Evocative City Sites: Barker's Circus and Sideshow (PFRPG) PDF

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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 regale you with a tale of cheerful yet menacing place of frivolity, a freakshow, a museum of the strange adn unusual. I will tell you of Barker's Circus and Sideshow."

Evocative City Sites: a modular supplement updated to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, 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, a high resolution image for your virtual table top, all presented in the unique, useful, and entertaining form of Owain Northway's first person point-of-view guidebook.

Barker's Circus and Sideshow is a place of bright lights, wonderous performances, and dark dealings behind the scenes. The ringmaster is affable yet darkly mischevious, the attractions are unsetlling (especially the freakshow), and the clowns, the less said about the clowns the better.

Author: Rob Manning
Cartography: Richard Biggs Jr.
Pages 10

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A nice circus that could have used another page or two to be great.


Evocative City Sites: Barker's Circus and Sideshow by Rite Publishing

This product is 47 pages long. It starts with a cover and credits. (2 pages)

The Circus (7 pages)
It starts off with a map overview of the circus and legend key. It starts with a IC introduction to the circus, followed by the sideshow room, then the main event, and then the final area of the circus is discussed which is used for storage. After that we get some information about the Night Haunts which is a the circus performers as vigilantes. We also get color larger maps of each section of the circus as well as two half page piece of art. Following that there is a section that talks about former major acts, there is six of them. Some of them left and other ones where killed. We get a slight overview of the three main NPC's in the circus and then four adventure seeds.

Stat blocks (3 pages)
Here we get full stat blocks of the three main NPC's in the circus.
Mahay Marvus – CR17 Huge jagganath athach rogue 4 (humanoid) (giant)
Doctor Otto Sims – CR12 Large bipedal rune-carved couatl (outsider) (native)
Hachaliah Barker – CR6 Human trickster expert 5/aristocrat 5

It ends with a OGL and and blown up maps of the circus for use with mini's. (35 pages)

Closing thoughts. The art work is a mix of color and black and white, it ranges from meh to ok. Editing and layout is good. I didn't notice any mistakes. There is also a map pack that comes with it for different paper sizes for different printers. I liked the product but I was also a little disappointed. Mostly because I don't think enough information was given to truly bring the circus alive, with out a bit of effort on the GM. The main thing I felt was missing is I would have liked to have seen at least a paragraph on each side show attraction and at least a paragraph on each main event act. What there is, is good but I thought there needed to be more. The NPC's are interesting with well done stat blocks, so is the history and secrets of the circus. So what's my rating? I am going to give this one a 4 star, mostly cause I think another page or two could have made this great.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.

The ECS is back at the top - with a GOOD circus


This pdf is 47 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 2 pages advertisement, leaving 42 pages of content for the latest ECS, so let's check it out, shall we?

All right, we all know that there are plenty of instances where the circus is a place of horror for roleplayers and Barker's Circus seeks to remedy that - a shelter for those rejected by society and a refuge for those born different, this circus actually is a noble place where stunning displays of strange creatures are shown - after all, in a fantasy world, a thoqqua and a remorhaz may create steam on which a pixie dances! (And yes, this is but one of several exciting ideas for acts herein.) The sideshow and circus are described not only with their acts, but following the ECS-tradition, they also have more twists - what if the circus is also the hq of a benevolent secret society?

We get an overview map with a mapkey and thankfully, maps of the subsections (menagerie, wagons, sideshow) to hand out to your players.31 pages offer blown-up versions of the maps for use with miniatures. The maps also come in separate files in both A4-format and letterpack as well as full-color high-res jpegs. In the tradition of the ECS-series, we also get 3 rather complex statblocks - there is the perpetually-dancing athach that just can never stop moving, the mesmerist hiding a rather interesting identity and the ringmaster Hachalia Barker himself, a trickster/aristocrat. All 3 NPCs get very cool-looking b/w-mugshots. Nice!

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I only noticed one minor punctuation glitch. Layout adheres to the full-color 2-column standard we know from the free Pathways e-zine.I already commented on the nice artworks and the cartography is fine as well. Finally, this is it - once again a ECS-installment I can't nitpick apart! Author Rob Manning delivers a refreshingly benevolent take on the fantasy circus that brims with potential, adventure seeds and interesting NPCs and ideas, making this to my knowledge the only positive take on a circus in d20 since 2nd edition's Carnival-supplement for Ravenloft. Now that we have a good circus, can we have an evil one? Pretty please?
I forgot the rating. Due to the low price, cool ideas and imaginative potential, my final rating will be 5 stars - well done!

An RPG Resource Review


Roll on up! Roll on up!

The circus is a magical place to visit even in the real world, and can be a fertile source of adventure in your fantasy world as well. Perhaps your characters are enjoying a night off, or they are meeting someone amidst the crowds... You might even want to run a game centred around a group of performers... and I even had one group who got in with a bunch of travelling players as an investment opportunity!

Here we have a town base for a travelling circus and associated 'carnival' sideshows, complete with descriptions of some of the fantastical and bizarre acts and exhibits. The actual location is described in detail too: thus you have the option of using the whole as presented or picking out acts, sideshow exhibits or the setting itself as suits your needs. Every NPC has a backstory, things you might pick out to weave into your plot or develop new ones... the ringmaster is a philanthropist, perhaps he has a job for your characters, or they may be in need of humanitarian aid when they've fallen on hard times, for example. Or perhaps he helped someone that they are looking for, and can point them in the right way - or misdirect them, if he distrusts their motives.

Adventure seeds, a whole packet of maps and plans, detailed NPC stats, everything you need to bring the magic of the circus to your game.

Roll on up! Roll on up!

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

Dark Archive

nice review End

Thanks for the great reviews Megan, Endzeitgeist, and Dark Mistress!

...and there will be extra circus-y goodness in an upcoming Pathways e-zine...

Who watches the Night Haunts?

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