Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Monster Codex (OGL)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Monster Codex (OGL)
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Menagerie of Mayhem!

The fiercest surprises often come from the most familiar foes! Just as no single class description can define every fighter, rogue, or wizard, no single creature entry can truly cover every vicious champion, unholy priest, or savage sorcerer in a band of organized and intelligent monsters.

With Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Monster Codex, fleshed-out hordes are at your fingertips! This volume presents a trove of entries for 20 classic monster races, giving you new ways to use your favorite monsters in a variety of encounters and challenge levels.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Monster Codex is an indispensable companion to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 15 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 best-selling set of fantasy rules into a new era.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Monster Codex includes:

  • Pages upon pages of specialized entries for 20 classic monstrous races, from goblins and drow to kobolds and trolls. Face off against such formidable foes as gnoll packlords, ratfolk sages, and dinosaur-riding lizardfolk champions!
  • Detailed information on the ecologies and societies of these formidable creatures.
  • New feats, equipment, spells, and archetypes to help you customize all 20 monstrous races—and the adventurers who fight or trade with them.
  • A horrific new monster associated with each race—allies, thralls, and variants.
  • Sample encounters ready to challenge raw recruits and experienced adventurers alike.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-686-7

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

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Everyone GM Should Own One

5/5

Monster Codex is a fantastic 256-page hardcover collection of new rules, variants, and background on twenty classic monstrous races for Pathfinder. The full-colour artwork inside is excellent and the book is laid out quite well. I'm not a particularly big "monster guy", but I found this book quite interesting and readable, and enjoyed finishing an entry every night before bed, often drifting off to sleep with fun (and nefarious) new ideas.

Each entry is twelve pages long and includes a half-page picture and a half-page of in-universe flavour text, followed by a really well-written page of description and background that goes far beyond what's available in a Bestiary. Each monster then receives about two pages of new rules, the exact content of which varies--it could be new archetypes, magic items, spells, feats, favored class options, and more. Some of these options could be taken by anyone, but most are limited to members of the particular race. Next, each entry has six pages of full stat-blocks for variant or specialized members of the race, many of which span a range of Challenge Ratings (CRs) (often through the addition of class levels) so that particular monstrous races don't become obsolete once the PCs reach a certain level. GMs might be surprised how useful this is in expanding the options they have when designing storylines, and the entries include a good mix of martial and caster variants. After that, a new creature associated with the race is presented in a one-page stat block--these are often some sort of animal (or animal-like) companion or pet often present. Last, there's a one-page summary of a few different types of encounters (of varying CRs) in which the PCs might come into conflict with the race--note that these are not true encounters detailed in the sense of maps, terrain, etc., but more like common ways the monsters might be encountered and the number and types that they'll bring to the occasion.

Since there's twenty entries, I can't go into full detail on each, so what follows is more like a list with some very brief comments of things that caught my particular attention added in.

1. Boggards. It was interesting to learn that they have a much more complex society than they might seem to at first glance. [3 new alternate racial traits, 4 new favored class options, 5 new feats, one new spell, 2 new magic items.]

2. Bugbears. The flavour text for this is fantastic (and chilling!). I've always thought of Bugbears and just larger orcs before, but this really helps to distinguish them (and make them scary). There's a really clever spell introduced (Isolate) that renders a creature invisible and silent, but only to their own allies! The artwork for the Bugbear Tyrant (a CR 13 antipaladin) is simply fantastic! [1 new Antipaladin archetype, 7 new feats, 1 new spell, 2 new magic items]

3. Drow. [2 new alchemist discoveries, 3 new feats, 2 new pieces of equipment, 2 new magic items]

4. Duergar. The picture of the Duergar Monk makes me laugh because of that huge pot belly! [2 new alternate racial traits, 3 new feats, 2 new weapons, 3 new spells, 1 new magic item]

5. Fire Giants. There's a new Oracle Mystery introduced here (Apocalypse) that one of the PCs in my Rise of the Runelords game has taken. So you never know what will prove useful in a game. I also like the new creature, a Steam Hog--a huge, tusked boar; a mounted Fire Giant cavalier would be terrifying! [1 new Oracle mystery, 1 new feat, 2 new spells]

6. Frost Giants. [7 new feats, 2 new spells, 4 new magic items]

7. Ghouls. I've been reading Classic Horrors Revisited at the same time as this book, so I was mildly surprised to see the race again here. But I like ghouls, so that's okay. The artwork here is great, and I really like the variant ghoul--the Masked Marauder (a CR 8 ghoul bard), who would be a great mastermind villain for an urban campaign. [1 new sorcerer bloodline, 5 new feats, 2 new spells]

8. Gnolls. [1 new Witch archetype, 1 new Barbarian archetype, 5 new feats (4 of them Teamwork, which makes perfect sense for hyena-like Gnolls), 1 new weapon, and 3 new magic items]

9. Goblins. I *really* want to play a Goblin Winged Marauder! I also liked (and was mildly disgusted by) the explanation of what a Goblin Alchemist formula book looks like. [1 new Alchemist archetype, 1 new Oracle curse, 1 new Witch hex, 1 new piece of equipment, and 2 new spells]

10. Hobgoblins. Perfect for anyone planning to run the Ironfang Invasion adventure path. The Hobgoblin Commander (a CR 12 Samurai) is really cool. [1 new Alchemist archetype, 6 new feats, 4 new pieces of equipment]

11. Kobolds. I liked the Dragon Yapper archetype for bards--instead of inspiring your allies, you annoy and distract your enemies! [1 new Alchemist archetype, 1 new Bard archetype, 2 new animal companions, 7 new traps, 2 new feats]

12. Lizardfolk. I have a new appreciation for lizardfolk after reading this entry, which means the writers did their job well. [1 new Druid archetype, 1 new Oracle curse, 3 new feats, 3 new spells]

13. Ogres. The focus here is on the degenerations and mutations that plague the race. The artwork is a bit tame considering how much fun the artist could have had. [4 new templates; 8 new feats]

14. Orcs. This entry would be particularly useful to players since Half-Orc is a Core race. [4 new feats, 2 new pieces of equipment, 6 new magic items]

15. Ratfolk. They seem like a lot of fun, and I'll have to make time to play one. The Cheek Pouch alternate racial trait is a classic. [4 new alternate racial traits, 4 new feats, 1 new piece of equipment, 1 new animal companion, 2 new magic items]

16. Sahuagin. [6 new mutant variants, 3 new feats, 3 new spells]

17. Serpentfolk. Such a fascinating race and mysterious race! [5 new feats, 2 new spells, 3 new magic items]

18. Troglodytes. I still find the race rather bland and forgettable after reading this entry--one of the book's only failures in that department. [3 new variants, 3 new spells, 2 new magic items]

19. Trolls. The Troll Fury archetype (for druids) presents an interesting take on trolls. I love (and fear) the Cooperative Rend teamwork feat--if a troll and its ally have the feat and are threatening the same creature, only one claw attack has to land for rend to kick in! I'm not a big fan, however, of Paizo's artistic take on trolls. The new monster, a CR 2 Sewer Troll, is a great way to help low-level PCs get acquainted with the regeneration monster ability before they fight the real thing. [1 new Druid archetype, 6 new feats, 1 new piece of equipment, 2 new spells, 2 new magic items]

20. Vampires. A GM will appreciate the new templates for creatures that have been repeatedly drained or dominated by vampires. Alchemical Blood is a logical thing to introduce in the game as well. [3 new templates, 2 new simple templates for minions, 2 new feats, 1 new piece of equipment, 2 new magic items]

An appendix introduces the concept of "Simple Class Templates". The idea here is to allow a GM to quickly modify a monster by adding class levels without having to laboriously rebuild a stat block from the ground up. Thus, each of the Core Rulebook classes are given quick template rules and simplified spellcasting. I haven't tried this method out, so I don't know how well it works.

As I said, I'm not a monster guy, so the fact that I enjoyed this book so much is telling. It really does freshen up monsters with the options presented. Long-time players, even those that do their very best not to metagame, may not be able to avoid sighing when yet another orc or troll appears in a game--but with the material presented here, the GM can add a surprising twist to every encounter. In addition, the stat blocks for higher CR versions of every monster makes many of these monsters viable opponents throughout a campaign instead of the old "goblins at Level 1, trolls at Level 5, and neither ever seen again afterwards" problem. I also liked how the addition of class levels can help turn common PC strengths against themselves--an alchemist monster hurling touch-attack area of effect bombs definitely changes up the battlefield! Although this book isn't literally indispensable for GMs, it would be among the first recommendations I would make. And, perhaps surprisingly, there's enough race-neutral options here that players will surely find something useful for their PCs as well (if they're cheeky enough to buy a copy). And you gotta love that cover!


Go Go Pathfinder!

5/5

I had this exact idea and wrote it down but never sent it. Now I have owned your version for awhile and I just love it and how you executed this book. You can really tell how valuable this book is to GM's as every review is 5 out of 5 stars except 1 review dragging down the median.

I echo the sentiments of my fellow reviewers when I ask to see a second Monster Codex and here is a list that might be good candidates. Love to hear what others ideas might be.

18 in total; 4 playable races, 8 monster races, 6 undead creatures.

Aasimar
Catfolk
Tiefling
Tengu

Centaur
Cyclops
Dryad & Fey Creatures
Ettin
Gargoyle
Giants (Hill & Stone)
Girallon
Rakshasa

Skeleton
Mummy
Werewolf
Wight
Wraith
Zombie

Other possibilities are Cloud & Storm Giants, also Suli is a real cool playable race that could be added.

Finally I would also love to see a second Rival Guide but hopefully there would be more low level groups. It could be called Rival Codex and could also include a more extensive section for groups like primitive tribes, street gangs, crazed zealots, and evil monks than what is in the GMG.


One of the best

5/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

I really cannot praise the Monster Codex enough. In the year since its release, it has become one of the most used resources at my game table. It's like a Bestiary, the NPC Codex, and the Advanced Race Guide all rolled into one! The Monster Codex covers 20 of the most common monster races and provides a selection of NPCs for each, as well as several new rules options, and still more. It gives GMs a chance to take these classic monsters and add huge variety to them.


Humanoid Monster Races Finally Get Development

5/5

This is really what the revisited products should be like: full of extra inspiration and details to make a GM's like easier. Why buy a product that just regurgitates what I already know about a monster race?

This focuses on many of the humanoid monster races and fleshes them out, something Paizo really needed to do. I'm hoping they do this with many of the other races that are sentient.

This book is well worth your money if you plan on using monsters as characters in your games and not just target practice.


One of my favorites

5/5

This is probably one of the best Pathfinder resources for DMs. I love the 'classic' monsters, but it can be hard to use them in other than their typical niches. This book takes care of that and lets orcs, kobolds, and the rest be diverse enough to keep the players guessing.


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RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

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Thisss book ssslithered itsss way to my doorsssstep today. I immediately looked through all the art in my sssection again. Beautiful sssstuff! And I'm glad to have finally contributed to a Paizo hardcover. :)

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Berselius wrote:
Can you tell me the prerequisites for all the Frost Giant feats?

Ancestral Emnity: Giant Subtype

Awesome Charge: Str 25, Awesome Blow, Improved Bull Rush, Power Attack
Born of Frost: Frost Giant
Chilled Rock: Forst Giant, Born of Frost
Cleaving Sweep: Str 15, Cleave, Improved Trip, Weapon Focus (Greataxe), BAB 11+
Icy Stare: Frost Giant, Born of Frost
Sure on Ice: Frost Giant

Quote:
Also, what is the alignment of the Frost Giant Druid?

NE


Calth wrote:

While there weren't a lot of player options, intimidate martial builds got a significant amount of those options.

** spoiler omitted **

I don't think there is any archetype support for the ACG, but ACG classes are included in the spells, bloodrager for example got a couple nice spells.

Sorry made a couple mistakes from memory

Intimidation feats:
The feat I first referred to is actually Hurtful, and you can make an attack against an opponent you demoralized with a swift action. The feat that lets you use intimidate instead of bluff for feinting is also pretty interesting

Dark Archive

More uses for Racial Heritage. And probably even more discussions about it.


What are the ability scores and feats for the frost giant druid? Does the book give any rules on how to recalculate ability scores / feats for fire giants and frost giants who have spellcaster roles instead of combat roles?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

No advice is given, but that's basically because it's just "apply elite stat array to monster base stats, add +1 per 4 class levels to score of your choice".


As well as size adjustments I take it? I'm just wondering if Fire Giants and Frost Giants have racial ability score adjustments though. Is there any advice concerning recalculating a monster's feats?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

All monsters (without class levels) are built using an array of 11, 11, 11, 10, 10, 10 as base stats. You can calculate the racial stat modifiers by subtracting those numbers from the stats presented in the Bestiary. These numbers account for size modifiers.

As for feats: swap out any feats you want, except feats in the monster entry that are flagged as bonus feats, as long as the monster meets the prerequisites.


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Monsters' stats tend to deviate from monster advancement (like most Animal having the same Dex, regardless of size)... If odd, subtract 11, if even, subtract 10 (or from 11 and 10 if 9 or lower).


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I noticed a lot of non-neutral druids in the books. Troglodytes and vampires especially. Maybe some trolls too.

Is there anything that allows this by the rules? (Obviously, I don't care if there's not, I'm just curious if something was said about it.)

Scarab Sages

Kain Darkwind wrote:

I noticed a lot of non-neutral druids in the books. Troglodytes and vampires especially. Maybe some trolls too.

Is there anything that allows this by the rules? (Obviously, I don't care if there's not, I'm just curious if something was said about it.)

In Pathfinder, druids don't have to be True Neutral. They only have to be neutral on one axis (Good/Neutral/Evil or Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic). That makes it possible to have Neutral Evil druids.

PRD Link

(Note: I haven't seen the book. If there are Lawful Evil or Chaotic Evil druids, then you're right - something odd is happening.)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I just looked through the whole book.

There are two druids with alignments listed as CE, a troglodyte on page 215 and a troll on page 229.

Both should be listed as NE.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oops.

Seriously, if the worst thing wrong with the book are some minor formatting errors and a copy/paste alignment error or two (until Strife2002 and chopswil dig in, at least), I'm a very happy chappy.

Also, we learn what Erik Mona does on his Friday afternoons: searches for alignment topics on the forums. Must start more paladin threads...

Hey, wait a second, I think I took the wrong tone, here. Let me try again.

THE SKY IS FALLING, THE SKY IS FALLING! CHAOTIC EVIL DRUIDS ARE ALLOWED! WHERE ARE MY NEUTRAL EVIL PALADINS?

Scarab Sages

Good catch, Kain!


Tom Phillips wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:


Does this mean the book shows us King Snorre Iron-Belly and Queen Frupy in all their glory? Now lets see if anyone's old enough to get those references.
That's King Snurre to you! Now turn in your grognard badge and hand over your agonizer if you please, Mr. Hinkle! :-)

D'oh! Guess the memory really is the first thing to go!


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Erik Mona wrote:

I just looked through the whole book.

There are two druids with alignments listed as CE, a troglodyte on page 215 and a troll on page 229.

Both should be listed as NE.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Two trogs, one on page 217. (He's multiclass, which is why you probably missed him.)

Thanks, those must have been the ones I was remembering (didn't have the book when I posted). One, and I figured it was a mistake, but two and three, I was thinking there might be a pattern or some material I missed making it legit.

By the way, I absolutely love the book and its organization. I would buy another even if it had exactly the same monster races featured. (You'd have to switch things up to get me to buy MC3 though)

Also, I've said it before, but thanks for not following the 3e route of never using new classes and material beyond the sourcebook they appear in. Seeing alchemists, witches, samurai, magi and oracles integrated into the monstrous societies was solid. In fact, of the non-ACG classes, the only ones I didn't see featured was gunslinger, ninja, summoner and inquisitor. And it seems I was wrong about the gunslinger, since I just glanced over the ratfolk and saw one sneak in there.


when's this hitting the PRD?


Just downloaded my copy... VIA THE PAIZO STORE, MIND YOU!, no pirating here ;)

Quick review:
I kinda hate (might as well get this out of the way):

- No CR adjustment table: Pathfinder, just like WotC's D&D 3.5, uses the rule that some classes increase the CR of some monsters only by half the class levels instead of by the full class levels. That would have been EXTREMELY useful to list which classes increase the CR by 1 and which ones by 1/2. Just take the 11 core classes from the Player's Handbook, split them in two groups and list the CR adjustments for each. For instance, the Fire Giant Doombringer could have gotten a little footnote saying that each Oracle level counts as a 1/2 CR increase.

- No link on the Table of Contents: I don't know if it was just for a test back in the 1st Bestiary, but in the PDF file, that would have been nice to have. Granted, there are bookmarks, but still, I believe that it's a little more intuitive here.

- It seems like there were some cut content: The average PF book is around 300 pages, sometimes 350 pages. This one is around 250 pages (258 including the cover, rules and other stuff). That they went for a round number of 20 monsters is fine... but I feel like they could have gotten to, say, 320 pages with more stuff. I'm really satisfied with the product, truth be told, but I can't shake the feeling that something had to be removed.

- The class simple templates seem a little chaotic: Some them require you to crack open more books to find what you need, some of them omit rather important features... I don't know... It is probably better to take some time and craft your encounter with the actual classes if you want to make memorable and easy to use. Then again, adepts, experts and warriors are safer to use and there for a reason too.

- There is now a urge to get more: Congratulations Paizo, you've managed to make me wanting for MORE creatures. Seriously, that kind of book comes REALLY handy.

I like:
- More options for every creature: Being the most utilized monsters as encounters, it's always good to get more ways to be creative with them.

- Defined roles: THANK YOU, I WAS LOOKING FOR THAT! Roles are defined better here, some examples are provided and it's now easier to swap classes if needed, like swapping a druid for a shaman, or a ranger for a hunter.

- Artworks: 'nuff said :)

- Each monster can now be used properly: Some monsters are often neglected in place of otehrs due to power and strengths, but now I feel like I'm more interested at using classed creatures than actual monsters now. Nothing beats a hydra to a group of boggards though :P

- Associated monsters: Great addition there and it,s good to spice up the encounters as well.
----------------------
That sums it up pretty well. I'd love to see a 2nd book with 20 more clan/tribal creatures in the future. I would suggest these creatures for the next book:
Bestiary 1
- Centaurs
- Cyclops
- Dark creepers
- Dark stalkers
- Derros
- Doppelgangers
- Ettins
- Gargoyles
- Genies (all variations)
- Giants (cloud, hill, stone and storm)
- Harpies
- Lamias
- Merfolks
- Minotaurs
- Morlocks
- Skums

Bestiary 2
- Azers
- Chardas
- Dark slayers
- Giants (marsh, rune, taiga and wood)
- Grindylows
- Locathahs
- Merrows
- Mongrelmen
- Skulks
- Spriggans
- Tritons

Bestiary 3
- Adaros
- Adlets
- Catfolks
- Cecaelias
- Ceratioidis
- Derhiis
- Giants (ash, cave, desert and jungle)
- Girtablilus
- Kechs
- Maftets
- Nephilims
- Nixies
- Shaes
- Tanukis
- Vodyanois

Bestiary 4
- Changelings
- Dark callers
- Dark dancers
- Gathlains
- Giants (cliff, ocean, river and slag)
- Shobhads
- Trox
- Wayangs
- Wikkawaks
- Wyrwoods
- Wyvarans

Dark Archive

Look in the Bestiary for the CR adjustment table. Here.


Just got the PDF, and I quite like this. A great diversity of types, for a great diversity of situations. I would have liked more on ratfolk, but it otherwise seems cool. I would buy another similar book in the future.

Now, to figure out what I will send against my players...


Marik Whiterose wrote:
Look in the Bestiary for the CR adjustment table. Here.

Well, in this case, it would have been better to list the creature's role, be at the beginning of the book or at the chapter's.

The faster you can figure out the rules, the better, I say.

Dark Archive

Hmm, I took a glance at the book at my FLGS... didn't buy it because all the copies had warped covers and pages, probably due to moisture from the cold (it's almost winter over here, and temperatures have dropped dramatically). Also, I'm not exactly convinced this book is uselful for me...

I mean, it's practically a few feats and statted monsters with character levels per monster; if you ask me, there's less content here than in ARG. I found those "class level templates" to be weird; and with spellcasters you still need to pick those spells, right?

Art is *very* good, though.

Probably the only ones to really *need* this book are GMs who don't like statting monsters as PCs, or GMs who regularly use ghouls/trolls/ogres/orcs/goblins/etc. with class levels. I might have bought it when I used a goblinoid army (consisting of goblins, orcs and hobgoblins) in my campaign. It would have helped a lot with NPCs and variants from lowly sergeants and scouts to shamans and generals.

Others, like myself, might think there's just not enough "bang for your buck" (hopefully I got that idiom right! ;))


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Are the rules elements generally limited to their respective races? The oracle curses look as though they could be useful for races other than those whose sections they appear in, but I am not sure whether I should interpret the statements that they are available to a particular race as implying that they are not available to other races.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Asgetrion wrote:
Hmm, I took a glance at the book at my FLGS... didn't buy it because all the copies had warped covers and pages, probably due to moisture from the cold (it's almost winter over here, and temperatures have dropped dramatically).

Must be due to global warming. :-)

And yeah, you got the "bang for the buck" idiom right. :)

Dark Archive

David, the mechanics in ARG and Monster Codex are meant to be unique to each race. For example, the feats in ARG have racial names as keywords (ergo, as a requirement). Having said that, I've let half-orcs pick orc archetypes and spells, and vice versa. I might even have given a few orc feats to a hobgoblin NPC fighter, just because they really fit him. And why not? It doesn't break anything if you creae a troll scarred witch doctor with a few gnoll feats.

Also, I could see, say, a halfling PC raised by dwarves being able to get culture-related dwarven feats or spells.

Dark Archive

Ed Reppert wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
Hmm, I took a glance at the book at my FLGS... didn't buy it because all the copies had warped covers and pages, probably due to moisture from the cold (it's almost winter over here, and temperatures have dropped dramatically).

Must be due to global warming. :-)

And yeah, you got the "bang for the buck" idiom right. :)

Heh, actually, this year we had the warmest summer in memory, almost +30 Celcius every day in July! And it was still around +15 just a month ago, which is also unusually warm for autumn. And last winter there was only a little snow on the ground; in fact, in many places it didn't snow at all! (which has *never* happened during my lifetime, IIRC)

In general, the winters have been quite mild during the past decade; *sigh*, it may sound weird, but I miss those -30 Celcius temperatures! :)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Are the oracle's curses considered to be racially specific then? I could see the Infested curse working for a Rage Prophet wannabe who doesn't bathe very often, or the Cold-Blooded curse working for any oracle from a tropical climate. What I am trying to figure out is whether those are merely slightly unusual options to pick or the sort of house ruling that would be involved in generalizing racially specific feats or archetypes.

Dark Archive

David knott 242 wrote:

Are the oracle's curses considered to be racially specific then? I could see the Infested curse working for a Rage Prophet wannabe who doesn't bathe very often, or the Cold-Blooded curse working for any oracle from a tropical climate. What I am trying to figure out is whether those are merely slightly unusual options to pick or the sort of house ruling that would be involved in generalizing racially specific feats or archetypes.

I can't answer that for sure, since I didn't buy the book. I *did* take a look at it, and IIRC all game mechanics were tied to a race. But does it really matter? It's not for players anyway, so you could just decide that, hmm, a dwarf NPC oracle from an arctic region has Cold-Blooded curse, right? (meaning that a keen-eyed player couldn't complain about a dwarf NPC having a curse normally meant for a monster race)


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Love, LOVE the simple class templates!


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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Also, please keep making Monster Codices in this vein! Incredibly useful for us DMs.

Paizo Employee Developer

Asgetrion wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

Are the oracle's curses considered to be racially specific then? I could see the Infested curse working for a Rage Prophet wannabe who doesn't bathe very often, or the Cold-Blooded curse working for any oracle from a tropical climate. What I am trying to figure out is whether those are merely slightly unusual options to pick or the sort of house ruling that would be involved in generalizing racially specific feats or archetypes.

I can't answer that for sure, since I didn't buy the book. I *did* take a look at it, and IIRC all game mechanics were tied to a race. But does it really matter? It's not for players anyway, so you could just decide that, hmm, a dwarf NPC oracle from an arctic region has Cold-Blooded curse, right? (meaning that a keen-eyed player couldn't complain about a dwarf NPC having a curse normally meant for a monster race)

I'll help answer that since I happen to have the book in front of me at the moment.

The introduction on page 5—New Rules wrote:
Many of these options are restricted specifically to a given race, but some can be taken by any characters who meet the requirements to do so.

Liberty's Edge

I have a question about the gnoll portion of the book, are the CR's on the gnolls with cleric levels and the one with Bouda levels correct?

Looking at the bestiary on advancing monsters, gnolls fill a combat roll, so adding those caster levels would be different for the first level. (gnolls being cr1)

So the first level of cleric or Bouda would leave the gnoll at Cr1, the next would actually change the Cr and so on, leaving the two clerics at Cr 4 and Cr 11 respectively and the Bouda would be Cr 12.

Or am I doing something wrong?

If I am wrong about the Cr, then why are the ghouls (also Cr 1's that fill a combat roll) following the rules that I stated above with their caster variations? It also seems that most of the other entries follow the monster advancement correctly as well, another example is the boggard portion of the book.

A final question (back to the gnolls again), the gnoll bruiser has one level in fighter one and level in rogue, listed as a Cr 3. Does the addition of that fighter level, a "combat" class, make the rogue level, a "skill" class add one to the Cr instead of 1/2 like I think it should?

Dark Archive

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Hah! Thanks, Adam! Anyway, the gnoll section actually looked pretty interesting.

This book is like NPC Codex, but for monsters, only with less variance among character classes. For example, no orc wizards or hobgoblin druids. Lots of clerics, fighters and rogues, though (IIRC).

I thought those class templates were a bit weird... however, I *like* creating monsters with character levels and archetypes.

Dark Archive

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Excellent book. I love reading more about Golarion bugbears.


Love it all to death. Just a little disappointed no examples of those ultra paragon trogdolytes we hear about.


Major_Blackhart wrote:
Love it all to death. Just a little disappointed no examples of those ultra paragon trogdolytes we hear about.

Me too! I had thought that the enlightened Xulgath were the top of the ziggurat for trogs, and then to find there were even more potent ones? Wow!


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So... why do the drow have ice blue skin? They look more like snowcaster elves than dark elves. They're actually paler than surface elves.


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I appreciate the change actually. It takes drow further from falling into the "dark skin = bad" trope that has been a part of our hobby for too long. This lets drow look distinctly different while not having any racist undertones.


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And anyway, a people that lives underground generally OUGHT to have paler skin.

(In Mystara, there were the Shadow Elves.)


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Well, sure, they ought to. But the text still says this:

Quote:
A dark elf's skin is either a cold blue-black, lusterless like a starless night or with a sheen akin to volcanic glass, or a deep purple, like the diluted violet of a dawn sky.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Actually, dark skin would be a benefit in low light areas, so I could see dark skinned races flourishing more than paler creatures.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is it me or is the pdf for this coming up as rather large? 140+Meg is considerably bigger that any Bestiary I have.


Got my copy Wednesday, great book, would kind of prefer a Monster Codex 2 to another Bestiary come next October.
Any chance of seeing a Pawn set for this book?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Actually, dark skin would be a benefit in low light areas, so I could see dark skinned races flourishing more than paler creatures.

It is also contrary to the way creatures evolve in the real world. Of course, as a variant of slow maturing elves, drow really should be less different in appearance from elves than they are.


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DarthPinkHippo wrote:
I appreciate the change actually. It takes drow further from falling into the "dark skin = bad" trope that has been a part of our hobby for too long. This lets drow look distinctly different while not having any racist undertones.

I never saw it was a racist undertone. I always took it to be the old trope that light=good and darkness=evil which has been a staple in almost every human culture including African cultures.

There is also the problem that Drow are suppose to black skin...darker than any human ever could be...but that is kinda hard to draw with it looking like just a black shape...so artist had a tendency to color them lighter shades of black. And surface elves though out the history of D&D can have a wide variety including dark brown in skin color.

Also if you look at the culture where drow are loosely based on it would be the Norse...who did have myths of dark skinned elves...those myths predated any possible contact with African cultures by probably hundred of years. So even the original myths were not racist in nature

Anyway I kinda think it is sad that as culture our knee jerk reaction is to be offended instead of just doing some research and thinking about it.

Saying that though I am glad Pazio took the drow appearance in a different way as it make people more comfortable and get away from that old trope of light=good and darkness=evil as it is getting old.


I know it's harping and it's annoying, but I still wish there was a new class for Orcs, something Cavalier or even better Samurai based. Don't get me wrong, I love what Orcs got, especially the Gorthek and Gorthek mask which my Half-Orc will adore, but man, an Orc Samurai archetype that gains Weapon Expertise with suitably Orcish weapons (Falchion, Javelin, Handaxe, Orc Double Axe, Longspear), etc.

And I say Samurai based because dammit, ain't nothing goin on with that class and the idea of Orc and Half-Orc warriors utterly devoted to combat beyond the fighter types, to the point where it becomes their philosophy and the point of their very existence, is itself unique.


Aaron Bitman wrote:

And anyway, a people that lives underground generally OUGHT to have paler skin.

(In Mystara, there were the Shadow Elves.)

I've always preferred the notion of pale skinned and dark haired "dark elves". Like in Warhammer also.

The dark blue/purple hued drow are at least better the the brown skinned drow of the chain-mail bikini days. http://cp12.nevsepic.com.ua/71/1352760447-08-087-the-queen-of-the-spiders.j pg


...Everybody seems to be glossing over the fact that someone thought it was a good idea to give insane pyromaniac goblin alchemists wings. How do they work?


Neil Spicer wrote:
Thisss book ssslithered itsss way to my doorsssstep today. I immediately looked through all the art in my sssection again. Beautiful sssstuff! And I'm glad to have finally contributed to a Paizo hardcover. :)

Did you do the serpentfolk pictures?

If so, well done. They were amazing.

Also, this book is going to make a great pawn collection.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Dustyboy wrote:
when's this hitting the PRD?

Very soon.

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