Pathfinder Monster Core

Pathfinder 2E Pathfinder Monster Core

GuardianLurker

Adventurer
I go mine on Saturday. Quick takes.
1) I like the new dragons. I'll miss the old style elemental dragons, but the new "tradition-bound" dragons work really well, and give room for a lot more, and thematically stronger, dragons. I also feel sorry for the new Fortune Dragon, also voted as "Most Likely to be Beat Up By Adventurers", and "Least Likely to Ever Develop a Hoard" (see previous vote).
2) There are a LOT of gratuitous name changes (Kholos instead of Gnolls, for instance).
3) The changes to the mid-tier undead (ghouls, wights, and wraiths) are ... um ... interesting. I have no idea why the ghoul is now a "gentleman cannibal". And wraiths have been debuffed so much, that they're practically cuddly. Also I can see the truly amoral power-gamers seeking them out, just so they can stay in Stage 2/3 of the curse. The wight's and wraith's curses are a lot more flavorful, but are big debuffs from their previous power-levels.
4) The various extra-planar monsters have gotten such a rewrite I don't even know what the basic mappings are anymore (except for the obvious ones). A "Living Landslide" does not sound like the standard, boring, bog-standard Earth Elemental to me. It is.

My short answer: if you could buy the dragons separately, maybe at $10-15 for a PDF, it'd be great. But Monster Core is a lot weaker than the previous Bestiaries. If you have those, I wouldn't bother.

[Oh, and personally, I could wish that the monsters where less bound to Golarion, as I run a homebrew PF2e campaign. But that's a problem I have with all of the Pathfinder products - they're less friendly to homebrew than I'd like. But that's me, and my preferences, and I understand why Paizo does it. I just wish they had a much stronger stance towards isolating the Golarion flavor into the Lost Omens line.]
 

log in or register to remove this ad


GuardianLurker

Adventurer
I personally don't think most D&D monsters are all that setting-neutral in the first place; its just that people are used to them.
Eh. Aside from the setting specific monster books (e.g. Monsters of Faerun), I can't think of a monster description from 3.x that included phrases like "...when the forces of Iuz attacked Verbobonc...." (I don't think that exact phrase-equivalent is in any of the Bestiaries mind you, its a fictional exemplar.) I know that a lot of the Undead entries reference Geb. And for non-monster examples, the two differing styles of gun-slingers are explicitly tied to Golarion countries. There are (many) others.

Now, I'm not saying that this stuff is hard to work around. It's easy enough to remove, or change. And as I've said before, I understand why Paizo does it. It's just annoying.

Nor is it really a knock relating to the quality of their products. It's just a peeve of mine.
 

cranberry

Adventurer
I'm going to purchase the .pdf just because I want all of my remaster core books "in sync". Not necessary, but that's just me.

However, I've seen some previews, and I'm not a fan of the "cutesy-fying" of some of the monsters, and I agree with GuardianLurker re: ghoul - seems like a very odd change.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Eh. Aside from the setting specific monster books (e.g. Monsters of Faerun), I can't think of a monster description from 3.x that included phrases like "...when the forces of Iuz attacked Verbobonc...." (I don't think that exact phrase-equivalent is in any of the Bestiaries mind you, its a fictional exemplar.) I know that a lot of the Undead entries reference Geb. And for non-monster examples, the two differing styles of gun-slingers are explicitly tied to Golarion countries. There are (many) others.

Now, I'm not saying that this stuff is hard to work around. It's easy enough to remove, or change. And as I've said before, I understand why Paizo does it. It's just annoying.

Nor is it really a knock relating to the quality of their products. It's just a peeve of mine.

Thing is, its not that stuff I think that matters, but how very specific certain monsters are in how they're designed and work. They have a very specific look-and-feel, and that either works with what you're doing or doesn't. D&D dragons are the poster child; based on colors and metals, with breath weapons associated with those colors/metals. That's not generic in any real way, any more than things like mind flayers or beholders are.
 

GuardianLurker

Adventurer
Not generic in one sense, true. They are very recognizable. They are also not bound to a specific world - the classic D&D dragons for instance have appeared in the Faerun, Greyhawk, Mystara, Dragonlance, Dark Sun, and even Spelljammer settings. And while there are differences (especially with Dark Sun and Dragonlance!) a Green Dragon is still a Green Dragon in each of them. Moreover, the differences the settings may apply are not detailed in the main, non-setting specific, rules.

Likewise for Mind Flayers and Beholders. And Displacer Beasts and Owlbears.

Basically, it's a case of keeping the crunch away from the fluff, and Paizo does a poor job of it. The counterpoint, of course, is that Paizo also doesn't contend with multiple settings, and doesn't intend to. In fact, with Organized Play such an important part of their corporate strategy, they're actively resistant to supporting multiple settings. So it's a much less important issue to them.

And it would be for me to, if I didn't actively homebrew. Not just "I ignore the default/implicit setting" kind of homebrew, and not to the realm of "my elves are different", but enough that I had to write up a campaign breifing for my players.

For the record, you are aware that the "classic" D&D dragons are designed around the 5 Europeean Renaissance/Alchemical Elements, yes? Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Spirit (or Aether/Ether), right? So not really all that distinctive a concept. The 4 classical/greek elements are more common, and the 5 or 6 oriental elements are currently in vogue, but arguably, the new "tradition-bound" dragons in the remaster are more unique than the classical D&D dragons, since they really only make sense within the PF2e ruleset.

Still really cool dragons, though.
 


pawsplay

Hero
I don't see the Golarion-specific elements as all that limiting. In fact, it gives you an easy reference to decide what equivalent would exist in your world. Like, if in Golarion, something is sacred to Pharasma, in your world, it might be assigned to Hades, Persephone, Hekate, or Anubis.
 


Staffan

Legend
Apart from that I think it’s a good thing they are trying to make the Golarian monsters different.
I recognize that it's done as a means of distancing Pathfinder from D&D and the OGL, but for practical reasons I'm not super happy with it. The main one being that D&D is the 800-lb gorilla, which means that there are lots of miniature manufacturers that make minis that work great with D&D. You can often find minis even of relatively obscure monsters at reasonable prices from e.g. WizKids or Reaper. But it's already hard finding minis of e.g. Contemplatives, PF-style goblins, and assorted other Pathfinder-exclusive monsters and jettisoning the legacy monsters isn't going to make it any easier.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top