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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very solid book
This is the second rule book for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. This book is the equivalent of the original Monster Manual in D&D 3.x
The book is 328 pages hardback. Paper quality and binding looks good - off course we will only find out after years of gaming if it will withstand the test of times.
So what is the contents? The book starts with a table of...
Published on 7 Nov 2009 by Jens Loesel

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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bestiary review
Only get this if you do not have the D20 3.5 monster manuals as those are better an can be used with Pathfinder.
Published on 14 Feb 2011 by Lensman


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very solid book, 7 Nov 2009
By 
Jens Loesel (Deal, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 1 (Hardcover)
This is the second rule book for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. This book is the equivalent of the original Monster Manual in D&D 3.x
The book is 328 pages hardback. Paper quality and binding looks good - off course we will only find out after years of gaming if it will withstand the test of times.
So what is the contents? The book starts with a table of contents - the monster listing in alphabetical order - and then jumps directly into the monster stats and description - filling pages 7 to 289 with all the well known beasts that we have become familiar with in years of gaming. All in all I did count 311 monsters in the list - each of them with it's own stat block. This doesn't count different sizes - like small to elder Elemtals etc.
In addition there are 88 variants which are monsters without stat block but with specific rules mentioned in the text - like a fast Zombie or a Plague Zombie.
The first think you notice when you are looking at the monsters is the clean layout. Each page is dedicated to a single monster with a picture of the monster. This layout is only changes in some cases - for example two related monsters (Bear, Grizzly and Bear, Dire) might share a page with only a single picture. Also for some monsters with multiple stat blocks (Elementals - Small, Medium, Large, Huge, Greater, Elder) a monster might span 2 pages.
The quality of the graphics is overall very good. This doesn't mean I always like them - I've played 25+ years ago and my impression of a Troll always will be the AD&D Troll. The same goes for the descriptive text or fluff added to all the monsters. What I have read so far is very good and helps me to understand how to use them and what drives them.
Following the monsters are a total of 14 ! appendixes. The start are 4 pages detailing Monster Creation followed by 4 pages of Monster advancement. These 8 pages are really valuable for a GM wanting (and willing) to take a monster and to make it more individual - be it tiny changes like changing a few HP or skills to bigger ones like giant version etc. And yes - you also can make monsters weaker by generating young ones.
Appendix 3 is the glossary for General Monster Rules. This is a really important part as it packs all the special monster feats, etc. It is unfortunate that Paizo didn't follow the great layout of the monster section and this piece seems to be crammed together. This appendix is really important and should have started one pages later instead of cramming 2 paragaphs on one page. It's a minot niggle - but for a part of the rules so important you want to keep page turning to a minimum.
It follows Monsters as PCs, Monster Feats, Monster Cohorts, Animal Companions and several listings: Monsters by Type, Monsters by CR, Monsters by Terrain, Variant Monster Index, Ability Index, Monster Roles and Encounter Tables.
All in all - I was impressed by the book and the minor issues don't deter me from giving it a full mark of 5 stars.
I'm trying to help and answer a few possible questions to help if this is the right book for you.
If you like Pathfinder and want to move on - this is a must have book - you won't regret it.
If you are on a tight budget and already own a Monster Manual 1 from D&D 3.x you have to be aware that while in my mind the book offers quite a few advantages (layout, more descriptions for many individual monsters, great appendix) that there is a tremendous overlap - after all - you want this book to cover all the base monsters.
If you look for truly new monsters a la Monster Manual 4 or 5 you could easily be disappointed. The book covers mainly the basic monsters - if you mainly want novel ones - wait for future releases.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beastly Fun ..., 4 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 1 (Hardcover)
First, the format of this book is up to Paizo's high standards - lots of nice artwork, clearly laid out with the addition of some little icons for each heading to help you find the creature you are looking for. Challenge ratings are still there, but each creature also has an XP rating to help encounter generation. They also sub-heading the statistic blocks making it easier to find what you are looking for, and you don't have to turn a page to follow a single creature anywhere in this book. Clearly it's designed for making it easy to pick, up,flip through, find what you want, use it and put the book down again.

For those who were expecting an effective re-print of the Monster Manual ... not quite. The monsters are there, and the format is pretty much the same, and yes they are all now re-rigged for the Pathfinder Role-Playing Game. But there are some pleasant changes here and there. Some petrification powers work by sapping dexterity rather than being straight-up save-or-die effects, for example, and the Drow entry divides them into two categories - normal and noble. There are some extra creatures from Paizo's own campaign setting of Golarion, as you might expect, and they also list some helpful things such as placing all the animals that can be used as familiars by wizards and sorcerers under one heading.

There are some things I am not so keen on - descriptions are short, no more than two lines sum up each creature entry for you to describe it, but then perhaps they aren't absolutely necessary. I was disappointed in the lack of descriptive text in the entry on Dragons, and while they compressed the entire process of finding the right dragon encounter, you'll need a pencil and paper to work it out before you run the adventure if it isn't in the examples listed. They make some big changes in creature types as well - giants become a sub-class of humaoid, and undead now have d8 hit dice and 3/4 BAB progression. The changes reflect Pathfinder's general design principals, and make a good deal of sense once you get the hang of them.

Do you need this book? Well, if you are a D&D 3.5 player making the change to Pathfinder, not really. You can keep all your Monster Manuals and run conversions on the fly, or even use everything in the MM series as is. Would it help you to have this book? Yes, definitely. Like Pathfinder itself there are no major changes, but the small ones add up to make things smoother and easier.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First pick after the core rules..., 15 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 1 (Hardcover)
A DM who is on his path to perfection needs at least one bestiary to make encounters more random and fun. This said, it's an obvious choice to take the first bestiary first, since it has all the monsters. Art is 95% great. The book itself came well wraped and not dented. I do recommend it to DMs and players alike, the pretty pictures alone make it worth it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good., 9 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 1 (Hardcover)
It is a nice book with a lot of monsters to choose from, some very nice artwork, clear instructions, and it is essential for any decent game of Pathfinder.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, nesesary for pathfinder players and GM, 28 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 1 (Hardcover)
this is a great bool, updated monsters and even familiars! I was surprese with his cuality. My comy has some damage in the covers (in the corners) but is nothing critical.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A whole lot better organization then the DnD books, 25 April 2013
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This review is from: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 1 (Hardcover)
I picked up pathfinder out of request of a new group, and as a resource I tend to buy the books. This book definitly surpasses the 4e book i recently bought. They are mouch more enjoyabme to read, have a lot more fluff to stats & tables and look overall a whole lot better.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An update more than innovation, 20 April 2013
This review is from: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 1 (Hardcover)
While this is essentially a repackaging of the 3.5 Monster Manual with updates for Pathfinder's slightly different take on some rules, and some changes for clarity, the biggest change is in the presentation. This book takes a monster per page approach for the most part, which while it means a few creatures get various sizes to pad them out, for ths most part you have a clearer version of the book it is updating. The only reason it loses a star from me is that if you already have the original you can get around buying this, but I still consider it worth the money to upgrade.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book, 8 May 2012
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This review is from: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 1 (Hardcover)
This bestiary is absolutely fantastic for anyone holding a pathfinder campaign. Whether you're looking to build your own monsters from scratch, use existing templates to insert the numbers, or even use entirely premade armies, this book has all the main stuff your party will be encountering.

I have led more than one campaign with it, and it is a delight to use.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bestiary review, 14 Feb 2011
This review is from: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 1 (Hardcover)
Only get this if you do not have the D20 3.5 monster manuals as those are better an can be used with Pathfinder.
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect 3.5 replacement for D&D4 haters., 5 Nov 2009
By 
M. Wrycraft (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 1 (Hardcover)
I'm not a fan of 4th edition D&D and was looking for an updated and supporting version of the 3.5 rules. Along comes Pathfinder and it's perfect.

The book is huge and covers both Players and DM rules (Bestiary is to follow soon). The artwork is great, the overall feel is lush, and most importantly the rules ARE an improvement on 3.5. Annoying rules are changed (grappling anyone?!), character classes are improved, and it's very readable.

This is obviously a book that has been written by people who CARE about the 3.5 rules and want to see it continue. If you want a fully-supported replacement for 3.5, and 4th edition is not for you, then I cannot recommend Pathfinder highly enough.
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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 1
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 1 by Jason Bulmahn (Hardcover - 10 Nov 2009)
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