By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Raging Swan Press is 21 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 14 pages of content, so let’s check this out!
The pdf kicks off with a short introduction to the matter at hand, to be precise, weapon properties and descriptions. How often have you just said “It’s a masterwork xyz-weapon”? Not only does this make a weapon less interesting and unique, it also deprives the DM of potential hooks (how did this weapon, made of this uncommon wood, get here?) and the PCs of a sense of immersion in the world.
Raging Swan’s latest offering seeks to remedy this problem by providing tables galore: Organized by general weapon category (e.g. simple melee weapons), quite a bunch of rather rare weapons are provided along-side a suggested GP-value for the item. It should be noted that the descriptions are rather evocative and could also be easily scavenged for your own magic items. One page is devoted to simple melee weapons, one to simple ranged weapons, one to light martial weapons, one to one-handed martial weapons, one to two-handed martial weapons, one for martial ranged weapons, 1 for exotic melee weapons and 1 for exotic ranged weapons.
This is not where the pdf stops, though:20 previous owners of the weapons, 20 famous victories of the wielders, 20 marks and inscriptions and 20 miscellaneous complications/peculiarities serve to further enhance the usability of this pdf and make sure that the weapons your PCs find will be truly exciting.
Not even content here, 7 specific magical weapons, with full stories and suggested powers are detailed on the final two pages of the pdf.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, as I’ve come to expect from Raging Swan press-releases. Layout adheres RSP’s 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf is extensively bookmarked. The pdf also comes with two versions – one for screen-use and one optimized for printers. “So what’s that shiny thing, anyway?” was a brilliant GM-help and to cut to the chase: “So what’s that weapon like, anyway?” is just as awesome- a truly useful GM-help, that, while not reinventing the wheel, provides beleaguered GMS with descriptions galore they can put on all kinds of weapons and thus make their campaign setting more immersive. I have but two minor complaints: I would have loved to see tables by weapon type, not only by weapon category. While this would have meant that the pdf gets much, much longer, it would have also made the tables easier to navigate. The other complaint is nested in the first: While the content is enough for the fair asking price, this pdf left me wanting more, so much more: Richard Green has whetted my appetite and I’d love to see e.g. an installment devoted solely to exotic weapons, one for shields, armours, etc. – the possibilities are endless and the pdf extremely useful. If you want to add some nice fluff to the loot for your players, this is a must-purchase. My final verdict, due to lack of complaints and the stellar usefulness of this pdf, will be 5 stars + the Endzeitgeist seal of approval.
So What’s The Weapon Like, Anyway? is available from:
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