This installment of the wilderness dressing-line is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC/introduction, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
Following the tradition of the wilderness dressing-line, we kick off with an extensive array of events to spice up your travelling experiences – 100 different minor events are featured in a massive table and range from squeaking cart-wheels accompanied by shouts to wild grapes that are the home of an aggressive bee swarm, abandoned camp sites (though the text reads “abandon[sic!] camp site” – a rare Raging Swan editing glitch) to frolicking grey squirrels and orc bodies. A nice table!
The second massive table provides us with 100 different dressings for hills – small grottos with adjacent miner’s cabins, wild strawberry patches, red silk caught in thorny bushes, strangely left alone dishes, monuments that denote burial grounds, earthen amphitheaters and sinkholes. All in all, rather cool dressings, though slightly less imaginative than in the installment on plains and there are less dressing-entries with crunchy tidbits.
After that, we get a page of 12 different sample random encounters for hilly regions that feature an EL as well as a tightly-written fluffy section of notes, in line with e.g. Dungeon Denizens EL 1 – e.g. hobgoblins guarding a rope bridge or swooping wyverns. The final page of the product contains all relevant pieces of information for the DM to run hilly areas: From random hill heights to miscellaneous terrain features and 3 different types of slopes, this page will definitely come in handy.
Editing and formatting are very good, though not up to the usually flawless track-record of Raging Swan Press. Layout adheres to RSP’s crisp two-column b/w-standard and the pieces of artwork included are beautiful indeed. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks and in 2 versions, one optimized for screen use and one for the printer.
The wilderness dressing line is a joy and extremely useful for DMs – and this installment is no exception. Providing ample details to bring your world to life, the dressings will definitely enhance your game. That being said, when compared to the first two installments, this one feels slightly less brilliant – I wasn’t that blown away by events or dressings and missed the far-out entries and would have enjoyed slightly more crunch. I can’t really put my finger on it, but this one felt slightly, not by much, but slightly less evocative to me and didn’t make me eureka as much as the first two did. That being said, it still is a great addition to any DM’s toolkit and thus justifiably can be rated 4.5 stars – though I’m inclined to round down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.
Want to trek through these hills? Here you can!