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Creature Codex Volume 2: Infernal Index (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 5 ratings)

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For as long as mankind has existed, we have sought to have some entity to explain why evil exists in the world. And as long as fantasy roleplaying games have existed, game statistics have allowed us to kill these princes of darkness and take their stuff. The fiends presented here are drawn from sources as diverse as Native American rock art, Japanese legends and European children's tales.

This volume includes:

  • The ungudaemon, the iron-hoofed embodiment of serial murder (CR 5)
  • The feathered devil, holder of Hell's wealth (CR 7)
  • The khorkhore div, bringer of false hospitality (CR 13)
  • The baboulas kyton, punisher of even the smallest infractions (CR 8)
  • The hanadaka oni, capricious patron of the tengu (CR 10)
  • The piasa, a savage beast empowered by Abyssal wrath (CR 17)

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Product Reviews (5)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 5 ratings)

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Cool creatures, lacking a couple of things

****( )

Before I write my review, I should probably tell you that I received a free review copy of this product.

An Infernal Index? Yes, sounds awesome doesn't it. I like demons, devils and daemons as much as the next guy, but I've also seen (and used) far too many of these, and while they seem to be one of the most complex and interesting type of creatures, there is also the danger that they might look (and feel) alike. This index presents us with 6 creatures from the Infernal Nether Realms, and they aren't all devils, demons and daemons.

No reason to beat around the bush, lets get to the creatures! The first creature is an ungudaemon, a weird-looking and vile creature that loves to force others to kill (as the book writes, the embodiment of serial killing). This is the weakest creature in the book and I would have liked it to have some powers of persuasion, how cool would it be to have a daemon that created serial killers of ordinary (and weak-willed) human beings? Next up is the feathered devil, infernal accountants and treasurers. I really like the thought of hell as a bureaucracy! Only thing I would change about this creature would be to give it the ability to fly. It has wings, and while there is something to be said for cheating the players, I think this would have been cool. And while I am nitpicking, I would also have given them some abilities to instantly count coins and locate treasure (detect magic at the very least). Yes, these would merely be flavor.

Then we get the Khorkhore, a creature that is the embodiment of gluttony and excess. I really liked this creature, and from looking at the rather stupid-looking illustration, I didn't think I would. This creature has a really cool ability that will make a small village into a disturbing community of gluttonous freaks. Awesome! After the khorkhore, we get what I would describe as a cool mix between sweeney todd and edward scissorhands: the baboulas kyton. I loved this creature, which might not work in every type of game.

Then we get an oni called a hanadaka oni. These creatures are excellent swordsmen, cunning tricksters and are somehow tied to tengus. I am not a big oni fan, but this one actually looks (and feels) cool. The last creature in the Infernal Index is the piasa. The thing that makes this CR 17 creature interesting for me, is that it is not very intelligent and hardly understand its own powers. It's a nice setup. However, I would have liked this creature to have a couple of powerful signature abilities to match its CR.

Overall, this Index presents a lot of interesting and original creatures. My favorites were the khorkhore, feathered devil and baboulas kyton, but honestly, all the monsters have something to offer. I would have loved to hear a bit more about the sources that the author talks about in the introduction.

Lastly, I just want to acknowledge the very cool (and colourful) illustrations. These, together with the cool ideas and low price makes this a must-buy for any GM. For the price, I can easily forget the small changes that I would have liked. I am going to settle on 4.5 stars, rounded down for the purpose of this format.


An abysal and infernal must have

*****

Well Mr. Herold has done it again 5/5. This is the second release I have read (first Creatures of Twilight and now the Infernal Codex) and they just keep getting better. You can tell that a lot of work and thought goes into designing these villains. The creatures of the Infernal Index represent a good array of challenge levels and each offers different combat and social options for gameplay. These hellish monsters would also give any campaign (especially one set in Korvosa) the proper ambience. There appears to be a mix of original and folklore inspired devils, daemons, oni, and beasts. I particularly love the creatures inspired by old European and Asian mythology (I always find that they give the world a more realistic feel). The stats look balanced and a lot of the special abilities are really cool – I can’t wait to see them in action. I also have to give compliments to the artist – if you have not seen Heather Frazier’s mi-go guardian from Creatures of Twilight I suggest you check it out. These are some really amazing and professional illustrations (check out the Piasa’s face!). So far it looks as if Mr. Herold is releasing compendiums by creature type, so I can’t wait to see what genre he tackles next.
There are six creatures – each with a different look and feel.
- I like how the “Ungudaemon” is more than just a charging brute – It also coerces humans to kill for it or bring it victims (Don’t you just love when the hulking alien monster is cunning!).
- The “Feathered Devil” is one of my personal favorite, hurray for the accountants of hell! These baddies come with tones of magical abilities (plus they can polymorph stuff into gold). I think the Feathered Devil can offer the widest array of campaign options and player interactions.
- After reading about the “Khorkhore Div” I was flooded with ideas. They are the embodiment of gluttony, with really powerful stats and abilities – they cause cannibalism and discord among the material planes.
- The “Baboulas Kyton” would have to be my favorite – a dapper chain-devil barber. I love the special abilities and the addition of a special weapon the “Combat Shears”. (mutilating criticals)
- I believe that the “Hanadaka Oni” is of Japanese inspiration. They seem the least vile of the bunch – just don’t piss them off (blasting critical awesome!). And finally a Tengu patron.
- The “Piasa” is a feral predator of the abyss, and the perfect encounter for any party traveling through the lower planes. I think of them as the stalking tigers of the abyss. The Piasa is also the highest CR rating in the bunch.


Infernal Creatures you didn't realize your game was missing.

*****

One particular design philosophy that I've noticed in a lot of his monsters is that nearly every creature deserves a unique (or at least interesting) ability. This came through really strongly in his World of Kong conversions (somewhere on ENWorld) where dinosaurs aren't just big sacks of strength and hit points, but also shows pretty clearly here. Of the six creatures I count four which have abilities that I've simply never seen in any published product before. In fact, the Hanadaka Oni (by far my favorite stat block and art in the volume) has three.

I will agree with the other reviewers that the red and yellow is a bit too intense to read on, and the last bit of text for the Scissorman was formatted in a way that made it difficult to read.

The creatures have a very well thought out feat selection and come from a wide variety of extraplanar regions, archetypes, and CRs. Overall, the quality of both the statistics as well as the art is far above that of comparable products.


Wants some new Demons, Devils or Daemons?

****( )

Creature Codex 2: Infernal Index by Demiurge Press

This product is 9 pages long. It starts with a cover, credits, and ToC. (2 pages)

Monsters (6 pages)
It jumps right into the new monsters of the book. Each monster has a full page devoted to it. Full stat block, a couple of paragraphs of text about it and then a image.
Daemon, Ungudaemon (CR 5): A weird, almost cthulhesk looking creature that will sometimes let victims live if they bring it others in their place.
Devil, Feathered (CR 7): Hells accountants and bankers.
Div, Khorkhore (CR 13): The embodiment of Gluttony. They can create food, any mortal eating the food gains a wasting disease. Forcing them to eat huge amounts of food or take con damage.
Kyton, Baboulas (CR 8): Nobles versions of Kytons. The are sadistic mutilators, made me think of Hellraiser.
Hanakada Oni (CR10): Oni that taught the Tengu their swordmastery. Can change shape and use their fans to create winds on par with a hurricane.
Piasa (CR 17): They live in the abyss but are not demons, they are manifestations of the abysses fury and anger.

It ends with a OGL. (1 pages)

Closing thoughts. There is two versions a color version and a black and white version for ease of printing. Editing and layout are good. The art range from subpar to ok. Really the only art I really didn't like was the Div one, the rest was ok. They was all interesting and pretty cool, I especially like the Kyton, Baboulas, hands down the best of the new monsters. If you are looking for some new Devils, Demons, or Daemons to spring on your players then this book is worth the price. So what's my rating? I am going to give it a 4 star, it is good but felt it could have been even better.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


Disturbing and rock-solid selection of fiends

*****

This pdf is 9 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial and ToC and 1 page SRD, leaving 6 pages for the monsters, one per page, so let's dive in!
You actually get two versions of the book, one beautiful full-color version and one printer-friendly b/w-version. Nice.

The monsters are:
-Daemon, Ungudaemon (CR 5): A disturbing, almost cthulhoid-looking creature that tries to make serial killers out of regular people.
- Devil, Feathered (CR 7): Bureaucrats of hell, they also serve as bankers and get cool rune-like abilities.
-Div, Khorkhore (CR 13): Gluttony and famine-associated creature that can cause people to consume everything due to lethal hunger. I didn't like the artwork, though.
-Kyton, Baboulas (CR 8): Also known as Scissormen, these nobles of Kytons absolutely rock - they use deadly, mutilating scissors and are the consummate sadists. I love them.
-Hanakada Oni (CR10): Deadly Oni that taught the Tengu their swordmastery. Can use their fans to create hurricane-level winds. Another very cool monster.
-Piasa (CR 17): An incarnation of the Abyss's fury, these beasts might not be too bright, but they have tremendous destructive potential.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, the artworks by Heather Frazier are beautiful, especially for the low price. While I didn't notice any mistakes, I found the fact that the Baboulas-artwork separates the text in the middle, which made it a bit harder to read, but that's nitpicking. More importantly, I didn't notice any mistakes with regards to statblocks and all the monsters felt somehow iconic and as-of-yet unseen rather than redundant. The pdfs don't feature bookmarks, but at such a short length, I won't detract a star for it. What's my final verdict, then? Due to there being two files, one full-color and one printer-friendly, the high quality of the monster write-ups, the very well editing job etc., I'll ignore my minor points of criticism (the formatting decision and the one artwork I didn't enjoy): My final verdict is 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5.


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