Illustrations by Eric Belisle and Wayne Reynolds. Widescreen version here.

Monsters Are Coming!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The time draws nigh for Bestiary 3, so while you sharpen your blade and prepare your spells in advance of the monstrous onslaught, here's a little something to keep your mind on your task.

Christopher Carey
Editor

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Tags: Eric Belisle Monsters Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Wallpapers Wayne Reynolds
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Azure_Zero wrote:
Icyshadow wrote:
Not in the games I will run. =w=

I agree.

Change type to fey and change alignment to CN

+1, sir.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I also was disapointed when I found out they were undead it's not the alignment that bothers me it's the type as undead not fey. Also Pazio's view of if it is an Undead but not a ghost then it must be evil. If it was a fey then by it's nature could be a differen't alignment. Plus there is the issue that is incorpereal when in the legands it could have a physical body. KaeYoss, in the legends both Yuki-onna and Kappa could be good, evil, or inbetween.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Icyshadow wrote:

Please tell me the yuki-onna are NOT always evil...

...I want at least SOME respect for the original myths in their case.

The Yuki-Onna is undead, and therefore evil.

Whether or not we preserved at least SOME respect for the original myths, I'll leave that to customers to decide once they see the whole book (or anything else we've done)... but frankly... just as when you translate a book to a movie and you have to make some changes to the book's story in order to make a movie work, when you translate a mythological creature to an RPG, you have to make choices that make the creature more interesting to play or to fill a void in the game beyond just representing that creature in the game. Furthermore... most mythologies have multiple and often conflicting stories about creatures, in which cases, we generally pick the one that's more interesting to us and go with that.

If you want good or neutral yuki-onna in your game, it's a simple matter for you to change their alignments. Their stats still work.


I would be honestly surprised if this was not seen as constructive critque.


KaeYoss wrote:

Note that Pathfinder is inclusive, not exclusive. It's definitely not just Western European pseudo-medieval stuff.

If it were, I could see such complaints as reasonable. After all, if the game was inspired just by medieval Europe, I could sympathise with a genuine concern not to stray off focus by including Japanese elements.

However, the game is not. D&D never was, either. It has always been a big bundle of anachronisms and putting all the world's cultures into a big blender. Neither space nor time were kept pure.

Thus, this unwillingness to see some Far East into the game as well (or, rather, some more - the ogre mage has been in the game since forever, and that's Far East. It's not the only thing, either.) seems less reasonable.

Not to harp on, as the matter appears to have been largely settled, but your point is moot. Ravenbow didn't state why he's not into oriental elements, or that D&D never had any Eastern themes; he just said he isn't into it. And I took umbrage at those attacking him for it, as if he weren't allowed not to like oriental elements.

Also, while you're not wrong, it'd be disingenuous to claim D&D as a whole wasn't predominantly inspired by medieval Europe, with the odd exotic element sprinkled in (monks, ogre magi, rakshasas et al) to spice it up or give players more options. That's neither here nor there, though. Like I said, I have no real point of contention in this thread other than the issue I took with the thought police; non-pseudo-european critters in a Bestiary are fine by me.

Contributor

KaeYoss wrote:
Panna Cotta Warrior?

I like this more than I probably should. ;P

Contributor

Icyshadow wrote:
Not in the games I will run. =w=

And that's TOTALLY cool. This game will always be a collaboration between designers, developers, and GMs trying to give the end users (really both the GMs and the PCs) the best possible gaming experience. We present what works best for our world and the stories we plan to tell. But if there's ever any changes you want to make for your specific group, BY ALL MEANS go for it. You're the GM, you know your group and your game better than anyone. Have a blast!


Dragon78 wrote:
I also was disapointed when I found out they were undead it's not the alignment that bothers me it's the type as undead not fey. Also Pazio's view of if it is an Undead but not a ghost then it must be evil. If it was a fey then by it's nature could be a differen't alignment. Plus there is the issue that is incorpereal when in the legands it could have a physical body. KaeYoss, in the legends both Yuki-onna and Kappa could be good, evil, or inbetween.

Just name any RPG in which mythological creatures actually match the myth. Usually it's only the name, and sometimes the appearance as well, but that usually is it.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Yora wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I also was disapointed when I found out they were undead it's not the alignment that bothers me it's the type as undead not fey. Also Pazio's view of if it is an Undead but not a ghost then it must be evil. If it was a fey then by it's nature could be a differen't alignment. Plus there is the issue that is incorpereal when in the legands it could have a physical body. KaeYoss, in the legends both Yuki-onna and Kappa could be good, evil, or inbetween.
Just name any RPG in which mythological creatures actually match the myth. Usually it's only the name, and sometimes the appearance as well, but that usually is it.

And again... that's even tougher when you take into account the fact that the myths themselves often contradict themselves.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

James Jacobs wrote:
Yora wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I also was disapointed when I found out they were undead it's not the alignment that bothers me it's the type as undead not fey. Also Pazio's view of if it is an Undead but not a ghost then it must be evil. If it was a fey then by it's nature could be a differen't alignment. Plus there is the issue that is incorpereal when in the legands it could have a physical body. KaeYoss, in the legends both Yuki-onna and Kappa could be good, evil, or inbetween.
Just name any RPG in which mythological creatures actually match the myth. Usually it's only the name, and sometimes the appearance as well, but that usually is it.
And again... that's even tougher when you take into account the fact that the myths themselves often contradict themselves.

@Folks in general,

Actually, from a design standpoint, there is a nice feeling of freedom that comes with not having to adhere exactly to a myth.

Case in point: I was looking for a monster to develop. I found one in particular, but I was confounded by the fact that all the descriptions I found on the internet were pretty "cutesy" and not particularly cool. I later found that the creature had been developed in B3. The author had taken that idea and really tweaked it and changed it to make a really cool (and scary) monster.

So obviously I couldn't develop *that* creature; but as a freelancer it taught me that I could go out and find another monster, and be inspired by it, but not be constrained by it.

It's entirely possible to improve upon the source material. Its okay to have faith your own imagination sometimes.


Yora wrote:
Just name any RPG in which mythological creatures actually match the myth. Usually it's only the name, and sometimes the appearance as well, but that usually is it.

This reminds me of something that happened once:

I was getting together with a group that plays new world of darkness, and it was right after "Werewolf:The Forsaken" came out. I expressed my disappointment that they had gotten rid of all the were creatures except werewolves, to which one person testily replied, "Well those other were-creatures were not accurate with mythology."

I laughed at him I am sorry to say. After all it's not like world jumping not-cursed shapechangers that are policemen for the spirit world is exactly true to mythology for werewolves either.


Well I stated how I felt about it, sometimes the D@D version is better and sometimes the mythological version is better. Examples are I like the D@D versions of Nixies, Pixies, Goblins, Ogres, Elves, Drow, and the Chimera, but I do not like D@D's versions of Orcs, Gnolls, Trolls(not pathfinder version), Argus(ameoba version), and most Demons/Devils. Most things are nitpicking for creature types like me wanting the Yuki-onna as a Fey, Nagas as Magical Beast, Grindylow as Fey or having a Gobliniod subtype. Also the Yuki-onna is incorpereal yet has a Str score and natural attacks but no ghosttouch or similiar ability.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dragon78 wrote:
Also the Yuki-onna is incorpereal yet has a Str score and natural attacks but no ghosttouch or similiar ability.

There were some errors in the yuki-onna stat block as presented in Pathfinder #51... happens now and then if and when we use a super early stat block from a book like that, alas. In any case, the official yuki-onna stats in Bestairy 3 are correct—she does not have a Strength score at all.


Abraham spalding wrote:
I was getting together with a group that plays new world of darkness, and it was right after "Werewolf:The Forsaken" came out. I expressed my disappointment that they had gotten rid of all the were creatures except werewolves, to which one person testily replied, "Well those other were-creatures were not accurate with mythology."

Skinchangers, Changing Breeds... You seriously thought that they won't appear in one form or another? :P

Quote:
I laughed at him I am sorry to say. After all it's not like world jumping not-cursed shapechangers that are policemen for the spirit world is exactly true to mythology for werewolves either.

I hear similar things about various creatures in RPGs from time to time. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's just sad.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I’ll take a folklore creature over some weirdly made-up, just-for-game-mechanics critter any day.

The great thing is, for the most part, many folks won’t even know the folkloric base. There are more weird creatures from all of humankind’s imaginative creation of fantastic lore than RPGs can publish. (The only rub comes from the similarities in monsters among wildly different cultures, which hints at some sort of collective fear or other emotional reactions in all humans.)

I’ve designed a ton of Pathfinder monsters over the last few years, either for the AP Bestiaries, the hardcover Bestiaries, Kobold Quarterly, or Open Design projects, and one of my favorite things to write is monsters from our “real world”. I try to do good research on the monsters I write and inform their design from old folktales AND their popular representation in other fiction and media. That way you can attempt a greater usefulness for a monster, a way to appeal to as many as possible. But, I have to admit, ancient monster stories are sufficiently weird enough to build some cool flavor and interesting mechanics.


Still I like the art for the Yuki-onna and the Tanuki. Speaking of the Tanuki, is it me or does it look more like a red panda then a raccoon dog?

As far the Ki-rin is concerned I will wait till I see the whole picture(and it's stats) before I make my final decision.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:

Still I like the art for the Yuki-onna and the Tanuki. Speaking of the Tanuki, is it me or does it look more like a red panda then a raccoon dog?

As far the Ki-rin is concerned I will wait till I see the whole picture(and it's stats) before I make my final decision.

The art looks pretty close to this


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Viriato wrote:


Also, while you're not wrong, it'd be disingenuous to claim D&D as a whole wasn't predominantly inspired by medieval Europe, with the odd exotic element sprinkled in (monks, ogre magi, rakshasas et al) to spice it up or give players more options. That's neither here nor there, though. Like I said, I have no real point of contention in this thread other than the issue I took with the thought police; non-pseudo-european critters in a Bestiary are fine by me.

Claiming D&D is predominantly inspired by medieval Europe is at least as disingenuous as saying that it's not.

You might get away with saying it's inspired by a wildly inaccurate view of medieval Europe, but even that is not true.

There are so many things in "classic" D&D/PF that are definitely not medieval Europe.

Look at the races: Halflings are basically Hobbits, an invention of Tolkiens. Gnomes "evolved" from earth spirits from Renaissance alchemy. Elves might be creatures from old Germanic myth, but the way they're seen in the game is pretty much all Tolkien, again. Orcs (found in the standard races as Half-Orcs)are all Tolkien, too.

So already the majority of the typical D&D/PF world (well, the civilised part at least) is populated by critters that are mostly not from medieval Europe.

Moving on to monsters especially the most common/iconic ones, we have the orcs (mentioned above), goblins seem to have Hindu origins, ogre mages (= oni) are from Japanese folklore. Stuff like the Minotaur and the Hydra are from Greek mythology and predate Medieval times by centuries. Gnolls, on the other hand, are far younger. Zombies/ghouls first appear in some of the oldest literature there is. Mummies were created far before medieval times, but the typical mummy as seen in D&D/PF is inspired by horror novels and films from the 19th century and onward. And, anyway, the typical mummy is all Egyptian style. Vampire myths have been around for thousands of years from all over the world. The Couatl is American. Outsiders are from all over the place, and they're both older than the Medieval period and have evolved since the end of that era. Other, more specific outsiders aren't medieval, either: Rakshasa are Hindu, genies Arabic.

D&D has always been a wild mix. Stuff relevant to actual medieval Europe might have a majority, but not a vast one. Stuff that doesn't belong to that area and that period is definitely not just an afterthought.


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
I like this more than I probably should. ;P

Lactose intolerant?


Abraham spalding wrote:


I was getting together with a group that plays new world of darkness, and it was right after "Werewolf:The Forsaken" came out. I expressed my disappointment that they had gotten rid of all the were creatures except werewolves, to which one person testily replied, "Well those other were-creatures were not accurate with mythology."

What kind of werewolf are those, anyway?

Werewolf? Hexenwolf? Lycanthrope? Loup-garou? I'm only asking because I need to know whether I'll have to melt down the family heirloom silverware or if I can just lay into them with whatever hurtful thing I have at hand.


KaeYoss wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:


I was getting together with a group that plays new world of darkness, and it was right after "Werewolf:The Forsaken" came out. I expressed my disappointment that they had gotten rid of all the were creatures except werewolves, to which one person testily replied, "Well those other were-creatures were not accurate with mythology."

What kind of werewolf are those, anyway?

Werewolf? Hexenwolf? Lycanthrope? Loup-garou? I'm only asking because I need to know whether I'll have to melt down the family heirloom silverware or if I can just lay into them with whatever hurtful thing I have at hand.

I'd have to dig out the books to tell you (they are buried under the Palladium stuff, which is under the old world of darkness stuff, which is under the 3.5 stuff, which is under the mechwarrior stuff, which is under the 2nd edition stuff... which is under college books and the wife's... ahem 'literature'), but honestly I stopped messing with NWoD werewolf because it just didn't work for me.


Wow, I'd never heard of the tanuki or its unmentionable slam attack before. Just goes to show browsing the internet's entertaining AND educational.


Wrexham3 wrote:
Wow, I'd never heard of the tanuki or its unmentionable slam attack before. Just goes to show browsing the internet's entertaining AND educational.

Mythological creatures from East Asia are frequently really interesting. But really, the Japanese ones take the cake any time.

And having done some academic work on japanese mythological creatures, I have to say the tanuki is probably the most hilarious. Others are way more bizare or freakish, but these cute little buddies with their giant magic balls are just plain weird. ^^


Definitely getting this before I go to my convention. I am getting so tempted to do a mishmash of est and west as the campaign. I just hope the tanuki entry will have a portion for making PCs out of it. Weird question but will the Imperial dragons have anything resembling Falcor? I am suddenly having some strange ideas with shades of the Lunar series floating around in my brain.


To be honest I am surprised they made the Kitsune a player race but as for the Tanuki they haven't said anything one way or the other.

I agree about the Japanese mythical creatures being interesting Yora.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dragon78 wrote:

To be honest I am surprised they made the Kitsune a player race but as for the Tanuki they haven't said anything one way or the other.

I agree about the Japanese mythical creatures being interesting Yora.

The tanuki has racial HD, and as such, isn't all that appropriate to be a PC.


Looks like the Pandaren race from Azeroth are migrating to Golarion. Asia becomes more and more a cute furryland. :)
I think I like it very much.


WHAT?!?! Is the Kitsune just a werefox creature???!!!??? I really like the ninetales version of the creature a 1000 times more.

Anyway I love that Kirin!!! Just the way I like it, and that panda-creature is cool too, i'm glad the Yuki-onno is evil, good creatures have no place in a monster book if you ask me.

I would like to see more mantis-based monsters, not just giant versions of the creature.


Enpeze wrote:

Looks like the Pandaren race from Azeroth are migrating to Golarion. Asia becomes more and more a cute furryland. :)

I think I like it very much.

Become? Just take a look at the critters that live there. Like Red Pandas and Raccoon Dogs.

They don't know any other way. ^^


I like the pic of the red panda.

The Kitsune is humaniod Fox player race that will be in the Dragon empire primer and Gazeteer and will not be in the Beastairy 3.

The Ninetail Fox could still be a monster all to it's self.

Contributor

Sincubus wrote:
WHAT?!?! Is the Kitsune just a werefox creature???!!!??? I really like the ninetales version of the creature a 1000 times more.

Folklore says more powerful kitsune tend to have more tails, which means that some of them (say, 1st-level characters) only have one tail.


Sincubus wrote:
Anyway I love that Kirin!!! Just the way I like it, and that panda-creature is cool too, i'm glad the Yuki-onno is evil, good creatures have no place in a monster book if you ask me.

That's funny. Then where are you going to put all the good-aligned beings that will be encountered throughout the course of a campaign? Or are your campaigns devoid of allies for the PCs and everything is literally out to kill you?


I'm never DM myself, I still buy the books, I just would like it more to see two seperate books, one with angels, pony's and happy fairies and one with cool minotaurs, dragons, undead and demons.

Kirin, Couatl, Treant and Dryad (creatures that most people view as good creatures) are neutral for me, sometimes good and sometimes bad, those may stay in the evil-manual, only the happy-happy creatures should get their own manual if you ask me, especially angels, Archons and metallic dragons.

Its just some personal preferances.

Shadow Lodge

James Sutter wrote:
For the record, this is not an "Asian bestiary." There are some Jade Regent-style monsters in there, but also a ton from very different traditions, including a bunch unique to Pathfinder. The three creatures picked for this particular wallpaper aren't representative in that respect. (You'll notice that the actual COVER of this book has a cyclops, grave knight, and kappa.)
James Jacobs wrote:

If there's a single "theme" that binds Bestiary 3 together, it is that there's a lot of monsters from non-European mythology represented. That does mean that there are monsters from various Asian mythologies, from Japan to China to Indonesia, but we've also got monsters from Inuit mythology, Aztec mythology, African mythology, Norse mythology, Indian mythology, and more... but there's also monsters from Lovecraft, Robert E Howard, and other writers, and also monsters from Pathfinder Adventure Paths, and also monsters that are 100% brand new made-up just for this book.

All I can ask is that you check the book out in the store once it's out.

I dunno if it's just they external hype, or if the marketing that you guys have done somehow plays into it, but I've heard a LOT more about the Eastern/Asian influences on this bestiary than about any of the other cultural influences. So there maybe be a fear that this largely IS the Asian bestiary, with a few token monsters from other cultures thrown in so that you can label in the "International" bestiary. While I personally don't believe that will be the case, I can easily see how someone MIGHT interpret things this way.

Shadow Lodge

KaeYoss wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
""It has been reported that Tanuki fell from the sky using his scrotum as a parachute." -Villa Incognito
And the sailcloth from Skyward Sword takes on a much weirder aspect.

Especially considering that Zelda gives it to him. That's kinda the opposite of how a relationship usually goes.

Shadow Lodge

KaeYoss wrote:
Claiming D&D is predominantly inspired by medieval Europe is at least as disingenuous as saying that it's not.

They how about we say that medieval Europe was far more of an influence than any other real life culture/time period.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

James Jacobs wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Also the Yuki-onna is incorpereal yet has a Str score and natural attacks but no ghosttouch or similiar ability.
There were some errors in the yuki-onna stat block as presented in Pathfinder #51... happens now and then if and when we use a super early stat block from a book like that, alas. In any case, the official yuki-onna stats in Bestairy 3 are correct—she does not have a Strength score at all.

I still think incorporeal creatures should have Strength scores. How else does an incorporeal creature disarm a PC of their ghost touch weapon? Obviously they can interact with it, yet without a Strength score, I have to make it up on the fly.

And that's without Pathfinder versions of spells like ghost lock. Ghosts in particular are tricky becuase they're corporeal when on the Ethereal plane.

Plus, two incorporeal creatures interact with each other as if they're corporeal. So any PC ability (and I think they're out there) that lets a PC become incorporeal suddenly means you could have two creatures grappling, one with and one without a strength score.

Ack!

Anyways, sorry to derail the thread! Now if only I had the time to actually look at my Bestiary 3 PDF :(

Kthulhu wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
For the record, this is not an "Asian bestiary." ...
James Jacobs wrote:
If there's a single "theme" that binds Bestiary 3 together, it is that there's a lot of monsters from non-European mythology represented. That does mean that there are monsters from various Asian mythologies, from Japan to China to Indonesia, but ...
I dunno if it's just they external hype, or if the marketing that you guys have done somehow plays into it, but I've heard a LOT more about the Eastern/Asian influences on this bestiary than about any of the other cultural influences. So there maybe be a fear that this largely IS the Asian bestiary, with a few token monsters from other cultures thrown in so that you can label in the "International" bestiary. While I personally don't believe that will be the case, I can easily see how someone MIGHT interpret things this way.

This.

I've managed to dislodge the chip from my shoulder about it, but I have noticed that the Asian influences have seemed to get the majority of the promotional attention. I'd been chalking it up to the Jade Regent Adventure Path and wasn't worrying about it, but I agree with Kthulhu.


gbonehead wrote:
I've managed to dislodge the chip from my shoulder about it, but I have noticed that the Asian influences have seemed to get the majority of the promotional attention.

When I was perusing it, I was thinking it felt more like the aquatic bestiary than the Asian bestiary. Maybe I was just prepared for the Asian influence. Or maybe it's that a lot of the Asian critters were lumped into groups (asura, div, oni, kami, rakshasa, etc).

A quick, likely erroneous, count netted 65 Asian (or Asian-influenced) stat-blocked monsters (and 32 aquatic ones). This includes western Asia, such as the peri, shedu, suli, and nephilim, and Indian-influenced ones.

Does the shinigami count as an Asian monster? It's a European idea, filtered through Asian eyes.

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