DriveThruRPG.com
Browse









Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Christmas Megabundle [BUNDLE]
by Anne T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/11/2016 21:52:26

An incredibly generous bundle of very high quality material. Even though I no longer play Pathfinder (and would almost certainly never run it again), I've continued to pick up stuff here and there from Raging Swan Press because of its depth and versatility, and this bundle encompasses a great many things that would work for any GM, regardless of system. Even if you only entered the tabletop hobby via D&D 5th edition, or another less prominent RPG, you will find something that you can put to use immediately in your game, enriching the experience for yourself and your players. While I'm very glad that RGP has recently branched into 5E and system-neutral versions, I didn't hesitate a moment at picking this up (who could, at this price?!), and what I can't use directly I'll convert, and what I can't convert without losing too much of its soul, I'll just read and enjoy for the inspiration. I'll have lots to read this winter! Thanks, Creighton & Co.! :D



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Christmas Megabundle [BUNDLE]
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Be Awesome At Village Design
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/09/2016 15:32:36

This is a great product everything that Raging Swan has produced so far is good



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Be Awesome At Village Design
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Village Backdrop: Kingsfell
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/09/2016 15:30:59

This any every product that comes from Raging Swan is GREAT!!!!!!!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Village Backdrop: Kingsfell
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Places of Power: Penitent's Rest
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/08/2016 02:51:59

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!

Penitent's Rest, also known as Alikandra Lat, is a remote wilderness temple, named after a paladin seduced to the side of evil, who journeyed to this far-away place to atone for her sins. To this day, the temple is the goal of repentant pilgrims seeking redemption - and it is said, as mentioned in the lore provided, if the PCs do their research, that the paladin's spirit still shows herself to those praying at her cenotaph, sometimes possessing willing supplicants for quests of utmost importance.

This would btw. be one of the 6 events provided and, as often, whispers and rumors are provided. As a pilgrimage site, it only makes sense that there is a fluctuating array of people coming through, with a total of 11 penitents coming with fluffy write-ups - and each one can act as both dressing and as a further adventure hook. It should also be noted that the pdf sports brief notes on the daily life at this place, as well as full stats of aforementioned ex-paladin ghost alongside extended NPC-info: I.e. with appearance, distinguishing features, mannerisms, etc. A detailed account of her fall has similarly been provided for the GM's convenience.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are generally top-notch, I noticed no significant hiccups. 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 Dyson Logos is very good. 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 in the pdf is cool, but sports keyed rooms.

Jacob W. Michaels' Penitent's Rest is a nice place of sanctuary you can easily drop in just about any wilderness environment; it makes for a nice, easily inserted location with some solid options for crafting further adventures from. At the same time, the location, while easily inserted in just about any context, also, by virtue of its more general theme, doesn't make for a strong anchor; it's more a place to pass through or to catch one's breath in the deadly wilds and does that job well. Still, personally, I didn't get that much out of the place - I can and literally have made such a location myself before.

My final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars - experienced GMs may wish to round down, while time-starved GMs should round up. In the end, I believe a unique angle could have helped the location and provide a proper unique selling proposition...you know, loci, unique enchantments, the like. Hence, my final verdict will round down.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Places of Power: Penitent's Rest
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Christmas Megabundle [BUNDLE]
by Dr. J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/05/2016 11:06:05

These books are just amazing. Even though my group doesn't play Pathfinder, most of the content contained in these PDFs can work with any fantasy setting with a little work. I found that as I GMed my abilty to make towns and shops on the fly and still be interesting to be a weak point for me. This bundle will help to fix that with all the charts and ideas contained in the books.

Keep up the good work Guys!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Christmas Megabundle [BUNDLE]
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Publisher Reply:
Epic! Thank you for the kind words. I'm glad you are enjoying the books!
Christmas Megabundle [BUNDLE]
by Landon B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/04/2016 19:17:12

This is the best deal in third-party Pathfinder PDFs out there at the moment. This has a bunch of Raging Swan's best products, and if there are any that you already own (through previous DTRPG or RPGNow purchases) the price of those is prorated off of the bundle price. All around a fantastic bundle!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thank you very much. I'm delighted you've enjoy the bundle so much!
GM's Miscellany: 20 Things Volume I System Neutral Edition
by Garth H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/29/2016 09:21:12

You just can't go wrong with Raging Swan's 20-Things series, and this collection is proof of that. Excellent organization throughout and a DM's treasure trove of inspiration. If you don't find exactly what you're looking for chances are very high that the suggestions that are here will spur you on to your own highly detailed tidbits that add that extra layer of verisimilitude that players crave during game play. Simple to use, exciting to read. This ought to set any DM's brain on fire with possibilities.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
GM's Miscellany: 20 Things Volume I System Neutral Edition
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Village Backdrop: Umelas
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/24/2016 10:19:31

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!

Umelas is an utopian experiment and an adventure in disguise -formerly rules by Hiswin Baeler, it is not an easy place to stay in: With a steep ravine and an ever-present saccharine stench suffusing the town, from its sweet wines and cloying scent of white oak, the place embodies perfectly the creepiness of the sweet, the association with decay painted over by a scent of sugar and spice.

Everyone is smiling. There is joy all around...but much like a trip to Disneyland for a cynic, it makes you wonder, makes you see the darkness beyond...and indeed, only a few years ago, Umelas was wrecked by depression. Where today, sickness is rare and everyone seems healthy, that was not always the case. There are some rumors that this prosperity is the working of a benevolent fey named "Smiling Bracken" - and it indeed is...but what is the price the village has paid for its seemingly timeless blessings?

Well, the fey, for one, is unique and fully statted and from strange nightmares to the harsh consequences of unraveling the village's secret, the place stands as a grim reminder for cutting corners, for short-cuts...one that may well leave PCs asking themselves, whether the place wasn't better off before...or not. There is some complex morality and philosophy to be found in this little supplement. Oh, and yes, the pdf obviously comes with the usual notes on nomenclature, events, etc.

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, 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.

Jeff Gomez' Umelas is one of the most amazing villages in the series, but, much like the sweet wine it produces, Umelas is not for the faint of heart: Decidedly dark, it is a supplement perfectly suited for gamers craving a bit of horror or dark fantasy, a richly-detailed and amazing little piece of concise writing, presented in lavish prose. In fact, this could be run as basically a pocket domain of Ravenloft, if you'd so choose. And I mean that as a compliment. The experience of adventuring in Umelas will, much like eating sickeningly sweet food, stay with your PCs and players after they're done - and I tried hard not to SPOIL anything here. This is a great adventure, just waiting to be fleshed out and any GM worth half his salt can throw the PCs in and improvise a full-blown module out of this gem. Suffice to say: Get this! My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Village Backdrop: Umelas
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Treasures & Trinkets: Treasure Hoards #4 (5e)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/24/2016 10:18:11

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The fourth of the pdfs in this series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 2 pages of advertisements, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

What is this pdf all about? Well, in short, it provides 25 fully fleshed-out treasure hoards, ready to be dropped in your game, four of which feature no magic items. A handy d%-table lets you randomly determine which treasure hoard to use and the structure of the respective entries is nice: We first get coinage and then the respective entries, which range from jewels to potions and beyond, containing legendary items at these levels as well.

In many a case, an Intelligence DC 25 check can determine the value of the more obscure items, like platinum-plated scepters, though harder and lower DCs certainly can be found. Magic item-wise, you will find items here beyond the confines of scrolls and potions: Wells of many worlds, portable holes or universal solvents can provide some nice magical oomph to the beleaguered adventuring group. It should be mentioned that the respective 5e-items have been chosen rather well and that the treasure hoards do feature nice themes. Considering that this one covers hoards for challenge 17 - 20 we also find a few pieces of +3 items and high level potions and scrolls.

...but at the same time, the pdf has one big issue: It inherits my criticisms regarding its direct predecessors and does not mention for which levels the treasure hoards presented would be appropriate. The pdf mentions challenge 17 - 20 as a general guideline, but personally, I consider that to be a bit too broad of a span. Granted, at this level, the power is less of an issue than at lower levels, but still.

A total value is also not provided for the hoards, which means you have to read up the value of each of the entries, look up the magic items, total them with the coinage...you get the idea. Some precise values (perhaps with a plus and the magic item's scarcity, if any, added) would have made this significantly more useful, at least to me.

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 has no artworks, but needs none at this length. It does sport bookmarks for your convenience, though, and also comes in two versions - one optimized for screen-use and one optimized for the printer.

Ronald Calbick and Ben Kent's fourth installment for the series is, item-choice-wise and flavor-wise diverse and well-made, with 5e's items being well-distributed. However, the lack of total values and aforementioned handling gripes do limit the usefulness of this pdf, at least for me. Challenge 17 to 20 is also a VERY wide span and while the selection of items is diverse, with fluff adding something to the magical items, this does exacerbate the issues of the previous parts. At the same time, at this level, magic item bloat is no issue. My final verdict will hence, once again, clock in at 3.5 pages, rounded up for the purpose of this platform. Still, it could be easier to use, at least in my book.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures & Trinkets: Treasure Hoards #4 (5e)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Publisher Reply:
Thanks very much for the review, Endzeigeist. I much appreciate the time and effort. I wanted to reply to one facet of the review. I'm sorry the CR breakdown of the treasures didn’t work for you—I simply followed the recommended breakdown of treasure as presented in the core rules as it seemed to me best to keep as close as possible to the game’s core assumptions. In any event, thanks again for the review!
Treasures & Trinkets: Treasure Hoards #3 (5e)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/24/2016 10:16:11

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The third of the pdfs in this series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 2 pages of advertisements, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

What is this pdf all about? Well, in short, it provides 25 fully fleshed-out treasure hoards, ready to be dropped in your game, four of which feature no magic items. A handy d%-table lets you randomly determine which treasure hoard to use and the structure of the respective entries is nice: We first get coinage and then the respective entries, which range from jewels to potions and beyond, containing at these levels very rare items as well.

In many a case, an Intelligence DC 20 check can determine the value of the more obscure items, like clockwork egg, though harder and lower DCs certainly can be found. Magic item-wise, you will find items here beyond the confines of scrolls and potions: Hammers of thunderbolts, scales of resistance (force) or manuals of quickness of action can provide some nice magical oomph to the beleaguered adventuring group. It should be mentioned that the respective 5e-items have been chosen rather well and that the treasure hoards do feature nice themes. Considering that this one covers hoards for challenge 11 - 16 we also find a few pieces of +3 ammunition, +2 items and higher level potions and scrolls.

...but at the same time, the pdf has one big issue: It inherits my criticisms regarding its direct predecessors and does not mention for which levels the treasure hoards presented would be appropriate. The pdf mentions challenge 11 - 16 as a general guideline, but personally, I consider that to be a bit too broad of a span. Considering 5e's relatively conservative power-level, a over-use of this pdf could, much like that of its direct predecessor, theoretically lead to some serious magic item overload.

A total value is also not provided for the hoards, which means you have to read up the value of each of the entries, look up the magic items, total them with the coinage...you get the idea. Some precise values (perhaps with a plus and the magic item's scarcity, if any, added) would have made this significantly more useful, at least to me.

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 has no artworks, but needs none at this length. It does sport bookmarks for your convenience, though, and also comes in two versions - one optimized for screen-use and one optimized for the printer.

Ronald Calbick, Thomas King, Andrew J. Malkin, Chad Perrin and Liz Smith's third installment for the series is, item-choice-wise and flavor-wise diverse and well-made, with 5e's items being well-distributed. However, the lack of total values and aforementioned handling gripes do limit the usefulness of this pdf, at least for me. Challenge 11 to 16 is also a VERY wide span and while the selection of items is diverse, with fluff adding something to the magical items, this does exacerbate the issues of the previous parts. My final verdict will hence, once again, clock in at 3.5 pages, rounded down for the purpose of this platform since the ease of using is the main selling point of hoards like that, at least for me.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures & Trinkets: Treasure Hoards #3 (5e)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Village Backdrop: Silver Bluff
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/23/2016 04:57:56

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!

Silver Bluff is a mining town with a twist - sprung up as little more than a better camp, it began in a promising manner...but then, the mine's silver started to run out. At danger +30, you pretty much immediately realize that the local population did not take kindly to these changes and the ramshackle ethnic composition alongside the lack of a governing body mean that this is very much a dangerous place to be.

The vast chasm that separates the camp from the mine is also one of the reasons why this village is haunted by howling windstorms, which also influence the dressing habits of the place. The pdf does feature notes on nomenclature, appearance of locals and 6 rumors for your convenience. The village also features notes on the local tavern, paranoid representatives ...this is not the nicest place to spend your time, though e.g. mountain climbing equipment and a local dwarven cleric can help adventurers here. The pdf also features no less than 6 sample events...and one glorious hazard, which would be the semi-sentient, disintegrated machine that slowly regains its sentience and becomes a lethal, unique hazard - stopping it will be hard...and I wished it and hazards like it had been more prevalent here.

In an example of less is more, the notes of what's hidden in the chasm feel a bit less intriguing and tied to the settlement - by emphasizing the wind theme instead, it would have become even more compelling...but that may just be me.

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, 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.

Mike Welham's Silver Bluff is an evocative village with unique hazards and a nice theme. While it does not reach the apex of the series, the village still remains an excellent purchase and is well worth the low asking price. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Village Backdrop: Silver Bluff
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Treasures & Trinkets: Treasure Hoards #2 (5e)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/23/2016 04:55:12

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The second of the pdfs in this series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 2 pages of advertisements, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

What is this pdf all about? Well, in short, it provides 25 fully fleshed-out treasure hoards, ready to be dropped in your game, four of which feature no magic items. A handy d%-table lets you randomly determine which treasure hoard to use and the structure of the respective entries is nice: We first get coinage and then the respective entries, which range from jewels to potions and beyond, this time extending its reach to rare items as well.

In many a case, an Intelligence DC 15 check can determine the value of the more obscure items, like cherry wood jeweler's tools, though harder and lower DCs certainly can be found - odd: DC 5 is VERY low and looks a bit like a 1 was dropped there from a bronzewood tankard. Magic item-wise, you will find items here beyond the confines of scrolls and potions: Ropes of climbing, saddles of the cavalier or amulets of the planes can provide some nice magical oomph to the beleaguered adventuring group. It should be mentioned that the respective 5e-items have been chosen rather well and that the treasure hoards do feature nice themes. Considering that this one covers hoards for challenge 5 10 we also find a few +1 items and e.g. a broom of flying.

...but at the same time, the pdf has one big issue: It does not mention for which levels the treasure hoards presented would be appropriate. The pdf mentions challenge 5 - 10 as a general guideline, but personally, I consider that to be a bit too broad of a span. Considering 5e's relatively conservative power-level, a over-use of this pdf could, much like that of its direct predecessor, theoretically lead to some serious magic item overload for lower levels.

A total value is also not provided for the hoards, which means you have to read up the value of each of the entries, look up the magic items, total them with the coinage...you get the idea. Some precise values (perhaps with a plus and the magic item's scarcity, if any, added) would have made this significantly more useful, at least to me.

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 has no artworks, but needs none at this length. It does sport bookmarks for your convenience, though, and also comes in two versions - one optimized for screen-use and one optimized for the printer.

Ronald Calbick, Andrew J. Malkin and Liz Smith's second installment for the series is, item-choice-wise and flavor-wise diverse and well-made, with 5e's items being well-distributed. However, the lack of total values and aforementioned handling gripes do limit the usefulness of this pdf, at least for me. Challenge 5 to 10 is also a VERY wide span and while I consider the selection of items better here than even in #1, this does exacerbate the issues of part #1. My final verdict will hence, once again, clock in at 3.5 pages, rounded down for the purpose of this platform since the ease of using is the main selling point of hoards like that, at least for me.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures & Trinkets: Treasure Hoards #2 (5e)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Publisher Reply:
Thanks very much for the review, Endzeigeist. I much appreciate the time and effort. I wanted to reply to one facet of the review. I'm sorry the CR breakdown of the treasures didn’t work for you—I simply followed the recommended breakdown of treasure as presented in the core rules as it seemed to me best to keep as close as possible to the game’s core assumptions. In any event, thanks again for the review!
Treasures & Trinkets: Treasure Hoards #1 (5e)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/23/2016 04:53:10

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The first of the pdfs in this series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 2 pages of advertisements, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

What is this pdf all about? Well, in short, it provides 25 fully fleshed-out treasure hoards, ready to be dropped in your game, two of which feature no magic items. A handy d%-table lets you randomly determine which treasure hoard to use and the structure of the respective entries is nice: We first get coinage and then the respective entries, which range from jewels to potions, with a few uncommon magic items thrown in for good measure.

In many a case, an Intelligence DC 10 check can determine the value of the more obscure items, like a rare, illustrated children's book, though harder DCs certainly can be found. Magic item-wise, you will find items here beyond the confines of scrolls and potions: Stones of good luck, eyes of the eagle or driftglobes can provide some nice magical oomph to the beleaguered adventuring group. It should be mentioned that the respective 5e-items have been chosen rather well and that the treasure hoards do feature nice themes...

...but at the same time, the pdf has one big issue: It does not mention for which levels the treasure hoards presented would be appropriate. The pdf mentions challenge 0 - 4 as a general guideline, but personally, I think that is a pretty generous estimate. Considering 5e's relatively conservative power-level, a over-use of this pdf could, theoretically lead to some serious magic item overload for lower levels. A total value is also not provided for the hoards, which means you have to read up the value of each of the entries, look up the magic items, total them with the coinage...you get the idea. Some precise values (perhaps with a plus and the magic item's scarcity, if any, added) would have made this significantly more useful, at least to me.

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 has no artworks, but needs none at this length. It does sport bookmarks for your convenience, though, and also comes in two versions - one optimized for screen-use and one optimized for the printer.

Ronald Calbick, Thomas King and Chad Perrin deliver a nice array of generally evocative treasure hoards herein and in the categories of diversity and imagination, there is not much to complain about. However, the lack of total values and aforementioned handling gripes do limit the usefulness of this pdf, at least for me. By no means a bad book, this pdf does lose its stab at excellence thus. My final verdict will clock in at 3.5 pages, rounded down for the purpose of this platform since the ease of using is the main selling point of hoards like that, at least for me.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures & Trinkets: Treasure Hoards #1 (5e)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Publisher Reply:
Thanks very much for the review, Endzeigeist. I much appreciate the time and effort. I wanted to reply to one facet of the review. I'm sorry the CR breakdown of the treasures didn’t work for you—I simply followed the recommended breakdown of treasure as presented in the core rules as it seemed to me best to keep as close as possible to the game’s core assumptions. In any event, thanks again for the review!
Campaign Events: Prison Break
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/20/2016 11:03:32

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Raging Swan press' Campaign events-series clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look!

We begin this installment with a massive table of 100 entries for general prison break dressing: Rust-corroded door-hinges, greasy fingertips on iron bars, barely perceivable cracks in the perimeter, grids on administrative desks with hundreds of numbers, emptied iron flasks, detailed codices with prison numbers, metal mouthorgans left on prisoner cots - the table generates some nice dressing, though I do have a bit of a complaint - some entries, to me, feel more like they are relevant for a prison break that has happened some time ago, whereas others feel more "fresh" -splitting the table may have been a prudent move here.

A table of 50 minor events to encounter during a prison break, on the other hand, feels firmly rooted in the present: Barking dogs, prisoners frenetically tapping on doors, corpses of inmates on carts, fire pits in common areas growing cold... the table feels properly focused. After a cool b/w artwork of a tree with hanged men dangling from it in b/w, a total of 50 prisoners would be next - these fellows are fluff-only, obviously, and come with alignment notes as well as brief notes on race, class and level - and they include gnolls, kobolds and the like, although a doppelgänger deserves special mention as an entity that can switch sides. From master forgers to counterfeiters or musical inmates, we get a lot in the less pleasant alignment spectrum, sure...but good folks can be found here as well.

Finally, no less than 20 complications and hooks can add some further dynamics to the proceedings - arrivals of new prisoners, discreetly distributed shivs, a subdual of a particularly cruel guard - there are quite a few intriguing angles to pursue here, even when they technically fit imho better in the range to lead up to a prison break.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press' neat two-column b/w-standard and the pdf sports multiple artworks: While fans of Raging Swan press may know one from before, the others are original, evocative pieces. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and comes in two versions - one optimized for the printer and one for screen-use - kudos.

Christopher Wasko's dressing tables per se are pretty great - they manage to evoke a sense of desolation, of despair and the notes on prisoners helps make a prison come alive. Which brings me to the main weakness of this pdf - de facto, I don't think it'll help me particularly run a prison break. As a dressing-only file, it allows for excellent prison dressing, but neither for security measures, nor for encounters, skill challenges, etc. - a prison break is a dynamic affair and this enhances dynamics, yes...but it does not emphasize the dynamics of the prison break. We get to know things about prisoners, but not in the context of the prison break in process. Basically, my reasoning is that this is Campaign Events: Prison and not Campaign Events: Prison Break. Now I know, I should rate what's here and what's here is nice - but ultimately, I went into this expecting more, something different, and ended up being disappointed. If you're looking for a good prison dressing file, then this certainly delivers in spades; if you're looking for a prison BREAK dressing or gaming toolkit, then you'll be disappointed. For the former, I'd consider this to be a 4.5 stars-book, for the latter a 3-stars-offering. In the end, my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo. Just please note that this is NOT a prison break themed file.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Campaign Events: Prison Break
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

20 Things #8: Cultist's Lair (System Neutral Edition)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/16/2016 10:09:30

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of Raging Swan Press' system-neutral #20-series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's take a look!

The 8th installment of the system-neutral dressing-series by Raging Swan press wastes no time and begins with 10 cultists with a personality - from affable halfling couples to scarred dagger-wielders performing "sacred" duties or sheltered wives finding "purpose" in a cult, the characters provided indeed have personality - they are, obviously, system-neutral and thus stat-free, but should be considered to be worthwhile, nice write-ups of persons and worthy angles to pursue/include in your game.

A table of 20 odds and ends to find in a cultist's lair adds some nice rolelaying/investigative potential: Why are there uniforms of the militia here? What's the story behind those feathered animal masks (the original "Wicker Man", anyone?), sealed scrolls with missives? There is a lot of nice material providing further angles here. A total of 4 unholy books, from the tome of sibilant terror to the libram of ineffable damnation complement the selection here.

The next table would be an old one - 20 Things to find on a cultist's altar would actually be, entry for entry, the reproduction of "20 Things to find on an Evil Altar" for GM's Miscellany: 20 Things Volume I - why the rename of the table? No idea, but it is something to be aware of when you use both books and wanted some different dressings here. Since "cult" implies secrecy more often than not, some emphasis on stealth/subtlety here as opposed to in-your-face evil altar would have been nice to see here. The 12 items to be found on the altar similarly overlap.

That being said, I have not seen the entries of things to loot from a dead cultist's body before, unless I am sorely mistaken: Beyond curved bronze knives, 3-pronged candlesticks and shattered mirror shardsSecret compartments in shirts, bloody rags, pierced nipples and vaguely humanoid-shaped fetishes add an appropriate sense of the creepy to the proceedings.

The next table, pertaining 20 effects affecting an (evil) altar, has also be slightly renamed, but otherwise is taken directly from the GM's Miscellany: 20 Things Volume I book, providing slightly more overlap here. Once again, more subtlety regarding the entries could have provided a more distinct angle, but that may just be me complaining at a high level.

The final page does end on a high note, though: 20 vile things to be found in a cultist's lair provide faint outlines of summoning circles, gold-encased demon skulls, pools filled with red liquid that emits a silver glow, statues sewn together from humanoid parts...grisly and cool. Additionally, the pdf suggests a 10-entry array of unpleasant things happening upon touching these vile objects, which range from horrific visions to becoming evil for 24 hours, speaking in ancient tongues or learning the true name of a powerful entity...who now obviously wants the PC dead, make for unique and cool twists.

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! The pdf sports some nice b/w-artworks.

John Bennett, Creighton Broadhurst and Mike Welham all are pretty much authors that guarantee to me that I'll at least kind of like a given book: They have in common that they are talented, creative and have a way with words that may even evoke unique concepts with a scant few pages; in short, their dressing-books are generally amazing. This is no different, to be frank - the new dressing providing within these pages is excellent and up to the highest level of quality. The 2 reprinted dressing pages similarly rank among the better ones are quality-wise, are nice...but I couldn't shake the feeling that they could have emphasized the "cult"-aspect more.

Due to their origin as dressing for a more generally applicable theme, namely evil religion, they feel a bit less subtle, a bit less rickety and "culty" than the other dressings. So yes, while the new material is enough to warrant the fair asking price for those of you who already have the big book, I couldn't help but find that emphasizing the oftentimes illegitimate nature of the cult more and/or modifying these tables would have elevated this dressing file further. By no means bad and still a worthwhile purchase, this is the reason I can't go higher than 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
20 Things #8: Cultist's Lair (System Neutral Edition)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 76 to 90 (of 767 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates