Village Backdrop: Carillon (5e)
This installment of RSP’s Village Backdrop-series is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look at the settlement!
You’ll hear Carillon before you see it. You’ll hear its bells, set on top of the bell tower, and arriving, you’ll hear the ever-present chimes ringing in, what many a traveler, would dub a deafening (or at least grating) cacophony. Yet, the folks of Carillon are happy, prosperous people, which reflected in the appearances and dressing habits, which are included alongside the nomenclature.
Apart from the noise, Carillon seems like a happy place, and PCs doing their proper legwork can confirm as much; heck, even the whispers and rumors seem to underline this notion. Largely self-sufficient and happy, if noisy, the 20 entries of dressing and events do a good job underlining the per se bucolic idyll. The three sample NPCs (all in Raging Swan Press’ usual, fluff-centric style, with personality, mannerisms and background noted) also are no villains. Notable bells for sale, a subtable of events and some suggested quests are provided, making the village behave in a dynamic manner.
The village comes with the individual items relegated to the proper places where they can be purchased – nice. The 5e-iteration makes proper use of 5e’s default NPC-stats, but adds no new features to them. A minor nitpick would be that I think that the constant noise would have warranted some global, rules-relevant effects, but that may be me.
…I know what you’re thinking. Why care about this place? Because there is something desperate about the noise. The constant ringing, clinging, chiming. There is something in the woods. It is known only as the Hush. It is not explained (GOOD CALL!) and it hates sound. In some way, the villagers could almost be called prisoners. Almost. This has some serious potential for use in a dark fantasy, regular fantasy, or horror scenario. From sentient silence to elder gods to specific creatures, this is wide open and just asks that you add your individual take. I love it for that.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP’s smooth, printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes with full bookmarks as well as a gorgeous map, of which you can, as always, download high-res jpegs if you join RSP’s patreon. We get pretty neat b/w-artwork. The pdf comes in two versions, with one being optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out.
Jacob W. Michaels delivers a great settlement – usable in a plethora of ways, Carillon is a prime example of how you can use overt and covert themes to build tension and adventuring angles; it’s also a good example of supplement that knows what to only hint at, and what to leave to the GM. In short, this is nigh perfect.
The 5e iteration of this supplement is akin to the PFRPG-version, in that I wished this had sported some global effects for the constant sound, but that is the only niggle I can properly field here. 5 stars.
You can get this great village here on OBS!
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