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on 13 February 2013
This falls in the category of "extra book": it's not strictly necessary to play Pathfinder, but it's good if you're a master that need a character out of the hat in a matter of seconds.
Illustrations follow the usual high quality typical of Paizo.

It is not a bad book, simply it's for DMs and players that want to skim through different character builds only.
If you don't fall in one of these two categories, save your money for some other exceptional Paizo products.
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on 16 February 2014
Unfortunately this book is probably the worst Pathfinder product I've ever bought. The big problem is in the design.
The NPC Codex takes a mechanistic approach to NPC design: every Core book class has a character detailed for level 1 through 20. So far so good. But instead of thinking about likely NPC roles needed in most campaigns, or giving generic, easily adapted stats, the approach is to give each class/level combo a random race plus a funky, hyper-specific role. Wizards are mosty specialists, likewise.There are about as many Halfling and Gnome NPCs as Humans.

So eg I want a mid-level human melee Fighter, ca 4th-8th level, I turn to the relevant section looking for a suitable stat block and get

Murderous Halfling - Halfling Fighter 4
Cautious Archer - Elf Fighter 5
Adventuring Blacksmith - Half-Elf Fighter 6
Spell Hunter - Dwarf Fighter 7
Fastidious Sharpshooter - Gnome Fighter 8

None of these are useable without lots of work to strip away the 'funkiness'. I get the same results with other classes - hundreds of NPCS but there is usually nothing close to what I need. The contrast with the NPC section in the GameMastery Guide is very striking - the GMG NPCs were created with focus on role first, then generic stats, and mostly Human. This makes them easy to use as-is or adapt for specific NPCs at the table, without extensive prep.
There may be a way to use the NPC Codex effectively, but it is little or no use to me. Very disappointing.
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on 19 April 2013
Absolutely brilliant - covers all the main classes for every level, allowing you to have any character you need at a moment's notice. Sure, not ever class has racial variants for the same level, but with most of the work done, simply modifying for races is easy.

A must buy IMO.
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on 17 May 2016
One of the best "extras" book there is. Not only does it give you access to NPC's at all levels, but also helps as inspiration for characters and a cross check to see if characters are about right in terms of skills etc at higher level.
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on 30 October 2013
This book is great for a DM who needs instant NPCs or as a guide to new players so that they can see examples of where their characters may progress to.
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on 26 April 2014
Gone are the days of spending hours statting your NPCs.
This book is fantastically organised and is useful for every GM out there!
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