10 Kingdom Seeds: Forests clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisement, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
So what are these kingdom seeds? Basically, you can consider them to be mini village-backdrops – each of the villages comes with a full village statblock as well as information on unique places associated with the village as well as three rumors that can be considered to be micro adventure seeds. The villages are intended to be inserted into a given kingdom (or any other campaign) – thus the name of the pdf.
What makes the villages unique? Well, they exhibit Rite Publishing’s interesting, trademark high-concept ideas: The village of Butteroak, for example, is protected by a double palisade between which assassin vines are planted to keep out the dread predators outside – oh, and if you’re caught breaking the law, you get a dagger, are stripped down and have to run around the village…if you’re not eaten by the vines, you get to leave…chilling combination of might makes right and pragamtism here.
More common, Calddell is defined by its bowyers, while Eristan is known for their syrupy birch beer and Fayebridge, set in a caldera, utilizes its ample bees to defend the town and keep the massive copses of fruit trees fertilized. Garrant is a nasty place, but one defined by unique copper jewelry made with the help of odd leaves, while Maplelea is defined by the less sinister eponymous maple produce. Mournesse may be snowed in half the year, but is a village of survivors that live via lumber and skins. Nulukkhir, a primarily dwarven and gnomish hamlet, is defined by its half-over-grown houses and pig-farms. Soulmerrow, an elven hamlet defined by the massive cinnamon trees, is similarly an interesting place and finally, Whitespell, is a place where charcoral is made by a kind and welcoming populace.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Rite Publishing’s two-column full-color standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked in spite of its brevity – nice! The pdf also sports nice full-color art.
Liz Smith delivers a per se cool array of brief village-write-ups, with the respective industries and raisons d’être providing enough variation to make this a compelling buy for the low price-point. At the same time, I found myself wishing that there was a little bit more detail and more material that reaches the level of uniqueness of Butteroak’s assassin vine palisade – compared to that one, the other hamlets featured fall a bit short. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.
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