Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 3 (OGL)

4.90/5 (based on 15 ratings)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 3 (OGL)

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Test your courage against the most infamous foes of myth and legend! Bestiary 3 presents hundreds of monsters for use in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Within this book you’ll find demiliches and demodands, grave knights and goblin snakes, norns and nephilim, imperial dragons and unfettered eidolons, and so much more! Yet not every creature needs to be an enemy, as winged garudas, crafty tanukis, and leonine lammasus all wait to join your party and answer the call of glory.

The Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 3 is the third 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 bestselling set of fantasy rules into the new millennium.

The Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 3 includes:

  • More than 300 different monsters
  • Classic terrors from myth and literature, from the frumious bandersnatch and the righteous valkyrie to the cunning dybbuk and elusive kappa
  • Hordes of new creatures you can construct, grow, or summon to aid your party in its adventures
  • New player-friendly races to let you adventure as canny ratfolk, genie-blooded sulis, and more
  • New familiars, animal companions, and other allies
  • Challenges for any adventure and every level of play
  • Some of the strangest and most beloved creatures from fantasy roleplaying history and the Pathfinder campaign setting
  • Hosts of new templates and variants
  • Appendices to aid in monster navigation, including lists by Challenge Rating, monster type, and habitat
  • Expanded universal monster rules to simplify special attacks, defenses, and qualities
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-378-1

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Last Updated - 11/10/2014

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A Major Contribution to the Game

5/5

The third bestiary of monsters for Pathfinder is chock-full of cool stuff. A few major themes for the book can be extracted: creatures from myth and literature (like sasquatches and valkyries), creatures with an Asian theme perfect for adventuring in Tian-Xia (such as kami and jiang-shi vampires), and the just plain really weird (like yithians and zoogs). As always with reviews of books like this, there's no way I can go through the hundreds of monsters individually, but I can say the writing and artwork is top-notch. Some particular things to note:

* The book has five new playable races: catfolk, ratfolk, suli, vanara, and vishkanya. There's always a demand for anthromorphic races like catfolk, and ratfolk later become prominent (under the name ysoki) in Starfinder. Suli don't do much for me and vishkanya are a race I've never seen played. But I do have to shout out to the monkey-like vanara, since a vanaran PC features prominently in my Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign!

* Several of the attempts from Misfit Monsters Redeemed to make goofy old monsters cool again are reprinted here, such as adherers and wolves-in-sheep's-clothing.

* Man, vulnudaemons are creepy.

* Love the artwork for animal lords--very Black Panther.

*The book introduces several new categories (sub-types) of monster: asuras (very cool concept I've never seen used), behemoths (creatures of divine vengeance on entire nations or worlds; a neat story idea), clockworks (a classic), demodands (titanspawn who hate the gods), divs (corrupted genies who strive for the ruin of all things made by mortals), imperial dragons (wingless, serpent-like dragons of Asian legend), kami (fixed-location nature spirits), kytons (creepy devils from the Plane of Shadows!), leshy (plant-like sentients), linnorms (cruel wingless dragons with a death curse), oni (evil spirits given form--the opposite of kami), rakshasa (drawn from Indian myth), sphinxes (with an interesting write-up), and thriaes (female bee-like seers). There's a real contribution to the richness of the game here, as all of these categories can then serve as the basis for rules-coherent variants introduced in later books.

All in all, Bestiary 3 is an excellent book and a smart purchase for a GM.


Another great addition to the Bestiary products

5/5

Reading through Bestiary 1 and 2, I was hoping that there will be even more eastern themed monsters. This Bestiary delivers just what I wanted! A must buy! Also, Flumph!!!


Best of the Bestiary

5/5

Bestiary 3 review is up on my blog.

This is probably my favorite of the Bestiaries so far, the content covers many iconic monsters from editions past, and stuff from the Adventure Paths. With great Asian flair for the Tian Xia world guide that is coming up, as well as many incredible monsters that have never graced the pages of a monster guide but are very welcome.


A great addition!

5/5

Although I'm generally opposed to the concept of core book "sequels," the content in 'Bestiary 3' is top notch. Whereas it took me some time to realize the usefulness of the monsters presented in 'Bestiary 2' (extraplanar/dimensional encounters rarely play a role in my campaigns), I immediately recognized many of the creatures in 'Bestiary 3' as either "iconic" or interesting variations on an established monster class.

As is to be expected, this book is well laid out and the illustrations are (mostly) top notch - Paizo rarely disappoints here! The Pathfinder Campaign Setting is still missing a few iconic monsters (mostly due to WotC's draconic licensing practices), but this volume (and the two which preceded it) gives GMs a huge variety of creatures to populate their encounters.

If I could make any suggestions for future 'Bestiary' volumes, the first would be to expand upon the lore provided - I realize it would likely halve the number of creatures included per book, but a two page spread (even for "simple" creatures like oozes) might help a GM find a place for a given creature within his campaign setting. Also, better illustrating a creature's size (perhaps even graphically) would be useful - general size classifications only go so far, and being able to see a silhouette of a given entry next to a human-sized creature would give both GMs and players a clear understanding of exactly how big a monster is (this was employed beautifully in an old FASA publication for Shadowrun: 'Paranormal Animals of North America' by Nigel Findley). Again, these are just suggestions on ways to improve an otherwise outstanding collection of Bestiaries. Keep up the good work!


Dodging the law of sequels

5/5

An excellent monster book, strong mythological presence (from various cultures). Probably even better than Bestiary 2. And it has the flumph! (this is a good thing, well its worth a page) If you're looking for a monster book for some critters outside of the real core you would well to pick this up.


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Liberty's Edge

Adam Daigle wrote:
Zahariel wrote:

I've looked over the thread but can't seem to find an answer to this question.

Does anyone know what the dead knight on the cover is? Could it possibly, somehow, in the name of Lunitari, be a Death Knight?

That, my friend, is a grave knight.

Aww ._.

Will we ever get a Death Knight? Has there been any official word on it?

Sovereign Court

Happy, happy, joy, joy!!!

Woot, woot, +1, +1...

Huzzah! Yay! I cannot wait.

Pax


The Grave Knight is the Pathfinder version of a Death knight.


Zahariel wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
Zahariel wrote:

I've looked over the thread but can't seem to find an answer to this question.

Does anyone know what the dead knight on the cover is? Could it possibly, somehow, in the name of Lunitari, be a Death Knight?

That, my friend, is a grave knight.

Aww ._.

Will we ever get a Death Knight? Has there been any official word on it?

Does a rose by any other name still smell as sweet?


I recently converted the 3.5 beholder to pathfinder and actually found the experience pretty easy and fun using the rules in the Bestiary.. Felt like a game designer myself! (more than usual as a DM)

Dark Archive

Zahariel wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
Zahariel wrote:

I've looked over the thread but can't seem to find an answer to this question.

Does anyone know what the dead knight on the cover is? Could it possibly, somehow, in the name of Lunitari, be a Death Knight?

That, my friend, is a grave knight.

Aww ._.

Will we ever get a Death Knight? Has there been any official word on it?

Death Knight is Wizards's IP. Hence graveknight fills the role instead.


Quote:
Please tell me that nutbunnies made it into the book.

LOL

Quote:
Nutbunnie Special Attacks nut crunch, double nut crunch

Okay, now you guys are just trying to get me to laugh myself to death!

Quote:
I recently converted the 3.5 beholder to pathfinder and actually found the experience pretty easy and fun using the rules in the Bestiary.

Jesus! Beholders? I hope they don't EVER come back. Those things are f'ing MONSTERS! Eye-stalk rays that cast disintegrate or flesh to stone PLUS an anti-magic cone effect from it's central eye! I can't COUNT the number of TIMES those things have devastated a party I was in!

Quote:
Even before Trogdor came along.

You best not be MOCKING the Burnerator James!

Quote:
Hence graveknight fills the role instead.

Plus the Graveknight is more Nazghoulish as well, what with it's unarmed parts being nothing but a dark void and all that jazz. ^_^


Quote:
Does a rose by any other name still smell as sweet?

Does a blue goose only fly at night? :P


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:

Also the Beholder, Displacer Beast, Githyanki, and Githzeri are intellectual properties as well.

Is the Ravid an intellectual property also?

Yeah; the Ravid's protected by an almost equally powerful force as Intellectual Property law... many of us at Paizo kinda think it's a silly looking and just plain silly monster. Even before Trogdor came along.

Sounds like a front runner for Misfit Monsters 2

Ravids - Servitor race for the Jyoti on the positive energy plane. However on the material plane their minds go a little crazy and they develope a God Complex using their animate ability to build their own cult of followers. Ravids are instantly hostile towards any religion that doesn't specifically worship it as the one and only true deity.

Ethereal Filcher - Give them a reason to filch. Servants of some greater force Filchers do not just mindlessly steal but instead are assigned very specific objects to acquire and that artifact the PCs just uncovered is on the list. What hidden force in the Ethereal Plane do the Filchers serve and what is all that stuff for?


Graveknight got an awesome write-up in Undead Revisited. The graveknight template appeared (for Pathfinder RPG) in Pathfinder AP #26. Undead Revisited has the extensive write-up and a sample graveknight, but doesn't reprint the template.

Word to the wise: Be careful what you do with a graveknight's phat loot after you beat it down.

Looking forward to seeing graveknight template again in Bestiary 3. Hopefully it will have a new sample graveknight accompanying it, rather than a reprint of one of the samples from AP #26 or Undead Revisited. It's always nice to have a new sample templated creature when a template reappears.

Contributor

James Jacobs wrote:


Yeah; the Ravid's protected by an almost equally powerful force as Intellectual Property law... many of us at Paizo kinda think it's a silly looking and just plain silly monster. Even before Trogdor came along.

Ah HAH! That's why all my references to Ravids got deleted from TGB!

... :P

... ;)


I don't think the Ravid was dumb looking, the problem was it was too powerful for it's CR(AC25 and could animate objects at will).

It more than likely will be a reprint of that Grave Knight.

Dark Archive

I am actually really glad that this book got pushed back into December. It comes at a time in which my gaming group takes a 6 week break for the holidays so I can fully study the book and implement new variety into my campaign once we all come back together and pick up the story.


bestiary 3 just barely in time for Chanuka this shall be a great december


Beastairy 3 just in time for christmas, even if I got it for myself.


So do we have a final contents list that we can peruse yet?


No, there is not a list of contents yet.

Hopefully soon though.


Dragon78 wrote:
Beastairy 3 just in time for christmas, even if I got it for myself.

Do we know if the B3 will be available for Christmas? Is there a rough street date for the book? :)


It's says the PDF will be avaliable on Dec 21st but of course that could change.


Dragon78 wrote:
It's says the PDF will be avaliable on Dec 21st but of course that could change.

Which leads me to a dilemma, as I will not be at my usual address for about a week as I visit family. Every year I try to play the guessing game of where to ship my December order and how fast to ship it.

On a more happy note: super psyched that we start getting previews for this soon.


Well I hope you get it before you go out of town Azazyll.

At least we got a preview last thursday.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

*cough*

Ninjas were here

*cough*


Gorbacz wrote:

*cough*

Ninjas were here

*cough*

DOOD!

Paizo Employee CEO

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:

*cough*

Ninjas were here

*cough*

I was just going to post that here! For those of you who are wondering, Gorbacz is linking to a PDF preview we did through Game Trade Magazine. I think there are six new monsters in that preview PDF (actually, turned out to be four, thanks for checking on me guys!). Enjoy!

-Lisa

And here is the link for easy reference.


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lisa Stevens wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

*cough*

Ninjas were here

*cough*

I was just going to post that here! For those of you who are wondering, Gorbacz is linking to a PDF preview we did through Game Trade Magazine. I think there are six new monsters in that preview PDF. Enjoy!

-Lisa

And here is the link for easy reference.

There are only 4, but if you would like to add 2 more, please feel free. ;)


Wow thanks Gorbacz and thanks Lisa

I love the Alraune.

Yeah I only see 4 monsters here as well.

The Exchange Kobold Press

Two of the monsters are clearly ninjas.


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Wolfgang Baur wrote:
Two of the monsters are clearly ninjas.

Of course they are ninja Oni!!!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Big thumbs up for both the Castlevania and Lovecraft references in the preview PDF.


What's the Castlevania reference? I haven't played any of the games but it's always nice to know where monsters come from. :)


He means the Alraune, I remember that one from Castlevania:syphony of the night.

The Lovecraftian critter is interesting for it's abilities and the fact it is LN not CN or CE like monst things from a Lovecraft setting.


The Hungry Fog reminds me of the movie "The Fog".

The Jotund Troll is a huge size nine-headed troll.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dragon78 wrote:

The Hungry Fog reminds me of the movie "The Fog".

Excellent. Working as intended, then.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Dragon78 wrote:

He means the Alraune, I remember that one from Castlevania:syphony of the night.

The Lovecraftian critter is interesting for it's abilities and the fact it is LN not CN or CE like monst things from a Lovecraft setting.

Yeah, alignment is always a judgment call, but I decided LN fit them best. They're certainly not (as a group) C, G, or E, but I could see true neutral as a fit too. Their odd dedication to treating their guests fairly stuck with me as seeming L, though there is the issue of occasionally genociding the minds of an entire species to save themselves.


I still like them Russ but were they one of the two cretures cut from AP#46?

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Dragon78 wrote:
I still like them Russ but were they one of the two cretures cut from AP#46?

I'm not aware of nature of the AP #46 cuts, but I don't think so. I did my take on them (edited and improved by the amazing talent at Paizo) specifically for Bestiary 3.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Dragon78 wrote:
I still like them Russ but were they one of the two cretures cut from AP#46?

Nope. There were actually THREE Lovecraftian critters cut from #46, though. The nightgaunt, the flying polyp, and the bhole. All three will make their appearance eventually, bu the Lovecraftian critters in Bestiary 3 are others who were always intended to be in Bestiary 3 and not an AP.

Bonus Nerd Points to the first person to figure out WHY the Yithian's in Bestiary 3 and not an AP!

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Post redacted, I'll let others guess and post my reasoning later :)

Dark Archive

James Jacobs wrote:
Bonus Nerd Points to the first person to figure out WHY the Yithian's in Bestiary 3 and not an AP!

I'm over thinking this I'm sure.

The Yith Hound was in 1st Ed Monster Manual II, it's not an adversary in that AP issue but in an earlier issue (?) and is 0 Ed OGL and your keeping to tradition? Does it have to do with sharp corners?

Yeah I'm over thinking this, back to Skyrim.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Bonus Nerd Points to the first person to figure out WHY the Yithian's in Bestiary 3 and not an AP!

My guess is that they aren't on Golarion. Distant galaxy and all..

Scarab Sages

Jam412 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Bonus Nerd Points to the first person to figure out WHY the Yithian's in Bestiary 3 and not an AP!
My guess is that they aren't on Golarion. Distant galaxy and all..

Probably not so much a question of distance as much as time. Since they are a race capable of mental travel, they very well might be on Golarion, just trying to adjust to the bodies of the locals. The crinoidal horrors are the bodies they inhabited on temporally distant Earth.


The form the Yithians are inhabiting in Bestiary 3 is the form they inhabited on Earth (in the past). I guess you probably don't see too many Yithians walking around Golarion, which would make them more appropriate for a Bestiary than AP?


Will changelings be in here?

Will their player stats be updated to include two claws, as the fluff and example changeling shows?


Serpent's skull was the stoping point for monsters from APs to be put in this book.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

My guess from last night, restored from the depths of time and space:
This nerd guesses it's because they're specific to Lovecraftian Earth in the ancient past and remote future (plus their original planet) rather than Golarion. Kind of like how Azathoth has a Golarion connection, Cthulhu does not.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Jam412 wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Bonus Nerd Points to the first person to figure out WHY the Yithian's in Bestiary 3 and not an AP!
My guess is that they aren't on Golarion. Distant galaxy and all..

DING DING!

Yup; since the Bestiaries are world-neutral, doing stats for Lovecraftian critters that are native to Earth and probably would NOT be easilly found on Golarion is the main reason we did Yithians in this one.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Cheapy wrote:

Will changelings be in here?

Will their player stats be updated to include two claws, as the fluff and example changeling shows?

Nope; as mentioned above, no monsters beyond Serpent's Skull will be in Bestiary 3.

(EDIT: There MAY have been a couple of post-Serpent's Skull critters who snuck into Bestiary 3 late in the process as the need to replace monsters popped up... but the changeling isn't one of them. And in fact, I can't think of any post-Serpent's Skull critters that got in there at all... but I could be forgetting one or two or so of the 300+ monsters in the book.)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Russ Taylor wrote:

My guess from last night, restored from the depths of time and space:

This nerd guesses it's because they're specific to Lovecraftian Earth in the ancient past and remote future (plus their original planet) rather than Golarion. Kind of like how Azathoth has a Golarion connection, Cthulhu does not.

yup! Although we DID figure a way out to give Cthulhu a connection to Golarion in Pathfinder #46 that I'm actually quite proud of... he connects to Golarion (and to ALL planets) via the dreams of those planet's insane artists... and by his spawn, who like him are NOT from Earth and are out there navigating the Dark Tapestry and coming to other planets now and then, colonizing them, and then reporting back to the chief, at which points his dreams can start infecting the newly discovered world...

Verdant Wheel

James Jacobs wrote:


Yup; since the Bestiaries are world-neutral, doing stats for Lovecraftian critters that are native to Earth and probably would NOT be easilly found on Golarion is the main reason we did Yithians in this one.

But humans are native of earth (as a matter of fact, a lot of animals are too). So, the aboleth brought everyone from earth ? Then why the Yithians didn´t tag along ?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Draco Bahamut wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


Yup; since the Bestiaries are world-neutral, doing stats for Lovecraftian critters that are native to Earth and probably would NOT be easilly found on Golarion is the main reason we did Yithians in this one.
But humans are native of earth (as a matter of fact, a lot of animals are too). So, the aboleth brought everyone from earth ? Then why the Yithians didn´t tag along ?

Because we've treated Lovecraftian creatures differently is all.

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