Dungeon Dressing: Sarcophagi
By Thilo Graf
This installment of the Dungeon Dressing-line is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC/introduction, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s check these out!
By now a staple for the series, we kick off with a summary of characteristics and appearances, defining first several types of sarcophagi, ranging from caskets to cenotaphs and ossuaries as well as detailing the terrain effects they have on the room, complete with DCs etc. Beyond the standard, we also get construction-rules/sample stats (hardness, hit points and thickness) for sarcophagi of materials ranging from glass to wood as well as a short paragraph on opening cairns. Of course, we also get a table on characteristics, this time featuring 50 different characteristics sans roll-twice/thrice entries. These range from sarcophagi aligned in cardinal directions (craft a puzzle from that), embedded gemstones and even the idea of an empty sarcophagus – the body is actually embedded in the sarcophagus, courtesy of a flesh to stone-effect. Have I mentioned the sarcophagus that is surrounded by strange eerie footsteps?
The second table (which spans two pages) is 50 entries long and…well. Rocks. Sarcophagi studded with gears that can be opened via disable device, cenotaphs forged from wailing souls of the damned, alien ring-like sarcophagi that contain people whose brains have been removed or even a sarcophagus that resembles a pulsing muscle and is covered in acidic mucus. Even in the Dungeon Dressing-line, this kind of innovative, cool ideas with their rules-consequences stand out distinctively and make this offering stand out quite a bit.
Dungeon Dressings also feature tricks and traps and Raging Swan Press has thankfully started creating mostly complex traps with multiple different effects spanning rounds. The traps herein (3, to be precise) are SMART. Cool and sadistic, e.g. pressurized water, a “respawning” sarcophagus and similar nasty tricks should challenge your players indeed. Have I mentioned the sarcophagus that actually is a petrified gelatinous cube? A first for the series, we also get a page that contains…HAUNTS! 4 of them, ranging from CR 1 to 19 and running the gamut from actually beneficent to one to end champions of light with the haunted remains of a dread demi-god.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP’s no-frills, 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes in two fully bookmarked versions, one optimized for the printer and one intended for screen-use.
David Posener’s contribution to the Dungeon Dressing-line with his issue on corpses was one of my favourites in the line so far and this one also lives up to the lofty expectations I had for this product: Going beyond standard sarcophagi, this supplement also allows for the truly weird and can be used for just about any final resting place and takes crunchy consequences and peculiarities up to eleven, inciting the imagination with great ideas. the amount of coolness crammed in these few pages is astounding and when taking into account that the haunts and traps also live up to this standard. At the very fair price, I can’t find anything at all to complain about here and in fact pronounce this one of the Dungeon Dressing-installments that should be considered must-buys and thus my final verdict will clock in at well-deserved 5 stars + seal of approval.
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