Let me tell you first, this is a very good book. As the first in the Portrait of a Villain serie, we already see that Nevermet Press is starting a bomb of a product line.
Portrait of a Villain is more than your run-of-the-mill compilations. It is not presented as a Monster Manual, an Adventure or a Class book, nor does it rely on any over-elaborate setting premisce who could be incompatible with your game. Instead, this is spun around a thematic question: Who is this villain, what is its agenda, who are its minions and who are its enemies. To answer these questions, we are granted a micro-setting: Highcourt, a city prosperous in its old time but now the host of a deadly web of criminals. Who seems to be the problem here? The Desire, a devillish temptress with grim projects for the City and its male nobility.
In a way, this reminds me of the Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 book titled Exemplars of Evil, who is still on my 4e bookshelf due to it being an undying source of inspiration. Much more than a simple adventure, The Desire is actually considered as a portable setting element, which guarantees that the entire product can be moved around a setting with little to no adaptation. In it you will find insight on the origins of her villainy, her modus operandi. You are also given short adventures (detailed encounters?) which revolves around her plans and their thwarting. In the rest of the book, Dungeon Masters are informed of organizations revolving around The Desire: her minions, her enemies, and their personal agendas.
"Physically" speaking, The Desire sports a very professional design, custom illustrations who really reflect the feel of both the villain and the encounters therein. It comes in two PDFs which are both vital for modern Dungeon Masters: a landscape, full-color PDF allows the tech-junkies in our rank to consult and comfortably read the book anywhere from a laptop to a desktop computer without suffering too much fatigue and having to scroll everywhere. The second PDF in the package is for those who want the use the product at their table or in the bus at low-cost without any computer shennanigans: this one comes in a black-and-white portrait layout, allowing for easy printing.
What I like the most is that this book is the work of many talented writers who all took inspiration in the basic character of The Desire and wrote up the different sections. This 53 pages ebook is a very inspirational read, packed with informations that make me look in anticipation to upcoming products of the same line. I'm very satisfied, and will do business again with Nevermet Press.
[5 of 5 Stars!]