EZG reviews Urban Dressing: Temples
The latest installment in the Urban Dressing-series is 15 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so what do we get?
Being a kind of temple-generator, this installment kicks off with a list of general appearances and characteristics – a total of 100 entries spanning two pages cover humble stone buildings,rose-scented airs, a smell of mildew and similar basic characteristics to expand. The next tble, though, is where it gets interesting – once again, with 100 entries, though this time, each entry is devoted to a domain and provides e.g. silken scarves associated with lust, banners of nations for glory, dead flowers for decay etc. as domain-appropriate-decorations – glorious and something that could use even further expansion by offering yet more dressings for the respective domains – two thumbs up for this table.
On the next page, we get 3 individual tables with 20 entries each: One for donations (good), one for tithing (neutral) and one for sacrifices. (Surprise: Evil!) Nice!
Table D, though, is imho even better, providing a short run-down of service components, fixtures and temple-areas as well as providing you a 20-entry table on celebrations/festivals that can happen, from birth to death to sacred festivities. Neat!
The last two pages are devoted strictly to a quick fluff-only clergy-in-a-hurry generator that works by first determining gender, then names via one of 20 d20 lists, races (common and uncommon) position (and a small box on titles) as well as 20 clothing, accessories, mannerisms and rumors about them. Again, if you use different nomenclatures for different races, this is completely useless in the name-department and takes up space I would have rather seen being devoted to more content for the temples.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to RSP’s 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, with one being optimized for the printer and one for screen-use.
I’m torn on this one – on the one hand, I absolutely LOVE the table that assigns features by domains, the sample sacrifices and the quick festival generator. On the other hand, I consider the clergy generator’s names just as useless as those featured in the installment of Traders and Craftsmen – as soon as you use different nomenclatures for different races, these lose all usefulness. Finally, I think that the pdf could have benefited from different temple-base structures – essentially the respective temples contained herein lack distinct shapes like “tower”, “cathedral”, “fortified monastery” and remain relatively ill-defined in general shape. For me, this is a mayor issue that massively detracts from the overall appeal of the file.
What the pdf does right, is does gloriously right. What it doesn’t do right…well, you get the idea. Depending on whether you want these features, this pdf could be a 5 stars-file for you or partially failing to live up to your expectation. So while, depending on what you’re looking for, this might exactly be what you, I have to take this lack into account as well and in combination with the issues with the clergy-names consider a final verdict of 3 stars to be fair for this installment.