Village Backdrop: Longbridge (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game GM’s Resource supplement by Creighton Broadhurst

A hotbed of intrigue and deception, Longbridge is claimed by not one but two noble lords. Sprawled across both banks of a wide, swiftly flowing river forming the boundary between the rivals’ lands, the village grew up at either end of a fortified stone bridge of ancient dwarven artifice. A no man’s land of sorts, the bridge itself is huge; scores of travellers cross it every day and several businesses have established themselves upon its span to service their needs. Informally led by Einhard Kochel these free traders do not pay tax or offer fealty to either lord and fiercely resist both nobles’ overtures.

Longbridge is in turmoil. Rumourmongers whisper that bloody war will soon swirl across the span as one noble or the other seeks to settle the matter of its ownership once and for all. Others whisper of hidden stairs in the bridge’s pilings plunging deep below the riverbed to hidden, noisome catacombs of great antiquity and of the foul, ageless creatures lurking within.

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 samples head over to ragingswan.com/longbridge

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***** (based on 3 ratings)

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*****

Longbridge is the kind of product that when I read it then immediately my mind start creating plots, adventure seed, social encounters and other things to use it in my next campaign. Exactly the kind of thing I look for in products targeted to a busy GM.


An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

This installment of the Village Backdrop-series is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD, 1 page advice on how to read statblocks for novice DMs and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content - so let's take a look whether Longbridge can maintain the streak of consecutive 5-star+seal of approval ratings the last installments of the series had!

Longbridge is, much like Riverrun, crucial to the crossing of a particular river - only that a) it's smaller and b) its leadership is divided - claimed by both Wido Gall and Hilduin Lorsch, two sets of taxes, laws and regulations have made Longbridge a hotbed of intrigue and a powder keg whose fuse has been lit - it's just a matter of time before it blows - especially with Einhard Kochel, leader of the free merchants seeking to claim control for himself...

Following the tradition of the series, longbridge gets a beautiful b/w-map as well as village statblocks (Danger +5 - ouch!), a well-studded marketplace, a lore-section and 6 different whispers and rumors as well as notes on the type of folk that can be found in the settlement and their nomenclature.

9 notable locations have been provided for the town alongside a stunning b/w-rendition of it and three statblocks - one for Donatus Trond, Hilduin's enforcer/chief investigator and one for Rilla Omer, a beautiful court bard who acts as a bailiff and is in control of the southern part of the village. Finally, Einhard Kochel also gets his own stats - he'll probably need them if push comes to shove...

The 6 sample events in the village represent well the tension that suffuses the village, whereas the 4 sample travelers (fluffy table entries only) help enforce the commercial importance of the town.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience and in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out. As with all Village Backdrops, I urge you to go to Raging Swan Press' homepage and download the player-friendly version of the town's map as a handout.

Creighton Broadhurst, mastermind of Raging Swan Press, publishes not nearly enough of his own designs - this village is yet another stellar example of why I stand by this statement: Creighton GETS relatively realistic, gritty fantasy. Almost all Raging Swan Press offerings are suffused by a sense of historicity often times lost in the more fantastic offerings and this village is no exception - oozing a sense of authenticity, this settlement comes alive on its pages - in spite of the relative brevity of the supplement. Add to that the great artwork, the awesome map and the sheer potential of the volatile situation and we have a place suited for violent insurrection as well as politics on a locale scale - and everything in between. My only gripe would be that I would have loved this to be a full-blown 32-page town-supplement rather than "just" a village. Final verdict? 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.


An RPG Resource Review

*****

As soon as you hear that Longbridge is a place that no less than TWO local lordlings lay claim to it becomes apparent that it's going to be a lively place in which any party of adventurers is likely to feel right at home! Then you find out that there's a third person also making a bid for power...

Outwardly it looks reasonably prosperous, spread out over both sides of a fast-flowing river at a point where it is crossed by a substantial stone bridge. The bridge is so substantial that several people have built their residences or businesses right there ON the bridge, making the reasonable (to them, at least) claim that as they don't live in the domains of either lordling they are beholden to neither of them. Somehow I think the lordlings might have different opinions on the matter.

Plenty of material is supplied to enable you to run the village as an effective and interesting place in your campaign world, from the standard settlement 'stat block' to information about notable locals and places, rumours to pick up, businesses to visit and so on. There is plenty of material to inform a casual stay and even a few events and visitors to the settlement to provide discrete opportunities to get involved. Moreover, with the seeds set for dispute between the lordlings, an inventive GM might easily come up a full-blown adventure set here. Everyone mentioned has their own viewpoint and reasons for being here and projects on the go, creating an effective alternate reality that can easily be imagined continuing quite contentedly even when there are no PCs around.

The one thing that's missing is a good map, although there's a quite atmospheric sketch there is no indication of what's where even though the notable locations have been numbered in the text. Otherwise it's a well crafted settlement ripe for a visit by the party.


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Reviewed first on Endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop!

Cheers!

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Thanks so much for the kind words, Endzeitgeist. I much appreciate them. I am thinking about a range of town backdrops possibly starting late this year or early next. First up, Wolverton!

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