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Village Backdrop: Fulhurst Moors $3.75 $2.25
Average Rating:4.7 / 5
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Village Backdrop: Fulhurst Moors
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Village Backdrop: Fulhurst Moors
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/19/2014 13:27:43

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This Village Backdrop clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

What once was a lush forest inhabited by brutal savages, is now a desolate windswept moor where the waters of Blackraven Creek burrow into the acidic, infertile soil. Haunted by will-o'-wisps attracted in times long gone by, the plain is now home to peat-diggers - a harsh folk that reflects the unpleasant environment they live in. Unbeknownst to them, one greedy individual has struck a pact with the dread will-o'-wisps and the resulting tragedies have fostered an atmosphere of almost palpable anxiety -and a high danger-value.

Beyond the diverse population that includes the best and worst of people, the usual amounts of rumors, events, items to purchase etc., we also receive the stats of the hidden BBeG of the village as well as, rather cool, rules for the special moonshine sold in town - I love little mechanical pieces of crunch like this supplementing the fluff of an awesome village.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's superb, streamlined and printer-friendly 2-column b/w-standard. The pdf's b/w-cartography (of which you can download player-friendly versions on Raging Swan's homepage for free!) is just as awesome as I've come to expect from the series. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out.

Okay, my first impression was "Oh yeah, another swamp/moor"-village - but know what? This is VERY distinct from anything you'd expect in a SWAMP. While Jacob Trier's village works with the tropes, it also subverts them -no degenerate fish-people, no voodoo cults, no looming lizard-men, instead painting a picture of a village of hard-working people that cover the broad experience of humanity and morality, suffering from a climate of fear invoked by some vile individuals. Fulhurst Moors may not be a nice place at first glance, but it can be the town where, once the loyalty of the populace is earned, the evil rooted out, PCs may find haven even if hunted by the king. Remote and believable, with a rich history to develop and hooks galore, Jacob Trier's village is well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Village Backdrop: Fulhurst Moors
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/21/2014 20:53:31

The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=45394.

In this supplement for the Pathfinder RPG, there is a little village named Fulhurst Moors. Yes, staying true to its name, this village is located in the always creepy, and always very dangerous moors. Moors; you know those British versions of swamps only colder and more dreary. The inhabitants of this almost loathsome village spend most of their time cutting peat from bogs for fuel or for housing materials and tending their rugged and shaggy sheep on the moor. When the sun goes down they hide in their homes or gather inside the Bell and Whistles, the town’s one tavern. While trapped in their nocturnal prisons they exchange tales about the horrible fates that await those people idiotic enough to venture into the moors at night. But these tales are not limited to those that go out at night; there are tales of people who ventured too far away from the village during the day and were caught in storms or fog and never seen again.

Fulhurst Moors is full of people with dark and murky secrets, like the bogs that surround them. You have a priest who is slowly going insane with his inability to tend to his flock. The long time mayor and the constable are stymied by the spate of recent disappearances and the villagers need to drown themselves in the bottle to escape from their fragile existence. All of these fears are founded as there are ancient evils that haunt the misty depths just beyond the village and those evils have struck a bargain with someone inside the village. The threat that once loomed in the dark boundaries just outside of the village has just crossed the line.

Raging Swan Press has made a living of introducing time saving plug and play material to gamers. The Village Backdrops are solid products that with minor tweaking could be great for most RPG systems. The black cover with white writing, might draw tons of people towards the product, but it works and this form is well known to people who use Raging Swan Press products. The layout inside is typical two column that most companies have adopted. This is only a 6-page product; several of the pages lose space with art; some of it is worth the loss of crunch while others are not. The half page lost on page 6 should have been replaced with a regional map rather than the questionable illustration that it contained. The drawing wasn’t bad per-say, but it wasn’t good enough to take up half a page in a 6-page product.

Villages are living places and to try and capture the look and feel of one in such a small product is not easy. This village backdrop did a pretty good job of capturing the feel of Fulhurst Moor, the village and some of the major players inside of it. The village map on page 3 is a simple black and white overhead view of the village; it isn’t just a line and block map it is actually hand drawn and has a very realistic feel to it. I would have enjoyed seeing hand drawn numbers next to the important buildings, rather than the typed ones to maintain that authentic feel, but that is minor. MY review copy was electronic and I would love to have access to a downloadable version of the village map without numbers that I could pass onto my players. It would be easy to include an access code on the product that would allow a player to download things like this. I know that Raging Swan Press is a small company, but that doesn’t mean they need to think like one.

The first few pages of this product are the one-over-the-world of Fulhurst Moors. This section includes Demographics, Notable folk with very basic stats, Notable locations, an overview of the villagers, village lore and Whispers and Rumors. This one –over-the-world is full of good information and was sodden with good ideas for further adventures in Fulhurst. I would have enjoyed seeing a few more rumors, but the KISS method really does help the GM shave off preparation time.

Next comes a very detailed description of the Notable Locations in town including an expanded Stat block for Kelurn Tinddar, the local Wizard. There are only 8 notable locations, but their descriptions are ample enough to feel alive.

The final page of text deals with life in Fulhurst Moors – included on this page is an events chart. I would love for there to be more events, but for the size of the product, 6 wasn’t bad. This is the page that is plagued with a wasted half page; I would have liked to see a slightly expanded map of the surrounding Moors rather than the picture that was chosen to take up this valuable space. As a GM having knowledge just a bit outside of the village would be really helpful.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Creator Reply:
Thanks very much for the review. I\'m jolly glad you enjoy the village. And good news - as with all Village Backdrops - you can download both tagged and untagged versions of the village map at our site!
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