Other 'Bestiaries' After Book of the Dead


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Book of the Dead is nearing a critical mass of hype, presenting a hybrid bestiary/lore tome/bundle of thematic player options all linked around a single subject - in this case, undead. If it does well enough to establish a trend, what creatures and factions would you want to see the same treatment?


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It might be a bit of a basic answer, but Beasts. Intelligent or magical animal-like creatures are some of my favorites as a GM, and they're incredibly varied as well.

Alternatively, I would love to see a book on Fiends. Again, I just love them as antagonists. Plus the player options could be fun in this one, I'd love to see a way for Wizards to be fiend themed for instance.


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Second me for fiends. Celestials and monitors as well.

While I'm not personally super invested in them, I also think a fey/wilding type book would do really well. There is a lot of material to do there, and lumping the First World and nature stuff together would give a large amount of content.


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Aberrations are my personal vote, as I'd love to see both lots of spooky alien horrors and gross/awesome player options. They're probably my favorite antagonist type! Lots of potential for psychic weirdness, body horror, and impossible places. I'd be extra happy if this gave a lot of ink to the Dominion of the Black (my #1 bad guy group in Pathfinder), and doubly so if the book is largely free of Lovecraft's stuff.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Book on fiends would be my first pick, and a book of fey would be my second pick. If only because I think druids have gone too long without a Fey order!


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Masters of the First for the Fae Book, please.


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Aberrations first and foremost for me. They're varied, and I'd like to see a bit more of the weird stuff and some more player options around them. (Alchemist, Barbarian, Bard, Psychic, and Summoner seem like good fits.) It's rare for them to take the spotlight.

Following that, fey. They would be higher, but ouch... they do not fit in well with PF2's casting paradigm. They're tied to the Primal list, but more than half their signature abilities are from the Occult list. (Honestly, fey feel like they are Mental/Life instead of Material/Life.) But that also means that if you want to play something fey-related, you kind of need specific support to do the stitching.

Fiends book- a bit in a similar vein to fey, I'd like to see some non-Divine fiend opions. It's weird being a Summoner who calls up a demon... and you have the Divine list. At the very least, Wizard should have some way to summon fiends, even if it's as restrictive as "there's one particular thesis that can do it". But, with how thorough Book of the Damned was, I'm really not in any rush for this one.

As you can probably tell, though, the actual bestiary is the least interesting part to me.


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QuidEst wrote:
Following that, fey. They would be higher, but ouch... they do not fit in well with PF2's casting paradigm. They're tied to the Primal list, but more than half their signature abilities are from the Occult list. (Honestly, fey feel like they are Mental/Life instead of Material/Life.) But that also means that if you want to play something fey-related, you kind of need specific support to do the stitching.

I'm not really sure I follow. The first world was basically the dress rehearsal for the prime material plane, so it should have all the same magical essences that later iterations of reality have. It's even closer to the Positive Energy Plane so should be practically redolent of unnecessary magical ebullience. Though perhaps divine magic might be disfavored because the Gods (other than the Eldest) are perceived to have abandoned the First World, and are resented for it.


Elementals for me. You get this feeling that the elemental planes have entirely unique ecosystems and it would be awesome to see some of that. Would also be cool to see what high level adventuring options could exist to go to such inhospitable planes.


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I am on board for Fae lore. Even now there feels like a lot of questions about how and why fae and the First World work. Not going to lie, it took me longer than I care to admit to realize that the denizens of the First World were not all or even mostly fae. I thought for a while that the 'fey' creature type described all the prototype species created in the First World and then let to run loose for millennia in a world with limited or no consistent laws of physics providing restrictions on their boundless evolution.

Even now I'm not terribly clear what defines a fae creature. It seems like fae come into existence when nascent souls pass through the First World on their way to incarnation, and we've had the lore correction that fae do indeed have their own souls, but beyond that it's a little unclear what they do in their little corner of the cosmos. I'm rather predisposed to see fae in general as nature spirits, like representatives or embodiments of aspects of nature, but I'm not entirely clear why that would necessarily be the case when they're simply inhabitants of a world where physics are barely a suggestion.

In other words, I really want to know more and it's an area with a lot of room for development.

Liberty's Edge

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I like ALL of the above, with Aberrations and Fey first. And I would add Dragons to the list.

And maybe Dinosaurs.


Gimme a first world bestiary so I can sup on some lore. Everything else in it will be cream.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

daemons is the first pick for me it's unique to pathfinder where demons and devils/ fiends are also in d&d. after that give me fey then elementals


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I kind of want to see a book of random encounters. Take an NPC guide type book and merge it with classic Bestiary monsters, a la "Unleashed" (from Campaign Setting) or Monsters of Myth, except instead of legendary personalities, it's all about the local flavor: resident bandit lord, lonely monster lurking in forgotten tomb, wannabe legend who don't got it yet, mysterious predator haunting backwater village, etc. Give me a book of interesting encounters with individual monsters – a personable experience that brings to life the bits of lore we've already read in Bestiaries. Something GMs can pull from in any situation, that gives them more insight about how these creatures might think and operate in practice. More than that, show us the kind of atmosphere and narrative tone different creatures like aberrations or outsiders or dragons are intended to evoke, which is more easily captured in a face-to-face encounter than an encyclopedic description. Dividing the book up into sections on specific monster types (Fey, Ooze, Construct, etc) would be a nice touch. You can also expand the rules elements by giving these classic monsters alternate or unique abilities, more varied CRs, or lairs with traps and powers.

One of the really nice features I'm looking forward to in Book of the Dead is Geb's annotations. It's nice to learn about monsters Wikipedia style in rulebooks, but it's even more fun to learn about them from someone with firsthand experience. So an even more increasing emphasis on the roleplaying aspect of the game in future "bestiaries" is my biggest want here.


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It would be handy to get a batch of NPCs who are higher than 8th level. IIRC that is as high as the GMG NPC blocks go.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Following that, fey. They would be higher, but ouch... they do not fit in well with PF2's casting paradigm. They're tied to the Primal list, but more than half their signature abilities are from the Occult list. (Honestly, fey feel like they are Mental/Life instead of Material/Life.) But that also means that if you want to play something fey-related, you kind of need specific support to do the stitching.
I'm not really sure I follow. The first world was basically the dress rehearsal for the prime material plane, so it should have all the same magical essences that later iterations of reality have. It's even closer to the Positive Energy Plane so should be practically redolent of unnecessary magical ebullience. Though perhaps divine magic might be disfavored because the Gods (other than the Eldest) are perceived to have abandoned the First World, and are resented for it.

Sorry, I don't mean to say that fey are made of fewer essences. But when you look at the magic they can use, it tends to be enchantments, illusions, healing, and spells related to plants. If I had to make a custom spell list that was mostly used for things related to the fey, it would be Mind/Life. That doesn't exist, obviously. Fey bloodline, fey eidolon, etc., use the Primal list. That can do healing and plant stuff, but is very limited on enchantment and illusion. As a result, it's currently pretty tricky to do something like make a fey-themed Druid. If they did make one, it would probably need a way to get access to some spells normally belonging to Arcane and Occult, or it wouldn't end up very thematic.

Liberty's Edge

Primal with Occult as secondary (with caster MC) sounds very much like the Fey : the face of Nature on beings that defy logic and reason.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Fey themed book would be great.

I'd like to see more on non divine fey and their courts, realms and how they recruit and interact with mortals for their political games over the centuries.

Maybe they could roll in the Plane of Shadow along with the First World and give us shadow monsters. Really just want a gloomblade archtype and Shae ancestry


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Absolutely the Fey, I want to know more about they Fey demigods and the various secrets of the First World, its also a very interesting source of character options.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I would trade away my first born for a deep dive into Fey and the First world.
Following that Dragons, if only because I love 3.5's Draconomicon and haven't really had a book that's came close since.


Fey themed lore book into a fey AP would absolutely be the dream. But I'll settle for any extraplanar adventure :)


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This has been discussed elsewhere, but to reiterate some of my thoughts;

Goblins - fill out the roster of various goblins/hobgoblins/bugbears, add playable bugbears, details on the goblin hero gods, various hobgoblin weapons/war machines/war beasts, etc.

Giants - Fill out the rosters for different giants (when I say fill out rosters, I mean stuff like making sure each of that particular creature has leader/caster/ranged/etc variants at different levels). Add rules for using magic items forged by giants (like, a giant makes a magic ring, so you wear it as a magic crown and it has modified effects because it was made for something bigger than you) and rules for climbing on larger enemies (for the shadow of the colossus style fights). Probably add some kind of trollkin ancestry.

Mad Science - add rules for doing weird experiments, various monsters that are the results of science gone too far, rules for modifiying alchemical or magic items in hazardous ways to give them weird quirks, more options for alchemists and inventors, various golems, mutants, etc.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I think a really cool approach to a Fiend, or maybe just an outsiders generally, book would be less new creatures (although maybe room for a couple that are from realms that have really not been covered yet in existing material), and more ways to add on templates and change up existing themes to be more unique central antagonists. Player and NPC options could focus less on here is new monsters to fight and ways to destroy them in battle, and the book could have more options towards building adventures around hunting them down and undoing the damage they cause in the world around them. This also seems like a great book to bring in the Inquisitor.

Liberty's Edge

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I think some posters want the Inquisitor back so much that they would find a way to include it in Lost Omens Recipes ;-)


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The Raven Black wrote:
I think some posters want the Inquisitor back so much that they would find a way to include it in Lost Omens Recipes ;-)

I think an Inquisitor would be perfectly justified in hunting me down for not putting mustard on my pastrami and rye sandwiches :)


Tender Tendrils wrote:

Mad Science - add rules for doing weird experiments, various monsters that are the results of science gone too far, rules for modifiying alchemical or magic items in hazardous ways to give them weird quirks, more options for alchemists and inventors, various golems, mutants, etc.

I would love this! We got a taste in Guns & Gears, but I’d love to see an expansion of that Stasian tech + some weird alchemy, Numerian science, and maybe a look further abroad at something like Eihlonan magitech or that haunted Tian clockwork.

That idea for a trollkin ancestry would make me very happy, too.


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StarlingSweeter wrote:

I would trade away my first born for a deep dive into Fey and the First world.

...

Done.

Grand Lodge

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keftiu wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
I think some posters want the Inquisitor back so much that they would find a way to include it in Lost Omens Recipes ;-)
I think an Inquisitor would be perfectly justified in hunting me down for not putting mustard on my pastrami and rye sandwiches :)

The punishment for not putting mustard on it would be a slap on the wrist compared to the horrific, but well deserved tortures due, to one who would use ketchup or mayo.


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I'd also really like to see a construct bestiary. More construct-based items, more of the constructs from 1E such as more clockworks, golems, robots, and some of the more out there ones like the Charnel God, construct-themed archetypes like a revamping of the Golem Grafter, as well as something like the Beastmaster that grants a construct companion akin to the inventor's, construct options for animal companions and familiars (Though we do have most of the familiar options already IIRC), and, while I know it wouldn't be much of a priority given how Pathfinder treats minions, more rules and rituals for crafting our own constructs.

Not to mention that several areas on Golarion have long and storied histories of construct, erm, construction, and there are still ancestries that are constructs, like Wyrwoods.
I'd also like an option for a feat line for construct ancestries to make them more construct-like. I get the in-world justifications for preserving game balance, and don't really want the full suite of immunities constructs typically get because immunities are rather dull, but it would still be nice to make a construct character more construct-y.


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I’d expect Wyrwoods as an Ancestry in an Arcadia book, but I’ll tale whatever gets us them back quickest :)


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'd also vote First World. It's just a pretty wild place. I'd like to see more done with the tane in particular.

QuidEst wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Following that, fey. They would be higher, but ouch... they do not fit in well with PF2's casting paradigm. They're tied to the Primal list, but more than half their signature abilities are from the Occult list. (Honestly, fey feel like they are Mental/Life instead of Material/Life.) But that also means that if you want to play something fey-related, you kind of need specific support to do the stitching.
I'm not really sure I follow. The first world was basically the dress rehearsal for the prime material plane, so it should have all the same magical essences that later iterations of reality have. It's even closer to the Positive Energy Plane so should be practically redolent of unnecessary magical ebullience. Though perhaps divine magic might be disfavored because the Gods (other than the Eldest) are perceived to have abandoned the First World, and are resented for it.
Sorry, I don't mean to say that fey are made of fewer essences. But when you look at the magic they can use, it tends to be enchantments, illusions, healing, and spells related to plants. If I had to make a custom spell list that was mostly used for things related to the fey, it would be Mind/Life. That doesn't exist, obviously. Fey bloodline, fey eidolon, etc., use the Primal list. That can do healing and plant stuff, but is very limited on enchantment and illusion. As a result, it's currently pretty tricky to do something like make a fey-themed Druid. If they did make one, it would probably need a way to get access to some spells normally belonging to Arcane and Occult, or it wouldn't end up very thematic.

I definitely feel this. My friend is playing a Nymph bloodline diplomancer, but the only real mind control options a primal sorcerer gets are from the bloodline. (In that case it includes Calm Emotions though,which has been enough for his purposes so far.)


As someone who’s never had any interest in fae stuff - what’s the appeal? I’m a little surprised by all the demand.


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I love the First World stuff because the Fae walk the knife's edge between weird/fun and monstrously dangerous. They're fundamentally alien people, who aren't full-on antagonistic but absolutely should never be very trusted.

Every Fae villain is someone who you can have a great time having the party just talk to them since they're someone who's bizarre goals are not related to one party killing the other one. Like send the party into the Hanging Bower and you might end up with 0 things dead, or tens of thousands of things dead depending on how things go which will depend fundamentally on whimsy.

The First World is in a way comfortable because it superficially looks like the normal world the characters are familiar with, but it's also a place where the actual physics are determined locally by the will of whatever's around that's the most powerful. This is your license as the GM to throw bizarre things at the party because this is where it fits (want to have a combat, where gravity changes direction randomly between rounds and this doesn't benefit everybody? I do! What if it changes randomly and you're using the underwater combat rules while submerged in hallucinogenic honey?)

I'm just a sucker for weird, especially not in the "automatically roll initiative" sense.

Silver Crusade

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They're whimsically eldritch, and run the gamut between wonder and horror, they operate on their own set of rules and morality that's alien yet understandable, in the learnable sense, not that it makes sense.

They're an explicit expression of fantasy.


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I guess I'm just a creature of anti-whimsy.

Silver Crusade

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;_;

*offers hugs*

Liberty's Edge

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I've loved the Fey ever since the first Ars Magica book that focussed on them so long ago. Familiar yet strange but with a logic, however twisted. Alice in wonderland feel.

And Paizo's take on their homeworld of the First World is great : a parallel, older reality where Death does not hold sway, that was the deities' first marvelous sketchbook and that they just left behind.

The Fey are the ultimate alien culture. You can perfectly have excellent relations with them, but it will always be on their terms and you will forever be an outsider.


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keftiu wrote:
I guess I'm just a creature of anti-whimsy.

If it helps, the Book of the Dead really isn't my bag.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I like fae for the same reason I like aberrations, tbh. The whole motif of strange, alien creatures who operate with a set of rules that can feel incomprehensible and inscrutable.

... Ironically, despite being tied so heavily to the primal tradition and the nature skill, I feel like Fae represent a really pure distillation of everything the Occult tradition stands for.


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I like the first world bc the idea of a failed first attempt at creation where the gods washed their hands of the situation and said, "This is silly... scrap it. We'll try again." fascinates me.

Liberty's Edge

I have to reread why they did not just destroy it completely.


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Squiggit wrote:

I like fae for the same reason I like aberrations, tbh. The whole motif of strange, alien creatures who operate with a set of rules that can feel incomprehensible and inscrutable.

... Ironically, despite being tied so heavily to the primal tradition and the nature skill, I feel like Fae represent a really pure distillation of everything the Occult tradition stands for.

The fun thing about the Fae is that unlike other beings which are alien and incomprehensible, you can just have a conversation with a powerful Fae that is reasonably pleasant which you can't do with a Aboleth, or a Qlippoth, or a member of the Dominion of the Black, or any number of alien things which are actively malicious. Which is not to say that you should let your guard down around the Fae, it's just that they do not necessarily mean you harm, or see you as a tool or lesser, or even perceive you in any way that resembles how you see yourself.

Like it's fun that you can have the PCs run into any one of the Eldest, and none of them are going to be especially helpful, but even the actual evil ones provide an eminently survivable encounter with a being of cosmic power which does not mean you well.

I just like the strange alien creatures that you can talk to.


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I like that they have the same sort of "bargaining" aesthetic as devils, but you don't have to be a fool to make a deal with one. It's still risky, especially if you're greedy about it, but there isn't the same sort of malice behind it. The things you can deal in can also be much more esoteric.

I like that they have a strange blend of lawful and chaotic. It goes well with the feeling of being older than the world, like comparing formal legislation and common law.

I like the Eldest. They're more approachable than the gods- it's possible to meet them. But they aren't better understood. They also cover the "trickster deity" angle better than any of the core twenty.

I like the kinds of magic that they're associated with- mostly illusions and enchantments.

I would love to have their ties to occult magic expanded on, but that is partly wishful thinking.


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WWHsmackdown wrote:
I like the first world bc the idea of a failed first attempt at creation where the gods washed their hands of the situation and said, "This is silly... scrap it. We'll try again." fascinates me.

Technically (if my understanding of the lore is still up to date) the First World isn't the gods' failure, it's their beta testing environment. They used it to figure out, "what happens if we set gravity to 10? Cool. What temperature range does the main fluid our organisms are going to live in need to be to facilitate life? What happens if we made a world without access to magic... noted," plus test run their designs for mortal life.

They didn't really so much scrap it as they left behind the drawing board (and the drawing creatures--iirc the elohim were created specifically for that purpose and then set loose on the Astral plane) and moved on to setting their designs to work on the universe. It just so happens when you leave the beta testing environment running for a few millennia, populated with a bunch of practice run creatures operating on an evolutionary randomizer where death and the laws of physics are no limiter, things can get weird.


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QuidEst wrote:
I like that they have the same sort of "bargaining" aesthetic as devils, but you don't have to be a fool to make a deal with one. It's still risky, especially if you're greedy about it, but there isn't the same sort of malice behind it. The things you can deal in can also be much more esoteric.

Yeah, things like the Witchmarket sometimes charging abstract prices (e.g. "you can have this for all memories of your best friend when you were six years old") essentially means players will sometimes sign up to let you tell them things about their character.

Even offering stuff like this without any plans for there to be a downside, is a great way to unnerve players without any real danger, even if they don't take the deal.

Like you're pretty sure what a Devil is after, even if they're playing a long game, you have no idea what a Fae is after and may not be able to understand it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd like to see a book for each category of creature.


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

I would love to see a Bestiary book themed around the primordial. Oozes, Plants, Fungi, and Animals would be the stars of the book. There would be lots of player options as well. I would love to see lycanthropes get archetypes similar to the undead archetypes. Also an Ooze themed Universal Heritage.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Fey also have a lot of cool secret lore, very cosmically interesting entities and stuff like that, they're exciting because they're synonomous with the mysteries of magic and reality. Thats the general impression they give off.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

a book of the elements (elementals) a book of the sea book of the heavens book of fiends


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If we're going to do books on the outer planar folks, I would like to voice my support for emphasizing the Axiomites vs. Protean side of things rather than the Angels v. D(a)emons side of things. Just because parts of these books are for player options, and Law and Chaos work together much more nicely in the same party than Good and Evil does.

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