20 Things: Creepy Graveyard (system neutral)
This installment of Raging Swan Press’ system-neutral #20-series clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
We begin this supplement with an emphasis of the “creepy” aspect promised in the title – namely, we receive a total of 8 different, system-neutral haunts – consider these to be slightly supernatural window-dressing. When e.g. the holy symbol on a local woman’s grave splits right in the middle and worms pour forth, you know that you’ve found an intriguing place…and her crisis of faith prior to death…perhaps there is more to it. Et voilà – instant hook, as it should be!
The pdf continues with 10 different mourners that have distinct personalities: From a mischievous, orphaned boy to angry half-orcs, whose undirected anger towards a disease may easily spill over to those that interrupt has mourning to a half-elf maiden who had to watch her human mother perish to the ravages of time, these NPCs indeed feel evocative, interesting and unique.
The table of 10 things to find in an open grave from “GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things Volume I” has been reproduced here as well, as has the table of 20 things to see in a graveyard, so you may experience some slight overlap. On the plus-side, both tables are pretty well-crafted. We do also get a total of 20 gravestone inscriptions and 20 rumors: These include, among other things, the strange occurrence of every night seeing a new gravestone split clean in half; there is a noble building, with undue haste, an opulent mausoleum…but why? And where did that unmarked mass-grave recently unearthed by a localized tremor come from? If you need to add a feeling of the weird, 4 strange sensations can add a personal touch here – from the feeling of being watched to a notion of vertigo…
10 atmospheric, strange sounds, from treebark clacking together to scraps of a conversation, can add further atmosphere to the proceedings. And finally, there would be no less than 20 uncommon mausoleums for your perusal: These can include ostensible ghosts (illusions that have become unreliable), mausoleums erected for pets or ones that glimmer in the moonlight…due to a sufficient amount of ectoplasmic slime seeping forth from it! Yeah, I’m just as sure as you are that nothing strange is bound to happen there…
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press’ elegant two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. Additionally, the pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for the printer and one for screen-use – kudos for going the extra mile there! It should be noted that a nice b/W-artwork of a mausoleum takes up one of the pages of content.
Creighton Broadhurst, Jacob W. Michaels, Alex Riggs and David N. Ross deliver an atmospheric, diverse and fun dressing file here: If you need some material to make your dilapidated, eerie graveyard stand out more, then look no further! This is an inexpensive, fun little dressing booklet and well-worth getting. I would have loved to see a general consideration section here (Oddly shaped gravestones? Repercussions of different burial traditions?) but that’s just me nitpicking – this is well worth 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 due to in dubio pro reo.
You can get this cool dressing-file here on OBS!
You can directly support Raging Swan Press here on patreon!