Bullet Points: 3 Simian Races (PFRPG) PDF

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Sometimes rules supplements read like the world-setting bible of frustrated novelists. Although solid world-building is a useful skill, you don’t always need four paragraphs of flavor text to tell you swords are cool, magic is power, shadows are scary, and orcs are savage. Sometimes a GM doesn’t have time to slog through a page of history for every magic weapon. Sometimes all that’s needed are a few cool ideas, with just enough information to use them in a game. Sometimes, all you need are bullet points.

#1 With A Bullet Point is a line of very short, cheap PDFs, and each one gives the bare bones of a set of related options. It might be five spells, six feats, eight magic weapon special abilities, or any other short set of related rules we can cram into about a page. Short and simple, these PDFs are for GMs and players who know how to integrate new ideas into their campaigns without any hand holding—they just need fresh ideas and the rules to support them. No in-character fiction setting the game world. No charts and tables. No sidebars of explanations and optional rules. Just one sentence of explanation for the High Concept of the PDF, then bullet points.

The High Concept: All the rules you need to add three new fantasy simian races to your campaign, in whatever capacity you want them.

The races included are:

  • The Mangani: a powerful race of gorilla-like warriors.
  • The Shift: an eldritch race of cunning ape-men who can take on human appearance.
  • The Wukong: a race of sentient, sapient monkeys with the power of speech and hands capable of fine manipulation.

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***** (based on 2 ratings)

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Yes...We Have No Bananas

*****

3 Simian Races gives us the standard format for the #1 With a Bullet Point, three pages consisting of a cover/intro page, the meat of the PDF, and the OGL.

The particular meat of this PDF is nothing short of prime steak. The Mangani honor Edgar Rice Burroughs, bringing his apes to the Pathfinder game setting with well balanced mechanics to explain their enhanced strength without leaving them over-powered.

Next up in this Simian feast are the Shift, my least favorite of the three, but still a solid addition. Those looking for shape shifting races will find plenty of potential in this race, although I think the limit of only human for an alternate form may be a little strict. I do like the idea of using the race as a way for the Gorilla king to keep tabs on the human courts surrounding his lands though...hhhmmmmm...

Which brings me to the third race, the Wukong...a most worthy homage to not only the Monkey King of legend, but to the overwhelming amount of intelligent "chimps" we've seen throughout stories for generations. The fact that the prehensile toes were remembered, nice touch, and a fair trade of how much usage they would actually give.

The two new feats round this out with excellent addition, giving us
Brachiate - Climb Speed
Prehensile Tail - balanced rules to make both PC's and GM's smile

Have already written up an encounter featuring a Wukong Witch Doctor and his Mangani guardians...have a feeling the fur is going to fly, and my PC's are going to learn to hate the jungles...


Monkeys!

*****

This is my first written review and it is about one of my favorite topics...Monkeys. The total page count was three pages with page two having the three races and two feats, last page being OGL and Credits.

Mangani
This gorilla like race is the toughest of the three with 2 physical bonuses and 2 mental penalties. Though it is not game breaking they are kind of driven to fighter types.

Shift
Ape-men shape shifters love the concept, the only problem I had is that their man form ability does not say whether or not they get just one human form or is it changeable much like disguise self. Other than that very playable.

Wukong
My favorite of the three I love the reference to the Monkey King in the race name. Between prehensile toes and the tail racial traits gave the race a lot of role play potential.

The feats were well balanced and fit with the three races listed.

My overall rating 5 stars I would love to see more races done like this.


Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

#1 With a Bullet Point: 3 Simian Races is available now! Rules for three races are presented: the gorilla-like Mangani warriors, the form-changing Shift, and the quick and cunning Wukong. We don't tell you how to use these races -- if they are good or evil, rare or ubiquitous, primitive savages or masters of advanced super science. We just give you rules and 2 feats these races of sapient simians, and let you decide how to use them best in your campaigns.


Sweet! Now for either a Wukong Clever Godling build, or I might build a Wukong Fighter (Youxia) build. My GM is going to kill me.
I love all three of these races and as always they get an auto approve with my group.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

And thanks to Realmwalker for the review!


Aperrific Awesomeness! Hope to see more!!


Mangani? Always great to see an Edgar Rice Burroughs reference.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Mangani? Always great to see an Edgar Rice Burroughs reference.

:D

I *believe* I have the most complete collection of Tarzan paperbacks in Oklahoma.


Just snagged this. Wasn't quite as impressed with the shift as with the mangani and (especially) the wukong (nothing concrete, they just didn't appeal to me that much), but definitely got my dollar's worth. :)

Also loving the references in the names. :D

One tiny quibble: are the wukong intended to be listed as having "slow speed" (20, as per halflings/gnomes) or as actually having "normal speed" (which would be 30) despite being size Small?


I believe it is meant to be normal speed for their size which would be 20 feet as per halfling an Gnomes, Goblins have fast speed 30 feet for their size.

Yeah we now have a Wukong Magus (Staff Magus) and a Mangani Monk (Curb Stomp Monk...Improved Trip Vicious Stomp combo.) In my play group this got lots of use :).


Realmwalker wrote:
I believe it is meant to be normal speed for their size which would be 20 feet as per halfling an Gnomes, Goblins have fast speed 30 feet for their size.

In my copy of the rulebook, gnomes and halflings are listed as "slow speed," which is defined as 20 feet. This is from the second print run; has that been changed since then?

My question as to wukong base speed has been answered anyway, so—as I stated—it's a very minor quibble.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Mangani? Always great to see an Edgar Rice Burroughs reference.

:D

I *believe* I have the most complete collection of Tarzan paperbacks in Oklahoma.

I bet that takes up most of a good-sized wall. Pity his stuff is almost unavailable these days! I can remember when you could find whole bookshelves groaning under the weight of Tarzan, John Carter, the Land that Time Forgot, David Innes of Pellucidar, the Venus series, and all those singleton books like "The Monster Men", with the most heroic Chinese cook ever seen in pulp fiction.

Sigh.


I notice that Mangani have dark-vision but not low-light vision. Is that an error or intentional?


Friday bump.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Twin Dragons wrote:
I notice that Mangani have dark-vision but not low-light vision. Is that an error or intentional?

Sorry, I missed this the first time.

Actually mangani do have low-light rather than darkvision. It's shift that have darkvision and not low-light, and that's an intentional design choice to help highlight the unusual nature of those shapeshifting ape-men.

At least that's what it says in my version. Is the final version different?


Damn, error on my side, I meant to say Shift not Mangani.

Thanks for the clarification.


Just rolled up my tribe of Mangani warriors led by their Wukong Shaman...can not wait to unleash them on my playgroup tomorrow.

Am fighting the urge to hunt down a list of Planet of the Apes quotes to drive them all bananas during game, yeah, I went there.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

KTFish7 wrote:

Just rolled up my tribe of Mangani warriors led by their Wukong Shaman...can not wait to unleash them on my playgroup tomorrow.

Am fighting the urge to hunt down a list of Planet of the Apes quotes to drive them all bananas during game, yeah, I went there.

Sounds like fun!

And, also, thanks for the wave of reviews!


Am planning on doing some more over the next few days, I thank you for taking the time to read them. Am wondering if you're ever going to reply to my email though sir? :)

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

I absolutely am! ... once my email settles down a bit. For some reason the email server and my home aren't playing nice and it takes forever to send or receive email, even though I can dance merrily around the internet to forums and news sites and... other... kinds of web addresses.

My internet and email have always been quirky (I sometimes have a terrible time sending or receiving files), and it usually settles down in a few days. Gimme a few and you should hear from me. :)


Very cool, I figured you were either swamped, or busy...on those...other pages...:D No hurry bud, was just poking fun in your direction.

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