Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 5 (OGL)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 5 (OGL)
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Beyond the veil!

Creatures strange beyond imagining and more terrifying than any nightmare lurk in the dark corners of the world and the weird realms beyond. Within this book, you'll find hundreds of monsters for use in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Face off against devils and dragons, deep ones and brain moles, robots and gremlins, and myriad other menaces! Yet not every creature needs to be an enemy, as whimsical liminal sprites, helpful moon dogs, and regal seilenoi all stand ready to aid you on your quests—if you prove yourself worthy.

Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 5 is the fifth indispensable volume of monsters for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and serves as a companion to the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook and Pathfinder RPG Bestiary. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 10 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 RPG Bestiary 5 includes:

  • More than 300 different monsters.
  • New player-friendly races like caligni dark folk, deep one hybrids, plant-bodied ghorans, and simian orang-pendaks.
  • Psychic creatures both benevolent and terrifying, from the enigmatic anunnaki and faceless astomoi to the howling caller in darkness and insidious, alien grays.
  • New familiars, animal companions, and other allies, such as clockwork familiars, red pandas, and many-legged wollipeds.
  • New templates to help you get more life out of classic monsters.
  • Appendices to help you find the right monster, including lists by Challenge Rating, monster type, and habitat.
  • Expanded universal monster rules to simplify combat.
  • Challenges for every adventure and every level of play.
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-792-5

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Rulebook Subscription.

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My Favourite So Far

5/5

Don't have really anymore to add beyond that, love all the eldritch and occult flavor being pumped in ^w^


The weakest of the bunch

2/5

On the one hand, there are a good couple of gems and some very inspired entries throughout this book and, in truth, two stars is somewhat unfair, especially for the PDF. But, personally, I feel they're warranted, as this book seems to signal a shift in Pathfinder's direction, and one that I'm not happy about in the least.

First off, while Occult Adventures is readily available for consultation online in the SRD, I did not like to see a sizable number of monsters using rules from that book. It's one thing to have spells or feats from, say, Advanced Player's Guide or Mythic Adventures, as those are books that complement the game as a whole and present options for all classes, whereas Occult Adventures is a very specific niche that not all players will want to incorporate in their campaigns.

Secondly, I did not like the muddled product identity Paizo is showcasing here, with monsters such as the Android, Gray (Roswell), Reptoid (Reptilian) and Robot. Even the Annunaki seems more at home as the antagonist of, say, a Legion of Super-Heroes comic book. It's one thing to want to provide the tools for varied and diverse fantasy campaigns - in which constructs, space aberrations and even clockwork creatures can easily work without sticking out like sore thumbs - but quite another one to insert borderline hard-SF or contemporary conspiracy theorist creatures on a lark. Expedition to the Barrier Peaks this is not, and let's endeavor to keep it that way, please.

Thirdly, snake-bodied weasels with boar tusks? Serpentine bulls? Shark-headed sea serpents? Wolf-headed sea serpents? A chinchilla with a bat wing on the tip of its tail? An octopus with three shark heads? Really? Unless you have an absolutely amazing hook or a compelling campaign seed, why bother putting out this silly, uninspired dross? You can do much better than this, Paizo.


Monsters Galore

4/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

I like Bestiary 5 a great deal. On an initial look-through before reading it more thoroughly, there were numerous monsters that drew my attention, that made me want to know more about them, and screamed to be included in one of my games sometime down the road. There's a wide variety of monsters present, with every type represented and the spread between them being fairly even. Ooze is a monster type that is often under-represented, but there are quite a few new oozes in this book. Along with that there are lots of magical beasts, constructs, undead, vermin, fey, and so on. In addition, there are several mythic monsters, and Bestiary 5 is the first hardcover book to contain monsters using the occult rules from Occult Adventures. The monsters cover a wide variety of challenge ratings as well, from 1/6 to 24. The bulk of the creatures are in the low- to mid-CR range, but there are also a sizeable number of high-CR monsters as well.


Grim Reapers, Deep Ones, and Greys Oh My!

5/5

I have always loved Bestiaries and Paizo has yet to disappoint in department. Now with a 5th hardcover bestiary they continue with quality and variety. I will list the good and the bad of this fine product.
The Good
-Dragons, 5 great new true dragons, along with a variety of "lesser" dragons such as jungle drake, rope dragon, vishap, and awesome shen.
-Fey, a variety of ranging from low to high CR such as the house spirits and the glaistag.
-Giants, we finally get the Firbolg, been waiting to see this one for a long time.
-New 0HD races like the Astomi, Caligni, and Reptoid.
-Aliens such as greys and the Anunnaki.
-Elementals such as aether, the wysps and the awesome anemos.
-Interesting oozes such as animate hair, apallie, and living mirage.
-New clestials and aeons.
-Robots!
-Creatures from mythology.
-Old school monster such as moon dogs, muckdwellers, brain moles, and thought eaters.
-Some interesting undead like bone ship and death coach.

The Bad
-Some minor design issues.
-Some art issues.
-The Sahkil, another evil outsider group, could have used this space for Oni, Azura, or Rakshasa.
-Continued use of the mythic rules that to me should be a completely optional rule.


3 STARS?????

5/5

I can't agree with the below rating of 3 stars. (Read Below) This is on-par with any other bestiary piazo has produced. Although i cant speak of quality due to just buying a pdf, this bestiary has the best range of monster selection in my opinion. It adds some technology driven ideas, unique story driven monsters and my favorite: A BoneShip, literally the pcs can fight an undead ship!!!! The complaint of no new monster over CR25 is a lazy lie, using templates the Esoteric Dragons can be over CR25 with other CR20+ monsters utilizing templates provided can increase above CR25. This book contains ideas for familiars, companions, and constructs for many classes and pairs amazingly well with content from the Occult Adventures. I Love this book, and pathfinder in general due to the wealth of information it has for both a PC and a DM. Cant wait for more!!!


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Nightterror wrote:

Same old crap? You mean Robots, Smilodon, T.Rex, Pixies, D&D Dragons, Minotaur and all other overused stuff you see in every story, movie, book, cartoon ect ect??

I don't think most of Bestiaries 2,3,4 and 5 mythology and cryptid monsters are same old crap.

Wait. Are you talking to me? Because if you are, I think you might be slightly confused. Or I am. Or we both are. I don't know. At least one of us is.


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Why does the Annunaki have a bite attack? That's kinda weird.


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All in all I'm good with the art, and the content. I was most excited and happy to see the Caligni...I have been wanting a playable Dark Folk for years...the art was a bit disappointing...what with the pointed ears and all....but in general It's a win bestiary ;)


Are dragonkin supposed to be able to have different breath weapons depending on color and stuff? I think there was a white one in Reign of Winter.


Odraude wrote:
Yeah the use of the points confuses me, especially since the devs have gone on record saying that they don't like spell points and don't like psychic magic being so completely different from arcane and divine. I may change it.

How's about this crackpot conspiracy theory I haz that them devs are having those psionic point stuff left alone so that GM's will get used to the psionic powerpoint mechanic, thereby making more more GM's getting comfortable with ultimately using 3pp PF Psionics stuff so that the GMs may start to want to run that sort of stuff for their players, thereby reducing the demand for Paizo to make some official psionic powerpoint stuff (when they already have psychic stuff). ;)


Yeah the dragonkin has the same breath weapon as what chromatic or metallic color it has but it's alignment is not based on color.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Here4daFreeSwag wrote:
How's about this crackpot conspiracy theory I haz that them devs are having those psionic point stuff left alone so that GM's will get used to the psionic powerpoint mechanic, thereby making more more GM's getting comfortable with ultimately using 3pp PF Psionics stuff so that the GMs may start to want to run that sort of stuff for their players, thereby reducing the demand for Paizo to make some official psionic powerpoint stuff (when they already have psychic stuff). ;)

Seriously, people need to get past this false mental construct of 'psychic magic' having 'introduced power points' to Pathfinder.

There is absolutely no difference between Monks having a 'ki pool' from which they can spend 'ki points' to activate powers (e.g. Abundant Step = 2 ki points, Empty Body = 3 ki points) and occult bestiary 'psychic energy' points being spent to activate psychic magic powers. Switch the terminology around and everything still works the same way. Yet for some reason 'psychic magic' is an evil power point system while ki points (and dozens of other examples in Pathfinder) is perfectly fine.

The 'difference' is entirely in your head.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

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Patrick C. wrote:

As the guy who was complaining about the the lack of Good Outsiders dedicated to seduction and male-looking paragons of love and beauty, i must sand huge THANK YOU for whomever was responsible for the Gancanagh. They are exactly what I was looking for. Much appreciated.

And the Manasaputras... Whoa. Too much awesome for words. And the implications... Is the material from the Bestiaries canon for the Pathfinder Campaign Setting? Because we might be looking at creatures that are actually older than Pharasma here. I mean... It just huge. Sometimes, the ultimate fate of the Multiverse seems much too bleak and hopeless, and these guys are evidence of, possibly, a birghter future.

Besides...

They've just introduced Galactus in Golarion. A whole race of them. Non-planet eating, sure, but... An antire race of Galactus.

I'm fanboying hard here.

Check out Occult Realms' section on the Akashic Thysiastery. It hints that evil counterparts of the manasaputra exist too. Thurston and I (who designed the manasaputra under Erik's guidance) laid the groundwork for some really lore-heavy stories in the future ;)

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

J-Spee Lovecraft wrote:
Why does the Annunaki have a bite attack? That's kinda weird.

That's probably my bad. When I designed the anunnaki their art hadn't been completed yet and we didn't have a solid description to go on. So I based their appearance off of more draconic/bestial designs. They were much more shape shifting reptilian entities (as anunnaki have mythological ties to Apsu in the real-world). Their "wings" we're also more flesh than artifice.

Mark did a great job of bringing them in line with the art once that was completed, but part of me thinks that a race of shape shifters having a bite attack isn't wildly unusual. :)


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So let me get this strait there is another evil outsider group and this one is the counter part to the Manasaputra. Sigh, if every good outsider group has to get a evil counter part then were are the good counter parts to the remaining evil outsider groups.


Lol.

Everyone just likes creating evil and neutral creatures more than they like creating good natured bores.

Just Kiddn.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
So let me get this strait there is another evil outsider group and this one is the counter part to the Manasaputra. Sigh, if every good outsider group has to get a evil counter part then were are the good counter parts to the remaining evil outsider groups.

Symmetry is boooring. There's no value in having exactly 3 outsider groups per each alignment, with each having precisely one creature per CR.


I'm toying around with the idea of having a Manusupatra-worshipping temple in my campaign. It'd purpose is to revere and imitate (but not worship) the Manusupatras and train tons of LG monks and psychics. Their deeper goal is to study the cosmic fire and join the cycle of reincarnation.


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Robert Brookes wrote:


Check out Occult Realms' section on the Akashic Thysiastery. It hints that evil counterparts of the manasaputra exist too. Thurston and I (who designed the manasaputra under Erik's guidance) laid the groundwork for some really lore-heavy stories in the future ;)

Sweet, thanks for the tip! :) I'm gonna look into it as soon as I get the Occult Realms (Which, now, is going to be sooner than later).

I'm really pumped up about the possibilities this particular group of Outsiders offers... This can be even used to link different campaigns in different settings together.

Imagine a player meeting an old character from a Greyhawk campaign that became a Twilight Pitri :)


Ouch that review seemed rough. But I do kinda see their point even if I disagree on the star rating.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I overall like the book, particularly the vilderavn, hopkin, cursed king, manasaputra, sahkil, and glaistig (the art for the ovinnik is rather cute!).

I'd say one of the negatives for me is that quite a few creatures (like on the archons) get barely any descriptive fluff at all, where others such as the glaistig and vilderavn get quite a bit to them. Also like people mentioned earlier, the crone queens are odd as they are campaign related; they could have been re-fluffed as witch liches or something less specific.

Paizo Employee Designer

DeciusNero wrote:

I overall like the book, particularly the vilderavn, hopkin, cursed king, manasaputra, sahkil, and glaistig (the art for the ovinnik is rather cute!).

I'd say one of the negatives for me is that quite a few creatures (like on the archons) get barely any descriptive fluff at all, where others such as the glaistig and vilderavn get quite a bit to them. Also like people mentioned earlier, the crone queens are odd as they are campaign related; they could have been re-fluffed as witch liches or something less specific.

All of them start out with more info (not glaistig amounts, since it's a two pager, but more than the ones with only one or two sentences), but they usually lose from there first when the picture winds up taking up more space than our estimates expect. AKA: copyfitting, the designer's nemesis.


Mark Seifter wrote:
DeciusNero wrote:

I overall like the book, particularly the vilderavn, hopkin, cursed king, manasaputra, sahkil, and glaistig (the art for the ovinnik is rather cute!).

I'd say one of the negatives for me is that quite a few creatures (like on the archons) get barely any descriptive fluff at all, where others such as the glaistig and vilderavn get quite a bit to them. Also like people mentioned earlier, the crone queens are odd as they are campaign related; they could have been re-fluffed as witch liches or something less specific.

All of them start out with more info (not glaistig amounts, since it's a two pager, but more than the ones with only one or two sentences), but they usually lose from there first when the picture winds up taking up more space than our estimates expect. AKA: copyfitting, the designer's nemesis.

Like the Gate Archon?

Paizo Employee Designer

Nutcase Entertainment wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
DeciusNero wrote:

I overall like the book, particularly the vilderavn, hopkin, cursed king, manasaputra, sahkil, and glaistig (the art for the ovinnik is rather cute!).

I'd say one of the negatives for me is that quite a few creatures (like on the archons) get barely any descriptive fluff at all, where others such as the glaistig and vilderavn get quite a bit to them. Also like people mentioned earlier, the crone queens are odd as they are campaign related; they could have been re-fluffed as witch liches or something less specific.

All of them start out with more info (not glaistig amounts, since it's a two pager, but more than the ones with only one or two sentences), but they usually lose from there first when the picture winds up taking up more space than our estimates expect. AKA: copyfitting, the designer's nemesis.
Like the Gate Archon?

The poor gate archon; it's not its fault that the art takes so much space! That one went beyond cutting most of the flavor text and actually had to lose abilities.


I was thinking of making an NPC. He or she would be an NE 7th level spellcaster who is a Sakhil idolizer and has an Episil as a familiar. What class should I use?

EDIT; The NPC should have fear-related abilities. Maybe a witch?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Any chance you could share what some of those abilities were? ^_^


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Nutcase Entertainment wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
DeciusNero wrote:

I overall like the book, particularly the vilderavn, hopkin, cursed king, manasaputra, sahkil, and glaistig (the art for the ovinnik is rather cute!).

I'd say one of the negatives for me is that quite a few creatures (like on the archons) get barely any descriptive fluff at all, where others such as the glaistig and vilderavn get quite a bit to them. Also like people mentioned earlier, the crone queens are odd as they are campaign related; they could have been re-fluffed as witch liches or something less specific.

All of them start out with more info (not glaistig amounts, since it's a two pager, but more than the ones with only one or two sentences), but they usually lose from there first when the picture winds up taking up more space than our estimates expect. AKA: copyfitting, the designer's nemesis.
Like the Gate Archon?
The poor gate archon; it's not its fault that the art takes so much space! That one went beyond cutting most of the flavor text and actually had to lose abilities.

I guessed the loss of abilities just by how the art looks compared to the stat block.

You know, when sending art orders, there should be a memo that include: "By fitting on a page, we mean a book page, not a web page." or something like that.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Axial wrote:
I was thinking of making an NPC. He or she would be an NE 7th level spellcaster who is a Sakhil idolizer and has an Episil as a familiar. What class should I use?

Are you familiar with the pact wizard archetype? That might be a good place to start. Make him an illusionist or necromancer obsessed with fear magic.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I understand the art can be quite the issue. Poor gate archon indeed.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Kalindlara wrote:
Any chance you could share what some of those abilities were? ^_^

Super special ability; feel free to give it to your favorite gate archons. It's pre-development:

Statuary Sentinel:
Statuary Sentinel (Su) A gate archon in statue form gains a +10 bonus on Perception and Stealth checks and gains the benefit of nondetection. It also can project its consciousness into the petrified body of any creature it has turned to stone, as enter imageAPG. The petrified creature need not resemble the archon.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Any chance you could share what some of those abilities were?

Super special ability; feel free to give it to your favorite gate archons. It's pre-development:

** spoiler omitted **

I deeply endorse this.

Thank you! ^_^

Paizo Employee Contributor—Canadian Maplecakes

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Dragon78 wrote:
So let me get this strait there is another evil outsider group and this one is the counter part to the Manasaputra. Sigh, if every good outsider group has to get a evil counter part then were are the good counter parts to the remaining evil outsider groups.

Most evil outsiders have a good-aligned counter in the current roster of outsider species. The problem (IMHO) is that good-aligned outsiders don't get as much stage time in products. That's probably because there's more use for 'bad guys' than an over abundance of 'good guys'. :)

That being said, the idea that a counterpart to the Manasaputra is only hinted at. The idea, as Robert and I conceptualized, is that the Manasaputra are the embodiment of good & wisdom with strong ties to the Positive Energy plane. The 'counterparts' would be evil & intelligence, with strong ties to the Negative energy plane.

The Manasaputra are beings who ascended from becoming one with the powers of the universe (or the previous universe). Given that, these theoretical counterparts would be based more on unlocking the secrets of the cosmos through raw intellect, ALA the Skasis Paradigm in New Doctor Who, or similar to how the Ori operate in Stargate.


what about the jyoti, not everything has to have an exact opposite, and there are always individual fallen celestials or risen fiends


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Numerian wrote:
what about the jyoti, not everything has to have an exact opposite, and there are always individual fallen celestials or risen fiends

Jyoti have counterparts, the sceaduinar. Personally, I think nightshades (powerful negative energy + made of outsiders) and/or kytons (outsiders focused around personal ascension through.... less than Good methods) are already good enough counterparts to the manasuptra.


OMG people, we need to make reviews with 5 stars! Common!

On person can destroy the chance on a Bestiary 6.

This clearly comes from a

1) D&D fanatic
2) Monster book hater, one that is happy with Bestiary 1 (D&D one) and doesn't care for the rest.
3) Lover of human-based books that is angry that we got Bestiary 5.

Ok, some things could be her opinion, but 2 star ranking is cruel and untrue.

We need to make more positive reviews or this could be the end, and I already know you people are very positive about the book!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Nightterror wrote:

OMG people, we need to make reviews with 5 stars! Common!

On person can destroy the chance on a Bestiary 6.

This clearly comes from a

1) D&D fanatic
2) Monster book hater, one that is happy with Bestiary 1 (D&D one) and doesn't care for the rest.
3) Lover of human-based books that is angry that we got Bestiary 5.

Ok, some things could be her opinion, but 2 star ranking is cruel and untrue.

We need to make more positive reviews or this could be the end, and I already know you people are very positive about the book!

See, now you're experiencing how some people might feel while reading your "X sucks, I wish Paizo never prints any more of them because it's stupid, dumb, I hate it, only sad people like it, and I wish they died on fire, because I don't want to ever see it again" posts ;-)


Nightterror wrote:
OMG people, we need to make reviews with 5 stars! Common!

Just gave Bestiary 5 my first review ever. A short review, but still.


Gorbacz wrote:
Nightterror wrote:

OMG people, we need to make reviews with 5 stars! Common!

On person can destroy the chance on a Bestiary 6.

This clearly comes from a

1) D&D fanatic
2) Monster book hater, one that is happy with Bestiary 1 (D&D one) and doesn't care for the rest.
3) Lover of human-based books that is angry that we got Bestiary 5.

Ok, some things could be her opinion, but 2 star ranking is cruel and untrue.

We need to make more positive reviews or this could be the end, and I already know you people are very positive about the book!

See, now you're experiencing how some people might feel while reading your "X sucks, I wish Paizo never prints any more of them because it's stupid, dumb, I hate it, only sad people like it, and I wish they died on fire, because I don't want to ever see it again" posts ;-)

I became like that mostly because everyone HATES on characters, things and monsters I like or don't give them any attention. I call it the Wolverine syndrome.

And I never said people should die on fire, you making things worse like always, If I made it that personal I would have been banned a long time ago.

And yes I let emotions sometimes take over my fingers, BUT I would never give a product bad score because I hate it, did you see a negative review from me on a Science-Fiction-based book or any of the Iron God Ap's? No.
This person clearly didn't liked late-numbered Bestiaries to begin with, seeing how her/his review began, she/he didn't have a big hat on for late numbered Bestairies, probably because she/he only cares for D&D monsters, and after you have done those everything that comes next is similar? (Funny fact is that the only monster that really is similar to me in this book comes straigth from D&D, the Aerial Servant)

Liberty's Edge

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Art: Couldn't it be scaled down 25% (or whatever) to fit?

Crone queens: Not sure how they are more 'campaign specific' than, for example, Gearsmen. Sure, Baba Yaga is a unique individual that appears in the Golarion campaign setting... and AD&D 1st edition... and real world mythology. Her having frozen witch daughters is a new Golarion specific campaign detail... but Driders being fleshwarped Drow (rather than made by Lolth) is also Golarion specific. Neothelids got a new backstory too. Basically, what is there about the Crone queens which would prevent someone from using them in a non-Golarion campaign?


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Nightterror wrote:
OMG people, we need to make reviews with 5 stars! Common!

No, we need to make reviews with as many stars as we see fit to give a product, based on our perception of the product.

Quote:
On person can destroy the chance on a Bestiary 6.

I sincerely doubt that a 2-review has any real chance of destroying anything.

Quote:

This clearly comes from a

1) D&D fanatic

I get the distinct feeling that the term "D&D fanatic" is used in derogatory fashion, and that's not cool.

Quote:
2) Monster book hater, one that is happy with Bestiary 1 (D&D one) and doesn't care for the rest.

Or a gamer with preferences when it comes to monster books that aren't similar to yours. Which doesn't necessarily equate to hate.

Quote:
3) Lover of human-based books that is angry that we got Bestiary 5.

Yeah...

Quote:
Ok, some things could be her opinion, but 2 star ranking is cruel and untrue.

Untrue? How so? It's the reviewer's perception of the book. It's not a 5-star review, but that in itself doesn't invalidate it. You may disagree (as do I), but that also doesn't in itself invalidate the reviewer's perception of the book.

Quote:
We need to make more positive reviews or this could be the end, and I already know you people are very positive about the book!

Keep calm and enjoy the monsters!

Previous Bestiaries have seen some less-than-stellar reviews (Bestiary and Bestiary 2 both received a 1-star review), and yet here we are with a fifth installment.


Quote:

Or a gamer with preferences when it comes to monster books that aren't similar to yours. Which doesn't necessarily equate to hate.

I get the distinct feeling that the term "D&D fanatic" is used in derogatory fashion, and that's not cool.

Not really, I just experience a lot of hate against D&D monster manuals 2, 3, 4 ect ect on many forums.

Just because many people can't look further than D&D Dragons, Umber Hulks, Displacer Beasts, Kobolds, Mind Flayers, MInotaurs, Orcs, Otyugh, Owlbears and all those other standard-in-Monster Manual/Bestiary 1 creatures.

After those creatures made it into a book, all others are seen as unneccesairy and space-fillers, even if they are extremely different and unique. Many people are already biased before the book is even made.

Its pretty much the same as I give a 1-star rating to a book about Numeria or to a Iron God AP book just because I don't like it. I wouldn't do that because I think that is unfair.

If you already know that a 5th bestiary/monster book will fail you, why buy and rank it at all? And this book has so much different monsters that never seen the light of day in any D&D-based book, that I see many errors in that text.

Quote:
What we've come to expect from late-instalment bestiaries


Basically, it's bad faith to rate something that you know you will hate for reasons that are completely distinct to quality.


Excellent book, gorgeous art, massive source of inspiration.

I do have a question though:

Nulminds gain PE if a nearby creature casts spells (especially psychic spells), so would 3 nulminds be an unending source of magic? One casts a psychic spell, the other two get PE, so if they each cast spells, they'd never run out of PE. Is that right, or is there some clause I've overlooked?


Reviews are not going to prevent a new hardcover bestiary though sales can;)


Dragon78 wrote:
Reviews are not going to prevent a new hardcover bestiary though sales can;)

And what if bad previews can keep people from buying it? :-p


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Did you read the review I wrote, or did you just look at the stars? I feel like I gave a pretty thorough and well-reasoned reasoned explanation for my rating - I wanted to give it 2.5 stars, but there are no half stars, and I was admittedly in kind of a crummy mood when I wrote it, so I rounded down.

They had some cool stuff in here, but it was not a perfect book, and some of my complaints are echoed in the other reviews, I think I just found them far more glaring.

My conclussion was that the book was a poor value at $45, but that it's worth the $10 PDF.

As far as your forensic profile...

I haven't played D&D in YEARS. I was delighted to see Pathfinder take off after 4th edition came out, and I haven't touched 5th edition.

I actually love bestiaries, and I especially love Paizo's earlier penchant for getting back to the roots of various monsters that have been taken from folklore, and for their reinvention of classic monsters like goblins and ogres. I felt like such creatures, in this installment, had only a superficial connection to their inspiration. It Thought Bestiary 1 was fantastic, Bestiary 2 was pretty good with a couple of flops, Bestiary 3 was potentially the best yet, and I wasn't a huge fan of Bestiary 4. I love a variety of monsters, but I get a little miffed when we have, as another review pointed out, air elementals, invisible stalkers, and aerial servants all running around together.

I'm not sure what you mean by your 3rd point.

Ultimately, I really like Pathfinder, but I feel like there has been a slippage in their quality as they've gotten more popular, sacrificing depth in their writing (which they used to have in spades in like every product) for stuff that is more superficially cool. Compare Rise of the Runelords to Wrath of the Righteous. I can be a little rough on them because I want them to stay on their toes and continue to produce good s+$$. They seem to have a fanbase that is more rabidly loyal than that of Rush, which is healthy for business, but it's no good for quality control if no one ever calls you out on your s$!%.


martinaj wrote:

Did you read the review I wrote, or did you just look at the stars? I feel like I gave a pretty thorough and well-reasoned reasoned explanation for my rating - I wanted to give it 2.5 stars, but there are no half stars, and I was admittedly in kind of a crummy mood when I wrote it, so I rounded down.

They had some cool stuff in here, but it was not a perfect book, and some of my complaints are echoed in the other reviews, I think I just found them far more glaring.

My conclussion was that the book was a poor value at $45, but that it's worth the $10 PDF.

As far as your forensic profile...

I haven't played D&D in YEARS. I was delighted to see Pathfinder take off after 4th edition came out, and I haven't touched 5th edition.

I actually love bestiaries, and I especially love Paizo's earlier penchant for getting back to the roots of various monsters that have been taken from folklore, and for their reinvention of classic monsters like goblins and ogres. I felt like such creatures, in this installment, had only a superficial connection to their inspiration. It Thought Bestiary 1 was fantastic, Bestiary 2 was pretty good with a couple of flops, Bestiary 3 was potentially the best yet, and I wasn't a huge fan of Bestiary 4. I love a variety of monsters, but I get a little miffed when we have, as another review pointed out, air elementals, invisible stalkers, and aerial servants all running around together.

I'm not sure what you mean by your 3rd point.

Ultimately, I really like Pathfinder, but I feel like there has been a slippage in their quality as they've gotten more popular, sacrificing depth in their writing (which they used to have in spades in like every product) for stuff that is more superficially cool. Compare Rise of the Runelords to Wrath of the Righteous. I can be a little rough on them because I want them to stay on their toes and continue to produce good s~!%. They seem to have a fanbase that is more rabidly loyal than that of Rush, which is healthy for business, but it's no...

Ok, ok some good points, but still the Aerial Servant is just one creature, sure there are more similar cases, but most of the creatures are really unique.

But in the end I was getting too emotional about this "What we've come to expect from late-installment bestiaries" sentence, which always angered my soul because in my case I always need to wait 4 bestiaries long to see my favorite movies/mythology/D&D creatures end up in books because I have a very different taste from the Wolverine/Dragon-Generation.

I really only disliked Bestiary 1, mostly because it was just D&D book copy. And I really dislike many overused D&D monsters. Been there done that, I need some new inspiration, and Bestiary 5 gave me far more inspiration than any D&D Monster Manual or Bestiary 1 could ever give me, namely Papinijuari and Su in this book for example are really awesome takes on already cool mythology monsters.


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Azazyll wrote:

Please give the new dragon type at least a page of background. There's so much stat block that usually the new dragons have zero personality, and I never end up using them. What makes these new dragons different besides a few combat tricks and alternate spell like abilities? The last batch in bestiary four was particularly frustrating: I loved the idea of Outer Dragons but all I got was more monsters with the dragon label. I would rather have had the same amount of space dedicated to background on these guys and just had a page or two reskinning old dragons to fit this great new idea.

I have every confidence Paizo can blow me away; your single-page guides to outsider types do this job brilliantly. I'd just would like dragons to get the same love, so they're worth more than a second glance.

This.

Totally.

I'd prefer books with half the monsters but enough lore about each of them, rather than loads over loads of almost dull stat blocks.
More monsters are always nice, but there is already more than enough of them, and adding templates too, their number becomes nearly infinite.
Better to have more lore and nice suggestions on how to use the creatures. Especially if many creatures are just another Undead born from cold, another terrain-named Giant, another Fey who loves pranks, another Dragon (with not even that bit of personality), or other such overused themes or dull stuff.


Most creatures spare for the Archon and Dragons have enough fluff in my opinion.

In some cases you just need to use your own imagination and use the stats and the little information given to create your own around it.

Dream Dragon and Nightmare Dragon, i'm sure know what to do with those, the Archons are also pretty obvious.

I always hope to see more fluff about the creatures in the Adventure Paths where they sometimes appear.


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I eagerly wait for "Aberrant Dragons Revisited", which will have more than enough information on all these new Dragon types we have been seeing. I admit I'm way more interested in the Outer Dragons than in the new ones, tough.


If they halved the number of monsters in the hardcover bestiary I wouldn't buy them. Besides it is easier to make up your own lore about an existing creature then too make up one from scratch.


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Yeah I agree. I don't think all monsters need a lot of flavor text, but I get annoyed at the sentence or two that the new dragons are stuck with. Sure, it's fine if the Chromatic or Metallic dragons don't have much info..they have tons of info written about them both in Pathfinder or earlier in DnD. But the new dragon types? Without the flavor there I don't know why I should use them in preference to the old standbys.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Here's a few cool extra tidbits about the esoteric dragons, except the nightmares, who managed to have their info:

Astral Dragon:
It is said that when these dragons reach a venerable age, instead of dying they give a deep exhale and dissipate into the Astral winds, creating hurricanes of thought.

Dream Dragon:
They observe the dreams of others, and pilfer information and the strange artifacts left behind by dreamscapes. Subtle of mind and whimsical of philosophy, they can be frustrating conversationalists, as they skip through ideas like daydream.

Etheric Dragon:
Silent hunters that dwell in the remote reaches of the Ethereal Plane, these dragons eat both the living and the undead. Etheric dragons rarely speak, and many other dragons consider them dull, if not stupid. They are neither. Their priorities are just confined to the necessities of existence within their harsh, uncompromising environs. Unlike many true dragons, even their hoards are secondary. While they collect and amass treasure, if that treasure threatens their survival, etheric dragons abandon their hoards and start gathering anew.

Occult Dragon:
Unlike most dragons, occult dragons, hoarders of occult lore and items, prefer to conduct their daily activities in humanoid form. They dwell in large urban centers, often mixing in with their humanoid neighbors as they search for esoteric secrets and psychically charged artifacts. In times of great need, they revert to their true form, either to gain some bit of occult treasure, or to protect the communities they call home.


A bestiary with only 100 monsters would mean more fluff yeah, but many groups of outsiders are left in the dust, the line between Science Fiction and Fantasy would be crossed as every monster count, so all the ones you dislike count like 3 times harder than normal. So if half of the monsters are something that you don't like you buy a book of only 50 monsters...

Lesser monsters means harder cuts in types of monsters, so probably the SF monsters are cut then and all others that are a risk as many people dislike those and with only 100 monsters to count that is a serious danger.

I'd rather have less fluff in some cases, it are mostly the cases I don't care about anyway, and also in many cases I make up my own info or see them return in AP stories.

Monster Manual 4 and 5 from D&D 3.5 edition had most fluff, but are also the worst bestiaries/monster manuals i've ever read.


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Thurston Hillman wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
So let me get this strait there is another evil outsider group and this one is the counter part to the Manasaputra. Sigh, if every good outsider group has to get a evil counter part then were are the good counter parts to the remaining evil outsider groups.
Most evil outsiders have a good-aligned counter in the current roster of outsider species. The problem (IMHO) is that good-aligned outsiders don't get as much stage time in products. That's probably because there's more use for 'bad guys' than an over abundance of 'good guys'. :)

There aren't good counterparts for bunches of evil outsider groups though; there's just evil counterparts for every good one except Angels (or Agathions, depending on how you count them; Didn't some angels use to be LG? Agathions are all NG but I thought Angel Alignment varied, though I can't find any now). The counterpart of the Oni (kami) aren't all good, though they're all non-evil, and Kytons, Demodands, Divs, Asuras, and Rakshasas don't have good counterparts at all that I know of.

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