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    Urban Dressing: The Watch $2.45
    Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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    Urban Dressing: The Watch
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    Urban Dressing: The Watch
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 12/10/2013 03:22:28

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This installment of the Urban Dressing-series is 15 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 10 pages of content - quite a bunch, so let's take a look, shall we?

    The first table is 36 entries strong and provides a wide selection of cool personalities for rank and file watchmen - some warriors, some commoners, some experts - and all intriguing. A good start! That's not where all stops, though - we also get 15 informants/watchers from the common populace, all with the respective quirks phrased within the confines of their table-entries and adding a surprising quality to the entries.

    A total of 23 different entries follow the same general scheme and introduce us to higher ups among the watchmen (and women) that run the gamut from diligent and kind, but loud dwarven man who shouts - constantly, to corrupt, fattened bastards in the pay of local crime-lords, we get a surprising amount of excellent fluffy write-ups.

    After these, we get a crunchy break-up of the tables by getting some sample patrols lined out as well as three statblocks to use for standard watchmen, sergeants and captains - per se cool. But why don't their statblocks at least a rope or some handcuffs, a way to enforce submission from criminals and escort them to the cells? At least for me, that's a minor nitpick and a bit of a logic glitch.

    The final entry of the pdf is a massive 50 entries long and provides a wide array of hooks - from unrequited love to rat infestations, these hooks provide fodder galore for DMs to have PCs interact in various ways with the watch.


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

    Author Josh Vogt has created some rather cool tables here, ones with excessive levels of information and local color to add to interactions with the guard. Now that being said, this pdf is, in spite of its overall very high quality and density not perfect - for one, a breakdown of watches by teams as per the Ultimate Campaign-rules would have been nice to simulate PCs leading the watch, for example, as would have been an army statblock for a watch to simulate long-term combat with guilds as a whole. Now don't get me wrong- in spite of the lack of thunderstones, handcuffs etc., this still is a good offering that is sure to see quite some use, but it could have used a tad more tactics/Ultimate Campaign support or just uncommon tactics to truly become legendary. As such, I feel justified in recommending this pdf at a solid 4 stars.

    Endzeitgeist out.

    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Urban Dressing: The Watch
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 10/17/2013 06:05:04

    Whether you run a lot of urban adventures or merely let the characters visit larger settlements occasionally to replenish supplies and sell loot, the average bunch of adventurers will at some point attract the attention of the Watch. Precursors of modern police, these were more or less organised civic-funded guardians of law and order, or at least keepers of the peace, patrolling the streets to maintain order and keep the place safe for honest inhabitants to go about their business unmolested. Paid by the community, they generally see their role as looking after the townspeople who pay them and visiting adventurers may not always get the benefit of the doubt...

    The first table is designed to help you flesh out a watch patrol, with around 50 individuals each given a quick pen-picture you can use to describe the people the characters see or encounter. An excellent time-saver, and providing great scope for role-play, bringing encounters to life and empowering true interaction rather than the odd growled word leading to a brawl. Depending on your party, any meeting with the Watch might lead to a brawl... but if a conversation might result you now have something to base it on.

    The next table provides some of the 'informants and watchers' that members of the Watch deal with on a daily basis. Perhaps the party will also find them useful sources of information or - if the adventurers are up to no good - they may be watching and informing on them! Again, all those little details that spice up role-play and interaction.

    Common watchmen need commanders, and the next table provides the same level of detail on those who lead them. Most are around 3rd-level (as opposed to the mostly 1st- and 2nd-level ones of the first two tables) and the list includes some memorable characters who will be loved or feared by Watchmen and others alike.

    Next up is a collection of the experts and specialists who either work for the Watch or at least can be called upon at need. Some have specialist knowledge such as a reformed smuggler who now helps track smugglers down, others provide healing to injured Watchmen or interrogate suspects... and some are just interesting characters which you can use as you see fit.

    A neat page providing information on how to set up watch patrols comes next - looking at likely numbers depending on township size and perceived threat - and providing generic stat blocks for captains, sergeants and ordinary watchmen to fill out the details given in the previous tables with the game mechanics necessary should a fight break out or other tasks need to be resolved.

    Finally there's a table called Hooks, Complications and Opportunities, providing a wealth of resources to create realistic encounters - after all, the Watch do not stand around waiting for the next party of adventurers to arrive. Some of the events listed are designed to cause trouble for the party, others may lead to employment opportunities.

    Overall an extremely useful piece especially if you like city-based adventures.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
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