Monstrous Lair: Medusa Lair (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 approaches to a medusa’s lair may be lined by shattered statues and rubble, strange collections of them aligned as intricately entwined fountains or hands of stone placed on the wall – pointing further inside. Amazing! As for what’s going on, the medusa may be dancing around a statue, stringing a bow…or she’s spitting in a bowl, poisoning arrows by dipping them inside. Perhaps, she is in the middle of a breakdown, screaming at a statue before slumping to the ground…some seriously cool entries here.
While the minor features this time around are, well, minor (snake fang embedded in a door frame), they do their job and make room for the massively-detailed notable feature table, which unsurprisingly, focuses on a surprising variety of statues of unfortunates meeting their petrifying doom. While the singular focus may put off some, I did enjoy these…though some mirrors, tactically placed, or similar features would have been interesting as well.
As for the appearance of the medusa, we have hooded and blindfolded old women, amazons with high leather boots and braided snake hair, oracles in ragged clothing or insanely beautiful maidens with heads topped by hissing, crimson serpents. What about the girl medusa with her snake-headed doll and dried flower-bouquet? Definite winner here. As far as treasure is concerned,we have stone hands that feature ruby-studded gold rings, bands inscribed with heroic tales, a severed snake head grasping small eggs of gold in its jaws and more. the trinkets include broken mirrors, snapped daggers partially embedded in statues and even broken, highly polished frying pans that have been scratched!
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 delivers this time around – in contrast to his uninspired take on dark folk, his dressing file on medusas offers a great variety between the serious and odd, between the quaint and unusual. A well-wrought dressing file, this gets a final verdict of 5 stars, missing my seal only by a margin.
You can get this nice dressing file here on OBS!
You can directly support Raging Swan Press here on patreon!