EZG reviews Urban Dressing: Traders & Craftsmen
This installment of RSP’s Dressing-line is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
After getting an installment detailing market stalls, we now take a look at the beings (and to a lesser degree, areas) where the goods are sold: A massive table with 100 entries spanning two tables mentions a multitude of different details, from eerie, blue glowing moss at an adjacent building, free drinks in the bar for purchases to different doors for different sizes of customers, the pdf offers a nice table of peculiarities.
After that, we get a list of 100 proficiencies/goods to sell, ranging from medicine and spices to mercenary services and linen-drapers. Of course, this is not about goods exclusively, and we also get tables for traders – a simple system with a table to determine gender, two tables à 20 entries for male and female names, a 5-entry table for determining common races and a 20-entry-table featuring uncommon races. We also get a 20-entry table featuring uncommon characteristics like large bellies, overbites etc. and 20 mannerisms to complement them. 20 simple rumors about the trader can spawn adventures or serve as red herrings and 15 different purposes for being in the shop (based on a d%-throw) round out this installment of the Dressing-line.
Editing and formatting are very good, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP’s 2-column b/w-standard and the b/w-artwork interspersed is nice. The pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out. The pdf is fully bookmarked.
This installment of the Dressing-line is problematic at best due to a simple decision: This is the wrong format to depict traders. While we wouldn’t necessarily need statblocks, the 2 pages devoted to shops take too much of the page-count to make this viable. As soon as you use different nomenclatures for different races (who doesn’t???), the two tables of sample names turn all but useless and I have to turn to the name-generator-pdfs by Raging Swan or come up with my own names. The result being more mostly useless content.
Don’t get me wrong, the characteristics of the shops are nice, but they SHOULD be their own product – as provided, they remain a bit sketchy and might yield weird results when combined with market stalls – and more importantly have nothing to do with traders and craftsmen.
Which leaves us with not much – 100 jobs, 20 mannerisms and 20 characteristics, about 1.5 pages, are simply not enough and don’t do what this pdf sets out to do – provide you with a fluff-generator for traders and craftsmen. We don’t get nearly enough peculiarities, no haggling-behavior at all, no distinguishing entries on personality (like “Takes 2x as long to craft item x, doesn’t provide z” etc.) and no security measures – whether one takes this as a generator for shops or as one for tradesmen, the pdf fails either way, trying to be both and ultimately failing to be useful as either. Since usefulness make up about 90% of what I can judge regarding these Dressing-pdfs and since I can see NO USE at all for this one, my final verdict will be 1 star.
Still want to take a look? Here’s the link.