Mythic Monsters 38: China (PFRPG) PDF

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Imperial Adversaries Await!

Mythic Monsters: China brings you an amazing and exciting assortment of monsters from the vast mythology of China, from the deserts and mountains of the desolate west, the mighty river valleys, and the dynastic cities and fields and forests of the coastal plain. Drawn from thousands of years of history and lore, these creatures range from CR 3 to 26 and include wise and benevolent imperial dragons like the graceful tienlung sky dragon and mighty jiaolung sea dragon, as well as the savage dilung forest dragon and fearsome futsanglung underworld dragon, and ruling over all and maintaining the watchful balance between them the resplendent lungwang sovereign dragon. Of course, Chinese myth and legend is about far more than ancient and magical serpents, featuring loyal magical servants like the celestial foo lion and deathless guardians like the terra-cotta soldier and equally deathless yet blood-hungry hopping vampires, the jiang-shi. The Chinese legendarium ranges from minor menaces like the mischievous xiao flying monkeys alongside apocalyptic aberrations like the horrific hundun, and it also features an array of misshapen composite creatures like the patchwork yaoguai and the terrifying jinmeju tree bearing a fruit of horrible heads. As if a dozen existing monsters were not enough, the brand-new nian is a powerful predator that haunts and hunts at the turn of the year, only to be driven back each Chinese New Year with fireworks and festivals. In addition to the featured creatures, we bring you an array of amazing artifacts and fantastic feats gifted from the imperial dragons of the Orient, each one suitable for mythic and non-mythic heroes alike!

The Mythic Monsters series from Legendary Games brings you dynamic and exciting mechanics alongside evocative and cinematic new abilities that really help creatures live up to their flavor text, whether they are creatures of real-world myth and legend or creatures born out of the RPG tradition itself. These creatures can work just as well in a non-mythic campaign as they do in one that incorporates the full mythic rules, as you can throw them at your jaded players who think they've seen it all or know the standard monster stats as well as you do. That look of surprise and "What was THAT?" will warm any GM's heart.

This all-new 32-page supplement by Jeff Lee and Loren Sieg is a terrific complement to the Mythic Monster Manual, with over 220 mythic monsters and an awesome array of monster-focused abilities, feats, and more for your Pathfinder Roleplaying Game campaign! Pick up both books today and Make Your Game Legendary!

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An review


This installment of Legendary Games' amazing Mythic Monsters-series clocks in at 32 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of introduction/how to use, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 21 pages of content, so let's take a look!

We begin this installment, as always, with supplemental content - this time around, that would be two pages containing 6 feats and 5 minor artifacts. The feats would be so-called Blessings and come with regular and mythic iterations: One enhances your Survival skills in forests and makes you harder to track; two unlock skills as class skills and one unlocks foo dogs for summon monster et al. Slightly problematic: The Blessing of the Lungwang allows you to 1/round gain +2 to atk on the next attack versus a foe that has hit you, with the mythic version allowing for multiple foes to be eligible. Another one lets you 1/day bypass DR/hardness as adamantine. These feats are okay, but ultimately not something I'd get excited about.

The artifacts in question represent extremely powerful gifts bestowed upon mortals by the powerful dragons, with walking on gasses, powerful crescent blades and chakrams, pearls generating abundance and similar tricks making for an evocative, unique array that certainly supplements WuXia gameplay and options well.

But we're here for the creatures, right? Right! At CR 5/MR 2, mythic foo lions cause damage to weapons (and fists) of those that attack them and also come with a pretty cool mythic template for the creation of further foo creatures, with new/improved abilities at every rank, including retributive attack, ghost sight, etc. - I like the template...a lot. But at the same time I don't get why the mythic iteration doesn't do something cool with freeze...oh well.

The mythic hundun, at CR 26/MR 10, is BRUTAL; she can teleport targets closer via mythic power and the strange attractor, her entropic mind is more potent, she may actually drain mythic power and her very touch may basically destroy almost everything. As a minor gripe the build is missing the notes of the signature strange attractor, which imho would have made for an excellent upgrade for mythic treatment; the absence of the ability (referenced in the statblock) also makes for unnecessary book-flipping.

After these, we check out the majestic imperial dragons next: Imperial Forest Dragons (age category mature adult) clock in at CR 19/MR 7 and may animate plants at will, controlling multiple trees and gain an alternate poisonous breath. They are also a living growth accelerant and act as a massive fast healing battery for plants in the vicinity. While the base abilities of the non-mythic dragon have not been listed, they are part of its statblock here and since they are less iconic than e.g. the foo lion's freeze or the hundun's strange attractor, I can live with that.

The imperial sea dragon provided is very old and hits a lofty CR 20/MR 8; these guys are constantly under tongues and gain +4 to Diplomacy (nice nod towards the mythology) and they calm waters. They may also generate basically a panacea water 1/week, making the water exceedingly potent in dealing with curses, diseases etc. - and at this CR/MR, I can even live with it being a flat-out heal instead of tied to CL/HD. They also get a kind of DR based on tier to ability drain, damage negative levels, etc., may duplicate mythic control weather with mythic power and use mythic power to call forth shipwrecking maelstroms. Nice!

At CR 16/MR 6, imperial sky dragons come in the adult age category here and gain evasion while airborne, may hijack cloud/gas/mist spells, have indomitable will, which may be further enhanced by mythic power and may cloak itself in swirling winds. So put down that bow...Lavishly rendered in a full-page spread as seen on the cover, the ancient CR 25/MR 10 sovereign dragon is brutal: Two pages. With the series' relatively small font. Yeah, I love the guy, particularly that his breath is determined by the very seasons! Oh, and both breath weapon-charge-combo, magic eating etc. are amazing; with nary a glance they can send foes cowering and they may shed a sacred tear 1/year...oh, and mythic true seeing (reproduced for your convenience)...all awesome.

At CR 21/MR 8, the mythic imperial underworld dragon can strip foes of fire resistance and immunity via the aptly named "Burn for me"-ability; they may also breathe chocking gas that locks down actions of those affected. It may also burrow down, only to erupt in a burst of devastating lava - yeah, awesome boss material! The disturbing Jinmenju's mythic iteration stands at CR 13/MR 5 gets an excellent upgrade to its fruits - they are now addicted and those that partake in them can be controlled. Oh, and their fruits now also laugh and may be flung. Damn, this critter gives me the shivers...

The Terracotta soldier presented herein comes to our game at CR 7/MR 3 and features a nasty death-curse...oh, and they can call forth non-mythic terracotta soldiers...and they may reform upon being destroyed, taking several myths associated with them and providing some nice additional fodder. There also is a variant for archers and horsemen provided - though the archers only get variant feats and the riders as noted to be Large and 10 HD, with new feats provided...but actually getting BAB etc. for these would have been nice....the page containing them has enough blank space to potentially allow for that. At the same CR/MR, the jumping vampires, the jiang-shi, start overcoming weaknesses, depending on mythic rank and the template provided provides a 9-rank progression...which I greatly appreciated. In fact, the design philosophy here is remarkably close to the increasing power-levels by age I employ in my own home game for vampires.

There also is a low-CR critter herein: The mythic xiao at CR 3/MR 1 does not provoke AoOs when disarming or stealing and may use mythic power to steal more. Solid.

The CR 8/MR 3 mythic yahuai receives a Wisdom-damaging roar and three additional abilities, based on specific form - including poison stingers, flight, grab and constricts, etc.

The new creature herein, absolutely beautifully depicted, would be the CR 7/MR 3 mythic nian may add frightful presence to those charged, have a deep-seated aversion to the color red as well as sensitive ears...but don't underestimate these deadly predators: They may charge, withdraw and run at angles and reposition those hit by its Vital Strike bite/gore-supplemented assaults...very cool, efficient and brutal critter.


Editing and formatting are very good, i noticed no significant hiccups. Layout adheres to Legendary Games' two-column full-color standard and the artworks featured herein are nice - in particular the nian's artwork is amazing. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Jeff Lee and Loren Sieg deliver herein: As befitting of the series, the creatures featured herein are pretty much amazing and superior in how they represent the tropes of the original beings the monsters are based on. That being said, this series has also spoiled me beyond belief when it comes to critters and e.g. the hundun and variant terracotta soldiers felt like a bit less than what they easily could have been. Similarly, the xiao could have used a bit more love...but, don't be fooled - this is still a pretty much excellent book and hence receives a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded up, also due to the feats being not that amazing. Blame the series for spoiling me and get this. ;)

Endzeitgeist out.

Community & Digital Content Director

Now available!

A friend of mine makes her authorial debut here. Check it out! ^_^

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Salute the Legendary debut of Loren Sieg in a terrific collaboration with jammin Jeff Lee!

Silver Crusade

And since I'm all about marking it up, a few question to either author here:

What was your favorite monster to write in this book? Which took the most research? Which did you learn the most about WHILE researching? And which would you say is the most dangerous monster in this book for its CR?

I'll let Loren know she's got questions to answer. Meanwhile, I'll give you my take.

My favorite monster to write was the nian. It's a new offering taken from the mythology behind the New Year. I grew up with a lot of Chinese traditions and the New Year celebrations always stick out in my mind, so it was fun delving into the tales and legends.

I think I did the most research on the jinmenju. The monster from the Bestiary 4 basically doesn't exist in Chinese mythology. There's a tree with this name with head-like fruits, and the fruits are said to laugh. This sound is unsettling, so in the myths they're always as far from houses as possible. So I came up empty. I looked at how Paizo's writer had engineered the creature, and then looked at ways I could build on that using a bit of flavor from the original myths.

Hands down, the mythic hundun is an absolute terror. Those things are beastly as they were, but with 10 mythic ranks, that thing is a walking TPK.

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Hmmm.....I really enjoyed almost all of these monsters. It's difficult to pick just one. The Xiao are really really fun, but the Terra Cotta Soldiers just have so much style. I think that the Imperial Sea Dragon is pretty frightening if you're on a boat that's managed to piss it off.

I'd say I did the most research about and learned the most about the artifacts that each dragon can bestow upon a worthy adventurer. Each one is pulled directly out of Chinese legend. That was a main goal for us throughout this project: maintaining as much authentic Chinese folklore as possible.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

1 person marked this as a favorite.

All of the monsters in this book really came through with a lot of flavor and fun and brought some new things to the table, and was very happy with Loren's debut and working with Jeff as a terrific tag-team.

I also thought the new artwork we got for the book was terrific as well, so a shout-out also goes to Steve Wood (who did the dragon/terra cotta soldiers) and Tanyaporn Sangsnit (who did the nian)!

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Reviewed first on, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS, etc.

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