Pathfinder Companion: Dwarves of Golarion (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Companion: Dwarves of Golarion (PFRPG)
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Born ages ago in lightless caverns, the dwarves surged upward in pursuit of a divine prophecy, driving the feral orcs before them until they reached the surface world in the fabled Quest for Sky. Now established with their own lands and customs, the dwarves work their forges, sing songs of legendary heroes, brew signature beers, and wage war against evil humanoids and hideous monsters.

    Inside this Pathfinder Companion you’ll find:
  • Details on the dwarves of Golarion—where they live, what they eat, how they dress, and their ideas about work and war.
  • New combat feats for dwarven fighting styles.
  • History of the dwarven people.
  • Descriptions of the Five Kings Mountains, the oldest and most stable dwarven homeland.
  • Obscure magic of the dwarven gods.
  • Spells for ancestral communication, warding, and surviving the Darklands.
  • New character traits.
  • Game stats for three dwarf NPCs, suitable for hirelings or cohorts.

Written by David Eitelbach, Russ Taylor, JD Wiker, Keri Wiker, and Hank Woon

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 a persona section detailing helpful NPCs and traits to better anchor the player to the campaign.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-204-3

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

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An Unessential Look at Typical Fantasy Dwarves

3/5

Dwarves of Golarion is one of the earlier entries in the Pathfinder Player's Companion line, and the first book dedicated to a specific race. The artwork, though serviceable, is clearly inferior to the current Paizo standard. The inside front cover of the book has a nice, full-page summary of Dwarf racial traits and a list of dwarven gods, while the inside back cover has a map of the Five Kings Mountain region that is rather-well detailed, containing over two-dozen settlements, fortresses, and mines. The 32 pages of the interior are divided into the following sections:

1. "Dwarves of Golarion" (10 pages): An introduction and overview to Dwarven physical, mental, and cultural norms. Everything from Dwarven diet to Dwarven fashion is covered here. Frankly, there's little that strays from the stereotypical fantasy notion of a dwarf, and players experienced with previous versions of D&D will find most of their preconceptions confirmed. There are a few pages on Golarion-specific history of the Dwarves which is reasonably interesting--events like the Quest for the Sky and places like the Sky Citadels offer some insight into Dwarven culture.

2. "Dwarven Character Traits" (1 1/2 pages): This section introduces eight race traits, six religion traits, six regional traits, and four magic traits. The traits are flavourful and tie in well to Golarion's conception of dwarves. Mechanically, they are certainly not game-breaking and for the most part rather bland in effect.

3. "The Five Kings Mountains" (8 pages): This is a gazetteer of the Five Kings Mountains, the center of Dwarven culture in known Golarion. Several major cities like Larrad, Highhelm, Kovlar, Rolgrimmdur, Taggoret, and Tar-Kazmukh receive at least a couple of paragraphs each. Other topics include natural hazards and foreign relations. Four pages of this section are actually about other Dwarven enclaves beyond the Five Kings Mountains, and cover the Darklands, Kalsgard, the Kodar Mountains, the Mindspin Mountains, the Shattered Range, and Osirion. This section would be extremely useful for GMs planning to run Dwarf-centered adventures in any of these locations. My guess is that most players probably don't need so much information and will just skim it.

4. "Combat" (2 pages): There's a brief, non-mechanical but flavourful description of legendary Dwarven combat tactics to start this section. Next, five Dwarven combat feats are covered and a new Dwarven weapon (the Dorn-Dergar) is introduced. The feats are really fun! If I had a Dwarf PC, I could definitely imagine taking some of them like Bounding Hammer or Sliding Axe Throw, as they have a nice Dwarf-specific flavour and would be effective in combat.

5. "Faith" (2 pages): This section is almost entirely new spells. Nine new spells are introduced, and all of them are divine spells for clerics, rangers, and paladins. An odd mechanic is set forth that limits these spells to worshippers of particular Dwarven deities unless a special ritual prayer is said.

6. "Magic" (2 pages): Three spells relating to veneration of one's ancestors are introduced for Dwarven clerics and bards only. There's one new spell for Dwarven rangers & druids and two new rune-focussed spells for sorcerors and wizards.

7. "Persona" (4 pages): Three NPCs are given full stat blocks and descriptions. I still don't really see the value of including NPCs like this in a Player's Companion, but it has potential value for GMs who buy the book and need to provide a contact, a cohort, etc. There's also a one-page overview of Dwarven deities, each of whom only has a paragraph or so. I'm not sure why this wasn't placed in the "Faith" section, and the description of each is quite cursory.

8. "Social" (2 pages): Three topics--Dwarven beards, ales, and craftsmanship--are discussed. Definitely not essential, but could be good for players wanting to add a little more flavour to their PCs. A couple of the ales even provide alchemical bonuses for an hour or so, an idea which I can safely say I've never seen before.

Overall, there's not a lot in this book that is especially memorable or innovative. A player with this book and a player without this book would probably portray Dwarves in Golarion equally well, especially now that the feats and spells would be available on various websites. If anything, I'd recommend this book more to GMs who need a relatively quick overview of Dwarven history in Golarion and the Five Kings Mountains for a campaign set in the area.


Adequate, but... I expected a bit more.

3/5

The only other races-of-Golarion book I have is the Gnomes of Golarion... which I really love, so it may have raised a rather high bar for me.

In both cases, I bought the splat books because I was picking up a character of that race, and I wanted to get a better feel for what it means to BE that race, especially in Golarion.

Gnomes of Golarion was a great book that gave me ideas on family structure, how long it takes to 'grow up', and, with the introduction of the Bleaching concept, really made the gnomes of Golarion feel like their own unique thing.

....and then there's Dwarves of Golarion.

I don't think it's an awful book on its own, but compared to Gnomes, I was disappointed. It felt much lighter on content. I don't really know at what age dwarves are considered mature, what the rate of childbirth is among the species, if a dwarf would have lots of siblings or very few, what gender roles are like other than a references to the wimmen staying home and the men goin' out to fight (which, if that's how dwarven culture is, fine, but... make it clearer to me than just off-hand references), what family structures are like, how the settlements are ruled and organized other than 'monarchy'...

Judging by the book, there are exactly three life paths you will take if you are a dwarf: you will Craft Things, you will Fight Things, or you will Heal Things. Presumably the dwarven culture has room for people who aren't actively being craftsmen (craftsdwarves?), fighters, or clerics, but it's not really outlined at all what those might be.

Many of the specific discussions of the dwarven culture seemed like they were there just to elaborate on mechanical things-- like the numerous references to dwarves not being slowed down by their gear.

Perhaps most damningly to me, there just didn't feel like there was anything new or original in here that goes beyond Tolkien's dwarves. There were a few mentions of the dwarf-tribes of Garund, sure, but beyond that this was nothing but the dwarf trope of fantasy for the last 50 years: forge, beer, beards. Golarion dwarves seem interchangeable with the dwarves of a half-dozen fantasy settings, and after the unique feel of the Golarion gnomes, I did find that a little disappointing.

Nothing in here was awful. But nothing was terribly surprising or interesting, either.


Solid Book but rather Bare Bones.

2/5

This book does have some of interesting background concerning dwarves in Golarion. It has a special focus on the region known as the Five Kings Mountains. The overarching history of the dwarf race is given along with some neat cultural tidbits. The new spells items and traits are fun as well.

For me though the book lacked a lot of the depth that I really love in source books. The addition of a dwarf name table a page of common dwarven words with some language structure would have been appreciated. This book just failed to touch on so many potentially interesting points. What type of calendar do dwarves use to track time? (A timeline would have been another good addition) How about listing some dwarven holidays? What types of animals do dwarves like to keep as pets? Are there any popular dwarf sports? It would be nice to see sketches of dwarven clothes and jewelry. In the end other than some general history specific to dwarves in Golarion you won't be learning anything new about the Stout Folk.


Dwarves to every mountain range!

5/5

This book managed two seemingly conflicting things - to keep the traditional feel of the Dwarven race (one of the most conservative races that even in Eberron stayed rather unchanged if compared to others) and at the same time to add some new features that spice up the solid dwarven gravy. It's nice to see that they are people like any other with brighter and darker aspects on them.


impressive from so many angles

5/5

After reading the book I have to say I am very impressed. It details the background of the dwarves and their collectivist culture. Describes their attitudes and how they were raised thus giving rise to their strengths but also glaring weaknesses.

The history section was filled with so much bloodshed and tragedy with one standing point; even the hardy dwarves have been routed and experienced low points in their racial history.

The new feats were balanced and the traits were unique, especially the regional ones. All in all a very realistic book almost reminiscent of historical texts on ancient civilisations. A very well thought-out product.


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Contributor

Gossamer72 wrote:
when is this gonna ship?

According to the online schedule, it is in stock now, and thus is probably in the queue for subscribers.


I got my PDF today in fact..!

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Mine shipped today. Yay!

Sczarni

I just got it right now. My first PDF from my first Paizo subscription yay.


I will be honest, this is the first time thus far that I am left completely underwhelmed and unimpressed by a Pathfinder manual, purely talking about layout and illustration. I have just browsed it quickly because the new adventure path issue completely got my attention but the artwork I have seen looks almost amateurish. Hopefully it will raise the level with content, I will definitely go through it with proper attention. On a side note, even "Infernal Syndrome" has its share of (please forgive me the term) mediocre illustrations from what I have seen. I wouldn't mind if I was not used to spectacular works like those in Legacy of Fire (or even the previous issues of Council btw).


Any date for the PDF availability ?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Seldriss wrote:
Any date for the PDF availability ?

January 13.


25 days until I can find out what the Dwarven traits are? Crap in a hat!

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Beek Gwenders of Croodle wrote:
I will be honest, this is the first time thus far that I am left completely underwhelmed and unimpressed by a Pathfinder manual, purely talking about layout and illustration. I have just browsed it quickly because the new adventure path issue completely got my attention but the artwork I have seen looks almost amateurish. Hopefully it will raise the level with content, I will definitely go through it with proper attention. On a side note, even "Infernal Syndrome" has its share of (please forgive me the term) mediocre illustrations from what I have seen. I wouldn't mind if I was not used to spectacular works like those in Legacy of Fire (or even the previous issues of Council btw).

Didn't worry much about the art myself, but the text is frakking awesome. I've never thought much about playing a dwarf, but this has me interested.

Light years ahead of elves of Golarion in my opinion.


Matthew Morris wrote:
Beek Gwenders of Croodle wrote:
I will be honest, this is the first time thus far that I am left completely underwhelmed and unimpressed by a Pathfinder manual, purely talking about layout and illustration. I have just browsed it quickly because the new adventure path issue completely got my attention but the artwork I have seen looks almost amateurish. Hopefully it will raise the level with content, I will definitely go through it with proper attention. On a side note, even "Infernal Syndrome" has its share of (please forgive me the term) mediocre illustrations from what I have seen. I wouldn't mind if I was not used to spectacular works like those in Legacy of Fire (or even the previous issues of Council btw).

Didn't worry much about the art myself, but the text is frakking awesome. I've never thought much about playing a dwarf, but this has me interested.

Light years ahead of elves of Golarion in my opinion.

Speaking of Elves of Golarion, are there any plans to re-do that book to match up with the recent release of the PF RPG Manual?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Chronocypher wrote:
Speaking of Elves of Golarion, are there any plans to re-do that book to match up with the recent release of the PF RPG Manual?

Not currently. Maybe if we sell out and have to reprint, but that day is a LONG way away.


James Jacobs wrote:
Chronocypher wrote:
Speaking of Elves of Golarion, are there any plans to re-do that book to match up with the recent release of the PF RPG Manual?
Not currently. Maybe if we sell out and have to reprint, but that day is a LONG way away.

Then perhaps an errata to the book with the necessary subsequent changes. For instance, the removal of the Creation Domain in the PFRPG Core Rule book kinda puts a damper on people who play Elvish Clerics who wish to Worship Findeladlara. This drops her worshippers from 5 domain choices to 4.

Contributor

Consider that an incentive to not worship a minor weirdo elfgoddess. ;)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You can use the 3.5 Domain for now, no problem. I hope that APG will have new/redone domains that address the issue (Scalykind domain, I am looking at you).

And disregard SKR, he's a rambling grumpy bald elf-hater goblin with uncouth mouth and lack of respect for any kind of beauty. ;)

Contributor

Reh!

Dark Archive

Gorbacz wrote:
And disregard SKR, he's a rambling grumpy bald elf-hater goblin with uncouth mouth and lack of respect for any kind of beauty. ;)

And he has an imaginary girlfriend... har har! ;P

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Asgetrion wrote:
And he has an imaginary girlfriend... har har! ;P

She's Canadian!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Imaginary Canadian erinyes girlfriend...


Gorbacz wrote:
Imaginary Canadian erinyes girlfriend...

What's wrong with an erinyes girlfriend? Though I prefer rakshasas myself; she can read your mind and become literally anything you desire... ahem. We were talking about the dwarves of Golarion, weren't we? Does anyone have the book yet, and if so, how does it stack up?

Scarab Sages

Just got my "Dwarves of Golarion" book in the mail at work today! Truly, it is a Festivus miracle!!!

Dark Archive

Eric Hinkle wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Imaginary Canadian erinyes girlfriend...
What's wrong with an erinyes girlfriend? Though I prefer rakshasas myself; she can read your mind and become literally anything you desire... ahem. We were talking about the dwarves of Golarion, weren't we? Does anyone have the book yet, and if so, how does it stack up?

Absolutely NOTHING! I should know, since I have several Erinyes... er, assistants. I can even get *you* one... you only need to sign this contr...parchment with uhm, your blood (and don't bother with the fine print)! ;)


Got my hard copy in the mail Monday, loved everything but was very very disappointed not to see a Dwarven Prestige Class either the Dwarven Defender reworked, or somethig new. Any plans for that as a web supplement or in the future?

Contributor

You'll be seeing something that looks much like the DD in an upcoming book.

Dark Archive

I'm glad to see this come out and was very glad to get it as part of my subscription! I'd unfortunately also have to admit this is the first Paizo product in the Pathfinder line (AP/Module/Companion/Chronicles) whose cover art just didn't "Wow" me, grab me by the throat or anything.

Not that it's bad or anything; it just didn't look up to the usual high standards I've come to expect after previous books.

Fortunately, the inside pretty much makes up for it!


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
You'll be seeing something that looks much like the DD in an upcoming book.

Thanks Sean looking forward to it. It wouldnt have anything to do with the Hasqal (sorry for the spelling, no book handy) would it?

Shadow Lodge

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Mine arrived with water damage at the spine on the bottom. Some of the pages stuck together a little and I had to cut them apart with a knife, carefully, to minimize the damage. It wasn't done in transit because it came in the same box as three other products, which were pristine. Somehow, somewhere before it was packaged, this one got wet. Anyone else have this problem?

FYI, I've been a subscriber of various products for some time and this is the first issue I've had at all with anything, so apart from this I still say kudos to Paizo.

Dark Archive

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
You'll be seeing something that looks much like the DD in an upcoming book.

APG? :)

BTW, will you guys be doing a conversion of the Archmage PrC? It's one of my favorites, and I was sad that it wasn't part of the core rules...


Asgetrion wrote:
BTW, will you guys be doing a conversion of the Archmage PrC? It's one of my favorites, and I was sad that it wasn't part of the core rules...

I think the Archmage is called the Wizard now.

Dark Archive

Taliesin Hoyle wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
BTW, will you guys be doing a conversion of the Archmage PrC? It's one of my favorites, and I was sad that it wasn't part of the core rules...
I think the Archmage is called the Wizard now.

How about the High Arcana abilities? A bunch of those seem to be still missing from my copy of the rules... ;)

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

kwixson wrote:

Mine arrived with water damage at the spine on the bottom. Some of the pages stuck together a little and I had to cut them apart with a knife, carefully, to minimize the damage. It wasn't done in transit because it came in the same box as three other products, which were pristine. Somehow, somewhere before it was packaged, this one got wet. Anyone else have this problem?

FYI, I've been a subscriber of various products for some time and this is the first issue I've had at all with anything, so apart from this I still say kudos to Paizo.

I've added a replacement for Dwarves of Golarion which will ship with your next subscription shipment.

thanks,
sara marie

Shadow Lodge

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Sara Marie wrote:


I've added a replacement for Dwarves of Golarion which will ship with your next subscription shipment.

thanks,
sara marie

Paizo rocks. You rock. Thank you! Take note, folks. Paizo does right by their subscribers.


Any in Uk or EU got the print book for this yet?

I like me some dwarves and it just seemingly never wants to come out overhere?

Cheers
EB

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yup, received my copy a few days ago, and I live in Denmark.


Is this a worthwhile purchase for my FR game, or is the book too setting specific?

Sczarni

There is almost no setting specific flavor on the mechanics part of the book (feats, spells). Some Traits make reference to locations and gods, but those are easily altered (specially in FR where there is lots of space and gods).
Alsoa lot of the fluff of the book is about dwarvenkind in general (i specially liked the kind of breakdown of every racial trait).
Hope this helps

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Bitter Thorn wrote:
Is this a worthwhile purchase for my FR game, or is the book too setting specific?

I run a completely non-Golarian campaign, and this book is great. Add this to that awesome Uvandir article in Kobold Quarterly recently, and you've got a great set of stuff for modern dwarves and a dwarven 'elder race'.


Asgetrion wrote:

How about the High Arcana abilities?

A bunch of those seem to be still missing from my copy of the rules... ;)

I seem to remember a certain chap by the name of Buhlman commenting on multiple occasions that such abilities will in fact be seen in future Paizo products, in the particular form starting with an F and ending with a T. I'd expect 'em in the APG.

Dark Archive

Random question;

In the text, the ruins of a city named Saggorak are mentioned a fair bit, and, from the text under the cities of Larrad (p 13) and Kolvar (p 14), appears to be in that general area, but the city/ruin doesn't appear on the map on the inside back cover.

I could probably just toss it near Mount Mist, but is there another location intended for it?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Question -- Will there be a PF version of Elves of Golarion? Or is the OGL one it?

Thanks.

Contributor

The-Last-Rogue wrote:
Question -- Will there be a PF version of Elves of Golarion? Or is the OGL one it?

We're busy enough with our current books that we really don't have time to go back and update our 3.5 books to Pathfinder, especially as Pathfinder is designed to be backwards-compatible with 3.5. Also, we're not even done going through the core races yet (half-orcs and halflings are upcoming books), so we probably wouldn't revisit elves in a new book until we had covered all the core races.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Asgetrion wrote:
Taliesin Hoyle wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
BTW, will you guys be doing a conversion of the Archmage PrC? It's one of my favorites, and I was sad that it wasn't part of the core rules...
I think the Archmage is called the Wizard now.
How about the High Arcana abilities? A bunch of those seem to be still missing from my copy of the rules... ;)

I miss that PrC too! head over to Pathfinder #41's page and voice support for it being in the Nethys article, please.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Did Kykar get cut, and any chance of it being in the blog? All I see is the pop count, making it the 4th largest city, plus a spot on the map with my pdf search.

Contributor

Looks like the designer cut it (and Davarn) because his turnover was running long (he probably meant to trim it down, not cut it entirely). Here's what he sent me in response to your question:

Davarn and Kykar
Two of the Five Kings' newer cities, Davarn and Kykar grew from simple mining settlements into major travel and trade hubs over the last two thousand years. The older of the two, Kykar, is by far the more prominent, due to its high-traffic position on the underground highway between the southwestern mountains and Highhelm. This choice location makes Kykar a bustling commercial city, where all manner of goods (from both the Five Kings Mountains and the surface world) can be bought and sold-and the merchant guilds of Kykar are earning money hand over fist from their somewhat oppressive trade tariffs.
At slightly less than a quarter of Kykar's population, Davarn is nonetheless an important hub, as the nearest permanent settlement to two major mines—Bodgrin's Deep and the Iron Run (both iron mines)—and their miners travel to Davarn to spend their appreciable wages in the numerous gambling houses and breweries. As a result, of all of the Five Kings' cities, Davarn is the most plagued by crime. The most lucrative businesses are all owned and operated by a loose organization of dwarf criminals known locally as the "Three Princes": Garik Sledgeheart, Muldrim the Pick, and the bloodthirsty half-dragon Krek, who pays down-on-their-luck miners to duel each other to the death in pit fights—many of which are fixed.

Liberty's Edge

Any news on when this will be available in print again?

Webstore Gninja Minion

We don't have plans to reprint this at this time.


How about... now? Are there any plans to reprint this ever, or do we have a followup book?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
MiniMajik wrote:
How about... now? Are there any plans to reprint this ever, or do we have a followup book?

The followup book in question is Inner Sea Races (and to a lesser extent, Inner Sea Gods). None of the game material from this book was reprinted, however; nor are any reprints likely to occur.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. ^_^

Dark Archive

When do we get a "Campaign Setting: Five Kings Mountains" to go together with the "King of all Dwarves" AP where everyone plays a dwarf?

Ah, i must have dozed off.

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