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    Wilderness Dressing: Castles $2.45
    Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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    Wilderness Dressing: Castles
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    Wilderness Dressing: Castles
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 12/12/2013 04:12:38

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This installment of the Wilderness Dressing-series is 14 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

    Soooo. Castles - while a general first idea would liken them to fortified bastions breathing medieval air, the truth is that this término ombrellone contains more than fairy-tale castles, but also smaller fortified manors, chapels with living spaces and similar structures - hence the first table of small castles, with a total of 50 entries depicting a wide variety of them, even including lighthouses, star-shaped fortresses emblazoned with tiger and dragon carvings.

    The second table of the pdf is 50 entries strong as well, containing castles with buildings interlocking like a puzzle, ones featuring giant domes and even inconspicuous castles that masquerade as ruins - the rubble is essentially just acting as a coat for the true castle. Now that's an interesting idea!

    Of course, that's not all - beyond the general appearance/layout of the castle in question, we get a table sporting 100 entries to act as dressings for the castles - and they are truly imaginative: From all building sporting glass roofs to patrolling wildcats, fist-sized gems littering the courtyard and weird shrieks, we have quite an array of options available at our beck and call here. Have I mentioned the massive chandelier suspended in air? Sandy gardens with palm trees that clash with the climate? Once again, this table delivers imaginative, intriguing, inspiring concepts galore.

    Beyond these, we also get a table of 100 sample names for castles - from Chateau Miserable (which, the language pedant in me notes, should be Château Misérable...) to Canderburne or Solace-in-turmoil - all in all, a solid selection of imaginative names, though I can't get over the missing accent circonflexe in every instance of the word "Château" - and yes, I'm aware that the word has been anglicized, but in combination with "misérable" (which of course might be referring to the regular English adjective), the French version just feel more "right" to me - try to say it out loud if you don't believe me. But again, that is just me being anal-retentive and should not be seen as a detriment to the product's quality.

    The final page of this supplement contains 12 different hooks and complications - including mysteriously empty castles, traitorous garrison-members etc. and a final list provides 20 names of the respective lords of the castle (as well as information on race, gender and class).


    Editing and formatting, as I've come to expect from Raging Swan Press, is top-notch. I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's elegant 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out. Both come fully bookmarked for your convenience.

    Eric Hindley has a terribly difficult legacy with this product - Mike Welham's installment on "Primal Forests" was simply awesome in every conceivable way. That being said, I went into this pdf with lowered expectations. I shouldn't have. Eric Hindley delivers intriguing 1-sentence hooks that ignite the imagination of the reader with vivid prose breathing at times the spirit of the fantastic or fairy-tales, while in other instances providing down-to-earth grounded "realistic" hooks - this pdf is more than a welcome addition to the series and manages to keep up the superb level of quality I've come to expect from Wilderness Dressings. Final verdict? 5 stars + seal of approval! Congratulations!

    Endzeitgeist out.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Wilderness Dressing: Castles
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 10/03/2013 06:09:55

    Picture any mediaeval landscape... it's dotted with castles! From little fortified towers to the big ones that housed entire armies (or monarchs), they are a firm favourite amongst those wealthy and strong enough to build and maintain them. Even in a fantasy world where powerful magic can make stone fortifications less of a defence than they were in real-world history, they still have their uses.

    This handy product provides no less than SIX tables to help you scatter realistic castles across your campaign world, be they ones the party want to visit or merely those seen on a hilltop in the distance. Roll on them or pick something that takes your fancy.

    The first table, Small Castles, gives around 50 options for small fortifications that you might encounter. Some are as little as "A reinforced gateway straddles a road leading through a densely wooded region" whilst others are more substantial or even a bit strange (someone who uparmoured his manor house by hanging lots of shields on the walls...).

    If that's not sufficient, head on to Table B: Large Castles. Again, there are some 50 different ones to choose from. Then you can look at the next table, Castle Dressing, for added snippets of description that make whatever castle you have chosen come to life - there's a full one hundred of them.

    Next comes another table with an hundred names - there's always going to be at least one character who wants to know what every last place they come to is named. Should the party decide to pay a visit, there is a table of 12 plot hooks so they have the chance of some adventure whilst there - the castle may be under attack, holding a festival or an execution or perhaps the party finds that they are the answer to the inhabitants' prayers for some adventurers to deal with a problem!

    Finally, more names, this time for whoever is in charge. Hey presto, instant castles, complete with all the details that make them sound part of the fabric of your campaign world.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
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