Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Beast (PFRPG)

4.20/5 (based on 13 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Beast (PFRPG)
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Embrace the Beast Within!

Anthropomorphic animal races have been a staple of fantasy gaming for decades, and Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Beast presents all the tools you need to play members of some the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game's most iconic bestial races. Packed full of character options for members of all classes, as well as some that members of other races can adopt, Blood of the Beast is sure to spice up any campaign!

Inside this book, you'll find:

  • New class archetypes including the tengu jinx witch, the catfolk serendipity shaman, the grippli war painter, and the vanaran fortune-finder.
  • Exciting new feats to accentuate beast-blooded races' inherent abilities, such as ratfolk's swarming ability and kitsune's shapechanging trickery.
  • Dozens of new spells, alternate racial traits, and favored class bonuses to customize characters of all stripes.

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-901-1

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

Hero Lab Online
Archives of Nethys

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4.20/5 (based on 13 ratings)

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Pretty Good (Needs More Lore, Less Filler)

4/5

When the Advanced Race Guide came out, the number of playable races in Pathfinder suddenly increased substantially. There’s an argument to be made that perhaps it was too much, too fast, with some of the new races competing (stats-wise) more than favourably with the classic Core Rulebook races. I frankly get tired of seeing nagaji bloodragers and kitsune swashbucklers, but I guess that’s neither here nor there. The value in Blood of the Beast is that it grounds these new races into the Golarion campaign setting, adding some information about where they come from and how they’re perceived. For GMs and players interested in a cohesive view of the setting, the promise is an important one. As with all of these Player Companions, of course, there’s plenty of crunchy new options for character building as well. The races covered here are catfolk, gripplis, kitsune, nagaji, ratfolk, tengus, and vanaras.

I really like the concept for the cover art, though the actual execution is a bit too cartoony for my tastes. The inside front cover is a zoomed-out map of the Inner Sea with coloured highlighting showing where the various races covered in the book originate. I think it’s too zoomed-out to be of a lot of real use though. The inside back cover is the cover art minus any text.

After a page for the table of contents, we then get a two-page introduction. There’s a new trait for each race covered in the book. Some of the traits are fine, but some are of the generic “+1 to a skill and it’s a class skill” type that are really just space-fillers and list-lengtheners.

Each of the seven races then get a four-page long entry with a brief overview, some favoured class options, an archetype or two, and often other options like new feats or spells. Although many of these new options are flavoured as tied to a particular race, most don’t actually have being a member of that race as a prerequisite to taking them. I’ll go through each of these entries briefly.

Catfolk get a few new archetypes, including the Prowler at World’s End for bloodragers (giving them medium spirits), the Ravenous Hunter for inquisitors (a specialist demon-fighter with an oracle revelation), and the Serendipity Shaman for shamans (gets some new hexes—one of them, Tweak the Odds, is really good!). There are some new, forgettable feats, and a new natural course for wildsoul vigilantes called “feline.” Of the new spells, bit of luck is really powerful since it can be used before or after the results of a die roll have been revealed (which is rather unusual).

The new favoured class bonuses for gripplis are interesting, and I really like a cool new archetype for mediums called the Fiend Keeper—it specializes in containing an evil spirit. The other archetypes are the Poison Darter for rangers and the odd War Painter for skalds. There are also some new feats and spells, but nothing that jumped out at me.

Kitsune get some alternate racial traits, new advanced versatile performances for bards and skalds, and a new archetype, the Nine-Tailed Heir for sorcerers (great artwork here!). There are some new feats for shapeshifters, a really clever new spell called contagious suggestion, and some new vigilante talents (I like the one called “obscurity”—-it’s basically the opposite of renown).

For Nagaji, there are new naga bloodlines for bloodragers and sorcerers. There’s a new cavalier archetype called First Mother’s Fang, which is a sort of governor/general concept; it’s pretty good in broadening the knowledge skills available to cavaliers, and who doesn’t want to ride around on a giant snake? There’s also some new mesmerist tricks and spells.

I love the new ratfolk archetypes, and might have to give one a try soon. There’s the Opportunist for fighters (a really cool, skills-focused alchemist mix), the Scavenger for investigators (a gadget type of alchemist with a great feel), and the Swarm Monger for druids (which is pretty much what it sounds like). There are several feats, all of which build off the Swarming special ability of ratfolk, and they’re quite good too. The only “meh” thing in the entry is a new psychic discipline, Warp.

Tengus receive several new feats (I like Lovable Scoundrel) and spells, as well as several new archetypes. Courser for swashbucklers makes for a super-mobile character, though they have to give up a lot. The Jinx Witch for witches provides for some interesting abilities to absorb and expend spells (and has some great art). The Red Tongue for skalds provides an odd mix of rogue talents. I think a lot of writers just don’t know what to do with skalds, but I can’t blame them—-I don’t know either.

I will always hold a special place in my heart for vanaras, since that’s the race of my favourite character (Goldcape) in the Curse of the Crimson Throne AP I’ve been running for a couple of years now. The race here gets some new alternate racial traits, including size changing, as well as the usual favored class options. There are then several new Meditation feats, but none of them are worth it. Fighters may be interested in the new advanced weapon training options. There’s one new archetype, the Fortune-Finder for rangers—-it’s frankly just kind of bland. Unchained monks get some new style strikes and ki powers (with freedom of movement particularly great). Last, there’s a new eidolon subtype for unchained summoners called Ancestor, but it’s not particularly interesting.

Pretty much every book in the Player Companion line is going to contain its share of filler mixed with some real gems of creativity. I thought Blood of the Beast is better than many in the proportion of wheat to chaff. I would have like more than just a couple of paragraphs on how each of the races fit into Golarion—-remember, that’s the value-add of the books (along with the art), as all the new rules options will be immediately stripped out and placed on the Archives of Nethys. But all in all, this is a worthwhile book to buy.


Aside from the Fan Boy/Girl factor, . . .

1/5

I really don't understand why this book got such good reviews. I was very hesitant to buy this one from the start. Both because past experiences with cramming in far too many things into one book have led to, well predictable results and the very, very thin theme of the focus here.

This is probably the first product I outright want my monies back. But probably worst of all is that this book probably kills any possibility that the few races involved here I actually do want a Player's Guide for are likely to never get a good one now.

It's pretty much as I feared, far, far, far too little on anything I'm interested in, except I'm struggling to actually find a single thing I find interesting, good, or something I'd use. Just too forced, and the actual goal seems to be to make sure a few snowflake things get in the game rather than focusing on each of the races, and it shows which of the race options where favored and which got options because they had to get something.


A lot of fun ideas to build around

5/5

Blood of the Beast does just what a Player Companion should, in my opinion, do: it provides a large number of options that would be interesting to incorporate into a character or build a character around.


Such beauty in being the beast

5/5

A great book that offers nice alternative new options for the animal-like races and even some that can be used by other races too.

While most of the options are restricted to the exclusive races for PFS play, you could probably go wild with a homebrew setting.

The art in the book is beautiful as well, having at least 2 pictures of each race to represent how they look like.


Better than I anticipated

5/5

I was ready for this book to be average. I was wrong. SO MANY OPTIONS! Feats, Traits, Archetypes, Spells. This book really delivers on the mechanical side.

The artwork, layout, and flavor text are all great too, especially the in the Nagaji and Kitsune sections.


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Regular purchase means I don't get the free PDF with the physical copy.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

That is the same issue that I am having with the Campaign Setting line.

I was told that you might be able to arrange something directly with Customer Service (which you will need to do anyway since you are already a subscriber to that line).

Liberty's Edge

I have always been surprised at the way Paizo allows people to jump in and out of subscriptions to get discounts on specific items they want, but the fact is... they do... so it seems at least possible that they'd let you split which item(s) the subscription applies to in a month.

OR... you could wait and see if the product you don't want ALSO gets delayed.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If he were not currently a subscriber, waiting until the November shipment is imminent would make sense since there is still a possibility that the two products will not end up shipping at the same time. But since he is currently a subscriber, he already needs to contact Customer Service to cancel his subscription for the product that he does not want -- so he may as well inquire about starting it up again with the following product at the same time.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Pazio doesn't believe in long term contracts. They just write about them for Asmodeus. ;)


Why is it that the books I get the most excited about are almost always the ones that get delayed? T_T


Vanara are finally getting more support? Oh goody. Fortune-Finder archetype? Hmm sounds a bit rogue-ish which suits me just fine.


Dragon78 wrote:
I am not happy about the move of release because now it is being released at the same time of another product in the same line that I don't want. So I ether take the hit and get both, wich I can't afford, or I do not buy ether of them.

If it's a budgeting thing, can you buy a gift certificate for the book amount when you can afford it, then redeem it a week or so before it ships to subscribers? When you redeem a gc, it shows up as credit in your account, so wouldn't it be applied to your order when your subscription is billed/shipped for the month?


No, that would be too much trouble besides maybe I will be lucky and they push back the other book to the month after.


Dragon,

If you don't want the book I'll take it! ;)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I do like the preview image of a ratfolk pulling something from an extradimensional space from Divine Anthology!
Wonder if it's a spell or archtype?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I wish catfolk got as much art love as ratfolk.


Dragon78 wrote:
I wish catfolk got as much art love as ratfolk.

Me too. Cats are cool. Rats? Um, not so much...IMO.


I wonder if you would be able to create Thundercat like cat folk?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
I wish catfolk got as much art love as ratfolk.

I'd imagine its because they seem to be of two minds regarding them being either neko cat people or Khajit.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You can create pretty much any sort of catfolk ever since they gave up on artists being consistent :p Also we already have thundercats like catfolk npc

Anyway, rats are cute! Man, people don't have appreciation for the swarm these days

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:


Anyway, rats are cute! Man, people don't have appreciation for the swarm these days

Agreed, poor meeces.


DeciusNero wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:


Anyway, rats are cute! Man, people don't have appreciation for the swarm these days
Agreed, poor meeces.

Rats and Mices aren't exactly the same thing.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Meeces to pieces!!

Also I like rat folk as they remind me of my OTHER favorite setting, Scarred Lands. :)


Will there be any previews for this one...before it comes out on PDF?


That cover is atrocious. Most of the kitsune's tails aren't even drawn in the right place. /joke

I'm not the biggest fan of the book's theme, but who knows. Nagaji are cool, and maybe they'll have a way for me to skip that silly hybrid thing that they made kitsunes, and just be a shapeshifting fox without needing a +3 BAB.

Contributor

6 people marked this as a favorite.
1of1 wrote:
maybe they'll have a way for me to skip that silly hybrid thing that they made kitsunes, and just be a shapeshifting fox without needing a +3 BAB.

Department of expectation management: nope.

Pathfinder elves are not the same as Norse elves.
Pathfinder gnomes are not the same as German gnomes.
Pathfinder dwarves are not the same as Norse dwarves.
Pathfinder kitsune do not need to be the same as Japanese kitsune.

That being said, if you give Pathfinder kitsune a chance to be their own thing instead of expecting them to be a copy/paste from Japanese mythology, you might enjoy their section in this book. There's a lot of neat stuff in the kitsune section.


I think 1of1 needs some managed expectations courses.

Also I like the cover. :)


Personally I think kitsune should have the ability at 1st level to turn into a fox.

Liberty's Edge

Dragon78 wrote:
Personally I think kitsune should have the ability at 1st level to turn into a fox.

Yeah, I like that better too... and then have the feat for the 'humanoid fox' form instead. Works out about the same in terms of 'power level'. Could easily be an alternate racial trait.


CBDunkerson wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Personally I think kitsune should have the ability at 1st level to turn into a fox.
Yeah, I like that better too... and then have the feat for the 'humanoid fox' form instead. Works out about the same in terms of 'power level'. Could easily be an alternate racial trait.

Actually, I made a homebrewed Arctic Fox variant of the Kitsune which only change into a fox.

Spoiler:
It is under the Homebrew subforum, look for the Naali


Andre Roy wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Personally I think kitsune should have the ability at 1st level to turn into a fox.
Yeah, I like that better too... and then have the feat for the 'humanoid fox' form instead. Works out about the same in terms of 'power level'. Could easily be an alternate racial trait.

Actually, I made a homebrewed Arctic Fox variant of the Kitsune which only change into a fox.

** spoiler omitted **

Have you been looking through my campaign notes?


Alexander Augunas wrote:


Department of expectation management: nope.

Meh, you can't please everyone. Don't worry about it.


1of1 wrote:
Andre Roy wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
Personally I think kitsune should have the ability at 1st level to turn into a fox.
Yeah, I like that better too... and then have the feat for the 'humanoid fox' form instead. Works out about the same in terms of 'power level'. Could easily be an alternate racial trait.

Actually, I made a homebrewed Arctic Fox variant of the Kitsune which only change into a fox.

** spoiler omitted **

Have you been looking through my campaign notes?

Nope, just inspired by the desert fox variant in Wayfinder 12 (IIRC)...and a nature book dealing with arctic fox.


Andre Roy wrote:
Nope, just inspired by the desert fox variant in Wayfinder 12 (IIRC)...and a nature book dealing with arctic fox.

...

Are you sure you aren't me?

But on a serious note, that kind of thing happens all the time. Idea's are infectious.


1of1 wrote:
Andre Roy wrote:
Nope, just inspired by the desert fox variant in Wayfinder 12 (IIRC)...and a nature book dealing with arctic fox.

...

Are you sure you aren't me?

But on a serious note, that kind of thing happens all the time. Idea's are infectious.

I agree they really. Now the Naali need to be playtested, but I'm pretty happy with the initial result


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I would prefer more racial feats over racial archetypes.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't get the weird panic over the cramming of seven races into one book. Before we had next to nothing on these races, now we'll get four pages per race. I like that.

Liberty's Edge

thecursor wrote:
Before we had next to nothing on these races, now we'll get four pages per race.

Before we had at least two pages per race in the ARG, plus anything that might exist in other books. And from that we could easily see that two pages is not enough. Similarly from Blood/Elements we could also easily see that four pages per race is also not enough.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Samy wrote:
thecursor wrote:
Before we had next to nothing on these races, now we'll get four pages per race.
Before we had at least two pages per race in the ARG, plus anything that might exist in other books. And from that we could easily see that two pages is not enough. Similarly from Blood/Elements we could also easily see that four pages per race is also not enough.

Blood of the elements only had two pages per race. That book crammed five races into half a player companion. This book is giving each race the amount of content given in the very well-received Blood of Shadows race sections.

I'm going to assume that Paizo's learned from their mistakes with Blood of the Elements, and successes with Blood of Shadows, until I am proven otherwise. Which hopefully - that "proven otherwise" won't happen.

Contributor

Kim Hall wrote:
Samy wrote:
thecursor wrote:
Before we had next to nothing on these races, now we'll get four pages per race.
Before we had at least two pages per race in the ARG, plus anything that might exist in other books. And from that we could easily see that two pages is not enough. Similarly from Blood/Elements we could also easily see that four pages per race is also not enough.

Blood of the elements only had two pages per race. That book crammed five races into half a player companion. This book is giving each race the amount of content given in the very well-received Blood of Shadows race sections.

I'm going to assume that Paizo's learned from their mistakes with Blood of the Elements, and successes with Blood of Shadows, until I am proven otherwise. Which hopefully - that "proven otherwise" won't happen.

Kim's comments are basically what I would have said.


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I'm grateful for whatever grippli, catfolk, tengu racial information we get! Something is always better than nothing! No complaints here.


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The cover is solid, but I find the presentation of the kitsune quite anime-like. Not sure whether this frightens away conservative players or attracts the expected readers of the book. Maybe both.

I have no personal stake in this - anime isn't better or worse for me. However, I find the depiction of the tengu quite cool.


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It reminds me of the Disney Robin Hood personally. But, I don't watch anime.

I like the cover. :-)


SheepishEidolon wrote:

The cover is solid, but I find the presentation of the kitsune quite anime-like. Not sure whether this frightens away conservative players or attracts the expected readers of the book. Maybe both.

I have no personal stake in this - anime isn't better or worse for me. However, I find the depiction of the tengu quite cool.

As for the cover...the tengu is the only one I like. I will leave it at that.

Liberty's Edge

Well, I'm definitely getting this book.

Contributor

5 people marked this as a favorite.
lonewolf23k wrote:
Well, I'm definitely getting this book.

Insider Secret: Their is a lot of content for each of the races, but like Blood of Shadows there is a lot of content that isn't completely married to the races.

Silver Crusade

Is there going to be any fluff, for how each race fits on Golarion? It sounds like the original description focused more on that, but the updated version is all about the crunch. I hope there is a lot of mechanical stuff for the various races, but I also hope the fluff didn't get dropped altogether.

Contributor

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Fromper wrote:

Is there going to be any fluff, for how each race fits on Golarion? It sounds like the original description focused more on that, but the updated version is all about the crunch. I hope there is a lot of mechanical stuff for the various races, but I also hope the fluff didn't get dropped altogether.

From my recollection (which may have changed post-development), its about the same as Blood of Shadows. If yo thought Blood of Shadows had good flavor, you'll probably like Blood of the Beasts.

Now, I can't speak for anyone at Paizo but I personally think that the Player Companion line works better when it offers players mechanical abilities that they can use to build their characters with. Information about the races is Campaign Setting information, ergo, the greatest source of it should be found in the Campaign Setting line.

That's why it is my hope that Blood of the Beast will be popular enough to make a "[Region] Races" book possible. Inner Sea Races has four-page spreads for the Core Races. If we could get a 64 page Campaign Setting Guide that expands upon Inner Sea Races in the way that Inner Sea Faiths built upon Inner Sea Gods, you're looking at roughly 60 pages of content (an opening page, an OGL page in the back, and we'll estimate two pages of introductory material). That would leave room for up to 15 races, or perhaps 10 races with 20 pages of supplementary content, like feats, magic items, character traits, and alternate racial traits.

If you want to know more about additional races in Golarion (any non-Core race, really), then I'd say that making this book sell —really— well needs to be a priority of yours. New Bestiaries don't get made because people flood the forums with wish lists—they're consistently well-received and sell well enough. Make this book sell extraordinary well and I guarantee that it will cause a chain reaction of PC race content.


Blood of Shadows is one of my favorite releases as of late, so that's a great indication. I also really loved the work on Legacy of Dragons (though I found it less exciting in terms of mechanic balancing and development).

Getting the books in my country takes a million years so knowing that Blood of Shadows is the guideline here makes me more confident to have my store order me a copy.

Contributor

Secret Wizard wrote:

Blood of Shadows is one of my favorite releases as of late, so that's a great indication. I also really loved the work on Legacy of Dragons (though I found it less exciting in terms of mechanic balancing and development).

Getting the books in my country takes a million years so knowing that Blood of Shadows is the guideline here makes me more confident to have my store order me a copy.

I am glad that I could help alleviate some of your concerns, then. Here's hoping you like the product when it comes out. :D


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Finally got my "Pending" email...which means PDFs should become available sometime next week.

Finally! Eager to see this stuff.


Augh!

  • November ??: Wayfinder Bestiary releases
  • November 8th: 2016 Election
  • November 16th: Blood of the Beast PDF (finally!) available for non-subscribers
  • November 21st: The Grand Tour premieres on Amazon
♫♪ Waiting is the hardest part... ♫♪


Anyone know when the print version becomes available at retailers like Books-A-Million?


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
SCKnightHero1 wrote:
Anyone know when the print version becomes available at retailers like Books-A-Million?

Street date is November 16, however book distributors usually do new releases on Tuesdays whereas paizo sets its street dates for Wednesdays, so it may not be until November 22 that it shows up in bookstores (more info on the dates thing here). Amazon and Books-A-Million both seemed to have delayed it a further week to November 29, possibly to ensure they have enough stock at hand before starting to ship it out (based on checking each of their websites for what date they listed for the book).

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