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Phantasia Zoologica Volume I: Cats, Dogs & Horses (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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Cats and Dogs and Horses, Oh My!

When faced with the wide assortment of magical and wondrous creatures fantasy settings present, it’s easy to forget about the animals so similar to the ones we know in real life. The mundane critters we know so well seemingly have no role to play in a game full of the beasts of dreams of nightmares. But how far can your adventuring party get without horses?

Phantasia Zoologica takes a fresh look at real-world animal species for inclusion in your fantasy game. This first volume explores cats, dogs, and horses—mundane and fantastic alike. Among the dozens of entries, you’ll find everything from golden retrievers and Clydesdales, to orcish wolf-dogs and scimitar cats, to magical maneki neko and horrific zombie steeds. If having such amazing creatures wasn’t enough, you can outfit them from the gear and equipment also included in this book.

Whether you’re seeking new creatures for the party to encounter, want a special mount, familiar, or animal companion for your character, or just want a cool pet to add to a character’s background or development, Phantasia Zoologica has what you’re looking for!

This PDF replaces and expands upon Phantasia Zoologica I: Dogs.

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Product Reviews (3)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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5/5 - This product is as-advertised. If you need that niche filled, look no furt


Why did I buy this? What did I actually get?
I’ve always enjoyed the 152-crayon box approach to monsters, and I was excited to see the same variety applied to those animals tied closer to human society. And we get exactly what’s advertised on the front, plus equipment!

Have I used this, or will I use this?
I haven’t busted this out yet, but I’m currently running a Paizo AP - once I start a new one, I would hope to incorporate some of this into whatever the campaign turns out to be. I may mine this for ideas to convert to my recently started Dungeon World campaign as well.

How is the fluff?
Enjoyable: each breed gets a little info about personality, and its interactions with nature and societies, without implying a setting - and I consider that a plus with this type of resource. Though illustrations are nice, it’s still a little disappointing that the statblocks are without the descriptive sentence or two at the top.

How are the mechanics?
Each statblock comes with it’s own unique ability or spin that presents a lot of variety, while keeping it in a low CR range. Sometimes, it’s the Khyang Wild Ass, who’s sure of foot and thick furred, or the Coon Cat, who’s Intelligence (not the score, but an ability) makes it easy to train. Some are less distinct, but still serve their purpose. Chapter 4 offers equipment, both mundane and magical - one of the neater non-magical items is a scrollcase harness, fitted for a dog with two bone scrollcases attached. Animal prices, as well as rules for familiars and animal companions bring the book to completion.

How’s the artwork?
The book is well-illustrated, and has distinct artwork for each breed. Though I prefer color illustrations because I do most of my gaming through VTT, I really enjoy what’s presented here, and the style would make it easy to color quickly myself.

How’s readability?
The layout is simple, printer-friendly B&W. No complaints here.

Was the price fair?
I paid $5.59 for this, which for 65 pages of content (72 total) is a great price in my book.

Favorite part?
The elven dog, and it’s terrifying bark! On top of combat mechanics, the bark can be heard up to 5 miles away.

Least favorite part?
From a personal perspective, I’m not big on horses. Nothing to detract from the book itself, but that chapter doesn’t grab me in the same way the cats and dogs do.

Neat selection of cats, dogs and horses with hooks galore

****( )

This pdf is 72 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 blank page on the inside of the back cover and 1 page back cover, leaving 65 pages of content, so let's check out these critters, shall we?

This book is rather interesting and seeks to close a niche in PFRPG that has as of yet been mostly uncovered - we are provided a rather big array of statblocks for the different breeds of animals - while minor modifications of the animal-qualities would have been an easy way out, Phantasia Zoologica thankfully goes a different route by providing special qualities for many of the animals contained herein, ranging from enhanced learning capabilities to increased ambush damage. From lucky and unlucky cats (black cats for example) to feline guardians of the underworld, we are presented quite a nice array of cats, many of which practically beg to be used and/or create adventure hooks. Grimm's Gestiefelter Kater, more widely known as Puss in the Boots, is also featured in these pages.

Authentic animal breeds and magical breeds go hand in hand herein and the same goes for dogs and horses - while I would have loved to see some more magical horses along the way of Sliepnir (Odin's Horse), the animals herein are guaranteed to enrich a detailed campaign world. In fact, for anyone who wants some variety in their campaigns, this book represents not only a great resource, but any class with the option to take animal companions and familiars will benefit even more from this pdf - extensive information to use the new animals that way is provided along comprehensive lists to acquire these animals (when not unique/purchasable at all) and their prices.

Have I already mentioned the chapter on new gear for animals like harnesses, saddles, dog whistles and means of transportation?

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to 4WFG's elegant, printer-friendly 2-column standard and the pdf comes with extensive bookmarks. All the animals get their own b/w-artworks that range in quality from excellent to ok and I was quite surprised that this pdf was not boring and actually useful. However, not all is rosy - while I get why all breeds of animals have something they excel at, I also felt some of the descriptive texts to be slightly redundant, often commenting on the intelligence of the creatures - I read said phrase often herein. On the ability side, while I LOVED the unique abilities of several creatures, I think that both horses and dogs could have used some more unique abilities, as several of the animals have similar abilities.
I would have also loved to see more of the magical creatures. On the other hand, having the mundane critters is awesome and I'd love to see more mundane animals and a sequel to this pdf, e.g. with rodents like (space-)hamsters. Rupert shall rise again!

In the end, this supplement is an excellent addition to a given campaign that falls slightly short of being stellar, resulting in a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4.

Endzeitgeist out.

4.5 review, want some variety of cats, dogs and horse? Look no further.


Phantasia Zoological Vol 1: Cats, Dogs, and Horses by 4 Wind Fantasy Gaming

This product is 72 pages long. It starts with a cover, credits, and ToC. (4 pages)

Introduction (1 page)
It talks about why you might want a variety of cats, dogs and horses for your game. How to make more yourself or at least a bit of a tip. Also that if you buy 4 Wind Fantasy Gaming Tome of Monsters they have a few more varieties of each three in that book as well. All of the animals have different feats, skills, as well as stats and in some cases special abilities or even in a few cases super natural abilities.

Chapter 1 – Cats (16 pages)
There is 27 breeds of cats in the book. Most or mundane types know in our real world. 3 are undead types and a few are magical ones. Such as the Black Cat which can jinx people, or the Winged Cat, or even Puss-n-Boots, yes based on that Puss-n-Boots. I would have liked a little more on him as he is unique, I think he needed a full page instead of half a page like some of the cats got. They range from CR 1/8 to 7 with most of them being CR ¼ to ½.
Black Cat
Bobtail Cat
Cait Sidhe
Coon Cat
Eastern Cat
Grass Cat
Longhair Near-Eastern Cat
Maneki Neko
Marsupial Lion
Northern Forest Cat
Pharaoh Mau
Ranger Cat
Scimitar Cat
Six-toed Cat
Snow Leopard
Southern Wildcat
Sphynx Cat
Tailless Cat (Manx)
Ghoulish Cat
Skeletal Cat
Zombie Cat
Van Cat
Winged Cat

Chapter 2 – Dogs (20 pages)
There is 40 breeds of dogs in this section. Most of them are mundane dogs but there is a few undead and magical dog breeds as well in there. They range from CR ¼ to 1 with most being a CR ½.
Blonde Mastiff
Bull Mastiff
Cairn Terrier
Celestial Dog
Cock Spaniel
Elven Dog
Dwarven Hound
Golden Retriever
Halfling Ratter
Halfling Riding Dog
Infernal Dog
Low Hound
Orcish Wolf-Dog
Rabbit Hound
Ranger’s Hound
Shade Hound
Songshi Quan
Steppes Husky
Ghoulish Dog
Skeletal Dog
Zombie Dog
Winged Dog

Chapter 3 – Horses (16 pages)
There is 30 breeds of horses in this section. Most of them are mundane every day horses with a few undead and magical ones. They range from CR ¼ to 7, with most of them being a CR 1.
Bedouin Horse
Bog Pony
Dwarven Pony
Elven Horse
Halfling Pony
Highland Pony
Khyang Wild Ass
Miniature Horse
Moorland Pony
Quarter Horse
Ranger Horse
Taki Wild Horse
Tokara Pony
Ghost Horse
Skeletal (Burning) Horse
Zombie Horse
Viking Pony
Warhorse, Heavy
Warhorse, Light
War Pony

Chapter 4 – Gear (6 pages)
Anything you might want for your animal friends. From toys, collars, leash, food, saddles, armor and even carts and such to be pulled. There is 17 different kinds of wagons, sleds, and carts alone in this section. There is also 21 magic items as well, though several of them are just better versions of the same item. There is 9 different types of magic items.

Appendix 1 Prices (2 pages)
Here is a list of all the animals and their prices.

Appendix 2 Familiars and Animal Companions (4 pages)
Here it list all the animals that would make good familiars or animal companions for druids and rangers. This is really the only part of the book I was disappointed with. They don't have a list for which ones would make good improved familiars, unless they think none would.

It ends with a OGL and back cover. (3 pages)

Closing thoughts. The artwork is black and white and goes from fair to pretty good. There is art for each animal in the book which I found to be a big plus. Editing and layout are good. Now I am a bit biased I really like products like this that add the little details. Even with out the magical and undead versions I found this to be a useful book. If you would like to have a some differences in animals. Like some dogs that hunt better than others, or might be tougher and more suited to combat. Each breed has things they are good at. If that interest you then I highly recommend picking this up. So what's my rating? I am giving it a 4.5 good but not perfect. I would have liked to have seen a bit more on a couple of entries like Puss-n-Boots and a list of those that would make good improved familiar choices, but all and all a solid book.

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