Monstrous Lair: Gnolls’ Camp (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.
Outside of a gnoll encampment, one can find large buffalo corpses, bushes stinking of ammonia and the yipping of encaged creatures, fearful of the fate looming for them, as a few examples of the varied approaches features. As for what’s going on, we can find gnolls carefully stripping sinew from bone, crushing berries into a paste that helps style manes and the like into patterns, or defending meals from hungry pet hyenas, which scamper off – I was surprised in a positive manner to see how “gnoll-y” these feel. As for notable features, we can find the corpses of dwarves impaled to the trees, iron chains speaking of slave trade and vast effigy towers. As far as minor features are concerned, we can find stretched antelope hides, spiked logs awaiting future use or walls of thorny brambles. Once more, a diverse array.
As far as gnoll appearances are concerned, we have gnolls meditatively gnawing on human ones, specimen with dyed fur, gnolls with massive hyaenodon skins or armors with bison horns – cool. The treasures include frayed leather whips, shields with horse trails and fangs, its fittings of pure gold, hide coats embellished in the style of lion’s manes and more. The trinket table, finally, include hippopotamus tusks, pestles and mortars that contain crushed bones, but which oddly emits a pleasant smell, batons with still-a-(u)nlive-ghoul-hands attached – some gems here!
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 did a great job on gnoll dressing here. The entries are distinct, diverse and establish a cultural identity. The tables make the gnolls stand out from other humanoids and, as a whole, this should be considered to be a definite winner. 5 stars + seal of approval.
You can get this inexpensive dressing file here on OBS.
You can directly support Raging Swan Press here on patreon!