Campaign Backdrop: Marshes & Swamps (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM’s Resource by Jesper Andersen, John Bennett, Creighton Broadhurst, Denver Edwards Jr., Steve Hood, Greg Marks, David Posener, Jacob Trier, Josh Vogt and Mike Welham

Campaign Backdrops give you, the busy GM, all the tools you need to run a campaign set in a particular wilderness environment. Each instalment brings together—for the first time in one place—previously released material into one handy, GM friendly package. Featuring wilderness dressing, detailed random encounters, fully fleshed out villages and even a place of power all ready for immediate use in your campaign. Campaign Backdrops are the perfect accompaniment to your wilderness campaign.

Campaign Backdrop: Marshes & Swamps is a compilation product. This GM’s Essential features material previously released in the following books:

  • Wilderness Dressing: Swamps
  • Random Swamp Encounters
  • Urban Dressing: Marsh Town
  • Places of Power: The Mudded Manse
  • Village Backdrop: Aldwater
  • Village Backdrop: Thornhill
  • Village Backdrop: Tigley
  • Village Backdrop: Vaagwol<
  • 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

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An review


This installation of the helpful environmental toolkit-compilations by Raging Swan Press clocks in at 87 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisements, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page stat blocks by CR, 2 pages of author bios, 1 page of advice for reading statblocks for novice GMs, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 76 pages of raw content, so let's take a look!

Taking a cue from Raging Swan Press' other, no less intriguing compilation books, this one features a table of all statblocks used herein by CR (spanning the range from CR 1/4 to 10) with accompanying page numbers and, as a nice service to the talented authors involved, we get a page of author bios, which is great to see.

But what is this? Well, the short answer, as already hinted at, is that this is basically a toolbox for a specific type of terrain, namely the swamps and marshes. Where other Raging Swan Press collections for example collected the significant amount of dressing files or village backdrops in a single tome, the goal of these books is to organize the tools for the GM by region he needs - in this case, that would be forests and woodlands, obviously.

The presentation of the content is exceedingly smart - we move from the non-specific to the specific, from the general to the detailed in this book; Hence, we begin with a 50-entry-strong table depicting an uneventful day's journey in each entry before adding 100 minor events and 100 dressings, then move on to random encounters that don't suck - a total of 14 such encounters have been collected from the respective Raging Swan Press pdfs, now available for the first time in print - and yes, the bonus enhancement encounters from the web-enhancement have been included. Beyond a fluff-centric table, we also get a nice GM-cheat-sheet for terrain.

After establishing the basics of the swamp, we move on to settlements inside - hence, the urban dressing for marsh towns would be next, providing tables galore to use and enjoy, with businesses, events and hooks - all in. The excellent lace of Power, the Mudded Manse, can similarly be found within these pages as a ready to drop in location and speaking of which - 4 sample villages from the village backdrop-series are included herein: Aldwater, Thornhill, Tigley and Vaagwol. It should be noted that I have reviews the constituent files that make up this compilation, so if you require in-depth guidance regarding one, you'll find it in these reviews.


Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant issues apart from a cosmetic hiccup of a read-aloud text's box looking weird and similar minor things. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press' two-column b/w-standard with solid pieces of b/w-artwork, The locations have some nice b/w-cartography as well, though in particular Thornhill's map has since it was originally featured herein been used for several settlements I encountered; that may be an aspect you need to be aware of. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with excessive bookmarks and the pdf comes in two versions - one optimized for the printer and one made for screen-use: Kudos!

This compilation of material by Jesper Andersen, John Bennett, Creighton Broadhurst, Denver Edwards Jr., Steve Hood, Greg Marks, David Posener, Jacob Trier, Josh Vogt and Mike Welham provides a great one-stop-shop-experience if you need the tools to make swamps and marshes stand out. Now whether you need this book ultimately depends on how big a Raging Swan Press-fan you are. If you already have all the GM's Miscellany-books and the individual pdfs, this mainly will help in the discipline of organization.

Personally, I love having a book in my hands, but considering that I already have the dressing books and the villages, I'm not sure I'd get this. If, however, you only have one or two of the files herein and/or none of the GM's Miscellany books that overlap with this, then this instantly becomes a must-have book that is extremely useful. In short: Whether to get this or the Miscellany-books depends on which organization paradigm you prefer. My final verdict for this compilation will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Sovereign Court Publisher, Raging Swan Press

Is now available at the Paizo store!

Check out the full table of contents here

Reviewed first on, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS, etc.

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