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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I'm just curious, Erik: do the hobgoblins have a name for their own species other then "hobgoblin"? That seems like a human term applied to them. Also, do they have any caster NPCs in this book?

I'm really excited for more hobgoblin content; they are my favorite "enemy" race.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hey is there any chance you guys can sell this art as a poster without the logos...I really love pictures like this with all the details.


A bestiary soon? Well we get bestiaries every month :-p

I hope he's talking about Bestiary 5, not about another inner sea thing.

But must be, or Bestiary 5 isn't a October release but a Januari release, would be awesome.


Erik Mona wrote:
Psiphyre wrote:


The description itself lists all 20 of the monsters (so I have no idea why it says "including"), and I can see each of them depicted on the cover - except for the serpentfolk!

Do I just not see it?

It's there, you just don't see it. If you look closely up by the logo, under the word "Game" you can see the serpentfolk, raising an item in offering to the frost giant. He is, alas, mostly obscured by the logo. But he is there. I just flipped through the art for the serpentfolk chapter of this book, and it is glorious.

Psiphyre wrote:


On the other hand, the cover shows a mite (lower left corner with the ratfolk), which isn't mentioned in the product description...

Also, in the upper left corner (in silhouette) there's what appears to be a minotaur (?)... The shape of the horns initially led me to think it could be a satyr as they're rather goatlike, but the posture, weapon of choice and stockiness of the figure seems more in keeping with a minotaur... <shrug>

Neither mites not minotaurs are featured in this book (but, indeed, both are on the cover). Actually I'm not sure what that silhouette in the background is, but it's probably a minotaur.

Psiphyre wrote:


Has the content of the book been changed from the initial product description, perhaps?

Just wondering...

The product content has not been changed from the initial product description.

Thank you.

Carry on.

--C.


Axial wrote:

I'm just curious, Erik: do the hobgoblins have a name for their own species other then "hobgoblin"? That seems like a human term applied to them. Also, do they have any caster NPCs in this book?

I'm really excited for more hobgoblin content; they are my favorite "enemy" race.

Unless it's changed from Classic Monsters Revisited, hobgoblins are a "created" race; they may have simply adopted their creators' terminology and never bothered with changing it.


Very excited for this book! So many great monstrous races getting covered. It's like an expanded Classic Monsters Revisited. There's not a single monster in the list I'm not interested in, fantastic!

A lot of the monsters included are classics, but I'm looking forward to seeing an updated Pathfinder focus on them. Other races that are somewhat newer like ratfolk and serpentfolk are very promising, and I hope they become new classics. Maybe we'll see more ratfolk in Avistan!

Drow? Yes! Probably my favorite race. I've been wanting to see more of them in Pathfinder, ever since the switch from 3.5. The Second Darkness adventure path just didn't do it for me. Wayne's artwork is always great, love his style. I quite like the skin tone of the drow on the cover, and how she seems none too impressed with that vampire, haha.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Axial wrote:

I'm just curious, Erik: do the hobgoblins have a name for their own species other then "hobgoblin"? That seems like a human term applied to them. Also, do they have any caster NPCs in this book?

I'm really excited for more hobgoblin content; they are my favorite "enemy" race.

Unless it's changed from Classic Monsters Revisited, hobgoblins are a "created" race; they may have simply adopted their creators' terminology and never bothered with changing it.

I suspect that origin could be retconned. I know James Jacob at one point wasn't that happy with how Classic Monsters Revisited treated Hobgoblins.

Dark Archive

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

They're not hobgoblins, they're H.O.B. Goblins. Horrifyingly Organized Battle Goblins! ;)


In my campaign, hobgoblins were created by the archdevil Moloch. After Lamashtu freed the four barghest lords from Hell, Moloch decided to take a few goblins and modify them into a perfectly disciplined warrior species. As a result, they pretty much see him as their racial patron.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Is the newfound delay of the Strategy Guide going to push this book back as well?

Webstore Gninja Minion

John Kretzer wrote:
Hey is there any chance you guys can sell this art as a poster without the logos...I really love pictures like this with all the details.

Historically, art prints have not done well for us. I think we're still sitting on an Age of Worms print from back in the Dungeon days. That being said, I know WAR sells prints of cover images at conventions.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

I'm really pleased people are digging the idea behind this book.

I suspect we'll do another Bestiary soon.

And a Pawn Box based on this book is, of course, a good bet.

Pathfinder Battles miniatures based on some of the art also seems likely.

But all of that is just speculation, you understand.

A pawn box based on this would be a wonderful thing, as the one hole that the pawns don't do a good job of covering is when you need more than, say, three gnolls or orcs at a time. This is probably a better way of addressing the need for more of certain types of monsters than just selling a sheet of gnolls, or orcs, or whatever...

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

archmagi1 wrote:
Is the newfound delay of the Strategy Guide going to push this book back as well?

No.


Will this book have any new monster specific and/or racial feats?


Quote:
New rules in each monster section, including feats, spells, and magic items.

I would think from this, yes.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

This, like the NPC Codex, will be very useful for me. It is invaluable being able to set up an encounter without having to create N non-base creatures and/or NPCs from scratch.

On the other hand, it won't diminsh my appetite for an Advanced Monster Guide like Auxmaulous and I have mentioned before, nor an NPC Codex 2 covering the classes from the APG, UM and UC.

Nor, for that matter, for a Bestiary 5, though I cannot imagine how I'll ever manage to use all the cool monsters in the first four, never mind all the supplementary materials such as the Inner Sea Bestiary.

I am glad I haven't quite started my new campaign yet, though :)


Will only the statblocks appear on the PRD or will the other content matter (society, ecology, etc.) as well?

And will the PDF be $10 on this hardcover since it's in the Pathfinder RPG line?

Webstore Gninja Minion

Dustin Ashe wrote:
Will only the statblocks appear on the PRD or will the other content matter (society, ecology, etc.) as well?

Unsure at this time.

Dustin Ashe wrote:
And will the PDF be $10 on this hardcover since it's in the Pathfinder RPG line?

That is the plan!


Erik Mona wrote:

I'm really pleased people are digging the idea behind this book.

I suspect we'll do another Bestiary soon.

And a Pawn Box based on this book is, of course, a good bet.

Pathfinder Battles miniatures based on some of the art also seems likely.

But all of that is just speculation, you understand.

Everything you wrote just made me really happy. Hope the pawn box comes to fruition. Thanks Erik! :)


No catfolk? Seriously?


Looks like they were keep with creatures that are constantly used and are usually adversaries. Can't say when the last time I saw a catfolk in any game was.

Contributor

Necromancer wrote:
No catfolk? Seriously?

It looks like this Codex will focus on creatures used that are typically antagonistic. Catfolk aren't really any more antagonistic towards adventurers than, say, humans or elves.

EDIT: What the blue Abyssal monstrosity said.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Hmm, i suppose products like this will in the long run cut down on space taken up in module/AP statblocks and allow slightly more content for ratio. I wonder if we may have a future AP spoiler or two hidden in that list above.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Maybe we can have an Allies Codex, covering Catfolk, Centaurs, Kitsune, etc


1 person marked this as a favorite.
MMCJawa wrote:

Maybe we can have an Allies Codex, covering Catfolk, Centaurs, Kitsune, etc

All of my yes, absolutely, and $40.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Allies last for multiple sessions and often you don't even need a full stat block. A party might kill off 20 enemies in a single session and always require full stat blocks. So GMs need about 100 times more enemy stat blocks than allies. Thus the need for books filled with people to fight are more in demand than books filled with allies.


hello my name is Daniel hert i was wonder if someone can show me where it says if a template gets bonuses from the base creature plus the template and special ability if i could get an answer and what book it is in i would appreciate it

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
prettymonkey2 wrote:
hello my name is Daniel hert i was wonder if someone can show me where it says if a template gets bonuses from the base creature plus the template and special ability if i could get an answer and what book it is in i would appreciate it

Many templates will state right in the beginning, probably in the second sentence, that, 'A blah-blah uses all of the base creatures statistics and special abilities, except as noted here.' Each template will be specified in whatever source lists it (so, the Bestiary, for half-dragon, half-celestial, ghost, half-fiend, vampire, etc.).

You can also find most of them online. For example, the half-dragon template.

Templates, in general.

So, in this case, if applied to a human, they retain their +2 bonus to a single attribute, bonus feat and extra skills, and if applied to a dwarf, they get all that dwarfy goodness, followed by half-dragon stuff (or half-fiend stuff, or half-celestial stuff, or ghost stuff, or vampire stuff).

As a result, you'll often see big bad evil guys in adventures listed as a 'human lich' or 'human vampire.' Technically, he's no longer really a human, but it's important to know that he started as a human, as that will give him different stats, etc. than if he started out as an elf or bugbear or fire giant or whatever.


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I still think of ratfolk as a player race not a "monster race" so there the only ones on the list that do not make sense to me.


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Dennis Baker wrote:
Allies last for multiple sessions and often you don't even need a full stat block. A party might kill off 20 enemies in a single session and always require full stat blocks. So GMs need about 100 times more enemy stat blocks than allies. Thus the need for books filled with people to fight are more in demand than books filled with allies.

Not if you're running an evil campaign. ;)

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

Dragon78 wrote:
I still think of ratfolk as a player race not a "monster race" so there the only ones on the list that do not make sense to me.

In Pathfinder, maybe. But ratfolk = skaven. And skaven have been villains for much longer than Pathfinder has been a thing. Get some of the crossover sales that way.


This is Pathfinder, not Warhammer, so the whole skaven thing doesn't apply. When we were introduced to ratfolk they were stated as a player race, if you want evil rat people then use wererats.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Axial wrote:
Dennis Baker wrote:
Allies last for multiple sessions and often you don't even need a full stat block. A party might kill off 20 enemies in a single session and always require full stat blocks. So GMs need about 100 times more enemy stat blocks than allies. Thus the need for books filled with people to fight are more in demand than books filled with allies.
Not if you're running an evil campaign. ;)

Because evil is less likely to have allies?


Dragon78 wrote:
This is Pathfinder, not Warhammer, so the whole skaven thing doesn't apply. When we were introduced to ratfolk they were stated as a player race, if you want evil rat people then use wererats.

It certainly applies. Many gamers like to grab elements from one setting we like and insert those elements into other settings. A good example would be the skaven from the Warhammer Fantasy setting.

To have ratfolk appear in a book such as the Monster Codex makes a lot of sense, I think, *because* rat-like creatures are popular villains. The design team seems to agree with that. Now, those GMs out there who want to feature a skavenesque race in their games will have some more tools to work with. We have wererats *and* ratfolk, giving us a lot of options. For those GMs who have no interest in using ratfolk as a villainous sort, it's possible to ignore the ratfolk secion (a section that makes 1/20 of the book).

All this does nothing to invalidate ratfolk as a playable race. If your GM doesn't have any villainous ratfolk in his game, then that's perfect, and even if he does, that just opens up a lot of options as far as a heroic or at least non-villain ratfolk character is concerned.

Also, if I remember correctly, the ratfolk were featured as a monster in Bestiary 3 initially, before they were featured in Advanced Race Guide. Sure, they had stats for using ratfolk as 0-HD creatures (which means they work well as characters), but so do goblins, and ratfolk were still introduced (again, if memory serves) in a decidedly GM-focused book.

Now, that's not to say that they're not good candidates for player characters. As I see it, it merely implies that they work just as well in whatever role the GM casts them, such as skaven in a a game set in Golarion.

Those are my two cents. Your mileage may vary, of course. :)


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
This is Pathfinder, not Warhammer, so the whole skaven thing doesn't apply. When we were introduced to ratfolk they were stated as a player race, if you want evil rat people then use wererats.

They're not exactly a player race, really. Sure, they're not evil, but neither are lizardfolk, who are in this book, and while they are a 0 HD race, so are drow, goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds, and orcs, so that's not saying much.

Furthermore, while this isn't a Golarion book, on Golarion, the primary ratfolk we know about dwell in the Underdark under Tian Xia and declared war on Imperial Lung Wa, capturing a dozen cities before being driven back underground, so there's definitely precedent for an antagonistic relationship. It does seem implied they're more integrated and peaceful on Akiton...but just because they're a 0 HD race doesn't mean they're primarily designed for PCs, and just because they're not evil doesn't mean they won't be antagonists.

Personally, I'd like to wait and see how they present them, because like I said, we don't really have a huge amount of information on them...perhaps what's written here will justify their presence as monsters over PC-fuel (though of course any monster race can still be PC fuel with DM assent). I'm certainly interested in getting more details on them and lizardfolk, both of whom seem to toe the line between potential enemy encounter and potentially peaceable NPC interaction...if you can avoid stepping on their sensibilities.

And as a side note...I've seen more drow, goblin, hobgoblin, and kobold PCs than I've seen ratfolk PCs myself (only one), though that might just be the people I play with.

Edit: I'm sad that Dark Folk aren't getting some love, though...


I don't get why there's two giant chapters; there's far more than two types. It would've been a bit more reasonable to find one representative for giants, use that as an example, and save the space for something else (derro, dark folk, cyclops, catfolk, strix, morlocks, gargoyles, harpies, and so on).

Oh, well. I guess everyone has chapters they won't use.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Necromancer wrote:

I don't get why there's two giant chapters; there's far more than two types. It would've been a bit more reasonable to find one representative for giants, use that as an example, and save the space for something else (derro, dark folk, cyclops, catfolk, strix, morlocks, gargoyles, harpies, and so on).

Oh, well. I guess everyone has chapters they won't use.

Here's your reason. And I'm sure grognards will cry foul about the lack of hill giants...


Gorbacz wrote:
Necromancer wrote:

I don't get why there's two giant chapters; there's far more than two types. It would've been a bit more reasonable to find one representative for giants, use that as an example, and save the space for something else (derro, dark folk, cyclops, catfolk, strix, morlocks, gargoyles, harpies, and so on).

Oh, well. I guess everyone has chapters they won't use.

Here's your reason. And I'm sure grognards will cry foul about the lack of hill giants...

So a popular module trilogy released thirty years ago cast a shadow this long? They could've just used hill giants and dropped the other two...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Necromancer wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Necromancer wrote:

I don't get why there's two giant chapters; there's far more than two types. It would've been a bit more reasonable to find one representative for giants, use that as an example, and save the space for something else (derro, dark folk, cyclops, catfolk, strix, morlocks, gargoyles, harpies, and so on).

Oh, well. I guess everyone has chapters they won't use.

Here's your reason. And I'm sure grognards will cry foul about the lack of hill giants...
So a popular module trilogy released thirty years ago cast a shadow this long? They could've just used hill giants and dropped the other two...

Tomb of Horrors casts an even longer one. It's a very nostalgic hobby.


Gorbacz wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Necromancer wrote:

I don't get why there's two giant chapters; there's far more than two types. It would've been a bit more reasonable to find one representative for giants, use that as an example, and save the space for something else (derro, dark folk, cyclops, catfolk, strix, morlocks, gargoyles, harpies, and so on).

Oh, well. I guess everyone has chapters they won't use.

Here's your reason. And I'm sure grognards will cry foul about the lack of hill giants...
So a popular module trilogy released thirty years ago cast a shadow this long? They could've just used hill giants and dropped the other two...
Tomb of Horrors casts an even longer one. It's a very nostalgic hobby.

I've just never used frost/fire giants and cannot wrap my head around the appeal.


I will take fire and frost giants over hill giants any day.

The ratfolk are also found on Akiton, mostly as merchants. Also there description in B3 doesn't sound like a monster or enemy.

I am sad that there are no harpies, centaurs, fey, lamia, minotaurs, medusa, sphinx, lycanthropes, and a lot other actual monsters. It is a lot more work to give class levels to creatures with racial HD, especially the figuring out the CR value.

I am really interested in the vampire, serpentfolk, goblin, lizardfolk, fire giant, frost giant, troglodyte, boggard, and troll.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Necromancer wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Necromancer wrote:

I don't get why there's two giant chapters; there's far more than two types. It would've been a bit more reasonable to find one representative for giants, use that as an example, and save the space for something else (derro, dark folk, cyclops, catfolk, strix, morlocks, gargoyles, harpies, and so on).

Oh, well. I guess everyone has chapters they won't use.

Here's your reason. And I'm sure grognards will cry foul about the lack of hill giants...
So a popular module trilogy released thirty years ago cast a shadow this long? They could've just used hill giants and dropped the other two...
Tomb of Horrors casts an even longer one. It's a very nostalgic hobby.
I've just never used frost/fire giants and cannot wrap my head around the appeal.

And I've never used catfolk, and cannot wrap my head around the appeal. Different strokes, can't please all the people all the time, and so on.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

To be a little less glib, space in a book, or for that matter a book's place in the production schedule, is finite. In contrast, the number of possible ideas and topics is essentially infinite. Including something, by necessity, means excluding a very large number of other things. They could have had only one type of giant. They could have combined goblins and hobgoblins into one chapter. They could have avoided orcs altogether, since Orcs of Golarion is already a thing and Holds of Bekzen is on the schedule. They could have not done this book at all and made Bestiary 5 or NPC Codex 2 instead.

This book at least seems to be based on archetypal foes (which means the game's history is relevant), with a common thread of being the kind of monster where you invade a lair with a bunch of similar monsters in it. (For instance, vampires are included, but not liches, because attacking a vampire lord's lair means fighting its spawn, while liches don't tend to clump in the same way.) They made the best choices they could.

Pretty much everyone has something they would have liked to see in this book that isn't there, or something in this book they are particularly excited about. Some people would have loved a chapter on Dark Folk. Some people hate aquatic adventures and don't want sahuagin.

The book comes out in three months. It's been written by now, and probably goes to the printer shortly. The cover art has been here for awhile. It is a little late to change the lineup.


Dragon78 wrote:
Also there description in B3 doesn't sound like a monster or enemy.

For me, the description in the Bestiary is rather generic and, while it works well enough for the alignment given, it's a very simple thing to add to that bit of fluff and change the alignment to make the creature fit as a skaven, for instance. The default ratfolk is not a skaven, certainly, but the tweaks needed to make it a skaven are purely flavor-related, and the result is certainly a monster with a stat block to support that monster.

I have no idea about what specific game mechanics are featured in Monster Codex, and so I have no way of knowing if any of the mechanics will even fit a skaven theme, but the notion that ratfolk are included in a book such as Monster Codex implies to me that the designers also see ratfolk as a potential monster similar to how lizardfolk are considered monsters. I like it. I like that, should I decide to have ratfolk be a villainous sort (whether it's an individual ratfolk or the species as a whole), I have a resource to turn to.

Quote:
I am sad that there are no harpies, centaurs, fey, lamia, minotaurs, medusa, sphinx, lycanthropes, and a lot other actual monsters. It is a lot more work to give class levels to creatures with racial HD, especially the figuring out the CR value.

As Warhammer Fantasy and other settings (including the Pathfinder campaign setting) have proven, rat-like creatures can be every bit as monstrous as minotaurs or lycanthropes. We have the wererat to represent that, sure, but the wererat plays a very specific role as a lycanthrope, I think, and in many cases the ratfolk is just as good a fit.

Ultimately, though, I hope the Monster Codex proves popular enough to warrant more than just one, because the concept seems cool, and there's a LOT of monsters to give the Codex treatment.


The fluff in Advanced Race Guide suggests that ratfolk are commonly accepted by humanoids and have no problem at all fitting into human cities.


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Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
The ratfolk are also found on Akiton, mostly as merchants. Also their description in B3 doesn't sound like a monster or enemy.

Well, what about lizardfolk? They're not described as being evil, for the most part, just different, though it does highlight how most humanoids are prejudiced against them. Honestly, I don't think ratfolk are really highlighted as a PC race in that entry, which emphasizes their interest in trade and their strong connections with their family and kin. Furthermore, in Advanced Race Guide, one of the angles they focus on their connections with disease, offering disease-related alchemist discoveries, a disease-based archetype, and several disease-related items. And finally, ratfolk have the same lifespan as a goblin...mature by 12, middle-aged by 20, old by 30, venerable by 40, and dying of old age somewhere between 41 and 60. In short, while they can work as PCs (but so can drow, goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds, and orcs...or lizardfolk if you use the 0 HD variant), I would personally say they seem more oriented as an interesting NPC culture that could be an enemy, or could potentially be helpful if the players earn it. Much like lizardfolk.

And yeah, hill giants are boring. If you're going to give me giants, at least give me viking giants or militaristic jerk giants that have some cool aspects to them...like being vikings or their weaponsmithing and the like. I mean, they're not my -favorite- kinds of giants, but they're still infinitely better than hillbilly giants...though marsh giants have some of that too. With a little cosmic horror spice.


Ross Byers wrote:
It is a little late to change the lineup.

But it is never to late to whine loudly about the badwrongfun content we want that was not included.


Necromancer wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Necromancer wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Necromancer wrote:

I don't get why there's two giant chapters; there's far more than two types. It would've been a bit more reasonable to find one representative for giants, use that as an example, and save the space for something else (derro, dark folk, cyclops, catfolk, strix, morlocks, gargoyles, harpies, and so on).

Oh, well. I guess everyone has chapters they won't use.

Here's your reason. And I'm sure grognards will cry foul about the lack of hill giants...
So a popular module trilogy released thirty years ago cast a shadow this long? They could've just used hill giants and dropped the other two...
Tomb of Horrors casts an even longer one. It's a very nostalgic hobby.
I've just never used frost/fire giants and cannot wrap my head around the appeal.

Also of the giants that are popular in mythology, fire and frost giants are the most popular ones. Especially with the current popularity of the Thor movies.

At the end of the day, they had to pick 20. So unfortunately not everyone's favorite monsters made it in. I would have loved to have seen a lich and mummy information in there. But, they only have room for so much so I'm at least happy I got my favorite monster, the ghoul, into the book :)

It's the way publishing goes.


Odraude wrote:
But, they only have room for so much so I'm at least happy I got my favorite monster, the ghoul, into the book :)

Now this has my interest, moreso than any of the others, simply due to how close Paizo tries to align the 3.5 ghoul with Pickman's Model ghouls and remain backwards compatible.

Dark Archive

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Clearly we need to rectify this dearth of Ratfolk appearing as adversaries...

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