My name is Thilo, but you probably know me from some boards and my rampant reviewing under the screen name Endzeitgeist. Lou has been so kind as to offer me an account on his blog to post my reviews and make a general nuisance out of myself.
I plan to post a best-of of my reviews here and do whatever else should be required of me. Apart from selling my soul, that is. Been there, done that. ;)
I'll start my humble series of posts here by answering a question that might be interesting in these turbulent times:
Is it possible to start a new PFRPG campaign, without designing everything by one's self, not resort to fan-sites AND pay exactly $0.00 for it?
Turns out it is!
Here's the rules: The supplements have to be high-quality, easy to implement and must be stand-alone in the sense that they don't require you to buy more products. (An incentive with sequels and stuff like that is okay, though, as long as the story itself is self-contained.)
So grab your seat and join the ride, here's a mini-series on free quality RPG products.
What do you need apart from the rules to start a campaign? Bingo, a setting. Or at least a mini-setting.
Creighton Broadhurst's company Raging Swan Press, has exactly what you're looking for:
The Lonely Coast is a nifty little campaign setting that details a remote, harsh wilderness somewhat reminiscent of an old Scottish or Cornish old-world atmosphere and serves as a nice backdrop for a beginning campaign.You get a small area with its own flair to serve as a backdrop and that is not yet tied to any campaign setting, which leaves you free to expand to a published or homebrew setting later on. For those of you already familiar with my review of The Lonely Coast: Feel free to skip ahead! For the other guys and gals, here are the facts:
The Lonely Coast is a 33 page pdf.
One page front cover, 1 page back cover, 1 page OGL, 1 blank page after the front cover and 3 pages of credits. That leaves 26 pages of material.
We get 11 pages of beautifully written, evocative descriptions of the region, painting a rough borderland with a nice, dark old-world touch to it. It's hard to pin down exactly what makes this chapter so atmospheric, but it really draws you in.
After that, we get 2 Appendices.
The first one features the following:
- A new race, the Half-Goblin. Complete with two ready-to-use statblocks, a lore section and all necessary information to use the race. (2 pages)
- A new creature, the shadow wolf. (1 page)
- 3 new (albeit generic) gods (1 page)
- An introduction on how to read statblocks to help novice gamers (1 page)
Appendix 2 features 5 encounters for the road, all with description text, stats and everything you need to run it. (9 pages)
Production values: The pdf contains a map of the lonely coast, 7 pieces of beautiful b/w-art and is very well-formatted. I didn't notice editing glitches, typos or the like. It should also be noted, that the file is also very printer-friendly: If you don't print out the largely black front and back covers, you'll need next to no ink/toner.
Being an introduction to the easy-to-drop-in location of Raging Swan's modules and supplement, this pdf does a remarkable job of walking the edge between ease of implementation into a given setting and conveying it's very own atmosphere: Your new campaign can only profit from it.
It's b/w-art is beautiful and something to show off to your players.
Oh yeah, of course it's FREE. It's very hard to beat free stuff, especially if the quality is as high as in this pdf. It's high-quality, it's free, I rate it 5 Rudi'i.
Go check it out on Paizo.
Downloaded it? All right. That means we now have a free mini-setting to set our first adventure in. Stay tuned for the next installment, where I will present to you a nice old-school adventure to satisfy your DM-needs and challenge your players. For free!
That being said, I hope you enjoyed my ramblings. I'm open to feedback - after all, that's the only way to improve. ^^
See you around,