Monstrous Lair: Kobold Warren (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 approach to a kobold’s warren can feature wind-chimes of bone, and shallow, spiked pits as well as barrels of rotting apples swarmed by flies telegraph the nastiness that awaits – and old rusting chains holding spiked logs speak of traps of old. As for what’s going on, we can find kobolds dribbling paste on thorns, emerging in a panic from crawlspaces to dart away. The PCs can witness kobolds pulling sharp teeth from cat-skull headdresses to add them to tiny darts or witness them painting tiny eyes on pebbles.
Suspended deer skulls that will shatter when falling effigies of roaring dragons, massive banners or skulls, with eyes replaced with painted stones, can be found here. While quite a bunch of entries employ this “paint eyes on pebbles”-angle, I did not consider this to be redundant this time around, as they generate a kind odd cultural tradition here, a semblance of odd cultural identity. Among the minor features, we have a twist on this, as the kobolds have painted spiders is a similar manner and placed them in a skull! Gossamer lines of poisoned darts at above kobold-head-level, cracked and discarded gnome skulls – some neat tidbits here.
As far as kobold appearances are concerned, we can find white-scaled grand poobahs, staves tipped with jars of eyeballs, scales matching armor, mongrel riding dogs, etc. The treasures to be found include shields embellished with boar skulls, lavishly-decoaretd gnome-skulls turned jewelry/ceremonial accessory, wands of bone and similar paraphernalia. The trinkets include pots with stinking paste, jars containing forgotten, dead spiders, or sacks with hidden blades, the poison on it, thankfully, long since dried.
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’s dressing for kobolds includes quite a few cool entries that go beyond the usual trap focus; the tables do feel kobold-like, tapping into the wealth of cultural tidbits established over the years and various games, and it does feature quite a few nice ideas. All in all, worth checking it! My final verdict will clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up due to in dubio pro reo.
You can get this cool dressing-supplement here on OBS!
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