Shards of the City – Sean’s Pick, 120315

I am very fond of tools that help GMs with the task of preparing and running a game, and Tabletop Adventures has a wide variety of products oriented towards that very goal. This is their latest offering, and it may be one of the best ideas I’ve seen along these lines in quite a while.

Also, they are the kinds of folks who understand the powerful value of a good index!

People are the life of every city. How do you quickly populate a fantasy game city with interesting characters? Shards of the City answers that question!  With 25 full encounters and events (including plot hooks to draw the adventurers in for future interaction), and another 50 colorful descriptions, there are more than enough people here to enliven a world for a long time.

Shards of the City focuses on encounters with humans, to make it useful in the widest variety of game settings, but other races could be easily substituted in most of the encounters. In the meantime, the occasional orcish weapons seller or goblin bartender will keep player characters on their toes. All material is system-neutral, and indexed for ease of use.

The 25 major pieces in Shards of the City can be building blocks of a scene or adventures. They each feature a one-sentence overview for the GM, three different perspectives on each encounter (approaching, coming closer, and up close and personal),GM notes as needed, and a variety of plot hooks to draw the adventurers and the NPC or event together for future interaction. The other 50 pieces are descriptions which could apply to most quasi-medieval fantasy cities; GMs should use them purposefully to add color to a scene.

For extra value, a handful of descriptions of “Exotic Locales,” places far from the average European setting. Finally, Tabletop Adventures has again provided a useful index, to help a GM find something specific or just browse for inspiration.

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