Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations (PFRPG)

4.70/5 (based on 9 ratings)
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Book of Beasts: Monster of the River Nations describes new fierce and fantastic denizens of the Lands of Low Character. This volume teems with never-before-seen magical beasts, capricious fey, tormented undead and vicious plant creatures. Bring new life and peril to your adventures.

Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations is a 32-page, fully Pathfinder Roleplaying Game-Compatible supplement containing twenty-four brand-new monsters, several pre-statted-out humanoid encounters, new diseases, templates, haunts, drugs and gambling games.

Written by 2013 RPG Superstar™ Steven Helt!

RPG Superstar is a trademark of Paizo Publishing, LLC.

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4.70/5 (based on 9 ratings)

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Don't let your kids jump into that leaves pile!

4/5

When I was made aware that the first printing provided to Paizo was sold out, I paid attention for the next round and when I saw that a print+PDF bundle was just under $9, the pricing for this was a clincher!

Of course it helps that the subtitle to this release is a wink and nod to a recently completed Paizo adventure path, but it does provide additional beasties to mix things up if you're the type of GM that wants to go off the beaten path and catch your PCs off guard - toss a little more sand into their faces in an AP that was advertised to be a sandbox in the first place!

Twenty new monsters (twenty four, if you're counting four more that are essentially templates) to choose from. Creatures that caught my attention were the Autumn Death (don't ever jump into that pile of raked leaves again!) & the Garmunchi, which gives you a monsterous tribal race that will confuse your PCs into thinking it may first be a troll or an ogre by appearances alone.

In addition to the new creatures, it's the appendix that really sells the product with the humanoid encounters (to assist in your sandboxing) and a new gambling game to introduce to your PCs!


Much better than I expected

5/5

First let me say I love monsters.

I was extremely happy with the selection presented in Book of Beasts Monsters of the River Nations. Every entry was fun to read, and amazingly I could find a use for just about every entry in the book.

CRs range from 1/2 to 16 with oozes, plants, demons, dragons, fey, undead etc etc etc. There are new quick and easy templates that I thought were creative. Diseases that I can find immediate uses for. There are even new haunts!

But my FAVORITE part was the humanoid encounters. The Cursed Brethren made me laugh and wring my hands in sadistic glee.

There is something for everyone here. A MUST buy.


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Jon Brazer Enterprises

Less than a week old and the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations has its second 5 star review. I just want to thank Krome and Kadeity for taking the time to review. I am very glad you both enjoyed the book so much.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

I found out yesterday morning that 179 of the 200 copies we printed off have been shipped from the warehouse to distributors. I've got a few reports of distributors already running out. If you are looking into getting a physical copy, you might want pick it up before supplies run out.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

DMcCoy1693 wrote:
I found out yesterday morning that 179 of the 200 copies we printed off have been shipped from the warehouse to distributors. I've got a few reports of distributors already running out. If you are looking into getting a physical copy, you might want pick it up before supplies run out.

Orderd mine from here the other day and already got my shipping notice. 2 weeks and it's mine... :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
DMcCoy1693 wrote:
I found out yesterday morning that 179 of the 200 copies we printed off have been shipped from the warehouse to distributors. I've got a few reports of distributors already running out. If you are looking into getting a physical copy, you might want pick it up before supplies run out.

Backordererd already. :-(

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Paul Watson wrote:
Backordererd already. :-(

Damn... I must have snagged one of the last ones! I feel so lucky. :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
flash_cxxi wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Backordererd already. :-(
Damn... I must have snagged one of the last ones! I feel so lucky. :)

This. Is. Not. Helping!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Paul Watson wrote:
flash_cxxi wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Backordererd already. :-(
Damn... I must have snagged one of the last ones! I feel so lucky. :)
This. Is. Not. Helping!

Sorry. I feel for ya though. :(

Jon Brazer Enterprises

The good news is that we are going to be doing another print run. :) I spent most of the weekend working out the details and I'll keep everyone posted as to when they can expect to see more copies showing up.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

xidoraven wrote:

Very cool. Are monster books the way of the future for JBE? Best wishes,

-will

This is was first posted, I had a vague idea that the Book of Beasts would do well, but I didn't know for sure. Since then, the response has been overwhelming. I mean literally, my best case scenarios that I was anticipating were nothing close to what actually happened. We're dangerously close to selling out of 6 month supply in less than a month. Reprints should be available in a 2-3 weeks.

So to answer your question xidoraven, JBE has decided to move forward with Book of Beasts 2. We're not quite ready to talk about it yet, but we will be in a month or so from now. And we're formulating plans for #3.


DMcCoy1693 wrote:
The good news is that we are going to be doing another print run. :) I spent most of the weekend working out the details and I'll keep everyone posted as to when they can expect to see more copies showing up.

Thanks! I will be picking up a print copy as soon as I am able to.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

I am very excited about this. Two great reviews, Top 10 in .pdf downloads, and a second print run!

As soon as I find out where the best place is, I'll start a thread for discussion about the book, including ideas, what my experience was like as a new free-lancer, and hopefully a lengthy obituary with fun stories of characters death rolled or turned into silver!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Alrighty....Come here to talk about how I killed you, ask about the experience of writing one of your first books, or smell that new book smell!

Sovereign Court

Raaaaaaahhhhhh !

Mine went into backorder ..... Curses !

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Stereofm wrote:

Raaaaaaahhhhhh !

Mine went into backorder ..... Curses !

Sorry about that. We're working as fast as we can to get more printed. I'll post an update as soon as I have it.


One of the reviews referred to the Addanc as having a weird name... the Addanc is Welsh (it's a dialect word for beaver that was also use to mean lake monster). Peredur (Perceval) fought one at Llyn Farfog, the "Bearded Lake".
Crocodile-Beaver sounds about right. I haven't picked this up but the inclusion of the Addanc makes it likely I will.


DMcCoy1693 wrote:
Stereofm wrote:

Raaaaaaahhhhhh !

Mine went into backorder ..... Curses !

Sorry about that. We're working as fast as we can to get more printed. I'll post an update as soon as I have it.

~cracks the whip~ Get to work, slave! We expect results! ~cracks the whip again~

~grins~

Jon Brazer Enterprises

I got an email earlier today saying the reprints will be done tomorrow. Considering that Labor Day is coming up, I'd guess (and this is my barely educated guess) that the reprints will be available Sept 15-ish.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Jeff de luna wrote:
One of the reviews referred to the Addanc as having a weird name...

Yeah I thought that was a little strange. I appreciate the review, but I find my self wondering if addanc is any stranger a name than cyclops or aboleth. And it's a mythological creature, to boot.

When I playtested the addanc, my poor Rokugan party suffered. We had a great roleplaying scene about what some would do to defend the others if they got into trouble, since a coupls of samurai kept looking for reasons NOT to get into the water. :}

Jon Brazer Enterprises

The Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations is featured on Know Direction 15. Give it a listen.


great book, great artwork, i'm one of those unfortunate players in steve's game. Got myself grappled and pulled under the water. It was...well...awful...great scene but my booty almost died....poor grandfather...

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Don't sweat it, man! You'll probably die tonight!

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Yeah, Paizo got more copies of Monsters of the River Nations in.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

A 4th review!

Dark Archive

DMcCoy1693 wrote:
I got an email earlier today saying the reprints will be done tomorrow. Considering that Labor Day is coming up, I'd guess (and this is my barely educated guess) that the reprints will be available Sept 15-ish.

Will it be available for order from one's FLGS?

Jon Brazer Enterprises

joela wrote:
Will it be available for order from one's FLGS?

Yep. Reprints are in and distributors should have plenty of copies. Your FLGS should be able to order it with little to no problem.

Dark Archive

DMcCoy1693 wrote:
joela wrote:
Will it be available for order from one's FLGS?
Yep. Reprints are in and distributors should have plenty of copies. Your FLGS should be able to order it with little to no problem.

Coolio. Thanks.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

DMcCoy1693 wrote:
joela wrote:
Will it be available for order from one's FLGS?
Yep. Reprints are in and distributors should have plenty of copies. Your FLGS should be able to order it with little to no problem.

Alliance Games, the biggest distributor in the industry, currently has stock in only one of their four warehouses; since many retailers order from a single warehouse to save on shipping, some retailers may wait until their preferred warehouse has stock. (At this point, you're more likely to have success on the east coast than on the west.)

Dark Archive

Vic Wertz wrote:
DMcCoy1693 wrote:
joela wrote:
Will it be available for order from one's FLGS?
Yep. Reprints are in and distributors should have plenty of copies. Your FLGS should be able to order it with little to no problem.

Alliance Games, the biggest distributor in the industry, currently has stock in only one of their four warehouses; since many retailers order from a single warehouse to save on shipping, some retailers may wait until their preferred warehouse has stock. (At this point, you're more likely to have success on the east coast than on the west.)

Thanks, Vic. I'll discuss it with my FLGS. I do a lot a lot of special orders with them.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Vic Wertz wrote:
Alliance Games, the biggest distributor in the industry, currently has stock in only one of their four warehouses; since many retailers order from a single warehouse to save on shipping, some retailers may wait until their preferred warehouse has stock. (At this point, you're more likely to have success on the east coast than on the west.)

Thanks Vic. Then the reprints should be hitting distributors shortly. The second wave of the reprints arrived at the warehouse last week and started going out to distributors shortly thereafter. The first wave of "reprints" really was all the copies I had onhand sent onto the warehouse in an attempt to stem the tide of backorders. I even sent out my own personal copy to go out into distribution.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

A Third 5 Star Review! This response to this is really overwhelming. I am really glad everyone is enjoying the book as much as they are.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

The Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations will be going into its 3rd printing soon.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

With the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations 3rd printing coming soon, we have uploaded to Paizo an updated PDF file with all the changes incorporated.

Remember, if you buy the print, you always get the PDF for free.

Dark Archive

Well added this to my list of things to buy aka cart. When I get around to buying the PDF, likely after the holidays. I will eventually put up a review of it.

Liberty's Edge

New review up. Good product. :)

Jon Brazer Enterprises

The Shining Fool wrote:
New review up. Good product. :)

I really appreciate the review. Thank you.

Dark Archive

Boy End you just go crazy when you review stuff. Nothing for awhile then a bunch all at once. Glad to see you being active again.


I'll be doing more after the holidays. :)
Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Dark Archive

Reviewed, here and at ENworld.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

EZG and DM, I am really glad you two enjoyed the book so much. Thank you for your reviews.


You're welcome! And thanks for publishing this nice book!


Kingmaker spoilers ahead

Hargulka almost TPKed our party and due to our house rule regarding starting level for new characters in an existing party the APL is a bit too low for VV.

So I created a small series of connected encounters. Perfect time for the critters from the BoB!

The PCs kingdom was damaged by flooding during one of the last event phases, so two riverswell spirits formed a tough first encounter and the plot-hook.

Following the clues to what caused the flood, the PCs found their way into an inn on the ford over the Thorn River. Where they found more clues and met old friends.

I always wanted to use the hydrus in our campaign, but I guess they are not really a challenge for an APL 6-party. So I had them preying on the woodcutters from RRR, which the party befriended and "adventured" with during the hunt on the Hodag. The challenge was to heal the wounded lumberjacks while killing the hydruses (?) at the same time.

As the PCs will discover in the next session, the rumors about the "water demon" relate in fact to an addanc which was (in part) responisble for the flood.

The riverswell spirits were really, really tough for its Drowning Touch ability. I expected a party with an undead "specialized" cleric would fare better, but the ghosts dropped all four PCs in no time. Was I right to let the PCs drown as soon as one failed their saving throw as in starting right here:

PRD wrote:
When the character finally fails her Constitution check, she begins to drown. In the first round, she falls unconscious (0 hp). In the following round, she drops to –1 hit points and is dying. In the third round, she drowns.

?

They just survived the encounter because they fought on the doorstep of a temple dedicated to Pharasma at the shore of the lake. The entire priesthood (minus the high priest - the PC cleric) fought back the remaining spirit and saved the rulers lives.

Despite this tough start everybody had real fun due to the atmospheric monsters and their unique abilities!

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Aureus wrote:


Despite this tough start everybody had real fun due to the atmospheric monsters and their unique abilities!

I'm really glad your and your players really enjoyed these monsters. I hope they're a real enhancement to your game. Thank you for sharing your experience with them.


BTW I also used a garmunchi in our game. As we play in German I wondered how the name came into being. Is it composed of "gar" as the fish and "munchi" from "munch" / noisy chewing or from another background?

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Aureus wrote:
BTW I also used a garmunchi in our game. As we play in German I wondered how the name came into being. Is it composed of "gar" as the fish and "munchi" from "munch" / noisy chewing or from another background?

The author, Steven Helt, will have to answer that one. He came up with the name.


I was still hoping for a reply from Steven, but I cannot wait any longer. :D Is there a way I can contact him? He doesn't seem to have his email in his profile... Thank you!

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Aureus wrote:
I was still hoping for a reply from Steven, but I cannot wait any longer. :D Is there a way I can contact him? He doesn't seem to have his email in his profile... Thank you!

I'll send him another email.


Thank you!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Aureus: I am grateful you've enjoyed the book. You have really captured what I envisioned for the riverswell spirits, and your use of the hydrus really brings out that post-flood fauna feel, snakes in the cistern and alligators in the streets and all that.

The garmunchi are loosely based on the myth of the armouchiquois in Native American mythology. They were tal and thin, with elongated arms and legs and mighty despite their skeletal appearance. In the Indian legends, they had very small heads. I wanted them to be sort of feral humans with a mysterious origin - maybe the rotten Worldwound if you paly Kingmaker in the Pathfinder setting, maybe a different background if you are using the River Nations material or fro somewhere else.

All in all I liked the way they turned out. As for their final name, I believe I submitted them as the 'garmouchi' originally. The idea was that the River Nations setting is not very Native MAerican in appeal, so I wanted to add harder consonants to the name and give them a French-Germanic feel.

So glad you folks are enjoying the book! Write to your favorite publishers and tell them to hire me! : }

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

Oh. I am known in Iron GM circles as ancientsensei. I can be emailed at that moniker at g mail dot com.


Steven T. Helt wrote:
Aureus: I am grateful you've enjoyed the book. You have really captured what I envisioned for the riverswell spirits, and your use of the hydrus really brings out that post-flood fauna feel, snakes in the cistern and alligators in the streets and all that.

Most of the critters in BoB make it very easy to use them this way. I can't approach every monster or creature in this way, but I guess this is totally right as so many different people play this game!

Steven T. Helt wrote:
The garmunchi are loosely based on the myth of the armouchiquois in Native American mythology. They were tal and thin, with elongated arms and legs and mighty despite their skeletal appearance. In the Indian legends, they had very small heads. I wanted them to be sort of feral humans with a mysterious origin - maybe the rotten Worldwound if you paly Kingmaker in the Pathfinder setting, maybe a different background if you are using the River Nations material or fro somewhere else.

Very cool! We are playing KM on Golarion, but I would have taken Koloran as an possible origin, not the Worldwound. (Although I REALLY like this region!!)

Steven T. Helt wrote:
All in all I liked the way they turned out. As for their final name, I believe I submitted them as the 'garmouchi' originally. The idea was that the River Nations setting is not very Native MAerican in appeal, so I wanted to add harder consonants to the name and give them a French-Germanic feel.

So the word garmunchi isn't based on "real" words, but created to sound like historical Earth inspiration?

Steven T. Helt wrote:
So glad you folks are enjoying the book! Write to your favorite publishers and tell them to hire me! : }

So glad I use material from guys I can talk or write to! Thank you for the reply, Steven!!

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