I promised to write a positive post about the Goods & Gear splatbook. I'll try.
Sadly for most D&D gamers wandering about on the internet looking for material for their games, they'd rather spend money on a splatbook than read the original text ... partly because the original texts are not light reading. A splatbook is. Yet while that lack of density is easier to read, it is also lacking in meaty detail.
The very best I can hope to gain from a splatbook is an attempt to make lists and provide a categorical breakdown of objects or ideas. For example, Goods & Gear (G&G) has 6 marvelous pages of ship descriptions, details and numbers, describing the length, beam, seaworthiness, time of construction, tonnage and so on. As a list from which to work, in order to create elaborate descriptions and details for my own ships for the naval combat system I continue to build, it's very helpful. It gives me ship names. It gives me a list of details I ought to address. I should know the draft of vessels and how many decks they have. I should know how many heavy weapons can be placed and the number of crew a ship should have. I thank Kenzer for putting the book together, as it is very helpful in that regard.
Where it is not helpful is in the actual research and accuracy of these vessels ~ the numbers are way off, or ridiculous, the crews in particular are excessively too high, there's no consistency in size versus the number of ship hit points ~ and quite often the ships descriptions are, well, wrong.
Gawd knows I've researched ships, fairly continuously for the last 20 years, as I love sea battle games (which is why I own a copy of Wooden Ships & Iron Men, as well as Trireme). At university I did three papers on Roman, Greek & Far Eastern shipbuilding and sea trade because the subject pulled at me. And while it is true that numbers for anything having to do with historical shipbuilding are mostly pulled out of a hat (we know virtually nothing about galleys apart from what they looked like), these numbers don't synch with each other. But ... that's not important.
What matters is having material to build on. I don't have to take G&G's word on it, I can look up the ships on the internet and get right numbers. Where G&G doubles both the length and width of the ship, then only doubles the tonnage, because apparently 3-D is a mystery, I can fix those numbers easily enough. Sorry, if a 60-foot barge carries 20 tons, a 120-foot barge does not carry 50 tons. And it does not have the same number of hit points.
What matters is that these things can be fixed. Splatbooks are a signpost outside an abandoned restaurant where the equipment still works. If we break in with our own food, we can still cook it.
So there is plunderable material throughout. The Foodstuffs and Meals list includes "brides' finger," which I never would have thought to include. Sadly, many things on the list don't seem to be on the internet. I don't know if this is because the thing is so obscure it can't be looked up, or if the makers invented it. Under the clothing list, there's a thing called a "narja"; it sounds like a burka, and on the internet I can find the words linked together; but I can't find a picture of a narja so that I can tell the difference. A burka is not on the G&G list.
Perhaps they're things in other languages. I don't know. That's not helpful. It IS helpful to be reminded to add a beekeeper's raiment, a semiphore flag, a sounding line, ship charts, boarding hooks, a full sized loom, a shepherd's crook, a tooth wrench, insect netting, a feather mattress, a coffin, a wooden tub, a book stand, finger symbols and hair dye to my equipment lists, which are all things I didn't think of. There are other things too ~ and I will pour through the lists with a fine-tooth comb until I'm satisfied I've copied what I want.
As a book onto itself, no, I wouldn't recommend it. I can't imagine lugging this thing from place to place along with other books in case something came up and I had to address this book to find it. Yet splatbooks can appeal to a wide range of people ~ most of whom get their 500 words of content out of the book and feel easy tossing the rest away.