20 Things: Ocean Voyage (system neutral)
This installment of the #20 Things-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
All righty, we begin this collection of dressing files with three pages that provide fluff-only write-ups for NPCs; these write-ups do mention alignments and classes, if any, and nomenclature adheres to old-school standards – thieves and magic-users instead of rogues and wizards. Old-school fans will certainly appreciate this. Now, the first page sports 6 different stowaways, which include a bored illusionist (who can make for a rather fun series of encounters…), a hero-worshiping stalker of the PCs – some truly creative angles here! The second page contains 10 sample passengers, which include a fighter suffering, ostensibly, for a crippled leg, when in truth, a curse is responsible – and he believes, he can outrun it. Suffice to say, any GM worth their salt can make this rock hard! What about an alcoholic thief who has just absconded with the heist of his life? Yeah, some cool angles here!
Now, where there are passengers, there obviously are sailors as well: An irreverent sailor who calls his mongrel dog “Dogon” may well provoke the wrath of the elder being…if he does not fall prey to the machinations of the cultist in disguise, that is! An elven explorer in love with sea and adventure may make for a cool cohort or low-level replacement character concept. Nice angles. The pdf also sports two pages that feature 20 entry tables: The first is devoted to ship dressing, and here, perceptive PCs may well find an odd map, hidden away – but to where and by whom? Did I mention the mascot parrot who has taken a liking to the taste of wine, often ending up hungover? Often neglected duties like removing barnacles can also make for cool happenstances. All in all, the dressing table is inspired. The final table, then, would be devoted to sights and sounds aboard: Loud thumps, speaking of a harmless collision, may put folks on edge. There are epic shanties to be sung, and vast, black shadows may be seen beneath the waves. The table is flavorful and diverse.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to an elegant, minimalist 2-column b/w-standard, and the pdf sports a couple of really nice b/w-artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, and the pdf comes in two different versions, one of which is optimized for screen-use, and one is optimized for printing it out.
Creighton Broadhurst’s take on oceanic voyages provides a significant amount of inspired dressing for the GM. Instead of skipping over the journey, this humble pdf can provide a vast amount of cool scenes and vignettes and add color to the proceedings, making the journey matter. An inspired little pdf, this is well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.
You can get this cool dressing file here on OBS!
You can directly support Raging Swan Press here on patreon!