This supplement clocks in at 17 pages, including 12 pages of content. An NPC Grudge is the opposite of a boon: it is something an NPC can do to make things more difficult for the PCs other than just attacking them. After a brief introduction, we dive straight into a list of Grudges, sorted by the kind of NPC that gives them. They are organized first into regions (Urban grudges from NPCs in a generic city, followed by Rural, Frontier, Nautical, and Wilderness). Within each region, the grudges are sorted by the social standing or occupation of the NPC who grants them. For example, the urban grudges are sorted into lower, middle, and upper class NPCs, along with guard NPCs and other generic occupations.
The effects of the grudges are quite varied. The simplest grudges involve the NPC using their influence to give the PCs circumstance penalties on some kinds of skill checks while they are in the area. Others involve providing information to enemies of the PCs, or providing false information to others to create new enemies for the NPCs. Many grudges work via deception, such as giving the PCs an item which supposedly indicates favor with one faction (that the PCs will deal with shortly), but which actually indicates favor with an opposing faction. Wilderness NPCs can destroy or conceal bridges or shortcuts, or guide predators to the PC.
Many NPCs can influence others to apply their grudges as well. For example, one NPC can blackmail others into causing trouble for the PCs, but if the PCs end up helping the one being blackmailed, that NPC can switch from a grudge to a boon.
A few NPCs have stat-blocks, though most don’t. It might actually have been better without the statblocks, as they aren’t particularly remarkable and won’t be as helpful to the user as more grudges with the same word count would have been.
Small color illustrations of generic NPCs are sprinkled throughout this PDF.
Short Term Use: Since the NPCs are all fairly generic, it is relatively easy to work several grudge into your campaign, either by introducing an insignificant/generic character, or, more likely, by attaching grudges to appropriate existing NPCs in your campaign. Also, if the PCs earn the ire of an NPC, you can look for a generic NPC in this supplement which matches and use that grudge. However, they do take more planning to utilize fully than a typical combat encounter. Hence, this supplement earns a short term rating of 4/5.
Long Term Use: If you have time to plan grudges, you can cause far more trouble for the PCs than with a simple combat. Due to the way grudges can trigger each other, and the fact that the PCs may earn new grudges in their attempts to bypass or undo existing grudges, you can spin entire adventures out of a relatively simple objective blocked by a barrage of grudges. They work best at low and lower-mid levels, though, as higher level PCs are more likely to be able to negate the effects of most of the grudges. There is a fair amount of repetition in the later sections of the supplement. Even ignoring the repetitive grudges removed, though, you can get a lot of use out of this supplement without too much difficulty. Hence, it earns a long term rating of 4.5/5, rounded up to 5 due to the low price.
[5 of 5 Stars!]