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Book of Beasts: Wandering Monsters 1 (PFRPG) PDF

***½( ) (based on 3 ratings)

Our Price: $1.49

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Book of Beasts: Wandering Monsters 1 describes new fierce and fantastic denizens for many campaigns. This fully bookmarked PDF includes 5 new monsters that provide players with new challenges and new difficulties to face.

    These monsters include:
  • Blightdaemon: daemon of disease that leaves a trail of death in its path
  • Death Adept: an undead priest and commander of the undead forces
  • Mantian: a mantis-looking magical creature with deadly poison stingers
  • Remembrant: a flying undead that remembers those that wronged it in life
  • Rock Ophidian: a salamander-looking dragon that spits balls of acid at its dinner

Enhance your world and your game with these monsters.

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Product Reviews (3)

Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 3 ratings)

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Mechanically solid creatures that lack distinctive abilities

**( )( )( )

This pdf is 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving 5 pages for the new monsters.

The Blightdaemon (CR 4) is a small, imp-like harbinger of disease and comes with a new disease. The Death Adept (CR 8) is an undead priest with divine casting abilities. Kind of like Huecava, but more focused on being an undead cleric. Mantians (CR 5) are giant, preying-mantis-like creatures that come with their own poison I don't get why they don't get keen claws or more damage on their primary attacks. Their defensive qualities list "Compound Eyes", but not what they do. I gather that, similar to Dreamscarred Press's Dromites, they grant the Mantians +2 to Perception checks, but I'm not sure whether that's already fractured in the +8 racial modifier to perception they get or whether having compound eyes grants them additional benefits. It should be noted that this does not impair the usability of the creature, though, so I won't detract a star. Remembrents (CR 3) are shrieking, corporeal undead with some spell-like abilities. Rock-Ophidians (CR 3) are minor dragon-like beings that can spit acid and for a limited amount of time harden their scales. This is a rather strange ability, as no in-game explanation or true reason is given for the creature to have this ability.

Conclusion:
Layout adheres to the 2-column standard and is printer-friendly b/w. The b/w-artwork the monsters get is old-school and for the price very nice. Editing could have been better - I noticed a relic "a" in one of the statblocks, an adjective/adverb-mix-up in the Remembrents text and a mix-up between horde/hoard in the Ophidian-text. Due to the shortness of the pdf, I think they could have been avoided. Apart from the typo-pet-peeves of mine, I have another point of criticism: In e.g. stark contrast to the "Monsters of the River Nations"-book, the critters in this pdf lack any iconic quality whatsoever. Mantians are Mantis-like creatures and do exactly what you'd expect. The same goes for the other beasts - they just feel generic. And unfortunately uninspired. There is nothing wrong with the creatures or their mechanics per se and their artworks are ok. However, none of them felt unique or inspired in a way that made me want to use them in my campaign. While the pdf is cheap, I still can't recommend it - due to the low price, my final verdict will be 2 stars.


Good mechanics, lacking in imagination

***( )( )

I've heard a lot of good things about Jon Brazer Enterprises, so when I saw that they had a collection of five monsters for $1.49, I knew I had to jump on it and give it a read. What did I think?

The Good: The mechanics are overall solid. Monsters have the appropriate numbers of skills, feats and saves, and they appear to be balanced for their CRs.

I like the rememberant, a low-level undead created when a soul is too traumatized to leave its body. They have a sonic shriek attack and a suite of thematic spell-like abilities. They remind me of the deathlock from WoTC's Libris Mortis, another low-level caster undead that lets weak parties get some of the thrills of a battle with a lich without the TPK.

The art is very good, some of the best I've seen in a 3rd party PFRPG product. I especially like the blightdaemon.

The Bad: With the exception of the rememberant, the monsters are minimalist and bland, in both special abilities and flavor-text. The aforementioned blightdaemon has no abilities except for being able to spread two diseases. The death adept is an 8th level cleric that is also a skeleton. That's about it.

The flavor-text often is inconsistent with the monster stats. The mantian is especially all over the map. Its description indicates that they hunt by summoning giant mantises to their aid and that they collect vast amounts of treasure. The stats have no mantis summoning/empathy/command ability, the organization makes no mention of giant mantises, and the treasure is listed as "None"! I would have also liked a justification in the flavor to the intelligence and Lawful Good alignment of the rock ophidian, which is portrayed as being of animal intellect (except for its love of treasure, which seems to be more on par with a magpie than anything else).

The Nit-Picky: The hit points on the rememberant are too low--it appears as if the Charisma score was changed during development and the hit points were forgotten. And there are some noticeable typos.

Final Thoughts: I don't feel like I wasted my money purchasing Book of Beasts: Wandering Monsters 1, but neither do I feel inspired to use any of these creatures in my game.


Great art, well done monsters and worth the price.

*****

Book of Beasts: Wandering Monsters 1 by Jon Brazer Enterprise

This product is 7 pages long. It starts with a cover. (1 pages)

Monsters (5 pages)
There is five new monsters in this book. Each monster takes up a full page with a black and white image.
Blightdaemon – CR4 daemon. A disease based creature.
Death Adept – CR 8 undead. A type of undead priest.
Mantians – CR 5 magical creature. Large praying Mantis creatures.
Remembrent – CR 3 undead. Kinda a weak version of the banshee sorta.
Rock Ophidian – CR 3 dragon. More like oversize acid spitting salamanders.

It ends with a OGL. (1 pages)

Closing thoughts. Layout and editing are good. I didn't notice any obvious errors. The art work is black and white but very good. The five monster are pretty interesting, I thought the Blightdaemon and Death Adept was the most interesting. Taken as a whole the monsters are solid and so is the product. It gives exactly what it promises with very good artwork and no obvious flaws. It is a very clean PDF with no borders so very print friendly. If you are looking for a few new monsters then this is worth the buck fifty asking price. So what's my rating? I am going to give it a 5. I didn't notice any obvious errors and while the monsters weren't great they was good, but the artwork was very good which honestly is almost worth buying just for the art.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


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