Creepy Creatures is a monster book for the Pathfinder RPG by Alluria Publishing. This is the first product by Alluria I have read and I’m glad I did! I am a sucker for monster books; you can never have enough monsters! And this is an eclectic collection of interesting, quirky and silly monsters. The buffet is served, select and antagonist and go torture your players!
Want to learn more? Read on…
Creepy Creatures is a 115 page PDF nicely laid out and thoroughly illustrated. It follows the style of the Pathfinder Bestiary with each monster getting at least one page. The parchment background on the pages is nice, and individual illustrations vary from the amateurish to the stunning. Buy when you take stock the majority of the art is excellent and there are even some stand outs like the Blade Horror illustrated by Alex Kolesar, the Salt Dragon by Jessica Peffer and the Terrorkin by Mary Graham.
The spread of monsters across CR spectrum is appropriate, with the majority in the 2 to 9 range. Rule wise the monsters seem solid; I did not use every monster in the book, but the ones I have tried out worked out great. Just like the Pathfinder Bestiary uses Icons for the Creature Type, Terrain and Climate, Creepy Creatures uses their own version of the concept, calling them Creature Glyphs, and doing something I wish Paizo had thought about, each glyph category has a different shape, circle for creature type, diamond for terrain, and hexagon for climate. I must admit that despite using the Pathfinder Bestiary several times a week I always mix up their Monster Icons and I’m constantly consulting the sidebar. The Creature Glyphs in Creepy Creatures have been easier to read!
What about the creatures themselves? Are they really creepy? This is definitely mixed bag… There is a lot of big insect like creatures and I really can’t see myself using the Ooze Star Jelly (literally a star flying star shaped cylinder) or the Bisontaur (a centaur bison). But there are some greatly imaginative creatures here. The undead are especially nice as are the dragons, and I can’t wait to use the Corpsehanger Tree in my campaign. The Hawkape, a possible distant cousin of the Owl Bear, for some reason fired up my imagination!
Even the silliest monsters, like the multi jointed Adhaesus (multi jointed humanoids who stick to walls), gave me ideas for interesting encounters. There is even a monster called a Giant Virus and it is just what you imagine, a giant virus! This reminds me of the old Dungeoneer fanzine and the DNA Monster they printed. I can see an encounter where the PCs face a Giant Virus and a DNA Monster.
Don’t get the wrong idea when I talk about all these funky creatures, I love this book, It reminds me of the time when monster books were less about complex ecologies or culturally sound creatures and about fun and challenging encounters. This book reminds me a lot of the old AD&D 2nd Edition Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix, it was full of imaginative, different creatures. Maybe I did not get to use all of them, but they were fun. This book is fun. You can’t go wrong with a book that has stats for a Dire Skunk!
This review is based on an electronic copy provided by the publisher.
I entirely agree, it is a great throwback to the earlier days of gaming with bizarre chimeric creatures and weird animals. I quite like it too.