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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James, can you say anything about roughly how many (if any) of the new feats and other options will be available to monsters in general, rather than be restricted to the featured races?

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Rather disappointed we're not getting an NPC Codex 2 this year. This book will be useful, I have no doubt, but still, I'd rather have pre-built statblocks for magi, summoners, alchemists, and the rest of the non-core base classes.


Kinda luke-warm on this one, but maybe once I see the final product I'll be more excited.

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gancanagh wrote:
What I don't understand is why Ratfolk, robots and Flumph's are probably accepted by you, but a Drop Bear would be too much?

I like robots because they represent the inherent dangers of humanity "playing god." There are tons of literary and cinematic examples of this theme.

I like flumphs because they fill a specific game design niche (Good Aberrations). While they are not as strong as robots because they aren't cultural adaptations, I respect (and praise) the need to create new ideas going forward into gaming. Note that I did not like flumphs until Paizo redefined them as a race in Misfit Monsters Revisited.

I like ratfolk for a combination of the above reasons. Ratfolk have some literary support (Secret of NIMH comes to mind, in which the ratfolk represent a demi-human society created and suppressed by humanity) but they're also largely a product of the RPG genre, developed as a need to fill a niche.

I do not like drop bears because they they have no mythological or literary reason to exist, their concept does not not fulfill an empty design niche, and they are essentially a "bully" monster. Australians do not believe that the drop bear exists; at no point in history have they ever. They only tell tourists that they exist in the hopes of spooking naive travelers and possibly getting them to do something demeaning.

Saying that I think drop bears are "too much" is incorrect. I staunchly believe that drop bears have no reason to exist in this world or in a fictions one because they are nothing more than a cruel joke monster and I feel the same way about similar monsters such as the jackolope.

[/EndTirade]

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Indeed. Statting up a drop bear would be like making stats for a jackalope or a snipe: they're pranks, not cryptids or myths.

Though we do have stats for a platypus, but that's evolution's prank.


I will have to wait and see if I will get this one or not.

Silver Crusade

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As an Australian I won't stand to see our national nightmare reduced to a mere prank. Hundreds of innocent tourists die each year from Drop-Bear attacks.


Alexander Augunas wrote:

...

I do not like drop bears because they they have no mythological or literary reason to exist, their concept does not not fulfill an empty design niche, and they are essentially a "bully" monster. Australians do not believe that the drop bear exists; at no point in history have they ever. They only tell tourists that they exist in the hopes of spooking naive travelers and possibly getting them to do something demeaning.

Saying that I think drop bears are "too much" is incorrect. I staunchly believe that drop bears have no reason to exist in this world or in a fictions one because they are nothing more than a cruel joke monster and I feel the same way about similar monsters such as the jackolope.

[/EndTirade]

Off topic discussion of Drop Bears:

Speaking as an Australian, I think this is a somewhat unfair view of the Drop Bear tale. I don't know anyone who uses it as a way to humiliate tourists. I, and my friends, use it as a good natured joke, like when a colleague of mine from Washington came to work here in the Canberra office for a week. We just brought up the topic of drop bears, and let him know that he should be careful while walking around under trees around the town centres, because urban sprawl had forced them to move into more populated areas. We didn't let him believe it for long, just for half an hour or so over dinner one night, and we all had a good laugh about it afterwards. Certainly for my group, the biggest draw is the sense of wonder we get from the fact that a surprising number of people still believe us, despite the fact that 5 seconds on the internet should provide proof that they aren't real. There's nothing cruel about it from our view. That's not to say that some people aren't bastards about it, just that I don't think it's the majority. For the rest of us, it's just a fun tall tale to tell.

There's actually an Australian film group trying to crowd source funds to make a Drop Bear horror-comedy film at the moment, which I'd love to see come to fruition. Sadly it's looking like they won't make their goals, but it'd be nice to see. The concept videos they made looked really fun.

Ross Byers wrote:

Indeed. Statting up a drop bear would be like making stats for a jackalope or a snipe: they're pranks, not cryptids or myths.

Though we do have stats for a platypus, but that's evolution's prank.

The jackalope doesn't really irritate me that much, I always just figured they were an Americanisation of the Skvader and Wolpertinger, which were already statted in one of the Shattered Star volumes (I think... could be Reign of Winter?) But given the similarities to those two creatures, it's not like the Jackalope would actually need to be statted anyway, since if you really need one, either of those statblocks should suffice with minor (if any) tweaks.

Back on the topic of this book, I'm really looking forward to it :) I like having easy access to NPC statblocks, whether it's for variations on monsters to give encounters a bit of spice, or for PC classed NPCs so I don't have to build the damn things myself.

Webstore Gninja Minion

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wolpertinger and skvader were in AP #61, the first volume of Shattered Star.


Thanks Liz! Knew they were there somewhere, but I'm at work and therefore don't have my books with me to check :D

Though I do have a bunch of new books that I picked up from the post office on my way to work today, and are now sitting on my desk waiting for lunchtime. New Pathfinder book day is best day.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Are wrote:

James, can you say anything about roughly how many (if any) of the new feats and other options will be available to monsters in general, rather than be restricted to the featured races?

Nope. Partially because I'm not really all that involved in this book beyond the aforementioned help in picking the monsters, but also because it's wayyyyy too soon to talk in more detail about the book's contents.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

My favorite books from Paizo have been the Monster Revisited books, and I'm sad to see that those seem to have tapered off these days. If this book can scratch my monster ecology itch, I will definitely buy it.


Since we're talking about monster stat-blocks, I figured I'd post some of my own personal creations. Let me show you my Hobgoblins!

Sons of Moloch, fighter:

SON OF MOLOCH CR 5

advanced hobgoblin fighter 5
LE medium humanoid (goblinoid)

Init +4 , Senses darkvision 60ft, perception +9


DEFENSE
AC 25 , touch 14 , flat-footed 21 , (9+ armor, 4+ dex, +2 natural )

HP 55 (5d10)

Fort +9 , Ref +5, Will +5; +1 vs fear
Defensive abilities bravery + 1

Special Attacks weapon training (polearms +1)


OFFENSE 
Speed 20ft

Melee greataxe +12 (1d12 + 16/x3), or gore +6 (1d4 +5/x2)


STATISTICS

Str 20, Dex 19, Con 20, Int 14, Wis 18, Cha 12

Base atk +5, CMB +14, CMD 24

Feats Weapon Focus (greataxe), Power Attack, Furious Focus, Weapon Specialization (greataxe), Outflank

Skills Bluff +9, Perception +9, Intimidate +14, Sense Motive +12; racial modifier Intimidate + 4

Languages Common, Goblin
, Infernal
SQ armor training 1

Note: two of these guys getting Ao0s at once resulted in 87 damage and a dead paladin.

Sons of Moloch, warpriest:

SON OF MOLOCH CR 5

advanced hobgoblin warpriest of Moloch 5

LE medium humanoid (goblinoid)
Init +6 ,
Senses darkvision 60ft, perception +5


DEFENSE
AC 25 ( + 9 armor, +1 shield, + 2 dex, +2 natural)

HP 54 (5d8 +30)

Fort +9 , Ref +3, Will +9

Defensive abilities



OFFENSE

Speed 20ft

Melee scorpion whip +9 (1d8 +4/x2), gore +3 (1d4 +4/x2)

Special Attacks
sacred weapon +1
Warpriest Spell-like abilities (CL 5, concentration +10) fire strike, war mind


Warpriest Spells prepared-

0th-bleed, detect magic, light, guidance

1st- burning disarm x2 (DC 17), forbid action, murderous command, shield of faith, spiked armor
2nd-bull’s strength, dread bolt, boiling blood
Blessings fire, war

STATISTICS

STR 18, DEX 14, CON 20, INT 14, WIS 20, CHA 17

base atk +3 (+5 SW), CMB +9 (+11 SW) CMD 19

Feats Weapon Focus (whip), Improved Initiative, Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, Improved Disarm

Skills 

Languages

SQ

Gear


Crimson Blade, barbarian:

CRIMSON BLADE CR 5


advanced Hobgoblin Barbarian 5

NE Medium humanoid (goblinoid)

init +5; Perception +11


DEFENSE

AC 21, touch 13, flat footed 16 (+6 armor, +5 dex, +2 natural, -2 rage)

hp 77 (66 w/o rage)

Fort +9 Ref +6, Will +6; +4 w/o rage

Defensive Abilities improved uncanny dodge, trap sense +2


OFFENSE
Speed 30ft
Melee greatsword +15 (2d6 + 16/19-20x2)

Special Attacks Rage 13 rounds/day, rage powers (powerful blow +2, guarded life)
STATISTICS
STR 20, DEX 20, CON 20, INT 14, WIS 16, CHA 12
Base Atk +5, CMD +10; CMD 25

Feats Power Attack, Furious Focus, Cleave

Skills Acrobatics + 13, Climb + 13, Intimidate +9, Perception +11, Sense Motive +11, Swim +13



Warchemist, alchemist:

WARCHEMIST CR 5

advanced hobgoblin alchemist 5

LE medium humanoid (goblinoid)

Init +5 , Senses darkvision 60ft, Perception


DEFENSE

AC 19

hp 65

Fort +8, Ref +9, Will + 3; +4 vs poison


OFFENSE
Speed 30ft

Melee morningstar +
Ranged bomb +8 (3d6 fire +5)

Special Attacks Bomb /day (3d6 fire damage + 5
)
Alchemist Extracts Prepared (CL 5th)

2nd-Invisibility, vomit swarm, fire breath, fire sneeze

1st- enlarge person, targeted bomb admixture, true strike, shield, expeditious retreat, anticipate peril


STATISTICS
Str 12 , Dex 20 , Con 18 , Int 20 , Wis 14 , Cha 17

Base Atk +3, CMB ; CMD
Feats Brew Potion, Throw Anything, Weapon Focus (bomb), Precise Shot, Deafening Explosion

Skills

Languages
SQ alchemy (alchemy crafting, identify potions) mutagen (+4/-2), Discoveries (explosive bombs, feral mutagen, poison use, swift alchemy


Didn't get around to finishing touches on all of these, as you can see. I just wanted to provide unique adversaries for the party.


Interesting! This book sounds very intriguing.


Which people believe such tales anyway? Crying American women who sit in the audience of the Oprah show? Drop Bears arent more silly than a cockatrice when done right


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I really don't see the need for society and ecology articles for these guys since they have plenty of pathfinder specific info and info from multiple past editions. Also since this book is world neutral the ecology/society info will be even less useful for pathfinder play and space wasted that could have included another monster or two.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
I really don't see the need for society and ecology articles for these guys since they have plenty of pathfinder specific info and info from multiple past editions. Also since this book is world neutral the ecology/society info will be even less useful for pathfinder play and space wasted that could have included another monster or two.

Just a point about generic information...it is probably usable anyplace...including Golarion. That is the nice thing about it is that it is often useful.

Contributor

Gancanagh wrote:
Which people believe such tales anyway? Crying American women who sit in the audience of the Oprah show? Drop Bears arent more silly than a cockatrice when done right

You asked why I thought drop bears were too much. You got my answer. My poin. Of view is not going to change. Yours is not going to change. Best to drop the discussion.

On topic, I didn't notice that hobgoblins were getting spotlighted. Pretty excited about that!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm somewhat excited for this book. But I am overjoyed at the prospect of getting Monster Codex pawns. Please say those are in the works.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Dragon78 wrote:
I really don't see the need for society and ecology articles for these guys since they have plenty of pathfinder specific info and info from multiple past editions. Also since this book is world neutral the ecology/society info will be even less useful for pathfinder play and space wasted that could have included another monster or two.

Classic Monsters and Giants Revisited were a long time ago. This isn't any more redundant than Inner Sea Gods collecting material from AP back matter and Gods and Magic.


Inner Sea Gods is a campaign specific book so collecting a whole bunch of campaign specific deity articles from like 50+ AP volumes into one book makes sense. But writing generic articles for 20(well 19) creatures that have been in the D&D for many years and that everyone already knows is a waste of space.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

6 people marked this as a favorite.

It might be a waste of space to you, who have been playing for a long time and have all those references.

It is not a waste of space for a newer player or GM who does not have those experiences.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Feel tentatively kind of meh but I'm open to hearing more.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well if Gancanagh hates it, then I love it!

But seriously, I've wanted a good book about monster customization and this will most certainly scratch that itch. Especially ghouls, which are my number one favorite undead. I do wish there were less humanoid monster, and even less 0-HD monsters, but this will still be a welcome addition to my collection. Especially if it gets into detail about adding class levels to these monsters in a simpler way than said in the Bestiaries.

Also, still holding hopes for Bestiary 5 ;)


I am also holding out hopes for Bestiary 5....next year.

Designer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Are wrote:

James, can you say anything about roughly how many (if any) of the new feats and other options will be available to monsters in general, rather than be restricted to the featured races?

I'm not James, but I can take this one.

It is going to be a good mix of both. When a feat (or other rules item) has an intrinsic link to a race, it will be restricted to that race, but if it doesn't we open up for general use.

For example, you may have a feat that expands a race's racial trait. I did a few of these for the section that I wrote, and the race (or at least the racial trait) is in the prerequisites, but there were be plenty of options that expand choices in the game in general (even PC options), even though the mechanics are designed around the the tone of a specific race.


Thank you! That's pretty much exactly what I hoped for :)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This book is what happens when you let the Bestiary and NPC Codex lines have a party and get drunk together with no adult supervision.

So which other lines should we arrange wild parties for?

Contributor

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Are wrote:

James, can you say anything about roughly how many (if any) of the new feats and other options will be available to monsters in general, rather than be restricted to the featured races?

I'm not James, but I can take this one.

It is going to be a good mix of both. When a feat (or other rules item) has an intrinsic link to a race, it will be restricted to that race, but if it doesn't we open up for general use.

For example, you may have a feat that expands a race's racial trait. I did a few of these for the section that I wrote, and the race (or at least the racial trait) is in the prerequisites, but there were be plenty of options that expand choices in the game in general (even PC options), even though the mechanics are designed around the the tone of a specific race.

Perfect.

It sounds like many of the Advanced Race Guide's lessons were well noted.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

at least 6 of the monsters in the book haven't appeared in a revisited series book (Drow, Sahuagin, Ratfolk, Boggard, Serpentfolk, and Troglodyte), although they might very well have had an AP article about them.

Also some of the revisited books, like Classic Monsters revisited, are sort of old. I wonder if we are going to get any retcons (like gnolls being made matriarchal, or Hobgoblins having a new origin.

Hoping we get a racial name for Serpentfolk...something I think got left out of the AP article about them.

At any rate...I am pretty happy about the selection. Those are probably the monster races which are most commonly used as opponents for PCs, so having a range NPCs of varying role and CR is useful. Would be great to get Centaurs, Liches, Duergar, Mites, etc, but hopefully we get a sequel volume?


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Will there be a bard archetype for vampires who get their fries stolen by their dads?


MMCJawa wrote:


At any rate...I am pretty happy about the selection. Those are probably the monster races which are most commonly used as opponents for PCs, so having a range NPCs of varying role and CR is useful. Would be great to get Centaurs, Liches, Duergar, Mites, etc, but hopefully we get a sequel volume?

There are Duregar, look at the full list.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Ross Byers wrote:

It might be a waste of space to you, who have been playing for a long time and have all those references.

It is not a waste of space for a newer player or GM who does not have those experiences.

I've only been playing about 4 years, and pretty much exclusivly Pathfinder. I want/need to know more about gray subterranean dwarves.

Dark Archive

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Well, maybe 2016 will bring the Advanced Monster Guide...


Honestly, from the short blurb above, this sounds like a mixture between the NPC Codex, the Advanced Race Guide, and the Bestiary. Looks like it'll have feats, templates, archetypes, and good info for any GM looking to use these monsters. The only thing this won't have that the Advanced Race Guide has is a Builder (as far as we know). But this is just from the short preview up there. Too early to tell. I'm sure we'll get to learn more as we approach

Dark Archive

Odraude wrote:
Honestly, from the short blurb above, this sounds like a mixture between the NPC Codex, the Advanced Race Guide, and the Bestiary. Looks like it'll have feats, templates, archetypes, and good info for any GM looking to use these monsters. The only thing this won't have that the Advanced Race Guide has is a Builder (as far as we know). But this is just from the short preview up there. Too early to tell. I'm sure we'll get to learn more as we approach

Archetypes sound just like customized classes to accommodate the actual specific race - it isn't tweaking the race it's tweaking the class for the race. Which still could serve as a guide to dissect/kit for building our own archetypes, specific to monsters not listed in this book. Monster builder it isn't though. Monster class levels with archetypes could be another way to template/customize a monster - within the confines of existing class abilities (a little boring). Still could help.

Let's see how many templates and monster specific feats this book end up having. I'm sure that some of them can also be re-spec'd to other creatures. Might have some use.

Based upon past Paizo's past release trends, this does push back any chance of a Advanced Monster Guide to 2016 (if ever), since the next year will be Bestiary 5.

Thanks for not attacking me for that comment, I'm sure you remembered that I am the #1 advocate for a Monster toolkit/Advanced Monster Guide.


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Among the 10 stat blocks for each monster, will there be at least one "grunt" NPC with levels in the Warrior class? As much as I like using humanoid monsters with class levels in my games, monsters with levels in a PC class tend to have way too much wealth for the challenge they pose to the PCs, resulting in a situation where the PCs end up with too much wealth for their level.


Why bestiarys must always come out in the end of the year? Why not early 2015,? I for one fear that 2015 wil get the normal boring npc codex and 2016 december will be bestiary 5...


Ross Byers wrote:

It might be a waste of space to you, who have been playing for a long time and have all those references.

It is not a waste of space for a newer player or GM who does not have those experiences.

So the book will go into the details of the Lolth-worshipping society of the not-born-as-elves race of drows?


Hmm. I've played a goblin and a kobold here on the boards. And a lizardfolk.

Lessee now... Drow. Bugbear. Ghoul. Gnoll. Duergar. Kobold. Ogre. Orc. Sahuagin. Troglodyte.

All 10 I would consider playing as PCs.

Hobgoblin. Ratfolk. Fire and Frost Giants. I'd play them too...

I'm liking the book. I still look forward to Advanced Monster Guide...

Freaking fantastic cover. Love the drow helm/mask...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Baroth wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:

It might be a waste of space to you, who have been playing for a long time and have all those references.

It is not a waste of space for a newer player or GM who does not have those experiences.

So the book will go into the details of the Lolth-worshipping society of the not-born-as-elves race of drows?

No, because Lolth is WotC Intellectual Property.


Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
...I hate to be the negative nelly, but this is giving me screaming flashbacks to 3.5's MM 4 and 5, which absolutely none of the gamers in my group liked, and which turned out to be the harbingers of 4th Edition.

With the Strategy Guide and now this, I am kinda scared too. But they're going so strong, I think Paizo is just taking a break and doing simple things before bringing out more goodies later.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

What?!
0.0
What!?
o.0

That was my first reaction. I'm sold, I totally want a book that gives me prebuilt stat blocks and archetypes for the monstrous races I love. The only problem is now I might want to wait to build my ratfolk character for pfs until this comes out to see if it has and interesting archetypes.

Will all of the archetypes be new or will they be reprints from things like the ARG?


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Morbius X wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
...I hate to be the negative nelly, but this is giving me screaming flashbacks to 3.5's MM 4 and 5, which absolutely none of the gamers in my group liked, and which turned out to be the harbingers of 4th Edition.
With the Strategy Guide and now this, I am kinda scared too. But they're going so strong, I think Paizo is just taking a break and doing simple things before bringing out more goodies later.

I think the Strategy Guide and Monster Codex are getting a bad rap on the boards because these aren't for everyone. The former is for new players transitioning from the Beginner Box to the Core Rulebook. And latter is for newer GMs who don't have the time, experience, or inclination to stat up monsters with PC classes to give their players some more-challenging encounters.

Lots of people active on the boards have been in this hobby for years if not decades. But as a somewhat new player and new GM, these two products are going to be invaluable.

Also, guys, Monster Codex pawns! How is no one excited for this? Oh, please, make them.


Dustin Ashe wrote:
Morbius X wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
...I hate to be the negative nelly, but this is giving me screaming flashbacks to 3.5's MM 4 and 5, which absolutely none of the gamers in my group liked, and which turned out to be the harbingers of 4th Edition.
With the Strategy Guide and now this, I am kinda scared too. But they're going so strong, I think Paizo is just taking a break and doing simple things before bringing out more goodies later.

I think the Strategy Guide and Monster Codex are getting a bad rap on the boards because these aren't for everyone. The former is for new players transitioning from the Beginner Box to the Core Rulebook. And latter is for newer GMs who don't have the time, experience, or inclination to stat up monsters with PC classes to give their players some more-challenging encounters.

Lots of people active on the boards have been in this hobby for years if not decades. But as a somewhat new player and new GM, these two products are going to be invaluable.

Also, guys, Monster Codex pawns! How is no one excited for this? Oh, please, make them.

You'll find that quite a few of us experienced, long term gamers are pretty excited for the Strategy Guide and the Monster Codex too. I'm teaching my younger cousins to play, but I also sometimes induct new players into my normal group, and it can be hard for me to remember that not everyone has 12 years of d20 gaming behind them. Hell, even some of my friends that are long term roleplayers as well aren't that good with the rules, because their normal games are things like World of Darkness or GURPS. So for me, it's invaluable. The reason I want the codex is a combination of the "more options is always nice, and having examples is too" and "Man, I'm a lazy SOB and can't be bothered statting my own monster NPCs if I don't have to... roll on the book!" reasoning.


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Morbius X wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
...I hate to be the negative nelly, but this is giving me screaming flashbacks to 3.5's MM 4 and 5, which absolutely none of the gamers in my group liked, and which turned out to be the harbingers of 4th Edition.
With the Strategy Guide and now this, I am kinda scared too. But they're going so strong, I think Paizo is just taking a break and doing simple things before bringing out more goodies later.

I'm seeing it differently.

The game has been going strong for 5 years. A lot of rules. I know many complain of rules bloat. I read that one of Paizo's approach to D&D Next is not to directly compete - if next brings in a bunch of new players, and some of them want something else, they will move to Pathfinder. These books are a great place to start for people just getting into the game - and while many of us have been playing for a very long time, these kind of things are very good for start up players.
I think it is looking at the long term, and helping bring new players into Pathfinder, rather than end of life cycle products. Sort of a "we've been around a while, lets set up stuff for new players so we can keep going" rather than "we've run out of ideas".


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gancanagh wrote:
Why bestiarys must always come out in the end of the year? Why not early 2015,? I for one fear that 2015 wil get the normal boring npc codex and 2016 december will be bestiary 5...

Oh please be true...a new NPC codex would be very useful while another Bestiary will just be kinda of meh at this point.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Morbius X wrote:
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
...I hate to be the negative nelly, but this is giving me screaming flashbacks to 3.5's MM 4 and 5, which absolutely none of the gamers in my group liked, and which turned out to be the harbingers of 4th Edition.
With the Strategy Guide and now this, I am kinda scared too. But they're going so strong, I think Paizo is just taking a break and doing simple things before bringing out more goodies later.

There is a major difference between this and MM4 and MM5. That is they are telling us what it is. I know my disappointment came from opening a book to discover new monsters to see a entire stat block for existing monsters.


Kvantum wrote:
Rather disappointed we're not getting an NPC Codex 2 this year. This book will be useful, I have no doubt, but still, I'd rather have pre-built statblocks for magi, summoners, alchemists, and the rest of the non-core base classes.

I wouldn't buy an "NPC Codex: Advanced Classes", but I probably will buy this.

The comparison to MM4/5 is troubling, but that one was so much more hit-and-miss. There were individual monsters, and then there were 10 pages of drow. Ugh. It wasn't a particularly useful book to have around when creating because it wasn't enough selection and it wasn't in-depth enough on what it did have.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Neat! I may have to resubscribe to the RPG line come this fall.

And for what it's worth, I think both THIS and an NPC Codex: Advanced Classes are great ideas, and I hope another NPC Codex comes along next year.

I know GM books aren't big seller books over all, but they are big sellers for me, personally. Come to think of it, for joint usability as GM and player, and despite some complaints I've aired from time to time, I've bought more Pathfinder books than I have for any other RPG line ever (my oWOD collection comes close, but only as all systems--Werewolf, Mage, etc.--combined).

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