Or, alternatively and perhaps even more common, what do you do when really, really need a 5th level bounty hunter, but the only block, as before is for 7th level? Slap a couple of negative quickie levels on that bad boy and run with it!
Each level adjustment impacts BAB, Damage, Defenses (Ref, Fort, Will), Hit Points, and Skill Checks only. The base character's ability scores, feats, talents, and trained skills do not change, nor are any of those figured into the changes. (For instance, a +2 level adjustment gives a flat +10 hit points, which is not modified by the creature's Con score.) If you wish, you can further adjust the stats by whether or not the NPC is a dedicated fighter or a complete noncombatant.
|Level/CL||BAB||Damage||Defenses||Hit Points||Skill Checks|
*At +1 level, this should be +0 rather than -1.
**This does not stack with other negative HP values.
These levels, as indicated, are "quickies," designed to give you a working stat block that's "close enough" for a workable encounter. Note that they only go +/-4 levels in either direction: this is intentional, because once you start getting that far off from the basic stat block, you end up with NPCs that have either a major surplus or shortage of feats and talents for the amount of challenge they're intended to provide. When you get to that disparate a level, you should either look for another base stat block, or do it "the long way" by hand.
If desired, it probably won't be an "encounter breaker" if you add a feat or a talent of your choice at +2 and +4. However, it's probably not worth taking away any feats or talents at -2 and -4 — most NPCs and/or creatures won't get to use all of their abilities in any single encounter anyway, so it's not worth the time to figure out which one(s) to strip.
Comments welcome and desired. Whattya think, sirs?