Free Download: Fortified Manor

Posted: 4 February 2013 in Reviews
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It’s been a long, busy day, and while I have an ATZ encounter to write up, I’m too tired to do that right now. So while you wait, how about another short review and some dance music?

-o0o-

This is a 16-page PDF for the Harn RPG, free to download here and elsewhere. It describes a large fortified manor house and its environs.

CONTENTS

The manor house has 36 locations, each with a paragraph of description, and is split into five floors (if you count the parapets and cellars), each with a full-page plan. It also has two NPCs, each with a detailed description and an adventure hook, but no game stats, and eight separate adventure hooks, not tied to either of the NPCs.

The village nearby is also described, with full-page colour and greyscale maps, 10 locations in the village, and 16 in the lord’s demesne (the bit that he runs himself rather than renting out to tenant farmers). Although this isn’t made explicit, looking at the different map keys, it looks like the colour one is for the players, and the greyscale one is for the GM. That’s how I’d use them, anyway.

FORMAT

Black on white two-column text in a readable font, at least at A4 size, liberally sprinkled with professional-quality black and white illustrations, maps and plans.

If printed double-sided, the GM maps and map keys will be on facing pages, which is necessary for ease of use, but sometimes overlooked. The player map stands alone in any case.

SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT

None. This is good as it is.

CONCLUSIONS

Harn is a late dark ages setting, roughly comparable to Norman England in the 11th century AD, but this is a solid mini-setting that could be dropped into any fantasy setting with a little work, and a wide range of historical ones too. It presupposes that the area is sufficiently stable that a village without walls, and what Chivalry & Sorcery players would know as a LFMH, are sufficient protection for the lord and his serfs; that argues it’s not on the borders with your favourite barbarians. I think I’d use it as a stock village, and use the same maps and descriptions with different NPCs in different encounters.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5. Yes, I know I rate a lot of things this highly. That’s partly because I think telling you about good products is more useful than telling you about bad ones, and partly because I struggle to motivate myself to review the less useful ones.

OK, I lied about the dance music.

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