Friday, January 17, 2014

Review and Commentary On The Free Dragonfoot OSR resource - Candlemarc's Atlas of Riverbrook

Get It Right Over

Blurb From Dragon's Foot :

A description of the waterside town of Riverbrook. Suitable for any system.

One of the problems with many of the Old D&D style old school games is the lack of a suitable base of operations for PC's. There's hardly any area where folks can catch their breath, spend their coin, grab a gentle woman or man of the evening, and discuss the next en devour.
 Well Riverbook is the perfect little side river town for just such an occasion. This free OSR download provides in just ten pages the sort of place to kick up your feet and relax for an evening.
Or is it? This ten page pdf provides a very nice overview of everything a busy adventurer might need to resupply, relax, and readjust for the evening.
Or this place could provide a suitable place that might be under the errant eye of dark and dangerous powers simmering just there below the surface.
CANDLEMARC’S ATLAS OF RIVERBROOK is well written, precise in its descriptions, and generally a really nice download for the DM on the run. Pretty much everything is here in concise detail. The environs here are detailed enough to get things started but with enough room for the DM to fill in all of the details that they need. The history, businesses, and generic details are all there with a wee bit of character to add a dash of excitement to the mix.
There's enough supernatural weirdness lurking in the background to really turn up the horrid history of the place if a horror or thrilling sword and sorcery adventure was wanted. This is the type of place that the PC's might get used to having some downtime only to have it yanked right out from under their feet.
There are also a number of businesses that might provide the DM with a few smuggling operations, some ideal locations for clandestine meetings, and perhaps a conspiracy of home grown horror and weirdness. 
Judd Smith & Coley O'Donnell provide a wide array of businesses and environs that can be dropped whole right into an existing OD&D or AD&D style campaign without batting an eye.
With a bit of work on the DM's part this entire campaign might be used in 'Long guns and swords' style D&D game as well with little issue. This place could easily be transported into a number of Solomon Kane pulp  style adventures with little problem.
Could this be used with a game such as Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea? Possibly, but it might take a bit of modification on the DM's part and perhaps a toning of some of the temples, taverns, and environs.  It could easily be done but this place might serve as a backwater bastion of some of the ideals of ancient times. A sort of 'Roman county side' lost in the backwaters of the land.
All in all I was really impressed with this download and how easily it lends itself to play by simply downloading and go.
There's a real feel of the English countryside in these ten pages and get a real sense of the place from the download. All in all this would make a great addition to a DM's arsenal of gaming for any evening's play and beyond. 

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