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Campaign Events: Masquerade Ball (PFRPG) PDF

***** (based on 4 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM’s Resource by Kat Evans

Masquerade balls are a feature of civilised urban life, and eventually the PCs may be invited to attend such a prestigious event. Perhaps they are invited to secretly meet a new patron or to stymie some plot of these attending the event or alternatively their adventure may start unexpectedly during such an event. Masquerade balls are excellent excuses for role-playing and offer an excellent change of pace to a typical adventure. However, designing all the guests and their costumes would take more time than even the most diligent GM has at his disposal.

That’s where Campaign Events: Masquerade Ball comes in. Presenting copious notes on masks, costumes and guests along with hooks, opportunities and complications it takes the hassle out of running a masquerade ball and lets the GM concentrate on the important details of the campaign!

This product is a Dual Format PDF. The downloadable 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.

For a free sample, please visit ragingswan.com

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PZOPDFRSP101538E


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Product Reviews (4)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 4 ratings)

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An RPG Resource Review

****( )

The idea behind this work is that, whilst the thought of running an encounter (or even an entire scenario) at a masquerade ball might well appeal, especially in a campaign where things like courtly intrigue figure large, the amount of creative input necessary to set it all up might deter you from actually staging one in your game. So here are some resources to make that ball not only happen but come to life!

Jumping straight in, the first d100 table provides an array of mundane masks you can use as you describe the scene. The second table has a similar list, only these are magical masks that sctually do something - tendrils wiggle, maybe they emit smoke or perfume - or are otherwise exotic... I quite like the thought of an illusion that shows the wearer decapitated with the (masked, of course) head tucked under one arm! It's not all masks, the next two tables cover male and female costumes. If even mixing and matching this lot proves too taxing, try the next table which provides thumbnail 'Folks of Interest' for the party to encounter. Maybe Ogden Darrak (N male human expert 2, who is wearing draped, white robes and has his skin is painted white, to resemble the statues of a lost civilization. He answers every question with an appropriate quote from that era's literature) will enliven your evening. Or perhaps an off-duty assassin who is getting annoyed because everybody is avoiding him, or a member of a secret cult in the full regalia of that cult... not to mention the fellow dressed as a farmer who insists he's only here to deliver turnips...

The final table provides some twenty Hooks, Complications and Opportunities. No matter what you have planned as part of your plot, it's worth throwing in a few of these. Some involve the party directly (and may distract them from whatever they came to the party to do), others can be mere background - of course, the party can get involved if they want - any could lead to an entire new adventure or strand in your overall story.

Combine this with one of the fantasy food and drink products out there, and you have everything you need to stage a masquerade ball that your party (and their players) will be talking about for a good while to come. A very useful resource.


An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

The first installment of Raging Swan Press' new campaign events-series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look!

So, masquerade balls there are a couple of scenes in a given GM's arsenal that boil down to being simply awesome and memorable - in my case, one such experience was a time loop masquerade ball that required the PCs to not be noticed by all previous incarnations of their previous runs of the time loop. The adventure was one of the most challenging I've ever run, not simply because of the time loop premise, but also because of the ridiculous level of detail required for the proper depiction of a masquerade ball in the first place.

If I had had this pdf back then, I would have had a much easier job - for example, we begin with a 50-entry table of sample masks - from elegant masks of lions to veined marble make-up, the list is diverse and cool - but we're talking fantasy here. Hence, the second table, covering 50 entries as well, sports magical masks for the truly decadent: From snapping crocodile's jaws to live squids you can wear or multi-hued bubbles, it is here that the book lights a whole array of idea-fireworks, with unique enchantments and mechanical benefits just being asked to be added to these masks.

Beyond that, though, two more tables provide the finery we really want to see - 50 entries for male and female costumes span the gamut of inspiring ideas, from dresses made all of pearls to insubordinate duplicates of the regent's attire and military attires as well as stylized dragon costumes, this section is downright awesome.

Of course, anyone that has tried to run a masquerade ball knows that, while costumes and the like are interesting, what truly makes such an event difficult, ultimately boils down to the number of people required to properly pull the event off - and here, a massive, fluff-only table of 50 entries provides in spades - from half-orc wizards on staff to use mending and prestidigitation to fix costumes on the fly to disguised gnomes in the clothes of a roast pig, decadence and fun seep from each and every entry - and yes, there are obvious foils included in here.

Conclusions:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press' elegant, printer-friendly 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Additionally, the pdf comes with two versions - one optimized for the screen and one for printer-use.

Kat Evan's Masquerade Ball is a pdf I did not look forward to reviewing, mainly because I do believe that masquerade balls are hard to capture in their style - and on one hand, this pdf spectacularly succeeds: As a dressing-toolkit, this is pretty much the apex of what can ask from a pdf on the subject matter and it is a great buy. At the same time, I do believe that the subject matter covered would have vastly benefited from a more in-depth coverage. What Do I mean by this? Disguise-DCs. Sample entertainments. Sample dances and mini-games - the whole party-shenanigans, would have made this a pdf I'd use for years to come, a book of pure awesomeness. A more thorough blending of fluff and crunch with GM-cheat-sheet-tricks and mechanical tidbits could have made this a prime candidate for my Top Ten of 2015.

At the same time, I'd be an unfair reviewer, if I did not acknowledge the level of quality and detail of the fluffy bits that *are* here - and these still warrant a final verdict of 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


More fun than min/maxed combat, puzzles and politicking!

*****

Due to the unique demographic make-up of my 2nd PF tabletop group, I decided it was an ideal time and moment in my Forgotten Realms campaign to run a Masquerade Ball. You see, in this group of mine, I have 3 folks who (in real life) have actually participated *professionally* in vintage masquerade balls of this sort. One is a caterer to high-end formal events (we're all in NYC). One has a BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons. And the other once provided planning & logistics for two masquerade balls while in the S.C.A. So I certainly had my work cut out for me if I was going to impress my players by running an entertainment event they clearly knew more about than I!

All this came to fruition about 2 weeks after Creighton posted this GM Resource on his Patreon Project. So all in all ... excellent timing!

That all said, my intention of running a "1/2 session" side-event masquerade ball turned into a "3 session" major campaign arc due to the overly-enthusiastic response of my players not wanting this event to end! Props to Kat Evans for giving me a DM resource tool that was truly inspirational and truly transcendent. After a high number of sessions of grueling combat, byzantine puzzles and stressful court intrigue ... our group's masquerade ball gave us all an opportunity to have both uproarious thespianic fun and some insouciant, zany socializing.

In both casual namedropping and in detailed drill-down, I literally used a vast multitude of Kat's very descriptive masks, costumes, hooks, complications, opportunities and 'Folks of Interest'. All listed in an easily-navigable and eye-scan friendly table format that is typical of the Raging Swan style that I'm so fond of. The 'Folks of Interest' section is my favorite in this resource. Especially the exotic Half-Orc contingent. Lol.

In summation, I'm giving this DM Resource a *5* Star Rating. I honestly haven't had such a unique and entertaining tabletop event as this Masquerade Ball ... in at least a decade. I'm thankful for play-aids like this that help take me outside of my DM'ing Comfort Zone and help enable me to experience more alternative ways of thrilling & challenging both my players and myself. Thanks again to Kat and Creighton!


A TriangularRoom Review

*****

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!


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