[Review] Village Backdrop: Bossin
By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Raging Swan Press clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page advice for novice DMs on how to read statblocks, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
Bossin, unlike the other village backdrops, may ring a bell with some of you: Indeed, the village can be found in the Free Lonely Coast pdf by Raging Swan Press and is the first to detail a village there since the excellent Swallowfeld supplement. If you’re familiar with the series, you’ll notice that the village’s depiction has been streamlined: Going beyond demographics/village statblocks, we get notable folk, locations and items available at the market place all rolled up on one page – all necessary information for the DM, neatly packaged and tied up. Neat!
Following the format of the series, we also get lore-section, an original b/w-map, 6 sample rumours and information on villager dress and nomenclature. Statblock-wise, we get 1 for villagers, one for thugs and one for a half-goblin spy as well as one for the village’s corrupt adventurer-turned-reeve, Jacca Lander, who is not only in league with goblinoids, but actually holds the whole village in a kind of extortion ring, terrorizing the poor populace and extorting what meagre gains the village has from its lumber and slate resources.
Add to that spurned love and 6 sample events and we have rising tensions in a powder-keg of a village, all waiting to erupt – and adventuring opportunities aplenty.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP’s crisp, no-frills standard and the cartography for the village is awesome. Speaking of cartography – you can download the map of the village as a high-res jpeg in two versions, one of them sans keys and numbers on the raging swan homepage – great customer service. The pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out, both of which come fully bookmarked.
Bossin is a nice, idyllic village under a brutal sway of bullies and will make for a great low-level proving ground for adventurers, with opportunities to shake off the yoke of the oppressors, be heroic etc. – all in all, a nice village for a very affordable price and while in concept not quite as awesome/uncommon as Apia, still a great addition to the line. Lacking any sustainable complaints, I’ll happily award this pdf 5 stars, omitting my seal of approval only because Apia has set the bar so high.
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