Brave, cunning, and adaptable, humanity dominates the countries of the Inner Sea. Discover the legendary history and secret ambitions of humankind, the most populous race of the Pathfinder campaign setting. With the potential to do anything they set their minds to, humans have become unrivaled heroes, infamous villains, and even deities—and now the course of humanity’s future is in your hands. Learn of the varied and distinctive ethnicities of humankind, from rugged Ulfen vikings and scheming Chelish diplomats to noble Garundi travelers and mysterious Tian merchants, and master the unique skills and traditions they use to face the dangers of a world that refuses to be tamed.
Humans of Golarion presents a player-friendly overview of the fantastical human cultures of the Pathfinder campaign setting, along with new rules and information to help players customize characters in both flavor and mechanics.
Inside this book, you'll find:
Information on the physical traits, philosophies, traditions, histories, and cultures of humans—the most populous race in the Inner Sea
Insights on each of Golarion’s major human ethnicities, designed to help players create distinctive and exciting characters ready for any adventure
A detailed map charting the historical migration for the most common human ethnicities in the Inner Sea region
Revelations about Aroden, the fallen god of humankind
Notes on the lost empires of humanity, such as Azlant, Thassilon, the Jistka Imperium, Ancient Osirion, and more
New traits, spells, and weapons for each human culture
This Pathfinder Player Companion is set in the Pathfinder campaign setting and works best with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game or the 3.5 version of the world's oldest fantasy roleplaying game, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.
Written by James Jacobs, Colin McComb, Sean K Reynolds, Amber Scott, and Larry Wilhelm
Each bimonthly 32-page Pathfinder Companion contains several player-focused articles exploring the volume’s theme as well as short articles with innovative new rules for social, magic, religious, and combat-focused characters, as well as traits to better anchor the player to the campaign.
One sentence capsule: This product is a waste of time, energy, money, and space, that simply culls flavor text from other, better products and puts it into a single deeply disappointing volume.
Slightly expanded review: As a dedicated player of humans, I had long been disappointed by Paizo's lack of options for that race. Although we are repeatedly told that humans are Golarion's most adaptable, widespread, versatile, and successful race, there is virtually no game-mechanic crunch to support that. The extra feat and extra skill point equate to raw power, yes, but there is virtually nothing a human character can do that a member of any other race can't do as well. Dwarves get Steel Soul; elves and half-elves get the Arcane Archer prestige class; gnomes get Gnome Trickster; half-orcs can have Keen Scent; halflings are sometimes Well-Prepared. Humans can be Eclectic or have Racial Heritage, which...lets them act more like other races. This is the book that should have filled that gap, but instead we get more fluff about different cultures and a couple of pages about a god who's been dead for a century.
This was a chance for Paizo to give players reasons why humans are so successful in so many different areas of Golarion by giving them something, anything, that they can do that other races can't. A few feats, a prestige class, something. Instead, Paizo fumbled its roll.
Piazo really needs to make an effort to offer more than what players already have anyway. Any GM could have cut and pasted handout sheets from other sources for players to read other than to have them use the material offered in this book. Piazo didn't write thie book for GMs or for players. GMs want more... players want more. Piazo needs to focus on giving MORE to people when people pay good money for MORE.
Having detailed background information on a dead god is not worth the sticker price -- and labelling the book as targeted to players only is not justification to skimp. As a GM, owning the Inner Sea Guide does not mean you have all of the information printed in Orcs of Golarion or Dwarves of Golarion or Goblins of Golarion... but evidently the rules have changed for Humans of Golarion. I bought Orcs and Dwarves so I could have MORE, and MORE is what I paid for and MORE is what they gave me!
It is dishonest to publish the book this way and NOT provide the caveate "pretty much most of what you read in here can be found elsewhere." It is also dishonest to charge people for something they already have.
To be honest, this book should have been titled, "Some stuff about Aroden." Piazo should scrap this project, and re-offer it as colorful and cultural Companions going into detail for every human racial group on Golarion. THAT would be more player oriented -- what does a player with a Varisian Character need to know about Garundi that the GM doesn't? Why does that player need to know anything about Aroden that a GM doesn't?
This companion was a swing and a miss. No bones about it.
There has been quite a bit of criticism of Humans of Golarion. Many people feel that the book doesn’t offer much new for people who already own the Inner Sea World Guide or its predecessor, the Pathfinder Campaign Setting. To a certain extent this is true. Each human racial group, for example, gets a one-page write-up like the equivalent one-page write-up in the Inner Sea World Guide. They are not word-for-word copies. Instead, the Humans of Golarion write-ups present a more player-orientated description of the groups. However, there is no denying that the information contained within them is very similar to that in the Inner Sea World Guide, and people who have read that book (or the Campaign Setting) are not going to discover much that is new in them. As such, Humans of Golarion seems a much less exciting or interesting read than the other race books, as it doesn’t provide new insights into humans in the way that a book like Gnomes of Golarion provides new insights on gnomes.
I think one thing that needs remembering, though, is that the target audience of Humans of Golarion isn’t really GMs who are thoroughly familiar with the Inner Sea World Guide or its predecessor. For players who are new to the Golarion setting, it provides a good overview of human cultures, and for all players (new and old alike), it provides game options (such as traits and spells) for human characters. If you want more in-depth information about the various human societies, there are other books available in the Player Companion line that do just that: any of the books on specific countries, such as Andoran, Spirit of Liberty or Cheliax, Empire of Devils. After all, these are primarily human countries, and they provide new insights into those cultures.
One thing Humans of Golarion does offer that you won’t find in any other book to date is full information on the faith of Aroden. As a dead god, Aroden doesn’t have much of a following left, but he was an extremely important god in the history of the world, and his legacy still has a major impact on current life. There may not be any true clerics of Aroden left, but there are still a few worshippers who cling to the belief that one day Aroden might return. The two-page write-up on Aroden provides players and GMs with a valuable resource on what kind of faith those hold-outs follow. Also, if a GM wishes to set a game in Golarion’s past before the death of Aroden, players now have all the information needed to play a cleric of Aroden in such a campaign.
Overall, while Humans of Golarion is not the most “exciting” book in the Pathfinder Player Companion line, it does what it sets out to do: provide an overview of human cultures and offer options for human characters. Indeed, despite its more mundane qualities, it is a book that is likely to see more in-game use than some of the other race books, such as Goblins of Golarion. As such, it’s a book worth having. Just don’t expect to be wowed.
Well, Elves and Orcs got books, so why not Humans of Golarion?
Rounding out the Races of Golarion books Humans of Golarion falls short because it focuses on races where other books (orcs, gnomes) delve deeper. Still, for a player creating a new character, it is a great resource. Check my full review: Humans of Golarion