EZG reviews Wilderness Dressing: Extreme Weather
This installment of the Wilderness Dressing-series is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 8 pages of content.
So…here we are, this time around for extreme weather phenomena, first of which would be rainstorms – 20 different rainstorm-appearances, from slow, escalating drizzles to perception-impeding sheets of downpour, with and without thunder – awesome. 20 Rainstorm-events like flashflooding rivers, short rounds of preparation, hot ground (and mist, reducing visibility) add further awesome mechanical components to these storms, with almost every entry offering some sort of cool mechanics to influence the weather. On the storytelling front, we also get a table of 20 hooks – from villages haunted by perpetual rainstorms, angry storm giants and weather controlling thieves to mudslides descending from the mountains, these hooks add a further dimension of usefulness to the tables.
Now some degrees less and what do we get? Bingo, snowstorms! The appearances here are no mere copies, though, instead including essentially white-outs, try flurries of snow, heavy and grey polluted snow etc. From painful amounts of snow falling from trees to a lynx or sharp icicles and annoyed bears – a lot of cool events here, again with a very dense array of crunch, help make these extreme weather phenomena cooler still. On the hook-side, we get, among other things, huge honeycombed snow-drifts, dog-sleigh-riding competitions, barges stranded in ice and so much more.
Where there is a downpour, there is all too often also wind – hence, the third type of storm covered again with 20 descriptions that include massive 400 feet walls of tan sand waltzing towards the PCs, with the 20 events making e.g. branches into lethal spear-like weapons, blinding blasts of soil and similar problems into very real challenges that show distinctly that not all dangerous situations need to be the result of monsters or villainous NPCs. AWESOME! The hooks once again add yet another layer to the content herein, fluttering scrolls with strange rituals in the way of the PCs, windstorms destroying the harvest of villages and similar catastrophes.
Now the last couple of pages are devoted to RSP’s by now almost patented DM-cheat-sheets, providing all necessary information to quickly and easily run the storms covered herein, easily organized at your beck and call – one page, all the rules for rainstorms. I can’t fail to tell you how incredibly useful that is.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press’ elegant 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, one being optimized for the printer and one for screen-use.
Mie Welham has done it again – this pdf oozes awesomeness and manages one crucial task: Drive home the reason your PCs shouldn’t be adventuring in storms and the fact that the weather can be a very real threat. This pdf will make nightly sojourns into the pouring rain (or snow or blasting winds) so much more intriguing, so much more challenging and cool – Seriously, this is one of the pdfs I guarantee that every Dm who picks it up will continue to use… A LOT. There is so much comfort, so many ideas, so much awesomeness in these short tables and the reference-lists, I can hardly fathom any criticism whatsoever. Well. Almost none – the title may be a bit misleading: Storms would probably have been a better fit, for extreme weather phenomena like cold snaps, earthquakes and similar disasters can’t be found herein. Still, this is one awesome, stellar piece of writing and continues Mike Welham’s tradition of downright required supplements for Raging Swan Press – all awesomeness, no complaints – get this, as soon as possible and teach your PCs the awesomeness, the majesty, but also the danger of storms! My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval!