Monster Menagerie: Bulette Points
editorial/ToC, 3 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 26 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
All right, so first of all, the pdf acknowledges the folks that contributed in a FB-chat that gestated into this book – kudos for giving credit where credit is due! The introductory page provides a bit of optional setting-contextualization for the bulettes herein…and then we begin with what may be the most pun-tastic monster book for Pathfinder.
How pun-tastic is this? Well in case you missed that the title obviously is a reference to Rogue Genius Games’ Bullet Point-series, each monster herein represents some sort of pun regarding bullet/bulette. Every. Last. One.
Yeah, who am I kidding? I love puns. Particularly bad ones. The real groaners. So let’s see what we got, shall we? We begin with a pretty harmless one – the CR 7 armor-piercing bulette, a bulette like one from a final fantasy game, with a massive adamantine blade embedded in its head. This obviously also is represented in the specialized leap and charge assaults these fellows have. Nice and delightfully odd critter, though I would have loved to see a unique Achilles’ heel here – after all, the blade impedes line of sight of these beings, at least judging from the artwork.
The CR 8 frangible bulette has strange pustule-like pods on its body, and has some serious resistances and defensive tricks. Negating such damage, or being struck by physical damage, charges these bulettes, to be more precise, said pods/pustules, which the bulette may discharge in a nasty 60-feet blast, as the immature bulettes gestating in these pods are fired in a living shrapnel blast. While the young of this mutation are usually killed by the impact, not all of the survivors grow to become full bulettes. Some of them stay Tiny CR 1 bulettes…that are called…yep. BeeBee. With rolling leaps and the ability to curl up, they are a nice example of a low-CR critter that makes sense.
Leave it to magic-users to devise solutions to problems that make things worse: The Blank Bulette is a CR 7 incorporeal version of a bulette, shunted to the ethereal to make it cause less havoc. Well, the entities have developed a life drain aura, trigger conical force energy blasts on critical hits, and the avoid detection of undead or living, being invisible to lifesense and the like, as well as not registering for locate creature. Yeah…definite “improvement” of the bulette problem…
At CR 8, the cross-cut bulette has the good subtype, and gets smite evil. Basically good bulettes. Hmm..okay. Not particularly interesting. Why don’t they get a “named bullet/bulette”-type of ability that allows them to engrave an evil-doers’ name upon themselves? Some interesting tweak to the smite evil angle? Anyhow, at the same CR, the Dum Dum is more interesting: It can crush targets and may, as a swift action, expand itself to twice the size and 8 times the weight. Yeah, this one’s pretty cool – can see this being a fearsome foe! Also at CR 8, the incendiary bulette radiates heat for +1d6 fire damage, and the charges of this bulette also result in a 30-ft.-radius fire blast, with a cooldown. Also at CR 8, the multiple-impact bulette can divide itself up into two Large or 4 Medium versions with magical fission, which do have identical statistics…and yes, we do get the modified stats for them, and hit points are evenly divided. Awareness is shared, making these fellows pretty lethal one-monster-pack-predators, which is also reflected by the feats chosen – nice one and mechanically, one of my favorites within.
The Percussion Cap also clocks in at CR 8 and gets a leap into combat that allows it to slam its head against targets of the ground, detonating embedded thunderstones for a blast of shrapnel that is in equal parts stone shards and pure sonic damage. And yep, it looks like a being that attacks you by literally smashing its detonating face into you.
Clocking in at CR 10, the full metal jacket (XD) gets a boost to overrun and bull rush targets, and they come with rules to remove the plates fitted into these war-beasts. How do you call an undead bulette? …Hollow Point! Yeah, this got a long chuckle out of me, and at CR 9, the undead bulette has a detonation upon destruction, gets an Acrobatics-based pounce-bite, and swallowed foes are energy drained. They also rejuvenate unless their remains are specifically treated and consecrated.
The final bulette within would be the CR 7 tracer, basically a tracking specialist that leaves a trail of faerie fire-like glow, and gets a trigger scent, falling into a frenzy upon reaching a target whose scent it tracked. Cool concept, and one of the critters within that I’ll definitely use.
The final page provides two feats: Number One With A Bulette nets an adjacent bulette you trained a +2 bonus to Wisdom, and allows you to…bingo, train bulettes. The more ranks in Handle Animal you have, the faster you can teach them tricks. High Caliber Summoning allows you to call the monsters within this book via the use of summon nature’s ally/monster, with a handy table organizing them by CR.
Editing and formatting are good on a formal and rules languages level. While I noticed a couple of minor hiccups here and there in the statblocks, as a whole, the pdf is pretty solid. Layout adheres to a two-column full-color standard, mirroring a grimoire, and the pdf comes with pretty neat full-color artworks for all of the bulette-variants – all of which are original pieces! Kudos! The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The pdf comes with a second version that has a smaller size, and thus is more mobile device friendly.
Jeff Lee’s menagerie of bulettes is a cool and pun-tastic little bestiary. There is plenty of flavor and background story to contextualize the critters, which is a good thing, as it helps render them more organic and inspires the GM. While this book is not flawless, and while not all variants within are genius, there are plenty of outré and interesting bulettes within, quite a few of which I considered to be genuinely interesting. As such, my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up, since the book is closer to being good than to being a mixed bag.
You can get these pun-tastic bulettes here on OBS!