The Game Master’s Notebook: The City of Ravenclaw: The Crossed Blades is a role playing game supplement published by Art of War Games. This is a five page PDF which is available for $1 from RPGNow. The PDF lacks bookmarks, but doesn’t really require them given its length. One page of the PDF is the cover and there are a handful of illustrations inside which are intended to represent some of the detailed NPCs.
The Crossed Blades is a tavern and the supplement opens with background on it, including how its present owner – who is not the innkeeper – came to own it, and how it is part of a local thieves guild. The tavern’s location in the city of Ravenclaw is covered, and a description of the building’s appearance, although there is no map.
The actual innkeeper and the tavern’s menu follow, including a warning about one of the dishes. There are then descriptions of eight of the notable patrons, including some adventure hooks and descriptions of their motivations (one of them apparently goes round town throwing wooden balls at invisible creatures, saying she has to catch them all; this would appear to be a Pokémon reference).
Finally, there are half a dozen items of local news and rumours, which could also be used as adventure hooks.
This is one of a series of supplements set in Ravenclaw, some of which do interlock together to a degree, and this may make it harder to drop this tavern into another setting. Most of the adventure hooks and background tie into the city of Ravenclaw and its surroundings, making this not a terribly flexible supplement for altering the setting, especially as there is no map of the tavern.
The supplement is described as being for D&D 3.x/d20 and Pathfinder but, like many of the publisher’s supplements of this type, it lacks any true game stats, so is more system agnostic. There are a few spelling mistakes. but nothing truly major but, unfortunately also like some of the publisher’s other supplements, the PDF can’t be searched or the text copied.
The supplement has both positive factors. The positive is the level of detail and number of adventure hooks scattered throughout given its short size. The negatives are the inflexibility for reuse elsewhere, lack of a map and inability to search or copy. Still, at only $1, The Game Master’s Notebook: The City of Ravenclaw: The Crossed Blades is certainly inexpensive and, combined with the other supplements in the series, will start to create a detailed city. Click here to buy it on RPGNow.