One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Monday, April 18, 2011

Blackmarsh Review

I picked up Rob Conley's Blackmarsh supplement a couple days ago and thought I would give it a quick review.

Blackmarsh is compatible with the Delving Deeper rules, as well as the original version of D&D. While this is true, because there are no real rules material, or stat blocks in the supplement you could really use this with anyone of your favorite fantasy rules. Personally I love this touch since it really makes it easy to use this product by the biggest number of people possible. I really fee like this book is as close to a universal product as your going to get, and I'd love to see more stuff like this come out in the future.

The art is black and white, and for the most part is pretty great, particularly the stuff by The Forge. The maps are also excellent, and Rob proves that he is an awesome cartographer in his own right. My only minor nit-pick is in the case of the Castle Blackmarsh map. I'm not down with the use of the hex-map for settlements, and I find in this case the hexes make things a little too busy for my tastes.

Down to the meat of this thing. When it comes down to it this 24 page supplement is what Rob does best, and that's the sandbox thing. This sucker is packed with great wilderness locations and encounters that would work well for any DM who is looking for a great way to kick off a new campaign, or an excellent template for how to do it themselves.

  • You have roughly one page that provides an introduction and describes how to use the booklet.
  • Another page describes the the history of the area and more notes on how to use this material in your game.
  • About two and a half pages discuss the geography of the area, followed up with a table of rumors.
  • Then you get about twelve or so pages covering the various locales found on the Blackmarsh wilderness map.
  • A 1 page full map of castle Blackmarsh, and two pages covering the locals in the castle area.
My Verdict
5 brains out of 5
This is a no brainer in my book. It's a rock solid product, and if you are looking for a place to start your next campaign, or a new location for your characters to explore this would be it. Once again Rob proves that he is the master of the Sandbox play arena, and I highly suggest you pick Blackmarsh up ASAP, if you haven't already.


  1. Appreciate the compliment, hope you have fun with it!

    Rob Conley

  2. I'm a huge fan of Rob's other work (Points of Light, etc.). I look forward to reading this!

  3. @Rob, No Problem Rob you do great work, and I always look forward to reading it.

    @Akrasia, You wont be disappointed.

  4. Good review. You given me further reason to check it out.