20 Things: White Dragon’s Lair (system neutral)
This installment of Raging Swan Press‘ much-beloved dressing-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
Okay, we begin the first page with 12 sample features for a white dragon’s lair – these include fields of ice stalactites that generate strange shadows, ice bridges over vast chasms, and the like. Odd: Entry number #2 starts with “As #3 above…”, when it should reference #2 instead. Anyhow, a snow-based cave-in with razor-sharp ice-shards or a frozen clump of dragon meals may be found here as well. The pdf also provides 8 sample dragon names for male and female dragons.
The second page contains 12 minor features for the dragon’s lair: These include frozen, disemboweled sods in the walls, frozen pools of incredibly slippery water, large snowdrifts and the like. 8 distinguishing marks for the dragons themselves are provided, ranging from livid scars to missing talons and impressive crests. Heterochromatic eyes or mottled scales may also be found here.
A list of 12 sample sights and sounds may be added to enhance the atmosphere of the dragon’s lair – from sudden gusts of howling wind to ice suddenly ripped loose to the grisly fate of a horribly mauled frost giant child crawling into view, these dressings are pretty grisly and emphasize the animalistic nature of white dragons. The page also provides a series of 8 suggestions for activities the dragon might be engaged in, as the PCs happen upon it. These range from admiring treasure to pretending to sleep or being away, hunting. Only a few of these actually reference white dragon-specific activities – a tighter focus on white dragons would have been nice to see here.
More interesting would be the pretty massive 20-entry treasure and trinket selection, which includes beautiful battle-axes covered in frozen blood (metal!), diamonds hidden among ice crystals and the like – most of the entries here are great, though e.g. a generic unholy symbol would be the exception to the rule. 8 worn trinkets that the dragon actually brandishes have been included here, with golden rings on talon tips, a necklace wrought from a ton of smaller ones – and what about the box containing a lich’s phylactery? Yeah, these are cool.
The final page is devoted to a total of 20 entries of hoard dressing, which, for the most part, focuses admirably on the white dragon angle, with frozen yeti-corpses, frozen eagle feathers atop staves backpacks with snowshoes and the like putting a concise and well-executed emphasis on the snow and ice angle.
Editing and formatting are very good. Layout adheres to Raging Swan press’ elegant two-column b/w-standard, with solid b/w-artworks included. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, and, as always, the supplement features two versions – one intended to be printed out, and one for screen-use.
Creighton Broadhurst’s dressing for white dragons is neat – we get an interesting array of options to flesh out draconic lairs, and while a tighter focus on white dragon specific entries would have been appreciated, as a whole, this is a neat dressing pdf well worth getting. My final verdict will clock in at 4 stars.
You can get this pdf here on OBS!
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