Monstrous Lair: Assassins’ Hideout (system neutral)
This installment of the Monstrous Lairs-pdfs clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
Sometimes, you just need a bit of dressing for a wayside encounter – or something specific to a monster type. Finding appropriate entries can be rough, and so, this series attempts to remedy this shortcoming on 2 pages, with a total of 7 d10-tables.
The table for outside the lair this time around is cool, in that it focuses on where the hideout is hidden…or not. One entry actually has a plain sign! And yep, the handle is coated in poison, the inside littered with traps. You can’t say you weren’t warned. As for what’s going on, we have some seriously neat entries, including an old, deaf lady cooking poisonous stew, men competing at dagger throwing, or assassins burning hearts in ritual bowls or milking poison? Cool.
The pdf also features major features for the hideouts, which include curtains that conceal minute poisonous hooks (awesome), containers featuring sea snakes, bookshelves rigged to collapse – some seriously creative material here, and it’s encounter-relevant. Like it! Minor lair features include patterns of odd glyphs on the floor, poisonous fungi patches, blood-soaked clothes soaking, thousands of beetles in the process of stripping flesh from a corpse, etc.
The assassin’s appearance table runs the gamut from smiling noblemen to feather-cloak wearers with poison-taloned hawks…as well as twitching, giggling madmen. The treasures include books bound in human skin that explain poisons. What about arrows that turn into venomous snakes on impact, or ceramic blades that snap off in the target, miraculously regrowing each day? Loving these! The miscellanea includes bracelets with tally marks, poorly made sketches on victim skins, improvised garrotes and the like…cool.
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no serious hiccups. Layout adheres to Raging Swan Press’ elegant two-column b/w-standard, and we get a nice piece of b/w-artwork. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, in spite of its brevity (kudos!) and is included in two versions – one optimized for screen-use, and one for the printer.
Steve Hood has seriously cracked the code of making awesome Monstrous Lair dressings; particularly considering that there have been other entries in the series dealing with bandits etc., I was super-impressed by how creative some of these entries are, by how distinct they are, and by how they retain the connection to the assassin-theme. For the low asking price, super worthwhile and recommended! 5 stars + seal of approval!
You can get this inexpensive pdf here on OBS!
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