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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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Product Reviews (4)

Average product rating:

***** (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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