What I noticed most was a lot of armor had the same DR vs. Piercing and Slashing in those character sheets. For instance, Johannes has Brigandine and Helmet listed as DR 8 for Piercing and Slashing. Looking at the core rules, Brigandine typically has 3 times the protection for Slashing (for instance Brigandine & Gambeson is listed as 6/12/18). I didn’t really study the sheets that closely, but I did see that on various characters.
I will have to play around with Slash and Chop attacks. It just seems like bypass is the only option if there is any decent armor. I guess you could just attack the armor instead. That seems kind of like cheating, is it really that easy to hack a chainmail shirt so it’s useless? Chainmail is listed as 6 Hardness and 5 HP so a nice chop or slash for 11 points would destroy it if I’m understanding the rules. I have no idea if it was that easy or not, I believe your team has done the research so I’ll trust your judgement.
I have played around with ranged weapons a little. I think a thrown weapon in the beginning of a battle is a good idea before they get in close. Bows have been dangerous, but it was easy to rush into range and engage them up close. If they try to back off for another shot that’s an opportunity attack (unlike standard Pathfinder rules that allows a 5-foot stop with no OA). I love how the bows are deadlier up close. A little more bookkeeping but more realistic for sure.
I always enjoyed Robert E. Howards original Conan stories because he used real history for his fictional world. Of course he threw in “low” magic and monsters, often fighting great apes, giant spiders, and “things from beyond (like Cthulhu)”. He mostly fought humans and he often wore armor when he could get it.
I have always been interested in history and that time you picked in the Baltic does seem to have a lot of opportunity for stories and adventure. I’ve always been interested in the Vikings myself although I don’t know how it would work for an RPG. Looting a coastal town doesn’t seem particularly inspirational for players that usually play heroes! The Eastern World is always fascinating as well.