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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Personally I think this book should be renamed the "Villain Codex" since the term monster would mean to me that there are actually monsters in here like chimera, drider, medusa, sphinx, lamia, harpy, basilisk, minotaur, pixie, aboleth, etc.

While I like the idea of this book, I don't like how specialized it is, wich means it could take like 40 volumes before I see the races/creatures I want to see done.

Hopefully next year will be Bestiary 5, never get tired of hardcover bestiaries.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

How is a troll not a monster?

Designer

Maerimydra wrote:
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.

Typically no. The "grunt" versions of monsters are the ones given in the Bestiary. Most of those have warrior levels.

Designer

doc the grey wrote:

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?

All archetypes will be new. Some of the NPCs may use material (including archetypes) from the Advanced Race Guide. In some place we are reprinting and updating material that originally appeared outside the Core line of books, but we are not reprinting material found in the Core line, only citing their source when they are used.


I showed the Gamers Den owner this book and we are both waiting on this tome for our respective campaigns.


I'm looking forward to this book. It looks like it'll have a ton of useful content for the typical GM. In most campaigns, certainly ones I've run, you're going to see at least some of these "common" humanoids and other critters and having time saving pre-gen monsters to put in as leaders and big bosses along with the base creatures is great. I personally liked MM4 and MM5 for 3.5 and this looks like it takes some of what those books did and puts a lot of focus towards specific races. What will I find more useful: 10 variant serpentfolk (for that Freeport game) or the 300th 3E/d20/PF flavor of spider?

Don't get me wrong, I want to see a Bestiary 5 and NPC Codex 2 as well. I love, love monster books. But I like the idea behind this book and look forward to getting my hands on it.

Also a fan of the cover art.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

How is a evil aligned troll with class levels not a villain?


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
doc the grey wrote:

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?

All archetypes will be new. Some of the NPCs may use material (including archetypes) from the Advanced Race Guide. In some place we are reprinting and updating material that originally appeared outside the Core line of books, but we are not reprinting material found in the Core line, only citing their source when they are used.

I'm curious about something. James said that the archetypes in this book are non player-friendly, but is that just because their synthesist summoner levels of overpowered, or is it because that most players just won't have a use for something that niche?

Designer

Axial wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
doc the grey wrote:

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?

All archetypes will be new. Some of the NPCs may use material (including archetypes) from the Advanced Race Guide. In some place we are reprinting and updating material that originally appeared outside the Core line of books, but we are not reprinting material found in the Core line, only citing their source when they are used.
I'm curious about something. James said that the archetypes in this book are non player-friendly, but is that just because their synthesist summoner levels of overpowered, or is it because that most players just won't have a use for something that niche?

Most players will not have use for something that niche. The main goal of the archetypes is to fit within the scope of the monster, but we are not looking to make things overpowered. Believe it or not, that is never our goal. :)

Dark Archive

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Most players will not have use for something that niche. The main goal of the archetypes is to fit within the scope of the monster, but we are not looking to make things overpowered. Believe it or not, that is never our goal. :)

So instead of overpowered would you consider the archetypes and feats in this book would add to an existing creature’s role via hyper-optimization?

Ex: For the DMs assigned task/use in his game as a threat and not necessarily pure power.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Axial wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
doc the grey wrote:

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?

All archetypes will be new. Some of the NPCs may use material (including archetypes) from the Advanced Race Guide. In some place we are reprinting and updating material that originally appeared outside the Core line of books, but we are not reprinting material found in the Core line, only citing their source when they are used.
I'm curious about something. James said that the archetypes in this book are non player-friendly, but is that just because their synthesist summoner levels of overpowered, or is it because that most players just won't have a use for something that niche?
Most players will not have use for something that niche. The main goal of the archetypes is to fit within the scope of the monster, but we are not looking to make things overpowered. Believe it or not, that is never our goal. :)

I did not mean to accuse; but I simply figured that the "villain" centered options were meant to provide players with a significant challenge. The real purpose of my question is, if I see a Hobgoblin archetype here and say, "I wanna play that!" to my GM, could he allow it without putting other players at a disadvantage or something?


Dragon78 wrote:
How is a evil aligned troll with class levels not a villain?

Just curious here...and trying to get it straight...

Any enemy without class levels of some sort(just HD) is a monster?

Any enemy with class levels (even on top of racial HDs) is a villain?

Is that what you mean?


No, but a monster or person with the skill, mind, and/or power to play the role of a villain tends to have class levels. Considering all the creatures listed are humanoid in shape and many of them do not have racial HD, so many of them need class levels to be more then just random encounter/dungeon fodder. But once you add class levels, you have a creature that is more then an average of his kind, he has drive, ambitions, ideals. So you turn him into a character with a name, personality, etc. If he is evil you can make him a villain and important to the story instead of monster#238. While there are monsters that do not need class levels to be villains like dragons and powerful outsiders there are plenty of creatures that do. Though with templates and if we get monster archetypes in this book, then yeah you can make a generic creature into something memorable as well.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sigh, well, I was hoping for an Advanced NPC Codex but this is better than nothing I suppose. At least I'll get to see some different takes on the vampire.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't see class levels necessitating character (it helps though).

Likely, if you have a plotline featuring lots of bad guys of a specific race, than you probably have the canon fodder low level goons, elite troops, bodyguards, scouts, specialized troops, sergeants, witch doctors, chieftains, etc. If this book fills out these roles for each of the major races covered here, I will be pretty happy.


I agree with you about having all those different roles for many of those races MMCJawa. Except in the cases of vampires, trolls, fire giants, frost giants and maybe ghouls.


With vampire spawn, you can have mooks for vampires.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Maerimydra wrote:
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.
Typically no. The "grunt" versions of monsters are the ones given in the Bestiary. Most of those have warrior levels.

In the case of monsters with racial hit dice, I totally agree, but 1st-level warrior humanoid with 0 racial hit die, like the ones in the Bestiary, quickly become irrelevant as ''grunts''.

Nonetheless, this book is going to make my conversion of "Red Hand of Doom" to Pathfinder much more easier, which is a good thing.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
I agree with you about having all those different roles for many of those races MMCJawa. Except in the cases of vampires, trolls, fire giants, frost giants and maybe ghouls.

Wolfgang Baur exists: therefore, ghouls have many roles. ^.^


Dragon78 wrote:
No, but a monster or person with the skill, mind, and/or power to play the role of a villain tends to have class levels. Considering all the creatures listed are humanoid in shape and many of them do not have racial HD, so many of them need class levels to be more then just random encounter/dungeon fodder. But once you add class levels, you have a creature that is more then an average of his kind, he has drive, ambitions, ideals. So you turn him into a character with a name, personality, etc. If he is evil you can make him a villain and important to the story instead of monster#238. While there are monsters that do not need class levels to be villains like dragons and powerful outsiders there are plenty of creatures that do. Though with templates and if we get monster archetypes in this book, then yeah you can make a generic creature into something memorable as well.

Okay I get what you are saying. Thanks for clearing that up.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Maerimydra wrote:
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.

I think there might be sligt confusion here. If a creature with class levels is being run by the GM, they are an NPC, and should have the NPC wealth entry for their level. It doesn't matter if those levels are in one of the NPC only classes, or in a normal PC class.

The PC wealth by level table is purely for your player's characters. If it's used for one of your NPCs, they should probably get an ad hoc +1 CR boost (this should probably be done sparingly, in order to avoid the wealth inflation you are seeing).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
I agree with you about having all those different roles for many of those races MMCJawa. Except in the cases of vampires, trolls, fire giants, frost giants and maybe ghouls.

I am inclined to agree with you on vampires, but the rest of those races do form their own "societies", so I would expect a range of levels and classes.

Vampires seem to be (at least how I envision them) to either dwell among humans, or to be loners who tend to have lots of lackeys and minions, most of which are not vampires. Although hey...that is not the case in all their uses in fiction (30 Days of Night and the Blade series being obvious examples).


Also vampire spawn are there low level goons/grunts so we don't need them but we could use examples of more classes for vampires then we have gotten so far.


The Rot Grub wrote:

It's not clear to me what itch this is scratching. If I want monsters, I have the Bestiaries. If I want to customize monsters, I can add class levels and use the feats available to PCs. If I want ecologies, I can go to the Pathfinder "Revisited" line. If I want the option of having monsters as PCs, I can use the Advanced Race Guide.

What am I not "getting" here? Maybe if some specific examples are elaborated, I could see the usefulness of this.

To address my own question, I see usefulness for this book along the lines of what MMCJawa says above: for an adventure that involves a society of this particular creature. A mountain tribe of orcs, for example.


MMCJawa wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I agree with you about having all those different roles for many of those races MMCJawa. Except in the cases of vampires, trolls, fire giants, frost giants and maybe ghouls.

I am inclined to agree with you on vampires, but the rest of those races do form their own "societies", so I would expect a range of levels and classes.

Vampires seem to be (at least how I envision them) to either dwell among humans, or to be loners who tend to have lots of lackeys and minions, most of which are not vampires. Although hey...that is not the case in all their uses in fiction (30 Days of Night and the Blade series being obvious examples).

Another good example are the Vampire Counts of Warhammer Fantasy, which are a kingdom ruled by vampires.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Rot Grub wrote:
If I want to customize monsters, I can add class levels and use the feats available to PCs.

I think the title is a clue: the NPC Codex was composed of Core races and classes. Everything in the book is something a GM could have made themselves with existing rules. But having the stat blocks pre-printed and numbers already crunched can save a lot of GMs a lot of time.

Liberty's Edge

I am so excited for this.

This was the kind of product I wanted the NPC Codex to be. I've pushed for this book a couple times.
I was uncertain of I was going to continue subscribing to the RPG line but Paizo has managed to lock my money.

Sovereign Court

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.

What's your problem with the snipe?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

GeraintElberion wrote:
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.

What's your problem with the snipe?

Snipe hunt

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I'm looking forward to this, I imagine it will be quite useful to me as a DM. I've certainly found the NPC Codex very, very handy. I am however, a little disconcerted that we get this, including examples using the newest class guide material, before we get a Codex for the advanced players guide, UC and UM books. I know of many occasions where I would have loved to be able to pull out a codex 2 and be presented with a statblock for a CR whatever alchemist, eidolon, or witch etc.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tirisfal wrote:
Will there be a bard archetype for vampires who get their fries stolen by their dads?

Specifically if they were tiefling vampires.


Lord Mhoram 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'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".

This makes sense and is sound in logic. I mean, they still have their MMO coming out I think and they do need to make things easier for new players as well as veterans. They have plenty of goodies to come.


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Lord Mhoram 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'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".

It's also great for those of us with a loose grasp of the rules and not much interest in changing that. A book of interestingly developed, classic monsters is excellent for me (and the flavour material around society/ecology is awesome).

The pathfinder edifice is pretty imposing - some simplifying books/tools which build on old material rather than adding heaps of new stuff are always welcome, as far as I'm concerned.


This book looks awesome, and I like that cover. What I look forward to most is the orc and gnoll entries. More gnoll stuff is always welcome. Hopefully this will give the gnoll a matriarchal society more reminiscent of the hyenas they are based off (and hell, their "patron deity" is Lamashtu).

As for the complaining about this book instead of a Bestiary 5: We just had a Bestiary 4 last year. It was bound to be a Codex (many were thinking NPC Codex 2), and you can be sure that next year they will probably have your Bestiary 5.

And I have nightmares about the Monster Manual 4 and 5, but I really don't think this will be anyway near as bad as those 2 horrendous books.


The next "NPC Codex" has more chances to feature classes from Advanced Players Guide, Ultimate Magic and Ultimate Combat than Advanced Classes Guide...

Dark Archive

Playable Orc, Hobgoblin and Ratfolk archetypes please!

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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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.

d20 Modern has stats for a drop bear

And it's an urban legend considered significant enough to have a wikipedia entry (not that that means much of anything). To me what makes a good monster is if it can be useful in a campaign, not what its origins are. Think about it: the jabberwock is the subject of a silly word-play poem. It was made up by the mind of one person and is not actually mythical nor has roots in myth in any way. But it was considered worthy of being turned into an actual monster. I realize something like a drop bear is nowhere near as cool as a jabberwock--but I'm just saying, origins are a poor reason to ixnay a monster.

That a drop bear doesn't DO much, or other monsters can do what they do better--that might be a fair argument.

Here, for those of you who want one, here's a revision/conversion based on the d20 Modern stats (no guarantees of quality):

Spoiler:

DROP BEAR (CR 1)
N Medium animal
Init +2; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +4

Defenses
Defense 14, touch 12, flatfooted 12 (+2 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 13 (2d8+4)
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +1

Offenses
Spd 30 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +4 (1d6+4), 2 claws –1 (1d4+2)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

Statistics
Str 16, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 3, Wis 13, Cha 6
BAB +1; CMB +4; CMD 16
Feats Skill Focus (perception)
Skills Acrobatics +6, Climb +11, Perception +4, Stealth +6
SQ stealthy pounce

Ecology
Environment temperate or warm forest
Organization solitary
Possessions incidental (see text)

Special Abilities
Small Claws (Ex): A drop bear’s claw attack is considered secondary.
Stealthy Pounce (Ex): If a drop bear leaps upon a flat-footed foe (i.e., enters an adjacent square), it can make a full attack even though it has already taken a move action. During the surprise round, it can make a full attack if it begins the surprise round adjacent to an unaware combatant.

Resembling large koalas with long teeth, drop bears are much more dangerous, attacking nearly anything that comes close to their nests. They are frequently confused for their gentler cousins by all but the most alert or trained eye (DC 16 Knowledge (nature) or DC 21 Perception check to recognize). Because drop bears can so easily be mistaken for koalas, roughly one-third of all fatalities from drop bear attacks occur when well-meaning travelers try to get close to the creatures.
Drop bears are rumored to have a great aversion to yeast extract paste, but on the other hand, that is a trait it shares with most sane creatures.
Like most animals, drop bears usually do not have gear or treasure, but sometimes they may snatch the belongings of the tourists and explorers who are the bane of their existence.


So will these archetypes be for the there classes or will it actually be an archetype for the monster itself? That would be cool, instead of adding templates you could alter there racial/monster abilities with archetypes.

Designer

Dragon78 wrote:
So will these archetypes be for the there classes or will it actually be an archetype for the monster itself? That would be cool, instead of adding templates you could alter there racial/monster abilities with archetypes.

The archetypes are for classes.


Curious about something. Will it be like the NPC Codex, and have write-ups for level 1-20 for each of these monsters, like they did for the different classes? Or something completely different?

A sahuagin overlord-type would be a nice one to have, as I need one for a ruler of an empire. I could just make one myself, but hoping for a prewritten one.

Is it October yet?


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The real question is: when do we get a "Lords of Madness" book in this style? This books sounds awesome and all, but I want more info for Aboleths and other awesome aberrations!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

I have a feeling that this book will be pushed back until December given that the Strategy Guide is set to be released in the same month. That book has been pushed back a couple of times and I don't see it being delayed any longer than it already has been.


I have a feeling you might be right about that Haunted Jester. It would be unusual to see two hardcover books released in the same month.

Designer

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the Haunted Jester wrote:
I have a feeling that this book will be pushed back until December given that the Strategy Guide is set to be released in the same month. That book has been pushed back a couple of times and I don't see it being delayed any longer than it already has been.

Over my dead body. ;)


The real question is : When there will be the Smurfs Codex with builds of Smurfs for all levels ?


Shadar Aman wrote:
The real question is: when do we get a "Lords of Madness" book in this style? This books sounds awesome and all, but I want more info for Aboleths and other awesome aberrations!

From the Department of Expectation Management:

This book is not going to be a "Lords of Madness" style book in the first place. It's going to be a lot closer to NPC Codex. It's not going to have a lot of in-depth world content; it's a world-neutal book that focuses pretty heavilly on stat blocks and rules, not so much on ecologies and the like... there'll be some elements of that in here, but if you're looking for that kind of info, we've already published books for these monsters in the various Revisited books.


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The cover is cool - looks like all the monsters are getting together to discuss the hero problem. I suppose after a dozen APs they are sick of the slaughter and looking for a few new tricks.


Jeven wrote:
The cover is cool - looks like all the monsters are getting together to discuss the hero problem. I suppose after a dozen APs they are sick of the slaughter and looking for a few new tricks.

Maybe they are cooking the remains of the last hero they faced?


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Tom Rex wrote:

From the Department of Expectation Management:

This book is not going to be a "Lords of Madness" style book in the first place. It's going to be a lot closer to NPC Codex. It's not going to have a lot of in-depth world content; it's a world-neutal book that focuses pretty heavilly on stat blocks and rules, not so much on ecologies and the like... there'll be some elements of that in here, but if you're looking for that kind of info, we've already published books for these monsters in the various Revisited books.

Ah well. Slightly disappointed, but thanks James - consider my expectations well managed.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So will this one have chapter openers like other hardcack books?

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