By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Raging Swan Press is 23 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page Toc, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving 16 pages of content, so let’s check this out!
Raging Swan presents us a selection of new random encounters-book, all with information on terrain and details to make them feel unique. This time, we go to the marshes. So what kind of encounters do we get?
(SPOILERS ABOUND, players should jump to the conclusion)
- The first encounter we’re presented (EL 7) is a rather neat and somewhat funny one – the PCs meet a selection of Lizardfolk cultists worshipping a frog. That is actually a baleful polymorphed bone devil. Hilarious, cool, neat!
- The second encounter has no less potential for coolness and jinx – a strike squad of kobolds has a big sack – and in it, 3 severed troll heads, kept from regenerating via a biting spider swarm in said bag. Unfortunately, the startled kobolds drop the bag upon encountering the PCs. Not only are the kobolds and spiders a problem, the regenerating heads make this encounter also one in which the PCs have to succeed at damage control.
- After that, the PCs will meet Griselda, a distraught mother whose just delivered child has been abducted and who subsequently is almost lost in grief. As a twist on the damsel in distress, the mother actually is a dread poisoner-Green Hag in disguise and tries to manipulate the Ps to return her monstrous offspring…
- The child’s father, an insane cannibal, also is among the potential illustrious people the PCs can meet – he tries to lure one of their number away to feast on them and a nice cover-story is provided as well. Neat!
- A very deadly duo awaits the PCs on an old battlefield – a team of an invisible stalker and a will-o’-wisp guard the remains of the fallen and constantly try to add to the pile of vanquished foes. A sidebar sums up natural invisibility, which adds this little bit of comfort that distinguishes good from excellent files.
- The next encounter has the PCs come just in time to prevent a tengu-witch and her flock of children from sacrificing a child she just kidnapped. Unfortunately, said child is the spawn of a green hag and a psychotic cannibal. It is here I’d like to note that the social encounters come with all sample DC to improve NPC attitude and sample pieces of dialog for the respective attitudes. Are the PCs deceived? Has even such seed from an evil womb a right to live? An interesting encounter with potentially far-reaching moral questions.
- Perhaps the PCs have journeyed to the swamp for answers and that they may get from Chalos, the friendly hydra-sage for ye olde swamp – provided you know when to pack your things and leave, for not all of the hydra’s heads are scholarly and the creature tends to get hungry quick when talking to potential snacks…
- The final encounter has the PCs encounter a nice half-orc guide to the marshlands.
Have I mentioned two additional encounters via a free web-enhancement?
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and layout adheres to RSP’s elegant b/w-2-column standard. The b/w-artworks rock and the pdf comes with an additional pdf for you stat-library that collates the statblocks as well as a version optimized for use with e-readers. This pdf has by far the coolest, most imaginative and far-out encounters released by RSP in this series so far and makes for a more than compelling, neat little read. The potential for some of the encounters to be linked is nice and the general quality/ideas of the encounters is top-notch. Seeing that this installment surpasses its two predecessors, I’ll settle for a final verdict of 5 stars – a great little selection of encounters that has me impressed – congratulations to author David Posener.
Random Marsh Encounters is available from: