Monster Menagerie: Horrors of the Aboleth (PFRPG) PDF

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“Just when you thought it was safe to adventure in the water!”

Aboleth are an empire of entirely inhuman intelligences who are older, smarter, and more vile than most land-based races. This book assumes that a race as old and powerful as aboleth, and as prone to manipulating and transmogrifying other races, is going to have a great deal more in their empire than just their core race and skum servants.

We present a wide range of noisome and disquieting new threats, ready to turn their alien intellects to the destruction of the PCs’ world. So prepare to behold the behemoth, face the slime golems, and flee the tentacle crabs. Nothing can save you now.

Author: Sam Hing
Pages: 22

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

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This installment of the Monster Menagerie-series clocks in at 27 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page foreword, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 22 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

Well, before we do, let me please come clean: I *LOVE* aboleths - the wonderful blending of Lovecraftian tropes and body horror they represent resonates with me. Alas, since Lords of Madness, there hasn't been much spotlighting of these great creatures. So let's take a look at the horrors herein!

Number one would be the Cr 16 Behemoth Aboleth - a gargantuan, living siege engine bred to destroy ships. These big guns of the aboleths come with a barbed hide and the capability to rend ships - and they are pretty neat creatures...though I kind of wished their barbed hide would also help against natural attacks. On a nitpicky side, the statblock has some SPs bolded that shouldn't be and two of them lack hyperlinks, while the other have it - but I'm not going to penalize the book for this.

The CR 8 aboleth engulfers are ray-like creatures that can spread their wings over targets - once again, a neat foe; on the nitpicky side, one ability deviates from the formatting established before. The CR 10 manipulator aboleths are interesting - they not only get full spellcasting, they also can freely combine spellcasting and tentacle/arm-attacks. Slime Golems (CR 8) are fish-like creatures made from aboleth mucus - they can swallow adversaries, change shapes and swallow creatures into their slimy forms - they come with full creation-info.

The CR 17 Livyathan, kind of draconic, receives a powerful fear-aura and the option to fire a breath weapon of slime, which, underwater, may congeal into jellyfish swarms. Muculent Husks would be undead creatures that not only get an aura that taints water, they also get a fear-gaze and desiccating strikes. At CR 3, the degenerate protoaboleth, more parasite than mastermind, provides a nice low-level challenge and at the same CR, we get a cetacean variant of skum. Larval aboleth swarms can also be found in these pages, as can the CR 10 Tentacle Crabs.

On the supplemental side, we get mucus bombs, flesh hardeners and specific fish-like objects that can emit aboleth slime in jets. Magic-.item wise, a ring to facilitate landwalking and a staff with an aboleth-tentacle complement this book. 3 feats for skum-infiltrators, aboleth magi and humans fighting them are part of the deal - they're okay, but ultimately nothing to write home about. The pdf closes with 3 new spells - and here, we get nasty ones: Slashing waves, skum-transformation-curse and an inverse vortex all have in common that they're kind of awesome and deliver neat visuals to boot.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, but not as refined as usual for Rogue Genius Games-books. The pdf's layout adheres to a GORGEOUS (no, really: GORGEOUS!) two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes with artworks...MANY artworks. And, quite frankly, they're among the best I've seen in any 3pp. See the cover? Yes, the interior artwork is that level of awesome. Artist Bob Greyvenstein delivers art of Paizo-Plus-level quality and, quite frankly, at the low asking price, this book may be worth getting for the art alone. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and hyperlinked, though the latter are somewhat inconsistent.

Sam Hing delivers solid aboleth variants in this book - the creatures presented are pretty interesting and fit their roles. That being said, the editing isn't as tight as usual for Rogue Genius Games. Additionally, while the artworks let my jaw drop to the floor, the mechanics of the respective creatures felt less inspired to me - aboleth-y dragon? Check. Aboleth-y golem? Check. You get the idea. This provides variants of the theme, but doesn't add that much beyond the variants. My final verdict will hence clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 due to the superb presentation: Seriously, showing these critters to your players may be worth the asking price for the experience alone...

Endzeitgeist out.


Community Manager

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I use these guys in my campaign, but they are the psionic version. Does this product cover one side or the other, or possibly, both? I understand that it covers additional "things" other than the Aboleth, but in the event it lists any form of stats...


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This product focuses on variant aboleth and their minions, and the ones we selected don't focus on psionics (though it would be easy enough to add some Dreamscarred Press psionics material to any of the entries).


Getting a very Lovecaft-vibe from the stunning covert art - the tiny insignificant human faced with the overwhelming alien horror. Who was the artist?


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limsk wrote:
Getting a very Lovecaft-vibe from the stunning covert art - the tiny insignificant human faced with the overwhelming alien horror. Who was the artist?

Good, that was exactly what we wanted!

The cover was done by Bob Greyvenstein, who ALSO did full-color illos of every creature inside, AND did the layout so it could highlight his awesome art!

We're very happy with his work on this. He's also done work for Legendary Games. :)


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Thanks Mr. Stephens. I am intrigued enough to check it out soon.


My latest use with an Aboleth nearly TPKed my group.

I used their illusion abilities to make the group think they were actually fighting a human cleric, and a small army of water elementals, in a flooded chamber with bridges.

However, the bridges were broken, and illusioned to look real, and the water was full of magical run off (weak effects, worst was 1d6 damage at lvl 5 on a 20% chance. Sometimes it healed! Aboleth was considered immune.)

Then, when they were deep into the chamber, it started using dominate on the strongest melees, who were commanded to turn on the others; who were two rogue/ninjas, and a Mystic theurge aspirant. Add in some water dependency w/ tenticle attacks, and yeah....

Anyway, if this book expands on Aboleth society, and means, my players had best beware.


It absolutely gives an aboleth empire more tools to spread their vile influence!


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

Hmm... I'm looking at this wondering if I could use it in Carrion Crown. There is a module where half of it takes place underwater...


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I wouldn't mind doing more work using Dreamscarred Press's psionic rules, I did a lot of the monsters for Alluria's crossover with them. IF both Owen and the good Mr. Smith were on board, I would love to do a psi aboleth or two.
I played the adventure where aboleth were first introduced, Dweller's of the Forbidden City, and as a Mythos lover, I adored them at first sight. I still have the Dragon Magazine article where they expanded the species, and discussed their cities..and I wanted to tip my hat to that.


Nice, Balckerose, it is great to see someone else who appreciates these baddies for the true horrors they can be...


I remember what I forgot to ask before...the release of the Mythic Mania books have reminded me. Are there any plans to include mythic material for this expansion (series)? Perhaps as web content?
In the same vain, especially since this contains material about minions, any chance there is some support for mass combat rules (as put forth in Ultimate Campaign, or the wonderful additions by Legendary games) on the horizon?


We do not currently plan to do mythic versions of these monsters, because that becomes a niche (folks who want mythic monsters) of a niche (folks who use 3pp aboleth expansions).

Similarly the mass combat rules haven't seen a lot of support from Paizo, and RGG doesn't think they are all that good. As a result we are unlikely to create support material for them.

I'd suggest just slapping the "troop" template on anything you want a group of PCs to fight big units of. :)


Owen KC Stephens wrote:
I'd suggest just slapping the "troop" template on anything you want a group of PCs to fight big units of. :)

Off topic but is there an 'official' troop template available yet?


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Eric Hinkle wrote:
Owen KC Stephens wrote:
I'd suggest just slapping the "troop" template on anything you want a group of PCs to fight big units of. :)
Off topic but is there an 'official' troop template available yet?

There is, but it's not on the PRD because it was in Pathfinder Adventure Path #71: Rasputin Must Die! (and maybe another adventure) rather than in any of the hardback rulebooks. I don't see it on ArchivesofNethys, but here's a link to the subtype on d20pfsrd


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Owen KC Stephens wrote:
It absolutely gives an aboleth empire more tools to spread their vile influence!

Hence this will be perfect for my current RAZOR COAST game! Really digging this book; will report when I get to test these on my PCs!


Alex Cunningham wrote:
...will report when I get to test these on my PCs!

Uh-oh!


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Eric-
It is a subtype and can be found on D20PFSRD.com at this link: Troop


Owen KC Stephens wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Owen KC Stephens wrote:
I'd suggest just slapping the "troop" template on anything you want a group of PCs to fight big units of. :)
Off topic but is there an 'official' troop template available yet?
There is, but it's not on the PRD because it was in Pathfinder Adventure Path #71: Rasputin Must Die! (and maybe another adventure) rather than in any of the hardback rulebooks. I don't see it on ArchivesofNethys, but here's a link to the subtype on d20pfsrd

Mister Stephens, Thedmstrikes, thanks to both of you.


Alex Cunningham wrote:
Owen KC Stephens wrote:
It absolutely gives an aboleth empire more tools to spread their vile influence!
Hence this will be perfect for my current RAZOR COAST game! Really digging this book; will report when I get to test these on my PCs!

Yeah, the recent rise of Razor Coast (especially Heart of the Razor, which I boost more since I wrote for it), Freeport, and Plunder & Peril should give folks looking for some Aboleth-opportunities lots of chances to use this material!

I look forward to your thoughts. :)


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.

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