Investing In: Bestiary 3

The Bestiary 3’s out and you’re going to be in trouble
You see your GM with it, ya better cut out on the double
Your assumption you’re safe is totally untrue
So look out now ‘cause new monsters are coming for you!

Yeah I know that wasn’t the most inventive parody but I was partially inspired and the tune was going around in my head. I’m excited for every piece of lore I can get for Lost Omens (like the Ancestry Guide) and while I eagerly await details on the Mwangi Expanse I’m thrilled to have my copy of the Bestiary 3! It may not be a setting book but numerous monsters have side bars or descriptions with details about Golarion, its people, or even some of the other planets in its galaxy. On top of that I’m very eager to get as much diversity and variation in the creatures my players interact with for our Expedition Coalition game since they’ll be journeying all across Golarion!

Abandon All Hope

I’ll start right with the very first creature: the Abandoned Zealot. It’s an undead creature “whose faith proved false” and just reading that I thought of Razmir, the wizard who’d pretend to be a god, and what do you know the art and second paragraph of the description depict such. Where else can you find the disillusioned and angry dead whose faith proved to be far less than true! It’s wise to consider they could be misled pilgrims or priests too. Considering the various sects and the dangers of religions led by mortals and their aims, anything can be possible especially in the magic-rich and divinity-touched world of Golarion. However, it’s the sidebar that really grasped my attention. There are abandoned zealots that haunt the Starstone Cathedral.

Why? They are mortals who tried to become gods through the Test of the Starstone and failed. The small sidebar notes that the aspirants died and now literally hate those who would try where they failed. Just how many zealots haunt the cathedral or nearby? The creature has a level of 6 but I could easily imagine so more challenging and powerful zealots from those who made it farther, cared more, or truly believed they were capable. Considering the base idea is someone who faith proved false, it would seem enough to believe in yourself, believe you should be a god, and then when that belief proved wrong… I imagine Pharasma would have concern with such undead coming of this, especially when Aroden’s the one who raised the Starstone giving this hope to mortals. It’s a shame with his death – or disappearance? – she can’t approach him on this matter. Of course, maybe she’s posited this concern to the Echo of Last Divinity that attends her court. I’m a big fan of Aroden lore, which is partially why I love my character Ateran and the Extinction Curse campaign over at Roll for Combat as details like this excite me immediately. You can be sure my players will run afoul of some Abandoned Zealots!

A few call outs as I thumb my way through… The Android is a very interesting ancestry option and it’s not new certainly, but I wanted to call out the interesting sidebar about the Androffan script being on ruins across Numeria. I love the idea of ancient travelers from the stars stopping in and leaving notes and details for future civilizations. The Divine Wardens can be “mouths for the Gods” and having them sent to deliver a message sounds quite exciting. The Nethys inspired art is pretty on point too. The Festrogs have been seen more since the fall of Lastwall and the Whispering Way is apparently using them as scouting troops to “find vulnerable towns and sow terror.” I love how the outcome of the Tyrant’s Grasp adventure path has had such an impact on Lost Omens and material for 2E! The Leng Ghoul has found a home in Bestiary 3! The art for that Tomb Giant is absolutely stunning, though of course the art in this book is all breathtaking. It’s an amazing book to have if only to peer through for it!

Super Green

Another exciting creature is the Green Man, who comes in at a whopping level 24. I appreciate the call out that they aren’t as nature-focused as Gozreh, but purely on plants. The sidebar calls out the worship of Leshsys as Green Men can be called “leshy kings.” In a homebrew world I ran a campaign in (with a bite of time travel inspired by Chrono Trigger) there was a Green Man from 1E’s Bestiary 6 that was part of a fey court. I love the expansion of the leshy ancestry to include these plant creatures and how Druids may have been the original creators or providers anyway of the ritual to create leshys. There’s another sidebar about the worship of the Green Men with all the divine details you need in the style of the Gods & Magic write up. Like many natural aspects you could be good or evil, provided there’s some neutrality to your follower’s alignment. You can get the tangling creepers spell, which is from the Core Rulebook apparently and I didn’t even know about it. Considering the amount of wilderness exploration (Mwangi even!) exploration I intend for the players in my campaign, I’d certainly like to use the Green Men.

I also wanted to highlight the Mortic, which come in an elven, human, orcish, and gnomish version. Indeed if you’re looking for a creature to make your players cry (like an Attic Whisperer) then I suggest the Eitoling, the mortise gnome. The Mortic are “twisted amalgams of living and undead” because they are being who struggle to live, to exist despite the negative energy in their bodies. The Eitoling are those gnomes touched by such negative energy, the spark of the First World within them always fighting for dominance against the darkness. The second paragraph of the main description is what really caught my attention though. The Mortics are new to Golarion! How’s that? 

Well they are the product of the Whispering Tyrant’s Radiant Fire! When it exploded across the Gravelands, killing many, some found themselves mistaken for corpses and now they’re just trying to survive the hordes of undead or hiding within society. The elven version (Angheuvore) craves humanoid flesh while the Gurgist (mortic humans) are slowly rotting away. The Lifeleecher orcs may actually be possessed by the spirits of fallen orc warriors, now manning the front lines against the Whispering Tyrant’s forces. Truly to fight the darkness, the darkness they have become. I appreciate a call out that other mortics exist like relictner dwarves and jitterbone halflings. Considering I want my heroes to explore the depth and breath of the Age of Lost Omens I’ll use Mortics and I’m excited to try my hand at creating some of these others types, unless of course they show up in a future path!

Besides the Leng Ghoul, another favorite from Strange Aeons the Nightgaunt appears in Bestiary 3. There’s four new versions of Nymph with beautiful art. Oh there’s the Penanggalan too! The Sahkil Pakalchi art is dark and exotic. There’s great undead like the Phantom and Seething Spirit too! I could go on probably for a while but instead…

Thank You

As a special note, this time last year we were all locked down due to COVID and I was reflecting on how I was feeling. I want to say thank you for joining us here at the network, for listening in on twitch and youtube, for reading and sharing with me here, Discord, and social media. But also I want to remind you to take time for you. Relax! Refresh! Reflect! Leadership studies always say you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Thanks for taking some of that time to Invest In with me!

Interested in amazing creatures to torment your players? Want to learn even that fraction more about Golarion and the Age of Lost Omens? Then I highly suggest you invest some time in reading over the Bestiary 3! I also highly encourage you to listen to Dustin, Ryan, and Perram’s great review here. Really though, is it June yet? I want that Mwangi Expanse book!

Investing In:

I wasn’t quite sure what to name my article series when I first started but the idea of showcasing or discussing things that make me excited, that I find new and interesting, or maybe I’m otherwise passionate about seemed to fit with the idea of Investing In something like the Pathfinder 2E mechanic. To use some magic items you have to give that little bit of yourself, which helps make these things even better. I like the metaphor of the community growing and being strengthened in the same way!

I also want to hear what you’re Investing In! Leave me a comment below about what games, modules, systems, products, people, live streams, etc you enjoy! You can also hit me up on social media as silentinfinity. I want to hear what excites you and what you’re passionate about. There’s so much wonderful content, people, groups (I could go on) in this community of ours that the more we invest in and share, the better it becomes!

Sources

Banner – Bestiary 3 cover, Paizo

  1. Abandoned Zealot, Bestiary 3, Paizo
  2. Green Man, Bestiary 3, Paizo
  3. Etioling, Bestiary 3, Paizo
  4. Gurgist, Bestiary 3, Paizo

Rob Pontious

Rob Pontious works in web commerce by day and is a writer for KnowDirectionPodcast.com's #InvestingIn, a player for Roll for Combat's #ThreeRingAdventure podcast, and also a player for GehennaGaming's #GehennaValley MonsterHearts2 twitch stream. He's a lover of TTRPGs for over three decades, a gamer, and a GAYMER. You can find him on social media as @silentinfinity.