Places of Power: The Fragrant Tower
The first installment of Raging Swan Press’ new Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
We begin this series with essentially a breakdown of the demographics of the tower, a list of notable NPCs, a marketplace-section and a brief run-down of the respective areas on one page – formatting-wise, this adheres very much to the concise presentation established in other Raging Swan Press-supplements, which is a good thing in my book.
So why is this tower called “fragrant”? Simple: The lore-section the PCs can research shows that the wizard Tasril’s rooftop garden is generally considered the reason for this – but it goes one step further, as we note once we past the gorgeous b/w-map provided for the tower.
Speaking of gorgeous – the tower’s respective quarters and rooms are depicted in vivid prose that is well supplemented by 6 events and the same amount of rumors that allow a GM to customize the experience of PCs visiting the place, with further advice on staging a visit and determining the place’s role in a campaign helping the place to be easily inserted.
The fragrant tower also provides 3 unique items – a paste that allows targets to duplicate the smell of a target creature versus e.g. identification via sense of smell, candles that negate all odors and a thurible that protects against evil creatures, courtesy of the sandalwood fragranced smoke. Now, Tasril does get full stats and a detailed write-up, including mannerisms and appearacne – and yes, Tasril is a…special…man whose nature blends well with the topic and leitmotif of this place of power…and no, I am not going to spoil what he’s all about.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, as I’ve come to expect from Raging Swan Press. Layout adheres to RSP’s elegant two-column b/w-standard with awesome original artwork of Tasril and great cartography in b/w. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, with one intended for screen-use and one for print-use.
Jacob Trier’s fragrant tower is a furious first installment for the Places of Power-series, one that sees me stoked for future installment. Stepping, essentially, up to feel the gap of easily inserted vignettes left wide open since Rite Publishing stopped releasing Evocative City Sites, this place is concise, fun and a great little set-piece with quite some interesting adventuring potential. Furthermore, the items close a gaping hole in the rules, by tackling some basic issues of Perception via sense of smell. An all out great, inexpensive supplement, this is well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.