Dungeon Denizens: EL 2
The second Dungeon Denizen-installment is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 pages editorial, 1 page advertisement, 1 page ToC/foreword, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s check this out!
The pdf kicks off with a table of 12 entries featuring 12 sample creatures/creature combinations including young giant rot grubs, skeletal champions etc. The respective creatures feature information on in which bestiary they can be found where applicable. These first creatures are intended for dungeon rooms and, like the first installment, each of the encounters comes with an evocative paragraph of fluff to enhance the respective encounter. 3 of the encounters feature named NPCs which are featured on the following page and consist of a level 3 orc fighter, a level 3 human barbarian and a half-fiend hobgoblin fighter 2.
The second table, again features 12 sample encounters, this time appropriate for cavern areas.And boy are they interesting – take for example Gro’Durx, a bugbear exiled from his kin for his multiple personality disorder that has him sometimes show mercy and beg for forgiveness! Among the other encounters, we get a dwarven miner who just struck lucky, an exiled goblin chief as well as a ranger in search of a rare mushroom – the latter 3 being the featured statblocks to feature on the following page, which also includes the stats for the rabies-sickness.
The final 12-entry table features wanderers and includes the Faerie-Dragon Aelfrigg and a unicorn. The statted creatures this time feature a generic statblock for bandits and their bandit leader. The final new statblock details Sygeric, the oracle of life. The table has a glitch, though – it refers to page 7 regarding the statted creatures when the correct statblocks actually show up on page 11, making for some unnecessary confusion.
Editing and formatting are very good – apart from the unpleasant page-glitch I noticed no significant issues. Layout adheres to RSP’s printer-friendly, elegant, 2-column b/w-standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, with one being optimized for the printer and one for screen-use.
Author Alex Connell has delivered a solid, nice selection of 36 fluffy encounters with some nice statblocks thrown into the mix that will definitely help as part of the DM-toolkit to keep encounters/adventuring organic and exciting – with the aptly-written prose and interesting creature-choices, we have a nice little pdf at our hands…though one that still has me wondering how the progressively larger statblocks will influence the future of this product-line. When all is said and done, we get a solid selection of fluffy encounters to spring on our players and the page-glitch, while annoying, does not ruin the pdf for me. What somehow jars me is the fact that none of the encounters made me truly excited or got me thinking on how I’d have to include this particular encounter – they are good, memorable even, but could have, in my humble opinion, used a dose more of the uniqueness of aforementioned bugbear. Thus, I’ll gladly settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.
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