Pathfinder Bestiary

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Pathfinder Bestiary
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Unleash the Beasts

Over 400 of fantasy's fiercest foes burst from the pages of this enormous 360-page compendium of the most popular and commonly encountered creatures in the world of Pathfinder! From familiar enemies like orcs, dragons, and vampires to new horrors like the nightmarish nilith and the three-headed mukradi, to suitable servants for summoners of every alignment, this must-have companion to the Pathfinder Core Rulebook is crawling with creatures to challenge characters of any level.

The Pathfinder Bestiary includes:

  • More than 400 monsters!
  • Gorgeous full-color illustrations on nearly every page!
  • Detailed monster lists sorted by level, type, and rarity to help you find the right monster for any situation!
  • Universal monster rules to simplify special attacks, defenses, and qualities like grab, swallow whole, and regeneration.
  • Guidelines for providing appropriate monstrous treasures for any occasion.
  • Detailed lore sidebars offering additional information about Pathfinder's most popular monstrous friends and foes!

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The Pathfinder Bestiary is also available as:

ISBN: 978-1-64078-170-2

Online Resources: Rules and mechanics from this book can be accessed for free on Paizo's official online resource: Archives of Nethys. Click here!

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

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4.70/5 (based on 12 ratings)

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A must Have.

5/5

This bestiary is a must have for every game master.

The good :
The monster have simplified stat block. Running them is easier.

The bad :
I miss the ecology section.
I miss monster templates.

The beautiful :
Art is gorgeous.


An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

The first bestiary for Pathfinder 2 clocks in at 362 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 3 pages of editorial/ToC, 2/3 of a page SRD, 3 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 352 1/3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was requested by my patreon supporters.

First of all, regarding organization, it should be noted that the bestiary includes lists of creatures by level, and a list of creatures by type – the inclusion of these is helpful when navigating the book. Creatures traits, ranging from rarity to sizes, are included, and the book contains 3 rituals, which all deal with outsiders – abyssal and infernal pact do pretty much what you’d expect them to, and angelic messenger lets you transport to a celestial plane or the material plane, acting as a messenger. Nice here: The system’s degrees of success and failure now present the chances for narratives hardcoded in here – the angel stranded, the pact gone horribly wrong; these tried and true and oft-employed plot-devices now have a representation within the framework of the rules.

Considering that this bestiary is the first one for PF2, it warrants a couple of additional observations regarding its quality as such; the first bestiary for any given iteration of a fantasy game inheriting the general tropes of Dungeons and Dragons is usually neither something that I usually enjoy reviewing, or that warrants particular mentioning. In many ways, there is simply not that much to discuss, as the bestiary is required for a precise use of the system anyhow. And indeed, this bestiary is the first of these “first bestiaries” in quite a few editions that I actually read in detail, and not simply referenced when its use was required; partially due to my reviewer status, and partially because Pathfinder’s second edition represents a pretty significant change of the dynamics of these books in a few ways.

So, the first thing to bear in mind, is that the first bestiary needs to present a sort of lowest common denominator (and that is not meant in a disparaging manner) for fantasy gaming with the respective game; after all, the monsters in these books make up what you’d consider to be the standard, the pool that all supplements will continue to draw from. You may not be able to assume that everyone has bestiary #4, but chances are that if you’re playing a certain game, you’ll at least have the first one, right? In a way, bestiary #1 for a given system thus has a lot of “mandatory” creatures to be included. You’ll need orcs, ogres, dragons, some of the most iconic demons and devils – you get the idea. And then, still, plenty of people will have their nerdrage, because their favorite critter’s not, or no longer, included.

Heck, I know, for that’s exactly how I felt when I read the 3.0 Monster Manual back in the day. Speaking of which – you can picture my abject boredom and disappointment when I realized that I could have just left the 3.5 version of that book on the shelf and not miss much; in many ways, from a monster-perspective, Pathfinder 1, for me as a person, started becoming distinct and actually relevant when Bestiary 2+ hit shelves, when the creatures started to differentiate in both themes and focus from what we had seen before. This held particularly true after Bestiary 2, but I digress. PF 1’s first bestiary, to me, did not exactly elicit any serious excitement; I got because I was dipping my toes in PF 1, and not because I had a serious desire to get it per se; it felt like another iteration of a book I already owned twice, and while it is to this date my favorite of the three, it also continued a focus that I couldn’t help but bemoan.

I might be an odd one out in that regard, but know why I pored over my 2nd edition monster books, time and again? Why I actually read those in detail, something that, apart from the context of reviewing, I never had the desire to do for PF 1, at least not in the beginning? (That did change later, when builds became more distinct and differentiated.) The thing I was missing? It’s simple. Lore. Granted, we don’t need the same lines explaining how undead have no place in the natural order of things ten times over. More often than not, the information on habitat, ecology, etc. actually proved to be inspiring to me and made up a lot of what I considered to be exciting about reading a monster book. In direct contrast, monster manuals based on d20-systems system-immanently got rid of those components in order to fit in more statblocks – after all, the increase in rules complexity also resulted in an increased amount of space devoted to the respective statistics of the creature. Compare to that how 13th Age’s statblocks got rid of essentially all non-combat utility in favor of lore for another extreme example on the lore-to-rules ratio – in that case, competitive scenarios beyond combat were somewhat scaled down.

The bestiary for Pathfinder’s second edition is, in one way, a step away from that tendency, while still embracing it. Some creatures have multiple paragraphs of lore, while others have a single sentence, and said lore if often Golarion-specific. The layout presents the creatures in a one-column style, with a margin providing information pertaining to the creature – say, mephitis, to name one, have the information that other mephit types exist; angels have a brief note on angelic divinities and locations; it’s not much, granted, but it reintroduces some immediately gameable components that usually were relegated to lore sections back into the meat of the book. Why not more? I get it. Personally, I love getting my detailed discussions of creatures, but there also are plenty of people that want to maximize the amount of rules-relevant material, particularly in such a book. I am pretty positive that nobody is going to explain about the sheer amount of creatures included in this tome. That being said, while this space is *often* used to accommodate the lavish artworks in this tome, it also sometimes results in lost real estate, and I was somewhat puzzled to realize that the Lore skill’s use of Recall Knowledge regarding creatures was not included. Listing sample DCs and subcategories for the creatures in question would have made sense, and filled in some space; in a way, I get why – this’d have made the book look more busy than it already does. But at the same time, the skill-engine of PF2 has this use specifically hard-coded into its bones, so the lack of this aspect did strike me as odd.

Then again, there is more than the excellent artwork to comment upon in a positive manner, and that would, at least to me, be simply how elegant PF2’s statblocks are. While statblocks, including high-level statblocks, can be pretty compact, the new format allows you to add a ton of complex abilities and flavor into the monster statblocks, if you so desire. For rank and file critters, this means we get more statblocks; for more unique creatures, this means you can get complex and captivating critters with lots of special abilities.

Many people, and I confess to being among those, were afraid that PF2 would attempt to beat 5e at its own game, and that has not happened; in many ways, the two systems have gone diametrically-opposed paths, in spite of some superficial similarities, and nowhere is this more readily apparent than in the creature design and statblocks. D&D 5e presents creature stats in a very novice-friendly manner; the statblocks spell out everything in detail – when a creature has the swallow whole feature, we have a whole paragraph explaining how it works for that creature. Spellcasting behaves similarly, paying for the reduction in spell statblock complexity by relegating components of the spell’s rules to the main spell text. The creatures in Pathfinder’s second edition go a different route: Instead of spelling out everything (at the cost of how easily you can parse statblocks quickly), they establish a series of abilities that come up time and again, and then present the crucial components in a tight manner. In Pathfinder’s second edition, you have to know what swallow whole does – but when you do, you can see the glyph for one action, maximum size, the damage, and a “rupture” value that represents the damage you need to do to get out; Engulf and many other abilities work in a similar manner. So yeah, Pathfinder instead frontloads a couple of things you need to know, but makes parsing/quickly running statblocks you haven’t prepared faster.

An example, perhaps, to illustrate the difference – let’s take a look at the good ole’ Purple Worm:
“Swallow Whole (one action glyph) Huge, 3d6+9 bludgeoning, Rupture 24.”
Vs.
“[Bite attack’s damage etc….] If the target is a Large or smaller creature, it must succeed on a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw or be swallowed by the worm. A swallowed creature is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the worm, and it takes 21 (6d6) acid damage at the start of each of the worm’s turns. If the worm takes 30 or more damage on a single turn from a creature inside it, the worm must succeed on a DC 21 Constitution saving throw at the end of that turn or regurgitate all swallowed creatures, which fall prone in a space within 10 feet of the worm.[…]”

Which of these is better? I honestly can’t say. Both of them have distinct advantages; 5e makes it easier for novices to have all rules spelled out at one place, while Pathfinder’s second edition requires that you know how “swallow whole” works – once you do, however, you become MUCH more efficient at running the creature; you don’t have to look for the mechanically-relevant components in a paragraph of text. I’ve talked to quite a few people, and the opinions are divided pretty much in the middle. Some prefer the detail, because they don’t want to learn the “universal” monster rules; some prefer the streamlining of these, particularly since the creatures in Pathfinder 2 have taken an important lesson from the first edition to heart – there is a much higher propensity towards having unique abilities (which are, obviously, properly spelled out), which renders them feeling less mechanical. Now, as a person, I can parse PF2’s statblocks more efficiently than those of 5e, plus I prefer this style. As a reviewer, I consider both to be two distinct and valid solutions to the same issue. So yeah, as far as I’m concerned, the PF2 statblock can be considered to be a success – statblocks are divided in utility, defense and offense – easy to read and parse.

Another success is one that is perhaps more subtle and something that mainly designers will notice, namely the fact that the statblocks adhere to a consistency between stats, sizes and e.g. spells – take e.g. a look at polymorph spells and the respective creatures. Speaking of creatures and details – one component to be renamed creatures. To explain that: IP and the like have been an issue all through d20’s lifespan, and this new edition takes a lot of critters and renames them according to Paizo IP. Let’s e.g. take the Alghollthu. These are now the catch-all terms for Bulwer-Lytton-esque antediluvian critters like Aboleths and Skum, as well as Veiled Masters; essentially the “Ruins of Azlant”-y critters (still one of my favorite APs). The categorical names makes sense to me as a whole; as for the other creatures, there are a couple of renames that are just a matter of getting used to it, and in several instances, I really like them. Take the Ankhrav. If you’re familiar with Germanic languages, “graben” means “digging”; “Grav” means grave; Ankh- is a pretty well-known prefix for a classic monster, so you can determine that that’s the new Ankheg. Arboreals are obviously tree-people, taking a step away from the ole’ Tolkien-IP. “Dire animals” have now become the proper appellations (cave bear, megalodon), with the obvious exception of dire wolves, which are a real world thing. Whether that makes sense or not for you depends, but the careful reader will also notice that the elemental creatures have been changed – we get 4 more normal elementals, and one odd man out per element. This includes xorns, invisible stalkers, salamander – those are now listed among the elementals. I confess to that throwing me in for a loop for a second.

So, one big advantage I noticed here, would be that many boss monsters have obviously been designed to focus on attacks on single targets or spread out attacks to multiple targets; the new action economy means that the boss monsters no longer require the set ups for full attacks to be efficient. GMs won’t have to engage in as much trickery as in PF 1 to make bosses, particularly stand-alone boss monsters, work. Speaking of bosses and something I LOVED seeing: The book takes an often more roleplaying-focused approach to some classics: Succubi, for example, now take damage from being rejected (cue in all those demons being insulted and becoming REALLY aggressive…), and this roleplaying angle can be combat-relevant, when e.g. including such a rejection or reference to one in the Demoralize attempt. I defy, I deny thee! Heck yeah. In many ways, this focuses more on the roleplaying, and uses it to supplement the combat; rules helping with roleplaying. That’s a good tendency, as far as I’m concerned. Mechanically, I love the succubus here; the artwork is (apart from 5e’s version), the least sexy take on the demon of lust I’ve seen in a while (srsly, I see more risqué outfits whenever I go out), so that may be a plus or minus for you. No chainmail bikinis herein; no cheesecake, no beefcake – so if you’ve been hoping for a more edgy game, if you considered the big games too sanitized, that hasn’t changed.

What *has* changed is often what kind of creatures were chosen: The highest-CR critter? It’s not a pitiful version of the Tarrasque (like in 3.0, 3.5 and PF1), but Treerazer, who goes Troll II on you – he turns you partially into a plant by just being near, and he’ll do more damage/horrid wilt you – OUCH. A really cool boss build of a unique critter, who gets an awesome build, a sentient, supportive artifact, and sidebar notes on cults. Awesome. I wish more creatures had been afforded this deluxe treatment – in particular, the take on the wendigo, another one of my favorites herein, would have deserved as much. The build is complex, genuinely frightening, and oh boy, it’ll kill you off…it’s a level 17 creature that sees heat, has the signature curse properly here, the ride the wind angle…this fellow REALLY deserved the lore angle. The amazing statblock only has one line of flavor, when it obviously would have been a perfect candidate for two-page boss-treatment. (Whoever made this one did a great job!) On a plus-side, there are quite a few options where this edition does some things I *personally* enjoy – werebeasts, for example, now have different abilities regarding their respective bloodlines. Wererats have different abilities than werewolves. Finer differentiation is nice to see.

There are some things that have kinda irked the OCD guy in me: Take, for example, the attacks called “jaws” – these attacks deal piercing damage, but there is no system beyond this damage type: Sometimes, these have reach, or range, sometimes they are agile (or deadly, or with another weapon property) – there is no nomenclature that differentiates jaw attacks from e.g. fang attacks. Fang attacks also cause piercing damage, and can also have weapon properties. Personally, I’d have prefer both referring to a unique type of melee attack with certain properties, instead of being essentially interchangeable. But that may just be me. This is not necessarily a downside for the vast majority of people. More relevant for most people: There are no rules for making your own critters, or for how class levels and abilities may be added to critters. I kinda hope that the engine here will end up being a bit more complex than the one for Starfinder; as much as I love SF’s engine, it also can be easy for math-savvy players to reverse-engineer.

The conclusion of my review can be found here.


An excellent collection of monsters.

5/5

This is a bestiary for a fantasy RPG game, meaning that it's a collection of monstrous enemies and allies for players to meet, face, likely defeat and brag about later! If this passage left you confused, you might want to check what role-playing games are about elsewhere, I will proceed assuming that potential buyer knows what s/he is looking at :)

Now, looking at this book from a gamer's perspective, it's a peach. The Bestiary provides you with a barrage of opponents to fight against or to team up with, from mundane animals to devils from abyss. How many of them? Scores, few hundreds by my count. What's the variety? Enormous, as creatures from real-world myths, cryptozoology, religion as well as made-up fantasy gaming staples (oozes, for example) are all present. Unicorns, gremlins, angels and rust monsters, wights and giant worms, dark elves and vampires.

Every creature is represented by artwork (ranging from good to gorgeous), lore (ecology, society, habits) and gaming stats (attacks, defenses, etc). One very big welcome change from previous edition of the game is that lore takes up FAR more space and there's lots more interesting, catchy information on each monster. That makes including them in the game and making them part of a living world much easier.

So I've been gushing so far, are there any flip sides? Yes, one minor annoyance - some monster's statistics spread across two pages, requiring an occasional flip back and forth. I'd prefer stats to all sit on one page, but I guess that was the price for keeping the book reasonably big. I can live with that.

Excellent volume. You won't be disappointed!


An RPG Resource Review


Here is a mammoth collection of monsters, mostly familiar faces from the past, presented in a manner that is clear and makes them easy to use. The Introduction remineds you that, as the Game Master, you get to play the monsters - they are not there as mere cannon-fodder to be slain and looted, they should be an integral part of your setting, there because they live there not just for passing adventurers to kill them and steal their stuff. Use the tools herein to make them come to life, if only briefly... after all, we know adventurers. They probably will kill the monsters and take their stuff anyway!

Each creature has a stat block, which is explained in extensive detail in the Introduction. Once you understand that, you know how the monster works in terms of game mechanics. Of course there's more to them than that. You'll find information about each creature's worldview, their ecology, the sort of societies they live in and more, which will help you bring them to life... and decide if they'll run away or surrender or fight to the death if things don't go their way in combat. They might even try to bargain their way out of trouble. Going back to mechanics, there's advice on how to make any monster stronger or weaker than the 'book' version, if that's what suits your story better. Even more detail on terminology can be found in the Appendix, along with listings of creatures by type and by level, to aid in selection of the most appropriate ones for your needs.

We then dive straight in to the monster lists, which are presented alphabetically. Each has a dramatic, dynamic image - my only issue with this is that they are melded with the text, lovely eye-pleasing layout, but without a bit of fancy footwork if you have the PDF version, there's no way of holding up a picture and saying "You see this!" to your players. (If you have the PDF, choose the 'select' tool in your reader program, select the image you want, copy it, then paste it onto a blank page or into a graphics package... but be mindful of copyright - it's OKish to do that to show your players, but don't spread the images far and wide!)

There's just so much here. Flick through, by all means, to see what is listed; but then settle down and study the first few that you actually intend to use. Get to know them. Sentient or not, they mostly have at least some intelligence and with that comes aims, objectives, likes and dislikes. These may be as simple as the need to survive, the desire to mate, and other 'animal passions' - but often there's more. A rudimentary societal structure, perhaps, a common purpose with others of their kind, or different creatures in the same area. Use this to make them come alive in your game, to become memorable parts of your plot... Monsters are an integral part of your game, this book will help you place them squarely at the centre of it.


Very Happy With This Book

5/5

I think I may have gotten more quick adventure and campaign ideas from the full read-through of this bestiary than I have from any other monster book I've read in my entire 34+ years of gaming. It's got a wide variety of monsters, in type, level, and cool combat abilities. And, while some of the art is not as cool as the first edition art, other entrys' illustrations are far superior.

I'm sure that the missing entry for Weasels will be fixed in the next errata...


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Ayronis wrote:
My PDF order has been stuck on "Pending" and "not available" since 10am this morning, but the CRB came through just fine. Is there something up with the Bestiary file or is it me?

FWIW, I was able to purchase and download it a few hours ago.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Gisher wrote:
Are stats for familiars in here anywhere? I can't seem to find them.

They aren't in the Bestiary at all. Familiars function differently in this edition; see pages 217–218 of the Core Rulebook for rules on how they're created.


James Jacobs wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Are stats for familiars in here anywhere? I can't seem to find them.
They aren't in the Bestiary at all. Familiars function differently in this edition; see pages 217–218 of the Core Rulebook for rules on how they're created.

I realize that, but it seems that we do still need to know the baseline stats when picking Familiar Abilities.

CRB2 wrote:
If your familiar is an animal that naturally has one of these abilities (for instance, an owl has a fly Speed), you must select that ability.

It is pretty obvious which animals have flight, but I'm not so clear on some of the other abilities like Scent.

And do they lose their natural attacks when they become Familiars? If not then we need those stats.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Gisher wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Are stats for familiars in here anywhere? I can't seem to find them.
They aren't in the Bestiary at all. Familiars function differently in this edition; see pages 217–218 of the Core Rulebook for rules on how they're created.

I realize that, but it seems that we do still need to know the baseline stats when picking Familiar Abilities.

CRB2 wrote:
If your familiar is an animal that naturally has one of these abilities (for instance, an owl has a fly Speed), you must select that ability.

It is pretty obvious which animals have flight, but I'm not so clear on some of the other abilities like Scent.

And do they lose their natural attacks when they become Familiars? If not then we need those stats.

The rules for creating familiars are very much intended to give the familiar's owner greater flexibility.

Taking senses as an example: All familiars have low-light vision. If you want it to have scent, that needs to be one of the abilities you grant it, whether or not a "monster" version would have scent or not. You don't get scent for free.

Moving on to movement; your familiar has either a land speed of 25 or a swim speed of 25. If you pick a hawk as a familair, it makes sense that you'd choose Land speed 25, but you don't gain flight for free. "Flier" is an ability you have to select for it from the two abilities afforded you for the day.

Familiars are based on real-world animals, so the game expects us all to use that knowledge as to whether or not a familiar can fly. You COULD build an owl familiar that couldn't fly simply by choosing two other abilities (say, damage avoidance and darkvision), but thematically, that would suggest you don't really want an owl.

Familiars don't have their own attacks. In 2nd edition, they're not intended to be combat buddies; that's the role of an animal companion, not a familiar. In time, as we expand the game, we'll eventually expand familiar options as well, and that might include the option of giving them attacks, but as of the base game, familiars don't have attacks—again, because they're not intended to be combat buddies in that way.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gisher wrote:
Ayronis wrote:
My PDF order has been stuck on "Pending" and "not available" since 10am this morning, but the CRB came through just fine. Is there something up with the Bestiary file or is it me?
FWIW, I was able to purchase and download it a few hours ago.

Interesting, because I purchased my .pdf this morning, too, and it still says it's not available.


James Jacobs wrote:

The rules for creating familiars are very much intended to give the familiar's owner greater flexibility.

Taking senses as an example: All familiars have low-light vision. If you want it to have scent, that needs to be one of the abilities you grant it, whether or not a "monster" version would have scent or not. You don't get scent for free.

Moving on to movement; your familiar has either a land speed of 25 or a swim speed of 25. If you pick a hawk as a familair, it makes sense that you'd choose Land speed 25, but you don't gain flight for free. "Flier" is an ability you have to select for it from the two abilities afforded you for the day.

Familiars are based on real-world animals, so the game expects us all to use that knowledge as to whether or not a familiar can fly. You COULD build an owl familiar that couldn't fly simply by choosing two other abilities (say, damage avoidance and darkvision), but thematically, that would suggest you don't really want an owl.

Familiars don't have their own attacks. In 2nd edition, they're not intended to be combat buddies; that's the role of an animal companion, not a familiar. In time, as we expand the game, we'll eventually expand familiar options as well,...

So even though all of the snakes in the Bestiary have scent, a climb speed, and a swim speed I can have a 'snake' familiar without any of those inherent abilities allowing me to have a flying snake with darkvision instead? Sweet! That sort of flexibility is something I'm really appreciating in PF2.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Lots of interesting reimagining of creatures through the artwork. The troglodytes and kobolds, in particular, grabbed me. And kudos to the writer of the Arboreal description. Using the word 'fugacious?' Respect!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ya know, I love it how hyenas and sharks and such animals in bestiary tend to be disclaimer to point out most myths related to them aren't true, because its nice paizo isn't trying to spread false information that results in real life in violence against animals that especially don't deserve it


Saurstalk wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Ayronis wrote:
My PDF order has been stuck on "Pending" and "not available" since 10am this morning, but the CRB came through just fine. Is there something up with the Bestiary file or is it me?
FWIW, I was able to purchase and download it a few hours ago.
Interesting, because I purchased my .pdf this morning, too, and it still says it's not available.

I bought mine yesterday at the same time as the Core Rulebook and almost day later still can't download the Bestiary (the Core Rulebook was OK). I've mailed customer support but am not expecting to hear back from them until after GenCon :-/

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Takei wrote:
Saurstalk wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Ayronis wrote:
My PDF order has been stuck on "Pending" and "not available" since 10am this morning, but the CRB came through just fine. Is there something up with the Bestiary file or is it me?
FWIW, I was able to purchase and download it a few hours ago.
Interesting, because I purchased my .pdf this morning, too, and it still says it's not available.
I bought mine yesterday at the same time as the Core Rulebook and almost day later still can't download the Bestiary (the Core Rulebook was OK). I've mailed customer support but am not expecting to hear back from them until after GenCon :-/

Instead of going to the Digital Content of your account page have you tried the Downloads tab at the top of the posts by the Review tab? That's how I was able to get mine.


Rysky wrote:
Takei wrote:
Saurstalk wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Ayronis wrote:
My PDF order has been stuck on "Pending" and "not available" since 10am this morning, but the CRB came through just fine. Is there something up with the Bestiary file or is it me?
FWIW, I was able to purchase and download it a few hours ago.
Interesting, because I purchased my .pdf this morning, too, and it still says it's not available.
I bought mine yesterday at the same time as the Core Rulebook and almost day later still can't download the Bestiary (the Core Rulebook was OK). I've mailed customer support but am not expecting to hear back from them until after GenCon :-/
Instead of going to the Digital Content of your account page have you tried the Downloads tab at the top of the posts by the Review tab? That's how I was able to get mine.

Thanks for the tip. I never noticed that tab before :-)

Unfortunately in this case the tab isn't there, although there is text in red at the top of the product page saying, "NOTE: You purchased this product yesterday." I guess it's just a gremlin in the system which they'll sort out in due course.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Takei wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Takei wrote:
Saurstalk wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Ayronis wrote:
My PDF order has been stuck on "Pending" and "not available" since 10am this morning, but the CRB came through just fine. Is there something up with the Bestiary file or is it me?
FWIW, I was able to purchase and download it a few hours ago.
Interesting, because I purchased my .pdf this morning, too, and it still says it's not available.
I bought mine yesterday at the same time as the Core Rulebook and almost day later still can't download the Bestiary (the Core Rulebook was OK). I've mailed customer support but am not expecting to hear back from them until after GenCon :-/
Instead of going to the Digital Content of your account page have you tried the Downloads tab at the top of the posts by the Review tab? That's how I was able to get mine.

Thanks for the tip. I never noticed that tab before :-)

Unfortunately in this case the tab isn't there, although there is text in red at the top of the product page saying, "NOTE: You purchased this product yesterday." I guess it's just a gremlin in the system which they'll sort out in due course.

Np, but curses!

Hopefully you'll get your's soon.

Dark Archive

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Things I missed in the book:
* No Solar angel.
* Inevitables own outsider type (now merged with Aeon).
* Monster group preface (i.e dragons, devils, demons, etc).
* Dragon extra special abilities like high HD Red Dragon breath weapon turning stone into magma, or Copper Dragon power word kill when telling a joke.
* No dragon tables: only 3 ages.
* No Kythons/velstracs.
* No monster description header.
* Some old art for a few monsters (personal taste).
* High HD outsiders extra special abilities that modify the original creature like Balor prince, etc, but I like the extra ability like Soul Drinking, etc.
* There is no block with the demigod level outsiders (i.e Abyssal Princes).


Rysky wrote:
Takei wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Takei wrote:
Saurstalk wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Ayronis wrote:
My PDF order has been stuck on "Pending" and "not available" since 10am this morning, but the CRB came through just fine. Is there something up with the Bestiary file or is it me?
FWIW, I was able to purchase and download it a few hours ago.
Interesting, because I purchased my .pdf this morning, too, and it still says it's not available.
I bought mine yesterday at the same time as the Core Rulebook and almost day later still can't download the Bestiary (the Core Rulebook was OK). I've mailed customer support but am not expecting to hear back from them until after GenCon :-/
Instead of going to the Digital Content of your account page have you tried the Downloads tab at the top of the posts by the Review tab? That's how I was able to get mine.

Thanks for the tip. I never noticed that tab before :-)

Unfortunately in this case the tab isn't there, although there is text in red at the top of the product page saying, "NOTE: You purchased this product yesterday." I guess it's just a gremlin in the system which they'll sort out in due course.

Np, but curses!

Hopefully you'll get your's soon.

Still waiting, purchased yesterday at around 3 pm and now its 9 pm and I don't have the option to download the book

I had a really horrible day and this would have been a nice little something to make it better


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
David knott 242 wrote:


Merfolk can no longer breathe air -- They are aquatic, not amphibious.

On the other hand, sea devils (formerly sahuagin) are now amphibious rather than aquatic. Now those references in the old D&D Monster Manual to them raiding coastal villages make sense once again.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
David knott 242 wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:


Merfolk can no longer breathe air -- They are aquatic, not amphibious.

On the other hand, sea devils (formerly sahuagin) are now amphibious rather than aquatic. Now those references in the old D&D Monster Manual to them raiding coastal villages make sense once again.

I believe (going off a dev conversation) those were in error and should be switched, though they might be left as.


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

I think a case can be made for both of them being amphibious. Sea devils need to be able to stay out of the water long enough to raid a coastal village, while merfolk need to be able to stay out of the water long enough to sun themselves and lure human ships onto dangerous rocks.

Of course, it wouldn't be a problem for either of them to be at least as water dependent as PF1 gillmen.


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no solars, no tarraque, ugh. since second edition AD&D the tarasque has been my favorite monster.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ikarinokami wrote:
no solars, no tarraque, ugh. since second edition AD&D the tarasque has been my favorite monster.

The Tarrasque is cool, but how often has it actually been used?

That was the reasoning they gave (I believe) for not including it, basically it was a gimmick monster that was never really used much so it made more sense to put in monsters people actually would/could use.

Which is not to say Tarry is gone, it’s still the Herald of Rovagug so will most likely show in the Deity book coming up.


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Rysky wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
no solars, no tarraque, ugh. since second edition AD&D the tarasque has been my favorite monster.

The Tarrasque is cool, but how often has it actually been used?

That was the reasoning they gave (I believe) for not including it, basically it was a gimmick monster that was never really used much so it made more sense to put in monsters people actually would/could use.

Which is not to say Tarry is gone, it’s still the Herald of Rovagug so will most likely show in the Deity book coming up.

wouldn't the same argument apply to treerazer?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rysky wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
no solars, no tarraque, ugh. since second edition AD&D the tarasque has been my favorite monster.

The Tarrasque is cool, but how often has it actually been used?

That was the reasoning they gave (I believe) for not including it, basically it was a gimmick monster that was never really used much so it made more sense to put in monsters people actually would/could use.

Which is not to say Tarry is gone, it’s still the Herald of Rovagug so will most likely show in the Deity book coming up.

Folks who miss the Tarrasque might wanna check out volume 6 of Age of Ashes...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

9 people marked this as a favorite.
ikarinokami wrote:
Rysky wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
no solars, no tarraque, ugh. since second edition AD&D the tarasque has been my favorite monster.

The Tarrasque is cool, but how often has it actually been used?

That was the reasoning they gave (I believe) for not including it, basically it was a gimmick monster that was never really used much so it made more sense to put in monsters people actually would/could use.

Which is not to say Tarry is gone, it’s still the Herald of Rovagug so will most likely show in the Deity book coming up.

wouldn't the same argument apply to treerazer?

It would.

Be it the Tarrasque or Treerazer, both serve a similar role—showcasing what a top-tier, level 25 monster looks like and presenting a unique "boss monster" that would make for a great foe at the end of an entire campaign.

We chose to feature Treerazer in the Bestiary and not the Tarrasque becasue Treerazer is something that isn't building on D&D's legacy, but is building our own brand up instead.

This isn't to say that the Tarrasque isn't still a part of the world and the game... it's just that to us, Treerazer is a better thing to serve as the "toughest monster in the book" for Bestiary 1.

Personally, I'm delighted to have him in there, since I created Treerazer for my homebrew back in 1989 as a big bad boss monster; seeing him end up being a tentpole monster in a monster book is personally quite satisfying, even if it does come with a somewhat bittersweet element of him no longer being "mine" but part of Paizo's intellectual property.

ANYway... yeah. One of the big themes of the 2nd edition Bestiary is to make it more "Paizo monsters" and less "Look at the D&D monsters we got to play with thanks to the OGL." And swapping out the Tarrasque for Treerazer is part of that.

Hopefully at some point 30 years in the future, someone will be sad that Treerazer got replaced from being the boss monster in 3 decades of RPG monster books by someone new, because Treerazer was their favorite! :-P

Shadow Lodge

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James Jacobs wrote:
Folks who miss the Tarrasque might wanna check out volume 6 of Age of Ashes...

What

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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TOZ wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Folks who miss the Tarrasque might wanna check out volume 6 of Age of Ashes...
What

AKA I might have just spoiled one of the monsters that shows up in that volume's Bestiary! :P


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The art is so good.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Is it just me, or is that black-scaled Kobold on the cover totally a Nightfury?


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:

Familiars are based on real-world animals, so the game expects us all to use that knowledge as to whether or not a familiar can fly. You COULD build an owl familiar that couldn't fly simply by choosing two other abilities (say, damage avoidance and darkvision), but thematically, that would suggest you don't really want an owl.

... Now I kind of want a wizard with a familiar that's an owl who (hoo?) can't fly. Maybe they're an owl with a crippled wing that the wizard rescued and raised and fell in love with and adopted as a familiar.

Or maybe it's a cute little baby owlbear!


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Rysky wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
no solars, no tarraque, ugh. since second edition AD&D the tarasque has been my favorite monster.

The Tarrasque is cool, but how often has it actually been used?

The one time a friend of mine used the Tarrasque, it was in 4E, and he tweaked the monster so it had a constant, like, asteroid field of debris flying around it, representing the destruction and cataclysm that happened simply by it existing.

The tactical effect of this was that you couldn't fly 200 feet out of its reach and shoot arrows at it, because the rocks would deflect those attacks if you were outside its reach.

The narrative effect was that if it got pissed at you, it could telekinetically hurl asteroids.

Liberty's Edge

Seisho wrote:

Still waiting, purchased yesterday at around 3 pm and now its 9 pm and I don't have the option to download the book

I had a really horrible day and this would have been a nice little something to make it better

Has anyone heard anything on the unavailability of the Bestiary.pdf? I've looked in both this forum and the forum for customer service, as well as having personally emailed customer service. Customer service has been silent on the matter and I'm wondering whether any efforts are even being made to correct this matter.


Description text before statblock is going to take me a while to get used to, as is some of the new art.

More descriptive text for the dragons is great; I hope that continues into any further sets of dragons in subsequent bestiaries. I still wish more monsters came with specific physical dimensions, though.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Saurstalk wrote:
Seisho wrote:

Still waiting, purchased yesterday at around 3 pm and now its 9 pm and I don't have the option to download the book

I had a really horrible day and this would have been a nice little something to make it better

Has anyone heard anything on the unavailability of the Bestiary.pdf? I've looked in both this forum and the forum for customer service, as well as having personally emailed customer service. Customer service has been silent on the matter and I'm wondering whether any efforts are even being made to correct this matter.

Sam Phelan posted some info here.


Love the art work. down with the info side bars. also has a good line up of monsters for the game. only pity is not having a striped down form of an ancestry for making new variants of leveled bad guys. monk kobold being a bit of a running joke when i GM.


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The Good:
+ Aeons getting merged with Inevitable and Axiomites.
+ Artwork for Pleroma
+ Gancanagh in the first Bestiary! Wow!
+ Cauthooj is an awesome new addition to the Pathfinder monster world.
+ Cave Worms being an entire group is marvelous!
+ That new Gelugon model is marvelous! So much better!
+ Most dinosaur art is beautiful.
+ Dullahan, Banshee, Redcap, Wendigo and Poltergeist, awesome to see them in the first bestiary!
+ I love how you did the Elementals this time, instead of just small – medium – big, you did something original with them! Cool!
+ Much better Ether Spider, no more silly human face!
+ All Genies Artwork
+ The Griffon Artwork, as ugly as it was in the first edition Bestiary, so beautiful is it now.
+ My new favorite Pathfinder Monster is born in the rocks it seems, the Grikkitog is SO amazing! Props to its creator!
+ The Krooth is also a very amazing new critter!
+ The New art-style for the Leshies is amazing! Much better than before!
+ THE MANTICORE IS STUNNING! Best Manticore artwork I’ve seen in a long while!
+ Awesome, a non-chest Mimic artwork!
+ I love the new Nymph Queens, hope that Lampads and Oreads get the same love.
+ Ofalth is also a very cool new addition to Pathfinder!
+ Good to see the Orcs are still green and evil.
+ I’m not a fan of lovecraft monsters, but that Shoggoth has to be the best artwork in the book!
+ Another awesome new monster! Shuln’s rock!
+ Happy to see the Sinspawn, one of my favorite Pathfinder monsters.
+ Surprised to see the Saxra back, the most random (but cool) monster in the first Bestiary, cool new name.
+ The Slurk looks beautiful for such an ugly creature lol.
+ No Spectre? GOOD!
+ Both female and male Sphinxes, so can we now delete the Criosphinx (ram-head) from existence?
+ Warsworn! Yeah!
+ OMG!!! That Ettercap/Web Lurker artwork! Stunning!
+ Happy to see the Wendigo still being present! Especially since people became so PC about it lately!
+ Zaramuun is awesome! I love sand creatures!

The Bad:
- Faceless Stalker + Doppelganger in the same book.
- Balisse and Choral instead of Solar.
- I love the Animated Broom and Armor, but two statues (which are just like golems anyway) is kinda lazy, why no Animated Hut and Animated Weapons?
- Too much green in the Azata group, the artwork could be much better for this group.
- Boring Beetles… I mean who needs Flash Beetles? Why not Bombardier Beetle + Goliath Beetle here? (Or Deathwatch, Sliver or Scarab for that matter) Two ranges of different challenge ratings and awesome looks.
- Why artwork for the normal boar? Everybody knows what they look like, Daeodon (which is much cooler) not so much…
- I don’t mind the weapon/role using humanoids in the book, but is this gonna be a curse like in D&D? Like in Bestiary 4 we still get different types of Boggards, Goblins, and Hobgoblins? I hate that, hope this isn’t in future pathfinder Bestiaries, and Boggards and Goblins will ONLY be in Bestiary 1.
- Brain Collector and Aboleth still being MUCH too low levels.
- Changelings being both male and female… I was hoping the Caliban was going to be the male Changelings.
- Still that boring D&D Chimera, I thought you wanted to step away from D&D, why use that horrible non-mythological-accurate Chimera of all then?
- While I’m very happy to see my favorite group of outsiders (Daemon) presented, I’m not happy the Ceustodaemon was used instead of so much better choices, such as Sangu, Mela, Purro, Thano, Phasma or Cruci)
- Barbazu beard is very non-existing in that artwork…
- Velociraptor + Deinonychus in the same bestiary… Rather would have seen Troodon, Therizinosaurus or Pachycephalosaurus.
- Brontosaurus? The most boring dinosaur in my opinion… Of all the cool possible sauropods…
- I’m kinda bored with the Metallic Dragons… Especially the Brass Dragon, why not the Mercury Dragon?
- Too much high-level Fungus, rather would have seen the Myceloid back, and some smaller fungus.
- Two new Cat-based Fey Monsters, what was wrong with Pard or Nekomata?
- Mephits of every elemental type, when is somebody finally gonna change this into a single Mephit who can absorb all elementals into its body and change into that elemental variant.
- Genies are still much too low level, they should be around 18 each, elemental lords.
- I love the new Gogiteth, but does it replace the Bebilith?
- Hags could also use a boost in Challenge Rating…
- I love the Hellhound artwork, but why still use the Nessian Warhound? I would have loved to see the Cerberi here.
- Ugh, still Hobgoblins around…
- Ugh, still horses, would be better off in the Core Rules books.
- Too bad the Medusa is forced into a rogue-like role… I love the vanity-curse background that is missing here… ALSO, why not call them Gorgons? Especially now there are suddenly male Medusa’s? Medusa is a female word.
- Mukradi is my least favorite new monster, it is simply too much… Slapping multiple heads on a fearsome animal isn’t working most of the time…
- Of all the cool oozes you guys created in 1st edition, why giving us Ochre Jelly and Black Puddings? If you could also give Deathtrap Oozes or Roiling Oils?
- Of all the mythological creatures you could choose from, WHY my least favorite the Simurgh? WHY!?!
- Boring variants of giant snakes… I would have liked some more magical snakes here, like Seps.
- Still the Wight? Like really? So much more interesting humanoid undead to choose from… Baykok? Devourer? Even Bodak…

The Ugly:
- Centaur art is ugly, I don’t like female centaur artwork, can’t help it.
- Glabrezu Art (most Demon art for that matter, Balor looks like a child)
- Flesh and Adamantine Golem Artwork. The Adamantine Golem looks kinda childish, not fearsome at all.
- The Harpy has the worst artwork in the book… Why a male harpy? It doesn’t suit the Harpy at all…
- The faces of the new Naga artworks is kinda, ugh.
- Rakshasa Raja art is like…
- I love Soulbound Dolls, but this art doesn’t scream I’m a doll to me.
- I love the Uthul, and the artwork, but why does he hold a statue-penis in his hand?

Overall I like this first Bestiary, some surprises but otherwise a good amount of classics. I hope Bestiary 2 gives me more surprises though, and much more mythological obscurities.

7 / 10

Silver Crusade

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Awahoon wrote:
Happy to see the Wendigo still being present! Especially since people became so PC about it lately!

Yes, how dare we respect other people's beliefs?

I say this as someone for who the Wendigo has been one of my favourite monsters for as long as I can remember.

Awahoon wrote:
Like in Bestiary 4 we still get different types of Boggards, Goblins, and Hobgoblins?

Uh, we didn't get any of those in Bestiary 4. Are you thinking of the Monster Codex? Having variants was the point of that book.

Awahoon wrote:
Still that boring D&D Chimera, I thought you wanted to step away from D&D, why use that horrible non-mythological-accurate Chimera of all then?

You want them to move the dragon head from the shoulder to the tail?

Awahoon wrote:
Genies are still much too low level, they should be around 18 each, elemental lords.

Just a note Nobles (the Wish granters) add 5 levels to the base Genie.

Awahoon wrote:
Medusa is a female word.

Urge to use Meduso rising

Awahoon wrote:
Of all the mythological creatures you could choose from, WHY my least favorite the Simurgh? WHY!?!

You know what you did.

Awahoon wrote:
The Adamantine Golem looks kinda childish, not fearsome at all.

This is why you don't skip leg day.

Awahoon wrote:
I love Soulbound Dolls, but this art doesn’t scream I’m a doll to me.

Kinda reminds me of the cyborg character from One Punch man, Genos?

Awahoon wrote:
I love the Uthul, and the artwork, but why does he hold a statue-penis in his hand?

*tilts head back and forth* Hmm, not seeing it.


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I was really surprised the Nuckelavee didn’t make the first Bestiary.

Anyway, these are all the 1st Edition monsters from pathfinder that I really hope make it in Bestiary 2.

Tooth Fairy / Alpluachra / Chon Chon / Crawling Hand / Grindylow / Oread (non playable) / Giant Urchin (any) / Wizard’s Shackle / Akaname / Almiraj / Eurypterid / Echeneis / Jack-o-Lantern / Leaf Ray / Mockingfey / Ostovite / Giant Water Strider / Cave Fisher / Choker / Incutilis / Augur / Raktavarna / Slithering Pit / Soulsliver / Adaro / Assassin Bug / Chupacabra / Crysmal / Abrikandilu / Zebub / Disenchanter / Fungal Crawler / Onyvolan / Pard / Quickling / Spriggan / Ahkhat / Decapus / Gambling Devil / Pachycephalosaurus / Dust Digger / Flail Snail / Fossegrim / Freezing Flow / Gloomwing / Junk Golem / Heikegani / Karkadann / Korred / Lovelorn / Mandragora / Myceloid / Peryton / Scrivenite / Sha / Giant Solifugid / Giant Ant Lion / Blightspawn / Bogwid / Buggane / Cuero / Danthienne / Mist Drake / Fachen / Gearghost / Grodair / Hypnalis / Kikimora / Lampad / Leucrotta / Megatherium / Raiju / Rat King / Saguaroi / Killer Seahorse / Vodyanoi / Ahuizotl / Cordulegaster / Death Worm / Delgeth / Babau / Dunkleosteus / Hungry Fog / Karkinoi / Kyton / Mothman / Mudlord / Nekomata / Kigyo / Remacera / Scrapshell / Skrik Nettle / Stymphalides / Tiyanak / Aatheriexa / Shadow Demon / Levaloch / Mngwa / Moldwretch / Nogitsune / Pukwudgie / Qallupilluk / Totenmaske / Xenopterid / Hydrodaemon / Deathtrap Ooze / Destrachan / Drowning Devil / Druj Nasu / Gammenore / Girtablilu / Bone Golem / Gorgon (Khalkotauroi) / Hellwasp Swarm / Iku-Turso / Intellect Devourer / Maenad / Mihstu / Mohrg / Polong / Pyropiscis / Quickwood / Shard Slag / Su / Svartalfar / Whirlmaw / Yuki-Onna / Aurumvorax / Baykok / Sangudaemon / Osyluth / Giant Mantis Shrimp / Coral Golem / Ijiraq / Nependis / Nuckelavee / Sargassum Fiend / Tikbalang / Witchfire / Yrthak / Abaia / Alp / Bogeyman / Kalavakus / Therizinosaurus / Ghawwas / Magnetite Golem / Kapre / Korir-Kokembe / Mobogo / Nue / Peluda / Peuchen / Water Orm / Carnivorous Crystal / Meladaemon / Hamatula / Devourer / Impundulu / Jinmenju / Nulmind / Amarok / Banelight / Omox / Jorogumo / Kokogiak / Interlocutor / Lorelei / Rusalka / Scitalis / Vouivre / Alraune / Blights / Charybdis / Cherufe / Corpse Lotus / Thanadaemon / Furcifer / Gashadokuro / Ixion Worm / Kamaitachi / Papinijuwari / Viper Vine / Atuikakura / Bodythief / Rawhead / Rokurokubi / Crucidaemon / Dybbuk / Gorynych / Hyakume / Isonade / Jubjub Bird / Popobawa / Riftcreeper / Sea Bonze / Ypotryll / Ecorche / Scylla / Vilderavn / Zomok / Bakekujira / Bandersnatch / Phasmadaemon / Plankta / Tunche / Bone Ship / Purrodaemon / Erlking / Mosslord / Euryale / Eremite / Cipactli / Wood Colossus / Drakainia / Leanan Sidhe / Shen


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It's like the most beautiful art and the ugliest art switched in both first Bestiaries!

Glabrezu was the most awesome art in Bestiary 1 (first edition), but now in 2nd edition is the ugliest artwork in the book.

Griffon was the ugliest artwork in Bestiary 1 (first edition), but now it is one of the most beautiful! LOL

Coincidence or did you guys order this on purpose? :-p

Also, is there already a bestiary 2 wish topic? I'm not gonna create one, but I'm just interested if there is any yet.


Yeah, that recent wendigo controversy is quite tragic. Although I feel like it can be avoided by just renaming the creature. Like, call it "ventigo" or something, and this is no more a cultural appropriation, merely an inspiration. Not like the concept of a hungry cannibalistic evil spirit is that innovative, and creepy humanoid deer looks nothing like "real" wendigo anyway.

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