The Monster Codex is an excellent resource for Game Masters. It takes the twenty most commonly-used monsters in the D&D/Pathfinder series, spices them up with class levels, and gives the Game Master ideas as to where such monsters can be used most appropriately. My personal favorites are the goblinoid write-ups, followed by the Ogres. The backgrounds for all twenty races (well, Vampires are a template, technically) are very well written, and the artwork is very good to stunning overall.
Also included are new feats, spells and magical items and equipment used by the particular races. It is a fantastic resource that I am going to be utilizing quite often, and I recommend it highly to fellow Game Masters. Five Stars.
Alright, I personally think that this book should have been a Campaign Setting book rather than a Player's Companion because it seems to contain more ideas for Game Masters than for Players (plus Campaign Setting books have more content and I want more!). That said, I love, love, love this book. It introduces a host of different specialized magic shops perfect for any GM to spice up their campaign and present to their players. Heck, a few are so interesting an adventure could be based off the owners of the shops. The book really helps to make magic shops, well, magical. Further, the book has a host of magnificent magic items, not the least of which are clockwork prosthetic limbs from Alkenstar. Oh, and did I mention that the limbs can be enchanted in the same manner as a weapon?
I would certainly recommend it.
A Magnificent Game Master's Tool to Create Proper Fantasy Inns and Taverns
The Red Dragon Inn Guide to Inns and Taverns is a fantastic tool for Game Masters in the creation of one of the most commonly-used settings that adventurer player characters find themselves in: Inns and Taverns. I know very little of The Red Dragon Inn board games, but from what I understand, they are of a comedic nature. This particular book actually takes a serious look at Taverns, their operation, maintenance, construction and purpose in the context of fantasy adventures.
At first glance, this might seem like a rather limited book. After all, the majority of table-top fantasy RPG adventuring typically takes place in dungeons, fortresses, caves, and enchanted forests and swamps. Why on Earth should taverns be of such great importance as to merit their own book? The answer is quite simple: Most adventures take place abroad far from the adventurers' home towns. Lacking a home of their own, in order for adventurers to get any form of a good night's sleep to recover for the next day safe from monsters and bandits, it is generally necessary that they go to an Inn. In order for adventurers to eat a meal that they did not have too cook themselves, they have to go to a tavern to satisfy their appetites and quench their thirst.
Simply put, a large portion of an adventurer’s downtime takes place in taverns and inns on the way to and on the way from Dungeons. But that’s not to say that a Tavern cannot also be a great place for a portion of an adventure (or, heck, even a whole adventure) to take place. The “Guide to Inns and Taverns” gives excellent flavor in helping a Game Master distinguish one tavern/inn from another. In addition, the book provides for some other excellent ideas when it comes to dangers that can be found in a tavern. A savvy GM with this book in hand can quickly make a mundane evening rather exciting and memorable for his players by introducing barroom brawling, poisoning, gambling encounters, and a variety of fun rules for drunkenness,
Further, there are rules made for building taverns and inns in order to make them distinct. For those without so much free time on their hands, also included are some excellent examples of pre-made taverns that can be put into any setting, including a wilderness tavern, a seedy flophouse, and the eponymous Red Dragon Inn, a sprawling structure that could just as easily be considered a fortified keep as much as an inn.
So, I have to say, this is a fantastic book and I heartily recommend it to any of my fellow GMs who are interested in encouraging the adventurous aspects that can be found in the downtime parts of their role-playing campaigns. After all, no one said downtime had to be boring! I will certainly be using some of the sample inns and optional rules in my upcoming games.
I did not think Paizo could top their book on Devils. I was wrong. Say hello to the most chilling outsiders you could ever hope not to meet.
Born of the spirits of nihilism, murder, misanthropy and self-loathing, Daemons seek one thing: the eventual annihilation of all life, until nothing remains but an empty universe, as dark, cold and empty as their souls. The writing is top-notch and more than a little stomach churning in a couple areas, as one is faced with a cavalcade of new Daemonic adversaries, each more horrendous and than the last, as well as their four psychopathic masters, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Abbadon is also described in-depth if ever a GM wants to run an adventure through the abode of the dark plane...although that is bordering on TPK territory right there.
I eventually want to run a few homebrews with a "Silent Hill" flavor to them. Daemons are the perfect outsider for the creepy psychological horror vibe, if ever I've seen one.
This is the darkest book of evil outsiders Paizo has released to date. Unlike Devils, there is no redeeming characteristics to the Daemon. At least Devils do not want to end all life. They just want to corrupt and reshape it. Even Demons are not as terrible as Daemons simply by virtue of the fact that they are generally poor planners who backstab and hobble one another's efforts for the sake of being contrary jerks. Daemons are another story entirely: Cold, logical beings whose only joy in life comes from the ending of others' lives. The scary thing is that they are just well-organized enough to pull it off.