This installment of the Dungeon Dressing-series is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
“Ahhh, the FLOORS!!!” Insert here all Spoony/Ultima-Killerfloor-jokes of your gaming group. *takes a breather* Okay, so we kick this pdf off with the by now obligatory DD-cheat-sheet of terrain features/construction option. 5 types of different flagstones/hewn floors with respective consequences when traversing them, (and hardness, hp etc.) are included here, as are light and heavy rubble and chasms.
The first table contains 46 descriptions of different floor characteristics – what can there be to make floors interesting? A surprising lot! What about steps every 5 feet? Coffin lids jutting from the floor? Etched maps and glyphs in the floor? Wooden floors with springs that reduce falling damage? This table baffled me by its adherence to the maxim of all-killer-no-filler – what about e.g. illusions of crashing waves? Or strange ceramic tiles with inscrutable mosaics? This table BREATHES creativity.
The second table of dressings contain 100 entries as well and provides a broad spectrum of options – droppings of bat guano may work for the rather subdued instances, but oh boy, does this table also offer some more far-out options . Special mentioning deserves one of the iconic tricks from the conan-comics of old – floors that temporarily liquefy to turn solid again. Yes, not a trap, an entry! What about bulges that turn out to be skulls of colossal creatures? Glorious! And yes, standard dressings like water, rubble etc. for less strange instances also feature herein.
The final two pages contain 4 new traps at CR 3, 4, 5 and 14 (including 2 variants for CR 7 and 9) – and…wow. Even staples like spinning floors or musical floors get a nice twist and come with multi-rounds effects, extremely detailed means of activation/destruction – oh, and have I mentioned the delightfully sadistic venus floor trap?
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP’s 2-column b/w-standard and the art is fitting stock that takes up about 2/3 of a page. The pdf comes in two versions, with one optimized for screen use and one for the printer. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.
Mike Welham…I’m starting to consider this author somewhat of a savant in creativity. More often than not, I look at his offerings and see a topic that could be considered rather bland, only to see him turn it into something magical. Like the floors in this installment. My first impulse was “here I am, reviewing a book about floors…” – after one page, I was hooked, grinning and kept this expression throughout the whole pdf. This installment of Dungeon Dressing is simply awesome and a superb example of the power of imagination, of creativity. Every author that can make a book on FLOORS exceedingly fun should be commended indeed – final rating: 5 stars + seal of approval. Get this, and your players will actually mind where they’re stepping for once, even if you don’t litter your dungeon with pits.