[Review] Wilderness Dressing: Plains
By Thilo Graf
The second installment in the wilderness dressing series from Raging Swan Press is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
We kick off this installment of the dressing-line with a table of 100 minor events, much like we did in the installment on woodlands, and much like that installment, the events range from the mundane to the mystical – murders of crows flocking around the carcass of a large animal, half-dug grave-like holes, broken hunter’s traps, centaur trails – and even ant hills, creepy pumpkin-like effigies and strange lightning strikes make for a nice array of bits and pieces to flesh out your plains.
A second table of, again 100 entries, makes up for the second meaty bit of the pdf, providing e.g. owlbear-bones picked clean, dubious signs proclaiming ownership, shattered wine-glasses at a well-used camp site, vast amounts of brilliantly coloured flowers, crossing streams, shed griffon’s claws etc to spark adventures or just make the plain more lively. Where did the nobles (peasants can’t afford glass or wine…) go? Is the griffon still around? What killed the owlbear?
The 12 sample encounters are also interesting – from wild ponies crossing the PC’s paths to a lich that has returned to his peasant parents to exact vengeance for his unpleasant childhood, the respective entries run a sufficiently large gamut to be useful for most DMs out there. The pdf closes with common terrain features of plains, covering hedgerows, fences and trails and the types of undergrowth that can be found there.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP’s elegant, printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes in 2 iterations, with one being optimized to be printed out and one intended for screen-use. Both are extensively bookmarked.
Much like the first installment in the woodland-dressing-line, this offers us not a generator for the respective terrain, but rather things and oddities to populate the area with, adding interesting options and hooks galore, serving as a great way to inspire beleaguered DMs and adding detail to an otherwise bland terrain archetype. Much like for Woodlands, I’d appreciate a generator, perhaps in the “So what’s…”- series, allowing for the customization of flora and fauna, trails, hedgerows etc. and much like that one, my final verdict for this well-crafted contribution to the series will clock in at a well-deserved 5 stars + seal of approval.
Wilderness Dressing: Plains is available from: