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Places of Power: Dragonmarch Keep
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/22/2017 07:56:03

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

At the borders of three formerly warring nations, atop a craggy precipice at the edge of known civilization, there is a sturdy keep overlooking the surrounding landscape, a bulwark against raiders and the forces of darkness, steadfast clinging to civilization and providing solace for those nearby, a veritable keep in the borderlands, if you will, awaiting adventurers of stout hearts and valorous mien. This structure is dragonmarch keep, represented in a massive b/w-map that spans a whole page and covers nearby fields and countryside as well.

This rough land lives and stands by the virtue of noble scions that come to these far-away stretches of land to defend the borders, currently under the auspice of Countess Liana Van de Vore (comically misnamed "Can de Vore" once) - whose ancestor, as knowledgeable PCs with the required skills may know, has slain the red dragon Glitterfang at this very place.

The pdf does provide notes on notable folk and how the general populace here does dress, the local nomenclature, etc. The attention to detail we've come to expect from the series extends to the marketplace-section that presents minor magic for sale here and the local bar - which even comes with sample food and drink prices. As always, we do receive a table of 6 sample events and 6 sample whispers and rumours to add some local color and further adventuring options to the material presented herein.

A political dimension is also part of the location - as a cornerstone of a non-aggression treaty and potential point of interest for 3 kingdoms and the monstrous forces of the wastes, the locale features sufficient flavor...and a curse on a nearby farm is implied as well....all in all, plenty of adventuring potential here!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to raging Swan Press' elegant two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one optimized to be printed out. The cartography by Maciej Zagorski is well-made and in b/w. Supporters of Raging Swan Press' patreon can get access to a player-friendly, key-less version of the map, at least to my knowledge.

Mike Welham's dragonmarch keep is a cool environment, though it is somewhat more conservative than most locations penned by him; this is not meant as criticism, mind you - it just means that this location is very easy to implement in one's games...and this, considering its borderlands-theme, is very much what the pdf sets out to do. I ultimately do like this location as a whole, but if you're looking for something novel, then this will perhaps not 100% deliver. This is an excellent, detailed and flavorful representation of the classic theme, but it lacks the one-step-beyond, the je-ne-sais-quoi, the twist, if you will, to catapult it to the realms of excellence. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Places of Power: Dragonmarch Keep
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Places of Power: Dragonmarch Keep System Neutral Edition
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/22/2017 07:55:04

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

At the borders of three formerly warring nations, atop a craggy precipice at the edge of known civilization, there is a sturdy keep overlooking the surrounding landscape, a bulwark against raiders and the forces of darkness, steadfast clinging to civilization and providing solace for those nearby, a veritable keep in the borderlands, if you will, awaiting adventurers of stout hearts and valorous mien. This structure is dragonmarch keep, represented in a massive b/w-map that spans a whole page and covers nearby fields and countryside as well.

This rough land lives and stands by the virtue of noble scions that come to these far-away stretches of land to defend the borders, currently under the auspice of Countess Liana Van de Vore (comically misnamed "Can de Vore" once) - whose ancestor, as knowledgeable PCs may know, has slain the red dragon Glitterfang at this very place.

The pdf does provide notes on notable folk and how the general populace here does dress, the local nomenclature, etc. The attention to detail we've come to expect from the series extends to the marketplace-section that presents minor magic for sale here and the local bar - which even comes with sample food and drink prices. As always, we do receive a table of 6 sample events and 6 sample whispers and rumours to add some local color and further adventuring options to the material presented herein. The system neutral version has been thoroughly purged of new-school system-references and only features the classic classes etc. in brief notes.

A political dimension is also part of the location - as a cornerstone of a non-aggression treaty and potential point of interest for 3 kingdoms and the monstrous forces of the wastes, the locale features sufficient flavor...and a curse on a nearby farm is implied as well....all in all, plenty of adventuring potential here!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to raging Swan Press' elegant two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one optimized to be printed out. The cartography by Maciej Zagorski is well-made and in b/w. Supporters of Raging Swan Press' patreon can get access to a player-friendly, key-less version of the map, at least to my knowledge.

Mike Welham's dragonmarch keep is a cool environment, though it is somewhat more conservative than most locations penned by him; this is not meant as criticism, mind you - it just means that this location is very easy to implement in one's games...and this, considering its borderlands-theme, is very much what the pdf sets out to do. I ultimately do like this location as a whole, but if you're looking for something novel, then this will perhaps not 100% deliver. This is an excellent, detailed and flavorful representation of the classic theme, but it lacks the one-step-beyond, the je-ne-sais-quoi, the twist, if you will, to catapult it to the realms of excellence. That being said, I firmly believe that the system-neutral iteration of this Place of Power will find quite a lot of fans - after all, it breathes the classic borderlands vibes galore! My final verdict for this pdf will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Places of Power: Dragonmarch Keep System Neutral Edition
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Places of Power: Dragonmarch Keep (5e)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/22/2017 07:52:07

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

At the borders of three formerly warring nations, atop a craggy precipice at the edge of known civilization, there is a sturdy keep overlooking the surrounding landscape, a bulwark against raiders and the forces of darkness, steadfast clinging to civilization and providing solace for those nearby, a veritable keep in the borderlands, if you will, awaiting adventurers of stout hearts and valorous mien. This structure is dragonmarch keep, represented in a massive b/w-map that spans a whole page and covers nearby fields and countryside as well.

This rough land lives and stands by the virtue of noble scions that come to these far-away stretches of land to defend the borders, currently under the auspice of Countess Liana Van de Vore (comically misnamed "Can de Vore" once) - whose ancestor, as knowledgeable PCs with the required Intelligence checks may know, has slain the red dragon Glitterfang at this very place.

The pdf does provide notes on notable folk and how the general populace here does dress, the local nomenclature, etc. The attention to detail we've come to expect from the series extends to the marketplace-section that presents minor magic for sale here and the local bar - which even comes with sample food and drink prices. As always, we do receive a table of 6 sample events and 6 sample whispers and rumours to add some local color and further adventuring options to the material presented herein. The 5e-version has the respective characters properly aligned with the NPC-statblocks presented in the core books.

A political dimension is also part of the location - as a cornerstone of a non-aggression treaty and potential point of interest for 3 kingdoms and the monstrous forces of the wastes, the locale features sufficient flavor...and a curse on a nearby farm is implied as well....all in all, plenty of adventuring potential here!

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to raging Swan Press' elegant two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one optimized to be printed out. The cartography by Maciej Zagorski is well-made and in b/w. Supporters of Raging Swan Press' patreon can get access to a player-friendly, key-less version of the map, at least to my knowledge.

Mike Welham's dragonmarch keep is a cool environment, though it is somewhat more conservative than most locations penned by him; this is not meant as criticism, mind you - it just means that this location is very easy to implement in one's games...and this, considering its borderlands-theme, is very much what the pdf sets out to do. I ultimately do like this location as a whole, but if you're looking for something novel, then this will perhaps not 100% deliver. This is an excellent, detailed and flavorful representation of the classic theme, but it lacks the one-step-beyond, the je-ne-sais-quoi, the twist, if you will, to catapult it to the realms of excellence. The 5e-conversion is well done, though no marketplace section or replacement for it have been included. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Places of Power: Dragonmarch Keep (5e)
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Places of Power: Godswatch
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/21/2017 06:21:04

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Consecrated in the names of countless gods, the edifice known as Godswatch represents a tower overlooking the raging river Kyrene, welcoming pilgrims and inquisitive priests of esoteric religions alike. It is more than a mere place of religious learning and sanctuary, though - the tower is also a watchpost, commemorating the triumph of the river god over an evil vanquished long ago.

No one permanently lives at the godswatch, but at least one elder and several acolytes staff the site and, as the lore that inquisitive PCs may pick up, suggests, the place may in itself be a safeguard against the return of the evil once defeated. As we're come to expect from the series, the pdf does come with 6 sample events, which range from the arrival of new pilgrims to new shrines being consecrated, presenting means for the GM to kick off adventuring.

Similarly, we do receive the classic 6 whispers and rumours to provide further local color and mystery to this place. It should be noted that the nice b/w-map of the godswatch very much is limited to the tower itself - so no vicinity this time around, but on the plus-side, this actually makes inclusion of the tower exceedingly easy.

The sanctums of the tower, beyond the numerous shrines, are aligned according to the seasons, which also allows a GM to relatively easily tie the locale to the courts of the fey (and e.g. Kobold Press' excellent fey-modules). Kyrene as a deity receives a solid, basic write-up and the pdf does feature a market-place that contains a variety of different items that can be purchased locally.

As befitting of a place very much defined by the flux of folks attending, a total of 4 fluff-centric NPC-write-ups are included for your convenience - all of these NPCs come with brief write-ups, including notes on mannerism, distinguishing features, etc. - and yes, these are nice.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to raging Swan Press' elegant two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one optimized to be printed out. The cartography by Simon Butler and Dyson Logos is well-made and in b/w.

Amber Underwood's Godswatch is a really cool concept and I generally like the tower and its themes; the place of power can easily be inserted into the game and may serve a surprising variety of functions. At the same place, it did leave me somewhat less satisfied in the PFRPG-version than other installments in the series - I kinda expected unique effects and wards, perhaps a locus or the like to mechanically represent the sacred power of the site, but did not get that herein. This is a good offering and an evocative locale that made me instantly come up with various ways to use it, but it still felt to me like it could have been even more awesome. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Places of Power: Godswatch
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Gloamhold Campaign Guide
by Jacob C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/15/2017 22:29:58

Let me start by saying this is a beautiful product and I am proud to support the publisher with my purchase. However, this comes with an important caveat. Allow me to explain...

The good:

A beautiful cross section and overland map, coupled with concise and compelling writing by the author. A deviously sinister web of plot potential and all the deathly goodness one could expect from an OSR style campaign. Roll tables are also generously included for "room dressing", random encounters, wandering monster actions, and local rumors. In general this guide contains probably some of the best advice i've come across for running a sandbox/old school megadungeon type of campaign. Let's not forget the excellent world 'fluff' and flavor text, both for Gloamhold and the greater Duchy of Ashlar itslef. Which presents a nice compact area that players can retreat to, explore, and rest whenever the dungeon becomes a grind. Though, the megadungeon of Gloamhold itself is precisely where my expectations fell short.

The bad (Or possibly good):

Fluff, fluff, fluff! This entire guide is about 85% world fluff and flavor text. Nowhere is there a single dungeon map to be found (excluding the ant hill cross section). Instead, each broad section of the dungeon gets about a two page write up with rumor tables, key features, and a well written, albeit a somewhat repetative description of said areas. Perhaps it is my fault that I believed this was something I could use as an in game tool rather than purely pre-session prep. In fact, the Gloamhold Campaign Guide really just presents an overall set piece, with any actual structural substance still needing to be created by yourself as the GM. This could be a let down if you are expecting to see something akin to a sprawling labyrithine dungeon complex, a la Gary's Castle Grayhawk, Undermountain, and the like. Think of this book as more setting primer than an actual campaign guide.

To conclude, I appreciate the author's intentionally open ended design, and I understand it is impossible to map an entire dungeon of this scale (though something would have been nice). This is still a great source for inspiration, especially when considering the extremely modest price. Just know what you're getting into before picking up a copy.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gloamhold Campaign Guide
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks very much for the review and the support Jacob. I'm sorry the lack of maps disappointed you, but fear not! Other Gloamhold products are in the works and they will absolute include more detailed maps!
20 Things #13: Noisome Sewer (System Neutral Edition)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/08/2017 04:21:51

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Raging Swan Press' system-neutral #20-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

As has become the tradition in the series, we kick this off with a selection of remarkable NPCs to encounter within the given environment - this time around, these folks, as befitting of the environment, include destitute homeless folks, folks nursing a grudge versus off-duty soldiers, a cat burglar sans sense of smell, wererats not yet aware of their condition and even a vampire - all in all, an inspiring collection from the benevolent to the malevolent.

We move on from these NPCs to find 10 minor locales in the sewer - old iron-bound doors pierce walls, passages connect, masses of rubbish and detritus accumulate and walkways may crumble away - all in all, a welcome collection of information to add flavor to the sewer. Slightly weird - the entries run from 11. to 20., instead of from 1. to 10.

We supplement this with 20 pieces of customized dungeon dressing for sewers, which range from the expected (worse stench, rusted iron lantern forgotten on a hook) to thin walls where one can hear murmurs and strange tracks of serpentine (or tentacle-y?) things. These entries are obviously created to enable the enterprising GM to use them as hooks for encounters, and stories.

If you require something with a bit more immediate oomph, I'd suggest checking out the 20 minor events - these include hearing the rumbling of heavy carts above or muted splashes, being doused in a thick glob of slime...and have I mentioned the foaming wave of excrement flowing down? Yeah, EW, but oh so fitting! And yes, pockets of flammable gas. Take care!

But why venture there? Well, sewers tend to be where the missing and lost items show up, so a total of 20 entries should prove to be helpful there and make it slightly more worthwhile for the PCs. A leafless tree-branch with a silver necklace makes for a straight-forward loot that inspires, while piles of fresh bricks and mason equipment pose a different reaction...why are they here? The PCs are bound to find out...right?

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press' elegant two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Additionally, the pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for the printer and one for screen-use - kudos for going the extra mile there!

Creighton Broadhurst knows his craft. Sewers have a bit of a bad reputation in video games and TTRPGs, but for the most part, to me, undeservedly so: From vermin to intrigue to diseases and hazards, there is a ton of amazing things you can do with the environment and this humble pdf helps add those flourishes. If you're, for example, playing Gaming Paper's excellent "Edgewater's Folly", then this can add quite a bit of flavor to the proceedings.

At the very latest when the PCs see an island of congealed muck float by, topped with a red-eyed rat, they'll almost be able to smell the grime. thankfully only almost, though! All in all, this is a fun, well-crafted dressing-file, well worth 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
20 Things #13: Noisome Sewer (System Neutral Edition)
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks very much for the review, End! Much appreciated--and I'm glad you liked this one!
GM's Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing (System Neutral Edition)
by Scott N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/06/2017 07:42:21

I initally purchased this book as a pdf to check it out before spending the money on the softcover. With the quality that Raging Swan Press is known for, I should have just bought them as the package. In any event, I own the pdf and softcover editions now and couldnt be happier with my purchases. I prefer a physical book to flip through, however if you like to use pdfs, you will be just as satisfied.

  • Similar to their Dungeon Dressing suppliment, this book contains detailed descriptions of all types of events that can happen while your party is out in the wilderness. So instead of saying your party camps for the night, you can say "Your party camps for the night... During the night you see a single pair of large , unblinking eyes watching over the campsite from nearby... After a few minutes the creature departs." - (creepy, right ? and will keep the party on their toes and open their imaginations, get them worrying)

There are literally thousands of descriptions in this suppliment, with 100 descriptions per area type/event. So lets say your party is out in the forest and woodlands and you want to give your adventurers a little flavor.. You simply turn to "Forest and Woodlands: Dressing" there are 100 descriptions, so you can roll a percentage die, or randomly pick one you like. In this case I rolled a 33, so i read that description.. - "The gutted, rotten carcass of a deer lies in the undergrowth near the trail. The surrounding undergrowth is stained red with blood. A skilled hunter hs obviously efficiently butchered the carcass"

This simple description opens up a lot of feeling and choices.. Does the party need to worry about this hunter? Who is it? Is he a minon, collecting food for his master? Is he a simple ranger living off the land? .... Then the party can continue on their current quest or this could become the hook of a small or large side quest...

Much better than.. your party travels along the path through the woods to their destination.

This book is worth purchasing. There are well thought out and disparate descriptions for the given areas. Worth purchasing and worth using. Your players will thank you for it! :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
GM's Miscellany: Wilderness Dressing (System Neutral Edition)
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you very much for your review, Scott. I'm delighted you've found the book so useful and I hope you get many happy years of gaming out of it!
Village Backdrop: Woodridge
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/06/2017 05:34:50

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of RSP's Village Backdrop-series is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look at the settlement!

Situated at the Eastern border of the duchy of Ashlar, the little backwater woodridge is ruled by the Lorsch family; people in this insular town ply their trade at their leisure and all seems idyllic; indeed, even the dressing and nomenclature of the local populace seems to indicate that this place indeed is a peaceful place. One look at the settlement stats confirms this and the pastoral idyll is similarly emphasized by the marketplace section and the magic items available here.

Even PCs who meet the lore-section's requisites have a hard time discerning anything wrong with the place: Sure, sometimes mists are said to roil forth from the woods and sometimes, travelers go missing...but that happens everywhere, right? (Double kudos if you make that a Ravenloft-reference in your game...) Well, not exactly. If you're familiar with the settlement of Longbridge, well, the good Hilduin Lorsch actually wants control over the settlement, which allows for a nice way of tying these together. Oh, and the ruler of nearby Dulwich also wants that gem and the wealth its control would bring...so you have a nice political angle f you own these as well...and that aspect is easy enough to replace.

As always, there are 6 rumors to add some depth and dimension to the settlement and the pdf further offers a total of 4 events to jumpstart adventuring, should you require it. While all seems to be well here, the local priest is a connoisseur of the fine things in life, a fact that makes him resented among his acolytes. Moreover, political rivals of the Lorsch-family have inserted spies in the village and then there would be the BBEG of the settlement, a cleric of the dark deity Braal, who slowly seeks to worm her way into a position of power. The place may seem idyllic, yes - but below the surface, struggles are boiling - a leitmotif of decrepitude, of good times ending, is slowly, but steadily enforced throughout the pdf, from an old advisor/wizard who's always cold to an inn that's empty more often than not. A sense of melancholy and thwarted ambition suffuses this pdf, just waiting to boil over into all out conflict.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's smooth, printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes with full bookmarks as well as a gorgeous map by Tommi Salama, of which you can, as always, download high-res jpegs if you join RSP's patreon. The pdf comes in two versions, with one being optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out.

Creighton Broadhurst's woodridge is a subtle pdf. It does not feature a big boom, a one-sentence selling-point. It is hard to convey the fascination evoked by the settlement in the absence of the lack of such an elevator-pitch-style leitmotif, but I'll try: This is a deceptive pastoral idyll, a swansong for a backwater, rural village that has a festering wound near its heart, one fed by covert agents and one that may well prove to be fatal for the little settlement. At the same time, it is not hard to like this place, to actually want to save it. Woodridge, in short, is a compelling place and perfectly suited to start adventuring careers. It is mundane enough at first glance, but provides ample chances for the PCs to get involved with forces beyond the confines of the village, to become involved in both local politics and supernatural forces. My one criticism here would be that this settlement does require a bit more work from the GM who does not have access to Dulwich and Longbridge...but that's a system-immanent issue in such a set-up. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Village Backdrop: Woodridge
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks very much for the review, End! I'm delighted you liked Woodridge so much!
Village Backdrop: Woodridge System Neutral Edition
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/06/2017 05:33:33

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of RSP's Village Backdrop-series is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look at the settlement!

Situated at the Eastern border of the duchy of Ashlar, the little backwater woodridge is ruled by the Lorsch family; people in this insular town ply their trade at their leisure and all seems idyllic; indeed, even the dressing and nomenclature of the local populace seems to indicate that this place indeed is a peaceful place. One look at the settlement's demographics confirms this, though the system-neutral version obviously does not sport the PFRPG-version's folksy low-key-only magic item marketplace.

Even PCs who can discern the lore-section's information have a hard time finding anything wrong with the place: Sure, sometimes mists are said to roil forth from the woods and sometimes, travelers go missing...but that happens everywhere, right? (Double kudos if you make that a Ravenloft-reference in your game...) Well, not exactly. If you're familiar with the settlement of Longbridge, well, the good Hilduin Lorsch actually wants control over the settlement, which allows for a nice way of tying these together. Oh, and the ruler of nearby Dulwich also wants that gem and the wealth its control would bring...so you have a nice political angle f you own these as well...and that aspect is easy enough to replace.

As always, there are 6 rumors to add some depth and dimension to the settlement and the pdf further offers a total of 4 events to jumpstart adventuring, should you require it. While all seems to be well here, the local priest is a connoisseur of the fine things in life, a fact that makes him resented among his acolytes. Moreover, political rivals of the Lorsch-family have inserted spies in the village and then there would be the BBEG of the settlement, a cleric of the dark deity Braal, who slowly seeks to worm her way into a position of power. The place may seem idyllic, yes - but below the surface, struggles are boiling - a leitmotif of decrepitude, of good times ending, is slowly, but steadily enforced throughout the pdf, from an old advisor/wizard who's always cold to an inn that's empty more often than not. As a nitpick - most OSR-systems refer to the arcane casters as magic-users, whereas this pdf uses the term wizard instead - but that is just me being a prick. A sense of melancholy and thwarted ambition suffuses this pdf, just waiting to boil over into all out conflict.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any serious glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's smooth, printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes with full bookmarks as well as a gorgeous map by Tommi Salama, of which you can, as always, download high-res jpegs if you join RSP's patreon. The pdf comes in two versions, with one being optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out.

Creighton Broadhurst's woodridge is a subtle pdf. It does not feature a big boom, a one-sentence selling-point. It is hard to convey the fascination evoked by the settlement in the absence of the lack of such an elevator-pitch-style leitmotif, but I'll try: This is a deceptive pastoral idyll, a swansong for a backwater, rural village that has a festering wound near its heart, one fed by covert agents and one that may well prove to be fatal for the little settlement. At the same time, it is not hard to like this place, to actually want to save it. Woodridge, in short, is a compelling place and perfectly suited to start adventuring careers. It is mundane enough at first glance, but provides ample chances for the PCs to get involved with forces beyond the confines of the village, to become involved in both local politics and supernatural forces. My one criticism here would be that this settlement does require a bit more work from the GM who does not have access to Dulwich and Longbridge...but that's a system-immanent issue in such a set-up. The system-neutral version does an excellent job of bringing the settlement to the crowd inclined against hard rules. Lacking significant complaints, I will also settle on a 5 star + seal of approval rating for the system-neutral iteration.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Village Backdrop: Woodridge System Neutral Edition
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Publisher Reply:
Thanks very much for the review, End! I'm delighted you liked Woodridge so much!
Village Backdrop: Woodridge (5e)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/06/2017 05:31:57

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of RSP's Village Backdrop-series is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look at the settlement!

Situated at the Eastern border of the duchy of Ashlar, the little backwater woodridge is ruled by the Lorsch family; people in this insular town ply their trade at their leisure and all seems idyllic; indeed, even the dressing and nomenclature of the local populace seems to indicate that this place indeed is a peaceful place. One look at the settlement demographics confirms this, though the magic item marketplace has been cut for the 5e-version, considering the different value placed upon such items in 5e. (In the PFRPG-version, only very low-key, folksy magic items could be purchased.)

Even PCs who meet the lore-section's prerequisites in Intelligence-checks have a hard time discerning anything wrong with the place: Sure, sometimes mists are said to roil forth from the woods and sometimes, travelers go missing...but that happens everywhere, right? (Double kudos if you make that a Ravenloft-reference in your game...) Well, not exactly. If you're familiar with the settlement of Longbridge, well, the good Hilduin Lorsch actually wants control over the settlement, which allows for a nice way of tying these together. Oh, and the ruler of nearby Dulwich also wants that gem and the wealth its control would bring...so you have a nice political angle f you own these as well...and that aspect is easy enough to replace. As a nitpicky complaint, one of the notable NPCs has not been allocated a proper MM-NPC-statblock in a minor oversight. This inconsistency also extends to the main antagonist, who is once referred to by the PFRPG-version's stat-line in the text instead of the 5e-version's priest declaration. This also extends to the wizards/advisors of the Lorsch-family, which makes that aspect feel a bit rushed.

As always, there are 6 rumors to add some depth and dimension to the settlement and the pdf further offers a total of 4 events to jumpstart adventuring, should you require it. While all seems to be well here, the local priest is a connoisseur of the fine things in life, a fact that makes him resented. Moreover, political rivals of the Lorsch-family have inserted spies in the village and then there would be the BBEG of the settlement, a cleric of the dark deity Braal, who slowly seeks to worm her way into a position of power. The place may seem idyllic, yes - but below the surface, struggles are boiling - a leitmotif of decrepitude, of good times ending, is slowly, but steadily enforced throughout the pdf, from an old advisor/wizard who's always cold to an inn that's empty more often than not. A sense of melancholy and thwarted ambition suffuses this pdf, just waiting to boil over into all out conflict.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are good, though I noticed a couple of inconsistencies in the 5e-conversion of the short one-sentence NPC-lines. Layout adheres to RSP's smooth, printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes with full bookmarks as well as a gorgeous map by Tommi Salama, of which you can, as always, download high-res jpegs if you join RSP's patreon. The pdf comes in two versions, with one being optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out.

Creighton Broadhurst's woodridge is a subtle pdf. It does not feature a big boom, a one-sentence selling-point. It is hard to convey the fascination evoked by the settlement in the absence of the lack of such an elevator-pitch-style leitmotif, but I'll try: This is a deceptive pastoral idyll, a swansong for a backwater, rural village that has a festering wound near its heart, one fed by covert agents and one that may well prove to be fatal for the little settlement. At the same time, it is not hard to like this place, to actually want to save it. Woodridge, in short, is a compelling place and perfectly suited to start adventuring careers. It is mundane enough at first glance, but provides ample chances for the PCs to get involved with forces beyond the confines of the village, to become involved in both local politics and supernatural forces. My one criticism here would be that this settlement does require a bit more work from the GM who does not have access to Dulwich and Longbridge...but that's a system-immanent issue in such a set-up.

At the same time, the 5e-version of this pdf feels a tad bit rushed when compared to the PFRPG-iteration. While this does not hamper the usefulness of the material, it does make the version feel slightly less refined. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down for the purpose of this platform - if you have the luxury of choice, go for the PFRPG-version.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Village Backdrop: Woodridge (5e)
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GM's Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing (System Neutral Edition)
by Scott N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/04/2017 18:33:31

I originally purchased the pdf version of GM's Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing (System Neutral Edition). After looking forward I decided It was well worth purchasing the Hardcover Edition. Which I did. The book is magnificent. It makes it so easy to come up with beautiful descriptions quickly. There is information on Altars, Doors, Walls, Floors, Entrances, Pits, Pools., etc You name it, if it is in a dungeon it is probably in here. In less than 30 seconds you can turn to the page and find a random description for a dungeon object. Your players will love you, and you will love it. Coming up with detailed descriptions on the fly can be really difficult, especially if you need 3 or 4 in short order. This solves that problem for your dungeon dives. I went from being an "ok" DM to a "really good" DM in short order. So helpful.. Thank you Raging Swan Press! They also have Wilderness Dressing and Urban Dressing books.. It is worth your time to take a look.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
GM's Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing (System Neutral Edition)
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Publisher Reply:
Thank you very much for this review, Scott. I much appreciate your time and effort in posting it up!
Village Map: River Village II
by Louis K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/31/2017 12:05:40

I thought the map was excellent and I was impressed with the detail. The style suited my Old School adventure as easily as it would a modern adventure. I particularly liked the nice toouch of the river running through the town, with a barge ferry to connect the two halves. Very clever and thorougly enjoyable! I also really apprecited there being a tagged version fo the map. All I had to do was insert my descriptions of these major buildings to make the map work in my adventure setting.

Once suggestion would be to make the preview larger, so prospective buyers can see a little more clearly what they are getting.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Village Map: River Village II
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GM's Miscellany: Places of Power
by Jennifer J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/27/2017 18:31:35

You're a busy GM. (What GM isn't?)

And you need cool locations to fill your world. Perhaps a monastary where monks study a unique new form of martial arts.

Perhaps a wizard's tower where a wizard labours under a dreadful curse.

Perhaps you need a shrine in the wilderness where your party paladin can do pentience.

Places of power has you covered... and more! Featuring beautiful cartography, wonderful black and white, old school style drawings, and brimming with imagination, this supplement will help fill out any GM's world, whether it be homebrew or in a published setting. I find that anything from Raging Swan goes great with Frog God Games' Lost Lands setting, myself, but I can see these little gems in any world.

I wish there was some more stat blocks in here (because Raging Swan does them so well) but that's not enough for me to deduct a full star from the supplement. As usual, Raging Swan delivers on some of the best looking (and definitely best edited) 3PP pathfinder books on the market. This supplement even manages to outshine the village backdrops supplements (and they are awesome!) so it's pretty impressive.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
GM's Miscellany: Places of Power
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Places of Power: Tumblestone Inn (SNE)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/25/2017 04:36:07

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

In the middle of the borderlands, in the middle of the wilderness, situated atop the ruins of an erstwhile keep, there lies a place, equal parts armed camp of sellswords and mercenaries and bastion of civilization, bazaar of the exotic and recruiting ground - this place is tumblestone inn, and it may be precariously close to the territory of orcs...but so far it stands, also thanks to the continuous influx of adventurers...and they keep coming, because it has pretty much become THE place to get hired...and so, shadowy patrons always frequent the corners of the place and gold is always changing hands.

Led by Aelliah Wilmaytn, an erstwhile mercenary captain and guarded by many of her fellow soldiers, the place is also surprisingly safe for its location and concentration of capable individuals -some of which come with nice, fluff-only write-ups. As often in the series, we get information on local dressing-habits and nomenclature - but this time around, we also get a marketplace (with custom-priced, lesser magic items for sale - these should not break anyone's sense of immersion, considering how this is basically an adventurer's homebase...), ale and room-prices and the obligatory events and rumors to add further spice to this locale.

Going one step beyond, we also get 10 fluff-only write ups of different mercenaries as well as 8 patrons, making this basically a fully staffed environment to drop into pretty much every hexcrawl or wilderness environment you could conceive. The noted class-lines for the respective NPCs make use of the proper terms like magic-user and thief, so no complaints there.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch. Layout adheres to RSP's elegant 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf features some nice b/w-artworks. The pdf comes in two iterations, one optimized for screen-use and one made for the printer - kudos there! The cartography by Simon Butler and Maciej Zagorski is excellent. I think by joining Raging Swan Press' patreon, you can actually get the high-res map for the evocative place, but I am not 100% sure. The map provided is cool, but sports keyed rooms.

From the Black Tower, still standing from the original keep, to the mercenaries herein, Creighton Broadhurst proves why he's this highly regarded - the man KNOWS what he is doing. Frankly, I should not be liking this pdf to the extent that I do; it's concept is so old and done, it doesn't have this novelty I tend to crave...which just goes to show what good prose and concise writing can achieve, for I indeed found myself loving this extremely useful home away from home, this ready to drop in adventuring hub. There is something about the totality of this place of power that transcends the building stones from which it was crafted, making it stand out and feel distinct, in spite of its conservative theme.

In fact, Tumbledown Inn may actually work best in this iteration - it resonates with the old Greyhawk and Judge's Guild flavor and feels like a perfect drop-in for old-school campaigns. It is unpretentious, yes, but it perfectly captures the feeling and flavor of these regions...and OSR-fans will most certainly experience this warm smile slowly manifesting on their faces. In short: Unlike in PFRPG or 5E, I am not missing the extra crunchy bits here and thus, my verdict for this version, will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Places of Power: Tumblestone Inn (SNE)
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Places of Power: Tumblestone Inn (5e)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/25/2017 04:34:15

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

In the middle of the borderlands, in the middle of the wilderness, situated atop the ruins of an erstwhile keep, there lies a place, equal parts armed camp of sellswords and mercenaries and bastion of civilization, bazaar of the exotic and recruiting ground - this place is tumblestone inn, and it may be precariously close to the territory of orcs...but so far it stands, also thanks to the continuous influx of adventurers...and they keep coming, because it has pretty much become THE place to get hired...and so, shadowy patrons always frequent the corners of the place and gold is always changing hands.

Led by Aelliah Wilmaytn, an erstwhile mercenary captain and guarded by many of her fellow soldiers, the place is also surprisingly safe for its location and concentration of capable individuals -some of which come with nice, fluff-only write-ups. As often in the series, we get information on local dressing-habits and nomenclature - but this time around, we also get a marketplace (yes, dear 5E fans - you don't miss out this time around - there actually are a few lesser magic items for sale!), ale and room-prices and the obligatory events and rumors to add further spice to this locale.

Going one step beyond, we also get 10 fluff-only write ups of different mercenaries as well as 8 patrons, making this basically a fully staffed environment to drop into pretty much every hexcrawl or wilderness environment you could conceive. That being said, here in this section, the 5E-version partially uses generic NPC stats (guards, knights, etc. - you know the drill) and partially notes character classes with levels - I don't object to that, but it's something to bear in mind. There is one hiccup here, with what should be a "rogue 6" referred to as a "thief 6", though

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good. Layout adheres to RSP's elegant 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf features some nice b/w-artworks. The pdf comes in two iterations, one optimized for screen-use and one made for the printer - kudos there! The cartography by Simon Butler and Maciej Zagorski is excellent. I think by joining Raging Swan Press' patreon, you can actually get the high-res map for the evocative place, but I am not 100% sure. The map provided is cool, but sports keyed rooms.

From the Black Tower, still standing from the original keep, to the mercenaries herein, Creighton Broadhurst proves why he's this highly regarded - the man KNOWS what he is doing. Frankly, I should not be liking this pdf to the extent that I do; it's concept is so old and done, it doesn't have this novelty I tend to crave...which just goes to show what good prose and concise writing can achieve, for I indeed found myself loving this extremely useful home away from home, this ready to drop in adventuring hub. There is something about the totality of this place of power that transcends the building stones from which it was crafted, making it stand out and feel distinct, in spite of its conservative theme. While not 100% perfect, this conversion makes for an interesting and well-wrought supplement for a more than fair price-point. Hence, this very much deserves the full 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Places of Power: Tumblestone Inn (5e)
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