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Pathfinder Pawns: Bestiary Box

I’m usually a theater of the mind kind of guy when running RPGs. I recently started running Skull & Shackles for my RPG group and decided to pick up the Pathfinder Pawns: Bestiary Box from Paizo.

What Is It?

External Box Image

The box is nice and sturdy with great cover art.

Paizo’s Pathfinder Pawns line provides cardboard stand-up pieces of various creatures and NPCs sized for the 1″ grid scale. The Bestiary Box specifically covers the creatures in the in the first Pathfinder Bestiary book. The box contains more than 300 pawns in total, but contains multiples of certain useful pawns like kobolds and dire rats. Also included in the box are plastic bases for the various sized creatures.

Each pawn has art representing the designated creature. Some of this art is reused from the Bestiary, but all of the art is appropriate to the creature being represented. Medium and smaller creatures all use the same bases. Bases are also included for Large and Huge creatures.

What Do I Think Of It?

Sample Token Sheet

A sample sheet of tokens. The two drow on the the bottom are actually on the next sheet.

I’m typically a miniatures guy for RPGs. I have miniatures for most of my current RPG characters. For a long time I collected the randomized Dungeons & Dragons miniatures. To a certain extent, there will always be a part of me that prefers miniatures. That being said, I think the quality of the Pathfinder Pawns have converted me. My in-person games are not in my home anymore and the pawns are much easier to transport to other locations than the equivalent miniatures. The card stock is nice and seems like it will hold up well to repeated handling. The price point is also fairly decent and more than reasonable when you consider what it would cost to obtain and store an equivalent number of miniatures.

I do have a couple of problems with the Bestiary Box. First, some of the creatures don’t have nearly enough copies in the box. It’s rare that you’re only going to see two dire rats in an encounter, but there are only two of them in the box. I realize there’s limited space on the cardboard for creatures, but it would be nice if it were possible to get more of these pawns without buying another of the same box.

Pawn Transporation

My current transportation solution. Miniatures are from the Reaper Bones line and painted by my wife. Some of the pawns are from the Skull & Shackles Pawn collection.

The second problem is storage. I have yet to find a storage solution for the pawns that I’m happy with. I use a couple of small Plano boxes for transporting the ones I need for my Skull & Shackles game, but I’m holding off punching out the other pawns until I figure out a storage solution. I’ve seen several suggestions from custom foam core box inserts to Ziploc bags, but those solutions either require skills I don’t possess or seem like they would make the pawns hard to sort through.

Final Thoughts

Overall, despite my two issues, I’m very happy with my purchase and see the Bestiary Box getting a lot of use outside of Pathfinder. Most of the pawns are appropriate for any fantasy game and could easily be used without issue. If you’re looking at the price of miniatures and becoming dismayed, I suggest you check out the Bestiary Box. And for those of you that run online games, Paizo offers PDFs of the token sheets for a fraction of the physical price that you could use to create tokens for your favorite online gaming table. So definitely check that out if you’re a primarily virtual gamer.

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