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Creepy Creatures: Bestiary of the Bizarre $21.95 $17.00
Average Rating:3.6 / 5
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Creepy Creatures: Bestiary of the Bizarre
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Creepy Creatures: Bestiary of the Bizarre
Publisher: Alluria Publishing
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/15/2012 05:42:03

This massive 115 pages full-color pdf has 1 page front cover, 1 page blank inside of the front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page explaining the glyphs that denote creature-types, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 107 pages for the content.

The first thing you'll notice is that this book is beautiful - full-color, cool artworks are provided for every monster and both formatting and layout are professional and adhere to the highest standards. What do I seek in a monster-book? I want iconic beasts that are more than just another set of stats, that feature more than just variations of old tropes. I want the immediate impulse to use them in my games and, ideally, to yell: "Yeah, now that's it!" "Creepy Creatures" is a bestiary of rather horror-themed creature or at least bizarre ones, so let's take a look at some of my most and least favorite among them:

Rather lame ones: -Adhaesus: Creature that clings to walls while fighting. The choker is much cooler and the artwork doesn't help the creature. -Bisontaur: Centaur with Bisonlike-top. Boring. -Hawkape: Owlbear-like creature. Owlbears are canon by now and while they never were my favorite creatures, Hawkapes are in my opinion unnecessary. Their abilities don't really set them apart. -Centpede Folk: Centipede-like humanoids whose artwork unfortunately lacks arms. -Frogodile: Another amalgam animal. Just as boring. -Gibbering Terror: Incorporeal undead which feature the one truly boring/bad artwork of the book. -Magma Kraken: Fire-elemental kraken creature. Disappointing for a CR 20 creature, this one has almost only elemental abilities. -Star Jelly Ooze: This creature is a ooze-steed that looks like a long version of a Super Mario star with wings. I'm not kidding. -Assassin Zombie: Assassins. Zombies. I don't think they go together or that you actually need a separate creature that fits this particular niche.

Cool creatures: -Assassin Cat: A cat with brilliant abilities with supernatural abilities and a deadly toxin. -Brain Wasp Swarm: Disturbing swarm of vermin. -Clutch Hound: Cthulhoid dog with a great artwork. -Corpse Worm: Shapechanger-worm - great variation of the doppelgänger-trope. -Plague Dragon: Deadly dragon with cool abilities. -Eye Parasite: One of the few truly despicable and creepy creatures in the book, this is a combination of a bodysnatcher and beholder-like abilities. Two thumbs up! -Fleshwarper: Undead that drains charisma by warping flesh. -Fungus, Ooze: Deadly plant that spawns oozes. -Hair Golem: Disturbing Golem with a cool artwork. -Hydra Grub: Multi-headed giant grub, delicacy for dragons. -Terrorkin: Dream-demon that is half beautiful & half deformed - One of the best artworks i the book. -Century Tortoise: Giant benevolent turtles that drain away the years of enemies. -Fang Tree: Spiked, poisonous, carnivorous tree with a beautiful artwork. -Windigo: Another version of the classic wendigo, this take on it has a mechanically interesting, cool snow and wind aura. After the monsters, we also get information on the remarkable races (other Alluria products) and have the monsters listed by CR, roles, type, terrain and climate, which is nice.

Conclusion: Layout and artwork are beautiful, editing and formatting are top-notch (I didn't notice any typos or glitches) and the pdf is extensively bookmarked. On the production-value side, there is nothing to complain. On the content-side, though, there are some problems, at least for me: I thought I'd get a bestiary of rather horror-themed critters and while the book delivers on "bizarre", it, at least in my opinion, does not deliver with regards to "creepy." Even more important: In contrast to e.g. Fey Folio, the monsters herein often fall in the rather bland category, be it fluff- or crunch-wise or just didn't capture my attention, which is a pity as some of them do rock. There are no lore-sections for the critters and most don't get too much fluff-text. More importantly, though, several of the background stories of the critters mention characters of races from Alluria's "Remarkable Races"-line. While I usually enjoy some plug-ins, I do think they went a bit over the top with regards to this book - some of the monsters are directly tied to the races and thus are harder to get or insert into your campaign than necessary. There is no b/w printer-friendly version and while the book is beautiful, it is also very taxing on your printer. While it's a long and beautiful book, it's also not too cheap. My final verdict, taking all of the above into consideration, will be 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 for the purpose of this platform.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Creepy Creatures: Bestiary of the Bizarre
Publisher: Alluria Publishing
by Kenneth A. C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/03/2012 08:31:56

It is rare to be treated to a big monster book from a 3PP... in colour! This is exactly what Creepy Creatures: Bestiary of the Bizarre is. The illustrations are perhaps a bit too big. I would have preferred a bit more text to some (if not all) of the creatures, but the quality of the artists are... exceptional.

There are creatures that make no sense (lobsterpede, centipede folk, hair golem, frogodile), but all monster books have some of those, and then there are the really cool monsters... the rest!

There is much to love in this book, but I have to settle for a 4 star rating because the monsters lack information and have made their illustrations twice as big as they should have been, to cover for the lack of text.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creepy Creatures: Bestiary of the Bizarre
Publisher: Alluria Publishing
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/17/2010 14:35:09

Creepy Creatures: Bestiary of the Bizarre is a 115-page PDF (111-pages if you remove the covers, front paper and OGL page) for the Pathfinder RPG written by Sam G. Hing and published by Allura Publishing.

The layout is a traditional book design, primarily two-column and easy enough to read. The monsters follow standard Pathfinder templates. The art is full color throughout with each creature having its own illustration, with each artist credited on the page (which is appreciated) additionally each creature gets a set of glyphs which label it by type, terrain and climate.

Creepy Creatures begins with a brief overview about how the monsters are marked with glyphs for quick sorting of their role. The Challenge Ratings of the monster range from 1/3 to 20 (with the CR of 16-19 not represented) and the appendices in the back nicely divide the monsters by CR, role, type and terrain.

Each monster gets a page, except for the two dragons who each gets two pages, and its own full color illustration which are average to excellent in quality. But for many of the creatures, it just seems that they could use a bit more information to make them really come alive.

There is a good variety of monsters here, fairly light on the outsiders, which is all for the good. Several of the monsters are chimeric beasts (such as the hawkape and frogodile) and crazy animal variants (carnivorous elk!) which I actually approve of as they harken back to both old school designs and just general bizarreness. As is usual for such works there are several undead, which are always difficult as so many have already been done but some of the ones here are quite clever and adventure ideas immediately came to mind reading them.

My only complaint is to fully use one of creature templates, Gixubus, you need the Remarkable Races collection for the base creature (the Anumus) to use beyond the example creature. A few other monster reference races from the Remarkable Races collection but are not as closely tied to them.

Overall, if you like bizarre and unusual creatures (they are quite correct in their subtitle) for your Pathfinder campaign, this book should be quite inspirational.

Disclosure: As a featured reviewer for RPGNow/ DriveThroughRPG, I received my copy of this product for free from the publisher for the purpose of this review.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creepy Creatures: Bestiary of the Bizarre
Publisher: Alluria Publishing
by Dark M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/10/2010 02:28:52

This product is 115 pages long. The beginning has cover, credits, splash page etc(5 pages). Next it gets to the introduction, which is a intro by the author and explains the symbols used. This is 1 page. The bulk of the book is taken up with the monsters. There is 100 new monsters in the book(107 pages).

I wanted to list all the monsters names but the ToC is inside of a table and I was unable to copy it with out copying the table sadly. So no list. I will try and get a list from the publisher to add to this review. There is a nice mix of CR's in the product.

Then final two pages is taken up with OGL and back cover.

Closing thoughts. First off I am not a huge monster book fan, I am not one of those that buy all the monster books. They tend to need to be very interesting and or different to get my interest. This book accomplished this. While not all the monsters are creepy or horrific most of them are. Many are very well done and should freak out players as well as their characters. The art work is meh to good. I didn't notice any major errors in stat blocks, but take that with a grain of salt. I am not the best with stat blocks. So my rating is 3.5 stars. It is good but not great. Many of the monsters are very cool and fit the product description very well but not all of them do. I know art work cost a lot which drives the price up. But I felt the price is a little high, which is what dropped my rating from a 4 to a 3.5. If the price doesn't bother you for a monster book then I recommend it, if you like or want more creepy or horrific style monsters I also recommend it. I look forward to seeing what this company does next.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creepy Creatures: Bestiary of the Bizarre
Publisher: Alluria Publishing
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/06/2010 14:34:32

We take it for granted that most monsters in our Pathfinder game will be somewhat intimidating. All too often, however, this is a high as the fear factor gets for a creature. A great red wyrm makes players nervous for the amount of damage it can do to their characters, but nobody looks at the picture and feels a shudder go down their spine, or fights one and then says later “man that dragon was creepy!” In other words, most creatures are intimidating, but not frightening.

That’s something Alluria Publishing aims to rectify with their new Pathfinder monster book, Creepy Creatures: Bestiary of the Bizarre. So let’s take a look at this folio of fright and see what terrors lurk therein.

The book is 115 pages long, containing an impressive one hundred monsters exactly. Bookmarks are present (having been quickly added after the initial release lacked them), and do an excellent job of linking to various sections as well as each individual monster. Every creature has full color artwork, which is absolutely essential for a monster book, and Alluria did a great job finding talented artists to depict their menacing menagerie. Further, all of the pages are set on a slightly off-white background that turns more tanned towards the edges of the page, like parchment. There’s an alternating border in the lower corner that contains the page numbers as well. Unfortunately, no printer-friendly version is to be found here, but that’s a relatively small oversight, all things considered.

Now, what about the monsters themselves? Of course, it’s beyond the scope of this review to cover all of them in detail, but I’ll try to give some concrete overviews.

The monsters range from CRs 1-20, with the majority being in the upper single-digits. As mentioned previously, there are one hundred such monsters here, and the majority concentrate on being fairly gruesome, freakish, or downright creepy creatures. For example, centipede folk are giant centipedes with a human face on the underside of their insectine head. The giant virus is exactly what it sounds like, a germ raised to macroscopic levels, which makes it more alien than most aberrations, as well as a potent spreader of disease. And the eye parasite is like a tiny beholder, save that it’ll dissolve your eyes, lair inside your head, and interchange which of its two tinier eyeballs rest in your sockets while it controls your body’s movements…all while you’re still alive.

Needless to say, a lot of these creatures will (presuming the unspoken but still acknowledged effort on the part of the GM) likely freak your players out pretty well. There are some nasty freaks in here.

Of course, that’s not to say the entire book was a homerun either. There were several monsters that really felt like one-trick ponies to me. The hammertrunk elephant uses its trunk as a bludgeoning tool. Okay, I can live with that. Two variant kinds of gryphons, each one of which changes up what sort of cat and bird make up its component parts? I like the visual, but there’s really nothing that makes them different from a standard gryphon with different flavor text. Monsters like these didn’t seem to pull their metaphorical weight.

I can live with a few duds though, especially since most of the creatures are at least adequate, and usually better than adequate, in their presentation. What I didn’t care for was that I kept finding small errors cropping up. The bone druid, for example, has its spell levels listed from least to greatest, instead of greatest to least. The suncat has the Angel subtype, but none of the mechanical benefits that subtype grants. It’s little things like that that dimmed the book’s luster for me, especially since they could have been easily caught and corrected if the editor had gone back a few more times with a critical eye. Here’s hoping the book will get an errata-based update soon.

The book has a few appendices after all of the monsters have been presented, as well. It briefly summarizes the Remarkable Races that were the subject of Alluria Publishing’s previous works, since several of those get referenced in various monster write-ups. There’s also a set of tables indexing the monsters by CR, type, role, environment, etc. Unfortunately, while I was hoping for some information about what creatures would make good familiars, special mounts, or animal companions for PCs, such information was nowhere to be found (though a few creatures do discuss training them using Handle Animal).

In closing, let me say that if my notations on where the book could have done better are making you hesitate to buy this volume, then I’m doing you a disservice. This bestiary hits far more than it misses, and vast majority of the creatures are inspiring for how they can be used to vex your players. If you want to inject some unsettling species into your Pathfinder game, I heartily recommend giving Creepy Creatures a chance. You won’t regret it, though your players most certainly will.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creepy Creatures: Bestiary of the Bizarre
Publisher: Alluria Publishing
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/30/2010 16:06:01

This is a pretty good product, loaded with content and more.

However, maybe this is just the incredibly jaded part of me, but most of these creatures didn't seem that creepy. Only a few were truly scary, and none caused me to jump in my seat.

That said, good monsters, and if played right by a GM, they could be perfect.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creepy Creatures: Bestiary of the Bizarre
Publisher: Alluria Publishing
by Ben G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/30/2010 14:04:08

Creepy Creatures contains 100 new monsters available for your Pathfinder game. The book is good, and will make a great addition to any pathfinder campaign where the GM chooses to use some odd creatures.

Some of the creatures have a bit of what I like to call a "cheese factor". They're less creepy and more like a low budget horror movie. But these aren't terribly bad creatures mechanically and I suppose it's a matter of taste. This book also features a Dire Skunk, which I've personally been hoping to see for some time. Now that's a monster.

It's clear that some decent work went in to the mechanics and creation of these beasties. Same goes for the artwork which varies in quality from decent to great.

At the current price of $17 it is a bit on the pricey side so consider if you're really willing to part with almost $20 for 100 new creatures. If your answer is yes, you won't be disappointed. If not, you can live without this expansion.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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