Review: Rogue Games – Locations (Colonial Gothic)


Locations
Locations is a supplement for the historical fantasy horror game Colonial Gothic written by Jennifer Brozek and published by Rogue Games.
By Aaron T. Huss

Learn more about Locations here
Purchase Locations here
Find other Colonial Gothic products here

Locations is a collection of four sourcebooks detailing completely different historical locations within Colonial America, given a fantasy horror overlay. Each location is defined in a very straight-forward manner with material for players and GMs separated (to give the GM the behind-the-scenes information). These sourcebooks are extremely complete from a game standpoint by presenting not only the important buildings within each location, but also detailing the important people and factions and the goings on of both.

CONTENT

Plymouth presents a gazetteer for Plymouth, Massachusetts along with important people, major events, and an adventure frame.

Elizabethtown presents a gazetteer for Elizabethtown, Maryland (also called Hager’s Fancy) along with important people, major events, and an adventure frame.

Savannah presents a gazetteer for Savannah, Georgia along with important people, major events, and an adventure frame.

Charlotte Haven presents a gazetteer for Charlotte Haven, Florida along with important people, major events, and an adventure frame.

OVERALL

Locations is essentially a compilation of four separate gazetteers for various locations within Colonial America. Each one is important in its own unique way, but more importantly they offer a detailed account of locations that span a large distance of the east coast. Each section is treated completely separately which is good and bad to the sourcebook as a whole. It’s good that you get all the content for each location in a single chapter. It’s bad because some of the content is essentially repeated (not large amounts of content, just little things here and there such as descriptions of factions) and others are thus scattered about instead of within a single chapter (such as bestiary). In all honesty, both layout methods work just fine and it becomes more a matter of personal taste. This format tends to break the synergy of the book as a whole, but only slightly and instead you don’t have to flip through various chapters to find the entries for that particular location as they are all in one chapter.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 7 out of 10
I find it a bit ironic that Plymouth and Elizabethtown are claimed to be revisited and re-edited because the editing had a lot of mistakes present. The quality of editing in Savannah and Charlotte Haven were by far much better than the first two chapters, but nothing really broke the flow of the content. The wording got a bit tricky as you attempt to decipher what it meant (because of an editing error), but it wasn’t so bad that you can’t ultimately understand the content. The writing is still quite solid and the layout and formatting of the book are excellent. I’m a big fan of Rogue Games’ use of historical stock art as it really captures that Colonial America environment, but I’d also love to see a bit of new artwork to capture the fantasy horror side of Colonial Gothic. As the latter is not present, I’ll take the former as-is.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
Locations is not a mechanical book in the traditional sense. It is instead filled with source material that can be translated into mechanics as you see fit, or simply used as-is to flavor your adventures and campaigns or used as the backdrop of a new campaign. As such, I love the approach taken to each location and appreciate the historical and fantasy horror aspects of each one.

Value Add: 10 out of 10
The value of books such as Locations is that it presents content both the GM and players can use for character development and during adventures and campaigns. They can use the material to further their investigations or give their character’s a home and a reason as to why they are from that town and why their character exhibits the abilities they have. Additionally, GMs will find a lot of additional value in the adventure information provided and the list of Colonial Gothic events they can weave into their adventures and campaigns.

Overall: 9 out of 10
Colonial Gothic truly covers a vast array of options when it comes to representing Colonial America in a fantasy horror light. Sourcebooks such as Locations zooms in on specific places within Colonial America to demonstrate how these fantasy horror themes are applied to historical locations to create that alternate history look and feel. Additionally, the sourcebook is filled with a large amount of behind-the-scenes information of the GM to create adventures and campaigns based in or using these locations to the fullest extent. It’s really a complete package in a single book and you get four full locations to boot! As with my original Elizabethtown review, I highly recommend Locations and hope Rogue Games continues with their direction in fleshing out the possible historical locations throughout the colonies.

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