This is Andre Faucher on behalf of Gamer's Haven, reviewing Horrors of the North, a text centered around all things frozen and the perils that the snow and ice can bring. Centered around that environment, this book offers little more than the specific interest for which this book was written.
What are some of the drawbacks of this book?
1.) Limited Scope. This book is focused on the northern dangers. And while the book accomplishes what it is setting out to cover, it offers little else to a campaign that is only going to be making a small trek into the north.
2.) Feels Copied. This book is much like the book "Frostburn" released in 3.5 also centered on the dangerous icy regions of the world. A lot of this information is available in the Core Rulebook or that could be done with a couple simple modifications to already existing creatures in the bestiary. The first third of the book is dedicated to the numerous types of cold terrain, and while useful to know the locations, feel as though they are merely something that could be gleaned from using a Google search.
3.) Price. The book is normally eight dollars, unless it is on sale, which begins to get near the area where one has to be truly interested in dealing with the cold north.
What are some of the benefits of this book?
1.) Interest. This covers the north, if the next campaign is going to spend a significant amount of time in the cold places on the globe, then it will be of interest.
2.) Artwork. Some of the artwork in this book is fairly good, although I am not particularly pleased with the yeti-gorillas.
3.) Dangers. One of the areas that the book does add is in the dangers section, including rules for frostbite and hypothermia. The book does give a lot of ideas in the realm of natural dangers, that is of non-monster/magical origins. For example the rules regarding hypothermia is something that one does not often encounter and the details given within this book actually make it a viable danger to many characters rather than just a minor annoyance.
Are the adventurers going to be spending a lot of time in the cold north, such as an entire campaign? Buy this book. In almost all other situations, this book will not be needed. With the price putting it out of the "impulse" buy region, the amount of information that could be found in a free location, it requires that there be a long term investment. However if there is going to be several adventures in the cold north, the dangers here change things up enough that the environment becomes as much a danger as the monsters that they are going to be fighting and the artwork, minus the yeti-gorillas, is detailed and interesting.
[3 of 5 Stars!]