The Mazeflesh Man

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The worst player companion I own


I'm normally not in a habit of rating products. I'm happy with most of the stuff I get from Paizo (except the math on statblocks sometimes), but I was very dissatisfied with this product.

Pathfinder Player Companion: People of the North should have been titled Pathfinder Player Companion: Mostly We Just Stuffed This Full of Roles.

For those who don't know what Roles are, they're basically like pseudo-code for PC construction, offering ideas for building a character concept from existing races, classes, feats, traits, spells, whatever-else from existing products. They present a concept and abilities that concept might have, using already published material. But they're not new material, they're lists of combinations of old material, things better left for website blogs or forum posters rather than published in print product.

People of the North is FULL of roles. It's a 32 page book. Of those 32 pages, six pages are primarily populated by roles, and two more account for as much role text combined as one of those six. Now they do have other things on them, because each role, on average (at an estimate), takes up a little less than 3/5 of a column of text on a page, but they're filler. They're just character build suggestions.

All that having been said, I still gave it 2 stars because it does contain some new content that I actually liked, particularly the actual write-ups on the northern peoples and their cultures. I would have liked more NEW content between its covers. There is some new stuff, including a fighter archetype called the viking that gains barbarian rage at a higher level and can trade some fighter feats for rage powers. What content is new I like. I just feel there should be more new and less re-hash. The artwork is very nice, and is representative of the flavor of the regions presented, I think.

I purchased 4 sequentially published player companions very recently: People of the North, Animal Archive, Dungeoneer's Handbook, and Champions of Purity. People of the North being the oldest of the titles I purchased. I'm happy to say that the following three books lacked completely in Roles, so hopefully they're a dying trend.