Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Occult Bestiary (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Occult Bestiary (PFRPG)
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Mind-Shattering Monsters!

Little is known about some of the deadliest horrors inhabiting the world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and that's just how these denizens of dream and thought like it. The less their secrets reach the average adventurer, the more easily they can hunt in the Dimension of Dreams, steal the minds of unsuspecting victims, and spread fear and discord throughout the multiverse. But their secrets are finally revealed! The perfect companion to Pathfinder RPG Occult Adventures, this grimoire of new monsters is a must-have for any Game Master running an occult campaign, whether or not the player characters are themselves psychic spellcasters. Within these mysterious pages you'll find:

  • Nearly 50 new creatures that possess psychic abilities or are based on occult themes.
  • New playable races, including variant duergar and samsarans, as well as munavris—albino humanoid denizens of the Darklands' Sightless Sea.
  • Aliens from Golarion's planetary neighbors and beyond, including yithian elders, enlightened contemplatives, and Liavaran dreamers.
  • Denizens of the mysterious Dimension of Dreams, including rival azatas and demons who vie for control of sleepers' minds.
  • Seven creature templates to turn your favorite monsters into mind-bending foes such as alter egos, animus shades, relentless psychic liches, or thought-sapping psychic vampires.
  • Statistics for powerful aboleth omnipaths, neothelid overlords, and the unique otherworldly horror known as Tychilarius—the perfect capstone to high-level occult adventures.

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Occult Bestiary is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game setting.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-767-3

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscription.

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Psychic and Occult style Critters Abound

5/5

I love bestiaries and Paizo doesn't disappoint in quality and variety when it comes to there monsters.
The Good
-A new Aeon, Azata, Azura and Rakshasa.
-New 0HD races.
-New fey(Boggart and Fear Eater)
-Some alien life forms like the Shotalashu.
-Alternate/more powerful versions of many creatures.
-Psychoplasmic creatures! and other interesting templates.
-New type of Naga(Dream).
The Bad
-A lot of alternate versions of existing creatures.
-No new elementals.
-Almost half the book are outsiders.


And Madness Followed


As the title suggests, this is a sourcebook of critters for the new Occult Adventures source material. Most of them use psychic magic or rules or variant class skills, so if you don't intend on buying the master volume, leave this one on the shelf. There are however, a handful of psychic-flavoured adversaries that don't use these rules. The creatures presented have a scale of OA knowledge, so DMs can jump right in with some of the less complicated offerings. Tychilarius the BBEG is actually free of psychic rules, strangely enough.

The creatures presented are of all CRs and most, if not all, major creature types have something added to them. This book is packed cover to cover with usefulness, the inside cover having the standard bestiary breakdown of CR, type and role. I wish Paizo would release this page as a preview for perspective buyers.

Flavour-wise, we have denizens of any place dark, mysterious or dark and mysterious place. The Dominion of the Black gets a major nod in Tychilarius; the underdark has many new hazards; Vudra and Tian Xia get foes to fit with their exotic feel; and many of these critters have ties to the shadow plane, astral plane or dreamscape.

Players have complained that some of the more recent creature offerings feel uninspired. I do not feel this way about this book. There are variants for some creature types, but mostly the creatures feel exotic and fresh. My favorite so far is the tattoo guardian, a construct with a wonderful flavor appeal. There are also lots of templates.

My only major complaint is that the book seems to have a disproportionate number of undead. Woe betide the psychic spell caster who dies any sort of death! All in all, a book I'm excited about. I really have to commend the designers on having a variety of creatures of all types, CRs and with varying amounts of OA rules.


You can never have too many monsters

5/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

Monsters enjoy an interesting privilege in roleplaying games. It seems that no matter how many there are, there are never too many. There are a lot of monsters in Pathfinder and there's a very good chance that many of the ones in Occult Bestiary will never see use in any of my games. But I like having them nevertheless. And some will see use. Maybe a lot of use. Overall, Occult Bestiary is a great addition to any GM's bookshelf.


Worth the Wait

5/5

At first when I heard that the Occult Bestiary was meant to be appended to Occult Adventures I was irritated that we weren't getting the book all in one.

After reading the book, however, I've totally changed my opinion. I loved the flavor of the monsters in this book, and especially the templates, and having to wait a little longer to get just that little bit more out of the first burst of truly weird and wacky baddies now seems totally justified.

There are more than a few occult reskins of traditional monsters, which I am personally a big fan of, a smattering of templates that help bring the monsters they didn't give an eldritch makeover into the fold, and more than a couple brand-new ones that hail from places like The Dimension of Dreams or The Dominion of the Black.

This book has got me all kinds of excited for Bestiary 5!


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What is the GM supposed to do with the Munavri? They're too powerful to use as PCs. They're good aligned, so they can't be fought in typical campaigns unless they've turned evil. Maybe they could function as allies of good-aligned PCs, or as opponents of an evil campaign?

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I think they're intended as a friendly civilization for when PCs venture down into the Darklands. A regular human town couldn't survive down there, so they needed something tougher to stand in for the typical human town. Basically a home base with a built in explanation for how they can survive in the Darklands.


Compared to some of the other Darklands races, they probably aren't overpowered as PCs if you're running a strictly Darklands campaign.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:

Devil, Mnemor

** spoiler omitted **

This is my favorite entry in the whole book (with two others tied REALLY close in 2nd place... ok, 3 others... man I love this book)


What are the other three monsters Purple Dragon Knight?


I too would like to know about race points. I am highly disappointed that they are left out. Is advanced race guide no longer a viable option for paizo? Has it been phased out?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't think the ARG itself is not viable or anything, but the race builder system is really not a very good system for balancing races.


The Golux wrote:
I don't think the ARG itself is not viable or anything, but the race builder system is really not a very good system for balancing races.

So the main point of the ARG is just worthless then, and Paizo decided to drop it? So what are we supposed to do with these overpowered Races, then, like the Munavri?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mavrickindigo wrote:
The Golux wrote:
I don't think the ARG itself is not viable or anything, but the race builder system is really not a very good system for balancing races.
So the main point of the ARG is just worthless then, and Paizo decided to drop it? So what are we supposed to do with these overpowered Races, then, like the Munavri?

I love the ARG, and I've hardly ever even looked at the race builder chapter. I'd say opinions may vary on the "main point" of that book.

As for "what to do with these overpowered races," it's left up to each individual table/GM/group as usual.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Yeah, ARG is probably my most used sourcebook, even more than the CRB. But I've never really touched the race builder. It was pretty clearly an afterthought and doesn't work right. It's a decent starting point, to brainstorm up abilities to build a race around, but the RP total number is worthless, and balance pass should be done by playtesting instead of assuming RP points say anything about the truth.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I've actually used the race builder a few times, it's not hard to build balanced races, it is easy to get a little crazy, but overall I certainly don't think it's broken.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
captain yesterday wrote:
I've actually used the race builder a few times, it's not hard to build balanced races, it is easy to get a little crazy, but overall I certainly don't think it's broken.

It, like most elements of game design, requires some judgment to get the balance right. Games like Mutants & Masterminds or GURPS, which focus as much on 'make your own PCs or monsters' than pregenerated 'classes' or Bestiaries, mention how easy it is to design something that's perfectly rules-legal, in a game meant to emulate superhero or fantasy tropes across the spectrum, and make a character or encounter that is either crazy overpowered, or kind of worthless.

I see the Race Builder as a step in that direction, something that, like magic item design, is more art than science, and could, if used strictly literally, could churn out the racial equivalent of cheap rings of always-on true strike.

Coming at it from the intent of *not* 'getting away with' something or 'breaking the game,' and creating a race that isn't optimized to be awesome at class X or role Y, but has some depth to it, the Race Builder rules can be useful tool.


THey should at least have marked if the different races in this book were "normal" "advanced' or "monstrous"

that could give GMs something to start with, at least


They do note advanced races by saying their CR is higher than normal.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Golux wrote:
They do note advanced races by saying their CR is higher than normal.

So, Reborn Samsarans would be normal races and Munavri and Duergar Tyrants would be Advanced?


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Hi, all--I don't usually do this, but I had an Amazon gift card from two Christmases ago, and I used it to pre-order this book. I just got off the phone with Amazon, because it was an October 1 pre-order (and today is October 5), and the customer service guy told me that the book has not been released yet, "To Amazon.com."

I've seen the book at other retailers, from BAM! to (I believe) Barnes and Noble, but Amazon apparently "released" it yet. Is this something that happens often with Amazon and Pathfinder books? I'm not sure what to make of it, especially since my gift card was used already...

(Apologies if this isn't appropriate to the Product Discussion forum; please direct me to a better place if I'm in the wrong spot!)


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chaderick the Penguin wrote:

Hi, all--I don't usually do this, but I had an Amazon gift card from two Christmases ago, and I used it to pre-order this book. I just got off the phone with Amazon, because it was an October 1 pre-order (and today is October 5), and the customer service guy told me that the book has not been released yet, "To Amazon.com."

I've seen the book at other retailers, from BAM! to (I believe) Barnes and Noble, but Amazon apparently "released" it yet. Is this something that happens often with Amazon and Pathfinder books? I'm not sure what to make of it, especially since my gift card was used already...

(Apologies if this isn't appropriate to the Product Discussion forum; please direct me to a better place if I'm in the wrong spot!)

Yes, Amazon releases Paizo material far later than physical stores and Paizo itself does.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Luthorne wrote:
Chaderick the Penguin wrote:

Hi, all--I don't usually do this, but I had an Amazon gift card from two Christmases ago, and I used it to pre-order this book. I just got off the phone with Amazon, because it was an October 1 pre-order (and today is October 5), and the customer service guy told me that the book has not been released yet, "To Amazon.com."

I've seen the book at other retailers, from BAM! to (I believe) Barnes and Noble, but Amazon apparently "released" it yet. Is this something that happens often with Amazon and Pathfinder books? I'm not sure what to make of it, especially since my gift card was used already...

(Apologies if this isn't appropriate to the Product Discussion forum; please direct me to a better place if I'm in the wrong spot!)

Yes, Amazon releases Paizo material far later than physical stores and Paizo itself does.

But, do they usually release them after their own published pre-order date? I was willing to wait the extra two weeks or so until October 1 came around, but now even Amazon's date has passed, and Amazon is saying they don't have it...

(Unless that's exactly what you were saying, in which case...ugh. I made a mistake ordering that book the way I did...)


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chaderick the Penguin wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Chaderick the Penguin wrote:

Hi, all--I don't usually do this, but I had an Amazon gift card from two Christmases ago, and I used it to pre-order this book. I just got off the phone with Amazon, because it was an October 1 pre-order (and today is October 5), and the customer service guy told me that the book has not been released yet, "To Amazon.com."

I've seen the book at other retailers, from BAM! to (I believe) Barnes and Noble, but Amazon apparently "released" it yet. Is this something that happens often with Amazon and Pathfinder books? I'm not sure what to make of it, especially since my gift card was used already...

(Apologies if this isn't appropriate to the Product Discussion forum; please direct me to a better place if I'm in the wrong spot!)

Yes, Amazon releases Paizo material far later than physical stores and Paizo itself does.

But, do they usually release them after their own published pre-order date? I was willing to wait the extra two weeks or so until October 1 came around, but now even Amazon's date has passed, and Amazon is saying they don't have it...

(Unless that's exactly what you were saying, in which case...ugh. I made a mistake ordering that book the way I did...)

To my knowledge, until the book is actually out, I have seen the date change a few times, though I'm not sure how common that is, since I usually buy Pathfinder material from Amazon after it's already been out for awhile given the time disparity; rather than a hard and fast date, I would tend to think of any of those as Amazon's best guess as to when they'll have access to the product. Why it changes, I don't know, but it has before, at least, even if I can't authoritatively say that it usually does.


Chaderick the Penguin wrote:


But, do they usually release them after their own published pre-order date? I was willing to wait the extra two weeks or so until October 1 came around, but now even Amazon's date has passed, and Amazon is saying they don't have it...

(Unless that's exactly what you were saying, in which case...ugh. I made a mistake ordering that book the way I did...)

As I understand the situation, Amazon gets their gaming materials from the gaming distributors.. not just dice and other accessories, but also the books. When they do not have a solid date, they make their best guess. That sometimes results in odd situations.

I have also noticed in my own interactions with Amazon that they have issues with "niche" products. Things like books that belong to a series not being marked consistently as such, for example. This is more prominent with comics, manga, and gaming materials.

In short, while Amazon may offer a lower price and (if you have Prime) potentially cheap or even free delivery, the trade-off is sometimes erratic results for lower-volume less-mainstream materials.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Good to know! Thanks, Luthorne and Urath DM--I'll know to use my gift cards more wisely in the future.

I appreciate you guys taking the time to bring me up to speed! :-)

Silver Crusade

I'm not big on zombies, but I love the echohusk.


Can the psychic lich heal itself with its own touch attack?

The psychic lich's Psychic Feast ability heals a set amount of damage to it whenever it succeeds on a saving throw against a mind-affecting effect that calls for a "partial" or "negate" saving throw. The psychic lich's touch attack causes a form of confusion-type effect against those who fail their saving throws against it but it is not explicitly called out as a mind-affecting effect (its description states that the attack interferes with the nerves of the victims so it might be less mind-affecting and more physical in nature).

I am leaning towards that its own touch attack should heal itself but I am curious to know if the intention was "No."

CB


A regular lunch can heal itself this way, so I say yes and it's intended.


Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
A regular lunch can heal itself this way, so I say yes and it's intended.

Heh. That made me chuckle a bit.

The only reason why I was not sure is because due to the psychic lich's Psychic Feast ability, it seems like they have an easier way to heal themselves (since they are not immune to mind-affecting effects), whereas regular liches (especially, say non-necromancer wizards or alchemists) has a narrower field of effects that could be used to easily heal damage done to their corporeal bodies.

CB

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