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    Execution Corner Pay What You Want
    Average Rating:3.7 / 5
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    Execution Corner
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    Execution Corner
    Publisher: GM Games
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 08/13/2018 03:38:42

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This little pdf clocks in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!

    This is essentially system neutral, sporting no rules-relevant components, but the supplement obviously works bets in quasi-medieval settings.

    Now, if you’re even halfway familiar with the history of the penal system, you will know that, at one point, we realized that basing a penal system solely on corporeal punishment, instead of focusing on reeducation and rehabilitation, would in the long run hurt society. I’m not going to bore you with a summary of Foucault’s Surveiller et Punir (Discipline and Punish), as pretty much every freshman gets to at least read a summary at one point; just let it be known that executions and corporeal punishment were routed in parts in the Christian notion of the world being a valley of tears to cross for a better afterlife – a notion we have thankfully, mostly, managed to at least lessen, courtesy of the wonderful advances of modern life.

    However, in fantasy gaming, this notion does indeed ring true – because it kinda is. Particularly if your world is pretty grim and down to earth, the medieval notion of life being short, painful and something to be endured while people die like flies makes sense. That being said, beyond the spectacle of execution, the executioner himself, much like butchers and those working on leather, traditionally were rather shunned. When, after a lifetime of diligent service, Nuremberg’s Meister Franz Schmidt managed to gain citizenship rights in the city, that was a truly impressive achievement. As an aside, I have read his journals (he taught himself to write), which are still available for insight in Bavaria, and they are worth reading. For the less academically-bent, I can wholeheartedly recommend “The Faithful Executioner” by Joel F. Harrington for insight into the profession and this fascinating character, but I digress.

    Unlike cities, most communities and villages had no resident executioners, often requiring that these folk travel through the rather unsafe roads from place to place, or sporting singular hangman’s cottages between the settlements, so that no settlement would have to necessarily count the hangman as one of its denizens. This pdf depicts one such rural set-up, with a hand-drawn full-color map (sans squares or other indicators of scale) depicting the execution site, the home of the executioner, as well as the little industry that sprang up around it: We learn about a baker selling bread on execution days, about an enterprising gentleman selling the ostensibly magical hair of the hanged, and about a tavern that has sprang up to cater to the folks that come to gawk. The nearby fields of the corrupt are where the executed are then buried in unmarked graves. Nearby creeks and woods are also explained, and 5 miscellaneous assorted facts provide further food for thought for the GM.


    Editing and formatting are pretty good on a formal level. Layout adheres to a no-frills two-column b/w-standard and manages to cram quite a lot of content on the one page. The map provided is nice, and while it does sport names for the depicted locales, no immersion-breaking numbers are provided. Big plus! The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.

    Tim Shorts is up to his A-game here. This humble pdf is fun, evocative and cool. While I really wished that Tim Shorts had spent a full-sized book on the subject matter and its vast, mostly untapped potential, this pdf provided a fun supplement. It’s not a pdf that will change your life, but it does its intended job well – as a PWYW-pdf, this is certainly worth leaving a tip! My final verdict will hence clock in at 4 stars.

    Endzeitgeist out.

    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Execution Corner
    Publisher: GM Games
    by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 12/15/2013 10:45:47

    In mediaeval times (indeed, probably later) executions were regarded as public entertainment as well as a warning to potential offenders, so this product equips you to present them in similar manner within your games.

    Just pick a rural but reasonably settled area in your campaign world and plop this in. There's a charming hand-drawn map showing the execution site, with the hangman's dwelling and an inn nearby, with a field in which the remains are buried. Just schedule an execution on a day the party comes by (or, knowing some characters, they may be more intimately involved!) and let the fun begin.

    Described simply yet vividly, we meet Willem the hangman, who takes pride in his work and gets really passionate on the subject of rope, and a couple of locals who peddle their wares on execution day. The innkeeper too, who does fine with passing trade but reckons any hanging is very good for business.

    Apart from a few rumours (local superstitions for the most part) that's it. A location, an interesting one, but you will have to supply your own adventures... but here's a unique location in which to have them.

    Perhaps the party has been tasked with getting there in time to prevent the hanging of someone who has been condemned by mistake, or they are escorting convicts on their final journey. Or they are just passing through, but someone approaches them for help... the possibilities are endless.

    [4 of 5 Stars!]
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