Game Title: Battlezoo Bestiary for Pathfinder 2E
Publisher: Roll for Combat
Authors: Stephen Glicker, Patrick Renie, Mark Seifter, James Abendroth, David Adams, Mark T. Adkins, Jeffrey Anderson, Jason Arendt, Adil Arif, Daniel Aznavorian, Daniel Baker, Lau Bannenberg, William Banner, Clara Barrs, Rigby Bendele, Nathan Berg, Aaron B. Bradford, Beth Breitmaier, Dave Breitmaier, Darran Caldemeyer, Justin T. Cando, Matt Cavanaugh, Eren Christenson, Evan Commins, Jeremy Corff, Jason Daugherty, Douglas Edwards, Aoife Ester, Kyle Fenwick, Derrick Ferry, Alex G. Friedman, William Fischer, Robert Garland, Mitchell German, Ryan Griggs, Chris Harrell, Vadim Hesin, Jon Hewitt, Elizabeth Heyeck, Scott Janke, Juho Kattelus, Bella Kelley, Isaac Kerry, Adam Kessler, Chris L. Kimball, Ryan King, K.M. Kovalcik, W. Brian Lane, Jesse Lehto, Crunch McDabbles, Benjamin Medrano, François Potvin Naud, Brian Nowosatka, Alexander Ohtonen, Justin Patera, Tayrone Pereira, Ovid “O.J.” Pinckert, Shawn Pommier, Michael Robinson, Nathan Ross, Jakeiol Rudd, Lucas Servideo, Eric Sklavos, Rodney Sloan, Shane Smallwood, Heine Stick, Andrew P. Sturtevant, and Brant Vallier
Artists: Sebastian Rodriguez, Ameur Makhloufi, Gislaine Avila, Marina Chyhir, Sarah Dahlinger, Rita Fei, Miguel Regodón Harkness, Dio Mahesa, Christoph Peters, Felipe Perez, Itamar Raz, Dony Bagus Sadewa, Ratul Sen, Fırat Solhan, Petrovsky Stanislav, Florian Stitz, Rayven Studios, Bryam Syme, Konstantin Taran, The Artitecht, Egil Thompson, Danh Tran, TVMteam, Narina Verdi; Endsheet , and Stefan Poag
Genre: Starfinder science fantasy roleplaying adventure path chapter
Pages: 192 pages
MSRP: $50.00 for the hardcover or $30.00 in PDF
Battlezoo Bestiary combines an incredible collection of monsters with a clever new subsystem in a Pathfinder supplement that’s packed with charm and invention.
While it’s Stephen Glicker, Patrick Renie, and Mark Seifter’s names on the cover, the complete text is the work of more than seventy authors, resulting in a wildly diverse and inventive gathering of fiends and friends to bring to the table. Some are horrifying — a booth that butchers unsuspecting guests, for example, or an armor automaton that kills by encasing its victims and crushing them to death — while some open the door for a more humorous approach. After all, if your patrons are threatened, why shouldn’t your Mechanical Maitre D’ knock out the offending parties with a whiff of the rancid food it has collected and stored for just such an occasion?
None of this, however, is to downplay the monumental work Stephen Glicker has undertaken to bring this book to life. From first approaching Paizo to resurrect the defunct Superstar RPG contest under Roll For Combat, to overseeing the transformation of the winning entries into fully-fledged entries in a published book, to developing an entire subsystem that stands ready to augment or outright replace rewards and fundamentally reshape crafting, he’s earned a well-deserved ‘hats off’ and a sincere and hearty thanks for his efforts.
Battlezoo Bestiary is clearly a passion project for all involved, but that doesn’t mean the book looks anything less than polished. The full-page splash art and monster illustrations would fit in to any Paizo-published title while the beautifully-rendered page borders help ensure the Bestiary maintains its own unique feel.
The book also benefits from some experienced hands — if Patrick Renie or Mark Seifter’s names ring a bell, it’s because they are some of Paizo’s own creatives, independently brought on board to help deliver on Stephen’s vision. Functionally, this means that Stephen’s Monster Parts system fits seamlessly in with the Pathfinder Second Edition rules and that the monster descriptions contain the same balance of flavor and mechanics as you’d find in an officially-published adventure or supplement. The deviations that have been made —for example, two illustrated quickstarts to the new subsystem— are solid design decisions that benefit of players and GMs, allowing them to jump in and understand the bigger picture from the start.
The Monster Parts system section offers a system that can be integrated wholesale or in parts, with clear, actionable explanation on how to integrate the added ruleset, as well as in-depth explanations for each section of the process. The new system naturally opens the door for new archetypes, including the Monster Mage and Vestige Hunter.
While Paizo may have made recent headlines for their willingness to take up the battle, if needed, to defend the OGL and for their ongoing creation of the ORC License, Battlezoo Bestiary reminds us that their support for the gaming community runs deep and that the best ideas come from shared passion, creativity, and skill.
Simply put, if you are someone who enjoys Pathfinder, who loves the passion and creativity of its community, and who wants a really well executed supplement book with some truly novel monsters and a brilliant subsystem around them, Battlezoo Bestiary should be on your radar.
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