Village Backdrop: Coldwater (PFRPG) PDF

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

Widely thought of as a haven for smugglers and other miscreants, rumours swirl as thickly about Coldwater as the persistent sea fogs that sometimes blanket the place for days at a time. Set at the head of a muddy cliff top path, Coldwater is an isolated, dismal place. Its folk are sullen, ugly people and even the village’s ruler hates the place. For all that, Coldwater can be a place of opportunity and adventure. Sometimes, pirates drop anchor off the coast to deal with the local smugglers while rumours of a sunken stair and a nearby cove of ill aspect bring a steady stream of adventurers to the village.

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 a PC’s home, Village Backdrop present the details so the busy GM can focus on crafting exciting, compelling adventures.

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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An review


This installment of RSP's Village Backdrop-series is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's take a look at the settlement

Coldwater is perched upon an inhospitable, mud-drenched coast, with one access by land, its harbor is in the delta of a miserably stream that empties its contents into the sea - and if that does not reflect a place you'd like to visit, then that's pretty much a representation of how most folks see this place. Nearby caverns sport strange stair-like features that only rarely become visible and the inhabitants of the village are just as sullen and unfriendly as the weather suggests. Both village lore and statblock reflect the relative hostility and rugged nature of the village rather well, while a Finnish-inspired nomenclature emphasizes an association with the colder climes.

Indeed, the rustic and eccentric locals e.g. sport a man named Holg, who has a well-stacked ware-house, but lets no one in - you have to tell the old man what you're looking for and mysteriously, more often than not, he procures the object from within the depths of his dubious "locker." Indeed, one cannot really fault the locals for their sullen outlook on life: As the events and the subtle wrongness in the tides underline, there is something wrong here - you see, there is a terrible template herein that is applied to many of its citizens: The Deformed creature - how and why the poor folks of this village are struck by this curse ultimately is up to the GM, but the presence of the template and its varied effects alongside the stigmatization such folk may experience should drive home pretty well that something is wrong here...


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's smooth, printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes with full bookmarks as well as a gorgeous map, of which you can, as always, download high-res jpegs if you join RSP's patreon. The pdf comes in two versions, with one being optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out.

Creighton Broadhurst has skill - and this one shows it pretty well. The mastermind of Raging Swan Press delivers what I'd like to call a wide open sandbox: We are faced with problems and the respective NPCs mentioned can be used to exacerbate it, change it...all depending on your whims. Basically, this is one of the village backdrops that is so compelling, it can make PCs pretty much write their own tale: Throw them in and watch what happens. In this aspect, though, this one is slightly inferior to Kennutcat. However, at the same time, it sports local color that made me think of the slight surreal elements that made Twin Peaks so compelling, at least for me -from the dwindling fortunes of one family to female, hard-working and drinking half-orc, there is a lot of quirkiness, a lot of unique bits and pieces here; enough, to make this thoroughly compelling and well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

Great atmosphere leads to great adventure


The village of Coldwater is a classic troubled, remote, inhospitable site perfect for adventure. I can see this being used in so many ways. The sinister undertones of unnatural activities in town, the built in political conflicts, and criminal activities all provide ample hooks for use in game. This would make for a great resupply point for a group of adventurers headed inland from this port town, or it could be the site of adventure itself with a mysterious ancient stair nearby and suspicious locals distrusting all outsiders.

This release follows the tested and true village backdrop formatting, providing a list of NPC types for the PCs to interact with, a map with key locations detailed, and rumours to spark the PCs interaction with the locals. This release also directly ties into another Raging Swan product: Deadly Delves 1: Fane of the Undying Sleeper.

As usual, the village backdrops line has hit it out of the park with this release. I loved reading it and plan on making it a part of my ongoing campaign.

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Is now available at the Paizo store! If you'd like a free sample, hit this link! I hope you enjoy it and that Coldwater finds a place in your campaign.

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Thank you so much for the review, Jurgen. I much appreciate it and I'd delighted you enjoyed the supplement so much!

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

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

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Thanks you for the super review, Endzeitgeist. I'm delighted you enjoyed Coldwater so much!

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