John Bennett Archive

  • Shunned Valley of the Three Tombs Collector’s Edition The collector’s edition of Shunned Valley of the Three Tombs clocks in at 40 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page designer’s foreword (including stats by CR etc.), 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 32 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   All right, so what do we get here? Well, first of all, we begin with notes on how to use the adventure properly as well as a page of advice on how to read statblocks – particularly useful in this module, since, let’s get that out of the way, this makes for a great […]

    Shunned Valley of the Three Tombs Collector’s Edition

    Shunned Valley of the Three Tombs Collector’s Edition The collector’s edition of Shunned Valley of the Three Tombs clocks in at 40 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page designer’s foreword (including stats by CR etc.), 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 32 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   All right, so what do we get here? Well, first of all, we begin with notes on how to use the adventure properly as well as a page of advice on how to read statblocks – particularly useful in this module, since, let’s get that out of the way, this makes for a great […]

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  • Town Backdrop: Dunstone This town backdrop clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   We once again return to the Duchy of Ashlar in this Town Backdrop – the place where the Mottled Spire and dread Gloamhold loom. This time, we travel to Dunstone – once, the place that stood steadfast between the horrid things spewing forth from the dark recesses and the world, the world has moved on for Dunstone: Nowadays, the complacency of peace has sheep graze in the erstwhile moat, sedated by the lack of danger.   Speaking of […]

    Town Backdrop: Dunstone

    Town Backdrop: Dunstone This town backdrop clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   We once again return to the Duchy of Ashlar in this Town Backdrop – the place where the Mottled Spire and dread Gloamhold loom. This time, we travel to Dunstone – once, the place that stood steadfast between the horrid things spewing forth from the dark recesses and the world, the world has moved on for Dunstone: Nowadays, the complacency of peace has sheep graze in the erstwhile moat, sedated by the lack of danger.   Speaking of […]

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  • Town Backdrop: Dunstone (system neutral) This town backdrop clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   We once again return to the Duchy of Ashlar in this Town Backdrop – the place where the Mottled Spire and dread Gloamhold loom. This time, we travel to Dunstone – once, the place that stood steadfast between the horrid things spewing forth from the dark recesses and the world, the world has moved on for Dunstone: Nowadays, the complacency of peace has sheep graze in the erstwhile moat, sedated by the lack of danger.   […]

    Town Backdrop: Dunstone (system neutral)

    Town Backdrop: Dunstone (system neutral) This town backdrop clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   We once again return to the Duchy of Ashlar in this Town Backdrop – the place where the Mottled Spire and dread Gloamhold loom. This time, we travel to Dunstone – once, the place that stood steadfast between the horrid things spewing forth from the dark recesses and the world, the world has moved on for Dunstone: Nowadays, the complacency of peace has sheep graze in the erstwhile moat, sedated by the lack of danger.   […]

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  • Town Backdrop: Dunstone (5e) This town backdrop clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   We once again return to the Duchy of Ashlar in this Town Backdrop – the place where the Mottled Spire and dread Gloamhold loom. This time, we travel to Dunstone – once, the place that stood steadfast between the horrid things spewing forth from the dark recesses and the world, the world has moved on for Dunstone: Nowadays, the complacency of peace has sheep graze in the erstwhile moat, sedated by the lack of danger.   Big […]

    Town Backdrop: Dunstone (5e)

    Town Backdrop: Dunstone (5e) This town backdrop clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   We once again return to the Duchy of Ashlar in this Town Backdrop – the place where the Mottled Spire and dread Gloamhold loom. This time, we travel to Dunstone – once, the place that stood steadfast between the horrid things spewing forth from the dark recesses and the world, the world has moved on for Dunstone: Nowadays, the complacency of peace has sheep graze in the erstwhile moat, sedated by the lack of danger.   Big […]

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  • Town Backdrop: Dulwich This town backdrop clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   In the Duchy of Ashlar, near the infamous (and superbly-written) Gloamhold, there looms a great salt marsh, and above it, there is the bustling, booming trade town of Dulwich, which is anything but dull. … Sorry. I just couldn’t help myself. Bad puns from reviewers aside, Dulwich exists in interesting times for the duchy: A veritable torrent of lumber from the forest helps keep the coffers of its citizens full, and if the machinations of mayor Wido Gall, […]

    Town Backdrop: Dulwich

    Town Backdrop: Dulwich This town backdrop clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   In the Duchy of Ashlar, near the infamous (and superbly-written) Gloamhold, there looms a great salt marsh, and above it, there is the bustling, booming trade town of Dulwich, which is anything but dull. … Sorry. I just couldn’t help myself. Bad puns from reviewers aside, Dulwich exists in interesting times for the duchy: A veritable torrent of lumber from the forest helps keep the coffers of its citizens full, and if the machinations of mayor Wido Gall, […]

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  • Town Backdrop: Dulwich (system neutral) This town backdrop clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   In the Duchy of Ashlar, near the infamous (and superbly-written) Gloamhold, there looms a great salt marsh, and above it, there is the bustling, booming trade town of Dulwich, which is anything but dull. … Sorry. I just couldn’t help myself. Bad puns from reviewers aside, Dulwich exists in interesting times for the duchy: A veritable torrent of lumber from the forest helps keep the coffers of its citizens full, and if the machinations of mayor […]

    Town Backdrop: Dulwich (system neutral)

    Town Backdrop: Dulwich (system neutral) This town backdrop clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   In the Duchy of Ashlar, near the infamous (and superbly-written) Gloamhold, there looms a great salt marsh, and above it, there is the bustling, booming trade town of Dulwich, which is anything but dull. … Sorry. I just couldn’t help myself. Bad puns from reviewers aside, Dulwich exists in interesting times for the duchy: A veritable torrent of lumber from the forest helps keep the coffers of its citizens full, and if the machinations of mayor […]

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  • Town Backdrop: Dulwich (5e) This town backdrop clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   In the Duchy of Ashlar, near the infamous (and superbly-written) Gloamhold, there looms a great salt marsh, and above it, there is the bustling, booming trade town of Dulwich, which is anything but dull. … Sorry. I just couldn’t help myself. Bad puns from reviewers aside, Dulwich exists in interesting times for the duchy: A veritable torrent of lumber from the forest helps keep the coffers of its citizens full, and if the machinations of mayor Wido […]

    Town Backdrop: Dulwich (5e)

    Town Backdrop: Dulwich (5e) This town backdrop clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   In the Duchy of Ashlar, near the infamous (and superbly-written) Gloamhold, there looms a great salt marsh, and above it, there is the bustling, booming trade town of Dulwich, which is anything but dull. … Sorry. I just couldn’t help myself. Bad puns from reviewers aside, Dulwich exists in interesting times for the duchy: A veritable torrent of lumber from the forest helps keep the coffers of its citizens full, and if the machinations of mayor Wido […]

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  • GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things #2 (system neutral) This massive compilation clocks in at 93 pages, 1 front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 85 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Well, first things first: This is a compilation of material, namely of the humongous numbers of lists Creighton Broadhurst regularly posts on his blog; so yes, technically, the material can be found for free. At the same time OMG, get this!   Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. At this point, it most assuredly should be no secret that I consider Raging Swan ‘s dressing files among the most useful books […]

    GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things #2 (system neutral)

    GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things #2 (system neutral) This massive compilation clocks in at 93 pages, 1 front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 85 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Well, first things first: This is a compilation of material, namely of the humongous numbers of lists Creighton Broadhurst regularly posts on his blog; so yes, technically, the material can be found for free. At the same time OMG, get this!   Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. At this point, it most assuredly should be no secret that I consider Raging Swan ‘s dressing files among the most useful books […]

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  • Horror Adventures This massive hardcover clocks in at 255 pages – if you take away editorial, index, etc., you still arrive at 249 pages of content, which is A LOT.   I was gifted a copy of this book for the purpose of a fair and unbiased review. My review is based on the hardcover of this book.   Now, the first thing I’d ask you to do, is to read the series of Miscellaneous Musings I wrote on horror gaming in general. Or least the last one. Why? Because it is my firm conviction that one has to establish realistic expectations in order to review a book such as this.   Here is Part I. Here is Part II. […]

    Horror Adventures

    Horror Adventures This massive hardcover clocks in at 255 pages – if you take away editorial, index, etc., you still arrive at 249 pages of content, which is A LOT.   I was gifted a copy of this book for the purpose of a fair and unbiased review. My review is based on the hardcover of this book.   Now, the first thing I’d ask you to do, is to read the series of Miscellaneous Musings I wrote on horror gaming in general. Or least the last one. Why? Because it is my firm conviction that one has to establish realistic expectations in order to review a book such as this.   Here is Part I. Here is Part II. […]

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  • Northlands Saga Player’s Guide (PFRPG/OSR) This Player’s guide for the massive Northlands Saga Player’s Guide clocks in at 50 pages if you ignore SRD, advertisement, editorial, etc. My review is based on the dead tree version, which comes as a nice softcover. I was a backer of the Northlands Saga kickstarter, but other than that not involved in any way with this project.   So, how do we start? We start by contextualizing the Northlands and their myths – inspired by real life mythology from Scandinavia, a central leitmotif and proposition of the series was to get the feeling of the Northlands right – and, indeed, flavor-wise, the pdf begins pretty much from the get-go to do just that, presenting […]

    Northlands Saga Player’s Guide (PFRPG/OSR)

    Northlands Saga Player’s Guide (PFRPG/OSR) This Player’s guide for the massive Northlands Saga Player’s Guide clocks in at 50 pages if you ignore SRD, advertisement, editorial, etc. My review is based on the dead tree version, which comes as a nice softcover. I was a backer of the Northlands Saga kickstarter, but other than that not involved in any way with this project.   So, how do we start? We start by contextualizing the Northlands and their myths – inspired by real life mythology from Scandinavia, a central leitmotif and proposition of the series was to get the feeling of the Northlands right – and, indeed, flavor-wise, the pdf begins pretty much from the get-go to do just that, presenting […]

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  • GM’s Miscellany: Village Backdrops IV The fourth installment of the amazing Village Backdrop-series clocks in at 92 pages, 1 page front cover, 3 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC (including statblocks by CR), 2 pages of author bios (wish all books included that – author name recognition is important!), 1 page advice on reading statblocks for novice GMs, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a total of 81 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This book contains the villages of Cahill Abbey, Feigrvidr, Feyhall, Greystone, Macrimei, Ossoka Draconsha, Revenge, Shroudhaven, Silver Bluff, Tigley, Umelas, Vaagwol and Y’taris. These villages all have in common that I have actually reviewed the respective […]

    GM’s Miscellany: Village Backdrops IV

    GM’s Miscellany: Village Backdrops IV The fourth installment of the amazing Village Backdrop-series clocks in at 92 pages, 1 page front cover, 3 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC (including statblocks by CR), 2 pages of author bios (wish all books included that – author name recognition is important!), 1 page advice on reading statblocks for novice GMs, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a total of 81 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This book contains the villages of Cahill Abbey, Feigrvidr, Feyhall, Greystone, Macrimei, Ossoka Draconsha, Revenge, Shroudhaven, Silver Bluff, Tigley, Umelas, Vaagwol and Y’taris. These villages all have in common that I have actually reviewed the respective […]

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  • Campaign Backdrop: Marshes and Swamps This installation of the helpful environmental toolkit-compilations by Raging Swan Press clocks in at 87 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisements, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page stat blocks by CR, 2 pages of author bios, 1 page of advice for reading statblocks for novice GMs, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 76 pages of raw content, so let’s take a look!   Taking a cue from Raging Swan Press’ other, no less intriguing compilation books, this one features a table of all statblocks used herein by CR (spanning the range from CR 1/4 to 10) with accompanying page numbers and, as a nice service to […]

    Campaign Backdrop: Marshes and Swamps

    Campaign Backdrop: Marshes and Swamps This installation of the helpful environmental toolkit-compilations by Raging Swan Press clocks in at 87 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisements, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page stat blocks by CR, 2 pages of author bios, 1 page of advice for reading statblocks for novice GMs, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 76 pages of raw content, so let’s take a look!   Taking a cue from Raging Swan Press’ other, no less intriguing compilation books, this one features a table of all statblocks used herein by CR (spanning the range from CR 1/4 to 10) with accompanying page numbers and, as a nice service to […]

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  • Village Backdrop: Macrimei This installment of RSP’s Village Backdrop-series is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look at the settlement!   Know then, young prince, that in the days of yore, when Atlantis had first sunken into the seas, there was a place called Macrimei, situated amid windswept hills in colder climes, where ruins howl of ages long past, its populace descendants of a once glorious culture, now reduced to a state that is but a shade of their former glory; a place where once towers of ivory pierced the sky, everything looks […]

    Village Backdrop: Macrimei

    Village Backdrop: Macrimei This installment of RSP’s Village Backdrop-series is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look at the settlement!   Know then, young prince, that in the days of yore, when Atlantis had first sunken into the seas, there was a place called Macrimei, situated amid windswept hills in colder climes, where ruins howl of ages long past, its populace descendants of a once glorious culture, now reduced to a state that is but a shade of their former glory; a place where once towers of ivory pierced the sky, everything looks […]

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  • 20 Things #8: Cultist’s Lair (system neutral) This installment of Raging Swan Press’ system-neutral #20-series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The 8th installment of the system-neutral dressing-series by Raging Swan press wastes no time and begins with 10 cultists with a personality – from affable halfling couples to scarred dagger-wielders performing “sacred” duties or sheltered wives finding “purpose” in a cult, the characters provided indeed have personality – they are, obviously, system-neutral and thus stat-free, but should be considered to be worthwhile, nice write-ups of persons and worthy angles […]

    20 Things #8: Cultist’s Lair (system neutral)

    20 Things #8: Cultist’s Lair (system neutral) This installment of Raging Swan Press’ system-neutral #20-series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The 8th installment of the system-neutral dressing-series by Raging Swan press wastes no time and begins with 10 cultists with a personality – from affable halfling couples to scarred dagger-wielders performing “sacred” duties or sheltered wives finding “purpose” in a cult, the characters provided indeed have personality – they are, obviously, system-neutral and thus stat-free, but should be considered to be worthwhile, nice write-ups of persons and worthy angles […]

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  • Shadows over Vathak: Player’s Guide to Vathak This Vathak-book clocks in at…436 pages. No, NOT kidding. 436. 1 page of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 4 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 427 pages of content. HOLY MOLY.   This massive book was moved up in my review queue as a prioritized review. Additionally, it was moved further up due to me getting a print copy. Finally, the reason you see this now, so shortly after release, is simple: I’ve had the WIP-version for more than a month and had sufficient time to tinker and analyze this book.   Vathak. Before we take a look at the content, a brief […]

    Shadows over Vathak: Player’s Guide to Vathak

    Shadows over Vathak: Player’s Guide to Vathak This Vathak-book clocks in at…436 pages. No, NOT kidding. 436. 1 page of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 4 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 427 pages of content. HOLY MOLY.   This massive book was moved up in my review queue as a prioritized review. Additionally, it was moved further up due to me getting a print copy. Finally, the reason you see this now, so shortly after release, is simple: I’ve had the WIP-version for more than a month and had sufficient time to tinker and analyze this book.   Vathak. Before we take a look at the content, a brief […]

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  • 20 Things #6: Ancient Necropolis (system neutral) This installment of Raging Swan Press’ system-neutral #20-series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This installment of the system-neutral iteration of small 20 Things-pdfs starts with a nice 10-entry strong little table of things you can loot from the body of a tomb raider who met his match within the confines of the necropolis. But how did the unfortunates perish? Well, perhaps they ran afoul of one of the 20 curses featured within the pdf – and these deserve special mention, for they, […]

    20 Things #6: Ancient Necropolis (system neutral)

    20 Things #6: Ancient Necropolis (system neutral) This installment of Raging Swan Press’ system-neutral #20-series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This installment of the system-neutral iteration of small 20 Things-pdfs starts with a nice 10-entry strong little table of things you can loot from the body of a tomb raider who met his match within the confines of the necropolis. But how did the unfortunates perish? Well, perhaps they ran afoul of one of the 20 curses featured within the pdf – and these deserve special mention, for they, […]

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  • Occult Adventures This massive hardcover clocks in at a whopping 271 pages, though 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC and 1/3rd of a page decrease that down to 267 2/3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Well, before we do, let me  deal with the confusion for a second that this review undoubtedly will cause. Yes, I usually only do 3pp material. This has several reasons: For one, I want to showcase the fringe of gaming, the evocative books that push the envelope. Secondly, I’m not particularly affluent, to say the least and want to reward the publishers that do send me their books. Well, I obviously *HAVE* to get the […]

    Occult Adventures

    Occult Adventures This massive hardcover clocks in at a whopping 271 pages, though 1 page inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC and 1/3rd of a page decrease that down to 267 2/3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Well, before we do, let me  deal with the confusion for a second that this review undoubtedly will cause. Yes, I usually only do 3pp material. This has several reasons: For one, I want to showcase the fringe of gaming, the evocative books that push the envelope. Secondly, I’m not particularly affluent, to say the least and want to reward the publishers that do send me their books. Well, I obviously *HAVE* to get the […]

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  • Campaign Kits: The Mysteries of Hollowfield This Campaign Kit clocks in at 39 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 35 pages of content, so let’s check this out!   This installment of the Campaign Kits-series is a charity product for the Roleplaying Game Creators Relief Fund and it is, to make that clear from the get-go, a “Pay what you want”-product. The original iteration has sported some glitches that have been identified and rectified, which is why this review is based on V.2.0 of the book.   So, what is this? Well, in short, this book contains 8 expanded adventure seeds: With statblocks and structure and all, just […]

    Campaign Kits: The Mysteries of Hollowfield

    Campaign Kits: The Mysteries of Hollowfield This Campaign Kit clocks in at 39 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 35 pages of content, so let’s check this out!   This installment of the Campaign Kits-series is a charity product for the Roleplaying Game Creators Relief Fund and it is, to make that clear from the get-go, a “Pay what you want”-product. The original iteration has sported some glitches that have been identified and rectified, which is why this review is based on V.2.0 of the book.   So, what is this? Well, in short, this book contains 8 expanded adventure seeds: With statblocks and structure and all, just […]

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  • Campaign Backdrops: Hills & Mountains This installment of Raging Swan Press’ Campaign Backdrops-compilations clocks in at 115 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with an impressive 108 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This being a compilation of material, we begin this massive book with a handy list of statblcoks by CR with the respective page number for easy reference obviously included. Beyond that, the pdf provides advice for novice GMs on how to read statblocks and an extensive acknowledgement of author bios – I mention the latter primarily since I consider this aspect to be great and […]

    Campaign Backdrops: Hills & Mountains

    Campaign Backdrops: Hills & Mountains This installment of Raging Swan Press’ Campaign Backdrops-compilations clocks in at 115 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with an impressive 108 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This being a compilation of material, we begin this massive book with a handy list of statblcoks by CR with the respective page number for easy reference obviously included. Beyond that, the pdf provides advice for novice GMs on how to read statblocks and an extensive acknowledgement of author bios – I mention the latter primarily since I consider this aspect to be great and […]

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  • Campaign Backdrop: Forests & Woodlands This massive book clocks in at 109 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 102 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Taking a cue from Raging Swan Press’ other, no less intriguing compilation books, this one features a table of all statblocks used herein by CR (spanning the range from CR 1/4 to 14) with accompanying page numbers and, as a nice service to the talented authors involved, we get a page of author bios, which is great to see.   But what is this? Well, the short answer, as already hinted at, is […]

    Campaign Backdrop: Forests & Woodlands

    Campaign Backdrop: Forests & Woodlands This massive book clocks in at 109 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 102 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Taking a cue from Raging Swan Press’ other, no less intriguing compilation books, this one features a table of all statblocks used herein by CR (spanning the range from CR 1/4 to 14) with accompanying page numbers and, as a nice service to the talented authors involved, we get a page of author bios, which is great to see.   But what is this? Well, the short answer, as already hinted at, is […]

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  • Shadows over Vathak: Player’s Guide to Ina’oth The second Player’s Guide to the disturbing regions of the Shadows over Vathak setting clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 29 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   After an excerpt from the journal of Yarick Eastermann – which, as another, handout-style piece of parchment elucidates, is not in as happy a state as he should be. After a brief introduction for players, we get to know Ina’oth – situated at the southwestern corner of the continent, is protected by the Black Sky mountains…isolated, one could say. Before madness came upon the Bhriota, […]

    Shadows over Vathak: Player’s Guide to Ina’oth

    Shadows over Vathak: Player’s Guide to Ina’oth The second Player’s Guide to the disturbing regions of the Shadows over Vathak setting clocks in at 34 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 29 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   After an excerpt from the journal of Yarick Eastermann – which, as another, handout-style piece of parchment elucidates, is not in as happy a state as he should be. After a brief introduction for players, we get to know Ina’oth – situated at the southwestern corner of the continent, is protected by the Black Sky mountains…isolated, one could say. Before madness came upon the Bhriota, […]

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  • Village Backdrop: Ossoko Draconsha This installment of RSP’s Village Backdrop-series is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look at the settlement   Ossoko Draconsha, literally “Dragon’s Defeat” in the tongue of lizardfolk, may well be the conceptually most unique settlement in the whole series of village backdrops – if the name and dominant lizardfolk population you can glean from the settlement statblock are not clear enough: This is a lizardfolk village, but one unlike those you’d know from various modules: Ossoko Draconsha’s existence is ultimately thanks to the noble sacrifice of one woman, the […]

    Village Backdrop: Ossoko Draconsha

    Village Backdrop: Ossoko Draconsha This installment of RSP’s Village Backdrop-series is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look at the settlement   Ossoko Draconsha, literally “Dragon’s Defeat” in the tongue of lizardfolk, may well be the conceptually most unique settlement in the whole series of village backdrops – if the name and dominant lizardfolk population you can glean from the settlement statblock are not clear enough: This is a lizardfolk village, but one unlike those you’d know from various modules: Ossoko Draconsha’s existence is ultimately thanks to the noble sacrifice of one woman, the […]

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  • GM’s Miscellany: Village Backdrops III This installment of Raging Swan Press’ groundbreaking, critically acclaimed GM’s Miscellany-series clocks in at 101 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC (including statblocks by CR-table), 1 page author-bios (which, frankly, more books should feature!), 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 93 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   This review was moved up on my review-queue as a prioritized review at the behest of my patreons.   If you don’t know at this point what the Village Backdrops-series is, let me enlighten you: Village backdrops are small pdfs, each detailing a fully mapped village (in this […]

    GM’s Miscellany: Village Backdrops III

    GM’s Miscellany: Village Backdrops III This installment of Raging Swan Press’ groundbreaking, critically acclaimed GM’s Miscellany-series clocks in at 101 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of ToC (including statblocks by CR-table), 1 page author-bios (which, frankly, more books should feature!), 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 93 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   This review was moved up on my review-queue as a prioritized review at the behest of my patreons.   If you don’t know at this point what the Village Backdrops-series is, let me enlighten you: Village backdrops are small pdfs, each detailing a fully mapped village (in this […]

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  • Ancient Empire of the Troglodytes The first installment of “Ancient Empires” clocks in at 23 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 19 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, this is a source-book about an ancient empire, and as such, we are introduced to Ssar’targontha – the eponymous empire of troglodytes….only that it kind of isn’t. See, we all know troglodytes as those smelly, degenerate lizardfolk, right? Well, you may not be aware of that fact, but the word actually came into the English language from Middle French, based on Latin – “troglodytae” denoting “cave dwellers,” literally “one who creeps into holes.” […]

    Ancient Empire of the Troglodytes

    Ancient Empire of the Troglodytes The first installment of “Ancient Empires” clocks in at 23 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 19 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, this is a source-book about an ancient empire, and as such, we are introduced to Ssar’targontha – the eponymous empire of troglodytes….only that it kind of isn’t. See, we all know troglodytes as those smelly, degenerate lizardfolk, right? Well, you may not be aware of that fact, but the word actually came into the English language from Middle French, based on Latin – “troglodytae” denoting “cave dwellers,” literally “one who creeps into holes.” […]

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  • Shadows over Vathak: Colonies – Silhouette of a Shadow The first module set in Vathak, this pdf clocks in at a pretty impressive 62 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page back cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 56 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   But before we do – here’s a warning: This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players will wish to jump to the conclusion. … .. . All right, still here? We begin this module with several key-components: For one, a sidebox on the fragility of 1st level characters explains that more action-oriented groups may want to run this […]

    Shadows over Vathak: Colonies – Silhouette of a Shadow

    Shadows over Vathak: Colonies – Silhouette of a Shadow The first module set in Vathak, this pdf clocks in at a pretty impressive 62 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page back cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 56 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?   But before we do – here’s a warning: This being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. Potential players will wish to jump to the conclusion. … .. . All right, still here? We begin this module with several key-components: For one, a sidebox on the fragility of 1st level characters explains that more action-oriented groups may want to run this […]

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  • Carnival of Sinners This massive book clocks in at 50 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 46 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Carnivals are awesome…and creepy. The blending of the alien and the familiar, the oscillation of bright light and deepest shadows fascinate, entice. I distinctly recall a sense of kinship when I first saw the more weirder performances and the sense of freedom implied in such a life, despite the hardships, resonates with me on a primal level. In roleplaying games, specifically the various iterations I’ve played, I did ten to enjoy the modules and supplements dealing with […]

    Carnival of Sinners

    Carnival of Sinners This massive book clocks in at 50 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with a massive 46 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   Carnivals are awesome…and creepy. The blending of the alien and the familiar, the oscillation of bright light and deepest shadows fascinate, entice. I distinctly recall a sense of kinship when I first saw the more weirder performances and the sense of freedom implied in such a life, despite the hardships, resonates with me on a primal level. In roleplaying games, specifically the various iterations I’ve played, I did ten to enjoy the modules and supplements dealing with […]

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  • Village Backdrop: Kennutcat This installment of RSP’s Village Backdrop-series is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look at the settlement   In this installment of the Village Backdrop-series, we venture forth to a place that has a history steeped in colonialism – the native Kittiwaki have all but been exterminated and now the settlement prospers – a visitor coming to town indeed sees a calm, idyllic town – by day. At night, though, the fog rolls in. And in the best of Ravenloft-traditions, voices of the lost, footsteps echoing in the fog, make travel […]

    Village Backdrop: Kennutcat

    Village Backdrop: Kennutcat This installment of RSP’s Village Backdrop-series is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look at the settlement   In this installment of the Village Backdrop-series, we venture forth to a place that has a history steeped in colonialism – the native Kittiwaki have all but been exterminated and now the settlement prospers – a visitor coming to town indeed sees a calm, idyllic town – by day. At night, though, the fog rolls in. And in the best of Ravenloft-traditions, voices of the lost, footsteps echoing in the fog, make travel […]

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