Review: Neo Productions Unlimited – Basic Bestiary (Shadowglade)

Basic Bestiary
Basic Bestiary is a core supplement for the dark fantasy setting Shadowglade for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game written by Nate Peterson.
By Cape Rust

Learn more about Basic Bestiary here
Purchase Basic Bestiary here
Find other Shadowglade products here

Shadowglade: Basic Bestiary is a listing of some of the major and most frequently encountered creatures that are unique to the world of Shadowglade and includes information on how to insert other monsters into the Shadowglade world.

I applaud Nate Peterson and crew for not trying to recreate a complete bestiary, but rather focusing on creatures that are unique or different in the Shadowglade setting. The biggest drawback of this product is that it really brings the less than stellar video game capture art that this series has chosen to use in their products.


This 33 page supplement has 28 pages worth of useful information. This Basic Bestiary information on appropriate monsters to be inserted into Shadowglade, Several Shadowglade centric creature templates and a few encounter tables. It is coupled with the purchase of the Game Master’s Guide but is being reviewed here as a standalone product.


If I wasn’t familiar with the superb written content of previous Shadowglade products that I have reviewed, I would have passed this up based on the cover art alone. This is small and, as the title suggests, basic bestiary.


Publication Quality: 5 out of 10
The red eyed, demonic, zombie bear depicted on the cover is awful (the cover above depicts the Game Master’s Guide). It looks like it was done by an angst-ridden, middle school student who is on the wrong end of puberty. I have seen some bad monster art and now this bear is lined up to join the category of infamous and in full color. The books layout is fine; the fonts are fine and the quality of the color is fine, but the artwork is a real problem. I’m glad this is a short book, because the art almost made me close the book (virtually) and put it someplace where no one would ever have to suffer the torture of this substandard mockery of illustrations. The cover alone lost this product 3 points, it is that bad.

Mechanics: 9 out of 10
The mechanics of these variations on creatures are solid. The variations make sense for the setting and they feel balanced. Because of the lack of arcane magic in the Shadowglade setting, many of what would be considered run-of-the-mill creatures start to feel more dangerous and fantastic. There are no big surprises, mechanically speaking, and that is just fine

Value Add: 8 out of 10
There are some interesting takes on some of the base creatures found in most settings. Because this basic bestiary is designed for Shadowglade, the inclusion of some of the creatures into other settings might cause a bit more work on the GMs part or some of the features of the creatures might not seem as relevant.

Overall: 7 out of 10
The artwork killed Basic Bestiary, although I know for some of you that shouldn’t be a factor. If I actually showed my players pictures of the creatures from this book to depict what they were fighting, their characters might die laughing. The fact that Peterson and crew didn’t try to remake a new bestiary was a good call. This is a no muss, no fuss bestiary that sans pictures does what it should do. The writing, formatting and mechanics in this book are solid, but the art really brings the entire product down. I would use this product as a GM to enhance the Shadowglade experience for my players, but I would keep it behind the screen and not let my players look at it. If you are a visual person, the book will assault your sensibilities; if you are just looking for crunch, this product is just fine.

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