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    Pathfinder Bestiary


    Join date : 2009-11-20
    Posts : 290

    The Waste Character
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    Pathfinder Bestiary

    Post by Chris on 2009-12-06, 18:25

    Paizo's sophomore entry in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game line is the much-needed Pathfinder Bestiary. I say much-needed because the Pathfinder Core Rulebook enhanced PC power levels a good bit, relative to D&D v3.5, and the old D&D Monster Manual monsters really couldn’t keep up.

    As I’ve stated
    before, I’m a big fan of pathfinder. I run Pathfinder in my home game. So now that my bias is out there, you can take everything that I say here with the proverbial grain of salt.

    The Pathfinder Bestiary is, like all the Pathfinder books, a beautifully designed and well-crafted book. The case binding is typical of well-made RPG books and should hold up to years of regular use. The page layout keeps with the 3.5 standard of full-color pages with intricate, but not distracting, borders.

    Like all monster books, the Bestiary is laid out alphabetically. The table of contents includes listings by their full name, such as Giant Slug, while the book order lists it under ‘S’ for Slug. Creatures of a type (such as Angels, Devils, and Dinosaurs) are still listed under those types, but can be found by their individual names (Planetar, Lemure, and Triceratops) in the table of contents.

    Of course, the bulk of the book is monster entries. Each creature has a full page, or two pages dedicated to it. Each entry has a beautiful, full-color painting depicting it, and let me tell you, the new artwork even makes the Cloaker look intimidating. This new artwork is enhanced with more evocative descriptive text (Erinyes appear as darkly beautiful angels, augmenting their sensuality with deliberate bruises and scars).

    One of my favorite additions is a Familiars section, listing the stats for all the basic familiars available to Sorcerers and Wizards.

    Another plus, however, is that every construct listed in the book has all the pertinent magic item creation details listed in the entry. Many of the creatures listed have variants listed in their entries, allowing you to create, with minimal effort, a Cryohydra or a Fast Zombie.

    One thing that I don’t care for is the Monster Icons. The Icons are little symbols next to each monster’s name showing its Creature Type, Climate, and Habitat (urban, subterranean, etc.). These little symbols are cute, but they’re a new alphabet to learn, when they could’ve just printed the words that the symbols represent. All-in-all, it seems a bit gimmicky.

    Unlike previous editions, the Bestiary lists a set of base stats for each dragon (the top ten), and then advanced statistics for Young Adult and Ancient dragons of that type. Nothing is really lacking however, because the Bestiary has a comprehensive Monster Advancement Appendix including templates for Advanced, Celestial, Fiendish, Giant, and Young creatures.

    With a total of 14 appendices, the Bestiary allows you to get the maximum use out of the monsters within. If you’re playing Pathfinder, the Bestiary is nothing short of essential, if you’re playing D&D 3 or 3.5, the Bestiary will give you many new monster variations, if you’re not playing either, consider picking up the Pathfinder Core Rulebook (but I’ve already told you where I stand on that).

    Overall, I give the Pathfinder Bestiary 17 out of 20, good enough to hit just about anything, but not a threat.

    Last edited by Chris on 2010-02-28, 14:11; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : add rating)

      Current date/time is 2018-06-19, 16:01