Review of 'Light Without Shadow, Blade Without Edge'

Michael O. Varhola

Suffice it to say that I was pleasantly surprised to discover Light Without Shadow, Blade Without Edge. This Pathfinder sourcebook from DCS — a publisher perhaps best know for its FUDGE materials — provides very good value for the price and contains a large adventure/mini-campaign that starts off in a very routine way and then expands into something far beyond what the players could likely have ever imagined. 

Notable features of this adventure by appropriately named author DM Fitzgerald include neat setup, good adventure flow, and clean writing. It is also thoroughly synopsized and outlined at the beginning, which helps with effectively using it. One of the many small nice things I appreciated about Light Without Shadow, Blade Without Edge were the evocative section titles, which include "The Caravan," "A Plague of Ages," "Fortress of Prisoners," "A Fine Vintage," "Some Things Are Missing," and "The Dance of Death." The adventure also includes convenient italicized sections of text that the game master can either read to players or paraphrase when describing particular areas or encounters. There are also lots of maps (although most of these, while clean and useful, are not as visually stimulating as what might be considered typical in RPG products). 

There are, indeed, a few things that would have made this book somewhat more appealing, to include having a cover attached to the PDF and more art, custom or otherwise, throughout. It would be unreasonable to fault a publication too much for not including something it is not charging for, however, and as much as I would have enjoyed some of these additional visual elements their absence in no way harms the quality of the adventure and should thus not be held against it. 

All in all, Light Without Shadow, Blade Without Edge is worth taking a look at and using the next time you need a fun and interesting Pathfinder adventure.