Pathfinder Player Companion: People of the Stars (PFRPG)

****½ (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: People of the Stars (PFRPG)

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Reach for the Stars!

Travel to other planets and harness the powers of the stars with Pathfinder Player Companion: People of the Stars! Whether you want to play a Golarion native daring the depths of outer space or an alien being exploring your own mysterious homeworld, you can unlock the secrets of the stars with the new rules, advice, and fantastic setting details in this volume.

People of the Stars presents a player-focused discussion of the Pathfinder campaign setting’s solar system and the diverse creatures, dangers, and rewards just waiting to be discovered. Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • Rules for how to play four of the Pathfinder campaign setting’s most iconic alien races: nanite-infused androids, four-armed kasathas, telepathic lashunta, and seasonally morphic Triaxians—including complementary new archetypes and feats.
  • Details on each of the most important celestial bodies in the Pathfinder campaign setting, complete with tips and rules options for amateur and experienced star-travelers alike.
  • New magic items and adventuring equipment that make your journey across the void of space just as exciting as the destination.
  • New traits to help develop backgrounds for characters of all races who hail from or are touched by the planets and stars beyond Golarion.
  • New astronomical feats, space-inspired spells, suggestions for playing adherents of the Dark Tapestry, and much, much more to turn your space-faring adventurer into an interstellar star.

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

Written by Andrew Romine, David N. Ross, Ethan Day-Jones, James L. Sutter, Jim Groves, Jonathan Keith.

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: 978-1-60125-674-4

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

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Average product rating:

****½ (based on 4 ratings)

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Add a Touch of Starfinder to your Pathfinder

****( )

Like a lot of people, I can't wait for Starfinder. And like a lot of Pathfinder fans, I took part in the recent Humble Bundle promotion to get a lot of great stuff for a very small amount of money. One of the exciting products was People of the Stars, a book in the Player Companion line that is all about . . . other planets! I've done a lot of SF role-playing in other systems, but I've never mixed it in with traditional fantasy. Nor have I read the Pathfinder Campaign Setting book Distant Worlds, which was a very successful predecessor to People of the Stars. Putting all of that aside, I really enjoyed this book and would be intrigued to incorporate some of its material into campaign someday.

After an awesome cover that definitely sends the message "you aren't on Golarion anymore", the inside front- and back- covers sport constellations of the northern and southern hemispheres, respectively. The 32 pages inside are arranged differently than most of the (older) Player's Companions I've read: instead of of just a few sections for the whole book, every two pages has a different entry on the table of contents. I'm still going to group the material together in larger chunks for ease of reviewing. I should note that about every other page of the book contains a sidebar on one of the planets in the solar system around Golarion, and that, for each planet, a new trait is introduced. Last, I'll note that the interior artwork is good, but not Paizo's best.

The first four pages, "For Your Character" and "The Stars Are Right", are essentially introductory material. They wisely emphasize that players need to talk to their GMs before trying to bring alien races or themes into a campaign, as the topic can be quite divisive. I did find that most of the "For Your Character" page amounted to essentially a second table of contents, and could have been safely omitted. The book's index of new options was useful, as was the few paragraphs on magic items, spells, and rules from other books that are pertinent in outer space adventures.

The next ten pages feature new races that hail from planets other than Golarion. Four races (Androids, Kasathas, Lashuntas, and Triaxians) each receive two-page write-ups that include racial ability modifiers and features, plus (varying from race to race) new feats, archetypes, equipment, or traits. Androids are rather self-explanatory, but they have some really cool, original abilities. Kasathas are four-armed nomads and seem far less tech-oriented than one might expect. Lashunta are harder to describe quickly, but they seem to value brainpower and receive bonus magical and mental abilities. Triaxians are an interesting race from a planet that changes seasons over a period of centuries, so very few Triaxians ever see a season different than the one they're born into; their abilities vary depending on whether they are "Summerborn" or "Winterborn" Triaxians. After the four races, there are two pages devoted to "Other People of the Stars": Formians (an insect race), Kalo (an aquatic race), Shobhads (a four-armed desert race), Vercites (humanoids with chameleon abilities), and Ysoki Rat-men (ratfolk). Quick ways to adjust known Pathfinder races to make equivalents for these alien races are provided. Overall, plenty of interesting options are presented and if anyone ever got bored of the races available on Golarion, something here should be of interest. I've never seen any of these races in an actual game, nor are they discussed much in the forums, so I can't offer any insight on how balanced they are mechanically for gameplay.

The middle of the book covers various topics. First, there's a two-page spread of the solar system. I only have the PDF, so I don't know if this was removable or not in the print book. It's serviceable, but frankly a bit bland. Next, there's two pages titled "Interstellar Adventures" which is a bit of a miscellany: different ways to reach other planets, the mechanical effects of different types of gravity, and spell-casting in a vacuum. If I were running an interplanetary campaign, I would want far more detail on these topics, and they should probably be in a campaign setting book with more space to develop them. There's also a handful of new pieces of equipment--they're not particularly exciting ones, but definitely important ones (compressed air, gravity boots, etc.). Last, there are two pages on other stars (beyond Golarion's solar system) and other cosmic features like black holes. Again, some intriguing tidbits are offered, but this material would have to be expanded elsewhere to make it really useful.

The last third of the book is also a grab-bag of material. Outer Gods and Great Old Ones are briefly covered over two pages for would-be worshippers of mysterious, distant powers, and there's two new clerical subdomains (Dark Tapestry and Stars) . "Star Touched Regions" (on Golarion) is the topic for two more pages, with a couple of paragraphs on Numeria, Osirion, Elves, and Outer Dragons each serving as the inspiration for a new trait. A two-page section on astronomy introduces two new pieces of equipment and two new feats for would-be stargazers. The idea of astronomer-adventurers is something I had never thought of before, and I have to say it's an original, intriguing idea. The last quartet of pages introduces five new spells (and reprints two important ones from Distant Worlds) as well as six new magic items. The spells presented here would be quite useful for an interstellar campaign, as would most of the magic items, such as a "Traveler's Translator" (basically, a universal translator from Star Trek) and a "Wayfinder of the Stars".

Six authors and eight interior artists are listed in the credits for this book, and sometimes it shows: two-page piecework assignments make it easy to use freelancers, but they don't always fit together into a cohesive whole. Still, I really like the "feel" of this book--the different colour palette, page borders, and simply subject matter set it apart from any other Player Companion. This book isn't the best it could be, but if I were travelling from Golarion into the stars, I wouldn't leave home without it.


Androids and aliens, oh my!

****( )

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

People of the Stars is a great book for people who want to add a little bit of otherworldliness to their games. It's not a book for everyone—particularly for those who aren't fond of mixing fantasy and science fiction. But for those who do like that sort of thing, it will be invaluable, providing lots of new options to make the game truly alien.


Ring Side Report- RPG Review of People of the Stars

*****

Originally posted on www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product- Pathfinder Player Companion-People of the Stars

System-Pathfinder

Producer-Paizo

Price-$13

TL;DR-It's that book with android stuff! 93%

Basics-I want to believe! People of the Stars is the player companion to Distant Worlds. This book follows the standard Pathfinder formula for player books by adding new races, feats, items, traits, archetypes, and spells for races from beyond Golarion in the solar system.

Mechanics or Crunch- This is crunch-tastic. The book is full of all kinds of great stuff to build otherworldly characters. What's here is pretty useful and well done if you want to have an intergalactic campaign. If you want to keep you game on Golarion, there isn't much for you here. 5/5

Theme of Fluff- There are some amazing stories here. Each world in the solar system gets about half a page and gives a nice, short summary that world. The races all have some nice build up and are varied enough to be good additions to the Pathfinder race line up. However, like I said above, the stuff presented here really won't be that much use to any campaign or player if you just stay on Golarion. 5/5

Execution-Paizo knows how to make a good book. This book is well written, laid out well, and entertaining. This isn't the best book put out by Paizo as there are some parts that drag on, and there are a few sections with "textbook problem". But, this is generally a good book. 4/5

Summary-Going to play in the solar system in Pathfinder? Then, get this book. Going to play the Iron God's campaign and want to play an android? Get this book, because this book has some android feat and traits you might want. Otherwise, this book might not help you much. It's a well done book, but this book will mostly hit a niche market. Even the Iron Gods adventure path doesn't use this book and advices the use of another book called People of the River. This is a good book, but only a few people will really need this book. 93%


A Good Book...from Ground or Sky

****( )

Paizo’s August 2014 Player’s Companion release is People of the Stars, which presents characters with options for playing characters from space, playing characters that will be traveling into space, and introducing the stars in general into your character concept.

Disclaimer: I have not read Distant Worlds and space is not really my jam. That said, I am reading my way through this, the Technology Guide, and The Fires of Creation and I’m really excited about what I’m seeing thus far. So, this comes more from a position of ability to appreciate and less of a position of authority on these topics. Also, I've tried to avoid mentioning anything that would break Paizo's community use policy and to respect their IP. If I've failed in any way, let me know and I will remove the offending content.

In general, People of the Stars does exactly what it promises to do: it gives PCs a basic idea on how to play a character from the stars or to prepare themselves to adventure amongst the stars. We get just about everything you could want, except for spaceships, which James Jacobs has indicated they aren’t planning on looking at until they explore portions of the universe that will require them to do so. Now that we know the adventure paths for the next seventeen months, that’s likely to be awhile away.

But fear not good groundlings, for People of the Stars has also provided a host of options for characters that are influenced by the stars, even the characters aren’t going to be adventuring among them directly. This is especially true of the astrology-based traits. Each planet has a sidebar that contains just the right amount for someone with only a cursory knowledge of the planet to know. It also gives a trait that plays well for someone who is Golarion-based, but wants a connection to one of the other planets. This strikes me as a good way to give players a connection to the stars without ending up with a party composed of residents of n different planets.

People of the Stars also gives some good basic information on space rules without spoiling everything in the Technology Guide. For instance, gravity is discussed, so players have an idea about how combat could work. Other tidbits are given as well: you’ll need to prepare spells with somatic components using the Silent Spell feat if you want to cast them in the void. There’s also some very cool flavor in the gear options provided: the Traveler’s pocketwatch is so evocative of R. Buckminster Fuller’s watch from The Illuminatus! Trilogy I was ready to channel Hagbard Celine.

You can read the rest of this review at A Gaymer's Quest.


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Webstore Gninja Minion

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Announced! Cover image is a mockup and subject to change.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I didn't think I could be more pumped about this AP! I am!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Double ehrmagherd!!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Hooray! {builds campfire, starts making s'mores, and waits for Mikaze}


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Ooh, this looks really good!

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

WANT! (Joins the campfire session, brings the weenies)

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

WUB WUB WUB


2 people marked this as a favorite.

[assesses newcomers warily, but keeps distance from stargazing-affecting fire... Gets lonely and sheepishly approaches fire with teaset and mugs]


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
WUB WUB WUB

Just watched that Borderlands 2 trailer you linked on the Iron Gods Paizoblog announcement thread... Fully sick.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

(Joins the campfire for s'mores)

Interesting.........Beam me up Paizo!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
WUB WUB WUB
Just watched that Borderlands 2 trailer you linked on the Iron Gods Paizoblog announcement thread... Fully sick.

In case somebody missed it, WUB WUB WUB.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oooh!

Hopefully Vercites will be in this one as a playable race!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Well, here it´s april 1. but you over there have to go some hours.
So either this is a bit early or just AWESOME!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

nb4 Mikaze has a conniption :D


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
[assesses newcomers warily, but keeps distance from stargazing-affecting fire... Gets lonely and sheepishly approaches fire with teaset and mugs]

OSW and Gorbacz at Tanagra.

{gestures to fire} Amby, her arms wide.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yay!!

Grand Lodge

This and the Tech Guide come out less than a week after I started working on converting Spelljammer again. I feel loved! Thanks, Paizo!

SM

Silver Crusade

13 people marked this as a favorite.

GOD YES GOD YES GOD YES GOD YES GOD

Material for Vercites, Lashunta, Triaxans, Sarcesians, Ilee, Akitonians, and Brethedans?!

YES

Silver Crusade

Cthulhudrew wrote:

Oooh!

Hopefully Vercites will be in this one as a playable race!

FJPWEJFOJWEOGJODFJIWEFJIODJASIOGGJWEIJFIOFJYESYESYES

Liberty's Edge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Muppet arm flail

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA


Wow! Just wow! Paizo, you really know the way to this mans heart! Congradulations on making me want every one of this months products.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I really hope this is not an early April fool's joke. :*(

I had given up hope on an alien player guide for Iron Gods when People of the River was announced. <Crosses fingers for some human-alien hybrids>


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Starglyte wrote:
<Crosses fingers for some human-alien hybrids>

Captain to Aethership, we're going to be planetside for a while. Yes, we're doing diplomatic....stuff. It's going to take a few days.

A week, tops.

Dark Archive

Excellent! I've been hoping something like this would eventually come out!


I've been wracking my mind for 5 minutes thinking of a way to describe how excited I am for this. I've failed.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wow.. the authors have been named on the preview.

I can admit to this book!

Champions of Corruption too!


Will this cover PC races living other planets, whether the "standard races" or not?
I kind of wondered if the Ytsoki rat-men of Akiton were in fact Rat-folk...


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jim Groves wrote:

Wow.. the authors have been named on the preview.

I can admit to this book!

Champions of Corruption too!

When will that be?


Part of me is now contemplating the possibility of entering extended hibernation so I can wake up to this and all the other shiny new things announced today and avoid the endless waiting...

Contributor

That's a gorgeous cover, even if it is a mock-up.

It'll be interesting to see how much (if anything) there is on interstellar races in this book. Blood of the Stars seems like it would be more appropriate for all of the alien player races.

Heh. They could put elves in Blood of the Stars. Heh.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

MORE AWESOME!

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

I was wondering what was up with this. I saw the cover on Barnes and Noble's web site a few days ago.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Must, resist, urge, to mash, keyboard, with joy!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I have to say I was disappointed when I realize this was a 'People of x' Not a 'Blood of x'. Not that this book won't be useful or interesting.

Though I guess that book will come eventualy...


YUSSSSSS


I literally cannot handle how awesome everything is.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
John Kretzer wrote:
I have to say I was disappointed when I realize this was a 'People of x' Not a 'Blood of x'. Not that this book won't be useful or interesting.

Blood of the Stars makes me think of 2001: A Space Odyssey.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I hope this book isn't just space traits for the core races. I really want some information and cool stuff(racial feats, alternate racial abilities, etc.) for the alien races like Lashunta, Triaxians, etc. and hopefully stats for Vercites.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah it took me sleeping on it, but when I woke up I also realized that this specifically isn't BLOOD but PEOPLE of stars. Essentially it's a region book primarily rather than a race book.

But man, what an opening it now leaves, practically begging for a companion Blood of the Stars.

Contributor

Well, the reason we can't have Blood of the Stars is obviously that James won't tell anyone what male lashunta look like.

;-)

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I dunno, this could still be a race book involving Vercites, Lashunta, etc. The People Of books do detail the typical folks and cultures found in the region covered. And this book covers space. :D

With the book advertising everything you'd need for a space adventure, surely the player-appropriate races out in space have got to be covered. :)

(oh man how are Vercite Pure Ones/God-Vessels/Augmented going to be represented)


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I will try not to get my hopes too high since there's very little information about what's going to be in here...but anything that's a perfect companion for the absolutely amazing Distant Worlds (and Iron Gods looks like it's going to be stellar too) probably deserves my money regardless. Looking forward to the product description getting updated...if only so I can manage my expectations!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Alexander Augunas wrote:
Well, the reason we can't have Blood of the Stars is obviously that James won't tell anyone what male lashunta look like.

I picture something like the Fiend With No Name from X-Men, but with antennae.

Or a properly drawn (ie short) Wolverine.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

So very excited to see this announced!

TAKE MY MONEY!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Booo! Booooo! Booooooooo!

Spoiler:
32-pages!? 32-pages?! What is 32-pages?! It is nothing! It should be 320 pages! Or at least 128... 32 pages will be introduction at best :(

Silver Crusade

I'm getting this for sure! Gotta have it!


Just take my money already :P

Webstore Gninja Minion

2 people marked this as a favorite.

If you're looking for something in the vein of (hah) the "Blood of" books, you should really check out It Came from the Stars from Zombie Sky Press.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Yeah, when I first read it, I also thought "blood of the stars" for some reason. So I should also not get my hopes up since there isn't a lot of info on this one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yes! It's official: I am now a happy camper. :)

I too am really hoping that it has lots of information on the alien races.

... and a "Blood of the Stars" would also be most welcome at a later date ...

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