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Pathfinder Player Companion: People of the Stars (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: People of the Stars (PFRPG)

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Reach for the Stars!

Travel to other planets and harness the powers of the stars with Pathfinder Player Companion: People of the Stars! Whether you want to play a Golarion native daring the depths of outer space or an alien being exploring your own mysterious homeworld, you can unlock the secrets of the stars with the new rules, advice, and fantastic setting details in this volume.

People of the Stars presents a player-focused discussion of the Pathfinder campaign setting’s solar system and the diverse creatures, dangers, and rewards just waiting to be discovered. Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • Rules for how to play four of the Pathfinder campaign setting’s most iconic alien races: nanite-infused androids, four-armed kasathas, telepathic lashunta, and seasonally morphic Triaxians—including complementary new archetypes and feats.
  • Details on each of the most important celestial bodies in the Pathfinder campaign setting, complete with tips and rules options for amateur and experienced star-travelers alike.
  • New magic items and adventuring equipment that make your journey across the void of space just as exciting as the destination.
  • New traits to help develop backgrounds for characters of all races who hail from or are touched by the planets and stars beyond Golarion.
  • New astronomical feats, space-inspired spells, suggestions for playing adherents of the Dark Tapestry, and much, much more to turn your space-faring adventurer into an interstellar star.

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 setting.

Written by Andrew Romine, David N. Ross, Ethan Day-Jones, James L. Sutter, Jim Groves, Jonathan Keith.

Each monthly 32-page Pathfinder Player Companion contains several player-focused articles exploring the volume’s theme as well as short articles with innovative new rules for all types of characters, as well as traits to better anchor the player to the campaign.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-674-4

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

Product Availability

Print Edition: Ships from our warehouse in 1 to 7 business days.

PDF: Will be added to your My Downloads Page immediately upon purchase of PDF.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

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Product Reviews (4)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 4 ratings)

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Add a Touch of Starfinder to your Pathfinder

****( )

Like a lot of people, I can't wait for Starfinder. And like a lot of Pathfinder fans, I took part in the recent Humble Bundle promotion to get a lot of great stuff for a very small amount of money. One of the exciting products was People of the Stars, a book in the Player Companion line that is all about . . . other planets! I've done a lot of SF role-playing in other systems, but I've never mixed it in with traditional fantasy. Nor have I read the Pathfinder Campaign Setting book Distant Worlds, which was a very successful predecessor to People of the Stars. Putting all of that aside, I really enjoyed this book and would be intrigued to incorporate some of its material into campaign someday.

After an awesome cover that definitely sends the message "you aren't on Golarion anymore", the inside front- and back- covers sport constellations of the northern and southern hemispheres, respectively. The 32 pages inside are arranged differently than most of the (older) Player's Companions I've read: instead of of just a few sections for the whole book, every two pages has a different entry on the table of contents. I'm still going to group the material together in larger chunks for ease of reviewing. I should note that about every other page of the book contains a sidebar on one of the planets in the solar system around Golarion, and that, for each planet, a new trait is introduced. Last, I'll note that the interior artwork is good, but not Paizo's best.

The first four pages, "For Your Character" and "The Stars Are Right", are essentially introductory material. They wisely emphasize that players need to talk to their GMs before trying to bring alien races or themes into a campaign, as the topic can be quite divisive. I did find that most of the "For Your Character" page amounted to essentially a second table of contents, and could have been safely omitted. The book's index of new options was useful, as was the few paragraphs on magic items, spells, and rules from other books that are pertinent in outer space adventures.

The next ten pages feature new races that hail from planets other than Golarion. Four races (Androids, Kasathas, Lashuntas, and Triaxians) each receive two-page write-ups that include racial ability modifiers and features, plus (varying from race to race) new feats, archetypes, equipment, or traits. Androids are rather self-explanatory, but they have some really cool, original abilities. Kasathas are four-armed nomads and seem far less tech-oriented than one might expect. Lashunta are harder to describe quickly, but they seem to value brainpower and receive bonus magical and mental abilities. Triaxians are an interesting race from a planet that changes seasons over a period of centuries, so very few Triaxians ever see a season different than the one they're born into; their abilities vary depending on whether they are "Summerborn" or "Winterborn" Triaxians. After the four races, there are two pages devoted to "Other People of the Stars": Formians (an insect race), Kalo (an aquatic race), Shobhads (a four-armed desert race), Vercites (humanoids with chameleon abilities), and Ysoki Rat-men (ratfolk). Quick ways to adjust known Pathfinder races to make equivalents for these alien races are provided. Overall, plenty of interesting options are presented and if anyone ever got bored of the races available on Golarion, something here should be of interest. I've never seen any of these races in an actual game, nor are they discussed much in the forums, so I can't offer any insight on how balanced they are mechanically for gameplay.

The middle of the book covers various topics. First, there's a two-page spread of the solar system. I only have the PDF, so I don't know if this was removable or not in the print book. It's serviceable, but frankly a bit bland. Next, there's two pages titled "Interstellar Adventures" which is a bit of a miscellany: different ways to reach other planets, the mechanical effects of different types of gravity, and spell-casting in a vacuum. If I were running an interplanetary campaign, I would want far more detail on these topics, and they should probably be in a campaign setting book with more space to develop them. There's also a handful of new pieces of equipment--they're not particularly exciting ones, but definitely important ones (compressed air, gravity boots, etc.). Last, there are two pages on other stars (beyond Golarion's solar system) and other cosmic features like black holes. Again, some intriguing tidbits are offered, but this material would have to be expanded elsewhere to make it really useful.

The last third of the book is also a grab-bag of material. Outer Gods and Great Old Ones are briefly covered over two pages for would-be worshippers of mysterious, distant powers, and there's two new clerical subdomains (Dark Tapestry and Stars) . "Star Touched Regions" (on Golarion) is the topic for two more pages, with a couple of paragraphs on Numeria, Osirion, Elves, and Outer Dragons each serving as the inspiration for a new trait. A two-page section on astronomy introduces two new pieces of equipment and two new feats for would-be stargazers. The idea of astronomer-adventurers is something I had never thought of before, and I have to say it's an original, intriguing idea. The last quartet of pages introduces five new spells (and reprints two important ones from Distant Worlds) as well as six new magic items. The spells presented here would be quite useful for an interstellar campaign, as would most of the magic items, such as a "Traveler's Translator" (basically, a universal translator from Star Trek) and a "Wayfinder of the Stars".

Six authors and eight interior artists are listed in the credits for this book, and sometimes it shows: two-page piecework assignments make it easy to use freelancers, but they don't always fit together into a cohesive whole. Still, I really like the "feel" of this book--the different colour palette, page borders, and simply subject matter set it apart from any other Player Companion. This book isn't the best it could be, but if I were travelling from Golarion into the stars, I wouldn't leave home without it.


Androids and aliens, oh my!

****( )

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

People of the Stars is a great book for people who want to add a little bit of otherworldliness to their games. It's not a book for everyone—particularly for those who aren't fond of mixing fantasy and science fiction. But for those who do like that sort of thing, it will be invaluable, providing lots of new options to make the game truly alien.


Ring Side Report- RPG Review of People of the Stars

*****

Originally posted on www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product- Pathfinder Player Companion-People of the Stars

System-Pathfinder

Producer-Paizo

Price-$13

TL;DR-It's that book with android stuff! 93%

Basics-I want to believe! People of the Stars is the player companion to Distant Worlds. This book follows the standard Pathfinder formula for player books by adding new races, feats, items, traits, archetypes, and spells for races from beyond Golarion in the solar system.

Mechanics or Crunch- This is crunch-tastic. The book is full of all kinds of great stuff to build otherworldly characters. What's here is pretty useful and well done if you want to have an intergalactic campaign. If you want to keep you game on Golarion, there isn't much for you here. 5/5

Theme of Fluff- There are some amazing stories here. Each world in the solar system gets about half a page and gives a nice, short summary that world. The races all have some nice build up and are varied enough to be good additions to the Pathfinder race line up. However, like I said above, the stuff presented here really won't be that much use to any campaign or player if you just stay on Golarion. 5/5

Execution-Paizo knows how to make a good book. This book is well written, laid out well, and entertaining. This isn't the best book put out by Paizo as there are some parts that drag on, and there are a few sections with "textbook problem". But, this is generally a good book. 4/5

Summary-Going to play in the solar system in Pathfinder? Then, get this book. Going to play the Iron God's campaign and want to play an android? Get this book, because this book has some android feat and traits you might want. Otherwise, this book might not help you much. It's a well done book, but this book will mostly hit a niche market. Even the Iron Gods adventure path doesn't use this book and advices the use of another book called People of the River. This is a good book, but only a few people will really need this book. 93%


A Good Book...from Ground or Sky

****( )

Paizo’s August 2014 Player’s Companion release is People of the Stars, which presents characters with options for playing characters from space, playing characters that will be traveling into space, and introducing the stars in general into your character concept.

Disclaimer: I have not read Distant Worlds and space is not really my jam. That said, I am reading my way through this, the Technology Guide, and The Fires of Creation and I’m really excited about what I’m seeing thus far. So, this comes more from a position of ability to appreciate and less of a position of authority on these topics. Also, I've tried to avoid mentioning anything that would break Paizo's community use policy and to respect their IP. If I've failed in any way, let me know and I will remove the offending content.

In general, People of the Stars does exactly what it promises to do: it gives PCs a basic idea on how to play a character from the stars or to prepare themselves to adventure amongst the stars. We get just about everything you could want, except for spaceships, which James Jacobs has indicated they aren’t planning on looking at until they explore portions of the universe that will require them to do so. Now that we know the adventure paths for the next seventeen months, that’s likely to be awhile away.

But fear not good groundlings, for People of the Stars has also provided a host of options for characters that are influenced by the stars, even the characters aren’t going to be adventuring among them directly. This is especially true of the astrology-based traits. Each planet has a sidebar that contains just the right amount for someone with only a cursory knowledge of the planet to know. It also gives a trait that plays well for someone who is Golarion-based, but wants a connection to one of the other planets. This strikes me as a good way to give players a connection to the stars without ending up with a party composed of residents of n different planets.

People of the Stars also gives some good basic information on space rules without spoiling everything in the Technology Guide. For instance, gravity is discussed, so players have an idea about how combat could work. Other tidbits are given as well: you’ll need to prepare spells with somatic components using the Silent Spell feat if you want to cast them in the void. There’s also some very cool flavor in the gear options provided: the Traveler’s pocketwatch is so evocative of R. Buckminster Fuller’s watch from The Illuminatus! Trilogy I was ready to channel Hagbard Celine.

You can read the rest of this review at A Gaymer's Quest.


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