Village Backdrop: Laewas (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!
Laewas, at first glance, looks like your run-of-the-mill farmer’s village – a bit ramshackle and decayed, maybe, but nothing special. At first glance. Village life continues – wives walk the streets, carpenters work, parents shepherd their playing children. The inhabitants laugh and gossip in the sun. There is a single elf, and some halflings roam the streets.
The usual information provided does enhance this sense of normalcy – the dressing habits and nomenclature, all here. We get the by now traditional lore than may be unearthed by savvy players, we get the whisper and rumor table. The 5e version does not have a marketplace section.
There’s just one thing that tarnishes the bucolic idyll: All of Laewas’ inhabitants are ghosts. And while the promiscuous and bawdy youth are having a good time, the truth of the town is sinister – its spirits are trapped in a loop; not exactly capable of moving on, not exactly capable of fulfilling their tasks. The ghosts do not know what ended their lives, but crafty PCs may well discern the truth as they explore the village – which btw. includes notes on what the ghosts can and can’t do, as well as 7 keyed locations, all of which feature their own read-aloud section.
4 sample NPCs are included in Raging Swan Press’ classic fluff-only depiction, and from the corn jungle to the other locales, there is plenty to unearth. The village’s dressing/event table deserves special recommendation here, as a couple of entry, such as the ghosts of wild dogs, help PCs logically exclude some potential phenomena.
SPOILER-Warning! Potential players should jump ahead to the conclusion.
The supplement does include a properly-depicted artifact as well, which the local wizard used. Yeah. Oh all the cool potential explanations…it’s “A wizard did it.” *sigh* In 5e, the burst of necrotic energy that caused this…is also pretty pitiful regarding its damage-output.
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. The pdf comes in two versions, with one being optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out.
Jeff Gomez’ oddly alive ghost town is a cool angle. I very much enjoyed this village. The solution of the phenomenon is a bit of a disappointment, and seeding various possible means to explain the phenomenon might have been smarter, but that is me complaining at a high level. This still is a good settlement, if one that falls a bit flat of the vast potential its cool angle has. The 5e version is a solid conversion. My final verdict will be 4 stars.
You can get this village here on OBS.
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