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A friend wants me to develop several CR 40+ monsters for Pathfinder, by chain-applying useful templates to high-CR monsters. This endeavour includes one CR 61 creature, which will be an advanced (as per the template), half-celestial, half-fiend, half-brass dragon, half-bronze dragon, half-blue dragon, half-silver dragon, half-green dragon, half-white dragon, half-umbral dragon, giant, boreal, fey, fungal, broken soul, dread lord, dream eater, implacable stalker, mutant (both bestiary 5's "Mutant Creature" and Numeria's "Mutant"), counterpoised, nightmare lord, drakainia.

In making this creature, as is usually the case for high-level classed characters, high-CR monsters with lots of templates, and anything with Leadership or other free-people-generating abilities, the character sheet is a mess. Usually, I just work on the thing long enough I memorize how it works, but since I'm making this for someone else I need it to be reasonable to use the character sheet to figure out how it works. I figure since this is a common obstacle I face in both high-level 3.5 and mid-level Pathfinder play, this is probably a problem someone has already solved. How can I best organize the information on a high-level monster/NPC sheet so that people can most easily understand how the creature works and find relevant statistics/abilities as needed?

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    \$\begingroup\$ It might be worth learning how many halves there are in a whole. That would simplify the problem quite a bit. \$\endgroup\$
    – DRF
    Sep 25, 2017 at 10:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ So it's... 350% dragon? If your friend thinks it's possible to create a properly balanced CR61 creature by piling template after template on the same creature, they are mistaken. The template system isn't designed for having more than one or two templates at once. Multiple templates can have useless redundancies or powerful synergies. These template-template interactions are not properly represented by their CR adjustment. It would likely be more balanced to just make up the stats on your own and eye-ball the CR yourself. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Sep 25, 2017 at 11:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Philipp seeing as using a CR X creature straight isn't balanced in the first place, I hardly think that's a concern. I'm aware the resultant creature will be enormously weaker than it probably should be, that's not an issue. Plus the creature is being given a year of prep time by GM fiat so it's actually pretty okay. In any case, yes, this does not result in a creature that is an appropriate encounter for all 59th ECL parties (but 59th level parties have such a large band of power levels that we can be sure it's in there somewhere). \$\endgroup\$ Sep 25, 2017 at 19:55

2 Answers 2

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In my experience, the best thing to do is to write a cheat sheet instead of a real character sheet.

In a cheat sheet, you divide the informations based on when you will need them, then you just list options of things the creature can do under each header.

Some things are pretty stable once they have been calculated, just provide the final result to remove visual clutter.

So, for example:

HP: 254
AC: 37/24/27
Immune to: elements, fear, poison, ability drain
Resistant to: negative energy damage 10
Conditional defenses (follows a bulleted list)
Special defenses (follows a bulleted list)

And so on for things pertaining defense, then attacks, then utility, and initiative and movement modes...

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I believe the case you're working on is going to be complex no matter what you do, since the inputs are super complex.

However, you might be able to use a software tool, such as PCGen, to at least try and apply the various templates consistently, and have one single stat block output. No guarantee every one of those 'add-ons' is supported yet.

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