The Tome of Horrors Complete: Unlimited Edition (PFRPG) (based on
Frog God Games
The Tome of Horrors? But that’s been done already; why do it again? Well, actually it’s been done three times, but never like this. With the advent of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game as the newest torchbearer for the world’s most popular role-playing game, we need monsters—lots of monsters. That’s where The Tome of Horrors Complete delivers in spades. Starting from the original Tome written with the 3rd Edition rules along with the later releases of Tomes 2 and 3 for version 3.5, Necromancer Games was in the unique position to bring you updates of the classic monsters not formally released by the OGL, as well as, loads of new ones never sprung upon unsuspecting players before. So well received have these monsters been by the gaming community, that this open content has appeared again and again in game publications by other companies including updates to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game system and even appearances in its own Bestiaries.
Why stop there? Never before have all three volumes been updated to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game in their entirety and released as a single, hardbound tome. Monsters from the aberrant to the yellow musk zombie appear in this book, and everything in between—that’s over 700 monsters. But that’s not all; the appendices bring just as much to the table from templates to hazards to a treatise on poison variations in nearly 50 types of venomous snakes. There are also new feats, planes of existence, strange beings beyond mortal ken, and plenty of charts dividing the compiled monsters by CR, type, and terrain.
So you’ve got the monsters—both from the original edition of the game and new—the templates, the multiple appendices on rules, planes, and the n’gathau, and a truckload of sample encounters and lairs to throw at your players, all together in one easy-to-use book. That’s why we call it The Tome of Horrors Complete!
First off let me say that i like this book a lot. It has tons of monsters and any of the copied monsters from other places have different stats so it can be a nice change of pace to toss in a tome of horror monster.
The art in the book ranges from great to bad but that doesn't matter too much for me. Because i think pathfinder is a game best left in your imagination anyway.
Why 3 stars?
First the CR of the monsters is wrong in many cases. For example a CR 5 Black Skeleton in the tome, has dr 10/ bludgeoning and good. What kind of CR 5 has a DR with AND that is too strong at a CR 5. So you have to be very careful using this book, because they didn't play test these monsters very much. Also there are a ton of monsters over CR 20 and pathfinder doesn't have a epic level book at this time. (could be a few years yet) so all these monsters with very high CR (even one with a 39) you can't even use with your parties. Its neat that there are monsters out there that are that nasty but i can't use them for years if ever (paizo may not release a epic lvl book)
So overall i am not too happy with this book as the CR of the monsters isn't right in many cases and many of the monsters are too high of CR with the current pathfinder rules. For 110$ i would have liked to see monsters that were play tester better and i would have liked to keep the CR of the monsters in the book no high then around a CR 23 or so, as beyond that point you can't even fight them without hacked crazy characters.
I've been meaning to buy the original three books this one replaces for a long time. I've just never gotten around to it and then I would have had to convert the stats all to Pathfinder stats to use them in Pathfinder. Now that's all been done for me and it's all in one handy tome! I am so glad all these great monsters are now in one book.
My only real gripe is the 17 pages of advertising I had to pay for in the back of the book. I don't mind a page or two, but 17 pages is just ridiculous, even in a book this size. For that reason it only gets 4 stars from me. Fortunately I purchased the print edition and got the pdf version with it. The PDF also contains some web enhancements as well, so it takes away the sting some.
PERFECTION at its best. Great job by Bill Webb and the gang at FGG. This is a super book and nothing can touch it. If I could give it 10 stars, I would. Enough on that ;D
- TOAD, The Tome of Adventure Design - It is an ok book but the ULTIMATE TOOLBOX is much more superior than TOAD.
10 Facts about Tome of Horrors, Complete, and Frog God Games
#10 This is CR 20 book. It's a small Chaotic Evil construct with ability to bring forth horrors from its pages. It can also swallow human-sized readers. See page 9 for more details.
#9 The lowest CR creature is a bookworm at 1/8, while the highest, at CR 39, is Lucifer. Oh, and in between you have 749 other creatures.
#8 The creatures, and their art, were drawn from Tomes of Horrors published over the years by Necromancer Games. That means that creature art was reused and some creatures do not follow Pathfinder guidelines as to their CR or abilities ("some" as in "found only two wonky specimens"). The former is a non-issue for me (I do not own previous editions), the latter is rare to the point of non-existent, and, as a GM, I tend to read statblocks so I can deal with any potential issues on the fly.
As an anecdote - what was the second monster book of d20, the third edition of our favorite game? According to Amazon, Monster Manual was released on 1st of October, 2000, and Creature Collection came out on the Oct 3rd, 2000.
The authors of CC: Clark Peterson and Bill Webb. Sounds familiar? Yep, founders of Necromancer Games and producers of Tome of Horror series.
For more on their current endeavors: Frog God Games (Bill Webb), Legendary Games (Clark Peterson).
Digression: Bill, and Clark, if I ever meet you in person, I'll make you sign this Creature Collection of mine. Or at least strongly entreat you to do so.
#7 The book has been built to last. Cover and binding appear to be extremely durable. The pages themselves are delicate.
#6 The majority of creatures presented are horrors. That is, they are quite impossible to reason with. Unfortunately, for the players, those capable of business interactions, are most likely to be demons, devils or fey. Exceptions are rare.
#5 The PDF you get along with the book allows for very user friendly experience. The bookmarks are organized as follows:
- Table of Contents
- Introduction by Greg A. Vaughan
- Forward by James Jacobs
- The Tome of Horrors Complete
- - (alphabetical listing of, well, letters)
- - - (noun, adjective noun)
- Appendix A: Animals
- Appendix B: Templates
- Appendix C: Hazards
- Appendix D: Variant Snake Venoms
- Appendix E: N'gathau
- Appendix F: Planes of Existence
- Appendix G: New Feats and Subtypes
- Appendix H: Monster by Type and CR
- Legal Appendix
- Back Cover
#4 N'gathau? Have you heard about Hellraiser? And since we're talking about movie inspirations - watch Ravenous, by Antonia Bird. The template is to be found in Appendix B, page 732.
#3 Free stuff to complement the book:
- Lairs: PDF, 127 pages of sample lairs and encounters. System independent.
- Monsters by terrain: PDF, pretty self-explanatory and very useful.
#2 Think that the Tome of Horrors is going to be the biggest book of the d20 market? Slumbering Tsar hardcover is likely to be even bigger. Also by Frog God Games:
- The Slumbering Tsar Saga, a sandbox adventure set in killing fields.
Since we're talking about Frog God Games essentials, you may want to preorder
- TOAD, The Tome of Adventure Design (PDF available now, the book later) - 308 pages of tables for random stuff, like these: Ship Reputations (d100), Ship Cargo (d100) and Unusual Pirates (d100). The selling point? My players hit 14th level. They like to travel a lot... this book is going to be my adventure-in-a-bottle answer to their Wind-Walk escapades.
#1 The limited version book came with an autograph of Bill Webb. Thank you for such a personal touch. For more personal touches:
- Tsathogga, The Frog God, CR 30, page 190
- Gargax the Mighty, Master of the Dungeon Dragons, Great Wyrm Dungeon Dragon (Draco Carcer Dominus), CR 17, page 228
From Gargax entry:
"Watching adventurers explore its catacomb is the only real treasure a dungeon dragon desires."
Verdict: It's over nine thousaaaaand... ahem, 5 stars.
This thing is huge. HUGE. And yet it manages not to be intimidating to the user (although certainly to players). It's very clearly laid out, with numerous appendices giving you alternative ways of searching through the monsters, like CR and environment. Plus, the templates are in the back - a welcome return to early 3rd ed days.
There's a lot of good stuff in here, although of course there are a few less interesting critters as well. Even in the case of the latter, though, they're usually something useful - a creature that would add character to the scene even if it's rules aren't the most interesting in the book. There's inspiration throughout the 800 or so pages, and you'll find whatever it is you need somewhere in this massive tome.
From the production standpoint, this is top notch (I have the first edition). I'm pretty used to terrible binding in RPGs, and I was gobsmacked by how beautifully this book was put together. This will clearly last for years - it's well worth getting the dead tree edition. I'm a little irritated by the amount of blank space on most pages, but it's better than the alternative of continuous flow, which in a book this size would be overwhelming and much more difficult to navigate. Art ranges from top notch to "meh," but certainly nothing egregious or off-putting.
Overall, the few shortcoming this book has are more than made up for by its good qualities. And the first of those is unparalleled range. I doubt you will ever find a monster book this comprehensive - it has everything from workaday standards to the quirkily bizarre. If you ever need inspiration, just open to a random page and start thumbing through.