Pathfinder Horror Realms

Strange far places

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I picked up the Horror Realms Pathfinder source book in a Humble Bundle, and have been reading it cover to cover. This is my review of the book, chapter by chapter. Chapter 2 is called Strange far places and it's about seven different regions on Golarion that are prone to some type of horror, so I'm posting reviews as I complete each section.

The introductory section of this chapter clarifies its focus. It acknowledges that there are several different genres of horror, and that this chapter features:

  • Body horror
  • Cosmic horror
  • Dark fantasy
  • Ghost stories
  • Gothic horror
  • Psychological horror
  • Slasher horror

Seven genres, seven far places in the chapter. Probably not coincidental.

Actually, it's entirely coincidental. Each section in this chapter actually lists a few genres for each location.

Crown of the world

The first location is the Crown of the World, an icy region of Golarion in the far far north. The horror genres listed for this region are cosmic horror, dark fantasy, ghost story, and psychological horror. There's also a listing of common monsters found within this region, which is great for the Game Master either inventing or scaling an adventure here.

Confusingly, there are also "Horrific locations" listed, and yet only one of them is mentioned in the subsequent text. In fact, each section is only 3 to 4 pages long, and the book refers you to other books for more information about sites within the region that aren't, I guess, particularly horrific.

What you do get, then, is a clearly defined adventure location: the Witch-Fen of Azra Sahota. And I do mean clearly defined. You get a map complete with a grid, with numbered features that include threats, traps, environmental hazards (such as an avalanche), monster lairs, and so on.

For Crown of the World, there's also a new mechanic called Wendigo delusion, an affliction you become susceptible to when you find yourself lost in the icy wastes. I love this, because there have been so many times I've had a party roll for survival without anything aside from a random encounter as a consequence. Wendigo delusion is a fun (for the GM) alternative.


Oh right this isn't Ravenloft so there aren't dark lords. How about "horrific nemesis" instead?

Dreaded nemesis

Azra Sahota is a female winter hag (from Bestiary 4). She's the witch of "Witch-Fen", and appropriately she sits in front of her cauldron waiting for an ogrekin called Larianth to bring her corpses. Otherwise, she's a pretty generic creature with no special backstory provided. I feel like a side bar at least with an inkling of an idea would have been nice, but as it is she's just another encounter. That's enough of a reason for her to exist.

Horror rating

I'm a sucker for winter settings, and I love horror, and yet this location doesn't particularly stand out for me. It's wintry, but not particularly horrific. I appreciate the map and the threat areas, but I guess the lack of lore diminished any sense of horror. A good GM will be able to make up for that, but in a book written specifically to accentuate horror, I feel like that should be something written into the text.

Still, I'll happily use this location in a game set in the north. Next up is Farnvale.

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