Bunyips AREN'T Magical Beasts??


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So given that Bunyips can shapeshift, I'm really surprised that they're just considered animals. They were considered magical beasts in 1E. Do you all think this is a mistake?


No, "Animal" covers a lot of former "Magical beast" PF1 monsters, such as Purple Worm.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

With the defining difference being that Beasts have an Int modifier of -3 or higher.

Basically, if it is sapient, it's a Beast, if it's not, it's an Animal.


I like this new way of categorizing creatures. There is more of an in-universe feel to the distinction since, from the game's point of view, an animal having some manner of magical potential or power is a natural thing.

I'm less clear on where the defining line between Beast and Aberration is, though.

Silver Crusade

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Aberratons function on "thaaaaaat's not how that works"


Hmm is something like this:

Animal < Beast < Magical Beast.

Then Aberration is any of those that has been corrupted or not from the material plane and thus super weird.


Oh! I was under the impression that Animals were usually non-magical, and that Beast applied to creatures which were either magical or more intelligent. I agree, this makes much more sense.

As far as aberrations go, the impression I get of them is that they tend to be utterly alien or in some way deviate from a 'natural' creature. This includes mainly big-A Alien creatures from the Dark Tapestry (as opposed to small-a creatures from other planets) such as brain collectors and intellect devourers, or from strange dimensions beyond the planes, such as the denizens of Leng, or the hounds of Tindalos, as well as a number of genetically or magically warped creatures who at some point descended from natural organisms, including fleshwarps like driders, and many creatures created by the alghollthu. That said, there are a few creatures which don't neatly fit into this description, so by necessity it also seems to be a catch-all for 'nature doesn't work like that even with magic' creatures.

Also on the other side of it, some creatures whose origins are ostensibly similar to the mix-and-match fleshwarp creatures above may be Animals or Beasts instead--particularly the owlbear is regarded as an animal, and not a fleshwarp. Perhaps it is a question of the degree of alteration?


Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

Oh! I was under the impression that Animals were usually non-magical, and that Beast applied to creatures which were either magical or more intelligent. I agree, this makes much more sense.

As far as aberrations go, the impression I get of them is that they tend to be utterly alien or in some way deviate from a 'natural' creature. This includes mainly big-A Alien creatures from the Dark Tapestry (as opposed to small-a creatures from other planets) such as brain collectors and intellect devourers, or from strange dimensions beyond the planes, such as the denizens of Leng, or the hounds of Tindalos, as well as a number of genetically or magically warped creatures who at some point descended from natural organisms, including fleshwarps like driders, and many creatures created by the alghollthu. That said, there are a few creatures which don't neatly fit into this description, so by necessity it also seems to be a catch-all for 'nature doesn't work like that even with magic' creatures.

Also on the other side of it, some creatures whose origins are ostensibly similar to the mix-and-match fleshwarp creatures above may be Animals or Beasts instead--particularly the owlbear is regarded as an animal, and not a fleshwarp. Perhaps it is a question of the degree of alteration?

Ahh the matter of fleshwarp is actually easy to explain. ~90% of fleshwarps were created by Drow or people related to the Drow. Driders are Aberrations because they were originally a type of fleshwarp but at some point gained the ability to reproduce. Yes most fleshwarps are sterile.

Owlbears are weird, the three theories are: Some guy experimented on creature; a wizard had a mishap in an area with high magic; or (what I consider the most plausible) they came from the First World like Gnomes and other creatures.


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As a minor note, since I haven't seen it explicitly mentioned in this thread, the most direct answer for why bunyips are not Magical Beasts in 2e is that there is no such thing as a 'Magical Beast'--only Animals and Beasts. The distinction between these two categories has already been illustrated by others before me, which further answers the spirit of the question above and beyond. I just thought it might be useful to someone to have this explicitly called out.

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