A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game GM’S RESOURCE by Julian Neale
Your PCs have final emerged from the dungeon laden with loot prised from the clutches of their slain foes. Heroically returning to civilisation, they divide up the choicest items, sell the dross and other unwanted treasures and gleefully count their share.
Then, they ask “So what’s for sale in this town, anyway?” At that point, likely or not, the game grinds to a halt as the GM frantically generates what items are available for purchase or he simply says “anything up to the gp cap.” (After all, most GMs have better things to do with their prep time than generate what the PCs might want to buy on the off chance they return to town after a successful foray).
So What’s For Sale, Anyway? banishes these problems by providing over 150 pre-generated, ready-to-use lists for the busy GM to immediately use in his campaign.
So What's For Sale, Anyway? is a Dual Format PDF. The product's zip file contains two versions, one optimised for printing and use on a normal computer and one optimised for use on a mobile device such as an iPad.
Ah, the dreaded "what magic items are for sale here" question ... one that can trip over a GM. This neat little PDF provides pre-generated lists of magic items available for each settlement size. You can roll one randomly on a table, or just pick whichever strikes your fancy.
In that respect, this supplement is incredibly useful. You really should have it printed out as an emergency tool, because it's a lifesaver. There's one small snag, though - it uses only Core Rulebook items. If you want to generate a magic item mart using non-core material, you'll have some work on your hands. I sure do hope Creighton will entertain us with a SWFSA that takes Ultimate Equipment into account some day!
However, if you're running a core-only game or you're caught flat-footed, SWFSA is great. Heck, it's one of those supplements I'll keep on my "emergency shelf", right next to Paizo's NPC Codec and AEG's Ultimate Toolbox.
I really like the spartan and clean layout of Raging Swan books, and everything here is crisp and sharp. Nothing to complain about here.
It would be easy to dismiss this book as nothing more than a collection of lists drawn from someone sitting down and calculating random rolls against a couple of charts. I mean, at it's core, this is exactly what the product is delivering. But there in lies the simplicity of its usefulness. Every Gm out there has found themselves in that moment at least once, if not hundreds of times. The playgroup hits a community and wants to drop some coin on more than a bed for the eve, and drinks at the bar. They want to buy items, the warriors want to know what armor and weapons are available to them, the spell chuckers want to expand their mystical arsenal, and no good rogue passes up the chance to get a look at every market they can, for one never knows where you'll find your next indispensable item. And, if you're like most Gms, you have an item or two planned out, as your storyline requires....but what about the rest? What about the truly random things one would find scattered throughout the markets of the worlds? That's where this handy PDF comes in. Yes, you could in fact roll up your own lists of items, either before game during your prep ('cause every Gm I know has SO much time on their hands during prep), or when the matter comes up in game (nothing players love more than twiddling their thumbs waiting for answers during game sessions).
26 pages consisting of: cover (1), blank(1), product ID & credits (2), foreward and table of contents(1), charts for random rolling(2), lists of items (16), OGL (1), Raging Swan Product Checklist (1), Back Cover (1).
Art is all B&W, ranging from OK to meh, to one piece in particular that is really atrocious.
All in all, the product is formatted and laid out in an extremely well managed, clean manner. The lists are concise, clear, and easy to use. You are given item lists to handle markets for communities ranging from thorps all the way up to metropolises. What you are not given within this book is fluff. There are no histories to the items, no colorful text, no spiffy named heroic thingamabobs...nope, just lists. And that was what I liked the most when it came down to it. This book doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is, an immense time saver for any GM, period.
I give this book a solid 5 star rating, and recommend it be added to any Gm's collection, as it is truly a time saver, and that's exactly what it set out to be.
This product is 26 pages long. It starts with a cover, credits, forward, and ToC. (5 pages)
Whats for Sale Charts (2 pages)
This section has a random table for Thorp, Hamlet, Village, small Town, Large Town, Small City, Large City and Metropolis. Each chart has a random set of items that can be for sale. There is
Thorp – 41
Hamlet - 35
Village - 21
Small Town - 16
Large Town - 13
Small City - 10
Large City - 10
Metropolis - 11
Sets (19 pages)
This section has 157 different sets of magic item lists for sale. They are a nice mix of things and each fit the GP limit for the location the set is made for.
It ends with a OGL, ad, and back cover. (3 pages)
Closing thoughts. The art work is black and white and fair. Editing and layout was good I didn't notice any errors. I checked a few sets to see if things added up but I just didn't have the time to do it 157 times. But it looks like they accomplished it or got close enough to the GP limit to be reasonable if not. I found this PDF really hard to rate, I mean for one all the number crunching. Also that there is not really any fluff text or mechanics it is just random sets and charts of magic items for sale. It accomplishes what it set out to accomplish really well. If you want or ever wish you had a handy book to roll up random items for sale when the PC's come to town and surprise you then this is well worth the asking price. On the other hand I think it could have been more, I think the treasure sets could have had a nice personal touch, describing some of the items, maybe giving a couple of them a history etc. So what's my rating? I am going to go with a 4, it is a good product and gives you what it promises but I can't help but notice that with a bit more effort it could have been a outstanding product.
Trust me, I'm a Succubus.
Great tables that really help the DM - very convenient and cool
This pdf is 26 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 blank page inside the front cover, 2 pages editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisements, 1 page back cover, leaving 19 pages of content, so let's check this pdf out!
How many times have you as a DM deespaired at a sudden return of the PCs to civilization to restock? How annoying is it to have to ad-hoc cobble together lists of magic items for the PCs to buy? For DMs like yours truly, who seek to evoke a concise and coherent world, creating tables upon damn effin' tables of items to buy in each individual fleck has been a painful, annoying bane.
This is where this pdf comes in - we get tables for settlements of all sizes, appropriate for the respective sizes. A lot of tables. They respective entries are ordered by item categories and in the beginning of the pdf, you get 2 pages of d%-tables to randomly determine which of them to use for your settlement.
We get 41 lists for thorps, 35 for hamlets, 21 for villages, 16 for small towns, 13 for large towns, 10 for small cities, 10 for large cities and 11 to illustrate what can be found in a metropolis. 2 pages of lists are provided for each settlement size and none of the items felt really out of place in their settlements.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the printer-friendly b/w-two-column-standard by RSP, artworks are b/w-stock and ok. The pdf is extensively bookmarked and comes with an additional screen-version, optimized for use e-readers.
*sigh* This is one of these pdfs that are hard to review: Essentially, you take up your books and scan through lists, comparing list-prices in the pdf with the book, looking for any inappropriate item. Thankfully, this pdf does not have any, but nevertheless, you don't want to know how long it took me to double-check.
Back to the conclusion: This pdf is one of these immensely useful little tools that make any DM's life significantly easier, providing needed crunch and content that you just don't want to put together yourself. Even better, the stories how the items got to the respective places are great occasions to drop in your own story, making your campaign feel more organic and coherent.
If I had to nitpick anything, then I'd complain about the fact that I would have loved to see descriptions for at least some of the items - how they look different from the standard, lore-sections, the like. As this is clearly not the intended design goal of this pdf, it would be unfair to hold the lack of unique item descriptions against it, though. Me being at a loss to say anything detrimental to the pdfs quality, I'll settle for a final verdict of 5 stars - well done!