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

Village Backdrop: Bossin by John Bennett is a role playing game supplement published by Raging Swan Press. The supplement is intended for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and, as such, is covered by the Open Game License with some of it being Open Game Content. The village itself is one of the settlements in The Lonely Coast campaign mini-setting.

Village Backdrop: BossinThis is a thirteen page bookmarked PDF that is available from RPGNow for $2.45, although it was purchased as part of a special bundle at the greatly reduced price of $0.11. Two pages are Raging Swan’s standard plain front and rear covers, one page is an advert for other supplements, three pages are front matter and the hyperlinked Contents, as well as stat blocks by CR and one page is the Open Game License and an advert for The Lonely Coast supplement. The supplement comes in two versions, one optimised for screen and one for print. The village is also included is GM’s Miscellany: Village Backdrops, a compilation of many of these short supplements that is available in PDF and print on demand softcover.

Bossin At a Glance (readers of Raging Swan’s free Monthly Miscellany series will be familiar with these) is a two page overview of the village. This has a description of the village, which is currently dominated by a criminal reeve who is extorting money from the inhabitants, its Demographics, in the standard Pathfinder format, notable NPCs and locations, the Pathfinder standard Marketplace description, three items of village lore, half a dozen whispers and rumours, some of which are false, a description of the villagers and their names and a map of the village.

Notable Locations is another two pages and covers in more detail the various places from the list. Also included are stat blocks of three of the notable inhabitants from earlier and a paragraph on the surrounding area.

Life in Bossin is one page and gives an overview of the law, such as it is, trade, industry, how players may interact with the village and how they may get involved in the situation with the reeve. There are also half a dozen events and a stat block for a typical villager.

Reading Stat Blocks is not to do with the village itself but instead covers how the stats in the stat blocks are handled and what is and isn’t included in the figures, in the way of abilities.

The supplement is unusually well bookmarked for its length which, together with the Contents, makes navigation above average. The text maintains a two column format and no errors were noticed. Bar the map, there is only one other illustration, which may be stock.

Although this is intended for use with The Lonely Coast, Bossin can easily be dropped into another suitable location with only minor changes. Of the PDF, more than half of it is taken up with material that doesn’t describe the village, but the village is still covered well, with plenty of hooks and events to get players involved in it. This is a really nice little village supplement, and it was a bargain at the price paid. Village Backdrop: Bossin is a useful setting that GMs should be able to find a use for, and can be found by clicking here.

 

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