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Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations (PFRPG) $10.00 $1.00
Average Rating:4.6 / 5
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Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations (PFRPG)
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Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations (PFRPG)
Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/22/2011 08:46:19
This pdf is 36 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 blank page inside of the front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC/Monsters by CR, 1 page back cover, 1 blank page inside the back cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisements.
That leaves 28 pages of monsters.

-Addanc (CR7): A cross between a crocodile and a beaver, this could be goofy, but actually works. Death Roll (Ex) is a cool ability.

-Autumn Death (CR 8): A deadly undead creature with autumnal abilities. Has two cool signature abilities.

-Avowed Reaver (CR 5):Touched by elemental powers, this is a set of 4 CR+2 templates in one.

-Bog Scum (CR13): Aquatic, climbing deadly ooze.

-Fly Trap, Giant + Dire (CR 2 and CR 6): Cool plants, but lack a way to enthrall their victims.

-Forest Giant (CR 12): A Giant with some spell-like abilities to escape and polymorph others.

-Frost Mite Swarm (CR 10): Terrible insects of icy cold, these critters are quite creepy.

-Garmunchi (CR 6): Ugly, strong, slug-eating Ogre-like Humanoids.

-Hatethrall Demon (CR 6): Flame-clad skull-demons that shoot fiery rays.

-Hydrus (CR ½): A poisonous aquatic lizard that invades others to eat them from the inside. Great critter!

-Lemkin (CR 9): Creepy blow-gun using fey.

-Nightcaller (CR 1): Deadly Raven-like birds that can mimic voices.

-Piranha, mature and Piranha Swarm (CR 1 + CR 2): Iconic fish. Lacking in lethality, though.

-River Dragon (2 pages, two sample dragons provided, CR 7 + CR16): Aquatic dragon with boiling-abilities – want your adventurers medium?

-Riverswell Spirit (CR 7): Drowned spirit with drowning touch.

-Shrine Stone, Animated (CR 7): Guardian golem of Druids and Fey.

-Silver Bell (CR 3): Supremely creepy and cool plant creature.

-Skate Spider, Giant (CR 5) and Skate Spider Swarm (CR 6): Spiders that can walk on water.

-Snapping Turtle (CR 2) + Snapping Turtle,Dire (CR 8): Cool, but I would have expected an expanded threat range.

-Stumble Fish (CR 1): Jumping fish.

The first Appendix features Humanoid Encounters:

-Cursed Brethren (CR 3)and their Bandit King (CR 6) (2 pages): Cursed bandits that share their pain and thus are deadly when acting in concert. Cool ideas!

-Grammy Beshic (CR 9) (2 pages): A Gnome Sorceress including her new “Rings of Rebellion” magic item.

Appendix 2 features 2 new gambling games and a new drug. (1 page)

Appendix 3 presents 6 new haunts (1 page):

Blinding Bushes (CR 6), Chamber of Screams (CR 3), Ensnaring Weeds (CR3), Ice Forge (CR 2), Pool of Betrayal (CR 9) and River Fog (CR 4). They are all cool and feature at least one interesting component to make them stand apart.

The final page contains the last two appendices, containing 5 new mini-templates and 8 new diseases.

Conclusion:

The b/w-artwork is mostly ok and has a nice old-school kind of flair, the editing and formatting are top-notch and wording as well as prose are concise and well-written. The monsters themselves presented herein are great additions to any campaign – most have a signature ability or two, an interesting hook or are just iconic animals and plants. While I personally didn’t care too much for e.g. the Garmunchi, that’s a personal preference. E.g. the Silver Bell is an idea dripping awesomeness and win and there are several of this caliber herein. The new gambling games, drug, haunts, NPCs etc. are great additions (the haunts e.g. singlehandedly surpass any haunts from a haunt-pdf I recently reviewed)to this great book and I can honestly say that this is a no-filler-book and worth every cent. If all monster-books were like that, I’d buy more. My final verdict is 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations (PFRPG)
Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
by Dark M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/04/2011 13:15:16
Book of Beats: Monsters of the River Nations by Jon Brazar Enterprises

This product is 36 pages long. It starts with a cover, credits, and ToC. (4 pages)

Monster Entries. (21 pages)
Some are obvious what they are like the snapping turtle and Piranha, below is a list of what new monsters are in the book.
Addanc – croc/beaver (neat monster but really odd mix)
Autumn Death – new undead, neat idea.
Avowed Reaver – fire elemental type
Bog Scum – new type of ooze, also nice.
Fly Trap, Giant – plant monster
Fly Trap, Dire – see above.
Forest Giant – defender of forest, cool idea, but I had one issue with the fluff.
Frost Mite Swarm – new swarm
Garmunchi – kinda non evil ogres
Hatethrall Demon – new little demon, meh.
Hydrus – weird lizard animal
Lemkin – new fey
Night Caller – small magical bird
Piranha, Mature
Piranha Swarm
River Dragon – legless, wingless, swimming snake dragon.
Riverswell Spirit – cool new undead.
Shrine Stone, Animated - construct
Silver Bell – plant monster
Skate Spider, Giant
Skate Spider, Swarm
Snapping Turtle
Snapping Turtle, Dire
Stumble Fish

Appendix Humanoids (4 pages)
Cursed Brethren - undead that during the day look human. Kinda reminded me of Pirates of the Caribbean movie a little. I am guessing that is what they was inspired by, regardless it is a neat idea and well written. Two stat blocks for them, one of the rank and file and one of their bandit king.
Grammy Beshic – Gnome NPC that lives in the forest, has a new magic ring as well.

Appendix New Drugs and Gambling (1 page)
This has 2 new gambling games, well one game and a fight club. With rules on how to run them and how the odds work. It also has one new drug.

Appendix New Haunts (1 page)
This section has new haunts. 6 new haunts, four of them fit very well with the forest theme, two of them not as much but still good haunts.

Appendix New Templates and Diseases. (1 page)
There is five new templates one can apply to monsters and 8 new diseases all of which fit the theme pretty well.

It ends with one ad, OGL and back cover. (4 pages)

Closing Thoughts. All and all I liked the book, the art is nice black and white art. Most of the monsters I thought fit well in the theme as did most of the rest of the book. The stat blocks are easy to read and understand and the book is laid out well. Other than the cover it is a plain simple black and white book, very print friendly. I do have a few minor critics with the book. The fluff with the giants in one part, in that they sleep in branches of tree's I thought was odd. They are 15ft tall that would be some massive tree's. I think they could have left that part out.

My only other issue was some of the stuff just didn't really fit a forest/river theme. The Hatethrall Demon and Avowed Reaver being the two big ones. The hydrus just seemed weird, it seems like it does what it does just because. Now the rest was well done, I would have liked to have seen a few more fey, natural and planet monsters myself but that is personal preference. So whats my rating? Well it is a good book over all, I have a few minor issues with it. I am giving it a 4.5 star review.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations (PFRPG)
Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
by Ron T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/31/2010 01:09:50
Book of Beasts – Monsters of the River Nations Review

Disclaimer: This is a review of material provided to me free of charge for the purpose of review.

First Glance:
From a quick perusal, it looks very promising. Nice artwork, bold trade dress, and 20 unique monsters and 7 additional pages of material.

In Depth:
Many low CR monsters, from the stumble fish to the Night Caller and Mature Piranha. Though my favorite of the new monsters is the Giant Fly Trap, I’ve always had a soft spot for nature fighting back. The Dire Fly Trap is even more vicious. Those are my favorites, there are a few of the monsters I’m not as convinced with. The Addanc has a strange name, which is an odd crocodile/beaver aberration. I’m not a fan of the Hatethrall Demon since it’s a disembodied head is strange for a demon, and the Hydrus has a new Combat maneuver, which doesn’t have an explanation, in addition it’s a bit of an undercon at ½ CR. The other monsters are all well-crafted creatures.

Extras:
In addition to being a monster book, it is a resource book for the River Nations campaign setting (not to be confused with the River Kingdoms of Golarion.)

To this end, the first appendix is Konrad the Bandit King and his Cursed Brethren, the second is Grammy Beshic, an ancient gnome with a dark secret. The Grammy Beshic entry includes three adventure hooks.

New gambling games and a new drug, Kobold Krack, though it’s primarily something particularly vicious GM might use with some kobold barbarians.

The best part of any Monster book is the templates. The Book of Beasts introduces 5 new templates; drunk, enraged, fey-touched, hungry and river-born. Though I would probably not use the drunk template, since it only emulates the sickness of being drunk, not the rage side.

8 new diseases grace the final appendix of the book, not only bringing such common maladies such as Influenza, Bird Flu, and the Common cold into Pathfinder; but also Faire Fever (fantasy version of Con Crud); Dryad Pox (my fave), Mountain Air Plague, Owlbear Filth, and River Sickness. The only problem is they’re only stat blocks, with no fluff.

In Conclusion:
A strong book, with something useful for almost any campaign, it’s not perfect, but I do recommend it.

I give it 4 stars because it's good, not the best, I would give it 4.5 if the option was available. It's an A, not an A+.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations (PFRPG)
Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
by David B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/17/2010 13:28:28
The Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Kingdom had me on board at page 3, when the first monster entry is found. The Addanc is a Beaver/Crocodile hybrid that builds dams to create small lakes to hunt from. Not only is this a Brilliant idea, but being a hybrid creature, and having a black and white entry, it gave me a nostalgic longing toward the feel that the First and Second Edition monster manuals had. The rest of the book keeps on pace with this, offering several original ideas (like monstrous vermin versions of the water striders that skate along the top of still waters) as well as a new twist on some old tropes, such as river raider versions of a pirate skeleton crew.
The book is 36 pages, with black and white art, and an easy to read font. Most of the entries occupy a single page, or a double page spread side by side, making printing single entries a painless process, a rare thing for a down-loadable PDF. The Monsters in the book are all CR appropriate, and several fill unique roles. There are undead, monstrous beasts, a dragon, a plant, a construct, and even an ooze, spreading the love evenly to several creature types.
As a bonus, the last few pages are occupied by two new new gambling games, a new drug, several new diseases, simple templates and haunts, offering a rare thing for a monster book: something besides monsters. My only complaint in the entire book is that these rules are presented in an appendix format rather than having a few paragraphs to explain the nature of the rules and that they expand upon rules originally presented in the Game Mastery Guide. Still, their inclusion at all more than makes up for their presentation; you would be hard pressed to find many monster books with more than just monsters in them.
Most monster books have a few monsters you look at and think “i can never use this” or “what is the point in this creature?”, but not this book. Page after page it offers rules you can use, all united by a common theme, while still offering very different options on every page. This is an all around fantastic book which i recommend highly.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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