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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I hope for some new hybrid elementals, especially sand (air + earth) since it already exists in pathfinder-media, just not the RPG.

Dark Archive

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Definitely would like to see more Proteans and Inevitables!

Never really 'got' the Aeons, 'though.


Were does this sand elemental thing exist Milo v3?

I think they could do something cool with Aeons in a campaign setting book since everything we know about them is world neutral.


I've said this in other threads, but I'll say it again: We'll probably never get more aeons and the role of the de-facto neutral outsider race has been given to the psychopomps because James Jacobs said in his thread that after thinking about it he didn't like them and that because of their innate bipolarity, it was hard to quantify them as friend or foe for both player and GM.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Ashram wrote:
it was hard to quantify them as friend or foe for both player and GM.

That hasn't been a problem for humans...

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Set wrote:

Definitely would like to see more Proteans and Inevitables!

Never really 'got' the Aeons, 'though.

Seconded, on both accounts. Though to be fair, I was somewhat 'meh' on the ghirbitulus until Mummy's Mask. So maybe they need some more "spotlight" on them, like Dragon78 said.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I never liked aeons, myself. It felt like their role infringed on those of the inevitables (maintaining balance/enforcing cosmic laws), they dissipate and are created in accordance to the goals of 'the multiverse', don't have any memories, don't have emotions, don't have relationships with anything, which all adds up to basically not having a personality unless they go rogue. Also, their 'repairing balance' really seems like 'maintaining order', so I always felt like they were really lawful neutral. Psychopomps have a lot more personality to them...aeons are just there to mindlessly enforce the will of the cosmos (ie, the DM). But that's just me, I'm sure some people like their lack of personality.


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For the love of Pete, more Dinosaurs please!


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Only real problem I have with aeons is they all look lame...so much so that if I where to use them, I would completely alter their appearance...


Dragon78 wrote:
Were does this sand elemental thing exist Milo v3?

They're in Pathfinder Online.

As for Aeons and Inevitables, ones about maintaining order, and other about maintaining balance. Very very very very different. Since the inevitables do not want balance, they hate the idea of balance.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Milo v3 wrote:
As for Aeons and Inevitables, ones about maintaining order, and other about maintaining balance. Very very very very different. Since the inevitables do not want balance, they hate the idea of balance.

Not really. For something to remain ordered, it needs to be balanced to remain sustainable. A system that is imbalanced cannot remain orderly.

Bestiary 2:
Bestiary 2 wrote:
Beyond passion, beyond mercy, beyond reason, the faceless caretakers of reality toil without end, silently struggling to preserve the tenuous balance upon which all existence depends. These voiceless forces are the aeons, inscrutable shapers and eliminators of the multiverse. They exist beyond the understanding of most mortals, endlessly striving toward goals unfathomable even to many of the planes' eldest inhabitants. Aeons build order from the chaos of the Maelstrom, seed new life upon barren worlds, and halt the rampages of forces grown overbold. They rend nations to vapor, dismantle planets into cosmic dust, and pave the way for calamities. Their ways are at one moment beneficent and in the next utterly devastating, but always without ardor, compassion, or malice. Every aeon dispassionately but determinedly strives toward the same objective—an ever changing, amending, and readjusting pursuit of multiplanar equilibrium. United in this eternal and perhaps impossible pursuit, aeons embody the planes-spanning hand of a metaphorical omnipotent clockmaker, endlessly tuning and adjusting the myriad gears of reality in pursuit of ultimate perfection.

They are striving to maintain the current balance. The current order. Equilibrium. Equilibrium is balanced, stable, and unchanging. That's definitely a form of order. It might not be the same order that the inevitables pursue, but it's order.

And even if you don't buy that, I don't see how you can say it's "very very very very different" when an inevitable comes along and either attacks you or tells you to stop something because it's against the multiversal law and disturbing the "ordered nature of the multiverse" and an aeon comes along and either attacks you or tells you to stop something because it's disturbing the balance/equilibrium. Sure, ostensibly it's totally different. One's multiversal order and one's multiversal balance. Does that make any difference whatsoever to a human being? I ain't seeing it. At best, you're splitting fine philosophical hairs.


Aliens Envision Our Neutral Solitude

Aeons keep the balance of opposing forces of good, evil, law, and chaos.

Inevitables wouldn't mind getting rid of chaos completely.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:

Aliens Envision Our Neutral Solitude

Aeons keep the balance of opposing forces of good, evil, law, and chaos.

Inevitables wouldn't mind getting rid of chaos completely.

But in Pathfinder, proteans want to destabilize reality and return it to its previous state before all this messy order existed. While law wants to keep the system as it is. Remember, the inevitables ultimately fight to maintain the ordered nature of the multiverse. An order...or balance...that the proteans are trying to overthrow or imbalance, generally speaking.

I mean, yeah, you're technically correct, but they fill extremely similar design space where they both uphold their balance/order which might involve hindering or assisting the PCs depending on how the DM is defining balance/order. Saying that on a cosmic level it keeps the balance or keeps the order is ultimately meaningless from the point of view of the PCs, in my opinion. Ultimately it boils down to the DM sent this dispassionate monster to either aid or hinder you because the DM decided what you are doing is in some way significant to multiversal order and/or balance.

I mean, you can like aeons if you want. I still think they horn in on inevitable design space with a rather weak excuse of being (slightly) different.


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nighttree wrote:
Only real problem I have with aeons is they all look lame...so much so that if I where to use them, I would completely alter their appearance...

That is an understatement.

Aeons are for me the worst creatures from Bestiary 2, and my least favorite group of outsiders.

Pleroma is the only one that looks kinda ok, the others look generic and silly at the same time.

I hope Bestiary 5 is Aeon-free and that JJ keeps his word and keeps creating new Psychopomps instead.


Luthorne wrote:
And even if you don't buy that, I don't see how you can say it's "very very very very different" when an inevitable comes along and either attacks you or tells you to stop something because it's against the multiversal law and disturbing the "ordered nature of the multiverse" and an aeon comes along and either attacks you or tells you to stop something because it's disturbing the balance/equilibrium.

Except aeons are equally likely to attack you or tell you to stop something because your making too much evil or too much good.

But yes, aeons are pretty boring.

Silver Crusade

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

Aaand that's one of rare moments where I agree with our resident myth maniac. Aeons are pretty much the epitome of Neutral Boring and they don't really mesh with Golarion at all.


I still think they could do something cool with them if they gave us campaign specific information about them and incorporated them into the pathfinder setting...as more then just a random encounter anyway.


Aeons do strike me as being fairly boring. How many amorphous orbs of gas do we really need? They have their role in the universe, but even that isn't particularly interesting. Frankly, if we're being completely honest here, when it comes to making an interesting creature, design is half the battle. It can be the most interesting creature in the world ability/fluff wise, but if it doesn't look cool I might not even notice it. And Aeons just don't look interesting to me. Proteans, Inevitables, and Psychopomps are all superior in my mind in both ways, anyways, so I'd much rather have more of them. This is also why I favor fiends over Celestials. Your typical fiend looks like a Kaiju. Your typical Celestial looks like a guy with bird wings. No real comparison there. Is that kind of a shallow way to look at the creatures? Possibly, but I think most of us do it that way.


A typical fiend looks like a guy with horns, claws, wings, and tail. A kaiju can look like just about anything and can be almost any creature type.

Proteans all look like snakes, could use more variety for personifications of chaos.

Inevitables just look like clockworks.

Psychopomps are just rejected designs by Tim Burton.

Celestials can look like people with wings, or humanoid animals, actual animals, fey, plants, dragons, and maybe one day aliens.


Psychopomps are the most diverse of all, can't believe someone who wants every species of golem, giant, elemental and drake doesn't like them...

My head can't even reach to the plane where people actually prefer the boring Aeons over the awesome Psychopomps.

It's all in taste I know, but I just can't figure it out.


Fiends and Psychopomps are exceptionally diverse. If people can't see that, I don't really know what's wrong with their perception skills. Try telling me an Aghash is even remotely similar to a Sangudaemon. Really. As for the kaiju thing, yes, IN THEORY a kaiju can look like anything, but the vast majority of the kaiju that existent in the most prevalent kaiju universes (Godzilla, Gamera, Ultraman, etc.) are based on an array of specific archetypes, (Dinosaur, Dragon, Demon, Giant Bug, etc.) of which there are probably a few dozen at most, with some oddballs running around as well. In terms of the Glabrezu, which was the one I was specifically thinking of when I said that, you cannot tell me that he doesn't look like something that would fight Ultraman. Most of the Celestial diversity comes from Azatas and Agathions, and the vast majority of them look like either beautiful humans or charismatic megafauna (the proper term for animals humans are partial too.) Most Angels and Archons do share the "winged human" appearance, with a minority of unusual ones. In fact, I would estimate that the percentage of existing celestials with the winged human appearance is higher than the percentage of fiends with the gargoyle appearance, and between the two I think the gargoyle look is much cooler. Proteans and Inevitables are somewhat similar to one another, but it's still a more interesting appearance than blobs of gas.

I think we should stop this argument now, though. Fiends and Psychopomps don't really need a defense. There will always be more of them. As for Aeons, if there's more, there's more, and I'm okay with that. The thing that annoys me is that people are arguing for them INSTEAD of fiends and psychopomps. I really think we should all just say what we want without feeling the need to trample on everyone else's stuff.


Agathions (while I like them) just look like animals mixed with humans, something that is overdone in other creatures already.

Still they have awesome designs, they are by far my favorite celestials.

Solar and Lillend are cool too.


I never said I want Aeons and nothing else. I already know were getting more psychopomps and fiends(at least the kind I don't like).


I was not accusing you specifically, Dragon. It's largely that original post that went on a long tangent about how we had enough fiends and celestials already.


I can never get enough Bestiaries, honestly. I hope there is an updated version of Tongues of Rebuke or whatever those things were called in Guardians of Dragonfell.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Brother Fen wrote:
I can never get enough Bestiaries, honestly. I hope there is an updated version of Tongues of Rebuke or whatever those things were called in Guardians of Dragonfell.

Anything from that module is likely no longer considered canon. (Sorry.)


On the subject of really old monsters from the game, what about the Gholshoatoan or Desert Devil? I thought it had a pretty neat design. I have always been partial to chimerical creatures, though.


Thanks, I'm aware of that, but I am running it in my campaign and I'd like to see the creature updated.


Luthorne wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
As for Aeons and Inevitables, ones about maintaining order, and other about maintaining balance. Very very very very different. Since the inevitables do not want balance, they hate the idea of balance.

Not really. For something to remain ordered, it needs to be balanced to remain sustainable. A system that is imbalanced cannot remain orderly.

This is true, but are Aeons still not vastly different from Inevitables on the note that Aeons impose balance for balance´s sake, whilst Inevitables impose Order for order's sake. Overwhelming order skews the balance. This is also why Inevitables are in conflict with chaos, wherever chaos reigns inevitables wish to impose order, and wherever rigid order has taken over chaos seeps.

Aeons probably play a huge role in the war between chaos and order but that too a trait of Aeons that has not been explored much so far.

My gripe with Aeons is that they look unappealing. "And then you get attacked by the strange cloud things" doesnt sound very epic.


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Wannabe Demon Lord wrote:
It can be the most interesting creature in the world ability/fluff wise, but if it doesn't look cool I might not even notice it.

Quoted for truth.

Many monster manual entries are made or broken by their artwork. The art for agathions for example is all kinds of cool, but I still prefer the Leonal and Avoral from Monster manual 3.5. Not to mention bugbears.


tsuruki wrote:
My gripe with Aeons is that they look unappealing. "And then you get attacked by the strange cloud things" doesnt sound very epic.

Aeon: a four-armed cloud featuring a photo taken by the Hubble telescope.


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Jeven wrote:
Aeon: a four-armed cloud featuring a photo taken by the Hubble telescope.

Well a colossal nebula cloud sized monster is a whole other thing :P

"And then the universe collapses in on you in 4 giant fists"


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On the matter of Celestials, let me state that I really, really, want a Seraphim. Those things are badass.


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I wish the Angels did have the classic types such as arch angel, dominion, virtue, seraphim, etc.

What are the "Tongues of Rebuke"?

I have yet to see the Frosty Chiseler get pathfinder make over, are they still cannon?


Psychopomps are all about death. I don't care about that it has been done to death (pun intended)

Aeons are cool and scary because they are so much of an entity, a force. Like Ultimate Galactus from Marvel. And they represent true balance and not death.


Maybe Paizo should hire some Marvel Comics writers. I betcha they can write a whole adventure path involving Aeons and it's be more awesome than all the typical adventure tropes we have seen so far.


I bet the Sakhil are going to cramp Pharasma's style BIG time. Though I wonder if they are pro or anti-undead?


I'm really interested in the Sahkil. The concept is fascinating, though I hope they aren't TOO overly body horror-ish. I like creatures that are creepy, but not excessively nauseating, like a couple creatures from B4, some of the more extreme Kytons, and anything from Libris Mortis, are.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Wannabe Demon Lord wrote:
I'm really interested in the Sahkil. The concept is fascinating, though I hope they aren't TOO overly body horror-ish. I like creatures that are creepy, but not excessively nauseating, like a couple creatures from B4, some of the more extreme Kytons, and anything from Libris Mortis, are.

Yeah, there was some really nauseating stuff in Libris Mortis. Cool stuff, too, though.


I want something similar to:

Angel of Decay.

Blood Amniote.

Boneyard (too damn awesome to exist, my all time favorite D&D creature.)

Cinderspawn (and all other undead elementals)

Desiccator, or anything else with salt.

Entomber

Chaos Reaper

Skin Kite

Skirr (A non humanoid mummy = awesome)(This is still the picture I use when I want a Mummy in my project, it's so awesome)

Tomb Mote (I can see them rise from the ground of a grave with big teeth, acting like little piranhas)

Visage (never liked it back then, but now i'm a fan)


Kalindlara wrote:
Wannabe Demon Lord wrote:
I'm really interested in the Sahkil. The concept is fascinating, though I hope they aren't TOO overly body horror-ish. I like creatures that are creepy, but not excessively nauseating, like a couple creatures from B4, some of the more extreme Kytons, and anything from Libris Mortis, are.
Yeah, there was some really nauseating stuff in Libris Mortis. Cool stuff, too, though.

I'll give it another look. Mostly not my taste, though.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Wannabe Demon Lord wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Wannabe Demon Lord wrote:
I'm really interested in the Sahkil. The concept is fascinating, though I hope they aren't TOO overly body horror-ish. I like creatures that are creepy, but not excessively nauseating, like a couple creatures from B4, some of the more extreme Kytons, and anything from Libris Mortis, are.
Yeah, there was some really nauseating stuff in Libris Mortis. Cool stuff, too, though.
I'll give it another look. Mostly not my taste, though.

You don't have to on my account. ^_^

If you'd like, though... once I dig out my copy, I can make some recommendations for things to take another look at. I've been wanting to read some of the old stuff again anyway.


Sure thing. PM me. And if that horned mummy demon I've been seeing pictures of, the Skirr I guess it is, is in there, I'll give that a look. Really awesome piece of artwork for that one.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Wannabe Demon Lord wrote:
Sure thing. PM me. And if that horned mummy demon I've been seeing pictures of, the Skirr I guess it is, is in there, I'll give that a look. Really awesome piece of artwork for that one.

That was one of the exact things I was thinking of throughout this.


Yeah, awesome design. On a related note, does anyone know if there was a Petsuchos, (Mummified Crocodile that served Sobek) in Mummy's Mask?


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I am fine with creepy or ugly monsters but excessively nauseating is not my thing as well.


Personally I enjoy the idea of aeons as sort of computer functions of the internet. They are the maintainers to the universal law whereas the inevitables are the ones who are correcting something after it has gone wrong. So an aeon would be microsoft explorer, the mouse driver, or the like. The inevitables though are the virus scan or uninstall process. If everything is going right then inevitables don't show up at all and aeons are only at the points where the universe isn't quite entirely automatic, but is something is screwed up it's crawling with inevitables and most of the aeons have fled. In fact one of the major jobs for inevitables would be killing rogue aeons. Though using this version of aeons makes psychopomps a subtype of aeons.


That is an interesting idea there Alex Smith 908.


I think the Aeons look really cool, though I do see the argument that they don't really do anything, and aren't terribly interesting.

(I think good-aligned monsters are kind of in the same boat, in a lot of ways. They tend not to have much mileage in most campaigns, unless you use one of the many ways of turning them evil/templating them as bad guys/etc.)


I think part of the problem with aeons is their art. They have a very cool art direction and overall concept but don't really seem to pull it off. The best art for them just on mater of appearance is the bythos. He looks really good artwise but lacks anything to really distinguish him immediately from an art elemental. The best art for capturing the apparent theme of each aeon being a check of the universe disconnected from the rest is the pleroma, while at the same time being aesthetically appealing.

Once again I have to fall back on how I've run them in my home games. I only really left the pleroma as is. The rest have appearances more specific to their role in the universe. For instance the akhana is a coffin decorated with children's toys and drawings, the bythos is an hourglass full of star, and so on. They also all take the sorta cut and paste feel of the less good artwork in bestiary 2 and run with it. So I try to describe them along the same scrapbook/eastern European animation lines as the witches and familiars in Madoka Magica.

Admittedly you could say I'm cheating in considering the aeons good monsters given how much I change about them, and to that I have no response. I just think it's a missed opportunity to completely ignore true neutral outsiders save for as psychopomps.

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