Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Monster Codex (PFRPG)

***** (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Monster Codex (PFRPG)
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The Inner Sea region of the Pathfinder campaign setting is rife with monstrous foes, and 10 of the most fascinating are detailed in Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Monster Codex! From winged strix to aquatic gillmen, Golarion offers no shortage of iconic and inspiring antagonists to challenge any group of adventurers—and unexpected allies to aid them. Each entry presents a trove of information about the nature, history, society, and habits of one of Golarion's monstrous races, and ready-made examples of roles found among each creature type, from centaur foragers and cyclops lorekeepers to minotaur prophets and ogrekin looters.

Inside this book, you'll find creatures like:

  • Charau-ka, fierce simian humanoids who worship demons and possess a thirst for bloodshed.
  • Cyclopes, once part of a grand, ancient society but now reduced to a hunger sated only by sacrifice.
  • Gillmen, amphibious humanoids who claim to be the inheritors of the fallen Azlanti empire.
  • Girtablilus, bold scorpionfolk who guard the mysterious ruins of Golarion's deserts.
  • Strix, black-winged terrors intent on protecting their homeland from the human scourge.
  • Sadistic derros, malevolent minotaurs, aberrant ogrekin, and more!

The Inner Sea Monster Codex is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game setting.

Written by John Compton, Paris Crenshaw, Mike Myler, Tork Shaw, and Larry Wilhelm
Cover art by Jason Engle

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-752-9

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

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***** (based on 4 ratings)

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beautiful book

*****

beautiful book, full of nice ilustrations and probably only one with extreme quality paper I have never seen before. 5/5


Excellent and Evocative

*****

The Inner Sea Monster Codex is a 64-page entry discussing ten different monstrous races for the Pathfinder RPG. The write-up for each monster includes background on the monster in the official campaign setting of Golarion, a summary of common encounters, and full stat blocks and pictures for various members of the race. In addition, many of the races include new features like archetypes, traps, oracle curses, feats, magic items, spells, etc. The monsters covered are:

* Centaurs. Everyone knows what these are, and centaurs in Golarion follow the fantasy tradition of being stubborn and xenophobic. This section includes a new archetype for centaur cavaliers called the Charger.

* Charau-Ka. I had never heard of this type of monster before. Charau-Ka are basically primitive ape-men, violent and brutal scavengers in Golarion's jungles. This section includes several Charau-Ka traps, many of which are quite creative and would be fun to use in a game.

* Cyclops. In Golarion, cyclops have a strong diviner/oracle flavour and are seen as quite rare. New oracle curses and a Cyclopean oracle archetype, the Cyclopean Seer, is included here.

* Derros. Everyone's favourite crazy evil gnomes. I really like their portrayal here as hidden threats that lurk underneath urban areas and kidnap surface-dwellers for strange experiments before brainwashing them to forget the whole thing. It would be quite easy to get PCs involved in investigating the mystery of missing persons. Several new alchemist discoveries are added.

* Gillmen. Merfolk that have a special role in Golarion lore as descendants of the ancient Azlanti people. I assume Gillmen will get even more attention in the upcoming (at the time of this review) Ruins of Azlant adventure path. I've never done much with aquatic races, but for those interested, several Gillman magic items are included here.

* Girtablilus. Another new one for me: basically, giant scorpions with human upper bodies (think centaurs but swap giant scorpions for horses!). In Golarion, they mainly appear in desert settings and as guardians of ancient ruins. I wasn't particularly impressed, but your mileage may vary. Two new druid domains (Ruins and Vermin) are introduced here, along with a new oracle curse (Site-bound) and a Girtablilu-specific feat.

* Minotaurs. In Golarion, minotaurs are the product of the demon goddess Lamashtu, but full the stereotypical role of guarding ancient labyrinths. There wasn't anything revelatory here for me. Four new spells are introduced that all focus on creating illusions to confuse travelers.

* Ogrekin. Mutated, deformed, and disfigured freaks. One gets a "The Hills Have Eyes" vibe. I quite liked the two tables of Beneficial and Disadvantageous deformities for the ogrekin, and there's also a template for creating half-ogres.

* Strix. Very cool looking winged humanoids who live on remote mountain perches. I could definitely imagine doing something with them. Six new feats for creatures with natural wings are included here.

* Urdefhan. Creepy demon-worshipping monsters from another plane who live in the Darklands (Golarion's equivalent of the Underdark). Nightmare-fuel that's perfect for adding some horror to a session. Six new feats (Urdefhan-specific) are included.

The artwork is uniformly excellent--really, it's as good as it gets in fantasy RPGs. Although not every monstrous race presented here was my cup of tea, there's enough creativity and mechanics crunch to make the book worth purchasing if any of the creatures presented here appeal to you as a GM. Do note that this is primarily a GM's book; although some of the mechanics options (feats, spells, etc.) could be used by PCs, most have a prerequisite tied to being one of the monstrous races.


Great book

*****

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

Inner Sea Monster Codex is an excellent and useful book. It doesn't quite have the utility of the Monster Codex, owing to more limited space. However, it provides GMs with ready-made NPCs that they can drop into their campaigns with only a moment's notice. Anything that cuts down on preparation time and makes GMs' lives easier is a definite success in my book.


An excellent resource for any game master.

*****

Packed into this 64-page book are 10 races, many of them specific to the world of Golarion (but probably adaptable to any setting): centaurs, cyclopes, minotaurs, ogrekin, charau-ka (small, violent baboon-like humanoids), derros, gillmen, girtablilu (half-scorpion humanoids), strix (flying humanoids) and urdefhans (horrible underground-dwelling native outsiders).

Each race has a brief overview, and some new race-specific rules such as new feats, archetypes, traps, spells, or magic items. Then there are 4 sample monsters, of varying challenge ratings, from a CR 3 ogrekin Kreegwood stalker, to a CR 15 urdefhan half-fiend scion, each with full stats and a description of the specific monster's place in the world.

There is a good selection of classes used across the book, from sorcerers, gunslingers and rangers to hybrid classes from the Advanced Class Guide, including warpriests, slayers and swashbucklers. A few of these make use of archetypes, either existing ones or new ones from this book. There's even a range of alignments, including a good number of neutral creatures that could come in handy for friendly NPCs rather than enemies.

Each monster is presented in a single page layout with a plain white background for easy printing. The interior art is absolutely excellent throughout (something that can't always be said about Paizo's non-hardcover products), though my favourite piece is probably the Orvian Necromancer.

For me, the Inner Sea Monster Codex is on par with the Monster Codex for its usefulness in providing more interesting encounters with the 10 races detailed here. The excellent visuals are a great bonus as well.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Announced!


Wow, 10 races. That's a lot to put into a Campaign Setting book. Will this one still be 64 pages?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I SOOooooo hope they have more Changeling goodness in here.


Oh yes. I am very very ready for this.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Interesting. If the Strix and Gillmen mentioned in the intro are included, then we know 5 of the 10. I wonder what the other 5 will be? Tengu, possibly.

I hope that the inclusion of the centaurs means we might get some more snippets of information on Iobaria and/or Iblydos.

Some more info on the Ghoran would be cool, too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Interesting...I hope the ghoran and monkey goblin made it in.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm holding out hope for the dark folk getting some love here. Happy to see strix seem to be getting some attention. Ghoran would definitely be cool, them and samsarans are probably the races I'd like more information on the most, but samsarans are definitely not Inner Sea. Nex is, though, so ghorans might be possible...we'll have to see.

Grand Lodge

The Monster Codex looks good, I hope it's more of the same. I'm just wary about the monster they will use...


Part of me suspects the name shall be "Even more Goblins!".


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Maybe this one will have some fey.


Is this the book formerly known as Inner Sea Races?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Garrett Guillotte wrote:
Is this the book formerly known as Inner Sea Races?

No.


Cthulhudrew wrote:

I hope that the inclusion of the centaurs means we might get some more snippets of information on Iobaria and/or Iblydos.

I second this!


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I reserve the right to withdraw my enthusiasm pending the rest of the monster list, but it is very intriguing at the moment.

Keep'em coming, Paizo. You're doing great thus far!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Tieflings? Aasimars? Catfolk?


What are all the monsters that will be in this book?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MMCJawa wrote:
Tieflings? Aasimars? Catfolk?

The more I think about it, the more I think they'll probably reserve the player races for the Inner Sea Races book, and just use actual monsters here (hence the named charau-ka, centaurs, and ogrekin). Gillmen and Strix may or may not make the cut and might just be up there as examples of the sorts of Golarion creatures out there.

They'll probably stick to monster races, fleshing them out more. The question is what other ones might make the cut. I'd tend to agree with the goblin idea, except that they were covered in the Monster Codex pretty thoroughly.

Cyclopes, maybe? Aboleth?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

well they explicitly call out Gillmen and Strix.

Remember this is an NPC book. So my guess would be that Inner Sea races won't have much of any NPC statblocks, but rather will features new/revised feats/archetypes/prestige classes/traits.

This book in contrast, will probably focus more on NPC statblocks and related mechanics, and probably be more of a GM guide.

I think they have already stated that Inner Sea races will mostly focus on Core races, so there will be room for some overlap.


Awwwwwww! So far away!!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Love it!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

You had me at...

Learn about the cultures and unique abilities of the ape-like charau-ka,

'nough said, on my buy list!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Catfolk would be nice but they are from the Inner sea.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
Catfolk would be nice but they are from the Inner sea.

If this is like the Monster Codex, then I'd imagine that this book is going to focus on monsters that are Iconic to the Inner Sea Region to start and not just a random hosh-podge of creatures.

For example, the strix have been in the campaign setting since the Inner Sea World Guide (if not earlier), so despite appearing in the Advanced Race Guide, I would be surprised if the strix didn't show up in this book. Especially with a Cheliax AP on the horizon.


Alexander Augunas wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Catfolk would be nice but they are from the Inner sea.

If this is like the Monster Codex, then I'd imagine that this book is going to focus on monsters that are Iconic to the Inner Sea Region to start and not just a random hosh-podge of creatures.

For example, the strix have been in the campaign setting since the Inner Sea World Guide (if not earlier), so despite appearing in the Advanced Race Guide, I would be surprised if the strix didn't show up in this book. Especially with a Cheliax AP on the horizon.

Well, considering how they're name-dropped in the product description up there...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Sorry meant to say they are not from the Inner Sea;)


Distinctive monster races of the inner sea region?
Ogrekin
Charu-Ka
Strix
Centaur
Gillmen

What other groups/races would be in this? That's half right there.
Goblinoids? Orcs? Gnolls? Lizardfolk? Trox?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would (hope) there is no overlap between the Monster Codex and Inner Sea Monster Codex. Which means no goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, gnolls, orcs, or lizardfolk.

I would also guess there will be no ARG races, unless a developer has adopted and figured out where they go in Golarion. The exception might be Kasatha, which do have a place in Numeria.


Strix were in the arg.


I think they might do bog standard goblins if they feel there is something unique to Golarion to add.


Well assuming the description isn't in error we have the five from Major_blackhart's list locked in plus 5 more. Syrinx are fairly unique to Golarion but I'd guess if they are included at all they will just be folded into the Strix entry. Based on previous adventures set in the Inner Sea I'll try to take a few guesses though. These are all mainly based on races prevalence in official Paizo content and the assumption that there will be no overlap between the two monster codexes. It also isn't an exact list of what will be in the book just six monster i think are likely.

1) Mite
2) Hag
3) Aboleth
4) Lamia
5) Caulborn
6) Denizen of Leng

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

WOOOT! Ogrekin! My players will be pleased. Now it just has to be as excellent as the Monster Codex and we are set.


I'm calling it. Rune Giants are very much integral to the Inner Sea. WOOO, RUNE GIANTS!


That would be AWESOME. But I suspect they'll have that in the giant hunters and giants unleashed books (are they doing a giants unleashed? ).


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Garrett Guillotte wrote:
Is this the book formerly known as Inner Sea Races?
No.

Then Inner Sea Races is still in the works, perhaps with a slight schedule slip?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I thought Inner Sea Races is supposed to be a hardcover book.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Dragon78 wrote:
I thought Inner Sea Races is supposed to be a hardcover book.

It is. This is not that book.


Major_Blackhart wrote:
That would be AWESOME. But I suspect they'll have that in the giant hunters and giants unleashed books (are they doing a giants unleashed? ).

Well, Giant Slayer's Handbook is a very player oriented book and Giants Unleashed would be more about specific Giants in the inner sea. That would leave the niche of classed Rune Giants (and all that comes with it) an untapped vein.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alex Smith 908 wrote:

Well assuming the description isn't in error we have the five from Major_blackhart's list locked in plus 5 more. Syrinx are fairly unique to Golarion but I'd guess if they are included at all they will just be folded into the Strix entry. Based on previous adventures set in the Inner Sea I'll try to take a few guesses though. These are all mainly based on races prevalence in official Paizo content and the assumption that there will be no overlap between the two monster codexes. It also isn't an exact list of what will be in the book just six monster i think are likely.

1) Mite
2) Hag
3) Aboleth
4) Lamia
5) Caulborn
6) Denizen of Leng

There are enough Hags for their own Monster Codex/Codices, and as a byproduct, for a Blood of Hags player companion.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

And Denizens of Leng, while they do crop up here and there in adventures, are not exactly native to the Inner Sea. They're from Leng! :)


Liz Courts wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I thought Inner Sea Races is supposed to be a hardcover book.
It is. This is not that book.

So, when will Inner Sea Races be available to preorder. It just feels like I've been waiting a while since it was announced.


Where is this "Inner Sea Races" book even mentioned ? I don't see anything on it in the Products section ???


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
nighttree wrote:
Where is this "Inner Sea Races" book even mentioned ? I don't see anything on it in the Products section ???

It was announced at Gencon, along with Occult Adventures, the Hell's Rebels Adventure Path, and other such. General gist here.


Luthorne wrote:
nighttree wrote:
Where is this "Inner Sea Races" book even mentioned ? I don't see anything on it in the Products section ???
It was announced at Gencon, along with Occult Adventures, the Hell's Rebels Adventure Path, and other such. General gist here.

So, later in 2015?


I saw the monster codex tonight at a game store with a friend and I rushed home to get the pdf.

May is too long to wait for another installment. I literally need this for my games!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I think Sinspawn will be one of the monsters present. Since the Thassilon stuff has always been a major part of the Inner Sea setting.

I wouldn't mind seeing either Hags or Derro.

Also, another Pathfinder book I cannot wait for.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Cyclops! Rune giants! Aboleth! Urdefhan! I need these. I want my urdefhan pirate queen who "rescued" a duergar, drow, orc, and demon-spawn as their ship sank on the sight less sea to have a hearty crew as she sails the isles and meets the true last descendants of ancient Azlant, albino humans that are masters of telepathy wearing jade armor.

Dark Archive

Liz Courts wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I thought Inner Sea Races is supposed to be a hardcover book.
It is. This is not that book.

Hello Liz, i have a question.

I thought the "Inner Sea Races" hardcover was maybe pushed back a month to june, but that is not the case.

And in july we already got "Occult Adventures".

As i don´t think you will publish 2 hardcovers in one month, will it come out in august or at a later date?

Thank you for your time.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Marco Massoudi wrote:


Hello Liz, i have a question.
I thought the "Inner Sea Races" hardcover was maybe pushed back a month to june, but that is not the case.

And in july we already got "Occult Adventures".

As i don´t think you will publish 2 hardcovers in one month, will it come out in august or at a later date?

Thank you for your time.

According to the ad in Wayfinder 12, Inner Sea Races will release in September 2015.


I love my Monster Codex. I hope the Denizens of Leng are included in this one! Or Aboleth or something planar to that effect.

Dark Archive

Jadeite wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:


Hello Liz, i have a question.
I thought the "Inner Sea Races" hardcover was maybe pushed back a month to june, but that is not the case.

And in july we already got "Occult Adventures".

As i don´t think you will publish 2 hardcovers in one month, will it come out in august or at a later date?

Thank you for your time.

According to the ad in Wayfinder 12, Inner Sea Races will release in September 2015.

Thank you Jadeite! :-)

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