- 1,600 monsters. 6,400 monster statblocks. Just about every monster that's been published for Pathfinder First Edition, usable across a wide range of PC levels. For Pathfinder Second Edition, Pathfinder First Edition, and/or 5E.
- Up to 4,500+ pages of instantly-usable monsters for any campaign setting or game session.
- FlexAI: A dizzying array of AI-driven monster encounter behavior rules, options, and hundreds of tables, at an unprecedented level of diversity and detail.
- Eight full-color PDFs and hardcover tomes in all--an entire bookshelf of creature crunch.
- Not sure? Download the free sample of P2E monsters to get a feel for this approach. (Or grab the P1E, or 5E, samples from prior Kickstarters. They're all free.)
- Curious what monsters are in the books? Want to know if your favorite is in the Abridged edition versus the Complete edition? Check out the complete listing here (Microsoft Excel file shared via Dropbox).
- This update post also contains the complete listing of all 1,600 monsters in a bullet list, in case you're not interested in downloading an Excel file.
- This update post contains a lot more details about the planned contents of the Master Index, including its 70+ reference tables.
- Timing: Pathfinder edition is amidst publication as of this writing; 5E and P2E publication anticipated to begin December 2019, completing April 2020. (Note that the rewards list June 2020 as a target; I believe that was overly pessimistic of me.)
What is Aquilae: Bestiary of the Realm?
Aquilae: Bestiary of the Realm (ABRE) is the largest, most comprehensive, most flexible, and most ambitious fantasy roleplaying bestiary ever conceived. 6,400 complete statblocks, comprising 1,600 monsters, each given the Quadded Statblock treatment, enabling them to be used in any campaign setting, with PCs of any level.
Add to this a thoroughly innovative and massively expandable AI system to guide monster behavior, and you have what just might be the most impressive and valuable creature resource ever to hit Pathfinder, 5E... and, now, Pathfinder Second Edition.
What is This Project?
Two massively-successful Kickstarters have enabled this unprecedented wealth of gaming resource, which is currently amidst publication for Pathfinder First Edition, and soon, for the Fifth Edition/5E of the world's most popular roleplaying game.
This Kickstarter project has been initiated at backer request, and represents the opportunity to fuel a Pathfinder Second Edition version of ABRE.
What Are Quadded Statblocks?
I've always been bummed that adventure content is only appropriate for a certain narrow range of PC levels. Monsters lose their usefulness once the PCs get too powerful; similarly, those gaming groups who only get together sporadically are unlikely to ever face a Vampire, let alone a Tarrasque!
Quadded Statblocks is my attempt to make all adventure content scalable across a wide range of PC levels and difficulties. The basic premise is straightforward: for each piece of game content, provide not one, but four, mechanics, corresponding to Low, Moderate, Advanced, and Elite levels of challenge. When you play a session, use the one of those four statblocks that most corresponds to the abilities of the gaming group. Ridiculously easy to use, and requires zero prep time on the part of the GM.
Suddenly, Zombies and Rust Monsters are interesting again to high-level parties!
Praise for Quadded Statblocks
Unsolicited comments from ABRE backers and customers for this approach:
- "I can't tell you how sensible your system is."
- "I turned to Frog God for help & that has been working, then I saw your work. Your Tomes are inspiring, thanks."
- "Your work is great & has solved many scaling issues I've been faced with. DM 40+ years."
Who Would Use ABRE?
Aquilae: Bestiary of the Realm is intended to be any or all of the following:
- An authoritative listing of monsters for use in any campaign setting, for adventuring parties of any size, and any level.
- A means of using any existing monster with adventures of any level and difficulty.
- A compendium of newly-created monsters, born of inspiration from existing beasties you may already know and love.
- A single-source reference and repository, listing every single possible monster in easy-to-reference alphabetical order.
These books are immensely valuable for GMs who want to introduce a truly formidable amount of creatures into their campaign, and to do so in a flexible manner.
- Prep Time: Aquilae: Bestiary of the Realmis a peerless resource for GMs who want to minimize preparation time, or who want to through new, unexpected combinations of monsters at their players.
- Crunch: There is no other work that assembles, generates, and makes available this level of pure crunch, of instantly-usable gaming statistics in an accessible format.
- Single Point of Reference: Each monster entry is designed to be self-contained, as much as possible: in nearly all cases, you should be able to use the creature’s entry on its own, without referencing any other publications or materials.
- Flexibility: If you’ve always been frustrated by the restrictions of a given adventure being appropriate only “for levels 4-6”, then this bestiary is for you!
- Rigor: Each and every one of the statblocks in this tome was constructed using published game mechanics, templates, rules, and resources. Most have been playtested in actual gaming groups, or simulated in extensive combat scenarios across a range of PC compositions, levels, and sizes. Although every single monster is not going to pose the identical challenge to every party—see “Weaknesses”, below—every creature is constructed as best as possible to represent that monster at that level of difficulty.
- Intelligence: FlexAI is a revolutionarily complex, yet accessible, means of simulating dynamic, contextually-appropriate monster behavior in combat encounters. Each and every monster includes full FlexAI rules, including its combat Role and variation, so you know how it is likely to behave in combat. This mechanic and approach takes the place of the somewhat more pedestrian “Combat Behavior” description that most bestiaries include alongside statblocks. This concept is explored in full, with hundreds of additional resources and references, in the FlexAI Guidebook, usable on its own, or as a valuable companion tome to this bestiary.
- Novelty: Of the 6,400 complete statblocks in this bestiary, 4,800 of them are entirely new, forged using existing game mechanics, guidelines, templates, resources, and rules. A full 75% of the creatures described herein were created solely for the purposes of letting GMs use monsters for party levels above, or below, the levels “intended” originally when the monsters were published to begin with. In this sense, this work is not only an assemblage of monsters in a single repository, but also the single largest source of new creatures ever conceived.
- Thoroughness: Every monster. Ever. Assembled in a single place.
- Integration with FlexTale: All Infinium Game Studio adventures and other products use the FlexTale approach to adventure content. This innovative approach attempts to make all adventure content accessible and appropriate to all PC parties, of all levels. Aquilae: Bestiary of the Realm enables FlexTale support for every monster, ever published.
- Making Existing Adventures Dynamic: If you have published adventures that do not use the FlexTale approach, you can use this bestiary to adapt them to parties of any level.
- Construction: Each and every monster has been “built” or “constructed”, rather than simply fabricated. The meaning here is a little obtuse, so in more detail: each monster has been incarnated from its starting statblock, and then modified up and down as appropriate to generate the resulting quartet of statblocks you find herein. Hit dice have been modified, feats granted, and other tricks to produce contextually-appropriate scales of challenge. Statblocks have not simply been “fiddled with”, but rather templates and other tools have been applied to generate the results you see. It would have been easier—SO MUCH easier!—to simply fabricate statblocks and boosts, but this approach results in much richer and more true-to-the-rules mechanics.
Two Sizes: Abridged and Complete
Aquilae: Bestiary of the Realm will be available in two sizes:
- The Abridged Edition (ABR:A) will consist of 400 monsters (1,600 statblocks), spread across two full-color PDFs / hardcover books. These are some of the most common monsters you're familiar with--Aboleths all the way through Zombies.
- The Complete, or Expanded Edition (ABR:E) will consist of 1,600 monsters (6,400 statblocks), across six books. (It also contains all of the monsters in the Abridged Edition, so there's no reason to get both editions!)
Resources and Tools
In addition to the single largest assortment of creature crunch ever conceived, you'll receive two additional groundbreaking resources:
- Master Index: A dedicated, separate PDF and softcover book, listing out each and every one of the 1,600 monsters, and its location in each edition of each rules system version of the bestiaries: volume and page number. Also contains dozens of sub-index lists for ease of reference... for example, an index listing only Aberrations.
- FlexAI Guidebook: This book describes an innovative and thorough approach to dynamic, appropriate, monster behavior in combat encounters. Originally designed as a component of ABR, it also exists as a separate product. Check out the FlexAI Kickstarter for more details, and be sure to download a free sample of the rules and tables.
These will be available via BackerKit following the campaign. You can Add them On at that time, or increase your pledge now to include these amounts if you know you want them; whatever's easiest for you.
- The ABRE Digital Resource File will be a $10/20 add-on: You'll get an Excel file (or CSV, or whatever format floats your boat from an Excel dump) that contains nearly all of the relevant data. It will not have the full multi-paragraph Feat and Ability descriptions, for example. But it will have all of the core stats for 6,400 monsters ($20, ABRE) or 1,600 monsters ($10, ABR Abridged).
- The OSRIC Edition of the ABRE will be a free PDF to many backers as mentioned in the pledge descriptions. Those who want a hardcover edition can add $50 to their pledges for the Add-On. I believe I can fit the content into a single hardcover, owing to the massive difference in detail and description between editions.
Existing ABRE Backers: Who Gets What
Hundreds of people are already owed, or have already purchased, Aquilae: Bestiary of the Realm in other rules system formats. Here's what's in store for those folks.
- If you are entitled to a PDF of the Pathfinder First Edition or 5E version of ABR, you may elect instead to swap it out for the Pathfinder Second Edition version at no additional cost.
- If you are entitled to a hardcopy of the Pathfinder First Edition or 5E version of ABR, you may elect instead to swap it out for the Pathfinder Second Edition version at no additional cost.
- If you are entitled to any version or edition of the ABR, and do not want to swap what you're already entitled to, you may also elect to pledge at a discounted rate to get the Pathfinder Second Edition version as well.
Risks and challenges
The good news is that I've done the vast majority of the work already. For the past two years, I've been churning through crunch, generating the 6,400 statblocks in Pathfinder 1E format that have driven the publication of the PFRPG edition to date. I've also written conversion algorithms that adapt this core crunch to 5E rules format. Once the Pathfinder Second Edition game materials became available in Aug 2019, and in preparation for this Kickstarter campaign, I wrote a similar algorithm that adapts the PFRPG 1E crunch to Second Edition format. The free sample I've provided is a good example of what will result when applied to all 1,599 other beasties.
As existing backers of my work will already be aware, time is the risk here. IGS is almost entirely a one-man shop, and that one man has three young children and a full-time day job. I devote literally every spare minute of downtime to IGS, and to making our products the absolute best, most impressive, and most valuable/usable books I can conceive of, but that devotion to quality amidst other demands takes time.
I will deliver. And I hope you agree that it will be more than worth the wait and pledge dollar. But my estimates as to when are just that: estimates. If you're comfortable with getting what I try to make world-class indie RPG books for a significant discount, and don't mind waiting a bit, then please consider pledging, supporting, and helping to make the results even more awesome!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter