Pathfinder Bestiary

4.30/5 (based on 8 ratings)
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!

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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4.30/5 (based on 8 ratings)

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"Woke" Monsters

1/5

Before I delve into this new bestiary full of "woke" monsters meant to appeal to the ultra-left, indulge me, if you will, to comment upon the non political aspects of this tome...

Positives:

- Book is gorgeous, with mostly excellent art and layout.

- There are some new, surprising monsters in here, and a lot of good old classics.

- Statblocks are, blessedly, much shorter now, and it's very cool that monsters now have individualized reactions, and aren't beholden to the same design parameters as PCs. This leaves more room for "fluff" and descriptions of the monsters' places in the world of Golarion. Well done.

Negatives:

- Too much space is wasted on basic animals, such as horses. For some reason, Paizo felt it necessary to illustrate these as well, as if we don't know what a horse looks like.

- While much of the art is quite good, a number of the art choices are middling to poor at best (bugbear, hobgoblin, etc.).

- Not nearly enough of the creatures have specific sizes listed, simply "small", "large", etc. How big is typical frost drake, gogiteth, etc.?

- Locations where creatures are most likely to be found is missing from statblocks and only occurs sporadically in descriptions. Big drawback. Paizo could have even leaned in to their embrace of Golarion and indicated where within their world monsters can be found.

- There is a lot of gender activism in here (all tilting towards feminism), and you'll find immersion-breaking statements concerning gender stereotypes, certain female creatures being stronger than the male versions, and a number of societies that are matriarchal, while you'll find none that are patriarchal. Odd, that. Apparently, within Golarion, all societies are either perfect exemplars of gender equality or tilt strongly towards matriarchy. This is silly and a huge blow against verisimilitude. (-1 star) Personally, I'd find it far more interesting to have characters explore a world of true diversity, reflective of the myriad and divergent cultures of its inhabitants, some of whom will craft matriarchies, and some patriarchies. Some might be ruled by Elders, some by the wielders of the arcane, others by seers and oracles, some ruled by those gifted with "disability" or deformity by the gods, others ruled by those unburdened by base sexual desires, and perhaps some by gifted youth whose talents fade as they age. But having every culture reflect gender parity or matriarchy is just goofy.

- As well, the usual Paizo paternalism and puritanism is present - apparently females aren't allowed to visibly express their sexuality anymore. This manifests, as an example, with the illustration for the succubus, which is now apparently a Modesty Demon. (-1 star)

As usual, Paizo allows their desire to "include" everyone and engage in gender activism to lessen what would otherwise be a decent product. It's pretty clear at this point that most of Paizo's leaders do not respect masculinity, perhaps even being misandrists. Nonconformance to masculinity seems to be placed on a pedestal, save for, ironically, when Paizo is attempting to subvert stereotypes by portraying female versions of aggressive, strong warriors.

For those who have followed Paizo for a while, none of this should be surprising. For those new to Paizo, you'll find these viewpoints infesting nearly every Paizo product these days. Paizo apparently lives in such fear of offending or angering the far-left that they find it impossible to creatively portray a fantasy world where male versions of a creature (not just humans) are physically stronger than females, or where a patriarchal, non-evil society exists. Of course, all of this runs contrary to our own history of humankind, but never mind that!

If you consider yourself ultra-liberal politically, want this portrayed in your fantasy purchases, and don't mind a lack of verisimilitude, this bestiary is for you. For all others, there's not nearly enough positive or new here to outweigh the at-times gag-inducing negatives.


Meh.

3/5

It's okay, but I do miss the Ecology and Environment Section of the 1st edition. It made it easier to figure how to set up the battle scenes. I also like in the 1st edition, they suggested encounter to place into you game depending on the setting.


The best

5/5

Very likely the best monster book ever made in the d&d/pf history, period. Oh, I love the second edition rules so much, they made such exquisite monster writing possible, especially at lower levels.


Amazing new edition

5/5

I love Pathfinder 2E. Great game with tons of improvements. The book is good quality, very nice layout and design. A+ stuff.


A great book

5/5

This is a great book. They did a good job of making creatures much more distinct and memorable than in the 1st edition Bestiary. Pretty much every creature has at least one interestingly distinct ability which makes it play differently in combat. So it’s no longer the case that kobolds, goblins, orcs, hobgoblins, etc, are virtually indistinguishable opponents. Likewise, different dragons are given more distinguishing abilities other than breath weapon type and resistances.

All in all, the changes in the PF2 Bestiary are among the best, if not the best, improvements they’ve made to the game.


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The Advanced Player's Guide will have Planar Scions...Tiefling, Aasimar, Duskwalker.. (also Dhampir.. tho not a Planar Scion).. as heritages... and like 8 or so other ancestries.

Saurstalk wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

I bet that is why Paizo changed it. The d20 SRD would have let them keep using the "derro" spelling under the OGL.

I noticed that quite a few times. Derro are Dero. Ettercaps are Web Lurkers. Stirges are Bloodseekers. Mites are Mitflits. Shambling Mounds are Shamblers. Sahuagin are Sea Devils. Troglodytes are Xulgath. Etc. Is is because of copyright or is it because Paizo wants to put its own stamp on these creatures.

And with others, like Aboleths vs. Alghollthu, or Devils and Demons vs. their alternative namesakes, Lizardfolk vs. Iruxi, and Ratfolk vs. Ysoki represent both common name and native name, why not follow suit?

As an aside, I was a bit disappointed to not see character races expanded with planar scions and other races that could be statted out as NPCs or PCs. I'm assuming that Paizo intends to publish these, as well as associated feats with future publications. But if people don't want to wait, has Paizo given suggestions how to do so until then?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Saurstalk wrote:

As an aside, I was a bit disappointed to not see character races expanded with planar scions and other races that could be statted out as NPCs or PCs. I'm assuming that Paizo intends to publish these, as well as associated feats with future publications. But if people don't want to wait, has Paizo given suggestions how to do so until then?

We absolutely do, but those are player-facing options and don't belong in a GM-facing book like the Bestiary.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Saurstalk wrote:

As an aside, I was a bit disappointed to not see character races expanded with planar scions and other races that could be statted out as NPCs or PCs. I'm assuming that Paizo intends to publish these, as well as associated feats with future publications. But if people don't want to wait, has Paizo given suggestions how to do so until then?

We absolutely do, but those are player-facing options and don't belong in a GM-facing book like the Bestiary.

Also Ancestry options take up 4 pages now rather than just being able to use the statblock like in 1st. Eats up too much pages methinks to put in a Bestiary, rather have 4 monsters :3

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
I'm pretty pleased with the look and feel of the Bestiary, myself, so I don't anticipate the monster format changing much at all going forward. Anything's possible though.

I finally got my SE Bestiary a few days ago, and I have to say that it's GORGEOUS! I love the faux-leather covers, but it's nothing compared to the fantastic layout and all those beautiful illustrations inside! If I had to choose a favorite, it would be all the nagas; they look so repulsive and gorgeous at the same time, and I honestly think that is the best representation of this monster I've ever seen (or even dared to imagine). This book gets 5/5 stars from me! :)

My only complaint with the layout/format is that the traits/keywords are on colored background; it makes the words look a bit fuzzy and hard to read. However, it is just a minor issue and I completely understand why it was done that way.

I still haven't got my SE Core rulebook, though; it's my own fault for pre-ordering it too late. I hope my FLGS will get another shipment of them... if not, I'll have to order it via Amazon.


I'm still bummed that they choose two animated statues of all animated things they could choose :-(

Animated Weapons are awesome!

Animated Huts (like the one from Baba Yaga) are fun too, and perfect as higher level Animated objects.

Animated Treasure Hoards would also be awesome, they are the ultimate protector for your treasure, just animate the treasure itself into a wave of golden coins and jewels.

Of course and Animated Carpet that flies would have been fun too.

Anything is better than the two golem-wannabees I got


Awahoon wrote:

I'm still bummed that they choose two animated statues of all animated things they could choose :-(

Animated Weapons are awesome!

Animated Huts (like the one from Baba Yaga) are fun too, and perfect as higher level Animated objects.

Animated Treasure Hoards would also be awesome, they are the ultimate protector for your treasure, just animate the treasure itself into a wave of golden coins and jewels.

Of course and Animated Carpet that flies would have been fun too.

<snip>

Those are some really fun options you've got there!

:D

Carry on,

--C.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed some posts and the replies to them. The back and forth bickering needs to stop. I left up the 2 original posts in that exchange, and James' comment.

If you have rules questions they are better suited for the rules forum. If you need the text from the posts here let me know and I can get it for you.


I'm waiting for somebody who creates a Bestiary 2 wish-topic, most people who created those seem to be gone...

I'm not going to create such a topic, people seem to dislike me, they wouldn't react to that topic, so that would be the same as creating no topic at all.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Awahoon wrote:

I'm waiting for somebody who creates a Bestiary 2 wish-topic, most people who created those seem to be gone...

I'm not going to create such a topic, people seem to dislike me, they wouldn't react to that topic, so that would be the same as creating no topic at all.

No one has created a new thread for Bestiary 2 because they already had the creatures picked out when they announced it, so it's more of a wait and see situation.

But popularity shouldn't be an issue in regards to bestiary wish lists, I know I personally have no issue with you, nor would I let it affect my posts on the topic if I did.

Trust me, there are plenty of people on these boards that wish I would go away, and it honestly doesn't matter to me.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wish list created, go nuts everyone!

Please remember to be excellent to each other!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks! That is awesome! I'm going to create my list!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Okay, I've finally had a few days to read through most of the monster entries. To summarize, in my opinion most of them have really cool abilities, but some are simply just faithful 2E conversions of their first edition counterparts (same special abilities/qualities with different math), and yet a few have either "bland" or confusing/weird abilities.
Regardless, the vast majority of the monsters are well-designed and have really flavorful and fun abilities! I'm also very happy with the fluff (including sidebar information/vignettes) and all the variant abilities presented in this book.

I would have preferred less innate spells for monsters; it's a bit confusing if a monster has, for example, separate lists for occult spells and spontaneous arcane spells. I personally feel "more thematic abilities and less spells" would have been the best kind of guideline with 2E monsters, but hey, it's really easy to tinker with 2E monsters, even without the guidelines that will published in GMG. :)

I'm still giving this book 5/5. Amazing work, people! :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I mean I stopped contributing much to the wishlists because at some point I just ran out of ideas, plus I figure the the devs and associated folks already had jotted down notes of what they liked and would be interested in for a future book

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