Pathfinder Monster Core

Pathfinder 2E Pathfinder Monster Core

Thomas Shey

Legend
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.

Well, you feel how you feel, but frankly, fitting beholders into multiple settings doesn't seem any more or less an impediment to homebrewing than the fact the Paizo monsters have some attached setting cruft. If I can get around one I can get around the other.

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.

I'm not sold they really are. It strikes me as much more likely it was a case of making visual differences and then doing the associations with those colors to come up with breaths.
 

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Incenjucar

Legend
When it comes to minis I find it's best to focus on broad themes like huge humanoid or large quadruped or medium winged thing. Getting an exact mini for everything is going to be hard unless you stick to only the most cliche critters over and over.
 


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.

We are starting to get to the point where 3D printing might be able to make up that ground. It's always been a difficult game trying to catch up with D&D-style bestiaries (especially once you get past the common monsters from the first ones), but with print-on-demand maybe it'll make it a bit easier to see some of this stuff. Plus with the rise of VTTs, maybe they don't feel as bound towards that sort of stuff as they once did.
 

pawsplay

Hero
It's actually pretty easy to find minis of dragons, giants, and fish people.
Here's an, I don't know, adamantine dragon.
This could be a conspirator dragon.
Also, Paizo has done a lot with Wizkids in the past, I would assume everything in the Monster Core is getting a mini at some point.
 

grankless

she/her
Regarding ghouls: they're more in-tune with Lovecraft's ghouls, which DnD ghouls are also based on but clearly went in a different path with.
 

pawsplay

Hero
Regarding ghouls: they're more in-tune with Lovecraft's ghouls, which DnD ghouls are also based on but clearly went in a different path with.

D&D ghouls are fairly intelligent, but are almost never depicted that way, other than the occasional ghoul cleric. I'm glad ghouls get more of a role than just an undead to terrify low level PCs with. It looks like paralysis is out, grabbing and biting is in. Note that ghouls are based on the eastern ghul, a sort of demon-werewolf-undead thing, so I like the profane, corrupting aspect.
 

One of the advantages of working with tokens only these days; while not always trivial, its usually much easier to find a piece of artwork.
Yeah, I bought the Foundry Bestiary token pack Paizo sells for $60 when they had it 20% off and it’s covered everything I’ve needed so far when I’ve wanted a token for something not in the AP I’m running. I can probably just make some tokens using the art in the Monster Core PDF for anything not covered in that pack if they don’t update the pack for the new or changed monsters.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Yeah, I bought the Foundry Bestiary token pack Paizo sells for $60 when they had it 20% off and it’s covered everything I’ve needed so far when I’ve wanted a token for something not in the AP I’m running. I can probably just make some tokens using the art in the Monster Core PDF for anything not covered in that pack if they don’t update the pack for the new or changed monsters.

While I've got some tokens I've purchased or acquired from elsewhere, as often as not I just grab a piece of artwork and work it though Token Tool. The time for finding the artwork is usually the longest part of the process.
 

I'll preface this comment by saying I like the new Monster Core and I think Paizo is doing a good job trying to disintguish their brand of Golarion and Pathfinder from D&D. But, my observations in a nutshell include: it's got a problem of "implied setting by absence" in that the things missing from the book stand out more than the things in the book, and even more oddly, I had this moment on reading it where I felt a bit like "I bought a Monster Manual but when I cracked the book open I realized it was a D&D dustjacket on a Talislanta/Jorune book." If you've been around in the hobby long enough you know what I'm talking about...

Still, good book, and I am absorbing it as-is to see what the "implied setting" is from this tome plus the Player and GM Core, as I do not know Golarion, nor do I care to know about Golarion. I want to know what I personally can do with it. And there's some weird stuff in here....I just need to know what is replacing all the D&D stuff that defined OGL-Pathfinder's monster style until yesterday.
 
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