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A Triangular Room Review

5/5

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.


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A TriangularRoom Review

5/5

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.


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A TriangularRoom Review

5/5

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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Intriguing location ready to drop into your game

5/5

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.


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An excellent resource for any game master.

5/5

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.


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The rulebook I've been waiting for

5/5

Read my full review at my blog.

Pathfinder Unchained is a fantastic book, assuming you are interested in what it has to offer. As a game master, this feels like the rulebook I’ve been waiting for, as it is filled with heaps of ideas for improving or changing my games. The revised action economy and simplified monster creation system are highlights for me. Players may not find as much value, as there isn’t much directly for players beyond the updated monk, barbarian, rogue and summoner classes.


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A TriangularRoom Review

4/5

This Subterranean Enclave feature's Dilath's Hold, a small underground village on the edge of a poisonous fungi forest. This rather unwelcoming location is mainly inhabited by drow and duergar, who are barely tolerant of each other.

As with Village Backdrops, this product provides an overview of the settlement, including its origins and demographics and a half-page map. Everything a game master needs to drop the settlement into a session is provided: important inhabitants, locations and even a list of the items available at the marketplace.

Also provided is a handy list of village lore, as well as what the average villager looks like, and a few names in case anyone asks what a random NPC is called. There are more detailed descriptions of the main locations shown on the village map, from an enormous snail shell that houses the flavourfully-named Grumtusk the Vile, to the Cavern of Delight and Pain, the name of which is pretty self-explanatory. Finally, there is a list of events that could happen during the PCs' visit, and a couple of stat-blocks of potential opponents.

Dilath's Hold is an interesting little village whose main trade in slaves and poisonous fungi, as well as the tensions between its drow and duergar inhabitants, could lead to numerous encounters and adventures for heroes willing to risk a visit. Notable NPCs range from level 3 to 8, making this a good location for heroes around levels 5 to 7.


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Everything a GM needs to make a memorable Dwarven Town

5/5

Dwarven Town is part of Raging Swan's Urban Dressing product line, which provides exactly what the title suggests: everything a game master needs to breathe life into an urban setting.

Although this is a Pathfinder supplement, the contents of this PDF are system-neutral and could work in any game that involves a traditional dwarven town.

First up in this product are 100 sights and sounds that GMs can use to add flavour to their dwarven town or to serve as inspiration for encounters or even whole adventures. These sights and sounds range from interesting statues that players might see on the streets of the town, to a passing dwarf with unusual tattoos.

Next is a table of 50 businesses, each with a name, the type of shop being described, and an interesting tidbit about the business. The majority of these have clever and suitably 'dwarfish' names, and just enough information to help make shopping a little more memorable for players.

The next table is a list of 50 people of interest, specifying a name, their alignment, gender, race and level, plus a brief description. As you'd expect, there are plenty of dwarves of all shapes and sizes, but there are a handful of other races as well, from humans to elves and even the odd half-orc. This is a good reminder for GMs wanting to create a believable setting: it's pretty unlikely that a given town would contain only one race (unless they were extremely xenophobic, perhaps!) Even without the descriptions, this list provides 50 names that could be used for a variety of NPCs. The descriptions will help GMs populate their games with NPCs a little more interesting than 'gruff, bearded dwarf' or a similar stereotype.

Finally, there is a list of 20 plot hooks or opportunities for adventures or quests. These are just a starting point for GMs to flesh out in any way that suits them. I particularly like that they are described with just enough detail to intrigue characters to investigate further.

Urban Dressing: Dwarven Town provides over 200 short descriptions of sights, sounds, businesses, people and events that could be found in and dwarf-centric location. It uses the same clean, neat layout I've come to expect from Raging Swan Press, and is a worthwhile addition to any game master's toolbox, particularly if you're planning to include a dwarven settlement in your game.


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Excellent alternative to the core monk

5/5

Monk Unfettered is a 38-page PDF; 7 of those pages include the cover, credits and so on, as well as a reference for the new insights introduced in the product. The actual description of the alternative monk class take up 13 pages, with another 4 pages dedicated to new feats and magic items, plus 9 pages of sample monks. There are 5 more pages discussing the class and the reasoning behind the changes.

The unfettered monk retains the base attack bonus, hit die, skill points and saves of the core monk. There are some adjustments to the class abilities, most notably the flurry and unarmed damage aspects. Without giving too much away, these changes should lead to monks who can hit more consistently and do more damage per hit. The alternative class also does away with the monk bonus feats and a few other abilities in favour of 'insights', which are similar to rogue talents.

There are dozens of these insights, providing a wide range of abilities to choose from. Many of these remove the need for archetypes by providing abilities similar to those granted by archetypes like the zen archer or drunken master. Instead, you can combine insights to build just about any type of monk you can imagine. There are also deep insights, which are more powerful than normal insights, but these are limited by how many the monk can apply at one time.

The product includes several new feats to complement the new monk abilities, including one to allow you to take more insights. There are new magic items with flavourful descriptions. New favoured class options provide some interesting alternatives to the standard favoured class bonuses, however, these options have specific requirements that must be met in order to gain access to them.

There are 8 sample unfettered monks provided across a range of levels, from 1st to 19th level, making it easy for a game master to drop them into a game. Each sample monk comes with a detailed description of their character and motivations and potential use in a campaign. This, combined with the artwork for each monk, should provide GMs with a host of ideas.

Monk Unfettered finishes with a discussion on the use of the unfettered monk with existing monk archetypes, some suggestions of insight combinations, as well as a fascinating peek into the process of designing this alternative version of the class. Finally, there is a handy reference for all the insights and their requirements, much like the feat tree table found in most Pathfinder rulebooks.

The PDF is neatly laid out, with some inspiring colour artwork to add to the overall visual appeal of the product. The PDF is fully bookmarked and hyperlinked for quick navigation. There's no complicated decorations on the page, making for easy reading on a tablet. The pages are slightly off-white, however, which is not ideal for printing. Overall, Monk Unfettered is very well-written, containing very few errors.

If you're interested in a different and versatile variation of the Pathfinder monk, look no further than Monk Unfettered. The insight descriptions alone will probably give you lots of ideas for creating interesting monks, as well as the tools to actually create those characters.


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Really useful GM resource

5/5

These GM Screen Inserts are available in a portrait and a landscape version, purchased separately. Both versions have 4 pages, and contain the same information. The only difference I spotted was the fact that the Sense Motive skill table is missing from the portrait version.

Each of the four pages covers a different topic. For more details on these, visit my blog.

Visually, these inserts look great, using the same clean and easy-to-read style of other Raging Swan products. In a couple of places it feels like there is not enough space between columns, but for the most part the pages are very well laid out.

I would definitely recommend these GM screen inserts to any GM who wants well-laid-out reference tables for their GM screen. I know I’ll be printing these out and using them for my next game.


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Great inspiration for a mysterious village

5/5

This Village Backdrop product from Raging Swan Press gives us Edgewood, a prosperous but troubled town with plenty of adventuring opportunities for characters.

Like other Village Backdrops, this one gives a general overview of the settlement, highlights important inhabitants and locations, lists items for sale and the general look and demographic of the townsfolk. There are also several rumours that heroes might overhear in town, as well as a map. All of this is mostly system- and setting-neutral, making it easy to slot the village into just about any game.

What made Edgewood of particular interest to me was the strange curse that plagues the inhabitants of the village. Though the town is very well-off in terms of its produce and so on, every year, about three villagers die in horrible and violent ways. Although several reasons for this yearly 'culling' are suggested, they are kept vague enough that a game master could come up with just about any explanation that suits their story. Plenty of ideas came to mind as I was reading through this PDF.

If you're looking to add a mysterious village to your game, this Village Backdrop is for you.


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Interesting little town with plenty of adventure hooks

5/5

Arrowhill is a small town of humans with a deep distrust of magic, and a hatred of elves. This intolerance is not without cause, however, as the town has been at the mercy of a spiteful elven druid for many years. The druid has been even more demanding and unpredictable of late, however, and it seems that something more sinister is really controlling the town.

This Village Backdrop by Raging Swan Press presents Arrowhill in a surprising amount of detail in just 5 pages of content. In addition to a general overview of the village, the names and general background of several notable inhabitants are also given. Lore and rumours that characters might know or discover about the settlement are also provided, as well as a general description of what the average townspeople are likely to look like as well as what they might wear.

There is also a neat hand-drawn map of Arrowhill, which is labelled only with numbers, giving it potential as a player handout in addition to a GM resource. A brief overview of these numbered locations is given, followed by more detailed descriptions of each location, which paints a pretty vivid picture of the town. There are also full stats given for two characters whose combat skills could become relevant while the PCs investigate the town.

Finally, a bit more detail about life, trade and events in the village are also given so that GMs can flesh out the town as needed. All of the information given is specific enough to spark the reader's imagination, but vague enough so as to make Arrowhill flexible enough to fit into a variety of situations and settings. Apart from the stats given for one of the NPCs, most of the rest of the content could easily be adapted to any system, not just Pathfinder.

Village Backdrop: Arrowhill is a great little product that presents a ready-to-use adventure site that game masters can use as-is or adapt as needed.


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A great set of tools to create an unusual dungeon

5/5

Alternate Dungeons: Mystic Ruins from Raging Swan Press is a short PDF packed with a wealth of ideas for a GM who wants to run a slightly different dungeon.

As the name suggests, this product is aimed at game masters who want something out of the ordinary. The PDF starts with an overview of what mystic ruins might entail, and then gives practical advice on how to design the dungeon by listing various effects and dangers that could be present in a location that has been infused with ancient magic.

Next up is the 'dressing' section, with a table full of strange and idea-inspiring things to make your mystic ruins unique and interesting (not to mention dangerous!) There are also some suggestions on how to handle characters who want to harvest magical artifacts or spell components from the dungeon itself. I probably wouldn't have thought of something like that unless my players brought it up, so these kinds of guidelines are extremely helpful.

There are also a page listing a number of creatures that might be drawn to your magically-infused dungeon, and why they might be there. This is followed by a number of natural and magical traps or hazards that might be present in mystic ruins, as well as other strange magical effects that could occur in such a dungeon. Finally, there are a couple of adventure hooks for game masters to build upon.

The artwork complements the content nicely without taking up excessive space. As always, this product is laid out in Raging Swan's clean and easy to read format, and both a print and screen version are included. I can definitely recommend Alternate Dungeons: Mystic Ruins to any GM who needs ideas on making that ancient wizard tower or other magical dungeon more interesting. Although the rules-related information that is given is Pathfinder-specific, I think most of the content could apply or be adapted to other games as well.


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Useful, if brief, overview of Varisia and its people

4/5

Read my full review on my blog.

As a GM, I have found this book extremely useful in preparing NPCs and general flavour for my Varisia-based campaign. Since there is no Campaign Setting book that covers Varisia as a whole (and I don’t really expect there to be one in the future), this is the next best thing to get a good overview of the types of people who live in the region.

This book also looks good, with great cover art and some really nice interior pieces. I recommend it for anyone spending significant time in the Varisia region.


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The perfect way to breathe life into the slums

5/5

This 10 page PDF has 7 pages of tables covering just about anything you might expect to find in the slums. The first table is sights and sounds, providing 100 things your PCs might happen upon while wandering through your slum town. Some of these are just flavourful descriptions that will help your town come to life, while others might give you ideas that could be expanded upon.

The second table lists 50 businesses that might be found in the slums, each with a unique name, what type of shop it is, and something noteworthy about the business. The third table contains 50 NPCs that might be found in the town. Some of these clearly match up with the businesses in the previous table, while the rest are just persons of interest who your PCs might encounter or need to deal with while in the town. The final table offers 20 activities in the town that could serve to liven up the PCs' visit, start them off on quests, and so on.

As I read through this PDF, it painted quite a vivid picture of a grim slum town. Besides giving life to a location, the descriptions also gave me plenty of ideas for missions and side quests, as well as a wealth of NPCs to help deliver the plot hooks. If you are planning to use some kind of slum town in an upcoming adventure, this product is a must-have. The descriptions are almost entirely system-neutral, meaning this supplement could be useful to any game master.


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Handy collection of interesting treasure hoards

5/5

This little PDF covers levels 1 to 7, providing 12 treasure hoards with appropriate values for each level - that's a total of 84 treasure hoards. Each level has a table where you can roll a d12 to choose an appropriate hoard for that level. The content of each hoard is described in detail, making it perfect for GMs who are tired of giving out generic gems, scrolls, rings, or other items. There is almost no repetition of items or descriptions, meaning this product contains literally dozens of unique item descriptions.

The foreword admits that using these hoards for every single pile of treasure could become overwhelming for players, and I'm in agreement there. The hoards detailed in this product are better suited to be given as rewards for defeating significant foes. While some of them are a collection of gems and other precious items, there are a few interesting items that aren't actually valuable at all, like a stack of love letters. A few of the hoards are themed, such as a collection of royal garments or jewels, or dwarven items. A few items even present possible plot hooks in their descriptions, most of them open-ended enough to allow a GM to work it into their story.

Each hoard's value is given, as well as the value of each individual item in said hoard. Even the DCs for identifying and appraising the items are given. In the case of magic items, the magic aura is listed as well. The rules for appraising and identifying items are conveniently included at the beginning of the PDF. All of this makes it easy for a GM to just drop the hoard into the game without preparation, or to mix and match items to customise a hoard. The actual descriptions of the items in the treasure hoards are system-neutral, making this a useful supplement for other fantasy systems as well.


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Fantastic Riddles for GMs to drop into their games

5/5

So What's the Riddle Like, Anyway? is a system-neutral GM resource. At just $1.99, this little PDF offers several dozen ready-made riddles that you can drop into your game at a moment’s notice. As a GM, I find this sort of resource invaluable. The provided riddles are separated into wordplay and descriptive riddles. Wordplay riddles give clues for the actual letters in the answer, while descriptive riddles describe the object or concept.

There are also two pages about designing riddles and actually using them in a game. This may not sound like much, but I found it refreshing to have important concepts described so succinctly (rather than having to wade through a whole chapter on the subject). Between the short explanation and the sample riddles provided, So What’s the Riddle Like, Anyway? provides an invaluable resource to GMs who don’t have hours to come up with things like riddles.

The layout and formatting of this PDF is also top-notch. In fact, this clean layout was one of the first things I noticed across all of Raging Swan’s products (you can get free samples of most of their products via their website). As with all their products, this one comes with a screen-friendly and a print-friendly version and uses a simple two-column layout with clear, readable fonts. Its unassuming cover hides a wonderful gem of a product for GMs who want to use riddles in their games.


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Fantastic Resource for GMs

5/5

Read my full review at my blog.

As a game master, this feels like the book I’ve been waiting for: monsters I can pick up and use immediately in a game. With the Monster Codex, I can build more interesting encounter groups and keep low-level monsters relevant for a few more levels. The new builds and artwork alone are worth the $9.99 PDF price tag to me. While I would have been happy to pay $39.99 for the physical book, I can see the PDF getting more use at my gaming table.

I highly recommend this book to game masters who are looking for some fresh versions of old favourites to drop into their games. I know I’ll be making use of the Monster Codex in my next game.


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Great for those interested in the core deities

4/5

I've posted a complete review on my blog, The Triangular Room.

I think Inner Sea Gods is a great addition to my Pathfinder collection. While a fair amount of the content is recycled from previous products, it’s really fantastic to have everything in one place, especially in such a beautiful, well-designed volume. I’d consider it a must-buy for fans of the core Golarion deities. For those looking for more options related to the non-core deities, this title is probably not going to help you a great deal.