A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Town Backdrop: Wolverton

Town Backdrop: Wolverton by John Bennett is a role playing game supplement published by Raging Swan Press for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. As such, the supplement is covered by the Open Game License, and some of it is considered to be Open Game Content. Wolverton is the sole town and capital of The Lonely Coast, a mini-campaign setting that is available for free. Wolverton itself is a town with a definite dark side, as gangs of smugglers fight bloody battles in the shadows and a rising merchant class plots to seize power from the land’s lord.

Town Backdrop: WolvertonThis is a thirty seven page bookmarked PDF, which is available from RPGNow at the regular price of $5.99, but was purchased at the greatly reduced price of $0.27 as part of a bundle. It is also available as a print on demand softcover book for $10.99, or both PDF and softcover for $12.98. The softcover can also be found on sites such as Amazon. The PDF is the version reviewed. Three pages are Raging Swan’s standard plain front and rear covers, as well as a third, similar, page. Three pages are the front matter and Contents, and a table of stat blocks by CR is also in this section. One page is Reading Stat Blocks, which explains how the stat blocks are used in the supplement and what is, and isn’t, included in them and one page is the Open Game License. There is also a full page illustration and what is essentially a full page chapter opening.

The Lonely Coast At a Glance is two pages, one of which is a map, giving a brief overview of the Lonely Coast and several places in it. This information is basically duplicated from the main sourcebook.

Wolverton At a Glance is a four page overview of the town. One page is a black and white map and the other three cover demographics and marketplace, in the standard Pathfinder format, lore, notable locations, which comes as a list of the locations and another section on locations by category, details on the inhabitants and a list of notable NPCs, some of which are described in more detail later. There is also a d100 table of whispers and rumours, some of which are false, containing 50 entries.

History is a single page which gives a brief history of the settlement, including how the town got its name, and its kingdom building stats, if those rules from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Campaign  are used.

Daily Life is another single page, which covers festivals and traditions, describing several of them, law & order and trade and industry.

Sights & Sounds consists of a d100 table with 50 results covering two pages of things that can be seen and heard in Wolverton.

Events is similar with another two page d100 table with 50 results of possible events. Notably, some of the events are essentially identical to those in the first (there is a wagon with a broken wheel in each table for example) and there really isn’t a huge amount of differentiation between sight & sounds and events.

Notable Locations describes in more detail the locations listed in Wolverton At a Glance. This also has several adventure hooks.

Folk of Wolverton contains various stats and more detailed descriptions of non-player characters. There are four generic stat blocks followed by eleven NPCs described in detail, the ruler of the region and his daughter, the reeve, a high priest and a high priestess, the head of the guard, smugglers and some other potential troublemakers.

The PDF is extensively bookmarked, with the majority of major and minor section covered. The Contents is possibly even more thorough, and is also hyperlinked. Navigation is, therefore, well above average. The text maintains a two column format and no errors were noticed. There are a number of black and white illustrations, although these would appear to be mostly stock.

The town is intended to be used with The Lonely Coast, and there are a number of connections to other settlements, such as Bossin and Hosford, but it could still be used in other settings without too much difficulty. The location would need to be roughly similar, and it would certainly need to be coastal, but Wolverton could be used in other settings. As such, this makes it both a useful central area for the Lonely Coast region and a town that can be used in other settings.

There is a good amount of detail on the town, various important locations some notable NPCs and the current situation. The Whispers & Rumours table also adds some depth to the location. Town Backdrop: Wolverton is a good, detailed frontier town that is well described and professionally put together, and it can be found by clicking here.

 

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