The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=19870.
A glistening silver chalice, delicately crafted and possessing an airy lightness, lies within a frayed hempen sack. A fist-sized blue-green stone with tiny red flecks. A scuffed and well-worn text written with manticore blood ink on fine linen paper… Masterwork Bongos? All these and more can be found among the random hoards that await within this release from Raging Swan Press.
While short, this is a strong edition to any GM’s resource library. In addition to providing tables for generating loot as well as descriptions for each item in the hoard, the basic rules for appraisal and magic item construction are included. Furthermore, several hoards contain items that are all thematically related, a scepter, a crown, and royal robes for example.
Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
The book is up to Raging Swan Press’s usual standards, which look back, artistically, to older RPG products. It is black and white, free of unnecessary ornamentation, and is quite legible. Overall, an elegant package in PDF or printed form.
Mechanics: 10 out of 10
The format of the entries is easy to use and the mechanics are organized in a consistent fashion. After the name and description of an item, it is followed up by rules for appraisal and magical item construction, as previously mentioned, verbatim, allowing quick reference during play.
Value Added: 9 out of 10
SWtHLA falls just short of a ten in Value Added because it only goes to level seven and can only be used with the intended ease for one third of the standard twenty levels. One might combine hoards to increase their level value or make other adjustments to change the values of a given hoard. I hope they release another book that contains hoards of higher levels. Additionally, all the various items can be used independent of the hoards as general descriptors.
Overall: 10 out of 10
This book rocks. While I love writing descriptions and noodling around with treasure, I certainly appreciate having someone else do the work for me. As I said, I hope they produce more of these books for higher levels, or even just books of descriptions of items. This is my second review of a Raging Swan product and I hope to have the opportunity to review many more.