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Geek Girls Gaming Review: Paizo NPC codex

Pathfinder NPC Codex

From: Paizo

Reviewed by: Tera Fulbright

Pathfinder NPC Codex is a supplement from Paizo.

Pathfinder’s Pathfinder NPC Codex has been out for a while, since October 2012.  However, I wanted to review it both traditionally, but also with an eye toward Geek Girls Gaming.  As a note, I am currently running a Pathfinder Game as well as playing in one.

Overall, I find the NPC Codex is very useful for random NPC’s who actually need combat statistics.

From the back cover:

“Inside this tome, you’ll find hundreds of ready-made stat blocks for nonplayer characters of every level, from a lowly forest poacher to the most majestic knight or ancient spellcaster. Whether you’re planning out future adventures or throwing together encounters right at the table, this book does the work so you can focus on playing the game.”

Pathfinder’s Pathfinder NPC Codex lists over 300 NPCs, including at least one for every level of every class in the core rule book.  Overall, there were 94 female NPCs, 105 male NPCs and even one transgendered NPC.   In addition to NPCs for all the classes, the codex includes a handful of NPCs with prestige classes as well.  Overall the NPC male/female split is fairly even.

The codex itself is simply organized.  Chapters are divided by Core Classes, Prestige Classes, NPC Classes and Iconics, and each class within a chapter has several levels of NPCs.  In addition, the appendices at the back of the book include some very useful information, including animal companion stats (adjusted for PC level) and a listing of sample encounter groups.

The one major flaw I found was the lack of spellbooks for wizards. While they did include spells prepared, it does still mean a GM has to build an actual spellbook if his players need it for treasure.

I did like that the NPCs all had gear listed, which does make for easy treasure generation when using one of these NPCs in a combat.

From the back cover:

“Tons of flavorful names and backgrounds to give characters personality, plus ideas for using them in both combat and roleplaying situations.”

As a GM who struggles with naming NPCs, being able to open the book and tell players that they are meeting “Gorgu Stonesplitter” or “Telkineel Orbast” also known as “AlleyCat” is incredibly useful.  There are backgrounds included, and while the backgrounds are simple, they are still creative.  I especially enjoyed the background of Passago, which a clever reader will recognize as homage to Shakespeare’s Prospero from the tempest.

The tips and hints about the characters make them easy to bring to life both in combat and in role-playing situations.  Most characters have one or two lines describing how they think or their backgrounds or goals.

In conclusion, this could be a very useful supplement for GMs who do not simply run modules or whose players often take the “red herrings.”   It would also be useful for GMs who need the ability to create interesting and memorable characters that the PCs can actually fight.

I do think if Paizo expands the Codex series to include new classes, it would be well-received by fans of the original.

For more details on Paizo and their new Supplement “Pathfinder NPC Codex” check them out at their website http://www.paizo.com, and at all of your local game stores.

Codex Rating: 13

Product Summary

Pathfinder NPC Codex

From: Paizo

Type of Game: Supplement

Lead Designer: Jason Bulmahn

Designers: Stephen Radney-MacFarland and Sean K Reynolds

Contributing Authors: Authors: Jesse Benner, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, Alex Greenshields, Rob McCreary, Mark Moreland, Jason Nelson, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Patrick Renie, Sean K Reynolds, and Russ Taylor

Cover Art by: Wayne Reynolds

Additional Art by: Joewie Aderes, Eric Belisle, Branko Bistrovic, Christopher Burdett, Victor Perez Corbella, Josh Corpuz,Alberto DalLago, Simon Eckert, Steve Ellis, Jason Engle, Nadia Enis, Jorge Fares, Gonzalo Flores, Mariusz Gandzel, Fabio Gorla, Grafit, Paul Guzenko, Mauricio Herrera, Jon Hodgson, Andrew Hou, Lake Hurwitz, Ivan Kashubo, Nicholas Kay, Tim Kings-Lynne, Melanie Maier,Damien Mammoliti, Diana Martinez, Kate Maximovich, Jim Nelson, Miroslav Petrov, Roberto Pitturru, Emiliano Pretrozzi, Scott Purdy,Maichol Quinto, Jason Rainville, Jean-Baptiste Reynaud, Wayne Reynolds, Denman Rooke, Kostia Schleger, Lydia Schuchmann, Chris Seaman, Kyushik Shin, Bryan Sola, Dean Spencer, Florian Stitz, Allison Theus, Tyler Walpole, and Eva Widermann

Number of Pages: 320

Game Components Included: Book

Retail Price: $39.99

Item Number: PZO1124

ISBN: 978-1-60125-467-2

Email: customer.service@paizo.com

Website: www.paizo.com

Reviewed by: Tera Fulbright

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