Formation (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Just as a troop represents a mob, warband, or loosely organized formation, a formation represents an organized group acting in unison. A formation fights better than a troop, but is less flexible and cannot break formation without losing coherence.

A formation is treated as a single entity similar to a swarm, except that it is made of larger creatures. A formation can be composed of Small, Medium, or Large creatures, but all the individual creatures must be of the same type. A formation that incorporates a crowd of goblin wolfriders and a crowd of humans is best modeled by two separate formations. You can use the following template to create specific types of formations.

Formation Traits (Ex)

Allies of the same size and type as the base creature can occupy the same space as the formation and move freely inside the space of the formation.

Vulnerable to Area Attacks Formations take 50% extra damage from area attacks.

Vulnerable to Flanking A formation is considered flanked if attacked from two different sides; this does not need to be opposite sides.

Formation Anatomy Reducing a formation to 0 hit points or lower causes it to lose cohesion and break up into component creatures. When this happens, each creature that was in the formation is panicked for 1d6 minutes and must make a Constitution check (DC 5). Creatures that roll 15 on this check pass unharmed. Creatures that roll 5 or more on this check take half their current hit points in damage. Creatures that fail to roll 5 on this check take damage equal to their current hit points and are staggered and disabled. Constructs and undead are not immune to this effect.

Formations are made up of relatively small numbers of individual creatures, so spells or effects that target specific numbers of creatures can have an effect on a formation. A formation is immune to any non-damage effect that affects less than 10 targets. A spell or ability that affects ten and more targets has full normal effect on a formation.

Formation Action (Ex): The formation is considered a single creature for the purpose of actions it can take. Different members of the formation cannot take different actions, they all act in concert. If attacking, all members of the formation must perform the same attack. Formations wield and draw weapons as characters do.

  • Formation Melee Attack (Ex) When attacking in melee, the formation attacks as if it was five creatures. A mounted formation gains the attacks of both mount and rider. If more than one creature is within the formation's reach, the formation must divide its attacks between them as evenly as possible. Each such attack gains a +10 troop bonus and does the base creature's melee damage and abides by the rules of the type of attack made (standard attack, full attack, or charge) the formation does.
  • Formation Ranged Attack (Ex) If armed with ranged weapons, the formation can make ranged attacks. Any ranged attack the formation makes is made separately against each creature in a 10 ft. spread. Normal range penalties apply and all attacks are made with a +10 troop bonus. Damage is double the base creature's ranged damage.
  • Formation Abilities Formation can use abilities such as spells, spell-like abilities, or exceptional abilities that are not attacks using the following rules. All damage is doubled and all save DCs are increased by +5. Formations gain a +5 formation bonus on concentration checks.
    • An ability that is a touch attack is used as either a melee or ranged attack, above.
    • An ability that affects one or more targets affects either one formation or five times as many targets, no two of which can be more than 60 ft. apart. A summoning spell summons a troop of the summoned creature.
    • An ability that is an area has all dimensions of that area doubled.

Saves: A formation makes saving throws as its component creatures, with a +5 formation bonus to Fortitude and Will saves. Use the worse save bonuses of mount and rider for mounted formations.

Skills: Same as the base creature. if mounted, use the mount's skill for Acrobatics, Climb, and Swim checks.

Feats: Same as the base creatures.

Organization: Solitary, platoon (2-10), battalion (11-50), or army (51-2000). Formations are often accompanied by leaders and officers of the same size as the base creature.

Challenge Rating: As base creature +8.

Formation Template

"Formation" is an acquired template that can be added to any Small, Medium, or Large construct, elemental, humanoid, outsider, or undead. A formation can incorporate any riding animals used by such creatures as long as such mounts are Medium or Large. A formation is a creature two sizes larger than its component creatures, composed of twenty creatures of the base type. A formation is deliberately formed and requires a degree of training and organization, as well as at least a few minutes of actually ordering ranks before battle. Creatures with Intelligence 5 or less must be under the direct control of an intelligent creature in order to form a formation. A formation uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

A formation is a collection of creatures that acts as a single creature, similar to a swarm, but acting with precision and military unit drill. A formation has the characteristics of its type, except as noted here. A formation has a single pool of Hit Dice and hit points, a single initiative modifier, a single speed, and a single armor class. A formation makes saving throws as a single creature. A formation is never staggered or reduced to a dying state by damage.

Type: A formation retains all types and subtypes of the base creature and gains the formation subtype. A mounted formation also gains all the mounts' types and subtypes.

Size and Reach: A formation is two size categories larger than the largest of its component creatures. Do not recalculate any of the formation's values based on the new size. Reach is unchanged.

Hit Points: A formation has a single pool of hit points. Formations have 100 hit points plus double the base creature's hit points. Add the hit points of a single mount for this calculation.

Speed: A formation’s speed is 10 feet slower than that of the base creature (or its mount, if mounted).

Armor Class: As the base creature, with a +10 formation bonus. For mounted formations, use the worst AC of the component creatures.

CMB/CMD: NA. Formations cannot make combat maneuvers and are immune to combat maneuvers.

Sample Formations

Half-Elven Warband

XP 3200
Formation of half-elven ranger 1)
LN Huge Formation humanoid (elf, human, formation)
Init +3; Senses low-light vision; Perception +10


AC 24, touch 21, flat-footed 21 (+3 armor, +3 Dex, +8 formation)
hp 120 (1d10+2)
Fort +11, Ref +5, Will +9; +2 vs. enchantments
Immune sleep, formation traits


Speed 20 ft.
Melee longsword +11 (2d8+6/19–20) or shortspear +11 (2d6+4)
Ranged longbow +12 (2d8/×3)
Special Attacks favored enemy (orcs +2)
Formation action


The formation ambushes targets from stealth. They use a smokestick to signal trouble or cover a retreat.


Str 14, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 8
Base Atk +1; CMB NA; CMD NA
Feats Point-Blank Shot, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Climb +6, Knowledge (local) +1, Knowledge (nature) +4, Perception +10, Stealth +7, Survival +5
Languages Common, Elven
SQ elf blood, track +1, wild empathy +0
Combat Gear (x20) potion of cure light wounds, alchemist's fire, masterwork arrows (3), smokestick; Other Gear masterwork studded leather, longbow with 20 arrows, longsword, shortspear, 15 gp


This is an inexperienced band of half-elf archers.

See Also

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