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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Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Matthew Shelton wrote:
The Archon/Exscinder's No Breath ability is undefined.

That's because it's a universal monster rule.


Animate Hair???
I mean.
Really???

Community & Digital Content Director

Removed a series of posts. Folks, if it's not about Bestiary 5 specifically, it really ought to go in another thread.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

After looking at posts and the book as well, I'd have to say that I'd love it if the art was reduced in size in order to allow more fluff and/or setting specific material, even a "how to use this critter in your games." Anything other than a block of cold stats would be more useful for me.

This isn't to say that I don't like the art, or don't want art. But I'd rather have smaller art, with perhaps the option for a larger view on the Paizo site, and more material in the book. Or, if that rubs the wrong way, reverse it and have a free PDF (like Dungeon and Dragon used to do) with extra material and "director's cuts" up on the site.


knightnday wrote:

After looking at posts and the book as well, I'd have to say that I'd love it if the art was reduced in size in order to allow more fluff and/or setting specific material, even a "how to use this critter in your games." Anything other than a block of cold stats would be more useful for me.

This isn't to say that I don't like the art, or don't want art. But I'd rather have smaller art, with perhaps the option for a larger view on the Paizo site, and more material in the book. Or, if that rubs the wrong way, reverse it and have a free PDF (like Dungeon and Dragon used to do) with extra material and "director's cuts" up on the site.

I agree 100%.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

eh...the art is already in some entries on the smallest side. I like the flavor text but the art is usually what first gets me to notice the monster.

I think one think which would help is to simply add an extra page at the front of a series of entries for some creatures. They already do that when they introduce a new outsider group, so I think doing the same for introducing a new class of dragons or similar theme wouldn't be a horrible use of page count.


Kalindlara wrote:
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.

I'm still hoping to get information on what, precisely, the breath weapon is for a couple of those Imperial dragons. More flavor text for those dragons would be great.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am fine with the art size and I like most monsters only getting 1 page, it leaves room for more creatures. I can always make up my own fluff anyway.


Well .. I can make up my own creatures, if it comes to that. If I buy a book of them, though, I'd like a bit more to go on. :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It is a lot easier to make up fluff then it is the stat a creature up and draw it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

That really depends on the person. I've known a fair number of gamers that are much better at the storytelling and creative writing portions of the game and less adequate at working out balanced stats for things.

In any case, I'd even pay for extra pages if that's what it takes.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
knightnday wrote:
I've known a fair number of gamers that are much better at the storytelling and creative writing portions of the game and less adequate at working out balanced stats for things.

Which is what Dragon78 just said. It's easier to make up fluff for monsters than it is to write a complete statblock and balance everything.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
137ben wrote:
knightnday wrote:
I've known a fair number of gamers that are much better at the storytelling and creative writing portions of the game and less adequate at working out balanced stats for things.
Which is what Dragon78 just said. It's easier to make up fluff for monsters than it is to write a complete statblock and balance everything.

My fault for getting distracted and not finishing my thought properly. There are those who suffer from the opposite problem and cannot create fluff to save their lives but are adept at working out the math. My thought and hope is that a product I purchase has a good deal of both crunch and fluff rather than a smattering of one and too much of the other. :)


People that want less creatures and more fluff, D&D is your thing all the way. Paizo already had 5 succesful bestiaries with the same theme and same style, I don't see why Paizo must suddenly reduce their bestiaries into D&D monster manuals because a very few creatures lack some fluff.

I moved to Paizo's bestiaries because they add number (and still a lot of fluff to most creature, only few get little fluff, mostly the dragons and archons, which I personally find very easy to create my own fluff for) instead of more Hobgoblin/goblins/gnoll types, humans in bestiaries, 20 pages on the dragons and only the same creatures we seen a million times before. + Paizo explores the unknown, listens to fans, add special never-used-before mythology and cryptid monsters, which I absolutly adore about them. I even came to accept in the latest Bestiary 5 that Robots are in the book, as I start to enjoy the ENORMOUS variety.

So while i'm fine with reducing the artsize in some cases (but if I copy the artwork in my bought PDF they still need to turn out BIG in Photoshop so I can use them, or post the big pictures on the site, I really hate it that when I buy the PAWN collections the artwork is too small and can't be enlarged at all, giving me ugly pictures, gladly most of the artists put the artwork on Deviantart in big so I can still use them.) but keep the 300+ monsters in each Bestiary.

But the biggest crime they could ever do is start adding more variety (like in D&D, the Hobgoblin Raider, Hobgoblin Slaughter, Hobgoblin Mage, Hobgoblin blablabla) in humanoid races in the pathfinder bestiaries, just like D&D 3.5 started to do in their 4th monster manual, that was the reason I became pretty bored with them to begin with.


Thankfully there is basically no chance of them pulling a MM4 or MM5, since those type of things go into Monster Codex and NPC Codex.


Yes, I really like the MOnster Codex more than a mixed boring Bestiary full of the same Gnolls with different weapons. Ugh.


MM4/MM5, I cringe every time I think of those books.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

MM4 was a low point, but MM5 is right up there with MM3 as the best D&D monster book, IMO. And you might me misremembering things, MM5 had only two "variant of standard monsters" chapters (hobgoblin and kuo-toa) while having lots of really cool stuff, such as Dragons of The Great Game, Thoon, Ruin Elemental, Ushemoi, Wild Hunt...


Gorbacz wrote:
MM4 was a low point, but MM5 is right up there with MM3 as the best D&D monster book, IMO. And you might me misremembering things, MM5 had only two "variant of standard monsters" chapters (hobgoblin and kuo-toa) while having lots of really cool stuff, such as Dragons of The Great Game, Thoon, Ruin Elemental, Ushemoi, Wild Hunt...

Really disliked all that monsters spare for the ice lady and wild hunt.


Nightterror wrote:

People that want less creatures and more fluff, D&D is your thing all the way. Paizo already had 5 succesful bestiaries with the same theme and same style, I don't see why Paizo must suddenly reduce their bestiaries into D&D monster manuals because a very few creatures lack some fluff.

I moved to Paizo's bestiaries because they add number (and still a lot of fluff to most creature, only few get little fluff, mostly the dragons and archons, which I personally find very easy to create my own fluff for) instead of more Hobgoblin/goblins/gnoll types, humans in bestiaries, 20 pages on the dragons and only the same creatures we seen a million times before. + Paizo explores the unknown, listens to fans, add special never-used-before mythology and cryptid monsters, which I absolutly adore about them. I even came to accept in the latest Bestiary 5 that Robots are in the book, as I start to enjoy the ENORMOUS variety.

So while i'm fine with reducing the artsize in some cases (but if I copy the artwork in my bought PDF they still need to turn out BIG in Photoshop so I can use them, or post the big pictures on the site, I really hate it that when I buy the PAWN collections the artwork is too small and can't be enlarged at all, giving me ugly pictures, gladly most of the artists put the artwork on Deviantart in big so I can still use them.) but keep the 300+ monsters in each Bestiary.

But the biggest crime they could ever do is start adding more variety (like in D&D, the Hobgoblin Raider, Hobgoblin Slaughter, Hobgoblin Mage, Hobgoblin blablabla) in humanoid races in the pathfinder bestiaries, just like D&D 3.5 started to do in their 4th monster manual, that was the reason I became pretty bored with them to begin with.

Paizo doesn't have to suddenly do anything. I, and others, expressed a preference. I list of things we would enjoy seeing.

The Monsters Codex books were a good way to include more information and expand a bit on small groups like hobgoblins or giants or whatever. I do not think anyone has asked for the number of creatures in the book to go down -- although it wouldn't be a bad thing -- but rather to explore and expand a bit on what they already have.

Examples? Sure! Flipping through the book to a random page, we come to the Lotus Tree, with a few sentences about it that give a vague idea regarding what it is, what it does, and why it does it.

Now take a monster breakdown in the Adventure Path, where we are given Ecology, Habitat and Society, breakdowns on the creature and so on. That's ideally what I'd prefer for all the creatures. Quality over quantity.

I am probably in the minority in that, and that's OK. We're expressing interest in what we'd like in the bestiaries, and that is my personal preference: more information. Rather than hundreds of creatures that I'll nod at and probably never use, a small selection of well-thought out creatures and beings that I can insert in a game with pride.


Well maybe the revisited books will come back more often because they are the place for fluff. Though I am still waiting for nixies and/or pixies to get into one.


Dragon78 wrote:
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.

Do you have a pre-programmed minimum number of stat blocks that must be in a book for you to buy it, or are you saying that just because you're used to how things are currently and feel like opposing any change and can't accept to have your flocks of never-used monsters enlarged with each new Bestiary?

Making up a stat block is as easy as coming up with the lore for it. Rather, actually, the stat block should be coming from the lore, not before it, unless we switched from role-playing game to dull videogame where all you need to do is swing a sword.
In addition, at present there are carts loaded with 3rd party creatures and free monsters on the web; even if you don't have time to make them yourself, don't worry, you won't run out of creatures. Years ago there were already more than you'll ever see in play.

Half of the published monsters are basically copies of another one, so, ersonally, I need less numbers and more flavour, especially considering the nice work Paizo has shown with all the creatures they went in depth with.
Also, maybe if the book provided nice lore, everyone could find a use even for those monsters that they otherwise just skip. Meaning they'd like those monsters, rather than seeing them as just a waste of pages as it is now.


Good, then I give you six months to come up with 300 monsters with good artwork and if I like at least 75% of them then you can have your "flavor and fluff filled" hardcover bestiary of less then 100 creatures.

Or you could ask Paizo to do a hardcover revisited type book, that way you could have flavor/fluff that is also Golarion specific.

I don't understand why nobody uses there imagination anymore:(


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think people are using their imagination just fine, nor do I understand why there is the need for an insult regarding it.

I mean, if you want people to use their imagination we don't NEED a book like the Bestiary at all. Use your imagination, cobble up some stats for whatever mythological or movie-driven creature or whatnot that you want and BOOM. Done, for free no less.

If we are going purely by use if imagination, why bother spending money on ANY of this stuff? I can certainly write a backstory for locations on Golarion, create my own NPCS and draw maps for adventures and otherwise go about making my own material.

But what I do not need, imagination or no, is a listing of creatures that have very little behind them. An entry of "Toothy Foot" with stats and a picture of a foot with teeth doesn't do anything for me, even if it is based on an Earth myth of the dreaded gjwthe'ehgee'wily from whatever mythology and YAY! we have stats for it now!

Is it a carbon copy of the Earth myth? Are there differences? If not, you could have just as easily given a page or two of names of myths from wikipedia for people that haven't mastered Google yet. But, if it is different I expect or even demand more information. That isn't a lack of imagination. That's expecting a certain amount for my dollar.

Just like Dragon78 has a certain number of monsters with good artwork that they desire in order to purchase the book, I perfer a certain amount of useful information in order to purchase the book. In each of the Bestiaries there were grating issues for people, be it artwork, lack or surplus of types of creatures, and in my case lack of information.

Much like Oliver Twist I want more, please. It's been shown that Paizo has the ability to do so, we see it in the APs. But even critters transported from one of them lose vital information in the move. Vital to me, perhaps to a few others, and certainly in my opinion more worthwhile than filling the book with a volume of creatures.

But it's my opinion, and one I hope that they balance with all the others on the boards.


It is not like Paizo will never make a monster fluff book if enough people ask but there is no reason to change how they do there hardcover bestiaries.


Other than making fluff for the hundreds of creatures that we're churning out in the bestiaries? The revisited line covers what, 10 or so monsters? So at that rate we'd be waiting a while for information on the hundreds per book for quite some time.

There is probably a way to do a goodly amount of monsters and have a goodly amount of information. People just have to compromise. :)


There would be more then 10 monsters in a revisited hardcover plus there are many creatures in APs that get a lot of fluff as well.

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