Psionic Bestiary (PFRPG)

***** (based on 4 ratings)
S2PDRP2210

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Horrors abound in this tome of psionic monsters for use in your Pathfinder Roleplaying Game campaign!

From the tiny, yet dangerous puppeteers, to the huge thought slayer, psionic monsters for every level of play are included. Create an entire campaign out of the insidious phrenic scourge, or simply drop in an encounter with the carnvivorous mathara tree while the party is out exploring.

Find the classic psionic monsters like the brain mole to the psion killer, as well as dozens of brand new, never-before-seen monsters like the skull thrasher and the deep hound, or psionic dragons like you've never seen them before, all within the pages of the Psionic Bestiary!

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***** (based on 4 ratings)

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Excelent

*****

Great looking bestiary in perfect quality


Excellent Bestiary for Psionic Campaigns

*****

I was thoroughly impressed with this bestiary. With a handful of exceptions, the quality of it was on par with anything that I would expect from Paizo themselves. While I was not crazy about all of the creatures, nor with all of the art, I generally tend to feel that way about Paizo produced bestiaries as well, which I feel is a pretty good benchmark.

Perhaps the thing I found least appealing was certain pieces of art, though some of that stemmed from my dislike of anything resembling HR Geiger, and there was one monster in particular (and not the Cerebrilith) that was very xenomorph inspired, and not well done at that.

That having been said, I loved virtually all of the remaining art, as it was suitably creepy and amazing as needed, and often both those qualities at once.

Though I could not speak with authority on the balance of the creatures, they seemed to be well balanced for psionic parties, giving a lot more credence to the breadth of psionics in general. I loved the creatures that were updated for psionics as well, such as the Intellect Devourer, as those creatures fit perfectly well, but lack the support that make them fit in more properly in a psionics driven campaign.

One other minor quibble was the propensity for creatures to negate psionics entirely. For being a psionic bestiary, it makes sense that some creatures might be angled towards simply being a scourge, given that traditional campaigns are rife with terrible enemies that have spell resistance. However, there were numerous monsters that completely negate psionics, sometimes as an area effect. I suppose this is more of a matter of taste.

However, I did find that the book dripped with plenty of creepiness and weirdness, which I found wholly appropriate given the nature of the bestiary. I also was impressed with the range of creature types and subtypes that were present in the book, given that most psionic type creatures tend heavily towards aberrant creatures.

Overall, I was very happy with the product, and am suitably inspired to use it for reference many number of future games. Well done!


*****

There isn't much to say about this product. Its a bestiary with psionic creatures. Some of them are psionic versions of things that you already find in Paizo's bestiaries such as Aboleth and Brain Devourers, but also there are some unique and campaign inspiring ones. They each come with some useful fluff and lists arranging them by terrain, type and CR.

If I had a gripe I think the book is too short. There are a lot of potential critters that would have been done justice if this book was a lot bigger making for a huge psionic campaigns although that's just a nitpick reflecting my greed for psionic creatures. Honestly I think the real thing missing is a focus on Templates. The Marked Ones template helps a bit but having more templates would have effectively multiplied this book's value by the amount of creatures in every other bestiary.

Those complaints aside this book delivers what it promises and is bound to be used whenever I have any psioncs in my games, particularly some of the converted creatures that feel like they should have been psionic in the first place giving this book five stars.


An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

This massive bestiary clocks in at 105 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with a massive 100 pages of content, so let's take a look!

First of all - this is a massive bestiary and as such, I can't go into the details of every creature herein without bloating it beyond belief. Additionally, I have reviewed the ongoing subscription (with the exception of ~2-3 installments, I think), so if in doubt, there are some reviews in the ether that are more detailed regarding the respective creatures. Finally, if you're like me and have accompanied the evolution of PFRPG's psionics, then you'll notice that Ultimate Psionics no longer featured monsters - well, that's why this book exists - handy player/DM separation by book - nice.

We begin this book with some explanations on how psionic creatures work, what to look out for etc., before 2 new feats that are used in this book are depicted - the aberration-only feat that nets you acidic blood, plus one 6-rank-prerequisite feat that allows the creature with it to avoid detection by e.g. blindsight etc. - while I get the intent behind the feat and applaud it, I do think that different abilities should add different bonuses to the perception-check for fairness's sake - after all, quite a feat creatures are very much dependant on blindsight and more often than not fail to invest ranks in perception. Now rest assured that this is a VERY minor nitpick and will not influence the verdict, but I'd urge DMs allowing this feat to take a look at eligible creatures and potentially reassign skill-ranks.

All right, got that? Neato, then let's dive head first into the array of psionic creatures presented herein - and, as per the tradition, we begin with the iconic astral constructs and all the table to customize them...but I assume you're familiar with these guys. Much cooler would be the psionic inevitables, the automata - crystalline machinery, deadly tricks, a regeneration only foiled by sonic damage...these guys are nasty and the direct foes of aberrations and similar creatures!

Classics like the crysmal, caller in darkness, folugub, psion-killer or cerebrelith can be found in these pages as well, though more often than not, I have to admit to by now simply having a higher standard for monsters - when compared to quite a few critters herein, the "classics" feel a bit conventional at times.

Now if you've followed my reviews, Hellfire aura-bearing devils, cerebremorte undead, beetles with a truly disturbing life cycle and brain parasite worms may sound familiar - and if you haven't encountered them, the phrenic hegemony, heirs to the illithids, may very well be the more disturbing (and complex) type of creature - they were awesome in the WiP-pdf and by now have more artworks - and these are simply awesome. Speaking of awesome - when I complained about the polearm masters of the Pyn-Gok race not getting any cool signature tricks via their plummage, I was heard - they now have quite a bunch of cool additional tricks! The T'artys have alas, not received a similar treatment - they still are ye' old mischief-causing fey, only with psionics. *shrugs* Their artwork ahs been upgraded, though!

A nod to Forgotten Realms' Saurians can be found in this pdf alongside some delightfully demented plant creatures -from the classic udoroot that now has some actually unique tricks to strange, mouth-studded trees, many of the artworks perfectly drive home the utter weirdness and partially alien flavor of psionics - take the humanoid plants with EYES, the Iniro. One look at their nightmareish artwork and you'll know you want to use these fellows! The Mindseed Tree is no less disturbing to me and just a fun adversary as well!

Dreamborn, colossal magical beasts adrift in the ether, the last members of a dying race, a strange array of mutated creatures that have been driven insane by a cataclysm, only to endure...how? Upon death of one , another member of their race hideously splits in two... The crystalline shackle using Dedrakons and similar hunters make for iconic magical beasts as hunters that work well in a context of a given world requiring appropriate predators.

And speaking of predators - beyond the awesomeness that is the phrenic hegemony, we also receive examples of psionic apex predators - psionic dragons. A total of 5 dragon types are provided - all of which radically different from the gem-dragon tradition: We receive the Cypher, Imagos, Keris, Lorican and Scourge dragons. Cypher dragons are travelers of the planes and do have some rather cool, unique abilities - they can disrupt patterns just like the Cryptic-class and indeed, their age-category abilities gained fall in line with this concept and remain their uniqueness.

Imago dragons do not cause fear, instead using confusion and are the wilders among dragonkind, coupling wilder-style tricks with a theme of oneiromancy etc. - cool! Now if you're like me, at one point, the color-coding of dragons annoyed you - while templates etc. by now allow for ways past that, simply introducing the energy-type changing Kerris dragons and their tricks might do the trick as well. Two thumbs up! Speaking of which - the Lorican dragon's tricks are imaginative as well - these guys can wrap essentially a pocket astral plane around themselves and exert control over this area, modifying magic affinity, gravity etc. - innovative and just incredibly cool!

Finally, the Scourge Dragons would be the dread-equivalent to the cypher dragon's cryptic-affinity -masters of fear with an affinity for the plane of shadows, they should be considered rather awesome as well. But this would not be all - beyond these trueborn dragons, there also are Ksarite dragons and drakes, partially composed of psionic force -compared to the true born dragons, though, these guys feel less impressive.

In case you're looking for templates to apply to creatures, we also receive fodder in that regard beyond aforementioned brain worm hosts - take the Marked One (CR +3) template - studded with psionic tattoos they can spread, these guys are obsessed with order and there might very well be a global agenda behind the phenomenon... narrative gold hiding here. Speaking of which - by now, you can create your own deranged trepanner-constructs -cool to see the missing crafting information showing up herein. I just wished the psychotrope drugs of a shambler variant had received similar treatment.

A massive appendix of creatures by type, by CR and by terrain makes this bestiary easy to handle for the DM - kudos!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch: At this point a shout-out to Anguish on the Paizo boards who did a massive bunch of editing for this book, checking statblocks for even the most minute of errors. My hat's off to you, sir (or madam)! The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience and layout adheres to Dreamscarred Press' two-column full color standard. The artworks provided for the creatures herein are universally full-color and belong to the more gorgeous, unique of artworks you'll see. While not adhering to a uniform style, the artworks are great and the less than awesome ones from the WiP have been exchanged with higher quality pieces - neat! It should also be noted that the pdf of this book comes with an additional, more printer-friendly version - nice! I can't comment on the print-version since I do not have it.

The team of designers Jeremy Smith, Andreas Rönnqvist, Michael McCarthy, Dale McCoy Jr., Michael Pixton, Jim Hunnicutt, Jade Ripley and Dean Siemsen have done a great job - the psionic bestiary offers quite an array of damn cool psionic creatures, studded with unique signature abilities, using the rules to their full extent, often significantly improving the less than superb examples among the WiP-files. Indeed, the majority of the creatures herein have something significantly cool going for them. Now if there is something to said against the pdf, it would be that there is no template to turn non-psionic creatures into psionic creatures and wilder in the class rules of the respective psionic classes. This is especially baffling to me due to the cover offering an aboleth, of which there is a distinct lack of in the book - why not provide some psionic versions of these iconic foes?

This would constitute the only thing truly missing from this book - a way to codify psionics in a massive choose-your-tricks template - other than that oversight, this book is a glorious bestiary, especially if you're looking for far-out creatures...and for fans of psionics, there's no way past this, anyways. My final verdict will hence clock in at a high recommendation of 5 stars, just shy by a tiny margin of my seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.


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Dark Archive

Starfinder Superscriber

My checking account would like to know if there is a rough estimate on when this will be available? It is still recovering from Paizocon tickets (airfare, hotel, ect...)but I would not miss this one!

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

The psionic dragons are in the final development stages. We've brought on additional developers to help us finish writing up the dragons. Two of the six are fully finished, the others are being wrapped up.

All the graphics are done.

80+% of the monsters are done. All that remains is formatting and layout.

Once the last couple of monsters and dragons are done, the book is done and I put it all together into one big book.

I'm hoping to have it done this month, but that very much depends on how quickly the dragons get finished and layout takes.


Oh god, how did i miss this!?!

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Will there be a print/PDF bundle offered?

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Most definitely.

The PDF is nearly finished - about 2 monsters are all that remain, plus incorporating all the feedback that Anguish has been throwing at us.

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Jeremy Smith wrote:

Most definitely.

The PDF is nearly finished - about 2 monsters are all that remain, plus incorporating all the feedback that Anguish has been throwing at us.

AWESOME! I will keep checking until I can order it.

Thanks Jeremy for all your work on bringing Psionics to Pathfinder.


Hey Jeremy, how many monsters are in here exactly?


Over nine thousand!

...Well okay no, it just feels like it >.> Monster design has been a very interesting challenge. I'll let Jeremy field the question though, hip-deep in dragons here, no time to count.


What, nine thousand!? 0__o

It's all good, I understand that you guys are working really hard to finish this product. I intend to get it as soon as it's released, even if the Psionic Bestiary doesn't see use until a later campaign.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

The goal is a roughly one hundred page book, so however many monsters it takes to hit that. :)

Dark Archive

Starfinder Superscriber

Any updates you can share?

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

The dragons are now out.

I've been working on the final compilation and it should be done this month.


And it's out!!


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

For those of us that funded the Kickstarter project, should this be appearing in our downloads?

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Alfray - I'm sending out an update now. Were you getting the Psionic Bestiary releases that were going out?


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

You mean the Work in Progress version, yup. Thanks Jeremy.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

It should be in there then. :)

DRP2210_LITE and DRP2210_FULL


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

That is one gorgeous book, Jeremy. Rather I should say, that is yet another gorgeous book from DSP. Great job. The art is very nice. Very glad for you folks getting this release done.


I weep at the emptiness of my checking account. I want this!


For those of us that pledged a long time ago for the minis how do we get our copy of the Bestiary?

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

silverhair2008 wrote:
For those of us that pledged a long time ago for the minis how do we get our copy of the Bestiary?

I am working on getting it set up at the site where you put in for your rewards. The file is actually already uploaded, I'm just working on getting it linked to all the orders.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Love the sneak peek of the sexy cover art for Path of War in the back! Also everything in front of it.

Shadow Lodge

Did the Deranged Trepanner get dropped?

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Kthulhu wrote:
Did the Deranged Trepanner get dropped?

It shouldn't have been... if it was, it was an oversight on my part that will be rectified before print. :)

Shadow Lodge

I didn't see him in my quick perusal of the PDF.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

I found the little bugger. I'll get him in the next update.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Man, am I glad I backed the Psionic Minis KS project. I have the pdf already and let me tell you what: this puppy is tasty! The art is lovely and the critters are nasty. Well done on this book. I can't wait to get the softcover.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

So changes coming to the PDF:

Deranged trepanner added on page 26 (also added to the three appendixes as a CR 6 construct found in any terrain)

The phrenic worm swarm was renamed to phrenic larva swarm in order to keep the phrenic matriarch image with her stat block (it was originally phrenic larva swarm and I renamed it to worm swarm for the same reason)

The puppeteer image on page 84 (now 85) has been fixed to not go over the text.

The Ksarite Dragon was moved to page 60 so that it's in proper alphabetical order.

A typo was fixed in the cerebrilith's descriptive text.

So far, that's everything identified (I think...) as we ramp up for the print run.

Shadow Lodge

I'm glad the deranged trepanner is there now. :D

But I mourn (and am confused by) the PDF's loss of the cover image. :/ :(

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

It's an oversight on my part - they're in different files, so they have to be manually merged after every export.

Dark Archive

Starfinder Superscriber

Saw on Facebook that the book is done can't wait to get mine.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Well, the proof arrived. :)

And as with most proofs, there are things to change. Mostly minor things, so they're already mostly done so that we can start the full print run.


Is this a paperback or hardcover?

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

This is softcover.

Dark Archive

Is the pdf going to get the proper cover?

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Yes, once I finish making all the changes needed based on the print proof. Those should be done this week.

Dark Archive

Thanks for the response. I love the rest of the book especially since I abhorred Psionics in 3.5 and banned them completely in all formats. The ultimate psionics and the bestiary have changed my mind and I love having new monsters throw at my players.


Is the su-monster included?

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Is the su-monster included?

The what now?

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

XakTarsonis wrote:
Thanks for the response. I love the rest of the book especially since I abhorred Psionics in 3.5 and banned them completely in all formats. The ultimate psionics and the bestiary have changed my mind and I love having new monsters throw at my players.

Awesome to hear, thanks!


Jeremy Smith wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Is the su-monster included?
The what now?

Monster from the old 1st Ed MM1, based on a South American cryptid. It's basically a carnivorous opossum-monkey-treesloth with psychic powers.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Ah, no, I'm afraid it's not.


Ah well, perhaps in a Psionic Bestiary 2 :)

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Jeremy Smith wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Is the su-monster included?
The what now?
Monster from the old 1st Ed MM1, based on a South American cryptid. It's basically a carnivorous opossum-monkey-treesloth with psychic powers.

I'm pretty sure those were featured in the first book of R.A. Salvatore's Cleric Quintet series as a moral challenge for a druid whose circle had debated whether they were unnatural predators or part of the natural cycle. They may not be in Pathfinder because they aren't part of the OGL, though it's a little unclear whether they're still part of WotC's IP.


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Jeremy Smith wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Is the su-monster included?
The what now?

Relevant thread is relevant.

Edit: And I don't know why I keep posting about su-monsters. It's weird.


I have to admit, I'm really excited about this duo of books.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hey what kind of aberrations do you get with this one?

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Aberration: azrathid, folugub, intellect devourer,
phrenic adept, phrenic dreadnaught, phrenic infiltrator,
phrenic matriarch, phrenic scourge, reva, temporal
filcher, thought eater, thought slayer, ural, verizal

:)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jeremy Smith wrote:

Aberration: azrathid, folugub, intellect devourer,

phrenic adept, phrenic dreadnaught, phrenic infiltrator,
phrenic matriarch, phrenic scourge, reva, temporal
filcher, thought eater, thought slayer, ural, verizal

:)

I recognize some of those from writing them! Not the majority, though.

Come to think of it you handed me all the weird stuff :p

[Walks off grumbling about psionic elementals razza frazza...]


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am looking forward to this quite a bit in soft cover. I have plans for this in my one campaign principally inspired by Eberron and SpellJammer.

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