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Fantasy Community: Riverporte $2.76
Average Rating:3.8 / 5
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Fantasy Community: Riverporte
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Fantasy Community: Riverporte
Publisher: Dark Quest Games
by Steven v. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/16/2007 12:31:07
A good, ready to go fantasy community with all sorts of fun things. I liked the text more than the maps, but I am not going to nit pick about that. If you want a drop and go city, this is a good one. There's some nice bits of plot to explore. Could make a good starting community for the upcoming 4e PoL campaign. This is a larger community than Applehaven, which could be a town on the far reaches of Riverporte. Everything you need is there, mostly. though you will need to fill in some details like gods since they try to stay generic for any FRP system.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Community: Riverporte
Publisher: Dark Quest Games
by Robin C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/23/2006 00:00:00
The 2nd book in the Fantasy Community series, Riverporte is the largest community in the line so far. Unlike peaceful Applehaven and dangerous Swampwoode, most of the threats to Riverporte come from within.

This book is 40 pages long, and there is almost no artwork within besides the map - it's mostly dense information from cover to cover. The cover and the map are seperate pdfs.
Riverporte is a generic fantasy setting that's not system specific, so there's no stat blocks here. The descriptions are details on the info of the people and businesses in the area, right down to their spouses, kids and pets. The people in town have names but not races, allowing you to easily alter the population to be of varied races as would fit your campaign world.
The businesses are well detailed, right down to the stock of the orchard's cider and the menu at the inn. It's also noted which businesses are most dependant on outside trade and which are more community specific, and I found that helpful in prepairing possible side adventures. There's a bit of active criminal elements here, and your players would be wise not to cross them. Though their reach isen't far, in the town they have significant influence. There's two retired adventurers in town, a wizard (location 60) and a bard (location 61). The wizard has set up a small wizards college.

Like all the books in this series, there's some empty buildings in town available for purchase. There's an unused guard tower (location 45) which might make a good building for a wizards tower, if a PC was looking to establish a lab and take some downtime off to create a few items. Theres also a three story abandoned building for sale (location 66) which has fallen upon some disrepair, that could be fixed up nicely to a storefront or a large manorhouse residence. You could probably comfortably house a whole adventuring party in that building. Another abandoned building (location 70) is not as large or in as good repair, but is priced to sell. There's also an abandoned farmstead (location 86) in poor repair.

I'm really happy with this book. It will be seeing use in my game world, and I am pleased it will require almost no effort to add to my game setting. It was a good value for the money, and I look forward to more books from this series.




LIKED: Many towns I've seen were just a collection of NPC's, but something I particularly like is the people of Riverporte have actual ties to each other - you find out who's son married who's daughter, and how the families feel about each other. It really has the sense of being a community.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Community: Riverporte
Publisher: Dark Quest Games
by Jarnin L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/27/2005 00:00:00
This offers a lot of text, especially for the reduced price of less than $2. Whether you can use it as is depends on how fastidious you and your players are about realism. If they don't know much or care much about how real villages are/were laid out, this is a dandy product straight out. If they're the kind of people to notice things like, "Hey, where's all the farmland?" or "Why is the guard tower and all the guards on the other side of the river from the town?" or "If this is a big trading town, why isn't there a big dock?" etc., then you might want to make some adjustments.

There's no "adventure" going on in this town, just people living their everyday lives. But there are enough names and good bits of juicy gossip that you can stick a plot in easily and have a good idea about what the PCs will hear about it if they go to building #51.

LIKED: The descriptions of the buildings, their contents, and the people are really great, and make up the bulk of the 40 pages of text. The inventories for the stores and the menu at the inn are ridiculously detailed and overblown, but give you a great list to CHOOSE from, in figuring out which of those things are really available. I particularly like that all the food items on the menu are given a cost, not in cp or gp, but in % normal meal cost.

DISLIKED: The map isn't realistic. In a real village by a river that relied on trade, most of the development would be along the river itself, and there would be docks and warehouses and inns next to the river. Farms would be spread out far and wide. Instead, the river comes into the corner of the map, and all the buildings are squeezed into a neat rectangle with most buildings far from the river, and tiny little patches of ground not much larger than the house lots are labeled as pastures, vinyards, and fields. But again, if your players don't care, why not? It sure beats coming up with every single detail yourself.

Also a downside: I can't search the PDF for key words, and there's no organization within the PDF that helps locate a certain type of business. So you just have to hunt.

QUALITY: Acceptable

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Community: Riverporte
Publisher: Dark Quest Games
by Tim G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/01/2005 00:00:00
At the reduced rate it's certainly worth it if it suits your needs, but it has some significant problems.

LIKED: It covers a reasonable-size village in some detail, setting out who lives where and what their occupations and relationships are. There's not much actually going on apart from soap opera type stuff, so it's more a jumping-off point than an adventure site. The approach ould suit D&D fairly well.

DISLIKED: From the first page it was clear that the author doesn't have a great command of English, which unfortunately marred the whole product - it's not a smooth read.

Sometimes it's a bit *too* detailed. Many of the shops have their available stock listed out at length - almost a page for different types and sizes of cheese, for instance. This could be a bug or a feature depending on what you're looking for (eg good for a trade-heavy game).

QUALITY: Disappointing

VALUE: Satisfied


Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Community: Riverporte
Publisher: Dark Quest Games
by Angus M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/18/2004 00:00:00
Now here is a good innovation -- a well-described city usable for pretty much any fantasy game system. Since there are no statistics, no numbers to crunch, etc., you can use this city in almost any game, assuming of course a "standard fantasy setting".

To start with, you get three files -- a cover, the description of the town, and a map. The map itself is no great shakes; it is fairly simplistic, but it does get the job done. Probably the biggest falldown with the map, other than the very simple graphics, is the fact that every building is numbered -- while this is great for a GM map, I prefer a "blank" map for my players.

The main file about the town itself, however, is a GREAT deal. It is 40pp long, no extra illustrations to cut into the text, and pretty standard borders, double columned, black & white and very plain. In other words, barring the TOC at the begining, you have 39pp of useful material.

The file starts with general information on the town -- economic and criminal activity, how "outsiders" are viewed, a short generalized history (no specific dates, so you can fit it into any timeline), and then a general run-down of the sections of the town and its major streets. Quick, to the point, easy to flesh out if you want more -- in many ways this part reminds me of the Harn supplements in that you can add in extra material with ease and the material that is there is useful without being "system intrusive".

The third part, starting on p5 of the document, gives details of each of the structures numbered on the map. Some of the places are called "A Large Farmhouse with Two Stables" or "Establishment of the Leather Worker and Tanner"; others are identified by signs (Thread & Needle, Image of a Blown Glass Vase). Some of these places list general kinds of goods available while others have more specific items. I might quibble that some of these shops, such as the armourer, seem overly well stocked is easily remidied. Personally, I love the write-up on the Sign of the Pickled Cucumber with its many vats of different kinds of pickled goods!

In addition to the goods sold, you find out about the look of the shop (or farm or house), as well as the attitude of the shopkeeper (or resident). Several of the shops also have notes tying their owners to other establishments, the criminal activity in the town, and other points of interest, thus making the town feel more "connected", rather than a random collection of shops.

Even if you don't like the town of Riverporte, per se, it is very easy to port businesses out of this town and put it in one of your own (again, the Sign of the Pickled Cucumber has just been moved into my own game world!). And since the only "mechanical" aspect of the game is prices listed in "gold coins, silver coins, and copper coins" (with broad definitions to transfer these prices into your own games currency), there would be very little lost in the translation.

The last two and a half pages is taken up with personalities of "The Homeless and the Destitute", thus moving you from merely having "street beggars" to instead dealing with Billford Norris or Carly Soote who have real personalities and aspects that you might like or dislike as individuals.

So, overall I'd say this product is a darn good bargain. It would make a great "base of operations" for many fantasy campaigns!

LIKED: Generic basis, no wasted space, connectedness of town, many personalities.

DISLIKED: Simplistic map

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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