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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Villain Codex (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 9 ratings)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Villain Codex (PFRPG)

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Miscreants and Malefactors

Villains are at the heart of every great adventure—scheming, plotting, and causing mayhem—but creating a convincing and detailed group of antagonists is no easy task. Pathfinder RPG Villain Codex serves up 20 groups of vile miscreants waiting to menace your player characters and foil their every plan. Inside this time-saving tome, you will find a wide variety of foes, from a scheming regal court to a sinister doomsday cult, ready to challenge characters of any level. These villains come equipped with a host of new rules elements to give them the edge against players and fit into nearly any campaign!

Villain Codex is an essential addition to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. This imaginative tabletop game builds on more than 15 years of system development and an open playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time best-selling set of fantasy rules into a new era.

Pathfinder RPG Villain Codex includes:

  • Complete sections for 20 villainous organizations, including a power- hungry arcane society, a greedy merchant caravan, a fleet of scandalous pirates, a creepy secret society, and a wily thieves’ guild. Trade blows with the serpentfolk-worshiping monks of Fang Monastery, match wits with the sly bandits of the Merry Outlaws, or defend civilization from the wild druids of Nature’s Scourge!
  • Information on each organization’s history and structure, along with plot hooks to get the players interested in confronting the group.
  • New rules in each villain section, including feats, spells, and magic items.
  • A wide variety of new stat blocks for all organization members, using each villain section’s new rules.
  • Premade encounter groups, allowing Game Masters to quickly make use of the villains in every section.
  • ... And much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-906-6

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscription.

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Product Reviews (9)
1 to 5 of 9 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 9 ratings)

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Villain Codex should be called NPC Codex II! Indispensable for GMs.


When I first picked up the NPC Codex, I thought it would be what the Villain Codex would eventually become. Conversely, when I picked up the Villain Codex, I thought it would be what the NPC Codex was. Fortunately, both are great books and I may even prefer the Villain Codex as a GM, as it gives us a great selection of generic NPCs that will pop up in a variety of scenarios.

Combine this with the NPC selection of the Gamemastery Guide and your GM will have everything they need to bring the NPC faces of their campaign world to life. This book belongs on every Dungeon Master's shelf.


Great book


As a GM, love it. Good fights to throw at your players abound, and there are even a few new feats / items that may come in handy for players too.

Not bad but was hoping for more

****( )

This book is not the best put out by Paizo as far as utility goes but it’s also far from the worst. To start with this book is essentially really a DM only book. The format is near identical to the Monster codex which is nice because it’s a familiar format. There are some new magic items and spells and feats and so on but ultimately they are of little use to players and especially little use to good aligned player character. The book is broken up into factions the first page of each faction tells you basically their backstory and evil mo. Then there are about 5-7 pages of “villains” who are part of this faction there are 2 per page and this is sort of where my issue with the book comes in. These NPC villains have no life in them, they have no flavor text about the villain and what makes them tick. This has come up with me a few times in the past especially with bestiary 5. I like the flavor text because it gets the imagination going and helps with coming up with some creative stories or encounters. My example is the Wyrwood in bestiary 4. The description of that monster alone is enough to set the mind racing with ideas for entire campaigns, societies, villains and heroes all from a description that is 2 short paragraphs. This is just lifeless stats over pages and while they are fine for what they are it over all takes away from the book as a whole to me. Also each entry does not have its own image to go along with it. I hope that they remedy this with the pawn set which is supposed to be coming out but I will be making sure I look out for a review on that before purchase I can promise that. I will say that some of the evil organizations are very interesting and things that really you could build entire adventures around and there are handy adventure hooks in the book as well to this effect. Finally at the back of the book are about 2 dozen more organizations with small paragraph descriptions of how they function just to give you some more food for thought which I did appreciate. The art that is present in the book as always is beautiful and that is one of the best things about the pathfinder books. They have the best art of any RPG out there.

A Fun Toybox With a Few Flaws

****( )

And make no mistake, this, like many of the "Codex" line of RPG books, is a big ol' toybox. It seriously feels like dumping out a massive bin of old-school mix-and-match action figures onto the floor and playing Knights vs. Spacemen, or Cops & Cowboys. This is one of the best possible reasons to buy this book.
The groups are all either tried-and-tested fantasy tropes like the mercenary gang, doomsday cultists, douchebag guards, brutal slavors, or tribe of barbarians, possess that flare for reinventing classic fantasy stories that Paizo is so well known for such as the regal court or merry outlaws, or a mix of both, such as the Demon Knights and Death Cult. Want the evil queen from Snow White? They got that. Ever wondered what it would be like if Robin Hood were a jerk? They got that. Felt like tossing in some generic snake-themed ninja bad-guys for that 80's action flick feel? They got that.

That having been said, the book isn't perfect. There are two main issues with the book, though I admit that one of them is simply a matter of taste and may not be an issue at all. Firstly, whoever contributed to this book really, really, really loves rangers. Seriously they're everywhere. I understand that they are a fairly easy class to adapt to many villainous roles such as slavor, merc, cultist, tracker, assassin, etc, but it would have been nice to see more variety. Secondly, the book is missing some essential information when it comes to the goodies you can take from it. As an example, the book presents a very fun and flavorful new oracle mystery, but totally misses writing in the final revelation for that mystery, which will hopefully be fixed with the book's second printing.

Over all, aside from some small gripes and editing issues this book is great. At least half the fun of these sorts of books is reading about the plot hooks and suggestions for the various villains, and Villain Codex does not disappoint in this regard. As always, the ten dollar price tag for the PDF makes it an even more attractive option as well. This is a definite must-buy for those who like compilation books, are like me and get slightly lazy when it comes to building NPCs, or just want some springboards for generating minor and major story arcs.

Can't the villains on the cover be made into Iconic villains??

****( )

Sadly, none of the fV(k1ng badass characters illustrated on the cover by Wayne Reynolds are contained within this book. (However there are pirate captains).

This book is very similar to the (excellent) NPC codex. Most of the npc's in Villain Codex start at around CR 2 or 3 and go up to CR 14. They are grouped together by faction each with a theme. Most of these are just antagonistic versions of organizations encountered by players sooner or later. While criminal and certainly realistic some seem benign by comparison to others. Most could pull double duty as friendly or non hostile npcs. The "Corrupt" guards could just as easily be "guards". The Merry Outlaws in one chapter could be allies against the Corrupt Guards in the previous one, or vice versa. Allowing you to play cops and robbers equally. The last chapter suggests combining themed factions to make complex conspiracies which I think potentially this book could really shine. Some faction themes suggest their own campaigns (a good thing) but might be of limited use. I am glad to see another addition to the Codex series, which IMO is more useful and superior to the Bestiary series.

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