Village Backdrop: Bossin (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game GM’S RESOURCE by John Bennett

The village of Bossin sits nestled in a deep dell behind the cliffs guarding the Lonely Coast. Storms periodically batter the village, flooding the lower portion where the poorest villagers dwell. Yet, the rich bounty of the nearby mines and the excellent farmland provide the villagers with a comfortable living. The routine patrols from Caer Syllan offer a measure of safety to the unfortified Bossin, deterring raids from the half-goblins and other monsters dwelling in the Tangled Woods. To the east, a series of broken cliffs and unexplored forests provide plentiful game for hunters.

Life would almost be idyllic in Bossin if it were not for the machinations of the current village reeve, the retired adventurer Jacca Lander. Seeing an easier way to accumulate wealth than risking his life exploring old ruins, Jacca quietly disposed of the previous reeve and brought in a group of thugs to consolidate his power. He and his men regularly extort money from the villagers for their “protection”, rigging accidents to dispose of those who do not cooperate. Jacca ensures that none of this reaches the ears of the Lochers in Caer Syllan and so far he seems content ruling Bossin as his own fiefdom with an iron fist.

Village Backdrops are short, richly detailed supplements that each present a single village ready to insert into almost any home campaign. Perfect for use as a waystop on the road to adventure, as an adventure site themselves or as PC’s home, Village Backdrop present the details so the busy GM can focus on crafting exciting, compelling adventures.

Bossin is compatible with the Lonely Coast campaign setting, but is also easily inserted into any GM’s home 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 free samples head over to ragingswan.com/bossin

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***** (based on 2 ratings)

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Cool village full of adventurous potential

*****

This pdf clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page advice for novice DMs on how to read statblocks, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Bossin, unlike the other village backdrops, may ring a bell with some of you: Indeed, the village can be found in the Free Lonely Coast pdf by Raging Swan Press and is the first to detail a village there since the excellent Swallowfeld supplement. If you're familiar with the series, you'll notice that the village's depiction has been streamlined: Going beyond demographics/village statblocks, we get notable folk, locations and items available at the market place all rolled up on one page - all necessary information for the DM, neatly packaged and tied up. Neat!

Following the format of the series, we also get lore-section, an original b/w-map, 6 sample rumors and information on villager dress and nomenclature. Statblock-wise, we get 1 for villagers, one for thugs and one for a half-goblin spy as well as one for the village's corrupt adventurer-turned-reeve, Jacca Lander, who is not only in league with goblinoids, but actually holds the whole village in a kind of extortion ring, terrorizing the poor populace and extorting what meager gains the village has from its lumber and slate resources.

Add to that spurned love and 6 sample events and we have rising tensions in a powder-keg of a village, all waiting to erupt - and adventuring opportunities aplenty.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's crisp, no-frills standard and the cartography for the village is awesome. Speaking of cartography - you can download the map of the village as a high-res jpeg in two versions, one of them sans keys and numbers on the raging swan homepage - great customer service. The pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out, both of which come fully bookmarked.

Bossin is a nice, idyllic village under a brutal sway of bullies and will make for a great low-level proving ground for adventurers, with opportunities to shake off the yoke of the oppressors, be heroic etc. - all in all, a nice village for a very affordable price and while in concept not quite as awesome/uncommon as Apia, still a great addition to the line. Lacking any sustainable complaints, I'll happily award this pdf 5 stars, omitting my seal of approval only because Apia has set the bar so high.

Endzeitgeist out.


An RPG Resource Review

*****

This is a beautifully-detailed village that fair springs to life off the page. Set in the Lonely Coast campaign world produced by Raging Swan Press, it could equally well be placed in a suitable location in your own campaign world as it is fairly self-contained.

On the face of it, Bossin ought to be a nice place. It has potential for prosperity, with good natural resources both above and below ground, even if some of the lower areas are a bit prone to flooding. However, somewhere that sounds nice to live is probably not suited to adventure... so enter the local bane, a retired adventurer called Jacca Lander who sees easy pickings providing 'protection' for the inhabitants. He ran the previous reeve out of town and imported a few thugs to aid him in oppressing the locals: a situation ripe for the intervention of more right-minded adventurers to rectify.

There is a nice annotated sketch of the village with wide-ranging descriptive accompaniments - everything from the background situation to notes on interesting features, rumours to be picked up and a list of notable individuals to be met in the settlement. The population is predominantly human, with a handful of dwarves and halflings, a few half-elves and a single solitary half-orc - who combines being one of Lander's enforcers with a surprising good singing voice, with which he performs quite often in the village inn. It's these touches that raise the village above the ordinary and makes it come alive as you read,

Whether passing through or arriving on purpose, characters will find a living vibrant village that has a real sense of being there, going about its own business, whether they are there or not; a place that will enhance the alternate reality that you are trying to create... and a place in which there is adventure to be had, whether you want to interact with the locals or merely brawl with Jacca Lander and his thugs.


Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Village Backdrop: Bossin is now available and you can grab free samples here. I hope you enjoy them!

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

You're just showing off now, Megan! Clearly you are the fastest reviewer in the west!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Thanks for the review!


And reviewed here, on DTRPG, d20pfsrd.com's shop and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Hooray! Thanks very much, Endzeitgeist! I'm delighted you enjoyed it!

Liberty's Edge

Very nice reviews! Hope the next Village Backdrop can live up to these!


I'm looking forward to more Village Backdrops - these are actually quite fun to review. ^^

Liberty's Edge

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Endzeitgeist wrote:
I'm looking forward to more Village Backdrops - these are actually quite fun to review. ^^

Well, there's one coming out later this month :)

spoiler:

Back on topic - congrats John, looks like a great Village Backdrop installment!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Endzeitgeist wrote:
I'm looking forward to more Village Backdrops - these are actually quite fun to review. ^^

Thanks for the awesome review. More are coming! Besides Mark's village next month, the rest of the villages in the Lonely Coast are getting the Backdrop treatment. I've already turned in Hosford and I'm starting work on the final, Oakhurst, to complete the Lonely Coast trilogy. Creighton and I have plans for Oakhurst, in particular, evil, evil plans.

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