Thursday, April 26, 2018

Review of Jeffersontown Setting Guide for DARK PLACES & DEMOGORGONS

Note: I was given a awesome free copy of the setting.  Also note that I put Affiliate links within this document.  Thanks Eric! This is wonderful. 

Publisher Blurb: 
The Jeffersontown Setting Guide is 140 pages of everything you could ever want to know about Jeffersontown.  From Maps, to History, To Modern Day, To Heroes, Villains, NPCs Monsters...this all inclusive Setting Guide is a one stop shop for all things Jeffersontown!

More about DARK PLACES & DEMOGORGONS Following in the tradition of SURVIVE THIS!! Zombies! comes SURVIVE THIS!! Dark Places & Demogorgons, a tabletop roleplaying game that uses the Original 1970s Fantasy Roleplaying game rules but mutates it into this retro nightmare. It’s sleek, slender and creepy as Hell.

In Dark Places & Demogorgons, you play as high school students during the early 1980s. The town you live in has had a rash of disappearances and strange happenings. The adults seem lost as what to do, the police are as clueless as ever and aren’t helping and Reverend Phillips is on another witch-hunt. It’s up to you and your friends to figure out what’s going on and stop it from happening again! 

They say, "write what you know", and the guys at Bloat Games have done just that.

I'm sure the inspiration for this book comes directly from the town that the boys live in and that's frigging awesome!  Much like the Midderlands, it's a smart idea to write what you know and to write about the place that you live near.  I had actually started working on a similar idea for Gamma world and the province I live in.  (yes at some point I'll get that shit done), alright onto the review! I'll stop rambling!

This setting guide is a perfect companion to DP&D.  It's filled with a ton of adventure hooks, Monsters, NPCs, Magic items and most importantly a extremely detailed map and setting locations.  Obviously you don't NEED this to run DP&D as there's a ton of great ideas in the core book.  However if you start running out of ideas, or want to expand your campaign a bit, I'd strongly suggest grabbing a copy of this. 

First off I gotta say I absolutely loved the Colloquial dictionary! Seriously giggled the whole time.  It's basically a Jeffersontown to English table.  Having run into a few American accents while down
south, I totally get it.  Just like when we get some Americans up here, and they look at us strangely when we say "EH!" or some other typical Canadian home spun verbiage.  My only complaint is I'd love to have seen a few more pages of this, because it's a perfect thing to get you in the zone and in character.  Onwards!

I should note that timeline set out is fairly straight forward history of Jeffersotown, however once you get into the 1950s things start taking a turn towards fiction, in there are adventure hooks.  Read em.  The actual town is split up into five sections, each are quite detailed with places to visit and notable buildings, businesses'.  Each with plot hooks, and memorable NPCs.  There is so much in this book to keep you going.  The places of note section really drills down to two specific  locations, a "magic" shop (which is friggin totally Needful things! and that is exactly how I would play it).  Well not a magic shop so much as an antique store (nudge nudge wink wink).  This is where Iwould start a campaign.  Or this would be where the rumours point you.  Because the characters in the game are in High School, the actual high school is quite detailed, including a table of what classes you are taking that semester.  I think my only caveat when running this gamewould be to make sure that all the characters atleast had one classs together.  As an example each PC is supposed to have 6 classes per semester, which they can randomly roll.  I think I would have them do that, and then give them one extra class that was only a half hour a day that they were all in.
The rest of the book is detailed with Adventure seeds and monsters.  All of which are super creative! Some are throw backs or "plays" on horror movies.  The nice thing is they are all rooted in the setting.

A perfect example is "the new girl".  Here's the twist:  "Amara Giapanta appears to be a 14-year-old Greek girl (5'1”, 92 lbs.), but in reality, she is 2300-year-old vampire from Ancient Greece. "The premise starts off that your in class and the new girl shows up. She's beautiful, she likes metal.  Haven't we all been there???? Being a nerdy teenager you follow her home and spy on her and that's where things start getting into "dark places and demogorgons"..... 

That's the only one I'm going to spoil, the book has 14 of these, all of which are a good 2 - 4 pages of detail.  As usual Eric has knocked it out of the park with the layout and the art in the book.  I really dig how the "look" of the DP&D line has stayed similar across the board (this is something I've been wanting to do, but never get around to it).  Kudos! If you LOVE playing DP&D I'd suggest getting this book.  If you haven't tried DP&D or are curious about it you can check out my reviewhere:

Here are a view more videos detailing DP&D products.

Ivan Mike 

God Emperor Leto II

Obviously you do not NEED this book to run a successful DP&D campaign (just like any other setting book) however I think it really compliments the original rules, and has a lot of added value.

Further Reading: 
My review of DP&D 
An Interview with Eric Bloat 
Alternative class for DP&D "The stoner" 
A review of character classes in DP&D

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