Village Backdrop: Poxmire (PFRPG) PDF

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A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM’s Resource by Mike Welham

Poxmire’s disease-ravaged residents choose lingering death over execution. The secluded island village is the destination for those who have incurable, contagious ailments, and those who cannot (or refuse to) pay for curative magic. As is the nature of such places of exile, Poxmire serves as a convenient place to also send fallen political rivals and the like. A sizeable donation to the appropriate temple is enough for a declaration that a foe’s malady cannot be treated.

Despite the village’s unfortunate nature, most inhabitants are content with their lot, thanks in part to the plentiful fish supplementing kitchen gardens growing in a pleasant climate. Poxmire could have been so much more were it not for rumours of terrible, centuries-old sacrifices carried out by cultists devoted to a now-dead deity of pestilence. Superstitious people worry about sending diseased folk to a location dedicated to the spread of disease, but the lack of cult activity for two decades has allayed most fears.

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!

5 miles of the main land, there is a small island, and few go there nowadays; if the charming name was not ample indication – this is a colony of the sick, of the quarantined, and from it, an autocracy rose, one that supports smuggling and piracy, and one that few guardsmen or tax collectors will be willing to visit – for obvious reasons. Of course, disease cults would also thrive potentially in such an environment…so who better to send here than expendable adventurers?

This set up is gold. The lore and rumors circulating about this place enforce the angle, and from appearance to dressing and nomenclature, we get the usual, detailed information for PCs doing their legwork. Guards do exist to prevent escape, but obviously those stationed here aren’t exactly nice fellows – having to manage the wards comes with a certain harshness as a requirement. The pdf presents a 20-entry dressing/event table to render the village’s squalor more dynamic. 2 detailed NPC write-ups are included, both, as usual, in the personality/mannerism/fluff-centric style of Raging Swan Press, and the governor’s mansion comes with its own 6-entry subtable of events

As has become custom, we do get information on the surrounding locality, and each of the 8 keyed locales comes with a sentence or two of read-aloud text. A total of 4 further suggested quest-angles are included as well, adding further use to the settlement.

If there is anything to complain about here, it pertains the way in which this uses PFRPG – it basically doesn’t. There is no settlement statblock, there is no marketplace section, and we don’t even get disease stats or the like. With a tiny bit more effort in this regard, this could have been an outstanding offering, with its quasi tropical plague colony vibe.

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. We get pretty neat b/w-artwork. The pdf comes in two versions, with one being optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out.

Mike Welham knows what he’s doing – he’s a veteran and one of the authors who always make me excited when I see their names on anything. Poxmire rocks with its atmosphere somewhere between a Caribbean plague colony, a pirate’s nest and a proximity to the mainland that reminded me of Venice. The set-up and execution are glorious, but as far as integration into the system is concerned, this could have done better. My final verdict can’t exceed 4.5 stars, rounded down.

Endzeitgeist out.

Scarab Sages Webstore Coordinator

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Reviewed first on, then submitted to the usual places.

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