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Mystic Marketplaces: Einjhall's Hall of Exotic Equipment €2,79
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Mystic Marketplaces: Einjhall's Hall of Exotic Equipment
Publisher: Flying Pincushion Games
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/31/2016 10:50:39

An review

The second installment of Flying Pincushion Games' Mystical Marketplaces-series clocks in at 15 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page editorial, 3/4 of a page blank, leaving us with approximately 11 1/4 pages of content, so let's take a look!

This was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.

Einjhall's is a lavish place for those with means -a purchase limit of 120 K and a base limit of 20K mean that the shop's inventory, both mundane and magical, is geared towards the wealthy and discerning connoisseur. Situated in a two-story chateau, manservants bringing warmed meads and sweet treats, the place has an air of opulence and decadence, with richly carved mahagony pillars hold stone pillars atop merchandise smelling of silk and saffron.

As such, this place is a thankful purveyor of ettercap silk, blink dog hide,d ragon's teeth and similar rare objects - the distinguished pair of owners Einjhall Alpinsonne (the last name meaning, just fyi, Alp's sun and literally also denotes a lesser known mirage-like phenomenon; and I butchered the name to "Einhjall" every time I wrote it...) and Ophan are certainly gentlemen of wealth and taste.

Yes, this reference was intentional, for the two not only sell decadent trinkets toward the fops and dandys and dandysettes- they also have a second, lesser known specialty. Before we come to that, though, I should mention that both the patronage point system introduced in the first installment and the bartering system make a return here.

The shop does feature an array of sample magic items that usually are available in the shop, but the place is by no means restricted to offering just that; in fact, returning customers can not only enjoy meals on the house, they may actually custom order items or gain spellcasting services: The two owners have found a way to make glamours permanent, with sample prices for several given as a means of orientation. Being clothiers at heart, the two aren't the perfect choice for gaining the doom-slayer sword of utter destruction...but more subtle means? Oh yes.

The supplement features3 sample quests that include bidding for a live ettercap on the black market auctions, getting more wraith shawl from the barrows...pretty creative hooks here! Similarly, shop tasks for less risky ways to increase the patronage score can be found herein.

Just take heed when shopping at Einjhall's - this place is very much a caveat emptor type of place, where those that are less scrupulous and know to ask (or just offend the owners) may purchase illicit and cursed items - which may or may not (depending on what the GM decides), be the reason this mob of dandys is causing trouble in the sample encounter. Generally, one could take that as an easy means of introducing the store and hinting at its nature of more than what it seems to be. The situation can be resolved via social skills and combat, with the nobles getting statblocks. Similarly, the owners receive a statblock (both share the same stats) and one glance should make clear that they are not to be trifled with. As far as encounters go that introduce a place, it certainly is a nice encounter that does its job well.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches in the formal and rules-language - Jeff Harris did a good job here. Layout adheres to a full-color 1-column standard - apart from the blank space on the final page that could have been filled with slightly more text, I don't have much to complain here. The pdf has a nice artwork of a dashing noble's portrait as a sample for the request to be drawn by the owners as well as some neat stock pieces. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Frank Gori, Richard Litzkow and Taylor Hubbler's Einjhall's is a great second installment for the series: The place features unique benefits that make returning here a worthwhile proposition. The general hooks and presentation are fun, with the writing letting the place come to life...though only in a general sense. The framework is here, but if you require a room by room breakdown or want to know the precise merchandise and architecture, that the pdf will not deliver, being map-less and mostly focused on the concept of the store. That being said, since the store is less focused on individual "hotspots" than its predecessor and more on the general experience of shopping here, the lack of a map does not hurt Einjhall's - smart decision here!

While most would associate the kind-of Scandinavian-sounding name with a more rough and tumble place, playing against the trope here works to the pdf's advantage; similarly, the edge and duality of the shop as a leitmotif makes sense and is conveyed rather well via the interesting owners. If I have one complaint versus the content, then that would be the lack of guidance regarding the handling of the less savory items handled by the place - tying access to those via patronage would make sense. I assume that 10-point invitation to dinner with the two would be just that, but the pdf does not explicitly state this. In short - Einjhall's is a worthwhile and inexpensive purchase that makes for a fun and interesting place of opulence and decadence that would be right at home within the bustling streets of Oppara or a similar metropolis.

At the same time, I believe that this pdf does sell itself short a bit: Take the hooks, for example: Why not go for unique, dyed ettercap silk cat-burglar suits? What does one of these nifty wraith shawls do? The ideas here are so cool, I really wished they had also been translated to full magic item/material status! I am, however, complaining at a high level here - this one is imho better than the first installment in the series, mostly due to focusing on the overall experience rather than the individual interaction hotspots. My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, still rounded down for now - but if the series keeps this up, the next installment may make the 5!

Endzeitgeist out.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mystic Marketplaces: Einjhall's Hall of Exotic Equipment
Publisher: Flying Pincushion Games
by Lisa K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/08/2016 16:36:09

This PDF has 15 pages 12 of which have some gaming material on them. So value wise it is 25 cents per page.

So basically this PDF is about a single high end clothing store that also sells some magical clothing, weapons and armor. Their are a few suggetions on what they specifically sell but the details are mostly left to the GM.

The real meat of this product is the "Colorful" owners. These 2 gentlemen "handle" their customers according to how their customers treat them. So basically if you treat them well, do favors for them and basically be their flunkies they will give discounts buy at higher prices and even sell their secrets with illusionist magic. However if they don't like you if you are rude, greedy or underhanded in your dealing's then they like to substitute your purchases for cursed magic items or illusional merchandise.

So that being said. When your customers tend to be wealthy noblemen who by their very nature are rude and arrogant you are bound to garner enemies. Almost half of this pdf is about an encounter with just such a young nobleman and his friends. With presumably the PC's caught in the middle. So if you thought shopping was a dull activity think again.

Their is also a short system for patronage and another for bartering as a way to make shopping more interesting I guess.

Ok so what I liked about this product. It is a great ready made store to place in any city. So if your Players are wandering around a city and browsing through shops this is a great one to throw in to the mix.

What I would have liked to see more of. Equipment rare and exotic. I love equipment always have. I have even bought entire Tabletop RPG's just to raid the equipment lists. So I was a little disappointed that only one page featured any equipment.

So overall I am giving this a 4 which to me is a good score if you are looking for an interesting diversion for your players this might be just the thing. The shop owners could be longtime "associates" for your players to deal with between adventures.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mystic Marketplaces: Einjhall's Hall of Exotic Equipment
Publisher: Flying Pincushion Games
by N. J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/08/2016 13:34:18

[b]What I liked[/b]

-Another top notch description of the shop this time, it's nice enough to the point where the players can get a general vibe for it.

-While I'm still not in love with it, the barter system is back and feels better implemented this time, upgrading it to something I like, although in the future I'd like to see more items listed for it, even if the given ones are just suggestions. That and higher value ones, as the shop itself has very pricey wares, and the highest value of the barter items doesn't even get you halfway to one.

-The returning patronage system is always aces,and if I'm being honest, it's one of the major draws of the book. I feel like now that it's established, it could be expanded upon, but that's not a fault of the book, more something I would just like to see in future instalments.

-Integrating the shop keeps more into the shop helped over Brass Dragon, making them feel more fleshed out and less 'needlessly mysterious', giving us a better feel for them.

-Speaking of integration, the special services was another nice touch, helping us feel like the shop was worth our time over others.

-Another fun set of quest and shop request here. While I'd like more, that's just me wanting more content, and not a fault of the book.

-While at odds with something below, the encounter provided actually allows you to deal with it without needing a map. It's a more tepid encounter, so it's nothing amazing, but it does give a very nice feel for the location, so the flavorful environment of the encounter makes up for it being mechanically weak. It almost feels like actually fighting in the shop is the 'wrong' way to do things, but that's not really a problem.

[b]What I didn't like[/b]

-Unlike the last store, there's no fantastical way to return to this one, which with it wares is a damn shame. Not a huge drawback, but this means you'll only get great use of this in a city locked game.

-The standard magic item list is prohibitively small. I understand it's most likely a spacing concern, but for the lush and lavish setting as well as the fact that the book has shown that it's willing to include (1) UC item, I would have liked around 20 items included here.

-The lack of a map; I know it was talked about before, I've had the reasons explained to me why there wasn't a map, but that doesn't change the fact that if you're going to include an encounter, you need a map. I will give kudos that the need for a map is greatly minimized this time around, so it doesn't hurt the overall product nearly as much as Brass Dragon, who's encounter was always going to be combat.

[b]Final Thoughts[/b] Really the only problems I'd say I have were listed above, the rest of this book is very solid. The atmosphere is correct for what it's shooting for here. While having both shopkeepers have the same statline was a tad lazy, it's forgivable since unique stat lines wouldn't have added much at all.

While the map was going to be my make or break for this, the intelligent way the need for it was sidestepped was enough to bolster my opinion of the product. I could honestly see using this shop in just about any game which was city locked, making it a regular establishment in my game world. 5/5 product to me, and if you use it for a city game, you'll probably get a LOT of use out of it.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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