Subterranean Enclave: Deephearth (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 2 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game GM’s Resource by Brian Wiborg Monster

Where the waves of the Endless Sea lazily roll into a rocky inlet lies the small svirfneblin fishing village of Deephearth. Hidden in a seldom used tunnel network, the svirfneblins of Deephearth lead quiet lives unnoticed by the many lurking dangers of the Ebon Realm. Recently an earthquake blocked the mouth of the inlet where Deephearth is sitting, but the village itself escaped the event damaged. However, lately svirfneblins have gone missing. At first fishing boats disappeared without a trace, but now even villagers have disappeared from their own beds! The villagers look to their leaders for guidance, but the council is unable to act, as one of their own is among the missing.

Subterranean Enclaves are short, richly detailed supplements that each present a single subterranean settlement ready to insert into almost any home campaign. Perfect for use as a waystop on the road to adventure or as an adventure site themselves, Subterranean Enclaves present the details so the busy GM can focus on crafting exciting, compelling adventures.

For a free sample head over to ragingswan.com/deephearth

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.

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****½ (based on 2 ratings)

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What Goes Bump in the Night?

****( )

For fans of the Village Backdrop series, essentially this is another offering in the lineup, only taken deep below ground. An earthquake has sealed off a deep gnome fishing village from the sea, and that is only the beginning of the troubles Deephearth faces. Its people are missing and there are a number of potential suspects...

Like the other Village Backdrops, Deephearth is a small locale, but it is richly detailed with buildings and descriptions of village elders and local industries. It also has a plot hook worth investigating, because life on paper is never dull. The plots and rumours section returns with some excellent plot hooks encouraging NPC interaction. The major NPCs and the suspects in the disappearances are well-fleshed out and each has nuances of personality that makes for delightful roleplaying.

Deephearth itself features some very interesting buildings. There is a temple inside a hollowed out giant mushroom, a scrimshawed house amid an ancient carcass, and a tiny tavern serving up mushroom ale. The mushroom theme is strong in Deephearth, which is something I enjoy seeing in products detailing the deep dark.

Deephearth's problems can be made out to be quite creepy if elaborated upon. Because the deep gnomes have darkvision, there is no light, as the potential to attract unwanted attention is just too great. Paranoid villagers may attempt to extinguish any light source the PCs have, and whispers in the deep may or may not be only in one's head.

Although the villain behind the disappearances is somewhat cliché, the personalities of the suspects and villagers create an interesting side trek. My only major fault with this product is that the deep gnomes didn't feel any different from any other race. That's kind of sad, but consider the product is really meant to detail the location, and it's quite memorable.

This product really got my creative juices flowing, which is what I look for in any supplement. Therefore, definitely recommended for the price, and I hope a deep gnome "Tribes" offering will follow.


An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

The third installment of Raging Swan Press' Subterranean Enclave-series clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

Ask and thou shall receive. When I complained in my review of Mith'Varal that an underdark coastal town would have been awesome, I hadn't read this. Yeah. Tied it once again at the endless sea, this time around we receive an underdark coastal town - or rather it, was. Until recently, an earthquake has blocked access to the endless sea...and then, the disappearances began in the small community of svirfneblin...

The village itself sports a selection of rather delightful morsels - from a petrified, hollowed out mushroom (which houses the temple of the village) to the recently created land bridge, there are quite a few things to see - including a svirfneblin who has literally worked himself to death, trying to reopen the channel to the endless sea. And indeed, at closer scrutiny, the council of Three who is ruling the place seems to be a bit inconsiderate towards their populace, up to the point where one may assume that there is some other reason beyond obvious economic concerns for the dwarves-hating community to try to re-open access to the sea...

(And no, I'm not going to SPOIL whether there is, and if yes, who is the mastermind behind this village's plight, but I do consider it a well-executed take on a rather old trope.) We also receive full stats of one particular...inhabitant...of the place...in the loosest of terms and the interesting, peculiar lighting conditions - there is none. Darkvision suffices the gnomes, hence your PCs better bring light...then again, they'll be VERY easy to spot in the featureless dark...and who knows who or what may pick them off...)

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to raging Swan Press' two-column b/w--standard, with superb cartography in b/w. As always, you can download player-friendly maps on Raging Swan's homepage. The pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one optimized for the printer, with both being fully bookmarked. Cartography, as always with Tommi Salama's work, is downright awesome.

Brian Wiborg Mønster's Deephearth should, by all means of its components, elicit at best a "been there, done that"-yawn apart from its geography. It doesn't. While I've seen the components before, their execution is more than solid and works rather well - the little tidbits coming together manage to make the settlement work better than it would have a right to do. Still, when compared to previous installments, it feels slightly less unique in its conflicts and context. Hence, I will settle for a final rating of 5 stars, omitting my seal of approval only by a margin.

Endzeitgeist out.


Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Is now available at the Paizo store!

You can grab a free sample here - which I hope you find handy!


Confused about it being listed as a backorder. PDF only, right?

Webstore Gninja Minion

Grimmy wrote:
Confused about it being listed as a backorder. PDF only, right?

The "backorder" tag is a display error that's currently affecting our site. You should be able to check out just fine.


Oh ok. Thanks Liz!


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

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

thanks very much End. As always, I appreciate the time and effort you lavish on our products! I think it's almost as much as me!

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Thanks very much for the review I'm delighted you liked Deephearth!

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