Evocative City Sites: The Crossroads (PFRPG) PDF

4.30/5 (based on 3 ratings)

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"I am an explorer, a man of action, and foiler of nefarious plots. Come read my book, Evocative City Sites, and I, Owain Northway, will guide you to a place of portentous happenings, a place of power; I will tell you of The Crossroads."

Evocative City Sites: a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game compatible supplement detailing small locations that you could find in any urban campaign setting. Each site is detailed with its own cartography, a 1"=1 square scale map pack, two unique npcs, 5 adventure seeds, all presented in the unique, useful, and entertaining form of Owain Northway's first person point-of-view guidebook.

The Crossroads is an ancient intersections where two paths meet over a knot of ley lines. Where a bound sister of Baba Yaga forever guarding the eldritch site. Reach a bargin with her or purchase one of her famous candles and you will find yourself at the border of a different world—it is just around the corner from here.

Author: Rob Manning
Pages: 11 plus printable map packs

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4.30/5 (based on 3 ratings)

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Very cool location

4/5

Evocative City Sites: The Crossroads by Rite Publishing

This product is 15 pages long. It starts with a cover and credits. (2 pages)

Crossroads (4 pages)
It has a pair of maps a player and DM map really. Plus it starts off like most with a IC introduction to the location. After that it gets into some details about the location, including a new feat. Effects the location has on others as well as some information on two NPC's that live next to the crossroads. Finally it ends with some adventure hooks.

NPC's (6 pages)
There is 2 NPC's fully stated out with history and information about them in this section. There is also 10 bargains PC's can strike with one of the NPC's fully details on what is asked of them and what happens if the PC's do it. In return she will do a small favor for them or they can choose of one of 12 colored candles that have special powers. The section ends with a Divine Guardian template.

It ends with a OGL and ads. (3 pages)

Closing thoughts. The art work is black and white and ok. Editing and format are ok, I did notice a couple of minor errors. The crossroads is very cool and is meant to capture the myth and legend of crossroads in folklore. The NPC's are interesting as well, the story hooks and most especially the tasks the PC's can be sent on for favors was very good. I only wish there had been more tasks. The candles where pretty cool, though this is one spot where I was disappointed. There is no crafting information for the candles and I think that is a shame as they are to cool not to included that information for. The feat and template where pretty cool. So what's my rating? Well due to no crafting rules for the candles which I feel they should have had and the higher than normal editing errors in most Rite Publishing products I am giving this one a 4 star review. Though I think this might be my second favorite of the series so far. I just would have liked to have seen some more on bargains and maybe something more to deal with the old folklore of being able to make bargains with demons at a crossroad.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


A very good installment of the series with some iconic seeds

5/5

This pdf is 15 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of advertisements and 1 page SRD, leaving 10 pages of content for the latest installment of the ECS-series, so let's check out how the crossroads fare!

In the tradition of the ECS-series, the crossroads kick off with an aptly-written and surprisingly creepy narrative, doing a great job of setting the mood for the ley-line-enhanced crossing of Annis and Daemon road. These special magical properties, of course, are also reflected rules-wise, providing crunchy pieces of information for both ley-knots and reality ripples.

The crossroads come with a full color regular map with grids as well as a second version depicting the crossroads on the astral plane, where it looks significantly different.
Here begin

SPOILERS

Players please jump to the conclusion!

Following RiP's tradition of cool, complex statblocks, we get Grandmother Lytokus (Night Hag exemplar divine guardian), a civilized, yet thoroughly wicked crone who wants favors for her services - harmless ones that lead to dire consequences. Where Kavit M.Tor offered the cursed item component of needful things, this pdf offers us the NPC to deliver the intricately interwoven consequences of rather mundane missions and favors that made needful things so disturbing. 10 sample missions are provided. Support goes on, though, by providing 13 (semi-)magical candles. I would have loved to see construction notes for them, but that's about it - nice ideas!

The insidious grandmother is not the sole danger lurking at the crossroads, though. Far from it! Don't forget Clifort Ray, a deadly earthbound dwarf corbie - really cool to see some love for the corbie-class!

Template-wise, we get the divine guardian template to close this part of the pdf.
The map-pack comes with full-color and b/w-versions of the two maps that are blown-up for use with miniatures. The maps, b/w and full color, are all organized in separate pdfs, ensuring that you can just print out the whole individual pdfs without worrying about wasting paper for e.g. SRD etc. or skipping through the pdfs for the beginning of the new map. We get all the maps also in the A4-format for Europeans like yours truly.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are good, I did notice some minor glitches like a "?" in the bookmarks where there should be none, but not enough to detract a full star or impede usability. Layout adheres to the 2-column full color standard used in most recent RiP-publications.

The pdf offers extensive bookmarks and the pieces of original b/w-artworks of the NPCs by cartographer Richard Biggs Jr. are a nice complementary element to the public domain pieces. The maps serve their purpose, though I'm not too keen on the coloring scheme used - I'll use b/w, but that's a personal preference. I really enjoyed the evocative location and the huge plethora of ideas crammed in here is staggering and rewarding.

The prose is nice and author Rob Manning has offered us a cool, evocative location that is guaranteed to spark the imagination of the reader. While minor points like the lack of construction notes of the candles, the minor glitches and minor problems in the prose don't make for any true deterrents to the product's quality, they still prevent me from rating this installment with my highest possible score. My final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded up too 5 for the purpose of this platform because I REALLY love the ideas and NPCs herein.


Crossroads with a Crossing Guard

4/5

Alert! Spoilers follow: unless you are a GM looking for cool ideas on a crossroad locale, skip to the conclusion to not ruin surprises.

Frequently mentioned in literature, the fact that certain crossroads have some mysterious power associated with them hasn’t been delved into much in RPGs. The question of where the power comes from and why a particular Crossroads has a vague power which keeps people from wanting to use it or even think about it is dealt with in this latest addition to the Evocative City. A knot or tangled confluence of ley lines is an interesting concept, though I wish there was more information on what ley lines are. I have a vague idea from the descriptions of the nexus detailed in this supplement.

Detailed within are a pair of interesting NPCs. Grandmother Lytokus is the divine guardian of the nexus. Clifort Ray, the creepy insane earthbound dwarven resident, is a murderer with a, “the voices made me do it” vibe. As well as complete stat blocks for both, there are extras such as Grandmother Lytokus’s candles. Interesting concept of a Divine Guardian, with a template that can be used to apply to any being a GM should need. Oo! A Divine Guardian dragon would be extremely useful.

Conclusion:
Visual elements such as layout are typical for the Evocative City series. The Crossroads has okay maps, not eye-poppingly gorgeous but clear, easy to read and serviceable. There is decent art, some of which is Public Domain. I like art and I don’t personally mind Public Domain sources. In addition to the NPCs mentioned above, the write-up includes a nice detail of an encounter at the Crossroads and possible missions to send the PC’s to this locale. Writing is effective though there are a few awkward sentences here and there. There are no real errors or glitches in layout until you come to the advertisements at the end of the document. One page looks like half of it, the half that includes who and what essentials, is missing. Edit and correction: The aforementioned half page is a screen shot of Forstor Nagar using MapTools, which is a free program, and pretty cool.

All in all, this is a useful tool for GM’s. It isn’t perfect but it sure does give me some good ideas to use for my own campaign. Good work Rob Manning and the folks at Rite Publishing. I rate this at 4 of 5 stars.



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Crossing Guard (Design): Rob Manning
Flagger (Cartographer): Richard Biggs Jr.
Pedestrians (Artists): Richard Biggs Jr. and Public Domain
Traffic Cop (Editing, Layout, and Publisher): Steven D. Russell

Dedication: To Rob Manning
For what his vision lends to the Evocative City Sites.

Special Thanks: to Jonathan Roberts

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood..."
— Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken


Reviewed!


I corrected an error in my review, but kept the rating the same. As the supposed error was on an advertisement and would not affect the product in question.

The 4 of 5 stars rating is due to the underwhelming prose. Perhaps I am just too spoiled with some of Rite Publishing's other products.

Even so, with the added map pack, it is well worth the cost of the product.

Dark Archive

Nice review.


Well that says something about the quality of our previous work, which Rob was also a part of :)

Thanks for the review Dark Sasha.


Oh hells yes...I love a 4/5 review. I'll take that gladly. Thank you Dark Sasha. This one had a LOT more to pack into the format. Lots of ideas and hooks for various levels of PCs. Lots of fun to put together.

Just wait till the next one...oooooooOOOoooOo

^-^

...plus there will be a stat block for Hammerscham the dretch in a later issue of Pathways.


Hmm. Maybe a generic NPC gallery for Sites series is in order? Something to provide supporting cast... Watchmen, minions, customers etc. A random pickpocket, press gang, peddler to spice things a bit.

Regards,
Ruemere


Nice review, Dawn!

Currently writing my review of this. ^^


Thanks Steve and End. To Rob, I am interested to see what else you have planned.


Reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!


Nice! Thanks End.

Dark Archive

Nice review End.


And three times thank you, D_M!

Also: Great work, Rob!

Dark Archive

Reviewed.


You may want to change that last part: Reach a bargin with her or purchase one of her famous candles and you will find yourself at the border of a different world, it really just around the corner from here.


Nice review, D_M!

Dark Archive

Endzeitgeist wrote:
Nice review, D_M!

Thanks


CunningMongoose wrote:
You may want to change that last part: Reach a bargin with her or purchase one of her famous candles and you will find yourself at the border of a different world, it really just around the corner from here.

Liz fixed it for us, thanks for the catch.

Thanks for taking the time to do a Review of our product DM


Thanks Dark Mistress!

and thanks to Lilith as well!

New Evocative site coming soon...

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