Appendix 1: Creating Monsters and Other NPCs - Rules (2024)

Source Alien Archive pg. 126
In the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, nonplayer characters (including monsters) aren’t created in the same way as player characters. We’ve made building monsters and other NPCs in Starfinder a much faster process than creating a player character to account for the fact that a GM might need to create several unique NPCs for just one encounter, while each player normally needs to create only one player character for an entire game or campaign. Following the steps described in this section allows you to build a well-balanced NPC. Note that, unless otherwise stated, traits, abilities, and so on can be found in Appendix 4: Universal Creature Rules, and all spells are from Chapter 10 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook.
Source Alien Archive pg. 126
Creating an NPC encompasses nine steps, many of which don’t take very long. Each step is briefly outlined below and detailed further in its section (on the page noted in parentheses).

Before You Begin: NPC Concept

Before you start designing your NPC, you should have a clear concept for it. Think about its role in your story, and select a Challenge Rating for it. Consult Table 11–1: Encounter Difficulty on page 390 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook to help you determine your NPC’s CR based on the player characters’ Average Party Level. If you are creating a different version of an alien in this book (such as one with a higher CR or a class graft), feel free to give it special abilities similar to that of the original alien.

Step 1: Array (See Below)

Determine whether your NPC is a combatant, an expert, or a spellcaster, and use the appropriate array tables to determine the NPC’s starting statistics.

Step 2: Creature Type Graft

The first graft—a set of adjustments—you apply to your NPC gives it attributes that reflect the base kind of creature it is, such as animal, humanoid, or undead. This and other grafts give new abilities and possibly adjust the numbers from the NPC’s array. If you give an NPC a class graft (see Step 4), some of the adjustments from its class graft can be superseded by ones granted by its creature type graft.

Step 3: Creature Subtype Graft

If the NPC has any subtypes, add those now. Many subtypes don’t grant additional abilities, but they are important for interactions with other rules.

Step 4: Class Graft

If you’re making an NPC who functions as a character with a class, you can give it a class graft. The class graft gives it abilities based on the relevant class’s abilities, but which abilities the NPC gains is determined by its CR rather than by a class level. Some class graft adjustments can replace ones from its creature type graft (see Step 2).

Step 5: Template Graft

If you would like the NPC to have a template, apply it now.

Step 6: Special Abilities

In this step, give your NPC a number of appropriate special abilities, as given in its array. Some abilities are combat tricks, while other adjustments might switch up its basic statistics. A few abilities can be given to an NPC for free.

Step 7: Skills

Your NPC’s array (and possibly a graft or special ability you give it) determines its bonuses for skills it has mastered or is better than average at using. Pick the specific skills and determine the bonus for each now.

Step 8: Spells

If your NPC can cast spells, choose them now. Usually only spellcasters or creatures with spell-like abilities need this step.

Step 9: Final Check

Finally, make sure your NPC matches what you had planned for it. You also might want to double-check your numbers after applying special abilities to make sure none of them are too far from the baseline.
Source Alien Archive pg. 126
The following pages give you statistics for creating your NPCs, from AC and skills to attacks and damage.

Combatant Array: Choose the combatant array for an NPC that will primarily fight in physical combat, such as a bodyguard or a feral beast. Such NPCs represent significant threats on the field of battle. These attacks are often physical, but they might also be strange supernatural abilities. The combatant array is used for the solarian and soldier class grafts.

Note: Combatants have lower ability and spell DCs. If you have an NPC with a powerful ability as one of its main attacks, increase the corresponding DC by 2.

Expert Array: Pick the expert array for skilled enemies such as stealthy scouts or noncombatants such as merchants or advisors. The expert array is also used for the envoy, mechanic, and operative class grafts. Expert NPCs benefit from a wide array of skills, making them competent at specialized tasks such as sneaking or sabotage.

Spellcaster Array: Use the spellcaster array for any NPC whose main capabilities come from casting spells or using spell-like abilities. Spellcaster NPCs usually have the most unusual abilities. The spellcaster array is used for the mystic and technomancer class grafts. An NPC with this array automatically gets spellcasting. See Step 8: Spells on page 143 for full instructions on picking spells. This array is for NPCs that spend most of their actions in combat casting spells.

Note that not all NPCs that rely on magic use the spellcaster array, nor do all combatants rely on physical combat. If spellcasting is only a minor part of the NPC rather than its main focus, or if it relies on supernatural attacks rather than actual spells, you can choose another array and give the NPC the secondary magic special ability (see page 142). Likewise, an NPC that relies on supernatural special abilities (such as magically turning creatures to stone) might be better served with the combatant or the expert array, depending on what other abilities you want it to have.

Using an Array

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In this system, you don’t calculate an NPC’s final statistics the same way as a player character would. Instead, you take the numbers directly from the array and then make a few adjustments based on grafts and special abilities chosen later. In other words, if the array says the NPC’s Reflex saving throw bonus is +6, that number already represents the benefits of its statistics or any gear it might have.

Each arrays is spread out between two tables; the first table lists the NPC’s main statistics and the second table has the NPC’s attack statistics.

CR: Find the CR you want for your NPC in this column, then read across that row to determine the other values to use.

EAC, KAC, and Saving Throw Bonuses: Use the listed numbers for your NPC’s EAC; KAC; and Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saving throw bonuses. If it would be thematically more appropriate to switch the saving throw numbers around, you can swap them (giving a combatant a low Reflex save and high Will save, for example).

Hit Points: Use the listed number for an NPC’s Hit Points, adjusting it if you want the monster to be especially tough or frail.

Note that NPCs don’t have Stamina Points, and most NPCs don’t need Resolve Points. See the Stamina and Resolve sidebar on page 128 for more information.

Ability and Spell DCs: Use the Ability DC entry for all the NPC’s abilities, such as a breath weapon or poison, that don’t function as spells. If the NPC uses spells or spell-like abilities, determine the DC of each spell or spell-like ability separately, adding the level of the spell or spell-like ability to the number in the Base Spell DC column. For example, a CR 3 expert NPC’s DC for a 1st-level spell is 14.

Ability Score Modifiers: NPC stat blocks display only a creature’s ability score modifiers, not its ability scores. The array lists numbers for the NPC’s three highest ability score modifiers. Assign these as you see fit based on the NPC’s theme. A combatant usually should have at least the top two among Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution; a spellcaster should have its highest ability score modifier in what would thematically be its spellcasting ability. With a few exceptions, these modifiers don’t influence other statistics, so set an NPC’s Dexterity bonus where you want it without worrying that you’ll change its Armor Class, for instance. After assigning these top three scores, you can set the NPC’s remaining ability score modifiers as you see fit, usually equal to or less than the lowest listed modifier.

Special Abilities: Choosing special abilities (see page 141) is where you set your NPC apart from others of its CR and array. Choose the number of abilities indicated; these can be an adjustment to its statistics, a universal creature rule, or simply a feat. You can also give your NPC unique abilities you invent; see page 142 for advice on doing so.

Some special abilities are designated as “free” abilities as they don’t count against the number of special abilities an NPC gets at its CR. These are described in further detail on page 142.

Skills: The two columns for skills indicate the NPC’s bonus with skills it has mastered and with ones it’s good but not exceptional at (see page 142). All other skills default to the NPC’s relevant ability score modifiers.

Each entry also lists a number in parentheses. This is a suggestion for how many master skills and how many good skills an NPC of that CR should have. NPCs generally have Perception as a good skill, and it isn’t included in these numbers. If you want, you can pick Perception as a master skill and choose another good skill for the NPC.

All the numbers in these charts are flexible, especially for skills. You can add or remove skills without making too much of an impact on a melee combat–focused NPC, for instance.

Attack Bonuses: The second table of an array lists high and low attack bonuses for the NPC. Use the high value for the NPC’s best attacks and the low value for the rest. Use one value for all ranged attacks and the other for all melee attacks (you generally don’t need to worry about differences between one weapon and another in the same category). For example, if your NPC is a sniper, you should use the high value for its ranged attacks and the low one for its melee attacks.

Ranged Damage: If an NPC uses ranged weapons, you can give it a weapon with an item level equal to the creature’s CR. An NPC always adds its full CR to its damage to mimic the Weapon Specialization feat (0 if its CR is less than 1), regardless of the weapon’s category. It doesn’t add the bonus to damage it deals with grenades. If you don’t find an appropriate weapon at the given level, you can choose an item with a level between the NPC’s CR – 3 and its CR + 1; the NPC’s specialization bonus will make up some of the difference. If you end up with a weapon that’s far from the right level, you might need to give the NPC a higher or lower attack bonus or a different benefit or drawback.

If the NPC has a unique ranged attack, such as an acidic spit attack, using the value from either the Energy Damage or Kinetic Damage column as appropriate for the damage type of the weapon. If you want the NPC’s attack to be especially deadly, you can use the damage entry from the row for the NPC’s CR + 1. If you do, it’s usually best to lower its attack bonus or AC a bit or give it some other shortcoming.

Melee Damage: As with ranged attacks, you can give an NPC a weapon and add its CR and its Strength modifier to the damage dealt. If the NPC has natural weapons, use the table to determine the damage they deal. If the NPC has the multiattack universal creature rule (see page 155), and thus can attack more than twice with a full attack, use the relevant column to determine the damage each attack deals. For an NPC that can do more than four attacks with a full action, it’s better to give it a penalty to further attacks rather than to decrease the damage.

Because melee attacks tend to target KAC, there aren’t separate entries for energy attacks. Instead, reduce the damage dealt for a standard melee attack against EAC to the three attacks value. If the NPC can make three attacks using an energy weapon, reduce the damage dealt to the four attacks value.

Everything is Optional

Source Alien Archive pg. 127
When creating an NPC, you are free to enact whatever changes you need to in order to make your creation work the way you intend. For example, an array might tell you to select two special abilities, but you know you need four—or only one. Go ahead and make the change! If you want your combatant NPC to have a really high AC but not many Hit Points, you can increase its AC by 1 and use the expert array’s HP. This doesn’t make the statistics wrong; rather, it helps the statistics match your concept. Creating NPCs is fundamentally a creative process, so while these steps are useful to keep the NPC’s capabilities from going too far astray for its CR, don’t treat them as hard restrictions.

Stamina and Resolve

Source Alien Archive pg. 127
Stamina Points: NPCs don’t have Stamina Points. Any abilities that would normally affect an NPC’s Stamina Points affect its Hit Points instead.

Resolve Points: Most NPCs don’t need Resolve Points, but if you give an NPC class features or special abilities that specifically use them, it receives a number of Resolve Points equal to its CR divided by 5, plus 3.

Other Statistics

Source Alien Archive pg. 128
These statistics don’t appear on the array tables.

Initiative: Unless you increase it with the Improved Initiative feat, a graft, or an ad hoc adjustment, the NPC’s initiative bonus is equal to its Dexterity modifier.

Speed: Choose the speed that suits your NPC. Movement modes such as climb or swim usually don’t count as special abilities in this case, though if your NPC has an especially high number of special movement modes or a very fast speed, that should probably count as one of its special abilities.

Feats: Most NPCs don’t have feats. Many of the bonuses granted by feats can simply be incorporated into a creature’s stat block. However, you can give an NPC a feat as a special ability (see page 142).

Languages: An NPC that has the capacity for language knows its racial tongue, and it likely knows Common and the language of its home planet (if any). Particularly intelligent NPCs might know other languages as you deem appropriate.

Source Alien Archive pg. 129
CREACKACFortRefWillHit PointsAbility DCBase Spell DCAbility Score ModifiersSpecial AbilitiesMaster SkillsGoood Skills
1/31012+1+1+0688+3, +1, +01+7 (1)+3 (2)
1/21012+2+2+01399+3, +2, +11+9 (1)+4 (2)
11113+3+3+120109+4, +2, +11+10 (1)+5 (2)
21315+4+4+1251110+4, +2, +12+12 (1)+7 (2)
31416+5+5+2401211+4, +2, +12+13 (1)+8 (2)
41618+6+6+3501311+5, +3, +12+15 (1)+10 (2)
51719+7+7+4701311+5, +3, +22+16 (1)+11 (2)
61820+8+8+5901412+5, +3, +22+18 (1)+13 (2)
71921+9+9+61051513+5, +4, +22+19 (1)+14 (2)
82022+10+10+71251613+6, +4, +22+21 (1)+16 (2)
92224+11+11+81451613+6, +4, +32+22 (1)+17 (2)
102325+12+12+91651714+8, +5, +32+24 (1)+19 (2)
112426+13+13+101801814+8, +5, +32+25 (1)+20 (2)
122628+14+14+112001915+8, +5, +43+27 (1)+22 (2)
132729+15+15+122251915+8, +6, +43+28 (1)+23 (2)
142830+16+16+122502015+8, +6, +43+30 (1)+25 (2)
152931+17+17+132752116+9, +7, +53+31 (1)+26 (2)
163032+18+18+143002216+10, +7, +53+33 (1)+28 (2)
173133+19+19+153402216+11, +8, +53+34 (1)+29 (2)
183234+19+19+163752317+11, +8, +64+36 (1)+31 (2)
193335+20+20+164152418+11, +9, +64+37 (1)+32 (2)
203537+21+21+174652519+12, +9, +64+39 (1)+34 (2)
213638+22+22+185002519+12, +10, +74+40 (1)+35 (2)
223840+22+22+185502620+13, +10, +74+42 (1)+37 (2)
233941+23+23+196002721+13, +11, +74+43 (1)+38 (2)
244143+24+24+206502822+15, +11, +84+45 (1)+40 (2)
254244+25+25+217002822+15, +12, +84+46 (1)+41 (2)

Source Alien Archive pg. 129
Attack BonusesRanged DamageMelee Damage
CRHighLowEnergyKineticStandardThree AttacksFour Attacks

Source Alien Archive pg. 130
CREACKACFortRefWillHit PointsAbility DCBase Spell DCAbility Score ModifiersSpecial AbilitiesMaster SkillsGoood Skills
1/31011+0+0+261010+3, +1, +01+7 (3)+3 (2)
1/21011+0+0+3121111+3, +2, +11+9 (3)+4 (2)
11112+1+1+4171211+4, +2, +11+10 (3)+5 (2)
21314+1+1+5231312+4, +2, +11+12 (3)+7 (2)
31415+2+2+6351413+4, +2, +12+13 (3)+8 (2)
41617+3+3+7451513+5, +3, +12+15 (3)+10 (2)
51718+4+4+8651513+5, +3, +22+16 (3)+11 (2)
61819+5+5+9801614+5, +3, +22+18 (3)+13 (2)
71920+6+6+101001715+5, +4, +22+19 (3)+14 (2)
82021+7+7+111151815+6, +4, +22+21 (3)+16 (2)
92223+8+8+121351815+6, +4, +32+22 (3)+17 (2)
102324+9+9+131501916+8, +5, +32+24 (3)+19 (2)
112425+10+10+141702016+8, +5, +32+25 (3)+20 (2)
122627+11+11+151852117+8, +5, +43+27 (3)+22 (2)
132728+12+12+162102117+8, +6, +43+28 (3)+23 (2)
142829+12+12+172352217+8, +6, +43+30 (3)+25 (2)
152930+13+13+182552318+9, +7, +53+31 (3)+26 (2)
163031+14+14+192802418+10, +7, +53+33 (3)+28 (2)
173132+15+15+203152418+11, +8, +53+34 (3)+29 (2)
183233+16+16+203502519+11, +8, +63+36 (3)+31 (2)
193334+16+16+213852620+11, +9, +64+37 (3)+32 (2)
203536+17+17+224302721+12, +9, +64+39 (3)+34 (2)
213637+18+18+234652721+12, +10, +74+40 (3)+35 (2)
223839+18+18+235002822+13, +10, +74+42 (3)+37 (2)
233940+19+19+245502923+13, +11, +74+43 (3)+38 (2)
244142+20+20+256003024+15, +11, +84+45 (3)+40 (2)
254243+21+21+266503024+15, +12, +84+46 (3)+41 (2)

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Attack BonusesRanged DamageMelee Damage
CRHighLowEnergyKineticStandardThree AttacksFour Attacks

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CREACKACFortRefWillHit PointsAbility DCBase Spell DCAbility Score ModifiersSpecial AbilitiesMaster SkillsGoood Skills
1/3910+0+0+251012+3, +1, +01+7 (2)+3 (1)
1/2910+0+0+3111113+3, +2, +11+9 (2)+4 (1)
11011+1+1+4161213+4, +2, +11+10 (2)+5 (1)
21213+1+1+5211314+4, +2, +12+12 (2)+7 (1)
31314+2+2+6321415+4, +2, +12+13 (2)+8 (1)
41516+3+3+7431515+5, +3, +12+15 (2)+10 (1)
51617+4+4+8601515+5, +3, +22+16 (2)+11 (1)
61718+5+5+9751616+5, +3, +22+18 (2)+13 (1)
71819+6+6+10901717+5, +4, +22+19 (2)+14 (1)
81920+7+7+111051817+6, +4, +22+21 (2)+16 (1)
92122+8+8+121201817+6, +4, +32+22 (2)+17 (1)
102223+9+9+131401918+8, +5, +32+24 (2)+19 (1)
112324+10+10+141552018+8, +5, +32+25 (2)+20 (1)
122526+11+11+151702119+8, +5, +43+27 (2)+22 (1)
132627+12+12+161902119+8, +6, +43+28 (2)+23 (1)
142728+12+12+172152219+8, +6, +43+30 (2)+25 (1)
152829+13+13+182352320+9, +7, +53+31 (2)+26 (1)
162930+14+14+192552420+10, +7, +53+33 (2)+28 (1)
173031+15+15+202852420+11, +8, +53+34 (2)+29 (1)
183132+16+16+203202521+11, +8, +64+36 (2)+31 (1)
193233+16+16+213502622+11, +9, +64+37 (2)+32 (1)
203435+17+17+223952723+12, +9, +64+39 (2)+34 (1)
213536+18+18+234252723+12, +10, +74+40 (2)+35 (1)
223738+18+18+234702824+13, +10, +74+42 (2)+37 (1)
233839+19+19+245102925+13, +11, +74+43 (2)+38 (1)
244041+20+20+255503026+15, +11, +84+45 (2)+40 (1)
254142+21+21+266003026+15, +12, +84+46 (2)+41 (1)

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Every creature belongs to one of 13 types. These broad categories indicate something about a creature’s origin, the shape of its body, or its metaphysical place in the universe.
Source Alien Archive pg. 132
Attack BonusesRanged DamageMelee Damage
CRHighLowEnergyKineticStandardThree AttacksFour Attacks

Source Alien Archive pg. 133
At this stage, add any relevant subtypes to the NPC. Generally, a subtype graft grants a few traits, but for particularly powerful subtypes (such as devil), you might want to monitor how many abilities the subtype gives your NPC and avoid adding extra special abilities of the same type that the subtype graft already provides (usually immunities, resistances, and spell-like abilities).

Other Subtypes

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A number of subtypes don’t have full entries. Those that don’t grant additional abilities to creatures are listed below.
  • Chaotic
  • Evil
  • Extraplanar
  • Good
  • Lawful
  • Magical
  • Native
  • Technological

Source Alien Archive pg. 137
In this optional step, you can add certain abilities to make an NPC function similarly to a character of a particular class. As mentioned in Step 2, you should use either the adjustments entry for the creature type graft or the adjustments entry for the class graft—not both.

The classes and the rules for their class abilities appear in the Starfinder Core Rulebook, though some class grafts grant slightly altered class abilities—these are listed in the Special Rules entry. If your NPC has abilities that require spending Resolve, it receives a number of Resolve Points equal to its CR divided by 5, plus 3.

Source Alien Archive pg. 141
In this optional step, you can apply a template graft to an NPC to transform it in some way. Template grafts appear in certain alien entries (such as the nihili template graft on page 83); simple template grafts appear in Appendix 3, starting on page 150. A template graft with a CR requirement lists it in parentheses after its name.
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Most of the powers that set an NPC apart come in the form of special abilities. These include special actions the NPC can take, resistances against forms of attack, special modes of movement, and adjustments to their statistics.

Though you can pick any special ability for any NPC independent of its array, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. For example, special abilities that will see more use in a fight (such as certain feats and the multiattack ability) are most appropriate for a combatant creature; however, if you give a combatant too many abilities that each take an action, it might not be able to use all of those abilities during an encounter. Special abilities that increase skill bonuses or interact with skill use are most appropriate for an expert creature. Special abilities that improve a creature’s spellcasting ability are most appropriate for a spellcaster creature.

Universal Creature Rules as Special Abilities

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Universal creature rules can be used as a special abilities; these rules can be found in Appendix 4, starting on page 152. Some of these require you to determine the parameters of the ability. For instance, if you give a creature a breath weapon, you need to pick its size, damage type, and frequency. Such abilities often have a Guidelines entry to assist you.

Special abilities that only adjust a NPC’s basic statistics aren’t listed in the creature’s stat block; their effects are simply calculated into the statistics.

Feats as Special Abilities

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Most NPCs don’t have feats. However, you can assign them feats, such as those from the Starfinder Core Rulebook, as special abilities. Generally, if a feat just adjusts a creature’s statistics or applies all the time (such as Improved Initiative), it’s best to just include it in the NPC’s statistics and count it toward the NPC’s maximum number of special abilities if it makes a big difference (otherwise it is free). The best feats to pick for an NPC are those that give different attacks or actions most NPCs can’t do without the feat.

Free Special Abilities

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Special abilities that aren’t major enough to count toward the NPC’s maximum number of special abilities are designated as free special abilities. Examples include nonstandard modes of movement (such as a burrow, climb, fly, or swim speed), certain senses (see the sidebar above), and limited telepathy (Starfinder Core Rulebook 265). In general, if an NPC needs an ability such as amphibious or water breathing to survive in its natural environment, that ability should be free.

Weaknesses: Special abilities that are actually detriments (such as a dependency or vulnerability) count as free special abilities. In fact, you might want to give a creature a weakness if you have given it many helpful special abilities. Abilities that grant a benefit but impose a drawback (such as mindless) are likewise free special abilities.

Adjustment Special Abilities

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This category of abilities adjusts an NPC’s basic statistics without requiring you to reference other rules. These abilities can turn an NPC into a big bruiser or give it special defenses that affect only the statistics of the array. In general, don’t choose a single adjustment special ability more than once.

Brute: Use the low attack value for the NPC’s main attack, but determine the attack’s damage as if the NPC’s CR were 2 higher (adding the extra damage from weapon specialization). This special ability has a greater impact at higher CRs.
Extra Hit Points: Increase the NPC’s HP by 20%.
Save Boost: Increase all saving throw bonuses by 1 or one saving throw bonus by 3.
Secondary Magic: The NPC gains spell-like abilities (chosen in Step 8) according to its CR, though it gains only the once-per-day spells or one spell per unit of frequency (at will, 1/day, etc.).
Skillful: Increase all master and good skill bonuses by 1.

Creating New Abilities

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The special abilities in this book cover common attributes and those granted by creature types and subtypes, but NPCs come in nigh-infinite variety, so at some point you’ll make an NPC that requires new abilities. When crafting an ability from scratch, look for an existing special ability or spell that is similar to it and see what types of creatures typically have that ability or what level the spell is. Use the CRs of those creatures or the spell’s level to determine whether your ability is appropriate for the CR you’ve chosen for your NPC.
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The NPC arrays use two categories for skills: master and good. The number for each categories is the NPC’s total bonus for skills in that category; don’t add ability score modifiers. For any skill that isn’t a master or good skill, use the appropriate ability score modifier. If the NPC’s ability score modifier associated with a master or good skill exceeds the bonus the array assigns, use the ability score modifier instead.

As mentioned on page 128, NPCs have good Perception by default. You can still pick it as a master skill for an incredibly perceptive creature or use just the creature’s Wisdom ability score modifier if the creature is inept at detecting things.


Source Alien Archive pg. 142
A creature’s special senses allow it to detect things a normal human couldn’t. Usually, these are free abilities, but there are some exceptions. The lists below include all the abilities for senses, divided into ones that are free and ones that aren’t.


  • Blindsense (scent or vibration)
  • Darkvision
  • Low-light vision


  • Blindsense (life, thought, or other exotic sense)
  • Blindsight (any sense)
  • See in darkness
  • Sense through (any sense)

Assigning Skills

Source Alien Archive pg. 142
In most cases, your NPC’s master skills should be ones associated with its highest ability score modifiers. An NPC with its highest bonus in Dexterity might have Acrobatics or Stealth among its master skills, for example.

The number of skills you give your NPC is fairly flexible. While you should generally stay within 1 or 2 of the suggested number of master and good skills for the creature’s CR, you might give a scholarly spellcaster more master skills, and mindless creatures often have no master or good skills at all.

Source Alien Archive pg. 143
This step is required only for NPCs with the spellcaster array or those you have given the secondary magic special ability (see page 142). By design, a spellcaster NPC can’t cast as many spells as a player character, as NPCs usually appear in the game for only a brief time. Pick notable spells that make a big difference when they’re cast so the NPC makes an impact when it appears. The DCs of these spells are determined by the array you chose for the creature.

Number of Spells

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NPCs cast spells differently based on whether they have innate spell-like abilities or cast spells like a spellcasting class. Use the explanations below and examine the choices you made in the previous steps to determine which style suits your intended creature. (While NPCs can have both, such as when an NPC whose race grants natural spell-like abilities also receives a class graft, it’s generally easier not to mix them if you don’t have to.) Once you’ve decided, look up the CR range your NPC falls into and then check the appropriate column of Table 7 to determine its number of spells per day.

Remember that these are only guidelines. If you need to add or remove a spell to perfect a creature’s flavor, that’s your call, but at the same time, be sure you’re not unbalancing the NPC.

Spell-Like Abilities: Most NPCs in Starfinder cast spells as spell-like abilities—magic that they can use without having a spellcasting class graft. The spell-like abilities column of Table 7 tells you how many spells the NPC can cast, the spells’ levels, and how often the NPC can cast each of them. For instance, “3/day—four 2nd-level spells” means that you choose four 2nd-level spells that the NPC knows, and it can cast each of them three times per day. The NPC can’t cast any of these individual spells more than three times per day, even if it hasn’t cast all of its other spells—the listed limit is per spell.

Spellcaster: Some NPCs cast spells like a spellcasting player character; usually, these NPCs have a class graft (such as a mystic or technomancer), but it isn’t required. For these NPCs, the number of spells they can cast is tied to spell level rather than uses of individual spells. For example, “3rd (3/day)—two 3rd-level spells” means that you should select two 3rd-level spells the NPC knows, and it can cast any combination of them three times per day. Such an NPC has fewer overall spells per day than NPCs with spell-like abilities, but it has greater versatility in combat (which actually makes it more powerful, given the short lives of NPCs in combat).

Source Alien Archive pg. 143
At this point, look back over your NPC and make sure it lives up to your concept for it. If it’s a minor monster that won’t appear very often and isn’t important to the story, don’t worry too much about the specifics. However, if it’s a significant NPC, you might want to compare its statistics to similar creatures in this book and see if that suggests any problems—it might be too weak or too strong.

Once you are satisfied with your NPC’s statistics, give it a name if you haven’t already, and it is ready to encounter your player characters, whether on the field of battle or in a tense negotiation scene!

Source Alien Archive pg. 143
CRSpell-Like AbilitiesSpellcaster
1/3–31/day—two 1st-level spells
At will-two 0-level spells
1st (3/day)—two 1st-level spells
0 (at will)—two 0-level spells
4–61/day—two 2nd-level spells
3/day-three 1st-level spells
At will-two 0-level spells
2nd (3/day)—two 2nd-level spells
1st (6/day)—three 1st-level spells
0 (at will)—two 0-level spells
7–91/day—two 3rd-level spells
3/day-four 2nd-level spells
At will-two 1st-level spells
3rd (3/day)—two 3rd-level spells
2nd (6/day)—four 2nd-level spells
1st (at will)—two 1st-level spells
10–121/day—two 4th-level spells
3/day-four 3rd-level spells
At will-two 2nd-level spells
4th (3/day)—two 4th-level spells
3rd (6/day)—four 3rd-level spells
2nd (at will)—two 2nd-level spells
13–151/day—two 5th-level spells
3/day-four 4th-level spells
At will-two 3rd-level spells
5th (3/day)—two 5th-level spells
4th (6/day)—four 4th-level spells
3rd (at will)—two 3rd-level spells
16–181/day—two 6th-level spells
3/day-four 5th-level spells
At will-two 4th-level spells
6th (3/day)—two 6th-level spells
5th (6/day)—four 5th-level spells
4th (at will)—two 4th-level spells
19+1/day—four 6th-level spells
3/day-three 5th-level spells
At will-two 4th-level spells
6th (3/day)—four 6th-level spells
5th (6/day)—three 5thlevel spells
4th (at will)—two 4th-level spells

Appendix 1: Creating Monsters and Other NPCs - Rules (2024)
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