EZG reviews Village Backdrops: Agravaine’s Rest
This latest installment of the Village Backdrop-series is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?
In the wilderness, nestled as the last stop before the mountain pass, lies Agravaine’s rest in the mouth of the pass – an unlikely place: Both the holy (grave-)site of the death of fabled paladin Agravaine and the settlement his half-orc squire erected, the place is now run by the descendant of the squire (the half-orc fighter 9 Chagruk) and stands as a bastion of civilization before the wilderness and as a haven for half-breeds, whether they be of elven, orcish or ogre-descent.
5 events, 6 rumors, a village statblock, a market-place entry and a lore-section as well as a recount of Agravaine’s life (and death by the machinations of his succubus nemesis) are provided in here as well – on a downside, one minor logic glitch is also in here – servants of the succubus are guarding the tomb without harassing pilgrims. The thing is, one would expect the respective pilgrims (some of which are bound to be casters/adventurers) to notice said guardians. An easily ignored issue, though.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to raging Swan Press’ no-frills standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience and in two versions, with one being optimized for screen-use and one for the printer. On RSP’s homepage, you can download printer-friendly versions of the neat b/w-map.
Agravaine’s Rest is a cool settlement – the holy site trope mixed with being an outpost in the darkness as well as the uncommon demographics of the town mean that a visit to the place should provide some nice options for adventuring, especially if the PCs want to claim the paladin’s regalia. That being said, there could be a tad bit more crunch in here and overall, the village offers a bit less in the interactions of the notable personalities in here – a tad bit more potential for conflict/intrigue would have been neat here as would have a more logical explanation of the guardians. That being said, I’m nitpicking and author Colleen Simpson did deliver a cool village here, one well worth 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4, just short of the apex – congratulations for a great first entry for Raging Swan, may there be more to come!