Free Role Playing Game Supplement Review: Rogues in Remballo

Rogues in Remballo by Matt Finch is a free role playing game supplement published by Frog God Games for use with Swords & Wizardry. As such, the supplement is covered by the Open Game License and therefore some of it is considered to be Open Game Content. The adventure is set in The Lost Lands: Borderlands Provinces region, located a few hundred miles from Bard’s Gate. The supplement is also available for Pathfinder and D&D 5E, with the Pathfinder version also being free.

This is a 26 page PDF that lacks bookmarks. One page is the front cover, one page the front matter and one the Open Game License.

The short Introduction explains that, whilst this is an adventure for 4-6 1st level characters, it is not intended to be an adventure run by either inexperienced players or inexperienced GameMasters, due to the complexity of some parts of it.

Rogues in RemballoIt begins with details on Remballo. The city’s demographics are given (although such is usually a constituent of Pathfinder games, not Swords & Wizardry; still it’s pretty self-explanatory), general information, a full page map with some marked locations, a list of these locations and some more details on two of them and material on the House of Borgandy, a powerful banking house that plays a role in the adventure.

Rogues in Remballo is the actual adventure. There are two unconnected plots going on, one regarding a kidnapping and one regarding some infringing thieves. The authorities, due to a religious restriction, cannot investigate the place where this is going on.

The thieves guild of Remballo (whose described behaviour is more than a little reminiscent of the Thieves Guild in Terry Pratchett‘s Ankh-Morpork – it’s sanctioned, has strict targets and non-violent) believes that another, more violent, thieves guild is operating on their territory. In the same area a member of the House of Borgandy has been kidnapped. As a consequence of this, and the legal proscriptions, the City Watch, the Remballo Thieves Guild and the House of Borgandy may all employ the characters. Given their aims are complimentary, the characters could actually be paid by all three parties. If they mess things up, they could also make powerful enemies.

There are two maps of the area of the city, one for the players and one for the GM. The various locations on the map are detailed, and the players can go door to door gathering intelligence. Finally, the actual location they need to investigate is fully described.

The remaining five pages are all maps of the city and the locations, duplicates, some larger, of those in the adventure.

The PDF lacks bookmarks and these would have been helpful. There is no table of contents either. Navigation is therefore quite poor.

The text maintains a two column format and no errors were noticed. As well as the maps, there are a number of black and white illustrations, which may or may not be stock.

The adventure itself is a combination of information gathering and assault. There are a number of places where players could cause future problems for themselves, from doing such as misinterpreting information to accidentally getting a kidnap victim killed. On top of this, they could get killed. They need to act smart, diplomatically and surreptitiously, to avoid causing problems. If they successfully achieve this, they could be rewarded by three different groups and make some useful allies.

The adventure is set in a well described city neighbourhood. It may be set in Remballo in the Lost Lands, but it could certainly be transplanted to another city, both for the adventure and to simply flesh out an area. There are plenty of described places and NPCs to gather information from, concluding in an unusual group of foes. Including a baby bulette. Not your typical first level fare.

This is a well described and interestingly different 1st level adventure that can be scavenged for parts as well as played. Rogues in Remballo can be downloaded for free by clicking here.

 

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