An Endzeitgeist.com review
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.
Outside of an otyugh’s lair, you can find rusting ladders covered in grime, old grates with severed hands clinging to them, sewage flows into pits, mossy vines hanging from the ceiling – a theme of decay is prevalent here, but there are less direct hints for sentience here. As for what’s going on, the otyugh is currently throwing stones into the sewage; the otyugh might be catching dripping waters. It might be hunting, bending grates…or it might be hooting and crying. This table is more interesting – liked it.
The major lair features include deer skull points sticking up from the muck, effluent dripping from above forming stalagmite-like growths, jagged statues blocking sewage and similar icky components – they do have the potential to be relevant in combat, which is exactly what I want from these. The minor lair feature table includes pigskin balls floating in the effluence, boobytrapped ladders, sewer gas and the like – kudos for making these also relevant!
The otyugh appearances include blue tentacles, camouflage and colorful patterns, bristled bodies and the like, providing quite a few means to differentiate them. The treasure table includes figurines of crystal that fortify against disease, pomanders containing herbs, capable of canceling the nauseating sewer stench, fencing foils bearing noble crests and the like – nice table. The trash-table includes collections of spoons (Witcher 3, anyone?), jar decorated with parrot skulls and similar odd components.
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 has definitely cracked the code of making compelling Monstrous Lairs – while the first table were a tad bit weaker than usual, the rest of the tables more than make up from this – 4.5 stars, rounded up.
[5 of 5 Stars!]