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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What sort of magic items are there?

Do the trophies work for anyone or is there feat /class requirements?

Thanks

Scarab Sages

Best thing: Druid archetype that gets to add higher enhancements and bonus special abilities on shillelagh and flame blade at the cost of spell level increases.

Worst thing: Another published reference to an item that breaks the rules.

Spoiler:
potion of see invisibility


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Raisse wrote:

Best thing: Druid archetype that gets to add higher enhancements and bonus special abilities on shillelagh... at the cost of spell level increases.

Just in time for Saint Patrick's Day, too!


jedi8187 wrote:
Are all the archetypes basically "effective against X type"?

No, there is a little more variety than that.

-Skeld


Would it be possible to hear a little bit more about the "Guarding Knowledge" spell and the "Knowledgeable Spellcaster" feat? Those've both piqued my curiosity. Thanks so much!


Haldelar Baxter wrote:
What sort of magic items are there?

Spoiler:

There aren't many; only eight items, but there's variety. It's not just weapons or wondrous items. There are also a number of mundane gear items.

Haldelar Baxter wrote:
Do the trophies work for anyone or is there feat /class requirements?

Spoiler:

It's a bit more complex than that. Trophies (or Ornaments) have to be crafted and there are some feats centered around this practice. Depending on the feats you've taken, trophies/ornaments may be temporary of permanent. They can be given to others, but there are less effective and more temporary.

-Skeld


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Midnight Phil wrote:
Would it be possible to hear a little bit more about the "Guarding Knowledge" spell...

Spoiler:

Cast spell, choose a specific type of monster, use a knowledge skill to identify one of its special attacks, and get a bonus to saves versus that attack. that's the simplest explanation.

Midnight Phil wrote:
...and the "Knowledgeable Spellcaster" feat?

Spoiler:

You trade some information you might have otherwise identified about a creature's special abilities using a Knowledge skill for a bonus on CL checks versus SR against that creature. More or less.

-Skeld

Grand Lodge Contributor

Raisse wrote:

Best thing: Druid archetype that gets to add higher enhancements and bonus special abilities on shillelagh and flame blade at the cost of spell level increases.

Worst thing: Another published reference to an item that breaks the rules.

** spoiler omitted **

Both are mine, and I apologize for not catching that mistake. :(

As for the druid archetype, I'll admit that it's my personal favorite of the things I designed for the book, and I'm glad that you also like it. Before I came up with its actual name, I jokingly called it the "jedi druid" because of the customizable flame blade. :)


The new Druid archetype sounds really cool. I'm guessing since it makes your Druid more weapon focused the mechanic trades out wildshape?

I'm also interested in the Oozemaster, largely because if it doesn't have an ooze companion I have no idea what it would do. Bombs that drop oozes on your enemies instead of explode, maybe?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:

The new Druid archetype sounds really cool. I'm guessing since it makes your Druid more weapon focused the mechanic trades out wildshape?

I'm also interested in the Oozemaster, largely because if it doesn't have an ooze companion I have no idea what it would do. Bombs that drop oozes on your enemies instead of explode, maybe?

You got it


I have a few more questions concerning the monster masquerade material in the book if that's okay. Are they purely meant for use with feats and skills? I.e., basically wearing a 'monster suit'? Or is there magic involved, making them something more along the lines of polymorph magic?


Skeld, PDF Prophet wrote:
jedi8187 wrote:
Are all the archetypes basically "effective against X type"?

No, there is a little more variety than that.

-Skeld

I figured, just wanted to make sure I just zeroed in on a couple like that. Thanks for answering questions.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mikko Kallio wrote:
Raisse wrote:

Best thing: Druid archetype that gets to add higher enhancements and bonus special abilities on shillelagh and flame blade at the cost of spell level increases.

Worst thing: Another published reference to an item that breaks the rules.

** spoiler omitted **

Both are mine, and I apologize for not catching that mistake. :(

As for the druid archetype, I'll admit that it's my personal favorite of the things I designed for the book, and I'm glad that you also like it. Before I came up with its actual name, I jokingly called it the "jedi druid" because of the customizable flame blade. :)

Yeah, I've been looking for a way to use shillelagh beyond levels 1-2 for a while since it's such a cool and very druidy spell. I really like it. :D


Franz Lunzer wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:

The new Druid archetype sounds really cool. I'm guessing since it makes your Druid more weapon focused the mechanic trades out wildshape?

I'm also interested in the Oozemaster, largely because if it doesn't have an ooze companion I have no idea what it would do. Bombs that drop oozes on your enemies instead of explode, maybe?

You got it

Oooooooooooooooozes!!!!!


Gisher wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:

The new Druid archetype sounds really cool. I'm guessing since it makes your Druid more weapon focused the mechanic trades out wildshape?

I'm also interested in the Oozemaster, largely because if it doesn't have an ooze companion I have no idea what it would do. Bombs that drop oozes on your enemies instead of explode, maybe?

You got it

Oooooooooooooooozes!!!!!

Wait what! Ooze bombs!

Oh I just realised it was not an actual thing. :(

I seriously need some sleep!

Community & Digital Content Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed a series of back and forth posts. Folks, intent and tone can and do get lost in translation when it comes to communicating online. I've gone ahead and cleared these comments out because they don't involve a discussion of the book (which is what product discussion threads are for), and are likely to encourage more dog piling and derailment.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I like the Focused Expertise feats. Thematic bonuses that scale with favored enemy. Plenty of good reasons not to take favored enemy(humanoid[human]) every time. I appreciate the support for variety in play!

Liberty's Edge

Dimensional Step Up is amazing, although moreso for evil GMs than players. My compliments to whomever thought it up.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Stoked to get my contributor copy, there's a ton of cool stuff in this one!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
DrSwordopolis wrote:
Dimensional Step Up is amazing, although moreso for evil GMs than players. My compliments to whomever thought it up.

Oh, neat! Apparently that was me!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lemartes wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:

The new Druid archetype sounds really cool. I'm guessing since it makes your Druid more weapon focused the mechanic trades out wildshape?

I'm also interested in the Oozemaster, largely because if it doesn't have an ooze companion I have no idea what it would do. Bombs that drop oozes on your enemies instead of explode, maybe?

You got it

Oooooooooooooooozes!!!!!

Wait what! Ooze bombs!

Oh I just realised it was not an actual thing. :(

I seriously need some sleep!

It's totally sort of a thing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Eric Hinkle wrote:
I have a few more questions concerning the monster masquerade material in the book if that's okay. Are they purely meant for use with feats and skills? I.e., basically wearing a 'monster suit'? Or is there magic involved, making them something more along the lines of polymorph magic?

It's designed to be a mundane set of feats that grant some monster disguise abilities.


Eric "Boxhead" Hindley wrote:
Lemartes wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:

The new Druid archetype sounds really cool. I'm guessing since it makes your Druid more weapon focused the mechanic trades out wildshape?

I'm also interested in the Oozemaster, largely because if it doesn't have an ooze companion I have no idea what it would do. Bombs that drop oozes on your enemies instead of explode, maybe?

You got it

Oooooooooooooooozes!!!!!

Wait what! Ooze bombs!

Oh I just realised it was not an actual thing. :(

I seriously need some sleep!

It's totally sort of a thing.

Well now I might have to check this out if I see it in the stores. ;)

And that dimensional step up sounds nasty. Not sure what it does but I have a good idea. :)

Ooze bombs. :)


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Raisse wrote:

Best thing: Druid archetype that gets to add higher enhancements and bonus special abilities on shillelagh and flame blade at the cost of spell level increases.

Worst thing: Another published reference to an item that breaks the rules.

** spoiler omitted **

What's wrong with Potions of See Invisibility?


Brew Bird wrote:
Raisse wrote:

Best thing: Druid archetype that gets to add higher enhancements and bonus special abilities on shillelagh and flame blade at the cost of spell level increases.

Worst thing: Another published reference to an item that breaks the rules.

** spoiler omitted **

What's wrong with Potions of See Invisibility?

You can't make potions of personal or self-only spells.

Silver Crusade

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

Mine!

Silver Crusade

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

OMG THE ART ON PAGE 2. BEST THING EVAH!

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Monster Spotter is an awesome feat.

Disciple of the Pike is utterly Badass, Order of the Hero is interesting.

Needle in a Haystack yay!

Creature Focus is nice.

Necklace of Beast's Might and Penetrating Whetstone are cool too.

Liking this book :3

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Rysky wrote:

Monster Spotter is an awesome feat.

...

Monster Spotter is quite nice. Though it is written... debateably.

One fellow GM read it as you only needing one Skill Focus to use it on all Knowledge skills you have at least 3 ranks in.

The RAI I read out of that feat was a bit different.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Franz Lunzer wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Monster Spotter is an awesome feat.

...

Monster Spotter is quite nice. Though it is written... debateably.

One fellow GM read it as you only needing one Skill Focus to use it on all Knowledge skills you have at least 3 ranks in.

The RAI I read out of that feat was a bit different.

Yeah, I'm gonna go with RAI as needing one feat for each knowledge skill. They just used (any) as a way to save word count rather than list off every single knowledge skill.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

We are in accordance that you need Monster Spotter once, but for any given Monster the relevant Skill Focus (Knowledge: x) and 3 ranks in said skill.

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

Creature Focus is nice.

Necklace of Beast's Might and Penetrating Whetstone are cool too.

Liking this book :3

:3

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Franz Lunzer wrote:
We are in accordance that you need Monster Spotter once, but for any given Monster the relevant Skill Focus (Knowledge: x) and 3 ranks in said skill.

*nods*

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Luis Loza wrote:
Rysky wrote:

Creature Focus is nice.

Necklace of Beast's Might and Penetrating Whetstone are cool too.

Liking this book :3

:3

^w^


Considering picking this up when it comes out on pdf. Could someone rundown the trophy-collecting mechanics in broad strokes?


Eric "Boxhead" Hindley wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
I have a few more questions concerning the monster masquerade material in the book if that's okay. Are they purely meant for use with feats and skills? I.e., basically wearing a 'monster suit'? Or is there magic involved, making them something more along the lines of polymorph magic?
It's designed to be a mundane set of feats that grant some monster disguise abilities.

Thanks. I know of some players and GMs who will love this.

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