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Monster Menagerie: The Kingdom of Graves $3.99
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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Monster Menagerie: The Kingdom of Graves
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Monster Menagerie: The Kingdom of Graves
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Herbert S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/26/2011 00:36:59
This was a High Quality Product,The clarity was as reading off paper.Onto the content GREAT!! I have never been disappointed yet.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Menagerie: The Kingdom of Graves
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by William W. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/30/2011 13:25:49
A collection of eight undead nasties for the Pathfinder RPG, all with a royalty/court theme - Bean Chaointe, Bloodknight, Dark Messenger, Lich Tyrant, Masque Ghul, Night Dragon, Rot Giant, and Soul Harvester. Challenge ratings run from CR3 to CR15, so this collection will have something for most campaigns. All entries are illustrated.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Menagerie: The Kingdom of Graves
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/29/2010 06:38:45
Mythic Menagerie - Kingdom of Graves is the second Mythic Menagerie monster book from Super Genius Games and OtherWorld Creations for the Pathfinder RPG. This product presents a small number of new creatures around the theme of undead, or more specifically undead that are in a position of power or influence. These creatures can be central to a campaign or if not used as undead creatures conspiring for domination, as new and interesting creatures to spring on unsuspecting player characters. The presentation standard is top quality, with some fabulous art - in fact, each creature is superbly illustrated, giving a vivid visual impression of the creatures to go with the written text. The creatures in this product (eight in total) range from CR 3 to CR 15, so are suitable to use in a variety of levels of play.

I really liked this product. While all the creature's aren't all that original in their bare statistics (e.g. a mummy aristocrat or vampire Fighter) the flavor text more than makes up for the lack mechanical ingenuity. The rot giant that can swallow a creature and then regurgitate it as a skeleton under its command is both creepy and clever, while the Masque Ghul is a formidable foe with flavors of Pirates of the Caribbean. The other creatures are equally useful and interesting - the flavor text strongly reinforces the theme of these being creatures that are meant to govern and conquer. I found that each creature description gave you plenty to work with as a GM, and the range of CRs means that this can appeal to all levels of play. This second instalment of Mythic Menagerie is a lovely product, with strong themes that are very well supported by good flavor and mostly strong and original mechanics. Coupled with top quality presentation, make this a worthy product to take a look at.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Menagerie: The Kingdom of Graves
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/25/2010 18:08:07
This is an undead-themed monster mini supplement for the Pathfinder RPG. I don't play Pathfinder, but I am familiar with D&D 3/.5...that said, I luvs me some monster books, because a good concept can be translated to other games easily enough.

For $2.99, you get eight monsters over 14 pages

The first is a variation of a banshee, and I would feel silly using her just because of the name (bean chaointe).

The bloodknight is a cool vampire knight who can be compelled into one on one fights due to his twisted sense of honor.

Dark messengers are undead couriers who can ward off good or evil at will, presumably to make their jobs as deliverymen easier.

A lich tyrant is an awesome lich variant, being a king or noble who makes a dark pact to avoid death, rather than being a wizard who turns himself into a lich. They still have the phylactery vulnerability, but are a nice non-spellcasting variant on an old favorite.

Masque ghuls are shapeshifting ghuls who often pose as noblemen.

The Night Dragon is an undead dragon that spews acid and has a gaze that can rot his enemies away. Again, another very cool variant on an old favorite.

Rot giants are creepy undead giants with nearly impervious hides and the ability to devour devour the freshly dead and spew out animated skeletons.

Soul harvesters consume the souls of their prey and burn those souls off to power magic spells, or boost its attack rolls and damage.

Is it worth it? I would probably use half of these without hesitation, and the bean chaointe is the only thing I would seriously doubt myself on, though that has to do with the name and not the write-up...so I'd change the name or just give the one I used a proper name to avoid that.

Great stuff at a great price.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Menagerie: The Kingdom of Graves
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Dark M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/01/2010 01:19:34
This product is 13 pages long. There is a cover and a forward explaining what Mythic Menagerie is as a book series. This is the second such book in the series. The concept is a collection of themed monsters, in this case undead in a royal court. Next it dives into the monster stat blocks.

Bean Chaointe – New twist on the banshee
Bloodknight – Think vampire with some deathknight blended in.
Dark Messenger – Emissary for the undead.
Lich Tyrant – Typically a noble that paid a wizard to turn them into a lich.
Masque Ghoul – ghouls that can masquared as the living.
Night Dragon – A undead dragon that is formed as a side effect of something going wrong. They are not evil and actually want to make things better by destroying the cause that made them rise. Though they tend to attack any and everything in their rage for being brought to unlife.
Rot Giant – smart zombie like giants able to create other lesser undead.
Soul Harvester – eats souls and can use the souls to power abilities and spells.

It finishes with 1 page OGL. Each of the monsters are at least 1 page long and most are 1 ½ to 2 pages long.

Closing Thoughts: If you like undead you will like this book. These are either wholly new undead or new neat twists on old concepts. Either way they are a nice addition to your monster collection to surprise your players with. They all have a few paragraphs on how they become undead and what they are like. While they was meant to fill the roll of a undead royal court. They just as easily can be used as regular undead. I didn't see any errors that I noticed. The artwork is good and each monster has a piece of art showing them. This product gives what it claims with quality work. I am going to give it a 5 star because it was well done and interesting monsters with no errors that I could find.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Menagerie: The Kingdom of Graves
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/31/2010 19:08:24
The undead are one of those creature types that tend to get painted in very broad strokes, with subsequent monsters being narrower definitions of the initial archetypes. This is why you tend to have so many differing “breeds” of zombies, vampires, ghosts, etc. It can be difficult to come up with a new kind of undead that isn’t just “it’s a ghoul, but with X new power.” Mythic Menagerie: The Kingdom of Graves represents Super Genius Games trying to come up with that level of innovation for their short monster book of undead. Let’s see how they do.

Kingdom of Graves is thirteen pages long, and contains eight new monsters. Some of these are the aforementioned variations on a theme, such as the lich tyrant (a type of lich) or the bean chaointe (banshee). Others, however, such as the rot giant or the soul harvester, are completely new. While it might be nitpicking for such a short book, I do wish there’d been bookmarks and/or a table breaking down the creatures by CR. It’s not really a big deal, but even for concise books I like to have these extras around.

The cover art is a fairly impressive full-color piece. The remainder of the book’s illustrations are black and white pieces that are of an exceptional quality. I was quite impressed with the pictures of the monsters, which is a very good thing in a bestiary, where illustrations are very important for showcasing the creatures you’re selling.

The monsters here have a unifying theme beyond simply being unliving – they all fulfill a role in a royal court. From the sovereign, to knights, to courtiers, all of these creatures have a place in medieval politics; it’s a shame there’s no undead jester around.

The monsters themselves are fairly interesting, though I noticed that at the lower levels their special powers seemed somewhat sub-optimal for being used in a fight. A rot giant that takes a full-round action to eat a corpse, and then a standard action next round to spit up an animated skeleton is leaving himself open to being whacked by the entire party for a single skeletal helper. This is offset somewhat by the skeleton being able to act on the turn it’s created, and those witnessing its creation possibly being nauseated, but it’s still quite a few actions given up to make one ally of questionable combat effectiveness.

What really killed me (pun intended), however, was that some monsters were clearly variants on existing templates – specifically the lich tyrant and the bloodknight – but how you’d incorporate these new powers, and any other subtler changes I missed, into the normal template for these undead wasn’t touched upon. The lich tyrant, for example, is a specific creature with class levels. It has several powers a normal lich doesn’t, but there’s no retooling of the standard lich template. Do these new powers increase the CR? How else is the base template modified to make a lich tyrant instead of a mainstream lich? That wasn’t here, and I think the book is worse off for it.

Of course, the book is still highly useful in what it does offer. The new undead all have interesting powers, and fulfill useful roles both within and out of combat. The soul harvester, for example, eats souls to power its abilities much like a devourer, but can hold more than one at a time, and serve as a great way for more powerful undead, and necromancers, to go and collect souls that they can then use for nefarious purposes. The Kingdom of Graves is an imperfect book, but not by too much. If you’re less concerned with the how’s of monster building, and just looking to let some new undead challenge your PCs, you’ll get a lot of mileage out of this Mythic Menagerie.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Menagerie: The Kingdom of Graves
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/21/2010 16:21:05
Mythic Menagerie: Kingdom of Graves is a 13-page PDF (11 pages if you remove the cover and credits/OGL page) for the Pathfinder RPG designed by Sam Hing, developed by Owen K. C. Stephens and published by Super Genius Games. This is part of Super Genius Games’ Mythic Menagerie line.

The layout is a standard landscape design, mostly two-column except for the introduction. The creatures are in standard Pathfinder format and easy to read. The art is well-done black and white with every creature getting an illustration.

Kingdom of Graves provides a variety of the unliving from messengers and rulers, knights and spies, and a type of undead giant. One of the suggestions is that with the basic undead types available combined with the one in this product you can build a kingdom of undead from rulers to knights and warriors all the way down to the lowest classes of undead (skeletons and zombies).

The eight undead presented range from CR 3 to 15 and all of them are intelligent and capable of setting their own plans in motion. Some of them are variants on existing undead with nice twists while others are entirely new. The Bean Chaointe, a haunting spirit, seems ripe for interesting plots and the Lich Tyrant, an undying ruler, looks to be a challenging enemy leader and a fun adventure twist.

Mechanically, they are all interesting though there is some confusion with one of the Rot Giant’s abilities, it has Protection from Normal Missile as an ability which seems to refer to the spell of the same name but its DR is already as good and it would not stack, and if it does not work as the spell, it needs to be clarified exactly how it does work.

Overall, Kingdom of Graves is a strong and useful product for those that wish to incorporate more intelligent undead in a campaign. However, a set of plot seeds for each creature and a few adventure ideas would have nicely rounded out this product but it is good as it is.

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!]
Monster Menagerie: The Kingdom of Graves
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Jim C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/18/2010 02:55:30
Nicely detailed creatures designed around the theme of family and feudal rulership. There are only eight entries and one or two are mostly variants of familiar undead, but it seems reasonable value for its cost.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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