EZG reviews Urban Dressing: The Watch
This installment of the Urban Dressing-series is 15 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 10 pages of content – quite a bunch, so let’s take a look, shall we?
The first table is 36 entries strong and provides a wide selection of cool personalities for rank and file watchmen – some warriors, some commoners, some experts – and all intriguing. A good start! That’s not where all stops, though – we also get 15 informants/watchers from the common populace, all with the respective quirks phrased within the confines of their table-entries and adding a surprising quality to the entries.
A total of 23 different entries follow the same general scheme and introduce us to higher ups among the watchmen (and women) that run the gamut from diligent and kind, but loud dwarven man who shouts – constantly, to corrupt, fattened bastards in the pay of local crime-lords, we get a surprising amount of excellent fluffy write-ups.
After these, we get a crunchy break-up of the tables by getting some sample patrols lined out as well as three statblocks to use for standard watchmen, sergeants and captains – per se cool. But why don’t their statblocks at least a rope or some handcuffs, a way to enforce submission from criminals and escort them to the cells? At least for me, that’s a minor nitpick and a bit of a logic glitch.
The final entry of the pdf is a massive 50 entries long and provides a wide array of hooks – from unrequited love to rat infestations, these hooks provide fodder galore for DMs to have PCs interact in various ways with the watch.
Editing and formatting are, as I’ve come to expect from raging Swan Press, top-notch: I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP’s crisp 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one to be printed.
Author Josh Vogt has created some rather cool tables here, ones with excessive levels of information and local color to add to interactions with the guard. Now that being said, this pdf is, in spite of its overall very high quality and density not perfect – for one, a breakdown of watches by teams as per the Ultimate Campaign-rules would have been nice to simulate PCs leading the watch, for example, as would have been an army statblock for a watch to simulate long-term combat with guilds as a whole. Now don’t get me wrong- in spite of the lack of thunderstones, handcuffs etc., this still is a good offering that is sure to see quite some use, but it could have used a tad more tactics/Ultimate Campaign support or just uncommon tactics to truly become legendary. As such, I feel justified in recommending this pdf at a solid 4 stars.