Can we please have bigger bestiaries in PF2?


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Erik Mona wrote:
ulgulanoth wrote:
I would hope that the first bestiary contain at least the vast majority of the monsters from the first 3 bestiaries, otherwise the game is going to be too lean.

I'm guessing a truly credible version of that book would be at least 600 pages.

Are you willing to pay $60-70 for such a book?

I'm genuinely interested in people's answers, because to tell you the truth I am strongly considering a base monster reference that is significantly larger than Bestiary 1's 320 pages.

So... don't be shy about your opinions, please.

Stream of consciousness writing ahead:

A $70 book? I'm not sure. It goes over my physiological $50 threshold where I have to stop and think as to whether it's worth it to pick up.

Take FFG Star Wars for example. Their three core books are all $60 a piece. It took me years before I finally justified to myself to drop the money on one of them. But I've been buying $30-50 Paizo books for years without a second thought.

I suppose I'd get used to it after a while, but it would be something that would give me pause before purchasing.

One thing that would help is knowing that there's only going to be, for example, two bestiaries. At $60-70 each, I'd be comfortable buying them both if that was it. Total $140 investment. But if they had to be split up into 6 books at $30-40 a piece, I'd probably only stop at book 3, as they'd feel unnecessary to go beyond that. Which is what happened to me in PF1; I only have up to bestiary 3. What are we up to now? 5, 6? At $45 each?

So fewer, more expensive books would still make me pause, but it'd be worth it knowing that's it for the next ten years.

Conclusion: I'd buy a $70 bestiary is I knew that there would only be one or two of them for all of PF2. But if there's going to be more than three like there is now, $70 is too much.


Stat blocks for most PF2 monsters are going to occupy less space on the page than their PF1 counterparts won't they? Se we can at least have *more efficient* bestiaries.

Silver Crusade

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I don’t quite understand your reasoning, if they have the same content and price and you’re only going to buy 1 and maybe the 2nd and 3rd why would them making more make you not buy any at all?


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Perhaps instead of larger in general, bestiaries could be more focused on certain level ranges. The default bestiary has monsters with CRs ranger from fractions to 20+. Usually the GM is only interested in monsters that are a sufficient challenge to the pcs, so in game prep they only need a small portion of those monsters.

How about having the bestiaries be focused to say CR up to 6, in the say heroic bestiary, CR 7-13 in the paragon bestiary, CR 14 to 20 in a Epic bestiary, CR 20+ in another bestiary. Since they are more focused on their CRs you can have the same number of monsters per book, but the monsters will be more relevant to the GM when they prepare for a game, since there will be more choices in the CR range relevant to the game they are preparing for.


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I would prefer a slimmer, cheaper, book with fewer monsters that got more attention. I’d rather have 100 monsters with really rich adventure inspiring ecology/society/beliefs/powers than 200 monsters with stat blocks and a couple sentences of personality.

Think of the difference between Goblins and random forgettable humanoid #273. Goblins have received real time and attention and become a wonderful iconic part of the setting. That’s more the sort of thing I want. Five “big cannibal brutes with clubs” at slightly different CR isn’t as valuable. It is easy to apply the advanced template to an ogre and call it a “swamp giant”.

I probably wouldn’t buy a $70 book of statblocks. I haven’t bought 5e’s $50 book of statblocks. A book of interesting adventure or campaign seeds in monster form would be much more tempting.


Sorry, but waiting for 2-3 times as many books just to cover the first 6 bestiaries would be ridiculous. I don't need more ecology info for most monsters in a bestiary.

Liberty's Edge

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Can it be the same size and price as the CRB?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
ulgulanoth wrote:
I would hope that the first bestiary contain at least the vast majority of the monsters from the first 3 bestiaries, otherwise the game is going to be too lean.

I'm guessing a truly credible version of that book would be at least 600 pages.

Are you willing to pay $60-70 for such a book?

I'm genuinely interested in people's answers, because to tell you the truth I am strongly considering a base monster reference that is significantly larger than Bestiary 1's 320 pages.

So... don't be shy about your opinions, please.

I'd much prefer, at least the initial bestiary, to be large. And using the space for not only more monsters but more info. If you are pushing for closer this to Golarion, extra fluff would also be appreciated. Tactics, society, where they tie into the Golarion world.


I’d like the Bestiary books to each get no bigger than about 400 pages, same with the Core Rulebook. Anything bigger is unwieldy and prone to binding issues. I find the current CRB a pain in the neck to handle. I really like the current Bestiary size at 320 pages...perfect.


With monsters taking up less space per entry and ancestries taking up more, and Paizo curious to try new things in terms of what book concepts to organize things through, it might make sense to have, say, a Gribbly Monsters Book with no player-facing content, just lots of monsters with weird schticks to surprise PCs with, and a Big Book O Humanoids that kind of straddles the roles of Advanced Race Guide, NPC Codex, and Monster Codex - with 20 or so chapters centered around a playable ancestry and a bunch of useable stablocks (using long or short generation methods, or even a mix) for each.


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What about just releasing two Bestiary books at launch? One that has all of the old classics you need to get the game running and another that gets more baddies into the game for more depth. Budget conscious folks can pick up the first and have everything you need but people who want more at launch can buck p and buy two books.

Grand Lodge

TheFlyingPhoton wrote:
At the very least, make it bigger than the Alien Archive. That book was so lean I haven't bothered picking it up yet.

This. Please give us good page numbers vs price. AA was a rip-off. (If you look at quantity. Quality wise it's very good, so very mixed feelings!)

Silver Crusade

If I bought physical books yes, but tbh my shelf space and shipping cost means I prefer to got PDF for the majority of my Pathfinder library because at least I’m giving Paizo money directly.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
pogie wrote:
What about just releasing two Bestiary books at launch? One that has all of the old classics you need to get the game running and another that gets more baddies into the game for more depth. Budget conscious folks can pick up the first and have everything you need but people who want more at launch can buck p and buy two books.

Two separate books would cost more than one single book, and would also be a pretty significant increase in workload. That seems option that would be worst than the other two options presented.


Personally I would pay for a core rulebook sized Bestiary 1. That way there's room for broad strokes across APL, room for PC races and NPCs. Especially if the monster creating rules have said in fewer words.

Also leaves room for the same monster across cr tiers. One thing I dislike about bestiaries is that some creatures I want to use for a plot but they're way too weak or strong.


I'd pay for a CRB sized Bestiary. Although a pocket edition would be preferred. Although I'm hoping some of the streamlining goes towards reducing the 36.5 pages worth of appendix in Bestiary 1. Get more bang for our buck, as it were.

More monsters the better early on. I've never used most of Bestiary 5 and 6. Better to have access early on in the life cycle of the game.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

So... don't be shy about your opinions, please.

Hmm...

TOS over TNG.

Bacon is better than ham.

Bow ties look silly if you’re not wearing a tuxedo.

The Beatles are underrated.

Whew! Glad to get those off my chest!

—————————————-

Oh, and I’d absolutely pay $70 for a big monster book. But then, I’m a big fan already and also old as dirt. Would that price tag prove daunting to a young prospective player or GM? I think it might.


Erik Mona wrote:
ulgulanoth wrote:
I would hope that the first bestiary contain at least the vast majority of the monsters from the first 3 bestiaries, otherwise the game is going to be too lean.

I'm guessing a truly credible version of that book would be at least 600 pages.

Are you willing to pay $60-70 for such a book?

I'm genuinely interested in people's answers, because to tell you the truth I am strongly considering a base monster reference that is significantly larger than Bestiary 1's 320 pages.

So... don't be shy about your opinions, please.

I absolutely would pay $60 for a 500-600 page monster book, especially if the monster entries are as good about incorporating lore, extra player widgets like monster equipment, and so on as the Alien Archive book is. Basically I want Alien Archive but as a much larger book.

And people who aren't willing / able to pay $60 for the physical book at first can still get a PDF for cheaper.


Mekkis wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Mekkis wrote:

What I would like to see in the Bestiary is a "Lore" section that provides knowledge DCs and their results.

Similar to what was found in Monster Manual IV and Monster Manual V from 3.5e.

The return of Bear Lore?

Not sure what that is. This is what I mean...

Monster Manual IV wrote:


Characters with ranks in Knowledge (The Planes) can learn more about cyclonic ravagers. When a character makes a successful skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.

DC15: This creature composed of howling winds is obviously an elemental. This result reveals all elemental traits and the air subtype.

DC25: This creature is a cyclonic ragager, an avatar of Yan-C-Bin, Prince of Evil Air Elementals. Its transparent body is made only of violent wind.

DC30: The cyclonic ravager's command of air allows it to move its opponents and allies around the battlefield.

DC35: A cyclonic ravager can tear a creature apart with blasts of wind, but creatures immune to critical hits take far less damage.

I would very much be game for this.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
And people who aren't willing / able to pay $60 for the physical book at first can still get a PDF for cheaper.

This is true, and in a best-case scenario, with a book that provides years' worth of material (which, really, even a normal monster book could, especially with good rules for designing your own monsters), I would be willing to buy the extra big book. It's the same cost as a AAA video game title, really. But not everyone would, and in the case of "PDF for cheaper," you're probably still looking at $30+ for a PDF, and that is a tough pill to swallow.


That's part of why it's totally viable to me. A roleplaying game gives you so many more hours of playtime and social experiences than a video game, so I'm willing to pay the price of a video game for something that is worth much more to me in the long term.


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It’s also the case that most people contemplating a PF Tome are probably going to buy both bestiaries.

So it could well be a choice between $70 once or $40 twice. (Granted, that’s a difficult proposition to sell to many).

The only real losers in the deal are those who might only buy B1.


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So, thinking more clearly, that probably cuts out a lot of casual gamers or the “let’s give this a try” crowd.

Good luck, Erik! Glad I only have to think about one customer. :)


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Mekkis wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Mekkis wrote:

What I would like to see in the Bestiary is a "Lore" section that provides knowledge DCs and their results.

Similar to what was found in Monster Manual IV and Monster Manual V from 3.5e.

The return of Bear Lore?

Not sure what that is. This is what I mean...

Monster Manual IV wrote:


Characters with ranks in Knowledge (The Planes) can learn more about cyclonic ravagers. When a character makes a successful skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.

DC15: This creature composed of howling winds is obviously an elemental. This result reveals all elemental traits and the air subtype.

DC25: This creature is a cyclonic ragager, an avatar of Yan-C-Bin, Prince of Evil Air Elementals. Its transparent body is made only of violent wind.

DC30: The cyclonic ravager's command of air allows it to move its opponents and allies around the battlefield.

DC35: A cyclonic ravager can tear a creature apart with blasts of wind, but creatures immune to critical hits take far less damage.

Bear Lore was an old joke from the first CRB for 4th edition where an example of a Ranger's Nature check on bears revealed some rather... obvious things about bears. Basically, for a DC 15 Nature check, it would tell you that cave bears prefer to live in caves. At DC 20 it would tell you that bears use their claws to kill things.

So, similar to the chart you posted, except all the information was really, really obvious.


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I'm a fan of the existing Bestiary 1 size, both for physical ease of use vs cumbersomeness and for price point. I think Paizo did a pretty good job of picking a slice of monsters for that book that covered a lot of ground, and it's still my most-used Bestiary by a bunch. (And appears to be the most used for published adventures as well?)

For long-time players, we know there's a limit to what can be put out on Day 1 - I've played 6 versions of this or a related game in 30 years, and by this point expect to have to wing it on some monsters when I try out a new version; it's just a matter of which ones.

For newer players - and especially younger players - the basic buy-in cost is a consideration, and throwing around numbers like $70 gives me a lot of concern there. The comparison to D&D 5e was made: if PF2's basic 2-book buy-in is notably cheaper than 5e's 3-book buy-in, that's an advantage to protect, not a reason to boost the cost.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
ulgulanoth wrote:
I would hope that the first bestiary contain at least the vast majority of the monsters from the first 3 bestiaries, otherwise the game is going to be too lean.

I'm guessing a truly credible version of that book would be at least 600 pages.

Are you willing to pay $60-70 for such a book?

I'm genuinely interested in people's answers, because to tell you the truth I am strongly considering a base monster reference that is significantly larger than Bestiary 1's 320 pages.

So... don't be shy about your opinions, please.

I'm sure people here can predict the amount of "not only is Paizo is selling us the same monsters again, they're charging us more for them" that would ensue. I only really see the boards, so I don't know how that actually translates to sales, though.

I've purchased one Bestiary; B6. The player race stuff was what tipped me to getting it. I wouldn't want a physical bestiary that large, for any non-negative price. I'd get it for $10-$25 as a PDF for the art and then never use it for games because a searchable site is half the work and I'm running online games anyway.


I'll be happy as long as there isn't too much Golarion lore in the bestiary.


Erik Mona wrote:
ulgulanoth wrote:
I would hope that the first bestiary contain at least the vast majority of the monsters from the first 3 bestiaries, otherwise the game is going to be too lean.

I'm guessing a truly credible version of that book would be at least 600 pages.

Are you willing to pay $60-70 for such a book?

I would be. (Assuming later followups would be cheaper.)


Absolutely willing to pay more for a much larger bestiary.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

I'm guessing a truly credible version of that book would be at least 600 pages.

Are you willing to pay $60-70 for such a book?

I'm genuinely interested in people's answers, because to tell you the truth I am strongly considering a base monster reference that is significantly larger than Bestiary 1's 320 pages.

So... don't be shy about your opinions, please.

I would - Then again, I bought Ptolus. I'm hoping that FGG will print a Tome of Horrors Complete for PF2.

THAT BEING SAID, I suspect I'm in the minority.

Scarab Sages

Personally, I am always on board for more monsters and more lore. I would definitely pay the slightly higher price for a larger selection of foes

Dark Archive

There is another reason why I would really love bigger first bestiary besides it being cheaper than multiple smaller bestiaries:

I'd hate to wait years until all outsider categories have rules for 2e once again :P I really like weirder outsiders like aeons, qlippoths, sahkil, kytons, asura, rakshasha, etc so I'd be annoyed if we went back to just devils and demons for few years.

I'd assume that the new 2e bestiary will be CR 1-25 until Paizo figures out how they want to do mythic(or its equivalent) and CR 26-30 in 2e, so big bestiary that has 1-25 monsters from past six bestiries, cool monsters from different misc bestiries like AP ones and new monsters would be great. They wouldn't even need to introduce many of old favourites, if they had just one qlippoth for example, that would show how qlippoth subtype works in 2e so we could do conversion on our own if we really had to.

(Also, please Paizo add Gigas to the 2e bestiary :D They really need to appear outside of AP bestiaries and now that statblocks are gonna be shorter, they finally have a chance!)


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Erik Mona wrote:
Are you willing to pay $60-70 for such a book?

Yes.

The more monster statblocks available Day 1, the more utility PF2 has as a whole. The sooner you provide me materials to play with, the sooner I (potentially) adopt the new system.

Put another way, a (relatively) smaller Bestiary is a turn-off. I don't look forward to the bad old days when there wasn't yet rich zoology.

Also, I bought Tome of Horrors (complete) and then... what... ToH4? ToH5? The latest one in the increasingly inaccurately named trilogy.

Actually, if you produced a 600 page Bestiary 1 at $70 and simultaneously released a 600 page Bestiary 2 at $70, I'd buy both, Day 1, assuming I don't find I dislike the system during the playtest.


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Erik Mona wrote:
ulgulanoth wrote:
I would hope that the first bestiary contain at least the vast majority of the monsters from the first 3 bestiaries, otherwise the game is going to be too lean.

I'm guessing a truly credible version of that book would be at least 600 pages.

Are you willing to pay $60-70 for such a book?

I'm genuinely interested in people's answers, because to tell you the truth I am strongly considering a base monster reference that is significantly larger than Bestiary 1's 320 pages.

So... don't be shy about your opinions, please.

Yes, in a heartbeat I would pay $70 for a PF2 Bestiary that combines, updates, and adds lore info from the current PF1 Bestiary 1-3.

As a GM, I buy 90%+ of the PF books in my groups, and I am already all in with the playtest physical materials. I would rather pay now ONCE for a massive monster book that allows me to cover all the "core" monsters I need as soon as PF2 is avaialble, then have to buy three monster books (or equivalent) at a lower cost spaced over 1-2 years of releases.


Erik Mona wrote:
It would make getting more of the existing monsters into the game sooner, but it would also mean $60 monster books, which is worth considering very carefully.

Yes please. :)

Would setting pre-orders for a "PF2 Core Bestiary*" type book help you to gauge interest and feasibility?

*Combining the current PF1 Bestiary's 1-3 or equivalent.


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How on earth are new GMs supposed to buy into PF2 if their only option is some huge, heavy, pricey book?

Love you folks, but nope. Core rules and core bestiary and GM handbook.

Not every last beast that has ever been imagined since Gygax started publishing.

Liberty's Edge

Erik Mona wrote:

I'm guessing a truly credible version of that book would be at least 600 pages.

Are you willing to pay $60-70 for such a book?

I'm genuinely interested in people's answers, because to tell you the truth I am strongly considering a base monster reference that is significantly larger than Bestiary 1's 320 pages.

So... don't be shy about your opinions, please.

I would pay $60-70 for a 600 page starting bestiary.

Dark Archive

CrystalSeas wrote:
How on earth are new GMs supposed to buy into PF2 if their only option is some huge, heavy, pricey book?

the PRD 2.0 will (presumable) be a thing.


I'd buy it, but I was just starting to think seriously about getting back into gaming. On the plus side, I will have very few books to replace (just the core rules/beginner box), but I've got the Rise of the Runelords compilation, and I'd sure like to have all the stats to run that right away.


Erik Mona wrote:
ulgulanoth wrote:
I would hope that the first bestiary contain at least the vast majority of the monsters from the first 3 bestiaries, otherwise the game is going to be too lean.

I'm guessing a truly credible version of that book would be at least 600 pages.

Are you willing to pay $60-70 for such a book?

I'm genuinely interested in people's answers, because to tell you the truth I am strongly considering a base monster reference that is significantly larger than Bestiary 1's 320 pages.

So... don't be shy about your opinions, please.

I would absolutely love to see a massive bestiary; it would be a no brainer for me to dish out $60-70 on such a book. In general I support the idea of massive tomes so long as the binding can support the weight of the pages.

I think that the sooner players are provided with the monsters they are familiar with, the better. Some people might be hesitant to transition to a system that doesn't already represent the specific monsters or campaign settings they prefer. If you decide to slow-roll the monsters through multiple editions, I think you could end up with a larger demographic that decides to hold off until the system is more "fleshed out" before making the leap.

If you release a larger volume, I think you would be doing your fans a service by minimizing the amount of content they need to convert. Additionally, the more content you provide upfront (between the PHB, Bestiary, and GM guide) further lends to the perspective that Pathfinder is the more robust, customization heavy fantasy system on the market.

I would be more willing to buy the marginally more expensive bestiary ($15-25 more than current editions presumably) and have access to more creativity right out the gate.


Another vote for the larger bestiary.. Both for MORE monsters, and more DETAIL for the monsters. I'll happily pay the extra!


I will also voice my support for a bestiary 1 of the same size as the current bestiary 1 for PF1. Dropping the cash for a bestiary the same size as the CRB will be a little prohibitaive for me, cost-wise, at least out of the gate. And the GRD/PDF route isn’t practically an option for me, since my table of grognards does everything analog. Also, I agree that the current CRB is a little unwieldy to schlep around as is, so if I could limit my bag to containing only one 400+ page book, on top of the miniatures, etc, it would make my life a little bit easier.


I'm all for a bigger bestiary, but I'm against re-used artwork for the monsters.

Also I hope this time, you won't use too much D&D monsters, and I hope not all these Environment/elemental drakes, dragons, giants and golems take up so much space. Also real animals should be in the main book, not in a bestiary.


Steve Geddes wrote:

im thinking CRB size.

There are many “tomes” of monsters floating about by smaller publishers, so I can only presume it’s economically feasible.

I’d much prefer to have to sort through three tomes than six bestiaries.

There is a certain coolness that comes from a truly massive tome. That coolness is definitely worth a couple of ten spots.


Paladinosaur wrote:

Can it be the same size and price as the CRB?

Great question.

I would like to know if, at least, the first Bestiary could be.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Awahoon wrote:
I'm all for a bigger bestiary, but I'm against re-used artwork for the monsters.

So are we. :)

Silver Crusade

I feel like I saw somewhere that monster stat blocks would be physically smaller. Hopefully, that would allow for more monsters in a bestiary of similar size.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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The answers to this thread have been fascinating, btw. Thanks much for your feedback!

Dark Archive

Erik Mona wrote:
Awahoon wrote:
I'm all for a bigger bestiary, but I'm against re-used artwork for the monsters.

So are we. :)

Yeah, it was bit sad for me to learn how many of bestiary entries were specific npcs from 3.5 APs resulting in that if those aps ever got hardcover version they would have to get new design :'D


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CrystalSeas wrote:

How on earth are new GMs supposed to buy into PF2 if their only option is some huge, heavy, pricey book?

Love you folks, but nope. Core rules and core bestiary and GM handbook.

The barrier to entry for newcomers is the most significant con, in my opinion.

Nonetheless, I think there might be ways to mitigate that. Perhaps producing a Tome as above but also a sixty-four page "essential bestiary" or something?

Ideally, the two would be disjoint sets of monsters, but perhaps the paperback could be excerpts of common, low-CR monsters from the Tome.

That would actually provide a cheaper way for newcomers to try out PF2 (CRB+Essential Bestiary) but also be cheaper for those who are going to go all in (since CRB+Tome will be less than CRB+B1+B2).

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