What lesser known creatures in Pathfinder do you like?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


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Mine is the Anhana. In regards to the lore surrounding them, they remind me a lot of the Kokiri from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and I adore that race.

What about you?


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Well, you've introduced me to something I hadn't seen before, and I've been studying Pathfinder for since the early 2010s (when I first looked at it in 2010, the first set of classes beyond Core was just appearing).

Tough choice to give my own favorite, though. I'm going to have to think about that for a while.


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Pathfinder specifically, as opposed to the rest of D&D?
Hmmmm. Tricky. I'll have to think about that.


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The Akata could use more play time IMO. These creatures have an interesting weakness, built in backstory, a unique ability to spawn more of themselves over time and a fun pre-spawn existence as undead.

Aberrations in general can be so much more interesting than they are presented in the Bestiaries. Think about it; they are called "aberrations" right? What are they diverging from to be aberrant? An akata could be a horribly mutated feline creature; a choker might be a Halfling warped by radiation; what could turn, say, a famous actor into a skin stitcher?

Anyway, back to the Akata. As a CR 1 creature, they're decent for a low-level encounter. Medium sized but decent Stealth and a Climb speed, so they make good ambush attackers. In a full attack they MIGHT be dangerous, but the secondary tentacles have a very low chance of hitting. Still, that Void Bite adds an interesting wrinkle to their menace.

But then you add the saltwater vulnerability. Set the encounters around a salt marsh, or near coastal waters, or underground around salt caves. Give the PCs a chance to exploit the weakness in some way. At the same time, to add even more danger to the party you could add an environmental hazard around some bad air or toxic gas; the akatas don't breathe so they don't even notice the sulfurous stench and sickening effects but that PCs may.

These creatures beg for whole stories written around them, perhaps even major chunks of campaigns.


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Soulbound dolls are great. There are a lot more but I can think of them right now, have to look back at my many Pathfinder books.


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Pugwampi... if you don't use them, you should probably start.

Hellwasp Swarms... their Infest ability needs to be used as much as possible.

The HIVE... did someone say Aberrations? The HIVE are perfectly terrifying any time they are used.

Ceratoidi... they're like Marvel's Trench monsters, can TWF without penalty, and have a glowing lure on their faces not unlike Anglerfish.

Ettins... because two heads are better than one.

Jotund Troll... because nine heads are better than two. And Fast Swallow is hilarious.

JubJub Bird... vorpal beak, man! It'll bite your head off.

Scythe Tree(s)... huge carnivorous trees intelligent enough to be evil, on purpose.

Tooth Fairies... they have PLIERS!

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Oblivion from Bestiary 6. The illustration is terrible, but other than that, I'd like to use it as the end boss for a campaign in a homebrew setting. Problem is... My idea is probably too ambitious for me to develop into an entire campaign.


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Ones unique to PF.
Oblivions work very well in Mystaran cosmology, so good for them.

Pugwampis because they are annoying no matter what level you are.

I like a lot of the really big nasty monsters, but I don't know if they count as 'lesser known'.

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One more: Nirvana Gigas. This one is so obscure that it hasn't been published yet, and it never will. The Gigas appeared fairly early in the history of Pathfinder because there was a need for high CR giants. They've since been replaced by other powerful giants.

The Nirvana Gigas stands out specifically because it is the dreaming giant whose dreams become reality.

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I hope we get gigas enthusiast to came planar giants come back xP

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Okay, okay. One more.

The Cutlass Spider, also from Bestiary 6. It's a construct made out of weapons. The reason I like it is because it can use the enhancements on one of the weapons it has for its own attacks. It can also steal weapons from its opponents.

Unfortunately, it only has incidental treasure which would not be enough for it to start of with a magic weapon. I suppose you could give one in a larger group a magic weapon to start with, though.

Grand Lodge

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Mark Hoover 330 wrote:

The Akata could use more play time IMO. These creatures have an interesting weakness, built in backstory, a unique ability to spawn more of themselves over time and a fun pre-spawn existence as undead.

...

Anyway, back to the Akata. As a CR 1 creature, they're decent for a low-level encounter. Medium sized but decent Stealth and a Climb speed, so they make good ambush attackers. In a full attack they MIGHT be dangerous, but the secondary tentacles have a very low chance of hitting. Still, that Void Bite adds an interesting wrinkle to their menace.

But then you add the saltwater vulnerability. Set the encounters around a salt marsh, or near coastal waters, or underground around salt caves. Give the PCs a chance to exploit the weakness in some way. At the same time, to add even more danger to the party you could add an environmental hazard around some bad air or toxic gas; the akatas don't breathe so they don't even notice the sulfurous stench and sickening effects but that PCs may.

These creatures beg for whole stories written around them, perhaps even major chunks of campaigns.

You might be glad to know that akatas and their void zombie spawn play a major role in the first book of Dead Suns. Sadly,

Spoiler:
they're encountered in a depressurized ship, which makes taking advantage of the saltwater vulnerability nigh-impossible.

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the David wrote:

Okay, okay. One more.

The Cutlass Spider, also from Bestiary 6. It's a construct made out of weapons. The reason I like it is because it can use the enhancements on one of the weapons it has for its own attacks. It can also steal weapons from its opponents.

Unfortunately, it only has incidental treasure which would not be enough for it to start of with a magic weapon. I suppose you could give one in a larger group a magic weapon to start with, though.

Cutlass Spiders are great. I love giving them sentient weapons to incorporate into themselves.

Intelligent/sentient Cutlass Spiders are infinitely more interesting, to me. I am also very willing to give my Cutlass Spiders the Fiend-Infused Golem template. This template gives them bits of a demon's personality. Which, when combined with the personality of a sentient weapon, makes for a literally crazy Cutlass Spider... something that is normally mindless, now dealing with multiple personalities battling for control.

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Cutlass Spiders aren't Golems, so you can't apply that template to a Cutlass Spider. They are also immune to mind-affecting effects, so it's debatable if a sentient weapon could take one over. That being said, there's probably nothing broken about it, and it does sound like an interesting encounter.

I just flipped through Bestiary 5 and I found the Shabti. Now I have to figure out what to do with a Shabti.


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the David wrote:

Cutlass Spiders aren't Golems, so you can't apply that template to a Cutlass Spider. They are also immune to mind-affecting effects, so it's debatable if a sentient weapon could take one over. That being said, there's probably nothing broken about it, and it does sound like an interesting encounter.

I just flipped through Bestiary 5 and I found the Shabti. Now I have to figure out what to do with a Shabti.

Cutlass Spiders are not Golems, that is correct... but I most certainly CAN apply the template to them anyways. Lol.

And, Cutlass Spiders have an entire section in their description detailing the interaction of their Weapon Thief and Shared Enhancements abilities with sentient weapons... "if a cutlass spider steals an intelligent magic weapon with a gp value higher than any other magic weapon it currently possesses, the construct immediately collapses. It spends 1 round inert, after which it reforms free from the commands of its master, now fully controlled by the newly subsumed intelligent magic weapon."


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I'll add the pooka.

Had a great storyline in one campaign revolving around one that used her pooka dust as an intoxicant at what amounts to a nightclub; and her being targeted by a serial killer who collects the heads of assorted fey.

Having this tiny, fearful, bunny-girl pleading with the PC's for help was so memorable..

Regarding the akata... first time I saw artwork on one, it was clutching an iconic in it tentacle mane, and I thought that was an awesome extra attack, to grapple and take off with a foe. But nothing in their write-up justified the art depiction. If I were to run akata's, I would up their CR and give them that ability for sure.

Starfinder sure pumped them up and made them VERY DEADLY.


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I thought we were talking about base monsters? I mean, if we're talking about monsters that can get templates or class levels added to them, mites are super fun, though I don't know how "lesser known" they are. Still, taking mites and adding Wis based caster levels to them like verminous hunter or something is just straight up good times.

Do Tatzlwyrms get used a lot in PF AP's or PFS adventures? I use them a lot too. For a CR 2 monster there's a lot to love: Climb speed, Grab, Pounce, Rake, a Poison Gasp ability, and slightly above avg HP and defenses for its CR.

If you're talking about modifying monsters, something I do a lot with Tatzlwyrms in my games is add Oracle levels, or one time I added Fighter (Eldritch Fighter) to beef it up. Building them up around their 14 Wis and natural attacks can make these dragons seriously OP. I've also given them an elemental template to align them more to specific Chromatic dragons; I'm always partial to black dragons but to each their own.

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VoodistMonk wrote:
And, Cutlass Spiders have an entire section in their description detailing the interaction of their Weapon Thief and Shared Enhancements abilities with sentient weapons... "if a cutlass spider steals an intelligent magic weapon with a gp value higher than any other magic weapon it currently possesses, the construct immediately collapses. It spends 1 round inert, after which it reforms free from the commands of its master, now fully controlled by the newly subsumed intelligent magic weapon."

Huh, it's missing that part on the Archives of Nethys. Is that from Bestiary 6 or from the Armageddon Echo?


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Armageddon's Echo.

And I use Tatzlwyrms... I like giving them 4 levels of UnRogue... Bandit and Kidnapper archetypes, in particular.

Bandit gives us Ambush, allowing our Tatzlwyrm Rogue to take a move action, standard action, and swift action during the surprise round, not just a move or standard action.

Kidnapper both gives us a bonus to Grapple, and allows us to take Improved/Greater Grapple as Rogue Talents ignoring the Improved Unarmed Strike prerequisites. We can take Improved and Greater Grapple with our level 2 and 4 Rogue Talents, respectively... because the Tatzlwyrm already has BAB +3 from its HD, being a Dragon, and all.


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Boggards... I like frog-people for some reason (I really like using Grippli, too). Boggard Bards, especially. Giving a Boggard levels in Phrenologist Bard, with a bunch of the Sonic/Stunning Croak feats, and Fiendish Obedience [Gogunta]... Discordant Voice, and the Vindictive Soliloquy masterpiece... good, clean fun.

I saw Mites were mentioned... absolutely wonderful. Great times. I like giving them [Mites] levels in Carnivalist-Sylvan Trickster UnRogue (I don't care they both alter Class Skills). And making Mites into Blight Druid necromancers. Lol.

Hags. I don't know if they count as lesser known, but Hags are awesome. Witchfires, too... they're Undead Hags. And with Witchfires, there are surely Will-O-Wisps. It's all just fun.


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VoodistMonk wrote:
the David wrote:

Cutlass Spiders aren't Golems, so you can't apply that template to a Cutlass Spider. They are also immune to mind-affecting effects, so it's debatable if a sentient weapon could take one over. That being said, there's probably nothing broken about it, and it does sound like an interesting encounter.

I just flipped through Bestiary 5 and I found the Shabti. Now I have to figure out what to do with a Shabti.

Cutlass Spiders are not Golems, that is correct... but I most certainly CAN apply the template to them anyways. Lol.

{. . .}

It sounds like a reasonable house rule to me, but technically:

{. . .} “Fiend-infused” is a template that can be added to any golem that is not vulnerable to fire (referred to hereafter as the base creature). {. . .}

The template itself seems in need of some house-ruled errata anyway:

{. . .} Alignment: Always neutral evil. {. . .}

Now why would it be Always Neutral Evil when it says earlier that the maker can bind a Demon or a Devil into it, as well as a Daemon?


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The kaiju(man I wish they gave the rest of these guys stats).

More fey then I could list(examples: gremlins, mites, tooth fairies, etc.)

The many non-standard true dragons(Astral, Crystal, Forest, etc.)

Elemental Wysps are great.

The many obscure mythical creatures rarely if ever used in D&D.

The Oni, too bad they got little love in the hardcover bestiaries.

The gigas were interesting but got little love.


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Dragon78 wrote:
The Oni, too bad they got little love in the hardcover bestiaries.

There are a half-dozen varieties of oni. How is that "little love"?

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Tim Emrick wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
The Oni, too bad they got little love in the hardcover bestiaries.
There are a half-dozen varieties of oni. How is that "little love"?

Compared with devils?

Edit: Okay, there's actually 15 oni. That's not that obscure. On the other hand, I can't come up with a module that had oni in it from the top of my head.

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Besides Jade Regent and Ruby Phoenix Tournament? ^^;

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CorvusMask wrote:
Besides Jade Regent and Ruby Phoenix Tournament? ^^;

I forgot about the Atamahuta in Ruby Phoenix Tournament. I don't have the Jade Regent modules, but I assume that would be a good place to look for Oni encounters.


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The nightwave. It's a shark that's the size of a blue whale, is super smart (22 int), and can fly as well. Also the whisperer from Bestiary 6. That thing is scary as hell.


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Oni only appeared in one hardcover bestiary, that is little love. At least as far as evil outsider groups go that is anyway.

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Dragon78 wrote:
Oni only appeared in one hardcover bestiary, that is little love. At least as far as evil outsider groups go that is anyway.

I mean... Oni were introduced at bestiary 3 and by end of 1e had 15 species and two new ones introduced in 2e.

By comparison asura are from same book and by end of 1e there are 9 of them and by 2e I think there is only one new asura(a level/CR 1 one)

Oni actually got lot of love when it comes to minor outsider groups because of ap volumes alone :'D


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Yqatuba wrote:
The nightwave. It's a shark that's the size of a blue whale, is super smart (22 int), and can fly as well. Also the whisperer from Bestiary 6. That thing is scary as hell.

All that's missing is for it to go Mach 2 and shoot lasers. (Also, good accompanying advice: Always check for traps BEFORE you open a box.)


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The Jabberwock has eye lasers!

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UnArcaneElection wrote:
Yqatuba wrote:
The nightwave. It's a shark that's the size of a blue whale, is super smart (22 int), and can fly as well. Also the whisperer from Bestiary 6. That thing is scary as hell.

All that's missing is for it to go Mach 2 and shoot lasers. (Also, good accompanying advice: Always check for traps BEFORE you open a box.)

Sidenote: check out Leviathan


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Jorugumo can make for fairly interesting encounters. Especially if you slap a level of scaled fist on them.

Had an NPC be the "bounty huntress", one of the player characters, who got abducted by an evil organisation, and the party hired her to abduct him out of that, alongside the party (captured player got to play her, he was also a spiderman fan so he had lots of fun).


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I really love Wax Golems tbh. They have so much story potential and I love their flavor.


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I really like using Krenshars for a CR1-3 fight.

Vescavor Swarm is a favorite CR5 because they're nasty.

Will o' Wisps are nasty too.


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Ryze Kuja wrote:

I really like using Krenshars for a CR1-3 fight.

Vescavor Swarm is a favorite CR5 because they're nasty.

Will o' Wisps are nasty too.

Vescavor Swarm are wonderful, indeed. Especially as a CR 6-7 encounter with one or two Allips. Combine said Vescavor Swarm's Gibber and Traumatizing abilities with an Allip's Babble/Madness/Touch of Insanity abilities... swarm traits and incorporeal Undead... it's a good-to-great CR 6-7 encounter.


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Wax golems are great.


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Vermlek demon CR3 CE Medium outsider (chaotic, demon, evil, extraplanar). Overheard at the Mendev armory, "Nahh, your the third group from the Society we sent out. Never did hear back from the first two. Masterwork cold iron morningstar, hmm, good choice. NEXT!"


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Azothath wrote:
Vermlek demon CR3 CE Medium outsider (chaotic, demon, evil, extraplanar).

That is awesome.

I really like the Hellwasp Swarm for its Inhabit ability... a demon with a similar ability [Inhabit Body] that can be introduced at an even lower level [than the Hellwasp Swarm] is freaking fabulous!

Think a Vermlek Demon could use its Inhabit Body on a Skinstitch?


VoodistMonk wrote:
Azothath wrote:
Vermlek demon CR3 CE Medium outsider (chaotic, demon, evil, extraplanar).

That is awesome.

...
Think a Vermlek Demon could use its Inhabit Body on a Skinstitch?

read the monster entry, "any dead medium humanoid" (kitsune, sasquatch, skulk, wererat, & likely Sewer Troll, Denizen of Leng, ...) . A Skinstitch CR5 N lrg construct is not the correct creature type. If a creature had a template that CR increase would get passed along to the vermlek once it inhabited the body if the GM thought it made reasonable sense, some templates might be lost upon death.

Vermlek have a burrow of 20ft and abilities that work together. In an underground crypt where the bodies are laid with their gear within cubbyholes it's nigh unstoppable should it retreat(2d6+3 heal as a swift) before death, move, and Inhabit. Of course a clever vermlek could stock a storeroom of geared up bodies or have a few in hidey holes... it's literally a Whack-a-Mole Jack in the Box monster


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I was gonna make a joke about a scented Wax Golem in the Otyugh room of a Ghast lair... but it was a stinker


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Favorite Undead (such a big part of the common dungeon scene)
For lower CRs a taxidermic creature{wire frame} carries most of the ambiance without the threat(CR) of undead critters and is usually the product of an NPC, purrfect! You gotta love when dioramas come to life or when the stuffies become stabbies.

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