If I told you I was excited about the new Bestiary 6 for the Pathfinder RPG, I’d be lying. I’m a player, a fairly casual player even. I really only care about the monster in front of my party: give me a sword and let me stab something. Actually, I’m more likely to use a ranged attack and snipe at it from behind a bush or something, but that’s completely off topic right now. My point is that I generally attempt to avoid GMing whatever game I’m playing. It’s just not my passion. So when I saw that Bestiary 6 was being released, I was fairly disinterested as I read the preview description. Then I saw two little words: Four Horsemen. Wait, what? Like, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Horsemen? Yes. Amidst the 300+ pages of this hardcover are the stats to do battle with each of the legendary Horsemen, and well as their respective horses. Keep in mind, of course, that you won’t get to battle any of them for some time. They are are some of the most powerful creatures in this book, with Challenge Ratings (CR) of 27-30. Compare that to a Monkey Goblin who has a CR of 1/2, most dinosaurs who range around CR 5-7, or even an Adult Rift Dragon with a CR of 16. They will be a great challenge to look forward to, though.
I really expected the Horsemen to be the highlight for me but, as I read through the entries, I found all sorts of interesting things. As well as all the new creatures unique to the Pathfinder universe (like various demons, dragons, and golems), there are also entries lifted straight from real-world myths and legends, such as the green man, daitengu, and Krampus <insert fan-girl squee over Krampus here>. There are cryptozoological wonders like the Mapinguari of Brazilian lore, and the Taniwha of Māori myth. There are creatures inspired by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood, and Guy de Maupassant. There are rules for single creatures, and rules for large groups of creatures. There is simply a ton of cool stuff.
Not every entry is a monster that your heroes will face in battle. There are Arch-Demons and Demigods that are best suited as puppet masters, pulling the strings of the story. There are also creatures that could be inclined to assist your party, potential animal companions, monsters that could be played as a Player (or Non-Player) Character, and more.
Aside from the specific creature content, which is amazing, there’s not much more about this book I can say. Like everything from Paizo, the 300+ page hardcover is extremely high quality (as it always is), the small army of contributing artists were all amazing (as they always are), and the entire thing is well organized and easy to use (again, as it always is).
None of the Pathfinder RPG books are incredibly stand alone, which is why I refer to the game as a Big Box, Big World, or simply a ‘Big’ RPG. While it is interesting on its own, to effectively use this book in your campaign you will also, obviously, require the Core Rulebook. It is also strongly suggested you have access to the Occult Adventures book, and the original Bestiary is also referenced quite often.
Overall, Bestiary 6 is a solid addition to the Pathfinder line, and there are a number of creatures included here that I hope will eventually make their way into the upcoming Starfinder RPG. This isn’t a starting point for new or would-be players, but it a valuable resource as you start to grow and create your own adventures.