This pdf is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword,1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
We kick off this installment of Dungeon Dressing with a general page of common characteristics for trapdoors – ranging from common characteristics and construction-means of differing qualities to 20 different means of concealing secret doors. Once again, much like in the in the installments on different doors, we don’t get any hinges or means of securing the doors to the complex as a minor blemish.
The first table has 43 entries (unless I miscounted) depicting the different appearances that include gnomish scribbles included on the trapdoors and there also are disturbing carvings to be found.
The dressing & features table has a total of 100 entries that include multiple keyholes, severed hand nailed to the trapdoor, acid-induced pockmark-like mars, being broken and jammed (including str-DC-check to force it open) etc.
The final two pages feature three different traps to be used in conjunction with trapdoors – all with Ranging Swan’s trademark complexity and multiple rounds of effects – from basic slamming trapdoors to flooding chambers and finally, a nasty reverse gravity/spike stones trap.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to RSP’s elegant 2-column printer-friendly standard and the pdf comes with nice b/w-artworks. The pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out. Both pdfs are extensively bookmarked for your convenience.
This is a neat installment of Dungeon Dressing and per se, author Thomas King did a great job – though once again I am sorely missing hinges or similar means for embedding doors in complexes among the tables. While not as grievous a concern as with regular doors, I did miss another component in this pdf – where is the array of perception-checks required to notice these trapdoors? Seriously, the carvings and similar features scream “We modify the DC to notice the trapdoor” – but there isn’t even a handy DC-by-level-table for DMs. This is perhaps the big, central lost chance of this particular installment of Dungeon Dressing and while the pdf delivers in its basic concept, it also falls short of what it could easily have been.
As such, I’m going to settle for a final verdict of a solid 3 stars for this installment – an ok buy that could have been so much more.