By Thilo Graf
This pdf is 27 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages advertisements, 1 page SRD, leaving 22 pages of content.
The pdf starts with 1 page containing the whole map of Voell’s Garden and then dives into the in-character introduction to Voell’s Garden, interspread with 5 detailed maps of the respective parts of Voell’s Graden. The chapter also details secrets, a table for strange flora, notes on how to use the garden as a maze and secrets for the characters and garden. We also get a new poison and 5 adventure hooks. This passage is 8 pages long.
The next chapter details 6 pages of statblocks of the inhabitants, once again at the top-level of complexity, one of which is a potentially legendary and extremely cool and disturbing…thing that clocks in at a whopping CR 24.
The pdf closes with 7 pages of reprints of the maps as well as 7 separate maps of the garden in A4 format for Europeans like yours truly.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any mistakes/glitches.
I don’t know why, but sometimes, if presented right, plants can creep the hell out of me, and I consider myself to be quite a jaded guy. Voell’s Garden features some of the most enticing writing I’ve read in an rpg-book, especially in such a small one and really had me on the edge of my seat. For fans of the series it also features a slight nod towards Bedlam Asylum.
The statblocks rock, as almost always in the ECS-series and the final critter presented is cool as hell. However, as much as I want to, I can’t bring myself to rate this 5 stars. This is due to two facts: The file does not have the usual blown-up versions for use with miniatures the other ECS-files always featured and, once again, the bane of my existence is back – the maps feature letters and a legend, detracting for me from the player’s suspension of disbelief and preventing me from printing it out for my players. I don’t get why the combined map e.g. has to feature the letters. That being said, the writing somewhat made up for this and my final verdict will be 4 stars – if you don’t mind letters in your maps or need the miniature-friendly huge maps, add a star.
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