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

Village Backdrop: Longbridge by Creighton Broadhurst is a role playing game supplement published by Raging Swan Press. The supplement is published for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and, as such, is covered by the Open Game License with some parts being considered Open Game Content. This village has been retroactively located in the Duchy of Ashlar from the Gloamhold campaign setting, even though it was published some time prior to it. This village is named after the important dwarven bridge located in it, a major trade route, and is located on two sides of a river. Each side of the river is controlled by a different noble, making rulership of the village itself split.

Village Backdrop: LongbridgeThis is a thirteen page bookmarked PDF which is available from RPGNow at the regular price of $2.45 but which was purchased at the reduced price of $0.11 as part of a special bundle. Longbridge is one of the villages included in the compilation supplement GM’s Miscellany: Village Backdrops. Two pages of the PDF are Raging Swan’s standard plain front and rear covers, one page is an advert for The Sunken Pyramid, three pages are the front matter, Contents and Foreword, which includes a list of stat blocks by CR, one page is a standard one on reading stat blocks explaining how they are calculated and one page is ads for other products and the Open Game License. The supplement comes in two variants, one optimised for print and high end devices and the other for screen.

Longbridge At a Glance gives an overview of the village. It explains the current situation, its demographics and marketplace, a sidebar on the contested government type, with the village being under the control of the representatives of two different rulers, notable NPCs and locations, village lore and a d6 table of whispers & rumours, some true and some false. Finally, this two page section ends with a labelled map of the settlement.

Notable Locations is another two page section. This covers the eight different locations from the list in the previous section in more detail, which are a range of shops, taverns and residences of important people. Each gives a brief overview of the main NPC to be found there, with the two nobles’ representatives given full stat blocks, and various motivations for them.

The final page is Life in Longbridge. This covers trade and industry and law and order. There is also a d6 table of events and, befitting the place’s importance on a trade route, a d4 table of travellers. There is also another NPC stat block for an important character with his own interest in the village.

Village Backdrop: Longbridge in Review

The PDF is exceptionally well bookmarked for its length with everything bar sidebars and stat blocks indexed. The Contents is also hyperlinked and navigation is well above average for a short supplement. The text maintains a two column format with a couple of errors noted. Bar the map, there is a single black and white illustration. This may or may not be stock; if it is stock, it’s a very suitable piece showing a large bridge with towers and shops, just like the one in the village.

There are a whole host of potential adventure hooks and irritants for players in Longbridge. There is the ongoing conflict between the two nobles, one of whom is definitely planning to seize control of the entire bridge, and the frictions caused by this. This includes spies, subterfuge and having to pay a toll twice, once at each end of the bridge. A third party is planning to seize control of the town for his own, fairly decent, purposes. The bridge itself links through hidden staircases to subterranean tunnels, providing a further avenue of exploration. Some of the NPCs also have hooks unlinked to anything major.

It should be possible to drop Longbridge into another setting without too much trouble, as this was done by placing it in Gloamhold. The requirements are a river that separates the territory of two nobles who are not allies, which should not be too difficult to come by, rivers being natural borders. Some minor changes, primarily to the names of nobles but perhaps some minor alteration of motives, would be needed. With a bit of work, it should also be possible to use Longbridge with another game system.

Village Backdrop: Longbridge is a well detailed village with a host of hooks for its length and it can be found by clicking here.

 

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