Originally Published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/02/15/tabletop-review-patricians-plebians/
INTRODUCTION: This thirty-six card set published by 1191 AD Publishing is designed for use by gamemasters for any fantasy/medieval roleplaying game of any version. The current configuration for the information cards are based on the D20 gaming system however can be modified for any fantasy gaming system with minor modification.
CONTENTS: Each of the thirty-six cards depict a portrait of a unique NPC (non-player class) for the gamemasters use. The cards also come with a secondary “mini-character sheet” that will accompany the individual portrait. Close observation of the portrait cards reveal that they represent all walks of life in a medieval society such as kings, princes, queens, princesses, noble men, noble women, town crier, beggar, soothsayer, maid, clergy, young people, old people, merchants, and various other figures. The portraits are each set up in such a way that the name of the person is printed on the very top and a brief description can be printed on the bottom of the card with the portrait of that NPC in the middle. The use of the PDF fillers and layers will make customization of these cards super easy. The mini-character sheet that accompanies the portrait cards covers important details such as character stats, hit points, initiative modifier, speed, armor class, attack information and a sizeable amount of lined space below to add other information such as adventure hooks, alignment, demeanor, equipment carried, and so on. Again, the mini-character sheet is filled in via the PDF filler and layer options of Adobe Acrobat. Instructions on how to utilize the latest version of Adobe Acrobat are included to make use of this gaming aid very easy to understand.
PRACTICAL USE: As stated earlier, the use of these cards by a gamemaster will allow him to display a visual representation of NPC’s to the player characters as they encounter them. The personal information on the mini-character sheet on the back of the card will keep all unneeded knowledge from the players. The cards could be used to represent travelling companions or even the player characters themselves.
POSITIVE NOTES: The added ease of using Adobe Acrobat to print information on the cards is a huge plus. The artwork is decent and clear enough to identify the personage the players will be engaging with. The mini-character sheets have enough generic information provided therefore allowing for easy modification for any fantasy/medieval roleplaying game. The product comes with easy to follow instructions that will assist gamemasters with creating the cards with minimal complexity and costs. The use of these cards will only enhance a game.
NEGATIVE NOTES: None
OVERALL REVIEW: This is an excellent product for those gamemasters who like to shower the players with NPC’s as they travel throughout the fantasy/medieval setting. The use of such props makes the game colorful and more descriptive and will only have the players engage in it more. It will also aid the players in remembering which NPC’s they have encountered beforehand in the event notes were not being taken.