Welcome to Highhelm, the undisputed center of dwarven culture. If you want more dwarves and dwarven culture, this is a must have.
Built at the end of the Quest for Sky, Highhelm isn’t the first of the Sky Citadels, but it is the most important.
There seems to be a little bit of everything in this book: the layout of Highhelm itself, notable characters, culture, new options, and more.
The book starts off by giving us an in-depth history of the founding of Highhelm and its struggles. Along the sidebars, you will find a concise timeline, while the rest of the chapter gives a more in-depth look at each era. This would be great if you wanted to set a campaign during the Quest for Sky or if your character wanted a backstory of their ancestors doing great deeds in the past.
The in-depth analysis extends into learning more about the government, laws, trade, industry, culture, customs, and the clans. While the usual dwarven industries are included (mining, smithing, stonemasonry, and brewing), there are a few new things specific to Highhelm: breatherwalls and grindlegrubs. Grindlegrubs are used in a variety of products such as candles, soaps, recycling nutrients, and, of course, grindlegrub steaks.
Highhelm itself is broken up into three major sections: King’s Crown, King’s Heart, and Stonebreach. King’s Crown is the highest layer and houses the largest population. King’s Heart is where almost all the commerce is done. Stonebreach is the crossroads between the surface and the rest of Highhelm. There is a fourth level connected to Highhelm: the Depths. Each section in the book is accompanied by a map with notable locations on it, a few notable people, current events, and options for players. These options include new backgrounds, recipes, spells and items.
Outside of Highhelm itself, this book also adds a lot of Dwarven options like new ancestry feats, the Forge-Blessed Dwarf heritage, animal companions, the Stalwart Defender archetype, gear, relics, and legendary items. There’s also a section on Dwarven Gods and a Bestiary.
As with all Paizo books, this one is gorgeously laid out. The artwork, as always, is top tier. If you play a dwarf or want to run a dwarven campaign, you would be remiss to skip this book.
If you’re a lore nerd (guilty), this is a great book to get a better handle on dwarven history and culture.
Even if you aren’t playing dwarves, there is enough in here to fuel a whole campaign even without delving into the Depths. From Thera Heartslip’s dwindling supply of stolen goods to the production of Torag’s Shield, there are plenty of whispers and rumors to get the party started.