Urban Dressing: Elven Town presents one hundred sights and sounds, from elven children in leafy clothing prancing through the streets, to archers practicing in a field, and everything in between. There's enough descriptions here that you could easily flesh out several towns and not have to reuse any material.
After the general sights and sounds of the town, there are 50 businesses and 50 townsfolk, ranging from dancers to druids to painters, and NPCs of all shapes and sizes. Not all of these are elves, giving game masters some unusual characters to meet or assist. Finally, there's a set of 12 plot hooks if you need to get the story going in a hurry.
This installment in the Urban Dressing series manages to stay true to what I think of as 'traditional' elvish flavour without feeling cliched or being repetitive. Once again, Raging Swan Press has delivered a quality product to aid game masters in any fantasy roleplaying game.
The title of I Loot the Body immediately caught my attention, as these are words so often heard at gaming tables. The premise of this PDF is simple: characters in your RPG game world are likely to carry items beyond their combat equipment. This might include jewelry, trinkets or keepsakes: those little touches that make them seem like real people living in a real world.
I Loot the Body presents three tables with 100 entries each. First is 'Pouch Contents', an assortment of a hundred different items that a person might have in their possession, from "a set of blank parchments sandwiched between polished wooden covers and tied together with red string" to "a small, battered spyglass, which has all its glass missing" and just about anything you can think of in between.
Next there is a table of jewelry and adornments, which lists a hundred decorative items that a person might wear, from "a head sash formed entirely of dried and preserved woven seaweed" to "chunks of pink crystal threaded along with black beads onto a leather bracelet" and all manner of other jewelry and decorations. Finally, there is a table of trinkets, which range from "an invitation to a party going on that evening" to "a chunk of obsidian shaped into a cow’s head".
Many of these items could be found on a body, though some of them could also work well in a dwelling that the players are exploring to add some flavour. While most items are mundane, there are a few with apparent magical properties, and a handful that might lead the heroes to pause for thought, and perhaps even investigate further.
The items presented in I Loot the Body are entirely system-independent. making this a great product for any game master who wants to add some flavour and realism to their world.
Campaign Events: Masquerade Ball is the first in a new series by Raging Swan Press, offering ready-made descriptions, ideas and plot hooks to drop into your campaign. As the name suggests, this series revolves around events rather than places or specific people.
A masquerade ball can be fun events, and are something of a staple in films and video games, so it makes sense that one might come up in your fantasy tabletop game. Of course, describing the interesting masks and outfits of all the attendees would be prohibitively time-consuming for a game master, and that's where Campaign Events: Masquerade Ball comes in.
This product contains 50 mundane masks - though they're anything but mundane! - from a scarecrow mask made out of a burlap sack to beautiful gem-encrusted masks. There are also 50 magical masks with much more unusual properties, from a skull mask with glowing red eyes to a mask that makes the wearer's face appear upside down. That's a hundred handy descriptions that a GM can use to describe the masks worn by important characters or just random guests at the ball.
Next up are 50 female costumes, and 50 male costumes, covering a wide variety of styles and fashions. This should ensure you can describe what any guest is wearing when the players ask. These 4 tables alone are probably almost worth the price of this product, but Raging Swan Press takes things one step further, and provides 50 NPCs with names and brief descriptions, making it easy to populate your event with plausible-sounding people. These descriptions also offer a lot of potential story ideas and plot hooks.
Finally, there are 20 hooks, complications and opportunities, describing individual events that might occur during a masquerade ball. There's enough content here for a game master to prepare an elaborate masquerade ball in a fraction of the time it might normally take. Campaign Events: Masquerade Ball makes me want to find a way to work a masked ball into my next session!
Raging Swan press has started a new line of products named Places of Power. This one focuses on a location called the Fragrant Tower, and presents this tower in great detail. The PDF contains just 6 pages of material, including one page taken up by a map of the tower, but those 6 pages are packed with adventure hooks, interesting characters, and unusual magic items.
While the description of the tower is purposefully left vague to allow it to fit into just about any setting, there is still plenty of detail given, including a brief history of the tower and a description of the mysterious and reclusive wizard who resides there as well as his small household of servants. A full stat block for this wizard is also given, so that GMs can include him in their campaign without much preparation.
The contents of the tower, and what PCs might do there, is detailed as well. It could become an adventure site, where the heroes come to investigate the rumours of strange odours coming from the direction of the tower, or what strange experiments are being performed by the tower's inhabitants to cause the strong fragrances emanating from it. Alternatively, it could be a unique magic shop for heroes seeking a special magic item.
The maps included in this product present all 7 levels of the tower, as well as side view of the exterior. I was pleasantly surprised to recognise the work of Dyson Logos, a favourite map artist of mine.
Like all Raging Swan titles, The Fragrant Tower is packed with ideas for GMs that can be used in just about any campaign. With the exception of the stat blocks, it could even fit into a non-Pathfinder game.
Packed into this 64-page book are 10 races, many of them specific to the world of Golarion (but probably adaptable to any setting): centaurs, cyclopes, minotaurs, ogrekin, charau-ka (small, violent baboon-like humanoids), derros, gillmen, girtablilu (half-scorpion humanoids), strix (flying humanoids) and urdefhans (horrible underground-dwelling native outsiders).
Each race has a brief overview, and some new race-specific rules such as new feats, archetypes, traps, spells, or magic items. Then there are 4 sample monsters, of varying challenge ratings, from a CR 3 ogrekin Kreegwood stalker, to a CR 15 urdefhan half-fiend scion, each with full stats and a description of the specific monster's place in the world.
There is a good selection of classes used across the book, from sorcerers, gunslingers and rangers to hybrid classes from the Advanced Class Guide, including warpriests, slayers and swashbucklers. A few of these make use of archetypes, either existing ones or new ones from this book. There's even a range of alignments, including a good number of neutral creatures that could come in handy for friendly NPCs rather than enemies.
Each monster is presented in a single page layout with a plain white background for easy printing. The interior art is absolutely excellent throughout (something that can't always be said about Paizo's non-hardcover products), though my favourite piece is probably the Orvian Necromancer.
For me, the Inner Sea Monster Codex is on par with the Monster Codex for its usefulness in providing more interesting encounters with the 10 races detailed here. The excellent visuals are a great bonus as well.