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Dungeon Dressing: Mundane Chest Contents $2.45
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Dungeon Dressing: Mundane Chest Contents
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Dungeon Dressing: Mundane Chest Contents
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Brian F. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/20/2014 19:56:28

Stocking a dungeon, castle, or other map with all the creature comforts can be tough. After you’ve stocked the main chest with the goodies the PCs will win after defeating the big baddie in an epic battle, all other caches of treasure somehow seem less important. And, probably more important, they seem less inspired. Why? Because it’s tough to think of all the things that an entire mapful of bad guys (or good guys, long vacated) may leave behind.

Thankfully the Dungeon Dressing series from Raging Swan Press takes care of all that. Though these products handle all the big things like traps, doors, pits, and more, I was happy to see that there’s one out there now that focuses on the second string of dungeon chests… Not every chest is going to have gold, jewels, weapons, and magic items! That’s where Dungeon Dressing: Mundane Chest Contents comes in from designer Josh Vogt.

In a collection of five different tables of 50 to 100 items spread across 6 pages of an 11 page PDF, Vogt covers everything from clothes and possessions to specific lists for wizard and cleric chest contents, food, and miscellany. It’s simple to randomly grab a table, roll d100 and take a stab at whatever might show up. It would be easy to pick a room, randomly select some chest contents, and design an entire encounter around whatever came to mind. I found everything from lingerie (rawr!) and rope (not in the same chest, but THAT certainly is suggestive) to anatomical diagrams, religious vestments, fruit pies, and rusted scrap metal.

That said, I think I would have liked to have seen some suggestions on how to address aging chest contents. What happens if the chest is in a ruin hundreds of years old? Many items might simply dissolve into dust and debris, becoming completely unusable. A random table dealing with how to “age” the contents appropriately would be a great addition.

Even so, I can see I’ll be using Mundane Chest Contents soon as I do more dungeon design in the future! After all, I need to find a reason to have a chest with “A hundred eyes, each kept afloat in its own liquid‐filled bottle” bobbing about. It’s too creepy NOT to include somewhere!

This review first appeared at Game Knight Reviews: http://www.gameknightreviews.com/2013/09/supplement-review-dungeon-dressing-mundane-chest-contents-by-josh-vogt-from-raging-swan-press/



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks very much for the review, Brian. I much appreciate it. Good suggestion on the ageing chest contents table. I wish I\'d thought of that!
Dungeon Dressing: Mundane Chest Contents
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/21/2013 04:37:45

An Endzeitgeist.com review

This installment of the Dungeon Dressing-series is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's take a look, shall we?

Nothing makes player's eyes gleam like the promise of loot just out of their grasp and chests are predisposed for dumping the precious thingies inside that adventurers covet. The thing is - with mimics etc., there simply is a bit too much paranoia going on. After all, just about all chests are secured via traps - and a chest popping up equals loot, so the rogue pulls out his/her kit. We all know the routine. The thing is - routine gets boring. And people ought to use chests for things beyond magic loot, shouldn't they?

Enter this pdf, an excellent tool of desensitizing players and characters and adding more detail to rooms in the same stroke: Herein we find chest contents galore, with the first table offering 100 entries for clothes and possessions: Moth-eaten shirts, cult robes, lace gloves and dancing shoes alongside tools, remnants of chain-shirts, shirts with more than two arms and spiked collars and manacles - there is a fascinating diversity of contents here.

Now if you're looking for something more out of the ordinary, then wizard's chest contents, 46 entries to be precise - blank parchment, astronomy charts, severed bird claws, gravestone etchings, incense - all the nice things one would expect from the more esoterically inclined masters of the arcane.

Now clerics also tend to hoard interesting contents and hence, the third table offers 46 entries that could also be found in the care of other devout characters - wine-cups, herbs, ceremonial garbs, slaves and ointments, polished amber blocks and even a miniature altar within the chest await your PCs to discover them while they're snooping through the possessions of the clergy.

Of course, food and drink are also stored in chests like these and hence we get another table (with just as many entries) holding chilled meat pies, rotting mutton cheese, skinned hares and even valuable herbs (with a GP-value) to offer something for the health and sustenance of the PCs.

Finally, we get a table of 46 entries containing odds and ends - rusted keys (and locks), caltrops, an assortment of glass eyes (creepy!), mustache wax and boot polish or a lonely, cracked teacup tell their own little stories a DM can easily expand and use as a basis for further adventures/complications.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to RSP's 2-column b/w-standard and is exceedingly crisp. The pdf comes in two versions, with one optimized for screen-use and one for print-use. The pdfs comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.

Designer Josh Vogt has delivered a rather interesting, nice supplement full of intriguing, at times, funny, at times creepy and all out interesting mundane contents to make your chests more common and thus, the treasure chests ultimately more rewarding when they do pop up. There's not much to complain in this particular supplement - it is a thoroughly rewarding supplement that is bound to see quite some use at my table. If anything, I would have enjoyed one or two more far out contents herein, but that is no reason to rate this neat supplement down. My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dungeon Dressing: Mundane Chest Contents
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/24/2013 07:58:45

What a neat resource... if you are planning a dungeon you probably have some idea of 'headline' items of treasure, and of the magical and other items the adventurers will need to pick up in order to cope with whatever else you have in store for them; but it's all the little mundane odds and ends that make your dungeon into a 'real' location that actually exists within your alternate reality. Look round wherever you are right now. As well as essential items and treasured personal ones, there's a whole bunch of other stuff... but that can be difficult to make up, over and over again, without it sounding forced or getting repetitive.

The product dives straight in with the first of five tables (and where's publisher Creighton Broadhurst's little introduction? I like those, but they've been missing on the past couple of products I've read), which is Clothes and Possessions. Anywhere people (using the term loosely) live - whether it is 'home' or merely somewhere they are posted on guard duty, locked up, whatever - they will have some things with them, even if it's only the scarf Mum knitted before they left home, clean underwear (we hope) or something to entertain themselves with. There is plenty of variety here, with a full one hundred entries - some of which may give rise to interesting questions - "A selection of lacy undergarments lie within this chest" is fine for a lady's chamber but perhaps less common in an orc guardpost!

Next comes a table for determining the contents of wizard's chests. Around fifty this time, and again they have considerable potential for triggering comments if not actual adventures. Take "The single parchment in this chest contains a list of names and notations that look like a collection of financial debts" for example: even wizards need to keep their business affairs in order, after all. Or maybe "A hundred eyes, each kept afloat in its own liquid‐filled bottle, bob about in this chest"... but whose are they?

This is followed by a similar table of cleric's possessions. Many of these are faith-related... but of course the question arises, are they of the correct faith? The next table deals with food and drink: essential as, even if you do eat them, you cannot guarantee a steady stream of adventurers all ready to jump into your cooking pot! Think I fancy finding this one - "A delightful assortment of fruit pies is stacked within this chest."

The final table is entitled Odds and Sundries, and is as random a selection as the title might suggest. Overall, this is a neat idea for a resource for those planning adventures, although a few more chests that represent an individual's ordinary possessions would have been good. Of course, you can always add the spare shirt and clean underwear into one of the other chests presented here to put a little twist into someone's kit.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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