My newest Pathfinder Infinite product, the Boosted Bestiary, is out now! This is a sort of quirky product, born from some tight math in Pathfinder Second Edition and a really, really bold idea.

First, monsters are really only good in Pathfinder Second Edition for about five levels. If the monster is level 9, you can't really put it up against characters of 6th level or lower, because it's too tough. You can't put it against characters of 12th level or higher, because then it's too weak. (Sure, there are exceptions for certain types of encounters, and you can eke out another level or two of usability by applying the elite and weak templates, but my point stands.) So if your characters aren't 7th through 11th level, you can't really use a 9th level monster.

Second, some monsters fill a specific encounter niche. An ether spider, for example, is a fantastic "ambush from the Ethereal Plane" monster, and the Bestiary doesn't hold a lot of monsters that fill this role otherwise.

Third, applying some math to adjust a monster's level is straightforward, if a bit time-consuming.

So I created the idea of a "Boosted Bestiary," which takes existing monsters and provide stats for them at all the other levels. In my mind, this could be entirely complete by giving every monster in the Bestiary stats for every level from 0 through 20. I soon ran into some problems with that idea:

1) The book would be nine hundred thousand pages long (rough guess).

2) The book would take forty years to create (also, rough guess).

But I thought the idea was sound, so I considered a more limited Boosted Bestiary. I soon realized there are quite a few ways I could cut this problem down a lot.

1) I didn't need to create stats for every level. With the weak template reducing level by 1, and the elite template increasing level by 1, I really needed to provide stats every third level. And since the monsters already occupy one of these levels and I didn't need to reproduce stats already in the Bestiary, I had cut down the number of stats considerably.

2) Most monsters aren't appropriate at every level. Monsters at the extreme ends of the level range are there for a reason. We don't need level 20 mephits, and we don't need level 3 mukradis (a prior blog of mine on this topic notwithstanding). Just because I can make a very broad range of levels for some monsters doesn't mean they need it.

3) Some monsters already hit this "varied stats by level" design. Dragons, for example, already come in age categories across multiple levels. Most "outsiders" like demons and devils have a range of options spanning many levels. Elementals come in different level ranges, too. These types of creatures--usually, very big groups of creatures--didn't need to be included.

Well, that cut down my job quite a bit. As it turns out, though, it was still an incredibly time-consuming endeavor. This is mostly because I thought stats alone would be kind of dull. I gave each monster a little paragraph of introduction explaining how it fit into its ecosystem or why it was a larger or smaller or stronger or weaker or whatever version. I also adjusted the abilities and stats beyond strictly required level changes to give a bit more flavor. An advanced "hellfire" version of a monster got fire resistance, for example, or a lower level "bodyguard" version of a monster got a reaction to defend someone else. 

After several months of plugging away at this, I could see where I was going, but I could also see the incredibly long road ahead of me. I wondered where I would be at if I compiled everything I'd already done and provided it as a single product. It would be far, far short of the "every monster at every level" goal I'd envisioned, but it could still be really useful.

And, as it turned out, I'd done quite a lot. I'd tackled more than 60 monsters (folding some of them together, like ankravs and ankrav brood mothers), and created more than 200 stat blocks. That felt worth putting out as a single product. Once I realized it was already 160 pages, I realized it was definitely a good time to stop. 

I was also pleased to see how much variety I'd created. The lowest-level boar was, well, just a pig. The highest-level alchemical golems (the intensichemical golem and the ultrachemical golem) were sort of silly and fun. I provided several humanoid types (like gnolls, aasimars, tieflings, and tengus) at a really wide level range, from near level 1 to near level 20 (but not exactly because, remember, I'm separating them by 3s). Even those along would make a useful "NPCs"-style book.

So that's what the Boosted Bestiary is: many (but not all) Bestiary monsters provided at many (but not all) levels. I think it's really useful, and I encourage you to check it out!