Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Villain Codex (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Villain Codex (PFRPG)
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Miscreants and Malefactors

Villains are at the heart of every great adventure—scheming, plotting, and causing mayhem—but creating a convincing and detailed group of antagonists is no easy task. Pathfinder RPG Villain Codex serves up 20 groups of vile miscreants waiting to menace your player characters and foil their every plan. Inside this time-saving tome, you will find a wide variety of foes, from a scheming regal court to a sinister doomsday cult, ready to challenge characters of any level. These villains come equipped with a host of new rules elements to give them the edge against players and fit into nearly any campaign!

Villain Codex is an essential addition to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. This imaginative tabletop game builds on more than 15 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 Villain Codex includes:

  • Complete sections for 20 villainous organizations, including a power- hungry arcane society, a greedy merchant caravan, a fleet of scandalous pirates, a creepy secret society, and a wily thieves’ guild. Trade blows with the serpentfolk-worshiping monks of Fang Monastery, match wits with the sly bandits of the Merry Outlaws, or defend civilization from the wild druids of Nature’s Scourge!
  • Information on each organization’s history and structure, along with plot hooks to get the players interested in confronting the group.
  • New rules in each villain section, including feats, spells, and magic items.
  • A wide variety of new stat blocks for all organization members, using each villain section’s new rules.
  • Premade encounter groups, allowing Game Masters to quickly make use of the villains in every section.
  • ... And much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-906-6

Other Resources: This product is also available on the following platforms:

Hero Lab Online
Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop
Archives of Nethys

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Rulebook Subscription.

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Another "must have" book?

4/5

I have all the stat-block books of the RPG line (except from Bestiary 6 =/ ). They are a must to me, as I don't want to expend my time creating foes again and again, and when I do create them, its good to have some examples.

There are dozens of NPCs in this book, with all sort of different classes (from hybrid classes to occult classes, or just the classic ones as well).While the classic NPC Codex arranged the many characters in it by "character class", this one arranges them by "Organization". The characters are all built to suit a sort of villainous theme, from evil cultists to secret society members to vile arcane scholars to evil druids. There are even pirates and thieves!

Villain codex has new gears, new spells, and some other options - the NPC Codex doesn't. These options to customize the villainous NPCs are also arranged by "Organization". You can also easily rearrange the members of the many Organizations to make new organizations, and the book gives some guidance on how to do this. Like this, you can use this book to insert many different foes in your campaigns "on the fly" (they are all ready-to-go NPCs, just like the NPC codex). Its ease to change their race, some class options, and the flavor, so you can adapt them to any setting or adventure.

Concluding:

The main point of the Villain Codex is, as with any "stat-block" book (Bestiary, NPC Codex, Monster Codex), to provide GMs with characters that are ready to be used on the table. There are some of options that can be used by players as well. You can somehow look at the characters in it to see how you would build your own Villainous NPCs, or maybe player can look at them and see how they would develop their characters class build.

Many are the ways you can use this book. I have it, and I use it all the time.

Unfortunately, I will be taking one star out of the five I wanted to give this book, as I believe we could get more high CR/level villains, to use as really powerful main antagonists in our campaigns. The most powerful ones in the book are CR 14... Powerful, but not so powerful.


Villain Codex should be called NPC Codex II! Indispensable for GMs.

5/5

When I first picked up the NPC Codex, I thought it would be what the Villain Codex would eventually become. Conversely, when I picked up the Villain Codex, I thought it would be what the NPC Codex was. Fortunately, both are great books and I may even prefer the Villain Codex as a GM, as it gives us a great selection of generic NPCs that will pop up in a variety of scenarios.

Combine this with the NPC selection of the Gamemastery Guide and your GM will have everything they need to bring the NPC faces of their campaign world to life. This book belongs on every Dungeon Master's shelf.

Indispensable.


Great book

5/5

As a GM, love it. Good fights to throw at your players abound, and there are even a few new feats / items that may come in handy for players too.


Not bad but was hoping for more

4/5

This book is not the best put out by Paizo as far as utility goes but it’s also far from the worst. To start with this book is essentially really a DM only book. The format is near identical to the Monster codex which is nice because it’s a familiar format. There are some new magic items and spells and feats and so on but ultimately they are of little use to players and especially little use to good aligned player character. The book is broken up into factions the first page of each faction tells you basically their backstory and evil mo. Then there are about 5-7 pages of “villains” who are part of this faction there are 2 per page and this is sort of where my issue with the book comes in. These NPC villains have no life in them, they have no flavor text about the villain and what makes them tick. This has come up with me a few times in the past especially with bestiary 5. I like the flavor text because it gets the imagination going and helps with coming up with some creative stories or encounters. My example is the Wyrwood in bestiary 4. The description of that monster alone is enough to set the mind racing with ideas for entire campaigns, societies, villains and heroes all from a description that is 2 short paragraphs. This is just lifeless stats over pages and while they are fine for what they are it over all takes away from the book as a whole to me. Also each entry does not have its own image to go along with it. I hope that they remedy this with the pawn set which is supposed to be coming out but I will be making sure I look out for a review on that before purchase I can promise that. I will say that some of the evil organizations are very interesting and things that really you could build entire adventures around and there are handy adventure hooks in the book as well to this effect. Finally at the back of the book are about 2 dozen more organizations with small paragraph descriptions of how they function just to give you some more food for thought which I did appreciate. The art that is present in the book as always is beautiful and that is one of the best things about the pathfinder books. They have the best art of any RPG out there.


A Fun Toybox With a Few Flaws

4/5

And make no mistake, this, like many of the "Codex" line of RPG books, is a big ol' toybox. It seriously feels like dumping out a massive bin of old-school mix-and-match action figures onto the floor and playing Knights vs. Spacemen, or Cops & Cowboys. This is one of the best possible reasons to buy this book.
The groups are all either tried-and-tested fantasy tropes like the mercenary gang, doomsday cultists, douchebag guards, brutal slavors, or tribe of barbarians, possess that flare for reinventing classic fantasy stories that Paizo is so well known for such as the regal court or merry outlaws, or a mix of both, such as the Demon Knights and Death Cult. Want the evil queen from Snow White? They got that. Ever wondered what it would be like if Robin Hood were a jerk? They got that. Felt like tossing in some generic snake-themed ninja bad-guys for that 80's action flick feel? They got that.

That having been said, the book isn't perfect. There are two main issues with the book, though I admit that one of them is simply a matter of taste and may not be an issue at all. Firstly, whoever contributed to this book really, really, really loves rangers. Seriously they're everywhere. I understand that they are a fairly easy class to adapt to many villainous roles such as slavor, merc, cultist, tracker, assassin, etc, but it would have been nice to see more variety. Secondly, the book is missing some essential information when it comes to the goodies you can take from it. As an example, the book presents a very fun and flavorful new oracle mystery, but totally misses writing in the final revelation for that mystery, which will hopefully be fixed with the book's second printing.

Over all, aside from some small gripes and editing issues this book is great. At least half the fun of these sorts of books is reading about the plot hooks and suggestions for the various villains, and Villain Codex does not disappoint in this regard. As always, the ten dollar price tag for the PDF makes it an even more attractive option as well. This is a definite must-buy for those who like compilation books, are like me and get slightly lazy when it comes to building NPCs, or just want some springboards for generating minor and major story arcs.


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Berselius,

I'd like to see a few anti-paladins in this book.

Designer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Thomas Seitz wrote:

Berselius,

I'd like to see a few anti-paladins in this book.

When I did an assessment of what classes appeared vis-a-vis how enormous the class feature index was going to be, I ascertained that out of all PC classes and alternate classes at the time, if I recall only two were not featured in the book. How bout those odds? ;)


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to have a Villain Codex. It's just that I'm still hoping to see another NPC Codex book come out after this that features Lv. 1 through Lv. 20 statblocked NPC"s of the following classes:

Alchemist, Antipaladin, Cavalier, Gunslinger, Inquisitor, Magus, Ninja, Oracle, Samurai, Summoner, Vigilante, Witch

I also wouldn't mind seeing Lv. 8, Lv. 12, and Lv. 16 stated NPC's of the following prestige classes:

Battle Herald, Holy Vindicator, Horizon Walker, Master Chymist, Master Spy, Nature Warden, Rage Prophet, Stalwart Defender

After that Paizo could then do a book featuring NPC's of the advanced classes and occult classes.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Thomas Seitz wrote:

Berselius,

I'd like to see a few anti-paladins in this book.

When I did an assessment of what classes appeared vis-a-vis how enormous the class feature index was going to be, I ascertained that out of all PC classes and alternate classes at the time, if I recall only two were not featured in the book. How bout those odds? ;)

Esp since there's one class that kind of screams "not a villain"?


Thomas Seitz wrote:

Berselius,

I'd like to see a few anti-paladins in this book.

I'll be very surprised if we don't get antipaladins in this manual. Their pretty much the quintessential villain class. Hopefully we'll get some juicy dread vanguards, knight of the sepulchers, and tyrants to throw at our PC's. ^_^

Designer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
Esp since there's one class that kind of screams "not a villain"?

But surprisingly, the class you are thinking of is not the one missing.

Silver Crusade

Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
Esp since there's one class that kind of screams "not a villain"?
But surprisingly, the class you are thinking of is not the one missing.

Expert?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I hope that the class that's missing isn't paladin. One that's been tricked by the diabolist church and close to falling to lawful neutral would have been interesting.

Designer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Milo v3 wrote:
I hope that the class that's missing isn't paladin. One that's been tricked by the diabolist church and close to falling to lawful neutral would have been interesting.

Paladin seems to be the class Eliandra and Stephen are dancing around if you ask me ;)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Please no evil paladins! :p I just prefer them being warpriests instead.


Thomas Seitz wrote:
Please no evil paladins! :p I just prefer them being warpriests instead.

Eh, I'd like to see at least one Knight of the Sepulcher archetyped Antipaladin in this. Although some evil warpriests would be cool. Anyone know if we'll be getting some Winter Witches in this?


Berselius,

Maybe! But I do agree a Knight of the Sepulcher Anti-paladin would be nice.


Paladins can be overzealous and/or manipulated. For instance, you could be protecting a skinwalker or a tiefling because that paladin consider it as an aberration, as lycanthropes and fiends aren't very friendly most of the time :P You could have angels going on a crusade for pragmatic ideals. Your PCs can break the law and have to face the autorities who can be good-aligned.

Your PCs can pick a fight with thieves, only to discover that they steal from rich people to deliver for the poor. That's the typical CG archetype. Villainous as they may seem, they are still law-breakers.


I just saw this and I'm pumped for it. I really enjoyed the Monster Codex a lot and hope paizo puts that level of detail and flavor into this.


JiCi,

I'd still prefer Anti-paladins. :p

Sovereign Court

will there be Occult class villains?


Cylerist wrote:
Will there be Occult class villains?

That would be cool.

Designer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Cylerist wrote:
will there be Occult class villains?

There are members of the occult classes in the book. Yes.


Cool! Thank you Stephen!

*wonders if that means we'll have insane psychics...*


I'd like to see some sort of white queen (aka Emma Frost)-type femme fatale Mesmerist villain. :D


I'd prefer something more like possessed by evil spirits mediums/psyhics.


No reason why we can't have both. ^_~


Hm! Good point Berselius.


I will probably be getting this. I would love to see an NPC codex 2 that has stats for the classes not in VOlume 1.


Will this include any of the characters from the Rival Guide?

Liberty's Edge Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
Will this include any of the characters from the Rival Guide?

The Core Rules line is setting neutral (with the obvious exception of the Golarion pantheon of core deities). There may be similar characters in some of the chapters, but you won't see Campaign Setting characters in the Codex.

Designer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Paris is right, these are 100% new NPCs. Stay tuned for more villainy...soon...soon...

Designer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I have heralded great evil soon...and lo, for IT BEGINS!


Any memerists or winter witches in this manual Mark?

Designer

Berselius wrote:
Any memerists or winter witches in this manual Mark?

There can't be winter witches, as those don't exist in the RPG line. As for mesmerists, there's only two classes or alternate classes (Unchained excluded) not in there, so...very likely!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Just noticed that the villains on the cover have maps, miniatures, and dice(*) on the table . . . awesome!

(*)Different polyhedral types, at that.


Mark Seifter wrote:
There can't be winter witches, as those don't exist in the RPG line.

Wait, do you mean they don't exist in Pathfinder core rules? Because they sure as Baator exist in the Inner Sea of Golarion.

Mark Seifter wrote:
As for mesmerists, there's only two classes or alternate classes (Unchained excluded) not in there, so...very likely!

Nutbunnies. :(


Berselius wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
There can't be winter witches, as those don't exist in the RPG line.

Wait, do you mean they don't exist in Pathfinder core rules? Because they sure as Baator exist in the Inner Sea of Golarion.

Both the archetype and the Prestige class background are specifically tied to the Jadwiga and Baba Yaga lore; the archetype appeared in Reign of Winter and Inner Sea Magic, the prestige in RoW and Paths of Prestige.

While you *could* file the serial numbers off sufficiently to use them in a non-Golarion game, as written they're tied to the setting and therefore inappropriate for inclusion in a setting-agnostic book, despite being awesome.


Berselius wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
As for mesmerists, there's only two classes or alternate classes (Unchained excluded) not in there, so...very likely!
Nutbunnies. :(

Mark is saying that is very likely that Mesmerist are in. For ANY class, it's very likely that they are in here- only two classes (or alternate classes) aren't in here.


.....Paladine is a no brainer......wonder what the other one is ???


Berselius wrote:
Wait, do you mean they don't exist in Pathfinder core rules? Because they sure as Baator exist in the Inner Sea of Golarion.

Note, Inner Sea of Golarion isn't in the RPG-line and let alone a core rulebook.

Designer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Milo v3 wrote:
Berselius wrote:
Wait, do you mean they don't exist in Pathfinder core rules? Because they sure as Baator exist in the Inner Sea of Golarion.
Note, Inner Sea of Golarion isn't in the RPG-line and let alone a core rulebook.

The RPG line means that the book starts with "Pathfinder Roleplaying Game:" at the beginning of its name (like Villain Codex does, see above), which is likely equivalent to what people are referring to here as a "core rulebook" (for us, the core rulebook means the book called Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook). It's pretty confusing and I didn't understand it before working here either.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Mark Seifter wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Berselius wrote:
Wait, do you mean they don't exist in Pathfinder core rules? Because they sure as Baator exist in the Inner Sea of Golarion.
Note, Inner Sea of Golarion isn't in the RPG-line and let alone a core rulebook.
The RPG line means that the book starts with "Pathfinder Roleplaying Game:" at the beginning of its name (like Villain Codex does, see above), which is likely equivalent to what people are referring to here as a "core rulebook" (for us, the core rulebook means the book called Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook). It's pretty confusing and I didn't understand it before working here either.

Thanks for explaining that, Mark. I'll make sure to be more specific, next time. :)


*files off the numbers on the Demon Cultists*

Designer

Check out the wild things too!


I'm hoping that the occult classes (Medium, Occultist, and Kineticist in particular) have some high level statblocks in there. Some of the newer classes really just need some example statblocks so people can see how all the moving parts fit together.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've got the PDF of this if there any any questions.

-Skeld


List the 20 organizations?

Liberty's Edge

I've been looking at the preview featuring the Leshy Skald and I'm curious about the new options presented but not defined in that stat-block. So:

What does the Nature's Wrath Feat do?
What about the Atavistic Totem Rage Power line?
And what about fungal slippers?

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
List the 20 organizations?

Spoiler:

ARCANE SOCIETY 6
BRUTAL SLAVERS 18
CARNIVAL TROUPE 30
CORRUPT GUARD 42
CRUEL MUSKETEERS 54
DEATH CULT 66
DEMON KNIGHTS 78
DIABOLICAL CHURCH 90
FANG MONASTERY 102
MERCHANT CARAVAN 114
MERRY OUTLAWS 126
NATURE’S SCOURGE 138
REGAL COURT 150
RUTHLESS BRIGANDS 162
SAVAGE MARAUDERS 174
SCANDALOUS PIRATES 186
SECRET SOCIETY 198
SINISTER CULT 210
SLAYERS’ GUILD 222
THIEVES’ GUILD 234

-Skeld

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:

I've been looking at the preview featuring the Leshy Skald and I'm curious about the new options presented but not defined in that stat-block. So:

What does the Nature's Fury Feat do?
What about the Atavistic Totem Rage Power line?
And what about fungal slippers?

Spoiler:

Nature's Fury - No longer immune to morale bonuses or emotion.
Lesser Atavism Totem - Gains Bite attack.
Atavism Totem - Gains Ferocity.
Greater Atavism Totem - Gains Trample.
Fungal Slippers - 3/day, creates fungi patches (difficult terrain) in every square you move through; 2kgp.

-Skeld


1) Who comprises the Diabolical Church?

2) Who does the Sinister Cult worship?

3) The Paizo blog built up some mystery about the Spellqueen; what's her secret?

Designer

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Ah, but isn't (3) more fun if it stays a secret for a while? (at least except to GMs using the Arcane Society).

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Axial wrote:
1) Who comprises the Diabolical Church?

Spoiler:

Asmodeans.

Axial wrote:
2) Who does the Sinister Cult worship?

Spoiler:

It varies: Great Old Ones, death, Deamons, etc., whatever.

Axial wrote:
3) The Paizo blog built up some mystery about the Spellqueen; what's her secret?

Spoiler:

I'm not going to spoil that.

-Skeld


1) Sure, but I mean: what classes/races are they? I was told there's a Tyrant Antipaladin in there.

2) So the GM gets to choose?

3) Fair enough.

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