GM’s Monthly Miscellany: January 2016 is a free role playing game supplement published by Raging Swan Press. The supplement is primarily intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game; consequently, it is covered by the Open Game License and some of it is considered to be Open Game Content. This is the first supplement in a yearly series that consists of eleven regular issues and a twelfth, compilation, issue that is also available as a print on demand softcover.
This is a fourteen page bookmarked PDF. Two pages are the publisher’s standard, plain, front and rear covers, one page is an advert for their Patreon campaign, one page is the Contents and front matter, one page the Open Game License and one page the Foreword, leaving eight pages of content. The supplement comes in two formats, one optimised for screen and the other for print.
20 Things to Say if a PC Searches for a Trap and Finds Nothing is an article from the publisher’s site. This is a simple list of things intended to make players paranoid if they don’t find a trap and they think there is one.
Vaagwol At a Glance is from Village Backdrop: Vaagwol. This gives an overview of the village, its marketplace and demographics, notable locations and NPCs, whispers & rumours and lore, along with a map. The village itself would appear to be under threat from the undead.
Bridge Town: Sites & Sounds is taken from Urban Dressing: Bridge Town. This is a d100 table of bridge-themed things that could be seen or heard by players.
The Wizard’s Bonded Object is an extract from I Loot the Wizard’s Body. This is another d100 table, this time of esoteric objects that wizards could be using to channel their power.
20 Things to See During an Orc Raid is another article from the publisher’s site and is a list of 20 things that could be seen during an orc attack on a settlement.
The PDF is well bookmarked but, as has been the case for some time now, several of the bookmarks point to the wrong pages. The Contents covers the same level of detail as the bookmarks. With the errors in the bookmarks, navigation is okay at best. The supplement maintains a two column text layout, and some errors were noticed in the Vaagwol article. These included missing or incorrect words but also the list of notable locations uses numbers ten higher than those on the map. There are a number of black and white illustrations, which would appear to be stock.
The GM’s Monthly Miscellanies are intended to showcase the publisher’s products, but they usually have use in themselves, although this is perhaps one of the less useful issues. Vaagwol could be used, but the extract does not really provide enough information on the Hunger, a threat to the village. The impression is given that it’s suffering from a zombie apocalypse to a degree, but there isn’t enough to be sure. The Bridge Town table could be used in any fantasy setting, but it seems rather limited in its use, even though many settlements do have bridges. Similarly, the wizard’s table is limited to wizards or similar.