There are a couple of editions of this; the cover pictured, the original version, is the one I own. The book is loose-leaf, three-hole-punched, and with cardstock maps, all contained in a ziploc bag which I lost long ago.
If this had been a complete product giving an overview of a fantasy RPG city, it would have been an unequivocal success. I say this based on the quality of the material that is present. That's what's so frustrating about this product; it had the makings of a true classic. I bought this new way back when, and it took me a while to realize that there was supposed to be at least one or two further releases that would complete the city. It would take years before I learned that at least one of those additional city sections had been released, and that a third had been worked on, though it remains unreleased.
That said, the material presented here is fantastic. In some ways, Haven was a city ahead of its time. Meticulously detailed, it contrasted with Judges Guild's wild and woolly City-State of the Invincible Overlord by being more "realistic," for lack of a better term. Don't get me wrong; I love the old City-State with its chaotic nature. Pure fun. But The Free City of Haven presented a functioning city in which the rule of law prevailed. This is an important distinction; I can't recall anything else from the same time period in which so much care was taken to make the city work like a city might in a fantasy setting.
This product was intended for Gamelords' Thieves Guild RPG. That game was, essentially, a D&D knock-off that concentrated on (wouldn't you know) thieves. Thus, a city like Haven is exactly the kind of setting perfect for such a game. Thieves Guild was enough like D&D that Haven could easily be ported over to the latter game, with a few relatively minor changes, if any.
|Centaur public transit in the Free City of Haven|