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20 Things #24: Sun-scorched Desert (System Neutral Edition)
by Jeremy W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/19/2019 16:08:24

Not as impressed by this one as I was in Wizard's Tower: I kind of feel like 20 Desert Dressings and 20 Uneventful Days were too similar. And while it might not need to be a strike against this product I wish this wasn't as focused on sandy deserts: maybe one extra article on 20 things to run across in a Sonoran-type desert.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
20 Things #24: Sun-scorched Desert (System Neutral Edition)
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Languard Locations: Under the City (5e)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/16/2019 03:22:10

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The final installment of the impressive Languard Locations-series, which further elaborates upon the unique locales to be found in the city of Languard clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

It is time, my fellow travelers, to once more walk the streets of Languard, of this beautiful and horrible pearl of the Duchy of Ashlar – and this time around, we won’t go to a particular neighborhood. Instead, we will light our torches and delve below the dirty, cobblestone streets and explore what lies beneath the surface of this city.

In case you were wondering – we do get the full-page map of Languard, beautifully hand-crafted by Tommi Salama, and on it, the respective places are noted. While I very much would have welcomed a map of the main tunnel systems, this map does do its job and contextualizes the respective locales featured within.

A total of 9 new locations are provided in this pdf, and, as before, the respective write-ups all feature their own adventure hooks. They sport the sensible letter and number combination that allows you to easily assign them to a neighborhood. “S7”? Obviously a location in the shambles. It’s a small thing, but one I enjoy. Key NPCs note race and class, as well as alignment, but otherwise remain focused on flavor-text. Where applicable, the 5e-iteration references the default NPC-stats, and where this would make no sense, a combination of class-name and suggested level allow for easy contextualization. There are no stats provided, but you probably won’t expect them at this point.

6 of the locations are roughly in the vicinity of the High City, and there is a reason for that, as the introductory paragraphs duly note: North of the Svart, an abundance of natural caverns made for an easy choice to expand into a proper, full-blown sewer system…but the same did not hold true for the poor South of the city: Low City, shambles, fishshambles, wrecks – these places will feel just as grimy as you probably envision them to be, as noted in their respective reviews. In the context of a fantasy world more so than within the context of a mundane one, there is obvious danger looming within the darkness of sewers – and indeed, Languard does have a force that takes care of that…the Dark Wardens. Languardians living in the High City call the tax that pays for these men and women the Shit Tax – for obvious reasons.

In the dark recesses beneath the earth, you can find the “House of the Clouded Mind” – more commonly known by its informal moniker – The “Screaming Halls.” These darkened and damp corridors house Languard’s insane, and while the house above ground may be pleasant enough, the same can’t be said for the regions below that act as a dumping ground for undesirables. Less grim and heart-wrenching would be the dwarven shrine, set into Languard’s cliffs, where the stout folk may worship in peace and in cavernous settings.

In a cavern, right in the midst of a pool, there is a shard of clearly unnatural rock – the low shard. In the dim twilight, a toll must be paid to enter, but in the strange presence of the rock formation, couples tryst and both dalliances and alliances are commemorated. A cavern beneath a lamp-lit tent conceals the entrance to the black market of Languard, where freak show entertainers, exotic goods and weaponry and more may be purchased…if you can pay the price and know where to look, that is.

And then there would be the tunnel of shades, and amazing adventure location. A prior ruler of Languard once had the idea to give the unemployed something to do, and attempted to tunnel under the Svart, connecting the two halves of the city. Well, turns out that this did not go well. Partially flooded, courtesy of incompetence, and haunted by the spirits of the dead, this tunnel may exist, but it is a dangerous proposal to navigate it by skiff.

Right beneath the eminent Father, there are the Languard catacombs, divided by class just as the city above is. In the Shambles, south of the Svart, there is Saren the rag-lady – a potent information-broker rumored to be undead…and a glance at her sloughing skin and blisters may well lead the PCs to conclude that the rumors are true. Prices for information on specific targets are provided. If you’ve read the supplement on the Shambles, it should come as no surprise that the chaos of the place does extend to the area below the surface. And indeed, the maze of wooden passageways and linked cellars makes for a labyrinthine environment, while also housing the headquarters of the Shadow Masks. Finally, beneath the notoriously unstable and wretched Wrecks, there lies the place known as Smuggler’s Crux, a maze of half-sunken canals, crawl-holes and soughs of connected barrels – unreliable, notoriously dangerous, and twisted, air pockets can be found in side vents and wells, subterranean rangers and rogues lair here…and there even is a tiny subterranean sanctum for the truly desperate. I adore this one!

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level. As this basically contains next to no rules, there isn’t much to do wrong here. Layout adheres to the series’ elegant two-column b/w-standard and the pdf sports a plethora of really nice b/w-artworks. As noted before, Tommi Salama’s cartography of Languard is excellent, and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The pdf also comes in two iterations, one intended for screen-use, and one intended to be printed out.

Creighton Broadhurst, Steve Hood and Richard Pett provide a triumphant farewell to Languard and its locations. The series has managed to seed the already impressive city with truly remarkable, down to earth, grimy and gritty locales that get the creative juices flowing, and this supplement is no exception. The 5e iteration holds up to the comparison with the other two versions of this installment, retaining the strengths of the supplement. A worthy final offering, this pdf gets 5 stars + my seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Languard Locations: Under the City (5e)
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Creator Reply:
Thank you so much for this review, End. I much appreciated it and I'm delighted you enjoyed the book!
Languard Locations: Under the City
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/16/2019 03:16:44

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The final installment of the impressive Languard Locations-series, which further elaborates upon the unique locales to be found in the city of Languard clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

It is time, my fellow travelers, to once more walk the streets of Languard, of this beautiful and horrible pearl of the Duchy of Ashlar – and this time around, we won’t go to a particular neighborhood. Instead, we will light our torches and delve below the dirty, cobblestone streets and explore what lies beneath the surface of this city.

In case you were wondering – we do get the full-page map of Languard, beautifully hand-crafted by Tommi Salama, and on it, the respective places are noted. While I very much would have welcomed a map of the main tunnel systems, this map does do its job and contextualizes the respective locales featured within.

A total of 9 new locations are provided in this pdf, and, as before, the respective write-ups all feature their own adventure hooks. They sport the sensible letter and number combination that allows you to easily assign them to a neighborhood. “S7”? Obviously a location in the shambles. It’s a small thing, but one I enjoy. Key NPCs note race and class, as well as alignment, but otherwise remain focused on flavor-text. There are no stats provided, but you probably won’t expect them at this point.

6 of the locations are roughly in the vicinity of the High City, and there is a reason for that, as the introductory paragraphs duly note: North of the Svart, an abundance of natural caverns made for an easy choice to expand into a proper, full-blown sewer system…but the same did not hold true for the poor South of the city: Low City, shambles, fishshambles, wrecks – these places will feel just as grimy as you probably envision them to be, as noted in their respective reviews. In the context of a fantasy world more so than within the context of a mundane one, there is obvious danger looming within the darkness of sewers – and indeed, Languard does have a force that takes care of that…the Dark Wardens. Languardians living in the High City call the tax that pays for these men and women the Shit Tax – for obvious reasons.

In the dark recesses beneath the earth, you can find the “House of the Clouded Mind” – more commonly known by its informal moniker – The “Screaming Halls.” These darkened and damp corridors house Languard’s insane, and while the house above ground may be pleasant enough, the same can’t be said for the regions below that act as a dumping ground for undesirables. Less grim and heart-wrenching would be the dwarven shrine, set into Languard’s cliffs, where the stout folk may worship in peace and in cavernous settings.

In a cavern, right in the midst of a pool, there is a shard of clearly unnatural rock – the low shard. In the dim twilight, a toll must be paid to enter, but in the strange presence of the rock formation, couples tryst and both dalliances and alliances are commemorated. A cavern beneath a lamp-lit tent conceals the entrance to the black market of Languard, where freak show entertainers, exotic goods and weaponry and more may be purchased…if you can pay the price and know where to look, that is.

And then there would be the tunnel of shades, and amazing adventure location. A prior ruler of Languard once had the idea to give the unemployed something to do, and attempted to tunnel under the Svart, connecting the two halves of the city. Well, turns out that this did not go well. Partially flooded, courtesy of incompetence, and haunted by the spirits of the dead, this tunnel may exist, but it is a dangerous proposal to navigate it by skiff.

Right beneath the eminent Father, there are the Languard catacombs, divided by class just as the city above is. In the Shambles, south of the Svart, there is Saren the rag-lady – a potent information-broker rumored to be undead…and a glance at her sloughing skin and blisters may well lead the PCs to conclude that the rumors are true. Prices for information on specific targets are provided. If you’ve read the supplement on the Shambles, it should come as no surprise that the chaos of the place does extend to the area below the surface. And indeed, the maze of wooden passageways and linked cellars makes for a labyrinthine environment, while also housing the headquarters of the Shadow Masks. Finally, beneath the notoriously unstable and wretched Wrecks, there lies the place known as Smuggler’s Crux, a maze of half-sunken canals, crawl-holes and soughs of connected barrels – unreliable, notoriously dangerous, and twisted, air pockets can be found in side vents and wells, subterranean rangers and rogues lair here…and there even is a tiny subterranean sanctum for the truly desperate. I adore this one!

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level. As this basically contains next to no rules, there isn’t much to do wrong here. Layout adheres to the series’ elegant two-column b/w-standard and the pdf sports a plethora of really nice b/w-artworks. As noted before, Tommi Salama’s cartography of Languard is excellent, and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The pdf also comes in two iterations, one intended for screen-use, and one intended to be printed out.

Creighton Broadhurst, Steve Hood and Richard Pett provide a triumphant farewell to Languard and its locations. The series has managed to seed the already impressive city with truly remarkable, down to earth, grimy and gritty locales that get the creative juices flowing, and this supplement is no exception. A worthy final offering, this pdf gets 5 stars + my seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Languard Locations: Under the City
Click to show product description

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Creator Reply:
Thank you so much for this review, End. I much appreciated it and I'm delighted you enjoyed the book!
Thank you so much for this review, End. I much appreciated it and I'm delighted you enjoyed the book!
Languard Locations: Under the City (SN)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/16/2019 03:12:01

An Endzeitgeist.com review

The final installment of the impressive Languard Locations-series, which further elaborates upon the unique locales to be found in the city of Languard clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

It is time, my fellow travelers, to once more walk the streets of Languard, of this beautiful and horrible pearl of the Duchy of Ashlar – and this time around, we won’t go to a particular neighborhood. Instead, we will light our torches and delve below the dirty, cobblestone streets and explore what lies beneath the surface of this city.

In case you were wondering – we do get the full-page map of Languard, beautifully hand-crafted by Tommi Salama, and on it, the respective places are noted. While I very much would have welcomed a map of the main tunnel systems, this map does do its job and contextualizes the respective locales featured within.

A total of 9 new locations are provided in this pdf, and, as before, the respective write-ups all feature their own adventure hooks. They sport the sensible letter and number combination that allows you to easily assign them to a neighborhood. “S7”? Obviously a location in the shambles. It’s a small thing, but one I enjoy. Key NPCs note race and class, as well as alignment, but otherwise remain focused on flavor-text. There are no stats provided, but you probably won’t expect them at this point. The system neutral version properly references old-school class nomenclature – you won’t see rogues or newfangled wizards here – it’s all thieves and magic-users.

6 of the locations are roughly in the vicinity of the High City, and there is a reason for that, as the introductory paragraphs duly note: North of the Svart, an abundance of natural caverns made for an easy choice to expand into a proper, full-blown sewer system…but the same did not hold true for the poor South of the city: Low City, shambles, fishshambles, wrecks – these places will feel just as grimy as you probably envision them to be, as noted in their respective reviews. In the context of a fantasy world more so than within the context of a mundane one, there is obvious danger looming within the darkness of sewers – and indeed, Languard does have a force that takes care of that…the Dark Wardens. Languardians living in the High City call the tax that pays for these men and women the Shit Tax – for obvious reasons.

In the dark recesses beneath the earth, you can find the “House of the Clouded Mind” – more commonly known by its informal moniker – The “Screaming Halls.” These darkened and damp corridors house Languard’s insane, and while the house above ground may be pleasant enough, the same can’t be said for the regions below that act as a dumping ground for undesirables. Less grim and heart-wrenching would be the dwarven shrine, set into Languard’s cliffs, where the stout folk may worship in peace and in cavernous settings.

In a cavern, right in the midst of a pool, there is a shard of clearly unnatural rock – the low shard. In the dim twilight, a toll must be paid to enter, but in the strange presence of the rock formation, couples tryst and both dalliances and alliances are commemorated. A cavern beneath a lamp-lit tent conceals the entrance to the black market of Languard, where freak show entertainers, exotic goods and weaponry and more may be purchased…if you can pay the price and know where to look, that is.

And then there would be the tunnel of shades, and amazing adventure location. A prior ruler of Languard once had the idea to give the unemployed something to do, and attempted to tunnel under the Svart, connecting the two halves of the city. Well, turns out that this did not go well. Partially flooded, courtesy of incompetence, and haunted by the spirits of the dead, this tunnel may exist, but it is a dangerous proposal to navigate it by skiff.

Right beneath the eminent Father, there are the Languard catacombs, divided by class just as the city above is. In the Shambles, south of the Svart, there is Saren the rag-lady – a potent information-broker rumored to be undead…and a glance at her sloughing skin and blisters may well lead the PCs to conclude that the rumors are true. Prices for information on specific targets are provided. If you’ve read the supplement on the Shambles, it should come as no surprise that the chaos of the place does extend to the area below the surface. And indeed, the maze of wooden passageways and linked cellars makes for a labyrinthine environment, while also housing the headquarters of the Shadow Masks. Finally, beneath the notoriously unstable and wretched Wrecks, there lies the place known as Smuggler’s Crux, a maze of half-sunken canals, crawl-holes and soughs of connected barrels – unreliable, notoriously dangerous, and twisted, air pockets can be found in side vents and wells, subterranean rangers and rogues lair here…and there even is a tiny subterranean sanctum for the truly desperate. I adore this one!

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level. As this basically contains next to no rules, there isn’t much to do wrong here. Layout adheres to the series’ elegant two-column b/w-standard and the pdf sports a plethora of really nice b/w-artworks. As noted before, Tommi Salama’s cartography of Languard is excellent, and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The pdf also comes in two iterations, one intended for screen-use, and one intended to be printed out.

Creighton Broadhurst, Steve Hood and Richard Pett provide a triumphant farewell to Languard and its locations. The series has managed to seed the already impressive city with truly remarkable, down to earth, grimy and gritty locales that get the creative juices flowing, and this supplement is no exception. The system neutral version of this supplement retains all the strengths of the other iterations. A worthy final offering, this pdf gets 5 stars + my seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Languard Locations: Under the City (SN)
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GM's Miscellany: The Thingonomicon (System Neutral)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/07/2019 11:01:34

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This massive compilation clocks in at 188 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC, 1 page foreword, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 179 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

This review was requested as a prioritized review by my patreon supporters and moved up in my reviewing queue accordingly

First of all, this supplement has got to have one of the coolest names ever – kudos there! In case you did not notice, this one represents a compilation of Raging Swan Press’ first 25 installments of the #20 Things-series of dressing files.

This means it covers ancient necropolises, bustling marketplaces, creepy graveyards, cultist lairs, curio shops &pawnbrokers, dark caverns, fallen dwarven holds, forts in borderlands, goblin lairs, haunted houses, hill giant steadings, kobold warrens, looting bodies of various professions, necromancers lairs, noisome sewers, ocean voyages, seedy taverns, slaver compounds, smuggler lairs, subterranean mines, sun-scorched deserts, townfolk and villagers, troublesome treasures, war-ravaged lands, wilderness camping and wizard towers. Coincidentally, I have reviewed all of these individual dressing files, which means that, should you require a detailed breakdown of the files, you can just click on the “#20-things-series”-tag on my homepage and have the reviews listed in a convenient manner.

I’m not particularly fond of repeating myself, so I will refrain from discussing all of these aspects in detail once more, instead focusing on how this works as a compilation.

Well, the first thing you’ll notice would pertain organization of the material – the respective entries have been organized alphabetically, which is one way to do it. We thus begin with “Ancient Necropolises” and move through the list above in the sequence I presented it.

This means that you won’t e.g. have one section for dungeons, one for urban environments. One for NPCs/corpses, instead, focusing, well, on an alphabetic presentation. While usually, I’d consider that to be a detriment on a comfort level, closer examination of the book led me to a different conclusion: Since the topics covered are rather diverse and disparate, there is not a single properly suitable organization paradigm I could come up with that would have been more efficient that a simple alphabetical presentation. If one would have e.g. grouped necropolis and crypts together, what’d one do with necromancer stuff? Put it there, or adjacent to the wizard’s tower? Closer examination of the book yielded a lot of these conundrums – so yeah, organization in an alphabetical sequence is pretty much the one feasible way to go here, and it makes sense that the book went that route.

Slightly less amusing – there is some overlap among a few of the respective #20 Things-entries. This, for example, affects the entries for the necromancer’s lair and wizard’s towers. Both of these have a duplicate of the same “20 Things to find in a Necromancer’s Sanctum” page, including the same 6 pickled and preserved things. It’s certainly nothing that sinks the supplement, and considering the quality, this duplicate doesn’t hurt the book in the slightest, but it still remains a minor blemish in my book. Then again, it thus is a faithful compilation of the material. Heck, you know me by now – I always have to find something to complain about. ;)

Kidding aside, the Thingonomicon’s dressing, as a whole, is ridiculously useful, and having the book in proper print is a huge boon – much like the phenomenal Dungeon/Wilderness-dressing books (still among my most-used books EVER), this is used much more when you just have it lying there, within reach, at the table. Flip it open, and viola! Need a blasphemous tome? The Rat’s Nest was written into the very fabric of the world, and cannot be unwritten, showing up as glyphs and symbols in filth, mold and rat’s nests. Now that is one damn amazing angle, right? What about a tome that may only ever be tattooed, vanishing if written otherwise? Got a kobold warren? 10 trap suggestions, right there. PCs wandered into a seedy tavern? 10 strange things behind the bar will certainly piqued their curiosity. This is one of those books that are just…useful, that allow you to focus more on things that matter.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting re very good on a formal level, and being system neutral, rules-wise, tehre’s nothing to complain about either. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press’ elegant two-column b/w-standard, and the pdf sports nice b/w-artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks, though, oddly, the Wizard’s Tower-section does not list its bookmarks as nested. They’re still here, but yeah. One of the bookmarks has a superfluous “s”, and I noticed a few not linking to the correct page: Dead adventurer bookmark links to the subchapter header, while dead bard erroneously links to dead adventurer. These only ever are a single page off, and if you display two pages at a time on your reader, this is a non-issue. The pdf comes in two different versions, one optimized for screen-use and one optimized for the printer. Kudos!

Alexander Augunas, Aaron Bailey, John Bennett, Creighton Broadhurst, Ronald Calbick, Seamus Conneely, Kalyna Conrad, Jeff Gomez, Eric Hindley, Cole Kronewitter, Jacob W. Michaels, David Posener, Paul Quarles, Alex Riggs, David N. Ross, Liz Smith, Amber Underwood, Mike Welham – if you know anything about the authors currently working in the 3pp-circuit for Pathfinder, you’ll be familiar with most, if not all of them – the cadre of talented authors has crafted a wide array of useful dressing articles, which are enhanced even more by being compiled in a concise tome. Much like Dungeon Dressing back in the day, I wholly expect this book to be significantly more useful in print that in its electronic iteration, and indeed, I plan on purchasing the hardcover at my earliest convenience. While I can’t comment on the merits of the print version of this book, I do own plenty of Raging Swan Press print books – many of which are crucial tools in my game prepping and running. This book, while system-immanently less focused than previous Dressing compilations, nonetheless serves an important role, in that it really helps you bring to life complexes and adventuring locations, particularly those that are depicted in a more sketch-like manner – a perfect example of a book that can really use the details provided here will hit sites next week. For books like that, spontaneous adventures, mini-dungeons and locales, etc. in particular, this must be considered to be an all but invaluable resource, and as such, in spite of its minor flaws, which pale in view of what it brings to the table, this book gets 5 stars + seal of approval, as well as a nomination for my Top Ten of 2018.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
GM's Miscellany: The Thingonomicon (System Neutral)
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Creator Reply:
Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Thank you so much for this review! Epic!
The Lonely Coast
by Henrik S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/05/2019 03:44:06

A great little sourcebook for a low-fantasy setting. A couple of small villages stringed together in a woodland region with lots of potential adventure. I really like the various small details such as charts for travelling times, weather and combined with some of RSP other village backdrops it is easy to get all the details you need. Personally I have used it more as of a blue-print to format my own thoughts and settings.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lonely Coast
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the kind words, Henrik. I much appreciate them and I'm glad you enjoyed the Lonely Coast!
20 Things #3: Wizard's Tower (System Neutral Edition)
by Jeremy W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/18/2018 19:04:03

I love weird details. Mundane stuff doesn't excite me to explore or tell stories.

So Wizard's Tower is a pretty perfect product: you get all sorts of weird details that just beg for going a little bit further. Magic stuff to happen and tickle the senses, features and knick-knacks, a few gruesome things, and some interesting books. I can certainly see these having value beyond the standard tower of a lone mage.

One Last Thing: It should be noted that 20 Things To Find In A Necormancer's Sanctum is also printed in "20 Things #16: Neocmancer's Lair". This is neither good nor bad, but if that sort of thing annoys you now you know.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
20 Things #3: Wizard's Tower (System Neutral Edition)
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Creator Reply:
Thank you for the review, Jeffrey! I'm glad you enjoyed 20 Things #3: Wizard's Tower! Good luck with your game!
Languard Locations: Fishshambles (SNE)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/17/2018 06:50:23

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Languard Locations-series clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover. It should also be noted that some nice author bio sections are provided – kudos for including these! The net content remaining would be 6 pages, so let’s take a look!

And you thought the shambles were bad. North of Cheap street, right next to the water front of Languard, there sprawls the reeking, tangled labyrinth known as fishshambles. A rickety network of jetties and tottering, desolate warehouses are used for purposes that are often, if not mostly, illicit and dangerous. While a relatively small section of Languard, as the excerpt from Tommi Salama’s map shows, the place is rife with danger and adventure, and 9 new locations are provided to add local color and hooks to this section of the city.

As in the previous installments, we have the respective key NPCs associated with locations within noted with alignment as well as suggested race/class combo and an inkling of the power they ought to have, but said NPC notes do not contain stats or the like. References to classes have been adjusted to reflect old-school terms – thiefs, magic-users and the like. So if you’re one of my readers who doesn’t want those new-fangled class names, this won’t annoy you. Each of the locations sports one or more different hooks for potential adventuring. Run aground slightly outside what is considered to be city proper, the Castoff’s Sanctuary sports folk with the haunted Gloamhold Look, watched over by father Uklo – this is the Castoff’s Sanctuary, and a selectively mute paladin and an ancient half-orc preacher tend to those traumatized and perhaps, broken. It s here that favors may earn even utterly coinless PCs some respite. Moss-covered and obscured by seaweed and shellfish, a wrinkled old mage with a penchant for the underwater world is peddling healing, narcotics and the like. (If you use B/X or Labyrinth Lord as your preferred gaming system, you may want to check out Necrotic Gnome Production’s Wizardzine #1 – I got a vibe from this fellow that would make the spells from said supplement a natural fit…but I digress.) Did I mention coral zombies?

A barren, broken chapel, now known as Kingsfall, was once prophesized to be the birthplace of a messianic figure – but now, it is foreboding, twisted even. It is a testament of a promise unfulfilled, of a world unraveling. And I love it to bits. Of course, many folks frequent the fishshambles to vanish, at least for a bit – for such folks, Molley’s Bearded Lady is perfect: An inn specially designed to be rickety and chock-full with escape routes, this place just begs for a chase, conspiratory meetings, and more. And when no one is selling to you, you may want to contemplate checking out Aalto Ruusu’s dilapidated laboratory, commonly known as Ruuse’s rathole. Provided you can stomach the…sound…coming from the cellar. Beggars can’t be choosers, I guess…

Sea’s Bounty is always bustling – it’s here that you can eat the cheapest meals in all on Languard – for a cp, information, favors…whatever you’re peddling. It is testament to the city’s state that it’s always booming. And yep, the food is called “Grey” – you probably don’t want to know the ingredients. A dingy taproom in a basement houses the neighborhood’s most famous fighting establishment: the 5 cuts. Five cuts – no more, no less, is one of the rules, which are explicitly stated. Yes, you can die here – but you could, you know, also make enough to get back on your feet… The most NPC-heavy of these locations would be the Arches Bazaar, set under a large building’s support beams – no lss than 8 different peddlers of wares and services are covered here.

If you’re in the mood for dark and dingy, but don’t want to compromise regarding food quality and grog, then you’ll want to check out Sandu’s grog and grub, a place that unrepentantly pretty much asks to become your adventuring group’s new favorite stomping ground. Sandu is lavishly illustrated, and hails from an exotic land – as such, his cooking is utterly unique, spicy and neat. Of course, foreigners in a city like Languard, ultimately will at one point or another be pretty grateful to have adventurers among their acquaintances…

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious issues on a formal or rules-language level. Layout adheres to raging Swan Press’ two-column b/w-standard, and the pdf comes with nice b/w-artworks. The excerpt from Tommi Salama’s map is neat, and as before, the City Backdrop does contain the player-friendly version of the full map. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, one for screen use, and one intended to be printed.

Beth Breitmaier, Dave Breitmaier, Rachel Cruz, Steve Hood, John Large, Stewart Moyer, Tyler Omichinski, Rob Smith – quite a few new names among this list of authors, but surprisingly, the locations presented within nonetheless manage to evoke a unified aesthetic that situates the fishshambles firmly as part of Languard, while managing to provide a distinct identity. In short, this is a great little dressing file. While poverty is certainly a leitmotif, the pdf manages to paint a picture that is not simply a series of hopeless causes – while this place is poor, it’s not necessarily depressing. That is perhaps what struck me most about this. In contrast to the shambles, this feels a bit more cosmopolitan, as befitting of the dockside. A bit rowdy, a bit dangerous, but a place of life, where darkness and light are sharply contrasted, and perhaps just one alley away. A highly recommended addition to Languard, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Languard Locations: Fishshambles (SNE)
Click to show product description

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Creator Reply:
Thank you for this review, Thilo. It is much appreciated and I'm delighted you enjoyed the Fishshambles!
Languard Locations: Fishshambles
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/17/2018 06:49:22

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Languard Locations-series clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover. It should also be noted that some nice author bio sections are provided – kudos for including these! The net content remaining would be 6 pages, so let’s take a look!

And you thought the shambles were bad. North of Cheap street, right next to the water front of Languard, there sprawls the reeking, tangled labyrinth known as fishshambles. A rickety network of jetties and tottering, desolate warehouses are used for purposes that are often, if not mostly, illicit and dangerous. While a relatively small section of Languard, as the excerpt from Tommi Salama’s map shows, the place is rife with danger and adventure, and 9 new locations are provided to add local color and hooks to this section of the city.

As in the previous installments, we have the respective key NPCs associated with locations within noted with alignment as well as suggested race/class combo and an inkling of the power they ought to have, but said NPC notes do not contain stats or the like. Each of the locations sports one or more different hooks for potential adventuring. Run aground slightly outside what is considered to be city proper, the Castoff’s Sanctuary sports folk with the haunted Gloamhold Look, watched over by father Uklo – this is the Castoff’s Sanctuary, and a selectively mute paladin and an ancient half-orc preacher tend to those traumatized and perhaps, broken. It s here that favors may earn even utterly coinless PCs some respite. Moss-covered and obscured by seaweed and shellfish, a wrinkled old mage with a penchant for the underwater world is peddling healing, narcotics and the like. (If you are up for a bit of conversion, you may want to check out Necrotic Gnome Production’s Wizardzine #1 – I got a vibe from this fellow that would make the spells from said supplement a natural fit…but I digress.) Did I mention coral zombies?

A barren, broken chapel, now known as Kingsfall, was once prophesized to be the birthplace of a messianic figure – but now, it is foreboding, twisted even. It is a testament of a promise unfulfilled, of a world unraveling. And I love it to bits. Of course, many folks frequent the fishshambles to vanish, at least for a bit – for such folks, Molley’s Bearded Lady is perfect: An inn specially designed to be rickety and chock-full with escape routes, this place just begs for a chase, conspiratory meetings, and more. And when no one is selling to you, you may want to contemplate checking out Aalto Ruusu’s dilapidated laboratory, commonly known as Ruuse’s rathole. Provided you can stomach the…sound…coming from the cellar. Beggars can’t be choosers, I guess…

Sea’s Bounty is always bustling – it’s here that you can eat the cheapest meals in all on Languard – for a cp, information, favors…whatever you’re peddling. It is testament to the city’s state that it’s always booming. And yep, the food is called “Grey” – you probably don’t want to know the ingredients. A dingy taproom in a basement houses the neighborhood’s most famous fighting establishment: the 5 cuts. Five cuts – no more, no less, is one of the rules, which are explicitly stated. Yes, you can die here – but you could, you know, also make enough to get back on your feet… The most NPC-heavy of these locations would be the Arches Bazaar, set under a large building’s support beams – no lss than 8 different peddlers of wares and services are covered here.

If you’re in the mood for dark and dingy, but don’t want to compromise regarding food quality and grog, then you’ll want to check out Sandu’s grog and grub, a place that unrepentantly pretty much asks to become your adventuring group’s new favorite stomping ground. Sandu is lavishly illustrated, and hails from an exotic land – as such, his cooking is utterly unique, spicy and neat. Of course, foreigners in a city like Languard, ultimately will at one point or another be pretty grateful to have adventurers among their acquaintances…

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious issues on a formal or rules-language level. Layout adheres to raging Swan Press’ two-column b/w-standard, and the pdf comes with nice b/w-artworks. The excerpt from Tommi Salama’s map is neat, and as before, the City Backdrop does contain the player-friendly version of the full map. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, one for screen use, and one intended to be printed.

Beth Breitmaier, Dave Breitmaier, Rachel Cruz, Steve Hood, John Large, Stewart Moyer, Tyler Omichinski, Rob Smith – quite a few new names among this list of authors, but surprisingly, the locations presented within nonetheless manage to evoke a unified aesthetic that situates the fishshambles firmly as part of Languard, while managing to provide a distinct identity. In short, this is a great little dressing file. While poverty is certainly a leitmotif, the pdf manages to paint a picture that is not simply a series of hopeless causes – while this place is poor, it’s not necessarily depressing. That is perhaps what struck me most about this. In contrast to the shambles, this feels a bit more cosmopolitan, as befitting of the dockside. A bit rowdy, a bit dangerous, but a place of life, where darkness and light are sharply contrasted, and perhaps just one alley away. A highly recommended addition to Languard, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Languard Locations: Fishshambles
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Creator Reply:
Thank you for this review, Thilo. It is much appreciated and I'm delighted you enjoyed the Fishshambles!
Languard Locations: Fishshambles (5e)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/17/2018 06:46:24

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Languard Locations-series clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover. It should also be noted that some nice author bio sections are provided – kudos for including these! The net content remaining would be 6 pages, so let’s take a look!

And you thought the shambles were bad. North of Cheap street, right next to the water front of Languard, there sprawls the reeking, tangled labyrinth known as fishshambles. A rickety network of jetties and tottering, desolate warehouses are used for purposes that are often, if not mostly, illicit and dangerous. While a relatively small section of Languard, as the excerpt from Tommi Salama’s map shows, the place is rife with danger and adventure, and 9 new locations are provided to add local color and hooks to this section of the city.

As in the previous installments, we have the respective key NPCs associated with locations within noted with alignment as well as suggested race/class combo and an inkling of the power they ought to have, but said NPC notes do not contain stats or the like. In 5e, they refer to the default NPC statblocks, wherever applicable. Each of the locations sports one or more different hooks for potential adventuring. Run aground slightly outside what is considered to be city proper, the Castoff’s Sanctuary sports folk with the haunted Gloamhold Look, watched over by father Uklo – this is the Castoff’s Sanctuary, and a selectively mute paladin and an ancient half-orc preacher tend to those traumatized and perhaps, broken. It s here that favors may earn even utterly coinless PCs some respite. Moss-covered and obscured by seaweed and shellfish, a wrinkled old mage with a penchant for the underwater world is peddling healing, narcotics and the like. (If you are up for a bit of conversion, you may want to check out Necrotic Gnome Production’s Wizardzine #1 – I got a vibe from this fellow that would make the spells from said supplement a natural fit…but I digress.) Did I mention coral zombies?

A barren, broken chapel, now known as Kingsfall, was once prophesized to be the birthplace of a messianic figure – but now, it is foreboding, twisted even. It is a testament of a promise unfulfilled, of a world unraveling. And I love it to bits. Of course, many folks frequent the fishshambles to vanish, at least for a bit – for such folks, Molley’s Bearded Lady is perfect: An inn specially designed to be rickety and chock-full with escape routes, this place just begs for a chase, conspiratory meetings, and more. And when no one is selling to you, you may want to contemplate checking out Aalto Ruusu’s dilapidated laboratory, commonly known as Ruuse’s rathole. Provided you can stomach the…sound…coming from the cellar. Beggars can’t be choosers, I guess…

Sea’s Bounty is always bustling – it’s here that you can eat the cheapest meals in all on Languard – for a cp, information, favors…whatever you’re peddling. It is testament to the city’s state that it’s always booming. And yep, the food is called “Grey” – you probably don’t want to know the ingredients. A dingy taproom in a basement houses the neighborhood’s most famous fighting establishment: the 5 cuts. Five cuts – no more, no less, is one of the rules, which are explicitly stated. Yes, you can die here – but you could, you know, also make enough to get back on your feet… The most NPC-heavy of these locations would be the Arches Bazaar, set under a large building’s support beams – no lss than 8 different peddlers of wares and services are covered here.

If you’re in the mood for dark and dingy, but don’t want to compromise regarding food quality and grog, then you’ll want to check out Sandu’s grog and grub, a place that unrepentantly pretty much asks to become your adventuring group’s new favorite stomping ground. Sandu is lavishly illustrated, and hails from an exotic land – as such, his cooking is utterly unique, spicy and neat. Of course, foreigners in a city like Languard, ultimately will at one point or another be pretty grateful to have adventurers among their acquaintances…

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious issues on a formal or rules-language level. Layout adheres to raging Swan Press’ two-column b/w-standard, and the pdf comes with nice b/w-artworks. The excerpt from Tommi Salama’s map is neat, and as before, the City Backdrop does contain the player-friendly version of the full map. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, one for screen use, and one intended to be printed.

Beth Breitmaier, Dave Breitmaier, Rachel Cruz, Steve Hood, John Large, Stewart Moyer, Tyler Omichinski, Rob Smith – quite a few new names among this list of authors, but surprisingly, the locations presented within nonetheless manage to evoke a unified aesthetic that situates the fishshambles firmly as part of Languard, while managing to provide a distinct identity. In short, this is a great little dressing file. While poverty is certainly a leitmotif, the pdf manages to paint a picture that is not simply a series of hopeless causes – while this place is poor, it’s not necessarily depressing. That is perhaps what struck me most about this. In contrast to the shambles, this feels a bit more cosmopolitan, as befitting of the dockside. A bit rowdy, a bit dangerous, but a place of life, where darkness and light are sharply contrasted, and perhaps just one alley away. A highly recommended addition to Languard, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Languard Locations: Fishshambles (5e)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Creator Reply:
Thank you for this review, Thilo. It is much appreciated and I'm delighted you enjoyed the Fishshambles!
Languard Locations: Beyond the Walls
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/03/2018 04:24:48

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Languard Locations-series clocks in at 16 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Well, first things first: This pdf does contain a list of author biographies in the back that spans 1.5 pages – and this is a damn good thing as far as I’m concerned. Freelancers have it tough, and such sections help generate name recognition, so kudos for that! And yes, locations are noted by designers. A handy list of the locations with brief descriptions is also provided on the final 0.5 page before the author bios – and it makes sense that it’s here.

Anyhow, we do begin this pdf is a slightly different manner: On the first page, we discuss the surrounding lands of the city of Languard – the plains, hills and sea are all described in details here, allowing you to get a feel for the vicinity. The excellent map of Tommi Salama is also provided, with the city proper grayed out to highlight the locations that this pdf covers – you know, the ones outside the walls. A total of 12 such locations are presented.

As before in the series, each location does come with notable folks presented in a fluff-only manner. Only race and an approximate level suggestion as well as gender and alignment are stated. The PFRPG version, courtesy of the variations of the system, is the most versatile in these suggestions. Beyond that, each of the locales does come with one or more specific adventuring hooks, designed to kick off a diverse array of possibilities.

And this is where I need to interject something: As much as I enjoy Raging Swan Press’ gritty and down to earth style, I freely admit to being worried about this pdf. Why? Because the style is contingent on a sense of realism, and which places to put in front of the city, beyond the walls, can have pretty tangible effects and contradict what we know of medieval structures. So, does this break the conceit established by the series?

Well, the first location certainly makes sense: Tor’s Tannery does belong outside the walls. Historically, being a tanner was considered to be an unclean profession in Judeo-Christian influenced culture, and the scents emitted from tanning…well, let’s just say that it makes sense that it’s outside the walls. Tanneries aren’t depicted often enough, and this one actually has an interesting angle as well…not all is as it must seem. And before you ask: No, for once, the Tors are not the cliché standard serial killers/evil cultists. To the north of Languard’s walls, situated at the cliffs, a prophet of the churning waves makes proclamations of repentance and doom, hiding his name beyond the moniker of being the Mouthpiece of the Waves – and his message is gaining traction.

Gallen’s Lost Manor, a many-winged monstrosity of a mansion, makes for a perfect example of the sense of decrepitude that suffuses Raging Swan Press supplements so often; it is inhabited by the last member of the Gallen family, though, oddly, he does have a lot of visitors – who curiously can’t ever remember much about their visits. Now if you can’t make something creepy out of that one, I don’t know. Pungent Grove, maintained by an unhinged halfling druid, is a place that thrives on the refuse of Languard – though, once more, there is more to this than a story of an addled mind with a massive cockroach pet…

The Mother’s Garden is a megalithic open air farmer’s temple that focuses ritualistic power via Stonehenge like rings, a formation of ancient trees and cottages tended by the Daughters – a title that made me flash back to the classic 70s version of Wicker Man. But that may just be me. The Twisted Wreath is amazing: An ancient oak, once a hanging tree, now split by a bolt from the skies, bent by the weight of curses and sorrow, watched my Mother Illona, who crafts poppets and hangs them on the tree – cursing those that the poppets represent. This is amazing.

Heckler’s Hall is unique – part mobile circus, part jester’s academy and part rent-a-riot, this locale is led by the gnome Satu Tylik, and most assuredly makes for an interesting foil…or tool regarding the politicking going on in the city. There would also be a capable freight operation that is bound to have some gainful work for adventurers, and an out of city boarding house also makes sense: After all, the gates won’t be open all the time! Weary travelers can find the vandalized shrine of a barbaric god, tended by a lone caretaker, and just south of Languard, a stone shack is pierced by a mighty olive tree, where a rail-thin and pockmarked misanthrope sells herbs. The aptly-named Outside Inn is a traveler’s place that can be a great source of information when visiting Languard for the first time.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press’ two-column b/w-standard, and the pdf sports solid b/w-artworks. The cartography is great, and the city backdrop supplement does have a player-friendly version. The pdf is fully bookmarked and comes in two versions – one optimized for screen-use and one that has been optimized for the printer.

This pdf is the work of a surprising amount of authors: Christopher Bunge, Sam Cameron-McKee, Kim Frandsen, Christopher Hunt, Aaron King, Ben Martin, Rebecca McLaren, Hilary Moon Murphy, Adam Ness, Treyson Sanders, Kris Vezner, John Whyte. It is surprising, then, to note how unified the content feels. The locations outside of the walls are intriguing and captivating, blending the rural and the more metropolitan. Personally, I think that the entries that directly reference in some way Languard’s dynamics are the strongest. Where a sense of realism is enforced by businesses or dubious characters, where refuse makes for a disgusting grove, where enigmatic mansions may present a shadowy puppeteer behind the scenes, this is where the pdf excels. It is surprising, considering how many of these authors are names I don’t regularly encounter among my reviews, how refined and intriguing these entries are. So, all awesome? Well…almost. A couple of locations are off the map, and some traveling distance from the city gates would have been nice, but, as a whole, this is indeed a very good supplement. As such, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Languard Locations: Beyond the Walls
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Creator Reply:
Thanks very much for the review, End. I'm delighted you are enjoying our look at Languard!
Languard Locations: Beyond the Walls (5e)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/03/2018 04:23:40

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Languard Locations-series clocks in at 16 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Well, first things first: This pdf does contain a list of author biographies in the back that spans 1.5 pages – and this is a damn good thing as far as I’m concerned. Freelancers have it tough, and such sections help generate name recognition, so kudos for that! And yes, locations are noted by designers. A handy list of the locations with brief descriptions is also provided on the final 0.5 page before the author bios – and it makes sense that it’s here.

Anyhow, we do begin this pdf is a slightly different manner: On the first page, we discuss the surrounding lands of the city of Languard – the plains, hills and sea are all described in details here, allowing you to get a feel for the vicinity. The excellent map of Tommi Salama is also provided, with the city proper grayed out to highlight the locations that this pdf covers – you know, the ones outside the walls. A total of 12 such locations are presented.

As before in the series, each location does come with notable folks presented in a fluff-only manner. Only race and an approximate level suggestion as well as gender and alignment are stated. In the 5e iteration of the file, these pieces of information point towards the proper NPC default stats. Beyond that, each of the locales does come with one or more specific adventuring hooks, designed to kick off a diverse array of possibilities.

And this is where I need to interject something: As much as I enjoy Raging Swan Press’ gritty and down to earth style, I freely admit to being worried about this pdf. Why? Because the style is contingent on a sense of realism, and which places to put in front of the city, beyond the walls, can have pretty tangible effects and contradict what we know of medieval structures. So, does this break the conceit established by the series?

Well, the first location certainly makes sense: Tor’s Tannery does belong outside the walls. Historically, being a tanner was considered to be an unclean profession in Judeo-Christian influenced culture, and the scents emitted from tanning…well, let’s just say that it makes sense that it’s outside the walls. Tanneries aren’t depicted often enough, and this one actually has an interesting angle as well…not all is as it must seem. And before you ask: No, for once, the Tors are not the cliché standard serial killers/evil cultists. To the north of Languard’s walls, situated at the cliffs, a prophet of the churning waves makes proclamations of repentance and doom, hiding his name beyond the moniker of being the Mouthpiece of the Waves – and his message is gaining traction.

Gallen’s Lost Manor, a many-winged monstrosity of a mansion, makes for a perfect example of the sense of decrepitude that suffuses Raging Swan Press supplements so often; it is inhabited by the last member of the Gallen family, though, oddly, he does have a lot of visitors – who curiously can’t ever remember much about their visits. Now if you can’t make something creepy out of that one, I don’t know. Pungent Grove, maintained by an unhinged halfling druid, is a place that thrives on the refuse of Languard – though, once more, there is more to this than a story of an addled mind with a massive cockroach pet…

The Mother’s Garden is a megalithic open air farmer’s temple that focuses ritualistic power via Stonehenge like rings, a formation of ancient trees and cottages tended by the Daughters – a title that made me flash back to the classic 70s version of Wicker Man. But that may just be me. The Twisted Wreath is amazing: An ancient oak, once a hanging tree, now split by a bolt from the skies, bent by the weight of curses and sorrow, watched my Mother Illona, who crafts poppets and hangs them on the tree – cursing those that the poppets represent. This is amazing.

Heckler’s Hall is unique – part mobile circus, part jester’s academy and part rent-a-riot, this locale is led by the gnome Satu Tylik, and most assuredly makes for an interesting foil…or tool regarding the politicking going on in the city. There would also be a capable freight operation that is bound to have some gainful work for adventurers, and an out of city boarding house also makes sense: After all, the gates won’t be open all the time! Weary travelers can find the vandalized shrine of a barbaric god, tended by a lone caretaker, and just south of Languard, a stone shack is pierced by a mighty olive tree, where a rail-thin and pockmarked misanthrope sells herbs. The aptly-named Outside Inn is a traveler’s place that can be a great source of information when visiting Languard for the first time.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press’ two-column b/w-standard, and the pdf sports solid b/w-artworks. The cartography is great, and the city backdrop supplement does have a player-friendly version. The pdf is fully bookmarked and comes in two versions – one optimized for screen-use and one that has been optimized for the printer.

This pdf is the work of a surprising amount of authors: Christopher Bunge, Sam Cameron-McKee, Kim Frandsen, Christopher Hunt, Aaron King, Ben Martin, Rebecca McLaren, Hilary Moon Murphy, Adam Ness, Treyson Sanders, Kris Vezner, John Whyte. It is surprising, then, to note how unified the content feels. The locations outside of the walls are intriguing and captivating, blending the rural and the more metropolitan. Personally, I think that the entries that directly reference in some way Languard’s dynamics are the strongest. Where a sense of realism is enforced by businesses or dubious characters, where refuse makes for a disgusting grove, where enigmatic mansions may present a shadowy puppeteer behind the scenes, this is where the pdf excels. It is surprising, considering how many of these authors are names I don’t regularly encounter among my reviews, how refined and intriguing these entries are. So, all awesome? Well…almost. A couple of locations are off the map, and some traveling distance from the city gates would have been nice, but, as a whole, this is indeed a very good supplement. As such, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Languard Locations: Beyond the Walls (5e)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Creator Reply:
Thanks very much for the review, End. I'm delighted you are enjoying our look at Languard!
Languard Locations: Beyond the Walls (SNE)
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/03/2018 04:22:15

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Languard Locations-series clocks in at 16 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 10 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

Well, first things first: This pdf does contain a list of author biographies in the back that spans 1.5 pages – and this is a damn good thing as far as I’m concerned. Freelancers have it tough, and such sections help generate name recognition, so kudos for that! And yes, locations are noted by designers. A handy list of the locations with brief descriptions is also provided on the final 0.5 page before the author bios – and it makes sense that it’s here.

Anyhow, we do begin this pdf is a slightly different manner: On the first page, we discuss the surrounding lands of the city of Languard – the plains, hills and sea are all described in details here, allowing you to get a feel for the vicinity. The excellent map of Tommi Salama is also provided, with the city proper grayed out to highlight the locations that this pdf covers – you know, the ones outside the walls. A total of 12 such locations are presented.

As before in the series, each location does come with notable folks presented in a fluff-only manner. Only race and an approximate level suggestion as well as gender and alignment are stated. In the system neutral version, proper old-school class names are noted. Beyond that, each of the locales does come with one or more specific adventuring hooks, designed to kick off a diverse array of possibilities.

And this is where I need to interject something: As much as I enjoy Raging Swan Press’ gritty and down to earth style, I freely admit to being worried about this pdf. Why? Because the style is contingent on a sense of realism, and which places to put in front of the city, beyond the walls, can have pretty tangible effects and contradict what we know of medieval structures. So, does this break the conceit established by the series?

Well, the first location certainly makes sense: Tor’s Tannery does belong outside the walls. Historically, being a tanner was considered to be an unclean profession in Judeo-Christian influenced culture, and the scents emitted from tanning…well, let’s just say that it makes sense that it’s outside the walls. Tanneries aren’t depicted often enough, and this one actually has an interesting angle as well…not all is as it must seem. And before you ask: No, for once, the Tors are not the cliché standard serial killers/evil cultists. To the north of Languard’s walls, situated at the cliffs, a prophet of the churning waves makes proclamations of repentance and doom, hiding his name beyond the moniker of being the Mouthpiece of the Waves – and his message is gaining traction.

Gallen’s Lost Manor, a many-winged monstrosity of a mansion, makes for a perfect example of the sense of decrepitude that suffuses Raging Swan Press supplements so often; it is inhabited by the last member of the Gallen family, though, oddly, he does have a lot of visitors – who curiously can’t ever remember much about their visits. Now if you can’t make something creepy out of that one, I don’t know. Pungent Grove, maintained by an unhinged halfling druid, is a place that thrives on the refuse of Languard – though, once more, there is more to this than a story of an addled mind with a massive cockroach pet…

The Mother’s Garden is a megalithic open air farmer’s temple that focuses ritualistic power via Stonehenge like rings, a formation of ancient trees and cottages tended by the Daughters – a title that made me flash back to the classic 70s version of Wicker Man. But that may just be me. The Twisted Wreath is amazing: An ancient oak, once a hanging tree, now split by a bolt from the skies, bent by the weight of curses and sorrow, watched my Mother Illona, who crafts poppets and hangs them on the tree – cursing those that the poppets represent. This is amazing.

Heckler’s Hall is unique – part mobile circus, part jester’s academy and part rent-a-riot, this locale is led by the gnome Satu Tylik, and most assuredly makes for an interesting foil…or tool regarding the politicking going on in the city. There would also be a capable freight operation that is bound to have some gainful work for adventurers, and an out of city boarding house also makes sense: After all, the gates won’t be open all the time! Weary travelers can find the vandalized shrine of a barbaric god, tended by a lone caretaker, and just south of Languard, a stone shack is pierced by a mighty olive tree, where a rail-thin and pockmarked misanthrope sells herbs. The aptly-named Outside Inn is a traveler’s place that can be a great source of information when visiting Languard for the first time.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press’ two-column b/w-standard, and the pdf sports solid b/w-artworks. The cartography is great, and the city backdrop supplement does have a player-friendly version. The pdf is fully bookmarked and comes in two versions – one optimized for screen-use and one that has been optimized for the printer.

This pdf is the work of a surprising amount of authors: Christopher Bunge, Sam Cameron-McKee, Kim Frandsen, Christopher Hunt, Aaron King, Ben Martin, Rebecca McLaren, Hilary Moon Murphy, Adam Ness, Treyson Sanders, Kris Vezner, John Whyte. It is surprising, then, to note how unified the content feels. The locations outside of the walls are intriguing and captivating, blending the rural and the more metropolitan. Personally, I think that the entries that directly reference in some way Languard’s dynamics are the strongest. Where a sense of realism is enforced by businesses or dubious characters, where refuse makes for a disgusting grove, where enigmatic mansions may present a shadowy puppeteer behind the scenes, this is where the pdf excels. It is surprising, considering how many of these authors are names I don’t regularly encounter among my reviews, how refined and intriguing these entries are. So, all awesome? Well…almost. A couple of locations are off the map, and some traveling distance from the city gates would have been nice, but, as a whole, this is indeed a very good supplement. As such, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Languard Locations: Beyond the Walls (SNE)
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Thanks very much for the review, End. I'm delighted you are enjoying our look at Languard!
GM's Miscellany: The Thingonomicon (System Neutral)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/30/2018 09:34:11

You know all those little "environmental" things that dungeons are littered with that may not always be foremost in the minds of adventurers or dungeon masters? Things like "a cool mist that hugs the floor" or "this goblin has infected pustules covering his face." Little things that add something to a game session, or send a gamer's mind off in the direction of a new adventure? This book has those.

Yes, it's a compilation of previous work, but that work was awesome, so it's nice to have a collection. It's especially nice that a hard-cover option is available, because this is the sort of book that gets opened to various pages, and isn't read from cover-to-cover.

Things you'd see in the various environments, little random treasures you'd find, different traps, random (interesting) NPCs to encounter . . . this is a list that allows a GM to add little bits and pieces to his game.

Raging Swan excels at this type of product, and it's system-neutral, so it's not specific to a particular game. Geared towards the fantasy-genre, there's still plenty of information that could be used in a 20's Lovecraftian game, a modern game, or if stretched, a sci-fi setting. Example, "20 things to find in an abaondoned camp site" has lots of things that could be used for an abandoned moonshiner's shack. Naturally, the Necromancer's Sanctum is pretty obvious. The entries for a war-ravaged land can be modified to show the aftermath of a planetary invasion by Colonial Marines.

Again, this has lots of ideas, and add those little details that may be considered throw-away lines. Of course, players will grab onto these throw-away lines and head down the rabbit hole ("Why does this goblin have lesions on his face? What's the purpose of that lock of blonde hair we found in the chieftains' pocket? Why were there lumps of coal in this skeleton's eyes?"), but that's half the fun, isn't it?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
GM's Miscellany: The Thingonomicon (System Neutral)
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Thank you for this review. I'm delighted you enjoyed the book!
Languard Locations: High City
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/29/2018 05:49:35

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Languard Locations series, which details the different districts of the city of Languard in more detail, clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

We have taken a look at where the unfortunate dwell, so let’s move to the other side of the Svart that almost bisects the town, let us take a look at where Languard’s elite dwells – and as such, we begin with an overview of the noble families of Languard, supplement by a half-page b/w-artwork. This section is followed by an excerpt from Tommi Salama’s excellent map of the city, which notes the respective points of interest of this section of Languard.

The pdf contains no less than 10 locations, depicted in detail, following the formula established by the series. Beyond the description of the respective locations, NPCs encountered are noted (with race and class suggestions in brackets) in a fluff-centric manner, and the locations all come with their own adventure hooks, should PCs wandering into them not suffice for you to jumpstart your adventuring impulses. It should be noted that all these locations are new.

All right, but what sights are there to be seen in the High City of Languard? Well, there would an immaculately pristine jeweler’s shop for the upper class – though, if you do dig a bit deeper, there will be plenty of adventuring possible here. As the center of commerce in the Duchy of Ashlar, it shouldn’t come as a surprise, that there indeed is a proper bank to be found here – which, if you’ve e.g. played the classic entries of the once-great Thief: The Dark Project franchise, should immediately get your creative juices flowing. Yes, it has underground vaults. Of course, it would be unseeming to bring animals to certain locations, and a proper member of the well-to-do will want a steed representative of the proper status. Well, a prized horse from Miya’s stables would be the Languardian equivalent of a proper sports car – and yes, stabling costs are noted and account for more exotic companions.

Utterly hilarious would be a fine bakery for the distinguished, which would be a prime target for assassination attempts, were it not for the fact that those that know how to ask can actually gain the attention of special employees. Excess breeds demand and decadence, and as far as culinary delights are concerned, you probably can’t do better than the Dragonheart tavern in Languard. Here, bulette flank, cockatrice eggs and the like may be ordered – which, obviously, results in a rather major demand for adventurers willing to risk life and limb to acquire these exotic oddities for the distinguished gourmands among the city’s populace.

A local favorite, part baker, part alchemist and weird, with alembics and cauldrons, Old Mother Grumm’s sells everything from fruitcake to elixirs of love, all made by the matronly and kind-hearted old lady-wizard the shop’s named for. This place btw. also notes proper magic items for sale. And yes, if you are looking for a fine yarn and have the coin to spare, then you’ll find a place that caters to these demands in the High City as well: Needle’s Poise provides just that – supplemented by a proper b/w-artwork, btw. Easily one of the most outré places in the whole city, the “Emerald Medusa” is a multi-decked sailing ship turned festhall/eatery. The intricately-carved medusa emits beams of colored light from its lenses, and it is here that decadent nobles come to politick, weave intrigues or impress adventurers. And yes, there is a means to actually make the obvious disco-angle narratively-relevant. Kudos!! Pharran’s Shroud, then, would obviously cater to another sort of vice: Run by a silk-shrouded lady of unknown origins, this place would be Languard’s high-class brothel – and in an interesting twist, said shrouded mistress is actually not an entity with a petrifying or similarly devastating gaze attack, but something more rewarding to unearth…

The Ruby Plate would be another culinary establishment, but one that focuses on showmanship, a place where experimental foods may be ordered. What about an assassin berry vine, for example? I know I’d try that…

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no serious glitches. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press’ two-column b/w-standard, and the pdf sports quite a lot of rather nice b/w-artworks. The excerpt from the map is neat, and since the city supplement itself featured the key-less player-friendly version, none is required here. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, and the pdf comes in two different versions, one optimized for screen use, and one for the printer.

Languard’s High City, to me, felt, in an interesting twist, distinctly American in its focus on consumption. “Are you still hungry?”, the question for ambition, for success, uses an obvious simile with consumption, and indeed, consumption, if anything, is the leitmotif of this district, which should make for a rather sharp contrast in comparison to the poorer regions of the city. The map, with its broader streets and less cramped environments, also emphasizes this – but perhaps that’s just me. I’m still flabbergasted and blown away by the vastness of the US – both in landscape, and in the sheer availability of pretty much anything the heart could desire. But this could just be my own interpretation of the pdf penned by Creighton Broadhurst, Jeff Gomez, Steve Hood, Amber Underwood and Mike Welham.

And, to make that clear, I do think that this fits in PERFECTLY within the context of Languard. The High City is unique and has its own flair, one that manages to be both part of Languard and distinct from its other components. The city, as a whole, is enriched by the thematically-stringent focus on the Leitmotif – and in a world where magics exist, the presence of a place like the Emerald Medusa, easily my favorite place alongside Grumm’s, makes sense on so many levels, and also allows you to inject a bit of the weird into the grime and grit of the poorer regions. It generates a contrast that highlights the global motifs of Languard even better. It works because it is this weird place in an otherwise rather grounded area, and because it is rather realistic in how it presents its weirdness. I love it. In short, the High City of Languard is a great place to dive into some serious intrigue, to rub shoulders with the rich and powerful, and to shake your head at the decadence of the aristocracy. A great and unique region, this retains the exceedingly high standard of the series. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Languard Locations: High City
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Creator Reply:
I'm delighted you are enjoying Languard so much, Thilo. Thank you for the review!
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