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    Urban Dressing: Temples $2.45
    Average Rating:4.0 / 5
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    Urban Dressing: Temples
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    Urban Dressing: Temples
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 05/04/2013 07:00:45

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    The latest installment in the Urban Dressing-series is 15 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so what do we get?

    Being a kind of temple-generator, this installment kicks off with a list of general appearances and characteristics - a total of 100 entries spanning two pages cover humble stone buildings,rose-scented airs, a smell of mildew and similar basic characteristics to expand. The next table, though, is where it gets interesting - once again, with 100 entries, though this time, each entry is devoted to a domain and provides e.g. silken scarves associated with lust, banners of nations for glory, dead flowers for decay etc. as domain-appropriate-decorations - glorious and something that could use even further expansion by offering yet more dressings for the respective domains - two thumbs up for this table.

    On the next page, we get 3 individual tables with 20 entries each: One for donations (good), one for tithing (neutral) and one for sacrifices. (Surprise: Evil!) Nice!

    Table D, though, is imho even better, providing a short run-down of service components, fixtures and temple-areas as well as providing you a 20-entry table on celebrations/festivals that can happen, from birth to death to sacred festivities. Neat!

    The last two pages are devoted strictly to a quick fluff-only clergy-in-a-hurry generator that works by first determining gender, then names via one of 20 d20 lists, races (common and uncommon) position (and a small box on titles) as well as 20 clothing, accessories, mannerisms and rumors about them. Again, if you use different nomenclatures for different races, this is completely useless in the name-department and takes up space I would have rather seen being devoted to more content for the temples.


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

    I'm torn on this one - on the one hand, I absolutely LOVE the table that assigns features by domains, the sample sacrifices and the quick festival generator. On the other hand, I consider the clergy generator's names just as useless as those featured in the installment of Traders and Craftsmen - as soon as you use different nomenclatures for different races, these lose all usefulness. Finally, I think that the pdf could have benefited from different temple-base structures - essentially the respective temples contained herein lack distinct shapes like "tower", "cathedral", "fortified monastery" and remain relatively ill-defined in general shape. For me, this is a mayor issue that massively detracts from the overall appeal of the file.

    What the pdf does right, is does gloriously right. What it doesn't do right...well, you get the idea. Depending on whether you want these features, this pdf could be a 5 stars-file for you or partially failing to live up to your expectation. So while, depending on what you're looking for, this might exactly be what you, I have to take this lack into account as well and in combination with the issues with the clergy-names consider a final verdict of 3 stars to be fair for this installment.

    Endzeitgeist out.

    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Creator Reply:
    I'm glad you liked some of the document and you can rest assured we've got the message about the random name generator. I'm pretty sure, Brian is planning something different for later instalments. Thanks for the review!
    Urban Dressing: Temples
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 04/16/2013 05:31:05

    The sheer importance of religion within day-to-day life in a fantasy world is often underestimated. Just think how central religion is to many folk in the real world - and our gods don't tend to indulge in the flash-bang obvious nature of your average fantasy deity... few fantasy characters would deny the existance of their world's deities, even if they are not interested in worshipping them!

    So, temples. Most deities expect worship, and regular organised worship needs a place in which the faithful can hold services, listen to sermons and get religious help and advice. In fantasy worlds, the temple can be a source of healing, perhaps a school, and certainly a place to get help if you need to deal with supernatural problems like the undead. But just as a mosque, a synagogue, a wat, a cathedral and a Mormon meeting house are quite different structures in the real world, so will each deity in your campaign world be venerated in quite different buildings. Here's a useful tool to aid you in designing some distinctive temples in which your deities can be worshipped.

    The first table lets you roll for (or choose) the basic structural design - and there's a full hundred options. Well, 99 - the last suggests you roll twice more and combine the results. You may want to make a choice based on the nature of the deity in question, but perhaps not - the organisation and priesthood that has developed around a given faith may have travelled a fair way from its origins. So you may have #80 - A majestic stone building with subtle gold engravings and purple wall hangings - despite the god worshipped there being a humble and caring weather-deity with no such pretensions! Once you have derived one temple for a given deity, you can also decide if this is the standard pattern for places of worship dedicated to that god - just as you'd never confuse a mosque with a Christian church, there may be some identifying characteristics if not a cookie-cutter similarity between temples of a certain god.

    Next, there is an intriguing list - I'm not calling this one a table because you'll want to choose not roll - of features you can add to your temple based on the domains appropriate to the deity in question. So in a temple of a Good god you might find a basket of provisions resting in the foyer, free for the taking while in a space dedicated to a deity of Wind upper windows are left open to provide a breeze for hanging chimes. It's a neat way to invoke the core beliefs in the very architecture of your temple.

    The next section is quite interesting too, looking at donations, tithings and sacrifices. Rather than the physical structure, here are suggestions about the services and offerings that a deity might demand of devotees, based on that deity's nature. They are grouped on an alignments basis, so a Good deity might call for you to say a prayer for the soul of an enemy, a Neutral one might want you to share a tale of wonder whilst an Evil one might only be satisfied with the blood of your parents! You can use these to begin to build up a picture not only of the temple you go to when you wish to worship whichever god you wrote down on your character sheet, but what you are going to do when you get there.

    This theme is continued in the next section, which looks at events, festivals and rites. This is a collection of ideas for activities, along with suggestions for areas within a temple and the sort of knick-knacks you might find there. Some events are based on the time of year or happenings in the community, others are more personal, the marking of milestones in an individual devotee's life.

    Finally, the last section is 'Clergy in a Hurry' - and rather than priests scurrying about robes flapping, this is designed to help you populate your temple ready for the characters' visit. There are tables for gender, race, name and position (along with a handy list of religious titles), and then you can also come up with what they are wearing, mannerisms, accessories and even the rumours about them. So, meet Umrbrige Yensel, a centaur bishop wearing silk vestments with jewels, with facial tattoos and a tendency to lay his hands on others' shoulders... and who is said to use old bath water when he cannot be bothered to consecrate holy water for the temple!

    All in all, this is a magnificent resource to make temples come to life in your campaign world.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
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