put the -1 skeletons up against my group of level 3 characters, there would be no challenge there. The players would mow them down even without a cleric while the skeletons would have to roll a 17+ to hit anyone but the sorcerer. That’s not a challenge.

So what do I need this monster to do: hit creatures well about their level while dying (again) easily. So I changed the level from -1 to 0. This would allow the numbers to be higher while still allowing for lots of them.

Even though this monster is a 0-level creature, it should never be deployed against level 1 characters. This monster is distinctly for level 3-4 characters. Level 2, maybe, but only if there’s a cleric in the party. They’re easy to destroy but they hurt when they hit. And they will hurt level 1’s badly.

So what groups of numbers did I use? Well it’s AC is 16, high for 0 because it is low for level 3, two saves are low for 0 with one high, being moderate at level 3. 10 hit points are below low at 0 so it will die easily, but its resistances to damage will keep it as alive past 1 hit for certain types of damage. Exactly what is needed. So its defenses are balanced at 0 (maybe a little lower thanks to the HP) while being formidable where I need it to be at level 3.

The extreme ability to hit of +10 at level 0 is only moderate at level 3. This ensures the monster is still a threat at a higher level. The extreme, high, and low damage of its three attacks of level 0 are all below low damage of level 3. However, these monsters are still going to hurt because of sheer quantity. The more monsters means more attacks per round. So this monster will still bring the pain.

This monster doesn’t bring any special abilities to the table, but it doesn’t have to. Its special ability is numbers. Even being mindless these creatures will make life difficult for any adventuring group.

Skeletal Minion Creature 0

Medium Mindless Undead

Perception +6; darkvision

Skills Acrobatics +6, Athletics +3

Str +2, Dex +4, Con +0, Int -5, Wis +0, Cha +0

Items scimitar, shortbow (20 arrows)

AC 16; Fort +3, Ref +9, Will +3

HP 10, negative healing; Immunities death effects, disease, mental, paralyzed, poison, unconscious; Resistances cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5, piercing 5, slashing 5

Speed 25 feet

Melee 1 scimitar +10 (forceful, sweep), Damage 1d6+3 slashing

Melee 1 claw +10 (agile, finesse), Damage 1d4+3 slashing

Ranged 1 shortbow +10 (deadly 1d10, range increment 60 feet, reload 0, Damage 1d6 piercing

Pathfinder 2e: 3 Reasons Why Every GM Should Give a Free Dedication Feat

The GMG has a variant rule where the players can get a free archetype. About it, it says:

The only difference between a normal character and a free-archetype character is that the character receives an extra class feat at 2nd level and every even level thereafter that they can use only for archetype feats.

PF2e GMG 194

In the Pathfinder 2 game I run, I told the players in their first session that they get the free dedication feat at 2nd level.  In the game where I’m player, the GM recently let us choose one (we’re currently 4th level). I’m glad we’re getting that. In my opinion, all PF2e games should use this rule. And here are my reasons why.

1) Players Get to Make Something Closer to What They Want

The vast majority of players I see want to make a character different than only the options in their class. Maybe you’re a spellcaster that wants to cast spells from two different traditions. Maybe you’re a fighter that wants a familiar. Maybe you want to be Harry Dresden, a wizard that also wields a gun. Plenty of characters want to do more than what the base class offers.

Sure, the game let’s you spend a class feat on an archetype, but here’s the thing, few use that option because they’re afraid they’ll be behind on the power curve of what their class should do. Are you really going to give up a 2nd level class feat for a few extra cantrips or some weapon or armor proficiencies? Probably not. Unless you feel that the synergy is going to be worth it down the road you’re not going to sacrifice useful abilities now for it.

2) The Power Level is Barely Changed

With the three actions economy, any options you get from your free archetype is probably going to come at the cost of using other options. Taking a spellcaster option? You have cantrips that will be used at the cost of other forms of attack. Taking something that gives you hunt prey or rage actions. For the cost of an action you get extra damage. Fighter, you get extra weapon proficiencies so your attacks do more damage, but not such an incredible amount that it unbalances things. Sure, there is a power increase, but only barely.

3) Your Players Will Love You for It

Players love free stuff. Free feat, that is different from their core class, wahoo! Yes please. And who is the person that gave it them? You! They will be glad you gave it to them.

Looking for more Pathfinder 2e feats? Grab yourself some General feats today at DriveThruRPG.

5 Questions About the Pathfinder 2e Remaster

Image by Beatrice Pelagatti

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Paizo is going to be rereleasing PF2e this year under the ORC license and they’re making some changes because it is no longer under the OGL. My overall reaction can be summed up as, “Ok.” The changes they’re talking about do not seem like that big of a deal to me. So I’ll picking up the new books when they come out and switching when they’re released.

Having said that, I do have some questions about it that I do not think have been answered yet. Forgive me if they have. I haven’t scoured the internet looking for them.

1) How Will The Planes Work?

Alignment is going away! (Sounds if Celebration) But what does that mean for the planes? The outer planes are alignment-based. Are we just going to have a plane called The Abyss and another called Hell and Axis, with no alignment affiliation, some planes are fine for life and other are toxic or whatever? I’m cool with that but I’d like to know for sure your plans.

2) Are Demons, Devils, and Daemons Going to Still be Different Things?

This one goes along with the last. Some of the demons and devils in previous editions felt pretty similar but you used one over the other because they matched the alignment of what you needed. With alignment going away, are you going to call them all fiends and have their personalities differentiate them or are demons and devils still going to be different?

3) When Will Adventure Paths Start Being Under the ORC?

For those of us looking to work only under the ORC when it is done, we’re wondering when those will start to be released. By extension, is Pathfinder Infinity going to be updated to allow publishers to include the ORC?

4) Is the Owlbear Going Away?

We all love the Owlbear. Are you going to rename it or is it going away?

5) Are Compatible Publishers Going to get an Advanced Copy?

We compatible publishers want to cheer you on and are hoping that we can have material out for day one. Any chance we can get a copy of the open content in advance? *Bats eye lashes*

3 Reasons Why I Love Kingmaker

Image by Luis Antonio Salas Lastra

If you’ve ever talked with me about adventures and adventure paths/campaigns, then you know I love the Kingmaker Adventure Path by Paizo. In my opinion, it is the best adventure path or campaign put out by any company bar none. Care to find be out way?

1) Easy to Add Your Own Subplots

Without a doubt, this campaign is the easiest to add your own subplots. Adding subplots is a great way to personalize what you run for your group. Take a recent session as an example. One PC is running from their family responsibilities. How did I introduce that to the group? I changed a random encounter from “raiders” to “mercenaries.” That’s it. Same stat blocks, same setup. All I had to change was have one of the mercs to do is have one point and say, “It’s her! Get back to base camp and report back! We’ll cover you! Go, go go!” Talk about easy.

Here’s another example from this past weekend’s game session. There’s an encounter with some trapdoor spiders (I changed it to yellow musk creepers and zombies because I’ve done enough spiders lately, but that’s beside the point). There’s treasure there that can make someone believe they recently killed someone. So I added a note from what would otherwise be an incidental NPC they meet in the future to some love interest I just made up, where the NPC is hoping to stop the love interest from marrying someone else. Who is that someone else? The hatest brother of a different PC. So now they’re on their way to stop a wedding.

Try doing either of those in Tyranny of Dragons or Abomination Vault.

How does it accomplish this? Two reasons: 1) the main plot of the campaign is pretty weak. It’s pacify an area and start your own kingdom. Not every encounter in the campaign is directly tied to the main plot. This means there is plenty of room for additions and modifications. 2) Lack of a ticking clock. If the fate of the world is at stake, the player characters are not going to worry about some random NPC’s love life.

2) Players Choose the Direction of the Campaign

Every campaign has rails to keep the players on track. No way around that. The real question is: are those rails so narrow and has so few turns that there is only one way to go with no choice about what comes next or are those rails wide open? Kingmaker’s rails are a huge map. If the players want to go left, they can go left. If they want to go right, they can go right. There is no right way and no wrong way to do it. If players want to place their capital at location x, there’s no reason why they can’t. Players feel more free to do what they want.

How is this accomplished? The players are given a goal. How they choose to go about it is up to them.

3) It’s Just Fun

Campaigns that are dark and serious, I’ve done them. They’re great but I personally don’t want to do one right now. I just want something fun and lightheaded. Sure there are mysteries to solve and bad guys to face, the campaign itself is not trying to be a Call of Cthulhu game uncovering dark cults and fighting monsters so terrible you may lose your mind. For much of the campaign, you’re trying to make the world a better place and stop those that want to tear you down.

This is accomplished by choosing to not be dark and gritty and by having the focus on the goodness on what the players create.

Find our Pathfinder 2e products at DriveThruRPG.

Owen Medical Bills Bundles

Hey gaming friends and family,

A fellow game designer needs help with paying medical bills. To assist, a serious number of publishers have contributed supplements for a serious number of games, including us. He’s organized them into two bundles, each available for under $35. Check them out and grab them today. Not only do you get a huge amount of quality products, you’re helping out a great game designer and good guy

Owen Medical Bills Bundle 1

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PF2e: Wand of Impending Enfeeblement Item 4

Image by Dean Spencer

Ray of enfeeblement was one of my favorite spells back in the 3e days. I had a character that was based around this and similar penalty-inflicting spells. This spell was more difficult in Pathfinder 1e with the addition of a Fortitude save after the touch attack. This spell is even more difficult in the current edition of Pathfinder. Since there is no touch attack, it is harder to hit. Then there is a save after that. Probably the real saving grace of the spell is that it’s duration is 1 minute, instead of the enfeeblement being reduced each round. So if it does work, it lasts.

To help it work more consistently, we thought the special ability of this wand should be an increase in the spell’s DC. As such we present to you the wand of impending enfeeblement.

Wand of Impending Enfeeblement Item 4

Attack Magical Necromancy Wand 

Price 85 gp

Usage held in 1 hand; Bulk

This wand is composed of an old gnarled bone with a chip of an onyx gem at its tip.

Activate Cast a Spell; Frequency once per day, plus overcharge; Effect You cast ray of enfeeblement at 1st level level. Additionally, you gain a +1 status bonus to your spell DC for this casting. 

Craft Requirements Supply a casting of ray of enfeeblement of the appropriate level.

PF 2e: My 5 Favorite Alchemical Foods in Treasure Vault

Image by Luis Antonio Salas Lastra

The Pathfinder® Treasure Vault came out recently and I’ve been enjoying it. I’m looking forward to using some stuff in it in my home game. Right now I’m reading the Alchemical Foods section. I thought I’d share my 5 favorite items. These are in order of how they’re presented in the book, not my preference. Choosing a favorite is to difficult.


Sucking on this lozenge gives you a +1 item bonus for 1 hour on Recall Knowledge checks. It has a secondary effect that lets you reroll the Recall Knowledge check if you didn’t gain any new info. For classes that depend on understanding their enemy, like the investigator, this is a game changer. You’re going through a dungeon, room upon room, and you’re trying to gain that bonus from Known Weaknesses, gaining a bonus to all those checks make the difference. And then you get to the boss and roll poorly, you can try again. That what makes this item a favorite of mine.


Sucking on this Level 8 item gives you resistance 5 to electricity for an hour. Biting it means the creature has to succeed a Fort save or be stunned. While highly situational, this is perfect for fighting things like blue dragons or living thunderclaps. Reducing the damage from some of their more deadly attacks and possibly reducing their effectiveness, that’s pretty darn good for a consumable item. This one deserves a spot on my list.


This really should just be named “Plot Candy.” I mean if you hand this to your characters and they hear, “Help! My name is Toby. I’m held against my will. Tell my parents I’m still alive. Their names are Brandon and Griselda. They’re in Sanctuary,” they’re going to drop everything and head over to Sanctuary to let the parents know their kid is still alive and will hunt down those captors with their full might. Like I said, Plot Candy.


How can you not live this item. You eat it and screech like an owlbear, striking fear into the hearts of your enemies. I would have preferred this as a lozenge where it is the secondary effect, but still, it is totally fun.


The final entry in this list is a bowl of stew. Eat this and you gain a bonus to tracking or covering your tracks for the day. This is perfect for a wilderness campaign like Kingmaker where you will be tracking bandits and other dangerous creatures. I can see our group’s orcish swashbuckler chef taking the skill feat to craft alchemical items just to make this on the regular.

Download all our Pathfinder 2e products at DriveThruRPG, Paizo and the Open Gaming Store.

PF2e: Spells Revisited

Image by Beatrice Pelagatti

At the onset of the playtest for PF2e, heal and magic missile were pretty much the only two spells revealed. They had choices of multiple actions and I was excited, thinking that all spells were going to receive such a treatment. Sadly that was not the case.

Until today that is. I’m going to start posting the existing spells adjusted with additional actions. Here is a few we modified. We hope you enjoy them.

Fireball Spell 3 

Evocation Fire 

Traditions arcane, primal 

Cast [one-action] to [two-actions] 

Range 500 feet; Area varies 

Saving Throw basic Reflex 

A roaring blast of fire appears at a spot you designate, dealing 6d6 fire damage. 

[one-action] (somatic) The spell has an area of 5-foot burst. 

[two-actions] (somatic, verbal) The spell has an area of 20-foot burst. 

Heightened (+1) The damage increases by 2d6.

Fleet Step Spell 1 


Traditions arcane, primal 

Cast [one-action] to [two-actions] 

Duration varies 

You gain a +30-foot status bonus to your Speed.

[one-action] (somatic) The spell has a duration of 1 round. 

[two-actions] (somatic, verbal) The spell has a duration of 1 minute.

Haste Spell 3 


Traditions arcane, occult, primal 

Cast [two-actions] to [three-actions] 

Range 30 feet; Targets varies 

Duration 1 minute 

Magic empowers the targets to act faster. They gain the quickened condition and can use the extra action each round only for Strike and Stride actions. 

[two-actions] (somatic, verbal) The spell has a target of 1 creature.

[three-actions] (material, somatic, verbal) this spell has a target of 2 creatures.

Heightened (7th) You can target up to 6 creatures, 8 creatures when cast as three actions.

PF 2e: Wand of Enhanced Energy Resistance

Not that long ago, we shared the wand of enduring heroism. Today, we wanted to share with you another such wand of our creation: the wand of enhanced energy resistance.

Like we mentioned last time, we each of these wands are designed with expanding options. The few wands that are in the Pathfinder 2e Core Rulebook focus on evocation spells. So we wanted to broaden those spells covered into other area. Today, we bring you a wand that will be a mainstay in any spellcaster’s collection. We hope you enjoy it.

Be sure to check out our Pathfinder 2e products at DriveThruRPG, the Open Gaming Store and

Wand of Enhanced Energy Resistance Item 6+ 

Abjuration Magical Wand 

Usage held in 1 hand; Bulk

This short wand is made from solid gray granite, with symbols carved into it representing each of the five energy types.

Activate Cast a Spell; Frequency once per day, plus overcharge; Effect You cast resist energy of the indicated level. The targets of the spell gain a status bonus to saving throws against the selected energy type.   

Type 2nd-level spell; Level 6; Price 245 gp; Bonus +1  

Type 4th-level spell; Level 10; Price 975 gp; Bonus +2  

Type 7th-level spell; Level 16; Price 9,800 gp; Bonus +2  

Craft Requirements Supply a casting of resist energy of the appropriate level.

PF2e: Elemental Motion – Fixing the Sorcerer Elemental Bloodline, Part 3

So far, we’ve discussed two ways how to adjust the the Sorcerer Elemental Bloodline. First we discussed what those elements should be. Second we discussed the spells you receive at 1st level. Today we are talking about the second of the Bloodline Spells: elemental motion.

First off, this spell isn’t all that bad. Air gets a fly speed equal to your speed, water gets a swim speed equal to your speed. Sound good. Then you come to earth. You get a burrow speed equal to 10 feet. Since most races have a speed of 20-25 feet, that is half your speed. It is even worse for the few ancestries with a speed of 30 feet. So no, this is just wrong.

Then there is fire which gets a fly speed equal to your speed. WHY?!? What about fire says flight? *Checks Bestiary* Nope, nothing listed under Elemental, Fire gets a fly speed. I’m sorry but this is just another way for fire to get all the best stuff. I mean, seriously, if fire is getting flight, earth should be able to jump its full speed since the earth can catapult the sorcerer to their destination, Avatar-style. What fire should get is a status bonus to speed. Still good, but not flight good. And yes, a status bonus so it doesn’t stack with Monk Moves for fire elemental bloodline sorcerers with a monk dedication.

As such, here is my fix for elemental motion.


Casting [two-actions] somatic, verbal
Duration 1 minute

You call upon your element to propel you, improving your Speed depending on your element. This spell has your element’s trait.

  • Air You gain a fly Speed equal to your Speed.
  • Earth You gain a burrow Speed equal to your Speed.
  • Fire You gain a +10-foot status bonus to your speed.
  • Water You gain a swim Speed equal to your Speed and can breathe underwater.

Heightened (6th) For Air, Earth, and Water, you also gain a +10-foot status bonus to your fly, burrow, and swim Speeds, respectively. For Fire, you gain a +15-foot status bonus to your speed.
Heightened (9th) For Air, Earth, and Water, you also gain a +20-foot status bonus to your fly, burrow, and swim Speeds, respectively. For Fire, you gain a +20-foot status bonus to your speed.