City Slices Marketplace Fun is marvellously rich tome with well thought out encounters and situations which at first glance to PCs would appear mundane, but after the briefest chat with any innocuous NPC the players will soon realise that there’s many layers to these onions, with mini-games, adventure leads and skill challenges.
This is a very accessible document. Most of the pages are self-contained encounters, allowing the DM to print off single pages to put amongst their own notes -without raising too much suspicion that this would be any more than a normal trip into town for the PCs.
It’s tailored for 4E gaming but I’m guessing that it could be adapted to be used as part of a Pathfinder campaign, different editions of D&D, and most fantasy games, perhaps with some skills tweaking. The traders mentioned don’t have stats, but have enough background for a DM to elaborate on the basics if needs be.
Not wishing to reveal too much about the product, there’s some very refreshing takes on familiar locations and activities. One game “Frog n Flies” involves physically throwing the dice around in some sort of surreal boules game. On the very next page is a superb sub-quest /encounter in which the players are sent to purchase exclusive items from a list for an emperor, which is also a great way to get the players familiar with the layout of a new city.
From rats on sticks snacks to poison in bottles, from the interesting to the practical (practical to dungeoneering warriors, that is) there really is something for any campaign or urban adventure, with many opportunities for role-playing and non-combat skills checks.
In my opinion this product may also be of some use in historical settings or even more contemporary, exotic settings – a Cairo bazaar perhaps (providing you alter references to elves and dwarves, and mammoth furs… of course).
I’m looking forward to more from this series. Ace.