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Bits of the Boulevard
[TAB0104]

$7.75

Bits of the Boulevard is described as "200+ places to liven up your cities", and the book is full of street and event descriptions that would be at home in most fantasy-medieval cities.

The idea behind the Bits of... series, which also includes books full of descriptions for woodland, cave, and other settings, is to cut down the amount of prep time a GM needs by supplying him with elements he would otherwise have to create in order to help that setting come alive. (I would add it's also handy for those writer's/GM's block moments).

The situations and scenes in the book are broken down into Bits and Shards. Bits are smaller descriptors, often a paragraph or so in length. They might describe a weary peddler returning from his daily rounds, or a strange merchant and his wares sitting on a carpet edging the street. I was very pleased at the vivid imagery these small scenes provided. The Shards are longer, usually several paragraphs in length, and might give an overview of the activity around the docks district, or the bustlings of a cloth market. As with the earlier section, the Shards are well-written and quite evocative of a fantasy city's everyday business.

There is also a separate section dedicated to city walls and gates, the reason presented being that adventurers spend much time entering and exiting different cities. This section is much like the Bits and Shards, and goes into detail at what might be seen, heard, and witnessed around the a city's walls and various gates.

There is also a short section on the purpose of cities and some overview items to consider when creating your own population center. The back of the book is taken up with an index (thank you), and the last pages are comprised of event cards, which can be cut out for use by the GM.

Tabletop Adventures has the motto of "Buy it Today, Play It Tonight". I did not look at Bits of the Boulevard until a few hours before our group's session, and had no difficulty using it to add flavor and depth to the fantasy city where our adventure primarily took place.

All in all, Bits of the Boulevard is a very good product. The art values won't knock anyone's socks off, but the clean design and well-crafted writing more than compensate. I would recommend the Bits of The Boulevard for any GM who finds they're crunched for prep time, creatively stymied, or just wants to add a little extra flavor and color to the towns and cities of their game.
Date Added: 02/17/2007 by Zachary Houghton
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