If you are like me, one of the most tedious parts to game preparation is designing and statting NPCs. This can get especially difficult when attempting to do so on the fly in those hard to predict situations where the party decides to go right instead of left. Raging Swan Press saw a niche in the Paizo PDF realm and has filled it admirably with their Tribes series of PDFs. These PDFs do a lot more than provide a few measly stat blocks. Each book provides a detailed group of NPCs, fully statted, with mini backgrounds, mechanics and strong descriptions. More importantly, each includes lengthy adventure hooks. Turning the product from a simple collection of NPCs to a possible adventure generator for any situation. And, if you still do not realize you are getting your bang for the book, they include a plethora of web enhancements related to each book that include maps and other encounters.
Bugbears of the Frozen Tears is another strong entry by Raging Swan. I rarely use bugbears in my campaigns. They come off as a fairly boring creature- a poor man’s orc. My prejudice towards bugbears is part of the reason I liked this Tribes entry. It spices up your traditional bugbear tribe by providing a cold oriented bugbear tribe that feeds of the terrible tales told of them. The additional class features, feats, magic items and spells go a long way to adjusting bugbears into the ferocious cold predator tribe presented in the meaty 27 page PDF.
One of the best features of the PDF are the minor and major encounters, which do a strategic job of utilizing a fairly minor spell and turning it into a deadly distraction. The only downfall of this title are the few and brief hiccups with layout. A small price to pay for an a unique perspective of an overused creature.
[4 of 5 Stars!]