By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Raging Swan Press is 26 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page blank inside the front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page explaining how to read stat-blocks to novice DMs, 1 page back cover and 2 pages advertisement, leaving 18 pages for the centaurs, so let’s have a look at them!
The TRIBEs-line of Raging Swan has provided us with some great sets of monstrous tribes to set upon our PCs and this latest installment is a take on the roaming tribe of centaur. In tradition with the recent Raging Swan files, we get a cool rhyming verse on the ToC-page that serves as a nice bardic verse to introduce and sum up the tribe. After that, we get an introduction to the peculiarities of the tribe, including appearance – we get a little table to customize the individuals, which I consider a ncie touch. Raging Swan products have a tradition of nice b/w-artwork and this one is no different – in fact, it goes further and features some beautiful, evocative pictures of the bleak moor, home to the centaurs and new setting beyond the tangled forest. Even better, we get a map of the new region. The write-up of the moor also includes extensive information on the terrain, serving as another proof that Creighton Broadhurst keeps in touch with his fan-base and continuously improves his products. The battle-feats to customize the individual tribes of the line have become a staple of the series, and this pdf is no exception – we get 5 new battle feats focusing on the centaur’s giant eagles and devastating sling combat style. Fans of halflings might want to check this file out just for the sling-feats – from manystone to stunning hits and rapid sling loading, these new feats rocks. In contrast to other installments, though, we also get alternate class features for both the druid and the rangers of the centaurs and the full stats for their giant eagle companions. Furthermore, we get 4 new spells focusing on terrain control in the bog and a new magical sling as well as two kinds of enchanted sling ammunition and a new exotic double weapon (the double morningstar) for their berserkers. The sling and ammo get their own artworks.
The crunchy part of the pdf is separated into different section: Minor encounters, major encounters and characters.
Minor encounters feature the rank-in-file warriors, berserkers, druids and scouts as well as two sample groups. Major encounters include ready stat-blocks of both experienced berserkers, sling-specialists, veteran warriors and greater druids. They also come with two sample groups. Finally, we get the warleader of the centaurs, Corafel Ferareen (Advanced centaur barbarian 4/Moorland Ranger 3, CR 11) and Solavel Verynn (Advanced centaur druid of the bleak Moor 7, CR 11). Both get the raging swan NPC-treatment with mannerisms, distinguishing features, hooks, etc. However, Corafel, due to space-reasons, doesn’t get much text. Solavel makes up for this by a cool adventure hook involving a debased fey. It also doesn’t hurt that both get their own pieces of artwork.
Editing is top-notch, I didn’t notice any mistakes. Formatting adheres to the 2-column standard. Layout is clear, concise and printer-friendly and the deal includes an e-reader-friendly version of the pdf. The pdf is also extensively bookmarked for ease of reference. As has almost become tradition with Raging Swan publications, this pdf is extremely easy to use and endeavours to take as much weight as possible from the shoulders of the GM and easily succeeds in this. The sling-feats are cool, the spells rock, the fluff of the tribe is cool and rife with some nice ideas and the b/w-artworks of the moor are stunningly beautiful. Moreover, while it’s a pity that the fluff of one of the NPCs fell a bit on the short side, the other one makes up for this and we get the quality statblocks we’ve come to expect of the series. The map and the potential connection to the upcoming minotaur-book is another factor in favour of this pdf. What else can I say? Raging Swan Press has once again surpassed its own by now ridiculously high standard, delivering an installment of the TRIBES-line that even surpasses the more than excellent Half-Goblins of the Tangled Forest. Ladies & Gentlemen, my final verdict is, as it should be, 5 stars – highly recommended, not only to people who want a tribe of centaurs.
Centaurs of the Bleak Moor is available from: