This pdf is 20 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial,, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 13 pages of content dealing with details of armors, so what exactly do we get?
Well, the pdf kicks off with a short introduction on how to use it. Essentially, we are provided with tools to make the armors the PCs find more memorable - from cosmetic appearances of masterwork armors to appearances of magical armors, each of the short descriptions herein could be used to add versatility and variety to the treasure the PCs find. In order to facilitate the usage of this pd, we get a short d20 generator to randomly determine the type of the armor they find first as well as a short glossary of terms like pauldrons etc. before we delve into a two-pages spanning list of 50 different descriptions of light armors that should set them apart and add unique flavor to them:
Take for example a leather armor improved with strips of hardened mahogany and a painted depiction of a spider on the front and in the back with jewels for eyes. Or take an armored kilt covered with dozens of silver plates as protection. And yes, the infamous chain mail bikini also makes an appearance, though its uselessness and impracticability is commented on. I should also mention that a sample GP value for such an armor, if it is mundane, is assigned to each of the entries for further diversity, making buying and owning these pieces feel more unique.
Medium (again, 50 entries) and heavy armors (49 entries) get the same treatment - some of my favorite examples among them would be an armor made from tigerskin that comes with a claw necklace, a scale mail crafted from demon and devil exoskeletons, a hide armor made from the skin of a gorgon, a tatami-do armor with a collapsible kabuto and steel banded mail embroidered with calligraphy praising the god of the desert winds.
As a nice piece of bonus, we also get the same treatment for shields, which include wooden shields made from precious ebony and e.g. throwing shields embroidered with stars. It should be noted that we get 53 different shields.
After this, though, the awesomeness ramps up even further by providing us with a selection of 5 different unique armors that not only come with extensive background stories, but which also feature (of course) high prices and even suggested enchantments: From the armor of Dread Kaspar Manilov, which can be seen as an homage to Vlad the Impaler or my favorite vampire of all time, Strahd von Zarovich to the O-Yoroi (samurai great armor) of Watashi Jiro, who found himself tricked by a fox spirit and a catwoman (NOT the awful Hale Berry movie...)style armor that once belonged to the Royal Assassin, the new armors are nice indeed. The pdf also provides us with a final page of 20 examples for former owners of the armors and 20 other complications that can serve as plot hooks for enterprising GMs. It should be noted that some of the "other complications" actually have crunchy ramifications like granting minor DR or fitting badly.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, as I've come to expect from Raging Swan releases. Layout adheres to the elegant, printer-friendly 2-column standard and the pdf comes in 2 versions, one optimized for printer-use and one for screen-use. The pdf comes with extensive nested bookmarks.
The "So what's"-series of Raging Swan Press started off as a good idea, albeit one that was painfully dull to review. Over the course of its inception, though, the product line has not only grown, but also steadily improved. Taking a look at recent releases like the ones on taverns, spellbooks and weapons, I am not only smiling and using them extensively, I am also glad to announce that Richard Green's latest contribution to the line (he is also responsible for the one on weapons and, with Liz Smith, for the one on taverns) can stand up to the excellent quality established by the recent releases. Thus, I'm happy to pronounce a final verdict of 5 stars endzeitgeist seal of approval for another extremely useful contribution to the line.
[5 of 5 Stars!]