I’ve always been fond of the idea that material for RPGs could be drawn from existing sources. Usually this means from a given movie, book, video game, etc. But more there’s something to be said for caricature as well; where you put in an NPC or monster equivalent of someone your players will recognize. While it can be fun to have this homage be of someone benevolent, there’s a lot more fun to be had in making a mockery of a bad person in this manner.
Enter The Bestiary of GOP, Grand Ol’ Predators, from Misfit Studios.
A short Pathfinder monster book, the Bestiary of GOP presents monsters out of four real-life conservative candidates for the American presidency (some among you may be wondering why I’d even bother saying that, since it seems so obvious. Well, there are more countries than America which have Pathfinder fans, and it won’t be 2012 forever). Each is given write-up that satirizes its inspiration in the form of some sort of awful monster.
The product is ten pages long, and does everything a PDF should do. Copy and paste is enabled, and bookmarks to each of the creatures is present. Moreover, a printer-friendly version is here as well. While it does keep the interior illustrations, it removes all of the coloring, rendering them as line-versions of the finished artwork.
The books four monsters need little introduction if you pay attention to politics. The Ron’Pol devil is an infernal creature able to debate you into confusion (an act which empowers it) and can sell you a wish for your soul. The mitt is actually a new race (with PC stats!) that is obsessed with money and has the ability to adapt itself to any particular social situation. The gingrich newt is a hideous creature that poisons everything around it, and yet has the ability to charm you nonetheless. Finally, the santorum is an undead creature so obsessed with pushing its foul dogma (and misogyny) that it comes back to do its god’s work, regardless of its god’s feelings on the subject. Just watch out for its, er, “santorum” attack.
In terms of mechanical utility, all of these creatures hold up fairly well. None of them are, with their base stats, powerful monsters – the highest is CR 5. I did notice one or two things that were off, however; the sample mitt should be CR 1/3, not ½, since it has one level in an NPC class. Similarly, the santorum’s aura of anachronism (science doesn’t work on it!) is in the wrong place in its stat block. The errors are like this – never anything wrong so much as in need of a slight clean-up. But then, having things be wrong somehow seems appropriate for these evil things.
Overall, minus the potential ramifications from your group, depending on their political beliefs, what’s here is a perfectly viable micro-bestiary of new monsters for your Pathfinder game. Strip out the real-world context (which, in most cases, is as simple as a change of names) and you have monsters that stand alongside any of the others that you’d use at your table. Of course, if you aren’t worried about anyone being offended, then there’s no reason why you can’t leave the subtext in, and let your players really go to town on hack ‘n’ slashing some of the most vile creatures they’re ever likely to encounter.