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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Ok, not great.

2/5

Basically what you exect as common info for a book about cold regions. Tends to focus on a few player options and leave a lot of others in the cold (pun intended). Very light on the crunch side, especially for non-Barbarians or non-Druids, which arguably needed the most help of any sort of focus from this sort of book.

Undecided on the Winter Oracle or the Viking, (ok, but again basic, not really intriguing or innovative), while the Witchguard seems only suitible for NPC's in most games.

Fluff is nice, if short. Even more Roles than before (yuk), and they do seem very similar, kind of defeating the purpose. If kept, please start moving them to the DM books. The book follows the format of Knights of the Inner Sea and Blood of the Night, so if you liked those two, you will likely love this one. Similar to Varisia, in some ways. If you are looking for a Frostburn-like book, you will not like this one.

Value as a Players Guide: moderate to fairly low

Value as a generic book: decent

Value as a DM Primer (to specific subject matter): fairly high

Fluff Value: good

In my opinion, the biggest three weak points are:
1.) Lack of material to support the flavor, and just lack of well, material

2.) Again, tries to focus on too much flavor, leaving each underwhelming. (note, unlike other books that did this, this one's different focal points are very similar and have decent crossover)

3.) Lack of options for non-Barbarians and non-Druids. A few classes get an option or two, but that's kind of it. Why would you want more Barbarian/Druid material (classes that are already optimized for the "north" frm the CRB, and ignor classes that need help fitting in, (Cleric, Paladin, Cavalier, Monk, Wiz/Sor), particularly in suggestiongs or mechanics that help them function there?


Back on Track

5/5

This is the kind of book as a player I purchase. It is chock full of ideas, suggestions, new content, maps and more.

This will be a great aid for my players when I launch my Reign of Winter campaign. Good job Paizo!


Everything I wanted!

5/5

As a GM that has been running a campaign in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, this is EXACTLY the book I was hoping to get from Paizo to help support my campaign.

The alternate class features, equipment, and spells are flavorful and setting appropriate. Nothing seems 'out of place', and the book does an excellent job of capturing the various regions of the north.

What puts this over the edge for me, is the fantastic overview shots of all the major settlements, from Whitethrone to Kalsgard (where my current campaign is set).

Overall, a perfect supplement to help GMs and Players looking to adventure in the cold north!


Excellent!

5/5

Very very good companion book, if not one of the best.
Everything from the alternative races (snowcaster elves!) to the new spells, archetypes, feats etc is both well written, interesting to play and full of flavor.

The compedium of ice/cold spell at the end is much welcome as are the "Player Tips" for the upcoming adventure path.

That's the kind of product that shows Paizo have mastered their brand and know how to please their audience, with great, rich and exciting supplements.


Just like the Varisia one, if not better.

5/5

So, after some meandering and one missed opportunity (Blood of the Night...) Player Companions are back on track. This book gives you pretty much everything you need to know about PCs that hail from Golarion's far north. Both the major nationalities and minor groups are covered, there are gazetteers on each of the three major northern nations (Irrisen, Linnorm Kings, Mammoth Lords), roles, feats, archetypes and the usual stuff. Plus bons stuff for Reign of Winter AP.


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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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