By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Purple Duck Gamesis 32 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 3.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 26.5 pages of content, so let’s check this out!
Now what exactly do we get? Essentially a collection of encounters to be inserted into your campaign, much like Raging Swan’s “Random X Encounter”-line. The encounters span the CR-range from 1 to 15 and come with full stats for uncommon creatures. Some of the stats deviate from bestiary II or III standards since the creatures are taken from Tricky Owlbear’s stellar monster-book “Forgotten Foes”. That out of the way, here we go!
So what are the encounters? We get a chef attacked by killer frogs (he ordered large frog legs and tsathoggua was not pleased), a merchant that sells devil-possessed dolls, a parade of captive orcs in the streets, a hall with stranded ethereal travellers, a rich merchant’s daughter whose refusal to clean her room created (with a rod of wonder) a junk elemental, a vegepygmy/shrieker symbiotic relation, planar portals guarded by greymalkin, arrowhawks defending their floating eggs (Genius!), mermaids who are not what they seem, the maze of a Shedu, mining camps besieged by spider eaters, nightgaunts guarding portals of time, a beastmaster’s performance going horribly wrong, help a two-headed troll solve cyclopean riddles, vanquish water demons, greater basilisks and snake-like inphidians, prevent a bodak’s murder-spree, test their mettle in the arena vs. amazons, help, hinder or attack a special marut called Red Hand and resolve a dispute between tritons and locathath.
*breathes deeply* Furthermore, the pdf also contains 7 spells.
Editing and formatting are very good, I didn’t notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to PDG’s printer-friendly 2-column standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked. The stock-artworks are nice and production-value-wise, I can’t complain.
In contrast to Raging Swan Press’ offerings, these encounters are less tied to terrain, more versatile and easy to insert, but pay this versatility with being more generic, since they lack the terrain-features and similar complications. What this pdf does to offset this minor downside is interesting: Each of the encounters comes with 3 complications for the DM to make the encounters more complex. This simple, yet effective method alongside the creativity and sometimes tongue-in-cheek humour of a couple of the encounters makes this a very solid addition to a GM’s library. While not on par with e.g. the by now legendary “Caves & Caverns”, this is still a purchase DMs should definitely contemplate and thus will clock in at a solid verdict of 4 stars.
Through the Cotillion of Hours is available from: