Pathfinder Player Companion: People of the North (PFRPG)

4.10/5 (based on 9 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: People of the North (PFRPG)
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Far beyond the reach of the soft southlander lords lie the frozen forests and icy tundra of the Inner Sea region’s northernmost nations. Here dragon-headed longships ply the arctic seas, nomadic tribes hunt and ride mighty mammoths, and the descendents of the Witch Queen Baba Yaga rule a nation where spring has been forgotten. Whether they’re hardened natives or arctic adventurers, everyone in the northern lands walks a fine line between finding wealth and glory and filling a shallow grave in the bloody snow.

People of the North presents a player-focused, in-depth discussion of the northern nations of the Inner Sea region. Each Pathfinder Player Companion includes new options and tools for every Pathfinder RPG player. Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • Thorough explorations of the different races and cultures that call the frozen north home, from notorious Ulfen raiders to secretive Snowcaster elves to barbaric Kellids.
  • Overviews of the three major nations of the North—the viking Lands of the Linnorm Kings, the savage Realms of the Mammoth Lords, and the evil queenship of Irrisen.
  • New traits and roles to customize characters of every northern ethnicity and nationality.
  • New feats and archetypes for northern warriors, such as the viking and the witchbreaker, plus new icy spells and the winter oracle mystery.
  • Cold-weather adventuring gear and magic items, advice on northern fighting styles, campaign traits, cultural sayings, and much more!

By Matthew Goodall, Shaun Hocking, Rob McCreary, Philip Minchin, and William Thrasher

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

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: 978-1-60125-475-7

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

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4.10/5 (based on 9 ratings)

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Great player primer for Irrisen campaigns

4/5

As a note, I don't care about roles, archetypes, extra spells, etc. There's plenty of that available in the Core, Advanced, and Ultimate books without my chasing down supplements.

What I care about is understanding the story and setting of Golarion for my PFS campaigns. People of the North does that sufficiently, with a little extra combat material for those people who prefer new weapons instead of story lines. There's a decent quantity of details about the Ulfen, Jadwiga, Irrisen, and the general Frozen North setting - the great thing is that I can just let me players browse the book while we are playing to get a kenning for the North.

I'd actually go the opposite direction than some reviewers, and say more details (daily life, customs, epithets, religion, all that good Guidebook jazz), not more magical harpoons.


The worst player companion I own

2/5

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.


Huge disappointment.


Paizo Publishing has unfortunately given us another "Blood of the Night" with this manual. A good way to describe this book is a small amount of "fluff" and not even CLOSE TO ENOUGH "Crunch". The amount of info contained in this manual makes is barely worth the price you'll have to pay for purchasing it (if it's worth it at all). I really REALLY hate to say it but Wizards of the Coast did a MUCH BETTER job with Frostburn and this manual doesn't even BEGIN to measure up to that. The amount of "icy spells" a spellcaster can use can be counted on one hand as can each of the other categories the crunch falls into (aka weapons, armor, gear, etc etc). The fluff makes this BARELY WORTH WHILE yet we don't even get enough of that. All in all, if your obsessed with Paizo's products, go ahead and purchase this. Otherwise, just borrow a friend's copy. I'm so let down and disappointed by the utter and complete LACK OF EFFORT on part of the developers of this particular manual that I'm not even gonna give it a star rating (partially because I think it doesn't even measure up to 1-star).


Ice Cream Soldiers

4/5

A very well put together book for the Pathfinder line. The book contains a lot of information for how to play in the ice box regions of Golarion as well as a nice blurb preparing folks for the Reign of Winter AP. A little too humanocentric for my tastes but I get these things as a toolbox rather than something to run RAW.

The book is more or less divided into two sections the first being race options and the second being character options. The part about races up north is not worth mentioning as far as I'm concerned as it retread more or less the same ground that Pathfinder and D&D in general has gone over again and again. Frankly I'm tired of the standard races and as GM I try to avoid such things so that was a wash for me.

The equipment section and the overview of different areas of the region complete with regional traits was much more useful to me at least and I found it quite fun and somewhat informative. I do like the new Oracle mystery as well as it gives me something to focus some NPCs and an option to present to PCs for this sort of campaign. The two archetypes are alright although I can see ways of tailoring that ranger archetype for special named NPCs that I might want to create as well expand a few things on it when I use the setting as fiction inspiration.

The few pages we got to prepare us for Reign of Winter was very much appreciated by me at least as I have every intention of adapting and running that AP. This alone make the book a reason to have my players pick it up as a partial primer for the AP and while I know I will not run RoW RAW it will prepare them for what I am planning. Overall this is quite a nice book to pick up and I do recommend it to anyone interested in this sort of campaign.


One of the best

5/5

Read my full review on my blog.

When Varisia, Birthplace of Legends came out, it set a new bar for quality in the Player Companion line. While the Player Companions that have come out since have been good, they haven’t quite reached that bar again—until now. People of the North once again shows just how good and useful the Companions can be. This book provides everything a player needs to design a character for a campaign set in the far north of the continent of Avistan, particularly in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, Irrisen, or the Realm of the Mammoth Lords. The book also provides some details for characters from the Crown of the World, including the Erutaki and the Snowcaster Elves.


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I have been waiting for info on Irissen since I first read about. This is great, but I hope to see more on Irissen specifically and would love to see an AP focused there.


Kajehase wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Ooh, I'll be looking forward to this. Yay for more Viking fun in the Frozen North.

Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! Lovely Spam! Lovely Spam!

Spam! Spam! Spam!
Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam!
Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
Spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam.
Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!
Spam spam spam spam!

SHUT UP!!!!......Bloody Vikings

But seriously as I play a Kellid Rogue as my back up PFS character I want this.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Dark_Mistress wrote:
One thing I am really hoping is in this book. Well things I should say. I would like to see culture aspects to help bring them to life. Common forms of dress, any forms of address for nobles etc that is common to them(like in Russia you had a Czar instead of a king), common types of foods(since most cultures develop their own types of foods) just anything to help make that ethnic group/s come to life and stand apart. So when PC's go there it feels different and not just cause the people have funny names and or look a little different.

THIS. For the love of the Powers That Be, this.

Sczarni

While I know the cover is a mock-up, can the final cover PLEASE include Ulf Gormundr?! He is cool enough to be an iconic in my opinion!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Flexibility is one of the new names of the game with this line, so don't expect "People of the South/Darklands/Planes/Moon/Basement/Etc."

Dang! I was all set to pre-order People of the Basement. :(

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cthulhudrew wrote:
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Flexibility is one of the new names of the game with this line, so don't expect "People of the South/Darklands/Planes/Moon/Basement/Etc."
Dang! I was all set to pre-order People of the Basement. :(

Don't forget People of the Etc. - options for them never seem to get spelled out.


Laschoni wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
One thing I am really hoping is in this book. Well things I should say. I would like to see culture aspects to help bring them to life. Common forms of dress, any forms of address for nobles etc that is common to them(like in Russia you had a Czar instead of a king), common types of foods(since most cultures develop their own types of foods) just anything to help make that ethnic group/s come to life and stand apart. So when PC's go there it feels different and not just cause the people have funny names and or look a little different.
+1 to this.

+2 to this.


Icaste Fyrbawl wrote:
While I know the cover is a mock-up, can the final cover PLEASE include Ulf Gormundr?! He is cool enough to be an iconic in my opinion!

^_____ This


weren't the ulfen nd the kellids described in humans of golarion???

and theu lfens as well in the land of linnorm kings???

this book only interests me for the snowcasters


Eric Hinkle wrote:
Laschoni wrote:
Dark_Mistress wrote:
One thing I am really hoping is in this book. Well things I should say. I would like to see culture aspects to help bring them to life. Common forms of dress, any forms of address for nobles etc that is common to them(like in Russia you had a Czar instead of a king), common types of foods(since most cultures develop their own types of foods) just anything to help make that ethnic group/s come to life and stand apart. So when PC's go there it feels different and not just cause the people have funny names and or look a little different.
+1 to this.
+2 to this.

+3 as well. This is exactly the sort of thing that is not only helpful but adds wonders to immersion.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Let's face it, Humans of Golarion didn't add nothing of note that wasn't in Inner Sea World Guide, and Land of Linnorm Kings was a DM-side book.

So, do want.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DM Wellard wrote:
Kajehase wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
Ooh, I'll be looking forward to this. Yay for more Viking fun in the Frozen North.

Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! Lovely Spam! Lovely Spam!

Spam! Spam! Spam!
Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam!
Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!
Spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam.
Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!
Spam spam spam spam!

SHUT UP!!!!......Bloody Vikings

But seriously as I play a Kellid Rogue as my back up PFS character I want this.

"I DON'T LIKE SPAM!"


I wonder if this book will have any archetypes or feats to tie in the Ulfen human affinity for Lycanthropy in their culture...come on playable Lycanthrope Archetypes or Prestige Classes *crosses fingers*


1 person marked this as a favorite.
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Azure_Zero wrote:

So who is working on this book?

I loved Frostburn and I am hoping this is as good or better.

Did someone make that "Top Men" joke already? Dang.

Just for a bit of perspective, Frostburn was a how many hundred page book with tons of prestige classes, monsters, and other crazy environmental stuff? This is a 32-page guy with a lot of cultures and ground to cover. There's going to be tons of cool stuff in here, but just remember a larger container can hold more than a smaller container. In other words, Zoobooks not Encyclopedia Britannica, surgical not comprehensive.

Perhaps, but Frostburn was an *excellent* 3.5e splattbook, possibly one of THE best accessories WoTC published. IMHO, if anyone is intending to release a "cold"-themed accessory, it really should be taking a leaf out of Frostburn (no pun intended) and besides, I'm sure players *want* more cold-themed class options, PrCs, spells, equipment, monsters, locations etc, so why curtail all that possibility on the grounds that "In other words, Zoobooks not Encyclopedia Britannica, surgical not comprehensive". Weight, cost and production time are not an issue. If there is sufficient comprehensive material, the fans will wait for the production time and happily accept the cost and weight of the product...Am I missing something ?


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The_Hex wrote:
Weight, cost and production time are not an issue. If there is sufficient comprehensive material, the fans will wait for the production time and happily accept the cost and weight of the product...Am I missing something ?

Just the fact that the Player Companion line, of which this book is a part, are limited to "32-page softcover sourcebooks." :)

Sovereign Court

Joana wrote:
The_Hex wrote:
Weight, cost and production time are not an issue. If there is sufficient comprehensive material, the fans will wait for the production time and happily accept the cost and weight of the product...Am I missing something ?
Just the fact that the Player Companion line, of which this book is a part, are limited to "32-page softcover sourcebooks." :)

It strikes me that The Hex should be petitioning for a Frostburn style of book in the RPG line, not the Player Companions. This is a Golarion sourcebook for players, not an RPG expansion.

Dark Archive

GeraintElberion wrote:
Joana wrote:
The_Hex wrote:
Weight, cost and production time are not an issue. If there is sufficient comprehensive material, the fans will wait for the production time and happily accept the cost and weight of the product...Am I missing something ?
Just the fact that the Player Companion line, of which this book is a part, are limited to "32-page softcover sourcebooks." :)
It strikes me that The Hex should be petitioning for a Frostburn style of book in the RPG line, not the Player Companions. This is a Golarion sourcebook for players, not an RPG expansion.

Or a environments and hazards core rule book. I think that would be a good choice as a future GM style book.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

+1 to a hardcover environments and hazards book, especially post-mythic rules :)

Grand Lodge

Curious about snowcaster elves myself.

Liberty's Edge

What are the chances we will see the Berserker's Cry feat updated to Pathfinder in this product? I am getting tired of lugging my old Inner Sea Guide to game days just to legally use it... especially after I got SKR to sign it at GenCon this year!


Arnim Thayer wrote:
What are the chances we will see the Berserker's Cry feat updated to Pathfinder in this product? I am getting tired of lugging my old Inner Sea Guide to game days just to legally use it... especially after I got SKR to sign it at GenCon this year!

Make a copy of the page.

Liberty's Edge

I was under the impression a photocopy wasn't legal; only a printed copy of the page from a legal pdf... which I now have. Problem solved!

(Still would like to see it added to this product though. It is only allowed as a "grandfathered" feat, since that book has been replaced with a more recent print version. This feat in particular was not updated in the new version though)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Will, there be any new information on the Varki nomads of the Land of the Linnorm Kings in this book? I see the Erutaki are going to be included, which is good news, and I'm hoping for the Varki as well.

Scarab Sages

Laschoni wrote:
This is a Stark departure from most of what I've seen on the Companion line.

You knoiw, we have a saying in the lands of the Linnorm Kings. "Irrisen is coming."


Will there be any new monsters in this book?

I am definetly interested in the Snowcaster Elves and the Mammoth Lords.

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

Dragon78 wrote:

Will there be any new monsters in this book?

I am definetly interested in the Snowcaster Elves and the Mammoth Lords.

This book is in our Player Companion line, thus it features no new monsters. New monsters fit into our Campaign Setting line and the Adventure Paths.

Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Generic Villain wrote:
As written, this volume isn't covering all of the north - otherwise it would have to also detail nations like Brevoy, Numeria, Mednev, the World Wound, etc. This one seems to be lumping together the countries wherein being "in the north" is a core part of their identity - Numeria or Mendev could just as easily be found in Garund, for example, but you couldn't stick Irrisen or the Land of the Linnorm Kings down there without drastically altering their character.
True story. All that, any "People of the Northwest" lacks a certain je ne sais quoi.

Well, we considered doing it, but then it got all mainstream and just wasn't cool anymore.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Jessica Price wrote:
Well, we considered doing it, but then it got all mainstream and just wasn't cool anymore.

I've never met her, but I like the new Project Manager!

Awesome avatar too.

EDIT: I didn't mean that to sound as weird and stalky as it came across. :P

More like Scotty in the newest Star Trek movie when he exclaims, "I like this ship! It's exciting!"

Contributor

Jim Groves wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Well, we considered doing it, but then it got all mainstream and just wasn't cool anymore.

I've never met her, but I like the new Project Manager!

Awesome avatar too.

Thanks! Blood of Angels had just come out when I started at Paizo, so Chris kindly snagged the art for me as an avatar. :-) (I loved the pic when I saw it: she's not looking at the "camera," not posing for the viewer -- she's just doing her thing, and she looks happy about it. Plus I like how she's rocking her green hair.)


They had a lot of good art for Blood of Angels and Blood of Fiends.

Web Product Manager

Final product image and description are up!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

Chris Lambertz wrote:
Final product image and description are up!

That's a crazy awesome cover!


I think Amiri is going to need a bigger sword.


I wonder is it an ice elemental, ice golem, or something else.vwell nice artwork and some interesting things to look forward too.

Silver Crusade

Cheapy wrote:
I think Amiri is going to need a bigger sword.

I'm half expecting that guy to fall apart in cleanly cut halves just like his staff after that apparent swing from Amiri.

It's like a rule or something. After a successful slash, the first thing to go is gear and/or hair, then the actual person.

Granted, getting hit by Amiri's sword is probably less like getting cut with a razor and more like getting hit by a cannonball

Silver Crusade

The cover is suitably epic. Kudos!


Cheapy wrote:
I think Amiri is going to need a bigger sword.

Agreed


I hope there's stuff on the Varki. I get to play Ulf as a PC since my guy died and I want to, yanno, have some knowledge of the culture.


Wasn't this coming out in november?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The whole schedule got pushed back. Not sure why. It's the reason that October is so barren in terms of releases.


Yeah I know about october but last time I checked I was still getting 3 items in november now it is 2. So I think this change was much more recent.


Anybody read through this and want to share some juicy tidbits? It's been way too long since I've had a new material pathfinder fix...


4 new spells

1st level(Druid, Magus, Sor/Wiz, Summoner, Witch)
Snowball
Save: fort partial SR: none
Ranged touch, 1d6 cold/level(5d6max), +staggered for 1 round(fort negates).

2nd level(Druid, Magus, Sor/Wiz, Witch)
Flury of Snowballs
Save: reflex 1/2 SR: none
30ft cone, 4d6 cold damage

2nd level(Druid, Witch)
Winters Grasp
Save: none SR: none
20ft radius, icy ground, cost 2 squires movement, +5 acrobatic DCs, 1d6 cold damage+ -2 save vs cold spells for 1 round.

7th level(Cleric, Druid, Sor/Wiz 6th level Summoner)
Frost Mammoth
Save: none SR: none
Summon a mammoth made out of ice, cold subtype, can ridden, combat trained, deals 1d6 cold with natural attacks at level 17.

Archtypes
Viking(fighter)rage powers and intimation abilities.

Witchguard(ranger)body guards to the white witches.

Feats

Cold Celerity
+2 inituitive and +1 attack rolls in under 0 degree temp plus gain same bonuses for 1 round when you take cold damage.

Tribal Scars
+6HP plus additional benefits depending on wich mammoth lord group you bellong to.

Oracle Mystery(Winter)
spells
1)Endure Elements 2)Frost Fall 3)Sleet Storm 4)Ice Storm 5)Icy Prison 6)Cone of Cold 7)Ice Body 8)Polar Ray 9)Mass Icy Prison


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:


Cold Celerity
+2 inituitive and +1 attack rolls in under 0 degree temp plus gain same bonuses for 1 round when you take cold damage.

Is that celcius or farenheit?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

...Witchguard ranger? A ranger who protects a witch?

I am tired of shouting battle-cries at this mage! Boo will finish his eyeballs once and for all so that he does not rise again! Evil! Meet my sword. SWORD! MEET! EVIL!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mechalibur wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:


Cold Celerity
+2 inituitive and +1 attack rolls in under 0 degree temp plus gain same bonuses for 1 round when you take cold damage.
Is that celcius or farenheit?

Kelvin, of course.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:


Cold Celerity
+2 inituitive and +1 attack rolls in under 0 degree temp plus gain same bonuses for 1 round when you take cold damage.
Is that celcius or farenheit?
Kelvin, of course.

That would be a sucky feat...

Contributor

Mechalibur wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:


Cold Celerity
+2 inituitive and +1 attack rolls in under 0 degree temp plus gain same bonuses for 1 round when you take cold damage.
Is that celcius or farenheit?

Kelvin!

;)

Contributor

Gorbacz wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:


Cold Celerity
+2 inituitive and +1 attack rolls in under 0 degree temp plus gain same bonuses for 1 round when you take cold damage.
Is that celcius or farenheit?
Kelvin, of course.

Jinx!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Feet/inches I can barely live with, but any feat that forces me to break out the Internet in order to find out just what kind of counter-intuitive, arbitrary measurement do the Yankees and Britons use should die. In fire. At least 2000 degrees. CELSIUS.

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