EZG reviews Wilderness Dressing: Snow & Ice
This installment of the Wilderness Dressing-series is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?
Without much ado, we jump right into the first massive table, one 100-entry-spanning beast of minor events to liven up the explorations of your PCs in the frigid north or wintry realms – from gathering lemmings staring at frozen rivers to frost wights sitting around fires, mastodon families crossing and fissures, there are a lot of different events awaiting your rolling of the bones here.
The second massive 100-entry table features specific dressings – glacial bridges across chasms, sun cups, icicle curtains, entrances to the demiplane of ice, miles upon miles of taiga – the overall entries do well in capturing the harsh majesty and danger inherent in the frigid, beautiful landscapes of snow and ice, often, much like the event-table, coming with skills to identify particular pieces.
The penultimate page of the pdf contains 12 sample random encounters spanning EL 2 to 17 and coming with nice notes for the respective encounters, partially also suggesting the young and advanced creature template for slight variations. Overall, the encounters are okay, but more or less what you’d expect – white dragon, frost linnorm, ice giants, undead…the usual. I do like the inclusion of a glacier toad, though!
The final page then deals with the DM cheat sheet for terrain features à la chasms, icy trails, snow, blizzards etc. – and is extremely useful. And as much as like the artwork of snow-covered peaks, I wish it had been omitted for more – a short summary of exposure damage/rules would have made this page even more useful (and eliminated skipping books from the equation).
Editing and formatting, as usual in offerings of Raging Swan Press, is superb – I did not notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP’s 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes in two version, one optimized for screen-use and one for the printer. Both are fully bookmarked for your convenience.
Brian Gregory gets the frigid landscapes, their majesty and dangers and it shows in this supplement- this indeed is a cool (haha) supplement that especially with WD: Extreme Weather, provides some nice synergy. That being said, the installment also feels like it falls slightly short of what it could have been – the random encounters are not that impressive and the DM-cheat-sheet could be slightly more detailed – what about falling icicle hazards and the like? Still, bear in mind I’m complaining at a very high level here – my final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform for a great supplement, but one that could have used slightly more space to develop its material (e.g. by cutting the none-too-exciting encounters).