Alternate Dungeons: Infested Sewers
This installment of Raging Swan Press’ Alternate Dungeon-series clocks in at 12 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 7 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
So this time around, Alexander Augunas guides us through the process of making a sewer an interesting dungeon experience – unlike the last installment , the peculiar considerations for the traits of a sewer have been made adjusted more to the matter at hand, sporting rules for filth fever, flowing water, unkempt and landless sewers etc. – this goes on to mention slickness, better sneaking (there’s a reason thieves’ guilds tend to be down there) etc.
Back to the file – one of my primary concerns with the installment on haunted houses would have been that the sacking aspect simply hasn’t been properly modified for the environment – the same cannot be said here: From punishment by immurement (Amontillado, anyone?), to hoards, working as sewer guards (!!) and harvesting exotic fungi, the means of receiving enough compensation for adventuring are extensive – taxidermists can e.g. potentially use what the PCs slay down there. Great section, two thumbs up!
We also receive a one-page spanning table of dressings and general advice for determining functionality and general dressing-theme. It should also be noted that quite a few entries in the table sport some sort of minor crunch, making the table more than cosmetically relevant.
One page deals with suggested denizens of the sewers – the usual suspects from lycanthropes to ratfolk and otyugh and how to handle them within the context of the dungeon should be helpful for novice DMs.
Now my first draft of this review had a note after the first chapter reading “hazards? bad air? parasites?” – well they’re all here – rules for rut grubs, green slime, bad air etc. are in here alongside 4 unique, new hazards that range from tainted water to the exceedingly lethal mindwarper mold spores and the vampiric mold – deadly and cool – two thumbs up! Heck, even the CR 2 Wall of immurement trap is neat.
The pdf closes with 3 sample hooks, each of which would be more inspired than the collective of the last pdf’s – otyughs and elections, sudden green mold floods and the legend of the rat king make for feasible, easily integrated and yet inspired little hooks.
Editing and formatting are very good, but not as flawless as I’ve come to expect from Raging Swan Press. Layout adheres to RSP’s elegant 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes with nice b/w-artworks as well as fully bookmarked. Additionally, you receive two versions, one optimized for screen-use, one optimized for the printer.
Alexander Augunas’ sewers are rather nice – more so than I expected them to be. I assumed a sewer level-standard and instead received the tools to make possibly the blandest of all dungeon-like environments to shine. While not groundbreaking, this pdf ought to help any DM seeking to run a sewer and make them more memorable – and that is the very task of this pdf. Add the small bits and pieces, from neat hazards to collecting a bunch of rules in one handy place, and we have a fun pdf that all DMs (and players) who are bored by non-descript sewers should get- My only gripe would be that I could have used a pdf of twice this size with flooding rules, more parasites and hazards, more dressing, perhaps different valves and modifications, etc! My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval and a hope for an expansion one day.