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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Mystery Monsters Revisited

***½( ) (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Mystery Monsters Revisited
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Every culture tells stories of strange beasts that haunt the edges of civilization. Seldom corroborated, the accounts of those who have encountered such creatures are brushed aside, or at best turned into colorful local legends. But always lurking beneath such myths are more than a few shreds of doubt—for what if the stories were true?

Mystery Monsters Revisited presents 10 elusive creatures inspired by real-world folklore. Each monster entry investigates the types of evidence the cryptid leaves in its wake, the creature’s bizarre and secretive ecology, eyewitness accounts of the beast and its strange powers, advice on how to integrate it into your game, how the monster fits into the world of Golarion, and more.

Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • Bunyips, ravenous seal-like beasts whose hunger threatens coastal communities.
  • Death worms, acid-spitting desert dwellers whose fatal poison and beams of electricity spell the end for unwary travelers.
  • Mokele-mbembe, long-necked saurians forgotten by time.
  • Mothmen, unfathomable agents of destiny that presage catastrophic events.
  • The Sandpoint Devil, a fire-breathing equine terror that ravages the hinterlands of its namesake community.
  • Water orms, whose myriad forms have spawned countless legends near the lakes they inhabit.
  • Yetis, misunderstood natives of mountain peaks whose violent urges can be traced back to fell, otherworldly energies.
  • Other enigmatic creatures like the towering sasquatch, destructive sea serpent, and of course, the notorious, blood-sucking chupacabra!

Mystery Monsters Revisited is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game setting.

By Richard Pett, Anthony Pryor, Amber E. Scott, Ray Vallese

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-473-3

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscription.

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Product Reviews (4)

Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 4 ratings)

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Mostly "Meh"

***( )( )

Mystery Monsters Revisited is an unusual entry in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting line. The goal of the book is to transform ten different monsters from real-world folklore and modern legend (so-called "cryptids") into creatures usable in Pathfinder and in the game's official setting, Golarion. The book is a 64-page softcover with full colour interior art that is adequate but not Paizo's best (and I think the cover needed a better inker to add definition to what looks like a coloured pencil drawing). Each of the ten monsters is covered in a six-page section that includes the following topics: Evidence (why the creature is thought to exist), Ecology, Habitat & Society, Campaign Role (how to use the creature in a game), Treasure, Golarion lore, and a full stat block and picture of a unique version of the creature. Each section also includes a brief sidebar about the creature's real-world inspiration. The ten monsters covered are:

* Bunyips (from Australian aboriginal lore), an aquatic mammal that combines features of a shark and a seal. Two new feats just for bunyips are introduced, which is a bit strange. The idea is a bit bland.

* Chupacabras (a modern Puerto Rican legend), bloodsucking creatures that walk on two legs and sneak around at night to feast on livestock and pets. The stealthy nature of the creatures and the fact that they could easily be confused by PCs with vampires or other dangers would make them a good story element for a low-level campaign set in rural areas. A magical weapon, the Chupar Pick, is introduced.

* Death Worms (the Mongolian "Olgoi-Khorkhoi"), which, as the name implies, are gargantuan subterranean worms that live in desert areas and can spit acid and electricity. Despite the added attack styles, Pathfinder has enough giant worms and I don't think much is added here. This section includes a new magic item to see creatures moving underground, Vitreous Goggles.

* Mokele-Mbembe (a Congo legend), a massive saurian that is basically a swamp dinosaur with long spines down its back. Again, a bit bland. A new magic weapon, the Mokele-Mbembe Tail Whip, is introduced.

* Mothman (a West Virginia legend), a strange, unearthly winged humanoid that appears just before terrible disasters for an inexplicable reason. This was the first entry in the book that really caught my eye as something that would be fascinating to add into a campaign. The new magic item introduced here, a Mothman Memento, is also well done.

* Sandpoint Devil (based on the Jersey Devil), a winged-horse that stands on two legs and has demonic teeth and horns. I'm running Rise of the Runelords right now which of course has Sandpoint as its setting, so I'm partial to this entry.

* Sasquatch (Bigfoot), a forest-dwelling apelike creature. A cursed item called a Sasquatch Skull is introduced here.

* Sea Serpents (from many cultures), enormous snakes large enough to sink entire ships. Could be interesting as a major storyline in an aquatic-themed campaign. A new magic weapon, the Serpentseeker Bow, is introduced.

* Water Orms (the Loch Ness Monster), lake-dwelling saurials that are enormously reclusive.

* Yeti (the Abominable Snowman), alpine beasts with sharp claws and teeth. I really liked the lore added by the book here, as they portray Yeti as the nobel guardians of portals to dangerous extra-dimensional lands like the Lovecraftian Leng. A magic item called Leng Tea is introduced.

The book does a good job emphasizing that these legendary creatures really need to be built up over a period of time in a campaign. If you just drop a random Sea Serpent attack in while the PCs are on a boat, then Sea Serpents are just another monster. But if you depict sailors and dock-workers growing increasingly frightened over the course of several sessions by the legendary Ashen Worm, then it means something when/if a fight actually takes place. In other words, these creatures aren't meant for random encounters but are instead best used as driving forces for story-lines that can include investigation, tracking, red herrings, scam artists, and more. That being said, only a couple of the creatures listed in the book really struck me as elements I'd love to bring into a campaign. Many left me feeling "meh." So in sum, I'd say that Mystery Monsters Revisited isn't a *bad* book, but it shouldn't be a high-priority for readers.

Love it, Few problems though

****( )

I have always loved cryptozoology, so i picked this book up the week it came out. The monsters for the most part are great, I especially love the bunyip entry and the mothman. Some monsters are completely uninspired, The Mokele-Mbembe is just a dinosaur, nothing special. The Sandpoint devil is just a horse that walks on two legs.
The quips about the real life myths make the book feel really fun.
If you love monsters, pick up the book.

Comprehensive and Useful Book

****( )

Read my full review on my blog.

Mystery Monsters Revisited provides an excellent insight into its ten subject creatures and how they fit into the world of Golarion. It allows gamemasters to enrich their games by including creatures that are more than just nameless things to kill, giving each creature a reason and purpose for being there. And even if some of these creatures never actually show up in a game, the book still provides a compelling read that adds just a little more awe to the game world.

A quite decent approach to Cyrptozoology.

***( )( )

Since the apparition of Classic Horrors Revisited, Paizo Publishing made clear Pathfinder wasn't just about the usual tropes concerning Sword and sorcery in pen and paper RPGs as elements from other genres belonging to fantasy like Planetary Romance and Gothic Horror appeared in the main setting. This book is the first to dare enter into a terrain which doesn't belong to literature but to oral tradition and speculation, in this case what in contemporary culture is known as urban legends as well as cryptozoology.
The readers can enjoy quite detailed entries concerning the habits and behavior of beasts which belong to pop culture collective imaginary and how introduce them into a world of high adventure and magic: the chupacabra, the yeti, the sasquatch...
A well done job, but somehow lacks of the same detail displayed in other Revisited series handbooks, perhaps because this was the first attempt into creatures which didn't had a true or solid mythological or literary background (or in some cases, decades of game tradition), depending on very speculative and not very academic sources for it's development. Gift Certificates
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