By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Raging Swan Pressis 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 with6 pages for content, so let’s check this out!
Like with all Dungeon Dressing-pdfs, this one kicks off with characteristics and appearances, in the case of corpses, states of decomposition – from fresh to bloated, from dry to preserved, two pages are devoted to stench-DCs, DCs to determine the causes of death, the time since death, intimidate-DCs and even feature DCs to prepare them for consumption by humanoids – disturbing, cool – awesome. In all Dungeon Dressings so far, this is my favourite section A, especially when taking into account how the information could be used to add flavour to undead foes as well!
The second table in here is devoted to 20 monster-carcasses and remains general, thus featuring no individual monster properties. Instead, we get e.g. one entry that provides information based on type, e.g. putting an aberration into a state of regenerative metamorphosis or putting a living baby in the body of animals, magical beasts or vermin. Again, very cool!
Table C provides us with 50 generic properties for humanoid corpses that range from being hairless to tattooed passphrases and even a spell engraved in eldritch symbols into the skin of the dead, complete with DCs to recognize the diagrams for what they are. Beyond generic humanoids, we also get 6 corpses of adventurers with all information from chapter A applied for a kind of corpse statblock (very cool!) as well as suggestions for speaking with the respective dead or for raising the person in question.
As with all instalments of Dungeon Dressing, the final section (this time just one page, though, as the rest took up more space) is devoted to traps, this time around ranging from CR: – to CR 10 and feature a fountain of holy water that ends undead, a collection of impaled dead and an avalanche of cadavers. Rather cool! Though I would have loved to see either more traps or some haunts, the lack thereof does not hurt this pdf.
Editing and formatting, as almost always with raging Swan press, 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 a screen-version and a printer-friendly version, both of which are fully bookmarked.
Wow! Even in the excellent Dungeon Dressing-line, this pdf goes above and beyond by providing easily usable rules for nasty corpses (especially cool if your campaign’s like mine and features a lot of investigation and thus also autopsies) along the extremely usable tables. I feared initially the pdf would either provide too specific corpses (rendering most impractical/hard to use) or too generic (rendering the content bland). I’m happy to inform you that author David Posener not only managed to maintain the precarious balance between both, but gracefully succeeds at the task, much to my (metaphoric) applause – this is, at least for me, the best installment in the excellent line and a joy to behold. Even if you usually don’t like/need the dungeon dressing-line, I wholeheartedly encourage you to check this out – it’s that good and the corpse-stats, albeit simple, alone are worth the low price of admission. Final verdict? Nor surprising! 5 stars + seal of approval!
Dungeon Dressing–Corpses is available from: