[Review] Vathak Times for Shadows over Vathak
By Thilo Graf
The first issue of Vathak Times from Fat Goblin Games is 5 pages long, 1 page being devoted to SRD, leaving 4 pages of content, so what are these?
The idea per se of this line of products is great – clothing new content, hooks etc. in the guise of a pseudo-newspaper of the Vathak-setting. As such, it starts with a letter from the front-lines of the war against the spawn of the Old Ones that comes with a new feat that lets you ready an action as a move action to extend your shield bonus to your adjacent ally for one attack. Nice idea!
As a newspaper, it also features an open invitation to a Grand Ball as well as local news that act as adventure-hooks -with one hook of a cannibalistic killer being especially interesting – the crime has been already solved, the culprit awaiting execution – but is he guilty? Meanwhile, the Grand Grigorian library is closed due to an outbreak of book blight (a new disease) transmitted by strange insect-faeces.
There also is an article inciting the flames of racial hatred, asking for the extermination of the Bhriota-ruins and their runes, as it ties them to the Old Ones. Again, a neat hook! Another cool idea is the horoscope, which gives those born in the corresponding month a bonus – this time, it is Septembrie. Have I mentioned the weather forecast? Sir Timothy’s emporium sells an elite crossbow as well as a coat that doubles as a quiver.
The issue also features a new CR 4 monster, the Death Hound – a predator that is especially adept at dispatching downed foes. Per se a cool creature with an excellent b/w-artwork I didn’t expect to see in such an inexpensive pdf.
Editing and formatting is actually rather good – I didn’t notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to a 2-column, newspaper-style b/w-standard and the b/w-artworks are neat indeed. the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
Consider me impressed – this pdf provides ample good ideas for the DM to develop, professionally-presented content and nice hooks: All for a very fair price and without any of the glitches that sometimes haunt the releases of Fat Goblin Games. Hence, a well-deserved rating of 5 stars for the first issue of Vathak Times.
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