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Pathfinder Player Companion: Monster Hunter's Handbook (PFRPG)

**½( )( ) (based on 7 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Monster Hunter's Handbook (PFRPG)
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Slay the Beast!

With claws, scales, muscle, and more, monsters hold an unfair advantage in the life-and-death confrontations between adventurer and adversary. Turn the tables on them with Pathfinder Player Companion: Monster Hunter's Handbook, which is loaded with cutting-edge techniques for tracking beasts, slaying behemoths, and outwitting otherwise-overpowering creatures. Whether you have to skewer a basilisk or splatter an ooze, this volume contains everything you need!

Inside this book, you'll find:

  • Techniques and tools for finding and neutralizing a wide range of aberrations, magical beasts, monstrous humanoids, and more.
  • New archetypes and other character options that help identify monsters' weaknesses and use their strengths against them.
  • Feats, items, and spells that enable you to harvest trophies from your latest kill and reap power from these mementos.

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-933-2

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZO9478


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Product Reviews (7)
1 to 5 of 7 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

**½( )( ) (based on 7 ratings)

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Not Great

**( )( )( )

I had a really long post, but the internet ate it.
Anwyays, briefer this time:
This book has a bunch of generic monster hunting stuff which would be useful for most characters, which is alright.
It has trophy rules and an Occultist archetype that uses them. These rules are very general, and are closely related to the Wondrous Item crafting rules.
It has some feats for outdoorsy types (the almost tactician for hunters seems alright).
It has an inquisitor archetype (actually decent if you're in the right campaign) and a druid archetype (average) for fighting aberrations.
It has a druid archetype and a bard archetype for fighting fey, both could probably be decent in a mostly fey campaign.
It has an unarmed combat style based around intercepting and grabbing foes, a feat that allows for combat relevant wild empathy, and two useless rouge talents.
It has a weird archetype for alchemists that downgrades bombs slightly (dot instead of aoe splash, acid damage only), that instead of getting brew potion can harvest goop from a dead ooze to make a better bomb. While this is a cool idea, the CR limitation of the bottled ooze extract ameks this ability super unreliable for players. The name is obnoxiously misleading.
It has a bad paladin archetype for fighting outsiders, and three legitimately good feats vaguely related to fighting outsiders.
It has some Order of the Pike content for cavaliers, specifically
an archetype and an Order. The Order is alright, but the archetype is terrible. A small bonus to AC vs large creatures is not worth trading in your mount.
It has some feats for specific favored enemies that are actually decent, trying to incentive rangers to have a favored enemy other than humanoid (human).
It has some magical and non magical gear that is pretty useful, even if none of it is going to change how you play the game or replace the standard kit.
It has some spells that seem pretty useful at lower levels, and one single spell that should help any GM having trouble with psychic characters.

All in all, most of the archetypes aren't terrible, but they should have either been more specific with stronger/more interesting abilities(the druid archetypes could learn to turn into their enemies or negate some of their more common powers, for example) or more general.
The Disciple of the Pike archetype is garbage, and the paladin one is only a bit better.
The trophy rules are alright. The only way to give people(like me) who want rules for monster recycling ala Capcom's Mosnter Hunter would be do devote a full Companion to making the rules

Three stars, minus one because of how much I hate the order of the pike cavalier archetype and the oozemaster archetype. This book unfortunately doesn't have enough unique content in it for em to really justify recommend buying it, as if you really want to do a Monster Hunter style game were you kill and harvest all sorts of different beasties the trophy rules won't cover it, and if you want to fight a specific type of enemy there's better books for that.


too short

***( )( )

A lot of the other reviews make a lot of very good points. After reading through it, I do like the number of mechanical options presented, although I do find many of them a bit on the weak side, not particularly useful in many cases, or too specific.

The end result being that I'm probably not going to actually using much, if any the material, but it was not outright bad or terrible either. I think my biggest complaint is just how little the different classes, or even general builds actually get here, and that there is just far too much to that could be done, that this book does really even scratch the surface on the subject matter, especially in areas like for fighting Undead or Dragons, that while they have their own books, they likewise just where not enough.

Spells where pretty standard for what you would expect. Same with gear. Nothing really jumped out as particularly genius or cool, but likewise was not "meh" or insulting either.

I was disappointed how little there was for a "Fey Hunter", really of any build or concept. There is a Bard and a Druid archetype, but that's basically it. Outsider Hunters likewise just felt like it wasn't really touched on much, although the Paladin Archetype looks amazing.

The fluff and flavor was readable, but honestly I have very little interest in that aspect of the books, and it, like everything else was just far too little in what it brings to the setting/game considering the focus. However, as a Pathfinder Player's Guide product, it could have been a lot, lot worse. All in all, it's a nice little item for a quick afternoon read, but not one I would say is essential to play.


It's a book about fighting different types of monsters

*****

This book is either gonna be a love it or hate it item, and for me I love it. It contains numerous options for going after different types of creatures as well as advice on how to handle said creature types. Are these options "niche"? For the most part they are but that isn't necessary a bad thing, and the family of feats that gives you a lot of incentive to take a Favored Enemy other than Human are nice.

Some highlights,

A feat that lets you track with Perception.

A feat that lets you use Knowledge skills against their corresponding creatures' stealth and disguise rolls and to track them.

I f!*%ing love the Cavalier archetype because it is badass and gets rid of the horsey. I like Cavaliers, but I hate mounted stuff, so this is perfect for me, I can finally play a badass knight that hunts monsters.

There's a feat chain that let's you be a skinwalker (not the race, this is more of the I wear your skin to gain your power kind of thing).

A magical necklace that alerts you to the presence of the type of creature it is made from and gives different bonuses and abilities against depending on which body part it is made from.

A cheap magical whetstone that lets you bypass a certain amount of natural armor and makes your weapon deal more damage.


Super Specific Monster Hunter's Handbook

*( )( )( )( )

I think the best way to describe this book is "too focused". Not focused in the good way, where there's a strong thematic link between options and everything has a strong idea of what it’s supposed to accomplish, but focused in the same way Weapon Focus or Skill Focus is focused. Far too much of this book only applies against very specific creature types or situations (some of which you can even choose). Almost all the spells are either extremely situational or require you to specify a specific type of creature for the spell to work against, about half of the magic items and mundane equipment only functions against specific creatures chosen at the time of creation, and half of the archetypes become ineffective when not in a campaign that lets them fight very specific enemies. Even some of the options that aren’t super focused aren’t particularly great, like the Disciple of the Pike Cavalier which trades out their mount but for some reason still focuses super hard on charging with a lance/spear, and the vast majority of the feats which are either straight-up bad or just boring and not worth spending a feat on. Even the feats that SHOULD have been cool, like Dimensional Step-Up, completely falls flat outside of very specific circumstances. Tons of them function only if the monster attacking has a specific ability or uses a very specific tactic. Ironically, probably the best feats are the Focused Expertise feats which grant bonuses in every circumstance and grants an IMPROVED bonus against the chosen favored enemy type. Which is really how most of the options in the book should have functioned: grant a bonus that improves under a specific circumstance, not grant a bonus that only exists under a specific circumstance.

And speaking of bonuses that only exist under a specific circumstance, let’s talk about the trophy rules. The basic gist is that, after killing a creature, you can take its parts and create items (that fit into magic item slots) that grant you bonuses to a number of stats, and the bonuses increase based on the CR of the killed creature. Sounds pretty great, right? I agree. Oh, also it’s two feats deep into a chain, the first feat of which is really useless unless you’re an Alchemist or can otherwise craft things at super speed before the parts you collect rot into worthlessness. And the trophies themselves only last for a number of days, with a scaling DC which means having something last for a week is high-end skill focus. And the trophies themselves only grant a bonus against creatures of the same type. And if you didn’t craft them yourself (such as killing the creature, giving the bits to the party Wizard to craft, and then putting them on) you gain a reduced bonus and the trophies rot after 24 hours. And, again, they take magic item slots, which means you’re going to have to fight to fit them plus your other gear. Thankfully Monstrous Crafter exists, which can combine trophies with existing magic items and even makes the trophies last forever, right? Wrong. Unlike before the trophy benefits now become 1/day for one minute instead of constant, and it’s 4-5 feats deep since you require Monstrous Crafter, Grisly Ornament, Harvest Parts, Craft Wondrous Item, and (if you’re a non-caster type which is the kind of character that would MOST BENEFIT from the trophies) you also need to take Master Craftsman. At that point it’s half of your feats (or 1/4 of your feats for a Fighter), which is a huge investment for a character to make.

There are a few alright options, but it’s the minority in the book. Probably the most worthwhile thing is the Psychodermist, an Occultist archetype that can actually effectively use the incredibly underwhelming new trophy rules, but an entire book isn’t worth one archetype. Avoid this book.


Truly Terrible

*( )( )( )( )

I wish I could speak a word of praise about this book. There is none to be said. It is filled cover to cover with terrible, niche rules text that amounts of even more specialized versions of Favored Enemy.

If you thought there would be anything groundbreaking, instead of "+1/2/3/4 to X at levels A/B/C/D", "Knowledge Check Untrained, +1/2 level", or "Lose generally useful abilitiy, gain ability that functions only vs X/Y/Z thing or kind of thing", then you will walk away disappointed.

The much praised Cavlier Archetype is perhaps the worst offender, as it takes away your mount and forces you to engage in the same gameplay pattern (Übercharger), except without any of the benefits that make mounted charging good to begin with.

I am glad I got the PDF copy, because the softcover would have only been useable as very expensive toilet paper.


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