Village Backdrop: Laewas (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM’s Resource by Jeff Gomez

The village of Laewas is inhabited entirely by ghosts. How did the inhabitants of Laewas die? You can ask them, but even they aren’t sure. From a distance, the village looks completely normal if a little ramshackle and decayed. Farmers, carpenters and housewives roam the streets, carrying baskets of apples or shepherding packs of dirty children. They laugh, gossip and greet outsiders under the heat of the sun. It’s almost easy to forget everybody here is dead. But as the days roll by, the ghosts lose their memories. They are stuck in an endless loop, doomed to constantly relive their final hours. These shades are totally unaware of their current plight. They are convinced they are still living, breathing creatures in a perfectly normal farming village.

So, what happened? There are clues to be found, if one has the skill to look. Work orders for heavy machinery. Curious letters dissolved nearly to dust. Injured children and widowed wives. The clues all lead to the rotting manor which casts a permanent shadow over the village. And to something cold lurking within.

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. It comes in two different 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 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look at the settlement!

Laewas, at first glance, looks like your run-of-the-mill farmer’s village – a bit ramshackle and decayed, maybe, but nothing special. At first glance. Village life continues – wives walk the streets, carpenters work, parents shepherd their playing children. The inhabitants laugh and gossip in the sun. There is a single elf, and some halflings roam the streets.

The usual information provided does enhance this sense of normalcy – the dressing habits and nomenclature, all here. We get the by now traditional lore than may be unearthed by savvy players, we get the whisper and rumor table, and the PFRPG-iteration does get the proper village stats and a magic marketplace section.

There’s just one thing that tarnishes the bucolic idyll: All of Laewas’ inhabitants are ghosts. And while the promiscuous and bawdy youth are having a good time, the truth of the town is sinister – its spirits are trapped in a loop; not exactly capable of moving on, not exactly capable of fulfilling their tasks. The ghosts do not know what ended their lives, but crafty PCs may well discern the truth as they explore the village – which btw. includes notes on what the ghosts can and can’t do, as well as 7 keyed locations, all of which feature their own read-aloud section.

4 sample NPCs are included in Raging Swan Press’ classic fluff-only depiction, and from the corn jungle to the other locales, there is plenty to unearth. The village’s dressing/event table deserves special recommendation here, as a couple of entry, such as the ghosts of wild dogs, help PCs logically exclude some potential phenomena.

SPOILER-Warning! Potential players should jump ahead to the conclusion.

The supplement does include a properly-depicted artifact as well, which the local wizard used. Yeah. Oh all the cool potential explanations…it’s “A wizard did it.” *sigh* In PFRPG, the burst of negativeenergy that caused this…is also pretty pitiful regarding its damage-output.

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.

Jeff Gomez’ oddly alive ghost town is a cool angle. I very much enjoyed this village. The solution of the phenomenon is a bit of a disappointment, and seeding various possible means to explain the phenomenon might have been smarter, but that is me complaining at a high level. This still is a good settlement, if one that falls a bit flat of the vast potential its cool angle has. My final verdict will be 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Scarab Sages Webstore Coordinator

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

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