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Creature Codex Volume 1: Monsters of Twilight (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 4 ratings)

Our Price: FREE

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Are you afraid of the dark? Or just of what lurks inside it?

With Monsters of Twilight, the first volume in the Creature Codex series, you can learn the secrets of monsters from the Plane of Shadow, the depths of the earth and even outer space! The creatures of H.P. Lovecraft provide a strong inspiration for the monsters therein. This PDF is entirely compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and is entirely free to boot!

    This volume includes:
  • The dwellers in darkness, mysterious scientists beyond the stars (CR 2)
  • The mi-go guardian, dreadful thrall of the dwellers in darkness (CR 8)
  • The fetch, a brutal savage that radiates darkness (CR 4)
  • The knocker, subterranean prankster and protector of gems (CR 3)
  • The nightgaunt, guardian of forlorn places (CR 6)
  • The twilight unicorn, a dark reflection of nature's purity (CR 4)

Look for other products in the Creature Codex line soon!

Author: Nicholas Herold
Artist: Heather Frazier

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Product Reviews (4)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 4 ratings)

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4.5 out of 6 Creatures

****( )

Length: 10 pages total: 1 page cover; 1 page index, credits and intro; 7 pages of content; 1 page of copyrights and licensing.

Format: 2 column and fairly easy to read, but there are a few issues that seemed odd to me:
• The columns are not equal in size, resulting in an off-kilter appearance.
• The text at the edges partially overlaps the colored border, which casts a shadow over some words and may reduce readability depending on your screen resolution and brightness.
• The text is in a fairly small typeface, which may be hard on some readers' eyes.

I spotted 8 typographical and grammatical errors, but they were not significant or prevalent enough to mar the reading experience or hinder comprehension of the material.

Art: 5 pictures, 1 for each creature, all in color and of decent quality. The picture of the Fetch does not quite match the written description, but it and all of the other pictures do serve to convey the strangeness of their subjects.

The Monsters of Twilight: There are 5 creatures detailed within, plus a variant creature and 3 items.

The first and largest section of this book is devoted to the Dweller in Darkness, also called the Mi-go (no direct relation to Paizo's Mi-Go, which was introduced after this pdf was released, though they do touch on the same themes). The Mi-go is a CR 2 NE space-faring skin-stealing telepathic insectoid Aberration that is very intelligent and prone to taking levels in spellcasting classes as they go about their business taking over the known universe. There's a lot of good material written for them that lends the creeps well to all sorts of adventures, and the mechanics seem pretty solid. They have weak physical abilities but plenty of potential to mess with your characters' heads (more on that coming up). However, one thing did jump out at me as being strange regarding the stat block: They are listed as having 300 ft. Blindsight. That is unusually high, even when compared to other aberrant creatures, and it made me wonder whether it was supposed to be 30ft. I did not include this in the formatting issues listed earlier, because it is entirely possible that it was intentional. The chapter also includes two magical items and a variant Dweller in Darkness called the Mi-go Guardian. The first item is a rather nasty rod called the Mist Projector, which deals cold and acid damage in a 120ft. line. The second item is a single-use wondrous item called the Brain Canister, which preserves a single brain indefinitely and prevents it from dying while keeping it completely contained. Telepathy may be used to speak with the brain but the poor soul is otherwise completely powerless. Very cool stuff. The Mi-go Guardians are CR 8 genetically modified brutes that are enslaved to the Mi-go, using their special Extract Brain ability on pinned foes to provide research material for their masters.

The second section is devoted to the Fetch, a CR 4 LE Outsider from the Plane of Shadow that serves the Kytons as a laborer or bodyguard. They radiate darkness, as the spell, and there are rules included for crafting armor or shields out of their skulls, which is nice, but apart from that, I did not find them particularly interesting. They're just pawns, with no personality to speak of.

The third section is devoted to the Knocker, a CR 3 CN Fey that loves to hoard the treasures of the earth for itself, misleading miners and keeping them away from the best gems and ores. They're not evil though, and view these miners as competition—not enemies. They may even come to the aid of passers-by, if they see someone threatening their rivals.

The fourth section is devoted to the Nightgaunt, a CR 6 TN Outsider from the Plane of Shadow that act as guardians of a sort, watching over remote or dangerous places. They are described as being faceless and communicate via telepathy, though many are isolationist and not interested in conversation. Fairly quick flyers with high stealth, they usually open a fight by swooping down to grapple trespassers, but they set themselves apart in a great way: They are expert ticklers. Yes, after they've grappled you, they start tickling uncomfortably, leaving you dazed if you fail the Fortitude save. After they've subdued their prey, they fly them away from their domain. Nightgaunts are not tied to a specific alignment, and may be more aggressive and drop people in danger, or perhaps helpfully use their ability to carry people out of harm's way, depending on the individual.

The fifth and final section is devoted to the Twilight Unicorn, a CR 4 LE Magical Beast that heals via negative energy and is harmed by positive energy, has minor spell-casting (and the ability to deliver touch attacks with their horn) and a negative energy aura that buffs nearby undead. They're described as being very intelligent and wise, but they are also described as being very wasteful and destructive to their home and surroundings, killing indiscriminately even when they are no longer hungry.

Verdict: This is a pretty good book overall, and I will probably use almost all of the creatures within at some point, with the possible exception of the Fetch and Twilight Unicorn.


Lovecraftian Monsters for PFRPG with beautiful artwork

****( )

The first publication by Demiurge Press is a nifty 10 page pdf, full-color monster book: 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial and ToC, 1 page SRD.

That leaves us with 7 pages of monsters.

The first is the classic Dweller in Darkness (Mi-Go) CR 2 – Nice take on the Mi-Go, although I prefer the KQ-version from the phantom fungus article, if only because I like my Lovecraftian critters stronger than CR 2. Other than that – Nice work!

After that, we get 1 page with a beautiful artwork of the next creature, the CR 8 Mi-Go Guardian as well as stats for two iconic Mi-Go devices, the mist projector and the brain canister. The stats of the Guardian take up another page – I like the take on it.

Then, we get the CR 4 Fetch with a corresponding artwork. This creature felt rather uninspired when compared to the rest, albeit the note on fetch-shields was a nice touch.

After that, we a creepy picture as well as the statblock of the CR3-Knocker – creepy, cool and has a nice little special ability.

The CR6-Nightgaunt that follows up is another nice addition to one’s bestiary, albeit it somehow lacks a certain je-ne-sais-quoi of alienness in its abilities.

The final creature is the CR4-Twilight Unicon, probably the least favorite creature I have read in this book, as the evil unicorn has been done numerous times and I was missing a paragraph on what to do with e.g. the horn of the creature.

Conclusion:
It’s very hard to beat free stuff, especially if it is presented in such a professional way. The artwork by Heather Frazier is beautiful and especially the Knockers and the Mi-Go-Guardian are awesome pieces. The presentation, formatting and editing of the little book are great and I look forward to seeing follow-ups. For now, I’ll settle with 4.5 stars, rounded down, mainly because I was really missing some unique signature abilities on the monsters side…apart from the Mi-Go-Guardian, that is. I love it. Congratulations to Nick Herold – I’m hoping to see more horror/gritty books for PFRPG soon.


A good free product that could have been a pay product.

****( )

This product is 10 pages long. It starts with a cover and ToC. (2 pages)

Next it jumps right into the new monsters.
Dweller in Darkness – alien aberrations like bug creatures that study people. CR 2 or 8, 2 kinds of them and 2 magic items (3 pages) I did notice one odd phrase on the magic item. It says “a body returned to it's brain may be brought back to life” just seems a odd phrase, seems like body and brain should be switched.

Fetch – outsider shadow creatures. CR 4. (1 page)

Knocker – fey that are the dryads of rich metals. CR 3 (1 page)

Nightgaunt – outsider, another shadow creature from the plane of shadow, CR 6 (1 page)

Twilight Unicorn – magical beast, a evil unicorn. CR 4 (1 page)

It ends with a OGL (1 page)

Closing thoughts. I have said in the past I am not a huge monster book person. I am not, I have nothing against them. I just find most of them have monsters that are either to much like existing ones or are just way to strange or just feel like they was added for the sake of adding them. Luckly this book I can happily say is not like that.

The Dweller in the Darkness is a neat and creepy idea. The Fetch while not filling a needed roll per say was done interesting. Knocker makes sense even if it was my least fav of the lot. Nightgaunt is the one that closest feels of just being added for the sake of being added. Which brings us to the Twilight Unicorn, which is hands down my fav of the book though the Dwellers are a close second.

My only critic with the Twilight Unicorn is it doesn't say where they come from or how they came into being. I suppose they just always existed but with what is said about them a cool paragraph on how they first came about would have been very nice and fitting. I just felt one or two more paragraphs would have made a good monster into a great monster.

The artwork is fair and the layout is good, the color and borders are nice. Giving a dark morbid gothic look. Which while pretty and I really liked, also brings me to my next critic. It would be brutal on a printer to print this. Now I can't really complain, hence why I said critics. I mean this is a free product after all. But in the interest of providing the publisher with feedback I am listing them. With it being free I highly recommend picking it up, I mean what do you have to lose? Now IF this had be a pay product, what would I have rated it? Well depends on price but if it was around the 3 buck range I would have given it a 4 star. Good but could have been better.


*****

From the guy who brought us the book of Slaadi, the 3E Dire Corby that isn't lame, monsters of Beowolf, the Seedroach tree, and the Springheel, it is no surprise that Monsters of Twilight doesn't disappoint. It's excellent (Especially since I've got a soft spot for Mi-Go) and I recommend checking out the other work he has done.


The Big Reveal: Demon's Heresy!,

There is No Certainty, Only Adventure!,

Fin!,

The last!,

Gen Con Booth Button: Sunday,


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