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Monsters in Starfinder

Manticore

Taking a break from flavor articles, I’ve been doing a fair amount of monster conversions from Pathfinder to Starfinder lately and thought people might like a quick walk through.

Let’s take a look at a classic monster – the Manticore. The manticore is one of those odd, amalgam monsters from mythology that seems a bit strange taken out of context. An intelligent creature that speaks, but with the claws of a lion and a bristly tail full of spikes… actually, that can be a pretty fun alien, and as an intelligent magical beast there is no reason a manticore can’t use technology and be a functioning citizen of the Pact Worlds.

But first, we’ll convert the creature.

Step 1: Everything we can just port directly over. This is size, creature type, CR, xp value, initiative, saves, ability mods (Starfinder monster stat blocks don’t have scores, just modifiers) skills where there is a direct equivalent, senses, and movement. In the Manticore’s case they have Fly as a skill, which doesn’t port over, but Survival and Perception do. Easiest to just switch Fly over to Piloting. So with just that we have –

MANTICORE

CR 5

XP 1,600

LE Large magical beast

Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +9

DEFENSE

Fort +9; Ref +7; Will +3

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., fly 50 ft. (Ex, clumsy)

Space 10ft.; Reach 5ft.

STATISTICS

Str +5; Dex +2; Con +4; Int -1; Wis +1; Cha -1

Skills Perception +9, Piloting +3, Survival +4

Languages Common

ECOLOGY

Environment warm hills and marshes

Organization solitary, pair, or pride (3–6)

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Step 2: Now we get to the numbers that need a little more converting. Hit points increase by 25%, armor class becomes its kinetic armor class, and energy armor class is that number minus one. Attacks can be directly converted, but in the case of monsters with multiple attacks they can only done as a full attack action (which cannot be combined with a guarded step). The manticore technically has a ranged attack, but it’s combined with it’s special ability, so we will tackle that in step 3. This gives us –

MANTICORE

CR 5

XP 1,600

LE Large magical beast

Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +9

DEFENSE

HP 71

EAC 16; KAC 17

Fort +9; Ref +7; Will +3

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., fly 50 ft. (Ex, clumsy)

Melee bite +10 (1d8+5), 2 claws +10 (2d4+5)

Space 10ft.; Reach 5ft.

STATISTICS

Str +5; Dex +2; Con +4; Int -1; Wis +1; Cha -1

Skills Perception +9, Piloting +3, Survival +4

Languages Common

ECOLOGY

Environment warm hills and marshes

Organization solitary, pair, or pride (3–6)

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Step 3: This is the most subjective step. Most Pathfinder monsters have some special ability or abilities, varying in degree of complexity. You’ll want to use your best judgment converting them to Starfinder, keeping in mind that afflictions are much more powerful, and that DCs may need to be massaged. The manticore has a bog-simple one though, its Spikes extraordinary ability. That ranged attack plus flying made the manticore a fearsome enemy in the early levels of Pathfinder, which is why there is a hard daily limit on the spikes in Pathfinder, but isn’t going to make him stand out all that much in Starfinder. Ranged attacks are much more common in Starfinder, so I don’t see any reason we need to keep that. Our fully converted manticore is thus –

MANTICORE

CR 5

XP 1,600

LE Large magical beast

Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +9

DEFENSE

HP 71

EAC 16; KAC 17

Fort +9; Ref +7; Will +3

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., fly 50 ft. (Ex, clumsy)

Melee bite +10 (1d8+5), 2 claws +10 (2d4+5)

Ranged 4 spikes +8 (1d6+5)

Space 10ft.; Reach 5ft.

STATISTICS

Str +5; Dex +2; Con +4; Int -1; Wis +1; Cha -1

Skills Perception +9, Piloting +3, Survival +4

Languages Common

ECOLOGY

Environment warm hills and marshes

Organization solitary, pair, or pride (3–6)

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Spikes (Ex) With a snap of its tail, a manticore can loose a volley of four spikes as a standard action (make an attack roll for each spike). This attack has a range of 180 feet with no range increment. All targets must be within 30 feet of each other.

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Step 4: We’ve got a fully converted monster now, but he still feels pretty antiquated for Starfinder. Also, the manticore is an intelligent creature fully able to communicate with others, use technology, and likely to have some kind of job. So let’s move our beast fully into the future and give him some tech to use. I’m also going to move him up to CR 7 and use the table on page 129 of Alien Archive to up his HP and saves using the combatant array, as well as adjust his attacks and damage using the second table. He’s already got respectable natural defenses, so custom barding won’t push his KAC and EAC up all that much. Finally, let’s give him a grenade launcher with stickybomb grenades, giving him a much needed control option that can knock down other fliers. Now we have –

MANTICORE SHOCK TROOPER

CR 7

XP 3,200

LE Large magical beast

Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +9

DEFENSE

HP 105

EAC 19; KAC 21

Fort +9; Ref +9; Will +6

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., fly 50 ft. (Ex, clumsy)

Melee bite +17 (1d8+12), 2 claws +17 (2d4+12)

Ranged 4 spikes +14 (1d6+12), NIL merc grenade launcher +14 with stickybomb grenade

II (explode [15 ft., entangled 2d4 rounds, DC 15])

Space 10ft.; Reach 5ft.

STATISTICS

Str +5; Dex +2; Con +4; Int -1; Wis +1; Cha -1

Skills Perception +18, Piloting +14, Survival +1

Languages Common

Gear Vesk plate barding (+3 EAC, +4 KAC, for large quadrupeds only), NIL merc grenade launcher, 6 stickybomb grenade IIs

ECOLOGY

Environment warm hills and marshes

Organization solitary, pair, or pride (3–6)

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Spikes (Ex) With a snap of its tail, a manticore can loose a volley of four spikes as a standard action (make an attack roll for each spike). This attack has a range of 180 feet with no range increment. All targets must be within 30 feet of each other.

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