Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 2 (OGL)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 2 (OGL)
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Go beyond goblins with an army of fantasy's most fearsome foes! Bestiary 2 presents hundreds of different creatures for use in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Within this collection of creatures you'll find undead dragons and mischievous gremlins, shrieking banshees and unstoppable titans, the infamous jabberwock, and so much more! Yet not all these monsters need to be foes, as new breeds of otherworldly guardians, living shadows, and vampires all might take up adventure's call. In addition, new rules for customizing and advancing monsters and an expanded glossary of creature abilities ensure that you'll be prepared to challenge your heroes wherever adventure takes them!

The Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 2 is the second indispensable volume of monsters for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and serves as a companion to the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook and Pathfinder RPG Bestiary. 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 320-page Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 2 includes:

  • More than 300 different monsters
  • Creatures both new and familiar, drawing upon the best-known beasts of legend, literature, and Pathfinder RPG adventures
  • Challenges for any adventure and every level of play
  • Hosts of new templates and variants, including simple templates for on-the-fly creature customization
  • Numerous lists of monsters to aid in navigation, including lists by Challenge Rating, monster type, and habitat
  • New rules for creating and running high-level menaces
  • Expanded universal monster rules to simplify special attacks, defenses, and qualities
  • New familiars, animal companions, and other allies
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-268-5

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Last Updated - 7/16/2012

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My favorite book from Paizo.

5/5

This book so far has been my favorite purchase of ALL of my RPG books.
I don't know if I can explain the fervor I have for this book but I will try.

So first of all there is the cover, the ever feared Jabberwock(y) of Lewis Carroll legend. Having a tough SOB (CR23) on the cover is the best way to start things off I think. Lets me know im in for a ride with this book.

While the first Bestiary was the standard array of Monsters we have all come to know and love through years of them being reprinted for games the Bestiary 2 is where Paizo took off on its own with a whole slew of new monster and just general new ideas for monsters. A handful of new extraplanar monsters of various alignments were added such as The Aeons, Qlippoths and Daemons all have decently written history and offer a lot of inspiration for using them in games.

The two things I love best about this book are as follows.
One: New dragons, and not just more "coloured or metal" dragons, but a new type of dragon altogether: Primal Dragons. These bad boys have probably the best art in the whole book (magma, im looking at you) and they make for a nice change from the everyday.

Two: The art, while the art in Bestiary 1 is GOOD, its not near as sharp, crisp, and detailed as this book. The colours, the textures, the everything, all done very well. You will not be disappointed when looking through this book.


Great buy!

5/5

I really enjoyed the artwork and the monsters presented in this book, especially the Qlippoth! Must have for your pathfinder library!


Back to the Golden Age

5/5

Looking through the PDF of Bestiary 2, I find myself remembering the days in the 1980s when I'd sit in the back of the mall bookstore and leaf through the various gaming tomes I couldn't possibly buy all of.

Crystal Dragons, Aeons, and several others in this book remind of that golden era, when DMs had such a wide variety of unusual (and often new-age-y) creatures at their disposals, they couldn't possibly ever use them all.

Sure, some of the creatures are a little odd, but on the other hand, the vast variety will lead to some adventurer groups with a far different list of encountered monsters than the norm.

I personally can't wait to spring the Dullahan (aka Headless Horseman) and Animate Dream on my party!


Something does not add up...

3/5

Not as extensive as the first, yet the same price...

I do not mind the creatures in this book, but it does get less use than my other bestiary. However it still has the same problem as the first also. The use of generic rules for a creature type. For an actual hardcover book to be useful in a game (for creatures) you MUST be able to have all rules for the creature on the one page. The use of rules based on a type of creature that you need to leave the creatures page to reference is irritating and a waste of in game time.

Please fix this problem. I understand that constructs all have similarities but I need the rules on each constructs page to reference. Not have to skip to the end of the book to see if they have something relevant when they need it.


Cautiously recommended

4/5

I find some of the artwork choices dubious and some of the stat-blocks clearly don't hold up under close examination.
Also only about a third of the creature content is of current use/interest to me.

BUT, all that said, in a book this size at this price that third of content is the right side of value for money for me, and there's enough variety here in the creatures that I don't personally have much time for that I'm certain most of them will appeal to a fair portion of the audience amongst other readers. This is a follow-up bestiary - and like most such works it faces the challenge that most of the decent staples of fantasy have already been covered in an earlier work, inviting the editors to try and diversify to give everyone a bit of what they might want...

Warts and all this is a pretty spiffing book, and I would cautiously recommend it.
I give it a rating of four stars.


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Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

Aberzombie wrote:


And, of course, my broken record request....

** spoiler omitted **

That will be in the forthcoming "Undead Creatures Only Aberzombie Wants, Revisited".

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Aberzombie wrote:


- any chance for Neogi?

WotC IP.

Scarab Sages

Gorbacz wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:


- any chance for Neogi?
WotC IP.

That's what I figured, but couldn't remember.

Scarab Sages

taig wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:


And, of course, my broken record request....

** spoiler omitted **

That will be in the forthcoming "Undead Creatures Only Aberzombie Wants, Revisited".

Hey man! Don't project your hate and prejudice onto everybody else. I'm sure there are plenty of folks out there who to see new (or revised) undead.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Aberzombie wrote:
taig wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:


And, of course, my broken record request....

** spoiler omitted **

That will be in the forthcoming "Undead Creatures Only Aberzombie Wants, Revisited".

Hey man! Don't project your hate and prejudice onto everybody else. I'm sure there are plenty of folks out there who to see new (or revised) undead.

I second that! Ju Ju Zombies rock! I'd also ask for Yellow Musk Zombies, and more variant Liches...

RPG Superstar 2012

Aberzombie wrote:
taig wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:


And, of course, my broken record request....

** spoiler omitted **

That will be in the forthcoming "Undead Creatures Only Aberzombie Wants, Revisited".

Hey man! Don't project your hate and prejudice onto everybody else. I'm sure there are plenty of folks out there who to see new (or revised) undead.

You're right. I'm just bitter about the lack of al-mi'raj in a book.

Hug?


Larry Lichman wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
taig wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:


And, of course, my broken record request....

** spoiler omitted **

That will be in the forthcoming "Undead Creatures Only Aberzombie Wants, Revisited".

Hey man! Don't project your hate and prejudice onto everybody else. I'm sure there are plenty of folks out there who to see new (or revised) undead.
I second that! Ju Ju Zombies rock! I'd also ask for Yellow Musk Zombies, and more variant Liches...

Thirding. Ju Ju Zombies are a must, and the Yellow Musk Creeper/Zombie would be great.


Uh, guys, Bestiary pg. 285.

Yellow Musk Creeper!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

vagrant-poet wrote:
Uh, guys, Bestiary pg. 285....Yellow Musk Creeper!

And it includes a couple paragraphs on how to establish a Yellow Musk Zombie.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
NSpicer wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:
Uh, guys, Bestiary pg. 285....Yellow Musk Creeper!
And it includes a couple paragraphs on how to establish a Yellow Musk Zombie.

Yellow Musk Zombies deserve their own entry. This bigotry against zombies should cease! Zombies are (were) people too!

The Exchange

taig wrote:
You're right. I'm just bitter about the lack of al-mi'raj in a book.

If you're open to TOH conversions...

Al-mi'raj
Al-mi'raj, psionic

Lantern Lodge

James Jacobs wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
...am I right that Aeons are the paragon NN race ?
Yes.

What are Aeons, again? paragon NN race?? you lost me.

The Exchange

Larry Lichman wrote:
Yellow Musk Zombies deserve their own entry. This bigotry against zombies should cease! Zombies are (were) people too!

Your wish is our command.

Any other wishes? You have 2 left... consider carefully.. :)

The Exchange

ChrisRevocateur wrote:
Thirding. Ju Ju Zombies are a must, and the Yellow Musk Creeper/Zombie would be great.

Ju-Ju Zombies are in our queue :)

Sovereign Court

Well, clearly, bestiary 2 needs a bonnacon (or bonasus), Orsæan white ape, Indian monoceros, a tarandrus, and a leontophonus.

The Exchange

Gorbacz wrote:

Will the monsters from Bestiary II be added to the PRD ? I know that jreyst will add them to the pfsrd anyway, but it would be cool to have them all on the main PRD page :).

Thanks for keeping the OGL torch burning bright, folks!

I would be highly surprised if they were not added to the PRD.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
WhiteTiger wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
...am I right that Aeons are the paragon NN race ?
Yes.
What are Aeons, again? paragon NN race?? you lost me.

There's an iconic outsider race for each alignment:

LG: Archons
NG: Agathions
CG: Azata
LN: Axiomites
NN: Aeons
CN: Proteans
LE: Devils
NE: Daemons
CE: Demons

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
d20pfsrd.com wrote:
Larry Lichman wrote:
Yellow Musk Zombies deserve their own entry. This bigotry against zombies should cease! Zombies are (were) people too!

Your wish is our command.

Any other wishes? You have 2 left... consider carefully.. :)

If I had eyes, I would cry for joy.

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

d20pfsrd.com wrote:
taig wrote:
You're right. I'm just bitter about the lack of al-mi'raj in a book.

If you're open to TOH conversions...

Al-mi'raj
Al-mi'raj, psionic

Thank you kindly!

The Exchange

Larry Lichman wrote:
If I had eyes, I would cry for joy.
taig wrote:
Thank you kindly!

We aim to please :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Zaister wrote:
WhiteTiger wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
...am I right that Aeons are the paragon NN race ?
Yes.
What are Aeons, again? paragon NN race?? you lost me.

There's an iconic outsider race for each alignment:

LG: Archons
NG: Agathions
CG: Azata
LN: Axiomites
NN: Aeons
CN: Proteans
LE: Devils
NE: Daemons
CE: Demons

This isn't QUITE exact.

The LN planar race are the inevitables. The axiomites are still in there, but they're a single race, more like how the xills or the couatls or the salamanders work. The inevitables, on the other hand, are a full-on racial category of outsiders with racial traits and numerous different types, like devils and demons and the like.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

ALSO:

Bestiary 2 will be 100% open content. So even if we don't have the time to put it up on the PRD (we probably will), anyone else can certainly add it to their own version online.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Where in the Outer Planes do these Aeons pitch their tents? Right out in the Astral?

Also, are they typed "outsider (extraplanar, neutral)"?

The Exchange

James Jacobs wrote:

ALSO:

Bestiary 2 will be 100% open content. So even if we don't have the time to put it up on the PRD (we probably will), anyone else can certainly add it to their own version online.

Woot Woot! I'm there!


I knew pretty much every monster in Bestiary I so I didn't really miss the lack of details on ecology, organization, tactics etc. but since most of the monsters will be new will we still get pages whose layout is taken 40% by artwork, 50& by stats and 10% by 5 lines of description?

PS: as a note, I am totally in love with the Bestiary I and so far almost everything published by Paizo, but sometimes even the best need some words of criticism and blame to keep the standards high :)


Hooray! Hippogriffs!

I'm not really big on multiple monster books, though. Having to juggle lots of monster books during an adventure is one reason the MMII and Creature Collection almost never got opened during my 3.5 DMing days. It'll depend in large part on the selection of monsters and how enticing they are whether or not I can pry my wallet open for another book. Even if it does have my dear hippogriff hostage.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Beek Gwenders of Croodle wrote:

I knew pretty much every monster in Bestiary I so I didn't really miss the lack of details on ecology, organization, tactics etc. but since most of the monsters will be new will we still get pages whose layout is taken 40% by artwork, 50& by stats and 10% by 5 lines of description?

PS: as a note, I am totally in love with the Bestiary I and so far almost everything published by Paizo, but sometimes even the best need some words of criticism and blame to keep the standards high :)

The format will remain the same. We learned a lot about building a book this way with the first bestiary, so this one should have a bit better balance between stats and text. And to be fair, the majority of the monsters in Bestiary 1 DID have more than 5 lines of description. Most have one or two paragraphs, in fact. Quite a few had more than a column of text.

Contributor

James Jacobs wrote:

This isn't QUITE exact.

The LN planar race are the inevitables. The axiomites are still in there, but they're a single race, more like how the xills or the couatls or the salamanders work. The inevitables, on the other hand, are a full-on racial category of outsiders with racial traits and numerous different types, like devils and demons and the like.

Psst, cause I ran out of space to talk about them more. I'd love to detail different types of axiomites within their racial heirarchy, those making up the Godmind, etc. ;)

Contributor

And we need more types of daemons too. Can never have too many. :D

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

James Jacobs wrote:

ALSO:

Bestiary 2 will be 100% open content...

...except the art, and all that such stuff... just like the first Bestiary.


James Jacobs wrote:
Beek Gwenders of Croodle wrote:

I knew pretty much every monster in Bestiary I so I didn't really miss the lack of details on ecology, organization, tactics etc. but since most of the monsters will be new will we still get pages whose layout is taken 40% by artwork, 50& by stats and 10% by 5 lines of description?

PS: as a note, I am totally in love with the Bestiary I and so far almost everything published by Paizo, but sometimes even the best need some words of criticism and blame to keep the standards high :)

The format will remain the same. We learned a lot about building a book this way with the first bestiary, so this one should have a bit better balance between stats and text. And to be fair, the majority of the monsters in Bestiary 1 DID have more than 5 lines of description. Most have one or two paragraphs, in fact. Quite a few had more than a column of text.

Honestly, I would have liked to have at least a dozen or more paragraphs for every monster in the book that I don't know, and not just one or two (at best). They did a nice work one the latest D&D MM books, heck even in the 2E Monstrous Compendium, even if most of those monsters were really bad. Actually I won't mind at all if every single monster had a full page of specs and detail (and general tactics, and ecology, and customs, and dress and diet, and general hints on their place in Golarion etc.) AND a full page of artwork and stats. Compared to all the old monster manuals, I have the impression that the descriptive text is really scarce in the new bestiary. Yet it's probably just me. Then we have all those amazing "Revisited" (dungeon, classic horror, classic monsters) booklets, but that would be overkill to cover every single creature with that level of detail. I just would like some more.

That said, I am going to buy it anyway since I have subscribed to the product line - aehm.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Beek Gwenders of Croodle wrote:

Honestly, I would have liked to have at least a dozen or more paragraphs for every monster in the book that I don't know, and not just one or two (at best). They did a nice work one the latest D&D MM books, heck even in the 2E Monstrous Compendium, even if most of those monsters were really bad. Actually I won't mind at all if every single monster had a full page of specs and detail (and general tactics, and ecology, and customs, and dress and diet, and general hints on their place in Golarion etc.) AND a full page of artwork and stats. Compared to all the old monster manuals, I have the impression that the descriptive text is really scarce in the new bestiary. Yet it's probably just me. Then we have all those amazing "Revisited" (dungeon, classic horror, classic monsters) booklets, but that would be overkill to cover every single creature with that level of detail. I just would like some more.

That said, I am going to buy it anyway since I have subscribed to the product line - aehm.

A monster bestiary's not the place to get into that much detail though... we have plenty of other places where we can get really in depth on discussing monsters, be it in a Pathfinder AP or in one of our monsters revisited books (Which we do 2-3 a year of). The bestiary itself is supposed to primarily be a place where you go to get the rules for a monster, after all.

Compared to the 3rd edition monster manual, our Bestiary's flavor text IS comperable. It's easy to think it's not, since the 3E monster manuals (as well as those that came before in earlier editions) include the unusual special abilities and attacks of the monster in that flavor text. For Pathfinder, all of that rules content is in the stat block, leaving the flavor text with no other job than being flavor text.

Dark Archive

I'd agree with that James, though the one thing I miss is having the ability description for the common abilites/traits/subtypes within the monster write up. I love what you guys did, but I kind of wish I didn't have to flip to the back. I'm wondering if it would be too much to just add a page reference after the item, i.e. Undead (p309) or Swarm (p312)? That would help speed it up so you don't have to then search for your subject.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

dm4hire wrote:
I'd agree with that James, though the one thing I miss is having the ability description for the common abilites/traits/subtypes within the monster write up. I love what you guys did, but I kind of wish I didn't have to flip to the back. I'm wondering if it would be too much to just add a page reference after the item, i.e. Undead (p309) or Swarm (p312)? That would help speed it up so you don't have to then search for your subject.

I hear ya... but the good news is that the more you play the game, the easier it gets. You don't have to flip to the rogue writeup to find out how sneak attack works, or to the barbarian entry for rage really. By standardizing how things like swallow whole, breath weapons, constrict, and all the rest work, the more you use those monsters the easier they'll get to run.

We thought, at an early point in the Bestiary's life cycle, about writing a page number reference after all of the universal monster abilities, but in most cases the stat blocks are SO TIGHT that doing so would ruin layout. Especially for things like dragons, who are overly compact as it is. We DID put an index of the universal monster abilities in the back, though, so that should help.

And of course, if you're using the PDF or the PRD, everything's all hyperlinked so it's easier than ever if you game with a laptop or a computer nearby.

Dark Archive

dm4hire wrote:
I'd agree with that James, though the one thing I miss is having the ability description for the common abilites/traits/subtypes within the monster write up. I love what you guys did, but I kind of wish I didn't have to flip to the back. I'm wondering if it would be too much to just add a page reference after the item, i.e. Undead (p309) or Swarm (p312)? That would help speed it up so you don't have to then search for your subject.

Hmmm... I've been using the Bestiary so much that it's actually pretty quick and easy to find the abilities and subtypes and templates. In retrospect, I think Paizo did the right -- including the descriptions of these abilities, or even page references, would just take up more space.

Scarab Sages

Asgetrion wrote:
dm4hire wrote:
I'd agree with that James, though the one thing I miss is having the ability description for the common abilites/traits/subtypes within the monster write up. I love what you guys did, but I kind of wish I didn't have to flip to the back. I'm wondering if it would be too much to just add a page reference after the item, i.e. Undead (p309) or Swarm (p312)? That would help speed it up so you don't have to then search for your subject.
Hmmm... I've been using the Bestiary so much that it's actually pretty quick and easy to find the abilities and subtypes and templates. In retrospect, I think Paizo did the right -- including the descriptions of these abilities, or even page references, would just take up more space.

I just use a little Post-It page marker.


James Jacobs wrote:
Compared to the 3rd edition monster manual, our Bestiary's flavor text IS (edit)far superior(edit).

Fixed that for you James. The quality of the copy and the turn of phrase in the Bestiary is much more evocative. The Bestiary writers obviously read more fantasy and emulate the best authors. Give me the Bestiary hands down for flavor text (and the CRB for class descriptions too)

Dark Archive

Will wereboars, werebears, weretigers and werevipers be in this one?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

David Fryer wrote:
Will wereboars, werebears, weretigers and werevipers be in this one?

I believe we'll have entries for wereboars, werebears, and weretigers (thus having entries for ALL 5 lycanthropes that appeared in the original 1st edition MM) in Bestairy 2, but that's it. The thing's a template, though, so there's really not much preventing anyone from using that template to make any werecreatures they want right now.

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
The thing's a template, though, so there's really not much preventing anyone from using that template to make any werecreatures they want right now.

I know, but my hands begin to cramp up from writing that much. One last question, I promise. Can we expect to see more evil fey in Bestiary 2?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

David Fryer wrote:
One last question, I promise. Can we expect to see more evil fey in Bestiary 2?

By the seven-pointed star and the rampant moon, I hope so!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I can't wait for this one.


David Fryer wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The thing's a template, though, so there's really not much preventing anyone from using that template to make any werecreatures they want right now.
I know, but my hands begin to cramp up from writing that much. One last question, I promise. Can we expect to see more evil fey in Bestiary 2?

I'd honestly rather see a LOT more fey from folklore, which would probably mean a lot of CN ones. I get really tired of the made-up Evil Emo Fey like the 3.5e shadar-kai.

Dark Archive

I was just watching Life After People and realized just how awesome some form of giant Asian carp would be. It would need a different name of course.


David Fryer wrote:
I was just watching Life After People and realized just how awesome some form of giant Asian carp would be. It would need a different name of course.

Verme (1st ed. MMII).

Dark Archive

Kirth Gersen wrote:
David Fryer wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
The thing's a template, though, so there's really not much preventing anyone from using that template to make any werecreatures they want right now.
I know, but my hands begin to cramp up from writing that much. One last question, I promise. Can we expect to see more evil fey in Bestiary 2?
I'd honestly rather see a LOT more fey from folklore, which would probably mean a lot of CN ones. I get really tired of the made-up Evil Emo Fey like the 3.5e shadar-kai.

I was actually thinking more along the lines of redcaps and the Unseelie Court rather than Angsty the Emo Fey.


David Fryer wrote:
I was actually thinking more along the lines of redcaps and the Unseelie Court rather than Angsty the Emo Fey.

Right on! Down with Angsty.

Dark Archive

Now Angsty is sad that I stole his groove.


Jesus! Another one is coming. Now I know what I'll be getting in October. lol

Paizo Employee Creative Director

David Fryer wrote:
One last question, I promise. Can we expect to see more evil fey in Bestiary 2?

Yes. (although we're deliberately avoiding incorporating the Seelie and Unseelie into Pathfinder)

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