Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide (PFRPG) PDF

***** (based on 4 ratings)

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This holiday season, treat your players to this collection of winter-themed monsters that is perfect for either your ongoing game or a special holiday one-shot! From the monster experts at Jon Brazer Enterprises comes an innovative collection of dangerous toy soldiers, deadly fruitcake and troublesome little fey that teleport from stocking to stocking. Beware of the singing undead that travel from door to door, and flee from the savage blade of the dreaded Wild Hunter!

This collection of nine monsters will delight everyone at your table, so bring these seasonal troops into your campaign now. Enjoy this cold weather gift this holiday season, or any time of the year! Download this 14-page PDF full of holiday joy today.

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***** (based on 4 ratings)

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Silly. Deadly Silly.

****( )

Disclaimer: I was given a reviewer’s copy of this book. However, I am not paid for this review.

What you get: This pdf is 14 pages long. Cover (1), Title Page (1), Table of Contents w/ introduction (1), Universal Monster Rules and OGL (2), leaving 9 pages of beasts. At one monster per page, that buys you 9 monsters for $2.99.

Artwork: The artwork was okay to very good. Some of the art looked like a doctored photograph of something holiday themed (nutcracker, gingerbread cookie, meringue cookie), some looked like holiday cartoons, and some was exactly what you expect out of quality monster books.

Layout and Editing: Document is laid out in a standard two column format. Editing is superb. The only error I could find was a missing period in Appendix 2, Psychopomp Subtype.

Overall Impression: This book of Christmas/winter-holiday themed monsters is the first published material (I know of) from JBE’s new editor, Richard Moore. As you might suspect from the Santa hatted lich on the cover, there is significant selection of silliness in this book. You get constructs like the clockwork nutcracker and a golem made of gingerbread. You’ll find singing undead and Santa’s elves and Reindeer as you’ve never seen them before. If your party is hungry for more, you can serve up a killer fruitcake and wash it down with eggnog pudding. Although the theme of the book is silly holiday spirit, these monsters are still deadly serious. Any GM could easily strip the holiday out of the description and serve them up to players. CR’s range from 1 to 13. So, what’s the verdict for a rating? I like silly, so that was a mark up in my book. The monsters are well written and usable (and deadly!), even in a non-holiday themed campaign or adventure. The writing was pleasant to read; instead of slogging through a bunch of monsters, I was excited to see what made each one special. On the down side, it IS a specifically holiday-themed product, which could limit its usefulness for the less creative GM. It is also rather short for the price at 33 cents per monster.

Final Rating: That brings me to a rating of three and a half stars, rounded up to 4. If there’s one thing JBE writes well, it’s monster books!

-Aaron


Silly but Very Usable

*****

I love the weirdness of this book! Thinking it would be a fun read but not much else I looked over some of the other reviews and discovered that folks feel it was actually usable. 2.99$ is a small price to pay for the entertainment value alone so I paid for and downloaded this book. I have to say I am at this moment rewriting our game for the week between Christmas and New Years just to work in an Aberrant Fruitcake. The holiday games are never fully attended and we just do some fun stuff. I can't wait to see the reaction this one brings. Great stuff fully usable and wholeheartedly recommended.


*****

OK...let's begin with the statement that I am not a fan of humor in my game material. I know, I know, how very grinch like of me, but there it is. That being said, a product that is in fact a humorous product is not quite the same, now is it? I knew the second I saw the cover that what I had in my hands was a tongue in cheek collection of creatures...something for those looking to inject some holiday humor into their gametop...what I was not expecting was the solid design behind the creatures.

Yeah, I said it, solidly designed critters. Now, granted, their are a few here that will probably only ever exist in a game meant for laughs, such as the Gingerbread Golem, Eggnog Pudding, or even the Aberrant Fruitcake...but their designs are still logical and solid enough to field them, with effectiveness. That spoke through, loud and clear.

Taking a step towards the undead side of things I have got to say the Dirge Caroler is hands down my favorite creature in this collection, and oddly invokes some nostalgia for classic Doctor Who in me...not sure if it was just the feel of the creature or if there was something similar in an episode, regardless they are a cool concept. Leading a "caroling choir" of well dressed zombies, the dirge carolers enchant and devour to their heart's content within communities, adding a serious level of creepy to those annoying folks wandering around singing.

And the Dreidel Swarm, now that is an interesting concept, and a well executed one at that. That is easily something I can see getting some mileage at a gametable, showing up perhaps in the lair of a demented toy-maker....hmmm, excuse me, need to make a few notes....

Point being, if you are looking for a cool little collection of holiday inspired creatures, you've found them, period. There's something in here for any play style, and then some.

Now, did I have issues with a few things? Yeah...the art is all over the place, some pieces being extremely cartoony, perhaps even childish...but for what this collection is, that oddly added to the charm of the product. Which brings me to my only true complaint in regards to design, and that is the Clockwork Nutcracker having no form of bite attack. It seems an almost given that there would be some special linked with that gaping maw of his.

All in all though, as I stated, the creatures here are a good collection of holiday inspired weirdness, ready to bring a few smiles to the table as you roll some dice with friends under the tree.

A 5 star rating for a rather unique collection of oddities.


Funny and creepy, all fine beasts!

*****

This pdf is 14 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword,2/3 of a page SRD, leaving us with 10 1/3 pages of content, so let's check out these holiday-themed creatures!

The first would be the Aberrant Fruitcake (CR 5),a feline-looking, sticky conglomerate of fruitcakes, taken from the world and lost in the shadow plane, infused by dread entropic energies.

Bloodhoves are CR 8 flying reindeers that could have been part of the woodland critetr christmas of South Park - deadly, and while a herbivore, prone to putting hooves and muzzle in the blood of vanquished foes.

Now the CR 4 Clockwork Nutcracker with its oversized hat (providing cover for allies) and blunderbuss makes for a great creature that could be considered an excellent addition to e.g. the Zobeck-setting - combine the Mouse King and the nutcracker and you get a cool idea for a module...

The CR 11 Gingerbread Golem comes with a neat spicy breath ability and a cool weakness - they are penalized if you steal their gumdrop buttons - and yes, they are fast!

The CR 3 Dirge Caroler is an undead, impoverished halfling, featuring wis-penalizing deadly dirges and the option to command the undead servants of his.

The CR 2 Dreidel Swarm is an uncommon swarm of miniature constructs that come with cool signature abilities galore, even beyond sneak attack and tripping capability - draining e.g. constitution, flat-footing foes, fascinating them or dealing more damage.

On the more weird and funny side, the Eggnog Pudding (ooze), which is not only highly flammable, but also comes with a nauseating slam and the power to split and cling to walls and ceilings.

The most powerful critter herein is the Psychopomp Wild Hunter (CR 13), who would also make for a great cadre of servants of Oberon/Auberyon with their ghostly servants, spiritsense and final death waiting at their hands...

More on the trickster-side of the fey-spectrum, we get the Scandinavian Totemnisse, tiny boot portal teleporting and jinx-using mischievous and benevolent fey.

The pdf closes with universal monster rules and the clockwork and psychopomp-subtypes being detailed.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting, while not top-notch, are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to an easy-to-read two-column standard with a parchment-like background and the (stock) artworks are ok at this price-point. The pdf comes fully bookmarked, which is commendable. The pdf is also hyperlinked.

Author Richard Moore has actually created a neat little array of funny monsters that not only are amusing to run, but actually come with intriguing signature abilities that make me want to use some of these and even brought me inspiration to develop some adventure-ideas. At the low price, a solid offering of neat critters that deserves a final rating of 5 stars, just short of the seal of approval.

Merry Christmas/whatever you celebrate!
Endzeitgeist out.


President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Now available at Paizo.com!
Author: Richard Moore
Editor: Kevin Morris

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide has already received TWO 5-STAR REVIEWS at DriveThruRPG.com. Download it today and find out just how awesome these nasty critters really are.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide just received its THIRD 5-STAR REVIEW this morning over at DriveThruRPG.com. The review said, "Buying this collection of creepy holiday creatures is the best way to get over your disappointment that the world didn't end this morning."

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Download it today.

Webstore Gninja Minion

6 people marked this as a favorite.

I chuckled at this line from the aberrant fruitcake: "Immune aging effects."


1 person marked this as a favorite.

And reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine!

WIN! :D

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Many thanks for the review and rating, EZ - I will confess that I was quite concerned about passing muster under your scrutiny, so a five-star grade from you is quite a compliment (it's like an early Christmas present)!

I'm glad you found some good adventure ideas during your read-through - I intentionally tried to plant some seeds in each monster description to make it a bit easier for GMs to work these into ongoing games without their players feeling as though holiday-themed monsters were being shoehorned into an existing campaign.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Review up here and on DTRPG...

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Many thanks for the review, good sir!

Incidentally, the clockwork nutcracker does have a bite attack, but no special abilities are tied to it. If you feel inclined to make it nastier, you could always rule that a bite attack which reduces a living creature to less than 0 hit points indicates a crushed head, and use the rules for death from massive damage - potentially cracking a PC's nut for good. That would, however, be exceptionally mean... >=D

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Thank you Endzeitgeist and KTFish7 for your awesome reviews.

Incase you had not seen it, these gents each posted a 5-STAR REVIEW. Be sure to read it and download these awesome monsters today.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Superscriber

Day after Christmas, weather is cold and rainy, found this bought it and loved it, made a depressing gloomy day so much better. Thanks.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Glad you liked it. And Thank You for posting a Review.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

If you liked these monsters, be sure to check out our other monster books. We are known for our awesome monsters.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Incase you hadn't seen it, Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide was the #1 selling non-Paizo PDF this past weekend. Happy (belated) Yuletide. Also, today is Christmas by the Orthodox calender (IIRC), so Merry Christmas.

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wow. I am truly humbled. Thanks so much to everyone out there who bought a copy of BoBWoY, and to Liz Courts and the Paizo web team for making this their featured product on (non-Orthodox) Christmas Day! Watching this book get such a positive reception has been the greatest gift a geek like me could ever get.

Webstore Gninja Minion

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Richard Moore wrote:
Thanks so much to everyone out there who bought a copy of BoBWoY, and to Liz Courts and the Paizo web team for making this their featured product on (non-Orthodox) Christmas Day!

You're welcome! I really could not have asked for a better gaming item to portray on Christmas. :D

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Be sure to pick up Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide while it is still $1. The I'm Not Going to PaizoCon Sale ends soon.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

If you download Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide between now and Nov 30th, we will donate half of all proceeds to the Food Bank of South Jersey. Download it today. And spread the word with #AdventurersHelpingOut


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

Hey folks! It is currently both Hannukah and Christmas-time. Now is the time to pick this up if you haven't already. Now is the time to throw one of these beasts into your game. I know I will!

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Thank you, Itchy.

Yes folks, like the green dragon head said, now is the time to download this set of festive monsters and give your layers a holiday-themed adventure that they will not soon forget. Download this awesome set of monsters today.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

The holidays are coming up. If you are interested in a little holiday-themed gaming, this is the perfect monster collection for you.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

"War on Yuletide?" Gee, where have I heard that before?

Next 4th of July: Beware the Dark Cactus-Lord of Andoran and the treacherous Bengoblins!

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

DISCLAIMER: The monsters in this book could care less what's on your coffee cup--as far as they're concerned, you're ripe for the killin' no matter what!

So: don't your holiday gaming plans need more in the way of man-sized nutcrackers with blunderbusses, vicious reindeer, undead carolers, sentient rage-filled fruitcakes, massive gingerbread men, and tasty oozes?

We certainly think so.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

I've been thinking about making a red cup as this year's War on Yuletide monster.

Scarab Sages

Maybe that would be better as a minor artifact? The Secular Grail or something?


I bought this PDF earlier this year ... and I plan to use it for my thematic Christmas Sessions starting later this month (I'm a Pathfinder GM in a hybrid Golarion/Forgotten Realms campaign). I can't tell you how much I love these creatures! Especially the Aberrant Fruitcake - an awesome concept creature with very cool mechanics and intriguing art.

Dale, I *totally* hope you do a War on Yuletide, Part Deux. Not intending to ride the coattails of the recent social media nonsense ... but because there's so many other interesting Christmas-themed critters that are ripe for your creative interpretation.

And yeah, I'd love a Red Cup creature. Maybe make it related to the Redcap? Lol.

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/additionalMonsters/redcap.html

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

If we were to do another volume--and that's a big if, considering how close we are to the end of 2015--what sort of creatures would you want to see? (I would prefer not to do the "red cup" type monsters, since pop culture references immediately date a product and are of limited use to readers who pick it up after that particular zeitgeist passes on.)


1. A variation on a Will o' Wisp - but a swarm. The variation being that the swarm is composed of a bunch of WoW's of all different colored lights (blue, green, red, gold, etc.). And perhaps they have a musical sonic attack like that of a Siren. Themed as a lovely Christmas carol of some sort. One that leads you to your doom, of course. :-)

2. A "Menorah Creature" ... perhaps a metallic construct whose 8 up-swept arms and head all are tipped in small flames.

3. A Krampus devil.

4. The Yule Log is a huge & significant holiday tradition amongst a wide number of Euro and American cultures. It's worth some research on Wikipedia and what-not. Creating a thematic creature based on one might be challenging. I would probably make one based on the Leshy chassis. Maybe give him a weird fire attack. Yule Logs are also desserts, so that sugary aspect could factor into some of his special abilities.

*****

Anyway, just some ideas from a secular gaming fan who loves all Holiday culture.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

How about a Toymaker racial Archetype for Elf Alchemists (or perhaps Summoners)?

Jon Brazer Enterprises

It's about that time of year again, to kill the characters with a fruitcake.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

1 person marked this as a favorite.

If you are thinking about running a holiday-themed game in the next month or two, be sure to pick up this collection of monsters.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

It's that time of year again, when the fat jolly fey in the red suit kicks the dire turkey to the curb. Now's your chance to kick him back. Join the war on Yuletide and pit your adventurers against some of the holidays most common symbols. Download today.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

What has 9 Christmas and other holiday-themed Pathfinder monsters and an average 4.7-Star rating? The Book of Beasts: War on Yuletide, right here. Download today.

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