This little pdf clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
The town of Brighton was founded by the explorer Jandor Windsong almost 400 years ago and is under the auspice of the crown of Bryndell. Situated in fertile, flat farmland it features the tower of the wizard Alhoon and is now the home of slightly more than 3000 souls. To the west of the town, the fungal-infested forest and quartz laden mountains are homes to ogres and similarly dread creatures, providing ample adventuring potential…particularly since, in the past, the town was indeed sacked by said threats and a kind of hero worship for driving them back should satisfy the “for glory” aspect of the good ole’ “for gold and glory”-adventurer motivation.
In case you didn’t get that – this town is firmly situated in the Shattered Skies campaign setting that represents the default for Wayward Rogues Publishing-supplements and thus, ethnicities and languages also adhere to what you can find in the setting. It should be noted that the town can easily be transplanted to other settings, though.
The town’s notable NPCs are provided alongside a rather nice, hand-drawn full-color map of the settlement and the accompanying statblock does its work rather well. In a minor, purely aesthetic nitpick, the formatting of the town’s statblock (and that of the creature and haunt) could be a bit more distinct in their separation of the respective parts – the lack of space between lines can make the pdf feel a bit crammed, but that also means you’ll get quite a lot of text herein.
No less than 5 taverns can be found within the confines of this settlement and each features a reasonably detailed little write-ups, with some nice adventuring potential and solid prose accompanying the establishments. As a nitpick: There would be a lower-case skill-reference, but that’s once again cosmetic. Do not expect menu-level of detail here, though. Beyond these, 8 more points of interest are provided in sufficient detail to make the town come alive, though reading this made me realize how spoiled Raging Swan Press’ settlements made me – I would have loved to see some more notes on local customs, nomenclature, clothing habits, etc. – but that’s just me being a spoiled brat of a reviewer.
Now where this pdf goes one step beyond what Raging Swan press offers is with the unique creature, The Beast of Bright Mountain Valley, which has haunted the region for centuries – Knowledge-checks with detailed information help when researching this adversary (though the notation of the Knowledge-skills deviates from the standard). If you want to know: CR 4/MR 2 mythic howler. The beast is cool, but on a formal level, it has some hiccups: A number of abilities aren’t properly bolded and lack their type and one points to circumstances listed in the monster’s statblock, which are, alas, not listed there.
Beyond this critter, the pdf also contains a flavorful haunt born from the execution of a princess by an ogre, which still can manifest in a certain alley. However, once again there is a small hiccup, namely a spell-reference that has not been italicized. Pretty cool: The 10 rumors come with a surprising level of detail and questions asked about sheriff, wizard and similar things going on (like illegal monster fights!) actually come with read-aloud text, something GMs less adept at improvising the like will appreciate.
Editing and formatting do show that this was the first town offering of the company – there are, particularly in formatting, some deviations from the standard that are unnecessary and the creature’s statblock could have used some editing. Layout adheres to a rather nice and professional-looking two-column full-color standard, though, and the pdf actually features several unique full-color pieces alongside nice full color cartography. The pdf has no bookmarks, which constitutes a minor comfort detriment.
Robert Gresham’s Brighton (with additional writing by Ewan Cummins and Jessica Carson) is a well-written little town; the prose is nice and the quality of the map alone warrants the download in my book. You see, there is one crucial fact I failed to mention so far – this little town is FREE. While I’d usually harp more on the hiccups here and there, free books, ultimately, are hard to beat. If you’re looking for formal perfection, you probably won’t be too satisfied here; if, on the other hand, you want to read some nice prose and get a neat map to boot, I’d suggest downloading this little pdf – it’s worth the space on your HD. hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.
You can get this nice town for FREE here on OBS!