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101 Not So Simple Monster Templates (PFRPG) $5.99
Average Rating:4.9 / 5
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101 Not So Simple Monster Templates (PFRPG)
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101 Not So Simple Monster Templates (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Jeff A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/15/2014 10:18:38

the Good stuff...

Great resource. ~Awesome layout - haven't noticed any major typographical issues. ~Great diversity! Both up and down templates, which is rare... and a lot of the templates are fairly "versatile" in that you could put them in any geographic area and they'd make sense... ~Very good artwork (I'm not much of a critic, but I liked it)

The Other stuff...

~I do wish they'd included more than just +/- 2cr... not a whole bunch, but a few higher / lower would have been nice. [Note, there ARE 2 +3 and 2 +4, no +5; there are 2 -3 and 1 -5 but no -4] A wider spread, rather than 95% being in the -2 to +2 range (of which only 3 are 0) would have been nice... on the other hand, many of these could EASILY be modified to fit the higher/lower needs of a GM. (but the whole point of the book was to not NEED to tinker - just have something to slap on...)

The bad stuff...

~Some of the internal logic in assigning CR's didn't make a lot of sense to me... since one or two +2 templates were powered just barely a sliver more powerful than a similar template at +1... most of the templates are fine, but a few do need (minor) adjustments up or down.

The "Big Picture"... ~Would I buy it again? Yes! ~Would I recommend it? Absolutely



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Not So Simple Monster Templates (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Seth C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/06/2014 15:56:38

A great value for its price. This book has a lot of useful templates, most of which are pretty easy to apply. It is a great way to change up creatures to keep the players guessing or make an old monster seem new. I liked how not all of the templates were geared towards just making monsters tougher. Some, such as the blind seer, create a way to add new story elements. Not all of the templates increase CR. Some decrease it, which is a great way to let you use more powerful creatures at lower levels.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Not So Simple Monster Templates (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Benjamin M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/10/2012 15:37:06

I enjoyed the way that this simple list of templates was layed out and set up to add to the game masters arsenel of quick ways to adjustments to standard creatures. A few seemed to be basicly very quick to use , and others where much more for pre-planned encounters. For example the Apex Creature is one that would be quick to apply to a creature and addjust it on the fly. One that would need a bit of planning to use would be the Bloodshackle creature and this book even has a note set out to say that it needs more background and pre planning then other types.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
101 Not So Simple Monster Templates (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/27/2012 14:52:38

The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=19633.

Templates are nothing new, but they are often spread throughout multiple books, slowing down games and wasting valuable table time. 101 Not So Simple Monster Templates takes monster templates that Rite Publishing has included on many of their products and consolidates them into one book.

OVERALL

In a day and age when players have learned to min/max their characters and have no fear of things like orcs and goblins, it is good to see a product that gives Game Masters a chance to beef up lower challenge rating creatures or gimp out creatures that might be a perfect fit for the story but overpowered for the adventuring party.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 9 out of 10 Rite Publishing has done a good job of mixing color and black and white art into 101 Not So Simple Monster Templates. I have to give them props for selecting art that is more in-tune with the text they are presenting. The addition of captions or titles that describe is a clever way to make sure that some of the stock or public domain art is useable. There is a quick reference chart that lists each of the template’s names and their challenge rating adjustment. Charts like this are a must to ensure that a product with this much information is table-friendly for players and GMs. The templates are in alphabetical order, which works. To improve the usefulness of the well-done chart, I would recommend including a page number behind the challenge rating adjustment number, to make things that much quicker to find. The chart works at the back of the book, but I would be interested to see it at the front of the book where it could be an index/quick reference chart. These are minor points that should not overshadow a well-set up supplement.

Mechanics: 9 out of 10 Some of these templates still feel over-powered, but they are all done well. 101 Not So Simple Monster Templates mechanically gives GMs a huge amount of flexibility in how they create monsters to face adventuring parties. Throw a few of these templates on your everyday kobold and you could achieve a total party kill on a 3rd or 4th level adventuring party. Some of the templates include quick rules and most give rebuild rules. This is important especially if a monster acquires one of these templates later in its career. The addition of challenge rating adjustments that subtract from a creature’s challenge rating adjustment is almost as valuable as the challenge rating adjustment on the positive side. Most of the negative challenge ratings involve the loss of a limb or sense, but mechanically they could easily be applied for a player character that gets their arm or leg hacked off, gnawed off, burnt off or dissolved during an adventure.

Value Add: 10 out of 10 There are a boat load of templates in this book. Some are very specialized while others could be used in most situations. Adding these templates to creatures that face adventuring parties will create a variety and add a feeling that these monsters are not just stat bags and treasure generators. Some of these templates would be interesting on player characters. This book should be in every GMs toolkit.

Overall: 9 out of 10 Templates, if used correctly, can add so many dimensions to a game. Rite Publishing is getting better and better with every product they produce and 101 Not So Simple Monster Templates is an example of a supplement that is useful, good-looking and thoughtfully executed. There are some truly inspired templates in this book that I doubt you will see anywhere else.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Not So Simple Monster Templates (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/19/2011 08:23:50

This pdf is 37 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisements, leaving 32 pages of content - quite a lot for the price!

Just about every DM had encountered a critter and ad-hoc added some kind of quality to the critter on the fly to make the foe more interesting - I know I try to give every monster some kind of memorable ability. This essentially is where this pdf comes in - we get a whopping 101 templates to add to your creatures, presented in the simple template format we already know from Paizo's book. It should be noted, that these templates range from rather simple to complex. One difference from RiP's Book of Monster Templates (which every DM should own) is that the templates can potentially be added on the fly to the critters. We don't get sample monsters for the templates, either. However, we do get some templates that go quite a bit beyond what anyone would consider simple.

After a short paragraph introducing us to the templates, we are cast right into these new templates: Many of the templates come with both quick rules and rebuild rules, the former being easily applied on the fly, while the latter often produce a more complex experience. From rather simple, basic templates like one granting the adhesive template (and a fitting extraordinary quality) to a creature to truly complex ones, we get a lot of fodder: Ever thought that banshee-style keening should not be limited to extremely powerful undead creatures? There's a template for it in this book! Need a creature touched by eldritch abominations from beyond the stars? Go for the creepy beyondling template! Want crypt guardians in vein of the Crypt Thing? There's a Crypt thing template!

Especially if you're a fan of Monte Cook's classic bestiary for the Iron Heroes d20 variant, you'll find some stellar adaptations in this tome: The Twin-bound creatures make a return and the hungering darkness also has its inspiration from one of the best creatures in said tome. This does not mean that content is ripped off, mind you, but rather that the pdf pays homage to one rather underutilized, awesome tome and brings the best of the ideas therein to PFRPG. If you want, you could also create a beast that serves as an icon to one faith or even a walking fortress: Make a creature colossal and recreate a beast akin to legendary Dungeon adventure "Beast of Burden". Never start a high fantasy war without this one - the iconic potential is immense.

It should also be noted that the pdf offers a wide variety of 12 templates that reduce CRs from -1 to -5, which is plain awesome to create extremely complex creatures with multiple templates even at lower levels or have your PCs fight a taste of things to come, foreshadowing the true threat with great effect.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I didn't notice any significant glitches. Layout of the pdf adheres to the full color 2-column standard by RiP and the stock artwork fits the theme. The pdf comes with alphabetical bookmarks, though I would have enjoyed more extensive ones. This is one of those books you really should own as a GM - you get 101 cool tools to use to make sure that your PCs don't get bored by fighting the oomphteenth monster xyz from the bestiary. How the creatures acquired the templates makes for seeds in and of themselves and while the templates are not as complex as in the book of templates, Designer Steven D. Russell knows templates and how to craft truly ingenious, cool templates that will enrich your game for quite some time. Additionally, we get quite a lot of content for the price and in the end, I don't have anything to complain about. Personally, I enjoyed the more complex template, but using the simple ones on the fly makes this book even more useful than anticipated. I recommend this book to the PFRPG-DMs out there with this piece of advice: Put this pdf down next to your adventure and every time you see an encounter you consider bland/boring, flip through these pages - chances are, you'll find some interesting template to make your encounter memorable. Due to the extreme usability, excellent bang-to-buck-ratio and the great ideas herein, I'll settle for a final verdict of 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
101 Not So Simple Monster Templates (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/11/2011 09:58:39

One of the best things to come out of the d20 rules is, in my opinion, templates. Being easy ways of customizing your monsters helps to make what would otherwise be generic creatures have a special, unexpected slant to them. Of course, saying templates are “easy” ways of customizing your monsters is a relative term. In fact, templates virtually always require tweaking a monster beforehand. Hence why Pathfinder offered us the new simple templates, micro-templates that made comparatively small changes, complete with “quick” rules that told us how to change a monster on-the-fly.

Rite Publishing’s second book of templates goes with this approach, trying to keep the new material in line with existing simple templates…but not everything herein is quite so simple, as the title acknowledges: 101 Not So Simple Monster Templates.

The title’s honesty is slightly undercut by the fact that this book doesn’t actually have one-hundred-one templates in it, but rather ninety-three. You wouldn’t know it unless you actually counted, though, so it’s not like that’s a deal-breaker.

The templates themselves run quite the gamut in what they offer. Some of these templates are indeed worthy of being called simple, such as templates for creatures that are blind, deaf, or missing an arm. Others are based around turning the base creature into another creature-type, such as the Banshee Creature template, or the Lich-Touched template (which gives the base creature the lich’s paralyzing touch).

Some may find the aforementioned templates to be something of a deal-breaker, as these seem like something easily constructed on your own. That may be, but that’s not the fault of the book – after all, this is focused on simple templates, and that will mean that many of the templates take a single idea and implement it. That the book exhibits a range in the templates it offers is a virtue, not a vice.

Speaking of a range, there are plenty of templates in here that aren’t quite so simple, either. The Walking Fortress Creature template makes the creature into a titanic monstrosity with an actual fortress on its back. A Riven Magic Creature not only shrugs off magic, but drains and destroys it as well. There’s a lot here for those looking to put an unexpected spin on their everyday monster. Most helpful is the chart at the end of the book that ranks the templates by their CR adjustment, ranging from -5 all the way to +4.

The book doesn’t offer any example creatures, and in only a few places are there sidebars that discuss what’s presented. Likewise, while the lion’s share of the templates offer both quick and rebuild rules, not all of them do. In many cases, this is because the template is effect-based, and so the quick and rebuild rules are identical. Sometimes, though, the template just offers one or the other. Again, that isn’t particularly bad, but keep an eye out for the templates that assume that you’ll make things like ability score adjustments ahead of time.

Ultimately, this book is overflowing with templates that are simple and not-so-simple. In fact, some of these are templates of such creativity that they could have gotten the full template treatment. Whether you want your monster to have an exceptionally powerful bite attack (Gnawing Creature) or be the personification of death itself (Grim Reaper Creature), look no further than 101 Not So Simple Templates.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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