Village Backdrop: Masquerade

A troupe of masked actors and comics crew the floating village-theatre of Masquerade. The village—really three rickety barges that visits both riverfront and coastal villages, hides a secret many guests would find unpalatable—most of the performers suffer from leprosy. The infected—generally those with very early stages of the illness—hide behind their masks, costumes and gaiety. Forced to keep moving to keep their terrible secret hidden the folk of Masquerade are on a perpetual pilgrimage to visit holy sites in hopes of a magical cure for their horrendous affliction. The worst afflicted are kept below, treated with kindness and cares as the village floats onwards seeking salvation. However, the true ruler of Masquerade is an even more unpalatable guest—a vampire—but no ordinary queen of the night, no simple bloodsucker is the so-called Silent Queen for an ancient vow binds her more tightly than the stoutest chain….


Notable Locations

A few locations in Masquerade are of interest to adventurers:

  1. The Singing Crooked Bridge: Visitors enter Masquerade by the swaying rope bridge.
  2. Great Theatre & Pit: Garish temporary home of the main events on Masquerade, spiritual home of Bramble Hammlin.
  3. Museum & Warehouse: Part shop, part exhibition, locals supplement their income with tat, fakes and the occasional genuine treasure here.
  4. Leaning Fore-tower & Comedia: Tumbling clowns and acrobats play this stage for comedic value supported by peculiarly talented animals.
  5. The Port Morality Play Barge: Lesser side-stage where newcomers ply their arts in simple morality plays.
  6. The Grinning Gargoyle Door: The only entrance below-decks, this locked door keeps curious visitors away from the most afflicted villagers.
  7. Upper Hold & Quarters: Village meeting place, eating and drinking commune and home to the general populace, this confusing maze of tiny homes lurks immediately below the main deck of Masquerade’s largest vessel.
  8. Infirmary & Lower Hold: Here those with more advanced leprosy are given succour by a trio of devoted nuns, themselves bearing an advanced form of the affliction.
  9. Fore Captain’s Chambers: The public captain’s chamber, which leads directly to that of the Silent Queen. The elected leader of Masquerade—known as the Jester—spends what little spare time she has here.
  10. The True Captain’s Penance: Daylight never enters the true leader’s cot—it would destroy her if it did. The Jester is her only visitor.
  11. Trade Barge: Here trade goods are held—the captain has always had an eye for a bargain and trade opportunity.
  12. Storage Hold Barge: The main hold is used to store Masquerade’s sets and props between shows.

Praise for Village Backdrop: Masquerade

“This humble supplement set my mind ablaze with ideas and managed to really touch my heart…and considering that it’s only 7 pages long, that means something. This pdf thus gets 5 stars + seal of approval. The system neutral version is just as strong as the PFRPG-version in its overall themes and execution, and thus shares its nomination for my Top Ten of 2018.”

–Endzeitgeist (five stars + seal of approval + Top Ten of 2018 contender)


Get the PDF


Sign up for Raging Swan’s Patreon campaign by 8 February and get all three versions of Village Backdrop: Masquerade for only $2!


A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible GM’s Resource by Richard Pett

Released 12 February 2018; Pages 12

PDF ($3.45) d20pfsrd, DriveThruRPG, Paizo, RPGNow, Warehouse 23

Download a Free Sample Masquerade at a Glance



A 5e Compatible GM’s Resource by Richard Pett

Released 12 February 2018; Pages 10

PDF ($3.45) DriveThruRPG, RPGNow

Download a Free Sample 5e Masquerade at a Glance




A System Neutral GM’s Resource by Richard Pett

Released 12 February 2018; Pages 10

PDF ($3.45) DriveThruRPG, RPGNow

Download a Free Sample SNE Masquerade at a Glance



Free Download

Download the Maps Masquerade Maps

Download the Maps Masquerade Grid Maps (Thank you, Simon Butler, for the grids)


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