I just picked up the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 3, since it will form a major cornerstone of my upcoming Kamen, Land of Masks campaign. The campaign is set in mythical Japan, and Bestiary 3 has loads of monsters that can slot right in, like the Spirit Oni, Tanuki and Jorogumo.
I always thought any bestiary after the first to be a waste of money, but Paizo did a great job of providing groups of creatures that fit well together. I already mentioned the traditional Japanese monsters you’ll find. Can anything be more iconic than the Kappa and Yuki-Onna (Snow Woman)? There are also creatures of Chinese origin (Terracotta Warriors), RPG cult legends (Flail Snail and Flumph) and loads more.
A bad example though is the Jubjub Bird and Bandersnatch, from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, since you’ll need the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary 2 for the Jabberwock. Still, the Jubjub Bird and Bandersnatch work well together, and the Jabberwock is a great loner. That’s the same with the Sasquatch, Axe Beak and Bogeyman, which are all in Bestiary 3.
Groups of monsters include Clockwork creatures, Asura, Kami and Oni, to name but a few.
Challenge Rating (CR) wise, I’m very happy, I hardly play high level campaigns but there’s plenty to throw at mid level players. If you are starting out though, this isn’t going to give you all your Orcs and Goblins.
On the art side, this is a gem. I love the Kappa. Living in Japan there are loads of Kappa illustrations around (usually comical), but they made it look believable and scary. I didn’t like the Kodama (watch Princess Mononoke by Studio Ghibli to see more of these cool little dudes) or the oni in general. But I am biased.
Overall, a great addition to the collection.