Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: NPC Codex (OGL)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: NPC Codex (OGL)
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It's happened to every Game Master. You spend hours setting up the perfect encounter, your players are out for blood, the swords are drawn—and then you realize that you've forgotten to build statistics for the enemy characters. Or perhaps your players go left when you expect them to go right, leaving you without any encounters prepared.

Such problems are a thing of the past with the NPC Codex. Inside this tome, you'll find hundreds of ready-made stat blocks for nonplayer characters of every level, from a lowly forest poacher to the most majestic knight or ancient spellcaster. Whether you're planning out future adventures or throwing together encounters right at the table, this book does the work so you can focus on playing the game.

Pathfinder RPG NPC Codex is a must-have companion volume to the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook and Pathfinder RPG Bestiary. This imaginative tabletop game builds on more than 10 years of system development and open playtests 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 NPC Codex includes:

  • Statistics for more than 300 characters, including at least one for every level of every class in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook.
  • Tactical suggestions for every character, ensuring that you get the most out of each individual's gear and abilities in a fight.
  • Tons of flavorful names and backgrounds to give characters personality, plus ideas for using them in both combat and roleplaying situations.
  • Statistics for characters with lower-powered NPC classes to help populate your world with ordinary people, as well as characters with specialized prestige classes.
  • Animal companion statistics for druids and rangers, from level 1 through level 20.
  • Multiple versions of each Pathfinder iconic character, perfect for pregenerated player characters.
  • Encounter groups for conveniently crafting battles on the fly.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-467-2

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Archives of Nethys

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Rulebook Subscription.

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Average product rating:

4.40/5 (based on 33 ratings)

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Treasure Trove for GMs

5/5

Short Version: Unless you use an alternate way to build NPCs, grab this.

Building NPCs in Pathfinder can be one of the most time-consuming types of preparation. No book can contain all the NPCs you could ever want, but this one takes care of a broad swathe of them.

This is one of the first books I'd suggest for a new GM, up there with the Bestiary. Particularly for groups that wander off the rails, and frankly that's almost all of them, having a slate of prebuilt NPCs to pull from can be a lifesaver.


Incredibly Useful!

5/5

A perfect resource for easily assembling quality NPCs. Some take a bit more work, such as the arcane classes, but for the most part I can simply use the given stats for any NPC I need.

I just wish it was updated to include newer classes, but that doesn't lessen the quality of what is here, which is fantastic.


Great for quick NPCs

4/5

My only complaint is that I would have liked to see 2-3 levels of many of the NPCs represented. I love the tactics info and would love to see the PFS pregens get a tactics section.


As others have said... a masterpiece

5/5

The best book hands down for Gamemasters. Perhaps one of the most valuable books ever made for GMs across all systems. Great source of ideas for players as the well. Even if you dont GM the art in this book is worth the cost alone. Get it!


Paizo's Masterpiece

5/5

This is in my opinion Paizo's best work so far. The culmination and amalgamation of dozens of previous awesome work, finally used as they should be, and used to build the most fascinating monster encounters.

Not only are the goblin gangs and hobgoblin patrols well assembled, but the book goes beyond and presents new and amazing feats, archetypes and magic items for these monsters. Finally the PCs can quake in their boots at fell magic that they are not prepared for, and the meaning of "you see five orcs, roll initiative" has now gained a whole new meaning.

Thanks Paizo!


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RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Mechalibur wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
Cori Marie wrote:
Any chance we'll get a volume of the Campaign Setting line that would be similar to an NPC Codex?

You mean like this?

Or perhaps this?

If you like Golarion, make sure you pay attention to the Campaign Setting Products, all of which I believe are labeled Chronicles (IIRC setting based material) or Companion (IIRC player materials for use in Golarion-based play).

Anything simply under the category of "Pathfinder Roleplaying Game" will be setting neutral, so make sure you look at those other lines of books. (Pointing this out generally to the thread.)

Paizo stopped using the Chronicles label a while ago. Now the label's just Pathfinder Campaign Setting. The Player Companions, Adventure Paths, Modules, and Pathfinder Tales are all Golarion, though.

Some of those books are old enough that they still have the old labels (the NPC Guide is still a Chronicles book), hence it is worth pointing them out.

You are right, however, that the newer books are just "Campaign Setting" which helps reduces confusion.

Digital Products Assistant

4 people marked this as a favorite.

The OGL content from the NPC Codex is now available on the Pathfinder Reference Document. More information about this update can be found in this post.


I skimmed the boards here to see if this has come up yet and I didn't find it, but it would appear that the Iconics all have a CR to match their class levels. Is this a mistake or are the Iconics special somehow?

Dark Archive

Wildebob wrote:
I skimmed the boards here to see if this has come up yet and I didn't find it, but it would appear that the Iconics all have a CR to match their class levels. Is this a mistake or are the Iconics special somehow?

The iconics have PC-level gear and use the 20-point buy, so their CR matches their class levels. They're intended mostly for use as PCs (pregens) rather than as NPCs.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Re: latest review (Maveric28)

In today's episode of "I didn't read the product description of what I'm buying and I have a problem with that"...

Dark Archive

Gorbacz wrote:

Re: latest review (Maveric28)

In today's episode of "I didn't read the product description of what I'm buying and I have a problem with that"...

That does seem to be the case here as a readthrough of the blurb on the back cover reveals that this book is a companion to the Core Rulebook and no additional source is mentioned.


Chris Lambertz wrote:
The OGL content from the NPC Codex is now available on the Pathfinder Reference Document. More information about this update can be found in this post.

How much of the book's content is OGL?


Gorbacz wrote:

Re: latest review (Maveric28)

In today's episode of "I didn't read the product description of what I'm buying and I have a problem with that"...

I have mixed feelings about that - I dont think one has the right to call it "incomplete" (since it has what it says it has). However, it seems reasonable to me to mark down a product's review based on the fact you think it could have been better - even if it makes no claim to include the things the reviewer thinks would be an improvement.


Hmm..where did that TOZ guy go?


Steve Geddes wrote:
However, it seems reasonable to me to mark down a product's review based on the fact you think it could have been better - even if it makes no claim to include the things the reviewer thinks would be an improvement.

I don't think it's reasonable at all, to be honest. Base your review on a book's actual contents (the stat blocks, the artwork, etc.). I would have understood it if the book hadn't made any mention of what material it references but it says so right on the back cover - the Core Rulebook. So review the book based on the quality of its actual content, not something that's never been promised by anyone in the first place.

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

"The book would be better if it had six different builds for each class, race, and archetype combo, and conversions for GURPS and WOD as well. And it would be better if it included character generator software. Since it has none of these things, I'm giving it just 1 star."

Reasonable or unreasonable?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If it has nothing to do with the content it should NOT be a review of said product. If it is reviewed with other content in mind that they (the reviewer) wanted to be included make is a nonsensical review and should be removed in my opinion.

So Sean.. Unreasonable


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

"The book would be better if it had six different builds for each class, race, and archetype combo, and conversions for GURPS and WOD as well. And it would be better if it included character generator software. Since it has none of these things, I'm giving it just 1 star."

Reasonable or unreasonable?

Unreasonable, obviously. In my view, the unreasonableness is quantitative not qualitative.

Im obviously biased towards that approach though.


Heine Stick wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
However, it seems reasonable to me to mark down a product's review based on the fact you think it could have been better - even if it makes no claim to include the things the reviewer thinks would be an improvement.
I don't think it's reasonable at all, to be honest. Base your review on a book's actual contents (the stat blocks, the artwork, etc.). I would have understood it if the book hadn't made any mention of what material it references but it says so right on the back cover - the Core Rulebook. So review the book based on the quality of its actual content, not something that's never been promised by anyone in the first place.

Reviews are subjective things. I don't take every reviewer to be saying "does this book deliver what it promises?" but rather "is this a good example of this type of book?"


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Reviews are subjective things. I don't take every reviewer to be saying "does this book deliver what it promises?" but rather "is this a good example of this type of book?"

They certainly are. But, in my opinion, that subjectivity should be based on what's actually in the book, not what's not in the book (as long as it's made clear what's actually in the book, as is the case here). Again, in my opinion. Just as reviews are subjective, so too are our preferences when it comes to reviews. :)


Sean K Reynolds wrote:

"The book would be better if it had six different builds for each class, race, and archetype combo, and conversions for GURPS and WOD as well. And it would be better if it included character generator software. Since it has none of these things, I'm giving it just 1 star."

Reasonable or unreasonable?

"The book doesn't include a "--LAZER--" that was nowhere mentioned so I give it 1 star."

Yes unreasonable.


While there are occasional extremely small things that I am not thrilled with (like a couple of the halfling/gnome portraits), this is by far the most useful book I've bought from Paizo in at least a year. The NPCs are varied and interesting, easily used as generic NPCs or adapted and tweaked for more important NPCs. I love being able to grab a stat block on the fly, especially as the games I DM move further into the middle and high level ranges and NPC creation takes longer.

I also think, upon reading through the book, that I am happy with the book being core only. While I do love archetypes and some of the advanced classes are interesting I don't feel that this book is incomplete without them. For many of the stat blocks adding an archetype if wanted wouldn't be too much of a problem anyways, maybe just slightly more complicated than changing a feat or two out. I also liked the NPC classes section, especially the decision to only stat them up to level 10 and the part in the chapter's text about levels beyond 10 being the realm of legendary heroes and PC classes. Finally, the appendixes are excellent. I pretty much always use druid or ranger NPCs without companions when I have to make them on the fly, so having stat blocks for animal companions at a number of effective druid levels gives me another option to use quickly, and the encounter groups are great. In my Kingmaker game I like having groups of NPCs as potential random encounters (combat or otherwise) especially in civilized areas, and having groups that are tied to the already made stat blocks opens up even more options for such encounters.

All in all an excellent book in my opinion, and I'll be recommending it to anyone I know who runs Pathfinder.


Out of 20 different Wizards, 17 of them have Improved Initiative. Really...?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
thomax wrote:
Will this book ever end up in th PRD? I see d20pfsrd.com is already working on it :-)
Yes.

Even better news.. Lone Wolf is starting to push out portfolio files for Herolab.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
thomax wrote:
Will this book ever end up in th PRD? I see d20pfsrd.com is already working on it :-)
Yes.
Even better news.. Lone Wolf is starting to push out portfolio files for Herolab.

What do they do when they find problems with the build?

I know that when I built portfolios for a couple of the pregens (level seven Kyra and Amiri) they each had some unused skill points.

Paizo Employee Developer

I just checked the 7th-level builds for both Kyra and Amiri and I'm not seeing any errors. Kyra has 21 skill points spent (2 per level from 7 levels of cleric and 1 per level for being a human) and Amiri has 35 skill points spent (4 per level from 7 levels of barbarian and 1 per level for being a human). Is it possible you didn't apply their armor check penalty when you built their stats and thus spent too few ranks to get them to match those published in the book?

Sovereign Court

Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Out of 20 different Wizards, 17 of them have Improved Initiative. Really...?

I concur, should be all 20.


Steve Geddes wrote:
I don't take every reviewer to be saying "does this book deliver what it promises?" but rather "is this a good example of this type of book?"

While you are entitled to your opinion, I have to disagree. I would expect the basis for a review to be just that: How well does the product deliver on what it says it will. How close to the advertising does the product come?

I could not care less if it "matches" up to other products of it's type, if it never claimed to be the same as others of its type. If a book contains what it said it would then the subjective part, for me, is how well they lived up to it. They said it would have core NPCs, does it? Then how well are they presented etc is where your subjective opinion comes into play.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
I just checked the 7th-level builds for both Kyra and Amiri and I'm not seeing any errors. Kyra has 21 skill points spent (2 per level from 7 levels of cleric and 1 per level for being a human) and Amiri has 35 skill points spent (4 per level from 7 levels of barbarian and 1 per level for being a human). Is it possible you didn't apply their armor check penalty when you built their stats and thus spent too few ranks to get them to match those published in the book?

It's possible - I built the characters under a certain amount of time pressure. I thought I'd made all the purchases and equipped everything before assigning the skill points, but I'll check again.

Thanks for taking a look at this, Mark!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
JohnF wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
I just checked the 7th-level builds for both Kyra and Amiri and I'm not seeing any errors. Kyra has 21 skill points spent (2 per level from 7 levels of cleric and 1 per level for being a human) and Amiri has 35 skill points spent (4 per level from 7 levels of barbarian and 1 per level for being a human). Is it possible you didn't apply their armor check penalty when you built their stats and thus spent too few ranks to get them to match those published in the book?

It's possible - I built the characters under a certain amount of time pressure. I thought I'd made all the purchases and equipped everything before assigning the skill points, but I'll check again.

Thanks for taking a look at this, Mark!

Update - I misremembered the details.

The problem was that the Hit Point calculation disagrees, not Skill Points. Hero Lab gives Amiri 12+2hp at first level, then an additional 7+2hp at every level. If you actually award 6.5+2hp at every level, and always spend the favored bonus on +1hp, you end up with numbers that match.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Should 3rd-party publishers expect NPC Codex to be added to the "List of Products which May Be Referenced" any time soon?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

As in added to the PRD? It already has been.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Cori Marie wrote:
As in added to the PRD? It already has been.

No, I am asking if it will be added to the list of Paizo products which can be referred to in products sold by 3rd-party publishers. The list is over here, near the bottom of the page: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/compatibility

The referenceable list is very similar to the list of books currently incorporated into the PRD, but not identical. For example, Ultimate Campaign is allowed to be referenced even though it isn't in the PRD yet, but that might only be because it hasn't been released yet at all.

Webstore Gninja Minion

MythMage wrote:
Cori Marie wrote:
As in added to the PRD? It already has been.

No, I am asking if it will be added to the list of Paizo products which can be referred to in products sold by 3rd-party publishers. The list is over here, near the bottom of the page: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/compatibility

The referenceable list is very similar to the list of books currently incorporated into the PRD, but not identical. For example, Ultimate Campaign is allowed to be referenced even though it isn't in the PRD yet, but that might only be because it hasn't been released yet at all.

We will be doing an update to the Exhibit B list of the Pathfinder Compatibility License shortly (though I don't have an exact date yet).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Liz Courts wrote:
MythMage wrote:
Cori Marie wrote:
As in added to the PRD? It already has been.

No, I am asking if it will be added to the list of Paizo products which can be referred to in products sold by 3rd-party publishers. The list is over here, near the bottom of the page: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/compatibility

The referenceable list is very similar to the list of books currently incorporated into the PRD, but not identical. For example, Ultimate Campaign is allowed to be referenced even though it isn't in the PRD yet, but that might only be because it hasn't been released yet at all.

We will be doing an update to the Exhibit B list of the Pathfinder Compatibility License shortly (though I don't have an exact date yet).

Thanks, Liz! I see that said update has happened, and it did happily add NPC Codex.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Am I the only one who noticed the majority of the arcane archers weren't elves or half-elves?

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

You don't have to be an elf or half-elf to be an arcane archer.

As there are 4 arcane archers in the book, and 1 is an elf, and 1 is a half-elf, elf-kin are neither the majority nor the minority. :)


The elven requirement was dropped somewhere around printing 3 of the CRB.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Cheapy wrote:
The elven requirement was dropped somewhere around printing 3 of the CRB.

Ah well, I've got one of the older hard covers then.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

One of my players has my binderized 1st printing CRB (it got so much use the binding went kaput) and was very happy about the change when I told him he could be a gnome Arcane Archer

Liberty's Edge

Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Out of 20 different Wizards, 17 of them have Improved Initiative. Really...?

Sure. From a GM perspective, all my NPCs should have Improved Initiative; it's one less feat I have to worry about when running them.

Sczarni

To begin with i did not go through all the posts but is Paizo aware of all the typos in the npc codex?

I looked for some npc codex errata but found nothing

Most of those i came across are related to gear where the melee weapon does not match the description in the gear section.

For exmple Master of undead on p.56: in its melee profile it says +3 Scythe BUT in its gear section it is a +1 only?

Am i missing something?

other exemples i found are:
Shadow cleric P.59
priest of oblivion p.60
infernal champion p.95
axe lord p.124
....

and the list goes on and on!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6, Contributor

Check the tactics - they may be using greater magic weapon to enhance their gear. So the treasure has a lesser bonus than what they use in combat.

Sczarni

Russ Taylor wrote:
Check the tactics - they may be using greater magic weapon to enhance their gear. So the treasure has a lesser bonus than what they use in combat.

Sounds like you are right!

Thank you


An excellent product for cheap bastard gamers everywhere!

Okay, what I really meant to say was,

"An excellent product for the cheap bastard gamers that *are* everywhere!" :D

Well, and an excellent product for those who don't have much storage space, couldn't paint their way out of a wet paper bag, etc. ;)

Definitely a product that fills a niche/need.

Sczarni

There's just one thing that this book *really* could have used: a race index. I'm prepping for a dwarf campaign, and I have to page through to pick out the dwarves.

I definitely hope that NPC Codex 2 includes a race index. Heck, it would be like 10 lines of text, tops. No problem cramming it in. :)


I'm just curious as to why any Dragon Disciples or even sorcerer draconic bloodlines in this book are evil. I understand wanting an antagonist in your stories, but how about a good or neutral aligned Dragon Disciple guide for a prospective sorcerer? Just wondering :P


Who wrote the Caster PrC NPC's in this? Specifically the Sorceror-based ones?

They seem to be applying an inconsistent application of the rules, some progressing spells known 'as if gaining levels in the base class' irrespective of class feature (although one progressed 'bloodline spells' of the arcane bloodline but didn't grant the 'New Arcana' bonus spell known), some only advancing the 'base table' spells known and not other spells known like bloodline spells that are normally granted by gaining levels in the base class.

What gives?

Designer, RPG Superstar Judge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dmitri Dragon wrote:
I'm just curious as to why any Dragon Disciples or even sorcerer draconic bloodlines in this book are evil. I understand wanting an antagonist in your stories, but how about a good or neutral aligned Dragon Disciple guide for a prospective sorcerer? Just wondering :P

From page 4:

Size, Type, and Alignment: This lists the character’s size, type, and alignment. The alignments listed for each character in this book represent what is normal for those characters, but you can change them to serve the needs of your campaign.

From page 8, under Allies:
Remember that you can always change an NPC’s goals, personality, alignment, abilities, or gear to suit your campaign, and doing so is faster than creating a new NPC from scratch. It doesn’t take much to change the stat block for an evil mother of beasts (cleric 10) into a benign animal- or elemental-themed cleric who’ll help the PCs.

Because the primary use of this book is NPCs for the PCs to fight, the focus is on making suitable enemies for the PCs, and that usually means evil or (at best) neutral NPCs. It's easier on GM's to use an evil stat block as-is in the middle of combat, switching things to good-alignment choices on the fly (usually out of combat) if the NPC is needed as an ally, than to present the NPC as good and expect the GM to swap things to evil on the fly in combat.

In other words, minimizing the amount of in-combat switching the GM has to do is the goal, and with the main use of these NPCs as adversaries, that means stat them as antagonists.


I can't figure out how the Holy Archer (Paladin 6) speaks Orc.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
RJGrady wrote:
I can't figure out how the Holy Archer (Paladin 6) speaks Orc.

If I was operating in an area threatened by orc hordes, it'd be a good language to have handy when you come across some orc writings which just might be crucial intel.


I mean, they don't have an exceptional Intelligence or any ranks in Linguistics.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think I found an error in Amiri's iconic level 1 stats. Her speed is listed as 40 in hide armor. Shouldn't it be 30?

Seems like it's extra important that these level 1 iconics be correct if they're legal for Society play.


Question about art credits:

Would anyone happen to know the name of the artist who illustrated the "Death Priest" on p. 50?

Thanks!

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