A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Hex Crawl Chronicles 7 – The Golden Meadows – Pathfinder Edition

Hex Crawl Chronicles 7 – The Golden Meadows – Pathfinder Edition by John Stater is a role playing game supplement published by Frog God Games for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. As such, it is covered by the Open Game License with some parts considered to be Open Game Content as a result. The supplement is also available in a version compatible with Swords & Wizardry.

This is the seventh (and, by the looks of it, final) supplement in the Hex Crawl Chronicles series. Although this is set in the same world as the rest of the series (Namera), the connection is more minor. This region doesn’t seem to border any of the previous regions and the link would appear to be primarily the golden men, first mentioned in Valley of the Hawks and appearing again in The Troll Hills.

Hex Crawl Chronicles 7 - The Golden Meadows - Pathfinder EditionThe supplement is available as a PDF from RPGNow for $4.99 but was purchased at the reduced price of $3.74. This is a 48 page bookmarked PDF. One page is the standard Hex Crawl Chronicles colour front cover, one page the front matter, one page the Table of Contents and two pages are the Open Game License.

As is usual, the supplement starts with a brief yet evocative overview of the region. The Golden Meadows themselves take up a very small area of the region, the majority of the area being (in places radioactive) badlands, deserts and mountains. A cataclysmic event happened at some point in the past; the previous supplement, The Troll Hills also showed signs of an unnatural disaster.

The standard Adventures in the Wilderness section covers the hex size (6 miles) and visibility. Goblin-Men covers a race of what are not goblins but mutated people. Vegans are the natives of the golden meadows themselves, who live in Vega and are definitely not vegetarians. The Grey Travelers are small, gray humanoids – they are, as it states, Grey Aliens.

There are two main types of Humans in the area, the Golden Men and the Halayans, who are generally travelling through. Other Humanoids are primarily kobolds and grimlocks (detailed in the appendix).

There is a d10 of wandering monsters, with different results for Badlands, Deserts and Grasslands and Mountain regions, and also a row for What Are They Doing?

The map of the area covers two pages, is greyscale and measures 38 hexes by 23, for 874 in total. There is a d20 table of rumours, most linked to hexes, but once again, the rumours are not marked as being either true or false, and they are supposed to be.

The Encounter Key covers the hexes themselves. 67 hexes in total are detailed, ranging from simple encounters to more detailed locations. Some are the typically weird encounters found in these and there are many dangers as well. There are four powerful elemental-themed spirits who dwell in the region, a comparatively small major town and a chaos cult evidence of which can be found in different places. A number of the encounters do connect to those in different hexes. Two mini dungeons are also completely mapped out.

Finally, the New Monster Appendix details 21 new monsters, from the Lovecraftian nightgaunt to new types of undead (including baby vampires) and the vampiric squirrel!

Hex Crawl Chronicles 7 – The Golden Meadows – Pathfinder Edition in Review

The PDF is decently bookmarked with the various major and minor sections linked as well as every hex. The Table of Contents is slightly less thorough, but navigation is on the whole above average.

The text maintains a two column format and only a few minor errors were noticed. There are a number of black and white illustrations appropriate for the associated text, including one for a vampiric squirrel in full attack mode.

There are many wonderful and evocatively detailed encounters once again in this supplement. With it being a hex crawl, it is also possible for characters to blunder into dangers far over their head as well. Mapped out mini dungeons, various undead, subterranean stone creatures with a habit of kidnapping and eating surface dwellers and level-draining areas of radiation all make this an interesting and dangerous region to explore. Together with references such as an androgynous statue, about which it is stated that an Earthling would swear that it was David Bowie (sadly now deceased). The various high powered NPCs don’t appear to have much in the way of powerful magic items, but this is a personal preference and some settings are like that.

The Golden Meadows can be used as a region to base adventures in to connect them to a living environment, with the other entries in this series as much of a game world or simply as a source of interesting wilderness encounters to place in another setting. Whichever is chosen, this is a nice collection of well described encounter. Hex Crawl Chronicles 7 – The Golden Meadows – Pathfinder Edition can be found by clicking here.

 

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