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#30 Mercenary Companies (PFRPG) $2.95
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#30 Mercenary Companies (PFRPG)
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#30 Mercenary Companies (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/04/2014 04:25:03

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This supplement clocks in at 23 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 2 pages of advertisements, leaving us with 18 pages of content, so let's take a look!

I love Ultimate Campaign. It's one of my most favorite PFRPG-books and I just don't get why, in spite of Legendary Games' expansions being rather popular, there hasn't been that much support for e.g. kingdom-building, mass combat and downtime rules. And here we go to partially remedy that conundrum - Liz Smith delivers a total of 30 different mercenary companies as armies to drop and insert into your campaign - which btw. includes mixed population-rules for companies.

The respective company statblocks feature information on the respective resources, banners and even come with lore-DC and proper descriptions of the armies in addition to the basic army statblocks for the companies. Now what makes these entries actually nice to read beyond the crunch would be the fact that the descriptions are provided in well-written in-character prose a DM can easily paraphrase to introduce the companies into his/her game.

From cadres of vile killers to buccaneers, chivalrous knights, dwarven cavalry and even a cadre of guardian lycanthropes that demand their tithe in the old and sick, the pdf's respective companies run the gamut from uncommon and at times, even suffused with a very subtle rumor here and there - sorcerors, eagle + griffon riders...we receive a cool, diverse array of creatures herein.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, but not perfect - I noticed some minor glitches, but none that made the content harder to understand. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience and the pdf comes with thematically-fitting stock art that fits perfectly with the theme of the pdf.

Liz Smith delivers herein -with glorious sample units that not only provide statblocks, but also fluff and story-hooks galore - the armies herein are fun and unique and deliver hooks and ideas beyond the obvious utility of the statblocks. In the absence of complaints or the like and thanks to the great writing and more than fair price-point, I'll gladly settle on a final verdict of 5 stars + seal of approval for this pdf. Any campaign using mass combat should get these.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
#30 Mercenary Companies (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/14/2014 20:36:03

The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=44353.

This 23 page product contains 21 pages that provide succinct and really fleshed out descriptions of 30 different mercenary companies that both players and game masters can use in their Pathfinder campaign as well as other fantasy settings with few or no adjustments. Entries are formatted just like the entries one would expect to find in a Bestiary or Monster Manual and include the alignment of the company, the name or a brief description of the company’s’ headquarters, the name of the company’s leader, resources, structure and leadership (Order of battle), uniform and banner, an overview described using Difficulty Class (DC) to determine how much information a player can get on the company, a description of the company normally narrated by one of its members (usually one of the common soldiers rather than the commander) and a statblock that allows you to use the company not only in an encounter, but in the Pathfinder mass combat rules.

The folks over at Rite Publishing have been listening and this is one of the tightest, most cohesive products that I have seen from them. I’ve always loved their products, but in every one it seemed like there was some little thing that kept a really well done product from being the best that it should be. Those problems could be a tiny editing problem or even stock art that varied between amazing and dreadful, or even the mixing of very desperate types of art to ruin the flow of a product. #30 Mercenary Companies had none of those problems. If you look at the list of problems you will notice that I didn’t mention content as one of the problems, because Rite has always done a great job of bring its customers interesting and affordable content.

Liz Smith, the author, was on point with her vision for this product and the gang really supported her. All of the art in this product was public domain and it all worked really well for the entries near which it was placed. All of the art was in a similar style, and it was all in color, no color on one page, and then black and white on the next page followed by three more pages of color. The cover evokes thoughts of swords for hire and the interior art syncs well with the entries. The page borders are the normal Rite Publishing “lions head” style which blended well with the theme of this product.

As a GM this is such an elegant product; in a very small space and with minimum amount of time I can reference this book and generate 15 different ideas for encounters or even adventures and campaigns based on the companies presented. Smith was smart to include some companies that tend to operate in environments other than the typical European type forest with interspaced mountain ranges. I was a big fan of a few of the nautical companies especially. Who doesn’t love a group of aquatic elves that likes to cut holes in the hulls of ships and attack them from below? That right there is fodder for a series of amazing at sea encounters or even an undersea/above sea campaign.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
#30 Mercenary Companies (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Trev W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/20/2014 02:06:34

From the front page and the first entertaining quote on a mercenary mocking adventurers, I knew this would be a good book.

I confess bias! I really like mercenaries. I put them in my games, I’ve got an interest in the Condottieri and the history of mercenaries and warrior tribes that fought for profit since ancient times. So I was really looking forward to going through the pages, but I also had high expectations. I want mercs done right, I want interesting leaders, and I don’t want clones of Daario Naharis everywhere—they have to have character the companies must have invigorating stories with a discussion of their speciality, background and appearance. This book didn’t disappoint, it covered exactly what I wanted.

As we proceed through we move through many different types of mercenary bands, and they have different motivations and leaders. It also gives their HQ and strength, characteristics and abilities, making them easily able to come in as allies or enemies to a campaign. One even has a song in the description, which makes a lot of sense for a mercenary company. It is great to see so much detail describing their uniforms and banners.

Of note, the pictures are actually very colourful. This gives a sense of life and certainly not dreariness or “Grim-dark” in this product. There are a few spelling and formatting errors in the piece, so I feel it should have been edited just a little more closely.

My favourite company is the Fins of Blood, and I would definitely put them in a maritime game. Second would definitely be the Wolflings, and a company of Lycanthropes is an excellent idea. The Dwarf cavalry are also very interesting. The Motlies would fit into dangerous border regions and a lot of quests concerning hunting fugitives could be tied to them.

5/5 It gave me more than I wanted and my high expectations were reached. Get into it if you like mercenaries and want some ideas for roving groups of highly varied combatants for your games. The price is also crazy good.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
#30 Mercenary Companies (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Mark K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/13/2014 19:02:25

I have come across one of the best little books that I have seen for my Pathfinder Campaigns in a long time. It is called #30 Mercenary Companies written by Liz Smith and released by Rite Publishing. It suits my game down to the ground as I have not yet really taken the time to develop any mercenary companies for my games and so this slots in perfectly.

Forget what you know about mercenary companies too! I love some of the companies that are presented here as they are so inventive. A mercenary company full of summoners for example! I never would have thought of that and I would have stayed with the grizzled veteran stereotypes that most people immediately think of when they think of mercenaries.

The book is precisely what it says on the cover. 30 mercenary companies set out in a standard format that have interrelations and rivalries in some. All of them would be great to take straight out of the book and drop straight into a running campaign. The format of the companies I love as there is a section that allows information about the company to be revealed based on (I am assuming but it is what I would do) a Knowledge (Local) check. Directly after that there is a paragraph or two of personal text direct from someone in the unit so you can get a feel for the group. These are all excellently written and provide a great deal of information for the GM.

Finally, the artwork in this book is beautiful and plentiful. The art is Public Domain and they have done a brilliant job in sourcing such a finely themed group of artwork for this booklet with an image practically on every page.

There is nothing more to it. This is a brilliant collection of mercenary companies and it is a book that I will use over and over again. I cannot recommend it more at the grand old price of $2.95 USD you should all go get a copy right now. I give this book 5 out of 5 crossed swords. Keep rolling!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
#30 Mercenary Companies (PFRPG)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/05/2014 09:11:21

Whether the party wants to enlist, is going to fight beside (or against) them or just meets them off-duty in a tavern one evening, mercenary bands are a feature of the quasi-mediaeval scene in which most fantasy games are set. Few nations had much of a standing army and so when they wished to war, mercenaries would be hired to fill out those patriots who rallied to the flag. When not in employment, many were little better than bandits, using their military skills to 'acquire' what they needed to survive.

Here is a selection of mercenary bands for the characters to encounter. Each comes with a detailed description covering their nature, particular style of operation and even their uniforms! You can also find out about resoures, leadership and organisation, and the necessary statistics for those wanting to use them in battles.

They're all quite flavoursome, from a band whose commander is a bard as likely to sing of past adventures as to lead them to new ones to a bunch called Dragons Breath whose trademark combat style involves lots of alchemists fire. Some specialise in a particular type of operation, some are to be found manning ships and others will do whatever's required... provided that they are well paid. Apart from gold, their motivations vary, with some companies boasting a long and proud history, others are newcomers to the mercenary game or have a distinctly unsavoury reputation.

Whenever you have need of mercenaries - or even fancy a good tavern brawl - glance in here for a ready-made mercenary company to fit your requirements. Rumours of who has been seen where, a stray uniformed member found away from his fellows... there are a myriad of ways to incorporate these into your adventures, whether to advance the plot or as local colour.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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