Monstrous Lair: Vampire’s Crypt (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 presence of vampires may be noticed by plants seemingly twisted in pain, by an aura of decay represented by remains – or by strange people, gazing, with broken minds from windows. I generally love these, though the presence of windows in the context of vampire’s crypts does stretch things slightly. Then again, the table is called “outside the lair”, so this gets a pass. As for things that are going on, we have vampires standing in front of portraits, rocking to and fro, lost in thought; we have posing in front of skeletal painters, disheveled vampires throwing meat to feral dogs, etc. – really cool table.
The pdf also features major features for the lair, which include shards of broken glass on the wall, various portraits spanning the styles of the century, hybrid werewolf skeletons…and what about the coal bucket full of stakes, with “Help Yourself”-sign provided? I know I’d be questioning my presence when seeing that. Minor lair features feature the skulls of victims, ripped and rotten poems dedicated to the vampire’s erstwhile love, fluttering crimson curtains – really cool array here! The vampire’s appearance is also diverse: One of the entries is a working-class disguise; we have a wedding dress, massive brutes in crimson armor…and what about vampires that are currently entrancing kids? Some evocative and twisted stuff here!
The treasure section features ornate sarcophagi containing ancient mummies, extensive coin-collections…and what about a cloak made of rats and bats, sewn onto human skin? The latter allows you to shpaeshift. Awesome. The trash-dressing table contains emptied holy water vials; shredded lace dresses, chewed up thighbones…and what about a wooden dolls with cats’ claws for teeth? Yeah, cool!
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 knows what he’s doing. This dressing file takes one of the most common BBEGs and presents dressing that is suitably horrifying, effective, and always retains the connection to the vampire. For the low asking price, this sports some genuinely cool pieces of dressing. 5 stars + seal of approval.
You can get this neat dressing file here on OBS!
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