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[PFRPG] Tome of Monsters $9.99 $6.69
Average Rating:3.8 / 5
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[PFRPG] Tome of Monsters
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[PFRPG] Tome of Monsters
Publisher: 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/17/2011 09:36:09
The Tome of Monsters is an interesting book of monsters for Pathfinder mixing creatures from legendary sources with entire new creations. Like any book of monsters, it depends on the campaign world how useful it will be. It has a variety of interesting beings especially among the fey and legendary creatures included and as a resource for new familiars.

The Tome of Monsters is a 118-page PDF (114-pages if you remove the cover, OGL page and a blank page) for the Pathfinder RPG written by Sean O’Connor & Katheryn Bauer with Connie J. Thomson & Robert W. Thomson and published by 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming.

The layout is primary traditional two columns, if you have looked at any book of monster for Pathfinder you will recognize the format and is fully book-marked for easy navigation. The cover is full color while the interior art is black and white with each monster getting it own illustration. The art quality is a bit variable however, some are quite well done, while others are a bit primitive.

The monsters presented range widely: in CR from 1/8 to 20 and in type. Some have shown up before in other versions, redcaps and scarecrows for example, but many are new and several draw upon legends from across the world. Those that are created from legends get a note about the source and some comments on the legendary creature. Some, but too few, get adventure seeds as well. A few of the creatures (clockwork familiars and ekatonkier) appeared in previous 4 Winds products but have been expanded on for this book.

It introduces a new type of elemental (aether) which are intriguing but not very well elaborated upon. Many new familiar creatures and possible animal companions are included along with four that are suitable for use as player characters (goatman, machlyes, neanderthal, and otso)

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!]
Publisher Reply:
Thank you for the review!
[PFRPG] Tome of Monsters
Publisher: 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/29/2011 06:58:01
Tome of Monsters is a new Pathfinder RPG book from 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming full of new (and old) monsters. The product is a 118 page pdf document, containing more than 120 monsters and monster variants to terrorise and surprise players with. The presentation of the product is very good, and very well organised. I was pleased with the tables provided to make monster selection easier (by CR or type, for example) and the general layout and monster format, particularly the references to the real worlds origins of the monsters. The artwork ranges from brilliant to rather mediocre, but at least every monster has a picture to enhance the written description. Writing and editing are good, and some of the monster descriptions really come to life when reading them.

My first impressions of the product were very favorable. The first monsters were very unique, contained excellent write-ups and background details, and the artwork was catching. I particularly like the details on the origins of the monster concepts as it related to the real world, which at times made for fascinating reading. As I progressed through the product I couldn't help shaking the feeling that this product was in places scraping the bottom of the barrel. Many monster books had been released previously for the OGL and I'll be the first to admit that coming up with new monsters concepts is hard, so while the product has many fascinating monsters it also has a lot of filler monsters that aren't particularly unique and only subtly different from existing monsters. Animals such as rabbits, squirrels and robins spring to mind, but also water cats, more troll or drake variants and the variety of winged and flying animals. A winged template could cover half a dozen monsters easily in this product, and while it's nice to have more animal familiars like squirrels or peacocks, I'd rather see more interesting monsters that can challenge the characters. With this is mind, quite a proportion of the product isn't particularly useful.

Having said all that, the product does contain plenty of the good stuff with some rather excellent selections. It would be remiss to ignore the creative talents of the product's many authors in creating some nice creatures supported by good artwork. The collection of fey is particularly good, and also some of the obscure real world creations that I'm fairly sure are seeing the light for the first time in a monster book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading many of the write-ups which contain plenty of detail and background. In places plot hooks would literally jump out of the page while reading a monster description. Challenge ratings range from 1/8 to 18, providing a wide range of challenges, and indeed all the various creature types are covered in roughly equal measure is well.

Tome of Monsters is a good monster book, though perhaps the selection of creatures that made the cut could've been improved to include more unique and interesting creatures while leaving out the more mundane or subtle variant monsters which are really just minor reskins of existing monsters. That said, it's a book for both GMs and players, as both will find plenty of inspiration and utility from its pages. Good product, some fantastic art, dozens of creative monsters and good imaginative writing.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thank you for the review!
[PFRPG] Tome of Monsters
Publisher: 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming
by Dark M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/21/2011 16:09:33
Tome of Monsters by 4 Wind Fantasy Gaming

This product is 118 pages long. It starts with a cover, intro, ToC, and credits. (5 pages)

Monsters (108 pages)
There is 120+ monsters in the book. Below is a list of the monsters in the book not counting variations. The CR's range from 1/8 to 20, the vast majority though are CR 6 or below. There is a nice mix of humanoid, outsider, fey, magical, mundane animal etc types in the book. Pretty much everything is covered. For creatures taken from real world myths they have a small side bar explaining where they came from.
Abada unicorn
Abaia
Abassy (demon)
Aether elemental (elemental)
Altamaha
Apparition
Archangel (template)
Badgerhound
Beaver
Bhoot
Blue drake (drake)
Bonnacon
Boo hag (hag)
Brayun
Cactus cat
Cave troll (troll)
Cerastes
Cherub (angel)
Chindi
Clockwork bat (clockwork familiar)
Clockwork cat (clockwork familiar)
Clockwork dog (clockwork familiar)
Clockwork owl (clockwork familiar)
Clockwork rat (clockwork familiar)
Clockwork snake (clockwork familiar)
Clockwork spider (clockwork familiar)
Coyote
Dipsa
Dire weasel
Drekavac
Ekatonkier
Elk
Erlking
Fachan
Fallen cherub (demon)
Felid (template)
Feykissed (template)
Fire drake (drake)
Fluttermouse
Flying barracuda
Flying Koi
Flying piranha
Flying stingray
Goatman
Golden eagle
Greater succubus (demon)
Gremlin
Grindylow
Ground squirrel
Hedgehog
Hihi
Hypnalis
Ice drake (drake)
Intelligent ape
Jack-o’-lantern
Jackalope
Keythong
Kongamato
Lavellan
Leprechaun
Lesser phoenix
Likho
Machlyes (human)
Mannegishi
Narecnitsi
Neanderthal (human)
Nightmarchers
Ophan (angel)
Orobas (devil)
Orthus
Otso
Otter
Parrot
Peacock
Pesanta
Pika
Plague demon (demon)
Prote
Psoglav
Pygmy troll (troll)
Qareen
Rabbit
Raccoon
Red fox
Redcap
Rizos
Robin
Rock troll (troll)
Rusalka
Sand drake (drake)
Sasquatch
Seal
Seraph (angel)
Scarecrow
Selkie
Seps
Shadow troll (troll)
Shen
Shedim (devil)
Silverlight
Simarghul
Siren
Slime devil (devil)
Snow tiger
Spearfinger hag (hag)
Squirrel
Steppe bison
Throach
Thunderbird
Totem animal (template)
Uncegila
Valkyrie (angel)
Valva
Water cat
Wendigo
Werecat (lycanthrope)
Wild cat
Winged monkey
Wood troll (troll)
Woodrat
Xana
Ypotryll
Ziburinis (template)

It ends with a appendix, OGL, and back cover. (5 pages)

Closing thoughts. The artwork is black and white and ranges from meh to pretty good. Layout and editing is good, there was a few errors. But that is to be expected to a point in a book this large. There was a few stat block aspects that don't fit the Pathfinder formula, personally that doesn't bother me as I consider them more a rule of thumb than absolute rules on monster creation. The CR's for the most part with out play testing them look fairly good, there was a few I thought maybe should have been higher or lower, but hard to say with out using them first.

I will be honest I find reviewing monster books fairly hard. I am not a huge number cruncher, which makes it harder for me to notice them. I tend to pick some at random and check them. Also it is hard to truly judge a CR with out playing with it first. As far as the monsters, some I thought was pretty cool, some I was meh about and most where pretty good. So what's my rating? Well this is more based on personal opinion that most of my reviews for the reason given already, but I am going to personally give it a 4 star review.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thanks so much for the review, DM!
[PFRPG] Tome of Monsters
Publisher: 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/11/2011 21:23:29
Add loads and loads of monsters to your Pathfinder game with Tome of Monsters.

It's got a variety of things, and some of them have been done before and are in the Pathfinder SRD, but there's also a ton that are new and unique (even if based heavily on real-world myths). Add in a lot of good art, and Tome of Monsters is a good bet for a GM who wants to add some easy foes to a campaign that can be challenging and unique, as well as a break from the "yet another goblin" syndrome frequently encountered in fantasy games.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thank you for the review!
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