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.
Okay, so, a mummy is a more potent threat than most covered so far in the series – the undead has a tradition of being harder, and at times, even being the BBEG upper caste of whole mega-adventures. As such, it only is fitting that the approach table this time around feels more distinct than previous ones: With murals speaking of ancient kings, crushed exoskeletons of thousands of beetles and horrified graverobbers, squashed beneath heavy stone slabs, create an admirable sense of foreboding, telegraph the danger ahead. Love this table! As for what’s going on, we have the classic standing vigil and patrolling, but lying amidst a swarm of iridescent beetles or being in the process of uttering archaic chants is nice. Cradling animal-headed urns may actually be kinda heart-breaking…while a mummy, standing motionless in the middle of bodies of destroyed grave-robbers, motionless, is a powerful image that hints at the power and resilience within these ancient wraps.
As or notable features within the encounter-area, we have rushed and obviously interrupted mummification processes, clay plaques that beg to act as exposition (or to be used for a puzzle component in the combat to come), herbs and spices staining the floor, rusted flensing knives and tools, crumbling statues – a great diversity of features here! Among the minor features, we can find ripped off bandages, footprints of corpse dust; clawed feet, remnants of marble statues and strange indentations in the ceiling mirroring constellations.
As for appearances, the mummy may be wearing golden, ceremonial armor, tattered shrouds, with a desiccated skin of ebony beneath; the mummy may have a crumbling chest cavity or it may growl from beneath an embellished jackal mask…and striding forward seductively, in a dress the color of the night sky and with a gem-studded mask? Now that is a cool table! As far as treasures are concerned, we have headdresses in glowing light, ancient sickle-bladed swords, hooked blades…and what of a dog-headed ring, it snarling at you with eyes of ruby? Yeah, damn cool! The trinket section continues this exceedingly strong run, with blue enamel of cracked ceremonial jars, wooden prayer beads and rotten food offerings, among other things.
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 really knocks it out of the park with this one! All of the respective tables within ooze the flavor of mummies in an excellent way, driving home the magic, the sense of ancient dread, the almost-unstoppable angle, the notion of wrath, perhaps even justified wrath, towards those that would despoil the mummy’s final rest. This is a full-blown win, an excellent little dressing file. 5 stars + seal of approval!
You can get this cool dressing file here on OBS!
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