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    Urban Dressing: Borderland Town $2.45 $1.84
    Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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    Urban Dressing: Borderland Town
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    Urban Dressing: Borderland Town
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 12/19/2014 05:11:00

    An Endzeitgeist.com review

    This installment of what I'd tentatively call the "new" Urban Dressing-series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let's take a look!

    First: What do I mean by "new" Urban Dressing? Well, the first run of the series had a certain hit-and-miss quality; It endeavored to take components of the city and use the Dressing-formula to depict them. Alas, cities are complex and organic and the success not always guaranteed. Then, with a certain pirate town, the series changed - away from describing a single component (like a park/temple etc. and failing to take some moving bit or another into account), instead focusing on a general theme and the means for the DM to evoke this theme. This, then would be the third of.these new Urban Dressings.

    We begin our trek through the Borderland Town with a table of sights and sounds one may encounter - spanning two pages and featuring drunken warrior, mercenaries, heads mounted on iron spikes and similar portents of a harsh environment, we have quite an array of great mood set pieces.

    The second table sports sample businesses - from inns with great food, but drafty rooms to torchlighter guilds, places for convalescence etc., the 50-entry strong table sports an array of businesses whose very presence in a town may well spark an adventure hook! If you're like me, you have a couple of key NPCs when designing a town, those you require for a given adventure to work, and then create red herrings and common folk (which you develop later) - well, this pdf takes some of that work off your shoulders, with 50 sample folk in a table, all sporting a cosmetic peculiarity or a special mannerism that helps make them distinct, while also featuring race and suggested level/class in brackets.

    Finally, we receive a table of 20 hooks and complications for those times you really had no time whatsoever to prepare anything - alarm bells, providing covert-ops intelligence on the town's militia or dead soldiers of a neighboring kingdom - there are plenty of different ways to develop each of them.


    Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press' 2-column b/w-standard and the artwork is thematically fitting b/w-stock. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions - one optimized for the printer and one optimized for screen-use.

    Josh Vogt's take on Borderland Towns, at least for me, leaves nothing to be desired - atmospheric, studded with easily implemented, yet never generic (at least in the derogative meaning of the word) entries, this installment of Urban Dressing is extremely useful.

    Now, personally, I would have liked to see at times a clearer distinction between borderland themes versus ones that could be applied to frontier's towns, but that may just be me being terribly nitpicky. This pdf is , useful, fun and well worth a final rating of 5 stars, just short of my seal of approval.

    Endzeitgeist out.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Urban Dressing: Borderland Town
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 07/24/2014 12:05:28

    Borderland towns have great potential for adventure in themselves, as well as being a useful jumping-off point for adventure in lands beyond... somewhere to gather rumours and supplies if nothing else.

    So, how to make it more interesting than a stop at the supermarket? Try this book for a start.

    In the style common to many Raging Swan Press books, this work consists of several tables covering different aspects that might apply to, in this case, a borderland town. Reading through them is recommended, you will find ideas spawning as you do so; but if you are in a hurry rolling dice and using whatever you come up with generally works well too.

    The first table is Sights and Sounds, and is good for setting the scene and making the place come alive in your player's minds as you describe it. There's a full hundred sights and sounds... and the odd smell... any of which could lead to a whole side-adventure of their own if you (and the party) choose to follow it up.

    Next up is a fine list of Businesses. For many parties, coming into town is for the purpose of conducting business: now it can be a lot more than selling loot and purchasing supplies, new weapons and armour and so on. This is followed by a collection of Folk of Interest. They might be who the party has come to see, they might have a job for them... or they might merely be sitting at the next table in the inn and strike up a casual conversation.

    Finally, if you want to make things really interesting for the party, grab a d20 and roll on Hooks, Complications and Opportunities. This is a mixed bag of events that will involve them, like it or not, in the ongoing life of the town. Poisoned wells, invasions of rats or enemies, offers of money and strange events... about the only thing missing is an earthquake!

    The party will never forget their next visit to town!

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
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