EZG reviews Village Backdrop: Refuge
This Village Backdrop clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
All right, by now you know that Village Backdrops come with full settlement statblocks, do you? Well, now you do. 😉 The village also features information on the village’s economy, customs, nomenclature etc. and provides information on movers and shakers. Beyond that, short tables of rumors and events to enliven the place work as neat additions for the DM to develop into adventures.
Okay, let’s get something out of the way – this village is a pirate’s haven on a tiny, crescent-shaped island with a volcano on top. The local consortium’s ships sail out there and thus, whispers and rumors as well as events supplement this playstyle – the population is dependent on trade and piracy – and thus, this settlement indeed provides refuge for the hunted and unwanted and whether your PCs are there due to being hunted themselves or due to seeking someone – their stay will not be pleasant. Danger modifier +30. Yeah. Ouch.
That being said, if the set-up wasn’t ample clue enough, this village *BEGS* to be inserted into a Rzaor Coast-campaign – right down to the CR 4 sample character, who happens to be, you guessed it, a were-shark.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP’s superb, streamlined and printer-friendly 2-column b/w-standard. The pdf’s b/w-cartography (of which you can download player-friendly versions on Raging Swan’s homepage for free!) is just as awesome as I’ve come to expect from the series. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out.
Greg Marks delivers a village that simply BEGS to be included into a given Razor Coast or Freeport campaign – whether as outpost, as competition, this village backdrop can actually stuff a certain plot-hole in one of the Heart of the Razor-adventures. Alternatively, If you’re looking for a spot to test the waters (haha!) whether your players would enjoy such an environment, this makes for a great RC-light-version. This is a glorious, fun village – deadly, cool and extremely useful, this is worth 5 stars + seal of approval.