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    Urban Dressing: Sages $2.45
    Average Rating:4.3 / 5
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    Urban Dressing: Sages
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    Urban Dressing: Sages
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 04/25/2014 10:50:09

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This installment of the Urban Dressing-series is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

    The supplement wastes no time (or space) and provides us first a list of 50 entries that cover the general look of a sage's domain: Small shrines, winking fiancés, strangely old back doors, trees decorated with ornaments containing scribblings of an ancient language - a solid table, though one lacking in something truly weird.

    The interior of the respective places are also covered: From neatly organized scrolls, to steins and desks bolted to the floor, we have quite an array of different dressings to lend an air of mystique alongside a sense of normalcy to the respective locales. A d20 table of whispers and rumors further enhances your options regarding the sage in question - from being actually of another race to bitter disputes with rival sages or being a poet operating under a nom de plume - some solid ideas here.

    There also are 20 rather complex hooks and complications regarding sages: What if the local sage ahs recently passed away and now agents from all around the world are on the hunt for said sages' maps and notes - they might lead to long-forgotten treasures/nations/sites. Extremely awesome, since it takes the peculiarity of the installment into account, would be a short d6-table to check whether a given sage is actually available - perhaps the guy is not waiting for PCs to come around and earn a living! Two thumbs up - its small tables like this dealing with the unique topic that make dressing-files so much more useful!

    We conclude this supplement with 10 short fluff-only entries (including hooks, mannerisms etc.) of sample sages, partially experts, partially PC-classes, all versatile. Nice to see here is that the evil sages among them actually are not gibbering psychos, but people with severe character flaws - two thumbs up for that! All too often, CE in a statblock means totally bonkers, while here, the character in question is actually fully functional.


    Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press' elegant b/w-two-column standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience and in two versions - one optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out. The thematically-fitting b/w-artworks fit the theme.

    Brian Fitzpatrick's take on Sages at first didn't wow me - the tables depicting the outside of the respective shops are nice, yes, but not too exciting. Then, the pdf turned things up a notch and actually gets rather cool. Now I'm biased here: Scholars are vain and eccentric and have esoteric interests - so where are the ticks, the obsession/specialty of the respective sages? Where is the table that tells you that a sage is particularly interested in the nature-magic-channeling capabilities of the honeybee? Or perhaps the scholar is particularly invested in the discussion of whether global imprisonment-spells cast on all evildoers would end the threat of the abyss and the moral implications of such actions? Perhaps s/he is particularly obsessed with a certain poet/genre/occurrence? Perhaps he only writes with giant eagle quills? So much potential, none realized - a table of actual preferred pursuits for the sages would have made this so much more awesome and could also be used to indirectly characterize the sage in combination with the exterior/interior tables - as written, the titular sages are rather scarce in the pdf. This dressing-pdf works superb in crafting the surrounding of the sage, but the personal touch the pdf would require for indirect characterization is curiously absent.

    Which is a pity, for this pdf is very close to being actually superb in what it tries to do and misses the mark by a margin. In the end, this dressing is anything but bad, but also fails to be truly excellent and feels a bit lacking. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at a final verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 for the purpose of this platform.

    Endzeitgeist out.

    [3 of 5 Stars!]
    Urban Dressing: Sages
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 12/12/2013 09:51:40

    Sometimes the party will come into town in search of information, sometimes there are questions to be answered... and one often-neglected resource is the sage. Too often characters wander aimlessly around whilst their players make 'Gather Information' checks and just assume that the information they seek will pop out at them. Now let their inquiries lead them to the source of some quality information: a sage with appropriate knowledge.

    The first table has suggestions for suitable housing/offices for local sages, with separate sections for the exterior appearance - to use as the party arrives - and the interior, for once they get inside. This is all flavour, window-dressing, but it all helps make your sages sound like they are a integral part of the community rather than something you've just thought up when the party suggested visiting a sage.

    The next table is quite interesting - rumours that the party might pick up about the sage as they roam the town seeking information or perhaps looking for where the local sage lives. Many of these suggest possible side-adventures to embroil them in...

    The final table is one of hooks, complications and opportunities - all further grist to your adventure-devising mill - and there's a subtable to see if the sage is busy, out or has time to consult with the party.

    But there's more, a collection of fully-developed sample NPC sages all ready for you to use.

    Overall, a treat is here, a way to make information gathering an integral part of the game rather than a few die rolls followed by an info-dump from behind the GM's screen.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Creator Reply:
    Thanks very much for the review, Megan! I much appreciate it.
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