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A creature, critter, or monster is a hostile entity in the world of GemStone. Hunting creatures is one of the primary mechanisms of gaining experience and treasure.

Creature behavior

Each hunting area has its own unique variety of creatures. These creatures will generally not appear until adventurers are detected in the area. Once a creature appears, or "spawns," it becomes active in the world and will wander around looking for adventurers to attack. It is possible, if infrequent, for an active creature to wander out of its initial hunting area, even into towns on occasion.

Active creatures have a chance to disappear, or "despawn," if adventurers leave the area. When a creature disappears, any items it may have been carrying will also be removed from the world.

Creature attributes

Each creature is listed with various attributes.

A general measure of the creature's power. Adventurers only receive experience for hunting creatures whose levels are not too far below their own. Treasure is also more likely to be found when hunting at the appropriate level.
A creature family is a designation of closely related creatures.
Body Type
A creature's body type describes its overall physical structure. For example, humans are bipeds, and most land-based animals are quadrupeds. Many other body types exist.
Some creatures are not "alive" in a true fashion, but are instead the corpses of once-living creatures animated through necromancy. These undead creatures cannot be harmed by ordinary weapons, and are not affected by magical spells that target blood and circulatory systems.
Certain undead creatures are so removed from the physical world that they no longer have tangible physical bodies. These creatures are known as non-corporeal.
Areas Found
A list of the hunting areas where the creature is active.
Basic Creature Script (BCS)
Most creatures adhere to a Basic Creature Script, except for some very old creatures with non-standard behavior.
Attack attributes
A list of the ways that a creature can attack adventurers.
Most creatures can perform physical or aimed magical attacks with an attack strength (AS) that varies slightly based on its stance and health condition. Some may also cast warding spells with a fixed casting strength (CS), or be able to use combat maneuvers or creature maneuvers.
Defense attributes
A list of the creature's defenses against various types of attacks.
Many creatures either wear armor or have natural armor.
Each type of creature generally has a fixed pool of hitpoints.
A creature's defensive strength (DS) can vary based on the specific type of attack (melee, ranged, magical) as well as its stance and health. Likewise for its unarmed defense factor (UDF). Target defense (TD) against warding spells is generally fixed except for additional defensive spells it can cast while it is active, but TDs can differ against the assorted spell circles.
Treasure attributes
Describes the treasure that can be found when searching or looting a creature after it is defeated, and whether it can be skinned.

Creature Action Timer

The creature action timer is a set value on a creature that determines how often it acts (attacks, prepares a spell, casts a spell, etc.). A few actions use multiples of the action time (MSTRIKE takes double, PREPARE and CAST take half each on many creatures). Haste halves the creature action timer. A creature with an action timer of 12s or more would normally be considered slow, and 6s or less would normally be considered fast. Basic Creature Script (BCS) creatures change action time, with the highest level version of the creature being 2s faster than the standard creature, and the lowest 2s slower. Adventurer's Guild dangerous creatures can drop an additional 2s from their action time.

Creatures can have roundtime imposed upon them. Roundtime from different actions does not stack on creatures (?), but roundtime does stack on action time.

Undead creatures that "dissipate" upon death do so the next time their action timer triggers. Thus, imposing roundtime or striking immediately after they act can make it easier to search them before they decay.