Places of Power: Fraywrack (5e)
This installment of the Places of Power-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
On a lonesome shore of rocky headland, known as the Harpy’s Head, there lies the wrecked ruin of an erstwhile powerful ship – and it conceals an alliance most peculiar: You see, a flight of harpies has lured the vessel ashore – but the wreck contains no signs of slaughter, but rather an impromptu war-camp, for the harpies thus forcefully recruited the crew of survivors as soldiers in their desperate fight against Dagon and his strange, deformed minions that rise from the depth in a truly unique coalition.
Following the tradition of the series, we do get notes on Lore and the appearance of local folk, as well as the nomenclature employed. The 6 events and rumors further enhance this unique constellation of characters – from harpies not being too keen to be forced to play with their food to drunken sailors, there is an intrinsic tension that suffuses the set-up that, by means of its very definition, is upset by the arrival of PCs.
On the formal end of the spectrum, we have two entries among the NPCs that clearly are remnants from the system-neutral edition, mentioning the thief and magic-user classes instead of a 5e-NPC/monster-statblock. Big plus: We do actually get a properly converted Marketplace-section for the 5e-version, so big kudos there!
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious glitches apart from the aforementioned oversights. Layout adheres to raging Swan Press’ elegant two-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience. The b/w-artworks are amazing pieces. The pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one optimized to be printed out. The cartography by Maciej Zagorski is well-made and in b/w. Supporters of Raging Swan Press’ patreon can get access to a player-friendly, key-less version of the map, at least to my knowledge.
Jacob W. Michaels’ Fraywrack s creative, cool and unique – the idea is simple, but the execution is frankly inspired and chock-full with roleplaying potential. In short: This is an amazing offering and a great example for the cool things you can do with the Places of Power-formula. The minor hiccups do hurt this, but only in the formal criteria – hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.
You can get this cool environment here on OBS!
You can directly support Raging Swan Press here on patreon!