Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Animal Archive

Product: Pathfinder Player Companion Animal Archive

Producer: Paizo

Price: ~$12

System: Pathfinder

TL;DR-If you have pets, then get this book. 91.25%


Basics: This book adds options, abilities, and types for any character who has a familiar or a animal companion.  The book starts off right away with the inner cover discussing the magic items that each type of animal can use.  After the standard Player Companion line pages discussing the book’s intent, the next section describes what types of animals each race typically works with.  Next the book introduces new class archetypes for the rogue, cavalier, and barbarian that use animal companions.  Following archetypes, the book add new animal tricks for your companion to learn and new ways to teach tricks to animals.  The book then presents new familiars, equipment, and animals to buy in Golarion.  The centerfold of the book is six new animals that a PC could take as a companion and the parts of the world where these creatures are found.  Following the centerfold, new animal feats and archetypes are discussed for your companions and familiars.  The book then presents a section on what happens after you awaken your animal.  Like all player pathfinder books, the book adds several spells and magic items, before ending by adding new familiars and animal companion statistics.


Fluff or Story: This book isn’t very story heavy.  It primary focus is to give you new animal options.  What it does have is interesting, but don’t look for it to carry the book on that alone. 4/5


Crunch or Mechanics:  You want animal crunch?  You got animal crunch!  Some of the crunch is interesting like the rogue who uses an animal to do sneak attack, but some is left out like what bonuses you get for using tools to train an animal.  It’s not bad, but some minor things were missing.   4.75/5


Art:  This book has a surprising amount of art for primarily being a mechanics book.  It’s new, and looks like it belongs and is well done. 5/5


Execution:  The book has a nice flow, reads quick, and isn’t difficult to read.  I didn’t like that the book repeats some of its mechanics as the book is less than 30 pages.  Also, some of the choices of where things were laid out were a bit strange as there are two item sections. 4.5/5


Summary:  If you run animals in Pathfinder, you need this book.  That’s it.  It won’t really convince you to take up an animal if you’re the type of player who doesn’t want that complication in his life.  If you want to have some fun with an animal companion/familiar, then this book will give you lots of options and makes sure the ideas you have fit into the larger world.  It’s worth a read for any class that gets an animal pet. 91.25%


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