By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Raging Swan Press is 26 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 blank page inside the front cover, 2 pages editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisements, 1 page back cover, leaving 19 pages of content, so let’s check this pdf out!
How many times have you as a DM despaired at a sudden return of the PCs to civilization to restock? How annoying is it to have to ad-hoc cobble together lists of magic items for the PCs to buy? For DMs like yours truly, who seek to evoke a concise and coherent world, creating tables upon damn effin’ tables of items to buy in each individual fleck has been a painful, annoying bane.
This is where this pdf comes in – we get tables for settlements of all sizes, appropriate for the respective sizes. A lot of tables. They respective entries are ordered by item categories and in the beginning of the pdf, you get 2 pages of d%-tables to randomly determine which of them to use for your settlement.
We get 41 lists for thorps, 35 for hamlets, 21 for villages, 16 for small towns, 13 for large towns, 10 for small cities, 10 for large cities and 11 to illustrate what can be found in a metropolis. 2 pages of lists are provided for each settlement size and none of the items felt really out of place in their settlements.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to the printer-friendly b/w-two-column-standard by RSP, artworks are b/w-stock and ok. The pdf is extensively bookmarked and comes with an additional screen-version, optimized for use e-readers.
*sigh* This is one of these pdfs that are hard to review: Essentially, you take up your books and scan through lists, comparing list-prices in the pdf with the book, looking for any inappropriate item. Thankfully, this pdf does not have any, but nevertheless, you don’t want to know how long it took me to double-check.
Back to the conclusion: This pdf is one of these immensely useful little tools that make any DM’s life significantly easier, providing needed crunch and content that you just don’t want to put together yourself. Even better, the stories how the items got to the respective places are great occasions to drop in your own story, making your campaign feel more organic and coherent.
If I had to nitpick anything, then I’d complain about the fact that I would have loved to see descriptions for at least some of the items – how they look different from the standard, lore-sections, the like. As this is clearly not the intended design goal of this pdf, it would be unfair to hold the lack of unique item descriptions against it, though. Me being at a loss to say anything detrimental to the pdfs quality, I’ll settle for a final verdict of 5 stars – well done!
The Genius Guide to Exalted Domains of War and Ruin is available from: