Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Starfinder


Pathfinder Society


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game


Powerful Monsters

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Bestiary 6 is slithering out into the world, but even though the book is out there, I've still got a few more things to chat about the contents. Going forward, we'll continue to sow off some art from the book but these posts will be more "behind the scenes" than "monster previews."

Which brings us to today's theme—powerful monsters. For some time now I've wanted us to produce a Bestiary whose challenges skew higher than traditional. While it's true that more games are run at lower level, and thus there's a need for a lot of low and mid tier monsters, we've published a lot of those already in prior Bestiaries. One of the problems facing GMs and adventure writers of high-level content is a lack of monsters to fill the role of threat. As a result, high-level adventures tend to have lots of creatures with class levels, templates, advanced Hit Dice, or sometimes two or even three of these categories in play.

With Bestiary 6, I wanted to give us all more toys to play with for adventures that take place above 10th level, be they powerful creatures to fight again and again or unique foes to serve as a long quest's final boss or as the theme for an entire campaign. I also wanted to populate some niches of monsters that have long been denied higher CR representation—usually, the high CR monsters are outsiders or dragons or giants. In preparing for Bestiary 6, I realized that we'd done a shockingly few number of monstrous humanoids and plants above CR 10, for example, so those two categories were ones I immediately looked to address. I spoke about oozes a few weeks back with the blights, of course, but when you get your copy of Bestiary 6, I think you'll be delighted by the number of new options of monsters to throw at your players, particularly powerful monsters that aren't overly huge and can fit into areas as small as the player characters themselves!

Three of my favorite high CR additions to the game include the kaiju (including the most powerful one of them all—Lord Varklops), the apocalypse horse (which came about as a natural result of the decision to include the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and then realizing these high CR demigods needed something more significant than an advanced nightmare to ride around on), and the ouroboros (a monster I've wanted to get into an RPG for well over a decade). Ranging from CR 21 (the ouroboros) to CR 25 (the apocalypse horses) to CR 30 (Lord Varklops), these three make a perfect cross-section of the variety of powerful foes in Bestiary 6!

Illustrations by Joshua Wright, Ben Wootten, and Nikolai Ostertag

James Jacobs
Creative Director

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Ben Wootten Bestiary 6 Joshua Wright Nikolai Ostertag Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
51 to 92 of 92 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Paizo Employee Creative Director

Ravingdork wrote:
Many of the newer polymorph spells don't even come close to the core spells (and even some of the core spells, such as plant shape, are kinda weak in comparison to the others) in terms of available options. Last I checked, there were even size categories in some of those spells where little to no options were available at all!

None of that is something a Bestiary would or should address. Ultimate Wilderness does have some more support for shapechanging stuff (the new class there is the shifter, after all), so maybe that book will have something of interest to you. Not the topic of this thread though. Shapechanging and polymorph is one of the more easily rules-abused elements of the game, though, in part of the long tradition it has had in previous editions that allowed players to cast multiple spells as chokers, for example. There's a reason, in other words, that it's not as powerful an option as you want it to be.

Ravingdork wrote:

Every book is a player option book. :P

That's an stance that doesn't sit well with me, frankly, but whatever.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BMovieMonster wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Wannabe Demon Lord wrote:
What is a fen mauler?

The descendents of sasquatches driven to dark pacts and sinister rituals, resulting in a malevolent creature wreathed in darkness who can ritualistically harvest parts from their victims to gain a portion of their power.

Edit: Ninja-ed, but I like my answer more, so I guess I'll leave it!

So Jeepers Creepers without the creepy director?

Never seen that film, so can't speak there, but I think it's an interestingly creepy monster, at least.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Luthorne wrote:
BMovieMonster wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Wannabe Demon Lord wrote:
What is a fen mauler?

The descendents of sasquatches driven to dark pacts and sinister rituals, resulting in a malevolent creature wreathed in darkness who can ritualistically harvest parts from their victims to gain a portion of their power.

Edit: Ninja-ed, but I like my answer more, so I guess I'll leave it!

So Jeepers Creepers without the creepy director?
Never seen that film, so can't speak there, but I think it's an interestingly creepy monster, at least.

VERY different from the Jeepers Creepers monster.

The fen mauler is based on a specific category of cryptid—the idea of a violent bigfoot-like creature that's aggressive and dangerous rather than reclusive and shy. In certain cryptozoological circles, this category is known as the "mystery mauler."

"The Legend of Boggy Creek" is a great movie to check out for this type of bigfoot menace and the horror it brings.


Luthorne wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Can some kind person provide a few names of the high-CR monstrous humanoids?

The monstrous humanoids from lowest to highest CR are:

** spoiler omitted **

The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
Just how big is Ouroborous? Bouncing across the landscape, over houses, or just big enough to land on your shoulders and violently compress?
It's Colossal, roughly 50 feet in diameter, and weighs 260 lbs. So more the former than the latter.

Thanks for that list, Luthorne!

The description of the Fen Mauler sounds a lot like the classic 'Killer Bigfoot' as found in movies and 'real' stories like the Great Oklahoma Bigfoot-Choctaw War, Green Eyes at Chickamuaga, or almost any of the stories in the surprisingly skeptical 'believer' book When Bigfoot Attacks.

But the Saurian and the Rawhead, what are they like?


James Jacobs wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
BMovieMonster wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Wannabe Demon Lord wrote:
What is a fen mauler?

The descendents of sasquatches driven to dark pacts and sinister rituals, resulting in a malevolent creature wreathed in darkness who can ritualistically harvest parts from their victims to gain a portion of their power.

Edit: Ninja-ed, but I like my answer more, so I guess I'll leave it!

So Jeepers Creepers without the creepy director?
Never seen that film, so can't speak there, but I think it's an interestingly creepy monster, at least.

VERY different from the Jeepers Creepers monster.

The fen mauler is based on a specific category of cryptid—the idea of a violent bigfoot-like creature that's aggressive and dangerous rather than reclusive and shy. In certain cryptozoological circles, this category is known as the "mystery mauler."

"The Legend of Boggy Creek" is a great movie to check out for this type of bigfoot menace and the horror it brings.

So more the semi-supernatural Hairy Biped rather than the more 'natural' Bigfoot?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Can some kind person provide a few names of the high-CR monstrous humanoids?

The monstrous humanoids from lowest to highest CR are:

** spoiler omitted **

The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
Just how big is Ouroborous? Bouncing across the landscape, over houses, or just big enough to land on your shoulders and violently compress?
It's Colossal, roughly 50 feet in diameter, and weighs 260 lbs. So more the former than the latter.

Thanks for that list, Luthorne!

The description of the Fen Mauler sounds a lot like the classic 'Killer Bigfoot' as found in movies and 'real' stories like the Great Oklahoma Bigfoot-Choctaw War, Green Eyes at Chickamuaga, or almost any of the stories in the surprisingly skeptical 'believer' book When Bigfoot Attacks.

But the Saurian and the Rawhead, what are they like?

So, the rawhead is this terrifying seven foot tall entity with claws except for their index fingers which are long boneless tentacles that can walk on air, ripping away at both flesh and your mind, and if you're helpless it can deal a lot of damage and rip your skeleton out of your body, creating a new kind of intelligent undead called a bloody bones that can jump between reflections or lurk inside of them, and the rawhead is also aware of what direction each is in and what their general condition is. Overall, they're pretty nasty entities, and probably one of my favorites.

Saurians are twenty foot tall dinosaur men who consider themselves protectors of dinosaurs and other prehistoric life, and will kick your ass to defend them. They're big, beefy, good at befriending dinosaurs, can walk on air, have a nasty roar, and some miscellaneous spell-like abilities, including meteor swarm 1/day. So, I guess, revenge of the dinosaurs in general.


Is CR 25 going to be the lowest CR for printed Kaiju or could there be lower? I know a GM could just take a lower CR colossal monster, widen its space and reach, and just apply the subtype, but I was just wondering. I've always liked the idea of having a mid level party fight a CR 20 or lower kaiju, since it is easier to actually run the encounter.


What's the Ouroboros creature type again?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
What's the Ouroboros creature type again?

It's a magical beast with the extraplanar subtype, native to the Astral Plane.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Magical Snek.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Luthorne wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
What's the Ouroboros creature type again?
It's a magical beast with the extraplanar subtype, native to the Astral Plane.

Which explains why there's absolutely nothing else in the Astral Plane.


Luthorne wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
What's the Ouroboros creature type again?
It's a magical beast with the extraplanar subtype, native to the Astral Plane.

Thanks... O.O'

*surprised that this... thing... nightmare... isn't an aberration*

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
What's the Ouroboros creature type again?
It's a magical beast with the extraplanar subtype, native to the Astral Plane.

Thanks... O.O'

*surprised that this... thing... nightmare... isn't an aberration*

It's not an Aberration... by the Astral Plane's standards.

You don't want to see an Astral Plane Aberration.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
What's the Ouroboros creature type again?
It's a magical beast with the extraplanar subtype, native to the Astral Plane.
Which explains why there's absolutely nothing else in the Astral Plane.

Well, there are astral leviathans and the shulsaga, both native to the plane. Additionally, we know that astradaemons are regularly found there. Outside of the Bestiaries, the Occult Bestiary has the psychoplasmic creature template, and in the Monster Summoner's Handbook, the ember weaver is noted to be present on the astral plane, though like the astradaemon, it is presumably a visitor, from the Boneyard rather than Abaddon.

The mental imagery of astradaemons getting devoured by an ourobros, or even a knot of them (yes, amusingly, this is the actual term for a group of ouroboroses) is certainly amusing, though...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Sauce987654321 wrote:
Is CR 25 going to be the lowest CR for printed Kaiju or could there be lower? I know a GM could just take a lower CR colossal monster, widen its space and reach, and just apply the subtype, but I was just wondering. I've always liked the idea of having a mid level party fight a CR 20 or lower kaiju, since it is easier to actually run the encounter.

That would be my preference, yes. I specifically set up Yarthoon to show the "least powerful" a kaiju can be. Whether or not that translates to future kaiju, we'll wait and see I guess.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Companion Subscriber

I hope not, I like my Kaiju being at least CR26.


Well, Yarthoon is the example of the least powerful, while Varklops is the one of the most powerful. Fair and useful enough.


Before the preview and the comments from the subscribers, I was also expecting a rather Ghidora-like Varklops, but he is pretty much different from the dragon like kaiju. It does incorporate some traits from King Ghidora, but Lord Varklops sure is impressive by itself.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber

Varklops does a decent job of being a readily identifiable homage without venturing into lawsuit territory.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
MMCJawa wrote:
Varklops does a decent job of being a readily identifiable homage without venturing into lawsuit territory.

Much like Mogaru!


Luthorne wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
But the Saurian and the Rawhead, what are they like?

So, the rawhead is this terrifying seven foot tall entity with claws except for their index fingers which are long boneless tentacles that can walk on air, ripping away at both flesh and your mind, and if you're helpless it can deal a lot of damage and rip your skeleton out of your body, creating a new kind of intelligent undead called a bloody bones that can jump between reflections or lurk inside of them, and the rawhead is also aware of what direction each is in and what their general condition is. Overall, they're pretty nasty entities, and probably one of my favorites.

Saurians are twenty foot tall dinosaur men who consider themselves protectors of dinosaurs and other prehistoric life, and will kick your ass to defend them. They're big, beefy, good at befriending dinosaurs, can walk on air, have a nasty roar, and some miscellaneous spell-like abilities, including meteor swarm 1/day. So, I guess, revenge of the dinosaurs in general.

Yikes. Those two sound impressively nasty.

I suppose the Saurians are either evil or neutral? They sound like they'd work well in either the Mwangi Expanse or that one Darklands realm overrun with dinosaurs and advanced troglodytes/Xulgath.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Oh yeah... Old Raw Head Bloody Bones. Takes me right back to my childhood!

Little Eight John's punk demise was a recurring favorite out of The People Could Fly.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
But the Saurian and the Rawhead, what are they like?

So, the rawhead is this terrifying seven foot tall entity with claws except for their index fingers which are long boneless tentacles that can walk on air, ripping away at both flesh and your mind, and if you're helpless it can deal a lot of damage and rip your skeleton out of your body, creating a new kind of intelligent undead called a bloody bones that can jump between reflections or lurk inside of them, and the rawhead is also aware of what direction each is in and what their general condition is. Overall, they're pretty nasty entities, and probably one of my favorites.

Saurians are twenty foot tall dinosaur men who consider themselves protectors of dinosaurs and other prehistoric life, and will kick your ass to defend them. They're big, beefy, good at befriending dinosaurs, can walk on air, have a nasty roar, and some miscellaneous spell-like abilities, including meteor swarm 1/day. So, I guess, revenge of the dinosaurs in general.

Yikes. Those two sound impressively nasty.

I suppose the Saurians are either evil or neutral? They sound like they'd work well in either the Mwangi Expanse or that one Darklands realm overrun with dinosaurs and advanced troglodytes/Xulgath.

Saurians are true neutral in alignment. In general they're inclined to be respectful of life, though given their ferocious protection of primal animals, it's easy enough to set up conflicts with them...


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
I specifically set up Yarthoon to show the "least powerful" a kaiju can be. Whether or not that translates to future kaiju, we'll wait and see I guess.

Haha. I first read that as "Yoon" and imagined a Kaiju-sized Yoon bringing fiery death upon all of the tiny ant people below! lol.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
*surprised that this... thing... nightmare... isn't an aberration*

It's not an Aberration... by the Astral Plane's standards.

You don't want to see an Astral Plane Aberration.

Well, now I do.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Fen Mauler sounds like THe Genoskwa from the most recent Dresden Files novel. Though, my bestiary 6 is still in transit, so it may be a few more days until I get to see it, myself.

Plus that book featured a Rawhead AND the wild hunt. I'm all kinds of excited for this book. And not just because of the Dresden Files references.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Rysky wrote:
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
*surprised that this... thing... nightmare... isn't an aberration*

It's not an Aberration... by the Astral Plane's standards.

You don't want to see an Astral Plane Aberration.

Well, now I do.

Hmm, yeah, me too now.


Luthorne wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Can some kind person provide a few names of the high-CR monstrous humanoids?

The monstrous humanoids from lowest to highest CR are:

** spoiler omitted **

The Shifty Mongoose wrote:
Just how big is Ouroborous? Bouncing across the landscape, over houses, or just big enough to land on your shoulders and violently compress?
It's Colossal, roughly 50 feet in diameter, and weighs 260 lbs. So more the former than the latter.

OK, let me get this straight, we have a 50 ft in diameter ( I am assuming that is diameter of the circle when it grabs it's own tail, not the diameter of the body itself, otherwise this is even crazier) snake that weighs 260 lbs?!? Is it assumed to be made of pixie dust? 50 ft in diameter is 157 + overlap long!

Contributor

tons*

Not pounds.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Michelle A.J. wrote:

tons*

Not pounds.

Whoops, my bad. This is correct, it weighs 260 tons.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Ah, I like magical balloon snek monster.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Ah, I like magical balloon snek monster.

Those sort of things tend to be very vulnerable to rapiers and stilettos though. Or any other weapon shaped like a big needle...

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

That problem is solved by having a LOT of magical balloon snek monsters.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

If you have magical balloon snek monsters, then you likely also have at least one giant clown inflating them. I know which I'd perceive as the bigger threat.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Sir RicHunt Attenwampi wrote:
If you have magical balloon snek monsters, then you likely also have at least one giant clown inflating them. I know which I'd perceive as the bigger threat.

...anyone seen Cosmo?

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Master Pugwampi wrote:
Sir RicHunt Attenwampi wrote:
If you have magical balloon snek monsters, then you likely also have at least one giant clown inflating them. I know which I'd perceive as the bigger threat.
...anyone seen Cosmo?

By then it's too late.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Actually, there is a massive sea worm in the Bestiary that sort of fits the "balloon monster" niche: the Atuikakura. It's weird and nasty and relatively high CR.

CR:
14, to be specific.

EDIT: Got to love real-life folklore monsters, this one from Japan!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Heh.


How do kaiju react towards kaiju-sized great old ones? Will Varklops vs. Cthulhu be a possibility?


If you can transport Varklops to R'lyeh, sure? Cthulhu would have no incentive to seek the fight.


AlgaeNymph wrote:
How do kaiju react towards kaiju-sized great old ones? Will Varklops vs. Cthulhu be a possibility?

I'm close to sure that Varklops ir bigger than Cthulhu, as this is what Kaijus are all about. The kaiju space and reach are usually above 50 ft. while Cthulhu's are 40 ft. Mogaru space and reach are 60 ft.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
AlgaeNymph wrote:
Will Varklops vs. Cthulhu be a possibility?

Mmmmmmmmmaybe.

51 to 92 of 92 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Paizo Products / Product Discussion / Paizo Blog: Powerful Monsters All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Product Discussion

©2002-2017 Paizo Inc.® | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific time.

Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, Starfinder, the Starfinder logo, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Legends, Pathfinder Online, Starfinder Adventure Path, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.