Immersion is an often ignored but vital part of role playing. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of supplements produced that aim to tell gamers what happens outside of the tavern wenches, corrupt city guards and dragon attacks.
For those hoping to add a bit of texture to their games, in particular their villages and towns, I highly recommend the City Builders series. Published by Skirmisher Publishing, the series is a fine resource to have when world designing. The latest in the series, City Builder Volume 6: Mercantile Places, is another detailed sourcebook of seven places to add to your game.
Mercantile Places introduces places of commerce to your game world. Even the typical places such as marketplaces and trading posts receive a realistic touch that add another dimension to them in your game. The writers take each entry very seriously, providing a bit of researched references without dipping into the dry well.
Each article in the 22 page PDF is 2 to 3 pages in length. It discusses history and definition of the place, and describes how it would work in a medieval or fantasy environment. I neat little addition are the adventure hooks. I found the adventure hooks to be very creative add-ons that utilize the place.
For the DM
I was very impressed with the descriptions of the typical places such as the marketplace and trading post, but overwhelmed with admiration at the writups of not so traditional pieces such as the banks and brokerage. I for one had written off such things in my game, as previous resource books I found were too elaborate and broke the immersion factor. Mercantile Places puts the buildings in their context and provides good examples for integration.
The Iron Word
City Builder Volume 6: Mercantile Places is another great addition to a series that aims to improve an important part of the role-playing game world. The series is not affiliated with any particular system, which makes it useable for any DM. If you find your villages Mundane, adding a Mercantile Place might be the right flavor you need.
[5 of 5 Stars!]