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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary (OGL) Pocket Edition

***** (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary (OGL)
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Here there be monsters!

What is a hero without monsters to vanquish? This 328-page book presents hundreds of different creatures for use in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Within this tome you'll find fire-breathing dragons and blood-drinking vampires, vile demons and shapechanging werewolves, sadistic goblins and lumbering giants, and so much more! Yet not all the creatures in this book are enemies, for some can serve lucky heroes as allies or advisors, be they summoned angels or capricious nymphs. And it doesn't stop there—with full rules for advancing monsters, adapting monsters to different roles, and designing your own unique creations, you'll never be without a band of hideous minions again!

The Pathfinder RPG Bestiary is the must-have companion volume to the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 10 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 the new millennium.

The Pathfinder RPG Bestiary includes:

  • More than 350 different monsters
  • Dozens of monstrous variants to modify creatures and keep players on their toes
  • Numerous lists of monsters to aid in navigation, including lists by Challenge Rating, monster type, and habitat
  • Extensive rules for creating effective and balanced monsters
  • Rules for advancing monsters by hit dice, template, or class level
  • Universal monster rules to simplify special attacks, defenses, and qualities like breath weapons, damage reduction, and regeneration
  • More than a dozen feats tailored especially for monsters
  • Suggestions for monstrous cohorts
  • Two dozen additional animal companions
  • More than a dozen different wandering monster encounter tables
  • ... and much, much more!

Available Formats

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary is also available as:

  • A 328-page hardcover
  • A 328-page PDF (includes a "Lite" version optimized for mobile devices)

Pocket Edition ISBN: 978-1-60125-888-5
Estimated Dimensions/Weight: 8.4" x 6.5" x 0.6"; 1.6 pounds

Note: The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Pocket Edition is not included in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game subscription.

Additional Product Images


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary (OGL) Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook (OGL)

Product Availability

Pocket Edition: Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 7 business days.

Non-Mint: Unavailable This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

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

PZO1112-PE


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Product Reviews (4)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 4 ratings)

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A (More Compact!) Way to Challenge Your Players

*****

The rest of this review is the same as my review of the hardcover Bestiary, but I wanted to add a note here that this pocket edition is great. It's stood up well to lots of use but remains in great shape. It's lighter by far than a hardcover book, but still quite readable.

Bestiaries are Pathfinder's version of the D&D Monster Manuals: reference books containing descriptions and stat-blocks for hundreds of new creatures for PCs to battle, bother, or befriend. They're not designed to be read cover to cover, and that's exactly what I did for this review. The Bestiary weighs in at 327 pages and contains (according to the back-cover) over 350 different monsters arranged in alphabetical order.

The book starts with a two-page Introduction, and it's actually worth reading because it explains what the (28!) different categories of information in a creature's stat block mean. It also introduces the the "Monster Icons" scheme, wherein each monster receives three different icons to visually denote its creature type, terrain, and climate. I like the idea of the icons, but I find them too small and similar to be useful, and I'm not interested in flipping back to page 5 too figure out what they mean. I'm happy just reading the corresponding entries in the stat block.

For monsters, we start with Aasimar on page 7 and run through until Zombie on page 289. This is what the book is all about, but it's a challenging thing to review as my notes are full of bits of scattered remarks about dozens of different monsters. As I can't figure out a coherent way to synthesize them, I'm going to take the unusual tack of just including them as a sort of impressionistic picture of what's in the book. Skim to the bottom for more of the review.

"A"

--aboleths are a lot tougher than CR might indicate!

--Not officially Golarion, but flavour in entries generally compatible

--backdoor cosmology with angels stuff

--really good write-up of Solar Angels

--Army Ant Swarms are pretty nasty!

--like archons--I've never really seen them used outside of summoning, when no RP is involved

--azatas: CG celestials

Bs

--cool how barghests become greater!

--bebiliths: wow, awesome art for an awesome creature!

--bugbear artwork is weird, but fascinating bit on "The Nature of Goblinoid Evil"

Cs

--creepy Choker

--good mixture of animals and various types of monsters

--a lot of classic ones, but some new ones (like chuul) as well

--like history of cyclops and flash of insight power

Ds

--dark folk and dark stalkers?!?! humanoid subtype with language--never heard of them...

--demons! Good, engaging, clear explanation

--don't argue with a balor demon!

--great stories for demons--quasit familiars taking master's souls!

--devils! emphasis on hierarchy

--a good variety of tough foes, with lots of HP and resistances

--great writeup of lemure devils

--fantastic artwork all the way through!

--Devourers are pretty nasty for their CR!

--too many dinosaurs!

--dragons! stat blocks are so long, there's very little description

--driders and drow: underused

E

--elementals

F

--familiar (no idea that was here!)

--froghemoth--really?

G

--gelatinous cubes are really dangerous!

--genies

--love Shaitan genie art

--ghosts: emphasis on story-based customization, 2 page spread

--Giants!

--fun gibbering mouthers artwork

--goblins

--golems

Hs

--half- templates

--occasionally the titles aren't the most intuitive: "Herd animal, bison" for example

--need full stats for combat-trained horses

Is

--intellect devourer--WTF!

Ks

--kytons are cool/creepy

Ls

--lamia artwork is regrettable

--lich: gotta have 'em!

--linnorms are nasty, especially curses and poison!

--lycanthrope template

Ms

--medusas, minotaurs, mimics--all the classics!

--mummy rot sure is nasty!

Ns

-- nagas look dumb

--neothelids are intriguing! need more

--nymphs have cool boons

Os

--Oni need better explanation

Ps

--good amount of player detail for pegasi

Rs

--rakhasa: a lot of potential in the right campaign

--retrievers are scary

--rust monsters!

Ss

--sea hag artwork is great! (and evil eye comatose ability!)

--shadows can be quite more lethal than CR

--touch ACs are so low because of artificial natural armor bonuses, making Alchemists and Gunslingers especially powerful

--shoggoths arent very scary for CR19

--skum have surprisingly interesting write-up

--giant slugs too goofy

Ts

--tarrasque: bad pic, underwhelming

--troglodyte pic is great!

Us

Vs

--vampires: elaborate template

--vargouille's kiss is nasty

Ws

Xs

--xills are awesome!

Zs

--zombie pic is hilarious

Hm, that was embarrassing. Sorry!

After the monster entries are a series of appendices, and these definitely add value to the book.

Appendix 1 is Monster Creation, and it offers a very thorough and clear guide to monster creation. There are a *lot* of moving parts to creating balanced monsters in Pathfinder, so this will take some time until you get the hang of it. Appendix 2 is Monster Advancement, and this is another important part of the book because it shows GMs how to adjust creatures in the book to make them more or less powerful by adding simple templates (like "Giant" or "Young") and by adding racial hit dice or class levels. Appendix 3 is the section of the book I use more than any other, and it's indispensable: Universal Monster Rules. In order to save space and avoid repetition in stat blocks, common monster abilities are fleshed out here: everything from Darkvision to Damage Reduction to Incorporeal and more. Only very, very experienced GMs should try to run creatures just from the stat blocks without remembering to double-check what their monster abilities do, precisely, in the Universal Monster Rules. The same appendix also contains creature Types and Subtypes, which are like packages of basic information that all creatures of a particular category, such as demons or animals, share. Again, this is to save space in stat blocks. Appendix 4 is very short, and provides some advice on Monsters as PCs. I've never used it. Appendix 5 is Monster Feats, though some PCs may actually legitimately use some of them like Craft Construct. If you notice that a monster has a feat you can't find in the Core Rulebook, that's probably because it's listed here. Appendices 6 and 7 list Monster Cohorts (for the Leadership feat) and Animal Companions (for druids and rangers), respectively. Appendices 8-12 are indexes that help a GM who is looking for monsters of a particular type, CR, terrain, etc. Really useful information that most people who just use online databases probably never realized was available. Finally, Appendix 14 contains Encounter Tables broken up by terrain. These include average CRs for an each table, but I still think it'd be foolish to actually roll on them: in a Hill/Mountain, region, for example, your PCs could run into CR 3 orcs or CR 12 fire giants. A party that is challenged by the former would be curb-stomped by the latter. Good random encounter table design needs to have a narrow range of CRs before they become feasible.

I'm not a huge monster guy like some people, but I definitely enjoyed reading the Bestiary and I learned a lot about the core monsters of the setting. I know there are five later books that expand the selection far more, but much of what I see in APs and PFS still draws from this book. Along with the Core Rulebook, it's safe to say that the Bestiary was one of the releases that helped to solidify Paizo's reputation as a company that publishes the highest calibre of RPG books in terms of writing quality, artwork, design, and layout. It's not indispensable since there are multiple websites that present the same information, but for ease of use (and the joy of skimming), the Bestiary is one of those books that every GM should have.


Superb purchase

*****

Cheaper, lighter weight, and smaller, while still having all of the same art and information as the full-size hardcover... this is some of the best bang for my buck in ages.

When the pocket editions were announced, I confess my reaction was something akin to a shrug- but having clapped eyes on both of them so far,I think it's an excellent idea,and one I want to see Paizo continue to pursue for heavily-use books like the core rulebook and the bestiaries.


BETTER THAN THE HARDCOVER!

*****

GOOD:
Very convenient for traveling GMs, this pocket version is actually able to stay open flat anywhere from Aasimar to Zombie, if you make use of the crease lines.
The statistics are easy enough to read and the pictures are still the same great full color quality.
The price is ridiculessly cheap for the number of monsters it contains.
This is much better than the Core Rulebook pocket edition, because it is not as thick - perfect size!
BAD: We now need Bestiary 2-6 as pocket editions!
UGLY: -

THE SINGLE BEST RPG BOOK OF 2016!


Much better alternative for transport...

*****

Such a great idea. So much better for transports around to games. I was concerned it would be too small but it's no where near problematic, text is easy to read, pictures are still excellent for displaying about the table. I sincerely hope they make the rest of the bestiaries in this format.


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