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Wilderlands of High Adventure: 100 Street Vendors of the City State

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Wilderlands of High Adventure: 100 Street Vendors of the City State
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Wilderlands of High Adventure: 100 Street Vendors of the City State
Publisher: Judges Guild
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/22/2010 20:13:38

I don't play Castles & Crusades, so I can't really comment on the appropriateness of the crunchy bits in this sourcebook. However, the personality writeups on the 100 NPCs listed herein are so fun and evocative that I foresee myself transferring a number of these characters into my D&D 4e campaign. The value of this product cuts across systems, and I appreciate products like that.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Wilderlands of High Adventure: 100 Street Vendors of the City State
Publisher: Judges Guild
by D. C. D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2010 11:47:25

I heartily recommend 100 Street Vendors for anyone needing to populate their city with a thriving economy. While geared for the City State of the Invincible Overlord, and Castles & Crusades each vendor can easily be ported over to your own city and the stats can easily be converted to most D&D style games. The book is arranged alphabetically by type of vendor. Each vendor is then named, given C&C stats (these are not lvl 0 folks, not all are human, and their alignments, classes, and levels vary considerably - at least one is a demon!), a physical description, description of his vending cart/wagon and its goods, and some notes on personality. Also given is their usual location in the CSIO. All but the latter is easily used in your own city. This is a fantastic resource for any CK who enjoys a city campaign. Grab it while you still can



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Wilderlands of High Adventure: 100 Street Vendors of the City State
Publisher: Judges Guild
by Kyrinn S E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/25/2010 12:42:23

A Review of AGP's Wilderlands of High Adventure: 100 Street Vendors of the City State-

With Geoffrey McKinney's highly detailed review of the material specifics of the product in question, I shall endeavour to illustrate the vast utility of the 100 Street Vendors product, and state up front that this utility truly encompasses any and all genre of roleplaying game, so long as any sort of merchant is required.

As the author, James Mishler, notes, with but a moment's thought, any of these solitary individual merchants roaming the streets of the City State can be turned into a shop, with the merest inclusion of a few shop hands to fill out the 'hired help'. However, I would suggest that larger establishments, perhaps even modern malls, or post-apocalyptic flea-markets, could be formed by selecting a few related trades being clumped together into sectors of the physical location in which the item-questing, or time-killing player characters are roaming. To reiterate McKinney's review, the depth of detail provided by Mishler in the 100 Street Vendors product is most authoritative, but this value-packed product is only increased in its usefulness by taking it out of the run of the mill fantasy settings that fill the gaming market, by using it for d20 Modern, Future, Post-Apocalypse, Supers, or even hard-Science-Fiction settings, after all these require merchants and places of business to equip PCs, as well as places where important gossip or hard-facts can be secured. AGP's Wilderlands of High Adventure: 100 Street Vendors of the City State fills that role exceptionally well for those Gamesmasters with the ability to think outside of the literal constraints of the presentation for the excellent and enjoyable Castles & Crusades gaming system.

Think of a Traveller game in which a TL7 or lower world is the current place of adventure, and the sorts of isolated encampments often encountered on the fringes of larger population centres. Any one of these merchants presented within 100 Street Vendors could be used 'on the fly' to detail everything the merchant or shop could offer, and with even the barest ability to translate a 3-18-scaled Strength score to Traveller's hexadecimal Stren range, the very scores themselves offered for each the merchants itself is immediately useful. Likewise, The Morrow Project, any edition thus far of Gamma World, or even FGU's Aftermath!, with their scattered settlements and rarer enclaves of civilisation. All of these could profit from the inclusion of this product with exactly the same briefest moment of 'out of the box' thinking on the GM's/Referee's part.

With this degree of utility, is there any reason for me to go on urging you to purchase this product for use with ALL of your rpgs?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Wilderlands of High Adventure: 100 Street Vendors of the City State
Publisher: Judges Guild
by Geoffrey M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/22/2010 10:47:53

Physical Specifics:

  1. 66-pages
  2. Most pages have 2 columns of average-sized (12-point?) font which is nice and readable .
  3. excellent proofreading/editing
  4. There is no art except for the map, for which I am glad. I’m not interested in illustrations of NPCs standing around.

This is a Castles & Crusades product. As such, it can also be easily used with any of the following:

any pre-4th edition version of D&D or AD&D Pathfinder Hackmaster 4th edition Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game OSRIC Labyrinth Lord Spellcraft & Swordplay Swords & Wizardry

The author James Mishler has published several C&C products for the world of the Wilderlands of High Adventure, with permission from Judges Guild. Like many of the author’s other products, this one will be most valuable to those who already own Wilderlands material (whether the old stuff from the 1970s, or the more recent d20 stuff). That said, this product still has much of value to those who are not familiar with the Wilderlands.

100 Street Vendors of the City State is primarily devoted to describing the one hundred NPCs in the product’s title. Such descriptions fill 54 of the product’s 66 pages. Here’s the page break-down:

pages 1-2: title pages page 3: how to use this product, with rules for haggling pages 4-57: details on 100 NPC street vendors page 58: coinage of the City State pages 59-63: encounter tables for vendors page 64: black and white map of the continent of Rhadamanthia (of which the Wilderlands form the central part) page 65: OGL page 66: AGP product list

Overall, the NPCs in this book are interesting, colorful, and inventive. As befits the Wilderlands, these street vendors are not staid. In addition to the common humans, dwarves, elves, and halflings, there are a type I demon, an ogre, a godling, a two-headed troll, and even a normal (0-level) human! You see, in the Wilderlands it’s not unusual for humans to have purple skin, or green skin, or scales, or to be transparent, etc. It’s also the case that many or even most humans have a class and levels. Those townsfolk going about their business probably aren’t a bunch of 0-level types. The boy shining shoes is probably a 2nd-level thief. The woman cleaning windows is probably a 4th-level assassin. The barber is probably a 5th-level illusionist. Etc.

The 100 street vendors herein are of the following standard C&C classes (and they tend to be of lower levels, with a lot of levels 1st through 5th):

fighters: 17 rangers: 4 rogues: 21 (This high number of rogues indicates the similarities of the City State and Lankhmar.) assassins: 2 barbarians: 4 monks: 3 wizards: 11 illusionists: 4 clerics: 10 druids: 1 knights: 0 paladins: 0 (Too corrupt a place for any paladins, perhaps?) bards: 6

In addition, there are the following classes:

pychics: 2 witches: 3 alchemist/wizards: 1 sage/wizards: 1 sages: 2 Mycretian/sage: 1

These character classes are not detailed herein. The referee will have to use the descriptions found in other products (such as Necromancer Games’s Player’s Guide to the Wilderlands and City State of the Invincible Overlord), or make up his own rules for them.

An example of one of the 100 vendors will go far in letting my readers see just what is in this product. Here’s one of the shorter entries:

  1. BOOKSELLER: GLIMFLASHY GROPLAG (NE male Gnole 3rd level Illusionist; SL Merchant 4; HD 3d4-3, HP 8; AC 11 (Dex); Attacks: Dagger (+1/+2 BtH, 1d4 damage); Abilities: Darkvision 30’, Haggle (Cha), Literature (Int), Disguise (Charisma), Sharp Senses +1, Spells; Spells: influence, message, mending, prestidigitation, charm person, daze, read magic, detect magic, eyes of fire; Languages: Gnoll (Lyoophiath dialect), Alryan, Common Viridian, Elvish, Orichalan; Str 12, Dex 15, Con 8, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 15*; carries 2d6 cp, 2d6 sp, and 1d4 gp, and has a 34% chance of carrying 1d4 gems worth 5 to 50 gp each; he also wields a wand of major image with 47 charges) This gnole (a race of mixed elvish, gnoll, and human lineage) looks like a tall, ugly human with vaguely bestial features, including claw-like hands, sharp teeth, black tongue and lips, and feral eyes; his hair is fur-like, sandy colored with streaks of black, while his skin is a sickly sallow green. He wears fine silk clothing cut in Viridian styles, including a large green turban with a fine green opal (50 gp). He is usually found in the Noble Quarter, either in the Royal Market or in the Plaza of Profuse Pleasures. His wagon, drawn by two geldings enchanted to a lime green color, is also green and built from fine woods from the West. It is lined on all inside walls with shelves of books of all kinds and subjects. An exile from the Falling Empire, he seeks the wealth and connections to rise in social status in the City State. He is no friend of the Green Emperor, and happily tells all he knows about the City of Spices (for a price). Prices: at any time he has 100 to 300 books, in various states and on various subjects, ranging in price from 20 to 800 gp; his collections focus on history and magic, and there is a 36% chance he has a book on any specific subject in those areas; otherwise there is an 9% chance he has a book on any other area. Cash Box contains 5d10 cp, 5d10 sp, 10d10 x 1d6 gp, and 1d4 gems worth 50 to 250 gp each; it is trapped with a poisoned needle with strong Type II poison (-2 penalty to saving throw). Disposition: 1) Angry, 2) Disturbed, 3) Unpleasant, 4) Greedy, 5) Grumpy, or 6) Wistful. Rumor: Fakir Mukang, the wizard who lives in the Pleasure Dome on Beggar’s Street, seeks a cleric to exorcize a demon that haunts his dreams.

A few explanatory notes on the above:

  1. “SL” indicates “Social Level”, which is detailed in other Wilderlands products.

  2. Many of the vendors have abilities that go beyond their standard class abilities. These additional abilities should be considered class-skills, earning the level-based bonus to the attribute check.

  3. The asterisks by three of the six ability scores indicate that those scores are primes.

  4. I love the lists of dispositions. When a given vendor is encountered, the referee can roll 1d6 to see what disposition the vendor is in at the time.

  5. The rumors after each entry are very handy adventure hooks.

  6. The price lists are a boon to the harried referee. The price list above is rather short. Here’s a more interesting list of only some of the merchandise of one of the pipeweed vendors:

(Atwain 88% in stock) Atwain Snuk Smokeweed 5 sp/5# keg, Atwain Bro-Chak Smokeweed 25 sp/5# keg; (Bulwark 77% in stock, prices are for 1# tins/5# kegs) Bulwark Shag 2 sp/1 gp, Bulwark Average 6 sp/3 gp, Bulwark Good 12 sp/6 gp, Bulwark Blue 4 gp/20 gp, Bulwark Royal Blue 20 gp/100 gp; Bulwarkshire Cheese 2 gp/5# wheel, Bulwarkshire Blue Cheese 10 gp/5# wheel, Bulwarkshire Royal Blue Cheese 50 gp/5# wheel; (Darkfield 99% in stock) Darkfield Tabac 5 sp/25 sp, Darkfield Premium Tabac (exclusive!) 3 gp/15 gp; (Pipeweed incense 99% in stock, price is per stick or cone) Cheap Leavings 1 gp, Sweet Dreams 2 gp, Mellow Days 3 gp, Excellent Thoughts 4 gp, Primo Gold 5 gp, Braz-Kazen’s Best 10 gp (10% chance of communing with the god himself, as per the spell); (Mermist 44% in stock) Mermist Emerald Leaf 1 gp/5 gp, Mermist Scarlet Pipeweed 5 gp/25 gp (steeped in the poison of the scarlet toad, CL 2 Wis save or suffer waking nightmares for 1d3 days); (Tlanic 11% in stock, rare and hard to get of late) Tlanic Jaguar Tabac 40 gp/1# jar, Tlanic Noble Tabac 100 gp/1# jar, Tlanic Royal Tabac 200 gp/1# jar; (1d20 each of in-stock cigars) Tlanic Jaguar Cigar 10 gp, Tlanic Noble Cigar 25 gp, Tlanic Royal Cigar 50 gp; (Viridian 66% in stock) Viridian Yellow 1 gp/5 gp, Viridian Blue 5 gp/25 gp, Viridian Green 20 gp/100 gp, Viridian Imperial Reserve 100 gp/500 gp (11% in stock); (Xochete 44% in stock) Xochete Copper 1 gp/1# jar, Xochete Silver 5 gp/1# jar, Xochete Gold 50 gp/1# jar, Xochete Platinum 500 gp/1# jar; 1d30 each of in-stock cigars) Xochete Copper Cigar 5 sp, Xochete Silver Cigar 1 gp, Xochete Electrum Cigar 5 gp, Xochete Gold Cigar 15 gp, Xochete Jade Cigar 75 gp

Little jokes, name-dropping, and historical references are peppered throughout the text. You will find at least mentioned (and sometimes described) personages such as Conn son of Conan, Boromir, Abdal Alhazred, and even the comical adventuring group from Jake Jaquet’s story, “The Search for the Forbidden Chamber”, published way back in the first two issues of The Dragon magazine.

The page on coinage gives the referee good ideas for how to relieve overly-rich PCs of some of their coin (through rapacious coin-changing and unfair laws).

The pages of encounter tables for vendors are thorough. Listed are the major streets of the City State, and under each street are listed all of the vendors that might be encountered on that street. Also supplied are random tables to determine what vendor you might meet in any given place.

Finally, the continental map of Rhadamanthia doesn’t have much direct relevancy to this product, but I am very happy to have it all the same. It is an attractive work all on its own.

By this point you should know if 100 Street Vendors of the City State is for you. If you like Glimflashy Groplag above, then you should like this product. I myself am very happy to own it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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