The Genius Guide to The Talented Bestiary – Kickstarter Pick, 042716

My buddy Owen KC Stephens, part of the Paizo Pathfinder team and the true evil genius behind Rogue Genius Games, is Kickstarting another great product for Pathfinder fans.

The Four Horsemen and Rogue Genius are proud to present the Talented Bestiary! Simplified creature creation and 200 plus new monsters!

About This Project

After years of hard work, we’ve created a supplementary system for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game that allows anyone to quickly and easily create balanced monsters from the ground up! While rigorously play-testing the system, we’ve produced hundreds of new monsters inspired by all the Bestiary classics and are excited to share both the system and our creations with our fans!

The book and 230 monsters are already written and nearly ready to publish, but we want to see this project given the finishing touches it deserves. That means paying for beautiful original artwork, careful editing, and expanded content galore. We can’t do that without your help!

Want to know how we do it? We’ve created a “pay what you want” PDF that includes  an example of monster creation, and five sample monsters!

Balanced monster creation can be a challenging and convoluted process for even experienced designers. In the theme of the popular Rogue Genius GamesTalented series, the Talented Bestiary presents new rules for monster construction—taking it out of the realm of guess and check, and making every monster easily customizable. The simple streamlined process allows virtually anyone to produce full monster stat-blocks completely compatible with the Pathfinder system.

 The Talented Bestiary divorces creature type from basic statistics, so you can make a barbaric bloodthirsty fey as easily as an arcane spellcasting ooze. In addition, we’ve broken down every universal monster ability and unique monster ability found in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary to create an intuitive point-buy system based on challenge rating. With this system, you can quickly and easily create any monster you dream of; from Fine-size CR ½ to a Colossal-sized CR 34. 

“I once read a piece of advice that completely altered how I run games. It was in a horror setting, and the idea was simple. Players are a jaded lot that have seen it all. The idea of fighting a troll isn’t scary anymore. As soon as the word troll comes out of your mouth, they roll their eyes and ask who has fire and acid handy. The same goes for hundreds of other monsters from aboleths to yeti. So, do you just throw them away and always look for the next book? 

 Of course not!

 If you rebrand the troll, give it a different description and appearance, you can use the exact same statistics. Don’t say “troll”; say “it’s a hulking reptile monster with bloody saliva oozing from a gaping maw”. The players are now confronted with something completely new, to them. They have no idea that behind the screen you are rolling for a troll. When their weapons can’t kill the beast, they have to rediscover the troll’s weakness all over again. They get the thrill, and the fear, of the unknown. They experience the feeling they had the first time they ever fought a troll. 

You could even take it a step further! Instead of fire and acid, the mysterious beast can only be killed by cold and electricity. Or as an alternative to rending with claws, it has the ability to swallow whole. Replace scent with tremorsense and it senses vibrations in the water. Throw a template on there! A red half-dragon troll is pretty terrifying. Now we have a completely new monster slapped onto the troll chassis. And the best part is, no one has to know! A monster is a tool used to tell your story. You should never feel limited by the creatures you have at your disposal or be required to scour through multiple source books to find the perfect stat-block. Antagonists should be as mutable and custom-crafted as player characters. If you don’t like something about a monster, you should be able to change it. If you have an amazing idea for a creature, it should only take a few minutes to throw something together from scratch. 

The Talented Bestiary was created with these principles in mind, and we are proud of the result! We hope that this book lets you scare the pants off your players, and that no two trolls are ever the same again.” -Stephen Rowe

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