Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review - Bestiary 3 (Pathfinder)

Bestiary 3
Produced by Paizo Publications, LLC
Test your courage against the most infamous foes of myth and legend! Bestiary 3 presents hundreds of monsters for use in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Within this book you’ll find demiliches and demodands, grave knights and goblin snakes, norns and nephilim, imperial dragons and unfettered eidolons, and so much more! Yet not every creature needs to be an enemy, as winged garudas, crafty tanukis, and leonine lammasus all wait to join your party and answer the call of glory.

The Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 3 is the third indispensable volume of monsters for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and serves as a companion to the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook and Pathfinder RPG Bestiary. This imaginative tabletop game builds upon more than 10 years of system development and an Open Playtest featuring more than 50,000 gamers to create a cutting-edge RPG experience that brings the all-time bestselling set of fantasy rules into the new millennium.

The Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 3 includes:
  • More than 300 different monsters
  • Classic terrors from myth and literature, from the frumious bandersnatch and the righteous valkyrie to the cunning dybbuk and elusive kappa
  • Hordes of new creatures you can construct, grow, or summon to aid your party in its adventures
  • New player-friendly races to let you adventure as canny ratfolk, genie-blooded sulis, and more
  • New familiars, animal companions, and other allies
  • Challenges for any adventure and every level of play
  • Some of the strangest and most beloved creatures from fantasy roleplaying history and the Pathfinder campaign setting
  • Hosts of new templates and variants
  • Appendices to aid in monster navigation, including lists by Challenge Rating, monster type, and habitat
  • Expanded universal monster rules to simplify special attacks, defenses, and qualities

What you get: This is from the main product line for the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game. It is a 320 page hard-bound full color monster book. Within it are more than 300 monsters, each entry has full color artwork. A monster entry without artwork is a travesty. On the cover is another of Wayne Reynolds great pieces of artwork, featuring the great cyclops, grave knight and kappa. 

Main Review: What can I say, this is another great book from Paizo. While some recent material hasn't been Epic in my eyes, this book is phenomenal, probably better than Bestiary 2 in my eyes. This bestiary features many monsters which have been out of print for awhile, or have never seen print. It brings many OGL monsters into the PFRPG ruleset. Many of the creatures from the Adventure paths are brought into easily accessible print form in the single manual. Some great entries in here, the Bandersnatch joins the Jabberwock in pathfinder, the axe beak, atomie, and especially, the ROT GRUB, and the Rot Grub swarm. Really there are too many monsters to review every one, check it out at your FLGS!!

While there are only a few "PC" scale 1/2 HD creatures, the ones in this manual are pretty cool, I know the Catfolk at least Epic Ian will want to play. The others are Ratfolk, perfect for players who like were-rats and certain rat creatures from a workshop that makes games. Vanara made their appearance in the Dragon Empires Gazeteer, and are presented in full monster format here. Vishkanya seem to be an Indian myth, so they would be at home in Vudra and make the perfect poisoning rogue or ninja.

As this book is also supporting the future release of the World Guide for the Tian Xia area, it features many Asian inspired monsters, including several creature types, including Oni, Asura, Kami, and of course Rakshasa.  5 Imperial dragons also grace the pages, Forest, Sea, Sky, Sovereign and Underworld. Other archetypal Asian creatures include the kappa, kirin, penanggalen, and of course the tanuki. The terra-cotta soldier is one of my favorites, but the Jiang-Shi and Yuki-Onna are some of the coolest from mythology.

Value: Another great bestiary from paizo. For a 300 page full color hard bound, $39.99 is perfectly reasonable. The PDF at $9.99 is a phenomenal value.

Cost: $39.99 print and $9.99 PDF

Overall Rating:  EPIC! This is one of my favorite bestiaries from any game, and definitely keeps the bar high for Bestiary 4.