Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New Review: Northlands


The Northlands is a very cool campaign setting for a Norse/Viking like area for use with Pathfinder. Not a setting by itself, it is designed to be easily inserted into your game world. Though there is nothing stopping you from just using this book all by itself.

In its 110+ pages you will find a area ready for adventure. There are new classes, skills, feats, weapons and spells. There are rules for variant races (humans and Dwarves) and new races from the bestial Trollkin to the Hyperborean. Everything is given a new look to reflect the cold lands of the north. The culture here is a very different one. It’s not just colder, the people (and thus the characters) are different.

The magic chapter is very cool, with new spells, and new types of magic such as grudge magic and runic magic.

The lands are detailed in both chapter 2 and chapter 5. So there is plenty to work from here. The chapter on monsters contains quite a nice number of creatures and they are not for the faint of heart.

The author capture not only the rules of playing in these lands but the feel as well. Author Dan Voyce obviously has a love for this setting and their real world counterparts that show through the writing. This is a well researched book.

The art is equally fantastic and even though it is spare and black and white, it adds to the overall feel of the book. The cover is one of the best I have seen in a very long time.

The legends of the Scandinavian countries are ripe for adventures and part of the very fiber that makes up the core of the FRPGs. The Northlands helps bring these tales to life.

I originally grabbed this because my local Pathfinder group is called "the Northlands Group" and I thought this might be a cool thing to have.  But once I got it and started reading it I realized I wanted to keep it all for myself! I plan to use it for the areas in my Mystoerth games, specifically the areas right around my version of Hyborea.

Now this Northlands has nothing to do with the Frog God games Northland Saga for Pathfinder and Swords & Wizardry.  But they are not incompatible.

I enjoyed it and I think you all might too.

5 out of 5 stars!


Brutorz Bill said...

Helpful review. What's the skinny in the human races?

Jeremy Deram said...

I have The Tales of the Old Margreve supplement, and liked it a lot. I'm curious to know more about any of the Hyperborea stuff that's included, and whether or not it's drawn from CAS works.

JB said...

But does it have armored bears?
; )

Ben said...

@APlus: Yes, they drew on the CAS idea of Hyperborea for this book, and there are some racial variant options and some magic, iirc.