The latest installment of the Wilderness Dressing-series is 1 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement,2 pages of 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!
After having been a guide through the Hills, author Brian Gregory this time takes us up to the mountains!
As has become standard for the series by now, we kick off this installment with a massive list of 100 different minor events – like finding glittering scales of silver dragons, strange king snakes and auroras – some with DCs for skill-checks, most without – and they are neat indeed!
The second table, again 100 entries long, depicts different dressings like glacier seracs, zigzagging tree-lines, nestled villages and even strange holes that sometimes emit rainbows – much glorious potential not only in fluff, but also for storytelling and development.
The d12 random encounter-table, analogue to the dungeon denizen-series, provides 12 encounters with extensive fluff to develop them further – including tengu (and an ogrekin who has beaten the final tengu the others are looking for…), a young roc and a vampire sorceress – though she unfortunately comes without full statblocks – definitely something a web-enhancement should imho remedy.
As with almost all installments of Wilderness Dressings, the final page is extremely useful, collecting all kinds of relevant terrain-information like cliff-sides, obstructions etc. for teh Dm, making running encounters in mountains rather easy – though I’m honestly missing a climb/combat while climbing/skill-use table here – the space devoted to the piece of artwork on this page feels slightly wasted – and yes, I only recently had to run cliffside climbing battles and it turned out to be slightly more complex than anticipated, so I think that would have really increased the usefulness of this particular page.
Editing and formatting, as I’ve come to expect from Raging Swan Press, is top-notch and adheres to the highest standards. The layout conforms to RSP’s 2-column b/w-standard, is as printer-friendly as always and the pdf comes in two versions, one optimized for screen-use and one to be printed out. Both pdfs come with extensive bookmarks.
Author Brian Gregory has delivered a great installment of the Wilderness Dressing-series, though one that slightly falls short of its own potential – either the statblock of the sorceress or a slightly more exhaustive DM-cheat-sheet would have helped. Especially since the latter also lacks a summary of high altitudes/cold dangers, though these I wouldn’t have expected. Overall, though, this means that the pdf is slightly less useful tha I would have liked – it’s still a superb DM-tool and time-saver, but not a perfect one and hence I’ll settle on a final verdict of 4 stars.