EZG reviews Wilderness Dressing: Swamps
This installment of the Wilderness Dressing-series is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
Following the format of the wilderness-dressing series, we kick off with a massive 2-page table depicting minor events, a total of 100 different entries that include hunting sparrowhawks, deep pools cloaked by hallucinatory terrain and swarms of insects infested with filth fever. A solid table of nice entries.
After that, we’ll get to the swamp dressing-table of 100 entries- including drag-marks of slithering…things…(with Survival DCs), sucking mud that impedes movement, cryptic mounds rising from the slough and weirdly decorated skull fetishes and other signs of disease and decay.
Just like Raging Swan’s Dungeon Denizens-line, we also get a list of 12 random encounters that come with a rather extensive fluff-write-up each to make them relatively easy to plug and play and which include the almost to be expected lizardfolk (one of which needs help versus a witchfire…) and mosquitoswarms as well as giant slugs and an ancient black dragon.
The final page is my personal favorite, though – a superbly useful DM-cheat-sheet for the terrain, with stealth, paths, bogs, quicksand and undergrowth, all provided on one easy to navigate page for DMs to make sure that running the encounters remains a smooth experience. I really love these!
Editing and formatting, as I’ve come to expect from Raging Swan Press, is top-notch – I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to their elegant 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, one of which is optimized for the printer and one for screen-use.
Raging Swan Mastermind Creighton Broadhurst has taken details in RPGs and dressing up to an art form with his supplements and this pdf shows once again why these product lines are as useful. And call me odd – but I’ve always liked marshes – perhaps because insects don’t like my nicotine-haze, but all in all, I love the smell of marshes and bogs, the sense of ancient life pulsing between decay and depths and the plentiful life beneath the murk and exemplified by the majestic trees found there. Swamps have always captured my imagination and this installment does a lot to properly convey that into words. So all well? Well, yes – though the series has me spoiled to a very high degree and I honestly missed the one weird encounter, the oddball random encounter – you know, the flail-snail, the crash-landed flumph, the vegetarian, schizoid werewolf (and yes, I had such a druid in my games as an NPC once), the weird hermit…something like that. Hence I’m “only” going to settle for a final verdict of 5 stars, omitting my seal of approval, but remaining with a heartfelt recommendation.