Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary by Alien Rope Burn
1 is for 1ntroductionOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 1: 1 is for 1ntroduction
With a jaw like that, his face is pretty much stuck that way.
Okay, so it starts out describing what we'll have in here. It mentions there'll be stuff from legends and myths (read: the Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual ), from RPG's rich history (read: the Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual ), and literature (by which they mean the Call of Cthulhu RPG ... and H.G. Wells. Sort of.).
Yes, this means there will be things that aren't from Dungeons & Dragons .
What the hell.
Seriously, nearly everything save one Prestige Class and a handful of feats has been cribbed from Dungeons & Dragons so far. The idea of new content is...
... genuinely interesting!
I reserve the right to be disappointed.*
Each creature writeup has two sections:
Stat Block: The name, challenge rating, special icons Pathfinder uses to note a creature's role, XP, race*, class*, level*, alignment, size, type (of creature), initative modifier, special senses*, Perception check modifier, aura*, Armor Class, hit points, saving throws, defensive abilities*, Damage Reduction*, resistances*, spell resistance*, weaknesses*, speed, melee attack modifier, ranged attack modifier, space*, reach*, special attacks*, spell-like abilities*, spells the creature knows*, the spells it prepares*, base attack, feats, skills, languages*, special qualities, environment, organization, treasure, and special abilities*. Whew! I will sarcastically note how simple that all is, if I haven't worn out that sentiment from my
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
writeup. The asterisk means the creature may or may not have that particular thing.
Description: The descriptive text. Some creatures have variant versions described here.
Now, my first nitpick, some (very few of you) might remember how each piece of art in the races chapter of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game suffered from being cut and pasted in a little improperly, so it has a black "fringe" in some places?
Most of the art in this book suffers from that in the PDF version. It's particularly noticable on any light-colored piece.
Here's an example from the first piece of art in the book, the Aasimar.
Yeah. Doesn't show up on the print version, from what I can tell, but it's pretty ugly in the PDF.
So, with that noted, let's move on the monsters!
Next: A is for Angel, Topless.
* Dissapointment will reign, by the way. The only new monsters that aren't minor variants are the Boggard, Giant Flytrap, Goblin Dog, new Linnorms (Crag, Ice, and Tarn), and the Morlocks.
A is for Angel, ToplessOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 2: A is for Angel, Topless
And lets get on to the monsters!... mind, most of these aren't monsters. Or beasts. We were lied to, people.
Wearing the holy nightgown, I see.
This is a human who's great-grandpappy or grandmammy was an angel, so they get to be a little holier than thou. Basically like Jesus, but a whole race of Jesii. They're more of a race than a monster, and get race stats so you can build them as a character. As characters, they're moderately okay - they have no penalties, bonuses to Charisma and Wisdom, get some energy resistances, and... um... have darkvision and the ability to cast daylight. Er. A little redundant, but alright.
They get a sample statted as a 1st level cleric, bu- twho's going to use a 1 HD statblock? They go to all the length of including the full stats, but that isn't terribly useful, because most of these characters are going to be unique. Seriously. Why spend nearly half the page on a statblock when most GMs will be statting these characters as unique NPCs?
I don't get it. And this is just the first monster writeup. And it's not really a monster.
Eternal pinkeye would make any fish evil.
Now this is a monster. Seriously. This critter creeped out at a young age. It's basically a alien squidfish that enslaves people magically, and has magical tentacles that turn you into a slime-person who's doomed to have to join them in the water as their moist slave. Of course, in the classic Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual II , failing your save against that slimy fate was pretty much a death sentence for a character. Now... well, it's not vastly different. Only remove disease can cure an afflicted character, which is actually harder than it used to be. And given it's rated at CR 7 and has four tentacle attacks a turn if it goes on full attack, PC saves aren't going to do much against it.
It can also create illusions at will, and can try and mind control somebody a few times a day. It's about 25' long and swims quickly, but can't really move well on land. It also spews mucus underwater that makes it so you can't breathe air anymore. They're supposed to predate the gods, which is an interesting idea but given their role, I suspect it's not going to come up too often.
So still kind of creepy, and entirely reliant on save-or-suck effects - it can do decent damage, but nothing to really threaten characters of its level.
They also get a language all their own, and we also see "Aklo" in their statblock, which is a language for aberration-type monsters taken from Cthulhu Mythos.
They're good! Apparently lawful ones come from Heaven, neutral angels come from Nirvana, and chaotic angels are from Elysium, in the mythological mashup that is
They're all pretty and can change sex at will, or take on a sexless shape. I guess this was important for the writers to include, or something? Not sure why this matters.
Of course, angels are not to be confused with archons, azatas, agathions, and other good creatures from the heavenly zones. They're different. Somehow. Also, they come in three flavors: devas, who have no or two wings, planetars have four wings, and solars have six wings. It's a wingocracy, I suppose.
Angel, Astral Deva
The hammer is actually only used for giant nails.
These are supposed to be messengers, and darn tough messengers at CR 14. They get a lot of powerful spells and a hammer that'll stun people. The interesting point for them is that they carry scrolls with prophecies on them, but they don't let anybody ever read them because... um...
The holy power of teal.
These are four-winged general angels that really want to fight evil, like, all the time. All that is pretty boring, I'm just noting them here because of:
How's a GM supposed to keep track of all that and actually run this wingding in a fight? Pathfinder offers no clues or help. It just overwhelms with options.
Remember: six wings means sex... things.
These are the right-hand-of-god sorts, and probably the mightiest good creatures in the book at CR 23. Like the Planetars, they're overloaded with a ridiculous suite of powers and apparently go on specific tasks for gods. Some hunt down evil stuff on other planes, and have even wiped out entire species of evil things, because genocide is good as long as it's a a bad race.
Oh and apparently sometimes they show up and have sex with mortal women and give them aasimar babies because they're hung up on the fact the can't have babies with each other. None of the other angels seem to have that hangup, though.
Yeah, I chose the header subtitle for a reason. Doesn't end here.
Made by the animate objects spell. Oh, and if it gets smashed up, the spellcaster can just animate another object or objects with a move action. Sigh. Also, stats are provided mainly or just one size. You have to math out the other sizes yourself.
They're built using "construction points" that are broken as shit. Stuff like extra attacks, grab or trample, but then you get stuff like stone or metal construction that can give a hardness of 8-15 at challenge rating 3. That means it's subtracting that amount from every hit done to it. Thankfully, animate objects is an 11th-level spell, but its challenge rating is all sorts of screwed up.
Giant bugs that burrow, spit acid, and sense vibrations. They have a "predilection for livestock and humanoid flesh" as a sort of failure of evolution, since I imagine that's what gets adventurers to kill them. They can dig tunnels for adventurers to chase into sometimes and dumber monster races try and domesticate them, and sometimes get a faceful of acid.
Yeah, it's a big ant. Not much else to say. They can bite you and climb up walls. Pretty boring.
Ant, Army Ants
This is a swarm of regular-sized ants. They're pretty damn deadly for a CR 5 creature, and do three times the damage one suffers if set on fire. Can kill most PCs in 3 rounds or less if they don't escape.
Yep, what it says on the tin. Honestly pretty weak, for a gorilla. Your average fighter is as strong as one of these things, if not more, since they only have a Strength of 15.
This is supposed to be gigantopithecus, and they describe it as hyper-aggressive and willing to kill anything, just because. This is strange, given its main diet was most likely bamboo and fruit, but... well, fuck science.
Like angels, only lawful only and not quite so wingcentric. Apparently they're big on aiding mortals, but not actually, you know, aiding them, because it's important that mortals make the choice to fight and suffer in the face of evil because oh I don't even know. Archons are assholes.
And they fight devils and demons on extraplanar battlefields like whoa.
They're big on law, so if you believe in overthrowing a cruel dictatorship through rebellion, they're like NOPE. Don't do it! You have to get rid of the dictatorship through the law. That the dictator creates. Which sounds self-defeating. So. They're kind of bullheaded.
And they butt heads with azata because apparently azata are impatient and want to do good now , which honestly sounds like the better solution to me. Apparently they're big on arguing for their flavor of good. Instead of just good.
Also, all archons can teleport anywhere, even lantern archons. Yep, so you have CR 2 and 4 creatures that can circumvent all spatial restrictions. Presumably they're built with the idea that PCs won't actually have to fight them, but if they do...
A +1 phallic blade.
These are archons that basically serve as soldiers and radiate goodness. Apparently sometimes they turn into dogs and follow around and help people, really, though, they're humanoids with dog's heads, because... I dunno. They like to fight evil dogs. In the name of dogness, I guess.
These are glowing lights that fly around shooting lasers at bad things. They can form up like Voltron and become a swarm that's more powerful, but given how the action economy of Pathfinder works, they're actually better off offensively staying apart, since their lasers ignore all damage reduction and they can't all get killed at once.
Only possible though the heavenly gluepot.
So, yeah. They're naked angels with giant horns. No awkward symbolism there. They're pretty much a lot like Astral Devas, messengers, only they have a ridiculous mix of spells and spell-like abilities like a planetar angel, only they get a horn that can paralyze people and turn into a sword.
And you can't steal their horns, because it doesn't work for anybody else, even if you have Use Magic Device +1000, neener neener. Well, that cuts out some interesting story possibilities.
A vine that strangles people. Actually really deadly for challenge rating 3, since it can choke you out in about two turns, and is really hard to break free from at that level. Almost TPKed an entire party in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 with one of these. No, really.
These are goody spirits from Elysium, plane of good and chaos. Most of them can fly, and are elvish-ish. Apparently even on their home plane they're nomadic and wander around because chaos! and whatever. When given a mission they'll show up, get the job done, and bail. They are basically affention deficit disorder angels.
Unlike other angels so far, when evil invades the mortal world, they mess it up, because they can. They have a hard time working together like a cat herd. Oh, and they like to have sex with mortals, because!
I think he forgot to draw an arrow.
Wingless elf angels that can fly around and turn into wind or blast people with wind that does damage because, uh, I dunno. Bam. Apparently the fly around laughing and being merry and... sigh, so boring. Oh, and apparently like spicy food and settling arguments through contests. Oh, and they fly 100 ft. a round with perfect manueverability, yet Pathfinder feels compelled to tell us they can only walk 40 ft. a round. It's important.
If only there was some weakness to their armor...
They're super-elf knights that get a ridiculous number of spell-like abilities and spells (again), can kill weak evil creatures by giving them the hairy eyeball, turn into intangible light, and shoot lasers. They fight evil stuff and have boob windows.
Traditional Elysian pasties.
Apparently chaos makes you saucy. They're angels with snake lower halves that get to prepare bardic spells and use bardic music, and can wrap around things like a python since they're 20' long. Apparently they love art and hate clothing. They also "... [crush] philistines in their striking but deadly coils.", so I wouldn't suggest criticizing their art.
The tendency for female monsters to leave their boobs in the breeze will be an ongoing theme as well.
Next: B is for Black Pudding Kung Fu.
B is for Black Pudding Kung FuOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 3: B is for Black Pudding Kung Fu
"Embrace the skill of the black pudding to squeeze into any space, no matter now small, young student."
Devil wolves with bat-heads that can turn into wolves. Also, they have magic powers to charm people, randomly. They gain extra power and size by eating corpses, and turn into more powerful versions of themselves. They have the weird distinction of being a CR 4 creature that can turn into a CR 7 creature in the course of an adventure, which strikes me as potentially awkward. Also they can blink and dimension door , so good luck stopping them from munching on any unattended bodies.
This is a plant that walks around and hits you with LSD spores that make you sick. Also, it drinks blood. May or may not be perfectly evolved to murder hippies. Not from Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 ; actually from Monster Manual II , and brought to this game by way of Tome of Horrors . Can cause hallucinations where you think you're melting or your sword is a snake or there are spiders all over you, etc.
It's two lizards in one lizard costume.
13' lizard that can make stuff into stone with a look. Unlike Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 , the save or die is softened (literally) by the fact that basilisk blood is the cure to its petrification. Gross, but it's something, at least. Apparently basilisks eat the transmuted stone, though, so I wouldn't leave petrified friends hanging around. The DC to save against its effect isn't too hard, but with a bad run of dice it could TPK a group easily.
An ox-sized bat. All these big creatures are just like "fuck science, we're big!" It feeds on deers and stuff. Not deeply threatening aside from the fact it comes from the sky .
These are swarms of bats, like... ever see Bats ? Yeah, like that. They make you bleed and lose blood, which is a really weird mechanic when you realize a greatsword to the gut won't do the same thing. And it doesn't mention them being vampire bats. Weird.
It's a bear. Pretty tough for an ordinary animal. Not much else to mention. Good at hugs.
Has a chip on its shoulder.
A giant bear with goofy bony growths. Those don't really matter, as it's mostly "a bear, only tougher". Which is pretty tough, but still only CR 7.
With controversially placed stingers.
This is a giant spider-monster that "evolved to hunt and slay demons", but "has no biological need to eat" and "enjoy[s] the sensation of chewing on demonic flesh". Well, that's perfectly nonsensical. Anyway, it has bladelike arms that have the relatively unique ability to sunder armor, and has a rot effect that can cause Constitution damage. Oh, and it can hop between dimensions, but doesn't really use it, because
Cat-sized glowy beetles. Not really a threat. There are also mining beetles, which burrow, and flash beetles, which can dazzle you with their shiny butts.
Beetle, Giant Stag
10' long beetles that feed on decaying wood. Uh. That'd have to be one big forest they live in. Apparently they're a threat to loggers. There are also bombardier beetles, which squirt butt acid, and goliath beetles, which are just bigger beetles.
Weakness: ask it how it walks.
This is a 40' horned lizard-snake with a dozen legs. They can spit lightning, swallow adventurers whole, and are good at grappling, though they can still only grapple one foe at a time, despite being snakes with a dozen legs. When they bite for 2d6 + 9 they automatically then constrict for another 2d6+9 and the following round get six 1d4 + 6 rake attacks against a grappled foe. Apparently they speak common, even though they're just loner predators, and apparently hate blue dragons because blue dragons snub them like crazy and never invite them to parties.
This one has monk levels, apparently.
Not for eating; these are huge black blobs of acid. They get to target a character's clothing and armor as well as the character. Also, sharp weapons cause it to split into weaker blobs. and they can stick to surfaces. They do solid damage (4d6+4) and actually move swiftly for a blob at 20' a round. Underground creatures use them as trash cans, or, at least, the ones fast enough to flee one do. Oh, and if they grapple you for any length of time, you can pretty much kiss your armor goodbye, as it takes 21 points of damage each turn without a saving throw. Apparently there are other shades of pudding for later books.
It's a mean pig. It gets the ability to fight into its negative hp for a bit. Ho-hum.
Apparently this is a daeodon, which wasn't actually a boar or a pig, though it did look a bit like one. They're really closer to hippos, though. So. Points off on the science front. Anyway, it's just statted as a bigger boar, and apparently orcs ride them sometimes, even though they aren't pig-people in this version.
In this dark world, Kermit must battle for survival.
This is Pathfinder's non-copyrighted version of the bullywug from Dungeons & Dragons . Not be confused with grippli, the other frog-race borrowed from Dungeons & Dragons later on. They're not very strong without class levels, get a sticky tongue they can use to keep an enemy close (there are special rules for cutting them off), can move through swamps quickly, and get a "terrifying croak". Anyway, they're chaotic evil frog-people, and not too much more to them than that.
Driven to evil by back pain.
These are large, fuzzy goblins that apparently like to murder and torture things... because, that's why. They like to murder humans best... because, that's why. They worship gods of murder and violence, because, that is why . Sigh.
It also notes that each type of goblin represents a different sort of evil. Goblins are primal, petty evil that just lashes out, hobgoblins are despots who form organized conquering armies, and bugbears are apparently the dedicated sadists who like to cause as much misery as possible to the friends and relatives of their victims.
A really long-winded way to say "chaotic evil".
Let's replace a bulette with a generic dinosaur and see if they can tell the difference!
An armored, giant, burrowing landshark. One of my favorite Dungeons & Dragons monsters, for no good reason. It can pounce, has a nasty bite, and can sense vibrations. It was made by wizards, probably an elf, and likes to eat halflings. Rumor has it it has a weak point on its back behind its fin but there are no rules for it, so fuck it all.
That's it, no boobs under B. That's irony!
Next: C is for Crabmania!
C is for CrabmaniaOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 4: C is for Crabmania
Welcome to CRABMANIA 2012! WOOOOO!
Yeah, it's a big cat that once a day can go 500' as a charge, which makes it one of the fastest creatures in the book. That snapping sound is the game's scaling breaking a little.
Big cat that can pounce and then rake foes. Apparently when they settle near cities they turn to hunting people, for some reason.
CRABMANIA STARTS HERE!
A big crab-spider that doesn't really look anything like the Monster Manual II creature. It's here courtesy of Tome of Horrors dragging it into d20, and can shoot a sticky line to try and drag adventurers into its claws. Apparently it's useful for making silk rope and magic items involving pale stickiness. Wizards are gross!
Humans who are also horses. Apparently they're hicks who hate it when their folks go and live in the cities. Really just kind of boring, since they occupy the same niche as elves only on plains instead of trees. Blahhh.
You see, when a centipede and an adventurer really love one another-
This is just like a 6' centipede that does a weak bite but has a weak poison that does Dexterity damage. There are rules for up or downsizing it. Yes, this means a house centipede gets a 1d8 HD, and could have more hp than some people.
This is a swarm of centipedes. Unlike real life, where it's just gross, these things apparently are just, you know. Army ants, but in centipede form. They do less damage than ants, but have that same poison as the bigguns. And like real centipedes, they can see in perfect dark.*
The other heads just wish the lion would cut that roaring shit out.
Lion body, eagle wings, lion head, dragon head, goat head. Seriously, goat head, what are you doing there? The other two can bite and stuff, you're just kind of... there. Goat head is a free rider, loafing off the more successful heads. They speak draconic for some reason. Anyway, they're omnivores that prefer meat, and are jerks so they make bad pets. Its breath weapon depends on the color of the dragon head. They're basically just mixed-up crazy lions, though.
Small monkey-things with rubbery arms that they use to choke people (it actually can block casters from using verbal components, but for some reason doesn't have a suffocation effect). They're actually kind of bad at grappling, even though they get a chance with each attack. Apparently they like shiny things are are bright enough to lure humans into traps, especially when they settle into city areas. Basically, they'll murder hobos and they just don't care.
PINCERS FUCK AND YES-
A tall crab-like monster (but with only four legs and two claws) with mouth tentacles that can paralyze people. They like to eat lizardmen and speak a "chittering, burbling dialect of Common". You know, now I want to see some adventurers running into a monster trying to teach common to its podlings. Oh, and it collects treasure, to complete its convenient nature.
It's paralysis ability is only Fortitude DC 19, which doesn't sound too bad for CR 7. Unfortunately, it only really needs to succeed once, since you're left paralyzed for six rounds , which may as well be forever in most combats. Some TPK potential, especially if you run into a pack of these.
It's scary when it pretends to be a bat, at least?
These are evil manta rays that fulfill the grab bag of powers a lot of classic Dungeons & Dragons monsters fall into, even though their basic schtick was originally "can be mistaken for a cloak and you put it on and AAA IT'S ATTACKING-". It can wrap around people to grapple them, can release a number of emotion-inducing moans (some of which allow them to do things like hold monster , even), and can perform minor defensive illusions in shadowy areas. Geez, who needs tightly-themed creatures? Apparently sometimes they act as cloaks for creatures or worship evil gods for "their own inscrutable reasons", which is a kind way of saying the writers have no goddamn idea.
Chicken of doom.
A chicken with bat wings that can turn things to stone with its bite. Unlike the basilisk, this might be just temporary, since it really just does Dexterity damage with the petrification theme. But if your really goof your saves, you're stoned. Not sure why they have a mechanic for it considering it'll happen so rarely (on average you'll have to fail at least four DC 12 Fortitude saves in a row if it hits you four turns in a row), but there you go. Supposedly they might come from snake eggs incubated by chickens, which is the exact same origin stated for the basilisk, above. Oh, and weasels and ferrets are immune to their stony doom and steal their eggs.
Winged serpents from the heavens that are sometimes mistaken for gods. They sometimes ask for sacrifices of food because they're kinda lazy. Anyway, it has a bunch of sensory and planeshifting spells as well as casting spells as a 9th level cleric, to continue the habit of extraplanar creatures having massively bloated ability lists, and can constrict like a snake. It also sometimes gives away its feathers so it can be summoned later, though it's kind of judgemental about what it's summoned for.
CRABS OH GOD SO MANY CRABS AAAAAGHGH DAMN
It's man-sized grab with pincers that are good for grappling. Like other big bugs, it has rules for adjusting its size. No rules for hitting its underside for mas- er, big damage. It does have rules noting it can only stay out of water for 14 hours. That's 8400 combat rounds. Keep track of that, GMs, it's important!
You've got crabs! They are guided by the moon to pinch you to pinchy doom. No, it really says that, though it doesn't say "pinchy doom" exactly . Like centipedes, they can see in the perfect dark, just like real crabs*.
It's a croc. They can sprint once per minute, and get a special grapple move called "death roll" where they knock you prone underwater while chomping. This makes them pretty fuckin' deadly for CR 2.
This is supposed to be sarcosuchus, so unlike most dire animals, it's pretty much kaiju-sized. They can still do the "death roll" on comparatively tiny targets like humans, for some reason.
"It's my axe you can't touch it no touching no tooouching!"
Giants with one eye, of course. They get to fight into their negative hit points and get a special ability where they can see possible futures and select the result of a single roll once a day. That seems like a really interesting ability with ramifications that are not at all explored in the description. Instead, it can just auto-crit you for an average of 52 damage with an axe, which at CR 5 will auto-kill most PCs at that level. Whups. They're from some fallen empire of giants that for some reason fell, maybe because they ate too much, or something (seriously). The text mentions an "bushy, expressive brow" that does not actually show in the actual art. Oops. Apparently there are great cyclopes with a horn and shaggy legs, but there are no rules for them.
Next: D is for Devils & Demons & Dinosaurs & Dragons...
* lies, of course, centipedes and crabs can't see for shit in any light
D is for Devils & Demons & Dinosaurs...Original SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 5: D is for Devils & Demons & Dinosaurs &
Dragons have been cut for post length and will get the next update mostly to their lonesomes. So that's only D&D&D.
Your standard evil race of hook-nosed, filthy misers.
First are the dark creepers. There are no light creepers. These are mysterious small humanoids that live underground and dress in rags. They're originally from the Fiend Folio , but were brought over to the OGL by Tomb of Horrors . They never take off their rags, which makes it mysterious how they pee, but would explain the stink they have. But they like to steal and "cause mayhem"... because, and they serve dark stalkers... because. And stuff.
Oh, and when they die, they burst into light that blinds people. They can create darkness, use Strength-damaging poison, see in even "deeper" darkness, and get sneak attack damage. They hardly do any damage, so presumably they attack in numbers, but their death-burst automatically effects other creepers without a save, so they are their own weakness.
Beware the ninja mummies.
Dark stalkers are the leaders, and are tougher, get to create "deeper" darkness instead, and explode like a small fireball when they die. Unlike the creepers, their rags don't stink. They're supposed to be mysterious, but may just be humans that got into spooky magic shit.
Rejected but more accurate name: "darksphincter".
Yes, we have darkmantles and cloakers. One falls on you and tries to wrap around you! The other tries to fall on you and wrap around you! I think this niche is covered, now, though darkmantles are less fancy, they're just animals but also get to create darkness through maaagic. They disguise themselves as stalactites. I wonder how many dungeon creatures have "creates darkness" as a power? Seems redundant for a bunch of races that live in darkness, but they're designed to be like GOTCHA!, not to make sense.
Oh, and there are variants where some are rock hard and impale you on falling (a la Monster Manual's piercer) and some that are large enough to fall over an entire party (a la Monster Manual's lurker), but there are no numbers for them, so you'll have to flesh out your ecology of ceiling monsters yourself.
Aw, fuck, demons.
Demons are all about breaking stuff and blowing things up. Really. That's their whole bag. Sometimes they're more subtle but only in the interest of creating more destruction, or sometimes just to cause pain and suffering.
There's also older demons known as qlippoth but were overtaken by demons who come from mortal souls. Kind of like aboriginal demons, I suppose. I don't know why these are mentioned, since they don't get a starring role until Pathfinder Bestiary 2 .
Some people worship demons, and demons appreciate that, because they have a hard time getting to where they can fuck shit up, even if they're bound to service. Of course, once they're free, they usually just murder their summoner and stuff, because that's how they do.
Also, you generally need a "good" or cold iron weapon to hurt a demon. Or just magic spells will do the trick, though a lot of them get spell resistance, too. Cold iron being the generic anti-chaos metal, of course. Many of them can teleport for some reason, mostly to annoy the fuck out of adventurers trying to thwart their plans, and summon other demons, which seems like a general encounter-breaking ability. Will the PCs be fighting three dretches or six? Only the dice know.
Like the robot devil, only not a robot.
These are murder demons that look like skeletons with horns on. They're apparently really patient about setting up their kills. They use spears for some reason but apparently they don't like using spears and prefer using claws (yeah I dunno). They can teleport, create darkness, and get a 40% chance of summoning another babau once a day. It's also covered in acidic slime that can break weapons that strike it.
Master of impractical weapons.
For those unafraid to crib from The Lord of the Rings fairly blatantly, it's a big demon with a fire whip. It can teleport, mind control people, use telekinesis, and make things implode, just like in Tolkien's works. Also it's on fire so does fire damage if you try and punch it, and can make weapons vorpal, so they can auto-kill adventurers on a crit. They can summon any demon once a day, except balors. Basically, the toughest demon, and tiresomely loaded with PC-killing effects.
It's an ironic side effect of how monsters like this are designed that the game can become more deadly even though characters get more competent, with abilities like vorpal weapons that just kill you on 1 out of 10 hits, no saving throw, nothing a PC can do save stay out of its long, long reach, and it can teleport or yank people towards itself with telekinesis. Hell, it can use quickened telekinesis to yank an adventurer near, then take four attacks with its longsword all in one turn, giving it about a one in three or four chance of insta-gibbing a PC.
And another thing that would be cooler is if the spell-like abilities were shorthand for actual physical effects or iconic powers, like using telekinesis to simulate whip tricks, but no. balors instead get to do sith lord impressions.
They act as generals for demon lords, and if it's weakened, it just flies or teleports away. Neener neener.
Then there are balor lords, which are basically balors with class levels - usually barbarian, fighter, or ranger (whew), but some are bards, rogues, sorcerers, or wizards (uh-oh). Now I want to see a bardic balor lord with his axe-guitar busting out the sweet tunes while he murders your city, but no mention of such. They also have some sample unique abilities to give to balors, like healing via murder, more spell-like powers (yeah, just what it fucking needs), or just swallowing somebody's soul as a save-or-die effect and turning the body into a demon.
Yeah, I'm remembering why I wasn't looking forward to this section.
These are the wimpy demons that generally look like tubby, savage, short humans. They can create stinky clouds, fear, and summon other dretches (35%, once a day). They're the lazy servant demons bigger demons kick around, mostly. Also, they're CR 2 but have Damage Reduction 5, so you better hope your GM made sure you got cold iron or magic weapons first...
Classic trickster demon.
This giant demon with four horns, tiny human arms, and giant crab claws is supposed to be a master manipulator, which is good, because I imagine they have a hard time opening doors on their own. But they can disguise themselves and grant wishes, but only grant them in ways that do evil things. They also get a ton of random-ass magic powers like mirror image , true seeing , and reverse gravity . Anyway, they're 18' tall and can also fuck you up with their claws and their tiny t-rex arms. No talk of drow summoning them for demon orgies like in Forgotten Realms novels, thankfully.
The perfect image of DURRRR-
Frog demon. Like all demons, it gets a bunch of random magic shit (turn into a gas, for example) and can summon other hezrou at 35%. It also has a nausea effect where it's skin is super-gross and can nauseate foes it grapples. It's the demon that loves the water and basically its presence can corrupt water and turn people drinking it over long periods into hideous mutants, which is kind of a cool hook, actually. But even though they're smart, they don't apply themselves, and generally just go around torturing and killing and munching. Well, that was almost interesting.
But which spiky bit to choose today?
A woman with a snake tail as a lower half, and six weapons. From the grab bag of magical powers, these demons can fly , project image , cast blade barrier , summon other demons... which I'm really sick of going over. How much random crap does one monster need? Also, they can make 10 attacks a turn plus a grapple check, in the interest of bogging the game down. They can make their weapons magic and can fight with multiple weapons simultaneously. They serve demon lords as "governesses, advisors, and even lovers", even though they're lacking down under, though a lot of them serve as generals and commanders. For some reason they are master engineers. And it should be noted that, unlike the balor, they have no particular effects, spell-like or otherwise, that make them good at being generals. A 1st level bard or cleric could lead demon armies better than they, tragically.
Romanian accent not pictured.
Classic lookin' demons from Monster Manual II by way of Tomb of Horrors. Anyway, they eat souls via an area effect that causes negative levels, and those that die from it become ghouls. When it kills people in this way it can get tougher and bigger. And yes, random magic, it can create deeper darkness , regenerate , telekinesis , enervation ... oh, and it can sneak attack like a rogue.
Ganon's really let himself go.
These are giant pig-man mad scholar demons. Oh, and tiny wings that do indeed allow them to fly, no matter how comical it might be. They can create a magic swirly light thing that makes people crazy and dazes them for 1d10 rounds (basically taking them out of the fight). It also has a bunch of random magic like call call lightning , slow , and feeblemind . They're tough, and they're supposed to be smart demons, but are a bit lacking in an actual game role. Also, they look awfully silly for something that's supposed to be scary.
And so begins the musical portion of the Bestiary .
It's like an imp, only it's a quasit, not an imp. They look like gremlins from Gremlins , well, like the one with the bat wings. Which makes that Gremlins II . Yes, the leech-face of Dungeons & Dragons has been excised. They can make people afraid, commune with evilness, turn invisible, and have poisonous claws that do Dexterity damage. They're often used as familiar, but quasits can capture their linked spellcaster's soul when the caster dies and use it at the demon pawn shop for upgrades and powerups, which is a bit of a neat idea.
Dark evilness or evil darkness?
The "we ran out of clever names" sort of demon. It's like other demons, with wings and horns, but is pitch black and spooky. It can move really fast for bursts of speed and pounce on foes, and hide in shadows. They're incorporeal, which means they get to ignore a lot of attacks, but are depowered in sunlight. They get your usual spread of magic powers, but are more tightly themed with fear and shadow magic. They use the magic jar spell to possess people and do bad stuff, as well. And they can summon... you know... stuff.
It's your usual saucy devil woman... women only. They get your magic mind control stuff, teleport, draining touch, etc. The neater ability is how they can give somebody an attribute bonus, but then can communicate with and mind control them. A sucker's deal for min-maxers, really. Otherwise, they're not great fighters as far as demons go.
Also, the first in a litany of man-eater seduction monsters.
Rejected as a minion of Skeletor.
It's a humanoid vulture demon. kinda Skeksisish, but with wings. They're pretty tough fighters, though they're late to the magic grab bag and just have telekinesis , heroism , and mirror image . However, a group of them can do a magic dance which creates a powerful ring of electricity as an area effect. No, really. They have their magic fucking bird dance. They can also burst spores off that do damage over time as vulture... vines grow all over the afflicted. Lastly, they can screech and stun people in an area. They're supposed to be the demon berserkers, or something. And dancers. Go, you crazy disco demon. Go.
Bondage Einstein gone fishin'!
These are basically supposed to be underground fey, but they don't have the fey type, because... I dunno. Anyway, they're small humanoids that can... yes, create darkness, get sneak attacks, can daze people and make spooky noises. The dwarf connection from Dungeons & Dragons has been removed for whatever reason. They're supposed to be insane, so they get special dispensation to use their Charisma for Will saves instead, they use spider venom, and burn in the sun. They experiment on those that they capture to try and find a way to overcome their weakness to the burning sun. They also get special hooked clubs that have a cord that lets them retrieve it, which would be the kind of idea that might be interesting for PCs to add to thrown weapons, but no, it's crazy underground person exclusive. They use all sorts of other fancy crystal and hooked weapons that there are no rules for.
Oh, they hate good, they hate it so much, you have no idea, and also they like collecting souls because. And they have two names, a boring name from scholars and their actual name. They're the dealmaking kind of fiend that like to corrupt people.
Hell has nine layers (like a sandwich off of Epic Meal Time) and each devil is native to one of those layers. There are archdevils who are in charge and lots of ranks from least to lesser or greater to lords of hell. Asmodeus is in charge of it all. Ugh this is not exciting. It generally takes good or silver weapons to hurt them, and they often have the ability to teleport (like demons), summon their kin (like demons), and get spell resistance (like demons).
Devil, Barbed (Hamatula)
"Bub bub. B'bub bub. Bub."
Just your average humanoid devil covered in spikes with a tail. Grab bag powers: scorching ray , major image , hold person ... their spikes hurt you when attacking with a non-reach melee weapon, and their claws can magically make people all afeared. They're supposed to be hell's accountants, I guess, so they often get summoned in order to get ahold of hell's monies. Mostly, they like protecting their hoards or jails and just murdering trespassers.
If you had STDs on your face, you'd be upset too.
These are warrior devils that have long tentacles for beards that spread disease. Yes, they have literal chin pubes. They also cause a bleed effect with their magic glaives. They don't get a litany of magic effects - just teleport and summoning - and are throughly a mid-range soldier demon.
Devil, Bone (Osyluth)
A tail with a demon attached.
These are basically tall skeleton-like devils with a scorpion tail and half-asses bony wingframes. They're supposed to scary torturers and enforcers for bigger devils. Their magic mix includes wall of ice , major image , and a quickened invisibility . So, yes, they can attack, turn invisible, reappear for an attack, turn invisible again... yeah, they're hell's metagamers.
Wait, female monsters can wear armor?
Yeah, they don't get a literal name for some reason. [quote="Pathfinder Bestiary=Erinyes appear as darkly beautiful angels, augmenting their sensuality with deliberate bruises and scars.[/quote"] Uh. I think we crossed over into a fetish that's not any of mine. Unlike previous versions, they're not supposed to be seducers as much as straight-up warriors. They don't get much magic outside of the usual - minor illusions and fear - but get to shoot flaming arrows and have a magic rope to bind people with. They're supposed to be executioners, but they love torturing people too. Because contradictions.
Devil, Horned (Cornugon)
Pretty neat, actually.
These are supposed to be big-deal, high-level demons, and are mostly just spiky and horned but otherwise have a pretty standard devil look. They regenerate from anything that doesn't have the good descriptor. Yes, this means they can't kill each other normally. They also get from the magic bag some evocation and abjuration. Hits with their tail cause a magic bleed effect, and they can stun people when hitting them with their spiked chain. They don't get much flavor text, aside from being commander-class demons or whatever.
Devil, Ice (Gelugon)
The potbelly of frozen fear.
ou know, these names make me think these are Godzilla villains. Godzilla vs. Gelugon ! Anyway, it's a mid-to-high level demon, that gets slow effects on a lot of its attacks, as well as cold spells and regeneration against anything without the good descriptor. They look like 12' humanoid bugs, and are supposed to be cunning, logical tacticians. Supposedly they each have a frozen, stolen mortal heart within them that somehow deadens their emotion. Basically the Shockwaves of the devil world.
Devil, Imp (Imp... u... gon?)
Tiny devils with poisonous tails. They often work as familiars, but mainly just to try and get souls for hell. Pretty much like quasits - they have invisibility, some divination, etc. There are rare ones that can shapechange into various small animals, and you can take them as familiars, but you'd never know unless you read the bestiary here.
Devil, Lemure (Lemure... a... tula?)
Claymation gone wrong.
These are the rank and file wimpy demons. Basically they're humanoid blobs of grotesque cancer goo, they don't have any special powers other than a mild damage resistance, no magic to speak of. After they spend their time, a bigger devil chooses them to upgrade into serious devilhood.
Devil, Pit Fiend (Pit Fiend... amungus!)
This is the biggest, toughest devil. It mostly just looks like your big archetypal demon but with more muscles and shit. It regenerates against anything but good weapons, does a lot of melee damage, can constrict you with its tail, and gets a ton of magic powers. It can raise the dead, shoot fireballs, create illusions, steal souls, paralyze groups, drop meteors, and, oh, grant a wish once a year. Their bite inflicts disease (Strength damage) and poison (Constitution damage). They also are the ones with the power to reshape lemures into serious career demons.
They're advisors and commanders for the archfiends, and like fire. They also like conquering mortal worlds when they can. Generally they urder summoners, but when they can actually be controlled they're impressed and try and make their summoner into the best damned soul they can make them into.
There are also the Dukes of
Actually, it kind of picks at its food.
A 10' call corpse that tries to put your soul in its ribcage. Supposedly it's a spellcaster or demon that died in an bizarro place, even though it doesn't really resemble either thing. All it needs after that is "soul-eating action" and a roaring voice box on the toy. It does about 60 hp on a failed save from its touch attack, and if you die from it, it gets to use your soul to fuel its myriad spell-like abilities (with for some reason includes inflict serious wounds , even though it'll always do more damage with its devour soul attack, which costs nothing). Some spells might accidentally knock a soul loose instead of harming it. It's also got an overly complicated system where it gains points from drained souls it uses to fuel its spell-like powers and you also have to track each soul it's absorbed seperately and how many negative levels they gain and no thanks I'll stick to vampires.
It's a armored armadillo dino. Its bony tail can stun on hit and it gets a high AC. You can have one as an animal companion, but only if it's a baby (this goes for the rest of the dinos too).
A big long-necked tree muncher. No real flavor text, can trample for big damage.
Pink and teal dinosaurs OMG it's like they know me!
The sort of pack-hunting clever girl dinosaur. Can pounch. You can make them smaller to make velociraptors or bigger to make megaraptors.
Loch Ness Monster. It notes that they are "not technically a dinosaur", good for the science on that note. Swims and bites with a long reach.
Your sort of giant bat dinosaur. "Not actually a dinosaur" again. Mostly just tries to peck the shit out of things.
Plant-muncher with spiky plates on its back and tail. Does big damage with the tail and can knock you over.
Your sort of three-horned rhino dino. Can trample (for respectable damage) or gore (for biiig damage). Mostly just munches plants.
The big meat eating sort of dinosaur with wee arms. Chomps for huge damage and can grapple with its bite. Also has Perception +37 at CR 9, basically you can't hide from it at friggin' all.
It's a small dog, or coyote, or jackal. Not much of a threat to adventurers. They can trip pretty well and bite for minimal damage. There are also rules for rabies here, which does Constitution and Wisdom damage.
For halflings and gnomes to ride. It's bigger and gets to bite and trip. It can fight while you ride it but that requires Ride checks to fight while it does that.
Friendly pack predators of the sea. They ram for minimal damage, and get to hold their breath. Just what you needed - mechanics for how long a dolphin can stay underwater!
The best paladin mount you can't have.
It's a Shamu. They're bigger dolphins with a more powerful bite.
It's disguised as a bad piece of art.
Shapeshifting humanoids. They get to use any weapon, armor, or magic item, and can copy any individual with a +29 to Disguise (which, against the 3rd level adventurers they're geared to face, means they don't fail). They like infiltrating humanoid societies and are kind of psychopathic and selfish. Most of them aren't assholes but the asshole ones gets to be the most famous. Some are more powerful and can actually copy the abilties of their targets but we only get the vaguest outline of what those can do.
Next: D is for
...& DragonsOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 6: D is for
These dragons sure seem familiar. Anybody know if there was some other game with dragons like these?
For your dungeons. Not much flavor text. Colorful ones are evil, shiny ones are good.
Dragons have age categories from wyrmling to great wyrm, which adjusts all their stats higher except for Dexterity, which goes down. They also get more base attacks and magic powers as they level up. And they get big, of course.
Each dragon has a special breath weapon, can fly, get more darkvision that even most creatures that live in the dark, can sense creatures even while blind, can cause fear, get damage reduction, sorcerer spells, spell-like abilities, immunities, spell resistance, etc.
Unlike Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 , we more get sample dragons, which is nice, so you don't have to stat them out all the time, just most of the time. Unfortunately, older dragons turn into smorgasbords of abilities, ridiculously overloaded with powers in the interest of giving GMs utter option paralysis.
Dragon, Black Chromatic
The duelling banjos sort of dragon.
This is your swamp-dwelling filthy hobo sort of dragon. It swims, breathes underwater, and can barf acid. As it gets older it gets these powers, in order: swamp striding, speak with reptiles , corrupt water so it's stanky and nasty, charm reptiles, acidic bite, and creating acid pools with its breath weapon.
Dragon, Blue Chromatic
Pretty cool, actually.
This is your sneaky illusionist OCD kind of dragon. They puke lightning, create or destroy water, and can burrow. They get the following powers as they level up: sound imitation, ghost sound , minor image , ventriloquism , become electrified, hallucinatory terrain , create a mirage of themselves, mirage arcana , create a sandstorm. Now I just want to make a blue dragon that mic trolls adventurers from under the ground using ventriloquism.
Dragon, Green Chromatic
Flyin' high. So high.
This is your forest hippie mind-controlling sort of evil dragon. They vomit acid clouds, swim, and breathe underwater. They get these powers as they grow up: walking through the forest unimpeded, entangle , charm person , trackless step, suggestion , camouflage, plant growth , create a fog of acid around themselves, dominate person , command plants , and can animate trees to fite.
Dragon, Red Chromatic
Needs more spikes.
This is your bossy hunter, fire-themed peak of the mountain sort of dragon. They barf fire and can see through smoke. As they get hit dice and wrinkles, they get the following powers in order: detect magic , pyrotechnics , radiate burning heat, suggestion , take control of other people's fire spells, wall of fire , turn rocks into lava, find the path , and discern location .
Dragon, White Chromatic
Oh hey I have a tail.
This is your schoolyard bully ice baby sort of dragon. It pukes up cold, can burrow or swim, and can walk up walls but only if they're ice walls. As the GM increases their CR, they get these powers in order: sees through snow, fog cloud , shape ice and snow, gust of wind , radiate damaging cold, create cold fog that does cold damage and slippery ice, start a blizzard, wall of ice , entomb creatures in ice, and control weather . Also, they like frozen food.
Dragon, Brass Metallic
Tail hypnotizes dragon.
This is your desert-themed chatterbox sort of dragon. (One Thousand and One Nights, gettit? Gettit?! ) They barf fire or roofie gas and burrow. Their powers go from young to old like thus: speak with animals , move sand magically, endure elements , suggestion , have an aura of intense heat, control winds , create a sandstorm, control weather , summon a djinni, and whirlwind . And those are noble genies they summon, so they can ask for three wishes a year, basically.
Dragon, Bronze Metallic
BRONZE DRAGON used SPLASH.
This is your seagoing friendly neighborhood crimefighting sort of dragon. They heave up lightning or a magic gas that makes people run away, can swim, and breath underwater. Their powers go from weak to buff: speak with animals , create food and water , manipulate waves to swim faster, change into an animal or humanoid form, fog cloud , an aura of lightning, detect thoughts , make a vortex, control water , create a tidal wave, and control weather .
Dragon, Copper Metallic
The dragon standup stage.
This is your annoying prankster bullet time sort of dragon. They hurl acid or a slowing gas and climb on rocks. Their powers just keep buffin' with age: immunity to being flat-footed, grease , hideous laughter , good at trapmaking, stone shape , good at disarming traps, an aura that slows throws around it down, transmute rock to mud/mud to rock , "mass" hideous laughter , and then they can tell a joke that works like power word kill . Yes, they pretty much have Joker Gas.
Dragon, Gold Metallic
Dragons lyin' around. Exciting.
This is your extra shiny religious nut sort of dragon. They can barf fire or a weakening gas and swim. As they get bigger, stronger, and more aggressive, they get the following powers: detect evil , bless , change into an animal or humanoid form, fly really fast, detect gems, daylight , make magic luck gems, geas/quest , radiate burning heat, sunburst , ask for a miracle once a week , and foresight .
Dragon, Silver Metallic
Tail-staring is a draconic pasttime.
These are your knightly honorable smuggo jet fighter sorts of dragons. They heave up cold or paralyzing gas, and can change into any animal or humanoid form. Yeah, you know by now: detect evil , walk on clouds or fog, fly all graceful and shit, feather fall , see through fog, fog cloud , radiate an harmful cold aura, control winds , control weather (seemingly the go-to ancient dragon power), reflect spells, reverse gravity , and fight on without falling unconscious. Ironically, they cannot bypass silver-based Damage Reduction.
These are giant sea turtles that are also dragons. They can breath steam and have a special ability to try and capsize boats, as well. They regularly change tolls or just sink any damn boat that gets in their territory. They speak three languages for some reason, even though they're mostly just smart animals. They eat anything, like bears of the sea.
Like drow, but with bigger butts.
These are drow that take on spidery forms through "the ooze" (well, okay, "special poisons and elixirs"). Male driders get unsexy spider faces while female driders get sexy elf faces, because! That is why. They get enhanced drow magics (enchantment, darkness, divination), and get to cast spells like a 6th level sorcerer. They usually use weapons but also have a poison bite that does strength damage. Yeah, Pathfinder drops the whole curse of Lolthelement, which I was fine with, because it was mega-dumb in Dungeons & Dragons . "I'm going to curse you by making you more powerful! It's a curse!"
Black elves that are evil and live underground. They can create magic lights or darkness, and are good at using poisons. Like aasimar, they get a racial writeup, pretty much invalidating their statblock. They can see in the dark really well, get spell resistance (!), a bonus on Perception, but don't deal well with bright light. They're a bunch of matriarchal demon-worshipping slavers, and love fighting unfairly.
There are also rare drow nobles that are born with special powers - mostly, better stats, more magic powers, and much higher spell resistance. Yes, drow nobles are in there mainly to imitate the stats of old-school Dungeons & Dragons drow, and to be specialler than PCs. We also get another wasteful statblock, and we're done here.
Yes, she's wearing high heels in the woods.
Yeah, that's some tasteful art. Anyway, these are clothing-optional tree women who are also trees. They get mind control and plant spells, and generally use a longbow to fight, but they aren't that good at fighting. They also are resistant to damage unless it's cold iron or magic. They can meld with trees, but are dependent on a single tree and can't move far away from it, but they can do a ritual to choose a new tree. And in a grisly twist, they're really good at carving wood. They guard trees and forests, naturally. Get it? Naturally? Eh, tough crowd.
Can you tell the difference between this and a normal dwarf? 'Cause I fuckin' can't!
These are dwarves that live deeper underground and are evil for some reason or another. They love slavery, the color grey, and growing big magically and smashing stuff. They get a racial writeup, blah to their statsblock, where they're like dwarves but get different abilities: they're slow (but aren't slowed by armor), have immunity to paralysis, phantasms, and poison, get bonuses against magic, can turn invisible or grow big, and are really stable. Also, they hate light like drow do. Basically dwarves with even less personality. I know how do they do it?
Next: E is for Eels in an Elemental on an Eagle
E is for Eels in an Elemental on an EagleOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 7: E is for Eels in an Elemental on an Eagle
There's a lot of flavor text on these, but hell, it's an eagle. It flies and does teeny damage with bite and claw.
You can't actually get this as a mount, paladins. Sorry!
Not literary in any way . They're big and you can ride them, if they want you to. They're as smart as people, but can't talk. They also only understand Auran, the air elemental language, which makes it puzzling to try and work out how they learn it. Magic, I suppose. They're naturally good, too. Mmhm.
It can electrocute with its tail, but generally only does a piddly 1d6 electric damage unless it crits and stuns somebody. Surprisingly harmless, really.
Eel, Giant Moray
It's big and has a second set of jaws inside its big jaws, so if it drabs you it can do a double bite .
No ability to shoot straw through a fence, sadly.
We get six different statblocks for these elementals. They like to fly around and do barrel rolls all the time and are upset when they're summoned and bound to do something other than barrel rolls. It prefers to attack flying targets because it's too vain to get near the ground. Surpisingly they can punch you and are not incorporeal at all, though the bigger ones get damage reduction against all weapons. Most of them can make whirlwinds as well. And yes, they can fly.
Once again a litany of statblocks. These ones are apparently stubborn but have no other personality. They can move through earth and stone like it was water, and get bonuses against other foes on the ground, be penalities against airborne foes. They punch, and like most elementals, are immune to alot of things. Like air elementals, they get universal DR.
Snake fireworks have gotten out of hand.
Fire elementals like to frighten people and set people on fire, but are neutral for some reason. They can't move through water unless there's something that can burn atop it. They're vulnerable to cold, do fire damage, and get DR like usual.
Barfin' a shark.
Apparently water elementals are patient and often drag foes underwater. Like air elementals, they're not intangible and can just punch you. They can negate fire and fire spells, create whirlpools to suck people down, and get bonuses against waterborne foes and penalties otherwise.
Sometimes they're hunted for ivory! They have a slam attack and a gore attack I guess they can use in the same turn, or trample you.
Some are woolly, some aren't. I want a woolly baby mammoth as my animal companion. We'll have adventures together, and sing songs, and... eh? Oh, they're like elephants, only a bit tougher.
They're humanoid spiders, like some sort of spider men. They generally use webs to trap foes and big spiders as pets. They're not terribly tough, but they do have a dexterity points in a bite, can tame spiders, and get special traps they can make with their webs. They're kind of chicken and don't usually fuck around with anything that fights back.
Pregnant with lil' ettins.
Giants that look kind of like two-headed orcs. They're moderately tuff and good with fighting with two weapons. They speak a pidgin language of Giant, Goblin, and Orc, but for some reason you use an Intelligence check instead of a Linguistics check to try and understand it. Mostly they're loners (save for their second head) but sometimes they lead gangs of goblins or orcs. Really redundant with the flurry of giants coming up soon.
Next: F is for Frogopalypse
F is for FrogopalypseOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 8: F is for Frogopalypse
Mostly frogs in this update.
This information is largely repeated from the corebook - there are bats, cats, hawks, lizards, monkeys, owls, rats, ravens, toads, vipers, and weasels. Whew! That got me though a few pages quickly.
It hungers for your nitrogen.
Of course, unlike a real flytrap it can walk (slowly) and lunges with its branchicles, and it has four flytraps, which are really more like persontraps. Has about as much in common with a real flytrap as a grasping vine has with ivy. It if catches you with a bite attack it can melt you with acid. Original, but eh.
In case you don't know what a frog looks like.
Yeah, it's a man-sized frog that can grab you with its tongue and drag you in to get bit by its sharp teeth. Ironically, it's not very good at jumping.
It has a poisonous bite that does Constitution damage. Ironically, its poison isn't likely to kill you. This poison is used by primitive tribes, though where they get the poison use ability, I'm not sure, maybe they accidentally poison themselves all the time.
No, you can't aim for the obviously vulnerable eyestalk, cheater.
Another Monster Manual II / Tome of Horrors graduate. It supposedly eats dragons and dinosaurs (!). Well, it definitely has the abilities to fuck up most dinosaurs, but considering dragons A) have flight and B) have a fantastic array of senses, it has to really sneak up on them when they're young and in a swamp (it's only good at sneaking in swamps).
Basically, it's frog-shaped but has its eyes on a stalk and with four tentacles instead of front legs. It hides under the water and lets its eyes peek out for prey. Though it kills for food, it really just seems to like killing, and may be an aliiiien creature. It can constrict with it's tentacles, see in all directions, and swallow adventurers whole. It doesn't take any damage from electricity, but it slows it down. Very b-movie.
Also, if you use this critter, I hope you like the the grapple rules, since this creature has six natural attacks that all have the "grab" ability! Mind, the grab ability is pretty liberally used in this book; you better be used to the grapple rules in general.
Next: G is for Girallon on Orc Action!
G is for Girallon on Orc ActionOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 9: G is for Girallon on Orc Action!
Giants, genies, and golems make this a giant-sized update.
Stone by day, warriors by night
It's a creature that disguises itself as a statue to attack, from the school of "monsters adapted entirely to jump adventurers". They like to stay still all day and then jump people at night. They, um, adapt to the artitecture they inhabit over years. Oh, and there are underwater ones that are adapted to underwater ruins. Yup. Mostly just a low-level brawler, otherwise.
Camouflage for the Caverns of Teal.
It's iconic, a big square blob that flows over you and then melts you up. It also can paralyze you, and it's hard to notice because you can see right through it even though like very illustration of it has like a skeleton and a weapon floating in it. Yes, it's another trap-monster. Often they carry the treasure of their victims, conveniently. Some monsters use them as garbage disposals or in traps. The usual.
This one is old and strong!
So... it's a genie genie? Or a djinni djinni? It's some kind of air spirit from the Plane of Air, and prefer to use their powers to fight unfairly rather than have at with their swords. They also hate efreet whole bunches for some reason. In any case, they get bonuses to fight other airborne folks, can create a whirlwind, turn invisible move between dimensions, create matter, illusions, turn into air... oh, and the noble ones can grant three wishes to those who capture them.
This one is buff and tough!
These are fire spirits from the Plane of Fires. They're basically evil jerks and all the other genies hate them. They have a big sword and flaming first to fight with, and get a bunch of fire and illusion spells, and can make somebody smaller or bigger, randomly enough. All of them can grant three wishes a day, and the noble versions just get more badass fire magic.
This one has nice hair!
Once again, we've got some weird entomology here, with the janni genie. These are the genies with no element to call home, so they mostly slum it on the material plane. They can fly (slowly), turn invisible, move between diemnsions, talk with animals, and create food and water. They can change a creature's size and survive on any of the elemental planes. Thy're pretty touchy and easily take offense and then fite. They like privacy, but also have a strong tradition of hospitality. And there are noble ones that get some divination powers.
This one is an exotic dancer!
These are the water genies, who are from the Plane of Water (I know I was shocked too ), and they're kind of fickle and impulsive and are kind of the art farts of the genie crowd. but they basically get a lot of water and illusion-magic, the yearly wish granting, shooting a blinding jet of water or turning into a vortex, and they get bonuses against waterborne foes and penalities against those on ground. There are also noble verisons with stronger magics.
The observant among you may realize that "hey, marid isn't part of the OGL-", and you'd be right, but marid is an actual name for this kind of genie, and so presumably Wizards of the Coast would have a hard time defending their copyright.
This one has butt-baring armor!
Earth genies, formerly known as dao and previously having been tubby - they've slimmed up. They're all prideful and get no more personality than that. In any case, they get a bunch of rock magic and the usual world-hopping. They get bonuses against those on the ground and penalities against those that aren't, can change one metal into another with a touch (no save), entomb people in rock, and float through stone and dirt. They also get nobles who can make earthquakes and grant three wishes a day. Thankfully, genies can only grant wishes to nongenies, but I could see some nasty schemes out of that cunning gametwisting genies could exploit.
And since dao isn't a mythical name, they get renamed "shaitan", after the Arabic word for "devil", even though they're not evil. I don't really get it either.
Hey! It's our first template. The sample ghost is a little more useful than some constructed statblocks, but even so, most of the time you'l be making your own. Anyway, they're your usual unfinished business sorts, and are supposed to be dramatic story hooks instead of generic undead that just want to steal sooouls. You take a creature, make it undead and incorporeal, and they can't be redeaded without figuring out their puzzle and solving it. Anyway, they get a number of powers (the higher the original creature's CR, the more it gets), like a damaging touch, a draining touch, a scary moan, possessing people, or telekinesis. It's one of the few true "puzzle" monsters in the book that can't just be solved with long magic knives.
The skull is a consenting partner in tongue-fucking.
Undead that eat corpses, though sometimes they're willing to make corpses if they're hungry enough. Anyway, they can paralyze creatures who aren't elves with their claws, which seems arbitrary, and can spread ghoul fever, a Constitution and Dexterity-damaging disease that makes you into a ghoul if you die. Supposedly there are big cities of ghouls underground but that makes me wonder how they get fed. There are the Lovecraftian ghasts, which are tougher ghouls with a nauseating stink, and lacedons, which are ghouls what swim.
Human or giant? No way to know, really.
"Cloud giants’ skin ranges in color from milky white to powder blue." Ooops, nobody seemed to let the artist know. Anyway, they can levitate and create fog/mist. Sadly, they don't actually live in clouds, but instead on mountains, which is dissapointing. They can also use anime oversized weapons for their size, or hurl rocks. Also, they're vain and love fine clothing and jewelry, and half of them are good and half are evil. So, coin flip.
It takes him hours to get his hair like that.
They're on fire, they like war, and they're evil, of course. They're militaristic and love volcanoes. Really not much in the way of surprises. The generally just use weapons or punches but can throw flaming rocks. They don't like cold, to say the least.
Like vikings, only more blue.
These are the icy crazy berserker viking giants. They like to start avalanches and generally fuck shit up evil-style. They like slaves and monster pets, and mostly just fight like big humans, but are vulnerable to fire. Also though they have a strong sense of hospitality (?).
The Hills Have Giants
These are the weakest hobo sort of giants that are really dumb. They like to throw rocks and swing clubs, and just wander around raiding stuff. Sometimes they settle down and join towns, though this tends to get them shunned by their hick cousins.
"No, seriously, check out these corns, I think they're quartz."
I'm just going to say it at this point - these giants are boring. Fire, stone, hill, and frost giants mostly do the same shit at different challenge ratings with mild thematic notes, and could really just be variations on the same statblock, much like dragons or giant bugs. Anyway, stone giants live in mountains and are less evil and more just kind of grumpy and hide up in the mountains. They throw rocks and swing clubs. They also have elders who get rock magic and sometimes sorcerer levels.
Like humans, only bigger. Not that you can tell here.
These are the big deal magical giants. They generally live on coastlines or islands, because they love the beach, and generally have large estates worked by other humanoids. They also can control the weather and shoot lightning. They tend to be good, but don't have much the way of hooks or personalities.
Trying to lick everything.
... is a bit redundant considering this fills the same niche as the shoggoth later in this book, being a blob of eyes and mouths. They both emit maddening sounds, and try and engulf you in their gooey selves. The gibbering mouther is much weaker and has smaller bonuses, but has a plethora of added abilities, like bloodsucking, melting the ground around them into muddy goo, and spitting acid. To be fair, the text hints they might be related to the shoggoth, but it's still two creatures in one niche.
"You forgot it has four arms!" "It's okay I'll just add them in-"
It's a white ape with four arms. It hints they might have been humans that gained strength in exchange for becoming drooling idiots. Oh, and- "few high girallons have been known to work for or even breed with tribal orcs, inspiring legends of four-armed “white orcs.”"
Your usual hyena-folk. They're apparently cowards and cannibals (that is, they'll eat their fellows who die in battle), and only attack with superior numbers. Strangely enough, they have no special abilities aside from darkvision, not even the bone-crushing bite you'd expect from a hyena. Dull.
Yeah, goblins got super deformed.
The highlight creature of Pathfinder, but you wouldn't know it from this writeup. They hate gnomes, dogs, and humans in about that order, and love meat, illiteracy, and fire. No mention of the notable goblin songs or music here. They're basically written as extremely childlike (but evil), which is probably key to their appeal. They get a racial writeup in case you want to play one, but they're crap - they get really high dexterity but drop strength and charisma, darkvision, bonuses for ride and stealth, small size, and... that's it. Oh, and they get to move 30' even though they're small. Be still, my heart.
Convered in the dander of evil.
Actually giant not-so-hairy rats with a doglike gait that can give you a nasty rash. Goblins ride them, ho-hum. I liked worgs better. One of the few original creatures in the book.
Magically animated robots made by spellcasters. It requires the Craft Construct feat as well, certain spells, and certain skills to make each type of golem.
Some golems are made as "shield guardians" for extra requirements and cost, and so are tied to an amulet given to a wearer to command them. They get to magically heal, can protect the wearer both magically and literally, don't go berserk (if applicable), and also can store spells that it can cast. Yep. Another way for spellcasters to pick away at the game's action economy. Most golems are immune to weapons that aren't adamantine, and have both low-light vision and darkvision, puzzlingly enough.
Anubis is gonna sue.
Clay golems wear pants... for... some reason. Inflict wounds that don't heal, move super-fast, and are immune to magic except for some earth-based spells. Bizarrely, acid heals them, and sometimes they go berserk. Generally only clerics have the spells to make these. Strangely enough, they have a caster level requirement of 11, but clerics won't have all the required spells until at least 13th level. Ooops.
A food supply for hungry mages on the go.
Frankenstein'd. You need an adamantine weapon to hurt one. They're immune to any spell that doesn't do fire or cold damage, but gain hit points from electricity because of some silly movie. Sometimes they go berserk or remember stuff from their old life. Oh, and once again, it has a level requirement of 8 to make, but you need to have spells that require you to be 13th level to cast.
Snow goons got all serious.
Not for temperate or warm climates, presumably. Anybody touching it takes cold damage, and it can detonate into a burst of icy shards when it dies. Once again, immune to spells except for fire, and electricity slows it... for some reason. Cold heals it, predictably.
Suit of armor or golem? Can you tell?
It's a big metal thing. Obviously, it gets poisonous death breath, because tradition. It's vulnerable to electricity - because - and gains power from fire - because. It's also tougher and does more damage in melee than other golems.
Yes, that is a rocky thong.
Like before but rock. Some spells that transmute rock mess with it, but still magic-proof. It also can slow things down, because... I dunno. I guess it semi-petrifies. Do I win a No-Prize?
Well, it's not like it has obvious weakness...
It's a weak golem. Also vulnerable to fire and spells that affect wood, but cold heals it. For we all know that cold has a rejuvenating effect on trees, right? It can also explode into wood splinters.
Also, once again a spell is required that's above the minimum caster level, because hell, that's not important, right? I mean, you could I guess try and create one using a scroll at a lower level, if you like risking thousands of GP on a Use Magic Device roll (in addition to already having a chance of failure on the Craft roll...)
Evolved from statuettes of little oxen.
It's a bull covered in metal plates that exhales perifying gas! Just like in Greek myth. It can also trample you. Apparently killing on gives a 250 gp component for certain spells. Also, they eat rocks, but they can't digest gems or metal. So sometimes their poop has gems in it. No, seriously. This is flavor text. And the flavor is poop.
Sperm gone worse.
It looks like rocks, but surprise! It's an ooze and it's eating your foot. Actually, it's not gray at all, but transparent, so the name is a lie. Or misnomer. They get an automatic attack if you fail a Perception DC 15 check. Yep. They're pretty much just a trap in monster form. There are also crystal oozes that live underwater (?) that can paralyze you and swim, and id oozes, who can boggle your brain and work in teams. Clever blob...
Hey, if you got it, flaunt it.
They all look like old green ladies with evil magical powers. I can do without the ecology article on these. Apparently they often disguise themselves as "alluring young maidens" and then ruin the lives of young men. Anyway, they mostly get illusion and mimicry powers, can turn into trees (?), and can sap strength with the their claws and touch. Basically, they're your usual emasculating sort of monster. When they team up, their magic gets boosted and they can cast way more powerful wizardish spells like polymorph or control weather , but they all have to take the same action to do it, meaning they're a bit screwed if they actually do it in a fight.
Front half big bald eagle, back half lion. They fly and can pounce and rake and for some reason have darkvision, despite being unsuited to a cave-dwelling lifestyle. They're smart and understand languages, so taming one is apparently technically slavery, but you can make friends with one and then train for 6 weeks before being able to fly one. Oh, and they like eating horses, so don't mix and match with your other mounts in the stable.
Next: H is for Half-
H is for Half-Original SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 10: H is for Half-
This is another "template", which is combined with another monster to make it more powerful and give it various abilities. "Most half-celestials are born of a mortal who loved a good outsider, but powerful holy magic can also create one." Oh, good, since the sample creature is a unicorn, I'd hate to think some angel is a horse-fucker. Anyway, it provides darkvision, disease immunity, bonuses against acid, cold, electricity, and poison, damage reduction against anything non-magicky, spell resistance, flyin' wings, smite evil, cleric spell-like powers, attribute boosts, and extra skill points. I guess there really is a superior race. Unlike Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 , there's no guidelines towards applying this to a player character.
"Half-dragons are only rarely the result of dragons mating with other creatures—most are the result of strange magical experiments." So instead of a dragon fucking a basilisk, some wizard thought it was a hot shit idea to combine them. Goddamn it, wizards!
They get armor boosts, darkvision, low-light vision, immunity to sleep, paralysis, one type of energy damage, wings (I guess wings are a dominant trait, genetically), claws and bite, breath weapon, big boosts to strength and constitution, and extra skill points. Because that's what a dracolisk needs. An education.
"Half-fiends are creatures heavily tainted with demonic, infernal, or other evil power." Mine are tainted with the evil power of Francisco Franco, then. What!? It's vague.
Blah blah blah this is pretty much like half-celestial but they have resistance to fire instead of poison, claw and bite attacks, smith good instead of evil, and eeevil spell-like abilities.
Because women are monsters.
I wonder how many creatures are specifically evil women who entrap you with their magic wiles . These are another one, bird-women that hypnotize people with their song, and then brain you with a mace. They're supposed to be disgusting and nasty, but some have pretty colors, like parrots! Beware the evil parrot women of the jungle, young men!
Strictly an outdoor dog.
I guess these are devils based on their stats, but the text doesn't mention whether or not they actually come from hell. Fire giants raise them as pets, they can breathe fire, like fire but hate cold, etc. There are Nessian warhounds which are about three times as tough and apparently are the personal breed of Asmodeus. Sometimes he releases these hounds to chase after stuff. Man, does that mean Asmodeus takes care of hell puppies? He can't be all bad, then.
Herd Animal, Aurochs
They're bigger cows. They trample better when stampeding as groups. Also, you can have one as an animal companion.
Herd Animal, Bison
Like aurochs, but tougher. You can use every part of these for something, or so I'm told.
He works hard to die for your XPs.
"Hobgoblins are militaristic and fecund, a combination that makes them quite dangerous in some regions. They breed quickly, replacing fallen members with new soldiers and keeping up their numbers despite the fortunes of war." Ha, ha, no, I'm not going to point out the obvious, instead - you know what this means? Any community they have will have tons of babies and children. Smite that evil... but no, it doesn't get into that dilemma. They like to take slaves and sometimes hang with goblins or bugbears. They're basically warrior-type monsters, and... look, they're like orcs, only with more organization and less rape. There are stats to build them like PCs, but they're shit, so I'm not even going to cover it.
yes i said rape, you just wait until the "o"s.
Loves books a little too much.
This is basically a little imp-like golem wizards can make with somebody's blood (who becomes The Master). They have a poison bite , flight, and are telepathically linked to The Master. They go crazy if The Master dies, though some recover enough to become guardians of The Master's stuff or think they are The Master.
Of course. They can... uh... track via scent, and... run fast, and... are bad at fighting, unless they're trained for it. There are heavy horses that do more damage and get a bite attack, but strangely can't trample. And there are ponies which are wimpier horses, because fuck halflings.
A giant snake with five heads that regenerates and if you cut off its heads two more heads grow there unless you burn the stump with acid or fire. It also has the pounce power so it can move and attack with all five heads. A classic puzzle monster that everybody knows the answer to, and if your characters don't know the answer, gee, you sure are stumped! When making it bigger it also gets extra heads. There are also cyrohydras, that breathe cold, and pyrohydras, which breath fire. The latter needs cold or acid to sear the stumps closed.
Spikes and armor not included in statblock.
Like wolves! Only gnolls use them as pets. Sometimes gnolls use advanced hyenas, but you'll have to add up those stats yourself.
A hyaenodon, actually. A hyena with bigger numbers. Finally gets a nasty bite attack, but nothing too special about it. Gnolls loved them, and apparently not at all freaked out by four-legged creatures with the same faces as them.
Next: I is for Intellect Devourer
I is for Intellect DevourerOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 11: I is for Intellect Devourer
Still waiting for the rest of the "organs with legs" menagerie to show up.
It's a brain with legs that can crawl into a mouth of a corpse and take it over. It's one of my favorite Dungeons & Dragons monsters, nothing could ruin-
Pathfinder Bestiary posted:
Incapable of experiencing emotions or wallowing in the sins of physical pleasure on their own, intellect devourers are forced to steal bodies in order to indulge their gluttony, lust, and cruelty.
Great, now I have to think about brain-monsters trying to use corpses to get some hot action. Thanks, Pathfinder .
Anyway, they have confusion, daze, invisibility, and wounding spells and healing spells, a lot of claws but not much damage. Also, if they get into your head while you're helpless, you take 8d4+3d6+8 damage, because that's the way the dumb numbers added up for somebody.
I made some more accurate art here.
An air elemental summoned by wizards to do murder things, but they're jerks who are always trying to twist the words of those who summon them. They're skilled trackers (despite coming from the elemental plane of air, and no, they don't have the scent ability), and gets to be invisible all the time. They're pretty solid punchers, too.
You can tell it's made of iron because
Another construct wizards can cook up. They get spells to track any target up to a mile away, and can be filled up with poison. There are variants, like the adamantine cobra, which is CR 3, has an AC of 25, and Damage Reduction 10/-. Yyyeah, remember when I said the Challenge Rating system is goofy? This i one of those times. There are Cold Iron Cobras, which uh, count as cold iron, Darkwood Cobras, which get a swim and climb speed, and Mithral Cobras, which are faster and get twice the bite attacks. It takes a minimum caster level of 7 to make, but casting the required spells requires you to be 15th level. Do they really expect you to try and scroll-cast 8 levels above your actual level? What the hell, Pathfinder ?
Next: K is for Kyton Kinkery
K is for Kyton KinkeryOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 12: K is for Kyton Kinkery
Nothing for J. (Neither did the d20 SRD, either, so nothing missing from that.)
Yeah, little kobold, I think you ought to be a core race too.
They're like goblins, but are little lizards who think of themselves as mini-dragons. They get character build stats, but are terrible, getting a small dexterity bonus and big penalties to strength and constitution. But they're good at making traps! They get a +2. Whoopee.
"... possesses the cruel intellect of the world’s most creative and spiteful criminals."
Big octosquid. It gets 11 attacks, because it's awful coordinated with all of its tentacles and beak. Strangely enough, it can manipulate the weather, control minds, is super-smart, and can resist energy . Oookay, it's a genius squid. It also has poison ink, can jet around in the water, gets a special power to wreck ships with, and can grapple without gaining the grappled condition itself. Its role isn't really clear, other than to be a CR 18 monster who eats ships as a giant storm-causing hypno-squid.
People think these are devils but apparently they're not real devils, unlike in Dungeons & Dragons . Also, the picture is sleazy as fuck:
Sleazy as fuck.
They regenerate from any damage that isn't silver or from a good weapon or spell. Apparently they live in both Hell and the Plane of Shadow, and are basically evil torture BDSM devils. They can control chains to make attacks - usually those they're holding, but it can suck if you use a spiked chain - and can try and scare people by morphing their face into the loved ones and enemies of other people. And they hint they'll do other kyton subtypes down the road. Oh, and because this is Pathfinder and subtext has to be made text:
Pathfinder Bestiary posted:
Rumor holds that the most powerful kytons are completely inhuman, and that these monsters are the true progenators of the kyton race—the kyton presented here but the result of unholy dalliances with their unfortunate victims.
God dammit, chainpenis rape? Enjoy!
Next: L is for Liches and Leeches
L is for Liches and LeechesOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 13: L is for Liches and Leeches
My apologies for what passes for wit with this update.
neko neko wai
Oh, look, it's an evil woman with a lion's body down south. There's no talk of them seducing men, but hey, their stats include disguise self, charm monster, suggestion ... and a touch-based Wisdom drain. Or they just stab you with knives and claws.
Pathfinder Bestiary posted:
The lamias presented here are but the most common and least powerful members of this cursed race, with others bearing serpentine, avian, and even more perverse forms.
To be continued in a later book, I'm sure, when we need more "perverse" women monsters.
One-eyed wonder worm.
A man-sized leech. It can attach and grapple and hang on real well, and does Strength and Constitution damage, but is weak to salt (it does 1d6 damage, ). Yeah. Don't forget your shakers, adventurers!
Like your usual bug swarm, except these drain Strength and Constitution, and also drain Dexterity via poison bites.
The "death blossom" collar is the finest in villain fashion.
No relation to leeches. Anyway, a wizard or necromancer that defeats death through becoming an undead thing. I know, another wizard-made monster. Anyway, they have to put their soul in an object and hide it away, which is done with - what else? - Craft Wondrous Item! Anyway, they get to be wizards, have darkvision, resistance to channel energy, can only be hurt by blunt and magic weapons, immunity to cold and electricity, can resurrect from any damage as long as their soul widget is intact, can do soul-munching damage with their touch, or heal themselves, cause fear against weak creatures, paralyze with a touch attack, and get a small bonus to all their mental attributes. Oh, and since they're a template, you have to build them like an NPC, making them the biggest pain of a monster to design so far.
Liquid hot mag-ma.
Dungeons & Dragons had Linnorms, who are basically just Norse-ish dragons. These are like those, but with new adjectives. I know, new adjectives! I'm totally excited too! They're original... ish! Of course, that's because the linnorms from Dungeons & Dragons aren't part of the OGL, but they wanted them, so they did their own versions.
It's a serpentine dragon with two legs that kind of drags itself everywhere, I suppose, and has three tails with grabby claws on the end. It can fly but doesn't have any wings, it just is your standard hovercraft dragon. It shoots magma that does continuous damage to an area, can grab with its tail, has a poison that does fire damage and constitution drain, and has freedom of movement and true seeing on at all times, and is immune to curses, mind-effecting effects, paralysis, poison, spell resistance... it's basically one of those old-school CRPG foes that's just immune to most status effects you throw at it. Oh, and you need cold iron or spells to hurt it. It's the weakest of the Linnorms at CR 14, and has the power to curse anybody that kills it to be weak against fire.
It feeds on Santas.
One head, one tail, two legs, ice. Muich like the crag linnorm, but ice-themd instead and CR 17. It has a cold breath that automatically freeze you in place and you have to try and break free. No save, just screw you. It has cold poison instead of burning poison, an a curse that makes you weaker against cold, and bigger numbers. Oh, and it can still grapple with its tail, even though it doesn't have the grabby bits.
"Dread linnorm? Why no, I'm a tarn linnorm! I live in lakes, not the sea, totally different!"
This one has two heads so it gets two bite attacks, and it can't be flanked and gets Perception of +40. Oh, and it's CR 20. It breathes acid and then does Strength damage with the acidic fumes and can double-blast seperate areas at once. Its poison does large amounts of acid damage and more Constitution, and a death curse that keeps targets from being healed (even by healing spells). And no, the linnorms don't really have any story hooks other than being big monsters that occasionally wander out of the wilds and fuck shit up.
Given there are already mighty dragons in the game, these are more than a bit redundant, but I guess the chromatics just aren't eeevil enough anymore, you need more extreme dragons.
It's a lion, it can pounce, rake, and grab with its bite, making it one of the most versatile mundane predators so far. Still just CR 3, though. They're described as the "top animal predators" in a world where manticores and bulettes exist.
This is identified as a "spotted lion", which is a cryptic creature that's a mix of leopard and lion and is... smaller than regular lions, supposedly. Whups. Accuracy be damned, this is a bigger, tougher lion. Oh, and they're sadistic because-
A big lizard, bites and can grab with that bite. Also has a poison that does minor dexterity damage. A relatively minor critter you can have as a sidekick... if it's a baby. Yeah. A CR 2 creature is too powerful to have as a sidekick fully-powered, of course.
Lizard, Giant Frilled
"Yowza, adventurers! Yowza!"
This one's new to Pathfinder . It's a bear-sized lizard that totally needs its frill to scare larger predators...? I guess that makes some sense in a world with dragons, but I don't see dragons being too freaked out by it. Anyway, it can try and intimidate foes with its frill, has a powerful bite and can bap with its tail. It says there are other types of big lizard that replace the frill with other special powers. Once again, it's listed as an apex predator in a game where linnorms and krakens exist.
They're lizard people who like swamps and being savage and stuff. They're somehow bipedal and humanoid despite being cold-blooded. They can bite and claw for crappy damage or use weapons, and are good swimmers or climbers (pick one). They're cannibals out of practicality, so nom.
"There's still plenty meat on that skull! You take this home, throw it in a pot, add some broth, a potato... baby you got a stew going!"
They're people that turn into animals. Some are born with this power and can change as they like, but people who are infected by a lycanthrope don't have control. (This is a way around PCs getting more badass after a werewolf fite.) It's a template.
It gives extra armor, damage reduction against anything but spells or silver, automatically shapeshifts in the full moon if afficted, can talk to animals of their type, and a hybird and animal form that gets the animal's attacks and abilities. They can afflict other humanoids within one size category of themselves, so there are no werewolf dragons, tragically. If you're infected, you can be cured within three days by a powerful magic healer, though eating wolfsbane gives you another chance to shake it off. Otherwise it's permanent forever and ever.
We get stats for several types of werecreature, including wererats, who hide out in cities, werewolves that like eating people and sometimes make their own villages, and that's all. You can build your own lycanthropes, but you have to add up all the numbers yourself.
Next: M is for Manticore Mackin'
M is for Manticore Mackin'Original SA post Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 14: M is for Manticore Mackin'
This is the face lions love.
Human face, lion body, and dragon wings. They specifically like human flesh and sometimes bully "evil humanoids" into doing their bidding. They also have tail spikes they can fling at foes once every day, because it takes time for them to grow back. Oh, and it details how they can mate with lions, lamias, sphinx, and chimeras, and what the resulting creature is like. So you can have a lamia-manticore baby. Yyyep.
It's a giant praying mantis that can grab with its claws and gets extra reach and can chomp on you while it's got you grabbed. It's also good at surprising people. Apparently they really freak people out and there are lot of superstitions about them, and supposedly societies of assassins that worship an even bigger mantis. There are guidelines for making colossal ones that are called the "deadly mantis".
Only petrifies below the waist, apparently.
A sexy woman with snakes for hair, because fuck mythology, we need our pinups. The idea of a creature so ugly it turns people to stone is basically entirely undermined, though Pathfinder's far from the first to do it. They can see in every direction, get poison snake bites that do Strength damage, and yes, turn people to stone with their gaze with one failed save, making them the four creature in this book with a petrification schtick, so I hope they know they aren't very special.
Apparently some hide their previous victims so foes are unaware, but how they drag around stone statues with a Strength of 10 is beyond me. Some become bards or clerics, in case you need another "alluring woman o wait SHE IS A MONSTER" creature. Some settle in cities and become criminal kingpins, and apparently form alliances with blind creatures or smart undead, even though that sounds to me like letting their only weakness hang around is a bad idea.
Some old ones become oracles through spellcaster levels, and will give advice for gifts. Others sometimes keep humanoids around as mates, using magic to keep them ensorcelled (because being attractive is not enough, apparently).
Collect them all!
First we had quasit imps which are demons, then imp imps which are devils, and magic imps which are homuncoli, and now we have mephit imps which are imps that are elemental. They get minor damage reduction and fast healing, and can try and summon other mephits like a demon or devil do.
There are a number of different types, including air, dust, fire, ice, magma, ooze, salt, steam, or water. They all get different breath weapons and magic powers. See, these are carryovers from the olden days of Dungeons & Dragons where the elemental planes "met" at points and formed paraelemental and quasimental planes (like for example earth + fire = magma). That doesn't seem to be the case in Pathfinder , but these creatures carry on that unused legacy.
This artist dreams of sleeping with the fishes.
These are fish-people that like going topless. It hints there's some dark secret or master under the sea they're keeping hidden. Oh, and they're built as a race, and basically have no penalities - they're agile, hale, and pretty, and get natural armor, and move super-fast in water but belly-crawl on land. Basically not suited for adventures unless you're running an all-liquid campaign.
No bite attack in the statblock.
Ha ha, you thought it was a treasure chest and now it is murdering you. These gotcha critters basically are super-sticky and touching them or getting hit by them makes you save or get stuck, and they can constrict with tentacles. Anyway, it's a creature entirely evolved to attack adventurers, so I have no idea how it's survived as a species.
Here to avenge the milked.
It's a big bull furry. Apparently they really hate people for some ancient slight, and like mazes like caves or sewers to hide in, and have a super-sense of direction and are never lost. Otherwise, they're generally just strong and use gore attacks and weapons.
Another Tome of Horrors inductee from the original Fiend Folio , but instead of being tunnelers and trapsters like they once were (a niche now filled by kobolds), they're positioned as bug-tamers. They use prestidigitation and doom to hamper enemies, but are pretty much sword-kabobs in an actual fight.
It tastes everything.
These are murderers that have come back to life to murder some more. Kind of one-note in that way. Anyway, they're corpses with really long tongues that can paralyze with tongueslaps. Those it kills become "fast" zombies it controls. Sometimes they're smart enough to build zombie armies and then kill a lot. Like I said, a note of one.
What fantasy needed, another race of underground evil persons.
These are from H.G. Wells' The Time Machine , a symbol for Britain's underclass which toils in miserable conditions to keep the upper class... oh, they're just underground monsters?
They're just underground monsters. They're barely sentient at all that can wallclimb and leap around like spidermen, and can team up and sneak attack and swarm over people, but they hate light. They're cannibalistic and apparently give birth to multiple babies that are savage people-eaters from the start. Also they worship evil gods.
In short, I give Pathfinder the "Most Likely To Not Understand Blatant Allegories" award.
From the Doom of the Dance Pharaoh adventure path.
Mummies are mummies - slow, but they get a power to try and freeze people with fear, and spread mummy rot which is a cursed disease where you need to fix the curse and then then disease. It does constitution and charisma damage and makes it harder to be magically healed. Otherwise mummies just have powerful mummy-punches, and are vulnerable to fire. Apparently they're creatured to guard the tombs of honored dead rather than being honored dead themselves, though some are rulers who have used necromancy to become smart mummies, as sort of a bargain-basement lichdom.
Next: N is for Neothelid, the freebie flayer
N is for Neothelid, the freebie flayerOriginal SA post Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 15: N is for Neothelid, the freebie flayer
Special "phallic monsters of the deep" edition.
It was once... a man!
Why yes, "dark" means "evil". These are giant snakes with human faces and magic powers, they're basically 7th-level sorcerers who can read minds but are immune to mind-reading, because I'm sure when one jumps you you're gotta be like "I wonder what it's thinking?!" they also have stingers that inflict a sleep poison. They try and manipulate others Adam 'n Eve style but otherwise they'll just shoot lightning bolts. They like controlling other creatures and being the boss at the end of a dungeon, and are greedy and hate other nagas, even other dark nagas, since they're all territorial.
Gonna call it here: stupidest-looking monster in the book.
These are nagas that protect sacred stuff because, that is why. They're 9th-level sorcerers who can also cast cleric spells, can spit deadly poison, have cobra-like hoods, and are ugly as shit. Ho-hum.
Looks scary until you hear its severe lisp.
Apparently these are like dark dark nagas who are all into evil shit out of tradition, and like making cults and stuff. They're 7th level sorcerers who can cast cleric spells too, can bite with a deadly poison, and have hypno-eyes. Sometimes they work together like hags, but eventually turn on each other because the weed of crime bears bitter fruit.
Their only weakness is circumcision.
See, illithids are copyrighted, but their big bro neothelid got sucked into the SRD. Whoopsie! Anyway, these are giant psychic worms. You need cold iron to hurt them, bizarrely enough, can spray acid, have mind control and telekinesis, have a "mind thrust" power that fries brains, a "psychic crush" which is save-or-die effectively, can teleport and can trace teleports so it can follow you wherever. Supposedly they're just agents for even bigger horrors, or something.
In Pathfinder, women never age gracefully.
Not actually related to green hags or sea hags, but instead soul-stealers from the bottom planes. They have a bunch of magic spells they can used to turn invisible and shoot magic missles or steal souls. THey have wimpy claw attacks, but spread a constitution-damaging disease with their nasty bite. They can also invade the dreams of chaotic or evil targets, and are only vulnerable to cold iron... basically they're demons without the title. They have a special heartone you can steal they need to use their most powerful spells, but if you have it, it cures disease and gives a bonus on all saves for a day.
Evil horse. Has flaming hooves and mane, but people can ride one anyway if you're evil enough to impress it with your wicked ways. It can travel between dimensions and kick with fiery hooves, or shoot sickening smoke. There's one called the Cauchemar that follows that has about twice the numbers, but no flavor text to explain that makes it different..
It's supposed to be blindingly good-looking, but like Dungeons & Dragons 3e , the art struggles with merely "attractive". They can teleport a short distance, cast spells like a 7th level druid, can blind permanently by being too pretty, stun people with a glance, and befriend animals. They can also give magic gifts that give a big bonus on Will saves, creative skills, and bards get bonus uses of bardic performance. Which means if you're a bard, you need to woo a nymph toot sweet. But yes, it's an entrancing female monster that doesn't just eat you, so there's that.
Next: O is for O Rape-
O is for O Rape-Original SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 16: O is for O Rape-
A large blob that does acid and grabs people. Yes, we've had these before so far. Here's another. This one splits into smaller oozes when hit by sharp weapons or zappy electricity. The more interesting note is that some ancient civilization buried its dead with a jelly to preserve the skeleton and items. How the ochre jelly survives being trapped in a jar for ages without food is not detailed, however. Apparently there are mutant jellies with superpowers, but they don't appear in this book.
This is a small octopus with a weak poisonous bite. It can shoot ink. Only really here to have as an animal companion. There's a giant octopus too, that has a strength-damaging poison and eight slappy grabby attacks, for those that want to roll grapple checks for a whole session. "It hit, roll for a grapple." "It hit, roll for a grapple again." "It hit-" How can you not be grappled when it gets eight chances a turn with a +19 combat manuever bonus, yeesh.
Wielding a masterwork fuckstick
They're big, ugly, stupid humans, mostly... except since the Pathfinder decided to go with a The Hills Have Eyes interpretation, they're more like a monstrous hillbilly stereotype.
Pathfinder Bestiary posted:
Stories are told of ogres—horrendous stories of brutality and savagery, cannibalism and torture. Of rape and dismemberment, necrophilia, incest, mutilation, and all manners of hideous murder. Those who have not encountered ogres know the stories as warnings. Those who have survived such encounters know these tales to be tame compared to the truth.
Yes, they are inbred rapist necrophiliacs.
Oni, Ogre Mage
Not actually an ogre, but instead is an evil spirit, yet is... kin to ogres? It's confusing. They can fly and regeneration damage that isn't from fire or acid. They use weapons but also have magic powers like turning into gas, charming creatures, changing their shape somewhat, or turning invisible. Oh, and:
Pathfinder Bestiary posted:
Some become lone marauders who hold villages hostage, demanding regular tribute in the form of gold, food, or maidens, lest they take more than they ask.
Ugh. After the last entry I hope - I hope - they just eat the maidens, or something. Didn't think I'd get to that point.
It details there are common traits for oni but no other oni are detailed in this book. To be continued in later books, I'm sure.
Curious sword placement.
Your standard savage asshole monster person that goes around burning and stealing. And raping. Oh, yes, in case you had forgotten from the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game , it's reiterated here that orcs regularly rape when they can. Anyway, they're built as a race, with big bonus to strength, darkvision, penalties to all mental attributes, and ability to fight somewhat into their negative hit points, which makes them nastier than you'd expect at low levels.
Oh, and to prove a point:
Pathfinder Bestiary posted:
Orcs and humans interbreed frequently, though this is almost always the result of raids and slave-taking rather than consensual unions.
Mostly found in trash compactors.
A set of jaws with two tentacles, an eyestalk, and three legs. They have tentacles that can grab and a bite that inflicts "filth fever". They apparently like gross places where they feed on refuse. Some living creatures placate them by feeding them garbage. They are described as "surprisingly intelligent" but have an Intelligence of 5, so I'm not sure what they're getting at.
Bored owlbear is bored.
It's a bear with an owl head. Adorable, but not really given to any special powers or anything. They were made by wizards and are all kill-crazy monsters, though they can kinda be trained as guardians. But yeah. Bear with owl head, doesn't even have hypno-eyes. Or immunity to flanking from flipping its head around. Mostly just a reskinned bear.
Next: P is for Pixies, Psuedodragons, and other monsters of the shoulder
P is for Pixies, Psuedodragons, and other monsters of the shoulderOriginal SA post
I love otyughs too, but no time for love, it's-
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 17: P is for Pixies, Psuedodragons, and other monsters of the shoulder
Dammit 4chan I can't leave you alone with anything.
It's a flying horse that can tell if you've been bad or good. It only likes good people. It can't speak but can understand common. Apparently they lay eggs which seems problematic for a horse, but wh'ev. Some are more powerful and basically get some immunities and resistances, but the more advanced pegasi are more uppity as well.
These are otherdimensional giant spiders with human faces who hide on the ethereal plane and shift over back again. They have a poisonous bite that does minor consititution damage. Generally they pop in, nip people, and then neener neener in another direction while they wait for their poison to affect a target. They also have a war going with the xill, and can make webs on the ethereal plane, but there are no rules for those webs, so whatever.
"That's not a valley, it's a nest!"
A huge flaming bird with fire and healing powers. It can also see invisible things. Apparently they're great scholars, despite having an awful hard time with books catching fire and whatnot. They can self-resurrect once a year, and can burst into flames to damage everything around them. It apparently aids those who do good and harms evildoers, in case you need an massive NPC monster to finish adventures or you.
The tinest washboard abs.
Tinkerbell. They can turn invisible while fighting, can shoot magic arrows, and cast a bunch of illusion and detection spells. They can only fire a number of magic arrows equal to their Charisma score each day, for masochistic GMs that like to track dumb numbers like that. Some have more powerful magic, but mostly they're annoyance monsters, since they can cause a lot of status effects but not damage.
(The Bestiary could use a scale indicator sometimes.)
They have the dragon type, so the name is a lie. They have a really weak bite (Seriously, how are you meant to roll 1d2-2? It's always going to result in 1 nonlethal damage... so they basically can't eat anything because their teeth are too gummy.), and a barbed tail with a sleep poison. Anyway, they're mostly intended as sidekicks for snooty wizards. They get blindsense, which is their handiest ability as a familiar, and spell resistance.
"I have a what on my back?!"
A massive worm that swallows things whole with its... jaws and exoskeleton? Not much of a worm, then. Has a massive bite attack and can grab and swallow people whole, and has a stinger that does big damage and inflicts a Constitution-based poison. Apparently it also eats dirt and often has a belly full of gems. There are also blue-green worms that swim in the sand and red worms that live in desert and are huuuge like in Dune .
Next: R is for Ropers which are still a thing
R is for serious Roper dramasOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 18: R is for serious Roper dramas
Mr. Roper is very upset with the state of his dungeon.
Fearsome or surprised?
Traditional magic tiger furries with backwards hands and magic powers. They're basically sorcerers with mind-reading powers, and are resistant to any weapon that isn't both good and piercing, in a weird literalist interpretation of Indian mythology. They can also change their shape to resemble other humanoids. There are other breeds of evil furry with other animal heads, and sometimes multiple animal heads, because the more heads means the more power.
Yes, kill ten of these and bring back their tails... wait, no. These are dog-sized rats that do piddly damage, but actually have a pretty nasty disease for a CR 1/3 creature that does Constitution and Dexterity damage, but the saving throw is easy at least.
It's another swarm, doesn't do much damage but has the same disease effect. It's CR 2, but a 1st-level party could probably dispatch it easily.
How not to fight a remorhaz.
A giant centipede from the frozen north that radiates heat. It has a nasty bite, can swallow adventures into its firey belly for 10d6+9 damage. It's Challenge Rating 7, but any PC swallowed is likely to insta-die upon taking 19 damage from getting swallowed and then 44 damage in its belly. It also can do 28 damage to any weapon that fails a save against it, so say bye bye, magic weapons. It is listed as "surprisingly intelligent" but has an Intelligence of 5. Frost giants apparently keep them as pets, even though remorhazes are pretty much their kryptonite (seriously, a single touch from this will cost a frost giant a third of their hit points). I feel like I've written this kind of sentiment already...
You can tell it's a robot because
This is a giant robot spider made by demons to hunt down traitors. It's chaotic evil, even though it's a construct with an Intelligence of 3. I guess it follows its orders evilly, or something. It can use discern location to track down quarry and then does melee stabbin' with blade legs, or shoot eye rays that do elemental damage or petrification. Wizards can also summon and bind them as well, if they're willing to drop 25k geepee on the deal.
Does a big amount of damage with a gore attack, and there's a woolly version that has bigger numbers. In fact, the regular version is scarier, since it can one-hit kayo pretty much anybody who isn't a dedicated warrior at CR 4.
Camels: dessert of the desert
A giant bird that carries off elephants and other big animals, somehow, despite being 4 tons and elephants being around 6-7 tons. Despite being big, it doesn't have very high damage - just 2d8+9 for a gargantuan creature - though it does have a very high grapple score, mainly on account of its size.
A big phallus that shoots sticky strands at you.
It's a living stalagmite that attacks people with tentacles. It's Challenge Rating 12. Yes. That makes it a bigger challenge than most giants, a rakshasa or mummy, or most adult dragons . It has six tentacles that do Strength damage at up to 50', can move 10' a turn, and can pull people to bite them for 4d10+18 damage. Also it has a ton of spell resistance and a very high strength. Also it's sentient and likes to talk about philosophy, when it's not eating people.
And Pathfinder takes it entirely seriously.
More of a beast than a monster, really.
It's a big bug that turns metal into rust with its antennae. It's a classic fuck the players sort of critter, given it can destroy magic items. Oh, yes. They take half their hp with the first hit, and then are destroyed with a second hit. Thankfully, they're easily saved against at higher levels, but at low levels could strip PCs of a good deal of their most valuable items (like expensive armor).
Oh, and no, there's no magic-eating critter in this book, because fuuuck fighters. It's a problem for wizards to save their poor armored brethren from.
Next: S is for Sex with Satyrs and Skum
S is for Sex with Satyrs and SkumOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 19: S is for Sex with Satyrs and Skum
The saga of monsters looking to get in your dungeon continues.
We've replaced their normal sahuagin with a murloc. Let's see if they can tell the difference!
It's a fish-man that's kind of sharky but not really. Honestly, they need to up the shark factor on this one, I'm not feeling it. It's more a creature from the Black Lagoon, only if the lagoon was more of a sea. It has a frenzy ability that hardly matters (+1 to hit, +1 to damage, +2 hp, -2 AC! Wooooo-) They have weak claws and teeth, and also use spears and stuff. Mostly they team up with sharks, but the sharks are slumming it, I think. Sometimes they have mutants with more arms or [not detailed]. Some look like elves that are really shark-people, which sounds like an interesting twist to pull on PCs expecting friendly sea-elves. Unless they just read this.
I already made a reference to firework snakes? Damn.
It's a snake-man, and he's on fire. Not much relation to the mythical salamander, other than a vague fire theme. They mostly do extra fire damage and have a grab tail attack that can constrict. They're from the Plane o' Fire, and are often enslaved by the efreet, which leaves them bitter and some of them prefer hanging out with demons instead. They like hanging out in super-hot places in volcanoes, and are all cranky anywhere else.
The smuggest monster.
Pathfinder Bestiary posted:
Satyrs, known in some regions as fauns, are debauched and hedonistic creatures of the deepest, most primeval parts of the woods. They adore wine, music, and carnal
delights, and are renowned as rakes and smooth-talkers, wooing unwary maidens and shepherd boys and leaving a trail of awkward explanations and unplanned pregnancies in their wakes.
Well, at least it's a guy monster who's all about eloping. Does charm person and suggestion make it rape? You decide. Apparently, any children they conceive are satyrs. They get some enchantment spells but aren't so hot in a fight, and can do area effect enchantments as long as they have their special pipes. Oh, and you steal their pipes, they're just pipes, they do nothin' for you.
Also this was their chance to draw a hot dude monster, and they blew it. Well, the top half, anyway.
It's another Big Bug, this time with grabby pincers and a sting that can poison for a small abount of strength damage, an 8' scorpion. It also gets into scorpion mating rituals, for some reason, and like other bugs have guideliness for scaling them bigger or smaller.
She prefers the term 'crone'.
It's the old woman of the sea, I suppose. They're not too tough, mainly relying on on an evil eye that first gives you panic attacks that stagger, or if used twice against somebody puts them in a coma. They're so ugly they do 1d6 strength damage to those that see them on a failed save. Like green hags, they can form covens and get more magic spells to use. They are Generically Evil™, presumably because they're ugly and old.
Strangely enough, I think this is new for Pathfinder - I think Dungeons & Dragons had sea serpents under various names but not a generic sea serpent. They can bite, constrict, and swallow whole, and do crazy amounts of damage, in line with their high challenge rating. They also get the special ability to have a Stealth check of +53 and a permanent, non-dispellable nondetection spell, which seems more based off of modern myths - I'm not sure why making the practically impossible to find benefits the writeup other than to make them pure wandering damage. Apparently seeing one is rare enough that people even flock to a sailing route where they've been spotted, which I'm sure makes for a great serpent buffet.
Look out, it's a stick figure!
You decided to include these creatures in your game? Sorry, world's over. Civilization is crushed. Why? Well, they're undead that can attack people and make more of their own. Presuming most people are 1st-3rd level, they're easy pickings for zombies that can pass through walls . Seriously, you take doors out of the equation and it's game over. Pack it in, you're done, because each person who gets killed becomes a shadow. They can fly tirelessly, so don't even think having wings will save you.
Anyway, they're incorporeal and do strength damage, and those they kill become shadows under the control of a regular shadow. Those from the Plane of Shadow or have killed thousands become bigger, tougher shadows with more hp that do more strength damage, but can't spawn new ones for some reason.
Big wet lumps of green plant stuff, they used to look like Man-Thing, but now just look like a lump of leaves and brambles. They have slam attacks what grapple, gain power from electricity (bizarrely, because electricity is a traditional weakness of plant monsters), and like to eat elves. They are "surprisingly stealthy", with a +16 to Stealth in the proper environs, and apparently eat people and also feed on trees like a vampire. Also sometimes they gather in mounds to try and get hit by lightning, or something.
Is a shark, does bites and can detect blood far away. There are hammerhead sharks, which are advanced sharks, tiger sharks, which are giant sharks, and great whites, which are advanced giant sharks.
This means Jaws was CR 4.
Dire sharks are actually 60' megalodons, and can grab with their bite and swallow whole, and do much more damage etc man have I gotten to the point where giant sharks bore me? I'm bored with you, sharks.
The layout renders the lightning almost invisible.
These are lizards that can give an electric jolt, but otherwise are pretty wimpy. The more there are of them around, the more damage they can do with their lightning. With six lizards (CR 7) they can do 12d8 damage every 1d4 rounds in an huge area effect. Really no hook to these other than being creatures that deal electric damage, which was really their sole hook when introduced in Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition (since that edition had a number of creatures, like the destrachan or yrthak, that were created just to showcase a particular damage type).
More tentacles means more scary?
Yes, it's time for Pathfinder to start mining Call of Cthulhu hardcore. Yes, now you can remove all the horror from Lovecraft's concepts and just kill them for XPs instead. Basically it has an area effect attack that does Wisdom damage, and its slams allow it to grab and then engulf mutiple opponents (4 a turn), and the engulf is the major damage, doing about 64 points of damage a turn, which is why it's CR 19. In the retooled cosmology, it hints the aboleth or some older races created them.
No mention of "Tekeli-li!", though.
The mushrooms are a nice touch.
Another template, this makes a skeletal creature, making it undead, giving it natural armor, damage reduction against non-blunt weapons, cold immunity, claw attacks, dexterity bonus but no brains, and an initiative bonus. Wizards make 'em.
There are variants, like bloody skeletons, who get a healing ability, resistance to channeling, and then recovers from death - holy shit, did they just -
- they just nabbed from Castlevania .
There's burning skeletons, which are covered in fire that do fire damage to everyone around them, and then explode in a fire blast when they die. Finally, there are skeletal champions, who get to retain their intelligence and get channeling resistance.
A fishy-human slave race of the aboleth. And-
[url=Pathfinder Bestiary]Unfortunately, this near
immortality is crippled by the fact that skum are incapable of reproducing among themselves, for all skum are male. The aboleths did not want their slave race to prosper without their permission. Yet terribly, this does not
mean that skum cannot breed. Originally created from human stock, skum can impregnate humans, and the children issued from such unholy unions are invariably deformed. Those who are not born skum undergo gradual transformations throughout their lives, and when they would normally die of old age, such hybrids instead go through “the change,” shedding their wrinkled flesh and transforming into one of the ulat-kini.[/quote]
Yes, not only have they suddenly become deep one ripof... homages, but they are rapey deep ones, of course.
Pathfinder Bestiary posted:
Some such communities raid villages for breeding stock, but a few more insidious tribes form alliances with these desperate folk, providing protection and bounty from the sea in return for wives.
That is the majority of their characterization: rape fishes .
THey have claw and bite attacks, use weapons, and of course can survive underwater. Stat-wise, they're nothing special. Flavorwise, they're pretty damned foul.
"Anything big is scary, right?"
Yep, it's big slug imported from Tome of Horrors . It has resistance to any slashing or piercing weapons, but is vulnerable to salt (though not much to speak of, just does 1d6 per flask). It does major damage with its acidic tongue or can spit acid for 10d6 acid damage. There's some talk of slug breeding and egg-laying, and mentions some mites, troglodytes, or skum use them as mounts.
It's a snake, it can grapple and constrict. There are plus-sized versions for fans of Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid or Boa vs. Python .
With a venom so deadly it'll do an average of 2-3 constitution damage presuming a constitution of 10 and a Fortitude save of +0. Yes, that means your average peasant can recover from a rattlesnake or cobra in 2-3 days. The chance of them dying is less than 0.002 or so.
Furious over still being bald in death.
Evil ghosts that hate life and sunlight, like Zartan. These are incorporeal spirits that drain 2 levels on a touch attack with a failed save, but take damage in the sunlight, which isn't a huge deal because they can just meld underground or into a building or whatever. They have the same dilemma as the shadows but worse, given they're more powerful, they should have wiped out civilization already.
Another topless catgirl.
The default Pathfinder sphinx is the gynosphinx, presumably because it's the one with boobs hangin' out. Yes, lion body, falcon wings, and woman boobs and head. Not only moderately impressive in combat, their main focus is on divination and more offensive symbol spells that last for a good while. They love puzzles and mysteries, and can be polite, but also have a hair-trigger temper and are territorial as hell. Also, boobs.
It's a spider - webs, mild strength-damaging poison, size of a person, can hop pretty well. Pretty weak, all things considered.
Like a big spider, but a swarm instead of a single critter. Has the advantages of a swarm but no notable web effects.
Human-sized squid that attacks people. Does only mild damage and attack, but can create ink bursts and jet around.
A much more damaging and durable variant, and can ink or jet like the littluns.
A pun about this monster sucking would just be cheap.
A bat-sized creature that hooks on and drains blood. It ignores armor for some bizarre reason (touch attack), and drains one constitution a turn. They have a 10% chance of inflicting disease, which doesn't seem worth rolling, but versimilitude or whatever. Every turn they're attached does 1 constitution damage, which makes them surprisingly nasty in groups at higher levels, despite their CR of 1/2, since there's no save and they nearly always hit.
Never touch a mushroom in a dungeon. Ever.
They're grey underground cranky gnomes. They get written up as a race, making the level 1 ranger statblock of questionable use. Basically, they're weak and really, really not charming, but get bonuses to dexterity, wisdom, and armor class. They're small, get a bonus to all saving throughs, spell resistance, great darkvision and low-light vision, bonuses on Stealth, Perception, and alchemy, and illusion magic, stonecunning like a dwarf, bonuses against reptilian and dwarven foes, a constant nondetection spell cast on them, and get to cast blindness/deafness , blur , and disguise self three times a day.
Odin's beard, they get to be special bunch of special stoneflakes, don't they?
Next: T is for the Terrible Tarrasque
T is for the Terrible TarrasqueOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 20: T is for the Terrible Tarrasque
One problem I'm going to point out with the Pathfinder Bestiary is that there's no effort to provide a sense of scale. Let's compare the images of the following two dragons:
One has the size somewhere between large and gargantuan (there's no way to tell), the other is small size. Without the statblock, though, there's no way to know. Now, let's look at pictures of the tarrasque from Dungeons & Dragons , the Ultimate Big Creature of the game.
What do they all have in common? Well, they have a terrific sense of scale . In every picture the size and power of the monster is emphasized. And with that's covered, let's look at the Pathfinder Bestiary illustration.
This is supposed to be the biggun giant reptile kaiju monster of the book at CR 25, which given advancement doesn't go that high, is confusing. It has immunties to just about everything, damage resistance to all but non-epic weapons (i.e. a +6 magic weapon or greater), immunity to (or reflects) all cones, lines, rays, and magic missles, and a very high spell resistance. Its melee damage is fairly high with its 6 attacks on a full attack, or alternately shoot six spines up to 120 ft. for decent damage (but not impressive for its level). Ultimately, it's extremely swingy, since its bite attack crits on a 15 or better, auto-grapples with an "I win" sort of bonus, staggers and triples damage on a successful crit (which it will almost always make, unless you have a PC with an AC in the 50+ range), and then can swallow whole to do 60+ damage a turn.
Ultimately I think they've tried to fix the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 issue where you could just bombard it from a range safely, as siege weapons and spells are going to be ideal - melee combatants will take the brunt of its ridiculous attacks. Save or suck effects - those that actually work on it like curses or blindness - would be the main way to really fight it. They tried to give it an impressive move speed and jumps, but its massive +87 bonus to Acrobatics (only usuable once per minute) gives it a high jump on average of 24' or a long jump on average of 97', which probably doesn't allow it to even jump over itself, much less catch pesky spellcasters in midair. It has a Perception bonus of +43, so good luck sneakin' on it, though it has no special way to see invisible creatures, surprisingly.
The big kicker is that it regenerates 40 points a round, and if killed auto-ressurects in 3 rounds. They mention "banishing" it in the text but there's no apparent way to do that, since it's native to this plane. Apparently it understands (but does not speak) Aklo, despite its Intelligence of 3.
Oh, and despite the fact all it seems to like doing is destroying stuff, it's "neutral". Mmhm. I'm not convinced. I think it just has that so you can't shield yourself with protection against evil . Ultimately, it seems to exist just to destroy civilizations, and that's pretty chaotic, and probably evil. Maybe it's a Galactus sort of bullshit handwavery where it's just a natural force? Ehhh, fuck that.
I don't think that hood is concealing much.
Tengus are greedy, covetous thievy crow-people. But they're vain and prideful. But they're another race-as-monster, and get the big abilities of learning double the languages and getting automatic proficiencies with a variety of swords. Did I say "big"? I meant "token".
It bears mentioning the tengu here aren't really anything like the mythical tengu. Rather, they're more akin to the kenku, an original monster from earlier editions of Dungeons & Dragons .
They're agile and wise, but not terribly durable, they get low-light vision, bonuses to Perception and Stealth (it seems every other race gets a Perception bonus), a natural bite attack they can use with a weapon, and... that's it. They don't get to fly or anything like that. Mostly, they feel kind of fillery.
"I'm so hard I don't need crouch-armor."
Another race as a monster type, tieflings are humans with fiendish ancestors. They're not always evil, but people treat them bad so they often end up that way. They look mostly human except for "some physical traits that reveal their strange heritage", whatever those are.
They're smart and swift, but not terribly likeable. They get bonuses on Bluff and Stealth, Darkvision, some elemental resistances, and a minor bonus with their spell-like abilities if they play a sorcerer and if they take an abyssal or infernal bloodline. What a crappy special ability to punish you for basically playing anything but a sorcerer. Oh, and they can create darkness once a day.
Copy-paste lion stat block, up the bonuses and challenge rating a bit, give a bit of flavor text on what they eat and call it a day.
As above but change out "lion" for "dire lion".
His bark is worse than his... slam attack.
It's a big tree that protects the forest, and "speaks for the trees", whatever the fuck that means. Anyway, they're statted mostly like giants, and have damage resistance to any non-slashing weapon, but burn merrily. It can animate any two trees as weakened treants, which I wonder if that was figured into their challenge rating. They do bonus damage against objects for some bizarre reason, and can talk with other plants.
They're suspicious but can learn to trust if you put up with their ramblin' jibber-jabber. Also sometimes they murder the fuck out of lumberjacks, or meet in groves to "share news and reproduce", the less I'm familiar with, the better off I think I'll be given the established writeups so far.
Skull on a stick.
Yes, in case lizardfolk and kobolds are not enough reptile people for you, here's another. Unlike their Dungeons & Dragons version, they don't have their stink power anymore for whatever reason, so they're even more generic than before. Apparently their big hook is that they once had a vast empire but now they don't because of reasons and... and...
... eh, wha?! Oh, right, trogs. Fuck trogs. Next monster, please.
They're like green ogres with bite and claws, but regenerate against anything but acid and fire. They'll eat anything but they love their children , except for the males, which rut and run. There are also scrags, which are swimming trolls.
Next: U is for Uni the Unicorn
U is for the Uni the UnicornOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 21: U is for the Uni the Unicorn
Uni was never prepared for the horror of Pathfinder's predilections.
Magic horses with horns, you know the drill (getit). They can see in the dark, are immune to most enchantments and poison, do high damage for their challenge rating on a charging gore attack, but not so much with hooves and horn, can create light, heal wounds and poisons, and teleport anywhere in their forest. They also get treated as if they have a magic circle vs. evil on at all times, a their gore attack is a "good" weapon, and they get along with other animals.
They only get along with good-aligned fey or women, making them both sexist and racist horses. They strike out at those who mess with their forest or are just evil in general (sexist, racist, and judgemental), and sometimes "adopt" young women and becoming their guardians for life (sexist, racist, murderous, and maybe a bit pedo?), which apparently leads to the whole virginal idea but it's actually a myth.
You can use a unicorn's horn as a powerful magical component. It's worth 1,600 gp, which isn't enough to make even a healing wand out of it for the most part, so it doesn't even seem worth the trouble, but these horses seem like creepy jerks, so I say have at it.
Next: V is for unironic Vegepygmies
V is for unironic VegepygmiesOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 22: V is for unironic Vegepygmies
The shoulderpads are the scariest part.
Pathfinder Bestiary posted:
This alluring, raven-haired beauty casually wipes a trickle of blood
from a pale cheek, then smiles to reveal needle-sharp fangs.
Pathfinder Bestiary posted:
They look much as they did in life, often becoming more attractive, though some have a hardened, feral look instead.
Pathfinder Bestiary posted:
Female human vampire sorcerer 8 ... Cha 26 ... headband of alluring
Pathfinder Bestiary posted:
... Cha +4
I get it, Pathfinder , you think vampires are super hot, I thought Vampire was bad about that sort of thing, for fuck's sake.
It's a template that gives darkvision, a ton of natural armor, channel resistance, damage reduction against all weapons except magic and silver, fast healing, punches that drain your life (?), draining blood for constitution damage (and the vampire is healed), summoning multiple animals, turn people into vampire spawns, mind control (doesn't require eye contact), able to change into a bat, wolf, or gas, can climb walls walls, gets attribute bonuses to all but constitution (only because undead don't have a constitution score), big bonuses to Bluff, Perception, Sense Motive, and Stealth, as well as a bunch of feats, many of which stack with the bonuses they were just given.
Oh, what a terrible curse to make one into a utter fucking ridiculous powerhouse.
Weaknesses? Well, they're repulsed by holy symbols or mirrors, but only if they fail a Will save. They can't enter your house without being invited, if you kill them they turn into gas and get to run away. They're destroyed by sunlight and running water (nothing keeps them from flying over running water, tho). Stakes paralyze them unless they're beheaded and have holy water put on their head, in which case they die.
Vampires are always so fucking clumsy in systems like this, because they don't have a consistent thematic in any sense, but a hodgepodge of pop culture and superstition. Pathfinder vampires are more ridiculous than most, though, on account to the two automatic negative levels you take whenever you get hit by one in a turn (quite the surprise for new players), a remnant of old Dungeons & Dragons games. It's not as bad as my previous F&F writeup, Rifts World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms , but it's an overload of facets and features that only work at all due to vampires' cultural impact.
Vampire spawn created are actually treated as wights, only they can suck blood, mind control, damage reduction to all but magic or silver weapons, fast healing, gaseous form, wall-crawling, and all of the vampire weaknesses.
Of couse, how do the more powerful boss-type vampires come about?
"The Terrifying Batheads" is catchier, I think.
These are flying bat-heads from another hell dimension that are supposed to be like the devil's vultures, but also attack live prey, so that's not true at all. They can bite with a poison that impedes healing, inflict screams that only have a Fort DC of 12 to resist, but paralyze you for 2d4 rounds, so if a significant amount of your party falls to these, you're a bit fucked. They can "kiss" paralyzed targets, who have to make a Fort save or die in 14 hours or their head bust on loose and become another vargouille.
How do you stop them? Well, sunlight and some light spells put the condition on hold, but only remove disease can stop it. Remove disease is a 3rd-level spell, which requires you to be a 5th-level cleric or druid. Vargouilles are challenge rating 2.
Yes, that's right. Unless the PCs can find a friendly and powerful holy person, a vargouille is effectively save-or-die at 2nd level.
And of course, it has dreads.
Yes. The vegepygmy. As contrast, I offer a sampling of other monsters Paizo turned up their nose at:
Did a beholder end up in the SRD? Why, yes it did! Yes it did!
Aggressive, expansionist bug-people from another dimension.
Law-enforcing robots from another dimension.
Elemental creatures that animate objects, which would have gone well with their Animated Objects monster entry.
Worm That Walks:
An amalgamation of worms that carry the form and memories of a living being.
A giant bat-thing that screams explosions.
About the only thing I ever see credited to Sean K Reynolds' work on
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5
. A balding cat, essentially.
Then we get a writeup for russet mold, which is CR 6 and can burst, infecting people so that a vegepygmy bursts out of them within a day like in Alien unless remove disease is cast. Like with the vargouilles, sunlight stops it, but it takes longer.
Yes, another chapter in the saga of killer fungus. Look out, it's a deadly puce yeast! Making monsters is easier than I thought!
Like most evil fungus, conveniently color-coded.
Speaking of murderous mushrooms, these are mushroms with tentacles that do minimal damage, but pass on a hideous rot that does damage to both strength and constitution. They can shuffle around, but only slowly. After it's dead, you can play with its tentacles as whips for a few minutes before they rot up, or an alchemist can preserve them as a weak poison.
Next: W is for Wolves, dire Wolves, Winter Wolves, and Worgs
W is for Wolves, dire Wolves, Winter Wolves, and WorgsOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 23: W is for Wolves, dire Wolves, Winter Wolves, and Worgs
It stings. It does dexterity damage, and if it manages to paralyze you, might carry you off to feed its young while still alive. Well, at least you died a heroic death ensuring the lives of new monstrous insects.
Most of these swarms are the same. For some reason these wasps will swarm and eat stuff because they've got to be monsters somehow I guess and fuck science. They do dexterity damage but less of it, and that's that.
"What? No! I just have a case of the ol' pinkeye."
Wights are undead that arose due to "necromancy, a violent death, or an extremely malevolent personality".
Yes, the good die young, but pricks live forever.
They're challenge rating 3 with energy drain, which means three punches from one of these - and some bad saves - and you're auto-dead, and rise up as another wight to fight. Fun for the whole party! These have the whole zombie apocalypse dilemma that shadows and spectres provide, though less so.
There are some variants, like the tougher brute wight, the cairn wight that gets to energy drain through a weapon, and frost wights that inflict bonus cold damage.
"Follow me! I'm a glowing skull! It's an excellent idea!"
These are glowing lights that are evil, otherworldly predators that feed on fear. They look like skulls, but aren't related to humans or undead, so I guess they just evolved spookiness. Anyway, they try and lure people off cliffs or into quicksand or whatever and that laen. They have a decent little shock attack, but hardly never use it. They can turn invisible, are immune to most magic, and heal when close to a fear effect. Mind, they don't have any means to create a fear effect, and being in a dangerous situation doesn't create a fear effect, so systematically they're going to have trouble feeding without another fear-causing monster. Yeah, it's a pretty big oversight.
They hunt in packs and get automatic trip attempts when attacking. No real mechanics that give them any bonuses to pack attack, though, other than the bonus of ganging up on a prone foe.
Bigger wolf. Not to be confused with worgs, which are a different type of bigger wolf.
Like the wolverine but bigger. Yeah. It's got to be a weird world where all predators come in little and big sizes. Where's my dire porpoise? Dire baboon? Dire aardvark?
The not very big, sort of bad, wolfish monster.
These are like dire wolves but not as dire or tough but they're intelligentish and can chat. Robbed from Tolkien's wargs pretty much wholesale. They're supposedly more organized and tactical than normal wolves but they don't have any feats or anything that support it. See, that's a key part of Pathfinder monster design - creatures are given a niche, but even with these huge statblocks, nothing to support it - it's just flavor. Sometimes they let goblins ride them but only if they get to be the boss. There's also a winter wolf variant which is bigger, tougher, and gets to have a cold breath.
Yes, that's right - it's another incorporeal life-draining undead. There's the shadow, the spectre, and now the wraith. I think the niche is covered pretty well, but... so yeah, they're pretty much like spectres, only they drain constitution instead of creating negative levels, are weak against sunlight, and create spawn just the same.
Pathfinder Bestiary posted:
Wraiths are undead creatures born of evil and darkness. They hate light and living things, as they have lost much of their connection to their former lives.
That's not a excerpt - that's their entire flavor text . Oh, boy, they're evil spirits that are evil because they are evil.
You also get dread wrights that are bigger, tougher, and every bit as unexciting and uninspired.
It's always an easy caption but- DANCIN'!
These are wimpy, savage dragons that are kind of dumb, and mostly just trying to sting with their tails that have a potent constitution poison. They're territorial but sometimes can be bribed to help out other sinister forces, particularly those thematically closer to them like boggarts or lizardmen. Otherwise, they're mostly just generic predators you can occassionally chat up.
Next: X is for Xill eggs IN YOU
X is for Xill eggs IN YOUOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 24: X is for Xill eggs IN YOU
You know X is going to be all weirdoes.
"Uh a Xill has four arms-" "Look I just haven't drawn them yet, see, here they are, totally convincing-"
These are otherdimensional bug-lizard people that conquer people and lay their eggs in them to have them gestate and bust out like Aliens . Mother and violation metaphors galore. Removing the eggs takes remove disease , though at least you can do with a Heal check, a rare example of Heal actually being able to seriously treat a monstrous attack.
They can move between dimensions, have a paralytic bite, and can use multiple weapons like crazy, even two bows or whatever. Kind of interesting but short on personality.
Pretty rad, all things considered.
It eats loot? It's so fucking dead, no matter how neutral it thinks it is. These are earth elementalish things that eat gems and ore and things like that. They have three legs, three arms, and three eyes in a triangular sort of fashion, bite for big damage, and claw for wee damage. They can move through earth and rock, and can see in all directions. They get damage resistance against cutting and piercing weapons. They're neutral, so probably only attack to eat your coinage.
The Monster Manual for Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 introduced a lot of xorn-equivalents for other elements, but the only survivor of that is the xorn, on account of being the oldest and having the biggest nostalgia pull.
Next: Y is for Yellow Musk
Y is for Yellow MuskOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 25: Y is for Yellow Musk
Yellow Musk Creeper
It wants to get in your garden.
From Fiend Folio to Tome of Horrors , we get this slow-moving plant that uses pollen to murder, then animates the dead it's killed. It can only kind of slap with a branch, but can entrance with its pollen and then jab tendrils into your brain to insert in seeds. It's only CR 2, so a couple bad saves can mean death if you encounter this on your own. The zombies go around protecting the brain before bursting into new seedlings. Kind of interesting, but not really a danger to an actual party aside from its zombies - a very binary sort of creature that's either a deadly threat or pretty wimpy.
Also, it's pretty much just the russet mold with a slightly different mechanic. Zombies instead of vegepygmies.
Terrible, savage, monstrous - why does it have a collar?
An otherworldly fiendishly evil dog, it can fly - somehow - and has a bark that causes a panic effect, or a bite that causes shaken effects. They trip like their mundane counterparts with their bite, and mostly just hunt to inflict fear. They also don't like other canines and will murder them, even if they're other evil dogs like hellhounds.
They fact they can run around in the air is supposed to be scary but it just sounds like bad wire-work to me.
Big Brunch: HCB + MP or HP
These are humanoids that live on tall mountains, and are mostly private and peaceful - the legends of them being scary come from exiles who are more monstrous. Apparently mountaintops are gateways to other worlds and the yeti protect us from Lovecraftian nonsense.
Anyway, they can do cold damage added to their punches, frighten with a stare, and, well, they're big and tough. I actually kind of like the revision as guardian monsters, it gives some interesting hooks.
Next: Z is for Zombie, singular
Z is for Zombie, singularOriginal SA post Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 26: Z is for Zombie, singular
Not actually a zombie, but Old Man Withers in a cunning disguise.
Animated corpses. Not infectious. They're slow and can't run. Mostly just a template to slap on other creatures. There are variants, like the fast zombie that moves... fast and gets an extra attack, and plague zombies that spread "zombie rot" that does constitution damage and eventually zombifies victims. So some of them are infectious, I suppose, but they're no shadows.
Next: Appendices, the useless organ
Appendices, the useless organOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 27: Appendices, the useless organ
Appendix 1: Monster Creation
Unlike Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 , Pathfinder tries to codify monster creation a bit - that is, actually giving approximate values for each Challenge Rating in terms of what a monster's numbers should be. But how does that shake out?
Let's take several monsters and compare them to their baselines.
Bulette (CR 7):
Its defense and damage are a bit higher than you'd expect for its CR, but nothing overt. Seems to meet the guidelines roughly.
Demon, Hezrou (CR 11):
Damage is a little low for its CR, but its nausea effect is pretty potent.
Dragon, Adult Green (CR 12):
Once again, numbers are in line with what you'd expect. Its spells make it a lot more potent than you'd expect for its CR if it has time to prepare, however, and it's stronger in its favored environments, like a lake. Potent for its challenge rating.
Ogre (CR 3):
Defense is a little high, but no real special abilities to speak of other than size and strength.
The baselines only really apply to base bonuses - hit points, attacks, saves, damage values, save DCs. It doesn't really take into account special abilities, special defenses, saves, spells, special attacks, etc.
Moreover, as I covered in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game , the capabilities of PCs vary widely, so you can't measure them real well. And there are points the Challenge Rating really starts to fall down - namely with class-based monsters. Some classes will just be more fearsome than others (cleric is scarier than commoner) and will throw the CR measurements here way off, even though it's supposed to be a straightforward 1 level = 1 CR.
What's more, there's no guidelines here on how to assign abilities, so new gamemasters just have to eye it and use their best judgement, a tall order given the severe complexity of NPC and monster builds.
We get an idea of how much treasure each monster should spill out like a piñata and can move on.
Appendix 2: Monster Advancement
First off, they cover that there are two types of templates: acquired, like becoming a lich or a zombie, or inherited, like being a half-dragon.
Then, we go into simple templates, which are light templates to add a little more challenge to a monster. There's:
Advanced Creature (CR +1):
Gives the creature a modest bonus on rolls and defenses.
Celestial Creature (CR +1 if 5 HD or more, otherwise +0):
Celestial creatures get darkvision, some energy resistances (acid, cold, electricity, damage reduction to everything except evil, spell resistance, and smite evil once a day.
Fiendish Creature (CR +1 if 5 HD or more, otherwise +0):
Like a celestial creature, but resistant to cold and fire, damage reduction protects from all but good, and they get smite good, unshockingly.
Giant Creature (CR +1):
Gives bonuses to Strength and Constition, a penalty to Dexterity, and bonus damage and size.
Young Creature (CR -1):
Subtracts from all rolls except Dexterity rolls, which it has a bonus on, and has less hit points.
The next part is how to do it unsimply, and it's horrible.
Adding Racial Hit Dice
This is where you add hit dice as if the monster was gaining very crappy class levels. It takes a fair amount of bookeeping to add up, since hit dice are basically just class levels without class features. You have to pick out extra skills and feats and ability score bonuses and so on, then recompare it to the challenge rating chart to see how it measures up. Yes, this means when adding hit dice you don't know what their CR is until after you add the dice. It's entirely ass-backwards, but it's where the messy rules take you.
Adding Class Levels
Like hit dice, but they get actual class powers. They divide monsters into several roles to try and determine what kinds of classes are thematically suitable:
Too dumb or simple to really have a class, like an ooze or bug.
Characters like ogres or worgs that are primarily just fighty sorts.
Creatures like nymphs or rashasha that focus on magic and harassment.
Creatures like dark folk or chokers that focus on ambushes and skill.
Generally some creature dominated by a weird special ability.
I'm really simplifying this - this is a process where you have to track attack bonus, ability bonuses, skill points, extra feats, class features, spells, saving throws, added treasure, feature selections, and so and so on and the more of it you do, the more complicated it gets.
It's thankfully improved since I was putting together monsters for Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 , but the clunky framework remains, and the only real thing about it that's improved is that there's actual guidelines for challenge ratings other than just comparing monsters.
Appendix 3: Glossary
I'm not going to cover everything here, in case you haven't figured it out, there are no pretty pictures here and everything is super-boring just talking about monster superpowers, I thought talking about bogs and hedges in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting was rough, but this is pretty tough going.
Universal Monster Rules
Not going to cover it all - you can look it up in the Pathfinder SRD if you're burning to know more (which are you are not). Highlights:
A new effect that lets attacks do damage over time unless the target gets healed up.
A new effect where you catch on fire and start taking damage unless you make a reflex save to not catch on fire. You can stop, drop, an roll to try and put it out.
Adds a bonus for undead to save against channel energy as done by clerics and paladins. However, they can only save for half damage, so it's no longer a big deal anymore.
Most swarms get this where you have to make a weak saving throw every time they damage you or get nauseated. Only mentioning it here since I didn't mention it for the buggers.
Save or take semi-permanent penalties. If you take more "levels" of energy drain than your HD, you die automatically. It should be noted that critical hits inflict double levels, so if a vampire hits you with a crit you take four negative levels, for those who like being arbitrarily fucked beyond measure from bad rolls.
This is where if the creature hits they get a free grapple attempt (and you don't get an attack of opportunity against them for it), as well as . About 55 creatures have this ability, or about
one in every six creatures in the book
gets it, not counting "grapple-like" abilities like a gelatinous cube's engulf ability, an erinyes' lasso, or a giant leech's ability to attach. All this means you better brush up on on your grapple rules, since monsters rely on them. Hell, there are nearly 30 creatures that tack on constrict as well, doing extra damage when grappling.
The thing is, grapples pretty much lock most PCs down entirely. Which makes it not only a complex and ungainly set of rules, but an entirely unfun one to be on the target end of.
Creatures summoned by creatures cannot summon creatures, thankfully. No recursive loops.
Each creature has a type that affects its hp, attack bonus, saves, skill points, class skills, proficiencies, and grants a variety of special abilities. A small selection:
For some reason, aberrations have a bad Fortitude save. Yeah. Cthulhu is a softie.
No longer immune to critical hits like in
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5
Yes, dragons get the best attack bonus, saves, hit die, and skill points.
Can now be critically hit along with constructions.
Undead: These can take critical hits too.
There are a bunch of subtypes and I could not care less. Some grant special abilities and some are just keywords for other effects (like "dwarf").
Appendix 4: Monsters as PCs
It notes monsters aren't really balanced as PCs, but that they can be really cool but also busted. It mentions the best types to use are those monsters that are built as NPCs with class levels, but that some are so powerful they should start at 2nd level with only one class level.
It doesn't denote which ones these are.
Otherwise you use the challenge rating of the monster as their starting level, which I don't think I even need to describe how sloppy and busted that is but it is really sloppy and busted .
But probably pretty fair compared to playing a cleric or wizard, unless you're playing one of those creatures that gets to be a cleric or wizard.
Appendix 5: Monster Feats
There are new feats just for monsters! And some PCs, but mostly monsters.
This requires high strength, a few feats, and large size, and if you fulfill all those requirements you can do a punch that auto-knocks an enemy down, which is handy if you don't have many attacks, since it's the only attack you can do in a round. But if you're like most monsters and get multiple attacks, it's a shit option.
What I'm saying is that its awesomeness is in question.
Requires 5th level but the lowest-level golems require you to be 7th level to make them, ha ha, sucker.
Improve Natural Armor:
You get +1 natural armor. That's all. At least Dodge helps you qualify for other dumb feats. You can stack this over and over if you're a sucker.
The good two-weapon fighting feats require Dexterity 15+, this lets you fight awesome with four or
arms and requires Dexterity 13.
In case you have one of the creatures without the grab ability this gives it the grab ability.
Appendix 6: Monster Cohorts
If you have that Leadership feat you can have monster sidekicks, as it turns out, but you have to be pretty decent level to do so. Probably best to get a wizard with a wizard sidekick for double wizard action, but if you must, you can get like a dog-angel at level 9 or a stone giant at level 20.
Yeah. Level 20. That's how long you have to wait for a stone giant, what the fuck? They're just big guys that hit things. At level 13 you can get a demon that can teleport anywhere . So it's confusing, particularly since the level of the monsters doesn't dovetail at all with the PC monster levels given just a few pages back.
Appendix 7: Animal Companions
There are various animals you can use as companions, generally downsized, which results in weird shit where you've got a person-sized baby bison or elephant as a sidekick, because this is a game where wizards can summon angels, but we totally can't have a ranger with a full-sized elephant.
Appendices 8 - 11: Monster Lists
Appendix 8 is a list of monsters by type and subtype, appendix 9 is a list of monsters by challenge rating (weakest is bats and toads, strongest is tarrasque), appendix 10 is a list of monsters by terrain, and appendix 11 is a list of all the variant monsters in the book.
Appendices 12 - 13: More Lists Goddamnit
Appendix 12 is a list of abilities alphabetically, and appendix 13 is a list of monsters as per their role (see appendix 2).
Appendix 14: Encounter Tables
Random encounter tables! I'm going to take a 3rd-level party of four into a low-level dungeon, let's see what happens!
Well, first creature is an ogre, one of the toughest creatures on the chart. Let's say it takes down a PCs because it's a above our challenge level at CR 4 encounter. The second encounter is... 4 giant spiders, another CR 4 encounter, which I'm going to say takes out two on account of being double our challenge rating. Then the final encounter is two skeletons and it's a coin toss whether or not our final adventurer makes it out.
So fuck those.
It ends with the System Reference Document, an ad for the core rules, and we're done here.
Yes, they mention the 50,000 playtesters and 10 years of development. Again.
Next: Some Final Words
Final WordsOriginal SA post
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary Part 28: Final Words
Well, what to make of the Pathfinder Bestiary ? I originally opted to do it because it's basically the other half of the Pathfinder rules after the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game . But it's really part core rules, part sourcebook, and straddles the line. It's where you see the world of Pathfinder defined in the core rules aside from character options, monsters getting ecologies and histories when we still don't even know what world we're on. It's legacy design, but legacy design is the purpose of Pathfinder, so it's hard to fault them too much for it.
Let's start with what they get right. First off, it pretty much covers all the classic Dungeons & Dragons monsters they can cover, and some are notably improved, like the bulette (no longer a one-round murderhound). Some of their revisions are definitely more fun, like the goblins or yeti. And I like the layout for the most part, where a monster generally gets a single page, and the simplified variants on offer instead of worrying about full writeups. The advanced and giant templates are a good way to adjust monsters, and the revisions to the challenge rating guidelines are a strong boon.
Unfortunately, there's also a lot of negatives to bring up. Hanging on to the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 monster stats results in bloated statblocks that eat a third of every page, and are a pain to read or adjust. They've done their best to clean up the formatting, but trying to remember what's where is a problem, and having to flip back to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game for rules on spell-like abilities is a nightmare. Spells are a particular albatross for the book, since their demons, angels, and dragons are loaded with the damn things, but you have to flip to another book and try and memorize what any of their literal dozens of abilities do for an encounter. Alternately, you have to flip to the back of Pathfinder Bestiary and be familiar with any number of common creature types, subtypes, and abilities. Despite having a page for each creature, they still require you to flip through literally hundreds of pages of material to be familiar with to know what spells, abilities, feats, and creature types do, which either requires an impressive feat of memorization or lots of flipping and slowing down the game.
The book focuses a lot on "ecology", which is fine when it's interesting, but quite often it's not here. Moreover, they have an odd focus on where monster willies go (mostly just willies, anyway, ginas don't get as much attention). Personally, I'd take the point that if gamemasters want to include rape in their games, that's something to decide at the table, not something to include in monster writeups as defined fact. This goes doubly so for a game aiming and getting mainstream status like the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game . It seems to exist to just make certain monster types more vile, a cheap attempt at being adult without actually being mature.
Combined with the sexualization with a number of monsters, it gets doubly disturbing. Granted, temptress monsters are a mainstay of Dungeons & Dragons and mythology in general, but you end up with this weird backbeat to the monster writeups where there's just this very troubled relationship with sex. Either male monsters are trying to rape, or female monsters are trying to seduce and kill or enslave you. This is doubly weird when sex isn't acknowledged otherwise save in a negative, monstrous context. Add in cheesecake monster art, and the whole thing starts to feel as if they didn't really think the whole thing out very well. I don't think they're necessarily a bunch of creepy fucks, but they're pointedly unaware, and carry the flag of old-school misogyny (better kill the sexy monster before it tempts you!) unwittingly.
Challenge ratings remain a joke. Though they've been improved, they're at best a blindfolded dart toss on the actual effectiveness of a monster. Since the power level of parties varies quite a bit, thanks to varied attribute levels, character builds, magic item layouts, etc. Moreover, the challenge ratings don't take creature abilities too strongly into consideration, which presents its own obvious set of problems. Moreover, gamemasters just have to eyeball customized monsters and come up with their own without a codified system. Lastly, using them as character levels is a tremendous cop-out for people wanting to play monster characters, and problematic even compared to the general rules clusterfuck that was Savage Species for Dungeons & Dragons .
And the art - well, see, one issue is that they didn't anti-alias the art, so if you're viewing at any other resolution than publication resolution, you get those black jaggy tears at the edge of every art piece. You want to know why I screenshotted from the PDF rather than just cut and paste the art pieces? Well...
That is why. Paizo is sloppy as fuck behind the scenes with the art, but you can peek under the covers of each art piece and see it for yourself. It's embarrassing given the general quality of their production values otherwise.
Lastly, for somebody who's played previous editions of Dungeons & Dragons , this book offers very little new or interesting. It was tough commenting a lot of it, because seriously, what the hell do you say about hobgoblins at this point? Moreover, since it's just copy-pasting material from Monster Manuals , you end up with a lot of monsters that serve the same role. There's monstrous humanoids like hobgoblins, gnolls, and orcs that basically fill the same niche, and the same could be said of goblins, kobolds, and mites. You have two creatures which are plants that make monsters out of corpses, way too mainly blobs that all just burn and engulf, over 15 iterations on the fire-breathing dragon theme, and so on.
For the record, the Pathfinder Bestiary has 20 monsters from Tome of Horrors , 7 new monsters, and somewhere around 300 monsters from Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. I'm not going to count exactly. You can if you like numbers more than I.
Of course, a lot of my criticism of the art and monsters is tongue-in-cheek, but even so, this was a rough book to write up, mainly because after the novelty wore off, familiarity and boredom sets in. I'm sure the later Bestiaries, in which Paizo is forced to actually exercise their creative muscles, would be far more interesting.
But it's easy to point to Paizo as a faceless group. Unlike the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game , this seems to have many more cooks stirring the soup. So who do we credit for the Pathfinder Bestiary? Well, here's the full designer credits:
, the lead designer. I covered him in the
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
. Seems like a decent guy. Bad at rules, though. Listed as "lead designer".
, a freelancer (?) who got his start in Dragon Magazine and has gone on to be a writer for Paizo and Goodman Games. Can't find much on him otherwise.
, a skinny guy who's a Paizo staff writer. I couldn't find him credited for anything else, so I presume he's Paizo-only.
: A freelancer who writes for Goodman Games (mostly Cthulhu material) and Paizo. His homepage is at
but seems to largely return server errors.
Joshua J. Frost
: Paizo's events manager who ran (in a loose sense of the word) the Pathfinder Society for a time. He also wrote for A Song of Ice and Fire for Green Ronin, and is now heading "Infinite X Studio" which has released the "Quantum RPG", a sci-fi/fantasy mashup. Supposedly he's won six Ennies but damned if I can find what for. I suspect it's just for things with his name attached to them, rather than anything he's headed, given he doesn't bother to mention what he won them for.
is a Wizards of the Coast alumni who has also written for Bastion Press and Green Ronin, and was EiC of Dungeon Magazine, and helped create the Adventure Path format. Wikipedia also mentions "Jacobs has also created many notable Dungeons & Dragons creatures, with the ulitharid, draknor, and the kaorti among the most prominent". "Notable" may be a bit of a stretch there, to be blunt.
is a long-time D&D player and assistant editor for Paizo.
is the former EiC of Dragon and Dungeon Magazines and wrote for Wizards of the Coast and Green Ronin. He's majorly behind Paizo's "Planet Stories" imprint which reprints old pulp stories. He also thinks "Vancian" magic is a great idea and does not need changing ever, and I will pick on him for that basically forever too.
Sean K Reynolds
: The webmaster for TSR and later Wizards of the COast who wrote a bit of material for various TSR projects and then Wizards of the Coast, before being let go and working on various d20 projects before being hired by Pathfinder. He's a self-congratulatory blowhard from all evidence who sees himself as a rules guru, but routinely demonstrates a lack of basic understanding of d20 mechanics.
F. Wesley Schneider
worked on Dragon & Dungeon before becoming the managing editor of Paizo. It's worth mentioning he's the guy charged with having to
justify why rape is used in this very book and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
originally worked for Lion Rampant and then White Wolf before becoming the veep of Wizards of the Coast. She's the CEO of of
and the COO of
. Probably the most experienced hand involved with
and I'd be surprised if she wasn't the brains behind their strong marketing efforts.
James L. Sutter
is their fiction editor who has had a lot of short fiction published, wrote for
magazine and has written Pathfinder novels more recently.
Greg A. Vaughn
: A freelancer who's written a lot for Pathfinder, and was previously published in
James Jacobs , Sean K Reynolds , and F. Wesley Schneider are all credited under "additional design" for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game as well.
Praise or blame all of them as you will. The interesting thing that shows from a review of the Paizo writing staff is that most of them have only written for d20. A lot of Pathfinder's design starts to gel when you realize most of these folks likely started or have been immersed in d20 design solely, and haven't necessarily designed or published for other games, much less published a system of their own. It does a lot to explain the tunnel vision which characterizes Pathfinder's design early on here, and why they might be blind to systemic flaws which might be obvious to more broadly-versed designers.
Well, I've done the hard work in covering about a thousand pages of core rules - if you want to write up a Pathfinder book for FATAL & Friends, feel free, because I'm going to be taking a break from Paizo material for the foreseeable future. Perhaps the repulsive Carnival of Tears , or the dreadful mess that is trying to create a character for the Pathfinder Society ?
My tips for other writers looking to do any writeup this big:
Do as much as you can stand to do in advance. For the
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
, I wrote up rough drafts for the whole book before posting anything. For the
I was up to "R" with my writeup before posting anything, and deliberately chose a piecemeal means of posting (sorry, Syrg!) to give me the necessary time to wrap it up. For my
write-ups I generally would finish at least half the book before posting. If you're wondering how I can post every day or even multiple times a day, this is why. It also gives you a chance to double-check for typos or to edit and rewrite (and I still get lots of typos...).
Grab the PDF, if you can obtain one. It makes it absurdly easy to just cut and paste art or quotes, and I like doing that. I sometimes worry I put up
art, but I haven't seen any C&D letters yet. I feel putting in art pieces gives a much stronger impression of the book, and honestly gets peoples attention even when your writing falters.
Try to entertain somewhat. I probably go for quantity of humor over quality, but it's the only thing that keeps me posting. It's easier to do a mock-worthy book than it is to praise it, but if you're going to praise a book, don't hold back. I feel like being level-headed was the biggest mistake of my
rulebook. We're not reporters or reviewers per se, and you don't ever need to hold back with your opinions, but also try and maintain some perspective. I know some people do enjoy Pathfinder, and I'm not going to condemn them for it, but I'm sure as hell not going to let the writers off the hook.
Do research outside of the book on the authors and the like. Sometimes there's just a goldmine of material waiting for you with a cursory examination of a game's website or an author's history. The art in this post is straight off the Pathfinder frontpage, for example.
Don't be afraid to edit your posts. (This whole bullet point has been edited in, for example.) Not all writeups need my level of obsession or detail, but at the same time if you're doing a F&F project this big it's probably get it best to get it right. A lot more folks read these than is immediately apparent from reply posts, often from outside of SA.
Next: I don't even look at a Paizo book for a good while.