A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Village Backdrop: Arrowhill

Village Backdrop: Arrowhill by Mike Kimmel is a role playing game supplement published by Raging Swan Press 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. Arrowhill is a frontier settlement located near vast forests that has been terrorised for years by an evil druid called the Serpent.

This is a ten page bookmarked PDF which is available from RPGNow at the regular price of $2.45 but which was purchased at the greatly reduced price of $0.21 as part of a special bundle. This is one of the villages included in the compilation supplement GM’s Miscellany: Village Backdrops III. The PDF comes in two version, one of which is optimised for screen and mobile and the other for desktop and print.

Village Backdrop: ArrowhillTwo pages are the publisher’s standard plain front and rear covers and there is a third similar page, one page is the front matter, Contents and Stat Blocks by CR and one page is the Open Game License.

Arrowhill At a Glance is two pages gives an overview of the village’s history, how it was founded after the last dire bear was slain by arrows on the hill, hence the name, and how the druid came to intimidate the villagers into paying tribute in return for protection. Also covered are the demographics, marketplace, notable NPCs and locations, lore and whispers & rumours, and there is a map of the village.

Notable Locations is also two pages and covers the ten locations from the previous section in more detail with stat blocks that covers two NPCs.

The final page of content is Life in Arrowhill, which gives details on trade & industry, law & order and a d6 table of events. There is also information on the god Conn, who is found in other Raging Swan supplements, although he can be replaced with another suitable deity.

Village Backdrop: Arrowhill in Review

The PDF is well bookmarked with the major and minor sections linked; only the stat block is not bookmarked. The Contents are less thorough, with only the major sections listed. Navigation is above average for a small supplement.

The text maintains a two column format and no errors were noted. Bar the map of the village, there are only a couple of stock black and white illustrations. Presentation is pretty decent.

Having a village being held hostage by a more powerful individual is a pretty standard trope, even though said individual’s demands are getting more erratic, and their actions more violent. This is because it isn’t a standard trope; this is a rather different variation of it making it more interesting, which players may well not realise.

As well as the major adventure hook of the Serpent, there are a number of minor ones as well; the village is extremely antagonistic towards elves, which means that the settlement’s two half-elves don’t get the best treatment, there’s some rather deadly political manoeuvring and a rather more simple con man.

Village Backdrop: Arrowhill is really quite an interesting village that turns a pretty standard trope on its head, and can be found by clicking here.

 

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