Griffons make for excellent wilderness encounters or side treks. At CR 4, they’re serious predators, but not so serious that they’ll throw off the pace of an adventure. (Though for best effect, you should throw them at parties before the players get too many spells that go boom.) Most of the time they’ll be more interested in the PCs’ horses than in the PCs themselves, but a griffon defending its mate, its nest, or its rider is not to be trifled with—especially since they understand Common well enough to coordinate with intelligent allies.
Barnabus Crump is looking to hire adventurers to find a griffon’s egg; he says he has a contract with the noble Grand Duke Ambrose’s sky knights. In reality, he wants the griffon for his traveling menagerie. His last griffon doubled his profits for two years, but he beat it so severely it died.
The tawny-bodied griffons of Mekhtar are said to be sacred to the sun god, since they bear the falcon heads of his favorite son. Sacred or not, they prey on horses just as rapaciously as their eagle-headed cousins—sometimes doubly so, as one in ten Mekhtaran griffons has two heads.
Elven griffon riders are renowned in song and legend. Dwarven griffon riders are not. This is because no one who has met the crossbow-wielding rangers and skirmishers has lived to report back.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 168
We last visited Mekhtar here. Apparently it is a dangerous place.
If your players want griffon mounts, Mythological Monsters Revisited has more (courtesy of Michael Kenway) about their temperaments and capabilities.
Griffons are also ideal monsters in a low-magic campaign (say, one based on Anglo-Saxon, Arthurian, or Viking times)—just exotic enough to be a true monster but without the magical bells and whistles.
No show this week—I came down with a fever Friday and decided to play it safe Saturday. But I’ve been meaning for weeks to put up my belated Easter mix. The abridged version is here; if you want the full version, shoot me an email.