20 Things: War-Ravaged Land (system neutral)
This installment of Raging Swan Press’ system-neutral #20-series clocks in at 12 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 the PCs wander a war-ravaged land, as the butchery and death have abated, they may wander the fields of war – and as such, 10 detailed pieces of battlefield dressing kickstart this installment of the 20 Things-series, depicting feasting crows,, ragged and blood-spattered standards and worse. Tragedy stalks these fields and the pdf’s flavorful entries capture its facets well.
The next section is all about signs of war – for this scourge leaves its traces on the landscape, as smoke smudges the horizon and bloody remnants speak of minor skirmishes in yet another great little selection of 10 such signs. From here, we move on to 20 things you can see in war-ravaged villages: From collapsed buildings to gaunt dogs, starved by famine and wounds, darting across the street to the scattered remains of pillaged kitchens, this dressing selection is versatile and atmospheric.
Of course, chances are that, at one point, the PCs will be part of a siege – hence, 20 entries show us different things that can be seen during such a perilous time – and yes, the identity of attackers is left deliberately vague. Servants hustling around with drinking water, huddled guards, sudden influxes of arrows, conscripts in armor, all too young for the grisly death-dealing about to commence…the pdf offers a lot in this section as well.
The final table, alas, is a reprint from GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things Volume I – in that book, it was a designated table for orc raids and while its name has been changed, in a minor complaint, a reference to orcs still can be found here, when more general humanoids would have made sense. That being said, only one entry is thus affected.
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. The b/w-artworks deserve special mention – we get a great full-page b/w-piece as well as some nice supplemental pieces. Additionally, the pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for the printer and one for screen-use – kudos for going the extra mile there! The pdf sports several pieces of nice b/w-artworks.
Creighton Broadhurst’s latest 20-Things-dressing file is evocative, well-crafted and captures the horrors and desolation of war in a diverse and well-rendered manner, with crisp prose and a plethora of well-written entries. In short, this is a great little dressing-file for a more than fair price-point. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.
You can get this cool dressing-file here on OBS!
You can directly support Raging Swan Press here on patreon!