Monstrous Physique — Making Monsters, Part 4

Our monster continues to come into her own. Last time we saw her, she became truly special. This time, it’s time to grow Kasama to the best monster she can be. Let’s make her big! We’ll be increasing her size and giving her the kaiju template. Let’s take a look at how that all works!

Kasama’s stat block is getting kind of big, so I’ll let you peruse it by checking the link above. The first thing we’ll do today is finally give Kasama her size category. As we want her to be real big, we’ll choose the biggest option: colossal. Usually, when changing a monster’s size, there are a number of changes to the ability scores, specifically Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity. As I already knew what Kasama’s size going in was, I determined her ability scores with these changes in mind. The only other considerations we have are detailed in Table 2–3: Size Bonuses and Penalties in the Bestiary. This will modify her attack bonuses, AC, CMB, CMD, and skill bonuses.

AC 45, touch 9, flat-footed 38 (+7 Dex, +36 natural, –8 size)

The size change would bring her AC below the recommendation, so I tacked on some more natural armor to shore this up. The rest of the changes are pretty self explanatory, so there’s no real need to post them here. Next let’s look at Kasama’s creature type.

Kasama is a dragon and already has all of her dragon type business in place, but there are two subtypes I want to look at. First, we’ll give her the fire subtype. There’s not much to do with this subtype. She gains immunity to fire and vulnerability to cold. Simple enough. Then, we add the kaiju subtype. This is where things get interesting. Among the things Kasama gains are damage reduction, a whole slew of immunities and resistances, and some extra abilities like fast healing. There is a point of contention here, though. With the two subtypes Kasama has both resistance and vulnerability to cold damage.

Find out… right now!

Yes, this is totally legal within the Pathfinder rules! This is one of those strange interactions in the way that subtypes work. Because the subtypes both require the resistance and vulnerability, they have to stay. What this creates is a very strange scenario for the rules that isn’t officially clarified just yet. So how would cold damage affect Kasama? My rule of thumb is to always do whichever is most beneficial for the creature. In this case, the cold damage would be reduce before being increased. Thus, if Kasama were to take 50 cold damage, it would be reduced to 20 and then increased to 30 total damage. Changing the order of operations would instead change the damage to 45 total. It really is up to you how you run it.

The important thing here is recognizing that sometimes this kind of thing can happen. When it does, you have the choice to accept it or change it. I could, for example, grant Kasama fire immunity without the fire subtype, but I feel the subtype suits her. Again, it’s your call.

Here’s what Kasama looks like now:

KASAMA THE INVINCIBLE CR 30
XP 9,830,400
N Colossal dragon (fire, kaiju)
Init +11; Senses low-light vision, darkvision 600 ft.; Perception +39
DEFENSE
AC 45, touch 9, flat-footed 38 (+7 Dex, +36 natural, –8 size)
hp 705 (30d12+510); fast healing 30
Fort +36, Ref +26, Will +25
Defensive Abilities ferocity, recovery; Immune ability damage, ability drain, death effects, disease, energy drain, fear, fire, electricity, sleep, paralysis; Resist acid 30, cold 30, negative energy 30, sonic 30; Weaknesses vulnerability to cold
OFFENSE
Speed 70 ft., swim 100 ft.
Melee bite +42 (8d6+40 plus 4d8 fire/19–20), 2 claws +42 (6d6+40 plus 4d8 fire/19–20)
Space 40 ft.; Reach 35 ft. (40 ft. with bite)
Special Attacks blasting breath, breath weapon (140-ft. line, DC 42, 20d6 fire and 20d6 lightning, usable once every 1d4 rounds), capsize, hurl foe
STATISTICS
Str 51, Dex 24, Con 45, Int 12, Wis 23, Cha 18
Base Atk +30; CMB +58; CMD 73
Feats Awesome Blow, Bleeding Critical, Blind-Fight, Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Great Fortitude, Greater Bull Rush, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (bite, claw), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack
Skills Diplomacy +37, Intimidate +37, Perception +39, Sense Motive +39, Stealth +17 (+25 in water), Survival +34, Swim +49; Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in lava
Languages Aquan, Common, Draconic, Ignan
SQ firebleed, heat, massive, powerful strikes
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Blasting Breath (Ex) As a standard action, Kasama may spit a giant ball of flame and lightning to a point within 1,200 feet. This functions like a fireball except that it deals 20d6 fire damage and does not offer spell resistance. Upon erupting, arcs of electricity shot forth from the flames, striking all creatures within 60 ft. This functions as lightning bolt except that it deals 20d6 electricity damage and does not offer spell resistance. A DC 42 Reflex halves all of this damage. The save DC is Constitution based.
This ability shares the same recovery time as Kasama’s breath weapon and neither can be used during the 1d4 rounds of recovery time.
Capsize (Ex) Kasama can attempt to capsize a boat or ship by ramming it as a charge attack and making a CMB check. The DC of this check is 25, or the result of the boat captain’s Profession (sailor) check, whichever is higher. For each size category larger than Kasama’s size, it takes a cumulative –10 penalty on this CMB check.
Firebleed (Ex) Kasama’s very blood is made of a magma-like liquid that is dangerous to her foes. Any attack that does more than 10 points of damage to Kasama causes the wound to erupt in a 30-foot cone of magma. This cone deals 1d6 points of fire damage plus an additional 1d6 points of fire damage for every 10 points of damage dealt by the attack. Thus, an attack dealing 22 points of damage results in a cone dealing 3d6 points of fire damage, while an attack dealing 49 points of damage results in a cone dealing 4d6 points of fire damage. Creatures affected by the cone may make a DC 42 Reflex save to take only half damage. The save DC is Constitution-based. Ranged attacks and any magical attacks that deal damage also cause this special ability to take effect. Kasama cannot firebleed at will, but might do so 15 times per round (an amount equal to its Constitution modifier).
Heat (Ex) Kasama generates so much heat that her mere touch deals additional 4d8 points of fire damage. Creatures striking Kasama with natural attacks or unarmed attacks are subject to this damage, but creatures striking with melee weapons do not take damage from its heat. This heat can melt or char weapons; any weapon that strikes Kasama is allowed a DC 42 Fortitude save to avoid destruction. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Powerful Strikes (Ex) Kasama applies twice her strength modifier to her natural attack damage.

Aaaannd… well, that’s it for the size and subtypes. It’s really just of matter of knowing what a particular size or subtype will give your creature. You can give your creature as many subtypes as you like or require (see: all demons), but that is something you’ll have to decide for yourself. Focus on things that make sense for your creature or you can explain as part of the monster’s story. Kasama is just about done, but there are a few tiny details that I would like to discuss next time. I’ll be covering all the final details as well as aspects of creatures that I haven’t had a good chance to explain just yet. Finally, we’ll give Kasama her story and let her loose once more. Please let me know any questions you have on the process.

If you have any questions about making monsters (in either Pathfinder or Starfinder) leave them as a comment here, drop me a line at KnowDirection@hotmail.com, or send them to me on our Discord server. Until then, stay monstrous!

Luis Loza

Luis Loza is a developer at Paizo, working on the Pathfinder Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines. He's done freelance for Paizo Inc, Legendary Games, Rogue Genius Games, and more third-party publishers. His hobbies include gaming both tabletop and video, making jokes, obsessing over time travel, taking naps with Nova the cat, and walks with Heather the wife. He is eternally plagued with a hunger for tacos.

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