Dungeon Dressing: Doors addresses that which all of us have put a few well placed shoulders and boots through over the years, and handles them with the perfect blending of logical application and devious design. For those not familiar with the Dungeon Dressing series this line seeks to help give a time harried GM the means to provide an immense amount of flavor and detail to their designs with as simple an action as rolling on a random chart. Formatting and editing appeared to be fantastic, I didn't see anything jump out in that regards, so well done there! We got two main charts this time out, one for features of the doors, the other for flavor. But before we get to those charts we have a full breakdown of the basics, types of doors, their AC, their hardness, all the good stuff one needs to know. The cool thing in here is we get mechanics for bead curtains...yes, I said bead curtains. Trust me, by the time you get to the traps in the back of the PDF you'll be thrilled you have game rules for a freaking bead curtain, and you just might be face palming for having never thought of this brilliant move yourself...I'll give you a hint, it involves poison, of the contact variety, covering the beads...
Reading through this we've got a massive amount of doors covered in this product, I think in all honesty the only true door type I didn't see represented was the pocket door (although there was something similar to be fair). So, as is my standard when I do a review on this series, I rolled a few dice (d100) to see just what type of door I could come up with on the fly, and I'll share with you here so that you can get an idea of how easy this series lets you design cool features. So, no further ado, my random door...
The door is decorated with gilded writing in an appropriate alphabet. It is rendered in immaculate cursive. A soft knocking, in a staccato rhythm, is coming from the door's other side.
Now, obviously before I'd read this to my PCs I would change the bit about an appropriate alphabet to a language that works for my setting, but that was 2 dice rolls. And one seriously cool story plot point...what's the wording on the door? A warning? Instructions? A warding spell keeping whatever is knocking behind the door? And just what is doing the knocking? All from 2 dice rolls. Starting to see why I love these books? Yes, any GM worth their salt can do this all day and night themselves, no doubt of that...but how many of us have the time? Products like this free us up to do what we most love, and that is game.
Now, as is a known fact of every paranoid PC who has ever opened one to many doors with reckless abandon, some of those portal covers are not without their own means of defense, I of course am referring to traps. Jeff Erwin excelled here in giving not only some cool options for traps (along with variants and the appropriate CR modifications for each), but he hooked us up with a very nice presentation of the standard poison needle trap. Why do I single this most basic of traps out for praise? Because along with the basic trap write up we are given a full table of CR adjustments for differing poisons, disable or perception DC variations, and attack bonuses to the needle itself. All arranged in an easy to read and use chart that turns the basic needle trap suddenly into a plethora of variants. This is the type of chart that you copy/paste into a GM screen folks, seriously. And to accompany this highly useful chart Jeff goes and gives us one for commonly used magical traps for doors as well, along with a minimum CL listing and CR ranking for each spell as used in a door trap.
Another solid addition to the Dungeon Dressing series, and well worth the price of admission folks, a solid 5 star rating not only deserved, but earned.
[5 of 5 Stars!]