20 Things: Noisome Sewers (system neutral)
This installment of Raging Swan Press’ system-neutral #20-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
As has become the tradition in the series, we kick this off with a selection of remarkable NPCs to encounter within the given environment – this time around, these folks, as befitting of the environment, include destitute homeless folks, folks nursing a grudge versus off-duty soldiers, a cat burglar sans sense of smell, wererats not yet aware of their condition and even a vampire – all in all, an inspiring collection from the benevolent to the malevolent.
We move on from these NPCs to find 10 minor locales in the sewer – old iron-bound doors pierce walls, passages connect, masses of rubbish and detritus accumulate and walkways may crumble away – all in all, a welcome collection of information to add flavor to the sewer. Slightly weird – the entries run from 11. to 20., instead of from 1. to 10.
We supplement this with 20 pieces of customized dungeon dressing for sewers, which range from the expected (worse stench, rusted iron lantern forgotten on a hook) to thin walls where one can hear murmurs and strange tracks of serpentine (or tentacle-y?) things. These entries are obviously created to enable the enterprising GM to use them as hooks for encounters, and stories.
If you require something with a bit more immediate oomph, I’d suggest checking out the 20 minor events – these include hearing the rumbling of heavy carts above or muted splashes, being doused in a thick glob of slime…and have I mentioned the foaming wave of excrement flowing down? Yeah, EW, but oh so fitting! And yes, pockets of flammable gas. Take care!
But why venture there? Well, sewers tend to be where the missing and lost items show up, so a total of 20 entries should prove to be helpful there and make it slightly more worthwhile for the PCs. A leafless tree-branch with a silver necklace makes for a straight-forward loot that inspires, while piles of fresh bricks and mason equipment pose a different reaction…why are they here? The PCs are bound to find out…right?
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!
Creighton Broadhurst knows his craft. Sewers have a bit of a bad reputation in video games and TTRPGs, but for the most part, to me, undeservedly so: From vermin to intrigue to diseases and hazards, there is a ton of amazing things you can do with the environment and this humble pdf helps add those flourishes. If you’re, for example, playing Gaming Paper’s excellent “Edgewater’s Folly“, then this can add quite a bit of flavor to the proceedings.
At the very latest when the PCs see an island of congealed muck float by, topped with a red-eyed rat, they’ll almost be able to smell the grime. thankfully only almost, though! All in all, this is a fun, well-crafted dressing-file, well worth 5 stars.
You can get this nice dressing-file here on OBS!
You can directly support Raging Swan Press here on patreon!