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

Village Backdrop: Riverburg by Brian Wiborg Mønster is a role playing game supplement published by Raging Swan Press. The supplement is intended 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 as a result. Riverburg is a small settlement built on stilts in a river and is the home of the Rivermen’s Guild.

This is a ten page bookmarked PDF which is available from RPGNow at the regular price of $2.45 but was purchased at the greatly reduced price of $0.11 as part of a special bundle. Riverburg is one of the villages which is contained in the compilation supplement GM’s Miscellany: Village Backdrops II. The supplement comes in two versions, one of which is optimised for print, desktop and high end devices and the other for screen and mobile.

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

Riverburg At a Glance is two pages long gives an overview of the village and its location, as well as details on its demographics, notable NPCs and locations, marketplace, lore and a d6 table of whispers & rumours, some true and some false, as well as a map of the village. This section can be found in the free supplement GM’s Monthly Miscellany: March 2014.

Notable Locations is another two pages and details the nine locations from the previous section in more detail. There are some standard locations such as a brothel and an inn as well as such as the Rivermen’s Guildhall and a market where many things that would not normally be found in a small village can be sourced. There are also two sidebars; one on the river pirates who attack travellers and one on the nearby Moaning Caves, a large system of caverns that connects to the Ebon Realm (the Underdark in other words).

The final page is Life in Riverburg. This details the trade & industry (largely fishing and hunting for industry with trade being more important), law & order and a d6 table of events. There are also stat blocks for the head of the Rivermen’s Guild and his two bodyguards.

Village Backdrop: Riverburg in Review

The PDF is well bookmarked with major and minor sections linked; only sidebars and stat blocks are missing. The Contents only covers the major sections but is also hyperlinked. Navigation is as a result above average.

The text maintains a two column format and no errors were noticed. The sole illustration is, as is usual in this series, a black and white labelled map of the town. Presentation is fine and simple.

Riverburg could be used as a simple way station for players who are travelling up or down river or perhaps as a base for exploring the Moaning Caves (although that location will need detailing in such a case). However, there are also adventure hooks in the village itself. The head of the Rivermen’s Guild is actually cooperating with the pirates for their mutual benefit, albeit not the benefit of some who travel on the river. One of the residents has experience with the Moaning Caves which has driven him to alcoholism. The long-standing village mayor is also a bit of an egomaniac, looking to boost his prestige and the income of the village.

Village Backdrop: Riverburg is a good location with a multitude of uses and it can be found by clicking here.

 

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