A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Village Backdrop: Starspun Hollow

Village Backdrop: Starspun Hollow by Nicholas Wasko 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 and some parts are considered to be Open Game Content as a result. This village is close to a fen, is inhabited by humans and halflings, and its primary source of income is silk woven from the starweaver spiders.

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

Two pages are Raging Swan’s standard plain front and rear covers, with a third similar page, one pages is the front matter, Contents and Stat Block by CR and one page the Open Game License.

Starspun Hollow At a Glance is a two page section which gives an overview of the village, its demographics and marketplace, notable NPCs and locations, lore and whispers & rumours, some true, some false, together with a map of the settlement. This section can also be found in the free supplement GM’s Monthly Miscellany: November 2014.

Notable Locations is another two pages and covers the various locations in the previous section in more detail. There are two stat blocks in this section, one for a druid and one for her animal companion; fittingly, for the area, the latter is a crocodile.

Life in Starspun Hollow is the final page. This covers Law & Order, Trade & Industry (dye and spider silk) and a d6 table of events.

Village Backdrop: Starspun Hollow in Review

The PDF is well bookmarked with major and minor sections linked; only the stat blocks aren’t. The Contents only covers the major sections. Navigation is above average for a small supplement.

The text maintains a two column format and no errors were noticed. Apart from the map, the only illustration is a single piece of black and white stock art.

Although the village appears peaceful on the surface (partly because open conflict is considered to be essentially taboo, resulting in it being below the surface), there are plenty of adventure hooks. There is tension between the halflings and humans over how to harvest the spider silk, exacerbated by the fact that the halflings are descended from those driven from their former homes by humans. Local boggards consider one of the primary sources of dye for the silk to be sacred, and are not happy by its harvesting. Silk is the main reason for visiting the village, and characters doing so could become embroiled in local problems. Perhaps new uses for the spider silk could be devised as well; its description suggests a rather interesting nature. Village Backdrop: Starspun Hollow is a good small settlement and can be found by clicking here.

 

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