Monstrous Lair: Lizardfolks’ Village (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.
So, the good ole’ lizardfolk…well, approaches to their lair can show hummocks of reeds and moss, with puddles of stagnant water in-between, thick mires and skull totems. This table is per se nice, though it could be a bit more versatile – a couple of pools and trails carved into the reeds are pretty dominant here, considering the brevity of the table. As far as things going on, we have lizardfolk consulting with one another over tracks in the mud, being covered in blood from a boar its gutting, and several scenes one would associate with the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, with the one where a lizardfolk puts a frog from its spear into a pouch perhaps the most distinct.
As far as notable features are concerned, we can see hollow bonetubes emitting a wailing sound, barricades of sharpened sticks, arches made from trees and reeds, or alligator skins, draped over wooden frames as though some kind of trophy. I did like the notion of wrapping snake skeletons around torches. The minor features includes peat being dried, fish being smoked, and baskets of animal teeth awaiting being hammered into clubs.
Lizardfolk appearances feature, among other things, turtle-shell shields, bright crests on head and back, strange war-painting or primitive armor of turtle shells topped with a boar skull. The treasures include, once more, turtle shells, this time with esoteric paintings on them, well-oiled daggers venerated as relics, smooth pieces of glass, perhaps used to focus sunlight and similar odds and ends. The trinket table, finally, includes unfinished spears, bird skulls topping reed-dolls and fans made of heron feathers – here, I liked the trinkets more than the treasures!
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 little dressing file on lizardfolk isn’t bad – it captures their swamp-bound, primitive lifestyle well…but it doesn’t do much beyond that. One could just as easily replace lizardfolk with any other swamp-dwelling humanoid and there we go. While not bad, the pdf could have used a stronger focus on the intended type of critter. Hence, my final verdict will clock in at 3 stars.
You can get this inexpensive pdf here on OBS.
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