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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Just got my Bestiary 5 in the mail and have been flipping through it. I'm thrilled to see the inclusion of more mythic monsters. I always need more baddies to throw at my demi-god PCs.

Paizo Employee Designer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Brother Fen wrote:
Just got my Bestiary 5 in the mail and have been flipping through it. I'm thrilled to see the inclusion of more mythic monsters. I always need more baddies to throw at my demi-god PCs.

There's some good options for demi-gods. Knocking out one of the pillars of reality seems pretty godlike of an achievement, for instance, assuming they run chaotic in their alignments of course!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

It is disappointing that because of the large number of examples for each true dragon + art, that you have so little space for flavour text. Thank you Mark for give us another snippet of cut-text.

Paizo Employee Designer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Milo v3 wrote:
It is disappointing that because of the large number of examples for each true dragon + art, that you have so little space for flavour text. Thank you Mark for give us another snippet of cut-text.

Yeah, it's sort of how the format has been. It's fair to say that dragons are hard enough to build that having only two examples would make them harder for GMs to use (and for published adventures to use, since the Bestiary examples save a lot of wordcount in those), but more flavor would be cool. Who knows, if this is a big enough interest, perhaps you guys should suggest a Revisited Campaign Setting book for the later dragons that don't have as much lore.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
It is disappointing that because of the large number of examples for each true dragon + art, that you have so little space for flavour text. Thank you Mark for give us another snippet of cut-text.
Yeah, it's sort of how the format has been. It's fair to say that dragons are hard enough to build that having only two examples would make them harder for GMs to use (and for published adventures to use, since the Bestiary examples save a lot of wordcount in those), but more flavor would be cool. Who knows, if this is a big enough interest, perhaps you guys should suggest a Revisited Campaign Setting book for the later dragons that don't have as much lore.

A Revisited book wouldn't be the worst idea. Another possibility, though...

The greater portion of the two pages that start the Esoteric Dragons section are repeated information from the first Bestiary - this is true for the Primal, Imperial, and Outer Dragons as well. Would it be possible to put lore for all five dragons in that space, and refer dragon-builders to the first Bestiary or the PRD? It's not like building a dragon isn't already a ton of work, and users who don't want to go through all that still have the various sample dragons to work with.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
It is disappointing that because of the large number of examples for each true dragon + art, that you have so little space for flavour text. Thank you Mark for give us another snippet of cut-text.
Yeah, it's sort of how the format has been. It's fair to say that dragons are hard enough to build that having only two examples would make them harder for GMs to use (and for published adventures to use, since the Bestiary examples save a lot of wordcount in those), but more flavor would be cool. Who knows, if this is a big enough interest, perhaps you guys should suggest a Revisited Campaign Setting book for the later dragons that don't have as much lore.

Ok, I'm on board with this idea, so I'll be the first to suggest this... After you of course Mark. Seriously though, this is a great idea. Please make it happen!

Paizo Employee Designer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Valantrix1 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
It is disappointing that because of the large number of examples for each true dragon + art, that you have so little space for flavour text. Thank you Mark for give us another snippet of cut-text.
Yeah, it's sort of how the format has been. It's fair to say that dragons are hard enough to build that having only two examples would make them harder for GMs to use (and for published adventures to use, since the Bestiary examples save a lot of wordcount in those), but more flavor would be cool. Who knows, if this is a big enough interest, perhaps you guys should suggest a Revisited Campaign Setting book for the later dragons that don't have as much lore.
Ok, I'm on board with this idea, so I'll be the first to suggest this... After you of course Mark. Seriously though, this is a great idea. Please make it happen!

Sorry, that's not my team's purview. If I ever get a pick for a Campaign Setting, my first one will be a Harrow-focused one that has my original medium, so someone else will have to run with this one.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

It also bears mentioning that the original Dragons Revisited is outdated in a lot of ways. It's 3.5, it's written by someone who hasn't been with the company in years (Mike McArtor; RIP), and it has a lot of stuff that James Jacobs wants retconned out (dragons living among humans as a regular thing).

Maybe we can get a different kind of Monster Codex focusing on non-humanform monsters. The drawback of the Revisited line is that sales are too poor for it to be regularly supported.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
If I ever get a pick for a Campaign Setting, my first one will be a Harrow-focused one that has my original medium, so someone else will have to run with this one.

yesssssss


Mark Seifter wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
It is disappointing that because of the large number of examples for each true dragon + art, that you have so little space for flavour text. Thank you Mark for give us another snippet of cut-text.
Yeah, it's sort of how the format has been. It's fair to say that dragons are hard enough to build that having only two examples would make them harder for GMs to use (and for published adventures to use, since the Bestiary examples save a lot of wordcount in those), but more flavor would be cool. Who knows, if this is a big enough interest, perhaps you guys should suggest a Revisited Campaign Setting book for the later dragons that don't have as much lore.

... 2 Pagers to 3-4 Pagers.


3 pages for a new dragon would be fine by me!


Kalindlara wrote:
Maybe we can get a different kind of Monster Codex focusing on non-humanform monsters.

Many people have requested a Dragon Codex, with an example of each age category for each true dragon. Though, a little part of me wants Draconian Adventures, but that is a very unlikely concept to be made by the design team.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Valantrix1 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
It is disappointing that because of the large number of examples for each true dragon + art, that you have so little space for flavour text. Thank you Mark for give us another snippet of cut-text.
Yeah, it's sort of how the format has been. It's fair to say that dragons are hard enough to build that having only two examples would make them harder for GMs to use (and for published adventures to use, since the Bestiary examples save a lot of wordcount in those), but more flavor would be cool. Who knows, if this is a big enough interest, perhaps you guys should suggest a Revisited Campaign Setting book for the later dragons that don't have as much lore.
Ok, I'm on board with this idea, so I'll be the first to suggest this... After you of course Mark. Seriously though, this is a great idea. Please make it happen!
Sorry, that's not my team's purview. If I ever get a pick for a Campaign Setting, my first one will be a Harrow-focused one that has my original medium, so someone else will have to run with this one.

I know its not your area, I'm just putting out the idea for whoever is in charge of this. Also, I really want the original medium put out there too, so go forth and conquer! I love almost everything you guys do, and can't wait to see what's coming next. Thanks Mark and company for making my life more exciting than it normally is. Being blind, the rich descriptions in your products really paint a vivid picture. so, thanks!

Paizo Employee Designer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Valantrix1 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Valantrix1 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
It is disappointing that because of the large number of examples for each true dragon + art, that you have so little space for flavour text. Thank you Mark for give us another snippet of cut-text.
Yeah, it's sort of how the format has been. It's fair to say that dragons are hard enough to build that having only two examples would make them harder for GMs to use (and for published adventures to use, since the Bestiary examples save a lot of wordcount in those), but more flavor would be cool. Who knows, if this is a big enough interest, perhaps you guys should suggest a Revisited Campaign Setting book for the later dragons that don't have as much lore.
Ok, I'm on board with this idea, so I'll be the first to suggest this... After you of course Mark. Seriously though, this is a great idea. Please make it happen!
Sorry, that's not my team's purview. If I ever get a pick for a Campaign Setting, my first one will be a Harrow-focused one that has my original medium, so someone else will have to run with this one.
I know its not your area, I'm just putting out the idea for whoever is in charge of this. Also, I really want the original medium put out there too, so go forth and conquer! I love almost everything you guys do, and can't wait to see what's coming next. Thanks Mark and company for making my life more exciting than it normally is. Being blind, the rich descriptions in your products really paint a vivid picture. so, thanks!

I am really glad that we can do so, and I know the others here at Paizo are too!


I would love a "Draconomicon" hardcover type book that covers all true dragons and many of there lesser kin. I would also like a fey based one as well. Maybe we will get more revisited and/or unleashed books for this one day.


Milo v3 wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Maybe we can get a different kind of Monster Codex focusing on non-humanform monsters.
Many people have requested a Dragon Codex, with an example of each age category for each true dragon. Though, a little part of me wants Draconian Adventures, but that is a very unlikely concept to be made by the design team.

+ 1 to Dragon Codex, and + 1 to Draconian Adventures.


I know its "tradition", but i'm a demon and I BREAK through tradition. (like when I cheered when I heard Hugh Jackman stopped playing Wolverine, I had a party with lots of champagne and cheese.)

But why we always have to have 5 new dragons anyway? That is too obvious, so every line of dragons has only 5 types, that is so strange even in a fantasy world.

What if in the next book there are no new 5 dragons, or just 2 new dragons or 3? So the fluff can be bigger, or just do the Ancient Dragon, that is the most important one.

I mean, not every Bestiary has demon lords, and not every bestiary has Proteans, or a zombie on the end, so why only the 5 dragons must be there always?

Also a bestiary without new environment drakes or ditto giants would be fresh for once. Just fill the gasp of the lost 5 dragons with new 2 page unique dragons you make up or take from mythology, there are a lot of dragons left to cover, and there are the Azi.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
It is disappointing that because of the large number of examples for each true dragon + art, that you have so little space for flavour text. Thank you Mark for give us another snippet of cut-text.
Yeah, it's sort of how the format has been. It's fair to say that dragons are hard enough to build that having only two examples would make them harder for GMs to use (and for published adventures to use, since the Bestiary examples save a lot of wordcount in those), but more flavor would be cool. Who knows, if this is a big enough interest, perhaps you guys should suggest a Revisited Campaign Setting book for the later dragons that don't have as much lore.

Hmmm... It seems like a good idea for one of the "back matter" articles in an AP, to provide expanded fluff for the non-Bestiary 1 true dragons. That would help, I think.


If we break the "rule" about 5 dragons, environment giants, and drakes, then we can finally have a bestiary without demons or devils. I for one like the 5 dragon "rule" and the environment giants and drakes.


ericthecleric wrote:
Hmmm... It seems like a good idea for one of the "back matter" articles in an AP, to provide expanded fluff for the non-Bestiary 1 true dragons. That would help, I think.

I'd rather AP-articles were just things that are golarion fluff like the Gods, not setting neutral creatures being given golarion flavour.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
If we break the "rule" about 5 dragons, environment giants, and drakes, then we can finally have a bestiary without demons or devils. I for one like the 5 dragon "rule" and the environment giants and drakes.

Well I wouldn't mind a Bestiary without new Demons and Devils as well.

Rather see new Kyton, Protean, Div and Daemons.


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

In fairness, they aren't "New" demons and devils, as they all come from books previously released.


That is true, but then that also goes to the Demons and Devils from AP's and all other Abyss-based projects.

I'm not a huge fan of the new Demons from the Wrath of the Righteous AP, so I hope they skip a couple Bestiaries. (not a big chance though, as James Jacobs himself really loves Lovecraft, Dinosaurs and Demons most of all, so there will probably be some in every Bestiary :-p )

I'm still waiting for my favorite Daemons to enter the hardcover bestiary, the bloody Sangudaemon and the Phasmadaemon, it takes so long for them to enter a hardcover, I wonder why, they are eye-catchers and awesome unique horrors that throw big eyes in ANY bestiary.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
I would love a "Draconomicon" hardcover type book that covers all true dragons and many of there lesser kin. I would also like a fey based one as well. Maybe we will get more revisited and/or unleashed books for this one day.

I'd kill for a hardcover Paizo version of the Draconomicon, which fleshes out the background and ecology of all existing True Dragons, with examples of lairs, Famous Dragon NPCS, dragon hoards, etc.


I really wish they would redo the art for the outer dragons.

Moon- Body would look like it was made of moon rock, maybe changing color to match the moon it is currently living on.
Solar- Body Looks like a burning star, color varies by age category.
Time- Body looks like silver mist/clouds with faint pictures of moving gears, clocks, hour glasses, etc.
Void- Body looks like the night sky so black with twinkling stars, possibly body is a map of the stars it was born near or is at currently.
Vortex- Body looks like swirling vortex with the body a lightless void and it's head, limbs, and tail are swirls of color.


Dragon78 wrote:

I really wish they would redo the art for the outer dragons.

Moon- Body would look like it was made of moon rock, maybe changing color to match the moon it is currently living on.
Solar- Body Looks like a burning star, color varies by age category.
Time- Body looks like silver mist/clouds with faint pictures of moving gears, clocks, hour glasses, etc.
Void- Body looks like the night sky so black with twinkling stars, possibly body is a map of the stars it was born near or is at currently.
Vortex- Body looks like swirling vortex with the body a lightless void and it's head, limbs, and tail are swirls of color.

I actually like the outer dragons the way they are, psychedelic patterning and all

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
MMCJawa wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I would love a "Draconomicon" hardcover type book that covers all true dragons and many of there lesser kin. I would also like a fey based one as well. Maybe we will get more revisited and/or unleashed books for this one day.
I'd kill for a hardcover Paizo version of the Draconomicon, which fleshes out the background and ecology of all existing True Dragons, with examples of lairs, Famous Dragon NPCS, dragon hoards, etc.

It's not a hardcover, but you might want to check out Dragons Unleashed. It's similar to what you're talking about.


Kalindlara wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I would love a "Draconomicon" hardcover type book that covers all true dragons and many of there lesser kin. I would also like a fey based one as well. Maybe we will get more revisited and/or unleashed books for this one day.
I'd kill for a hardcover Paizo version of the Draconomicon, which fleshes out the background and ecology of all existing True Dragons, with examples of lairs, Famous Dragon NPCS, dragon hoards, etc.
It's not a hardcover, but you might want to check out Dragons Unleashed. It's similar to what you're talking about.

Oh I have it, but I want a hardcover with room to cover all of the existing dragons, not just mostly chromatics and metallics with a random sample of other dragons.


MMCJawa wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I would love a "Draconomicon" hardcover type book that covers all true dragons and many of there lesser kin. I would also like a fey based one as well. Maybe we will get more revisited and/or unleashed books for this one day.
I'd kill for a hardcover Paizo version of the Draconomicon, which fleshes out the background and ecology of all existing True Dragons, with examples of lairs, Famous Dragon NPCS, dragon hoards, etc.
It's not a hardcover, but you might want to check out Dragons Unleashed. It's similar to what you're talking about.
Oh I have it, but I want a hardcover with room to cover all of the existing dragons, not just mostly chromatics and metallics with a random sample of other dragons.

Draconomicon + Dragon Codex (RPG Line) and Dragons Unleashed hardcover (Campaing Setting Line)?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I got mine this week and it's a toss up which I like better as a GM, B4 or B5. It looks like somebody really likes Ghostbusters 2. The anunnaki are just lovely, this is something I hadn't realized I wanted and was especially useful to me as a GM. I'm not sure grays should have the alignment they were assign as the reports on them I have seem to lack the emotional component to be that malevolent. Kudos on the version of the hopkins goblins that made it in here. Now I wonder what the folks at Paizo would do recreate such UFO oriented cryptids as the Flatwoods Monster, the Loveland Frog and the Dover Demon. I really appreciate this volume great. Once again you shown me why despite everything else I keep coming back to Pathfinder.


Kodyax wrote:
I got mine this week and it's a toss up which I like better as a GM, B4 or B5. It looks like somebody really likes Ghostbusters 2. The anunnaki are just lovely, this is something I hadn't realized I wanted and was especially useful to me as a GM. I'm not sure grays should have the alignment they were assign as the reports on them I have seem to lack the emotional component to be that malevolent. Kudos on the version of the hopkins goblins that made it in here. Now I wonder what the folks at Paizo would do recreate such UFO oriented cryptids as the Flatwoods Monster, the Loveland Frog and the Dover Demon. I really appreciate this volume great. Once again you shown me why despite everything else I keep coming back to Pathfinder.

Paizo's already done the Flatwoods Monster in AP #61 Shards of Sin, albeit named the Melfesh Monster. ;)


I agree the Greys should have been TN.


While I don't want to see the overall number of monsters cut in half, I would be happy to have five fewer monsters if it meant decent fluff space for dragons.

Silver Crusade

Well, that's an odd tangent!

Anyway, I love the Apallie. His art is just so evocative of lively old school animation, I can already hear him saying "Aw shucks, these people think I'm an ooze! Help me break this curse, adventurers!"

Plus, we can finally have a true Castlevania setting now that the Grim Reaper is a potential encounter.


I like the Apallie as well though I do wish there was some good aligned oozes and this one would have been a good choice.


An interesting book overall. If/when I get the time I'll toss up a review.

That said, I'd prefer less monsters and/or smaller artwork and more descriptive material. While some of the beings show up in APs or modules or other material with more information, not everyone collects those and may not have access to them. Stats are nice and all, but they are just jumbles of math without a skeleton to hang them on.

On the side topic of getting rid of creatures that have been a staple of the game for a number of years, I cannot express how irritated I'd be as a customer. It's well and good to want to include other beings; that's great and adds to the world. Removing things that some people believe are boring or old or tired does a disservice to those fans who may like them.

If someone is adamant about absolutely needing whatever these new and interesting things, I'd suggest looking into 3PP, either as a creator or expressing your interests to a company and seeing if they want to fill the gaps that the main Bestiaries aren't filling.


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Chromatic and Metallic Dragons' lore could stand to be updated to Pathfinder (System and Campaign Setting)

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