20 Things: Ruined Castle (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 dressing file with a brief table of 10 entries of things that you can find outside of a ruined castle, making the approach appropriately ominous: From thickets of brambles and smoldering remains of cloaks to decaying arrows stuck in trees to the time-honored bones, there is a lot of cool stuff here! The outside also features twenty minor points of interest that you can employ to make regions outside feel more interesting, as well as 6 minor events to spice up things further. Weeds growing thickly between pitted, tilted flagstones, shadows beyond doorways and windows agape – these dressings really kick things up and are variable and vague, but sufficiently concrete. Big fan!
Of course, when there’s an outside, there also is an inside: 20 entries inside the ruined castle hint at scuttling critters, with uneven floors making progress rough, and tapestries fallen over furniture may well conceal whatever you want…6 events include suddenly dripping cold water, the cawing of birds or dust and mortar sifting from the ceiling. Nice! A table of 20 entries of discarded gear adds further to the sense of dilapidation that you’re undoubtedly going for.
This is not, however, where things end – there is a final page of content, and here, we get 20 entries depicting things you can add, dressing-wise, to the tunnels below the ruined castle in question. Among the 6 events provided, we have faint breezes carrying fetid odors, dull cracks and stones falling from the ceiling and more…though there is a doubled entry here: Cold water dripping on the PC’s head is reused here.
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 is a pro at generating atmosphere – particularly the notion of a subdued sense of decay and dilapidation is something he has down perfectly. This dressing file really manages to evoke a concise sense of atmosphere and excitement, and it’s vague enough to work for pretty much any game. I really enjoyed this one, and hence, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars, just short of my seal of approval.
You can get this great dressing-file here on OBS!
You can directly support Raging Swan Press here on patreon!