This installment of the #20 Things-series clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
All right, we begin this dressing file with a page that depicts 8 sample travelers (9, actually – one entry features two characters) to share the campsite with; these travelers are depicted as fluff-only write-ups, noting suggested alignment, class and level, but nothing mechanical beyond this – this is, after all, a system neutral pdf. The class references do reference old school class descriptions: Thief and magic-user, for example, so if that kind of thing is important to you, you’ll enjoy this small touch. The write-ups include boisterous fellow adventurers that do have the means to back up the bluster, wounded and surly half-orcs, traveling tinkers, weirdly dressed gnomes experimenting with teleportation magic – quite a nice array here!
The second page contains two different 10-entry tables; the first one depicts notable campsite characteristics: Perhaps the campsite may be prone to flooding, or perhaps its straddles a game trail. A tree that is dead and may well topple when storm winds hit – some cool properties here! The second table on the page nets 10 different signs show that someone has camped here before: Moldy tarpaulins caught in roots, a stone-ringed fire pit, a particularly disgusting latrine – interesting array here, and this does include plenty of angles for the GM to elaborate upon and develop.
Of course, campsites may already be inhabited: There are 10 suggestions for such complications, which include wasps, owls, a nearby fox den…and mysteriously empty nests in the branches. A pool with a grumpy pike inside promises good fishing – some neat entries here. For more malign complications, 10 things lurking in the shadows should help with your designs: This table is particularly neat, ranging from a badger family to a shellshocked victim of a nearby threat to the slightly odd, with a shivering halfling ghost haunting the place. Nice diversity between the mundane and fantastic here.
There is more in the vein of complications to be found here: 20 Night-time campsite events include the mundane and ominous, like a big log burning through, creating cloud of sparks; clouds covering the moon, plunging the site in darkness, strange noises from afar, sudden rope snaps on the tent of the party – some nice tension-building here. The final table once more has 20 entries and provides things to find at an abandoned campsite: Food wrappers, fire pits surrounded with spattered blood – there are even more angles to create atmosphere here.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches apart from an erroneously capitalized “Perceptive”. Layout adheres to an elegant, minimalist 2-column b/w-standard, and the pdf sports a couple of really nice b/w-artworks. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, and the pdf comes in two different versions, one of which is optimized for screen-use, and one is optimized for printing it out.
Creighton Broadhurst and Jeff Gomez have crafted a rather compelling dressing-file here: The entries are very much grounded in reality and gritty aesthetics, which I do enjoy. There is still some magic here, and the pdf, as a whole, feels like a well-rounded, fun offering. My final verdict will hence clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval. Great way to make campsites more compelling!
You can get this amazing little dressing file here on OBS!
You can directly support Raging Swan Press here on patreon!
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