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    Whispers & Rumours: Borderland $3.99
    Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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    Whispers & Rumours: Borderland
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    Whispers & Rumours: Borderland
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 05/11/2013 04:00:10

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This pdf is 23 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 16 pages of content, so let's take a look!

    First: Read the foreword - after that, we're in for a table that features modifiers for available settlement lore by size, a d8-table to determine the category of rumour gleaned and a table of miscellaneous lore-modifiers when gathering information. After that, we kick off this pdf with 4 different rumormongers, i.e. short fluffy descriptions of the characters that include mannerisms, hooks etc., but not statblocks. Nice indeed!

    The first table, ranging from -11 (possible via locations/modifiers) to 29, we get a massive list of rumors related to free booters and adventurers, including snakeoil salesmen and adventurer-parties and even half-fiendish pilgrims redeemed. (Though rumors describing a group as "fiendish-looking" is not one I'd use, preferring euphemisms...)

    The next massive table, covering Events & Festivals from -11 to 29 is next and I LOVE it - "Every day is all souls night here, my friend." -That's one entry. Chilling! Awesome! Monthly town meetings, soothsayer traditions, days devoted to local saints, lotteries - this table is GLORIOUS.

    The table on legends & lore, again covering this many entries, kicks off with a rather lam "This land is cursed"-rambling, but goes on to become much better, telling local stories of famous grand-fathers, apothecaries selling narcotics to an elite clientele or exciting us with the mystery of a missing bronze statue.

    Of course, a massive table containing gossip on lords and ladies - new wings for mansions, scandalous behavior and secret tunnels as well as art competitions are all over the place - in a good way. Where the high and mighty get their table, so do the scum & lowlifes, providing rumors for the less prestigious and shady facets of life before we delve into yet another massive table on rumors, this time dealing with magic and wonders, mentioning a wide variety of items and spells, like an e.g. hidden universal solvent bottle, an option to complete the research of a mad wizard to create the new Troglodyte Stench-spell and there's also a nice little new cantrip.

    The final table covers marauders and dangers - goblin armies as well as escaped convicts that had their gallows burst into flames should make for cool hooks - including an easteregg tying e.g. rumor to the Brethren of the Crimson Altar. Nice!


    Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's 2-column, printer-friendly 2-column-b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one for print.

    Eureka! Raging Swan has with this first offering a VERY HOT iron in the works - Landon Bellavia's collection of whispers and rumors not only brings inspiration galore and hooks in abundance, but can add depth and a sense of organic feeling to any campaign - these tables are varied, useful and a godsend of details for any DM. Useful and oh so nice, this series, if its first release is any indicator, has the potential to become one of my favorite ones yet - superbly useful, nice and all-out awesome, I'll happily rate this 5 stars + seal of approval and heartily recommend it to any DM seeking to add a little spice to his/her campaign.

    Endzeitgeist out.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Creator Reply:
    I'm delighted you enjoyed Whispers & Rumours. Rest assured there are more in the pipeline!
    Whispers & Rumours: Borderland
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 04/09/2013 11:09:14

    Do you ever find that your mind goes totally blank when the characters roll into town and strike up conversations with the locals to find out what's going on? Or worse, all you can think about is the next adventure you intend to run so that every rumour is about that adventure - the only variety being that some are true and others are not!

    Help is at hand, in the shape of some ready-crafted gossip and rumours that you can sprinkle around with gay abandon without running the risk of derailing your plot... and into which you can weave the pointers to said plot without giving them undue emphasis. So if you have characters in your game who are assiduous at gathering local information whenever they get the chance (unlike one party I had many years ago who'd walk up to the first person they saw and asked directions to the roughest part of town, went there and started a brawl!) you will now have something to serve up to them.

    It's designed to be used with random die rolls, but you could of course bypass that and have your locals talk about whichever rumours interest you... but here I think the random approach is best, even if you roll ahead of time and know what will be talked about when the characters strike up a conversation.

    To start with, there are a host of modifiers to apply to the characters' Diplomany checks to work out how many rumours there are to unearth, and further rolls to decide what type of rumours are to be had. To add life to it all, a few local gossips are provided, complete with statblocks and notes on playing them.

    Then comes a whole bunch of tables based on what type of rumour you are looking for: rumours about other adventurers, about local events and festivals, about local legends, about local nobility and so on. Each is replete with quite detailed tales that the local gossips will fall over themselves to share. Now, are they true? That's for you to decide and the characters to figure out for themselves. Many could spawn adventures of their own, and it will be a trivial task to weave similar tales regarding adventure seeds or other information that your plot requires the characters to discover and insert them seamlessly into the flow of gossip their inquiries will generate.

    Like all true gossip, much has a harsh edge to it. The characters will have to decide if the harshness is justified. You could have fun making up a few rumours in similar vein about the characters, especially if they are known in the area. Twist it just enough that they will wonder if it is about them or someone else...

    As a bonus, there are a couple of new spells as well... along with the rumours that will lead curious mages to discover them! An interesting addition to the well-prepared GM's bookshelf.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
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