This installment of what I’d tentatively call the “new” Urban Dressing-series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
Ah, the seedy underbelly of a town, the slums…where the reader is definitely glad that the 100 entries of sights and sounds can’t be transported via smell-o-vision: Cesspools, shady characters and examples of misery paint a vivid picture for DMs to utilize in their games…but of course, one should probably hire a guide from the 50 sample businesses when entering the slums…unless one wants to try one’s luck with the charlatans…or is down on one’s luck and in need of a moneylender.
Drug pits, sweat shops – in these squalid surroundings, it should come as no surprise that the 50 sample NPCs include a couple of individuals you definitely don’t want to meet…though net dancers with hearts of gold can be found amidst the dark and less than savory individuals. If this rich panorama of misery and people down on their luck is not enough, 20 adventure hooks, from escorting noble daughters slumming (perhaps to meet with a paramour from the lower class?) to tracking down escaped slaves provides fodder for any enterprising DM to develop into a cool, compelling story.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press’ 2-column b/w-standard and the artwork is thematically fitting b/w-stock. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions – one optimized for the printer and one optimized for screen-use.
I can’t emphasize enough how much this series has prospered under Josh Vogt’s guidance – whereas the first “season” of Urban Dressing was hit and miss, this evocative pdf provides more than a bit of great flavor – it is captivating, compelling, immersive. It breathes the grand flavor of dark fantasy novels and the muddy streets, the labyrinthine alleys and crannies seem to jump from these pages, rendering this installment, even among the more recent UDs, as a stand-out, brilliant example, one I will, without any hesitation or doubt, award 5 stars + seal of approval -if your PCs like the seedier parts of town, this is a must-have supplement!