A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Whispers & Rumours: Borderland Town

Whispers & Rumours: Borderland Town by Neal Litherland is a role playing game supplement published by Raging Swan Press for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. As such, the supplement is covered by the Open Game License and some of it is considered to be Open Game Content as a result. This is a collection of various things that players could hear in a borderland town (or village for that matter) and it is also available in a system-neutral version.

The PDF is available from RPGNow for $2.45 but was purchased at the reduced price of $1.84. This is a fourteen page bookmarked PDF. Two pages are Raging Swan’s standard plain front and rear covers, two pages are ads for their website and Patreon campaign, one page is the front matter and Contents and one page is the Open Game License. The supplement comes in two formats, one optimised for print and more powerful devices and the other for screen.

Whispers & Rumours: Borderland TownIt starts with a single page on Using Whispers & Rumours. It explains that tables of rumours, like wandering monster tables, used to be common but are now much rarer. It considers what rumours do, which can be false, simply for local colour, be red herrings or provide needed information (in the latter case, it can be helpful to have some less important rumours to hide the more important ones), the different types of rumours and where to get them from.

Next is a d100 table of Recent Local Events. These are generally a sentence or two in length, and can be used to provide local colour or, in some cases, actual adventure hooks.

The next table is a d20 table of Recent Regional Events. These entries are longer than those in the previous table, roughly double the length or more. Pretty much all of these could definitely be considered to be adventure hooks, and some could be presaging pretty serious problems.

The final table is another d20 table, this time of Local Legends. The entries in this are similar in length to the previous d20 table. The content is similar in some ways to Recent Regional Events, again being a good source of adventure hooks, but this time they are related to events and legends, often based on past events.

Whispers & Rumours: Borderland Town in Review

The PDF is in theory well bookmarked, but the bookmarks for one of the tables leads to the wrong place. The Contents is at a similar level of detail. Navigation is as a result okay.

The text maintains a two column format and only a couple of minor errors were noticed. There is really only one black and white illustration in the supplement, and this is a piece of stock art.

(Note: If your copy of Borderland Town doesn’t seem to match up with this, download it again. The files for Whispers & Rumours: Borderland were accidentally uploaded for this instead of the correct ones).

For a preview, the Local Legends table can be found in the free supplement GM’s Monthly Miscellany: August 2016.

The rumours themselves are all great for adding local colour, as inspiration for adventures or to throw players off the scent, depending on how they are used. The Recent Local Events table can pose many questions for players as to what might be truly going on; many rumours sound suspicious. Of course, they could have a simple explanation, but players are unlikely to go for simple.

The other two tables provide more local colour and flavour, the first giving the impression that the game world is a living, changing place, the second that it has a history as well. Both are useful sources of ideas.

There is one niggle; the supplement is described as being for the Pathfinder system and there is also a system neutral version. However, there is not one single Pathfinder rule of any sort referenced at all, making this version system-neutral. So it seems unlikely that there is any difference between the two versions.

Other than that, Whispers & Rumours: Borderland Town is an excellent supplement for adding colour and depth to a setting and it can be found by clicking here.

 

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