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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Silver Crusade

Mike Silva wrote:
So is the Reign of Winter Player's Guide on page 30 going to THE player's guide for Reign of Winter? Or is it just a bit something more?

There's going to be a pdf player guide specifically for Reign of Winter when the first volume is close to release. It's just that they're joining the pdf guides and at least one Companion per AP at the hip, kinda, to point players towards themetically appropriate options.

Shattered Star did the same thing with its player's guide and Varisia: Birthplace of Legends.

Liberty's Edge

I really dig the Varki Landspeaker trait, especially as I have been thinking about how characters who follow shamanistic of animistic faith get screwed on abilities that play off that faith. I'm all for more "spirit" based powers that actually acknowledge that spirits are real and help those who venerate them.

Now if Paizo could make a "People of the Jungle" so the Mwangi can get some spirit love that would be awesome. Heart of the Jungle practically made it sound that Mwangi animism was all superstitious.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Such a book is inevitable.


A few moments ago I received access to my PDF copy and I've had a chance to browse through it. I have to say, I'm in love with the visual aspect of the book. The artwork is absolutely fantastic. Massive props to the art/layout team.


Would this product help a new guy flesh out a true "Viking" character for society play?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Heine Stick wrote:
A few moments ago I received access to my PDF copy and I've had a chance to browse through it. I have to say, I'm in love with the visual aspect of the book. The artwork is absolutely fantastic. Massive props to the art/layout team.

I agree what a beautiful book

Paizo Employee Developer

Ragnar Thunderwhacker wrote:
Would this product help a new guy flesh out a true "Viking" character for society play?

There is a viking archetype in the book.


Adam Daigle wrote:
Ragnar Thunderwhacker wrote:
Would this product help a new guy flesh out a true "Viking" character for society play?
There is a viking archetype in the book.

Thanks Adam! Downloaded the PDF and the archetype seems pretty cool. Does anyone know when these archetypes become legal for PFS?


Ragnar Thunderwhacker wrote:


Thanks Adam! Downloaded the PDF and the archetype seems pretty cool. Does anyone know when these archetypes become legal for PFS?

Additional Resources were updated this week. check there to see if the archetype became legal.


Do the viking archetype gain Greater Rage?

Dark Archive

javi ballesteros wrote:

Do the viking archetype gain Greater Rage?

No.


Jadeite wrote:
javi ballesteros wrote:

Do the viking archetype gain Greater Rage?

No.

Is it last word? :_ (

Dark Archive

javi ballesteros wrote:
Jadeite wrote:
javi ballesteros wrote:

Do the viking archetype gain Greater Rage?

No.

Is it last word? :_ (

Unless Paizo decides to errata the book (which they rarely do), yes.


I loved this book.


Natalya wrote:
I tried that. But then I end up shooting my over-lecherous teammates. Then having to carry their body back to the nearest pathfinder lodge. And then the PAPERWORK! When I should be out killing things!

Get a pet/cohort winter wolf. When the horny boys try something, it can eat them for you and you can take care of the actual important business.


Erik Mona wrote:
Such a book is inevitable.

So a People of the Desert book wouldn't be far behind then? (pretty please!)


i asked this on another board but was wondering if anyone knows..is the print copy of thornkeep avalible for ordering now..i want to place a order next week and want the book..but im confused on when it comes out..


Heine Stick wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
Such a book is inevitable.
So a People of the Desert book wouldn't be far behind then? (pretty please!)

Desert could cover a few different cultures, to, so that would be a good one.

That said, I'm still hoping for a Blood of the Elements/Planes; Would love options for Ifrits, Undines, Sylphs, and Oreads like Aasimars and Tieflings got (and I think expecting one book for all of them is more reasonable than breaking them up)


ThatEvilGuy wrote:
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.

The Varki get all of a paragraph (which more or less summarizes what we know already) and a single character trait, both on page 15. Bit bummed, myself.


Daviot wrote:
The Varki get all of a paragraph (which more or less summarizes what we know already)...

What some of us know already. Not everyone is as well versed in the setting's lore.

Liberty's Edge

Also the Varki trait is my favorite in the book. It's very flavorful and makes me want to play a Varki.


Sigh.

The viking archetype says this:

Shielded Defense wrote:
This ability replaces armor training.

Does this mean that each step of armor training is replaced (1, 2, 3, 4) as "This ability replaces channel energy." would mean or does it mean

Shielded Defense wrote:
This ability replaces armor training 1.

Berserker states that

Quote:
This ability replaces weapon training 1, 2, 3, and 4.

which is partially causing confusion because it's using both styles of "fully replaces the ability".


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, hey, the Paizo writers did a special archetype for Minsk, as I just saw on the D20 PRD website. "Witchguard", indeed. ^^


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

I prefer to call it "Warder" ;)


Might just end up find one of those old posts and FAQing. Actually, how does that even work? There are no FAQs for non-core rule line products.

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:

Sigh.

The viking archetype says this:

Shielded Defense wrote:
This ability replaces armor training.

Does this mean that each step of armor training is replaced (1, 2, 3, 4) as "This ability replaces channel energy." would mean or does it mean

Shielded Defense wrote:
This ability replaces armor training 1.

Berserker states that

Quote:
This ability replaces weapon training 1, 2, 3, and 4.
which is partially causing confusion because it's using both styles of "fully replaces the ability".

The wording is confusing, but Shield Defense should replace armor training 1, 2, 3, and 4, as it scales with levels the way armor training does.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I was wondering if the Jadwiga shouldn't also have pale eyes. It's not specified in PotN, aside from the strange characteristics shown by those who are closely related to Baba Yaga. The ethnicity's artwork example does have brown eyes, but that could be a Jadwiga with a lot of mixed blood in her (?) background (or an outright error).


Thanks Rob.

What's the general suggestion behind rules questions for non-Core Line products? Is this style of asking here fine? Or just FAQ it anyways, and the design team will discuss it, and make a new FAQ page for it?

Paizo Employee Developer

Cheapy wrote:

Thanks Rob.

What's the general suggestion behind rules questions for non-Core Line products? Is this style of asking here fine? Or just FAQ it anyways, and the design team will discuss it, and make a new FAQ page for it?

At this point, the design team is only doing FAQs for the hardcover rulebook line. If you have questions about rules in other products (such as Player Companions or Campaign Settings), the best place to ask them is either in the product thread, or better yet, create a new thread in the forum for that line.

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