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Random Marsh Encounters $3.99
Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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Random Marsh Encounters
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Random Marsh Encounters
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/29/2012 08:16:37
Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2012/02/29/tabletop-review-random--
marsh-encounters/

INTRODUCTION: Random Marsh Encounters is a twenty-three page Pathfinder compatible supplement for GameMasters to implement within their campaign. Even though it is compatible for the Pathfinder RPG, this supplement can be easily inserted into D20 fantasy based game systems with little to no conversion and with some conversion, to other earlier editions of Dungeons & Dragons.

CONTENTS: Within this wonderful supplement are eight separate random encounters found in and around swamps and/or marsh areas. Each of these encounters are detailed enough to provide the GM enough information to run an interesting and lengthy encounter for those players who happen to stumble upon them as they adventure through a marsh region. The encounters include but not limited to are a group of shamanistic lizardmen on a religious pilgrimage with their “messiah”, a band of savage kobolds with a unique weapon, a distraught woman with pleas to the adventurers to save her child who was kidnaped by a “swamp witch,” a long forgotten battlefield that serves as a lair of two creatures who work together to feed on those who search it, a camp of swamp “children” with an interesting loving mother who cares for them, and so on. Each of the encounters are basically formatted in such a way that give maximum information without added fluff. That is a total plus for those GM’s who wish to run a simple encounter and not having to research multiple pages. In this case, each encounter is fully detailed on two full pages. The encounters come in various CR’s(challenge ratings) for different levels of adventuring parties. A basic but short description of the encounter is either read to the players or via the GM’s personal description and from there the encounter begins. There is a portion of the encounter that is titled “What’s going on here?” that explains to the GM the whole purpose of the scenario. There is a section with a multitude of options on what can occur based on the adventurers actions. Another section also covers the terrain features of the swamp, marsh, and bog in the event the players have a combat scenario. Options to scale the adventure for higher or lower adventurers is given as well. Last but not least, there is the stat block for the creature(s) encountered.

PRACTICAL USE: A GM who is in need of short scenarios for random encounters in a swamp should really look into this specific supplement. The information provided for each of the scenarios will bring at the minimum of at least one hour to two hours of fun per each scenario provided. The diverse nature of the encounter with the option to scale back encounters makes this a very flexible supplement for a wide variety of levels as far as the characters are concerned. Included with this supplement was a Random Marsh Encounters companion that contained all the stat blocks of all of the creatures that can be encountered. This made it real easy to handle all encounters without having to go back and forth each time looking through the PDF on the computer.

POSITIVE NOTES: This supplement is twenty-three pages of total enjoyment. Unfortunately, I did not run all of the encounters contained within but I am certain to use this supplement again in the event that my players wander around through swamps and marshes as shortcuts. Special thanks to Shawn Herly, John Ewves, Chris Jones, Victor Locque, and Mary St.Johns for participating in three of the scenarios this past two weekends. Easy adaptability and compatibility to D20 fantasy games and earlier editions is a total plus. The scenarios are far from boring and added a lot of new ideas when it comes to random encounters. The art contained was minimal and made room for additional information on each scenario. The publisher of this specific module provides an “ERRATA” feature on his site that will detail any issues found within this supplement and others they have released in PDF format.

NEGATIVE NOTES: Unless there was an issue with Adobe Acrobat, my only negative note was how the supplement was presented in PDF format. I personally prefer to read one page at a time when reading documents on PDF and in this case, the setup was in a way where both pages were visible. In order to read the document, I had to read the 1st page then slide over to the right to read page two. As one delves deeper into the supplement, there was some difficulty going back to earlier pages without losing your place. The reviewer did not print this document but will do so in the event to present the scenarios in a better attempt to read them otherwise this supplement is highly recommended.

OVERALL REVIEW: I find this supplement excellent in the fact that I used three of the scenarios in a weekend to a group of friends. The scenarios are easy to read and well structured to the point that there was little need to research a lot of information from any other books. All information required to run these scenarios are contained within this supplement.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Random Marsh Encounters
Publisher: Raging Swan Press
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/14/2012 06:03:53
This pdf 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?

Conclusion:
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 David Posener.

Endzeitgeist out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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