Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bonus Bestiary (OGL)

4.30/5 (based on 13 ratings)
GameMastery Module D0: Hollow's Last Hope (OGL)
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Unleash the Beasts!

Get your first look at the future with more than a dozen menacing monsters that we couldn't make room for in the Pathfinder Bestiary. These creatures won't be making an appearance in the Pathfinder RPG for at least a year and will thus only be available in this book for a long while. Showcasing the new rules and flexibility of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, this collection of creatures draws from more than 30 years of gaming history and includes:

  • Deadly beasts and familiar allies, such as allips, caryatid columns, faerie dragons, huecuvas, shadow mastiffs, and more!
  • New rules for monstrous companions, arcane creations, sinister traps, variant creatures, and other options for use with both 3.5 and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
  • Explanations of never-before-seen rules being included in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
  • A preview listing of nearly every monster to be included in the upcoming Pathfinder Bestiary
  • Reimaginings of some of the most iconic creatures in gaming, vibrantly illustrated by some of the best artists in fantasy

Add a taste of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game to your campaign today with this official manual of Pathfinder monstrosities!

This 16-page supplement was initially made available for Free RPG Day on June 20, 2009.

Note: Due to the special nature of this product, it is NOT part of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscription.

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

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In a way, it all starts here!

3/5

Is it sheer coincidence or proof of cosmic synchronicity that my personal rotation of reading has scheduled me to review Paizo's 2009 Free RPG Day offering on the same day as 2019's Free RPG Day? We'll let the metaphysicians chew that one over, but in the meantime, I'll discuss the Bonus Bestiary.

This sixteen-page, full-color, softcover product served as something of a preview of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, as it was released just several weeks before the Core Rulebook debuted. It introduces the overall look of monster stat blocks in the game and (I assume) gave players some monsters to work with prior to the release of the first Bestiary. The twelve monsters it includes weren't included in that book, so it had some value even past the first year of the game's existence (it looks like most of these were included in Bestiary 3 in 2011). You can judge the cool cover art yourself (I didn't realize water nagas were so scary!), but here's a description of the contents.

The inside front cover is a listing of the 300+ monsters that were to appear in the Bestiary so readers could get a sense of what to look forward to. The inside back cover is the classic: "3.5 Survives! 3.5 Thrives!" advertisement for PF1. I should really get a poster of that advertisement for display somewhere.

After a credits/table of contents page, the next two pages discuss a couple of rules developed uniquely for Pathfinder: the concepts of Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense. These were elegant simplifications on how to resolve things like trips, disarms, grapples, etc., without having separate formulas for each type. There's also an explanation of how diseases and poisons are formatted. The rest of this introductory material explains Pathfinder's approach to Universal Monster Rules, and gives some samples. It all shows the designers spent a lot of time thinking about how to do monster stat blocks in an intelligent and user-friendly manner.

Now, on to the monsters. A high-DC Perception check will notice some very minor differences in how the stat blocks in the Bonus Bestiary are formatted compared to the actual Bestiary: the CR/XP entry is slightly different, and there's a fixed gold piece "treasure value" instead of a reference to treasure categories like "Standard", etc.. I might actually prefer the explicit gold piece value, approach, but that's neither here nor there now, not to mention a decade's time travel away. Each of the twelve monster entries is illustrated, though the artwork styles are a bit more inconsistent than later Paizo books.

1. Allip: Super creepy undead resulting from the death of the mad or suicidal. Their special abilities fit well.

2. Ant Lion, Giant: Never actually seen these in a game, but I like their little sand trap ability.

3. Ascomoid: Never heard of this--some kind of giant puffball fungus. Frankly pretty goofy, and really more a supernatural hazard than a monster.

4. Axe Beak: If you have bird phobia, watch out! Good to see training and animal companion rules--a reminder of another thing the Pathfinder team did well.

5. Caryatid Column: Essentially lesser stone golems, but their "shatter weapons" ability could be really nasty. If I were a mean GM, I'd toss these in any time a melee character got on my nerves.

6. Dragon, Faerie: These sorts of creatures aren't really my thing, as they verge more on the cartoonish. Still, I have to admit the artwork is really colourful and they might be fun to have as a familiar.

7. Dragonne: Kind of a bland lion/dragon mix. Rules for mounts (using Leadership) and animal companions.

8. Hag, Annis: The artwork here is great, capturing the size and hunch-backed nature perfectly (though perhaps making them look like undead).

9. Huecuva: Heretical undead clerics; an interesting concept but they need a power boost to really work well.

10. Lammasu: I guess this is a lion/eagle mix. I think maybe some of these entries were omitted from the first Bestiary for a reason.

11. Naga, Water: Cooler on the cover than here.

12. Nixie: Okay, I guess.

13. Shadow Mastiff: Cool artwork and "shadow blend" makes them fearsome foes for their CR.

Overall, there's a good mix in the book of different monster types: undead, constructs, magical beasts, regular animals, etc. I did notice there aren't any high-CR threats, with the CR 8 Lammasu as the highest.

Paizo took the same approach with its Free RPG Day 2017 product when getting ready to debut Starfinder. I'd actually rather have more of a grab-bag preview--maybe one class, a few skills, a few feats, and then a couple of monsters to get a feel for the game as a whole. Anyway, the Bonus Bestiary is still available for purchase as a print product from Paizo (for just $ 1!) or as a free PDF download. Today, the product is really nothing more than a curiosity, but it's a mildly interesting one nonetheless.


Thank Goodness for Free PDFs

3/5

5 stars for the free PDF.

1 star for the print version because it is obsolete.

3 stars overall.


Great Product But..

5/5

This product is obsolete in Pathfinder Society. Purchase Bestiary 3. Thanks


Small book... big monsters

5/5

I have always love monsters and little book has some of my favorites like the Nixie, Annis hag, Faerie dragon, and Dragonne. My only complaint is there not a single monster in this book that should have been in the main Beastiary.


Pretty Schweet Shtuff, Maaaan.

3/5

I personally love the Allip and the Huecuva, but anything undead will always light a fire in my heart. Also, I love the appearance of the Caryatid Column in here. I remember springing one of those on my unsuspecting players in the Undermountain dungeon crawl.

For being a freebie, this is definitely a solid product you should download. The only monster I had a tough time with was the Ascomoid. A rolling spore ball's only weakness is level surfaces! Exploit it!


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Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Iron Sentinel wrote:
Oh yeah, well I heard that the flumph will be at the center of an upcoming AP.

Fantastic! I hear Tim Hitchcock will be writing it.


When will it be up?


steve68 wrote:
When will it be up?

Since freerpgday09 will fall on a saturday- my guess is sometime during Monday. Naturally, I'll be waiting in the wings to snatch up some more freeswag. ;)


There are no LGSs anywhere near me that take part in Free RPG day. :(

Is there a date when this will be on sale on the website?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Jason Grubiak wrote:
Is there a date when this will be on sale on the website?

Yes.

The Exchange

Ross Byers wrote:
Jason Grubiak wrote:
Is there a date when this will be on sale on the website?
Yes.

:-D Harsh.

I would expect Monday or early next week, but I don't think they have said specifically.

Paizo Employee CEO

Darkwolf wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
Jason Grubiak wrote:
Is there a date when this will be on sale on the website?
Yes.

:-D Harsh.

I would expect Monday or early next week, but I don't think they have said specifically.

We will indeed have the Bonus Bestiary ready for order on Monday, probably around noon PST. Maybe earlier. But Monday for sure.

-Lisa


Is this now part of the RPG subscription?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

DaveMage wrote:
Is this now part of the RPG subscription?

No. The Bonus Bestiary is not part of the RPG subscription. However, we now offer the ability to combine other orders with your next subscription shipment, so you can have it ship to you as if it were.


Ross Byers wrote:
DaveMage wrote:
Is this now part of the RPG subscription?
No. The Bonus Bestiary is not part of the RPG subscription. However, we now offer the ability to combine other orders with your next subscription shipment, so you can have it ship to you as if it were.

Can I get fries with that?

Sovereign Court

Must... get... this... product...

Grand Lodge

Just noticed, shouldn't this technically be labeled as PFRPG instead of OGL?


Awwww, no stores in New Zealand are participating in free RPG day from the looks. :(
Oh well, the pdf should be nifty and maybe I'll order a hard copy too!


So the free pdf will be available by midnight? :D

I can't wait!

Sovereign Court

Bah, decided I can't make it to the nearest free rpg day store; it's too far with my eyes in the state they're in and me having to look after the baby (ie, bring him with me). I hope Paizo doesn't sell out of these, as a result.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Bagpuss wrote:
Bah, decided I can't make it to the nearest free rpg day store; it's too far with my eyes in the state they're in and me having to look after the baby (ie, bring him with me). I hope Paizo doesn't sell out of these, as a result.

They've still got copies of last year's Free RPG Day giveaway, so I imagine they'll have this one for a while. But Hollow's Last Hope from '07 is gone, so they might not have copies for more than the first year or so after release.


I got up early on a Saturday for this bestiary...my grubby fingers are itching.

The Exchange

My FLGS opens in less than an hour... Hate... Waiting... Gah!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

>Wishes some place close was hosting Free RPG Day<


F5.. F5.. F5.. F5.. F5..

Dark Archive

You have to wait until Monday.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I has it... the precious...

The Monsters are:

Allip
Ant Lion, Giant and Ant Lion, Mature (Giant Lacewing)
Ascomoid
Axe Beak
Caryatid Column
Dragon, Faerie
Dragonne
Hag, Annis
Huecuva
Lammasu
Naga, Water
Nixie
Shadow Mastiff

New posion and disease rules are also quite awesome...


I live in such a pit of utter abject lack of culture that my FLGS's are Paizo, RPGNow, and ebay.....

ONE STORE in Louisiana is participating and it is on the WRONG END OF THE STATE!! I was shocked to see no entry for Little Wars in BR, unless they've closed and I didn't know about it. Of course, they are on the wrong end of the state, as well.

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Enlight_Bystand wrote:

I has it... the precious...

The Monsters are:

I'm a little surprised by that lineup. I thought that annis hags and lammasu were iconic enough to make it into the main book. Well, good thing this product exists, then!

The Exchange

I like the Universal Monster Rules, and the Bestiary Preview list. Seems to have much of what I would expect. Except... no Githyanki/Githrazi. Are these not open content? Of course, it's also not a complete list so maybe...


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Darkwolf wrote:
I like the Universal Monster Rules, and the Bestiary Preview list. Seems to have much of what I would expect. Except... no Githyanki/Githrazi. Are these not open content? Of course, it's also not a complete list so maybe...

Unfortunately the gith races are not open content.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

Woo-hoo! Axebeaks! And right before my players get to

Spoiler:
Zincher's camp in Children of the Void
in SD!

The Exchange

Zaister wrote:
Darkwolf wrote:
I like the Universal Monster Rules, and the Bestiary Preview list. Seems to have much of what I would expect. Except... no Githyanki/Githrazi. Are these not open content? Of course, it's also not a complete list so maybe...
Unfortunately the gith races are not open content.

I am saddened by this revelation.

Please excuse me while I go cut myself. :(

Dark Archive

Enlight_Bystand wrote:

I has it... the precious...

The Monsters are:

Allip
Ant Lion, Giant and Ant Lion, Mature (Giant Lacewing)
Ascomoid
Axe Beak
Caryatid Column
Dragon, Faerie
Dragonne
Hag, Annis
Huecuva
Lammasu
Naga, Water
Nixie
Shadow Mastiff

New posion and disease rules are also quite awesome...

Why no Fiendish Half-Dragon Tyrannosaurus Rex?

Dark Archive

Picked mine up, the local store had more of them than i expected them to have.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
David Fryer wrote:
Enlight_Bystand wrote:

I has it... the precious...

The Monsters are:

Allip
Ant Lion, Giant and Ant Lion, Mature (Giant Lacewing)
Ascomoid
Axe Beak
Caryatid Column
Dragon, Faerie
Dragonne
Hag, Annis
Huecuva
Lammasu
Naga, Water
Nixie
Shadow Mastiff

New posion and disease rules are also quite awesome...

Why no Fiendish Half-Dragon Tyrannosaurus Rex?

I'm sure it holds pride of place in the main Bestiary...

Grand Lodge

I drove to the nearest store. Got there when it opened. They opened up the boxes. They got twice as many of one item and no Bestiaries ... I nearly cried. Twas the only thing I wanted to get from Free RPG Day ... 2 hours of driving for nothing.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I was in luck. Just returned from my local store and they had it. They had several items - I did not really look at the others because I knew what I wanted and it was one per customer.

I looked around the shelves for a bit. I could not find their Paizo stash. I saw some of almost everything else to include what appeared to be a full collection of the 3.0 Ravenloft stuff but if they had Paizo stuff it was well hidden. Maybe it all sells out as soon as it comes in. I know I have seen it there in the past or maybe everyone here locally buys direct and she can't move it.

When the Pathfinder RPG comes out I will go back and ask about it.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Joana wrote:
Woo-hoo! Axebeaks! And right before my players get to ** spoiler omitted ** in SD!

I find it perfect timing, considering Primeval on BBCA tonight :-)

*kicks his local FLGS and plots for next year*

Silver Crusade

Really wish I wasn't working all day today. I even tried to get my gaming buddies to run over to a few gaming shops we know would have it, but their wives/girlfriends were forcing them to do other things. Guess I will try and snag one on Monday or maybe wait till GenCon. I get the feeling they will be sold out by GenCon, though.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Darkwolf wrote:
Zaister wrote:
Darkwolf wrote:
I like the Universal Monster Rules, and the Bestiary Preview list. Seems to have much of what I would expect. Except... no Githyanki/Githrazi. Are these not open content? Of course, it's also not a complete list so maybe...
Unfortunately the gith races are not open content.

I am saddened by this revelation.

Please excuse me while I go cut myself. :(

Hold your blade! Dario of Radiance House fame has said that he intends to publish a Pathfinder replacement for these two over at Pact Magic site.


Just picked mine up down at the LGS. (I may have to add the F back in. The people behind the counter were helpful and nice to both us and our dog.)

Cool monsters, with even cooler artwork. The allip and the huecuva in particular are especially wicked looking; both are fine reimaginings of great monsters. I'm inclined to build a small scenario involving those two and possible more from the product...I'm thinking an old monastic compound that treated the mentally ill. *evil grin* Oh yes, this should be fun. Maybe I'll run it as a PbP, just for kicks.

Dark Archive

I liked it, though the Faerie Dragon art work hurt my head.

Sovereign Court

yoda8myhead wrote:
Bagpuss wrote:
Bah, decided I can't make it to the nearest free rpg day store; it's too far with my eyes in the state they're in and me having to look after the baby (ie, bring him with me). I hope Paizo doesn't sell out of these, as a result.
They've still got copies of last year's Free RPG Day giveaway, so I imagine they'll have this one for a while. But Hollow's Last Hope from '07 is gone, so they might not have copies for more than the first year or so after release.

Yeah, I had to buy Hollow's Last Hope from ebay before Christmas. However, I would expect that interest in the bonus bestiary will be higher than interest in the modules was...

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Andrew Betts wrote:
Just noticed, shouldn't this technically be labeled as PFRPG instead of OGL?

Indeed. Will fix on Monday.

Sovereign Court

It's a beautiful product. The art is generally great, and the list of monsters in the final bestiary? AWESOME.

I have to say, I'm really happy about the clarity in the rules surrounding the Grab (previously Improved Grab) ability, especially in combination with Constrict. I always felt that the wording was ambiguous, the way it was written, it could be taken in many ways how Grab and Constrict interact. This made it perfectly clear, and so I am pleased!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Hayden wrote:

So the free pdf will be available by midnight? :D

I can't wait!

So not. I was going to schedule it for midnight, but then I realized that it needs some attention before I can put it up. We'll get it up as soon as possible, but I think even noon on Monday is probably optimistic.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Andrew Betts wrote:
I drove to the nearest store. Got there when it opened. They opened up the boxes. They got twice as many of one item and no Bestiaries ... I nearly cried. Twas the only thing I wanted to get from Free RPG Day ... 2 hours of driving for nothing.

That's... odd. We were told there beforehand that there would be a minimum of ten copies of the Bestiary per box, and after the boxes were packed, we were told that they did hit over 10. (I think it was actually more like 15.) Who's the store?

Scarab Sages

Vic Wertz wrote:
..... but I think even noon on Monday is probably optimistic.

Noooooooo!!!!!!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Bagpuss wrote:
yoda8myhead wrote:
Bagpuss wrote:
Bah, decided I can't make it to the nearest free rpg day store; it's too far with my eyes in the state they're in and me having to look after the baby (ie, bring him with me). I hope Paizo doesn't sell out of these, as a result.
They've still got copies of last year's Free RPG Day giveaway, so I imagine they'll have this one for a while. But Hollow's Last Hope from '07 is gone, so they might not have copies for more than the first year or so after release.
Yeah, I had to buy Hollow's Last Hope from ebay before Christmas. However, I would expect that interest in the bonus bestiary will be higher than interest in the modules was...

We expect interest will be higher as well, but we also printed more.

Dark Archive

Vic Wertz wrote:
Andrew Betts wrote:
I drove to the nearest store. Got there when it opened. They opened up the boxes. They got twice as many of one item and no Bestiaries ... I nearly cried. Twas the only thing I wanted to get from Free RPG Day ... 2 hours of driving for nothing.
That's... odd. We were told there beforehand that there would be a minimum of ten copies of the Bestiary per box, and after the boxes were packed, we were told that they did hit over 10. (I think it was actually more like 15.) Who's the store?

Hmm really? I didn't count them but I got their just as the guy was taking them out of the box and there might have been as many as 10 but no way there was 15 of them. Unless he pulled some and stuck them behind the counter or something.


Dark_Mistress wrote:
I liked it, though the Faerie Dragon art work hurt my head.

Yeah. Why no love for the Faerie Dragon?

Otherwise, love the BB. Thank you Paizo, and thank you Lone Star.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Vic Wertz wrote:
Hayden wrote:

So the free pdf will be available by midnight? :D

I can't wait!

So not. I was going to schedule it for midnight, but then I realized that it needs some attention before I can put it up. We'll get it up as soon as possible, but I think even noon on Monday is probably optimistic.

*cries*


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

I sent my husband this morning, and he got there before the store opened and waited. The sales clerk mentioned to him how excited she was about Pathfinder and how she couldn't wait for August! Good Paizo buzz!

EDIT: Mairkurion, which Lone Star did you go to? We went to the one in south Arlington.

Dark Archive

I love that the entries have an XP value beside them.....So useful, please tell me this is going to happen with the Encounters in the Adventure Paths too?

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