Village Backdrop: Kennutcat (PFRPG) PDF

5.00/5 (based on 1 rating)

Our Price: $2.45

Add to Cart
Facebook Twitter Email

A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM’s Resource by John Bennett

The small island of Kennutcat, with its broad natural harbour and bountiful fishing, proved to be a great boon to early colonizers. After subjugating the native inhabitants, the colonizers quickly established a small prosperous village catering to the many merchant ships sailing the nearby trading routes. Yet, at night, a thick fog rolls in, blanketing the stone streets and wood shingled houses. Strange shapes move in the mists, while sibilant voices echo in the still air. These are Kennutcat’s dead—fathers, mothers, sons and daughters—spirits trapped and inexplicably bound to the island by an unending, unkillable nightmarish horror. For within a tangled forest, the surviving natives pray for salvation and the spirits of the island have answered in the form of Lobata—a formless creature of darkness that lurks in the surrounding waters. Those who answer Lobata’s siren call surrender to a nameless compulsion to hunt the strange beast, but find nothing more than their own watery graves amid the storm-tossed waves.

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.

For a free sample, please visit ragingswan.com

Product Availability

Fulfilled immediately.

Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

PZOPDFRSP101545E


See Also:

Average product rating:

5.00/5 (based on 1 rating)

Sign in to create or edit a product review.

An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This installment of RSP's Village Backdrop-series is 10 pages long, 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 at the settlement

In this installment of the Village Backdrop-series, we venture forth to a place that has a history steeped in colonialism - the native Kittiwaki have all but been exterminated and now the settlement prospers - a visitor coming to town indeed sees a calm, idyllic town - by day. At night, though, the fog rolls in. And in the best of Ravenloft-traditions, voices of the lost, footsteps echoing in the fog, make travel unsafe. The town is cursed, the mists seek to claim it -and on the porches, called widow walks, those left behind look outwards to the sea, straining their eyes against the glare of the sun and the shroud of the mist alike to catch a glimpse of one of the innumerous lost on the waves - for legend has it that a titanic beast lurks beneath the waves and those that seek to slay it never return.

Obviously, this settlement sports the usual level of detail for the series - with nomenclature and clothes both being featured among the wonderful pieces of local color. A marketplace section is provided alongside lore to unearth, whispers to overhear, and events to witness.

Kennutcat is a haunted place - and while many of the haunts herein are harmless (even coming with a small table), several of the unquiet dead's echoes in the streets are anything but that: A total of 6 such glorious haunts are presented - and exorcising them is anything but easy, with the inscrutable nature spirit representing perhaps the most powerful of them all. And if this review sounds a bit praise-laden...then, well - there's a reason for that.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches apart from a missing + in the settlement's statblock. 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.

John Bennett is one of the few authors who *really* get what the peculiar brand of gothic fantasy is all about - his superb "Against the Cult of the Bat God" and his work as a line-developer for Fat Goblin Games Vathak can be considered irrefutable proof of this. Indeed, he has salvaged a setting of disparate ideas and streamlined it into something awesome - and I'm saying that as someone who absolutely did NOT like the setting's first iteration. Now, it should be no surprise that his evocation of a small, haunted colonial town pulls ALL of my heart's strings. The town presented in these scant few pages represents a superb realization of the tropes I adore, with local color spiced in to render this a nigh perfect realization of what Ravenloft, in its best moments, used to represent.

One might say I kind of like this a little.

...

Oh, who am I kidding? I'm awaiting John's offerings with quite frankly baited breath and this is no different - indeed, its concise presentation and flair render this essentially a sandbox module that tells you to just fill in the blanks - its potential is that pronounced, this can be run as a more than inspired backdrop. More seamlessly than in most pdfs in an already glorious line, this one can be used for a pretty neat experiment in GMing I like to engage in time and time again:

Take this village. Throw your PCs in. Watch.

If your group is in any way like mine, the players will start speculating in the face of the eerie atmosphere evoked and you'll be able to pick the best of their ideas and combine them - now mind you, this can be done with many supplements. Few support it to this extent, have this many pieces of local color that may or may not provide the "truth" you decide upon, the horror beneath the everyday life. I love this settlement. As a reviewer, it represents to me yet another excellent installment in a series that almost never gives me any reason for true complaint. It also makes for a perfect insert into a horror or dark fantasy campaign, for a neat location in a Freeport or Razor Coast-saga...

As a person, though, it makes me crave more from John Bennett's pen, it makes me long for a setting, gazetteers, villages and adventures - it makes me wish that Raging Swan Press had the license for Ravenloft, with John at the helm. Ah, one may dream. Unsurprisingly, this receives 5 stars + my seal of approval...well...and I'm a Ravenloft-fanboy and a sucker for well-presented, eerie horror of the subtle variant. Plus, it's my personal list. I nominate this as a candidate for my Top Ten of 2015. (On a tangent - this pdf represents the Village Backdrops-series holding the record for the longest string of uninterrupted 5 star + seal-ratings any series has. I've been trying really hard to nitpick this one apart -the above is the result...so yeah...congrats!)

Endzeitgeist out.


Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Now available at the Paizo store!

You can grab a (marvellous) free sample here. I hope you enjoy it!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

Awesome! I hope people enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Based on many summers spent on Nantucket.


Will there ever be a village backdrop collection like the dungeon dressing book?


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

Nicos wrote:
Will there ever be a village backdrop collection like the dungeon dressing book?

We already have two such collections and a third one releases next week! This page has links to information on all three books. I'm not planning to do a huge compilation, though, unless there's a demand for it. That said, a huge hardback could be pretty cool...

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Endzeitgeist wrote:
Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop. Cheers!

Epic. Thanks so much for the review; and I'm delighted you enjoyed it so much!

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

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

Just saw this! Thanks for the review and kind words. This one pulled from a lot of childhood memories and experiences spent on a certain fogbound island where I did pace the widow walks, visit whaling museums, and read books on the local hauntings. And thank you to Raging Swan Press for letting me write something with such a heavy dose of New England horror in it.

Also, I'm glad you pointed this out-

Quote:

indeed, its concise presentation and flair render this essentially a sandbox module that tells you to just fill in the blanks - its potential is that pronounced, this can be run as a more than inspired backdrop. More seamlessly than in most pdfs in an already glorious line, this one can be used for a pretty neat experiment in GMing I like to engage in time and time again:

Take this village. Throw your PCs in. Watch.

I've been meaning to do a blog on designing for the village backdrops but you hit the nail on the head- one of the key elements to a good village backdrop, for me, is to present at least 2-3 complications with the appropriate NPCs and locations so that a GM could essentially use the village as a short adventure.

A lot of my approach now to these village backdrops is based on reading a lot more "rules-lite" and story driven, narrative RPGs where the GM is encouraged to wing it and develop the plot based on the PCs actions and what they find interesting. So, I'm very happy you picked up how I tried to incorporate that design philosophy into the village (which means I did it right!). My next village backdrop is very much not horror but keeps the same design principles in mind.


Creighton Broadhurst wrote:
Nicos wrote:
Will there ever be a village backdrop collection like the dungeon dressing book?
We already have two such collections and a third one releases next week! This page

Yeah, I already bought the first one when they were at half-price.

Community / Forums / Paizo / Product Discussion / Village Backdrop: Kennutcat (PFRPG) PDF All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.