Pathfinder Player Companion: Humans of Golarion (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Humans of Golarion (PFRPG)
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Masters of the Realm

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.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-315-6

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

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Acceptable Primer for Human PCs

3/5

Humans are the default race for many fantasy worlds, and the official Pathfinder campaign setting of Golarion is no exception. Since all the other Core races had received Player Companions, it was only natural that humans would as well. The challenge for a book like the 32-page Humans of Golarion is that we all know what humans are "like" since . . . we are humans! Instead of being about humans as a species, this is a "race book" that's far more geographically oriented than the others. Although humans are humans, their societies and cultures vary across Golarion, and that's what this book focuses on.

"Don't mess with frost giants" is the quite valid lesson to draw from the great cover, which is reprinted sans text as the inside back cover. The inside front cover reprints the human racial traits from the Core Rulebook, but, more usefully, has a list of "Human Half-Breed" PC races like Aasimar, Gillmen, Tieflings, etc., and where their details can be found.

The first few pages of the book cover the things that are really interesting to learn about other races (like "Physical Features" and "Senses") but that are rather unnecessary to discuss when it comes to humans. The book nicely draws the theme that humans, despite being physically weaker than many other races, are an extremely fecund, energetic, and adaptable race, and that that, more than anything else, is why they're so dominant in Golarion. The next few pages are a quite in-depth history of human migration throughout Golarion, including a map that shows how the major human ethnic groups circulated throughout the Inner Sea. It's heavy background and not exactly gripping, but I do appreciate the devotion to world building. Of more interest (at least to me) was the page and a half overview of humanity's "lost kingdoms" like Azlant, Jistka, Thassilon, Shory, etc. There's only a paragraph or so discussion of each, but it definitely leaves the reader intrigued and curious to learn more.

The next thirteen pages are dedicated, on a one page per entry basis, to covering the major human ethnic groups on Golarion. Each entry has basic information like Languages, Favored Regions and Religions, Male and Female Names, and Appearance, along with several paragraphs on common behaviors and perceptions. We learn that Chelaxians, for example, "believe in strength, honor, nobility, and success", while Garundians tend to "approach life with gusto, and worship with song and dance." The following ethnicities are covered: Azlanti, Chelaxians, Garundi, Keleshites, Kellids, Mwangi, Shoanti, Taldans, Tian, Ulfen, Varisians, Vudrani, Half-elves, and Half-orcs. I found the entries a bit bland, like reading from an encyclopedia, but they are a concise way to get a "sense" of a group. From a meta perspective, the human ethnicities of Golarion are obviously inspired by real-world counterparts. The Tian are Asian-inspired, the Vudrani are India-themed, etc. However, Paizo is smart enough to avoid lazy or offensive stereotypes, and I think they've made a real effort to be inclusive of the world's diversity. I found a few of the entries curious: the Azlanti, for example, aren't around anymore, so why devote a page to them? And half-orcs and half-elves are at least partially covered in Orcs of Golarion and Elves of Golarion, respectively. A few extra pages could have been used for something else.

A list of "Human Weapons" takes up the next two pages of the book. The idea is to discuss which of the groups covered above are most closely associated with various weapons. Blowguns, for example, are said to be often used by Shoanti and Mwangi, while temple swords are used mainly in Vudra. I think a "Favored Weapons" line in the entries above would have covered the issue adequately without spending two pages on it.

The next curious decision is to spend two pages discussing Aroden, the dead god of humanity. Aroden is probably the most important background figure in the world-lore of Golarion, but is of little importance for "present-day" humans in Golarion. It's the sort of interesting information that would be great in a campaign setting book for a GM who wants to incorporate some history and depth into an adventure, but for a Player Companion it's just not really necessary.

"Human Racial Spells" are the next two pages. Five new spells are introduced and linked (but not restricted to) particular human ethnic groups. I thought these spells were good both flavour-wise and mechanically. I particularly liked the Summon Totem Creature spell for Shoanti spellcasters as it ties in directly to their quah (clan).

Last up are a full two pages of race traits restricted to humans of the associated ethnicities. There's a lot of them here (24!), but for the most part I found them minor, unnecessary, and forgettable. I did appreciate the little index of human-focussed traits introduced in previous Paizo products, though of course such an index quickly becomes outdated.

Overall, I think Humans of Golarion serves fine as a cheap and concise primer to give to players to answer the "so where's your human PC from?" question. In other words, it's not ground-breaking but it is useful. My biggest complaint is that too much space was spent on material of dubious value to players.


Everything you wanted to know about humans...but were afraid to ask

4/5

GOOD:
The information about the history of humanity in here is far better than the one in "Inner Sea Races".
It is possible to create a cleric of Aroden with the info in the article about him!
The traits section is nice. The spells are ok.
The migration map is very good.

BAD:
No feats. No special "human only" abilities.

UGLY: Could have been better, but is the weakest of the "XXX of Golarion" books.

Weak but still worth it for the crunch.


Vastly Superior to i.e. Inner Sea Races

4/5

Evaluating is based on comparison. Now that Inner Sea Race Guide is out, in retrospect this is a much better product than people gave it credit for.

If you want crunch, it's true this is not the sourcebook to find it in. There is some, but not as much.

But as far as role-playing - and not being completely slanted like Inner Sea Race Guide - this is far superior to more recent products.

Buy this one, not those. Unless you're only into doing what's fashionable in the current year. In which case, you won't need to buy anything - you're just going to RP your own ideology anyhow.


Great fluff, but almost no crunch

3/5

This book has a great deal of background info on Humans in the Pathfinder world of Golarion. The history and sociological info is well written and expensive. The only issue I have is with the map- they have a nice map of migrations, but the history section repeatedly mentions various regions and kingdoms- but altho the map contains said areas, they are no labeled. A rather puzzling omission.

The rather small amount of crunch is provided with a small but choice list of humano-centric spells. There’s also quite a bit of background info on various human regional weapons, but as they seemingly forgot the chart, you’d have to check back into various other sourcebooks to make it work.

There’s also a nice section about Aroden.


Another poor product

1/5

This is simple a slightly revisited, book on humans form other sources... Clearly a poor effect, I've all but given up to this line of products..


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Dark Archive

Pfft humans get their own book? :)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Don't forget the Shoanti!


Wow! A book all about h-U-mans? Hmmm...

.-)

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Go humans! Rise up and conquer the world!

Oh, right. They already did.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Eric Tillemans wrote:
Don't forget the Shoanti!

I'm tempted to have everyone here get tattoos that say that.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

I'd have preferred it if the different ethnicities had gotten a book of their own each, but barring that, this will definately do.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Eric Tillemans wrote:
Don't forget the Shoanti!
I'm tempted to have everyone here get tattoos that say that.

I hope that doesn't mean everyone forgot Shoanti in the (new) campaign setting book again.

Liberty's Edge

Half-breed?

Oh, no you di'nt!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Eric Tillemans wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Eric Tillemans wrote:
Don't forget the Shoanti!
I'm tempted to have everyone here get tattoos that say that.
I hope that doesn't mean everyone forgot Shoanti in the (new) campaign setting book again.

Nope. The Shoanti are in the revised book. And even if they weren't there's still a LOT of time to fix things like that for the revised book (which is now not releasing until early next year).


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Nope. The Shoanti are in the revised book. And even if they weren't there's still a LOT of time to fix things like that for the revised book (which is now not releasing until early next year).

Excellent! Forget anything you hear I said about you.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Kajehase wrote:
I'd have preferred it if the different ethnicities had gotten a book of their own each, but barring that, this will definately do.

You realize that would have been 12 different books, yeah? And that at our current rate of 2 or so race books a year, it'd take us 6 years to get them all out?

Lumping them all into one book's the only sane option.

Contributor

James Jacobs wrote:
Lumping them all into one book's the only sane option.

Why start now? ;)


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Kajehase wrote:
I'd have preferred it if the different ethnicities had gotten a book of their own each, but barring that, this will definately do.

You realize that would have been 12 different books, yeah? And that at our current rate of 2 or so race books a year, it'd take us 6 years to get them all out?

Lumping them all into one book's the only sane option.

I'm a Wheel of Time fan. Six years waiting for a series to end is nothing. ;)

But yeah, I realise this way is ...smoother. Doesn't I can't dream, though.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kajehase wrote:

I'm a Wheel of Time fan. Six years waiting for a series to end is nothing. ;)

But yeah, I realise this way is ...smoother. Doesn't I can't dream, though.

At least you are not being "Mean" about it. :)


now when you say half-breeds what do you mean? tieflings?


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Tim Statler wrote:
Kajehase wrote:

I'm a Wheel of Time fan. Six years waiting for a series to end is nothing. ;)

But yeah, I realise this way is ...smoother. Doesn't I can't dream, though.

At least you are not being "Mean" about it. :)

*facepalm*

I hate typing on the ipod. I think I've made more typos in two weeks than I did in the two previois years. Grrrrr

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
MerrikCale wrote:
now when you say half-breeds what do you mean? tieflings?

Half-elves and Half-orcs can get some options here. After all, they have some options in their non-human half's Companions as well (Elves of Golarion and Orcs of Golarion).

Liberty's Edge

As far as the Azlanti I thought that they were truy extint or have I missed something? Don't get me wrong, I would love to see them allowed as an "official" subrace. I am just confused as to them being extinct or not.

Silver Crusade

Kevida wrote:
As far as the Azlanti I thought that they were truy extint or have I missed something? Don't get me wrong, I would love to see them allowed as an "official" subrace. I am just confused as to them being extinct or not.

Or are they? hehe it would be fun to have the option to run them in a game whether they have moved underground, to a remote continent, or another plane. I would love some options with them.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Kevida wrote:
As far as the Azlanti I thought that they were truy extint or have I missed something? Don't get me wrong, I would love to see them allowed as an "official" subrace. I am just confused as to them being extinct or not.

Pure Azlanti, yes. People of Azlanti blood, but with something else mixed in, not so much.

Liberty's Edge

Enlight_Bystand wrote:
Kevida wrote:
As far as the Azlanti I thought that they were truy extint or have I missed something? Don't get me wrong, I would love to see them allowed as an "official" subrace. I am just confused as to them being extinct or not.
Pure Azlanti, yes. People of Azlanti blood, but with something else mixed in, not so much.

Well, the description has me believe that they (pure blood Azlanti) are being "fleshed out". I mean it may be an interpreation thing but that's how I am reading it.

Liberty's Edge

Enlight_Bystand wrote:
Kevida wrote:
As far as the Azlanti I thought that they were truy extint or have I missed something? Don't get me wrong, I would love to see them allowed as an "official" subrace. I am just confused as to them being extinct or not.
Pure Azlanti, yes. People of Azlanti blood, but with something else mixed in, not so much.

To add to your comment. Most of us are aware of the mixed blood races (Taldnas, Chelaxians, etc) and that they exist. However, if you look at the description you'll see that Azlanti are listed seperately from one of the mixed races (Taldans). I am not trying to soung mean and if I come off as such then I apologize but I am merely trying to show you how I came to the concusion that I did.


Ya know, there is a difference between being direct descendants and being of mixed blood. We already know about the mixed blood ethnic groups, but maybe there is some old colony or something still out there where they are not mixed but are direct descendants and are pure blood. Maybe they are on another continent or on some previously unexplored island. After all, this book is called Humans of Golarion, not Humans of the Inner Sea. Plus, it comes out after the revised Inner Sea Campaign Guide, so we may get our answers in February and not have to wait til April. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Regarding the Azlanti, I suspect they will be like the ones mentioned in the ethnicities sections of the Campaign Setting and the Gazetteer - humans from various parts of the Inner Sea region who claim to be of more or less pure Azlanti descent. But it'd be cool if I'm wrong and we get to see some proper Azlanti.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Kevida wrote:
Enlight_Bystand wrote:
Kevida wrote:
As far as the Azlanti I thought that they were truy extint or have I missed something? Don't get me wrong, I would love to see them allowed as an "official" subrace. I am just confused as to them being extinct or not.
Pure Azlanti, yes. People of Azlanti blood, but with something else mixed in, not so much.
To add to your comment. Most of us are aware of the mixed blood races (Taldnas, Chelaxians, etc) and that they exist. However, if you look at the description you'll see that Azlanti are listed seperately from one of the mixed races (Taldans). I am not trying to soung mean and if I come off as such then I apologize but I am merely trying to show you how I came to the concusion that I did.

In the present hardcover Campaign Setting there is a two page spread on Azlanti, which talks about the rare people who are strongly blooded enough to be distinct from the generic slush of the Taldans/Cheliaxians, or at least different enough to claim it. This is what I meant by 'People of Azlanti blood, but with something else mixed in.'

No need to apologize; I can see where the confusion could emerge. I probably should have expanded on my comment more.

Liberty's Edge

Kajehase wrote:
Regarding the Azlanti, I suspect they will be like the ones mentioned in the ethnicities sections of the Campaign Setting and the Gazetteer - humans from various parts of the Inner Sea region who claim to be of more or less pure Azlanti descent. But it'd be cool if I'm wrong and we get to see some proper Azlanti.

It is ageed that, yes the various enticities are mentioned in the Campaign steeting and Gazetteer are "humans from various parts of the Inner Sea region who claim to be of more or less pure Azlanti descent."

However the description says, "Now, for the first time, the Pathfinder Player Companion delves into the history, culture, and ambitions of Golarion’s humans, from the near-extinct Azlanti and the decadent Taldans to the proud, primitive Kellids and Mwangi." This is what led me to think what I thought. Now you could very well be right but I have a hope, like you do, that we are going to get a write up on "proper Azlanti" :-)

Liberty's Edge

Enlight_Bystand wrote:
Kevida wrote:
Enlight_Bystand wrote:
Kevida wrote:
As far as the Azlanti I thought that they were truy extint or have I missed something? Don't get me wrong, I would love to see them allowed as an "official" subrace. I am just confused as to them being extinct or not.
Pure Azlanti, yes. People of Azlanti blood, but with something else mixed in, not so much.
To add to your comment. Most of us are aware of the mixed blood races (Taldnas, Chelaxians, etc) and that they exist. However, if you look at the description you'll see that Azlanti are listed seperately from one of the mixed races (Taldans). I am not trying to soung mean and if I come off as such then I apologize but I am merely trying to show you how I came to the concusion that I did.

In the present hardcover Campaign Setting there is a two page spread on Azlanti, which talks about the rare people who are strongly blooded enough to be distinct from the generic slush of the Taldans/Cheliaxians, or at least different enough to claim it. This is what I meant by 'People of Azlanti blood, but with something else mixed in.'

No need to apologize; I can see where the confusion could emerge. I probably should have expanded on my comment more.

I just didn't want to come off as mean, arrogant or anything like that. I wouldn't be disappointed if "Pure" Azlanti aren't given a write-up as a possible PC class because I will get this book regardless. On the other hand, wouldn't be great if Paizo included them? Well, I think that it would be! :-)


Maybe it might turn out that a small enclave of Azlanti are surviving in Tian Xia? They could have had some kind of diplomatic relationship and so an ambassador and staff were left behind. I'd quite like the idea of a little village of Azlanti stubbornly clinging on to their traditions in the middle of Tian Xia. :)

Liberty's Edge

Berik wrote:
Maybe it might turn out that a small enclave of Azlanti are surviving in Tian Xia? They could have had some kind of diplomatic relationship and so an ambassador and staff were left behind. I'd quite like the idea of a little village of Azlanti stubbornly clinging on to their traditions in the middle of Tian Xia. :)

Better yet on a part of Galorian that is "Terra Incognita". I am thinking like a small island nation to the west where a small but viable colony can still exist. However this is all speculation and it could be that it wlll be like it is in the Campaign Setting/Gazetteer. Like I said before, either way I will get this because I am such a Pathfinder 'ho!

Liberty's Edge

Half-breed huh? Do you think they might go beyond the obvious and tell us about Half-Dwarves of Half-Halflings(that was just ridiculous to write).

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mike Silva wrote:
Half-Halflings

Quarterlings?

Liberty's Edge

Tim Statler wrote:
Mike Silva wrote:
Half-Halflings
Quarterlings?

That one also sounds pretty ridiculous also. On second though maybe not. They'll probably just go with Tieflings or Aasmir and those ilk.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

When they get executed, are they Drawn and Quarterlings?

Liberty's Edge

Tim Statler wrote:
When they get executed, are they Drawn and Quarterlings?

Ohhhhh, that was bad. I love it!

Liberty's Edge

Seriously, there was a mention of Half-Dwarvws somewhere?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

It is highly unlikely that pure Azlanti are extinct. Given migration, travel and planeswalking, it would be extremely unlikely for some calamity or natural event or series of events to wipe them out.

Only a targetted genocide type event would likely do so and there is nothing in pathfinder canon that suggests that.

Because there is no specific mention of pure Azlanti in the current timeline doesn't mean they aren't any.

As to why they might be secretative and yet to be revealed, think about it - you are the last of a handful of pure Azlanti. You don't exactly go about advertising your existance...


Tim Statler wrote:
When they get executed, are they Drawn and Quarterlings?

No, they're drawn and sixteenthed...

1/4x1/4 = 1/16


Tim Statler wrote:
Mike Silva wrote:
Half-Halflings
Quarterlings?

Quicklings?


Please balance the splatty crunch with more cultural information. There's so little we actually know about the people of Golarion and so many assumptions people are working off of.

Liberty's Edge

Doug OBrien wrote:

Please balance the splatty crunch with more cultural information. There's so little we actually know about the people of Golarion and so many assumptions people are working off of.

Agreed, though a book of this size probably will leave most people wanting more.

Lantern Lodge

Any chance we will see Half-Giants ??? please...


Hue-mons? Never heard of the race, have they appeared in previous publications? ;p

Truth be told, I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I am eager to see if there might be any new half-breeds(ideally of the most "exotic" race possible), on the other hand it takes a lot for me to find humans interesting in any fantasy setting(any human character I've played has either had a peculiar bloodline, became an undead horror, grafted various limbs and items to themselves, or were raised in the Cage...berk)

Dark Archive

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Lumping them all into one book's the only sane option.
Why start now? ;)

+1! I was going to say...!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

WhiteTiger wrote:


Any chance we will see Half-Giants ??? please...

Not in a book about humans.


Azlanti? Sure, they're in Golarion. Check out the Bestiary, you'll find them under Morlocks. =)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I'll be interested to see how the canon Azlanti mix with my versions:

Spoiler:
My Azlanti are a mix of ‘Canon’ Azlanti and Secrets of Pact Magic Aztlan, with some of my own take in. Some of the ‘Mattzlanti’ knew the end was coming down on them, either by observing the skies (“Hey, there’s a large rock up there.”) by observing the magical fields, or by prophesy. These Mattzlanti took different steps of escaping their ‘fate’ Some fled to Castrovel, where they sought to extend their lives until they could return (and became Elan as a result) others were told by their gods that ‘all of Azlanti were doomed to perish’ so they engaged in mystical modifications to try to be ‘not-Azlanti’ and thus became my changling race, or may have become gillmen and morlocks and the like.

And no, the Aboleths are not masters of Pact Magic in my Golarion, they know of it, but it was originally a human/Azlanti magic.

Liberty's Edge

Mike Silva wrote:
Half-breed huh? Do you think they might go beyond the obvious and tell us about Half-Dwarves of Half-Halflings(that was just ridiculous to write).

it looks like I misunderstood you in thinking that someone mentioned that Half-Dwarves will be in their.


So I went through the 47 posts and didn't see it asked.

but the mumbo jumbo says half breeds?

do the aasimar and tiefling count as half breeds or will they get their own book?

Native Planars of Golarion does not have a good ring to it...

Contributor

Aasimar and tieflings aren't even humanoids. They won't be in the book. (Most of it is spent talking about the 100% human races, i.e. Garundi, Ulfen, etc.).


they are tooo, planar humanoids they are still humanoids.....

well I guess I won't be getting this book right away then.......

good thing too, as it was a toss up between this one and another paizo book...

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