The Genius Guide to the Talented Bestiary (PFRPG) PDF

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Make More Monsters!
The Genius Guide to the Talented Bestiary is more than just another book of monsters (though we have that too!). The monster creation rules detail the step by step streamlined process for determining a monster’s base statistics. These allow you to quickly and easily design a monster of any size and challenge rating, making unique and balanced threats for your players.
Within these pages you will find:
Talented Monster Abilities breaks down every creature type and subtype, universal monster rule, and all the unique creature abilities your monsters need.
Talented Monsters demonstrates the capabilities of the system by presenting scores of new monsters created with it.
Player Options presents rules adding new and interesting possibilities for player characters such as construct creation, animating undead, monster cohorts, and summoning. We even have optional rules for creating character class progressions from monsters, letting PCs play anything they can dream of!
Talented Templates outlines our methods for using the monster creation rules to produce templates, adding infinite options for modification of any monster anywhere.
Mythic Monster Rules dial the talented rules up to the Mythic level, allowing you to build custom creatures with the most powerful of monster abilities!
The Best of Bestiaries!

Page Count: 412

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Disclaimer: I backed the Kickstarter that created this product, and paid for a hard copy.

All right, let's get this out of the way first: The Talented Bestiary is probably the most useful book for monster creation that's come out in quite some time. Between this and the Advanced Bestiary (a collection of templates), you should have the resources needed to create almost any type of creature you can imagine.

Broadly speaking, this book is split into two major parts. The first part is the monster creation system, which includes everything from appropriate attributes by CR to the recommended number of attacks and the Damage Threshold (the highest the creature's average damage should be, calculated with the straightforward assumption of average rolls all around for a full attack). Notably, these all vary by the different types of creatures presented: Combat, Spellcasting, Skilled, and Weak. The last one is essentially the "NPC Class" version of a monster - you might want to have a new type of monstrous humanoid whose warriors are fought by the party (so, the Combat role), but also create statistics for non-combatants in their village (which could be done as the Weak role).

The real meat of the creation system is the use of Ability Points, which are used to purchase powers and features. For balance, each role and CR has a limit. For example, a Combat creature at CR 1 can have a maximum of 5 ability points, up to 3 of which can be spent on any one ability. On the other hand, a CR 6 Spellcasting creature can have up to 35 points in abilities, with a maximum of 6 on any individual one. Powers that are "natural" for a creature (i.e. coming from their type or subtype) are purchased at a reduced cost. This system allows for quite a lot of flexibility, but also a hard cap on what creatures can do. Like any system, you can probably abuse it to create something inappropriate, but... once you get used to making creatures, that shouldn't be much of an issue.

The other major part of the book is a full-on bestiary, showcasing creatures created using the Talented Bestiary system and generally acting as variants of more common creatures (to show how it can easily adjust creatures, including making them stronger or weaker). Entities here include things like a Godslayer Glabrezu, Dark Naga Golem, Troll Lizard, and Prehistoric Dragon Turtle.

Rounding out the book, we have various player options (animating objects, creating constructs and undead, building companions and cohorts), some guidelines for creating templates, and a section on mythic abilities for those truly legendary creatures.

All that said, there's one more thing I want from this book - content and rules from other Bestiaries, ported to the Talented Bestiary system and essentially covering all the newer options of the game. Going through the rest of Paizo's bestiaries would be good, and going through the Tomes of Horror alongside that would be even better. I would happily back a crowdfunding project to do exactly that. Even without that, though, this book is definitely worth getting if you're a GM that likes to make their own creatures and adventures.


Scarab Sages Webstore Coordinator

Now Available!

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I helped! :D

The monster creation rules in this are really great to use.

Silver Crusade

Oh, and should you decide to go POD be aware this thing is huge. But so much great stuff in it


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, it is 413 pages as a PDF. XD

In other news, I've reviewed this since I got my physical copy in!


Dean HS Jones wrote:

I helped! :D

The monster creation rules in this are really great to use.

Yes you did! =)

Also, thank you!


GM Rednal wrote:

Yeah, it is 413 pages as a PDF. XD

In other news, I've reviewed this since I got my physical copy in!

Thank you sir, for your support and review!

I can totally understand wanting to have every Bestiary (plus 3PP monster books) broken down and incorporated into the system. It would be a pretty epic effort. =)


GM Rednal wrote:

Yeah, it is 413 pages as a PDF. XD

In other news, I've reviewed this since I got my physical copy in!

Thanks for the review!


You're quite welcome. ^^


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I totally love how my monster came out, and absolutely adore Jacob's art for it.


Bardess wrote:
I totally love how my monster came out, and absolutely adore Jacob's art for it.

Wonderful! I'm really glad to hear that! =)


Dang, this sounds awesome enough I wish the hardback was offered too. Oh well.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The hardback is available POD over at DriveThru.


I'm really glad for all the player-facing options in what would normally be a GM-only book: cool monsters shouldn't be the sole province of GMs.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I haz a monster in this book too!!

The Surrodaemon aka herald of the apocalypse!!


Owen KC Stephens wrote:
The hardback is available POD over at DriveThru.

Bwahahhahah....


SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:
I'm really glad for all the player-facing options in what would normally be a GM-only book: cool monsters shouldn't be the sole province of GMs.

I completely agree! We were fortunate enough to reach several Player-focused stretch goals as part of the Kickstarter, and I was really happy to include them.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Monkeygod wrote:

I haz a monster in this book too!!

The Surrodaemon aka herald of the apocalypse!!

You do, and I think it turned out pretty great!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2013

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Stephen Rowe is my favorite Pathfinder designer and one of my best friends. He did great work on this book and the player and mythic options really make it complete. I really believe every gaming group should have a copy. Get yours today!!


Dire Turducken.

Dire. Turducken.

I think I'll have to throw one of those at my players.

[Aside: Somehow, both my web browser spell checkers know what a "turducken" is.]


I have the pdf, love the idea, but think I'll wait for the book before trying out the 'make a monster' portion.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Are there rules in this book to not only swap out creature strengths and weaknesses but also to add strengths or weaknesses to the creatures and re-calculate there CR's afterwords.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I believe so... though it depends on how you do it. A key thing to remember is that it's mostly about making new creatures - so you'll need to use its system in order to easily convert things. That said, you could check the values of existing powers (those listed, anyway), 'refund' a creature a certain number of points for losing it, and use that to 'buy' new abilities for them without much trouble.


Oooh, this look interesting enough that I'm gonna spend my Starfinder budget on this instead.

Silver Crusade

I am going to run a short, 21 room dungeoncrawl with both PCs and NPCs being monsters made using the book, so those who are curious to see what kind of things you can create with it and are on the fence about buying it, swing by the recruitment in a few days and look at some of the creations people have made. The game should start in a week or two, so be on the lookout for that.

I will post stats for each of the creatures that I create and the respective mechanics behind their builds after each is conquered by the PCs or, in the event of a wipe, after the campaign has been officially laid to rest. There is at least one monster for each primary creature type and I tried to include as many subtypes as possible without breaking my initial 20 room design.


I believe I kickstarted this.

Who can I ask about making sure my money reached the project and then getting a physical copy in my hands?

Cheers.


Well, the easiest thing to do is check your account on Kickstarter and/or Backerkit (I think they used). If you did back it, you should've been getting updates, so you'd probably know for sure... otherwise, provide your email address to Rogue Genius Games and ask them to check it, I suppose?


Is that you?


Nnnnnnope. They do have contact information on their site, though. Or you could message Mr. Owen KC Stephens (who posted earlier in the thread) directly.

...

Since I'm not part of that company, I can't give you any kind of timeframe for a response, but that should help you get an answer to your question. ^^ (Definitely check Kickstarter first, though. That's by far the best way to get proof of whether or not you backed. If you don't remember your account, check any email you may have used.)


rainzax wrote:
Is that you?

You can ping me at owen.stephens@gmail.com if you need something RGG related. :)


Huh. ...Does stuff to Owen@RogueGeniusGames.com auto-forward to that address? (Just curious about which email is the best to use. XD)


Yes, it does. :)


Need some clarification:

Spellcasting says for +8AP you can the spell list of any spell list to what you can already cast.

Does this let you cast both divine and arcane spells? I would assume this is the case, in order to duplicate some dragon innate casting, yes?

Also, how would the final total be adjusted if you limited it to say inquisitor and magus spells?


@Mr. Stephens: Well, in that case, I should probably note that I recently sent you something you (or rather, Rogue Genius Games) may be interested in. ^^

@Monkeygod: I would say yes. That same section also says you can add "one other" list for +4 AP, versus the "any" list of +8 AP, which definitely reads to me like "Another list of the same casting type for four points, or a list of a different type for eight".


1 person marked this as a favorite.

@Monkeygod

As GM Rednal says, the +4 AP is for casters of a given type (arcane/divine) to add another spell list of their given type. So an divine spellcaster could go cleric/druid spell list. The +8 AP is so you can cobble together an arcane/divine spell list, like how a gold dragon can cast cleric spells with sorcerer spellcasting.

You could totally combine magus and inquisitor, but it wouldn't be the most optimal purchase. A divine focus creature casting spells as a 10th level inquisitor would cost 4 AP base (5 AP - 1 AP for the flaw), but then +8 AP for adding on the magus spell list, or 13 AP total.

Also, generally, thank you GM Rednal for being responsive and helpful with all of the above!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
GM Rednal wrote:

Yeah, it is 413 pages as a PDF. XD

In other news, I've reviewed this since I got my physical copy in!

I wish I could favorite your review :-)


The fact that you enjoyed my review is appreciation enough, but thanks. ^^


So I used the "monster classes" portion of the book to turn the Newborn Astral Deva into a class, and I have some apprehension over it. Mostly because, as a skilled creature, it has a very large amount of ability score bonues. +10 Str, +8 Dex, +12 Con, +6 Int, +6 Wis, +6 Cha spread through 7 levels to be exact.

I understand they don't get class features, but with what they do get(side note: I wish Protective Aura had an AP cost somewhere) it seems unbalancing a bit. Is it just me?


Azten wrote:

So I used the "monster classes" portion of the book to turn the Newborn Astral Deva into a class, and I have some apprehension over it. Mostly because, as a skilled creature, it has a very large amount of ability score bonues. +10 Str, +8 Dex, +12 Con, +6 Int, +6 Wis, +6 Cha spread through 7 levels to be exact.

I understand they don't get class features, but with what they do get(side note: I wish Protective Aura had an AP cost somewhere) it seems unbalancing a bit. Is it just me?

Create a skilled PC and see how they compare without magic items. You may have to tweak it a little bit. It's part science and part art.


Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Create a skilled PC and see how they compare without magic items. You may have to tweak it a little bit. It's part science and part art.

Except the monster PC's still get full WBL so that's an innately flawed method of measurement.


The monster and non-monster PC would both get full WBL. Since this variable would be the same for both characters you can ignore it.


Do you mean skilled as in using the skilled monster tables? Because that runs into the same issues of huge bonuses.


Create a bard or rogue or whatever skill-based PC you think is similar enough and see how it compares. Check the DCs, attacks, saves, etc. Compare them to the tables in the Bestiary and see which are able to deal with the expected AC, Damage, Attacks, saves, etc.

You may need to make some adjustments to your class. You may not. You may have to playtest it to see how it works in actual game play with the understanding that it may change during the game.


Out of curiosity, how would you guys price the chupar(ex) ability of Chupacrabras? At the moment I have it at 0 AP since it only deals 1 damage. Would you add the haste as a spell-like enhancement for it? I'm leaning towards that.


I'd price it at 1 AP, myself. It doesn't do as much damage, but it doesn't allow a save, either (normally +2 AP).

Silver Crusade

Monkeygod wrote:

Need some clarification:

Spellcasting says for +8AP you can the spell list of any spell list to what you can already cast.

Does this let you cast both divine and arcane spells? I would assume this is the case, in order to duplicate some dragon innate casting, yes?

Also, how would the final total be adjusted if you limited it to say inquisitor and magus spells?

Yes, yes, it wouldn't. It's a GM tool to create roughly balanced enemies, that level of granularity isn't really necessary for the purpose, and if you feel your monster comes in a little under budget due to you choice of spells you can always add a couple more AP.

(Only a backer, not a Horseman)


Though they would be whatever the original spellcasting was. If you take cleric spells and you cast spells as a sorcerer then Cure Light or Bless become arcane spells.


How would you price out diseases and poisons if you were using the Unchained Rules for them?


Really needs an expansion. I'd be especially interested in getting rules for adding the troop subtype, seeing as how it's the new hotness for keeping lower-level enemies relevant.

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