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

Whispers & Rumours: Borderland by Landon Bellavia 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 region.

The PDF is available from RPGNow for $3.99 but was purchased at the greatly reduced price of $0.18 as part of a special bundle. The supplement has 23 pages, of which two are the publisher’s standard plain front and rear covers, one page an ad for other supplements, two pages are the front matter, one page is the Contents and Foreword and one page the Open Game License and ads for other supplements. The PDF comes in two versions as is usual for Raging Swan, one optimised for print and high end devices and the other for screen.

Whispers & Rumours: BorderlandThe Foreword explains that the rumours are to be used as a potential source of adventure hooks or misinformation, especially as most modern supplements only have rumours relevant to the adventure, if they even have any, so any rumour that players uncover is definitely important. None of the rumours are marked as being true or false either.

One page is rules on Gathering Rumours. Players roll a Diplomacy check to see what rumours they uncover, with various modifiers dependent on the settlement size, alignment, government, qualities and disadvantages.

Next is a page on Rumourmongers. These are four non-player characters that players could hear rumours from. Full stats are not given, only the NPC’s race, alignment, class and level. Each also has details on their appearance, personality, distinguishing features, mannerisms and quirks & hooks.

The rest of the supplement is the tables on the various rumours. There are seven tables in total which divide the rumours into different categories. These are Adventurers & Freebooters, Events & Festivals, Legends & Lore, Lords & Ladies, Lowlife & Scum, Magic & Wonder and Marauders & Danger.

Each table has 41 results in it, but these are not given numbers from 1-41. With the rumour being discovered being dependent on the Diplomacy check, and modifiers making this potentially a negative number, the rumours range from -11 to 29. Each rumour has a sentence or two covering it, and range from fairly innocuous to hints of something potentially dangerous.

The rumours are mostly general in nature, but a few are more specific to Raging Swan products. There are references to the deities used in a number of their supplements, Kulan-Wyr, referencing Brethren of the Crimson Altar (which is included in the compilation supplement Scions of Evil) and the Tuath, from the Lonely Coast setting and the adventure Road of the Dead. There are also two new spells, both low level.

Whispers & Rumours: Borderland in Review

The PDF is well bookmarked with major and minor sections linked; only the two sidebars on the spells are missing. The Contents is hyperlinked and covers the major sections. Navigation is as a result above average.

The text maintains a two column format and is almost error free. There are a few black and white illustrations, but these are simply page-filler stock.

Regarding the supplement itself, it is a nice collection of rumours. Although this is aimed at the Pathfinder game, the only really Pathfinder-specific material is the page of rules on gathering rumours, and this can be changed fairly easily. Or even ignored if that is wished. Even those rumours that are specific to Raging Swan products can easily be tweaked, and there is only a handful of them anyway. Consequently, these rumours can easily be used in any setting and with any game system. Some of the rumours are really quite nice, especially the events and festivals table.

Whispers & Rumours: Borderland is a nice collection of rumours from potential adventure hooks to simply colour that are suitable for most fantasy settings, and it can be found by clicking here.


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