EZG reviews Dungeon Dressing: Goblin’s Pockets
This Dungeon Dressing-installment clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
The first page is taken up by a short explanation of how to use this pdf and a d0-table that helps you determine on which table to roll and how often. And oh boy, do these table’s names already spell out the respective themes of the tables:
No.1 would “Utterly Worthless”, 50-entry strong (like all tables herein), features delightful things for adventurers to grab – a tangled ball of multicolored thread, a dried up snake. The left arm and head of a doll. A half-eaten shoe soaked in brine. A mouse stuffed with strange herbs. While this one (and the other tables) have entries for roll twice/thrice, in a cool twist, the resulted items are nailed together, glued together, dirty etc., adding more variety than a simple reroll otherwise would. Awesome.
“Broken and Battered” is probably better suited for clues, though the anarchic goblins have spared these in any way – lockets defaced with mustachios, sling stones with traces of gnawing, angel-shaped-pendants that have been bereft of their wings – disturbing and still funny and once again full of narrative potential.
Table number 3 is all about “Yummy tidbits” – with the roll thrice-entry commenting they’ve been made into a stew. Stew in pockets makes no sense? Pshaw, these are goblins we’re talking about! Meat with canine fur, honeycombs with bee-bodies, bird heads, cheese so covered in green fuzz it might run off at any moment… delightful, disgusting, fun.
Finally, table number 4 provides shiny treasures – like whetstones with holes drilled through the center. Small pairs of scissors to run around with. Collections of buttons, preserved eyes, ancient turnips, dented coins from obsolete kingdoms…once again, rather interesting entries. (Though gold, or rather, silver/copper values for some of them would have been appreciated…)
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP’s superb, streamlined and printer-friendly 2-column b/w-standard with thematically-fitting, neat b/w-stock art. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out.
I do not begrudge author Eric Hindley this task – goblins are hard to depict properly – on the one hand, they ought to be somewhat comedic, on the other hand utterly psychotic – plus, they are since Burnt Offerings the iconic humanoid antagonists that set the tone for Pathfinder (and made me, back in the day, start getting the books…) – what I’d like to say is: This assignment was probably hard…and fun. And the fun translates. I’m writing this review after a bunch of underwhelming, crunch-intense books that dragged down my mood considerably. (Contrary to what some of you might think – reviewing bad books is a ton of work and no fun at all…) After reading this one for the first time, my mood was back to excellent – you might not exactly need this book, but it enriches your arsenal when depicting goblins. And some entries are plain funny and made me smile. And there aren’t that many lighthearted supplements out there. Add to that the top-notch production values and this bland of the hilarious and horrific that so well reflects the goblin mindset gets 5 stars + seal of approval.