EZG reviews Purple Duck Storeroom: Animated Skulls
This installment of Purple Duck Games’ short micro-pdfs clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of SRD/editorial, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?
So what is this – animated skulls, yeah, but instead of just a set of statblocks, this actually is a mini-generator! A kind of Monster-Dressing, if you will.
We get a d12-table to determine locations of the skull, an excessive list of 10 potential origin-legends for the skull (like being a fragment of an outsider lord’s consciousness, a lich gone wrong etc.) and then, things become interesting indeed:
3 sample partial statblocks await you to roll basic stats – one of these would result in you rolling on a d12 list of PC-class levels, while a d20-table allows you to randomly fill in the skull’s skills and a further d12 table covers feats. Finally, movement, from levitating to hopping (!!) and flight can be determined and voilà – that would be the basics.
The pdf does not stop there – a 5-entry appearance table can result in further spell-like abilities via implanted gems and you may optionally determine alignment via a d8 table. If the skull has an implanted magic item, a 2-entry micro table covers that.
The pdf also provides 12 sample temperaments/personalities and 10 potential special purposes for the skull. We end the pdf with one sample skull and its background. I also should mention that the pdf also covers taking an animated skull as a familiar.
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to a digest-style one-page no-frills standard and the pdf comes bookmarked in spite of its small size – kudos!.Apart from the cover, there’s no art, but that’s to be expected from a micro-pdf like this.
Perry Fehr’s Skull-generator is GLORIOUS. I really, really love this easy-to-use skull generator, the skill/feat-selectors etc. – this makes crafting animated skulls exceedingly fast. Now this would immediately hit my best of ratings, were it not for one issue: The statblocks this generates are non-standard. Looking much more like DCC or 2nd edition statblocks, they have all you need to run the skulls, but e.g. lack CMB/CMD etc. and just feel unnecessarily obscure when adhering to standard statblock conventions would have been easy – why no simply state the senses, ini, etc. according to statblock conventions? This is baffling to me and unnecessarily opaque, especially since the generator could easily support standard statblocks. As much as I love this pdf, due o this strange, strange decision, I can’t rate this higher than 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4. This is still a glorious buy for the low price.