Pathfinder Player Companion: Monster Hunter's Handbook (PFRPG)

2.70/5 (based on 7 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Monster Hunter's Handbook (PFRPG)
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Slay the Beast!

With claws, scales, muscle, and more, monsters hold an unfair advantage in the life-and-death confrontations between adventurer and adversary. Turn the tables on them with Pathfinder Player Companion: Monster Hunter's Handbook, which is loaded with cutting-edge techniques for tracking beasts, slaying behemoths, and outwitting otherwise-overpowering creatures. Whether you have to skewer a basilisk or splatter an ooze, this volume contains everything you need!

Inside this book, you'll find:

  • Techniques and tools for finding and neutralizing a wide range of aberrations, magical beasts, monstrous humanoids, and more.
  • New archetypes and other character options that help identify monsters' weaknesses and use their strengths against them.
  • Feats, items, and spells that enable you to harvest trophies from your latest kill and reap power from these mementos.

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: 978-1-60125-933-2

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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Average product rating:

2.70/5 (based on 7 ratings)

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Not Great

2/5

I had a really long post, but the internet ate it.
Anwyays, briefer this time:
This book has a bunch of generic monster hunting stuff which would be useful for most characters, which is alright.
It has trophy rules and an Occultist archetype that uses them. These rules are very general, and are closely related to the Wondrous Item crafting rules.
It has some feats for outdoorsy types (the almost tactician for hunters seems alright).
It has an inquisitor archetype (actually decent if you're in the right campaign) and a druid archetype (average) for fighting aberrations.
It has a druid archetype and a bard archetype for fighting fey, both could probably be decent in a mostly fey campaign.
It has an unarmed combat style based around intercepting and grabbing foes, a feat that allows for combat relevant wild empathy, and two useless rouge talents.
It has a weird archetype for alchemists that downgrades bombs slightly (dot instead of aoe splash, acid damage only), that instead of getting brew potion can harvest goop from a dead ooze to make a better bomb. While this is a cool idea, the CR limitation of the bottled ooze extract ameks this ability super unreliable for players. The name is obnoxiously misleading.
It has a bad paladin archetype for fighting outsiders, and three legitimately good feats vaguely related to fighting outsiders.
It has some Order of the Pike content for cavaliers, specifically
an archetype and an Order. The Order is alright, but the archetype is terrible. A small bonus to AC vs large creatures is not worth trading in your mount.
It has some feats for specific favored enemies that are actually decent, trying to incentive rangers to have a favored enemy other than humanoid (human).
It has some magical and non magical gear that is pretty useful, even if none of it is going to change how you play the game or replace the standard kit.
It has some spells that seem pretty useful at lower levels, and one single spell that should help any GM having trouble with psychic characters.

All in all, most of the archetypes aren't terrible, but they should have either been more specific with stronger/more interesting abilities(the druid archetypes could learn to turn into their enemies or negate some of their more common powers, for example) or more general.
The Disciple of the Pike archetype is garbage, and the paladin one is only a bit better.
The trophy rules are alright. The only way to give people(like me) who want rules for monster recycling ala Capcom's Mosnter Hunter would be do devote a full Companion to making the rules

Three stars, minus one because of how much I hate the order of the pike cavalier archetype and the oozemaster archetype. This book unfortunately doesn't have enough unique content in it for em to really justify recommend buying it, as if you really want to do a Monster Hunter style game were you kill and harvest all sorts of different beasties the trophy rules won't cover it, and if you want to fight a specific type of enemy there's better books for that.


too short

3/5

A lot of the other reviews make a lot of very good points. After reading through it, I do like the number of mechanical options presented, although I do find many of them a bit on the weak side, not particularly useful in many cases, or too specific.

The end result being that I'm probably not going to actually using much, if any the material, but it was not outright bad or terrible either. I think my biggest complaint is just how little the different classes, or even general builds actually get here, and that there is just far too much to that could be done, that this book does really even scratch the surface on the subject matter, especially in areas like for fighting Undead or Dragons, that while they have their own books, they likewise just where not enough.

Spells where pretty standard for what you would expect. Same with gear. Nothing really jumped out as particularly genius or cool, but likewise was not "meh" or insulting either.

I was disappointed how little there was for a "Fey Hunter", really of any build or concept. There is a Bard and a Druid archetype, but that's basically it. Outsider Hunters likewise just felt like it wasn't really touched on much, although the Paladin Archetype looks amazing.

The fluff and flavor was readable, but honestly I have very little interest in that aspect of the books, and it, like everything else was just far too little in what it brings to the setting/game considering the focus. However, as a Pathfinder Player's Guide product, it could have been a lot, lot worse. All in all, it's a nice little item for a quick afternoon read, but not one I would say is essential to play.


It's a book about fighting different types of monsters

5/5

This book is either gonna be a love it or hate it item, and for me I love it. It contains numerous options for going after different types of creatures as well as advice on how to handle said creature types. Are these options "niche"? For the most part they are but that isn't necessary a bad thing, and the family of feats that gives you a lot of incentive to take a Favored Enemy other than Human are nice.

Some highlights,

A feat that lets you track with Perception.

A feat that lets you use Knowledge skills against their corresponding creatures' stealth and disguise rolls and to track them.

I f*&+ing love the Cavalier archetype because it is badass and gets rid of the horsey. I like Cavaliers, but I hate mounted stuff, so this is perfect for me, I can finally play a badass knight that hunts monsters.

There's a feat chain that let's you be a skinwalker (not the race, this is more of the I wear your skin to gain your power kind of thing).

A magical necklace that alerts you to the presence of the type of creature it is made from and gives different bonuses and abilities against depending on which body part it is made from.

A cheap magical whetstone that lets you bypass a certain amount of natural armor and makes your weapon deal more damage.


Super Specific Monster Hunter's Handbook

1/5

I think the best way to describe this book is "too focused". Not focused in the good way, where there's a strong thematic link between options and everything has a strong idea of what it’s supposed to accomplish, but focused in the same way Weapon Focus or Skill Focus is focused. Far too much of this book only applies against very specific creature types or situations (some of which you can even choose). Almost all the spells are either extremely situational or require you to specify a specific type of creature for the spell to work against, about half of the magic items and mundane equipment only functions against specific creatures chosen at the time of creation, and half of the archetypes become ineffective when not in a campaign that lets them fight very specific enemies. Even some of the options that aren’t super focused aren’t particularly great, like the Disciple of the Pike Cavalier which trades out their mount but for some reason still focuses super hard on charging with a lance/spear, and the vast majority of the feats which are either straight-up bad or just boring and not worth spending a feat on. Even the feats that SHOULD have been cool, like Dimensional Step-Up, completely falls flat outside of very specific circumstances. Tons of them function only if the monster attacking has a specific ability or uses a very specific tactic. Ironically, probably the best feats are the Focused Expertise feats which grant bonuses in every circumstance and grants an IMPROVED bonus against the chosen favored enemy type. Which is really how most of the options in the book should have functioned: grant a bonus that improves under a specific circumstance, not grant a bonus that only exists under a specific circumstance.

And speaking of bonuses that only exist under a specific circumstance, let’s talk about the trophy rules. The basic gist is that, after killing a creature, you can take its parts and create items (that fit into magic item slots) that grant you bonuses to a number of stats, and the bonuses increase based on the CR of the killed creature. Sounds pretty great, right? I agree. Oh, also it’s two feats deep into a chain, the first feat of which is really useless unless you’re an Alchemist or can otherwise craft things at super speed before the parts you collect rot into worthlessness. And the trophies themselves only last for a number of days, with a scaling DC which means having something last for a week is high-end skill focus. And the trophies themselves only grant a bonus against creatures of the same type. And if you didn’t craft them yourself (such as killing the creature, giving the bits to the party Wizard to craft, and then putting them on) you gain a reduced bonus and the trophies rot after 24 hours. And, again, they take magic item slots, which means you’re going to have to fight to fit them plus your other gear. Thankfully Monstrous Crafter exists, which can combine trophies with existing magic items and even makes the trophies last forever, right? Wrong. Unlike before the trophy benefits now become 1/day for one minute instead of constant, and it’s 4-5 feats deep since you require Monstrous Crafter, Grisly Ornament, Harvest Parts, Craft Wondrous Item, and (if you’re a non-caster type which is the kind of character that would MOST BENEFIT from the trophies) you also need to take Master Craftsman. At that point it’s half of your feats (or 1/4 of your feats for a Fighter), which is a huge investment for a character to make.

There are a few alright options, but it’s the minority in the book. Probably the most worthwhile thing is the Psychodermist, an Occultist archetype that can actually effectively use the incredibly underwhelming new trophy rules, but an entire book isn’t worth one archetype. Avoid this book.


Truly Terrible

1/5

I wish I could speak a word of praise about this book. There is none to be said. It is filled cover to cover with terrible, niche rules text that amounts of even more specialized versions of Favored Enemy.

If you thought there would be anything groundbreaking, instead of "+1/2/3/4 to X at levels A/B/C/D", "Knowledge Check Untrained, +1/2 level", or "Lose generally useful abilitiy, gain ability that functions only vs X/Y/Z thing or kind of thing", then you will walk away disappointed.

The much praised Cavlier Archetype is perhaps the worst offender, as it takes away your mount and forces you to engage in the same gameplay pattern (Übercharger), except without any of the benefits that make mounted charging good to begin with.

I am glad I got the PDF copy, because the softcover would have only been useable as very expensive toilet paper.


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Ellias Aubec wrote:
Wasn't there something like that for rogues in the Giant Hunters book?

No, there was actually something like that for the Stealth skill, to be able to hide under big creatures. I think those are awesome, new uses for skills. I wish Pathfinder had more of those, it would make skill use more interesting with more options.

As for grappling and hanging onto super big foes and doing heroic stunts while clinging to them...still no real set of established rules for that. Could easily be done via Grapple and/or Climb checks or a mixture of both.


I am still on the fence about this one. Usually these books are more specialized in a type (or subtype) of monster. But this one seems all over the place.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Okay Paizo, this is your chance. A book all about hunting monsters.

Not a day goes by on the Pathfinder subreddit without a post about "How do I build a Witcher in Pathfinder?" or "Critique my homebrew Witcher class!"

There's lots of approaches. A Ranger with 4th level alchemy instead of spells, and a mutagen instead of hunter's bond. Or it could just be an Alchemist archetype that trades poisons and nerfs bombs for some sort of favored enemy/studied target. Or even an Inquisitor that gets alchemy in place of divine spells.

The people want a Witcher. Give the people what they want?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It is kinda weird we don't have the final cover and write-up yet, isn't it?

Dark Archive

Blame starfinder. ;-)


I am sure it will be updated before the end of the month.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am very happy with the players companions books that have coe out lately,


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ichthus95 wrote:

Okay Paizo, this is your chance. A book all about hunting monsters.

Not a day goes by on the Pathfinder subreddit without a post about "How do I build a Witcher in Pathfinder?" or "Critique my homebrew Witcher class!"

There's lots of approaches. A Ranger with 4th level alchemy instead of spells, and a mutagen instead of hunter's bond. Or it could just be an Alchemist archetype that trades poisons and nerfs bombs for some sort of favored enemy/studied target. Or even an Inquisitor that gets alchemy in place of divine spells.

The people want a Witcher. Give the people what they want?

Given that the book's coming out next month, I imagine everything is written up and pretty close to being finalized at this point, if not already done and just in the printing and shipping to Paizo part...

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hopefully a new way to make friends...


I think this will be a really cool book. Possibly spells, feats, archetypes, masterpieces, class abilities, tactics/strategies, alchemical weapons, etc with certain monster types in mind. Lots of potential in this!
It is kind of odd that it has not been updated, though. Just a month or less until release...


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Rules for climbing and battling atop really big foes, that's all I want to see. If this book lacks that in the form of a skill use (such as Climb) or grapple option or feat, then the writers have failed to put in the most important piece of monster hunting benefits in a book about monster hunting.


Geramies wrote:
Rules for climbing and battling atop really big foes, that's all I want to see. If this book lacks that in the form of a skill use (such as Climb) or grapple option or feat, then the writers have failed to put in the most important piece of monster hunting benefits in a book about monster hunting.

have you tried the vexing dodger rogue?

Dark Archive

Great Remorhaz cover!

That reminds me, that we really need a huge Pathfinder Battles Remorhaz! ;-)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I really like the sound of those options to identify monster's weaknesses and use their strengths against them.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Feats, items, and spells that enable you to harvest trophies from your latest kill and reap power from these mementos.

YES! Monster Hunter comes to Pathfinder! That will be FUN!

Love the cover, too.


Wasn't there already rules for collecting monster trophies?

I do like the cover art.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Geramies wrote:
Rules for climbing and battling atop really big foes, that's all I want to see. If this book lacks that in the form of a skill use (such as Climb) or grapple option or feat, then the writers have failed to put in the most important piece of monster hunting benefits in a book about monster hunting.
have you tried the vexing dodger rogue?

See, that's specific to a class and archetype. We need something more generic and available to anyone.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

"Nice fangs!

"Thank you. got them off a dragon

Shadow Lodge

Geramies wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Geramies wrote:
Rules for climbing and battling atop really big foes, that's all I want to see. If this book lacks that in the form of a skill use (such as Climb) or grapple option or feat, then the writers have failed to put in the most important piece of monster hunting benefits in a book about monster hunting.
have you tried the vexing dodger rogue?
See, that's specific to a class and archetype. We need something more generic and available to anyone.

Besides the Acrobatics/Climb/Ride Skills and Grapple rules?

Grand Lodge Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Wow, that's a really nice looking cover! ^_^ I'm really looking forward to getting this book.

Luthorne wrote:
Ichthus95 wrote:

Okay Paizo, this is your chance. A book all about hunting monsters.

Not a day goes by on the Pathfinder subreddit without a post about "How do I build a Witcher in Pathfinder?" or "Critique my homebrew Witcher class!"

There's lots of approaches. A Ranger with 4th level alchemy instead of spells, and a mutagen instead of hunter's bond. Or it could just be an Alchemist archetype that trades poisons and nerfs bombs for some sort of favored enemy/studied target. Or even an Inquisitor that gets alchemy in place of divine spells.

The people want a Witcher. Give the people what they want?

Given that the book's coming out next month, I imagine everything is written up and pretty close to being finalized at this point, if not already done and just in the printing and shipping to Paizo part...

Yep. A ranger with alchemy and/or mutagens is a pretty cool idea, though. :-)


Mikko Kallio wrote:
Yep. A ranger with alchemy and/or mutagens is a pretty cool idea, though. :-)

Now all of a sudden you have my attention...


Fourshadow wrote:

Feats, items, and spells that enable you to harvest trophies from your latest kill and reap power from these mementos.

YES! Monster Hunter comes to Pathfinder! That will be FUN!

Love the cover, too.

Wish I had known this earlier...I would have suggested the fun in adding monster parts to Bard instruments for flavor AND power! That would have been really cool.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alex Mack wrote:
Mikko Kallio wrote:
Yep. A ranger with alchemy and/or mutagens is a pretty cool idea, though. :-)
Now all of a sudden you have my attention...

I didn't know I needed this until now


Musical instruments made of monster parts would be interesting.

I wonder if we will get new weapons and armor made from monster parts.

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
I wonder if we will get new weapons and armor made from monster parts.

All I know is my gut says maybe.


Yeah, maybe:)

Grand Lodge

Great cover with the remorhaz! I still remember that picture in the Against the Giants of the little feet going into the mouth of such a creature!


DM Beckett wrote:
Geramies wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Geramies wrote:
Rules for climbing and battling atop really big foes, that's all I want to see. If this book lacks that in the form of a skill use (such as Climb) or grapple option or feat, then the writers have failed to put in the most important piece of monster hunting benefits in a book about monster hunting.
have you tried the vexing dodger rogue?
See, that's specific to a class and archetype. We need something more generic and available to anyone.
Besides the Acrobatics/Climb/Ride Skills and Grapple rules?

A feat, sure. Or something. Or just simply new skill uses. Currently there is nothing allowing you to do such a task. Grapple rules doesn't allow you to hang on to creatures too large and climb/attack, and none of the skills detail anything of the sort either.

Liberty's Edge

Geramies wrote:
A feat, sure. Or something. Or just simply new skill uses. Currently there is nothing allowing you to do such a task. Grapple rules doesn't allow you to hang on to creatures too large and climb/attack, and none of the skills detail anything of the sort either.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Have you tried the vexing dodger rogue?

Would be nice to see another way to do it, I'll grant.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Rules for Grappling and riding on for instance Whales would be very useful as it seems to come up surprisingly often

Silver Crusade

Luis Loza wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I wonder if we will get new weapons and armor made from monster parts.
All I know is my gut says maybe.

Ah but what mechanical benefit can players reap from slaying a Pathfinder freelancer and harvesting his gut? Is THAT in this book too, Luis?

Paizo Employee Developer

10 people marked this as a favorite.

There will be no slaying of our freelancers. Thank you. :)

Contributor

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Adam Daigle wrote:
There will be no slaying of our freelancers. Thank you. :)

Cool, can someone tell Thursty that before he sacrifices me to Lamashtu?

... please hurry.

Rolls a Strength check to try and break the adamantine manacles. Fails.

Paizo Employee Contributor—Canadian Maplecakes

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
There will be no slaying of our freelancers. Thank you. :)

Cool, can someone tell Thursty that before he sacrifices me to Lamashtu?

... please hurry.

Rolls a Strength check to try and break the adamantine manacles. Fails.

Oh, you're not going to Lamashtu... O_O *eyes his Shax-y avatar*

Back on topic! I do think there's quite a few cool things in this product that people will enjoy. Such as harvesting monster bits and pieces (see, we come full circle!)

Contributor

Thurston Hillman wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
There will be no slaying of our freelancers. Thank you. :)

Cool, can someone tell Thursty that before he sacrifices me to Lamashtu?

... please hurry.

Rolls a Strength check to try and break the adamantine manacles. Fails.

Oh, you're not going to Lamashtu... O_O *eyes his Shax-y avatar*

Back on topic! I do think there's quite a few cool things in this product that people will enjoy. Such as harvesting monster bits and pieces (see, we come full circle!)

How many times do I need to tell you, Thursty! Just because my avatar's in a Bestiary doesn't mean that I'm a monster!

Although hopefully fans of harvesting actual monsters a la Monster Hunter get their fix from this book. I actually have no idea wha's in this one, so I'll be as surprised as the rest of you! (You know, assuming Thursty doesn't sacrifice me before the book comes out.)

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Alexander Augunas wrote:
I actually have no idea wha's in this one, so I'll be as surprised as the rest of you!

You'll be happy to know that the book features feats, items, and spells that enable you to harvest trophies from your latest kill and reap power from these mementos!

Silver Crusade

If I may ask one serious question about the content though, I'm pretty deep into Giantslayer as a GM at the moment and I'm looking to move onto Strange Aeons after I'm done; is there going to be any material here that my players can make use of in those APs?

Paizo Employee Developer

Dean HS Jones wrote:

If I may ask one serious question about the content though, I'm pretty deep into Giantslayer as a GM at the moment and I'm looking to move onto Strange Aeons after I'm done; is there going to be any material here that my players can make use of in those APs?

Giantslayer PCs might find more suitable options in the Giant Hunter's Handbook. There will be a good number of options for dealing with aberrations and outsiders in this book, which will help with a lot of the cosmic horrors. There are also a smattering of options for handling plants to help deal with pesky mi-go.


Luis Loza wrote:
Alexander Augunas wrote:
I actually have no idea wha's in this one, so I'll be as surprised as the rest of you!
You'll be happy to know that the book features feats, items, and spells that enable you to harvest trophies from your latest kill and reap power from these mementos!

And we get this next week?! Yessss! Meanwhile, I will play my UMH3 some more...

So looking forward to those goodies...

EDIT: Would love to have a Hunting Horn to whack opponents upside the head with in Pathfinder!


Yeah why does the date still say mid-March at this point?

Dark Archive

Geramies wrote:
Yeah why does the date still say mid-March at this point?

Because Paizo staff are real busy with Starfinder (mostly).

This beginns shipping monday the 13th to subscribers and will be in stores 29th of march, so expect updates probably tomorrow. ;-)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I for one look forward to fighting an entire species to extinction because I can never break/sever a certain part of the dang thing. Also, the ability to defeat monsters by dropping them in Create Pit and hucking flasks of sedative in their face would be much appreciated, and large ludicrously impractical weaponry.

Dark Archive

So just to check, is someone making here a Monster Hunter game series reference? :D

You know the game about killing monsters and making hats out of them? xP


2 people marked this as a favorite.
technarken wrote:
I for one look forward to fighting an entire species to extinction because I can never break/sever a certain part of the dang thing. Also, the ability to defeat monsters by dropping them in Create Pit and hucking flasks of sedative in their face would be much appreciated, and large ludicrously impractical weaponry.

I don't know about this book, but... give it time. As it turns out, I enjoy ridiculous and impractical weaponry on occasion myself. ^_^

Paizo Employee Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.

I will say that the Monster Hunter series was totally something I looked at for inspiration when writing for this book.


Is there anything along the line of monster 'mimicry' or additional wild-shape / transformation material in this one? :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Julian Tannic wrote:
Is there anything along the line of monster 'mimicry' or additional wild-shape / transformation material in this one? :)

I just downloaded my copy, so take this with a grain of salt...

Spoiler:

There's some discussion throughout the book on disguise, and there are a couple feats for it. I haven't yet seen anything about wildshape (but there are a couple Druid archetypes).

-Skeld


Skeld, PDF Prophet wrote:
Julian Tannic wrote:
Is there anything along the line of monster 'mimicry' or additional wild-shape / transformation material in this one? :)

I just downloaded my copy, so take this with a grain of salt...

** spoiler omitted **

-Skeld

With those disguise options you mentioned:

Spoiler:
do they include ways to disguise yourself AS a monster? I know, probably not.

Dark Archive

I'm mostly interested in the feats.

Against which monsters specially are the feats usable?

Or are they more broadly like: "You gain +1 to attack & damage vs. monstrous humanoids."?

If so, what creature types are covered?

As always: thank you for taking the time, Skeld! :-)


Skeld if you can would mind sharing the names and maybe a brief description of the archetypes

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