Pathfinder Player Companion: People of the River (PFRPG)

****( ) (based on 2 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: People of the River (PFRPG)

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You won’t get lost if you follow the river, and Pathfinder Player Companion: People of the River will be your guide! Whether your character is a Kellid warlord intent on reclaiming his ancestral homeland or a Riverfolk sneak looking for her next score, this volume has you covered. In addition, this Pathfinder Player Companion features expanded details and new rules connected to the science-infused barbarian nation of Numeria and the chaotic realms of the River Kingdoms, making it the perfect resource for Pathfinder RPG players diving into the Iron Gods Adventure Path or Pathfinder Module: The Emerald Spire Superdungeon!

Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • Six new class archetypes, including the resourceful galvanic saboteur for rangers, the vengeful Numerian liberator for barbarians, and the fickle hag of Gyronna for witches.
  • Over two dozen new character traits, making it easy to connect the background stories of countless new characters to the nation of Numeria or any of the River Kingdoms.
  • A beautifully illustrated explorer’s map of the Inner Sea region’s most storied waterway, the Sellen River.
  • Details, suggestions, and new campaign traits for characters getting started in the Iron Gods Adventure Path.
  • New feats, spells, magic items, and so much more to ready your adventurer for the dangers of rivers.

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-666-9

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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****( ) (based on 2 ratings)

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Good balance of flavour and crunch

****( )

People of the River covers an interesting topic for a Pathfinder Player Companion. It's not about a specific race, or a specific country, but about a particular geographic feature (the Sellen River) and the peoples who live near it. The Sellen River is one of the most important rivers in the Inner Sea Region of Golarion, and is the lifeblood of several of the "River Kingdoms", small, independent nations with a variety of different types of governments and national ethos. People of the River covers several of the River Kingdoms, provides options for the Kellid people (tribal barbarians) of Numeria, serves as a general player's resource for the Iron Gods adventure path, and even discusses some general rules and options for river-based adventures generally. There's a lot to talk about, so let's hop into it!

The inside front cover is a "River Dangers" cheat sheet that contains quick rules reference page numbers for remedies for diseases, spells for dealing with dangerous animals, and ways to to safely navigate whitewater rapids. I appreciate little things like this, because Pathfinder has so much rules content it's easy to completely miss perfectly accessible options for dealing with problems. The inside back cover contains a paragraph-long description for each of three other important rivers in the Inner Sea: The Sphinx in Osirion, the Vanji in the Mwangi Expanse, and the Yondabakari in Varisia. The descriptions are very general, but there's not enough room to go into specific detail.

The book begins with a table of contents and a one-page "For Your Character" summary that indicates the book focusses on barbarians, kellids, sorcerers, and witches, but that any characters could benefit from the new background traits, description of life on the river, and map that's included in the book. This is followed by a one-page rules index of the new archetypes (6), feats (7), and traits (28!) introduced in the book. In other words, you can tell this entry in the product line is going to be pretty "crunch" heavy compared to earlier books in the line.

The book proper begins with a two-page introduction about rivers as a source of trade, combat, and borders generally before moving on to the Sellen in particular. About the first half of the book is a description of nine different River Kingdoms (Numeria, Daggermark, Echo Wood, Gralton, Lambreth, Mivon, Pitax, Sevenarches, and Tymon), each of which gets a page of coverage (or two pages in the case of Numeria). Each entry contains a description of the country, new regional traits, and something else special. The entry for Daggermark, for example, introduces the "Veneficus Witch" archetype, a witch specialized in poisons. The entry for Gralton contains a new Cavalier Order, the Order of Vengeance. One of my favorite things in the book is a new Sorcerer bloodline, Retribution, and its power, Vengeful Strike: when someone hurts you, they take the same amount of damage they dealt! (It's usable only once or twice a day, of course.) I was happy with the flavour, cleverness, and balance of the new options presented. I did think one of the new archetypes, the River Druid, was pretty weak considering how much it gives up for mediocre powers that can only be used near water.

Next is a two-page map of the Sellen River and its surroundings. It's a good way to see how the Sellen and its tributaries connect everything from the Worldwound in the north to Taldor and Andoran to the south. I quite like the style of the map: it's done in a "realistic" in-game fashion, but has a scale and enough detail to make it useful in actual gameplay. I assume that it's a pull-out map in the printed book, but I'm not sure as I only have the PDF.

Numeria is revisited for a two-page section that talks a little more about Kellids, the Technic League, and other Numerians. It introduces a cool new sorcerer bloodline for an SF-flavoured game, the Nanite bloodline. I'm not sure why the writers put some stuff on Numeria at the beginning of the book and then more stuff here, but I don't mind the expanded coverage on the country--it's the most unique of the River Kingdoms. Next, there's a two-page catch-all section about other people who might live along the Sellen, an interesting sidebar on "The Six River Freedoms", and a rogue archetype, the River Rat. It's a steep investment, as it gives up the one thing that used to set rogues apart (trapfinding) for some minor bonuses on swimming and navigating swampy terrain. Probably not worth it.

The last third of the book consists of two-page sections on a wide variety of topics. First up is "River Faiths", which mentions some of the "Core 20" deities commonly worshipped in the region but pays special attention to less commonly-known gods like Gyronna (the Hag Queen) and Hanspur (the Water Rat). There's also a new witch archetype for devotees of Gyronna. I don't know enough about the Witch class to offer an opinion, other than to say it has some flavourful features that would be fun to see in a villainous NPC.

Another section, "River Survival", introduces new rules options for "Catching a Creature Floating Downstream" (far more elaborate than is necessary for such a rare event, in my opinion) and "Swinging from Vines" (a fun idea). It contains a couple of new feats, one of which, "Waterway Caster" might see frequent use in the upcoming Ruins of Azlant adventure path: it allows spellcasters to avoid the need for "vigorous or violent motion" concentration checks for spellcasting while swimming or on a ship, and a bonus to underwater concentration checks. There's also a new "Galvanic Saboteur" archetype for rogues, which would be perfect for an Iron Gods campaign.

"Spells of the River" introduces seven new spells. Alter River seems surprisingly powerful for its level (it'd be easy to flood towns with it) and Magnetic Field (drawing metallic items towards the caster) is one of those spells that is quite cinematic but might be quite hard to set up the perfect circumstance to actually use it on the battlefield. Perhaps the best is a simple one: Hanspur's Flotsam Vessel, a low-level spell that creates a raft from river detritus.

Player Companions almost always introduce new magic items, and People of the River is no exception. Ten different ones are introduced, and most are at a character-friendly price point of 5,000 gp or less. I really liked Oath Breaker's Brand (which does as its name implies) and the Drowning Medallion (a steal at just 1,000 gp!).

The book ends with a two-page extract from the Iron Gods Player's Guide, and it reprints all of the campaign traits found in that book. Since a Player's Guide is free to download, I don't consider this good value for the space.

The artwork is top-notch throughout the book, and the writing was lively. There's a ton of quality material (flavour-wise and crunch-wise) for anyone adventuring in the Sellen River area, and the book does an excellent job reminding readers that rivers are far more than just obstacles to be crossed at the nearest bridge. Overall, this is an excellent addition to the line.


A bit too broad-ranging, but otherwise good

****( )

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

On the whole, People of the River does a pretty good job of covering a large amount of material, but it is constrained somewhat by that large volume. While it's true that one can turn to more detailed sources (Numeria, Land of Fallen Stars and Guide to the River Kingdoms) for more information, I think I would have much preferred to see this book divided up into two books, one for Numeria and one for the River Kingdoms. They could then each be player-focused companions to the Campaign Setting books mentioned above. It would also allow for more in-depth coverage of the countries and the peoples who live there. But overall, People of the River is not a bad book and there's quite a bit in it to interest players creating new characters.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

Announced for July! Cover image is a mockup and subject to change.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So we get some Numeria stuff with our river kingdom that sounds cool to me.


Oooh, neat! I wasn't expecting to get much more on the River Kingdoms so soon, but I'll take it :)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I didn't expect this! wow! Not just some stuff for the Iron Gods AP, but possibly additional goodies for Kingmaker AP as well!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Actually, Will this book also have information on Razmiran as well? (considering that it was a river kingdom before Razmir and perhaps even now)


Awesome! I was hoping for more info from this part of the world. I'm glad it's sooner rather than later like I was expecting.

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
So we get some Numeria stuff with our river kingdom that sounds cool to me.

In a way Numeria is like an "extra" River Kingdom.


I'm assuming that there's going to be more on Pitax. So far, their main claim to fame is getting blitzkrieg'ed in Kingmaker.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yes, it would also be useful for the kingmaker AP.

It says it will be perfect for the Emerald Spire module, so that spire is located in the river kingdom?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
It says it will be perfect for the Emerald Spire module, so that spire is located in the river kingdom?

I'd imagine it's near Crusader Road, the setting for the MMO (for which Emerald Spire was a Kickstarter).

EDIT: Yes, looks like it's set around Fort Inevitable, which is one of the starter towns for PF Online.

Sczarni

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

So now we have great hints about future adventure paths, some of the below might get involved in 2015:

People of the Mountains
People of the Sky
People of the Swamps
People of the Plains
People of the Cities
People of the Sea
People of the Jungle
People of the Underground
People of the Rainbow
People of the Past
People of the Unknown
People from the Space
People that Never Were
People of the People
....


1 person marked this as a favorite.

People from the Past would be a neat accessory to have.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Cool, I hope we get some info on Chesed and its people.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Hajoth Hakados would be a likely one to remark on as well.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I dunno, I don't want to be the wet blanket but I'm kind of lukewarm about this. I will highly likely get it because regional player companions are my second most favorite product type (after APs), but it sort of seems like an odd pairing to me, Numeria and the River Kingdoms. It could just be that I don't know enough about them to see all the links. I'd love it if anyone could sell me on this.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Samy wrote:
I dunno, I don't want to be the wet blanket but I'm kind of lukewarm about this. I will highly likely get it because regional player companions are my second most favorite product type (after APs), but it sort of seems like an odd pairing to me, Numeria and the River Kingdoms. It could just be that I don't know enough about them to see all the links. I'd love it if anyone could sell me on this.

In this particular case, I think it has as much to do with proximity as anything. Notably, that Numeria is right on the border of the Crusader Road which is seemingly being emphasized (or at least being expanded upon) in this product.

(Crusader Road being called that for obvious reasons- Numeria being the waypoint between the Worldwound and all points south.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Samy wrote:
I dunno, I don't want to be the wet blanket but I'm kind of lukewarm about this. I will highly likely get it because regional player companions are my second most favorite product type (after APs), but it sort of seems like an odd pairing to me, Numeria and the River Kingdoms. It could just be that I don't know enough about them to see all the links. I'd love it if anyone could sell me on this.

Kellids are already present in another product, People of the North (in the guise of the Mammoth Lords), and will now likely be split up into another product as well: People of the Mist (Lake of Mists and Veils: Mendev, Brevoy, Iobaria) which will possibly further explore the 'Slavic' tendency/para-ethnicity. Numeria and the River Kingdoms could just as well be included in that group geographically, honestly, but I guess there was enough material to split up into two books. (People of Mists could also include northerly Dwarves) Kellid seem to have such internal diversity, from near stone-age to steppe warlords to para-Slavs influenced by Ulfen, that this approach is as reasonable as any other. 'Taldo-phone' peoples, and Varisians and Kelesh for that matter, likewise seem to be split into different products (or likely to be in the future), based on geography and nation more than simply Ethno-linguistic derivation. The "People of" series is based on geography, not ethno-linguistic groupings, as reflected by it's naming conventions.


Cthulhudrew wrote:
In this particular case, I think it has as much to do with proximity as anything. Notably, that Numeria is right on the border of the Crusader Road which is seemingly being emphasized (or at least being expanded upon) in this product.

The Sellen River passes thru Numeria. It is completely normal for Numeria to be included in a book about the People of the (Sellen) River, in fact it would be strange were it not included. Every 'People of' book so far has covered a geographic region larger than one 'country' (with the River Kingdom being one 'country' as far as presented by norms of the Campaign Setting, just as less cohesive regions like the Mwangi Expanse, Realm of Mammoth Lords, Hold of Belkzen, and Land of Linnorn Kings). There is no more ethnic diversity here than the People of the North, from Ulfen to Erutaki and Varki to Kellid. Kellids should certainly be an important component people of the River Kingdoms themself, even if the culture there is different than in Numeria, there will also likely be connections and similarities.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I guess I sort of feel that Numeria is SO DIFFERENT in theme from everything else that it's just an odd fit with...well, anything. I would've rather seen a just plain People of Numeria standalone companion, but I understand that it's not feasible since every book has to have multiple countries.


What theme of Numeria? Starships and weird robots? That has little to do with the actual culture of the people, outside of a narrow ruling class and those living near the crashed starship. Why wouldn't the actual culture be similar to at least some Kellid living in the River Kingdoms proper?

Numeria can and will have it's own standalone Country Companion, which can cover all the stuff you'd expect there, that's just not a People of [Geographic Region] product.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Razimiran?

Sovereign Court

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Very cool.


I thought for sure the July book would of been a "Technomancer's Guide" or something along those line.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

RAZIMIR!?!?!?

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

when you do the product blog for this, might i suggest "Take Me to the River"?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The silence on my question is going to kill me.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Consider me interested in a People of the Past book. Would love some more Thassilon stuff.


That would be interesting, also stuff like pre-ZK Nidal, origins of Halflings, and when Avistan and Garund were connected by land bridge...
Not quite sure if that would still be Player's Companion product material, though. :-/

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

I'm not sure we'll be getting anything more on Razmiran until they clone Erik (I'm pretty sure that's Erik's baby, at least.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Am I the only one who hears Matt Foley's voice when reading the name of this product?

Webstore Gninja Minion

chopswil wrote:
when you do the product blog for this, might i suggest "Take Me to the River"?

Hah. :D


Robert Brookes wrote:
I'm not sure we'll be getting anything more on Razmiran until they clone Erik (I'm pretty sure that's Erik's baby, at least.)

Actually, that's Jason's baby!


Given my love for the River Kingdoms and Kingmaker, I'll definitely be getting this one.

Not lest for the information on river pirates, seeing as how they tend to get short shrift when compared to their salt water cousins.

Dark Archive

This is great.

I loved the picture of the hippie River Giant in Bestiary 4, I hope we get a bit more about those chilled out dudes.

I'd also like to see stuff on river traders. Maybe some specs for paddle steamers. Fishing. River rat rogues and halflings.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Captain K. wrote:

This is great.

I loved the picture of the hippie River Giant in Bestiary 4, I hope we get a bit more about those chilled out dudes.

I'd also like to see stuff on river traders. Maybe some specs for paddle steamers. Fishing. River rat rogues and halflings.

I actually have a river giant NPC in my campaign named Jokea (which apparently means "river" in some eastern european language, I forgot which one).

Her introduction was the party coming up to her ship and asking if she could take them downriver. She responded that her favorite food was carrots, and if they couldn't get her carrots, she would kill them all because she was a powerful demon lord. Of course, she was joking. During the trip, Jokea said she was lying about carrots and actually liked beets. When one party member said "I don't like beets", Jokea replied, "I don't like YOU!".

Oh, and when she was reduced to negative hp by a drowning devil and healed by the bard, she said "You bastard, I was almost in Elysium!"

tl;dr I tried to depict river giants as kooky.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

"I actually have a river giant NPC in my campaign named Jokea (which apparently means "river" in some eastern european language, I forgot which one)."

Not sure if it's also in another language, but the word "joki" is "river" in Finnish, and "jokea" is a conjugated form, meaning "at a river"/"towards a river".


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oh.

Okay.

I didn't really look too deeply into naming her, I just wanted something that "sort of" made sense. Kind of like how my forest-dwelling elven rebel leader was named "Zelen" which I'm pretty sure is serbo-croatian for green.

I admit it though, I'm not a great linguist.

Webstore Gninja Minion

Product image and description updated to final!


Fickle hag archytype ???

That sounds interesting :P


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice artwork, but what is that creature?


Dragon78 wrote:
Nice artwork, but what is that creature?

Not 100% sure but I think it's a merrow, an aquatic ogre.

And the tidbits about the fickle hag of Gyronna, the River Kingdoms, and the Sellen what with the major role all three play in 'Kingmaker' just excited me all the more for this book.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

how useful will this be for Kingmaker?
does the map cover the stolen lands?


Will be getting this the same day I get People of the Stars as my Kingmaker game will bleed into an Iron Gods game.


This is so awesome. I can't wait.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Since I am gearing up to start a Kingmaker campaign in July, this is a timely release!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So I take it this book will be useful for both Iron Gods and Kingmaker?

Webstore Gninja Minion

Dragon78 wrote:
So I take it this book will be useful for both Iron Gods and Kingmaker?

Yes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Liz Courts wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
So I take it this book will be useful for both Iron Gods and Kingmaker?
Yes.

Given that 'Varisia: Birthplace of Legend' had new Campaign traits for the previous Adventure Paths that started in Varisia, is there a possibility that this will have some new Campaign Traits for Kingmaker?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This comes out the day before my birthday, I will have to take a look at this at my FLGS. Kingmaker did not impress me. But I am looking forward to Iron Gods. I may just pick this up to see what is going on and how it connects with Numeria.


So, does it have anything any good?

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