Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary (OGL)

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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 available as:

Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-60125-183-1

Errata
Last Updated - 9/12/2011

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Hero Lab Online
Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
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Archives of Nethys

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Rulebook Subscription.

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Without Opponents, Combat Sure Wouldn't Be Much Fun!

5/5

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, but 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.


It all starts here babee

5/5

One only two books you require to jump in and play Pathfinder, it is the essential meat in the gaming stew. As important and the core rulebook is, it is nothing with out this work.

Expanded and tweaked off the OGL 3.x material, its cleaner, better organized and tweaked for the Pathfinder rules. Every hero needs a foe, every damsel in distress needs a captor, and every GM needs a source of badies to keep the group on their toes. You will find it all here, between these pages is years of destruction and mayhem.

No matter if you playing Pathfinders own setting, one of your own design and creation, or another publishers material, this is the must have companion to your CRB.


They need more monsters

5/5

not as useful as the advanced raced guide for the monsters you could play as it does have a lot. i own this and well do my best to keep it hidden from my players. they keep trying to make them fight dragons... they are lvl 5


great reference book

5/5

This book has all the monsters you would need on a starting campaine


The standard by which all monster products will be judged by.

5/5

By now, there are several Bestiaries out in print, but when this book first came out you arguably needed to own it to play the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Was it worth the purchase? Decide for yourself!

Crunch
When we talk about a book's crunch, we're looking at its game rules, mechanics, and similar stats. As a monster book, the Bestiary is 99% crunch, and for Paizo's first real Bestiary, it is absolutely fantastic. There isn't a whole lot you can really say about monster stat blocks; they work perfectly and there aren't any monsters that feel ridiculous for their challenge rating (CR). The book also includes several new races that are appropriate for player characters; in this book, we have aasimars, the tieflings, and drow, as well as the applicable but seldom appropriate deurgar, drow noble, and svirfneblin. The book stays true to the rules of its predecessors; when you look at a drow, you recognize it as a drow from previous games. Because of the significant power up that the core races received these classically "OP" races aren't very far out of line with your traditional player characrers, and as a result we don't see the Level Adjustment system in Pathfinder. If you're unfamiliar with the term, in older editions of Dungeons and Dragons, some races were deemed so powerful that you had to actually forgo class levels in order to be a member of the race. For example, if you wanted to play a drow, you had a LA of +1, meaning that your race counted as 1 class level when determining your party's level. This either meant you were more powerful than your friends or (and more commonly) your GM had you start at a lower level to compensate. And believe me, it is not fun to be a sorcerer of an LA race because of how far behind your party is! The racial benefits seldom made up for the loss of character levels and it was a pretty terrible mechanic all around, so good riddance.

Although the book's theme is classic monsters, Paizo manages to add its own spin on fantasy games by including weird and amazing monsters. A perfect example is the froghemoth, which is basically a giant aberrant frog-monster. As a huge Lovecraft fan, I was ecstatic to see monsters like the shoggoth creep up in Pathfinder as well. For a first Bestiary, the spread of monsters is well-chosen and you could definitely run a game with only this book if you really wanted to.

What probably amounts to the best change of all, in my opinion, is the changes to the rules for building your own monsters. These rules are difficult to comprehend and enact in other games, but the Paizo team does an excellent job of laying out step-by-step every detail in crafting your own monsters by including handy charts and tables. For a game that knew it wasn't launching with much material and that it wanted to be backwards-compatible with older products, it was a very wise choice to streamline monster-making as much as they did and its probably the best reason to keep a copy of Bestiary I in your library alongside future monster tomes. 5 /5 Stars.

Flavor
When we talk about a product's flavor, we're talking about its fiction content, its style, and its overall feel. This section is always very opinionated, because even though I whole-heartily enjoy Lovecraft and his works, there are those who don't like their minds thrust into insanity and the mere sight of a shoggoth or whatnot. When you read the Bestiary, the one thing that becomes very clear is that there simply is not much room for flavor. Most monsters get a paragraph and a half of descriptive text and a beautiful picture, but that's about it. Honestly, however, that's all this product needs. The monsters that are detailed are classic monsters, so the information provided about them tends to be enough that classic gamers can recognize the creature for what it is and new players can get a sense of wonder and learn enough about the monster to be on the same page with the veterans. The art is fabulous in this book and supplements the descriptions perfectly, even when the monster concept is weird text-wise a beautiful illustration helps to sell it to you personally.

The elephant in the room is that Pathfinder wants to have its own identity as much as it wants to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors. This means that every so often the Paizo team completely re-imagines and redefines the traits of a specific monster. Usually this happens to a relatively unknown or under used monster (we'll talk more about this in Bestiary III), but there is one monster in particular that is relatively well-known and got the Paizo makeover in a big way. That monster, which has become Paizo's mascot of sorts, is the goblin. To give a little bit of background, traditionally goblins have admittedly lacked character; they were little more than evil halflings in most settings. Paizo's very first adventure path, Rise of the Runelords, shook this up by drastically changing the image of the goblin; they were now psychotic savages who were obsessed with fire and scared of dogs and horses. They sang Children of the Corn style songs about death and murder and often filled a role as comic relief in many of the adventures they have been featured in while simultaneously managing to inspire fear and terror in many a party. In my experience, you either love or you hate the new look of goblins. Many classic gamers that I've played with deplore the "new" goblin if only for the art design; big heads, small bodies. Honestly, however, it doesn't bother me much; my gaming generation includes Warcraft's techno-suicidal goblins and Warhammer's hordes of insane, suicidal goblins; next to those, Paizo's take on the goblin fits in rather nicely.

For being limited to several paragraphs of text per monster, the Bestiary gives you everything you'd expect and more flavor-wised. Its a book of monsters that feel threatening and believable; there's nothing too dumb or too far out there unless you're a hard-core medieval traditionalist. 5 /5 Stars.

Texture
When we talk about a book's texture, we're talking about its grammar and layout, among other things. As someone who has actually sat down to try and write a bestiary, let's be clear that if there's one thing I get, its that stat blocks are HARD. They're hard to format, they're hard to standardize, they're even hard to spell check because of the sheer amount of text that a book like the Bestiary has. All of its complex jargon, half of it made of surreal naming conventions. With all this mind, if there's one place that the Bestiary is amazing, its the texture. There is almost no errors of any kind in this document. Perfect grammar. Perfect spelling conventions. Perfect formatting. Everything is perfect.

As you can see in the picture I included, the Bestiary breaks from traditional monster books in that it limits one monster page, with only a few exceptions (mostly animals and familiars). There is extreme attention to detail in the text placement, and its very impressive that the book manages to be as descriptive as it is with as little space as it has; almost every monster is illustrated, after all, so not only are you juggling stat blocks, but you're also juggling them with text descriptions and illustrations. This book is a marvel of editing and layout and nothing less. 5 /5 Stars.

Final Score & Thoughts
Crunch: 5 / 5
Flavor: 5 / 5
Texture: 5 / 5
Final Score: 5 / 5

This book does everything right. It is the shining star by which all monster-based products should be judged. For a first attempt, Paizo smashes their monster book out of the park, past all expectations. It makes me excited to start looking at the future Bestiary products.


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Aaaand still pending. Oh well what's another 3+ days of waiting. Might as well make it an even three weeks.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Mine still has not shipped, but I expect it to be one of the last now that all my subscriptions have arrived, because I added stuff to the shipment, that is ok... once again it is not like I am playing :-(


Received book yesterday. Spent afternoon drooling.


silverhair2008 wrote:
Received book yesterday. Spent afternoon drooling.

Drooling because of the book, or drooling because you are an Old Fogy like me?

-- david
Papa.DRB

ps. Got mine on Thursday and I am still drooling (both reasons!)


I believe it is both. How are you, Papa-DRB?

Dark Archive

Matthew Morris wrote:
Oh goodie. I *just* got the 'in the next week or so, we'll ship your stuff' e-mail.

Me too. Next week it is then.


FINALLY got mine after a misadventure at the post office...reading now...

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Deposition go okay, FDM?

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

hmmm.. well I got charged today... Usually I get an email when I get charged... no email.. still pending..

Thinking I did not get an email because I got an email the first time they thought they were sending it.


i'm curious about where to post things like typos and such from the bestiary. i'm sure there are plenty of people running around trying to point out flaws and such, and i'd hate to post something if someone has already pointed it out or noticed.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Magus Pierce wrote:
i'm curious about where to post things like typos and such from the bestiary. i'm sure there are plenty of people running around trying to point out flaws and such, and i'd hate to post something if someone has already pointed it out or noticed.

There's already a few threads here and there, but we at Paizo are pretty slammed with other issues at the moment (namely, getting our schedule back on schedule), and haven't yet started to look at colating Bestiary errata. When we do... I suspect we'll just have to knuckle down and wade through all of these posts. We'll probably officially make an official errata thread at that point... we probably should have done that already.

In any event, if you see something you think's an error and are eager to point it out, it'd be best to just seek out the largest errata thread of them for now and post there. We'll find it.

Dark Archive

Sounds like a great book. Hope to get mine soon. Mine shipped 10 days ago and I'm still waiting. I'm sure it'll be worth the wait.


I have some questions and I do not know if they have already been answered. One of the biggest advantages of having the bestiary is that it saves word count for other awesome things in the main adventure paths. Will the Bestiary II be considered core? I know that a lot of the other books from the Pathfinder role playing game subscription will not be and I think that is a good thing, but future Bestiaries being core would open up a lot of word count space for the Adventure paths, especially the higher level ones. Just think if you wanted to ever do an Epic adventure path, how could you get all the stat blocks to fit? What about any future adventure paths on the other planets in the solar system or on the other continents? Will an Asian adventure path need all the Asian themed monsters stated up in their entirety for the whole adventure path? This is also not an all or none proposition either, maybe just the bestiary II will be core to fill in the last of the SRD and common pathfinder monsters and the rest will not be.

I think DMs would not be opposed to this since we always tend to get all the monster books anyways, but players would be a different story.

I also think this would raise the issue of would you want the bestiary II to go into the PRD, if it is core it probably should but I do not know if that makes financial sense for Paizo.


Bestiary is GREAT! There are a good number of monsters that would be very common in a standard fantasy setting, and some other random stuff that can be thrown in. I also like the Level Adjustment being taken away from things like the Aasimir, Tiefling, and Drow. One thing I did notice was the lack of Mind Flayers. They're pretty popular, but they weren't in the book. Maybe this question has been answered, but I was just wondering why the Illithid didn't appear.

Sovereign Court

The illithid/mind flayer is the intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast (so are beholders, carrion crawlers, displacer beasts, yuan-ti, githyanki, githzerai, and umber hulks). Paizo can't legally use these creatures.


Phoebus the JustFortunateEnough wrote:


LINKS...

THANKS A LOT !!!!!

Liberty's Edge

I like to know why Amazon is still listing this and not being out. It has been relased. My FLGS got it and I picked it up. Why would Amazon want to lie to the customers?


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber

As mentioned elsewhere, Amazon is not very precise in listing release dates.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder RPG game night tonight and I cannot wait to use this amazing book.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Hate to sound the downer, but at this point I'm just hoping I get the book sooner or later. :) The fact that I see a pending charge on my card again is a good sign.

At this point, I'm somewhat concerned at the timing between the shipping of the October set of books and the rather large (according to my subscription page) November set. Are these planned to ship reasonably close to each other at this point?

Scarab Sages

Let me just add to the accolades, and point out a very nice set of features from the PDF too.

I got my book on Friday, right after a conversation with one of my players trying to pin down the date for our next session. That brought to mind that I really needed to finally quantify some of the ambiguous threats I had been dangling out as plot points... that is, I needed a dungeon to point them at that started things rolling on a bigger plot thread. I knew where things were going in the big picture, how do I get them started?

So I flipped through the book. Oh -- Nagas! I love those monsters, and the illustration of the Spirit Naga was excellent. Yes, I could "sell" this monster, and the CR was just about right as a big challenge for my 5th level group. We'd center the adventure around a Naga. That worked great, since I wanted this to be an aberration of some sort.

I set the book down, and returned later to view the PDF on my laptop as I was taking other notes. That's when the noticed the very nice linkages in the appendices -- I could view the whole list of aberrations and see at a glance what sort of aberrant minions I could give the Naga! Oh, joys! I say "Choker" in the list, and realized I wasn't really deeply familiar with that monster -- would it work? I just clicked the link, went to the Cloaker page, and saw that yes, they would be perfect! Oh, fast movement -- they can move as fast as the barbarian! Excellent, that will come in handy!

Flip back to the index, go to the Naga page, and re-read the description... hmm... Charming Gaze. Excellent -- she can have minions that are duped into believing she is a good Naga! I went to the lists of monsters by CR and monsters by role, and selected a Cyclops and his Worg companion as the guardians of her lair. Hmm... maybe the Worg should be Advanced or Giant? Have to play with the numbers and see if that would be over-kill, but the Template rules lay it out nicely.

In one short session, I had pulled out four well-detailed monsters and constructed the basis of an adventure. I returned to it this morning and saw that perhaps an ooze would make sense to include too -- it reinforced the aberrant nature of this lair, and the index showed me at a glance what all my ooze options might be. I'm loving this book and the PDF is awesome!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

And thus, is my faith restored. :) Just happened to check my downloads area (not that I haven't been doing that multiple times daily in recent days :) ) and noticed the PDFs for this shipment including the Beastiary.

At least now I can look through it and have happy player-killing (I jest!*) thoughts while I wait for the physical book to arrive.

* - Maybe


Anyone know when this gonna be release in a formal way i means in the store all over the rpg shop/store/librairy??? cuz i dont have credit card to buy the pdf online and i realy want the bestiary well thx for answers :)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Dezren wrote:
Anyone know when this gonna be release in a formal way i means in the store all over the rpg shop/store/librairy??? cuz i dont have credit card to buy the pdf online and i realy want the bestiary well thx for answers :)

The book's official release date through retail and other sources was October 21st. I suggest that you talk to your local game store and/or library to see if you can get them to order it for you, if they do not yet have it on the shelf.


Dezren wrote:
Anyone know when this gonna be release in a formal way i means in the store all over the rpg shop/store/librairy??? cuz i dont have credit card to buy the pdf online and i realy want the bestiary well thx for answers :)

yeah, I don't know where you are in the world but The Complete Strategist here in NYC had the book on wed of last week. Considering that we're clear on the other side of the country from where it shipped from I'm thinking that most LGS must either already have them (barring shipping errors and what not) or are getting them really soon.


Zootcat wrote:
The illithid/mind flayer is the intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast (so are beholders, carrion crawlers, displacer beasts, yuan-ti, githyanki, githzerai, and umber hulks). Paizo can't legally use these creatures.

Huh. I'm actually surprised about that. I thought that if Drow, the Tarrasque, Aboleths, the Bulette, and a few of the others were in there, then the Illithids and Beholders shouldn't have a problem getting in. Ah well. I still have the 3.5 Monster Manuals, so I can just do a bit of conversion on my own. Thanks for telling me, though.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

YamadaJisho wrote:
Zootcat wrote:
The illithid/mind flayer is the intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast (so are beholders, carrion crawlers, displacer beasts, yuan-ti, githyanki, githzerai, and umber hulks). Paizo can't legally use these creatures.
Huh. I'm actually surprised about that. I thought that if Drow, the Tarrasque, Aboleths, the Bulette, and a few of the others were in there, then the Illithids and Beholders shouldn't have a problem getting in. Ah well. I still have the 3.5 Monster Manuals, so I can just do a bit of conversion on my own. Thanks for telling me, though.

Drow and the Tarrasque are from real world mythology, more or less, so WotC would have had a tough time claiming them as their intellectual property. Aboleths and the bulette are PURE D&D though, and I frankly am a little surprised they didn't claim these as their own... but I suspect they didn't because they didn't at the time want to completely gut the selection of open content monsters. They just picked the dozen or so they thought were the most iconic to their needs and let the rest go free.

Had the decision of what to include and what to not been made today, I really do suspect that they would have retained the intellectual rights to more monsters than a mere dozen.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Woot! My book is finally shipping and I got access to the PDFs!!.. Now I just need to find the time to look over the PDF :-)


James Jacobs wrote:
YamadaJisho wrote:
Zootcat wrote:
The illithid/mind flayer is the intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast (so are beholders, carrion crawlers, displacer beasts, yuan-ti, githyanki, githzerai, and umber hulks). Paizo can't legally use these creatures.
Huh. I'm actually surprised about that. I thought that if Drow, the Tarrasque, Aboleths, the Bulette, and a few of the others were in there, then the Illithids and Beholders shouldn't have a problem getting in. Ah well. I still have the 3.5 Monster Manuals, so I can just do a bit of conversion on my own. Thanks for telling me, though.

Drow and the Tarrasque are from real world mythology, more or less, so WotC would have had a tough time claiming them as their intellectual property. Aboleths and the bulette are PURE D&D though, and I frankly am a little surprised they didn't claim these as their own... but I suspect they didn't because they didn't at the time want to completely gut the selection of open content monsters. They just picked the dozen or so they thought were the most iconic to their needs and let the rest go free.

Had the decision of what to include and what to not been made today, I really do suspect that they would have retained the intellectual rights to more monsters than a mere dozen.

I gotcha. I've just never heard of the Tarrasque or the drow outside of DnD anywhere, that's all.


YamadaJisho wrote:


I gotcha. I've just never heard of the Tarrasque or the drow outside of DnD anywhere, that's all.

For you

Tarasque
drow

Sovereign Court

Michael Suzio wrote:

Let me just add to the accolades, and point out a very nice set of features from the PDF too.

I got my book on Friday, right after a conversation with one of my players trying to pin down the date for our next session. That brought to mind that I really needed to finally quantify some of the ambiguous threats I had been dangling out as plot points... that is, I needed a dungeon to point them at that started things rolling on a bigger plot thread. I knew where things were going in the big picture, how do I get them started?

So I flipped through the book. Oh -- Nagas! I love those monsters, and the illustration of the Spirit Naga was excellent. Yes, I could "sell" this monster, and the CR was just about right as a big challenge for my 5th level group. We'd center the adventure around a Naga. That worked great, since I wanted this to be an aberration of some sort.

I set the book down, and returned later to view the PDF on my laptop as I was taking other notes. That's when the noticed the very nice linkages in the appendices -- I could view the whole list of aberrations and see at a glance what sort of aberrant minions I could give the Naga! Oh, joys! I say "Choker" in the list, and realized I wasn't really deeply familiar with that monster -- would it work? I just clicked the link, went to the Cloaker page, and saw that yes, they would be perfect! Oh, fast movement -- they can move as fast as the barbarian! Excellent, that will come in handy!

Flip back to the index, go to the Naga page, and re-read the description... hmm... Charming Gaze. Excellent -- she can have minions that are duped into believing she is a good Naga! I went to the lists of monsters by CR and monsters by role, and selected a Cyclops and his Worg companion as the guardians of her lair. Hmm... maybe the Worg should be Advanced or Giant? Have to play with the numbers and see if that would be over-kill, but the Template rules lay it out nicely.

In one short session, I had pulled out four well-detailed monsters...

What a superb example of iterative adventure design. Thanks for sharing this experience you had with the .pdf. I will do the same for my next session.

Scarab Sages

I also have to give a big shout-out to the D20 PFSRD site -- being able to cut and paste content from there (and the official Paizo site) and make the cheat-sheet for all the adversaries was invaluable. I could cut, paste into a doc file, and tweak to my heart's content simply and easily. When I got stuck on something ("Hmm... how do I make a venomous snake swarm?"), I could always find something to use to "wing it" (in that case, I copied the physical stats of a bat swarm and the poison DC and duration of the centipede swarm, only changing DEX damage to CON damage with that -- it will suffice for this encounter).

Really, the care and precision Paizo is using in releasing the supplements is so much more valuable to me than whether they missed a few monsters (yeah, I wanted the hippogriff) or left monster PC rules up to the DM (which, as a niche item, is fine with me anyway). So far, the two books we've seen have been nothing less than works of art, and you can see the real attention to detail. I think with the PFRPG, Bestiary, Tome of Horrors Revised, and a few other key books, I've got all I need to run a very long-running campaign. The future supplements will be icing on the cake...

...although, now that I just realized a prominent NPC makes more sense as an Oracle rather than a Sorceror/Cleric, I'm anxious to see those rules :-).


This book is awesome. I wasn't expecting to get as much from it, since I have a 3.5 MM, but it was so worth it.


Got the book yesterday. It is so very beautiful, and a lot of things are nicely done. I love especially the simple template. Not so sure about Paizo not using a Level Adjustment system. Some omissions in the case of animals: Deer and Camel (especially the latter one) would have been useful. And what really irks me: a table of size and scale is missing in the complete coresystem. You have to look up real size of creatures in individual entries; but not all those give a real size. Dragons, for example, don't have their real size and weight mentioned.

So, Pathfinder is up til now only a complete system if you copy the size and weight table from 3.5 and stick it into your Bestiary. If you have a 3.5 corebook at home.

Would be nice if Paizo offered a size, scale and weight table for download.

Sovereign Court

The gargoyle from the PFRPG Bestiary was the first to see entry into this Monday's game. It was a pleasure having new art, and easy combat maneuver bonus/defense calculations, along with excellent description. Gotta use a gargyle in October, I figured, and it kept the players guessing during combat whether it was using stoneskin, whether it was made of stone, or if it was something new. Ah... the age of fantasy rpg game excitement has thrived! Love the bestiary, and the easy to understand universal monster rules. Can't wait for Bestiary II ;)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I'm beginning to wonder if I didn't change my shipping settings correctly as it's Wednesday and still no e-mail.

Dark Archive

Got mine a while ago, super happy about it. I'm curious about one thing (though by no means a critique)

Why make the Rust Monster more roachlike? That really hit my entemophobic wife pretty hard. (that bug being her 'favorite' trigger)

It went from comic to triggery, and I'm rather curious about the decision there.

Dark Archive

Matthew Morris wrote:
I'm beginning to wonder if I didn't change my shipping settings correctly as it's Wednesday and still no e-mail.

Me neither man. Today's the day, though! (I remember saying that a week ago :P)


Hey,
Anyone know of a quick way to get information on monsters from the PRD as a text file or a stat block (other than copy and pasting)?
Thanks,


I'm wondering if there could be a seperate PDF for the creature art? I like showing my group just what the monster they are up against looks like, but dont like to have to use the book to do so.

Contributor

rulandor wrote:
Would be nice if Paizo offered a size, scale and weight table for download.

Please clarify what you mean by a "size, scale, and weight" table.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Vanulf Wulfson wrote:
I'm wondering if there could be a seperate PDF for the creature art? I like showing my group just what the monster they are up against looks like, but dont like to have to use the book to do so.

If you have the pdf, you can use Adobe Reader 8 or earlier to extract the images. Adobe Reader 9 no longer has this functionality. I think that's as good as you're going to get, though, unless Paizo releases monster cards like they're doing with the face cards line. The art in a book is one of the most expensive parts, and past requests for art downloads have been denied. That said, you may check the blog over the last few months, as lots of monster previews showed up there.

Dark Archive

yoda8myhead wrote:
If you have the pdf, you can use Adobe Reader 8 or earlier to extract the images. Adobe Reader 9 no longer has this functionality.

Do you mean in general or just with Paizo products? I just tried extracting images from a Paizo PDF and a Wizards of the Coast PDF. It didn't work with the Paizo PDF, as you said, but it did work with the Wizards of the Coast PDF.


Sean K Reynolds wrote:


Please clarify what you mean by a "size, scale, and weight" table.

No problem. I mean something like table 7-1 on p. 314 in the 3.5 Monster Manual, giving the size categories, followed by several game stat modifiers for each category and then each size category's Dimension, Weight, Space and Reach.


Quick question (hopefully) about the list of attacks for the monsters. IIRC the old 3.5 MM listed standard attacks and full attacks separately? Pardon me if that's not the case, as I don't have my books at hand. The new Bestiary just lists attacks, and does not specify standard versus full. Is that right, or am I missing it? Thanks!

Dark Archive

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
rulandor wrote:
Would be nice if Paizo offered a size, scale and weight table for download.
Please clarify what you mean by a "size, scale, and weight" table.

I think he means a table that would include all three factors for all the monsters... or maybe an art piece that depicts examples of various monsters of different sizes in comparison to human (medium size) plus simple averages for weight (i.e. 'Large - 1000 lbs.', 'Colossal - 20000 lbs.', etc.)?

I don't know... I thought Bestiary listed size and weight for all the creatures? And if something is, say, 90' tall, I can always show how it relates to a mini (although I would think my players would have a pretty good image how tall that being is).

Contributor

rulandor wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:


Please clarify what you mean by a "size, scale, and weight" table.

No problem. I mean something like table 7-1 on p. 314 in the 3.5 Monster Manual, giving the size categories, followed by several game stat modifiers for each category and then each size category's Dimension, Weight, Space and Reach.

Ah. Well, the Creature Size and Scale table on page 195 of the Core Rulebook covers some of that, but I can see the utility of having it all in one table like that (page 149 of the 3.5 PH was a frequent stop for me just for that reason).

Dosgamer wrote:
Quick question (hopefully) about the list of attacks for the monsters. IIRC the old 3.5 MM listed standard attacks and full attacks separately? Pardon me if that's not the case, as I don't have my books at hand. The new Bestiary just lists attacks, and does not specify standard versus full. Is that right, or am I missing it? Thanks!

The rules for primary and secondary attacks changed a bit in Pathfinder as compared to 3.5, so it really doesn't matter in what order the creature makes its attacks. Thus, if it just gets to make one attack (say, if it moves and attacks), pick any one attack listed. In other words, we're saving a line (and not making a decision for you) by just listing the complete set of attacks; in some circumstances a dragon might use a claw attack if it only had one attack that round, in others it might use its bite.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dosgamer wrote:
Quick question (hopefully) about the list of attacks for the monsters. IIRC the old 3.5 MM listed standard attacks and full attacks separately? Pardon me if that's not the case, as I don't have my books at hand. The new Bestiary just lists attacks, and does not specify standard versus full. Is that right, or am I missing it? Thanks!

Since primary and secondary attacks are now a value of each form of natural attack and have nothing to do with when in a full attack action they occur, we can simply list all of a monster's melee attacks in one line. If a monster makes a full attack action it can attack with all the weapons listed. If he makes a standard attack, he picks any one of those and makes that single attack. No need to list separately these attacks, in other words. Doing so lets us save a line of text, which is pretty important for saving space!

Dark Archive

I think the interweb ate my last post.

Anyways I was a bit surprised when I noticed their was no Banshee in the book. First monster I have been really surprised that was not included.

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