Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 2 (OGL)

4.30/5 (based on 17 ratings)
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

Errata
Last Updated - 7/16/2012

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4.30/5 (based on 17 ratings)

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A worthy addition to the Pathfinder RPG line!

5/5

I just got thru browsing most of this book, and here is my review:

The Good:
The art is top notch as usual! It seems like Paizo continues to make great "coffee table" books that tempt unsuspecting readers into the world of traditional RPGs.

Ton of monsters! While the pickings for previous D20 material are obviously slimmer this time around, this didn't stop Paizo from coming up with plenty of their own inventions that are worthy to stand with the great legacy creatures we know and love.

Hardcover! Please don't let this die off, even if it is easier to just release PDFs or softcovers. Hardcover books are always worth the effort.

Excellent Value! Adjusted for inflation, $39.99 is still a fair price for an excellent book. For those who are in a tight spot, $9.99 for the PDF is completely worth it (though I suspect this is just a Trojan Horse to reel in unsuspecting customers.)

The Bad:
There isn't anything truly bad about the book. All I could come up with were a few nit pickings.

One concern I had was that the book was a little to tilted toward extraplaner creatures, though I do understand that one of the goals was to provide better coverage of outer-planner cosmology.

The book also seemed a little too crammed. While lots of creatures is always popular, I personally think that two-sided creature sheets would have allowed us to spend more time with the creatures we do get, plus double-sided printouts always look better if you are a fan of the Bestiary Binder of Doom!

Despite any of the minor issues this book proves that Paizo continues to carry the D20 torch, with both excellent quality and value.


Killer book. Just what a bestiary should be

5/5

Well the long wait is over. Has it been worth it? As Stone cold says – hell yeah! This is a fantastic addition to the Pathfinder stables. On the plus side: Monsters galore! This book offers a huge variety of monsters over a huge range of challenge ratings. Hundreds of monsters, ranging across every type and subtype on offer.

Abberations - 18, from the revamped and eager to use decapus to the brilliant ner-thalggu who answers all your brain gobbling dreams.

Constructs - 9, from the magnificent alchemical golem (bombs away!) to the reintroduced necrophidius.

Outsiders? More than I care to count, as the previous reviewer says there seems to be a focus on outsiders, but these are really well done. Personally I like the Aeon (N keepers of balance with a twist), the Qlippoth and the, now awesome Daemons – which I really need to find space for in my Kingmaker campaign, they are really well done.

5 new true dragons (6 with Jabberwock) and 4 drakes (degernerate dragons).

4 new elementals, and And the list goes on - If there is a type of subtype it is here. Quite a few creatures are redone classics from older sources (gray render, acheraiai, hellcat, crypt thing and 3 really awesomely drawn and conceptualised nightshades - nightwalker, crawler and wing), others are updated from adventure path and module bestiaries (aurumvorax, gug, rune giantm taiga) but there are so many adventure inspiring new ones in this collection as well (try the new nightshade, for example - the nightwave. And you think the movie Jaws put people off going in the water!).

As for CR, the monsters here range from the lowly ½ up to the lofty heights of 23 (although only 11 reach CR 20+, and these are mainly outsiders – except a few which are a plant (the great and terrifying Mu spore) an undead (a templated dragon similar to the dracolich)and a dragon (yeah but its the Jabberwock so it's not just a dragon!). And sure most are CR 10 or less but there are still however a huge number in the Cr 13+ area.

You also get a few race options that seem to be fine for those who like to play their monster characters - dhampir (not the bakes treat from my home land but the vampire half breed), fetchlings, gripli (very cool frog man), ifrit (not efreet but an efreet half breed), oread (half breed earth elemental), sylph (play a fey, yay, undine (rounding out the elemental half breeds with water)to name but a few (although that may be all of them). Now I personally don't encourage this but the option is there (and so many of them).

Oh, and there's also a few familiars and companions - the brownie (yay!), allosaurus, tylosaurus (go the dinosaur companions), the gar (yep a fish), the ram, hippo, 4 megafauna (giant rhino, turtle, elk and sloth), rays, the arbiter inevitable (very modron like familiar!) and more.

In terms of presentation Paizo maintain the A+ standard. Monsters are 1 page for the most part which makes referencing and using easier, as well as printing from your PDF if you just want that one monster for your session. The art is absolutely fantastic in 90% of cases – and since art tends to be a deal breaker for monster books this is a good thing. Many creatures are recycled art (somewhere around 30), but at least these were, for me, good/great art pieces. Only a handful fall short of the mark in my mind –some like blink dog and bodak not by much; others like the mithral golem, zelekhut, kelpie, imentesh krenshar and primates by a fair bit, especially the last two. But then art is very individual so I’m sure others will like these more than me. And given there are over 300 this is damned good. Some pieces such as the demons/devils/daemons, gremlins to name a few are really evocative and well done. My favourite would have to be the Brownie - although I now see them in arather more sinister light because of this.

Errors – none that really stand out (I haven’t crunched the numbers though since this doesn’t really concern me) except the two odd references already mentioned by the previous reviewer.
All in all this is a book guaranteed to please. Well thought out creatures with huge variety – what more could you need, well apart from Bestiary 3 of course.


Man, That's a Lot of Monsters

5/5

After much eager waiting, the Bestiary 2 is finally upon us. How does it stack up?

The Good: Like the title says, there's a lot of monsters on display here. The focus of the book definitely seems to be on the planes, giving us more favorites like demons, devils and angels, bringing back the inevitables and daemons, and giving us a glimpse at the mysterious aeons. In addition, there's quite a few ungrouped planar monsters, some of which are from the Tome of Horrors (gloomwings and tenebrous worms return), some have been statted or mentioned in other Paizo products (the kyoti and sceaduinar) and some of which are brand new (the four elemental PC-race-ish humanoids, the ifrit, oread, sylph and undine). Many of the monsters, planar and not, are above CR 10.

Beyond the planar focus, a lot of the monsters are bringing old favorites into the Pathfinder rules set from 3.5. A host of critters from the Monster Manual, Tome of Horrors and a variety of Adventure Path bestiaries get stats, as do a few creatures that have only been name dropped before, like Richard Pett's twisted Tane. Yes, the Tane appear here, as high level abominations eager to wreak havoc on countries and PCs alike.

The monsters that have been updated have all been done so with finesse, stripping them down in some cases to fit on a single page, but with a keen eye for consistency and care taken to flavor. Even when a monster's stat block leaves only a small paragraph, it's invested with at least what the monster's role in the world is and how it might be encountered. More fortunate monsters get several rich paragraphs on anatomy, history and juicy plot hooks.

Almost all of the art is fantastic. There's a wide variety of styles at play, to be expected of a workload of this size, and there's a very nice array of new pieces to go with the re-used art from previous products. I'm especially fond of the daemon portraits.

The Bad: Like just about all stat-block heavy books, a few errors have crept in. Mostly it's inconsistencies and relics of past drafts, and they're decidedly few and far between. The crystal dragon, for example, is LN in its overview stat-block, but each individual stat-block is CG. The totenmaske refers to abilities that it lost in between its original appearance in Pathfinder 3 and the Bestiary 2, and the imentesh's flavor text still refers to a telepathic aura that corrupts the weak-willed that its stat-block has never actually had.

The Nit-Picky: There's two pieces of art that I just can't stand. The weretiger and the neried art were recycled from a previous product, I didn't like the art then and I still don't like it. But art is, of course, subjective to a degree.

I also don't get why the xarcaba isn't found among the demons. It was a demon in its original appearance. It still has demonic resistances and can summon demons. But it got bumped back to the Xs. Not a big deal, but a bit puzzling.

The Last Word: I really liked the Bestiary 1, being a Pathfinder fan and a sucker for monster books. I think I like Bestiary 2 more. The art's better, the monsters are more exotic, and it's just a darn good time.


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Chris Lambertz wrote:
Heya, products after our initial 2 releases (with the exception of some special hardcovers) do not have inline hyperlinks because they are just too unwieldy to maintain internally (especially if we were to attempt hyperlinking between different books).

Sorry for tardy response. Life got "interesting" in the chinese proverbial sense.

Thanks for the reply. I can understand that. Shame though. The links make the PDFs super friendly in-game when e.g. summoners get busy.

Oh well. Thanks again for your time.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Does anybody know why a twigjack has agile maneuvers? Its already tiny, so it can already use its Dex for CMB.

Dark Archive

So I know a lot of people wonder why some magical beasts are, well, magical despite being essentially fantastic but otherwise normal animals. Well, related to this, I'm wondering, why are gryphs neutral evil? They have int 2, so they are animal level intelligent. Animals usually don't have anything besides neutral alignment

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Because they are consistently, across all editions of D&D, Neutral Evil with animal intelligence, so I guess Paizo assumed that the amount of people who would be surprised that Gryphs are suddenly not evil and/or intelligent will be higher than the amount of people who wonder why they are. As to why they were done so in 1981 Fiend Folio, I guess you're out of luck, since as far as I recall, the editor of FF has passed away in 2003.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Skeletons have consistently been mindless and evil. As have various inanimate objects (e.g. Unholy Water or a Black Robe of the Archmagi).

Thus, I don't see any reason to assume an intelligence requirement on 'evil'. That isn't, and has never been, how evil works in the game.

Dark Archive

Gorbacz wrote:
Because they are consistently, across all editions of D&D, Neutral Evil with animal intelligence, so I guess Paizo assumed that the amount of people who would be surprised that Gryphs are suddenly not evil and/or intelligent will be higher than the amount of people who wonder why they are. As to why they were done so in 1981 Fiend Folio, I guess you're out of luck, since as far as I recall, the editor of FF has passed away in 2003.

Well, I guess that explains it, still confused about what exactly makes them naturally evil since as animals they can't choose it and nothing in their bestiary page says why they would be inherently evil(undead are normally inherently evil, non evil undead are more of exception) .-.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Because they are consistently, across all editions of D&D, Neutral Evil with animal intelligence, so I guess Paizo assumed that the amount of people who would be surprised that Gryphs are suddenly not evil and/or intelligent will be higher than the amount of people who wonder why they are. As to why they were done so in 1981 Fiend Folio, I guess you're out of luck, since as far as I recall, the editor of FF has passed away in 2003.
Well, I guess that explains it, still confused about what exactly makes them naturally evil since as animals they can't choose it and nothing in their bestiary page says why they would be inherently evil(undead are normally inherently evil, non evil undead are more of exception) .-.

Zoogs are CE with Int 5, Chimeras are CE with Int 4, there's whole bunch of "really dumb but still Evil" magical beasts out there. Gryphs are just the dumbest of them all.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Point of fact: ducks are a!@!$~$s.

Maybe Gryphs are as well.

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