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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Expanding the realms of the possible.

5/5

I want to briefly add my voice to those expressing immense satisfaction with this Bestiary.

To me, one of the key factors separating Paizo's Bestiaries from vintage Monster Manuals is the breadth and range of species represented. Not simply a compendium of monsters, the 5th Bestiary does a particularly good job of covering a range of Neutral and Good beings, who might serve as compatriots or guides or influences on players over the course of an adventure.

Beings such as Androids, Anunnaki, Gray Goo, and Rhu-Chalik commit to the flexibility and range which Pathfinder has steadily earned, bringing the possibility of futuristic and speculative tales to the table.

New and old inclusions such as the Firbolg, the Grim Reaper, Manasaputra, and the Gray demonstrate Pathfinder's inclusion of a wide range of traditional influences.

Creatures such as the Deep Ones and Leng Ghoul (Lovecraft) and the Esoteric Dragons bring the possibilities further into the unknown.

Such efforts, along with recent supplements such as Occult Adventures and campaigns like Iron Gods, show Pathfinder to be a system just hitting its stride.

Still reaching into unknown areas, Paizo is not afraid to stretch its lore into areas carved out for speculative fiction and weird fiction. This is an important investment in the longevity of Pathfinder and the OGL effort it embodies, and the 5th Bestiary is an excellent example of this reach.


Never Enough Monster Books!

5/5

There can never be enough Bestiaries for me, I always hated the fact that D&D never went past a 4th or 5th monster manual, and I’m really, REALLY happy to see Pathfinder reaching the 5th with still so much passion and heartfire for more monster books left!

The best thing of Paizo is that they really listen to our wishes, takes this book, last time I checked I wished for Cherufe, Karkadann, Therizinosaurus, Assassin Bugs, Xiao, Scitalis, Cervinal, Ahool, Mngwa, Akaname, Amarok and MANY others, and look how much of it made it into this book. Awesome!
Even my first wish I made on these message boards has made it into this book, the Plankta, which is a monster based on the Wandering Rocks or Planctae.

Of course there are bad things and good things, let me make a list of my personal thoughts after reading all of it.

+ Awesome collection of monsters for any adventure, of every CR, of any time.

+ Lots of mythology monsters that nobody ever heard of (well I asked for most of those, but most people don’t come further than knowing their dragons and minotaurs) which are really interesting too meet!

+ Monsters taken from movies or inspired by movies and similar stuff. Think of King Kong, Flubber and some SF movies.

+ Some left-over monsters from D&D that still needed to be paizonaized, think of Brain Moles (which got so much cooler and even got an upgrade) and Caller in Darkness.

+ Lots of strange, bizarre and awesome abilities never seen before.

+ 2 new outsider groups, one of which is so creepy and awesome, it instantly made me love them more than some outsider groups we already had.

+ A good mix of evil, neutral and good creatures.

+ AWESOME and beautiful artwork, which is always true for pathfinder books.

Now for the things I think they could have done better.

- Too much re-used artwork from AP monsters, I don’t mind Adventure Path-Bestiary monsters being re-used for this book, but new artwork for such creatures would be welcome, so people that also bought the AP get at least some new eyecandy for the creature.

- Some creatures (like the Aerial Servant) could have been replaced by less similar creatures, I mean we already have Air Elementals and Invisible Stalkers, we don’t need this D&D creature at all, they could have better add the strange and unique Digester, Arrowhawk or Ravid.

- Some outsider groups again didn't get new members, like the Div and Proteans.

This following thing is my opinion, you could judge the creatures entirely differently:

My favorite monsters in the book: Aatheriexa / Aeon, Othaos / Agathion, Cervinal / Ahkhat / Akaname / Amarok / Angel, Empyrean / Apallie / Assassin Bugs / Brain Mole Monarch / Caller in Darkness / Cerynitis / Cuero / Death Coach / Therizinosaurus / Nightmare Dragon / Echeneis / Encantado / Fastachee / Gegenees / Gray / Both Gremlins / Grim Reaper / Heikegani / Isonade / Karkadann / Kawa Akago / Kikimora / Peuchen / Plankta / Polong / Pyrausta / Sahkil (all) / Saxra / Scitalis / Sha / Shen / Giant Mantis Shrimp / Su / Tiyanak / Tizheruk / Tsukumogami / Ursikka / Wizard’s Shackle / Wyrmwraith / Xiao

My favorite creatures in the book are Vilderavn, Mngwa, Ostovite, Bone Ship, Cherufe and Papinijuwari.

My least favorite creature is the Putrid Ooze, mostly because I think having 3 black oozes into one bestiary is too much, and the Putrid Ooze adds nothing in my eyes. Also the Ants and Frogs in the book are not really inspired and just add size instead of strange abilities or appearances they could have. And I already said what I think about the Aerial Servant.

Overal this book gets a 5 star ranking from me because Paizo always manages to bring me my addiction in the form of an awesome book full of useable terrors and friendly faces that can enhance any game or just feast your eyes on the awesome artwork and fluff in the book.
I hope to see lots and lots more Bestiaries coming to us in the future, as only Paizo can make every new Bestiary something completely new and awesome. Keep them coming!


5/5

This bestiary has a great range of monsters; from original creatures, Egyptian, Indonesian, Inuit, Japanese, European, Sci-Fi, Greek, Abrahamic, Horror movies, Mesopotamian, Sumerian, and Irish origins in just the A's alone. This is something I love in bestiaries. It allows me to run so many more environments without having to resort to repeating the same creatures in every country.

Before I got this book, I was worried that it would just be high level creatures (a vibe I was getting from previous bestiaries increasing focus on higher levels), but most creatures are below 10 CR with the higher CR creatures nearly all having a level of prestige.

Outsiders are one of the things I focused on when I read this as my campaigns nearly always have a planar element. The aeons were interesting and actually got me thinking about potential plothooks. The angels now have Empyrean's, which seem ridiculously badass in mechanics, flavour and art (though Heed No Call seems like a minor editting issue, as some creatures further into the book simply have Calling in the immunity section). Archons are minimal as a result of copyfitting, but they are still rather cool with things like a Social Justice Archon. The (Y)azata are flavourful, though I would prefer if the gancanagh was more sexual. The devils are cool (love the apostate). Manasuptra are cool and I like their subjective form, though I'm not sure how I feel about the twilight's flavour. Sahkil are amazing and there is a lot of potential with this creepy faction, my players will likely regret the next time they cast See Invisibility.

Other highlights include the Shabti, Tulpa, Astomoi, Vilderavn, Boneship, Tsukumogami, and Fext.


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

2/5

When the Pathfinder Core Rulebook first hit the shelves, I fell head over heels in love with it. As it's grown, and become more prominent in RPG spotlight, I've developed a love-hate relationship with it, and this book does nothing to change that.

Let's start with the good. The monsters presented have a solid mix of CRs - in particular I think some of it's low-CR creatures offer some spice to the opposition for fledgling adventurers. There are some mythic monsters here too, most of them on the higher end of the CR spectrum, so GMs will have a few new challenges to toss at the more seasoned characters as well. This book also adds a handful of outsiders to those that haven't received a lot of love, like Divs, Aeons, and Demodands, though several of these are reprints from APs. I don't buy every AP, though, so I'm not complaining. There are a couple of real gems in here, like the Empyrean Angels or the supremely cool Sahkil - a variety of rogue psychopomps.

And now the bad. It's really just one thing, but, for me, it's pretty glaring, and exactly why my love of Pathfinder has been slowly but steadily dwindling. Despite the few gems, most of the new monsters just come off as really uninspired. Paizo continues pulling creatures out of myth and pop culture, but we're seeing some really superficial interpretations of those myths, and we're starting to rip monsters straight out of recent films like Prometheus. I understand the appeal of some of these creatures, but this one was so similar to its source material that it just felt lazy and unoriginal. By and large, this book is filled with creatures that don't seem to bring anything new to the table, and in some cases fill roles within a game that are entirely redundant with monsters that we've already got. Looking through the monsters, I just found myself wondering if there was really a need for this book. It felt like someone said "We have a new bestiary coming out, we need to come up with monsters to fill it with," as opposed to Paizo's books of five years prior, which felt more like "We've still got a ton of cool monsters! We need a book for them!"

All told, the book has some value, but definitely not a $45 one. The good stuff is probably good enough to warrant getting the pdf, but I wouldn't get the hardback


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Not official, but once in a PF homebrewing competition on gitp I made "Christmas Elves" as a race (fey that are forced to create weapons out of ice by their enslavers), and "Santa" as a monster (the enslavers, who store ice weapons in their humped backs and hunt down sleepers).

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
We could use stats for santa before we get krampus. Unless you want santa and krampus to be the same creature whose form and alignment are based on if the child/children have been good or bad.

I don't really mind either, though it could be quite terrifying/prospect either way. in any case, it should be functionally immortal(you can banish the beast to the blackest depth of the abyss, but will always come back in the future), be able to summon minions, and drag people to the krampus's home to face whatever fate may await them. The legend of the krampus is possibly quite widely known and feared, especially by those among the northern peoples that live in its dark shadow. Not always does the krampus come down(most 'krampus attacks' are the work of devils, demons, and other creatures seeking to profit of the reputation this creature has garnered), but when it does, there is little that can be done to prevent its passage. It is seasonal, eternal, and dangerous beyond reproach.

As for the Naughty and Nice thing, the Krampus is a creature not like most evil entities and outsiders, since it punishes wickedness with extreme violence, and rewards the virtuous. That does not make it a creature of good, since the Krampus will also target all that attempt to stand between its intended prey, or any of their family with vile tortures for even the simplest of small evils, before taking its victims away to its lair to face whatever hellish fate awaits them.

I wonder if there could be a lesser and greater Krampus templates (similar to the grim reaper having lesser reapers as an optional encounter(since the grim reaper is incredibly powerful)).

If Paizo does make a bestiary 6 then i wouldn't mind seeing the Krampus appear in its pages, or as part of another adventure.


I have always thought of Santa and Krampus as being fey.


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Dragon78 wrote:
I have always thought of Santa and Krampus as being fey.

I imagine them being two of the Eldest.


Hmm... or maybe one Eldest with two aspects? A bipolar (no pun intended) Fey god representing both the joys and horrors of Winter?


Strange question, but is this Ahool inspired by the Gyaos from Gamera as well as the myth? Just noticed a few similarities in the fluff of the creatures.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Loved all the new humanoid and non-humanoid race options.

Love all the new beasties I have not seen in D&D monster manuals. I didn't feel like anything was a retread, mash-up or templated version of a creature from a previous Bestiary. Nice work on that front Paizo development team.

The only complaint I have about Bestiary 5 is the cover. Did no one on the production team put a printout of the cover on the wall or on the table side-by-side with the other four bestiaries and Pathfinder supplemental bestiaries? The cover of the Bestiary 5 isn't on par with all those other books. The cover is so pedestrian uninspired and lacking in action. Where is the menace and fear the other covers inspire? There are so many more interesting creature choices inside that you could have combined and used on the cover.


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Wannabe Demon Lord wrote:
Strange question, but is this Ahool inspired by the Gyaos from Gamera as well as the myth? Just noticed a few similarities in the fluff of the creatures.

I don't know about any similarities to the Gyaos but it's based on a cryptid from the Indonesian Islands, specifically Java.


I love the cover of B5...might even be my fav!


kid america wrote:

Loved all the new humanoid and non-humanoid race options.

Love all the new beasties I have not seen in D&D monster manuals. I didn't feel like anything was a retread, mash-up or templated version of a creature from a previous Bestiary. Nice work on that front Paizo development team.

The only complaint I have about Bestiary 5 is the cover. Did no one on the production team put a printout of the cover on the wall or on the table side-by-side with the other four bestiaries and Pathfinder supplemental bestiaries? The cover of the Bestiary 5 isn't on par with all those other books. The cover is so pedestrian uninspired and lacking in action. Where is the menace and fear the other covers inspire? There are so many more interesting creature choices inside that you could have combined and used on the cover.

Well the Lovecraft critter could be replaced by something more interesting I agree, but the Grey and Grim Reaper are right where they belong.


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I found this bestiary (B5) a lot more useful/ inspiring than the previous one (B4), TBH.

I base this on the number of monsters I use (directly or adapted) from each bestiary. And no, mythic rules has nothing to do with it: those monsters with mythic are among the more interesting monsters in Bestiary 4...

What I particularly liked from Bestiary 5 was how the seven demideity-level Manasaputra were mostly variant spellings of the Amesha Spentas of Zoroastrianism! :D

Nicely done! (^_')=b

Carry on!

--C.


Are the animal companions not open content? It seems none of the SRD websites have them yet.


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Supperman wrote:
Are the animal companions not open content? It seems none of the SRD websites have them yet.

I think they're just low priority for the SRDs.


I thought it was the best Bestiary since 2, myself (despite the MR monsters...not a fan.). The Manas were actually a bit more interesting than I thought they might be (Not typically a fan of India's lore--though I love the story behind the Taj Mahal!).


MR monsters?


Mythic Ranks.

Liberty's Edge

I don't mind the mythic rank monsters as much. They still provide a suitable challenge to the more divine level characters. I personally love some of the variety more, with the stuffed animals and the horrifing plant monsters they have come up with. The plant that uses its psychic/hallucinatory spores to project visions into the minds of its victims until they are eventually broken down to feed the horror.


I'm very curious as to what the inspiration for the Rope Dragon was. Is it mythological? If it is I haven't come across it, and while I don't know every possible mythical creature and find new ones constantly, I do know the vast majority of the ones with a decent level of internet presence. Beyond that, it's a very strange concept, and I'd like to know where the inspiration came from.


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Congrats on the Ennie nod!

-Ben.


terraleon wrote:

Congrats on the Ennie nod!

-Ben.

There's some mighty fine free stuff listed in that Thar' link. ;)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Have any B5 creatures shown up anywhere since yet? Hell's Vengeance, Strange Aeons, modules...?


Wyrmwraith was in Hell's Rebels 6, I feel like the Balisse and/or Choral angels were probably in Hell's Vengeance.

Paizo Employee Developer

I used some B5 monsters in Strange Aeons, but I can't recall exactly what right now. (I'm at home and can't look it up.) Some will also appear in Ruins of Azlant (as well as a few B6 monsters, since the timing worked to my advantage).


Just found a Sakhil in the new Curse of the Crimson Throne.


Has anyone used the Shadow Collector? Love that one a lot!
I intend to use the Muse (hate the art, love the creature) as Inspiration (like the Nymph's ability of same name) for a Sound Striker Bard (with the Occult Bargain Drawback from Spymaster's Handbook Player Companion).
This is my favorite Bestiary since #2.

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