Creature Mob Template

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A mob is a mass of creatures that alone present little threat but together become deadly. Creature mobs are made up not of normal bats, rats, insects, or other vermin, but of larger creatures.

Creating a Creature Mob

Mob” is an inherited template that can be added to any creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature) that does not have the mob subtype. A creature mob uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Mob Subtype: A mob is a collection of creatures that acts as a single creature, similar to a swarm, but typically as part of a military unit. A mob has the characteristics of its type, except as noted here. A mob has a single pool of Hit Dice and hit points, a single initiative modifier, a single speed, and a single armor class. A mob makes saving throws as a single creature. The area occupied by a mob is completely shape-able, though the mob must remain in contiguous (touching) squares to accurately reflect the teamwork of trained military units. A mob has a reach equal to that of the base creatures based on size or armament. A mob can move through squares occupied by enemies and vice versa without impediment, although the mob provokes an attack of opportunity if it does so. A mob can move through any area large enough for its base creatures.

Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +2, with a minimum based on mob size: CR 3 for Large, CR 5 for Huge, CR 8 for Gargantuan, CR 12 for Colossal.

Size: The base monsters that make up a mob come in one of three size categories: Small, Medium, or Large. The size of the mob is based on the number of creatures forming the mob, as listed below.*  If the number of creatures exceeds the limits for a Colossal Mob, those creatures should be represented as multiple mobs.

  • Large Mob: 8-16 Small creatures, 4-8 Medium creatures
  • Huge Mob: 17-36 Small creatures, 9-18 Medium creatures
  • Gargantuan Mob: 37-64 Small creatures, 19-32 Medium creatures, 4-8 Large creatures.
  • Colossal Mob: 65-100 Small creatures, 33-50 Medium creatures, 9-12 Large creatures.
*These numbers represent nonflying creatures. These guidelines are tripled for a mob of flying creatures.

Type: Base creature's type is unchanged, but gains the mob subtype.

Armor Class: As the base creature, modified by the mob's new size. 

Hit Dice: A mob gains 3 HD of the same type as the base creature, with a minimum HD based on mob size: 4 HD for Large, 8 HD for Huge, 12 HD for Gargantuan, and 16 HD for Colossal. If the base creature has more than one type of Hit Die, the new HD are of the base creature's highest type. If the base creature's HD are from class levels, the new HD increase base attack bonus and saving throw bonuses add normal, but do not grant feats or improve any features relating to class.

All mobs gain the following traits.

  • A mob is never staggered or reduced to a dying state by damage.
  • Immunity to being Tripped or Bull Rushed: A mob cannot be trippedgrappled, or bull rushed, except by area effects that include such effects. A mob can grapple an opponent.
  • Immunity to Single Target Spells: A mob is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate and multiple target spells such as haste), though it is affected by spells or effects that target an area or a nonspecific number of creatures (such asfireball or mass hold monster).
  • Vulnerable to Area Effect Spells: A mob  takes half again as much damage (+50%) from spells or effects that affect an area. If a mob is rendered unconscious by means of nonlethal damage, it disperses and does not reform until its hit points exceed its nonlethal damage.
  • Mob Attacks: Creatures with the mob subtype don't make standard melee attacks. Instead, they deal automatic damage to any creature within reach or whose space they occupy at the end of their move, with no attack roll needed. A mob's stat block has “mob” in its Melee entry with no attack bonus given. If the base creature's natural attacks did extra damage, e. g. fire damage, energy drain, etc., the mob attack does that extra damage as well. If the base creatures has multiple attacks with different kinds of extra damage, the creature mob does all the extra damage of all its attacks with its mob attack. The amount of damage a mob deals is based on its Hit Dice. Unless stated otherwise, a mob's attacks are non-magical. Damage Reduction sufficient to reduce a mob attack's damage to 0 or other special abilities can give a creature immunity (or at least resistance) to the mob's attacks. Some mobs also have other special attacks in addition to normal damage. Mobs threaten all creatures within their reach or within their area, and attempt attacks of opportunity as normal with their mob attack.
  • Volley: If the base creature has a ranged attack, the mob also gains a number of volley points equal to its HD each turn. Each volley point may be expended to deal 1d6 points of damage of the same type as the base creature's ranged attack to a square that the base creature could normally target with its ranged attack. Multiple volley points may be used on a single square, to a maximum of 1/2 the mob's available volley points. Each target may attempt a Reflex save (10+1/2 mob's HD+mob's Dex bonus) to reduce the damage by 1/2. Using this ability provokes an attack of opportunity.
  • Chaos of Combat: Because of the chaos of combat, spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of a troop or within its reach requires a caster level check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills that involve patience and concentration requires a successful DC 20 Will save.
Table: Mob Damage by HD
Mob HDMob Base Damage
1–52d6
6–103d6
11–154d6
16–205d6
21 or more6d6

Space/Reach: A creature mob occupies a square (if composed of nonflying creatures) or a cube (if composed of flying creatures) 10 feet on a side. Its reach is 0 feet. A mob does not threaten creatures in its square and cannot make attacks of opportunity with its mob attack.

Special Attacks: A creature mob loses any special attacks that rely on the base creature's size, strength, weapons, combat maneuver bonus, or reach. It retains all the base creature's ranged and area special attacks except those that rely on manufactured weapons.

Though special attacks such as breath weapons, spell-like abilities, or hurled natural weapons (a manticore's spikes, for example) originate from all or most of the creatures that make up the mob , their parameters (range, area, and so on) are identical to those of the base creature's attack.

Spell-like Abilities: A creature mob keeps all of its spell-like abilities. Abilities with a range of "self" or "touch" affect the creature mob as a whole.

Spellcasting: A creature mob keeps all of its native spellcasting abilities. Spells with a range of "self" or "touch" affect the creature mob as a whole. 

Feats: Same as the base creature, and gains Improved Bull Rush and Improved Overrun as bonus feats. 

Special Qualities: A creature mob retains all the base creature's special qualities, gains mob traits and the additional quality below. The parameters of the special qualities (range, area, and so on) retained from the base creature remain the same.

Applying The Creature Mob Template

Applying this template requires you to make some decisions about how the base creature would function with the mob subtype. If you're unfamiliar with that subtype, read its description carefully before starting, and use a mob creature once or twice during a game before trying to use this template.

Once you have a good grasp of how the mob subtype works, pick a monster and give this template a try. Carefully consider how each of the base creature's abilities works. In particular, the ability to change shape can be problematic. Do all the creatures in the mob have to change shape? Do they all take the same shape? If the shapechange would normally affect the creature's abilities, does it affect the mob abilities in the same way?