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    Wilderness Dressing: Hills $2.45
    Average Rating:4.6 / 5
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    Wilderness Dressing: Hills
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    Wilderness Dressing: Hills
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser]
    Date Added: 04/12/2013 07:15:43

    This installment of the wilderness dressing-line is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page advertisement, 2 pages editorial, 1 page ToC/introduction, 1 page SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let's take a look!

    Following the tradition of the wilderness dressing-line, we kick off with an extensive array of events to spice up your travelling experiences - 100 different minor events are featured in a massive table and range from squeaking cart-wheels accompanied by shouts to wild grapes that are the home of an aggressive bee swarm, abandoned camp sites (though the text reads "abandon[sic!] camp site" - a rare Raging Swan editing glitch) to frolicking grey squirrels and orc bodies. A nice table!

    The second massive table provides us with 100 different dressings for hills - small grottos with adjacent miner's cabins, wild strawberry patches, red silk caught in thorny bushes, strangely left alone dishes, monuments that denote burial grounds, earthen amphitheaters and sinkholes. All in all, rather cool dressings, though slightly less imaginative than in the installment on plains and there are less dressing-entries with crunchy tidbits.

    After that, we get a page of 12 different sample random encounters for hilly regions that feature an EL as well as a tightly-written fluffy section of notes, in line with e.g. Dungeon Denizens EL 1 - e.g. hobgoblins guarding a rope bridge or swooping wyverns. The final page of the product contains all relevant pieces of information for the DM to run hilly areas: From random hill heights to miscellaneous terrain features and 3 different types of slopes, this page will definitely come in handy.

    Conclusion: Editing and formatting are very good, though not up to the usually flawless track-record of Raging Swan Press. Layout adheres to RSP's crisp two-column b/w-standard and the pieces of artwork included are beautiful indeed. The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks and in 2 versions, one optimized for screen use and one for the printer.

    The wilderness dressing line is a joy and extremely useful for DMs - and this installment is no exception. Providing ample details to bring your world to life, the dressings will definitely enhance your game. That being said, when compared to the first two installments, this one feels slightly less brilliant - I wasn't that blown away by events or dressings and missed the far-out entries and would have enjoyed slightly more crunch. I can't really put my finger on it, but this one felt slightly, not by much, but slightly less evocative to me and didn't make me eureka as much as the first two did. That being said, it still is a great addition to any DM's toolkit and thus justifiably can be rated 4.5 stars - though I'm inclined to round down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

    Endzeitgeist out.



    Rating:
    [4 of 5 Stars!]
    Wilderness Dressing: Hills
    Publisher: Raging Swan Press
    by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
    Date Added: 03/21/2013 09:40:00

    Adventuring often involves journeys, and I believe that the journey should be as much a part of the adventure as the dungeon delve or whatever that happens at the end of it. Making journeys realistic also aids in developing the sense of an alternate reality, making your campaign world come to life in your players' minds as their characters travel around it.

    Now consider that you may be sending the party through some hilly terrain. Even if it's marked so on your map, you are going to want to add a bit more detail when boots hit the ground. I used to teach map-reading and whilst I am pretty good at 'taking a walk' through a map, there are still far more details to be seen when you actually arrive there and get a good look at the ground truth for yourself. Time to turn to this product...

    The first table presents some (mostly) hill-related minor events, things that might be seen, heard or otherwise noticed. You can roll percentage dice, or read through and select an event that suits. Some are as benign as a few birds circling overhead filling the air with birdsong, others potentially threatening or even liable to change the whole course of the adventure - an earthquake, say, or finding a severed head in the middle of the trail...

    The next table provides a wealth of 'hill dressing' - minor features like a patch of tasty mushrooms or unusual rock formations - again there are an hundred options to choose from or for which to roll your dice. It's a way to make that journey sound more vivid and real as the characters make their way onwards.

    The final table presents twelve random encounters suitable for hilly ground. Watch out, they rapidly escalate into quite high CR level encounters so unless you believe that characters need to learn when to run away bravely, you may prefer to select one rather than roll for it.

    But there’s more, a look at ‘terrain features’ that you can use when describing the surroundings. Most game maps do not have contours marked so you need to work out things like slopes and lines of sight for yourself. Here there are notes on how a gradual or steep slope and other features will affect movement and observation, and even things like how much cover a streambed will afford should they need to duck out of sight.

    Make the hills come alive… if perhaps not with the sound of music… next time your party needs to travel through them.



    Rating:
    [5 of 5 Stars!]
    Displaying 1 to 2 (of 2 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
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